Giving Back

$20,000 Raised for Mary Jo Codey Scholarship Fund in West Orange

Mary Jo Codey and her co-workers from Gregory School

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange Scholarship Fund (WOSF) honored educator Mary Jo Codey at a reception held at the Montclair Country Club on June 15, raising $20,000 to implement an annual scholarship in her name.

Attendees included former New Jersey Governor and current Senator Richard Codey; Mayor Robert Parisi and wife Sheila; WOSF trustees; Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Rutzky; West Orange Board of Education members Laura Lab, Sandra Mordecai and Mark Robertson; former superintendent Jerry Tarnoff; Assemblypersons John McKeon and Mila Jasey; and council members Victor Cirilo, Joe Krakvoviak, Susan McCartney and Jerry Guarino. 

Codey, an educator for four decades and a special needs educator in West Orange for 15 years, retired from Gregory Elementary School on June 16. Principal Michele Thompson lauded and joked about Codey at the June 15 event as fellow Gregory educators cheered.

Sign Up for E-News

Thompson shared about Codey’s “treasure chest” for her students and how she loved candy, presenting her with tootsie rolls and treats.

“You couldn’t meet a more loving and caring person than Mary Jo,” said Thompson. “And we’ll always love you…you will be missed.”

Richard Codey introduced his wife, stating that he could not have hoped for a better wife and friend.

“No matter what she has dealt with—mental illness, breast cancer, or a coma—she always wakes up with a smile,” he said.

Mary Jo is not only an educator of 40 years or the wife of a former governor; she is also a mother who struggled with serious post-partum depression following the birth of her children. After fighting through it, she began the Codey Foundation in 2011 with her husband to support other women battling the illness. As she retires, she is preparing for the birth of her first grandchild.

She stepped to the microphone and thanked everyone for being there.

“I could not find so many people under one roof that I love so much,” she said. “It was a tough decision to retire, but it’s the right time. I had a teacher at Mountain High School who told me, ‘What you do to or for your students counts.’ That teacher turned my life around.”

Mary Jo was a 1974 graduate.

“It’s no wonder that we have such outstanding students, as I see so many staff from our wonderful West Orange Schools,” said WOSF President Rich Rizzolo as he presented Mary Jo with flowers.

The event was organized by Lisa Touzeau, trustee on the WOSF. Funds raised will be used to establish an annual scholarship in Mary Jo Codey’s name, to be given to a graduating West Orange High School Senior. 

See photos from the event here

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Police: Dead Body Found Face Down in Upper Montclair

March 7, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ -  The body of a 67-year-old man was recovered in upper Montclair on Friday morning near Toney's Brook in the area of upper Mountain Avenue training station.

Responding officers suspect that the man may have suffered from a medical emergency while walking toward the bus stop around 11 p.m. Thursday night. 

According to Sgt.

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Anyone at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m. might have been exposed to measles and should contact their health care provider, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDH).

The NJDH has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles—a highly contagious ...

Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party Set For March 16

March 12, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - The annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party fundraiser affair is coming up.

The event, which will be held Friday, March 16 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, is focused on raising funds to support Komen’s BOLD GOAL:  to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% by the year 2026, by improving access to quality and ...

Get Smart

I don’t want to be on a first name basis with my refrigerator.


Oh don’t get me wrong, I am all for cool technology—when it works—but I draw the line at talking to appliances.  I have enough trouble carrying on conversations with humans.  


But in what must be one of the truly great technological oxymorons of our time, the dawn of the ...