SPARTA, NJ – Parent, teachers, administrators and students gathered in the Sparta High School Media Center for the third annual Underclassmen Academic Awards breakfast.

Principal Janet Ferraro welcomed everyone to the event on June 8 that recognizes outstanding achievement in all areas of study for freshmen, sophomores and juniors.  Most of the awards had a selection process that began with a teacher nomination. 

Social Studies Supervisor Steven Schels touched on this before announcing the awards in his department.  He said when the call went out, teachers responded immediately and “strongly advocated” for their student nominees.  “That is a testament to the strong teacher and student relationships we have at Sparta,” said Schels.

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Each of the supervisors presented the awards for their departments, reading a statement from the nominating teacher about their student.

English Supervisor Mary Hassenplug began with her department’s awards:

  • Grade 9 English – Simon Levien
  • Grade 10 English – Ben Dottinger             
  • Grade 11 English – Emma Zahner

Patrick Shea gave the Art department awards:

  • Music Grade 9 – Henry Silberstein
  • Music Grade 10 – Eileen Huhn
  • Music Grade 11 – Blaze Dalio
  • Art Grade 9 – Alexandra Schuessler
  • Art Grade 10 – Nicole McGahey
  • Art Grade 11 – Courtney Bachman

Mathematics Supervisor Katie Arbolino distributed the awards for Math and Science, as Science Supervisor Marissa Wilson was unable to attend.  She also gave out awards for the Mathematics Computer Programming and Technology, Career and Consumer Sciences departments.

  • Science Grade 9 – Derek Campbell
  • Science Grade 10 – Melissa Nolan
  • Science Grade 11- Michael Mancuso
  • Math Grade 9 – Joshua Williams
  • Math Grade 10- Alexis Gudenk
  • Math Grade 11 – Jordan Trzcinski
  • Computer Programing Grade 9 – Steven Zukowski
  • Computer Programming Grade 10 – Den Dottinger
  • Computer Programming Grade 11 – Brendan Brusburg
  • TCC Grade 9 – Ashley Minetti
  • TCC Grade 10 – Alexandra Pret and Hannah Fagersten
  • TCC Amanda Scully

Technology, Career and Consumer Science includes coursework such as marketing, cooking, engineering.

Schels announced the Social Studies and World Language awards:

  • Social Studies Grade 9 – Joshua Williams
  • Social Studies Grade 10 – Kayla Edwards
  • Social Studies Grade 11 – Jordyn Fitzell
  • World Language Grade 9 Marcelina Meler
  • World Language Grade 10 – Talia Smith
  • World Language Grade 11 – Payton Markvicka

Vice Principal Steve Stoner recognized students from the Health and Physical Education department:

  • Phys Ed Grade 9 – Will Cisko
  • Phys Ed Grade 10 – Hunter Toburen
  • Phys Ed Grade 11 – Evan Marcino
  • Health Grade 9 – Sylvia Kloian
  • Health Grade 10 – Zosia Canzoniero
  • Health Grade 11 Amanda Scully

Kacey Knowiser Dalton, Guidance Director, gave the Guidance department awards:

  • Grade 9 - AJ Rudolph
  • Grade 10 – Elise Kerim
  • Grade 11 – Rachael Schmidt

Athletic Director Shea gave the Scholar Athlete awards to Isabella Candeloro and Andrew Pondiscio.

Ferraro announced Brendan Puszcz as the recipient of the Principal’s Award. 

In thanking the parents for coming, Ferraro said, “Each year this event is better attended.  This confirms the importance you place on your children’s education.  Congratulations to the students and their families.”

Several other outside honors were also announced at the breakfast.