Forty-three-year-old radio prankster and Z-100 Morning Show co-host Skeery Jones was inducted into the Mark Twain Alumni Hall of Fame at the school’s fourth annual gala, held on Friday, March 31 at Gargiulo’s, 2911 West 15th Street.
The event raised an estimated $45,000 to be spent on infrastructure for the very first time.
Following a commencement speech at a graduation ceremony last June, Jones — whose sister is a former math teacher at the school — has stayed easy to reach because of his family’s involvement in the local community, according to school principal Karen Ditolla. According to Ditolla, close to 300 attendees were present at the event, including Coney Island Councilmember Mark Treyger, a turnout which was made possible by the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
Ditolla also said it was a part of her vision as a principal to find ways to “tap into the alumni and bring them back,” right after she commended the PTA for their diligence and hard work. This year’s gala differs as the amount raised is higher than ever before, Ditolla said will be spent on air conditioners she hopes are installed over the summer and ordered as soon as this spring.
“The Parent Teacher Association wants to benefit all kids,” she said, “rather than a single talent.” This, she added, is why the proceeds from the last three years have been spent on 1,300 iPads for every student, as part of a technology initiative for the attendees.
Aside from performance vignettes from this year’s musical “The Little Mermaid,” senior students from every department prepared photo montages and videos of what they’ve done throughout the year as well as talent-themed raffle baskets. The one for the drama department included a signed poster and tickets to “A Bronx Tale,” while a tailored vocal raffle basket had tickets to a show at the Met.
Mark Twain is located at 2401 Neptune Avenue.