Plainfield School Taps Patricia Walsh for Hall Of Fame
Longtime friend nominates former Green Brook mayor and current freehold director.
When Janet Carafaro Heinzer saw her alma mater Plainfield High School was accepting nominations for the school's Hall of Fame, she knew one classmate deserved the honor: former Green Brook mayor and current freehold Director Patricia Walsh.
Heinzer nominated Walsh simply because “she deserves it.”
“Patty is so accomplished. Everything she does, she does it well,” Heinzer said proudly. “She has done so many wonderful things. She is also a great friend, as I have known her for over 50 years. She’s unbelievable. She is a dynamic women. She is a friend to everyone, and we are lucky to have her. I want everyone to know it.”
Heinzer shared the story of how they met over 50 years ago.
“I met her in high school, in 1961. We met in homeroom and she sat behind me,” Heinzer said. “First day of school, she sent me a note over my shoulder and we have been friends ever since.”
Walsh, who has numerous awards including the 1998 Outstanding Woman of the Year in Government, said she never did anything because she wanted any recognition.
“I don’t look at all the things that I have done as something that I should be getting awards for, it’s just my life's work and avocation,” Walsh said. “When you look at what all these people have done, it’s amazing. One of the people inducted won a Grammy award. It’s awesome to me. I looked around and said ‘wow, look at all they have done’, so it’s pretty awesome just to even meet these people. Listening to them speak, I felt the same way, it’s not that they were doing this to get recognition.”
Walsh continued, “It’s not the award that makes it worth it, its a personal thing that when you look back and realize what you have done.”
Walsh said that it’s her grandmother that made her the person she is today.
“I was raised by my grandmother,” Walsh said. “My mother passed when I was 10 months old. Her thing was, if you see something that needs to be done, and you can do it, why not do it? A lot of what I do, I got from her.”
Walsh, who is also a home care nurse with Holy Redeemer Homecare, noted that she never feels like she has to go to work.
“If you love what you do, you never have to go to work,” Walsh said. “Everyday that I go in to the county, as freeholder, I learn something new. I love that. I never had any clue what the county does. It’s fun. You meet so many people. I’m enjoying it.”
Walsh shared something that she told many of the kids that were at the induction ceremony.
“Every single person has a gift, but a gift isn’t a gift until you give it away. Find your gift and then share your gift with the world,” Walsh said.
Walsh also made an announcement during the interview.
“I’m gonna run next year for re-election,” she added.