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Five Community Pillars Inducted into Parsippany High Hall of Fame

Former students, faculty members honored for selflessness.

Parsippany High School is known as a great learning environment, and has seen some amazing students graduate from the institution.

Those same students and faculty members come back and give to the community beyond their learning years, and are revered. On Feb. 13, five members of the Parsippany High School community were inducted into the school’s hall of fame.

Dragan “Dan” Ilic, a 1990 graduate, was a football player and wrestler during his PHS days. He now lives in town with his family and has served as a youth football and wrestling coach, doing so for more than a decade. Ilic helped begin the Parsippany Wrestling Team, a joint effort between both sides of Parsippany. Ilic was the first of five honorees during the induction ceremony.

Former social studies teacher Jerry Russo was the next honoree. He served as a teacher, guidance counselor, driving instructor, ski club advisor, varsity soccer coach, fencing coach, and coordinator of guidance during his more than 30 years at the school. Russo was responsible for the creation of the master schedule, the counseling of students and assisting seniors in their college search process.

A graduate in the class of 1988, Robert Peluso was also inducted into the PHS hall of fame. Peluso still lives in Parsippany and is active in politics as a township councilman, and president of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce for the past 17 years. Peluso has served on the Municipal Alliance Committee and created the Parsippany Area Visitors Center. 

The next honoree was inducted posthumously, but is known throughout town. Michael Pignatelli, a graduate in the class of 1980, displayed dedication, determination and heart as a talented championship football player and set a positive example. Pignatelli joined the police academy in 1982, but was killed by a drunk driver in 1984. Memorials throughout town honor his life.

The final inductee of the class of 2014 was Ron Foreso, who spent more than 35 years at PHS. Foreso was a history teacher and selected as New Jersey teacher of the year in 1998 and inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2001. Foreso served as an advisor to multiple clubs and activities at PHS. 

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