Sparta Middle School Students of the Fourth Marking Period 2018

Sparta High School Students of the Fourth Marking Period 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Credits: Jennifer Dericks

SPARTA, NJ - Sparta Middle School Principal Michael Gregory has announced the Students of the fourth marking period for the 2017-2018 school year.  The teachers of the three academic teams in each grade level recognized two students for their notable actions and contributions to the Sparta Middle School community.

The sixth grade teams are Amber, Sapphire and Topaz.

The Amber team chose Rocco Gorvan and Alena Picnic.

Sign Up for E-News

Rocco Gorvan is the Amber Team's student of the fourth marking period. He's well-rounded student that is a pleasure to have in class. His love of learning is evident as he is always an active participant in the classroom. Rocco is a kind and respectful young man that has musical talent as a drummer in the SMS 6th grade band. This multi-sport athlete is a positive influence on his peers and the Amber Team teachers are proud to have him on our team.

Alena Picinic is a well-rounded individual who excels both in and out of the classroom. She actively participates in her classes and puts effort into every assignment. Alena is always willing to help both peers and teachers in need. She is an active member on her cheerleading squad and is naturally cheerful at school as well. Alena is humble with her academic success which includes high honor roll for all three marking periods at SMS. Alena is truly deserving of this accolade.

The Sapphire team chose Scarlet Mattson and Connor White.

Scarlet Matteson is a focused and responsible young lady. She advocates for herself and has developed a true joy of learning. As a kind and respectful student, she is always willing to assist as well as listen to suggestions by others. It has been a real pleasure to have her as a student on the Sapphire Team.

Connor White has grown and developed throughout the year into an accomplished student. He is responsible young man, who maintains a quiet confidence. He sees the best in other students and is always willing to help, even without prompting. He makes connections to learning in all of his classes and truly enjoys learning new concepts. The Sapphire Team truly enjoyed having him as a student this year.

The Topaz team selected Shea Harrison and Surekha Selvaraj.

Shea Harrison is a true gentlemen, which is exhibited through his polite demeanor and his ability to collaborate in a supportive manner. He shows reflective through and understanding of class content. He is willing to take risks when participating in class and has displayed academic engagement throughout the year.

Surekha Selvaraj exemplifies a commitment to excellence. She is eloquent and witty and makes insightful contributions that propel class discussions beyond expectations. Her overall positive attitude serves as a shining example to her peers.

The seventh grade teams are Diamond, Ruby and Garnet.

The Diamond team selected Juliana Bachand Andrew Reza. 

Juliana Bach is a positive, hardworking student, and is an incredible source of pride for the Diamond Team. She has blossomed into a student who exemplifies what it means to be a true learner. There is no challenge she is unwilling to tackle. Juliana is a kind and thoughtful classmate who adds insight to every discussion. Unfailingly cheerful and open, Juliana never hesitates to take on tasks, and is helpful to others, always including and encouraging those around her.

Andrew Reza exudes a quiet strength that inspires confidence and calmness to those around him. He is unfailingly helpful and inclusive, frequently taking the initiative to help others. His sense of integrity and ethical approach to all he does and says is a clear component of his personality.

The Ruby Team chose Ryan Petit and Annika Tobey.

Ryan Petit is an extremely hard-working and eager individual who wants to get better and improve at every opportunity. His dedication to his education is commendable and noticed by his teachers. Many teachers remark how kind and sweet Ryan is and how much he enjoys learning new things. He always has a smile on his face and participates on a daily basis. The Ruby Team is thrilled to give Ryan this well-deserved recognition! Congratulations Ryan!

Annika Tobey is a wonderful person to have in class. She is always prepared, eager to learn, and polite to everyone. She demonstrates the 6 Pillars of Character constantly inside and outside of school The Ruby Team teachers are proud of all the hard work and effort she puts forth in her academics. As a team, we are also happy to see how well she treats others and the grace with which she conducts herself around her peers. Congratulations Annika.

The Garnet Team selected Stephen Matus and Elizabeth Flint.

Stephen Matus is a young man who has impressed us all year with his knowledge of technology, his friendly demeanor, and his leadership skills. We know someday we will hear about how successful Stephen has become. We are proud to have Stephen on our team and as our Student of the Fourth Marking Period.

Elizabeth Flint is a young lady with a bright smile and friendly disposition and are proud to have her as a member of the Garnets. She has good student skills, will ask questions in class, and self advocates. A very well-rounded girl, she balances her academic, social, musical and athletic endeavors effectively. We are happy to name Elizabeth Flint as our Student of the Fourth Marking Period.

The eighth-grade teams are Emerald, Jade and Pearl.

The Emerald team selected Chris Byrnes and Paige DeGiovanni. 

Chris Byrnes is a conscientious student who works well with his peers and puts his best effort into everything he does. He is kind and compassionate and a pleasure to have in our classes.

Paige DeGiovanni has a wonderful sense of humor and has the ability to always put a smile on her teachers' faces. She is very considerate and a truly helpful member of her classes. We can always count on Paige to try her absolute hardest on every task.

The Jade team selected Katie Groome and Nick Ventresca.

Katie Groome has the qualities of an exemplar student and citizen. Regardless of whether or not something is difficult, she always puts forth her best effort. Rather than get discouraged by challenges and giving up, she looks at these situations as opportunities to improve and grow. This young lady is one of the most conscientious students on the Jade Team, and the teachers admire her kindness, student skills, and ambition. Congratulations to Katie Groome.

Nick Ventresca has some of the most important qualities of an exemplar student. He is determined to succeed and is willing to put for the effort, time and energy to do it. He recognizes that being an elite student doesn't come without hard work. He accepts that he is responsible for his own success and strives to excel. Additionally he is clearly a person of character and always treats his classmates and teachers with respect. The teachers on the Jade Team are proud to award Student of the Marking Period to Nick Ventresca.

The Pearl team chose Shauna Ryan and Samantha Stankiewicz.

Shauna Ryan is the Pearl Team's student of the Fourth Marking Period. Shauna is one of our hardest working students this year. She uses her time wisely and always completes all of her work. She successfully balances academics and a busy extra curricular schedule. We think she is going to have an amazing high school career.

Samantha Stankiewicz is also the Pearl Team's Student of the Fourth Marking Period. Sam is an extremely industrious worker who can be counted on to get along with any other student. She is respectful and kind in all of our classes. She has really found her voice this year and can be counted on to contribute her opinion, or a different perspective, to class discussions. We can't wait to hear of her future success.

In addition to the teams the school selected a Student of Excellent Character.  That student is Tyler Liskowicz. Tyler Liskowicz is a hardworking, inquisitive student. He strives to do his best at all times. He initiates everything he does with a positive outlook. He has participated inall of the 8th grade activities this year with vim and vigor. He is friendly, kind, and caring to all; a true example of what an SMS student should strive to become.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: No Seatbelt Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

July 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ –A Newark man is facing drug charges after a traffic stop on Route 15 north.  On July 18 around 11:15 a.m. Cpl. Marc Rubino stopped a white Acura because the driver Ishmel Graham was not wearing his seatbelt according to police.

When the officer spoke with the 21-year-old Rubino smelled marijuana.  Graham told Rubino he had pot in the car police report.

When ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Man Gets Additional Charges

SPARTA, NJ -  A man from Hackettstown with an active warrant faces additional charges when officers stopped him because the registered owner of the car had a suspended license.  On July 2 around 2 a.m. Police Officer Ericks Finley stopped a car registered to Shanicqui Nelson on Route 15 police said.

The driver Shaun Reid, 36 was also found to have a suspended license and an ...

Sparta Police: Road Rage and Racing on Route 15 End in Arrest

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Plainfield was stopped for racing on Route 15, going 93 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.  Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley was able to stop one of  two cars racing on July 6 around 11:45 p.m. police said.

Driving a four door Chevy, Santos Vides-Guardado, 21, told Finley that he and the other driver had gotten into an argument that led to the two men racing each ...

Why Did Freeholders Reject Dr. Howard Burrell's Nomination to SCCC Trustee?

July 21, 2018


Outgoing Freeholder Director Jonathan Rose announced on Facebook that Howard Burrell was deemed “not acceptable” by the Sussex County freeholder board to serve as trustee of Sussex County Community College. 

Why did the freeholders decide that Dr. Burrell is “not acceptable?" After all, the freeholders’ own search committee nominated Dr. Burrell to ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness


Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon

Northern NJ Libertarian Party Monthly Meeting



Tue, July 24, 7:30 PM

Town Hall, Sparta

Sparta Township Council Meeting



Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink


Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

US Junior Amateur: Chinn Earns Medalist and Top-seed honors, Misses Rain Delay, after Second Day of Stroke Play

July 18, 2018

Tuesday’s Second Round Scores, playoff participants (8 for 3 spots)

Wednesday’s Round of 64 matchups

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Va., continued his stellar play Tuesday morning and missed an afternoon four plus hour rain delay on arguably Baltusrol Golf Club’s toughest layout, the Lower Course.

After shooting a five under 66 on the Upper Course Monday, ...

What You Need to Know About the Mortgage Process


Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.

You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.

Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.  This means call Team Nest Builder’s Lynn Garafola at 973-222-3777 ...

You DO NOT Need 20% Down to Buy Your Home NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what’s required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show the main reason non-homeowners do not own their own homes is because they believe that they cannot afford them.

This brings us to ...

Get Rid of Your E-Waste This Saturday in Sussex County

Team Nest Builder knows it’s easy for e-waste---tv sets, printers, laptops, etc.--to pile up. Here’s your opportunity to rid yourself of it in Sussex County! It’s the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority E-Waste Collection Event! The scoop:


Saturday, July 21st


7 am - 2 pm


Up to 5 Units per vehicle at no charge.  Scale charges for ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video


Fight Summer Slide with United Way’s Free Literacy Calendar

July 21, 2018

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Studies indicate that students lose the knowledge equivalent of one month of instruction per year due to summer learning loss. United Way of Northern New Jersey Success By 6 is helping parents combat this summer slide with a free calendar that promotes literacy. Featuring bright children’s artwork, the calendar offers daily ideas tied to reading, ...