Service Anniversary Honoree: Lisa Kawalec
Years of Service: 25
Positions at UC: For the past 15 years has taught US History on all levels at one time or another. Taught social problems/world studies/current events (my favorite!). Also taught math, English, and environmental science.
Coached freshman and JV girls basketball, assisted with Big Brother/Big Sister Program, sold UC apparel, served as junior hall monitor, coached indoor track, and drove the school van, which dropped kids off at home.
Education: Graduated from Union Catholic in 1981 (the first three years it was still the girls school). Was a member of the Service Club Spanish Club, played varsity basketball for four years, and ran cross-country.
CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice (BS degree). Kean University-Instruction and Curriculum(MA) and Supervisor Certification.
Before UC: Worked as a paralegal for three years. Taught grammar school for three years (5th grade-self-contained, and 6/7/8 grade math/religion). Taught math/religion at Bishop Ahr for three years).
Journey to UC: “It was not a career goal to come back to UC. I was looking to change teaching jobs, and Mrs. Myrna McManus suggested I apply for a teaching opening in the social studies dept. It was different seeing some of my former teachers as co-workers, but they made the transition very smooth. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to help me. A big thank you to Mrs. McManus, and Mrs. Boyar.’’
What do you love the most about working at UC? “UC is a special place because the people (my co-workers), are down to earth and real.’’
Favorite moment/moments during your time at UC: “Driving back and forth to basketball games with Karen Piasecki, and the team. After Christmas tournament games at Morris Knoll High School we would take the kids to a great bagel place for lunch. Also going to Big Stash's in Linden before varsity girls county tournament games when they took place at the Dunn Center. I grew up inLinden, and Big Stash's was a staple, as was Pulaski Meats!’’
“Seeing Mike Marotti comie into my classroom and asking me if I'm working? I would always reply that I was pacing myself until I got to retirement."
What are you most proud of when you reflect on your years at UC? “I am most proud of meeting up with former students and staying in touch with many and seeing what responsible young adults they have become. And how well they are contributing to making society better.’
Something about yourself that most people don’t know? “Placed in the top ten in the Empire State stair climb, finished 4th in the NJ cycling time trial, and missed out by one place on being able to try out for the Olympic team that year (1988). Finished the Army Ten Miler last October in Washington D.C, and I write children's books.’’
Did you know: Lisa shoveled snow when short-handed during a snowstorm on the day of Freshmen Registration.
Favorite thing to do in your spare time? “Running, reading, enjoying nature, and traveling.’’Favorite UC Core Value: “Respect. You have to give respect to get respect, it’s how I try to treat my students.’’