NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - Each marking period, West Essex High School Principal Gary Suda recognizes some of the most accomplished students at West Essex Regional High School through the ShopRite Stars program.  Suda asks staff to nominate students program recognizing their accomplishments in academics, the arts, athletics, leadership and service to the community.

Each student winner will have their photograph displayed in the High School main office and in the West Caldwell ShopRite. ShopRite will also make a $1,000 award towards Project Graduation.

The program was created by Ned Gradstein, the owner of ShopRite in West Caldwell in 1999 to recognize the accomplishments of West Essex High School students. The program has continued with much success.  

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The Shoprite Stars were awarded in the following categories:

  • ACADEMICS - Carlysa Oyama
    A junior from North Caldwell, Oyama is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, has a 4.4 GPA and is in the top 5 percent of her class
  • ARTS - Joey LaVarco
    A senior from Fairfield, and an active member of the West Essex Masquers who performed as Anthony Hope in "Sweeney Todd," LaVarco also played a lead in the fall play
  • ATHLETICS - Stephanie Pezzuti
    Pezzutti is a junior from Fairfield, who is a captain of the women's field hockey and basketball teams, and winner of multiple field hockey awards and named to the SEC All-Conference Basketball first team and field hockey teams
  • LEADERSHIP - Zack Bachmann
    A senior from Fairfield, who is student government liaison to the superintendent, and former president of his sophomore and junior classes, Bachmann also attended Boys State and is a section leader in the marching band
    Markus is a junior from Roseland, who volunteers at his church, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Roseland and with the Roseland Fire Department. He is an active Boy Scout, who did an Eagle Scout project

"It is a good feeling that your hard work pays off," Bachmann said.

Left to right: Carlysa Oyama, Joey LaVarco, Stephanie Pezzutti, Zack Bachmann and Michael Markus  Credit: Allison Freeman

For further information:
West Essex High School and Middle School
65 West Greenbrook Road
North Caldwell, NJ 07006
Facebook Page:  West Essex Regional School District