April 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM
TRENTON, NJ — Westfield High School’s Youth and Government (YAG) club was named Outstanding Delegation for its participation at this year’s conference in Trenton this past weekend. In addition to the delegation’s overall award, several WHS students received individual recognition.
“Our Westfield delegation performed exceedingly well. I knew that we had a very strong, well prepared, and motivated group,” said club advisor David Della Ferra. “The students were enthusiastic and diligent in their preparations, and our club officers did an excellent job fostering a cooperative spirit.”
Three WHS students, seniors Alexa Derman and Sam Gruskin and junior Koryn Kraemer, served as officers at this year’s conference. Six WHS students were elected this year to serve as officers for next year’s conference: juniors Ed Dellarso, Koryn Kraemer, Andrew Kuznetsov, Andrew Zale and sophomores Frank Guerriero and Bryanna Reinhardt.
Kraemer said that his experience as a YAG officer was “an empowering experience in which I had the ability to positively influence the lives of others while making new friendships.”
The premier statesperson title was awarded to senior Jonathan Kelly and juniors Zale and Kuznetsov. Junior Margaret Meyo won the Premier First Year Judicial Delegate award.
“I really enjoyed this new experience. I learned a lot and met so many interesting people. I’m really happy I chose to do YAG this year,” said Meyo.
At the conference, WHS students prepared their own bills to be debated in a mock government at the conference. Junior Jared Geoghan and sophomore Bryanna Reinhardt both received the Outstanding Legislation award for their respective bills. Six other WHS students successfully passed their bills all the way through the mock senate, assembly and governor: juniors Dellarso and Kuznetsov, sophomores Guerriero, Isabella Gelfand, Maya Jonsson and freshman Jared Bansky.
In addition to the awards and recognition, Della Ferra said that he enjoys hearing the students say how much fun they had.
“Being in the State House elevates the whole experience for everyone involved, and I think newer members are always amazed at how welcoming and supportive the hundreds of participants are,” said Della Ferra. “They make a lot of new friends from around the state, and many of them keep these friendships for years.”