Retired teacher honored for going above the call


Staff Writer

SPOTSWOOD – The borough has formally recognized longtime graphic arts teacher Richard Kuzminczuk upon his retirement.

In addition to teaching a variety of courses at Spotswood High School, Kuzminczuk has provided the borough and school district with many valuable free services over the years, according to Mayor Barry Zagnit, who along with the Borough Council last month passed a resolution honoring Kuzminczuk.

The mayor noted that Kuzminczuk, who retired Dec. 31, was especially helpful when it came to the DARE program, which began in the early 1990s and was a cooperative effort between the borough and district. Because there was virtually no budget for the program, Kuzminczuk did a lot of the material production free of charge.

“Rich offered to help us out with printing and wound up doing a lot for DARE,” Zagnit said.

“So for probably 16 years, he did printing for class materials for kids and teachers,” in addition to making the certificates given to students upon completing the program.

Kuzminczuk also did a lot of printing for the borough, Zagnit said, including the annual recycling reports.

“It was all done at no charge. It was all donated labor,” he said, adding that the school district helped with materials for the DARE program.

“He donated his labor, though most of the supplies came from the Board of Education,” Zagnit said.

Kuzminczuk somehow found time to do printing for the Spotswood Police Department as well, Zagnit said.

“Rich was just always there. Nothing was too big a job. Many groups in town availed themselves of his services,” he said.

“His stock answer was, ‘No problem, we’ll get it done,’ ” Zagnit said. “If someone missed a deadline, Rich would get it done for us.”

Kuzminczuk held a number of roles in the district, including working as a cooperative industrial teacher, and teaching industrial arts and graphic arts/media. He also taught technology education, and television/radio production. In addition, he served as an adviser to the Photography Club, and was once nominated by a student to be in “Who’s Who Among American Teachers.”

Kuzminczuk, who taught for a total of 31 years, said handling the printing chores for the borough was at first a way for the district’s vocational department to get involved in the town.

“It was a way to reach people and have public relations,” he said “Our superintendent at the time was promoting public relations with the community and borough.”

“It developed into almost a full-time job itself,” he said.

Though Kuzminczuk is fully retired as a teacher, he said he is still doing some printing work for the school district, which Board of Education President Alan Bartlett said saves the school district money.

“Above and beyond does not begin to describe [his services],” Bartlett said. “Rich was very unselfish in giving of his time and energy for the entire school district. He will be difficult to replace and certainly missed,” Bartlett said.