UNION, NJ – Jefferson School’s auditorium will hereafter be referred to as the Dr. Theodore Jakubowski Auditorium, following a dedication ceremony at the school on Wednesday evening honoring the former superintendent of schools.
Hosted by Board of Education member David Arminio, speakers at the event who praised Jakubowski’s leadership included Jefferson School Principal Laura Damato, Union Deputy Mayor Joseph Florio, State Senator Joseph Cryan, Superintendent of Schools Gregory Tatum, and Board of Education Vice President Nancy Minneci.
“It truly is an honor to have the auditorium in Jefferson School dedicated to me,” said Jakubowski.
Jakubowski spoke about the decision to make Jefferson School a district-wide school (at the time, for sixth graders). “When Central 6 was created in 1969, it was an innovative approach to education and would set an example that over the years many other school districts have followed.”
Jakubowski talked about the effort involved in getting the bond referendum passed to renovate Jefferson School. “Getting this accomplished was one of my final objectives as superintendent,” he said. “Although I retired before it was completed, you can understand why I am so honored and proud to have my name on this auditorium in this building. It’s really important to me and I really appreciate it.”
For more than forty years, Jakubowski served the Township of Union Public Schools. His career spanned a variety of positions, including math teacher, guidance counselor, wrestling and softball coach, vice principal, principal, assistant superintendent and, from 1995 – 2010, Superintendent of Schools. As Superintendent, Jakubowski served as President of the Union County Superintendent’s Roundtable, President of the Morris-Union Jointure Commission’s Board of Education, and was on the executive committee of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators.
Jakubowski served as President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Union Hospital Board and remained a trustee until its closing. He was a trustee for the Union Library Board from 1993 until his retirement in 2010. He was playground director, coordinator of playground activities and athletic director for the Union Recreation Department from 1969 through 1994. He coached little league, teener league, and was one of the founders of the wrestling booster club. For many years, he was the voice of Union football, announcing at games for both the high school and Union Rams.
Jakubowski has been named Superintendent of the Year. He has been the recipient of the Rotary Excellence in Education Award, the NJ Central Region Superintendent of the Year Award, the Kean University Partnership Award, and the Coca-Cola Educator of Distinction Award. He also has received the James T. Schaeffer Civic Service Award, the Union Hospital Citizen of the Year Award, was named UNICO Man of the Year, and was a Township of Union Youth Week Honoree.
Lifelong Union residents, Jakubowski and his wife Bernadette raised two sons, Michael, married to Kristin, and Brian, married to Krista. He has four grandchildren: Hailey, Connor, Isabelle and Alexandra.