2011 MTHS Hall of Fame
Steve Adragna spent his formative years in the Montville Township public school system. At MTHS, Steve threw himself into his studies and into activities that would help him achieve his goals of seeing as much of the world as possible and preparing him for an internationally-oriented career.
In addition to participation in student government, the school newspaper, Key Club, and the National Honor Society, Steve became an active member (and eventually president) of the speech and debate team. He was the NJ champion in boys’ extemporaneous speaking during both his junior and senior years, and state debate champion during his senior year. Drawn to public service from an early age, Steve participated in a number of civic projects and political campaigns during his tenure at MTHS.
Steve enrolled in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and majored in International Politics. He became a leader in several internationally-oriented student organizations and political activities (becoming president of Georgetown University Republicans and later of DC College Republicans, in addition to working on a number of political campaigns). Steve held part-time jobs throughout his college years, eventually joining a policy studies and advocacy organization.
Steve stayed on the international career path after graduation. He enrolled in The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he was an H.B. Earhart Fellow. He eventually earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in international security studies while working as Research Staff Director of the school’s International Security Studies program. It was during his time at The Fletcher School that Steve successfully completed a two-year process to obtain a direct appointment as a reserve officer in the Army—and into a combat arms branch, still almost unheard of to this day.
In October, 1989, Steve began an almost 13-year career with the Defense Intelligence Agency, during which he served as a senior analyst, interagency program manager, Assistant Defense Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia, and interagency special projects officer. In 1990, he attended the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Knox, launching a 15-year career as a commissioned officer in the reserve components of the Army. Steve completed command and staff assignments in armored cavalry, Special Forces, and strategic command and control units before leaving the Army to focus on family needs.
Wanting to be more entrepreneurial, Steve joined a small start-up in 2002, providing an array of professional services to the national security establishment. Since then, he has held executive management positions with medium- and large-sized professional services firms.
Since leaving government service, Steve again has immersed himself in community and political affairs. He has served as president of homeowners associations both large and small; served as chairman of local government citizen task forces; been an active Rotarian (and was named Rotarian of the Year for 2005–06); and he remains highly active in Virginia politics at the county and state levels.
He is blessed to be married to his wife, Constance, and to be the father of three wonderful children: Anne, Alexander, and Charlotte. They inspire and motivate him every day.
Ashley Lauren Fisher was born and raised in New Jersey. At age five, she began studying the Arts. During her ten plus years with The New Jersey Ballet, she studied jazz and classical ballet and participated in many theatrical performances including The Nutcracker. As the student of a Julliard Master pianist, she excelled tremendously at classical piano, performing in both Carnegie Recital and Steinway Hall. After the New York City fashion industry spotted her, she was soon modeling with New York City agencies and began dancing for MTV. Ashley Lauren was in several music videos and auditioning for roles regularly. Athletics proved to be an essential part of her life, lettering as a four-year varsity lacrosse player and earning numerous awards—including First Team and All State Center recognition in the state of New Jersey. Ashley Lauren excelled at extreme sports such as skateboarding, rollerblading, water sports, and snowboarding. As a true athlete, she gave back to her community by coaching, officiating, and developing several girls’ youth lacrosse programs.
At twenty-three, Ashley Lauren suffered a spinal cord injury. During this time she reinvented her restaurant, Pazzo Pazzo, to four-star status. It received recognition as one of the top restaurants in New Jersey, and is the only four-star rated restaurant in Morristown. Pazzo has been featured in Morris County Health, Gastronome, The Daily Record, New Jersey Monthly, and The Star Ledger, to name a few. Pazzo has been awarded Best Martini from M magazine, Best Italian by Diners’ Choice, Best Outside Dining and Best Culinary Experience by Open Table, and Best Hot Spot in New Jersey from The Daily Record. Pazzo also appeared on Eyewitness News for its homemade ravioli. Pazzo donates to many non-profit organizations such as The American Diabetes Association, The Neighborhood House, and Bonnie Brae.
As a philanthropist, Ashley Lauren has donated her time and money to several national foundations. She is an active member of the Christopher and Dana Reeve honorary committee. Ashley Lauren helped to establish a non-profit organization, Discovery Through Design. As the vision behind the organization’s gala, Rolling With Style, Ashley Lauren was responsible for creating the first one-of-a-kind New York City fashion show—involving world-renowned designers—during fashion week for women with disabilities. To date, Ashley Lauren has raised over a million dollars for spinal cord research. She has personally received worldwide press including some of the world’s top fashion magazines (Harper’s Bazaar, The New Yorker, Page Six), and has been featured on both CBS and ABC networks.
Ashley Lauren has been requested to speak before several schools and businesses. She was awarded The Up and Coming Female Legend of Morris County Award from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. Ashley Lauren was also the keynote speaker at the 2007 New Jersey Governor’s Conference on Employment for People with Disabilities.
As a former student of The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, Ashley Lauren still keeps her craft fresh as an actor. She is currently working towards a doctorate in Children’s Psychology.
Ashley Lauren is hoping to open her second restaurant in the near future.
Gary Kull and his family moved to Montville in 1966. Each of his high school years, Gary played basketball for Montville Township High School, playing varsity during his sophomore, junior, and senior years. Gary scored 1,023 points and was the second player in MTHS history to do so. Gary was named to the Star-Ledger 1977 Dream Team, the Times-Bulletin All-Star Team, the All-State Group 2 team, was an honoree at the Herald-News Annual Dinner, and was the only Montville player to be selected to the Skyline Conference Coaches’ All-Star Team.
Gary attended Leigh University and graduated in 1983. He then attended the University of Baltimore Law School. During law school, he became an editor for The University of Baltimore Law Review, a prestigious accomplishment for a law student. He was graduated summa cum laude in 1987.
After being admitted to the Bar in 1987, Gary had a short tenure with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office before joining McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney in Morristown as an associate. Gary gained a great deal of experience in complex commercial and insurance litigation, focusing most of his time on insurance coverage litigation. During this period, he was selected to join the Environmental Commission in Montville Township and went on to become its Vice Chairman. In 1996, Gary became a Partner at McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney.
In 1997, Gary and two other partners of the McElroy firm founded their own law firm, Carroll McNulty and Kull. The practice has grown steadily over the past 15 years. It currently has 51 lawyers, with 32 lawyers located in their Basking Ridge office and 19 lawyers in their New York City office. In addition to being a founder of CMK, Gary is the Managing Member. He has extensive experience in insurance coverage counseling and litigation, and also in dealing with commercial and employment disputes. He has acted as National Coordinating Counsel for insurance companies in connection with a variety of environmental coverage issues, and has provided opinions and counseling to insurers on those issues for more than 23 years.
Gary’s peer have named him as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in the area of insurance coverage and litigation. He was featured in the 2008 referral guide of The Best Lawyers in America, which is one of the legal profession’s oldest peer-reviewed publications. The Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal honored Gary as 2008’s “Best of the Best.” This year, he was again named one of the “Top Lawyers in the New York Area.”
Gary lives in Summit with his wife, Mary, and his three daughters, Sophie, Olivia, and Charlotte. Gary coaches all three girls in basketball and soccer.
John was graduated from MTHS in 1992 and is currently the most decorated wrestler to be graduated from Montville Township High School. He compiled a record of 97–12 during his high school career. He was a four-time Morris Catholic Champ, two-time runner up at the Tri-County Tournament, a district runner up, two-time district champ, and a two-time region champ. He took a sixth and a second place in the New Jersey State Tournament.
After high school, he attended one year at Blair Academy Preparatory School, New Jersey’s most prestigious wrestling school. The following year, he attended Garden City Community College and then transferred to Roger Williams University. He compiled a record of 83–12 at the collegiate level. John achieved All American status, the first in Roger Williams University history. He placed sixth at the NCAA Division III National Championships in 1995 at 158 pounds, and took third at the All-New England Tournament in 1995 at 158 pounds. Amateur Wrestling Magazine placed him on its prestigious All-Rookie Team for 1994–1995, which includes all three NCAA divisions. He was placed on the Pilgrim League All-Star Team in 1995, compiled a 22–0 record during his final season, and was ranked number one in the nation in his weight division.
John lives in Montville with his wife Ozzie and their two children, Gianna and Dominic. He is very active in the community by coaching Wrestling, Baseball, Softball, and Football over the past several years.
Michael grew up in Towaco and was graduated fourth from MTHS in 1990. Mike was a member of the tennis and soccer teams, served as newspaper editor, and was involved in Science competitions and Future Business Leaders of America. The sciences were his favorite, and he always hoped for a future in medicine. His college entrance essay alluded to being a cardiovascular surgeon, which would not be far off from reality. Mike is currently a vascular surgeon and Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force based at the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Mike went on to the University of Pennsylvania, which graduated him in 1994 with a BA degree in Biologic Basis of Behavior. At Penn, he rowed lightweight crew and was President of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Mike did research at Penn Medical School. As a senior, Mike received the Order of Omega Leadership Award. Most importantly, Mike met Davora at Penn and they have been happily married for 14 years with 3 wonderful children: Marci, 11, Matthew, 9, and Danielle, 7.
Acceptance to The University of Medicine and Dentistry Medical School came in 1993, as did a U.S. Air Force Health Professions Scholarship. During medical school, Mike’s interest in surgery developed because of the balance between the art of medicine and the technical aspects of surgery. Mike received his M.D. in 1998 and headed to University of California-Irvine for a general surgery residency. Mike was awarded resident-of-the-year as an intern and as chief resident. In 2004, Dr. Peck joined the surgery staff at Wilford Hall U.S.A.F. Medical Center in San Antonio and was board certified in general surgery.
In 2007, Mike was accepted into the vascular and endovascular surgery fellowship at the prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He received his second board certification and returned to U.S.A.F. active duty in San Antonio as a vascular surgeon with expertise in minimally invasive techniques. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2010.
Mike was deployed to Iraq in 2005, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom as a trauma and vascular surgeon. He operated on U.S. troops, Iraqi military and police, Iraqi civilians, and enemy combatants, saving numerous lives and limbs. In 2010, Mike again deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the theater vascular specialist. Injured patients were specifically transferred from around Afghanistan so that Mike could perform both open and minimally invasive surgical techniques in the austere deployment setting. Serving his country overseas in the capacity of his surgical specialty has been among Mike’s most rewarding achievements.
Mike’s life is also about family, fitness, and travel. Mike enjoys spending quality time with his wife and children hiking, biking, skiing, dining out, and attending sporting events. They have traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, and even went to Germany on a C5 military cargo aircraft. Mike trained for his first marathon while in Afghanistan and ran the Austin marathon in February, 2011. He qualified for the Boston Marathon and hopes to run in 2012.
Mike is honored to be accepted into the MTHS Hall of Fame and thanks family, friends, and mentors for their support!
Ellen grew up in Pine Brook where she attended Montville Township Schools from kindergarten through high school. While in high school, Ellen played softball and was active in the music department. She was a member of the marching band, winter guard, concert band and several musicals. She was also a member of the National Honor Society.
After high school, Ellen attended Clarion University where she was graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology in 1983. As part of this degree, Ellen completed a 12-month internship at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania. She took and passed the National Board of Registry Examination administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and is recognized as a Board Certified Medical Technologist. In May of 1992, Seton Hall University graduated Ellen with a Masters of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Healthcare Administration. She received the best thesis award for 1992.
Ellen has been employed at Saint Barnabas Medical Center since September of 1983. She began her career as a blood bank technologist, was promoted to a supervisory position in 1991, and then was promoted to her current position of Administrative Director of the Department of Pathology in 1995. In this position, Ellen is responsible for the day to day operations of both the clinical and anatomic laboratory that employs 180 medical professionals and performs over 8 million tests annually. In 2001, Ellen received the Excellence in Caring Award, which is presented to employees of Barnabas Health who continually exceed the expectations of their positions.
In addition to her responsibilities at Saint Barnabas, Ellen is an inspector for the College of American Pathologist, which is the national organization that accredits laboratories both here in the U.S. and overseas. In 2000, Ellen was elected to the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Clinical Laboratory Management Association. She served as the treasurer from 2002–2004, President elect from 2005–2006 and as the President from 2006–2008. During this time, Ellen represented the state of New Jersey at several national meetings and participated in national lobbying efforts to ensure continued access to laboratory testing for all patients. She has been a member of a state task force for retaining and recruiting clinical laboratory personnel.
Ellen also serves as a clinical instructor in the Barnabas Health Integrated Pathology Residency Program where she works with Pathology residents to instruct them on the administrative side of practicing medicine. She enjoys serving as a mentor for high school students considering laboratory science as a career. She has been a participant in the Millburn High School Career Internship Program for several years.
She would like to thank her mother, sisters and their families, and many friends for all their love and support over the years.
Neal helped launch MEDIA in 2005 to build innovative digital ventures in partnership with the world’s most respected media companies including CBS, Google, Time Warner and Verizon. As a serial entrepreneur, Neal serves as co-founder of each of the MEDIA portfolio businesses including Saavn, Speakaboos, SnakBlox, and Sportsvite. MEDIA and its companies have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, TIME, Variety, Crain’s, MSNBC, and CNN for their innovative approach to building industry-leading ventures. At MEDIA, Neal shares responsibility for corporate strategy, business invention, product design, partnership development, recruiting, and capital raising. Day-to-day, Neal is the Co-Founder and Publisher of Speakaboos, a multi-platform subscription service that is re-defining storytelling for young children digitally.
Neal has experience in both the financing and operations of media companies, having begun his career in an upstart unit of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette that advised top U.S. media companies in the cable, cellular, publishing, and telecom industries. It raised over $1.5 billion of public and private capital. Neal translated his knowledge of media into a venture and strategic backed media company, Simile, where he served as Co-Founder and President.
Neal was graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a B.S.F.S. in International Relations and a concentration in Asian Studies. He received the prestigious Dean’s Citation for excellence in academics and leadership and served as student body President during his Senior year.
John grew up on John Henry Drive and attended St. Pius X Grammar School. He spent most of his youth playing sports with his neighborhood friends. He still recalls building forts with them and playing Nerf football, Wiffle® ball, and street hockey. John played Montville Bronco Football from 3rd grade to 8th grade. During his high school years, he played running back and defensive back from 1984 until 1987. He has great memories of those days while being coached by John Gallucci, Rich Vuyosevich, John Schulian, and Bernard Schultz.
In 1987, John went on to attend and play football at Northeastern University. He decided to transfer to Montclair State University with the assistance of “Coach V.”
He has fond memories of all of his high school coaches coming to see him play at Montclair State. John became the all-time leading rusher with over 3,600 yards. This is a record he still holds today. While at Montclair State, he earned a degree in Political Science. He was inducted into the Montclair State University Hall of Fame in 2007.
John is married to Shannon Walker and has two beautiful daughters ages 11 and 4. He currently works in the pharmaceutical industry and resides in Denville, New Jersey.
Alan began his career at Montville in 1976 as the supervisor of the Social Studies department, a position that he held for 34 years until his retirement in 2010. In 1979, he introduced the first Advanced Placement course into the Montville High School curriculum, Advanced Placement United States History. He brought four more Advanced Placement courses to the curriculum over the years and added a number of courses including Asian History and Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Alan was the recipient of the Axelrod Award for his work in Holocaust and Prejudice Reduction Education from the New Jersey Holocaust Commission in 2000. Along with his teaching responsibilities, Alan also served as the assistant wrestling and assistant softball coach. He introduced and coached the academic teams in the 1980s.
Alan received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in History at Seton Hall University, completed all requirements for the Ph.D. in History at The Catholic University of America and did additional graduate work at Montclair State and Kean Universities.
In 2002, Alan won a $982,000 grant from the Teaching American History program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Partnering with the New Jersey Historical Commission and Kean University, Montville was able to sponsor summer teaching seminars for its social studies teachers given by eminent historians. The grant also created the New Jersey History Partnership Project that still maintains a website for teachers throughout the state. Alan brought the Gilder Lehrman program to Montville in 2007 when Montville High School was awarded the status of American History High School by the Gilder Lehrman Foundation. Only three schools in the state could claim that designation at the time.
Throughout his career, Alan was involved in many facets of History education. He was part of a team of educators that developed the New Jersey Core Content Standard for Social Studies for the Department of Education, served as a reader for the Teaching American History Grant program for the U.S. Department of Education, and reviewed the National Standards for World History for the Organization of American Historians. He served as a Director of the New Jersey Council for Social Studies, President of the New Jersey Social Studies Supervisors Association, President of the New Jersey Council for History Education, and Director of the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance. He remains active in History education, currently serving as a Director of the New Jersey National History Day program, the Vice-President of the NJCHE, and is a member of the Program Committee for the 2012 American Historical Association’s national convention in Chicago.
Alan is enjoying his retirement with his family, his wife Katherine, and sons John and Christopher. He continues to teach as an adjunct in the History department at Seton Hall, where he also supervises student teachers. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic Deacon in 2007, and has had the distinct honor of officiating at the weddings of two members of the social studies department that he supervised over the years. His fondest memories are of the wonderful people that he was privileged to teach, coach, and work with in his 34 years in Montville.
Many say the Montville Township High School 2003 Boys’ Football Team was the best Montville football team ever. In fact, their 9–2 record is the best in the school’s history. They provided Montville with their first entrée into the playoffs. The team featuread a shut down defense that posted six shutouts and allowed less than six points per game. The Mustangs got off to a great start in the playoffs by holding Kittatinny scoreless and winning decidedly by a score of 42–0. They lost a thrilling semi-final game when Sparta scored in the final minutes to eek out a victory by a score of 14–10.
The team was led by Coach Gerry Gallagher and senior captains Sam Silverlieb, Steve Delgado, and Nick Franco. The Mustangs had 20 seniors on the squad competing in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 Division.
This mighty Mustang team had an impressive 4–1 record in the Northern Hills Conference, Skyline Division, winning first place honors in a three-way tie with Butler and Caldwell. First Team All Conference honors went t Ross Tanner, Stephen Delgado, Austin Kenny, Sam Silverlieb, and Brett Lurie (offense); and Nick Franco, Mark Scarella, Mario McLean, and Christopher Vinci (defense). Second Team All Conference honors went t Michael Boyle and R.J. Mount (offense); and Thomas Sample, Christopher Kurinec, and Phil Bellafiore (defense). Honorable mentions were Colin Mahony and Matthew Malinowski. Coach Gallagher was named Conference Coach of the Year.
Three team members were named to the All-Morris County team: McLean, Silverlieb, and Tanner. Coach Gallagher was named The Morris County Coach of the Year.
The 2003 All-Area Football First Team Honors went to Silverlieb and McLean. Second Team honors went to Lurie, Tanner, and Vinci.