Valedictorian and Salutatorian Announced; Teachers and Students Honored at Montville Twp Board of Ed Meeting

Asrita Vattikonda and Jessica Zhang Credits: Melissa Benno
Nadzak Congratulates Asrita Vattikonda Credits: Melissa Benno
Assistant Superintedents Congratulate Eagle Scout Adam Kolides Credits: Melissa Benno
Genevieve Lake and Jay Sirot Credits: Melissa Benno
Valedictorian and Salutatorian Feted by the Board Credits: Melissa Benno
Dr. Karen Cortellino congratulates Salutatorian Jessica Zhang as MTHS Principal Douglas Sanford (left) observes. Credits: Melissa Benno
Dr. Karen Cortellino congratulates Valedictorian Credits: Melissa Benno
ShopRite Stars honored: Ryan Chan, Jessica Zhang, Alex Rodgers, Marcella Fiorenzi, Rebecca Korovin. Credits: Melissa Benno
Eagle Scout Adam Kolides honored. Credits: Susan Marinello for Montville Township Public Schools

MONTVILLE, NJ – Twenty-four teachers and staff members and ten students were honored at the Montville Township Board of Education meeting June 2, held at Lazar Middle School.

Students Honored

The valedictorian and salutatorian for the Montville Township High School were announced: Asrita Vattikonda and Jessica Zhang, respectively, will represent the Class of 2015 at the ceremony.

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Vattikonda was selected to attend the three-week 2014 New Jersey Governor’s School in the Sciences at Drew University after her junior year. She is a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, International Concerns Club, History Club, and the Science Olympiad team. She is also a Gilder Lehrman Scholar, which “recognizes outstanding college juniors and seniors who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence in American studies as well as a commitment to public service and community involvement,” according to their website. Vattikonda also volunteers at Chilton Memorial Hospital and is very active with Pathways for Exceptional Children. She plays the violin in the MTHS orchestra and the Lakeland Youth Symphony. In her free time, she enjoys Indian dance and music. Vattikonda will be attending Rutgers University.

Zhang is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Peers as Leaders, is Vice President of Make A Wish, editor of the school newspaper. She was on the cross country team and was also a Gilder Lehrman Scholar. In her spare time, she volunteers at Design Consign, a consignment store whose proceeds aid domestic abuse victims. Zhang will be attending the University of Virginia.

Design Consign owner Karen Arakelian stated later, “Jessica is a wonderful girl! I am looking forward to hearing her at graduation.”

Student Representatives Honored

“Our two Student Representatives to the Board of Education have done a wonderful job this year,” stated Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Fried. The two students, seniors Genevieve Lake and Jay Sirot, were presented with a gifts and a framed resolution from the Board honoring their service.

“We feel privileged here, on the Board, because not every Board of Education has students sitting on the Board, and the insights you provide and the enthusiasm that you bring, about the happenings at the high school are irreplaceable,” stated Board President Dr. Karen Cortellino. “The two of you have just had a spark this year and your reports have been so thorough. Congratulations, you’re two fine young people.”

Eagle Scout Honored

Eagle Scout Adam Kolides was honored by Cortellino and the rest of the board.

“It’s always a distinct honor to recognize Eagle Scouts, because their work begins in early grammar school, working their way through ranks, and along the way they have to obtain 20 merit badges with several requirements within each. I marvel at the commitment of a young man who chooses that path. And for Adam to achieve that as a freshman is amazing,” Cortellino stated. “You do your community proud.”

Board Member Michael Johnson, who attended Kolides’ Court of Honor, stated that “the pride and good things that people had to say about Adam were unparalleled. It was very clear hearing about all his accomplishments, in only his freshman year, that this is a young man to watch.”

ShopRite Stars Honored

Five seniors were honored as ShopRite Stars. ShopRite donates $1,000 towards “Project Graduation,” a party held after graduation to safely, and without alcohol, celebrate the new graduates. Students are nominated by faculty members, and the awards are given four times during the school year.

Marcella Fiorenzi – Academics

Fiorenzi’s teachers stated “she puts forth full effort each and every day, and is a role model to her peers,” according to MTHS Assistant Principal Nadzak.  “She is dedicated to her academics, strong, and resilient, and is respected by her peers and teachers.”

Alex Rodgers – Athletics

Rodgers is a “two-time indoor shot-put county champion, two-time discus relay county champion, Group Three indoor shot-put relay champion, and all-around leader on the track team,” stated Nadzak. “He is a leader in his athletic endeavors, not only because of his physical talents, but also because of how he carries himself.”

Jessica Zhang – Arts

Zhang received first place in the Blackwell Art Show, third place in the Vernon Art Show, and received a Gold Key in the Scholastic Art Contest, stated Nadzak.  Zhang also provides child care services at a local homeless shelter, and “she has made a permanent and positive impact on our school.”

Ryan Chan – Leadership

“Ryan is so well rounded,” stated Nadzak. “He has continued to take challenging classes, juggling a rigorous academic course load with a demanding baseball schedule. He also participated in Key Club and National History Day, and he was accepted to the Brandeis University Global Youth Summit on the Future of Medicine.”

Rebecca Korovin - Community Service

Korovin is a member of the International Concerns Club, History Club, and Rotary Interact Club.  “Her involvement in those clubs has been nothing short of inspirational.  She took part in the ICC Hunger Walk and volunteers her time at the Chelsea Senior Home playing board games. She also received her Girl Scouts Silver Award for sending ‘smile bags’ to children after they have had corrective cleft palate surgery.”

Retiring Teachers

Fried read the following list of the 24 teachers who are retiring and stated the teachers had been congratulated at a meeting of the Montville Township Education Association and at other meetings.

Florence Colaiacovo, Janet D’Innocenzio, Marie Eggers, Glen Ericksen, Donna Gamsby, Debra Gorab, Ina Greenspan, Janice Groome, Marcy Guilder, William Kocur, Nancy Marion, Andrew Meyers, Diane Moscaritolo, Laurie Newman, Mary Kate Pach, Evan Rupff, Justine Schruba, Paula Springer, Barbara Staada, Amy Stein, Barbara Supel, Gary Tronio, Evelyn Valdeon, Patricia Wolf.

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