NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — As the school year winds down for West Essex students, the West Essex Board of Education (WEBOE) recognized the 20 seniors who were awarded by this year’s ShopRite Stars program as well as the seventh and eighth grade Students of the Month during Monday’s WEBOE meeting.

The ShopRite Stars program recognizes five students during each of the four marking periods in the areas of academics, arts, athletics, community service and leadership. Faculty members nominate students in one of the five categories, and the recipients are selected by the school’s administration.

As proud family members looked on, West Essex High School (WEHS) principal Caesar Diliberto acknowledged the following recipients:

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Marking period 1: Kaan Avic (academics), Paige Wasserman (arts), Julia Russo (athletics) and Lauren Moskal (leadership).

Marking period 2: Maxwell Knopping (academics), Joseph Ploscowe (arts), Alexia Perez-Calvillo (athletics), Alexandra Faust (community service) and Madeline Galligan (leadership).

Marking period 3: Riley Doyle (academics), Matthew Uhlendorf (arts), Brielle Krause (athletics), Gillian Wasserman (community service) and Antonio Zaccaria (leadership). 

Marking period 4: Joshua Kupferberg (academics), Brian Shields (arts), Lillian James (athletics), Jessica Wiederhorn (community service) and Cormac Farrell (leadership).

Also during Monday’s meeting, Vee Popat, principal of West Essex Middle School, presented the Students of the Month for March, April, May and June in grades 7 and 8. He noted that the student of the month recognition is not only reflective of grades and academics but is also representative of those who contribute in and out of the classroom and present a willingness to advocate not only for themselves but for other students. 

Seventh graders recognized included: David Collini, Nicholas Gallo and Jon Kosoglu (March); Alexandra Agesen, Gianna Lodato and Abigail Mendez (April); Christine Agajanov, Frank Belverio, Dina Drogrin, Brendan Guiliano, Maria Holevas and Jasmine Racpan (May); and Maria DiGiogio, Max Goldstein, Allsandra Palumbo, Sabrina Tango, Samantha Tango and Abigal Wojcik (June).

Eighth graders recognized included: Alexandra Cinquemani, Nidhi Jadhav and Kelly Lynch (March); Frank Dolese, AJ Michelotti and Emily Zarr (April); Roxanne Boychuk, Katie Butler, Joseph Pepe, Antonia Salluce, Gianfranco Vitella and Patrick Zincone (May); and Antonella Melillo, Robert Minish, Victoria Roccasanta and Alexander Simone (June).

In a semi-annual Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying presentation given during the meeting, Juliann Hoebee, WEHS assistant principal, noted that there were four reported incidents at the high school with two confirmed cases, as well as three reported incidents at the middle school with one confirmed case.

Hoebee added that these statistics are miniscule due partially to the fact that school district staff acts quickly once an incident is reported. In fact, the district received a 78 out of a possible 78 in its Self Assessment grade, which reflects the efficiency of the process, he said. 

Additionally, Hoeboe reported that Diliberto’s Health and Wellness program has produced a very positive climate change with the creation of the peer-mentoring program.

In other district news, the board unanimously approved the summer reading list, stating that reading over the summer is mandatory, but that book selection is up to the students.  

The next board of education meeting will be held on June 18.

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