SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Union Catholic held a virtual Freshman and Sophomore Awards Night last week as several students were honored for their academic excellence for this school year.
With Mr. Edward Sagendorf (Union Catholic Class of 2007) serving as the Master of Ceremony, the program began with a prayer from freshman Kevin Caffrey and the Pledge of Allegiance by sophomore Yvonne Agyapong, 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.
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
Justin Angelo Bautista*^
Felix Lettini, Jr.*
Brandon Di Dario*^
Carlos Antonio Montenegro-Perez*
Jada Mia Puryear *^
Special Awards and Scholarships
The Sister Percylee Hart, RSM Endowed Scholarship
On the anniversary of her 35 years of service as Principal of Union Catholic, Sister Percylee founded an endowed scholarship to fulfill a personal dream. As an eighth grade student, she longed to attend Catholic high school even though the public high school was just two blocks from her home and the Catholic school tuition was beyond her family’s means. Sister felt blessed to receive a scholarship that allowed her to go to Camden Catholic High School and be part of the faith-filled environment for which she longed. This $500 scholarship fulfills Sister’s dream of supporting that same opportunity for an industrious freshman at UC who is determined to attend a Catholic school and is thriving in UC’s faith-filled environment.
This year’s Sister Percylee Hart, RSM Endowed Scholarship recipient is Erini Dagiantis
Mary J. Cullinane Endowed Scholarship
In loving memory of her mom, Margaret O’Donnell Cullinane, Ms. Cullinane ‘85 (Faculty 1991-1999) endowed a scholarship in 2016 for a hard-working freshman whose grandparents provide tuition assistance so their grandchild can reap the rewards of the Union Catholic Experience. Mrs. Cullinane modeled compassion and empathy for her daughter and for all who were blessed to know her. She practiced rather than preached what it means to live a life of faith and service, acting quietly without seeking recognition or reward. Mrs. Cullinane was ever mindful of how great an impact the “little things” could have on someone’s day and never missed an opportunity to make a day better with a kind word, thoughtful gesture, or comforting presence. This scholarship is a $500 award.
This year’s Mary J. Cullinane Endowed Scholarship recipient is Christina Doria
The Class of 1968 Endowed Scholarship
On the occasion of their 50th Graduation Anniversary in 2018, the Union Catholic Class of ‘68 did something no class had ever done. They launched a peer-to-peer gift initiative to raise funds for an endowed tuition scholarship at Union Catholic.
Candidates for this scholarship are sophomore students. The recipient must be working to his/her fullest potential and exhibit the initiative and pioneering spirit that characterized the early classes of Union Catholic Boys High School and Union Catholic Girls High School, which merged in 1980 into the co-educational Union Catholic that we know today.
The $750 award will be applied to the recipient’s junior year tuition bill and will be renewed in his/her senior year if the recipient remains in good academic standing and continues to be involved in extracurricular and service-oriented activities.
This year’s Class of ‘68 Endowed Scholarship recipient is Jada Puryear
The Sister M. Eloise Claire Kays, RSM
This scholarship was established in 2010 in memory of Sister Eloise, who passed away in 2009. Sister served the Union Catholic Community as a guidance counselor from 2000-2009. Through this $500 scholarship, Sister's legacy lives on by providing a scholarship to a rising sophomore who exhibits compassion in his/her interactions with schoolmates, family, and the community.
This year’s Sister M. Eloise Claire Kays, RSM Endowed Scholarship recipient is Julianna Bara
JoinMe at UC Scholarship
When Janessa Mendoza, Saint Matthew School ‘14 & Union Catholic ‘18, came to UC as a freshman, she was so happy with her decision that she wanted other Saint Matthew School students to join her for the same, great UC experience. As a result, Janessa established the $500 Join Me @ UC Scholarship, and together with her parents, she organized fundraisers to raise money for the scholarship. Last year, Janessa was joined by Jillian Jacinto, SMS ‘16 & UC ‘20, who helped Janessa raise funds and who will continue to lead Join Me @ UC.
This year’s Join Me @ UC Scholarship recipient is Christian Townsell
The Sara J. Will Endowed Scholarship
Founded by Mary Beth and Jake Cregg in 2010, this scholarship is in honor of Sara J. Will, Mary Beth's mother. Mrs. Will was the mother of five, a Catholic, a hard worker, and very kind. Mrs. Will had a great respect for education; she considered it to be the key to unlocking all doors, the key which, regardless of circumstances, would enable her children to be a positive influence in their corners of the world. It is in this spirit that the $500 Sara J. Will Endowed Scholarship is offered.
This year’s Sara J. Will Endowed Scholarship recipient is Zachary Patrone
Giuliana Velona Memorial Sophomore Scholarship
Giuliana Velona was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert 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 will bring to children in need. Giuliana passed away in November 2014 at the age of eight. Mr. and Mrs. Velona created the Giuliana Velona Memorial Scholarship in 2016 in memory of their daughter to honor her commitment to taking care of other people. This $500 scholarship is awarded to a Union Catholic sophomore.
This year’s Giuliana Velona Memorial Sophomore Scholarship recipient is Emme Haddad
Lee Morant Sr. Scholarship
The Lee Morant Sr. Scholarship is an opportunity to make possible the extraordinary Union Catholic Experience for a student who wishes to be part of our school community and needs financial assistance to do so. To be considered for the Lee Morant Sr. Scholarship, applicants must be identified by Union Catholic Administration. A candidate must be a Freshman in good academic standing. A candidate should be a hard-working student that possesses leadership qualities throughout the UC Community, as well as being an African American Male. The recipient will receive a $1000 award toward his Union Catholic tuition.
This year’s Lee Morant Sr. Scholarship recipient is Caudell Caujuste
Sandra Stagg Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship was founded in 2009 by the Stagg and Cocoziello families in memory of Sandra Stagg '83, who passed away in 1982. The recipient of this scholarship demonstrates a commitment to academic achievement, and his/her good citizenship and responsible behavior contribute to the Union Catholic Community in a positive manner. This $500 scholarship is presented to one freshman each year and is renewable for the recipient's remaining three years at UC.
This year’s Sandra Stagg Memorial Scholarship recipient is Jessica Sot
Stephen M. Galdon Memorial Scholarship
Stephen A. Galdon was the brother of Mrs. Diane Galdon-Rama, Mother of Julianna ’22 and Sofia ’18. Stephen was a kind, good-hearted person, a truly selfless soul. He was always ready to lend a helping hand without looking for anything in return. A quiet young man of exceptional character, Stephen was a proud member of the United States Air Force Reserve and dreamed of being a Blue Angel pilot. He passed away at the age of 20.
Mr. and Mrs. Paulino Rama and Mrs. Geraldine Galdon created the Stephen A. Galdon Memorial Scholarship to honor Stephen’s kind-heartedness to everyone who was fortunate to know him. The recipient is a hard-working student that demonstrates kindness and is a helpful member of the UC Community.
This year’s Stephen A. Galdon Memorial Scholarship recipient is Nadine Rouba.
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.
This year’s Prudential Spirit of Community Award Certificate of Merit recipient is Emmanuel Afful
Hall of Fame Endowed Scholarship
The Hall of Fame Endowed Scholarship was launched in 2015 to give Hall of Fame inductees, their families and friends a meaningful way to give back to Union Catholic. In recognition of the strong foundation that UC gave all members of the Hall of Fame, inductees and attendees are encouraged to make a donation to this scholarship as part of their giving to UC. This $500 scholarship will help make the Union Catholic Experience a reality for deserving students.
This year’s Hall of Fame Endowed Scholarship recipient is Michael Palacio
Class Rank for the 2019-2020 School Year
The plaques given to the students who ranked first and second in the Class of 2023 for the current year were awarded to Alexandra Bonn and Gabriella Mouris, who each ranked second, and George Miller, who ranked first.
For the Class of 2022,, plaques were awarded to Abigail Hunsinger and Michael Palacio, who each ranked second, and Yvonne Agyapong and Mikaila Farrell, who both ranked first.