Hawthorne Residents Pay Tribute to LMS Teacher Jeffrey Kolk

Daniel Sokolski, Staff Writer

On August 26,2022, The Community of Hawthorne was shaken by the sudden death of 46 year old Jeffrey Kolk. Mr. Kolk was a well respected teacher and coach for Lincoln Middle School, where he taught 8th grade Math for many years. Friends, family, and many from the Hawthorne Community lined up all the way outside his wake to express their condolences for such a community role model.

Mr. Jeffrey Kolk was born in Ilion NY on August 23, 1976. However, he spent most of his life growing up within Hawthorne, until he moved to Glen Rock with his teaching degree in Mathematics. 

He became the father of two daughters, Madeleine and Emerson, who he loved very much and coached  them for the middle school’s girls softball team.

Even though he lived in Glen Rock, Mr.Kolk always had a love for Hawthorne and quickly became a teacher at Lincoln Middle School after receiving his teaching degree as one of the many ways in which he wanted to give back to the community. Mr.Kolk quickly gained a notable reputation at LMS for his love and talent for teaching and his lighthearted, kind persona.

However, Mr.Kolk’s influence and kindness spread far outside the classroom. An anonymous former Lincoln Middle School student, stated, “Not only did Mr. Kolk elevate the standard of math in the Hawthorne school district, he also taught us life lessons and gave us advice on how to pursue our dreams.” 

Outside of school, Jeffrey Kolk loved to lend a hand to those in need. He would assist families with major home improvements such as bathroom and kitchen interior design without expecting anything in return. Such humility carried on throughout Mr. Kolk’s life, with a major focus of his being the environment. Mr.Kolk was known as an avid nature lover who gave back to the environment through the fundraisers he participated in.

All in all, my own words can’t describe well enough the immense social impact this man had on our community. So I will leave you all with quote from Giana Voliono a former LMS student:

“You couldn’t miss [Mr.Kolk’s] cheesy smile passing his class in the hall, or the laughter coming from his room. His students adored him, he was kind, smart and everything you want in a teacher, coach, mentor and friend. Pains me to know I just saw him and now I’ll never get to hear that corky laugh again. He will be extremely missed…”