CLARK, NJ – Arthur L. Johnson High School students were acknowledged for their hard work by the Board of Education at the "Showcase of Success," held during the board's June 4 meeting at the Frank K. Hehnly multipurpose room.
Principal Rick Delmonaco introduced ALJ’s Class of 2016 Valedictorian Amanda Banek and Salutatorian Georgia Stavrakis.
“Between them they have taken 19 AP courses at ALJ. Their GPA’s: 4.798 and 4.695. That is just extraordinary.” Delmonaco said. “Both of them are AP Scholars with Distinction*. Outside of that, they both are active in the school with the Key Club, Honor Society, and Science National Honor Society.”
Next year, Banek will major in business at Villanova and Stavrakis will major in engineering at NJIT.
“We are very proud of them and what they have accomplished at ALJ. They are really going to do great things in the future,” Delmonaco said.
Superintendent Ed Grande introduced Athletic Director Gus Kalikas to honor ALJ spring athletes.
“This spring was such a great season for us. The boys’ baseball team, girls’ softball team and boys’ lacrosse really did great on the field,” Grande said.
Kalikas started by thanking Grande and the Board for their support and taking the time to recognize the athletes at the end of each season. He also thanked the parents for their support and cooperation throughout the years.
“ALJ really did an amazing spring season this year and a key component to that were the coaching staffs lead by head coaches Van Bergen, David Kennedy and Mike Mancino," Kalikas said. "The teams were a pleasure to watch throughout the spring, not just because of their stellar work on the field, but because they are fine young men and women in the classroom and the community."
The ALJ boys’ lacrosse team, led by Van Bergen, was the Kimber Conference Champions for the second season in a row. They finished their season with a 9 – 7 final record.
ALJ boys’ baseball, led by Kennedy and Assistant Coach Thomas Ricciuti ended with a final record of 13 – 10 and an 8 – 0 record in the district. They won the Union County Conference Mountain Division Championship for the second season in a row.
The ALJ girls’ softball team had a stellar year according to Kalikas. Led by Mancino and his assistant coaches, Erin Lanigan and Laura Bundy, the team ended with an overall record of 24 – 9 and a division record of 9 – 1. This season was their third time winning the Watchung Division Championship.
For the first time since 1981, ALJ Softball won the 2016 Union County Tournament Championship. They went on to earn the NJSIAA Group 2 Central Jersey Sectional Championship title for the first time since 1996.
“On behalf of the board and the athletic committee, I want to congratulate the lacrosse, softball and baseball teams on a successful season,” board member and chairman of the athletic committee, Robert Smorol said. “We are proud as a board of how you conducted yourselves as student athletes. You present the school in a proper manner.”