Caldwell-West Caldwell School Board Honors Forensics Club & Eagle Scouts


WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Competition-leading performances by members of the James Caldwell High School (JCHS) Forensics Club and citations to four Eagle Scouts were highlighted during Monday’s meeting of the Caldwell-West Caldwell High School Board of Education (CWC BOE).

The focus on forensics was introduced by Lydia Wielgus, president, and Kassie Sarkar, vice president of the forensics club, who told of their dedication in moving the forensics club from the middle school to the high school level and noting the positive influence forensics has had in making them better able to relate to their communities and prepare for life both in school and in the business world after high school.

Forensics club and team members Julia Tuck and Jessica Rizzo then presented shorter versions of the presentations that recently won them places in national competitions.

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Tuck, playing the role of a 22-year-old magazine editor in New York City, explained the steps that led many women into abusive relationships and the kind of “crazy love” that often causes many to remain in these relationships even when their partner poses a danger to them.

The two steps often begin with seduction and charm from the partner and end with isolation and abusive violence, according to the presentation.

In her scenario, Colin, who first came across as a well-mannered and interesting “farm-boy type,” later moved the person she was portraying from the New York City she loved to the suburbs, isolated the woman from her friends and finally ended up threatening her with a gun.

In her presentation, Rizzo, portraying a makeup artist, demonstrated how her character made women recognize their true beauty and realized that, while makeup can help many women feel positive about themselves, their inner beauty is what brings the real importance in their lives.

Honored for his Eagle Scout project, Tom Caracappa, related how he had created garden boxes to aid in therapy for children with handicaps at the Intensive Therapeutics organization.

For his project, Steve Farese created a sign for the West Caldwell Garden Club, which is now located at the headquarters for the club next to the high school.

Alexander Rosa worked as a volunteer for the privately run St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Newark, which serves approximately 2000 meals per week for the homeless. He helped renovate a room that is mainly used by women and children by creating shelving for their belongings and providing them with a clean place to “call home.”

Scout Christian Vega, whose family has an extensive history of serving in the military, created 68 “care packages” for military men and women in Iraq and Nigeria.

Later, Mary Caracappa of the JCHS Scholarship Committee, announced the committee’s 2017 awards.

Receiving the Bradford Award for highest grade point average was Lydia Wielgus.

Another top scholarship award winner was Kassia Sarkar.

In other official business at the meeting, the board voted to amend the contract of superintendent of schools James Heinegg to extend it from the current July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2020 to July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2022. The contract extension has been approved by the Essex County executive superintendent of schools, according to the CWC BOE.Heinegg to extend it from the current July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2020 to July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2022. The contract extension has been approved by the Essex County executive superintendent of schools, according to the CWC BOE.

The board also approved a number of other school staff appointments and retirements and resignations.

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