Vineland’s Daniel Cassidy always thought of himself as a teacher and draftsman — someone who can draw anything in detail. But not an artist, he said.
Cassidy retired as chairman of the fine arts department at Vineland High School in 2004, after teaching for 39 years. He loved developing talent in others, he said. Over the years he taught what he calls ‘superstars,’ kids like Barbie Estelle, who went on to design Hallmark cards; Edwin Vasquez, who runs an airbrush painting business; and Keith Ragone, now of Newfield Borough, who is a well-known artist with works in public buildings and in major collections.
He took art and history students on about 20 trips to Europe over the years, where they studied the great works such as the Mona Lisa in Paris and Michelangelo’s David in Florence. Some went back on fellowships, helping restore treasures like the Sistine Chapel in Rome, he said.
Meanwhile, Cassidy and wife Linda got master’s degrees in urban education, further focusing him on teaching rather than his art.
All his life he drew constantly, on napkins if he didn’t have a sketchpad. One day he was at his favorite pizzeria, A Taste of Italy on Main Road in Vineland, and started sketching owner Robert Burkett.
When Burkett saw it, he gave 70-year-old Cassidy his first commission, to paint a mural on a large wall at the restaurant. It’s almost complete, and Burkett is so happy with it, he wants Cassidy to continue on other walls.
Cassidy still doesn’t consider himself an artist, but he’s convincing other people that’s exactly what he is.
Carrocino joins AHA board
Joanne Carrocino, FACHE, President & CEO of Cape Regional Medical Center has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of The American Hospital Association for a three-year term.
Carrocino, who earned degrees from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and Temple University, has been a member of the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees for eight years. She chairs its for-profit board, Healthcare Business Solutions.
Toy developer makes move
David Vonner, 39, the Pleasantville High School graduate who was senior product developer for Boys Toys at Hasbro, where he handled the Marvel Universe line of action figures, has joined Jazwares. It’s a South Florida toy company that creates toys based on video games Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog; and on cartoons such as Adventure Time, The Regular Show, Space Ghost, Tom & Jerry, Hong Kong Phooey, and The Flintstones, among others, he said.