WEST ORANGE, NJ — Students across the West Orange School District were recently recognized for their “Pride in Education” essays in the annual competition sponsored by the Essex County Education Association.

First-place winners received $75, second-place winners received $50 and third-place winners received $25. The following students read their award-winning essays at the awards ceremony on March 1.


Kindergarten - Third Place

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Student: Sarah Francois - Hazel Elementary

Teacher: Phyllis Seibert


First Grade - Third Place

Student: Leah Rodriguez  - Redwood Elementary

Teacher: Amanda Hegedus


Second Grade - 2nd Place

Student: Joshua Canton - Gregory Elementary

Teacher: Mary J. Carr


Third Grade - Second Place

Student: Kennedy Curry  - Hazel Elementary 

Teacher: Stacie Varanelli


Fourth Grade - First Place

Student: Jana Abdelghany  - Kelly Elementary 

Teacher: Alison Urban


Seventh Grade - First Place

Student: Isabella Davis  - Liberty Middle School

Teacher: Kimberly DeMeo 


Tenth Grade - Third Place

Student: Odalys Faiardo Rivera  - West Orange High School

Teacher: Ms. Ortiz