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MREF Community Counts dinner

LINWOOD — One Family, One School, One Community. Those words are splashed across the Mainland Regional High School website, its on the walls, and it’s the greeting Chief School Administrator Mark Marrone says is the backbone of the high school. The Mainland Regional Educational Foundation celebrates those volunteers from each of the cities of Linwood, Northfield and Somers Point that blend their talent and certainly their time together to foster that one Mainland community.

Committee members sifted through nominations of volunteers from each of the towns to choose this year’s difference makers in each of the communities as well as choose a recipient of the Community Counts Leadership Award.

Ken and Danielle Kelly - Leadership award winners

Ken and Danielle Kelly of Linwood are this year’s honorees. The couple work on the MRHS After Prom all year and are in high gear as the prom is now just a few weeks away. Ken Kelly is a 1976 Mainland grad and is a certified financial planner for Allstate Financial Services in the Kelly Allstate Agency, in Absecon. Danielle Kelly is originally from Vineland but has her roots planted deep in Linwood and works in Linwood City Hall in the tax office.

Ken and Danielle Kelly both have a long history of volunteering, whether it is Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, coaching and now After Prom, they both have spent a large chunk of their lives volunteering. The After Prom with its incredible artists, painters and designers as well as volunteers for games, food, music, prizes-Ken and Danielle have a had in making sure it all comes off without hitch. For their tireless dedication to the MRHS students and providing them with a safe and fun place to be on prom night the Mainland Regional Education Foundation will present them with the leadership award at the May 16 awards dinner.

Linwood – Jill Ojserkis

Jill Ojserkis has been chosen by the MREF as the 2019 Difference Maker from the City of Linwood. Married to Charles and the mother of two MRHS graduates, she is the current president of the Mainland Board of Education, a shareholder in the Atlantic City office of the law firm of Cooper Levenson where she chairs the firm’s Health Law Practice Group.

Volunteering and helping others is something Ojserkis does quite naturally generously as she shares not just her time but her talents and has provided pro bono legal services in the creation of the MREF and currently provides pro bono legal services for the Linwood Farmers Market, Atlantic City Police Foundation, South Jersey AIDS Alliance, Coalition for a Safe Community in Atlantic County, the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Foundation and the Gateway Theater, among others. Jill was recently re-elected to her fourth term on the MRHS Board of Education and unanimously elected to her seventh, one-year term as its President; is past Chair and a member of the Board of South Jersey AIDS Alliance; and is an appointed member of the Atlantic County Economic Development Advisory Commission. She was elected to the Atlantic County, New Jersey Women’s Hall of Fame in 2009 and is the recipient of other awards for her volunteer activities.

Somers Point – Sean McGuigan

Sean McGuigan has lived in Somers Point for 30 years and over that time has had his hand in so many positive events that are truly Somers Point like Good Old Day Festival and is currently the President of Somers Point City County. Married to Theresa, the couple have three children; Riley, Colin and Erin- all graduates of MRHS.

A Penn State grad, McGuigan is a construction engineer for INTECH a construction firm in Philadelphia. The councilman has been have heavily involved in the community, particularly youth activities for decades. He was a baseball coach and a member of the Somers Point Little League executive board. He has coached with the Somers Point Sharks Football organization and served as their Vice-President. Sean also coached street hockey and served as Vice President of the Somers Point Street Hockey Association for twelve years.

Volunteering is not new to McGuigan; in 2001 he was named the Somers Point Recreation Volunteer of the Year. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties. McGuigan’s wife Theresa is a CASA volunteer as well. The plight of all children is very important to both Sean and Theresa McGuigan.

Northfield - Angelo DeRosa

Angelo DeRosa, the Community Counts Difference Maker honoree from the city of Northfield may have grown up in Somers Point but he put down his roots in Northfield where lives with his three children; 17-year-old Angelo, Deanna and Dante.

DeRosa has real dedication to basketball. He is a member of the FAN (Family Association of Northfield) and has been running the rec as well as the travel basketball teams in Northfield for more than a decade and he serves as an assistant coach to the Northfield Community School Thunderbird boys and girls basketball teams.

He started working at the Clam Bar in Somers Point when he was just 14 and he is now one of the owners.

Educators of the Year will be honored at the Community County Awards Dinner, Thursday, May 16 at Linwood Country Club. The Mainland Teacher of the Year is Leslie Kronemeyer of the high school’s language department. Mark Marrone called Kronemeyer and innovative educator. Atlantic County must agree as Leslie Kronemeyer was named the Atlantic County Teacher of the Year last week.

Randall Smith, a special education aide was named the school district’s paraprofessional of the year. Both Smith and Kronemeyer will be honored at the Community Counts Awards Dinner.

Tickets are still available for the MREF Community Counts Awards Dinner at Linwood Country Club, 6 p.m. Thursday, May 16. Visit mredf.com/community-counts.html to purchase tickets and support the good work of the volunteers who make Mainland One Family, One School, One Community

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