Ms. Schurdak has been working as an administrator with this age group for over 20 years and is excited to join Pingry, having been struck “by the commitment of the Middle School faculty to educating middle schoolers… They are both serious and joyful about their work.”
Pingry recently dedicated its cross country course to the late Ed Scott, Jr., a member of the Magistri who worked at Pingry from 1968–1995. He taught P.E., drafting, mechanical drawing, and woodshop, and—his best-known roles—coached cross country and track. He amassed a career record of 343-141-3 for both sports and guided the School to nine prep and parochial state titles.
This dedication was Coach Scott’s most recent Pingry honor. He is the namesake of The Edward Scott, Jr. Scholarship Endowment Fund, established by Dan Markovitz ’81 and others (1995), as well as the annual Ed Scott Middle School Cross Country Invitational, created by fellow teacher and coach Victor Nazario P ’90, ’94 (1997). In 2001, he was inducted into Pingry’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Mr. Markovitz, who attended the dedication with his wife, Dr. Lynn Brody ’81, believes strongly in recognizing Coach Scott for inspiring his runners’ growth and development. Among the other attendees were two of Coach Scott’s sons—Ed Scott III and Drew Scott—alumni runners from the 1960s through the 1990s; other members of the Magistri; Coach Matt Horesta and the Boys’ Varsity Cross Country Team; and Coach Sarah Christensen and the Girls’ Varsity Cross Country Team. Coach Scott’s wife, Johnsie, and son, Todd, could not attend.
Director of Athletics and Student Success, and Head Coach of the Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse Team, Carter Abbott expressed her gratitude to work at a school that embraces the values of character, kindness, community, sportsmanship, and commitment, and chooses to honor a man and a role model like Coach Scott. She cited his 1982 Pingry Record interview, in which he said, “It is just as good a feeling seeing the last-place guy improve as it is seeing the first-place finisher improve.” In the same interview, he said that he focused on runners becoming their best, not the best.
“It is my sincere hope,” said Head of School Tim Lear in his closing remarks, “that current and future generations of Pingry runners will make Coach Scott proud by demonstrating honor, character, loyalty, sportsmanship, and kindness—both on and off this course that now bears his name.”
A few of Coach Scott’s other former runners share their memories:
“He understood that, to shape his runners, coercion was not a recipe for success. He spoke quietly and, in that way, drew us into his spell, preferring self-motivators above all. This is what he nurtured.”
Geoff Berlin ’80
“I remember his smile, his soothing voice. I remember that he’d never yell. The most vivid picture I have is of his smile. Always so happy to be with us and coach this sport.”
Lesley (Schorr) Brooks ’87
“I was a reluctant runner, but Mr. Scott saw my potential. Without his supervision and strategic coaching, I don’t think I would have remained on the team. He was a coach who expected dedication, but he was also incredibly compassionate. I still recall his patient, firm voice urging me not to give up. He coached me with explicit interval training throughout the season, which gave me the confidence to continue. He instilled in me a love for running.”
Jenni Knight ’80
“Mr. Edward Scott, Jr. was my greatest teacher . . . because he taught me ethics. For four years, he molded me, stopwatch in hand, Cross Country in the fall, Track in spring, Freshman Year, Sophomore Year, Junior Year, Senior Year . . . Mr. Scott taught the ethics of self-discipline, self-improvement, perseverance against difficulty, and patient training to meet long-term goals . . . For him, any student could win without ever placing first in a race. Running was the medium through which he taught ethics.”
David Osborne ’81
“I never had the sense that I was running for him. This was in spite of his remarkable record of success as a coach. He taught me, as he taught all of us, that we were running primarily for, and against, ourselves . . . he was as gentle and as caring a man as any I had known. One of the gifts I treasure about him to this day is the different kind of masculinity that he modeled for us—as athletes, and as men. He was overwhelmingly patient and kind, gentle in speech and gentle in action. In his presence, and under his tutelage, you were supremely confident of his love and care. I cannot emphasize strongly enough what a gift and a treasure that is to young men of high school age.”
Lou Ruprecht, Jr. ’79
View Photos from the Edward Scott, Jr. Dedication
Contact: Greg Waxberg ’96, Communications Writer, Editor of The Pingry Review