Hall of famers inducted

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    VERNON—On Tuesday, June 14, at the public Board of Education meeting, the board will induct Judith Hornstra and Helen M. Simpkins into its Hall of Fame. The meeting will take place at Lounsberry Hollow Middle School at 8 p.m. Both Hornstra and Simpkins are retired educators of the district. Judith Hornstra was the first art teacher at Vernon Township High School. Prior to 1975, she was the middle school art teacher, providing large-group instruction at the ski lodge. Her talent, experience, and concern for all students fueled her vision for the high school art department. Among her notable accomplishments, Hornstra spearheaded the Sussex County Art's Annual Senior Art Purchase Award, initiated the high school chapter of the National Art Honor Society, and hosted the Sussex County Teen Arts Festival several times. With her involvement in outside groups, Vernon students began displaying their work at the Morris Museum, Newark airport, and Mt. Olive High School's Invitational. Since retirement, Hornstra continues to provide opportunities for Vernon students through her affiliation with the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council. Helen M. Simpkins was a teacher and administrator in Vernon for thirty-five years, who began her career as a social studies teacher in 1964. She initiated an eighth-grade trip to Boston, bringing the roots of America to life for her students. Once the high school opened, Simpkins became the chairperson of the social studies department. In 1995, she became the district coordinator of social studies and continued in that position until her retirement. Under her leadership, she supervised the school-wide enrichment program, implemented courses for teacher in-service, developed the world language program, and created Diversity Week. Among her many noteworthy accomplishments and recognitions, Simpkins became involved in the New Jersey Holocaust Commission. As one of the architects of New Jersey's Holocaust curriculum, she was awarded the Axelrod Foundation Award for outstanding work in Holocaust and genocide studies. With their induction in the Hall of Fame, Hornstra and Simpkins will join previous noteworthy recipients: Beatrice Potter Masker, Howard Masker, George Ziegler, Gary Gardner, Colleen Begala, Fran Boltz, Gary Sparta, Jean Krauss, George Iannacone, and John Paskey.