Hudson County officials cut the ribbon on a middle school complex named after outgoing County Executive Tom DeGise, who was history teacher prior to getting involved with local politics around four decades ago.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The Thomas A. DeGise Center, located at 180 9th St. in Jersey City, is home to the Hudson County Schools of Technology’s Explore Middle School, Hudson Technical: Post Secondary, HCST Development Office, and renowned coach Bob Hurley’s Basketball Court.
“[Yesterday] was such a huge honor and I would like to thank everyone in the county and the incredible people at the Hudson County Schools of Technology for this generous recognition,” DeGise.
“As a former educator and someone who has made investing in our public education system here in Hudson County one of my top priorities, this means a great deal to me.”
The ceremony was attended by numerous current and former elected and school district officials, community leaders, along with DeGise’s family and friends.
DeGise, Hurley, HCST Superintendent of Schools Amy Lin-Rodriguez, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Coach Bob Hurley, and County Executive Democratic nominee Craig Guy – also still DeGise’s chief of staff – all delivered remarks.
“Working with Tom has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences in my career and I’m so proud of all that we were able to accomplish together,” added Guy.
“He has been a brilliant and tireless public servant and this honor is so well deserved. Now, generations of students will see Tom’s name on the wall as they attend one of the best middle schools in the state, and they will remember the leadership that made this school possible.”
Additionally, County Prep Students Audrey Hernandez and Brook Mulugeta performed a special musical selection of James Taylor’s “You Got a Friend.”
Additional attendees included Assemblywoman Angelica McKnight, Assemblyman Will Sampson (both LD-31), Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Sheriff Frank Schillari, County Register Jeff Dublin, County Commissioners Yraida Aponte-Lipski (D-4), Anthony Romano (D-5), the board chair, and Bob Baselice (D-8), Jersey City Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh, former HCST Superintendent Frank Gargiulo, former Gov. Jim McGreevey (D), County Administrator Abraham Antun, and Deputy Administrator David Drumeler, among many others.
“Tom DeGise embodies the district’s mission of empowering lifelong learning. Today marks a significant milestone to honor his dedication to our entire community. I look forward to continuing our collective work with the Hudson County Executive’s Office to prioritize career and technical education for all ages in Hudson County,” stated Lin-Rodriguez.
“Today was such a wonderful opportunity to get to recognize and celebrate all of the work that Tom DeGise has done for our district and our entire Hudson County community. I’ve worked with Tom for a long time and I can think of no one better deserving of this honor,” noted HCST Board President John Minella.