Edison Teacher Honored By United Way

EDISON – On the evening of April 15, Somerset resident Dawn Francavilla, Director of Student Life at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in North Edison, was honored as a 2010 United Way of Central Jersey “Hometown Hero” at a special reception at the Hess Corporate Center in Woodbridge.

She received a framed award from Walter C. Vertreace, Past Chair and Chief Volunteer Officer of United Way of Central Jersey. Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano was also present to meet Francavilla and fellow award winners.


“To do countless hours of volunteer service throughout my life has always been rewarding in a special way; it touches my heart,” said Francavilla. “To be recognized in both Middlesex and Somerset counties as a ‘Hometown Hero’ is an honor and stated best by Christopher Reeve, ‘A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles,’ and that is the challenge that always makes me want to do more and make the difference in the lives of others.”

Francavilla, who also holds the titles of Upper School health and physical education teacher, Sophomore Class Dean, Student Council Advisor, Club Interact Advisor, and Club Awareness Advisor at Wardlaw-Hartridge, was named the Outstanding New Jersey High School Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD) earlier this year.

Recently, Francavilla was also nominated to receive the Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference.

MAYORAL SALUTE…Dawn Francavilla of Somerset, Wardlaw-Hartridge School Director of Student Life, proudly posed with Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano after receiving her Hometown Hero Award from the United Way of Central Jersey. The mayor was already familiar with Ms. Francavilla’s volunteer and outreach endeavors. Photo by Susan Swenson of Plainfield/Wardlaw-Hartridge

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