The legendary Dwight D. Eisenhower would be envious at the amount of salutes that were delivered on Tuesday, January 31, at the school that is named after the historic general and U.S. President.
On this late afternoon, Joe Diskin bid farewell to the Eisenhower Intermediate School, where he had proudly served as the Principal.
Mr. Diskin retired from the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District, where he had worked all 23 years as the Eisenhower Principal.
He launched his new career on the following day, Wednesday, February 1, as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Metuchen.
“It is a new opportunity. I will bring leadership to the program and will work with the school principals,” Mr. Diskin said.
He reported that the Metuchen Diocese contains 17 schools and covers areas of Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties.
But before he said goodbye to the staff and students of Eisenhower, they made a loud point to say goodbye to their beloved leader.
The entire student body and staff lined up the hallways of the school and delivered a clap-out ceremony while Mr. Diskin walked throughout the corridors on the late afternoon of January 31..
The participants had plenty to say about their retiring principal.
“There is no one like Joe Diskin,” claimed Lauren Smith, who is the Eisenhower Choral Program Co-Director. “He is the absolute best.”
Liz Barboni, a Grade 5th/6th Language Learning Disabilities Teacher at the school, echoed Ms. Smith’s appraisal.
“He is the most inspiring person, just amazing,” she said. “Everyone feels the same way about him.”
Yes, they do.
Mr. Diskin’s loyal administrator, Assistant Principal Laura Zamrok, summed him up perfectly.
“They don’t make them like Joe.”
Gabe Sofia and his sister, Kim Sofia, both 6th Graders enjoyed their time here with Mr. Diskin.
“He made school fun,” Sofia said.
“He was amazing,” Gabe added.
Mr. Diskin’s career in education came after he earned his Education degree at Rutgers University and then his graduate degree in Education Administration at Kean University. He was a standout discus thrower on the Rutgers outdoor track and field team.
His first position in education came in Dunellen where he worked for five years as a Health and Physical Education Teacher. He spent two more years in that same role in Morris County’s Rockaway Township and then stepped up to the position of Assistant Principal for Grade K-5 in Sparta for two more years.
He was then appointed as a Principal in Saddle Brook, where he worked in the Bergen County school district’s Grades K-6 for five years.
During his stops, he served as a coach in football, basketball and track and field.
He resides in Mountainside with his wife, Kate, and has two sons, Ryan, who is a sophomore at Auburn University, and Matthew, who is a sophomore at Governor Livingston Regional High School in Berkeley Heights.
Matthew is a rising star in baseball and already committed to continue playing in college at Stetson University in Florida. Ryan is active at Auburn as a member of the Alabama college’s highly acclaimed bass fishing team.
While Mr. Diskin exited the doors at Eisenhower, a new leader —one well known and well respected in the school district–began on Wednesday, February 1.
Dr. Laura Bassett, who has served as the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District’s Supervisor of Arts Education since 2017, is the new Principal at Eisenhower.
Under her guidance, the school district’s Fine & Performing Arts program has thrived and is regarded as one of the finest scholastic programs in all of New Jersey.
One person who will long remember Mr. Diskin is Steve Fenton, who teaches Health and Physical Education at Eisenhower.
“He is a person who will change your life,” Mr. Fenton declared. “He will leave an everlasting feeling on you that can only be described as love.”
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