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  • Tribute to Mr. Joseph Cervino
    Teacher and Coach

     
    By Bill Pashe and Bill Hardy

    Mr. Joe Cervino was first a teacher and then a coach. He was born in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, raised his family if New Milford, and taught and coached at Teaneck High School for 35 years. Joe won 384 baseball games, 5 league, 4 County and 3 State sectional baseball titles. He also won the first Bergen County baseball tournament in 1959. In football, he was the backfield coached on several championship teams. However, his greatest accomplishment, along with Audrey, his wife of 60 years, was raising his 4 children. His two namesakes, Joe, Jr., and Joe, III became successful teachers and coaches in Bergen country. Now, Audrey and he spend their winters in Florida and the rest of the year in their New Milford home attending every game then can that their son and grandson coach. His love of people and baseball is still as strong now as when we were playing.

    In your lifetime you have had many people who have influenced your life. I'll bet that you can recall at least one or two whose names will never be forgotten. On a more personal note. Mr. Cervino was the type of teacher/coach that expected the best of his student/athletes. During these moments he used a very sensitive, smiling and pleasant approach. He would show us the skill that we should use to accomplish the desired result. Hard to believe but sometimes we would forget to interpret that skill . The failure to do so did not result in the desired outcome. It was times like these that he would use his special secondary approach. Mr. Cervino would invade that person's space, glare with his steely eyes, his lower lip would quiver and everyone within eye or earshot would understand that it was extremely important not to be forgetful. THE DESIRED RESULT-----------LESSONS LEARNED!

    Like Mr. Charles Gunner, Joe Cervino was instrumental in shaping and instilling important values into many “boys” in the Class of ’58. He was an excellent coach, teaching football and baseball skills to hundreds of students over the years. Several of his students went on to play professional football and baseball. Many of us “boys” became better men because of the association with Joe Cervino. Mr. Gunner and Mr. Cervino set the standard for leadership and motivational skills. So much so, that they influenced me to enter the teaching profession. I, in turn, tried to pass on to my student/athletes all the lessons learned from them during my 44 year teaching career. We are honored that Audrey and Joe agreed to join us in celebrating our 50th Teaneck High School Reunion tonight and we all thank you for all that you have done for everyone that you have touched over the years.





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