CLARK– Coach Chet Parlavecchio of the Tennessee Titans visited the Clark Schools this past week, making stops in the central office, Arthur L. Johnson High School, and Frank K. Hehnly Elementary School.
Parlavecchio is a New Jersey native and a legendary high school football coach who led programs in Bloomfield, Clifton, Passaic Valley, Irvington, and Elizabeth for three decades, winning a State Group IV Championship in Elizabeth in 2006. Two years ago, Parlavecchio was offered the job as special teams coach by Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak, his roommate at Penn State in the late 70s and early 80s.
Parlavecchio’s first stop in district was the Superintendent’s Office, where he was reunited with former graduate school classmate, Superintendent Kenneth Knops. “Chet and I were in the same program of educational administration and supervision at Montclair State University in the early 1990’s,” commented Knops.
“We collaborated on a number of projects and presentations during our time there. Chet is a tremendous motivator and inspirational force to young people, I am not the least bit surprised he is now coaching in the National Football League. I’m sure he’ll be a valued mentor, guiding light, and role model to countless players.”
Parlavecchio and Knops caught up on old times and Parlavecchio delighted administrators, a board of education member, and the Supervisor of Athletics with anecdotes from both his time coaching high school football in New Jersey and professional players in the National Football League. Parlavecchio also spent time with Crusader Anthony Travisano, with whose father played football with the Titans coach at both Irvington and Seton Hall Prep.
Next on Parlavecchio’s agenda was a meeting with the Arthur L. Johnson Crusaders football team and coaches. After being introduced by Head Coach Michael Mancino, Parlavecchio delivered a heartfelt talk to the members of the football team who that evening would be playing in a state round of the playoffs. Among the topics discussed by Parlavecchio was giving 100% of yourself to your teammates, the importance of academics in one’s life, and putting out a full effort on the football field. The approximate 35 members of the team listened intently and in silence to Parlavecchio as he extolled them to give it their all in the game that night against the top seed of the tournament.
The final stop of Parlavecchio’s visit was the Frank K. Hehnly School, where his daughter, Nicole, works as a teacher. Nicole Parlavecchio and her dad created an innovative, cross-curricular instructional program titled “Teaching, Technology, and the Tennessee Titans.” The program involves skyped lessons between the fourth graders in Nicole Parlavecchio’s charge and various Tennessee Titans players. The fourth graders were excited to see Parlavecchio in person, someone they had only seen previously via Skype or in the Tennessee Titans online Press Guide. Parlavecchio enthralled the fourth graders, discussed the value of education, and provided his young Skype friends with Tennessee Titan folders and visors.
Parlavecchio’s visit was well received at each stop. Knops commented, “I’m grateful for Chet taking time from his busy schedule during a Titans bye week to visit our schools and speak to our students. He made a most positive impact on all who had the pleasure of coming into contact with. His inspiration and imparted wisdom will live long in the memories of all who had the pleasure of meeting him.”
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