Updated: Three FHS Students Win Warner-Van Houten Scholarships

Board of Education vice-president Ardaman Singh, Olivia Echeverria, Madison Whiting, Maitri Shah and Franklin High School principal Frank Chmiel, left to right, at the scholarship awards. Photo: Ardaman Singh.

Submitted by Phyllis Beals.

Updated: Franklin High School principal Frank Chmiel and Mayor Phil Kramer spoke at the wards ceremony.

Among those attending were Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois, Deputy Mayor Shanel Robinson, Councilman James Vassanella, former Councilwoman Rosalyn Sherman and Former Councilman Daniel Glicklich.

Donations to the fund are still welcome at https://fwhvhscholarship.weebly.com. For more information call 609-474-6483.

Original: Three Franklin High School seniors are the winners of $1,000 scholarships through the Frieda Warner and Harry Van Houten Scholarship program.

The students will formally receive their awards during a luncheon set for 12:30 p.m. May 20 at PJ Cavanaugh’s Irish Pub & Grill, 195 Davidson Ave.

The scholarship winners are Olivia Echeverria, Maitri Shah and Madison Whiting. The three will read their winning essays at the luncheon.

Also scheduled to speak is Frank Chmiel, the new FHS principal.

Tickets for the luncheon are $40 and may be purchased either by paying online at http://fwhvhs.weebly.com or by sending a check to FWHVHS c/o Beals, 6 Alma Ct. Somerset NJ 08873.

For information about placing an ad in the awards program booklet or to make a donation to the fund, visit the web site or call (609) 474-6483.

The scholarship fund was initially established in honor of Frieda Delcos Warner three years after she died in 1994, but later the fund name was changed to include Harry Van Houten, another Franklin Township citizen who was dedicated to public service, life-long learning and education.

In keeping with the principles of living a life that demonstrates commitment to public service and education, whenever possible, scholarships are given to students who are interested in careers in education or public service.

All awardees have a solid record of school and community service. Scholarships are awarded without any inquiry of political party affiliation, and this year the committee did a redacted review of the applications received, to be as impartial as possible.

Warner, a former Township Councilwoman, Deputy Mayor and teacher, developed kidney disease a few years after having her three children and underwent kidney dialysis twice a week, all the while staying active in the League of Women Voters and the JFK Democratic Club. She received a kidney transplant in 1973.

Improving the township’s infrastructure was one of her main priorities.  She was the first recipient of the annual Democrat of the year award in Franklin Township.

Van Houten was a Township Councilman and Board of Education member who, while on the board, created the strings instrumental program in township schools.

A violinist at the time he met his wife in college, Van Houten inspired his children and everyone he knew to be open to new ideas, and curious about the world.  His interests were broad, and included music, religion, history, the natural sciences and politics.

An active volunteer in the Literacy Volunteers of America, he truly believed in lifelong learning.

He remained active in the Bound Brook Community Orchestra right up until his death, and he made sure that each of his children learned at least two instruments each.

Harry was also very involved in supporting Democrats running for office.


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