VIDEO: Tears and Applause as Trailblazing Lakewood High School Alumnus and Teacher are Honored at School Board Meeting; Student Ruth Fiore and Teacher Ben Lieberman both first in their families to go to college

“My story is not unique…many of my peers from Lakewood are the first going to college in their families…The community here wants you to grow, wants you to achieve.”

Lakewood resident Ruth Fiore, Lakewood High School’s 2017 valedictorian and current freshman at the prestigious New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), struggled to control her emotions as she addressed the audience at the Lakewood Board of Education meeting, held Wednesday evening, October 18th, at Lakewood High School.

Ruth is currently studying biomedical engineering at NJIT. Her years at Lakewood High School were marked by exceptional grades and character, and her academic and professional future now look brighter than ever. She was introduced by Superintendent Laura Winters, in the presence of Lakewood High School faculty members; members of the Lakewood Board of Education; General Counsel Michael I. Inzelbuch; and proud parents/guardians and friends. During her powerful remarks, Ruth encouraged her peers to pursue their dreams, whatever they are, and ensured them that they are in reach even if their background is less privileged than those of the typical student in a prestigious college.

No doubt, the motivation and achievement displayed by Ruth and her peers are powerful testimonies to the dedication and professionalism of the Lakewood public education system and its faculty.

In particular, Mr. Binyomin Lieberman, a bearded Orthodox Jewish Lakewood resident who taught Ruth Calculus during the 2016-17 school year, was recognized at the event. Mr. Lieberman is a highly regarded Lakewood High School teacher and coordinator of the innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) program. The STEAM program incorporates a uniquely hands-on and intriguing curriculum that helps students succeed, leading to the stunning success of Ruth and her peers. For the past six years, Mr. Lieberman’s humble, dedicated personality has especially endeared him to students, who see him as a mentor.

Mr. Lieberman was raised in Boro Park, Brooklyn; his father was born in a Displaced Persons camp after his family endured the Holocaust. Binyomin was the first in his family to go to college, graduating NJIT – where Ruth currently studies – with honors. His dedication was on display at the ceremony when he shared that his wife and newborn were unfortunately hospitalized. “I came because I am so genuinely happy for Ruth and her accomplishments,” Mr. Lieberman reflects. “I am able to relate to her successes.”

“The Lakewood education system is the home of so many success stories, which have positively influenced our entire town, region, State, and country, and, will into the future,” says Mr. Inzelbuch. “No words can adequately express how proud we are of our incredible students, parents/guardians and faculty members.”

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