WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange High School celebrated its October homecoming football game against West Essex with the crowning of the homecoming King and Queen.
All the candidates were nominated by teachers and were then voted for by the Senior Class of 2015. The candidates were personally escorted onto the stage to receive their flowers and pose for photos.
Prior to the presentation of the Homecoming Court, the Honorary King and Queen, Markus Fonvil and Melissa Reinhardt, were presented to the crowd.
As Athletic Director Ron Bligh reminded everyone, “there are no losers... everyone leaves a winner.” David Beckford and Maya Younker were named the official King and Queen and received their crowns amid the cheers for the entire court.
The Color Guard and Marching Band followed the crowning afterwards with yet another spectacular performance before West Orange and West Essex headed into the second half. West Orange went on to win, 17-14, with an exciting field goal in the last 26 seconds of the game.
The nominees for Homecoming represented the diversity of the high school and township:
Maya Younker (escort John Aristizabal) is class president, an active Mountaineer mentor, the captain of the Varsity soccer team and a board member of the Avery Thompson Legacy Foundation. She describes her four years at West Orange to be one big learning experience in which she has grown and changed so much and in which she has made so many lasting memories with her friends and teachers. She describes senior year to be a lot of fun but stressful as well. She plans to go to college somewhere on the east coast and pursue her interests in medicine and international relations. Her best advice to the underclassmen of West Orange High School is to wake up every day and find something to be passionate about.
David Beckford (escort Jasmyn Lettman) is involved in the Jubilee Choir, Royal Strings, Thespians Honor Society, Ab-salute Boys Step Team, Chinese Dance and last year’s musical “Shrek”. He describes his four years at West Orange High School to have been self-enlightening . He is constantly learning new things and is reminded of old things about himself everyday. He describes those revelations to help him be more compassionate to others. He describes senior year as great because he has the opportunity to be a role model to younger students.
Belle Zhang (escort Jacob Munoz)is involved in the band. She plans to pursue a career in the science field when she’s older. She describes senior year to be fun and advises underclassmen to balance work and play.
Michael Leonardis (escort Tiffany Canjura) is the Vice President of the Student Body, Vice President of the Drama Club, an active member of the Italian club, and plays Boys Tennis. He says that high school has taught him to distinguish and recognize those who truly matter from those who don’t. Michael plans to stay in-state for his first year in college and transfer his second year. He wants to major in English education and film. He advises underclassmen to be independent and to live for themselves and what will benefit them.
David Guy (escort Anishka Jean) is a member of the National Honor Society, Art Honor Society, Wrestling, Jubilee Choir and AFJROTC. He is also the Class Council Treasurer. He describes his four years at West Orange High School to have been been a mix of amazing opportunities and amazing educators which have helped mold him into becoming a better individual. In college he plans on working towards a PhD in hopes of becoming a research scientist. His advice to underclassmen would be to not be afraid of the truth but to either accept it or change it.
Ginamarie Arrabito (escort Christopher Sanchez) is involved in taekwondo as a national competitor. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Vice President of the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honors Society and the squadron commander for AFJROTC. She wants to study international relations and learn either Russian or Arabic in college. She also wants to continue training to be an officer for the air force. Her advice for the underclassmen of West Orange High School would be to work hard, find one’s passion and strive for it. She loves senior year and describes her experience at the high school to be great because of the students and teachers.