WAYNE, NJ – Wayne Hills’ Laura Lassen was honored as the school’s NJSIAA Scholar Athlete of the Year.  This prestigious nomination is awarded to one student athlete who is a senior, a varsity athlete, holds a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and “exhibits outstanding school and community citizenship,” according to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Lassen is the tenth ranked student academically at Wayne Hills, a two-year member of the National Honor Society, a member of the Italian Honor Society and played for the Hills’ Girls Soccer team for four years, earning three varsity letters as a midfielder and on defense.  She also ran Indoor (winter) Track for three years, earning three varsity letters, and she ran Outdoor (spring) Track for four years, earning four varsity letters.

“I feel honored,” the Hills’ Senior said about receiving the award. “I wasn’t thinking about awards while I was playing and practicing.  I didn’t even know it was a thing, so it was a surprise when I was told and it’s really awesome!”

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"Laura has an off the charts GPA, which is an impressive accomplishment for anyone let alone a three season athlete," said Jeff Dilollo, Wayne Hills Athletic Director. "Known as a tremendous team player, Laura has demonstrated a real and lasting impact on every team she has enriched here at Wayne Hills."

Lassen’s Track coach, Christina Caamano was also Lassen’s English teacher and an Assistant Coach on the soccer team. “Laura’s natural leadership and positive impact on her teammates is tacit, welcomed, and highly regarded; she is undoubtedly all that a coach looks for in a leader of his or her program,” said Caamano. “Whether it is a soccer game, a race, or an English essay or school project, Laura is consistently reliable and genuine, and always manifests integrity.

Highlights of Lassen’s Track career include:

  • 2017: Passaic County Relays 4x100m relay - 1st place; 4x200m relay - 2nd place; Long Jump - 2nd place, and at Passaic County Championships - 5th place in 4x100m relay
  • Fall of 2019: Coach’s Award recipient
  • 2019: 2nd team All-League

“For me, she has been one of my favorite players I’ve ever had in 13 years of coaching,” said Wayne Hills Girls Soccer Head Coach Gregg Rehberger. “She has always had outstanding character, maturity, commitment, level-headedness, and accountability for her own actions.”

Rehberger added: “She has received All-League and All-County honors, was a member of our leadership council, was part of our county championship team in 2017 and was part of our team that traveled to Denmark and Sweden for a tournament in the summer of 2018.”

The Hills senior praised her coaches, saying: “Both Coach Rehberger and Coach Caamano always believed in me motivated me to be my best. I am a much better soccer player because of Coach Rehberger and, no matter how I felt, Coach Caamano had a way of getting the best out of me.”

“Wayne Hills helped me discover myself academically, athletically, and socially,” said Lassen.  “I don’t feel like the same person I was four years ago. There were a lot of difficult moments and great moments. It’s upsetting that it has to end this way with the distance learning but overall the four years here were really good and I’m going to miss this.”

Lassen will be attending Rutgers in the fall where she will study English.