NEWTON, NJ—The Newton Class of 2020 has been through a lot in their four years at the high school, ending with remote learning and virtual senior awards and graduation ceremonies. The Class of 2020 received $106,025.00 in scholarships the school administrators announced.

The Guidance Staff and administrators at Newton High School said they had worked hard on making this moment acknowledging student achievement special for the graduating seniors nonetheless and a video was made honoring them. The video was released at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 4.

Principal Jeff Waldron, Assistant Principal Dr. Samantha Castro, Athletic Director Ryan Hashway, Superintendent Kennedy Greene and first time as Newton High School Guidance Coordinator, Jessica Kucz, announced the scholarships and awards.

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Some scholarships were presented with a video. The memorial awards had videos from Bryan Bitondo, brother of Gregg Bitondo, Calvin Dwight Pegel’s parents in honor of his memorial scholarship, Danielle from the class of 2000 spoke about the Steven Petro memorial scholarship and the great niece of Shirley Ratti spoke of her memorial scholarship.

Organizations also presented their scholarships via video including the Newton Pride Foundation, Pass-It-Along, Knights of Columbus, Kurt Walton representing TRS and the Rotary Club of Newton, Dirk Kelly the boys' basketball coach, Brian Martin the boys' soccer coach and Jake Mull the girls' soccer coach.

Kucz gave the opening remarks. “Tonight, we are here to honor the outstanding young men and women of the class of 2020.  These students embodied the definition of determination and perseverance, but above all, compassion. We hope tonight to showcase their amazing talents, their outstanding academic achievements, and their unbounding effort to help others. As we navigate this global pandemic, it is with admiration that I look at the Newton High School Class of 2020. With the list of their accomplishments that we will highlight tonight, their willingness to be pioneers in virtual learning and their ability to be Brave in the face of uncertainty. These are the award-winning members of the Newton Class of 2020 and we are all very proud of them.”

Each scholarship was announced with a slide, followed by an administrator reading a bit about the scholarship and a final slide with the name and senior picture of the scholarship recipient.

The program began with the three Distinguished Awards:

  • Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award- Gemma Meade
  • Newton Elks Club Trust Scholarship-Justin “JD” Heller
  • Prudential Spirit of Community Award- presented to only one student in the entire country - Isobel Costello

The next set of awards is a category of awards created by those who have faced loss and personal tragedy and have chosen to honor their loved one by creating something positive for the students of Newton High School. Unfortunately, this is a list that has grown, especially in the last four years with three memorial scholarships in honor of classmates. They are known as the Memorial Awards:

  • Jonathan Robertozzi Memorial Scholarship- Daniel Flores Zelaya
  • Lincoln Prize- Luca Morello
  • Gus Rampone Memorial Scholarship Jocelyn Mull & Samantha Samiljan
  • Malcolm G. Smith & Virginia A. Smith Scholarship- Emily Valentino
  • Lt. Charles A. Meyer Memorial Scholarship- Grace Young & Erin Smith
  • Gregg Bitondo Memorial Foundation Scholarship- (Gregg’s brother Bryan sent in a video about the scholarship)- Luca Morello
  • Lexi Faye Heart of Gold Memorial Scholarship Thomas Carson & Grant Parker
  • Joshua Tresslar Memorial Scholarship- Julian Sibblies
  • Mike Romyns Memorial Scholarship Trevor Aughenbaugh, Julian Sibblies, &Isaiah Wilkins
  • Eva Rodimer Scholarship- Emily Brothman
  • Judith Carver and Sharon Dickerson Memorial Award- Carolyn Granholm
  • Thomas Babbitt Memorial Scholarship- Kellen Miller
  • Calvin Dwight Pegel Memorial Scholarship- (Calvin’s parents sent in a video telling a bit about the scholarship and the recipient) Taegan Murray
  • Steven Petro Memorial Scholarship- (Danielle of the Class of 2000 which is the same class as Steve Petro announced the scholarship in a video) Jocelyn Mull
  • Jean Hardin Memorial Scholarship- Rylie Salerno
  • Mr. Raynor Memorial Scholarship- Luke Kerrick
  • Shirley Ratti Memorial Scholarship- ( Shirley’s niece submitted a video) Melaina Scuralli & Peter Van Orden

There were several Local Scholarships were awarded from businesses and merchant groups, PTAs and other service organizations. Some were able to send in videos congratulating the recipients.

  • SB One Scholarship- Tamara Barkman
  • Lakeland Bank Scholarship- Eve Sylvester & Abigail Wittig
  • Branchville Businessmen’s Club Scholarship- Grace Young
  • Andover Regional P.T.A. Scholarship- Emily Brothman, Sierra Dabrowski, Olivia Martin & Dominique Simeone
  • Merriam Avenue P.T.O. Scholarship- Jessica Vasquez
  • Lexi Faye Memorial Merriam Avenue P.T.O. Scholarship- Gemma Meade & Melaina Scuralli
  • Green Township P.T.A. Scholarship- Hayden Caico & Grace Young
  • Newton Pride Foundation Scholarship- Samantha Samiljan
  • Agricultural Scholarship-NJ State Fair Sussex County Farm & Horse Show- Emily Brothman & Grant Parker
  • Rotary Club of Newton Scholarship- Emily Brothman & Daniel Florez Zelaya (Kurt Walton sent in a video presenting the scholarship)
  • Rotary Club of Newton: Sussex County Community College Scholarship- Melaina Scuralli
  • Sussex County Counselors Association Caring Award- Nicolette Occhifinto
  • Sussex County School Counselors Association Scholarship- Mercy Owusu
  • Mountain Broadcasting Corporation Scholarship- Hayden Caico
  • Mary Ann Stanek Founders Award- Isobel Costello
  • Franklin Mutual Insurance Scholarship Foundation, Inc.- Krista Leonardo
  • Ronetco Supermarkets, Inc. Awards- Grace Young & Bridget Fajvan
  • Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce Scholarships- Krista Leonardo, Melaina Scuralli, & Jessica Tattersall
  • Sussex County High Point Harmonizers Barbershop Chorus Scholarship- Mercy Owusu
  • Lake Lenape Association Scholarships- Olivia Martin & Ashley Wallis
  • Lake Lenape Association Kelsey Berderka Memorial Scholarship- Nicolette Occhifinto,
  • Frankly Food’s Group-Friendly’s Scholarship- Emily Pappas
  • Junior Woman’s Club of Sparta- Emily Brothman (A video was submitted)
  • Knights of Columbus George Flynn Memorial Scholarship- Ryan Rittie
  • Newton High School Soccer Booster Club Scholarship- (a video was submitted from Coach Jake Mull & Coach Martin) Emily Brothman, Luca Morello, Jocelyn Mull, Owen Power, Melaina Scuralli, Blaise Vallorosi and Grace Young
  • Newton High School Wrestling Booster Club Scholarship- Trevor Aughenbaugh, Julian Sibblies, Isaiah Wilkins and Abigail Wittig
  • Newton High School Swim Team Booster Club Scholarship- Olivia Martin & Alyssa Dionne
  • Newton High School Field Hockey Booster Club Scholarship- Krista Leonardo
  • Newton High School Football Booster Club Scholarship- Isaiah Wilkins
  • Newton High School Basketball Booster Club Scholarship- Angelico Villaruz
  • Robert T. Ford Memorial Scholarship-Kaylee Westerfield

Newton High School Awards/Achievements were next up on the list and are usually given by the head of the department. This year the social studies award was given by history teacher JoAnn DaSilva, while the others were given by Samantha Castro.

  • Robert T. Ford Excellence in Social Studies Awards- Kellen Miller and Ivy Nisler
  • Newton High School Family and Consumer Science Award- Isaiah Wilkins
  • New Jersey Math League Award- Kellen Miller and Steven Ward
  • American Association of Teachers of French Award- Morgan Conklin
  • The Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Award for Excellence in the French Language- Emma Bermingham, Kristine Crepeau, Gemma Meade, Natalie Schmitt and Ryan Sesera
  • Senior Award for Outstanding Achievement in World Language- Erin Fucito
  • Newton High School Spanish Honor Society Award- Hayden Caico
  • American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Award- Ivy Nisler
  • Newton Education Association Scholarship- Mackenzie Miller
  • Newton High School Theatre Award- Carolyn Granholm
  • Newton High School Outstanding Art Student &Yearbook Award- Tamara Barkman
  • TRS (Trust, Respect, Support) Scholarship- Brendon Read ( Walton submitted a video about how Read embodied all the characteristics of  TRS)
  • Pass It Along: Scholarship Through Service- Brendon Read (The director submitted a video about Brendon and the scholarship)

The Athletic Awards were announced next by Athletic Director, Ryan Hashway:

  • Arthur Disque Award Outstanding Senior Female Athlete- Jessica Brannick
  • A. Neil Clark Memorial Award Outstanding Senior Male Athlete- Alexander Stone
  • Hazel Gordon Memorial Award Outstanding Senior Female Student Athlete- Grace Young
  • Dr. Jesse McCall Memorial Award Outstanding Senior Male Student Athlete- Steven Ward
  • New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Scholar Athlete Award- Steven Ward
  • Pass It Along Scholar/Athlete Scholarship- (A video from Kurt Walton was submitted)- Steven Ward
  • Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Scholar Athletes - Grace Young & Steven Ward

Academic, Leadership and Service Awards was the final category of recognition. Green and Waldron announced the final awards. 

  • Superintendent’s Roundtable Award- Daniel Flores Zelaya
  • Newton Public School Administrators Leadership Scholarship- Daniel Flores Zelaya, Ivy Nisler
  • George Jackson Memorial Scholarships- Daniel Flores Zelaya, Sierra Dabrowski  and Emily Brothman
  • Presidential Award for Academic Achievement-Trevor Aughenbaugh, Abigail Berkowitz, Emily Brothman, Olivia Buckley, Robert Burt, Morgan Conklin, Kristine Crepeau, Marchela De Oliveria Borges, Nicholas Dobroskok, Bridget Fajvan, Daniel Flores Zelaya, Erin Fucito, Bryce George, Travis LeMasson, Gemma Meade, Nichole Niemynski, Isabelle Osborne, Grace Raddi, Natalie Schmitt, Rylie Salerno, Melissa Sanchez Casas, Blaise Vallorosi, Peter Van Orden, Jessica Vasquez, Abigail Wittig, Grace Young, Gabrielle Zukowski
  • Presidential Award for Academic Excellence- Emma Bermingham, Hayden Caico, Sierra Dabrowski, John Dobroskok, Carolyn Granholm, Luke Kerrick, Krista Leonardo, Kellen Miller, Ivy Nisler, Nicolette Occhifinto, Grant Parker, Owen Power, Ryan Sesera, Alexander Stone, Eve Sylvester, Steven Ward, Aubrey White, Alix Wojcik

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