Steinert High School staff and students recently dedicated the school library to one of their most notable graduates, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
The Sept. 21 ceremony featured student performances and artwork, government officials — including Mayor Kelly Yaede and Rep. Chris Smith — and an appearance from Alito.
Alito was valedictorian of the Steinert Class of 1968, and he continued his education at Princeton University and Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale in 1975, he became the Assistant United States Attorney for New Jersey before being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President George W. Bush in 2006.
The library dedication has been years in the making. Despite being the high school’s most notable alumnus, there was no mention of him within the walls of his old high school.
In 2016, multiple student groups — GALRE, National Honors Society, Student Government and Peer Leadership — received school board approval to renovate and dedicate the library in honor of Alito. However, with no money in the school budget to fund the renovations, students took matters into their own hands to organize fundraisers to buy new carpet and furniture, which hadn’t been updated in more than 50 years.
In addition to honoring Alito, school officials hope the library dedication will help educate current and future students about Steinert’s place in history.