Rose Marie Pelton Honored by Past and Present Franklin School Family

The area immediately in front of the kindergarten patio was dedicated as ‘Rose’s Garden’ in honor of Rose Marie Pelton.
Franklin School Principal Ralph Errico and members of the PTO honored Rose Marie Pelton with the dedication of 'Rose's Garden.'
Students and staff of Franklin School head outside to see the area dedicated in honor of Rose Marie Pelton.
The area immediately in front of the kindergarten patio was dedicated as ‘Rose’s Garden’ in honor of Rose Marie Pelton.
Pelton's kindergartner students presented her with flowers.
Former students of Rose Marie Pelton attended the assembly and dedication.
Rose Marie Pelton began teaching at Franklin Elementary School in 1977.
Rose Marie Pelton's 1986-1987 a.m. kindergarten class.
Rose Marie Pelton's 1996-1997 kindergarten class.
Rose Marie Pelton's 2005-2006 kindergarten class
Rose Marie Pelton's 2016-2017 class.

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Chants of ‘Mrs. Pelton’ filled the cafeteria of Franklin Elementary School May 26 as students, staff, and a large group of parents gathered for a surprise assembly honoring their longtime teacher. Rose Marie Pelton, who welcomed her first kindergarten class 40 years ago, will retire at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

Pelton entered the Franklin cafeteria to a standing ovation and chants of her name. The students joined together, singing a special tune written by music teacher Glenn Parisi and a video slideshow followed. Pelton was also presented with a ‘wish jar’ filled with good luck sentiments from her Franklin family.

The Franklin PTO also honored Pelton, presenting her with a scrapbook filled with dozens of photographs from the past 40 years as well as dedicating the area immediately in front of her classroom as ‘Rose’s Garden.’

Sign Up for E-News

“On behalf of the PTO, I’d like to thank Mrs. Pelton for her 40 awesome years. She has touched so many lives; not only at Franklin but throughout the community. She is not only a teacher but a kind-hearted person,” said Franklin PTO co-President Kristen (Linczyk) Celentano who had Pelton in 1985 and whose sons also had her.

“Franklin is not just a school, it is a family and Mrs. Pelton the center of the heart. She is going to be missed tremendously… It is my honor to present to you, ‘Rose’s Garden,” said Celentano.

Pelton began her teaching career in 1975 and served two years as a first grade teacher in Cranford before taking on a kindergarten position with South Plainfield Schools. Back in 1977, kindergarten was half-day and for the first three years of her tenure with the district, Pelton split her time between Franklin and Kennedy Elementary schools. She has resided in South Plainfield for 55 years, relocating to the borough from Rahway after getting married.

“Mrs. Pelton has dedicated over 40 years to educating children. She is tireless in providing children what they need to be successful in their educational growth,” said Franklin Principal Ralph Errico, adding, “… I’ve worked with Mrs. Pelton for only six years but have gained such a respect for what she accomplishes with her students and the amount of time and effort she puts into every one of her students.”

Errico added, “Mrs. Pelton will be sorely missed not just by me, but by the staff, students, community, and South Plainfield.”

“Mrs. Pelton is one of the most dedicated teachers I know. She loves her job. She loves the children and truly enjoys coming to work each day…She was truly in education for all the right reasons,” said Franklin teacher Laurie Venetucci, who has been working in kindergarten with Pelton for the past eight years and whose two sons had Pelton as a teacher.

“We have worked so well planing our lessons and our activities together,” said Venetucci. “She has become more than a colleague to me, she has been a friend and a mother-figure…I will miss her energy and her positivity.”

Over the course of four decades, Pelton has welcomed hundreds of kindergartners to Room #5 at Franklin Elementary School each September, many who have went on to have children of their own enrolled in her class.

Jennifer (Siegel) Luersen had Pelton in 1982 and her children, Ryan, now a fifth grader at Grant, and daughter Emily, a third grader at Franklin, also had her for kindergarten. “She truly was my favorite teacher in all my years in South Plainfield and it was so heartwarming to see my children sit in the same class where I sat nearly 30 years before them,” said Luersen.

Brian Wilson, a resident who had Pelton during the 1988-1989 school year and whose son Josh had her in 2014-2015, added, “Mrs. Pelton is one of the rare teachers that you can never forget throughout life. She is going to be greatly missed…”

Franklin art teacher Jennifer (D'Adezzio) Gil had Pelton in the 80s and, in 2013, her daughter Juliet did as well. “Mrs. Pelton has always had the reputation as being a great educator. Her love for the children as well as her passion for education is evident,” said Gil, adding, “I have fond memories of her as my kindergarten teacher and I was happy when I found out that my daughter was going to have her, too.”

Keri Hannon had Pelton for kindergarten in 1978 and her son, Nicholas, was in her class in 2008. “She has always remembered me through the years and left such a lasting impression on me that I wanted her to teach my son,” said Hannon. “We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement.”

“My memory of Mrs. Pelton is making applesauce in her room! I still remember sitting on her carpet in a circle watching her like it was yesterday,” said Trisha (Zebro) Aiello, noting that she feels fortunate that two of her four children also had the 'opportunity and experience of having such a great, loving, and caring, teacher.’ “They will take with them great memories to treasure forever.”

"Mrs. Pelton has a heart of gold. To her teaching was never a job; it was a passion and joy and she never lost that love for teaching,” added Celentano. “I can still feel that same love and energy when I walk in her room as I did as a child…It is so rewarding to watch her touch so many lives, including mine and my boys, and it is amazing to see how many students in the past remember her as their ‘kindergarten teacher.’”

For Deirdre Marini, the influence Pelton had on her daughter Sarah socially, as well as academically, is something she will never forget. When Sarah had a rough time adjusting to kindergarten, Pelton helped make the transition easier for both mother and child.

“…Mrs. Pelton would comfort her everyday and pushed her through the rough patch. [She] also encouraged me to be strong while Sarah was going through the phase,” said Marini. “As a mom, it was tough seeing Sarah so scared everyday [but] I had the trust that Mrs. Pelton would take care of her … She was a Godsend to us [and] I'll forever be thankful to her.”

Many also have fond memories of Pelton that stem outside of the classroom. Over the years, Pelton, a licensed real estate agent in town, has helped dozens of former students buy and sell their homes. She has also attended birthday parties and other milestone events.

“Mrs. Pelton has always shown her support by attending every event, and [has] always [been] willing to lend a hand and give the honest truth,” said Celentano. “How gratifying it is to be a part of so many lives…She is one in a million and has a heart of gold… Thank you Mrs. Pelton for being an amazing role model.”

“We always kept in touch with her over the years; she even came to many of my birthday parties when I was a child because I just loved her so much…” said Luersen, adding that, when her mother wasn't receiving her Courier News delivery, Pelton would drive over early in the morning and slip her copy in the mailbox.

“We didn't know for months and wondered why some days we got some duplicate papers. We only found out when we were leaving very early for a softball tournament and there she was at 6:30 a.m. sneaking the paper in the driveway,” Luersen said. “She is just such a wonderful woman like that.”

“Mrs. Pelton is one of the rare teachers that you can never forget throughout life. She is going to be greatly missed as a teacher at Franklin,” said Wilson.

Luersen added, “Mrs. Pelton is and always will be such a huge part of Franklin school. I can't imagine anyone else opening that door to let the kindergartners in....”

TAPinto South Plainfield is South Plainfield’s only free daily paper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @SoplainfieldTAP.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Joe Sacco Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team finished their dual meet season with a deceiving 20-7 record.  This past week saw the Tigers defeat Ewing (69-4), Bordentown Regional (49-9), and Ocean Township (54-6) to win the Central Jersey Group III Sectional Championship.  This advanced South Plainfield to the Group III State Championships yet again.  The wrestling team defeated Voorhees ...

The Athlete of the Week: Alyzah Ziga Co-ed Swimming

This past week South Plainfield’s Co-ed Swim Team finished their season.  The team was competitive in most meets, many times competing against bigger schools.  Junior Alyzah Ziga was an integral part of the Tiger’s Swim Team.

On Friday 2/2, Alyzah scored a total of 8 points against Linden with a 1st place in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:29.55 and in 1st ...


South Plainfield - Mary E. Ridilla, 96,  passed away on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

South Plainfield Middle School Student Council Thanks Supporters

February 21, 2018

The South Plainfield Middle School Student Council would like to express our thanks for the support of local businesses and organizations in our fundraising efforts.  A spaghetti dinner was hosted by the South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 on January 13th.  Mrs. Sharon Reuter and members of her Youth Committee and kitchen crew provided dinner for family, friends and staff of South ...

South Plainfield Residents  Named to Fall 2017 Dean's List at Seton Hall University

February 13, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Seton Hall University is pleased to announce the following students who qualified for Fall 2017 Dean's list and to congratulate them for their outstanding academic achievements:

Brooke Barry, Lindsay Celentano, Cj Dudek, Kaitlyn Faustini, Christopher McNeil,  Meagan Praul,  

Kyle Russell, Matthew Taco Bravo and Tomasz ...

Community Happenings

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

February 7, 2018

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Friday, February 9, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per person includes:  ...

Volleyball Fundraiser for the Eggert Family on March 11, 2018

February 18, 2018


Two divisions, Co-Ed High School and Co-Ed adult

Guaranteed two games per team

Double Elimination

8 people per team



High School teams = $50 per team

Adult Teams = $100 per team

12 Teams Max for each division

Please mail checks to 1107 Worth Drive, South Plainfield NJ 07080

High school - please submit your teams and payment to Justin ...

Holy Savior Academy hosts appreciation luncheon for Deanery Pastors

February 16, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The students and Board of Limited Jurisdiction of Holy Savior Academy (HSA), South Plainfield hosted a special luncheon to honor and celebrate the Pastors of twelve local Catholic churches that sponsor the school.  

The event was held at HSA on Tuesday February 13 and included a festive lunch featuring a home-cooked meal prepared by members of ...

Holy Savior Academy Cheer Competition

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Holy Savior Academy’s cheerleading squad is on winning streak.  Competing at the Biddy Level in the CCCANJ League, the girls took 1st place in the first two competitions of this cheer season. The 12 girl squad competed in the Immaculate Conception and the St. Mary’s competitions and came out on top beating fellow Catholic Schools, Immaculate ...

Bios, Photos of Past Labor Day Grand Marshals Needed for Eagle Scout Project

February 21, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Joseph Kelly, a senior at South Plainfield High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 207, is seeking the community’s help to see his Eagle Scout project come to fruition.

Kelly is looking to compile a ‘wall of fame’ honoring the men and women who have served as honorary grand marshals of the borough’s Labor Day Parade since 1961. The ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, February 23, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

The Sacred Heart Lenten Fish Dinners


Sat, February 24, 8:00 AM

South Plainfield

Meet the Mayor at the Senior Center


Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

The Children’s March being shown at the South ...

Sat, February 24, 4:00 PM

American Legion, South Plainfield

Boy Scout Troop 207 Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink


Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

Night at the Races - Tricky Tray


Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 171 New York Avenue South Plainfield

Real Estate


Diegnan Bill Allowing Municipalities To Authorize Parking Authorities As Redevelopment Entity Now Law

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to allow municipalities to authorize a parking authority as a redevelopment entity is now law.

“We know that smart redevelopment can help to revitalize areas within a town or city, but we have to make sure that municipalities have the flexibility to undertake projects in the most effective way,” said ...

South Plainfield: A Heart for Giving

South Plainfield received over two inches of rain this past weekend. Fortunately, Mother Nature has cooperated, and the precipitation was not of the frozen variety. Despite the rain, nothing could put a damper on South Plainfield’s spirit of helping those in need.

On Saturday a few Borough employees and I had the opportunity to deliver funds that have been raised for a family that has ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...


What, February is nearly over already?  No doubt you were just getting used to it.  So, before March arrives like the proverbial lion, let’s look at upcoming events at South Plainfield Library:

            With a couple of additions and one cancellation, we’ve got a usual slate of children’s programs next ...

Press Releases

John Kormendy - First Exalted Ruler Honored

February 21, 2018

Recently the South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 gathered together to celebrate and honor John Kormendy.

After more than 60 years in the area, he has decided to relocate to Michigan to be closer to his daughter.

Mr. Kormendy was one of the founding members and our first Exalted Ruler.  For the past  55 years the

Lodge has been in South Plainfield, he has been very active in many ...