The Williston community gave a roaring standing ovation in Assembly today after the editors of The Log dedicated its pages to longtime beloved teacher and coach Academic Dean Greg Tuleja. Below is the dedication, which will appear in the 2019 yearbook, called “Hear Us Roar.”
The Log yearbook is used to document moments in time that have brought us all joy, love, and countless memories. The dedication of the yearbook is tradition has been passed down between graduating students for decades, and with this honor we can give something back to a faculty member that has given us all of their time and energy.
The words, ’Purpose, Passion, and Integrity’ drive us to be the best students, athletes, artists, friends, and citizens that we can be. We are inspired to be our best selves everyday because we are surrounded by role models that have affected our lives in different ways. This dedication is our gift to one of the role models that has forever changed the history of the school, and the lives of hundreds of students.
The editors of The Log would like to dedicate the 2019 yearbook to Mr. Greg Tuleja. Mr. Tuleja has made a long lasting impact on the Williston community. He began his career here as a music teacher in 1983 after receiving his bachelors degree (in biology!) at Rutger’s University and a master’s degree in music and flute performance at the Mason Gross School of Rutger’s University. Mr. Tuleja has also spent time a college counselor, English teacher, class advisor, dorm parent & dorm head, discipline committee chair, and AP coordinator.
As Ms. Evelti explains, “Mr. Tuleja has been an incredible colleague, mentor, and friend. I’ve learned and grown in innumerable ways by working with him, but what I believe I’ve admired most is his ability to listen with intention and act with careful thought and empathy. I’ve also learned that no matter how complex or dire a situation might be, that it’s always better solved with a healthy dose of humor!”
She recognizes his connection with the students: “Students adore Mr. T! I believe that his generosity as a listener combined with his endless energy, young spirit and, again, willingness to laugh, makes him an excellent teacher, coach, advisor, and administrator.”
When Mr. Tuleja is not in his office helping students as the Dean of Academics, he can be found sitting in on classes, writing (and publishing!) poems, enjoying literature, collecting first edition books (he has 400+ first editions!), or playing his flute. Every fall, he dedicates his time to being the head coach of the Williston Girls Cross Country team.
“Mr.T has affected my life in ways that I cannot begin to describe,” Maddy Scott ’16 writes. “GT, as we call him always has an upbeat and chirpy attitude, a goofy sense of humor, and has the most comforting and uplifting of words when you need them. He has impacted my life in such a way that my undying love for Williston was truly sprung from my appreciation for him! I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to be mentored by him in life and in running for three years.”
Natalie Aquadro ’17 says, “Meeting Mr. T as a 14 year old was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. Not only did I gain a coach and a mentor, but I also gained a friend for life. He taught me how to be a better person and friend through his unbeatable ability to care and listen, and his never ending jokes that can put a smile on anyone’s face. I would not be nearly the confident person I am today if it weren’t for him.”
Anyone who has the pleasure of meeting Mr. Tuleja can instantly see his passion for teaching students and inspiring the best in all of us. Dean of Faculty Mr. Valine boasts, “What I respect most as an administrative colleague is his consistency in being a guardian of academic integrity. He is universally respected as an administrator who doesn’t shy away from his role in enforcing an accountability to the highest standards of honesty and trust, but also fulfills this mission in a way that treats everyone with respect and fairness, a tough balancing act that he navigates with dedication and consistency (and with good humor at times).”
His endless knowledge of music and the world are complemented well by his sense of humor that can always brighten up anyone’s day. His love for Williston and its students has truly made our school the, “home away from home” that it is. His wife Frances is proud to describe him as, a “man of great intelligence, integrity and humor. He’s a wonderful father and husband.”
On behalf of the graduating class, we would like to thank you, Mr. Tuleja. We are dedicating The 2019 yearbook to you, for all of the years that you have dedicated to us.