Livingston School Board Honors Stellar Students and Retiring Staff


LIVINGSTON, NJ – At a special Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) meeting on June 6, the board formally recognized Livingston High School (LHS) students for outstanding achievements by publically acknowledging five categories of awards they’ve recently received. 

The board also took the opportunity to bid a fond farewell to those retiring staff members and teachers who were able to attend the celebration. They also took the time to recognize the contributions of all 29 individuals who are retiring this year and the collective 579 years of service they gave to the district (ranging from one year to 37 years of individual service).

The event, well attended by family and friends of the honorees, was held in the LHS auditorium. Each honoree was called upon to receive a recognition certificate and have their photo taken with the LBOE members, all of whom were in attendance. 

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Danielle Lee and Rebecca Z. Lin, who made the list of 2016 National Merit Scholarship recipients, were the first to be awarded their certificates. National Merit Scholarships are awarded to the student finalists in each state who are deemed to exhibit the greatest potential for collegiate success by the combination of the accomplishments and skills they’ve acquired during their primary and secondary school careers. 

Members of the Livingston Lancer Robotics Team were on hand to receive their certificates in recognition of the international Think Award they earned by besting 128 of the top robotics teams from around the globe at the 2016 First Tech Challenge World in St. Louis, Mo. 

This was the second consecutive year that the team brought home this distinction for most effectively documenting the engineering blue print they created and followed on their journey to develop a working robot. The competition is designed to foster innovative leaders in the areas of science, engineering and technology. 

As a school district that strongly values character education and incorporates social emotional learning, civic education and service learning into curriculum at all grade levels, it was fitting that the LBOE recognized students who were selected by both peers and teachers to serve as LHS Role Models. This recently launched program highlights students who exemplify core value traits such as enthusiasm for learning, respect, empathy, moral courage, online citizenship and overcoming fears. 

Joining the notable ranks of famous visual artists and writers who went before them including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King and Lena Dunham, 21 LHS students were added to the list of The Scholastic Arts and Writing Award Gold Key winners for 2016.  These students competed against other students in the Northern New Jersey Region to receive distinction on the basis of the originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice evident in their visual art or writing portfolios. 

Shaima Parveen, honored for her personal literary and political message writing portfolio, and Hania Strus, honored for her art portfolio named “Treasured Trinkets,” received special regional recognition. Additionally, a Gold Key national honors award went to Alexis Narotzky, who won the national gold medal for digital art entitled “Two different worlds.”

Those who went beyond the confines of LHS’ music program to participate in the All-State Music program were bestowed with certificates of honor by the LBOE. Hand-selected by music educators from across the state music, LHS students were represented in the All-State Chorus, Orchestra and Band.

Closing out the evening of recognition were individual presentations made to those select retirees who were present. Various members of the LBOE read tributes describing each staff member or educator’s career and the impact they’d made in their roles. Retirees were presented with a gift and the gratitude of both the audience and the LBOE for their years of much appreciated service.   

 “One of the most important characteristics of this district is that we really do believe in honoring teachers and I can tell you that I’m so impressed by the staff here,” said Dr. Ernest Palestis, Interim Superintendent of Schools, in bringing the ceremony to a close. “I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the work of our retirees.  I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for this district and wish you a healthy retirement.”

Lancer Robotics Team Honorees

Matt Quan, Forest Song, Andrew Matievski, Miles Troijan, Andrew Jones, James McGover IV, David Milter, Nick McCaffery, Grace Lin, Olivia Yao, Harris Paspuleti, Kamal Paspuleti, AJ Keenan and Rachel Margolin

Livingston High School Role Model Honorees

Vincent Demeo, Kayla Fils Aime, Andrew Defeo, Jeffin Thomas, Jessica Rossilli, Richard Pairazaman, Iris Peng, Julia Gaudioso, Harrison Mindlin, Benjamin Asher, Mary Mikadze, Vivian Lee, Lucas Alpert, Ethan Ramer, Julie Kane, Andrew Burger, Grant Minsky, Marley Vogel, Emily Goldberg, Arden Intile, Gabrielle Gross, Joshua Klein, David Reich, Alexis Narotzky, Ali Carracino, Cecelia McCann, Sydney Becker, John Lanigan, Marissa Koval, Ryan Lew, Zoe Packel, Maya Rabban, Raphael Miller, Muting (Tim) Lin, Olivia Shevrin, Corey Rosenbaum, Zach Zamore, Eric Schnider, Jamie Handwerker, Abigail Hauptman, Adam Geffner and  Jenna Weiss

All-State Music Honorees

Isha Battu, Haruka Matsuura, Catherine Yang, Danielle Lee, Camillo Lin, Ellen Park and Alex Wu

Retiring Staff and Educator Honorees

Diane Anderson (Bus Aide), Dr. Maryann Anderson (LHS Teacher of English), Mustafa Asani (LHS Custodian), Elaine Bakke (District English and Language Arts Supervisor), Lucille Barresi (HMS Teacher of Family Consumer Science), M. Starr Baum (RHE Elementary School Teacher), Maureen Blum (LHS Media Center Tech), Susan Davidove (MPE Teacher of the Handicapped), Diane Davis (HMS Teacher of Spanish), Helen Derrot (LHS Library Media Specialist), Janice DeVita (HMS Teacher of Mathematics), Linda Franchino (LHS First Secretary), Carol Friedman (MPMS Instructional Aide), Cynthia Hughes (Bus Driver), Karen Kautz (Hillside Reading Interventionist), Paul Ko (Manager of Building and Grounds), Margaret Krupa (MPE Elementary School Teacher), Adriana Mattia (Bus Driver), Maria Ann McGowan (Manager of Transportation), Lydia Muscara (Collins First Secretary), Frank Pietropinto (LHS Custodian), Janine Provost (LHS Teacher of Biology), Lynn Sorrentino (Harrison Elementary School Teacher), Melanie Spaltro (Harrison Teacher of the Handicapped), Janet Storti (LHS Teacher of English), Dan Traglia (HMS Teacher of Music), John Waddon (LHS Teacher of Mathematics), Cynthia Williams (MPM Elementary School Reading Specialist), Robert Wirth (District Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts)

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