The Cliffside Park Education Association (CPEA) hosted a ceremony on May 22 to commemorate a new batting cage in honor of the late Ben Luderer. Luderer was a beloved and respected teacher and coach at Cliffside Park High School. In March 2020, Luderer was one of the first individuals in the North Jersey area to contract Covid-19 and die.
Cliffside Park was his family in many ways, too. Always ready to jump in and help, he was someone everyone in his life could count on to be there. His wife is also a teacher and coach and his mother is a recently retired teacher. For the Luderers the high school and community were just an extension of their family, where everyone was treated with love and kindness. Together with CPEA, they aimed to honor his life.
As coach of the Red Raider’s baseball team, he always wanted to have a batting cage for his players. Baseball was Luderer’s passion. As a player, he was the starting catcher for the 2008 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, New, Jersey) baseball team that finished 33-0 and was crowned as national champions. As a coach, he revitalized the Red Raiders baseball team; his enthusiasm and energy giving the program a much-needed boost. In his last season with the team, they finished undefeated.
Following the dedication, the CPEA held a BBQ for attendees and a kickball game to continue the celebration of Ben Luderer, a life that was dedicated to lifting up his students, colleagues, community, and family.
Cliffside Park Education Association applied for a grant from the New Jersey Education Association to build the batting cage for the school and community. NJEA’s PRIDE in Public Education grant campaign shares the successes of New Jersey’s public schools while building community support and involvement.