SHORT HILLS, NJ - Character Education and sportsmanship are under the spotlight as the Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills plans to bestow the Crystal Apple award to three extraordinary individuals at its third Evening of Honor event on November 15, 2016. Sharon Cohen and Kim Moore, the co-directors of the Caring Kids program that brings year-round character education programs to our students, will be honored.  Recently retired Athletic Director Dr. Ted D’Alessio, is also an honoree. Under his leadership, Millburn High School was awarded the NJSIAA/Northern Hills Conference “Sportsmanship Award” seven times. 

An Evening of Honor will take place on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at The Crystal Plaza in Livingston.  The evening will include a cocktail hour at 6:30 pm followed by a seated dinner at 7:30 pm. Funds raised during the event will be used to bring a special speaker to the district who has impacted all sixth grade students and their families. R.J. Palacio, author of The New York Times bestselling book Wonder, will speak at Millburn High School on January 24 about her story of a boy born with a facial deformity who learns to cope with life in middle school and imparts many lessons to those he meets along the way.

Over the past decade honorees Kim Moore and Sharon Cohen have infused the Millburn Public School curriculum with a dose of critical character education. They've taken Caring Kids to new levels with programming at every grade in the elementary schools. Their mission is to help children grow into compassionate, positive, and empowered members of society through character education, social activities, and parent support. Kim and Sharon's PTO involvement is extensive.  Sharon was involved in ASE, Bingo Nights and has co-chaired the all-important MMS and MHS directory committee. Outside of school, Sharon has raised over $100,000 for Autism Speaks. Kim, aka The Habitat Lady, helped establish the Hartshorn Habitat curriculum and continues to make each lesson in the habitat a joyful and memorable one for every Hartshorn student. They both chair The Caring Kids Annual Holiday Gift Drive for special needs kids in Newark and have been invaluable references for special needs families in the Millburn district. According to Ed Foundation Co-President Lauri Palomaki, “Kim and Sharon’s enthusiasm and energy have set an example for me and other parents so we are thrilled that we can honor their dedication to our schools on the 15th.”

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Recently retired Athletic Director Dr. Ted D’Alessio is honored for his 40-year commitment to the physical education of Millburn students. During the span of his career Dr. D’Alessio taught health and physical education at elementary through high school levels, coached football and track, and has been an active member of the NIAAA (National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association). While working in Millburn he earned his MA from Montclair State University in 1981 and his Doctorate of Education from New York University in 1991. Millburn High School principal Dr. William Miron states, “Dr. D’Alessio shared his vision of education with thousands of our student-athletes and coaches during his 40 years at Millburn, the last 23 years as our Athletic Director.  The success of our teams and individuals was always secondary to the lessons he imparted.  Attention to detail makes big things happen and so it was a fitting tribute that Dr. D'Alessio was chosen in 2012 as the Athletic Director of the Year.  And, the following year, under his leadership MHS earned the recognition for having the #1 High School Athletic Program in NJ.  I thank him for his years of service.”

The Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills’ is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing continued educational excellence for Millburn Public Schools by providing financial support for innovative and progressive improvements that enrich the academic experience. Its goals are to foster supportive community and private sector relationships to service the educational interests of Millburn Public Schools students and to serve as a catalyst to support and enhance school improvement programs that heighten its students’ learning opportunities. The foundation funds grants to develop innovative programs and activities in areas such as science and technology, fine and performing arts, language research and culture and provides grants to educational staff to establish quality projects consistent with the goals of the Foundation. Funding for grants comes from membership fees, fundraising events, and private donors.

Tickets are $200 per person and are available for purchase online at  The website will also allow you to purchase tribute ads, make a tax-deductible donation, plus offer the opportunity of various sponsorships. Other questions can be answered by contacting Amy Talbert at