b'An Alum of ManyTalents Visits Columbia High School Students meet Ahmed Best, class of 1991BY ELLEN DONKERC olumbia High School recently welcomed Ahmed Best,attended Maplewood Middle School and Columbia High School. A member CHS class of 1991, to speak to the students on behalf ofof the marching band, choir, debate club and Parnassian Society (the student the Don Hamingson Literary Showcase. Don Haming- drama society), Best loved music, acting and dancing. It was at CHS that he son was a teacher of English at Columbia High Schooldeveloped a love of Shakespeare. for 35 years and the late director emeritus of The SouthBest went on to study percussion at the Manhattan School of Music and be-Orange-Maplewood Adult School. To honor and cel- gan his career as a star in the Broadway musical Stomp, touring with the cast ebrate his love of the English-languagefor eight shows a week in the US and Europe. He then was cast arts, his dedication to teaching his students, and his years ofin the Star Wars prequelsThe Phantom Menace, Attack of the directing the programs of the Adult School, the Literary Show- Clones and Revenge of the Sithas Jar Jar Binks, the first CGI lead case Committee selects a speaker who is a CHS graduate andcharacter in a motion picture. isinvolvedintheartsasapro- Best is a graduate of the Amer-fessionalwriter,journalist,poet,ican Film Institute and currently screenwriter, or film director. serves as a Senior Fellow at USC Best,whoisanactor,writer,Annenberg School for Commu-director, producer, musician, host,nication and Journalism, the host futurist and professor, told the stu- of the Afrofuturist podcast and a dents about his background. Heco-founder of the AfroRithm Fu-was born in the Bronx (he has atures Group.twin brother, Khalid) and recalledHespoketostudentsabout Former CHS English teacherhis time there as a child when HipAhmed Best encouragedhis work and inspiration and en-Carol Petrallia introducedstudents to be the signal in Best to the students. Hopwasemerging.Bestregaleddesigning the future.couraged them to be the signal the students with his memories ofand believe that they could play a Grandmaster Flash, a pioneer of Hip Hop DJing, playing outdoors at neighbor- part in designing the future. hood parties. He and his brother loved hearing the loud music through theirBests parents, Ahmondylla and Bahati, who(L to R) Bests mother, Ah-mondylla, his twin brother, windows. His parentsnot so much. stillliveinMaplewood,andhistwinbrother,Khalid, and father, Bahati, When Best was in middle school,his family moved to Maplewood, and heKhalid, were in attendance.were in attendance.BASS FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC REGISTER NOW FOR CAMP & 202324 SCHOOL YEAROUR WARM AND WELCOMING SCHOOL PROVIDES A HANDS-ON, PLAY BASED CURRICULUM FOR Treatment and Rehabilitation for CHILDREN AGES 18 MONTHS TO 5 YEARS OLDHeadachesNeck PainBack Pain Schedules to fit your familys needs year round8am5:30pm, 9am2pm or 9am12pm Sports/Gym-Related Injuries ulti-indoor play spacesBE PART OF Disc ProblemsPinched Nerves on enrichment OUR VIBRANTm YOUNG FAMILYr n o nting workshopsAuto InjuriesPregnancy-Related Aches t e COMMUNITY!o utdoor space f r e sensorya ag e p e xploration Schedule a visit!Most Insurance Plans Accepted a rtumbling DANIELLE WEITZlf a mily events r e PRESCHOOL DIRECTOROur current hours are Mon - Fri 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.u art 973-763-0113We are following CDC safety guidelines.DR. WAYNE BASS a t dweitz@bethelnj.orgnTeleHealth Consultations available.bethelnj.org222 Irvington Avenue 491B Valley Street, Maplewood973-378-BASS (2277)BassFamilyChiro.com South Orange16/ matters magazine / winter 2023'