PATERSON, NJ  – Just two days after students from Eastside High School were involved in an impromptu photo session with Sylvester Stallone, Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer thanked the film legend for his kindness. 

“I want to personally thank Mr. Stallone for taking a few moments to spend time with our students. His example reminds everyone that a gesture of kindness and caring can make a world of difference in how a person feels. And what he did this week in Philadelphia made all of us here in Paterson feel terrific," Shafer said. Referring to Stallone's breakout role in the 1976 classic "Rocky", Shafer added that "Mr. Stallone’s’ movie career began with his story that reminded everyone that there is a champion within each of us, and that is a message that resonates with the students and families of Paterson Public Schools."

With seven sequels "Rocky" is one of the most successful and recognized film franchises to come out of Hollywood.

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The chance encounter took place Monday when the students from Eastside’s Culinary Arts, Hospitality, and Tourism School (CAHTS) were traveled to Philadelphia on a field trip and were visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Stallone was filming some promotional videos near the statue that bears his Rocky likeness on the museum’s property. 

“When the students first arrived at the museum, they went to the statue and somebody said, ‘Hey, you just missed Sylvester Stallone,”” said CATHS Principal Edgard Nieves. “Nobody believed he was there, and then two black SUVs pulled up. A window rolled down and it was Rocky asking the kids what school they all went to. When they said Eastside in Paterson, N.J., he got out and did a video and pictures with the students.” 

Shafer extended an invitation to visit Paterson's schools anytime.


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