Ted Rudnicki Memorial Page

The Ted Rudnicki Memorial Page is dedicated to the late Mr. Theodore Rudnicki (or was it Thaddeus? Tadeusz?), who taught Physics at Newark Academy, back around 1964. He taught us how to use a slipstick (slide rule). He taught us how to weigh an automobile (out in the school parking lot) using a bathroom scale, board, rule and protractor. He taught us how to calculate the horsepower of a car using a string, a washer, and a protractor (you also need the car's speedometer). He even introduced us to the science of Murphology.

From Cathy Gangemi Goode ‘72:

When Mr. Rudnicki handed back the quizzes, which as I recall were given very often if not daily, he’d hand them back in order from the highest grade to the lowest. (This, I’m sure, would horrify today’s parents.) The top grades were always handed back with a handshake and a congratulations to “Dr. So-and-so”, an honorary degree he bestowed on those who scored within a certain range. That range escapes me as I was NEVER there. The lowest grade in the class received the 10-foot Pole Award, and it was handed back on the end of a yardstick while holding his nose because he couldn’t stand the stench of the miserable failure. Now that was a dubious honor with which I was familiar!

I LOVED Mr. Rudnicki. I spent only my senior year at NA as a member of that first group of female students admitted for the 1971-1972 academic year. As a result, I didn’t have the opportunity to experience all the members of that amazing cast of characters on the faculty. However, Mr. Rudnicki is one that will forever stand out in my mind. Unorthodox? Yes. Offensive by today’s standards? Absolutely! . . . My favorite!

[rec'd 10-2-2014]

To all my Newark Academy Facebook connections:

Started thinking about Mr. Rudnicki today after responding to a post by L Andrew Bernheim, so I did an internet search. I found a memorial page started by another NA grad. I asked if he remembered the "10-foot Pole Award", and he said he had never heard of it and asked me to explain. He's interested in other Mr. Rudnicki stories. Here's the link:


If you have any other stories go to the above link and send them.

  • 2 people like this.
  • George Peck Yes I remember the 10 foot pole award.
  • George Peck Imagine that happening today?
  • Michael Pickert His name was definitely Thaddeus Rudnicki. He called the A students "Doctor" and he seemed crazy but on reflection he taught me work habits I use to this day. RIP Thaddeus
  • L Andrew Bernheim I remember clearly his lesson on the expansion of a bridge in the cold and the calculations ....I got one of the only A s in his class and course...also with Mr Nelke..Funny..
  • George Peck If Navy beats Army
  • Cathy Gangemi Goode OMG!! George, I forgot all about that! Did you send it to the guy at the link above? That's a good one.
  • Cathy Gangemi Goode Andrew, I know it's off the topic, but I remember one day one of the guys in my class slipped flatware into Mr. Nelke's jacket pocket and then told the lunch lady that he was stealing it. Poor man.
  • Alex Matturri Wasn't he known as the Commander because he served on a destroyer?
  • Mari Lou S I had Mr. R for IPS in 9th grade. I was the only female in the class (second year of girls at NA) but since I'd had IPS in 8th grade at another school - the course was somewhat familiar with the class and did well - but I do remember the 10-foot pole ...See More
    4 hrs · Like · 1
  • Harry Hazelwood I had the pleasure of knowing 'Thad' Rudnicki as both a physical science teacher in Form IV,and as a personal friend and personal Life Coach both inside-and-outside of Newark Academy.
    Thad was like part big brother,part Dad,part pain in the Ass,but A
    lways there for me (as well as the other NA students that he taught).
    His great Pride in life was his family which he included me into. His daughter,a RN,MSN Nursing Instructor at the Univ.of Pennsylvania School of Nursing,his grandhildren,his Son-in-Law a former HS football star defensive tackle who he always referred to by his Football jersey number (Number 69),his wood-carving and furniture-remodeling hobby,and his beloved dog 'Max' (a stray that he took in and taught how to beg for Cookies by doing on-command dog trick)!
    He was an Electrical Engineer from Newark College of Engineering (now NJIT) and a former Lieutenant-Commander in t
  • Harry Hazelwood I had the pleasure of knowing 'Thad' Rudnicki as both a physical science teacher in Form IV,and as a personal friend and personal Life Coach both inside-and-outside of Newark Academy.
    Thad was like part big brother,part Dad,part pain in the Ass,but A
    ...See More
    4 hrs · Like · 1
  • Stacie Noyes Hixson I had Mr. R for IPS in 9th grade but he was also a very close family friend! We both lived in Montclair and I often walked over to his house to visit after he retired. He would show me his newest project (he was always picking up furniture etc. off the curbside and refinishing them) and would play ragtime tunes on the piano. He also collected and repaired clocks which he had all over the house - he would set them a few minutes apart so they were constantly chiming!! I would always bring him homemade cookies at Christmas. I remember the Christmas before he died, my mother had run into him somewhere and he told her he really missed my cookies (I was living in NH) so I decided to come to Montclair and surprise him with cookies!! I was pregnant at the time and he gave me a teddy bear for my baby-to-be!! We still have it and named it Tad Bear in his memory!!
    3 hrs · Edited · Like · 1
  • Cathy Gangemi Goode Barry, I hope you're reading these stories. I think this is what you were looking for.
    3 hrs · Unlike · 1


From Wayne Russell '67, Feb 20, 2013:

Well, seems I need to respond to my old Glen Ridge classmate. I made the terrible choice to take physics from “the Crud” during my one year at N.A. Livingston. I remember failing the class for a good part of the year, but my old man arranged for Mr. Rudnicki to do private tutoring for me on several Saturdays leading up to the finals. I did pass with a very low “D”. I remember on one of the tests during the year (apparently during football season) he had a question something like this:

Punter Wayne Russell kicks the football with an initial pounds per square inch of X and the ball reaches an altitude of Y with a following wind speed of Z. How far does the punt travel?

My answer – 625 yards. Thinking back, most people would have rethought that answer.

There is a Theodore Rudnicki in the Social Security Death Index (b. 26 Apr 1915; d. 05 Sep 1988; last residence 07066 Clark, NJ -- Union County; SS# 152-03-5486, issued in New Jersey)

Another Theodore Rudnicki.

There is also a Thaddeus Rudnicki (April 14, 1918 - January 1, 1987) of Montclair NJ 07043.

The following record comes from "US Hospital, Frenchay Park, Frenchay, South Gloucestershire, Record of Admissions 1942 - 1944", found on the Web at  http://frenchaymuseumarchives.co.uk/Archives/Miscellany/US_Hospital_Cases_1942-44.rtf

No Admitted  Name & Rank Organisation ASN  Age battle casualty Diagnosis  Disposition  Date
258  27/10/44 Theodore Rudnicki, S/Sgt; 134th Inf    32240540   29   y  PW rt foot, fcc 4th & 5th metatarsal   Z of I                       3/11/44

Photo of Company C, 32nd Battalion, 3rd Platoon, May 1942 -- including a "Theodore Rudnicki."

If you have any Rudnicki stories or memorabilia, please drop me a line.