MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township High School ShopRite Stars were named at the Feb. 7 Montville Township Board of Education meeting for the second marking period of the school year.
MTHS staff members nominate students for a ShopRite STAR Award in academics, athletics, arts, leadership and community service. For the school’s participation in this program, ShopRite generously donates $1,000 to Project Graduation, which is a graduation party designed to provide seniors with a safe, alcohol-free environment for their celebration.
Tyler Weiss was the academics awardee.
“Tyler was nominated for this award by two of our staff members who work on opposite sides of the building and in different departments,” Assistant Principal Kenneth Nadzak said. “However, the one characteristic they both used to describe Tyler was ‘hard working.’”
Weiss has a 4.1 GPA, scored a 31 on the ACT, is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and R.E.A.C.H., according to Nadzak. Weiss also applied his talents to the football field, playing on all three sides of the ball, according to Nadzak.
“Last year, Tyler was recognized by the Star Ledger and given Honorable Mention for kicking,” Nadzak said. “This year, he was named Second Team Defense for his work at Safety. After graduating, Tyler plans to major in business at Penn State, where he has already been accepted, Boston College, or Michigan.”
Parker Fox was honored with the athletics award.
“For the first time in Parker’s academic career, and during a year when some of his classmates might deliberately choose lighter schedules, Parker is enrolled in an advanced placement (college-level) class in addition to his three Honors classes,” Nadzak said. “Athletically, Parker was recently named as the fifth best wrestler in the state in his weight class prior to the 2017 season. He is 28-0 this season with 17 pins. He is the reigning Morris Knolls and Lenape Valley Tournament Champion and was a state qualifier last season.”
Fox was also the captain of the football team and was given Honorable Mention in the Patriot Red Division, according to Nadzak. This year, Fox was named to the Morris-Sussex Second Team Defense. Fox has already committed to wrestle next year at Franklin & Marshall, a Division 1 school, Nadzak said.
Lukas Van Schiak achieved the arts award.
“Lukas has found a way to combine a love for art, specifically ceramics, with a devout interest in chemistry, mechanics and robotics,” Nadzak said. “For example, Lukas is taking an Art Independent Study and a Robotics Engineering class. Lukas has used his talent in both fields to create glazes based purely on chemical composition. Right now, he is making a porcelain translucent piece in Independent Study and a mechanical part in Robotics which will enable the piece, when finished, to light up when it is touched.”
Van Schiak has had his art displayed in several exhibitions, and looks forward to having his pieces displayed in the months ahead, Nadzak said. After graduation, Lukas will pursue computer networking, and has applied to the Wentworth Institute of Technology, according to Nadzak.
Nithya Reddy was the leadership awardee.
“Nithya was nominated for this award preciously because of the way she takes a leadership role in the different clubs and activities of which she is a part,” Nadzak said. “For example, Nithya is the vice president of the Forensics Club. On a regular basis, she has worked with students in the extemporaneous section to try to boost their confidence and self-esteem.”
Reddy is the president and co-founder of Girl Up, an organization that raises money to help underprivileged girls in third-world nations, he said. Reddy was “instrumental” in creating this club and regularly plans events for the purposes of helping disadvantaged girls. Reddy is also the president of the International Concerns Club, vice president of FBLA, and an “active” member of the History Club, he said.
“Outside of school, Nithya has performed classical Indian dance for 10 years and has volunteered at the Morris County Democratic Committee, St. Claire’s, and the Liberty Science Center,” Nadzak said. “Nithya plans to pursue her MBA at Kelly, Northwestern, Stern, or Tufts. While pursuing her major, Nithya also plans to minor in political science and possibly enter the world of politics; we all certainly hope she will one day proudly represent our town, district, state, or country.”
Jessica Kaplan received the STAR award in community service.
“Jessica has given so much to our community, but received little to no recognition,” Nadzak said. “She has continued performing various community service activities simply because she wanted to help others. For example, Jessica has given her time to a local Hebrew school every week for the past four years, teaching children reading and writing skills.
“In ninth grade, Jessica earned her Girl Scout Silver Award by raising money for a local animal shelter. In tenth grade, she volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, and Eco Maui, tackling issues including child poverty and climate change,” Nadzak said.
Kaplan is also an active member of Make-A-Wish, Key Club, Future Educators of America, and CTeen, according to Nadzak. After graduation, Jessica hopes to attend San Diego State University to pursue a career in speech and pathology, he concluded.