LIVINGSTON, NJ — In a special video tribute, members of the Livingston Education Association (LEA) recently honored the nearly two-dozen 2020 retirees from the Livingston Public Schools (LPS) district and remembered former technology teacher Michael Jeskey, who died unexpectedly in March at the age of 50.
The latest LPS retires include David Hyman, Janice Corrado, Susan Spadafina, Lucy Lee, Wendy Walter, Erin Borino, Deborah Ayers, Colleen Cornell, Melissa Eisen, Lucia Emma-Uibelhoer, Judith Gisser, Pam Ciccarino, Joanne Kaufmann, Deborah Kline, Antonio Lekhrajmal, Sandy Levine, Deborah Ludwig, Linda Majzner, James Novotny, Donna Pepe, Joseph Pepe, Carolyn Sanchez and Mary Walmsley.
A handful of retirees spoke about their LPS experience as part of the LEA’s virtual presentation, during which congratulations were also extended to any late-decision retirees not included in the video.
“When I look back on Livingston and the time I’ve spent in the schools, the word that comes to mind is ‘heart,’” said Corrado, who is retiring after 21 years as a reading intervention teacher at Harrison Elementary School. “Not only that as teachers and educators, we try to get to the heart of our students and really teach what’s essential and also touch their hearts, but also the heart of each building. And I believe that that’s its teachers. I’ve made some wonderful friends over the last 21 years here and I will miss all of you, but you will always be in my heart.”
Lee, a 30-year Chinese language teacher at Livingston High School, said she had “mixed feelings” when she finally decided to retire and that it has been “even more difficult to say goodbye” after not being able to see her students in person over the last few months. She added, however, that she is excited for her next chapter as she becomes a full-time grandmother.
Erin Borino, who served as Director of Instructional Technology for LPS over the last four years, spoke of the honor of working directly with the staff of every department in all nine Livingston schools.
“In and of itself, technology doesn’t result in effective teaching and learning,” she said. “It still requires a guide—you, the educator—and a thoughtful purpose. I’m proud to say that Livingston does both really well, and although I did not work directly with the students, I’ve seen how hard work, dedication and compassion that you have as a staff has impacted the lives of the students.”
Hyman thanked the district for giving him the opportunity to “contribute to such a great community” and, as many of his colleagues did, expressed confidence that the “friends and memories will last a lifetime.”
At the start of the video, the LEA posted a quote stating that “good teachers are the reason why ordinary students dream to do extraordinary things.”
The video concluded with a tribute to Jeskey, stating that “a good heart has stopped beating, but a heart that has touched so many lives can’t help but live on forever.”
Jeskey was born and raised in Livingston and was living in Caldwell at the time of his death. He was a longtime technology teacher at Heritage Middle School, whose Home School Association (HSA) raised more than $1,300 in March to assist his family—including his wife, Trish Crincoli Jeskey, and two children, Drew and Julia—with expenses.
The Livingston Education Foundation (LEF) has also established a scholarship fund in honor of Jeskey’s “love of technology and his creative spirit.” Each year, Livingston High School seniors will be able to apply for this scholarship and receive money to pursue an education in technology or engineering.
According to the LEF, Jeskey “set the standard for excellence in technology education,” and this scholarship will “help his memory live on by helping others.”
Community members can donate to the Michael Jeskey Scholarship Fund via Venmo to @LEF-Livingston or by filling out THIS DONATION FORM and mailing it with a check made out to the “Livingston Education Foundation” with “Michael Jeskey Scholarship Fund” written in the memo.