A Tribute to Michael Silvoy
Michael Silvoy has cultivated the culture of East Stroudsburg School District for the last 35 years of his life. Some may know him simply as the guy that sets up school events, but others know he's much more. Silvoy not only plans and carries out events, but also enhances them. From small ceremonies to regional events, Silvoy and his crew have worked as hard as they can to transform venues into elaborate occasions for many years.
Although, his work in organizing events dates back further than his job here. Silvoy got involved backstage when he went to Bethlehem Catholic High School. Following graduation, he served in the Military as an Army medical lab technician, including being stationed in Vietnam during the war. In 1972, he married his wife Carol, with whom he had two children, Francine and Michael. His work in this district didn’t start until 1983 when his daughter, Francine, started kindergarten in the district. She soon got involved in band, and supporting his kid as any parent would, by the late 80’s, Silvoy became a band parent. This soon led to his help as a stage manager and the creation of his Abe Lincoln character in elementary schools. Over time, his daughter’s involvement in her school resulted in his gain of generations of children for years to come.
Since then, Silvoy has contributed a tremendous amount of his time to our school. He has helped with building sets for drama, roadshows for the elementary schools, promoting recycling with the green team, hosting the regional student government conference, graduation, and so much more. Out of all of the events, though, his favorite has always been the Baccalaureate service that honors the graduating senior class. It’s the one event in the high school that has no awards or grades. Instead, everyone shows up because they want to. Being the only school left in the district to continue the tradition, Silvoy has luckily gotten to be apart of this ceremony reflecting the past and future. His input to the community may be his job, but the bonds he has created with our students and even teachers is more important than any amount of money. The greatest gift anyone could give him was simply trying. He accepted anyone who wanted to join in his crew, no matter the time of year. It never mattered what skill any person had because even though it took a little longer, watching someone advance from knowing nothing to teaching others was his favorite part of it all. He especially loved when alumni came back or wrote to him because in the end, this is what it was all about.
Despite all the benefits, of course, as it is for any person, some things were harder than others. While working here he also took full time jobs as an optician at Monroe Optical, a manager at two convenient stores, and a sexton in the presbyterian church. And still on top of all these responsibilities, Silvoy found the most difficult task was trying to transform the cafeteria in an hour and a half. But this didn’t stop him and his crew from working to get things done until the very end. In some years he had lean crews, while in others very prosperous crews. But either way, he emphasized to every student that nothing is impossible in high school. He never told a kid “no”, but rather “let’s try it.” This was such a regularly known concept, even one of his students dedicated the poem “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar Albert Guest to him. And after it all, his biggest or only regret was not finding a job that could’ve given him a cozier retirement. However, with a different job or not, his unforgettable involvement in his community is something he’d never change.
Michael Silvoy has dedicated his life to our community for many years, but all good things must come to an end. He felt now was the right time to retire because with each year it became harder to go. Knowing now that he would be leaving with a great group of kids to carry on his legacy, Silvoy could now do all the things he had been wanting to do. With his retirement, he can finally work on the house he’s been putting off for 20 years, do some gardening, and most importantly, spend more time with his family. However, although he will no longer be here, his school spirit lives on. All everyone needs to do is try to find more ways to get involved in the school, rather than with just sports or music. Additionally, students who are already involved should bring in students who aren’t into their groups. This was always Silvoy’s goal, and now, it is his last request. Whether you know him or not, the entire school and community have seen and been impacted by the phenomenal effort he has exerted. Overall, Silvoy’s work is done, but he will forever be apart of the East Stroudsburg family.