SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Despite the unprecedented nature of the 2019-2020 school year, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Scholarship Foundation has continued to fulfill its mission of helping local students achieve their goals of a higher education by distributing over $169,050 in scholarship aid to 103 deserving students. 

Throughout the year, members of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood community generously contributed to the Foundation’s “Dollars for Students Campaign,” which distributed $15,000 to various high school and college students who demonstrated both impressive academic achievement and financial need. 

Some of these Dollars for Students awards are named in honor of members of the Foundation (in parentheses).  The High School students who received such awards are: Taylor Anthony (Lee Stein), Sydney Blacker (Joseph Nagy) and Catherine Buren (Eleanor Kramps). The college students who received Dollars for Students awards are: Jeffrey Lapidus (Recipient Funded), Juliana Wagner (Henry Schweiring), Christine Vilarino (John Lawson), Giancarlo Castro, Mackenzie O’Brien, Moustafa Amer and Vanessa Handy.

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In addition, several individuals, families and community organizations have entrusted funds to the Foundation’s stewardship. This year, local students have received the following awards: The Adrian Andrews Memorial Scholarship, Summer Carver; The Besson Family Memorial Scholarships, Ryan Flynn and Kayleigh Downey; The George Bryan Memorial Scholarship & Award, Ethan Morrobel; The Charlie Brown’s Fresh Grill Scholarship, Jake Samitt, The Mauro and Rulene DiFrancesco Scholarship Award, Brian Weideli; The Mauro and Rulene DiFranesco Saint Bartholomew Graduate Scholarship, Jessica Mongold; The Camille DiNizo Memorial Scholarship, Lauren Gettler, The Frank & Eileen DiNizo Memorial Scholarship, Jordan Clement; The Follow Your Dream Scholarship, Robert Dencker; The Karen and Joseph Franzone Memorial Scholarship, Alexandra Machinski; The Friday’s Place Scholarship, Lauren Kieltyka; The Frank Fumosa Memorial Scholarship, Lea Cerini; The Girl Scout Scholarship, Sara Rata; The Doris Koues Memorial Nursing Scholarship, Tiffany Grovas-Acosta; The William and Ruth Linge Scholarships, Carina DelCore and Valeria Macchini; The John and Marie Losavio Memorial Scholarship, Megan Sheehy; The John J. Maggs Memorial Scholarship, Nicholas LaFerrera; The William J. McGinn Memorial Scholarship, Kailey Bondarowicz; The Courtney E. Metzger Memorial Scholarship, Gabrielle Aloe; The Moore-Skillman Memorial Scholarships, Jessica Edelman (college recipient) and Samantha Yip (high school recipient); The Katherine Newcomer Memorial Scholarship, Joy Lytch; The James O’Hara Powers Memorial Scholarships, Eli Wolman and Kayla Giuffi; The Dr. Muriel H. Ramsden Memorial Scholarship, Madison Toll; The Terry and Arlene Riegel Scholarship, Colin Dwyer; The Dr. Robert V. Scalera Scholarship, Nicole DeFrancesco; The LaVerne Schnell Memorial Scholarship, Carolina Samuelian; The School One Retired Elementary Educators and Staff Scholarship, Garret Clausen; The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ice Hockey Association Scholarship, Ryan Lamberta; The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Lacrosse Club Scholarship, Patrick Mochnal and Jadie Pearl; The Nancy Hart Schott Memorial Scholarship, Joy Lytch; The SPFHS Italian Club Scholarship, Antionette Chango; The SPFHS Italian Honor Society Scholarship, Valeria Macchini; The James V. Sochan Memorial Scholarship, Mariami Kurdovanidze; The Franklin Maine and Helen McConnell Spooner Scholarship, Katherine Chouinard; The Jeffrey Spring Memorial Scholarship, Tiffany Grovas-Acosta; The Lina Suriano Memorial Scholarship, Clara Masback; The Mary Carolyn Werts Wood Class of 1951 Memorial Scholarship, Christopher Fugett.

In addition, the following students have received awards new to The Foundation this year: The Philip Cappio Memorial Scholarship, Malcolm Kahora; The Fred Chemidlin, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, Ethan Morrobel; The Class of 1967 – First to Receive, First to Give Back, Madilynne Slifer; The Class of 1979 Alumni Scholarship, Andres Trujillo and Gabrielle Klausner; The Marco M. Giasullo Memorial Scholarship, Jake Hahn; The Laurie Prusik Memorial Scholarship, Julianna Scarcella; The Kerri Villane Sunshine Scholarship, Lauren Azzarella and Emma Hastrup.

The Class of 1960 Memorial Scholarship funds non-academic expenses including on-campus housing, room and board at Rutgers University for four years. This award has an approximate annual value of $15,000. This year’s recipient, Joseph Marta, joins previous recipients Johnathan Ramos (2019) and Thomas Bruckman (2018) in receiving this generous award. The monies received for this scholarship are not included in the total dollar amount awarded listed above, as the amount to be awarded will be determined during the school year.

One of the Foundation’s deepest partnerships is with the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club and the Rotary-Garbe Foundation, which funds numerous generous scholarships administered by the SPF Scholarship Foundation. The Rotary Garbe Foundation Scholarships, awarded for four years, went to John Veglia, Kyle Marquardt and Sofia Casimiro (2020); Tyler Dvorin, Joshua Venick and Giancarlo Castro (2019); Rosella Cuomo, Rhiannon Leonardo, and Patrick Gannon (2018); Lukas Stein, Ethan Cheung and Marc Occhipinti (2017).  The William Mullin Memorial Scholarship, awarded for four years, went to Isabella Richardson (2020), Massimo Modica (2019), Julia Dunlap (2018), and Taylor Sirchio (2017). The following students received The Ethel Perkins Memorial Scholarship, awarded for four years: Sarai Romero (2020), Saniya Dalvi (2019), Niva Patel (2018) and Brianna Sorrentino (2017). The David Ringle Memorial Valedictorian Award was awarded to Carina DelCore, and the Salutatorian Award was awarded to Johnathan Yu. The Robert H. Kraus Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Emily Herman; the Dr. Richard W. Dobyns Turn Around Award was awarded to Jack Deitch.

The Foundation began in 1966 with a donation from the SPFHS PTA – a partnership that flourishes to this day. Each school’s PTA contributes at least two scholarships to graduates who have attended their schools. The SPF PTA Council also awards scholarships to SPFHS graduates. In addition, the Scholarship Chairperson for each PTA serves on the Foundation’s Screening Committee.

The Brunner PTA scholarships this year were awarded to: Alexa Chan (Dr. Albert DeSousa Memorial Scholarship), Christopher Downey (Brunner PTA Scholarship) and Miriam Kother (Brunner PTA Scholarship).

The following scholarships were awarded by the PTA to former students at J. Ackerman Coles Elementary School: Carl M. Kumpf Scholarship, Sophia Wilkins; Carol Patten Scholarship, Tara Wolman; Michelle Crisafulli, Danasia McDonald. New this year is the Laurie Prusik Scholarship, which was awarded to Jennifer Fleck.

From the Evergreen Elementary School PTA, the following scholarships were awarded: Dr. Beverlee Kaminetzky Memorial Scholarship, Gabrielle Khan; Kehs-Aakjer Memorial Scholarship, Michaela Genty; Mary “Chickie” Giraud Memorial Scholarship, Nicholas LaFerrera.

The Park Middle School PTA’s McTB Scholarships were awarded to Michael Besante and Olivia Zambrio.

The PTA Council Awards: Manya Ungar Scholarship, Mason Glod; Dr. Margaret Hayes Scholarship, Josephine Cerino; Dr. Carol B. Choye Scholarship, Megan Sheehy; Health and Wellness Scholarship, Cassidy Novello.

From the School One Elementary School PTA, the following scholarships were awarded: James V. Cerasa Scholarship, Hannah Lancaster; Jeffrey Grysko Scholarship, Himanee Hendre.

The SPFHS PTA awarded the Robert Adams, Jr. Scholarship to Brandon Weinberg and the Dr. Terry K. Riegel Scholarship to Christopher Tsuchiya.

Finally, the Terril Middle School PTA awarded the John C. Foulks Scholarships to Connor Alchus and Henry Saltzman.

Congratulations to these outstanding scholars and our deepest thanks to all of our partners who have stood by us for 54 years. For further information, please visit our website or contact the Foundation’s president, Michelle Wyrwa at