Susan Knoll- Honored Morris Hills Faculty
During her thirty years at Morris Hills (1974-2004), Susan Knoll filled the role of student assistance counselor, and classroom teacher, teaching history, psychology, AP psychology, and philosophy. Susan developed, piloted and successfully created Morris Hills’ AP psychology course, as well as the philosophy course. She also served as the track coach and senior class advisor.
Susan’s passion as an educator is recognized by her colleagues and students alike. She was named Teacher of the Year for Morris Hills High School in 1987 and 1997 and honored for Distinguished Teaching by Boston School of Education in 2000.
Susan has touched and impacted the lives of many of her students. Simply stated by a former student, “You instilled a sense of wonder, of self-worth, and of purpose – gifts that can truly carry a pupil through life if they are taught well and appreciated fondly. These are lessons found in no textbook – they are brought alive only by the finest of teachers. And you are the finest of the fine.”
Eugene Kelly - Honored Morris Knolls FacultyGene Kelly joined the Morris Hills Regional District in 1953 as a physical education teacher and head baseball coach and head basketball coach at Morris Hills High School. He ”bridged” the gap between the two high schools in the district by becoming the Athletic Director at Morris Knolls High School in 1964. He contributed to help mold and define the athletic tradition in the district. Gene helped to develop the athletic program at both Morris Hills and Morris Knolls. Handling the logistics of inadequate field space for the numerous and still growing number of sports offerings, busing complexities to off-campus practice sites and games, athletic runs, and special functions, budgetary constraints, managing a wide-array of coaching personalities, scheduling much in advance, league changes and a myriad of other issues was no easy task.
Gene Kelly provided the energetic leadership to Morris Knolls’ athletic programs which resulted in many team and individual championships won and accolades earned during his tenure as the school’s Director of Athletics.
Harry Lusardi - Honored Morris Hills Alumnus
Harry Lusardi is a 1955 graduate of Morris Hills High School. He was very involved in the academics and athletics. He actively participated in wrestling, baseball, school plays, and was a violinist in the school’s orchestra. Harry was the first elected Student Government Association president in Morris Hills History. After graduating from Morris Hills High School, Harry attended Union County College and began preparing for his engineering degree. He entered the military during the age of the draft and worked on the missile program at Fort Monmouth, NJ. He also spent time in Alabama where he worked with such notable people as Werner VanBraun, father of modern rocketry, Neil Armstrong and Dr. Sheppard. When returning to New Jersey, he worked at Picatinny Arsenal where he began a career that lasted 42 years.
Harry’s devotion to helping others began in his senior year at Morris Hills High School and has continued through today. He worked with to organize the football concession stand and score board, produced the football program for each of the home games, and organized the 50th year reunion of the Morris Hills football program bringing back many prestigious alumni. Harry received the Nathan Gifford award for outstanding service for school and community in 2004.
Linda Schmidt - Honored Morris Knolls Alumna
Linda Schmidt is a 1979 graduate of Morris Knolls High School. Linda received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Penn State. She has aggressively pursued her passion for investigative and consumer reporting around the world. Presently, Linda is with WNYW-FOX 5 news. She has been successful in numerous areas of journalistic reporting from news reporter on the street to anchoring the evening news. She has covered some of the biggest stories in the country, including the World Trade Center attacks, the crash of TWA Flight 800, the deaths of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and John F. Kennedy Jr., and numerous investigative pieces in countries such as Israel, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Europe.
Linda has been recognized by her peers for her tireless pursuit of excellence in investigative and consumer related reporting by receiving 12 Emmy Nominations, 5 Investigative News Emmy’s, several Associated Press Awards, and the New York State Broadcaster of the Year award.
Beyond her numerous accomplishments, what makes Linda a unique and special person is her tireless pursuit to give back to the community. She offers her time pursuing numerous humanitarian endeavors such as inspiring the youth within the Harlem Elementary School District by reading and speaking once a week to second and third grade classes, working weekly with the New York City Rescue Mission for the Homeless and has become a popular emcee for the Red Cross and NYC Police Departments for their award ceremonies.