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NJ Governor Chris Christie with honoree Etta Marie Rizzuto

New Jersey Governor Honors Rizzuto Renowned Jefferson Award

Etta Marie Rizzuto, president of the board of the Father Vincent Monella Center of Italian Culture of South Orange, New Jersey, received the New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Award at the Newark Museum. The Jefferson Awards recognized Mrs. Rizzuto for her service and work in the Paterson School District.

Etta was a teacher at East Side High School and Harp Academy in Paterson, New Jersey, retiring at the age of 78.  During those years, she was able to help many children, among them a group of high school students interested in medical careers. She started a program at St. Joseph’s Hospital that led to the start of the Harp Academy of Health Science, part of the Paterson public schools. It is a four-year program where students gain college credits by performing field work in local hospitals. A good number of Etta’s students have gone on to become doctors and surgeons.

Mrs. Rizzuto has been a member of the Father Vincent Monella Center of Italian Culture since it was founded more than 50 years ago and is the president of its Board of Trustees. The members of the Father Vincent Monella Center, in conjunction with the members of its board and its Essex Chapter, congratulate Etta Marie for her dedication to education.