EAST HANOVER — 2019 Good Scout Awards Dinner honoring outstanding members of the community will be held on Thursday, October 24 at the Hanover Manor, 16 Eagle Rock Avenue.
This year’s honorees include Dr. Steven Caponegro, Superintendent of Schools Florham Park School District; Robert L. Carpenter III, Sergeant Hanover Township Police Department; Karen Casolaro; George T. Hanley, Esq., Attorney, Weiner Law Group and Founder Welcome Home Vets of NJ; and Stephanie LiCausi, Branch Manager, Blue Foundry Bank, Located in Florham Park.
Co-Chair & Master of Ceremonies are Ronald F. Francioli, Mayor Hanover Township and Frank Tinari, Former Mayor Florham Park.
Dr. Steven Caponegro
Dr. Steven Caponegro has spent his entire career within the Florham Park Public Schools and working with students. He entered the district in 2002 as an English-Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Ridgedale Middle School, where he coached softball, wrestling, and soccer. In addition, he served as the Activities Director at RMS, a role that focused on managing school activities, scheduling, and disciplinary matters. In 2005, Dr. Caponegro transitioned to administration within the Florham Park Public Schools, serving as the Supervisor of Special Services and then as Director of Special Services. In 2012, Dr. Caponegro became the proud principal of Brooklake Elementary School, until he was named as the Superintendent of Schools for the Florham Park School District in 2019.
Dr. Caponegro strongly believes in the importance of education. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Drew University, Cum Laude, majoring in Economics and Political Science, a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a Master of Arts in Educational Administration (M.Ed.) from Caldwell College, and a Doctorate of Letters (D.Litt.) from Drew University.
Dr. Caponegro is a member of the Master of Arts in Teaching Advisory Council for Drew University, the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership Advisory Council for the College of St. Elizabeth, the Educational Leadership Program Advisory Board at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the Peter Sammartino School of Education Alumni Chapter for Fairleigh Dickinson University. In addition, Dr. Caponegro also volunteers his time with local community organizations such as Halos For Angels and the NJ Coalition 4 Education & Positive Choices (NJC4EPC).
Family and family values are incredibly important to Dr. Caponegro. He has been married to his wife, Meg, for eleven years and they both have two wonderful children together, George and Mariella. Steve thanks his family and friends for their ongoing support.
East Hanover born and raised, Robert Carpenter is committed to a lifestyle of community service. He is currently serving as Sergeant with the Hanover Police Department after sixteen years on the force. Rob has earned professional accolades including two lifesaving awards and was a recipient of the 200 Club Valor Award in 2016. Rob is the facilitator of “Share the Keys”, a program educating students on the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. Rob is an ALICE instructor, helping schools and businesses to better prepare and respond to violent intruder events.
Rob attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1999. During his time in Boy Scouts, Rob developed an appreciation for the outdoors. His Eagle Service Project was the construction of a gazebo in East Hanover, allowing people from town to have a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors. The gazebo still stands today and is located outside the East Hanover Township Library. A 2002 graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, Rob was an avid member of the Five Quad Volunteer Ambulance Service and became an EMT.
Rob still lives in East Hanover and enjoys being involved in his children’s activities, serving as a youth sports coach, and as Lion Cub Scout Den Leader for Pack 20. Rob would like to thank his family for all their love and support, especially his wife Meredith, his daughter Amanda, and his son Thomas.
Karen M. Casolaro
Karen M. Casolaro grew up in West Orange. She is youngest daughter of Frank and Betty Gizzo of Roseland and sister of Frank III and Kathy. It was in West Orange where she met and married her childhood sweetheart, John in 1989. She was an executive assistant to various companies including the MacArthur Petroleum & Chemical Company, St. Barnabas Medical Center, and Lorber, Nuzzi, Vichness, & Bilinkas Law Firm.
In 1991, she left her career in order to raise her five children – Samantha, Johnny, Jackie and twins, Sally and Mattison. The Casolaro’s moved to Florham Park twenty-two years ago where they raised their children and became actively involved with community organizations. Karen was the 2007/08 Chairwoman of the Florham Park Municipal Alliance, Brownie Troop Leader, Class Mother and volunteered with the PTA.
Recipient of 2016 Woman of the Year by the East Hanover Italian American Club, Awarded a 2016 Citation for commendations and praise by the State of NJ Senate and General Assembly for bringing honor to herself and her community; and received the 2017 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award for her remarkable volunteer achievements as Founder and Innovator, presented by Governor Chris Christie. She has served as a Eucharistic Minister and taught CCD at Holy Family RC Church for many years.
In 2008, Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her recovery, she received overwhelming support from not only her family and friends, but from the community at large. People that she did not know arrived daily to her home with food as well as offered compassion and kindness to her and her family. She began to realize how important it was to receive support when experiencing a sudden tragedy and decided she would find a way to “give back.” Karen gives praise to Her husband John, their children and her Parents; as they are my strength and inspiring light that helped me to the launching of Halos for Angels. Through their unending support and love brings a sustainability of personal connection, uniqueness, and spirit that continually brings growth to Halos and its mission.
In 2010, after her long recovery, Karen launched a non-profit charity, Halos For Angels, Inc. Its mission is to take action and serve families in need due to a sudden tragedy or catastrophic event with immediate assistance. To date, Halos For Angels has served over 200 families, created jointures with numerous organizations and nonprofits; while gathering hundreds of volunteers and supporters alike all to “give back” through Halos, described in their motto, “Community Strong…Where Action Matters”. She is very humbled to be acknowledged and to receive this prestigious award as the 2019 Woman Scout presented by the Boy Scouts of America and gives a sincere thank you to them and all the supporters and volunteers of Halos, as Halos can not exist without us all. “As no one should go through a sudden tragedy without the support and love of an angel,” said Karen.
George T. Hanley, Esq.
George counsels both public and private corporations on a wide range of issues, including general business matters and transactions, finance and financial restructuring, land use and real estate law, affordable housing, redevelopment law, environmental law, regulatory and administrative matters, election law, and corporate equity and debt issues, including SEC filings and private offerings.
He has served as General Counsel or Special Counsel to a number of New Jersey municipalities and utility authorities, including Passaic Valley Water Commission, the Townships of East Hanover and Randolph, the Borough of Roseland, Hudson County Utilities Authority and the Town of Secaucus, as well as to private developers and corporations.
George is a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he won the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service. He is active in several veterans’ organizations and has formed a non-profit corporation called Welcome Home Veterans of NJ, Inc. to assist veterans in need, which has 70 members and is growing.
With more than 27 years of experience in Banking, Stephanie LiCausi has served as a Blue Foundry Bank Branch Manager for the past 10 years. Blue Foundry Bank, founded as Boiling Springs Savings Bank in 1939, is one of northern New Jersey’s largest community banks and providers of financial services for more than 80 years.
She is responsible for managing all aspects of the Florham Park office operations, including helping set and meet sales objectives while training and leading a synergetic team. Prior to joining Blue Foundry Bank, she held various positions at Bank of America, Bank of New York and National Community Bank.
Ms. LiCausi attended Berkeley College and is a graduate of the prestigious Bergen LEADS program, as well as the Leadership and Management Program of Rutgers University’s School of Continuing Professional Education. In June of 2019, she received the Halos for Angels, Inc. Award for Corporate Leadership, recognizing her extraordinary focus on community service and social responsibility to the organization. Ms. LiCausi is a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and is the Sergeant of Arms Board Member of the Florham Park Jaycees. She currently resides in Woodland Park, NJ with her two children.