In Memoriam -- Jack Prejza (T-8)
May 21, 2020
John Prejza Jr. (Jack), age 78, passed
away peacefully on May 21, 2020 at his home in Half Moon Bay, CA.
Jack was born at home in Monessen, PA on
the coldest day of the Winter. Moving to Antioch, CA in 1949. He graduated
from Antioch High School in 1959. After receiving an AA degree from Diablo
Valley College, he moved on to San Francisco State University graduating in
1964 with a BA in Literature and Language Arts.
Jack joined the Peace Corps in 1965.
Stationed in Artvin, Turkey where he taught ESL for Turkish students from
Elementary through High School ages. He also taught Teachers College and
The Peace Corps was a magical time
indeed, as there he met his future wife. Jack married Stephanie Strelkauskas
on July 13th 1968 in Newark, NJ. For their honeymoon they
travelled cross country to California, in Jack’s first bought car, a 1968
He began his stellar teaching career in
Burlingame. He primarily taught 7th and 8th grade
English at Burlingame Intermediate School, but the list does not stop there.
Prior to his retirement from BIS in 2001, he would pilot the first 7th
grade Core class (English & Social Studies), start a student television
network, co-found Schoolympics, produce over 60 school plays, and receive
Teacher of the Year award in 1987.
In 1976 Jack took on a second career,
co-authoring the Scott Foresman national spelling textbook. This textbook
was used by students in grades 1 thru 8 nationwide through two editions. Let
us not forget Jack authored 5 pulp detective novels (as yet unpublished).
Jack is survived by his wife of 52 years
Stephanie (also T-8), his son Christian (Gabriela), sisters Pat Prejza and
Kathie Fitzpatrick, and their families. Memorial services for Jack will be
held at a future date when his family can all get together to celebrate a
truly blessed life.