MTHS Hall of Fame Class of 2002

Last Updated: 4/9/2019 8:04 PM

Adam Armus

For Adam it’s all about the drama. Back in the late seventies and early eighties, Adam participated in numerous plays and musicals at Montville Township High School. He even got a crack at student directing. He graduated in 1982 and left the tranquil world of Montville for the brisk winds of Northwestern University.

At Northwestern, the drama continued. Adam participated in numerous productions, but his interests turned him towards Political Science. Those political yearnings brought Adam out west to the UCLA School of Law.

In law school, Adam learned to think logically, but he longed to think creatively. After a few years in the legal profession, he turned to writing.

Adam went into writing because it was the only job he could find where he could sleep until noon; or so he thought. Truth is, he discovered that television writing is a fast-paced business. In 1993, he was discovered by the Warner Brothers New Comedy Writers Program. His first television writing assignment cam on a show called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.” That soon led to more writing assignments on the popular “Xena: Warrior Princess.” Adam created the animated series “Captain America”, for Fox Kid’s Productions. Adam next had the good fortune to work with David E. Kelly and put his legal background to good use. He wrote for several years on the Emmy-Award winning program “The Practice.” He also wrote for such shows as “Ally McBeal,” “Boston Public,” “Glory Days,” “Cleopatra 2525,” “Young Hercules,” “Jack of All Trades,” “The Adventures of Sinbad,” and “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.”

Adam is currently a writer/producer for the smash hit “Birds of Prey” on the Warner Brother’s television network on Wednesday nights. He would appreciate it if you would watch and tell your friends.

He resides in Los Angeles with his lovely wife, Lisa, and his adorable daughter, Isabella.

Stephen Bienskie

Stephen was born and raised in Towaco. A 1984 graduate of Montville Township High School, Stephen honed his acting and performance skills in several MTHS productions. Stephen appeared in Mame and Kiss Me Kate. He has the lead in GreasePippin, and Our Town. He credits MTHS with teaching him tenacity and perseverance against adversity and Ms. Jan Kucher-Patenaude for teaching him honesty, integrity, and respect for his art and life.

At Montclair State University, Stephen appeared as the leading performer in GodspellEquus, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He earned a BFA in acting and directing in 1993 and also worked in the summer professional theater at Montclair State.

He worked on the national tours of Tommy and The Pirates of Penzance. In addition, Stephen had the starring role as Cal in The Fix. For his performance in this role, Stephen won the Helen Hayes Award for the best actor of the season at The Kennedy Center.

Stephen appeared on Broadway in Cats in the role of Rum Tum Tugger for two years and played in the final performance of Cats. His commercial credits include “Supercuts”, “Aqua Fresh,” and “The Olive Garden.” Stephen was also the commercial voice of “American Express.”

The rock groups, The Eagles and Chicago initially inspired Stephen. He focuses on his acting with a sense determination and eagerness that has “made my own accomplishments on my own terms.” Currently, he is appearing in The Harley Davidson Show and his continued success is an inspiration to all of the current MTHS students who participate in out theater program.
Stephen resides in Union City, New Jersey, which allows him to be close to Broadway and to the occupation that he loves.

Laurie Decker

A three-letter winner in field hockey, basketball, and softball, Laurie was a one-year member of the inaugural lacrosse program at MTHS. In field hockey, Laurie garnered First Team All State honors in 1980. Laurie is considered by many to be the greatest female athlete in the history of Montville Township High School.

Moving on to the University of Connecticut on a full athletic scholarship for field hockey, Laurie was a four-year varsity player. She and her team reached three Final-Four levels and, in 1983, won a National Championship. Laurie herself was selected as an All-American in 19982, 1983, and 1984.

In 1984, Laurie Decker reached the pinnacle of her sport as she was given the Broderick Award as the Outstanding Player in Field Hockey in NCAA, Division I schools.

On a national level, Laurie participated in three United States National Sports Festivals representing the Eastern Team, and, in 1984, she was named to and was captain of the United States 21 and under team.

Most recently, in 2000, Laurie Decker-Wolfe was selected as a member of the “All Century Team” in the sport of field hockey by the Star-Ledger.

Laurie lives in Livingston with her husband, William, and her two children, Patrick, five, and Kelly, three.

Debra Eckert-Casha

Even from her days at Montville Township High School, Debra Eckert-Casha demonstrated her distinctive leadership abilities.

As class president for four years, leading up to her graduation in 1972, she gave evidence of what was to follow on her professional life. After graduating with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Montclair State University, Debra attained her law degree from Seton Hall University in 1989.

Previous to that, Ms. Eckert-Casha had worked for the New Jersey Department of Education, the Passaic County Learning Center, Scholastic Media Enterprises, and for the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture.

Most recently, Ms. Eckert-Casha is a member of the State Board of Psychological Examiners, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and the New Jersey State Board of Education.

Among her many achievements and recognitions are her selection as the :Montville Township Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year” for 1999, the New Jersey “Home Economist of the Year” in 1982, being on 19 women selected by Governor Christie Todd Whitman for “excellence in Public Service” in 1999, and her appointment to the Governor’s Consortium on Consumer Education.

Debra is a teacher, professor, attorney, wife, and mother. She and her husband Larry are well-known in New Jersey for their voluntary contributions to the aged and the indigent.

Charles Gluchowski

In the 28 years since his graduation from Montville Township High School, Charles Gluchowski has done more than move from Montville Township to California.

After receiving his B.S. in Chemistry from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1978, Charles moved further west to receive his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Texas A&M University in 1983. IN his post-doctoral work at the University of Texas, Charles focused on the asymmetric synthesis of natural products. It was also during this time of his doctoral studies that Charles had the firs over 45 articles published in the field of chemistry.

Charles then crisscrossed the country, going from a position as Senior Scientist in Medicinal Chemistry in Irvine, California from 1984-1990, to first Section Head and then Director of the Department of Chemistry at Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation in Paramus, New Jersey. In this latter post, Charles actually founded the chemistry department. He is currently, the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Ceretek, a growing biotechnology company based in Alameda, California.

Charles has pioneered new chemical and biological techniques for the discovery of new medicines to treat a variety of diseases including cancer, infectious diseases, obesity, BPH, and glaucoma. Charles is an inventor on over 55 U.S. patents as well as 150 foreign patents for new chemistry and biology inventions that are critical for the discovery of new therapeutics. In all of these endeavors, Charles has shown himself to be deeply committed to the improvement of the human condition.

Charles and his wife Debbie reside in Danville, California with their two children, David and Amy.

Sally Gormley-Dreyer

A star in high school athletics goes on to coach and administrate on the college level. This is the capsule summary of Sally Gormley-Dreyer.

A three-sport athlete at Montville Township High School, Sally set high standards in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. In field hockey, her leadership helped the team to county, conference and a state championship in 1983. That year, as in 1982, sally gained personal recognition as First Team All Conference in the Skyline Division. In 1983, Sally also earned honors on the All Morris County First Team, All State Group 3 Second Team, News All Are Second Team defense, and the Citizen field hockey dream team. She also participated in the 1983 field hockey festival in Long Beach, California.

Moving on to Drew University, Sally became and outstanding two-sport athlete. In field hockey, as a four year varsity player, Sally gained honors by being placed on the 1985 NCAA All Tournament Team. In 1987, she was on the Mid-Atlantic All American First All American Team. In lacrosse, Sally scored 130 goals and had 38 assists. Her Honorable Mention All Northeast Team honors were followed by Drew’s MVP award in 1988 and being named a First Team All American. Sally was inducted into Drew’s Hall of Fame in 1998.

Following two short stints in the business world, Sally returned to Drew, first as an Assistant Women’s Filed Hockey Coach then as Head lacrosse Coach, a position she still holds. During this time, Sally became the Assistant Athletic Director of Women’s Sports at Drew.

Thus, Sally Gormley-Dreyer has come full circle from being a player on the field to being a coach on the field and also and administrator in the total sports program.

Frank L. Mattiace

Football and wrestling were Frank Mattiace’s fortes in Montville Township High School. Gaining honors as a First Team All Conference player and team Most Valuable Player in football and achieving Third Place in the Districts in wrestling, Frank went on to excel at The College of the Holy Cross. A four year varsity letter winner and a three year starter, Frank’s 135 tackles in his senior year still stands as a school record.

Following graduation, the professional ranks drew Frank to follow his dreams. For the next four years, Frank played football for the Green bay Packers, the then New Jersey Generals, and he ended his playing career with the Detroit Lions. During these years, Frank realized another gift; he was able to talk to and work with groups seeking assistance in their lives.

After a few years, where running a restaurant and then working with the Montclair State University football program took up his efforts, Frank got a three-pronged job that touched upon all of his strengths, while pointing him in another direction. At St. Peter’s Preparatory School, Frank was head football coach; the counselor helping young people with emotional, physical, and academic problems; and an administrator working with the discipline program.

In 1997, Frank had also returned to the world of professional sports as head coach and manager of the area football team, the New Jersey Red Dogs. After a one year stint guiding the Wayne Valley High School football team to a state championship game, Frank went to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Alternative School where he has become a county recognized expert in substance abuse counseling.

Cynthia Tornquist

Graduating from Montville Township High School in 1978, Cynthia had been involved in the Drama Club and Radio Club, as well as being Junior Class Secretary.

After attaining her B.A. in Communications in 1984 from Montclair State University, Cynthia Tornquist has covered national and international issues, as well as breaking news and features.

She reported on the crash of TWA 800, the hunt for the Unabomber, the demonstrations against police brutality in the Abner Louima case and the trial of a young woman who tried to extort millions from Bill Cosby. She also provided the network with live coverage and reports of the deaths of President Richard M. Nixon and Princess Diana.

As a feature reporter, Cynthia has carved out a niche in broadcast journalism with her coverage of theater and the arts. In her reports, which aired on “Showbiz Today,” Cynthia brought viewers a backstage look at Broadway. She has interviewed reclusive playwrights Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, and Tony Kushner. Her celebrity interviews have included Dame Judith Dench, Maggie Smith, Julia Roberts, Mel Gibson, and Denzel Washington.

Before joining CNN, Cynthia served as a radio correspondent for UPI, WWOR, and ABC radio networks. She also played herself in the paramount Picture film, “Marci X.”

Monica Trogani

Monica, a 1980 graduate of Montville Township High School, studied dance at the New Jersey Ballet School. At the age of 14, Monica performed the principal role of Clara in the New Jersey Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Following her dreams, Monica graduate MTHS in three years to become a full-time member of the troupe. During those years, Monica also performed with Dance Compass and the Inner City Dance Ensemble.

Shortly thereafter, Monica moved to New York City where she studied at the Neubert Ballet Institute at Carnegie Hall. She went on to perform further with Dance Compass and in 1985; she began to work as a Rehearsal Assistant and eventually became Ballet Mistress with the Dance Theatre of Long Island.

In 1988, Monica was invited to work with the Alberta Ballet in Canada. In 1989, she joined the Alberta Ballet as Assistant to the Artistic Director, Ballet Mistress, and dancer. With the Alberta Ballet, she extensively toured both the United Sates and Canada.

In 1993, Monica moved with her husband to Montreal where she studied French immersion and where she was asked to work with The Dance Theatre of Harlem as rehearsal Assistant for the ballet “Equus” for their season at the New York State Theater. The following year, Monica joined Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal as Ballet Mistress. With this group, she has toured Canada, the United States, Mexico, Holland, Luxembourg, Scotland, and England. Last season, the company performed as series of shows at New York’s City Center. This season, Monica had the pleasure of collaborating in a production with the Julliard School of Music.

Monica and her husband, Jay are the proud parents of five year old Esme and two year old Casey.