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Madison Historical Society Annual Award Dinner Meeting

The Madison Historical Society Excellence in History Award recipient, Erin Salko, is joined (l to r) by Mark Debiasse, Supervisor of Humanities at Madison High School, and her father, Thomas Salko.

Erin Salko named Recipient of History Award at Madison Historical Society’s Annual Dinner Meeting

MADISON, NJ – Madison High School history student Erin Salko was the recipient of the Madison Historical Society Annual Award for Excellence in History, presented at the society’s Annual Dinner Meeting on May 18 at the Madison Hotel in Convent Station. The award includes a cash prize of $500. Mark Debiasse, Madison High School Supervisor of Humanities, made the presentation.

Erin is the daughter of Katherine and Thomas Salko of Greenwood Avenue, Madison. Erin and her parents attended the meeting as guests of the society. Erin will be entering her senior year at the high school in September.

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Society President Linda Connors presented the following slate of officers nominated for the ensuing term: Susan Simone, President; Virginia Laughlin, Recording Secretary: Noreen McManus, Corresponding Secretary; Dave Luber, Treasurer; and Linda Connors, Laurie Hagerich, Anne Meyer, Judy Seery, and Scott Spelker, Board of Trustee members. All were unanimously elected.

Following the election, President Connors acknowledged the following members for their volunteer contributions to society programs: Tom Bintinger, Virginia Laughlin, Daniela Oropeza, Sister Finlayson, Sister Lemon, Jessica Rediger, and Margaret Weisgerber.

The guest speaker for the evening was Perry Leavell, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of History Emeritus at Drew University. A Phi Beta Kapa graduate of Emory University, Leavell received his PhD “with distinction” from Tulane University.  He taught American History at Drew from 1967 until 2008. Today he lectures on American history to various groups in northern and central New Jersey, and is writing a book on Woodrow Wilson and Wilson’s major foreign policy adviser Edward M. House.

The topic of Professor Leavell’s presentation was “Standing Alone for Mankind, Woodrow Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles.” In his talk, he spoke at great length about the war, the leadership of President Wilson, and the subsequent peace conference and its consequences for the world.

The Madison Historical Society’s role is to assemble, record, and preserve all matters of historical interest concerning Madison and its residents. Formed in 1922 to preserve the old Bottle Hill Tavern, the Society has organized a significant collection of historic documents, maps and photographs over the intervening years. These are housed at the Local History Center at the Madison Public Library. For more information about the Society or to inquire about membership, call 973-377-0722, ext 8 or visit the Society’s website at

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