West Essex Announces Second Marking Period ShopRite Stars

From left: West Essex High School Principal Gary Suda, Sydelle Barreto, Marisa Grisafi. Dean McDonald, Michael Caggiano and Nicolette Aktas Credits: Allison Freeman

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - West Essex High School Principal Gary Suda has announced the second marking period ShopRite STARS winners for the 2013-14 school year. They are Fairfield senior Sydelle Barreto for academics, Roseland senior Marisa Grisaffi for the arts, Roseland senior Dean McDonald for athletics, Fairfield senior Michael Caggiano for leadership and Fairfield senior Nicolette Aktas for service to the community.

Barreto is a National Merit Commended Scholar, receiving one of the highest scores in the country on the PSAT, and is a candidate for the National Merit Scholarship. She has taken 10 AP classes and tutors her peers in Spanish. She is an editor of the Wessex Wire, the high school newspaper, and has interned at the Metropolitan Museum. She has a 4.2 GPA.

Grisaffi is the section leader for the woodwinds in the marching band and a member of the indoor percussion ensemble. She has performed with the pit orchestra for last year's high school musical "Sweeney Todd," and will also play in the pit orchestra this year for "Guys & Dolls." Marisa recently successfully auditioned for the North Jersey Region Area Band and played with the Essex County Honors Band.

McDonald recently broke the high school's outdoor pole vault record of 14.5 with a 14.6 and received a scholarship to attend Monmouth University beginning in September. He was named the 2014 Indoor County Champion and is the 2014 First Place finisher in the Group 2 State Relay Championship with a new indoor school record of 14 feet. Michael is a caption of the Varsity fencing team and has fenced since the ninth grade. He is also the club armorer and vice president of the Key Club.

Caggiano plans to study chemical engineering at Villanova University in the fall. Nicolette is the class secretary to the senior class and president of the West Essex chapter of the National Honor Society. She is very active in organizing many charitable fundraisers including the St. Baldrick's Fundraiser last June, a turkeygram fundraiser to benefit student athletes going to the Special Olympics and is currently working on fundraisers to help a student with cancer.

Each marking period, Suda asks high school staff to nominate students for the ShopRite Stars 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 Mr. Ned Gladstein, 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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