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Four Decades Later: Emotional Reunion For Saddle Brook LMS Class Of 1975

LMS graduate Mary goes back to school.
LMS graduate Mary goes back to school. Photo Credit: Suzy Siok
Ed Gattie's class.
Ed Gattie's class. Photo Credit: Suzy Siok
Gattie and three of his former students.
Gattie and three of his former students. Photo Credit: Suzy Siok
Members of the class of 1975 writes letters to students.
Members of the class of 1975 writes letters to students. Photo Credit: Suzy Siok
John and Dave pen letters.
John and Dave pen letters. Photo Credit: Suzy Siok
A graduate and a student.
A graduate and a student. Photo Credit: Suzy Siok
Single-file lines down the stairs.
Single-file lines down the stairs. Photo Credit: Suzy Siok
Marc and Carl read in the library.
Marc and Carl read in the library. Photo Credit: Suzy Siok

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. — After 41 years, the Saddle Brook Long Memorial School Class of 1975 was together again.

Classmates Lisa Latrenta of Clifton and Sue Siok of Saddle Brook organized the weekend-long celebration that began Friday evening at the Midland Brew Ale House,

Among the 32 of the 72 classmates in attendance that night was Lisa Falato, who traveleed the farthest from Florida.

Former teachers Stan Yarosz, Mr. Ed Gattie, Anthony Barckett, Janice Siconolfi Morrell and Laurel Feigenbaum Schoen also came out "which made the evening even more special," Siok said.

The reunion continued on Saturday morning with a breakfast at the Saddle Brook Diner. Former Principal Albert Gorab, Jr. and his wife, Phyllis came to eat. Gorab was the first principal of the school.

A tour of the school following breakfast was hosted by current principal Jaynellen Jenkins, and current students, Madison Callea and Skyler McGuire. Each of the teachers prepared a banner and letters for the graduates' arrival.

"There is just something special about revisiting the joy of your formative years in the same location and with those who meant the most to you during your adolescence," said Jenkins, in her second year as the school's principal.

"It was a day that is sure to remain among my all time favorite events that I had the chance to take part in through my role."

A highlight of the tour for Siok was "going into Mr. Gattie’s old 8th grade classroom and finding a 'time capsule' of student signatures on the bulletin board which was covered with construction paper," she said.

"I believe that [Gattie] allowed his homeroom students to sign the bulletin board at the end of every school year. We were allowed uncover the bulletin board to sign the board and put our 'mark in history'for future students to uncover," Siok said.

The class of '75 spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the school and seeing its kindergarten classrooms, gym and cafeteria.

"It was very emotional and surreal being back to where it all began for us, where many friendships were formed," Siok said.

"Saying good-bye was bittersweet, especially to Mr. Gorab who told me how much this day meant to him and that he would remember it for the rest of his days.

"He was clearly very emotional, as was I and many of my classmates. It truly was a weekend to remember and one that I know I will treasure for the rest of my days," Siok said.

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