Hauppauge resident Paul Borowski, well-known by local residents for his civic activism, has been named Hauppauge Public School's Distinguished Alumni of 2011.
Borowski is a graduate of Hauppauge's Class of 1978. His willingness to step forward as a civic leader have earned him the nicknames of "The Voice of Hauppauge" and the "Unofficial Mayor of Hauppauge."
"I hope my speech will be inspiring and it will be a little bit entertaining," Borowski said. "I want to stress being active in your community."
The distinguished alumnus said he feels a strong tie and connection to the Hauppauge community.
"I'm very proud to have started at Honey Hollow in first grade," Borowski said. " I'm also very happy my daughter is going to go through the same school system that I did."
He said various teachers including Noel Gish, a retired social studies teacher and local historian, Lily Klima, Bob Druckenmiller and librarian Bill Lupone who inspired him in his studies.
At his own graduation, Borowski said he has many photos of the ceremony but a different moment stands out to him.
"I remember being at one of the alumni's homes on graduation night. All of us, about 20 or so, were in a circle singing the song 'Does anyone really know what time it is?' by Chicago," he said. "It was a very nice connection.
After high school, Borowski went on to receive a bachelor's in Sociology and business from SUNY Albany with a Master's of Business Administration from Pace University. He moved back to Hauppauge in June 2001.
Since 2001, Borowski has spoken out on several community issues from opposing the Iroquois Natural Gas pipeline to fighting in effort to preserve Hauppauge Village Hall during Route 347's reconstruction.
Hauppauge school district's Distinguished Alumni award is given out each year to a graduate who is a distinguished career, community service and/or socially responsible endeavors. The aim of the award is introduce a positive role model to the graduates and school community, according to the district's website.