SOMAS honors Kopecky and Lester at annual meeting

Photo Courtesy of Marianne Cook
Honorees Melissa Kopecky and Sarah Lester with gifts presented by trustee Judy Levy on behalf of the Adult School.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange-Maplewood Adult School presented The Gus & Thelma Sickles Lifelong Learners Award to South Orange Public Library Director Melissa Kopecky and Maplewood Memorial Library Director Sarah Lester at its annual meeting on May 21 in recognition of their dedication to lifelong learning.

Kopecky has been the director of the South Orange Public Library for the last 14 years. She went to Rutgers to become an artist, but a job in a library changed all that and she went on to get two master’s degrees, one in library science and the other in public administration, also from Rutgers.

Lester has been the director of the Maplewood Memorial Library since 2012. With an undergraduate degree in English from Vasser and a master’s degree in library science from San Jose State, she has found her home in Maplewood, where she spreads her love of learning to the community.

The Gus & Thelma Sickles Lifelong Learners Award, presented each year at the Adult School’s annual meeting, recognizes the recipient’s dedication to lifelong learning. Gus and Thelma Sickles were early supporters of the Adult School and the concept of lifelong learning. Thelma Sickles was a trustee for more than 40 years and was active in many community groups. Gus Sickles was active in civic organizations and was an avid Adult School student.

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