Alumni Spotlight: Mr. Paul Korzinski


Courtesy HHS

HHS Alumni Paul Korzinski

Kieran McAllister, Staff Writer

Paul Korzinski is a 1944 Hawthorne High School Alumni. He is the Paul of Paul’s Volvo right on Goffle Road. In 1943, he enlisted in World War II to help our country and left Hawthorne High School when he was almost about to graduate. You may catch Mr. Paul Korzinski at his shop or attending an event here a Hawthorne High School. The Clarion was able to meet up with Mr. Korzinski to ask him about his experience at Hawthorne High School and Paul’s Volvo.


Clarion: What year did you graduate from Hawthorne High School?

Korzinski:I left Hawthorne High School in 1943 and enlisted in the Air Force to fight in World War II. When I came home from the war, I took courses and got a high school degree. Then I went to the Army and graduated from Pennsylvania Military College where I took courses in business/economics.


Clarion: Did you attend Hawthorne Public Schools your whole life?

Korzinski: I went to Roosevelt for Kindergarten all the way to eighth grade. At the time North Haledon and Prospect Park, combined with Hawthorne Schools so, throughout my years of schooling I had friends from three different towns.


Clarion:Did you enjoy your time at HHS?

Korzinski: I absolutely enjoyed the time I had at Hawthorne High School.


Clarion: Did you play any sports or were you a part of any clubs?

Korzinski: I played for the football team and I loved going to any dances the school had. After all the football games, we would go out dancing.


Clarion: Who were your rivals for sports at HHS?

Korzinski: At the time we were in the same league as Ridgewood, Ramsey, and Pompton Lakes. Our biggest rival was Ramsey.


Clarion:What was your favorite part of High School?

Korzinski: When I was in high school, I liked all the shop classes, like Woodshop and Metal Shop…History and Geography courses, and Spanish class as well.


Clarion: Today, kids come to school dressed in what they are comfortable in, i.e. sweatpants sweatshirt, was it like that when you attended HHS?

Korzinski: Well, we always wanted to look nice for the girls, but we would come to school in jeans and a nice shirt.   


Clarion: In your opinion, what is one of the classes that the High School has lost over the years that you think was vital in our education?

Korzinski: I think the loss of the shop classes is very upsetting because I think it’s very important for an individual to learn to use his/her hands. Not to mention, shop and home economics taught you skills that you would use for the rest of your lives.


Clarion: Did you know your wife in high school?

Korzinski: I knew her indirectly in high school. She went to St. Joseph’s in Paterson, but I met her at my aunt’s house during High School. I really started talking to her when I saw her at my doctor’s office where she was a doctor’s assistant.


Clarion: Did your children or grandchildren attend Hawthorne High School?

Korzinski: Two out of four of my children attended Hawthorne High School. Two of my children actually operate and work at Paul’s Volvo today.  


Clarion: How long has Paul’s Volvo been open?

Korzinski: My father opened up the original shop in Brooklyn in 1916. In 1920, the shop moved to Hawthorne where I helped my father as I grew up. Then around 1950, I took over the shop.


Clarion: Do you have any siblings that worked at your father’s business as well?

Korzinski: I have one sister and she didn’t help at the shop. She actually worked for a fashion editor for a newspaper called the Elizabeth Journal and the Newark Paper.


Clarion: How do you feel about technology in today’s society?

Korzinski: When I was in high school we didn’t have cellphones; we only had landlines. At times, 3 or 4 of us would be talking on the phone at the same time. I feel like it has positive and negative affects on today’s society though. I think a negative aspect is the loss of communication and a positive aspect is the new technology in cars. Cars today are advanced and extremely safe because of the new technologies.


Mr. Paul Korzinski is a great part of our community of Hawthorne; we hope that many more students of Hawthorne High School end up being just as successful as him after they graduate.