South Plainfield, NJ – The South Plainfield Women’s Leadership Committee comprised of Chrissy Buteas, Debbie Boyle, Pat DeSantis, Nancy Stillman Pender, Nina Rohrer, and Pam Stefanek recognized three students as Women's History Month essay contest winners at the July 23 meeting of the South Plainfield Board of Education.  

 This year's challenge was to discuss the advocacy and leadership legacy of the late Shirley Temple Black, who went from being a movie star as a child in the 1930's to an internationally respected diplomat. The winners of the essay contest were: Brett Temple, 1st place and a prize of $250; Kelley O’Brien, 2nd place and $100; and Joseph Waldrop, 3rd place and $100.

“We were extremely impressed with the outstanding work of Brett, Kelley, and Joseph, and these awards are richly deserved," said Buteas, Chairwoman of the Committee.  "Their essays best recognized the contributions of Shirley Temple Black as she worked to achieve equality for women in the United States and across the world.”  

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 The essays were judged by a committee of South Plainfield residents that included Buteas, Board of Education member Debbie Boyle, Pat DeSantis, South Plainfield Suburban Women’s Club Nancy Stillman Pender, Columbia Bank Commercial Real Estate Officer Nina Rohrer, and Pamela Stefanek.

 In addition to discussing Temple Black's legacy, participants were also asked to identify a woman who has had a significant impact in their life.  Essay submissions were open to South Plainfield students in grades 9-12.

 Black, who died February 14, 2014, started her career in the public eye as an actress, singer, and dancer and became the most famous as a child star in the 1930s. As an adult, she went on to serve as United States Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, and as Chief of Protocol of the United States.

Donations were submitted by: Chrissy Buteas, Debbie Boyle of the Boyle Memorial Foundation, Rita Doell of Fulton Bank of New Jersey, the Suburban Women’s Club of South Plainfield, Pat DeSantis, Nancy Stillman Pender, Pam Stefanek, and Mike Buteas Construction.  Also, special thanks to the South Plainfield Observer, and South Plainfield School District, especially teachers Ms. Pecora and Ms. Flannery.

"This contest would not have been such a success without the dedicated individuals and organizations that stepped up to make it happen," said Buteas. "And, most importantly, it would not have been possible without the terrific work of South Plainfield's teachers.”