Five Nutley citizens received the Jaycees’ 47th annual “Distinguished Service Awards”

NUTLEY, NJ — Five Nutley citizens received the Jaycees’ 47th annual “Distinguished Service Awards” at a community banquet. The honored residents are Robyn Powell, Michael J. Nevin, Thomas Nicolette, Kevin Knight, and Janet Canonico They were recognized at a dinner on April 12 at The Valley Regency, in Clifton.

What follows are the citations for each of the recipients:

Robyn Powell

Robyn Powell
Educator of the Year
Robyn Powell, this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient, has had a long history of educational excellence dedicated to improving the health and wellness of students throughout the district.
For the past 25 years, Powell has served the Nutley school district, working as a health and physical education teacher, with her first seven years as an athletic trainer. She presently serves as the Nutley Public Schools coordinator K-12 health and physical education and nursing supervisor.
Powell graduated from Lock Haven University with a B.S. in health and physical education in 1985 and earned a Master’s of Arts in urban education and administration from New Jersey City University in 1998.

Her love of children, to improve their health and wellness, has kept her busy in the school system as the coordinator of the Flex Academic Support Program, Nutley High School Academy of Health Professions advisor, H.O.S.A advisor and Varsity Club advisor. In June 2013, she was honored with the Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award as well as Nutley High School Teacher of the Year.

Powell has served as an adjunct professor at the College of St. Elizabeth, adjunct professor at Morris County Community College as well as adjunct professor at Rutgers University. She has taught a variety of health-related courses including nutrition, exercise physiology, professional fitness and assessment, first aid, CPR and strength and conditioning.

Her drive for improved health and fitness has taken her on a personal level to complete three Ironman distance triathlon finishes and 24 marathon finishes.

 

Michael J. Nevin

 

Michael J. Nevin
Outstanding Young Man
The 2018 Outstanding Young Man award by the Nutley Jaycees goes to Michael J. Nevin.
Nevin is an extraordinary young man who has been an inspiration to Nutley for his entire life. Although he was born with cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, nothing has stopped Michael from uplifting those who know him with his humanity, selflessness, and determination to contribute his talents to others. Since Nevin is non-verbal, he has been able to speak through the use of computer technology.

Nevin was born with cerebral palsy in Brooklyn, NY, in 1983. He moved to Nutley at the age of 2 and attended Lakeview School in Edison from 5 years old until the age of 12. He was then integrated into the Nutley School System.

He successfully completed his schooling from fifth grade in Washington School, middle school, and high school where he graduated as a National Honor Roll Student in 2002. In his senior year, he spent two days each week at Bergen Community College, as an advanced placement senior. Nevin continued his schooling there after graduating from Nutley High School.

He participated in the DARE to DREAM program, a student self-advocacy program, sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Education. He now is invited to speak at these conferences annually. He participated in several job sampling experiences as a part of the transition program in high school. He job sampled at were Clara Maass Medical Center,

In 2008, Nevin was appointed as a volunteer member of the New Jersey State Special Education Advisory Council, where he served for six consecutive years. Nevin assisted in the implementation of state legislation for special education students.

In 2006, Nevin was volunteering in the computer room at First Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey, in Belleville, when he was given an opportunity for employment at the center. He started as a computer aide and was also on the transition team where he taught the students about self-advocacy. Michael assisted these students with their communication skills. He continues to be employed there and is now part of the administrative team as a program aide.

 

 

Thomas Nicolette

 

 

Thomas Nicolette
Public Health and Safety Award
In the field of public health and safety, Thomas Nicolette, who was born and raised in Nutley, has served the community in numerous capacities involving a wide variety of fire and safety positions that has spanned the past 32 years.

Since January 2010, he has been assigned as captain, commanding the Third Tour of the Nutley Fire Department. He started his career with serving in the Fire Department Junior Program in 1986, then as a volunteer firefighter, a civilian employee, and in 1994 becoming a career firefighter. He has worked to assist in the development of many of the Departments Safety and operating procedures in fire response, Haz Mat response, and Office of Emergency Management. After the 9/11 attacks in New York City, he coordinated and supervised the decontamination of 10,000 citizens at the Hoboken Terminal.

Enhancing his knowledge in fire safety, he holds numerous certifications including Fire official/inspector, firefighter 1, safety officer, fire service instructor level 2, incident command 100, 300, 700, NJ Haz Mat specialist, NJ Haz Mat technician instructor, NJ Haz Mat mass decon instructor, NJ Criminal Justice Police Instructor Certification, NJ emergency management coordinator, New Jersey State Police Exercise, Design and Evaluation Certificate, New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice – cause and origin investigator and FEMA mass care G-108.

Nicolette earned a BS in fire science from Union County College in 1995. For more than a decade he has volunteered with the Nutley East Little League as a coach and helps with field maintenance. He is also a coach with the Clifton Hockey Club.

He and his wife, Rachel, reside in Nutley and have two children, Chase and Andrew. Nicolette attended Washington School and graduated from Nutley High School in 1990.

Janet Canonico

Janet Canonico
Work in Nutley Civic Affairs
The Jaycees 2018 Civic Affairs Award honors lifelong volunteer Janet Canonico.
Canonico went to Nutley Schools, graduating from Nutley High School. A cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University, she was an accounting major at Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business. Her 35 year business career found Canonico working for various firms in accounting, banking and financial planning.

Canonico has been quietly working with Nutley community organizations her entire life. She is a volunteer board member with the Community School in Nutley and treasurer for over 25 years. She has been volunteering with the Nutley Family Service Bureau for over 20 years and may be found helping in the Thrift Shop most days.

She is a member of the Nutley Democratic Club and Nutley Democratic Committee serving as treasurer. Canonico has been active with Grace Episcopal Church for more than 30 years. In the past she was a Girl Scout leader, Sunday school teacher and cared for foster children through DYFS for about six years.

She has volunteered largely with small groups to accomplish specific projects such as developing, funding and opening the Infant Toddler Center at Grace Church which is part of Community School. She also helped in developing and opening the school age summer camp program located at Vincent Methodist Church, also part of Community School. The Community School is celebrating its 50 year anniversary this year
Janet has been married to Steve Canonico for 40 years this September and has three children, Patrick, Katie and Ann.

Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight
Business Man of the Year
Kevin Knight was born, raised and schooled in Nutley. He has 23 years professional experience in the sports, entertainment and media industries as an entrepreneur, broadcaster, athlete and marketing consultant. He has worked with small business owners to create promotional and public relation strategies by the development of websites, social media platforms and other ventures in the health and entertainment fields.

The 2018 recipient of the Jaycees Business award may be one of the most unique individuals ever to be the recipient of the Jaycees prestigious award.

His social media skills have given him extensive experience in marketing, public relations and community outreach. He has been featured on virtually every media outlet as well as participating in a national Burger King TV commercial and several local commercials.
What makes Knight truly unique is that he is a professional wrestler who, for nearly 20 years, ran a highly successful, full-time professional wrestling camp. He trained aspiring wrestlers the mechanics of professional wrestling, many of whom gained employment in the field. He produced wrestling shows for young and old alike with over 700 live events throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

His business skills have allowed 44 of his graduates to receive World Wrestling Federation tryouts and eleven of them obtaining full-time employment. In addition to local charity involvement, Knight is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
For over 14 years, Knight has raised monies for the Nutley Fire Department, Nutley PBA, Nutley Special needs programs, Little league, St. Jude’s Children’s Research and Tomorrow Children’s Fund.

In addition to giving his time and energy to many organizations he has worked with Relay For Life which helps raise monies for The American Cancer Society. He organizes a yearly professional wrestling show in Nutley to help raise funds to help fight cancer. Since 2012, his shows have raised over $24,000 for this worthwhile charity.Kevin Knight was born, raised and schooled in Nutley. He has 23 years professional experience in the sports, entertainment and media industries as an entrepreneur, broadcaster, athlete and marketing consultant. He has worked with small business owners to create promotional and public relation strategies by the development of websites, social media platforms and other ventures in the health and entertainment fields.

The 2018 recipient of the Jaycees Business award may be one of the most unique individuals ever to be the recipient of the Jaycees prestigious award.

His social media skills have given him extensive experience in marketing, public relations and community outreach. He has been featured on virtually every media outlet as well as participating in a national Burger King TV commercial and several local commercials.

What makes Knight truly unique is that he is a professional wrestler who, for nearly 20 years, ran a highly successful, full-time professional wrestling camp. He trained aspiring wrestlers the mechanics of professional wrestling, many of whom gained employment in the field. He produced wrestling shows for young and old alike with over 700 live events throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
His business skills have allowed 44 of his graduates to receive World Wrestling Federation tryouts and eleven of them obtaining full-time employment. In addition to local charity involvement, Knight is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

For over 14 years, Knight has raised monies for the Nutley Fire Department, Nutley PBA, Nutley Special needs programs, Little league, St. Jude’s Children’s Research and Tomorrow Children’s Fund.

In addition to giving his time and energy to many organizations he has worked with Relay For Life which helps raise monies for The American Cancer Society. He organizes a yearly professional wrestling show in Nutley to help raise funds to help fight cancer. Since 2012, his shows have raised over $24,000 for this worthwhile charity.

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