Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Michael Piscal

Not everyone can name all their high school teachers, but Michael D. Piscal, only our second honoree from Toms River High School East, can recall a long list, and maybe in the future, there will be innumerable students who will include Mike Piscal as one of their most fondly remembered educators.

Michael's list of achievements fills a page by themselves. I will mention a few: They include creating the lnner City Education Foundation, which opens after school time, summer camps, and charter schools in underserved areas. of Los Angeles; founding three charter schools (to date) in the Crenshaw District of LA; producing the highest performing public schools in South Los Angeles; closing the achievement gap between African-American and white students-an accomplishment every school would like to boast; and building three school campuses for which $10 million were raised.

With a personal educational history as sterling as his accomplishments, Michael attended Toms River Schools: West Dover Elementary, Cedar Grove Elementary, Intermediate East, and TRHS East, graduating in 1984. He graduated Wake Forest University (where he played Division I football) with a BA in history in 1988, took graduate classes at Rutgers University, earned a John Hopkins University Teaching Award in 1992 for the teaching of highly talented youth in the State of California, SDB Foundation, received an NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Fellowship in 1992, and in the summer of 1993, he served on the Oxford Teacher's Seminar, at Oxford University, England, where he also participated in London Saracens Rugby Football Club. In 1989, he started in the Los Angeles school system at the Harvard School as an English teacher and became president and founder of lnner City Educational Foundation, director and founder of View Park Prep After School Programs, culminating as the principal and founder of View Park Prep Accelerated Charter Schools, from 1991 to the present. Michael is a published poet in Chiron Review and the Beloit Poetry Journal 5othA nniversary Review and, if you are not impressed with all that, in 1998, Michael appeared on an episode of "Friends," as a rugby player.

Michael Piscal was honored with a "Breakfast in Bed by Emeril Lagasse," which was broadcast in 2002. This honor come about due to being nominated by students, parents, faculty and staff with over 400 letters. his event led to national television coverage for the lnner City Education Foundation and the View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter Schools. Other awards and recognition for Michael and, more importantly, his work with the Foundation and Charter Schools, came with a Good Morning America Hero Award in December of 2002 and the Facing History Facing Ourselves, "Power of One Award," in February of 2003. The Wall Street Journal also featured Michael in an editorial for his work in June of 2006.

With all of his professional dedication, Michael also actually has hobbies and other interests, like poetry and publication in the Beloit Poetry Journal, and he can really name his teachers. They are Ms. Brown, Ms. Cerkowitz, Ms. Sharon Demarsico Morris, Mrs. Marilyn Davis, Mr. Charles Stout, Mr. Klimek, Mr. Ray McCusker, Mr. Balsamo, Mrs. Benjamin, Mrs. McCutcheon, Ms. Fallon, Mr. Bill McVeigh, Mr. Marty Mezaros, Ms. Judy Servodio, and his HS East principal, and his uncle, Mr. Richard Piscal, whom he considers particularly influential.

The Toms River Hall Schools Hall of Fame Board of Trustees now proudly honors Michael D. Piscal.

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