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Ramapo College Honors Little Ferry's Don Nuckel For STEM Program Funds

Philanthropist Donald Nuckel of Little Ferry, center, was honored as a Distinguished Citizen by the Ramapo Foundation. He's shown with his son Donald and daughter Shaelyn.
Philanthropist Donald Nuckel of Little Ferry, center, was honored as a Distinguished Citizen by the Ramapo Foundation. He's shown with his son Donald and daughter Shaelyn. Photo Credit: Submitted

LITTLE FERRY, N.J. – The Ramapo College Foundation honored Little Ferry resident and developer Donald Nuckel at the Rockleigh Country Club for his efforts in bringing an innovative educational program to the Little Ferry school district.

As part of the Nuckel Family's Better Education Starts Today (BEST) initiative, Nuckel provided over $150,000 to Little Ferry schools to start a new Science Technology, Engineering Mathematics (STEM) program for all Pre-K-8 students.

Ramapo College, in conjunction with the district teachers and staff, are running the program.

In accepting the honor, Nuckel described the importance of preparing Little Ferry children with science and critical thinking skills to prepare them as students of the 21st century.

He also stressed the importance of the entire family getting involved with the STEM program through Family Science Nights.

He thanked Dr. Peter Mercer, President of Ramapo College and Dr. Angela Cristini, Director of the STEM Program for Ramapo College, Little Ferry Superintendent of Schools Frank Scarafile, the Board of Education, the teaching staff and the PTA for making the STEM program successful.

Passionate about the Hackensack River, Nuckel is working to create a program called the Corps of Cadets that will provide the experience of using the waterway as a laboratory. Water quality testing, ecological tours of the river, and developing a commitment to environmental stewardship will be part of the program, which will be a a joint venture with the Board of Education, Ramapo College and Hackensack Riverkeeper Bill Sheehan.

Nuckel will fund the program and establish an Ambassadors Program for college students.

Nuckel also announced a scholarship program at Ramapo College in Environmental Sciences for those Little Ferry students who participate in the Corps of Cadets and who have shown leadership through academics and stewardship in protecting the Hackensack River.

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