UNION, NJ – Union police, fire, rescue squad responders, catholic school teachers and others were recognized on Monday at the annual Shield Awards presented by the Knights of Columbus, Council #4504.

Award Recipients:

Police officer:  Sgt. Dorothy Mascidlo-Skiper

Sign Up for Union Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Mascidlo-Skiper was appointed to the Union Police Department in 2007, initially assigned to the Patrol Division.  In 2015, Mascidlo-Skiper was assigned to the Training Bureau/Staff Services, where she played a vital part in establishing the Police Department’s State Accreditation status in 2015.  In June 2017, Mascidlo-Skiper was promoted to the rank of Police Sergeant, only the second female officer to reach the rank at the Union Police Department.  According to her nomination information, Mascidlo-Skiper is an “outstanding leader and tirelessly maintains positive relations to strengthen our community.”

Firefighter:  Captain Gary Steitz, Sr.

Steitz was appointed to the Union Fire Department on April 2, 1979.  In September 1991, he was transferred to the Fire Prevention Bureau as a fire inspector.  He was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1997 and to Captain in July 2001.  He has earned many professional licenses including Fire Subcode Official, Fire Protection Inspector-ICS and Fire Inspector.  Steitz is scheduled to retire from the Union Fire Department in December, 2019. 

Emergency Services:  Timothy Singletary

Singletary began his career as a member of the Roselle Park First Aid Squad and joined the ranks of Union EMU in June 2013.  Singletary is “always willing to help others with learning necessary skills, accommodating schedules, coming in early or staying late after a shift.  His dedication to Union has been exemplified in hours donated to helping Union’s citizens and Union’s upcoming EMTs.”

St. Michael’s School Honoree:  Fran Engleman

Engleman has been a teacher at St. Michael’s School for over 25 years.  She is a second-grade teacher, is the school’s religion coordinator and leads the school choir.  “She always goes above and beyond to help the students, parents and her fellow colleagues.  She is a true asset to the St. Michael’s community.”

St. Michael’s Church Honoree:  Ana Miranda

Miranda’s family moved to the United States from Portugal in 1977.  She has been a catechist at St. Michael’s for over eleven years and has taught both sixth and eighth grade.  “When walking past her classroom, one can see how the students are always actively engaged in the lesson.  She is a beautiful example of witness to God’s love via her stewardship and compassionate work.”

Holy Spirit School Honoree:  Betty Speronza

Speronza has been with Holy Spirit School for 18 years.  “She has been the face, the voice, the heart and soul of Holy Spirit School.”  Speronza will be retiring at the end of the school year. 

Holy Spirit Church Honoree:  Bernadette Watson

Watson has served as a catechist for 19 years at Holy Spirit Church.  “She has a gift of making the classes fun and enjoyable all while focusing on getting the message of Jesus across to her students.”

Senior Citizen Award:  Ron Manzella

Manzella has lived in Union since 1977 and began his career with the township in 2005.  He became Township Administrator in 2011.  As administrator, Manzella handles the day to day operations of the town, including the development and presentation of operational and capital budgets, labor and contract negotiations, and ensuring the Township moves forward according to the needs of the residents and the directives of the Township Master Plan.  Manzella has been a guest lecturer and is a licensed marriage counselor and a state certified school social workers.

Knights of Columbus Free Throw Champion:  Abigail Han

Han is the 2018-2019 10u international free throw champion.  She was the 9u state champion last year.  “There are 72 jurisdictions in the Knights of Columbus, and Abigail is the 10 year old female international free throw champion!”

Knights of Columbus, Union Council 4504, Knights of the Month:

September 2018:  Robert Pynkels

October 2018:  Gregory Jones

November 2018:  Rich Fuentes

December 2018:  Giftus John

February 2019:  Luke Sangiamo

March 2019:  Chuck Cababe

April 2019:  Robert Wozniak PGK

May 2019:  Andy Schopfer PGK

June 2019:  Michael Harms

State Knight of the Month:  Giftus John

Certificate of Appreciation:  Joseph “Joey” Matthews

Certificate of Appreciation:  Bruce “DJ Bruch” Zukowski

Donations of $990 were presented to: 

     Camp Fatima of NJ

     ARC of Union County

     Inroads to Opportunities