SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Union Catholic held its first ever virtual Junior and Senior Awards Night on Tuesday evening as several students were honored for their academic excellence for this school year.   

With Edward Sagendorf (Union Catholic Class of 2007) serving as the Master of Ceremony, the program began with a prayer from senior Caitlin Roder, the Pledge of Allegiance by junior Benjamin Abood, and remarks from Principal Sister Percylee Hart, RSM.

Several faculty members and administrators then read off the list of students who earned certificates, awards, scholarships, and plaques. 

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A Certificate of Award was presented to each student who maintained an A average in a subject for the current school year.

A Certificate of Honor* was presented to each student who maintained Honor Roll status for the first three marking periods this year, and a Medallion^ was presented to each student who maintained a 7.0 grade point average for the current school year

Plaques were awarded to the students who ranked first and second in their class for the current year.

Here is a look at all the Union Catholic students who were honored. 

Junior Recipients

  • Benjamin Abood*^
  • David Alexandre^
  • Isabela Allen*^
  • Allyson Almeida*^
  • Madison Alpaugh-McLean*
  • Sara Alves*
  • Seongjun An*^
  • Sabrina Araujo*^
  • Thomas Armstrong*^
  • Samina Aziz*^
  • Autumn Barge
  • Elijah Barlow*
  • Alyssa Belmonte^
  • Zachary Billotto*^
  • Nadia Blouin*^
  • Jeremy Bonnell
  • Spencer Brilhante
  • Amelie Burns*^
  • Adrienne Caceda^
  • Gillian Caldas*^
  • Derick Calderon*^
  • Charles Campbell*
  • Jonathan Carrion*^
  • Brianna Castillo*
  • Yilin Chai^
  • Elizabeth Chin*^
  • Jonathan Choi*^
  • Malia Coghlan^
  • Jonathan Colamedici*^
  • Connor Cooper
  • Alexandra Cooperman-Paolella
  • Danielle Coyne*^
  • Sara Crevani*^
  • Jessica Cruz*^
  • Danielle Cullinan*^
  • Isabella DelNegro*^
  • Abeenaele Demesyeux
  • Noah Dhaliwal*
  • Giavanna DiFrancesco*^
  • Kaitlyn Dohn*^
  • Lindsay Engle*
  • Brandon Espinal*^
  • Christopher Falco*^
  • Ashley Falzarano*
  • Isabel Fernandez*
  • Karen Fernandez*^
  • Francisco Ferreira
  • Antonio Figliolino*
  • Lailah Foote
  • Alaina Frederique*^
  • Ritchie Gatens-Dandrilli
  • Zaria Graham*
  • Neftali Guadalupe
  • Erick Guaman^
  • Madeline Gunsiorowski*^
  • Jialing Guo*
  • Yuanhao Guo
  • Noah Harris*^
  • Nicholas Hart*^
  • Terrell Henderson*
  • Samuel Hernandez
  • Sophia Herrera*^
  • Ivette Hilario*
  • Isaiah Hill
  • McKayla Horlacher*
  • Yingxin Hou*^
  • Zhaohui Huang*^
  • Daniel Jaworski*
  • Jae Jean-Simon
  • Madison Johnson
  • Christopher Jones*
  • Avery Jordan
  • Gabrielle Keating*^
  • Scott Kernen*^
  • Benjamin Korb*
  • E'Lexa Kovacs*
  • Adriana Kwiatkowski*^
  • Patrick Lambe
  • Christina Layden*
  • Michaela Lee*^
  • Justin Lopez*
  • Noah Lytle
  • Sean Machado*
  • Antonio Madrigal*^
  • Meghan Mahaffey*^
  • Rocco Mariani^
  • Halle Martin
  • Sabrina Mayor*^
  • Anthony Mazzaferro*
  • Catherine McGovern*^
  • Clare McGuinness*^
  • Panashe Meck
  • Jennifer Mejia*
  • Karen Melendez*^
  • Liam Miller*^
  • Kaitlyn Monahan*^
  • Anya Montague*^
  • Addison Montemayor*
  • Reyna Montilus*
  • Caroline Morgan*^
  • Miranda Mouris*^
  • Alyssa Mouzon
  • Aaliyah Navarrete*^
  • Michelle Noesner*^
  • Kevin O'Callahan
  • Joseph Paglia*^
  • Jade Paredes
  • Keyla Paredes
  • Isaac Paul*^
  • Matthew Payne
  • Isabella Pazmino*^
  • Gianna Peralta^
  • Madison Mae Perre
  • Katherine Petrick*^
  • Melina Piatti-Chayan*^
  • Elisabeth Pickel*^
  • Bari Quinn*
  • Braden Ramirez*
  • Danielle Rappa
  • Kaya Rexford*^
  • Antonio Reyes*
  • Isabella Rivera
  • Klarisse Rivera^
  • Michael Robateau*^
  • Keshon Rodgers
  • Matthew Rodriguez
  • Lilyana Roque*^
  • Samuel Roth*^
  • Vanessa Ruiz
  • Derek Ruiz-Webb^
  • Jack Saggio
  • Maximilian Salameh^
  • Katelyn Salvador*^
  • Xiyue Sang*^
  • Audrey Schilling
  • Alexandra Schmitt*^
  • Emily Scott*
  • Rajit Sharma*^
  • Khaliah Simpkins*
  • Arminder Singh*^
  • Lauren Sloane*^
  • Julia Spinello*
  • Kylah Spranger
  • Austin Squeri*
  • Alyssa Stephen
  • Ryan Sulistyono*^
  • Alexis Suzara*^
  • Yilin Tang^
  • Natalya Tasso*^
  • A'Liyah Thomas*
  • Christopher Tomalavage*
  • Paris Townsell*^
  • Steven Traczik
  • Christopher Valdes
  • Elizabeth Walch
  • Elijah Walker
  • Catherine Weddle^
  • Caleigh Wetzel*
  • Jadeyn Williams*
  • Morgan Williams*
  • Maya Wilson*^
  • Bradley Young*
  • Conrad Zagorski
  • Quqi Zhang*^
  • Yang Zhao*^
  • Zhehao Zheng*
  • Ruixuan Zhu*^

Senior Recipients

  • Gabriel Abood*^
  • Madeleine Abood*^
  • Sarah Abood*^
  • Stewart Adams*
  • Megha Alexander^
  • Chelsea Alves*^
  • Sofia Alves*^
  • Theodore Amo*^
  • Oluwafemi Asenuga
  • Matthew Axt*
  • Jacqueline Ayers
  • Liam Bennett*^
  • Justina Benvenuto*^
  • Catherine Boccher^
  • Kacey Brennan*^
  • Elijah Brown
  • Jordan Brown
  • Christopher Buerle*^
  • Lyndsey Buren*^
  • Benjamin Campos*^
  • Sihan Cao*^
  • Yingying Cao^
  • Samantha Casero*
  • Alicia Castro*^
  • Juliana Cerqueira*^
  • Kai Chiang
  • Gia Collucci
  • Jordan Costin*
  • Justin Couto
  • Jacquelyn Coyne*^
  • Angelina Crotty*
  • Jacob Cunha*^
  • Anthony DaSilva*
  • Lauren-Marie Diawatan*^
  • Gianna Diaz*
  • Justin DiGesu
  • Zifeng Ding
  • Kyra Eason*
  • Ashia Ellison*^
  • Julienne Emmons
  • Diego Fajardo
  • Lukas Famula*^
  • Susan Feingold*
  • Jordan Flint
  • Jaden Forteau*
  • Michael Fox*^
  • Dylan France*^
  • Michael Frangella
  • Isabella Fuentes
  • Haley Gallahue
  • Laila Gallo*
  • Meghan Gelcius*^
  • Nola Gialanella*^
  • Natalie Gibson
  • Richard Gonzales
  • Daniel Gonzalez*^
  • Anna Gordon*^
  • Isabella Gray*
  • Tiffany Grovas-Acosta*^
  • Tayla Gunn
  • Enxi Guo*^
  • Zhichao Guo*^
  • Ziji Guo*^
  • Maxwell Handler
  • XiHan He*^
  • Daniel Hernandez*
  • Gabriela Hernandez*^
  • Gabriella Hernandez*
  • Madison Hnatowski
  • Isaac Holmes*
  • Runpeng Hua*^
  • Alanna Huggins*
  • Alexis Hutchison
  • Prince Igwe
  • Anthony Ikemoto*
  • Karissa Isaac
  • Jillian Jacinto*^
  • Morgan Jackson
  • Nicholas Jacus*^
  • Laura Jacus^
  • Nicholas Janusz
  • CaMai Jones*
  • Tyhir Jones
  • Zoe Kalebota*^
  • Grace Kane*^
  • Olivia Kelly*^
  • Matthew Kelly
  • Madelyn Kemler^
  • Courtney Kenderes*
  • Melanie Kennedy
  • Alexandra Kwasnik*^
  • Daniel Labrie
  • David Laguitan*^
  • Christopher Lassiter*
  • Hunter Lee*^
  • Cara Leegan*^
  • Huaying Li*^
  • Jiatong Li
  • Grace Lo Stuto*^
  • Sarah Lustig
  • Isabel Magistro
  • Jordan Mamouzette
  • Christine
  • Marti-Millward*
  • Gabriella Martinez
  • Gabriella Martins*
  • Mia Martins
  • Jaren Mateo
  • John McElroy*^
  • Isabelle McGovern*^
  • Colin McKenna
  • Connor McParland^
  • Jaden McReynolds*
  • Nicholas Mehno
  • Rosalie Merelman*^
  • John Mintel*^
  • Jonathan Mizhirumbay*^
  • Leena Morant
  • Daniel Mota
  • Chidumga Nkulume
  • Christian Nowicki
  • Sarah Ohnmeiss
  • Abigale Ortiz*
  • Andrew Palacio*^
  • Ashleigh Patterson*
  • David Penevolpe*
  • Rebecca Penevolpe*^
  • Julien Pereira
  • Tamia Peterson
  • Gabriella Pollard^
  • Felicia Quainoo
  • Liam Quinn
  • Zachary Reichgut*
  • Conor Reilly
  • Olivia Rittenhouse*^
  • Christopher Robateau, Jr.*^
  • Caitlin Roder*^
  • Clarise Rueda^
  • Edward Ruela*^
  • Paige Scheidemann^
  • Silvana Schifano*^
  • Mia Schutz*^
  • Anthony Sepulveda*^
  • Sara Simoes*^
  • Harjit Singh*
  • Savana Small
  • Victoria Smith*^
  • Dynajah Speight
  • Sophia Spera*
  • Matthew Stotz
  • Emily Sweeney*^
  • Olivia Szyszkiewicz*^
  • Catherine Tangreti*^
  • Allison Temo*^
  • Sean Thal*^
  • Madison Truesdale*^
  • Sydney Tucker*
  • Zachary Turner*
  • Kaitlyn Valendo*^
  • Michael Valentin*^
  • Gabriella Velona*^
  • Ryan Villani*
  • Jolene Villanueva
  • Andrea Vira*^
  • Natalie Walker*^
  • Patrick White
  • Najlaa Williams*
  • John Wodzinski
  • Yuliang Xiao*
  • Zamira Ysaac*
  • Chenming Yu*^
  • Yimeng Yu*
  • Julianna Zamorski*^
  • Wantong Zhu
  • Yizhou Zhu

Special Awards and Scholarships

Cookie and Ed Esposito Future Educator Scholarship
Past UC parents Cookie and Ed Esposito (Susan ‘96, Tim ‘98, Matt ‘03) believe there is nothing more important than education, and a good education begins with excellent teachers. Cookie and Ed were both education majors and taught for many years. It is their hope that this $1,000 scholarship will enable a Union Catholic student to achieve his or her goal of becoming an excellent teacher.

This year’s Cookie and Ed Esposito Future Educator Scholarship recipient is Cara Leegan

Dorothy Grzankowski Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship was founded in Dorothy’s memory by her daughter Susan Bischoff, mother of James Bischoff ‘01. Dorothy earned her BA in Education from Kean University and a master’s in Education from Rutgers University. The scholarship recipient is a graduating senior at Union Catholic who intends to pursue a degree in Education, preferably Elementary Education. The student must have proven to be successful, industrious, and serious about academics and exemplify the UC core values of compassion, community, honesty, respect, and responsibility. The scholarship award is $500.

This year’s Dorothy Grzankowski Endowed Scholarship recipient is Madeleine Abood

Joseph Grzankowski Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship was founded in Joseph’s memory by his daughter Susan Bischoff, mother of James Bischoff ’01. Joseph received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and attended Rutgers University Law School. The scholarship recipient is a graduating senior at Union Catholic who will attend Rutgers University. The student must have proven to be successful, industrious, and serious about academics and exemplify the UC core values of compassion, community, honesty, respect, and responsibility. The scholarship award is $500.

This year’s Joseph Grzankowski Endowed Scholarship recipient is Isaac Holmes

Susan Satriano Memorial Scholarship
Susan Satriano was a teacher of math, a mother, and a beloved wife. Sue passed away in 2005 after a battle with cancer. Joe, her devoted husband of 29 years, founded the Susan Satriano Memorial Scholarship Foundation in her honor. Through sales of his book, In Sickness and In Health: A Memoir of Love in addition to various fundraising events, Joe commits to providing college scholarships for graduating seniors who have had a parent battle or pass away from cancer. He turns no student down, as he understands the struggles they face on a day to day basis. Through his book and his foundation, Joe shares the message to enjoy life and soak in every minute you can because no one knows what's around life's next corner.   

This year’s Susan Satriano Memorial Scholarship recipients are Christopher Buerle, Sihan Cao, Kyra Eason, John McElroy, Sarah Ohnmeiss, Matthew Tracey, and Michael Valentin

UC Girls in STEM Scholarship
In an effort to encourage female students at Union Catholic to pursue their interests, utilize their talents, and explore career opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Mr. and Mrs. Ariel Jacinto, parents of Jillian ‘20, founded the UC Girls in STEM Scholarship. The recipient is a junior or a senior who is an active member of the Girls Who Code club at UC and who inspires others to pursue their passions in STEM. The scholarship award is $500.

This year’s UC Girls in STEM Scholarship recipient is Gabriella Pollard.

Jack Haggerty Scholarship
The Jack Haggerty Scholarship was established in December 2018 by Union Catholic parents Kathi and Kevin Ayers in gratitude for the support provided by the School Counseling staff to their daughter Jackie ‘20. The scholarship is named in memory of Mrs. Ayers’ father, Jack Haggerty, who was a strong believer in the value of Catholic education. A $500 scholarship is awarded to a student who has overcome obstacles and challenges by working hard to manage his or her workload through perseverance and diligence. 

This year’s Jack Haggerty Scholarship recipient is Sarah Ohnmeiss

Joanne Federico Malloy ‘74 Memorial Scholarship
Joanne Federico Malloy, a member of the Union Catholic Class of 1974, was a dedicated nurse for 30 years. This scholarship was established in September 2011 by her fellow classmates to honor Joanne’s commitment to her profession. The recipient is a graduating senior who intends to pursue a degree in the nursing or healthcare field, has demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement, and has contributed to the community in a positive manner. The scholarship award is $500. 

This year’s Joanne Federico Malloy ‘74 Memorial Scholarship recipient is Matthew Kelly

Sister Regina Smith, RSM Endowed Scholarship
Sister Regina Smith, RSM came to Union Catholic in 1981 as Director of Public Relations & Alumni shortly after the Boys’ and Girls’ Schools merged. Sister Regina loved reading and language and was an accomplished creative writer and journalist. Sister Regina was a leader and a problem solver who loved a challenge. She had a soft spot for babies and welcomed every opportunity to take care of the littlest visitors to UC, including Mrs. Barbara Dellano’s son Paul in the early 1990s. Sister retired from Union Catholic in 1994. The recipient is a member of the Junior Class and a gifted writer with a passion for reading and a love of language. In keeping with the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, she demonstrates a commitment to serving others. The scholarship is a $500 tuition award.

This year’s Sister Regina Smith, RSM Endowed Scholarship recipient is Isabela Allen

 

Success My Way Scholarship

It did not take long for Dan and Cindy Ritchey to see that Union Catholic High School was the best possible choice for their daughter, Alex ‘17. Between her own hard work and the support provided by UC’s Foundations Program, Alex navigated a successful personal and academic journey that included earning honor roll status all four years, positioning her to go on to the college of her choice. Mr. and Mrs. Ritchey founded the Success My Way Scholarship in January 2018 to recognize other students who took advantage of the opportunity UC offers through the Foundations Program. This $500 scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior to help with college expenses.

This year’s Success My Way Scholarship recipient is Isabella Gray

 

Peter J. Tierney Memorial Scholarship

The Peter J. Tierney Memorial Scholarship was established in Peter’s memory in 2018 by his Union Catholic basketball players of 1972-1974, upon whom he left an indelible mark.  The scholarship has since been supported by many family members and friends who loved Peter dearly and who benefited from Peter’s impact on their lives.  Each year, a Union Catholic junior who models Peter’s attributes of leadership, friendship, passionate pursuit of one’s interest, and caring for others, will be awarded the $1,000 scholarship to help pay for his or her Union Catholic tuition.

This year’s Peter J. Tierney Memorial Scholarship recipient is Elijah Barlow

 

Johanna Wilk Memorial Scholarship 

It has been said that some people live their lives with a light so bright that their light remains with us after they are gone from this earth.  Johanna Wilk was one of those people.  She lived her life by sharing love each and every day.  Whether as a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, teacher’s aide, or total stranger, she noticed people and made them feel important.  She listened to them with her heart more than with her ears, and she spoke from her heart with compassion – and humor.  She knew what a profound difference kindness can make to all of us, and especially to those in times of need.  She taught that by example. 

The Johanna Wilk Memorial Scholarships were established by her husband, John, shortly after her sudden and untimely death in 1985. The scholarships of $2,500 each are awarded to two students who have demonstrated not only academic excellence but also the same embodiment of kindness and compassion.  The awards intertwine lives, making the recipients a part of Johanna’s legacy as the recipients embark on creating their own legacies. 

This year’s Johanna Wilk Memorial Scholarship recipients are Matthew Kelly and Andrea Vira

 

Giuliana Velona Memorial Senior Scholarship

Giuliana Velona was the daughter of Robert and Danielle Velona and sister to Nicole ‘14, Robert ‘17, and Gabriella ‘20. Always smiling, Giuliana had a sassy and determined spirit that would not allow cancer to hold her back. She focused on taking care of people and putting others’ needs ahead of her own. A girl of action, Giuliana championed her family’s support for the Toys for Tots program, understanding the happiness that a toy at Christmas brings to children in need. Giuliana passed away in November 2014 at the age of eight, and Mr. and Mrs. Velona created the Giuliana Velona Memorial Senior Scholarship in memory of their daughter to honor her commitment to taking care of other people.

This year’s Giuliana Velona Memorial Senior Scholarship recipient is Kyra Eason

Kathryn M. Schurtz Endowed Scholarship
Kate Schurtz ‘01 recognized that a complete high school experience meant far more than the academic success she worked hard to attain. Kate discovered her gifts and grew her talents as a member of the UC Performing Art Company, Service Club, French Club, Environmental Club, Yearbook Staff and as manager of the Girls Soccer team. Kate attended George Washington University and earned her MBA from the University of Notre Dame. She is remembered for her voracious appetite for reading, love of cooking and trailblazing new adventures. At the time she tragically passed away, Kate was Head of Platform Partnerships for Oracle Data Cloud. When asked once what she would do if she won the lottery, Kate said the first place she would give is Union Catholic.

Candidates for the Kathryn M. Schurtz Endowed Scholarship must be rising seniors who are recommended by faculty and are hard-working, enthusiastic members of the UC Community. The Scholarship recipient will receive a $1,000 award toward his or her senior year tuition at UC. This year’s Kathryn M. Schurtz Endowed Scholarship recipient is Madeline Gunsiorowski

Fred J. Chemidlin, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Mr. Peter Chemidlin and Mrs. Darraugh Valli, Fred’s children, created the Fred J. Chemidlin Memorial Scholarship to honor Fred’s dedication to the entrepreneurial spirit, faithful strength, and strong community involvement. To be considered for the Fred J. Chemidlin Memorial Scholarship, an applicant must be a rising sophomore or junior who is identified by Union Catholic school counselors. A candidate should be a hard-working student that demonstrates kindness and is a helpful member of the UC Community.

This year’s Fred J. Chemidlin, Jr. Memorial Scholarship recipient is Thomas Armstrong

Yorke Memorial Scholarship
Patrick and Anna May Yorke had seven children that all graduated from Catholic high school. Their youngest son Frank struggled through school, but later became the Chief Engineer for the FBI building in Newark. Frank struggled with learning disabilities, proving that he had to work twice as hard as every other student. As a result of their experiences, the family realized that attending the right school is necessary for a strong successful education. Patrick and Anna May’s grandchildren, Bridget Yorke ‘15 and Patrick Yorke ‘19 were students in Union Catholic’s Foundations Program. They both went on to successfully attend and prosper in college. Applicants shall have demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement and positively contributed to the community. The recipient will receive a one-time scholarship in the amount of $500.00.

This year’s Yorke Memorial Scholarship recipient is John Wodzinski

Joan Wade Memorial Scholarship
Joan Wade was a dedicated mother of eight. She was an active member of parent organizations at St. Joseph’s The Carpenter grammar school and Roselle Catholic High School, as well as a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of Knights of Columbus and the St. Joseph’s Rosary Society. Her grandchildren, Bridget Yorke ‘15 and Patrick Yorke ‘19, were students in Union Catholic’s Foundation Program. This memorial scholarship was established in April 2020 by her daughter Colleen Yorke and her family to honor Joan’s commitment to family and education. This scholarship is to be awarded to one senior who has been successful in the Foundations Program. Applicants shall have demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement and exhibit the core values of Union Catholic. The recipient will receive a one-time scholarship in the amount of $500.00.

This year’s Joan Wade Memorial Scholarship recipient is Colin McKenna

Union Catholic Performing Arts Scholarship in Memory of Robbie Krienke '10
Robbie Krienke ‘10 was an enthusiastic member of the Union Catholic Performing Arts Company. He loved being a member of UCPAC and enjoyed the opportunity to use his gifts and talents onstage in UC’s fall plays and spring musicals. In addition to roles in Noises Off and Something About Friendship, Robbie’s talent earned him the lead role of Marius in the 2010 musical production of Les Misérables.  Founded in Robbie’s memory in 2017, this scholarship is awarded to a sophomore or junior that is a performing member of UCPAC, enjoys the opportunity to use his or her gifts and talents on stage, and is a hard-working student who earns good grades.

This year’s Union Catholic Performing Arts Scholarship in Memory of Robbie Kienke ‘10 recipient is Clare McGuinness

Linda Squillace Memorial Scholarship
The mission of the Woodbridge Township Domestic Violence Response Team is to break the cycle of violence, and together with the Woodbridge Police Department,  provide the best possible support and assistance to any victim, regardless of race, religion or gender. Linda Squillace was a charter member and Coordinator of the Woodbridge Township Domestic Violence Response Team which began in October 1993.  Linda was very passionate about working with the Woodbridge Police Department, advocating for victims and giving help to all victims in any way she could.  Linda worked tirelessly to put an end to domestic violence until her death in October 2012. Linda was instrumental in starting a 40 hour advocate training course in Woodbridge Township.  To this day, the team still trains new advocates for Woodbridge and other Middlesex County teams.  Linda was also a loyal and caring friend to all who knew her.  She had a contagious laugh and touched many lives.

The scholarship recipient demonstrates an understanding of both verbal and physical abuse, as well as the impact on those close to the victim and the abuser. The student understands an important issue which is abuse is not love. The scholarship award is $500.

This year’s Linda Squillace Scholarship recipient is Isaac Holmes

Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award
Each year since 1933, Bausch + Lomb has honored outstanding high school students with the Honorary Science Award. This award is presented to one outstanding junior on the basis of academic achievement in science coupled with high SAT or ACT math scores. Winners of the Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award are eligible to be considered for the Bausch + Lomb Scholarships at the University of Rochester, totaling at least $40,000 over four years.

This year’s Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award recipient is Kaitlyn Dohn

Rensselaer Award and Scholarship
For more than 90 years, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been awarding the Rensselaer Medal to promising students who have distinguished themselves in the area of mathematics and science.

The Rensselaer Award and Scholarship is presented to a junior who is a highly-ranked member of his or her class who excels in both math and science. This award is designed to motivate students towards careers in science, engineering, and technology. The $25,000 scholarship is guaranteed for four years for each medalist who is accepted and enrolls at Rensselaer. This year’s Rensselaer Award and Scholarship recipient is Isabela Allen

Prudential Spirit of Community Award
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States' largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. The program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.  Each school can nominate one qualified student to move to the State level of competition.  

This year’s Prudential Spirit of Community Certificate of Achievement recipient is Kaitlyn Valendo, and the Certificate of Merit recipient is Tiffany Grovas-Acosta

New Jersey Rising Scholars
The New Jersey Rising Scholars Program was developed by the NJ State Department of Education to honor outstanding high school students. The selected students were honored at a luncheon early this school year, during which they had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities organization. For the NJ Rising Scholars, this honor has led to scholarship awards and honors level programs for college.

This year’s Union Catholic New Jersey Rising Scholars are Kyra Eason, Dylan France, CaMai Jones, Zoie Kelly, and Natalie Walker

American Legion Boys State
The American Legion Boys State is a unique summertime educational program for high school juniors focused on the participation and personal experience in a model state, complete with governmental bodies and elected officials.  This program is designed to mirror the structure and operation of state government while providing training in practical citizenship, leadership, and character development through a nonpartisan perspective.  The program is one week long, and all expenses are covered by the fundraising efforts of American Legion Post #3 in Westfield, New Jersey.  Students are selected based on outstanding qualities of leadership, character, loyalty, and service to their schools.

This year, Benjamin Abood, Nicholas Hart, Joseph Paglia, and Rajit Sharma were chosen to attend Boys State. Jonathan Colamedici and Zachary Billotto were nominated by their Boy Scout Troops to attend.

President's Volunteer Service Award
The Corporation for National & Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in results-driven service each year.  In partnership with Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, the organizations are responsible for awarding the President's Volunteer Service Award. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard – measured by the number of hours of service during a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime. 

This year’s President's Volunteer Service Award recipient is Kaitlyn Valendo

 National Merit Scholarship Program
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year. Of the 1.6 million entrants, approximately 50,000 students with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program.  

A Certificate of Merit is presented to Jacquelyn Coyne for being chosen as one of approximately 15,000 seniors who advanced to Finalist standing in the National Merit Scholarship Program of 2020. Through the National Merit Special Scholarship Award Program, Kacey Brennan was selected as a recipient winner of the James E. Casey Scholarship.  

 ACT Perfect Scores for the 2019-2020 School Year
The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school, consisting of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1–36.

Sarah Abood is recognized for a perfect reading score on the ACT, and Andrew Palacio is recognized for a perfect English score on the ACT

SAT Perfect Scores for the 2019-2020 School Year
The SAT is a standardized achievement test intended to assess students' readiness for college. The test consists of Reading, Writing and Language Test, and Mathematics.  SAT Subject Tests measure how well you know a particular subject area and your ability to apply that knowledge. 

XiHan He is recognized for a perfect math score on the SAT, and Yilin Chai is recognized for a perfect score on the Chinese SAT Subject Test

Class Rank for the 2019-2020 School Year
The plaques given to the students who ranked first and second in the Class of 2021 for the current year were  to Kaitlyn Dohn and Sabrina Mayor, second in rank, and Isabela Allen and Danielle Coyne, first in rank.

The plaques given to the students who ranked first and second in the Class of 2020 for the current year were awarded to Sarah Abood, second in rank, and Andrew Palacio, first in rank.

Union Catholic (1600 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains) prepares a diverse student body to fulfill their college and career goals by cultivating the students' achievement of academic standards of excellence within a value-centered environment, strong in its commitment to our core values (respect, responsibility, honesty, compassion, and community), and to the establishment of a community of faith and love in the Catholic tradition. For more information, call (908) 889-1600 or visit www.unioncatholic.org.