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School dedicated to tech pioneer after $1M donation

VINELAND (June 16, 2017) -- A dedication and awards ceremony was held in Vineland Thursday evening to not only honor those who excelled in the classroom, but to also honor a person who made a big pledge to students in Cumberland County.

Cumberland County Technical Education Center held a dedication ceremony to rename it to the John F. Scarpa Technical Education Center at Cumberland County. The school honored Scarpa with the name change after his foundation, the John F, Scarpa Foundation, pledged $1 million in November to help fund a scholarship program for the school's students to go to higher education.

"It's special," said Scarpa. "I get to see my name on what I consider to be exceptional. It's a great opportunity for these young men and women in Cumberland County to have the opportunity to get a greater education and do something."

Scarpa has been very successful in the telecommunications field. According to his foundation, Scarpa was one of the driving forces that brought cable television systems to New Jersey. He also developed and operated cellular networks in the country.

The school, located at 3400 College Drive in Vineland, opened this past fall. The 200,000-square-foot vocational high school offers programs that focus on fields such as engineering, law enforcement and nursing. The school's freshman class had 241 full-time students.

Scarpa's pledge garnered him proclamations from Rep. Frank LoBiondo, the State Senate and General Assembly and one from President Donald Trump. Another government official on hand was Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joe Derella.

"Education has been the focus of the entire Freeholder Board for the last five years," said Derella. "To see it finally come to fruition and to add another opportunity for the young people of Cumberland County to pursue educational opportunities is absolutely fulfilling. This is just another level of opportunity for the students of Cumberland County to raise the bar, go after their dreams and be successful. The money will not only be used for scholarships, it will also be used to expand educational programs at the school."

Scarpa hopes that his donation will spur other people and businesses to donate.

"I've started to recruit a lot of people. Part of this community is part of this school. I am looking forward to a lot of folks here offering their support to the scholarship program because that's how important it is to me."

Also occurring at the ceremony, freshman students who had a GPA of 3.5 or higher throughout the first three marking periods received an academic varsity letter. In all, 149 received the honor.

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