WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange students and athletes were among the community members recognized for their outstanding accomplishments at the 45th Annual West Orange Chamber of Commerce Mayor’s Breakfast held last week at the Wilshire Grand Hotel.

Members of the township council, board of education, police and fire departments, local businesses, service organizations and more filled the room as Mayor Robert Parisi delivered his annual state-of-the-township address in addition to all he had to say about the students and staff at West Orange Public Schools.

“Whether as parents, coaches, and teachers or as a community, nothing makes us prouder than to see and to celebrate the successes of our children,” said Parisi. “We have a lot to be proud of in West Orange.

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"Success in the classroom, on the athletic fields, on stage, in music, and in public service help to define our school system and speak to the promise we make to our children each and every year: to provide them every opportunity in their pursuit of achieving life’s dreams. This morning, as every year, we take the time to recognize some of our high school students—young men and women that have worked hard to fulfill that promise.”

Among the athletes recognized were members of the girls soccer team, who Parisi said“followed their first undefeated season in school history and league championship last season by winning the North Section 1, Group 4 State Sectional Championship this season—the first in school history.”

During the event, he welcomed up head soccer coach Sean DeVore, who was voted New Jersey Coach of the Year in the fall, and team captains Nyah Harper, Morgan Clark, Hannah Villasin and Kaitlyn Charles. It was also noted that junior Natalie Nevins was named Essex County Player of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2018.

Parisi also congratulated to the Mountaineers indoor track and field team, stating that in addition to receiving several medals, the girls team won the championship at the Essex County Indoor Relays and have already broken eight school records this year. Coach Jason-Lamont Jackson and seniors De’nae Hill, Kayla Robe, Alina Chant and Kathy Lopez-Jacobs were present at the breakfast to receive this recognition.

The recent accomplishment of the newly formed Virtual Enterprise Team, which placed third statewide in the New Jersey Regional Trade Show and Business Competition held in January, was also lauded by the mayor. Read the full story about this accomplishment by clicking HERE.  

In addition, freshman Soham Bhatnagar was recognized for his efforts as an eighth grader at Liberty Middle School to have a new traffic light installed at Kelly Drive and have that section of Mt. Pleasant Avenue named an “Official School Zone,” which was recently approved by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Other students recognized this year included: Mya Bembry, Daniel Bradley, Wes RideauWinds, Morriel Kasher, Sessina Dani, Emily Sarett, Max Dickman (Salutatorian), Aarushi Bhatnagar, Proggya Paromita, Jordan Broking, Ryan Retino and Daniel Feinblatt (Valedictorian).

“Wherever life may take them, each of these students speaks to an inspiring school system that has achieved the objective of providing opportunities for young minds to flourish,” said Parisi. “These impressive young men and women offer each of us hope for our nation’s future and remind other students of the unlimited possibilities presented to them each day in our schools.”

To read about the mayor's state-of-the-township address and the community members honored during the event, click HERE

Large group photo caption: 

(Front row, L-R) Max Dickman, Daniel Feinblatt, Ryan Retino, Proggya Paromita, Jordan Broking, Emily Sarett, Morriel Kasher, Wes Rideau-Winds, Acting Asst. Supt. Liz Veneziano, Principal Hayden Moore, Mayor Parisi.

(Second row, L-R) Daniel Bradley, BOE member Terry Triggs-Scales, BOE Board member Mark Robertson, Board President Ken Alper, Board VP Sandra Mordecai, Board member Cheryl Merklinger, WOHS BOE Liaisons Aarushi Bhatnagar and Sessina Dani.