New Jersey cheerleading coach dies after 40 years at high school

Photo: Peter Ackerman/APP

New Jersey cheerleading coach dies after 40 years at high school

Cheerleading

New Jersey cheerleading coach dies after 40 years at high school

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St. John Vianney High School’s longtime cheerleading coach has died.

Jayne Shalkowski, who was a guidance counselor and coach at SJV for more than 40 years, died May 21. She was 61.

Shalkowski dedicated most of her life’s work to the Catholic high school in Holmdel, beginning when the school was still relatively new. Saint John Vianney opened its doors in 1969, and is planning 50th anniversary celebrations for the upcoming school year.

“Mrs. S,” as she was affectionately called, also coached cheerleading for 14 years at Montclair State University.

“I have had the privilege of working with Coach Shalkowski for the last nine years,” said Richard P. Lamberson, SJV athletic director, responding to a reporter by e-mail. “She was more than an amazing coach, but a mentor and educator to all SJV students. A caring professional who always put the needs of the students above her own. I cannot put into words how much her presence will be missed here at Saint John Vianney High School.”

Alumni and parents of SJV students left an outpouring of support for Shalkowski and her family on the Saint John Vianney High School Facebook page.

“Mrs. S was a guiding force in so many cheerleaders’ lives, mine included, during our most formative years,” wrote Kelly Davitt Sierra. “My heart goes out to Staci, Bernie and the SJV community at large.”

Jayne Shalkowski coaches St. John Vianney cheerleaders in Holmdel in June 2018. (Photo: Peter Ackerman/APP)

Alumnus Joe Lugara wrote: “My heart breaks hearing this. Mrs S was more than a guidance counselor; she was a friend. I was fortunate enough to see her a few weeks ago and she showed no signs for wear. Just the friendly face I came to know and love. She even said she still had my football picture hanging in her office. That speaks volumes to the kind of person she was. You will be greatly missed by many, Mrs S.”

“I am devastated,” wrote Diane Cugliari, an SJV parent. “My heart is broken. Jayne Ann Shalkowski, you were one of a kind. You were the second mother to my kids. I have told you in the past there aren’t enough words to describe how wonderful you were. I will miss our conversations and seeing your smile. No one will ever fill your shoes. Rest In peace, our sweet lady.”

Born in Staten Island, Shalkowski lived in Middletown with her husband of 37 years, Bernard Shalkowski. She also is survived by her daughter, Staci Shalkowski; her mother, Harriet Jeffreys (nee Glenn); her three brothers, Glenn Jeffreys, Harry Jeffreys, and Richard Jeffreys; her sister, Susan Lang; and many nieces and nephews.

Shaklowski was preceded in death by her father, Richard Jeffreys.

Shalkowski died in Red Bank of causes unstated in the obituary in the Asbury Park Press.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, 115 Tindall Road, Middletown. Funeral services are scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday, May 24, at the funeral home, followed by a funeral liturgy at 9:15 a.m. at St. Catharine’s R.C. Church, Middletown Road, Holmdel.

 In lieu of flowers. memorial donations can be made in Jayne Shalkowski’s name to the American Heart Association at www.heart.org.

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New Jersey cheerleading coach dies after 40 years at high school
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