BARNEGAT, NJ – The Barnegat Township School District’s decision to honor students from each of its buildings provides encouraging insight into tomorrow’s leaders.

Academics and sports achievers receive accolades of a different nature. Staff members nominate students for UPStander awards based on “scoring points” from another vantage point.

This month’s UPStander recognition used the “I” in BARNEGAT PRIDE to select students who demonstrated “Integrity.” Like every other presentation, family members beamed as the audiences applauded their children for their distinction.

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Students earning UPStander awards received a special handshake from Board of Education President Sean O’Brien and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Latwis. The presentation also includes a special plaque memorializing the event.

Barnegat Schools also recognizes the critical role that families play in the success of children. This month’s honorees received a gift certificate to Vinnie’s Pizzeria to reinforce the idea of a family meal and family togetherness.

Leah Purpuri, District Supervisor of Guidance, introduced each of the UPStanders at the Board of Education’s meeting earlier this week. Her words represent a snippet of what makes these students extra special.

Barnegat High School Senior Haleigh Dengler earned the UPStander distinction as a student who exemplifies integrity.

“Haleigh has been a lending non-judgment ear to a friend that needed encouragement,” said Purpuri. “She has helped in organizing local food drives to provide for this in need.”

According to the staff member who nominated Haleigh, the high school senior does other things to spread appreciation and kindness. Her actions set her apart and will ultimately allow her to experience wonderful things.

“Haleigh’s intelligence, motivation, and hard work are impressive,” Purpuri read. “They will serve her well. Above all, she has strong moral values and integrity.”

At the Brackman School, 7th grader Cameron Capro received recognition as a compassionate, kind, inclusive person. He was described as the epitome of integrity – considerate, thoughtful and grateful.

“He is the kind of student who does what is right when no one is looking,” said Purpuri. “Although he is fiercely competitive, Cameron is fair and honest in his competition.”

Olivia Marchlewski earned the distinction as the Horbelt School’s UPStander. Olivia is a sixth-grade student.

“She always does the right thing regardless of the circumstances,” Purpuri shared. “Olivia is a very sweet girl who consistently strives to portray what it means to be a Horbelt student.”

When it comes to maintaining grades and extracurricular activities, the sixth-grade student works hard at both. Olivia participates in class and demonstrates the actions of a dedicated student.

Fourth-grader Alle King received recognition as the UPStander from the Donahue School. Described as an “old soul,” Allie possesses strong principles and an honest nature. Her positivity acts as an inspiration to others.

“Allie’s kindness and patience are shown daily as she is always willing to help others when needed,” read Purpuri. “Allie volunteers to sit next to students who require a strong role model, giving up sitting next to a friend. This certainly shows integrity.”

At the Collins School, kindergarten student Amelia Speidel was chosen as the building’s UPStander and described as inclusive and cheerful. She does what’s right even if no one else is around to notice, which includes telling the truth regardless of the outcome.

“Amelia always listens to and follows directions and completes her assignments,” Purpuri shared “She is kind and considerate to all her classmates, respectful to both her peers and adults.”

Pre-kindergartner Reagan Mulvaney earned the Dunfee School’s UPStander award as a student who strives to do the right thing all the time and is extremely kind.

“Reagan admits when she messes up,” Purpuri read. “She does not get upset; she only fixes it.”

The pre-kindergarten student also helps guide others to do the same and acts as a helping hand.

What will the district choose to honor when the “D” comes up as part of the BARNEGAT PRIDE acronym? Readers will have to wait until next month to discover what makes the round of students UPStanders.