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Former Vice Principal Mr. Sauter Educates Students on the Importance of Organ Donation

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Gabriella Gutierrez '20

12 March 2020

On March 4th, the New Jersey Sharing Network held an informative presentation about the importance of organ donation to Passaic Valley’s sophomore and junior classes. Guest speaker and former teacher and Vice Principal Mr. Nicholas Sauter spoke on behalf of the New Jersey Sharing Network and shared his experiences with organ donation and NJ Sharing Network Logo participating in this extraordinary program.

As part of New Jersey’s curriculum, teachers must inform students about organ donation. These lessons are covered every year in tenth grade drivers' education classes. Physical Education and Health teachers invited Mr. Sauter to speak to make the lessons more impactful and real for students.

As an alumnus of Passaic Valley, a former teacher, coach, and Vice Principal, Mr. Sauter has been a prominent figure within the Passaic Valley community. In 2018, Mr. Sauter learned his kidneys were failing and would need a kidney transplant. Due to long wait lists, it became clear he would need a volunteer organ donor. It was then Mr. Sauter and his family turned to the New Jersey Sharing Network for help spreading the word.

NJ Sharing Network Graphic Programs such as the New Jersey Sharing Network do an excellent job spreading awareness statewide. They offer plenty of information and methods for people to help with events. The Sharing Network hosts events such as workshops, support groups, interactive activities, etc.

Mr. Sauter's presentation highlighted the efforts of programs like the New Jersey Sharing Network and informed students on what it means to become an organ donor. This information was vital for the sophomore and junior class as they will soon be filling out information for their driver's licenses. It was the goal of Mr. Sauter and the Health Teachers to provide real-life context to inform their decisions over whether or not to become organ donors themselves.

Mr. Sauter received a kidney from his long-time neighbor and former firefighter Robert Connizzo in February of last year. His presentation to Passaic Valley students marked the one year anniversary of the transplant.