SANDY HOOK – US Coast Guard Auxiliary member Robert M. Hook was honored by the Monmouth County Education Association as a Friends of Education professional at the Association’s annual Scholarship and awards dinner recently, held at iPlay America Event Center, Freehold.
Hook, who retired from the Treasurer’s Department of the NJ Institute of Technology in Newark after 33 years, was honored for his 19 years at MAST, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology, where he has taught boating safety classes.
A native of Massachusetts, Hook earned his undergraduate degree from Tufts University, and his masters and Masters of Business Administration degrees at Monmouth University. He also served in the US Naval Reserves for 14 years and had been with the disbursements division of New Jersey Bell Telephone Co. for 14 years.
Dr. Brian McAndrew, a member of the Monmouth County Vo-Tech Board of Education, was honored along with Hook duing the ceremony, which featured Friends of Education Award presentations to state and federal legislators, teachers, and others honored for their advocacy, information and services within Monmouth County public schools.
Hook’s dedication towards helping others is not limited to MAST. He is a former member of the Lunch Break Board of Trustees, the Red Bank program he served for six years, the Red Bank YMCA India Guide youth program, and River Plaza Boy Scouts, where he volunteered for 15 years.
He became active with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1995, and was trained for crew, vessel examiner, and instructor. At MAST, he has instructed more than 1500 students in boat safety. In addition to MAST, through the Auxiliary, he is also involved in their Water and Kids Program which instructs youngsters from kindergarten through the third grade in six elementary schools in the area, giving lessons to nearly 10,000 children during that time.
A widower, Hook was married to his high school sweetheart for 57 years until her death. He is a member of the United Methodist Church of Red Bank and has three children and two grandsons.
“We are delighted the Monmouth County Education Association recognized and honored Bob for his dedication to MAST’s cadets,” said Earl Moore, MAST principal. “He has been a vital part of our program, an instructor highly respected and beloved by the students, and an important role model in dedication and safety.”