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CHS Hall of Fame
CHS honors local grads who made it big!
by Maria Morrison Heningburg

Cooperstown, NY, Springfield, MA, Cleveland, OH and Maplewood, NJ all have something in common and something to be very proud of: their respective halls of fame.

Maplewood is home to the Columbia High School (CHS) Hall of Fame. The CHS Hall of Fame honors graduates for their distinguished achievements in their chosen professions and personal endeavors. Each year. a committee sponsored by the student council selects the new members, with the assistance of faculty advisors. Nominees are culled from archival records or from recommendations. To be considered, as a student the candidate must have been a role model for their classmates, and today be dedicated to making a positive impact on society. Back in 1985, Student Council President Andrew Shue prophetically began the CHS Hall of Fame. Ten years later, now a well-known actor, Shue was inducted into the Hall of Fame himself.

Each spring an assembly is held for CHS students. During this exciting program the newest Hall of Fame members are announced. With rare exceptions, the recipient attends and participates in the celebration. The inductees are invited to address the student body to encourage and inspire them to reach for their goals and commit themselves to excellence. As a memento of the event, new Hall of Famers receive a plaque commemorating their accomplishment.

One or two persons are selected for the Hall of Fame every year. In 1985, the very first people on whom this honor was bestowed were the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse. class of 1955 and Roy Scheider. class of 1950. Judge Kearse was the first female African-American federal judge. Scheider, an actor, has had an enduring career, first coming into the public spotlight for his role in Jaws under the direction of Steven Spielberg.

Mr. Spielberg has another tie to CHS: Spielberg, with Robert Zermekas, made the film I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The opening setting for this movie was Maplewood, and references were made to the local high school students.

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