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James P., 84, of Cliffside Park, passed away Wednesday August 13th, 2014.
Graduated from Cliffside Park High School as one of the most outstanding all-around athletes in football, basketball and baseball, he also attended Saint Benedict's Prep School and was inducted into the St. Benedict's Preparatory School Hall of Fame in 1986.
His higher education was sought at Muhlenberg College, and his MED at Seton Hall University.
He retired as the longest running Superintendent in Bergen County and over 48 years dedicated to the educational system, James P. Colagreco is responsible for much of the educational practices and structures that are still a part of the Cliffside Park School district today. Some of his most proud achievements during his tenure are:
-Instituted foreign languages into the elementary schools
-Deployed a computer curriculum in all grades K-12
-In September of 2000, after 40 years of no new educational construction, the Cliffside Park Middle School was opened. He worked hard to educate people in the importance of this much-needed new school, having the vision and stamina to ensure this effort became a reality. He, himself, lists this as his most prized accomplishment!
This beloved and revered man is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Gloria Colagreco nee Padula, Janice Colagreco, Jamie Jankowski and her husband Ed, Anthony Colagreco and his wife Tanya, and June Colagreco and partner William Burns.
Also survived by his beloved grandchildren, Michelle Allwein, James Allwein, Ryan Jankowski, Justin Jankowski, Bianca Colagreco, Sofia Colagreco and his great-grandchildren, Hunter and Logan Jankowski.
In addition, he is survived by his sister, Marie Wieland of Florida and preceded by his sister Carol Ann Winslade.
James also dedicated much to his community as he served as the President of Cliffside Park Rotary Club, President of Bergen County Superintendent's Association and Chairman of the Bergen County Audio-Visual Commission
Additionally, these achievements did not go unnoticed - In 1985 he was chosen to appear in Who's Who in the East and Who's Who in American Education.
He received many honors during his lifetime, some of which include:
1982 - received from the NJ Dept of Education - Drug Education Award;
1991 - named and honored for his work in education as "Man of the Year" by the Bergen County Leonardo da Vinci Society;
2005 Cliffside Park Chapter of UNICO National - named and honored him as their "Man of the Year."
Relatives and Friends are invited to celebrate his life on Friday at August 15th, 2014 at A.K. Macagna Funeral Home from 4-8 PM, and a Mass will be held at 10 AM Saturday, August 16th, at the Church of the Epiphany, Cliffside Park.
Donations may be made to the James Colagreco scholarship fund, for deserving seniors of Cliffside Park High School.
A.K. Macagna Funeral Home - Cliffside Park
495 Anderson Ave.
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010
Published in The Record on Aug. 14, 2014