BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Brookdale Elementary School celebrated “Bob Mayer Appreciation Day” on Tuesday, Nov. 12, to honor the longtime physical education teacher and coach on his 45th anniversary as a Bloomfield School District educator. The entire school came out for the event, with students sitting on the floor of the gymnasium to hear Principal Lauren Barton laud Mayer, a Bloomfield High School graduate in the Class of 1969. In attendance were School Superintendent Sal Goncalves, Assistant School Superintendent Joe Fleres, Recreation Director Mike Sceurman and BHS Athletic Director Steve Jenkins.
“We celebrate you today, on this 45th day of school,” Barton said. “We as educators can only strive to have the same dedication to our careers as you have had.”
Barton provided statistics to underscore Mayer’s longevity and success. She said he taught approximately 16,000 children during 8,000 school days and has coached BHS girls soccer and softball teams for 23 and 31 years, respectively, for 726 combined wins, second only to legendary coach Bill Foley. Barton, who grew up in Bloomfield, also added personal recollections.
“I first met Mr. Mayer when I was a kindergarten student at Demarest,” she said. “You helped me learn to skip, dribble a basketball and coached me in the shuttle run. You helped show me the importance of how physical education is more than just playing sports. You take the time to teach all students, no matter what their ability is. You teach the fundamentals of how to be a good friend and teammate. These are some of the many reasons why you still make such a positive impact 45 years later.”
Barton noted that Mayer has taught physical education at Brookdale, Demarest, Oak View and Franklin elementary schools.
Goncalves called Mayer “Mr. Bloomfield” and told the assembled students that “Mr. Mayer is someone we want to be like when we grow up.”
Barton then said it would not be Mr. Mayer Day without exercise, so a number of older students came to the front and led the assembly in exercises, one grade level at a time, with each grade given a different exercise to perform.
Following the celebration, Mayer said he is a lucky man to have worked for so long in a job he loves. He thanked the Brookdale staff for being incredible and the party continued to the library for refreshments.