The WW-P School District presents the 2015 inductees into the High School South Hall of Honor on Saturday, November 14, at 5:30 p.m. “The Hall of Honor gives us an opportunity to recognize those individuals who have brought honor to the school through their achievements, accomplishments, and/or contributions to the community and/or school,” says South principal Dennis Lepold. The Hall of Honor pays tribute to individuals in four categories: Alumni Achiever, Student Achiever, School Service, and Inspiration.
The Inspiration Award is presented to someone who has shown extraordinary leadership and inspiration to the school. This year’s inductee is Leslie Fisher. She taught social studies from 1979 to 1992 and served as a school counselor from 1992 to 2011. She held titles such as class advisor, yearbook advisor, Women of Windsor advisor, lead counselor, friend, colleague, “favorite” counselor, sports enthusiast, everyone’s right hand girl, and more.
“She made our high school special with her enthusiasm, dedication, optimism, professional expertise, and her tremendous work ethic,” says Lepold. “Leslie’s smile, spirit and attitude were contagious with administration, colleagues, and students alike. Leslie touched the lives of many of her students both during the day and in her support of their extracurricular activities. She has a knack for remembering everyone’s name, the activity they were in, and how they played in their last game. It was this sense of caring that caused students to love her so much.”
The School Service Award is presented to individuals who have provided extraordinary service to the school. This year’s inductee is Anthony Pappalardo, a music educator for 38 years at South. For 35 of those years, he served as the district music coordinator and High School head teacher. Founder of the Pirate Marching Band, he devoted countless hours to its development as an award winning marching band.
He was the director of the Pit Band for the high school musicals and the Jazz Band. For his dedication to music teaching, Pappalardo received recognition from Princeton University for excellence in teaching and the CNN Cable Network Teacher of the Year award. His fondest desire was to impart his passion and respect for music and education to his students. He continues to perform as a trumpeter with numerous ensembles.
The Alumni Achiever Award is presented to people who have brought honor to themselves, and thereby their alma mater. This year’s inductees are Amy Beaulieu Mansue, Class of 1982; Sami Elmansoury, Class of 2002; and Catherine Princiotta Tantum, Class of 1979.
As an involved student at South, Amy Beaulieu Mansue was president of the orchestra, editor-in-chief of the yearbook, secretary of Student Council, founder and president of Reachout community outreach program, and a peer counselor. After high school, she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and an MSW from the University of Alabama. In 2004 she created a scholarship for a deserving student in the social work program in the name of her parents, Barbara and Russell Beaulieu.
While working as a legislative director at ARCNJ, Mansue developed a legislative advocacy network, organizing 21 local chapters of parents of and people with disabilities. As a policy advisor for Governor Florio, she spearheaded the creation of New Jersey’s Medicaid Waiver for people with traumatic brain injuries, creating reimbursement for community placement of these clients.
Since 2003 she has served as the CEO of Children’s Specialized Hospital, the largest pediatric rehabilitation hospital in the U.S. Her passionate leadership and love of her patients and staff have prompted her to grow the hospital and increase the level of service provided to children in need. Mansue has received numerous honors and awards for her humanitarian efforts and sits on the board of the Children’s Hospital Association.
Sami Elmansoury is a business entrepreneur, a speaker, and a writer on issues ranging from education and national security, to faith and identity politics. With the goal of advancing exceptional education and human relations in the United States and abroad, Elmansoury is founder of Precision Learning, which offers clientele a personalized vantage point on exam preparation, English language training, and other academic services. In 2014 his company commenced a partnership with Rutgers University Business School.
He currently serves on the Immigrant Rights Task Force of the Office of the Borough President of Manhattan and the Executive Board of the Muslim Public Affairs Council of New York City. He has traveled around the world engaging in dialogue with young people to promote harmony and understanding. He is also a frequent guest contributor to the Huffington Post and has been a keynote speaker at several colleges and associations. As a student Elmansoury made it his mission to bring the school community closer together in respect, and increase understanding through mutual tolerance after the attacks of September 11, 2001, which was his senior year.
Catherine Princiotta Tantum exhibits the “Pride and Spirit” of South. As a student she participated in the Cooperative Office Education program in her junior and senior year that allowed her to take classes in the morning and work during the afternoon at McGraw Hill. After graduation Tantum continued to work at McGraw Hill for 10 years before returning to South as a secretary in the library.
She has been the principal’s secretary for the last six years. Tantum has been a partner to administrators and of immeasurable help to the staff. For the past 25 years, Tantum has coached cheerleading for the fall and winter seasons, serving as a mentor and role model to her students. “Cathy is the epitome of professionalism, hard work, responsibility, leadership, and collegiality,” says Lepold.
The Student Achiever Award is presented to alumni who have made a contribution while a student in high school. This year’s inductees are James Renna, Class of 1991; Dolly Chugh, Class of 1986; and David Suarez, Class of 1995.
As a student athlete, James Renna was a member of the football and wrestling teams. He played varsity football all four years and captained a team that ended 8-1 with a No. 1 ranking. He received the prestigious Delaware Valley College Football Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete Award. As a wrestler, Renna served as a captain and won honors as a county and district champ. After graduating with honors, he attended Princeton University and continued his football career. He received his MBA from Duke University and is currently a partner at Mansa Capital, a private equity investment firm specializing in health care services and technology sectors.
While a student at WW-P, Dolly Chugh was a co-captain and most valuable player in tennis, basketball, and softball. She received the scholar-athlete award her senior year. Chugh was involved in student government and was elected junior class president with the slogan “Don’t Dilly-Dally, Vote for Dolly.”
She graduated from Cornell and earned her MBA, MA, and PhD from Harvard. After a career in investment banking and consulting, Chugh pivoted towards academia. She currently is an award-winning tenured professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Chugh is best known for integrating themes of social justice and ethics into her research and teaching. She is one of the most highly rated and popular professors at NYU and received the Stern School of Business Teaching Excellence Award in 2015.
David Suarez’s passion was wrestling. As co-captain of varsity wrestling, he helped lead the team to Mercer County and CVC championships. Suarez received the individual Mercer County Wrestling Champion award and received sportsmanship awards for both wrestling and lacrosse. Other activities included Eagle Scout, peer counselor, and student council member.
Suarez graduated from Penn State and joined Deloitte Consulting. On September 11, 2001, Suarez was on the 99th floor of the North Tower and lost his life at the age of 24. “David continues to make a difference in the lives of college students through the three scholarships that were established in his name after his death,” says Lepold. The Deloitte/ Penn State David Suarez Memorial Scholarship has provided more than $200,000 in scholarship support to Penn State students, the WW-P David Suarez Memorial Scholarship to a South student, and $75,000 in scholarships endowed at Penn State by the Starr Foundation.
“Each person is faced with the decision of what they should do with the short time that they are given,” wrote Suarez during his student days at WW-P. “To assist in making these decisions people often attempt to give their lives some type of meaning or purpose. They do this by setting a set of values that they choose to live by.” Suarez chose to live by his words and make a difference.
The induction ceremony will be at High School South in Commons I. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be served. Tickets can be purchased for $35 per person by sending a check made payable to cash with a notation of Hall of Honor to Cathy Tantum at WW-PHS South, 346 Clarksville Road, West Windsor 08550. Register by Friday, November 6. E-mail Bryan Fisher at email@example.com for information.
Hall of Honors, High School South, 346 Clarksville Road, West Windsor. Saturday, November 14, 5:30 p.m. Reception with hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Register. $35. E-mail Bryan.firstname.lastname@example.org. 609-716-5050. ww-p.org.