Gerald P. Butler Athletic Hall of Fame

In celebration of the achievements and contributions of our student-athletes and coaches, the Alumnae/i Association formed the Oak Knoll School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. The purpose of the Oak Knoll School Athletic Hall of Fame is to recognize athletes, athletic teams, coaches, and administrators who have made significant contributions to Oak Knoll School athletics through their service, performance, dedication, commitment, or accomplishments.

In May 2016, the Hall of Fame was renamed The Gerald  P. Butler Athletic Hall of Fame to honor the achievements of Oak Knoll’s athletic director, who shaped Oak Knoll athletics for more than 43 years.

Hall of Fame Inductees

Courtney was a three-sport athlete at Oak Knoll, playing field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. Not only did she play all 12 seasons of her high school career, but she also excelled at every sport. She was named all-county, all-conference, and all-state in field hockey; she was a 1,000-point scorer in her career and third all-Union County in basketball; and named all-conference, all-prep, and all-state in lacrosse, scoring 100 goals in her career. Among many other impressive accolades, The Independent Press chose Courtney as the 2005 girls high school Athlete of the Year. And, of course, she was also named the OKS Athlete of the Year. 

Around the time when Courtney played, she and her teammates set the foundation for what Oak Knoll athletics is today. They put Oak Knoll sports on the map in the state of New Jersey. Not only did Courtney contribute to Oak Knoll athletically, but she also excelled academically and held leadership positions in the school, such as being the Student Body President. Courtney could have played any of her three sports in college and chose to play lacrosse at Georgetown University, where, as a freshman, she was named the Sheehan Stanwick Rookie of the Year for the lacrosse team. 

Courtney earned her B.A. from Georgetown and now works as a Neurosurgical Nurse Practitioner. She is dual-certified as a Family and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She went on to earn a BSN from New York University and her MSN-NP from Columbia University. She’s the mother to Luke and Ben, wife to Adam, and a proud driver of a minivan. 

She is a true competitor who played with joy and grace. She wasn’t concerned about awards and accolades and did the little things that made her teammates and team better. Besides her amazing athletic ability, Courtney was a terrific leader. She was THE best teammate and friend. She was funny, encouraging, and always included everyone. And that is what being an Oak Knoll athlete is all about.

Oak Knoll field hockey coaches Ali Sumas Good ’95 and Christina Sumas ’98 were inducted into The Gerald P. Butler Athletic Hall of Fame at the Chatham Fields in a Fall Homecoming ceremony. Ali Hubschmann ’07 gave heartfelt remarks on what Ali and Christina have meant to their players through the years. She highlighted their consistent coaching and kindness that extends far beyond the field hockey field.

Ali Sumas Good has been Oak Knoll’s Field Hockey Coach for 15+ seasons and was named the 2019 National Coach of the Year and the 2017 New Jersey Coach of the Year. Coached by both Good and Sumas, Oak Knoll’s field hockey team finished No. 1 in the country in 2019, and both coaches have coached numerous All-American and all-state players throughout their coaching careers.

Michelle Cesan Duffy ’09 virtually accepts the Athletic Hall of Fame award as she awaits the arrival of Isabella Anne Duffy, who joined her big sister Cecilia.

At Oak Knoll: Field hockey and lacrosse

Did you know?  Named New Jersey Athlete of the Year in 2008, Michelle was a four-time First Team All-Conference choice for field hockey at Oak Knoll. She garnered many awards for her athleticism and was recognized in 2008 as a member of the Pan American Junior Championship Team, which finished first in Mexico.

Her athletic achievements continued at Princeton, where she was named an All-American for two seasons, and her team won the NCAA National Championship in 2012. She was a member of the USA Field Hockey Team from 2011 through 2014. That team continued its championship play with a gold at the Pan American Games in 2011. She was named to the Champions Challenge One Team, which finished second in Dublin. In 2012, she was recognized as an Olympic Alternate for the London Olympics.

At Oak Knoll: Field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse

Did You Know: During her senior year, Quinn served as co-captain for the varsity field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball teams.

Her tenure also coincided with some of the best teams of the era, as she was a member of the varsity basketball squad that won the State Prep Division A Championship, as well as a softball team that went undefeated during her sophomore year.

At Oak Knoll: Fencing, tennis, and lacrosse

Did You Know: Murphy was a four-year member of all three teams, having earned varsity status for each as a freshman. She became captain of the fencing team during her sophomore year en route to the squad’s third-place finish in the state championships. She was also an integral piece to the school’s inaugural tennis team in addition to setting the then lacrosse individual season scoring record with 103 goals as a sophomore.

After Oak Knoll: Murphy played lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania, continues to play tennis and paddle tennis competitively, and has coached both tennis and lacrosse.

Athletic Director Gerald P. Butler, for whom the Athletic Hall of Fame is now named, oversaw the expansion of Oak Knoll athletics from a handful of teams playing on small fields to the 14 varsity sports and 36 levels of play between grades 5 and 12 that compete today. He also coached numerous sports, including the varsity basketball team that won the NJIS-A Prep Basketball Championship in 1978. Five members of that team would go on to be the inaugural inductees of the hall in 2010.

At Oak Knoll: Field hockey, tennis, and basketball

After Oak Knoll: Margaret McMenamin Grace ’75 played varsity basketball and tennis at St. Bonaventure University. She later transferred to Notre Dame, where she played forward for the basketball team as a sophomore.

At Oak Knoll: She began her career at Oak Knoll as a physical education teacher in 1985, bringing with her incredible kindness, athleticism and an ability to encourage her students to seek her own personal best.

She also coached softball to grades 5 to 8, as well as the seventh- and eighth- grade girls’ spring tennis team. Cosentino lost her battle with cancer during the summer of 2013, but through her induction, Oak Knoll honors her integrity, courage and memory, as well as recognizes her contributions to the athletic program.

At Oak Knoll: Soccer and basketball

After Oak Knoll:  Cummings later played basketball at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She returned to the Oak Knoll parquet floor in 2012 to serve as assistant coach of varsity basketball. She now serves as head coach.

Did you know? Cummings was among the top 10 scorers in Union County history for soccer and, in 2003, led the team to the Union County championships and the parochial B state finals. In basketball, Cummings was a four-year MVP and Mountain Valley Conference player of the year with 1,357 points on her resume.

At Oak Knoll: Smith, who played softball, field hockey and basketball, served as Athletic Council president during her senior year, and was named co-Athlete of the Year along with classmate Trish Moriarty.

Did you know? She continued her athletic endeavors after Oak Knoll, achieving success as captain of the field hockey team during her junior and senior years at Loyola College. She also played U.S. Olympic club team and returned to coach the sport, as well as lacrosse at Oak Knoll. Smith also played professional golf, and has run several half marathons, marathons and triathlons.

At Oak Knoll: Field hockey, basketball, and softball

Did you know? Kristin O’Brien was a member of the Union County Tournament championship field hockey team in 1991 and was named MVP by her coaches during her senior year. She was also the school’s first-ever recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Award. O’Brien was recognized by the New Jersey Independent Women’s Athletic Association and named Athlete of the Year in 1991.

At Oak Knoll: In addition to basketball, these athletes also played softball and field hockey.

Did you know? The NJIS-A Prep Basketball Champions were coached by fellow Hall of Famer and former Athletic Director Jerry Butler

Other Oak Knoll accolades: Reinhold and Ungrady were named to the All-State softball team in 1979. Carter also scored 1,000 career points in basketball.

Pictured, clockwise from bottom left, are Ryan Martin Ungrady, Peggy Murphy Reinhold, Amalia Duarte, Nancy Denman Schaedel and Helen McMenamin O’Connor – all members of the Class of 1980.

Remote Learning Day
Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Due to the weather forecast and winter storm warning, Oak Knoll School’s campus will be closed on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, and will operate on a virtual learning schedule.

Upper School runs from 8:10 to 12:30. Students should check their email from Mrs. McGroarty for more information.

Lower School students in PreK to grade 2 brought home materials from teachers for optional review and enrichment and may also log in to Clever to access all learning apps. Teachers of students in grades 3-6 will post snow day assignments on the Homework grid on Clever by noon.

All after-school activities have been canceled.