MAYOR BOLLWAGE SUPPORTS INCLUSION OF THELMA HURD TO NJ HALL OF FAME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelly Vence
908-820-4124
Public Information Office
 
 
MAYOR BOLLWAGE SUPPORTS INCLUSION OF THELMA HURD TO NJ HALL OF FAME 
 
ELIZABETH, NJ—April 30, 2015 — Mayor J. Christian Bollwage is proud to announce that The New Jersey Hall of Fame has announced 50 nominees in five categories – Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service, and Sports. One of those candidates is the late Dr. Thelma Conely-Hurd, a longtime Elizabeth educator, who made a difference in the lives of young people for generations.
 
“Dr. Hurd’s impressive career continues to serve as a role model for educators and demonstrated how each one of us can help build a better community through service, said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “She was an inspiration to all and the City of Elizabeth fully supports her nomination into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.”
 
Having earned a doctorate in educational administration, Dr. Hurd first began her career in education in 1960. Four years later she was hired as one of the Elizabeth school district’s first African American faculty members. During her tenure, she served as a teacher at Robert Morris School #18, as a guidance counselor at Battin High School and vice principal of Cleveland Junior High School. She spent the final 40 years of her career as the principal of John Marshall School No. 20. 
 
Dr. Hurd was influential in enforcing a stable learning environment for thousands of children from the surrounding neighborhoods of Elizabeth. During her leadership, School #20 was transformed into a top performing elementary school, where students tested at or above state averages in most categories on No Child Left Behind exams.
 
After fifty-one (51) years of educating, she retired in 2011 at John Marshall School #20, where her philosophy on education and strict adherence to the rules established her as one of the most celebrated educators in New Jersey.
 
“Dr. Hurd performed her duties with the utmost excellence. She was a talented, hardworking, and caring individual, who focused upon providing the best education to the students of Elizabeth,” said Councilwoman-At-Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this nomination than Dr. Hurd. Her firm commitment to excellence will always be remembered.” 
 
According to her obituary in 2013, in addition to education, Dr. Hurd served on the Human Rights Commission for Elizabeth as member and Chair for over three decades. She also dedicated her time to the Board of Directors of the Poconos Ranchlands, Elizabeth Port Presbyterian Scholarship Board, was a lifetime member of the NJEA, NAACP and was President of the Cottagers (Martha's Vineyard). In addition, she was also involved in numerous community and faith-based endeavors. Her many contributions have been recognized at the local, regional and national levels.
 
The 8th class of New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees will be announced early this summer.