Jackson board honors students’ achievements


JACKSON — Outstanding students from Jackson’s two high schools were recognized at the Feb. 17 meeting of the Jackson Board of Education.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Gialanella said, “As an example of some of the great work our staff is doing with the talented students, we have the privilege of honoring all of the National Merit Scholar-commended students, the Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars, members of our awardwinning Jackson Views literary magazine and students who have competed in the county Mock Trial team.”

Board President Marvin Krakower said the students’ “commitment to academic excellence is a testament to their school, their teachers, their families and most importantly themselves. The National Merit Scholarship program honors the most outstanding students throughout the country. It allows those high-achieving students the chance to compete for $50 million in scholarships for college, and I don’t have to tell you about the cost of college today.

“Tonight we are proud to recognize three students who have earned the distinction of being named National Merit Scholar-commended students,” Krakower said. “This is not just our district or our state, it’s the whole country.”

The commended students are Michael Robinson from Jackson Liberty High School and Amy Dwyer and Brad Heisler from JacksonMemorial High School.

Krakower said the Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars program recognizes students and awards them a $1,000 scholarship for their accomplishments. To earn the award, students must either place in the top 10 percent of their class and have a minimum combined score of 1,260 on the SAT, or they must be ranked first, second or third in their class at the end of their junior year in high school.

“Tonight we are proud to recognize the most students we have ever had to earn this award, 32 students from both of our high schools,” Krakower said.

Students receiving Bloustein scholarships from Jackson Memorial High School are Ryan Baumert, Tyler Book, Breanna Caruso, Daniel Clayton, Lauren Coiro, Dianna Cornell, Amy Dwyer, Eric Hamilton, Cory Leviton, Sarah Macor, Melissa Markle, Kevin Matthews, Alexander Miller, Stephen Montgomery, Jessica Mulvihill, Jennifer Okulewicz, Rachel Rozansky, Kayla Sabatini, Shannon Watt and Nicole York.

Students receiving Bloustein scholarships from Jackson Liberty High School are Daniel Bluman, Jacqueline Cherko, Ruby Corman, Michael Della Donna, Andrew Derkack, Philip Gallaro, Jordan Gochman, Kate Llona, Paul Maier, Alexandra Murdocca, Monica Pirigyi and Rebecca Weigand.

Also recognized by the board was the team of Jackson Memorial High School students who created the Jackson Views literary magazine.

“The Jackson Views literary magazine was recognized for being the best in the state,” Krakower said. “The magazine, which earned a first-place award from the American Scholastic Press Association, was written, illustrated and produced by Jackson students under the direction of adviser Bruce Miller.”

The magazine features students’ poetry, artwork and photography and was recognized for its outstanding writing, variety of material, attractive design and format, and superior editing. All aspects of the production of the publication are accomplished in-house with the supervision of graphic arts teacher Lloyd Taylor.

Recognizing the students and their adviser who participated in last year’s edition of Jackson Views, the board honored Kim Boylan, Liz Chlebek, Katie Ciarelli, Kyle Diana, Jacque Deberry, Michael Kaufmann, Tara Kosch, Emily McDonald, Melissa Marini, Amanda Pasterchick, Sarah Schwarz, Alison Sotolongo, Sophia Traina, Allison Tremmer, Brooke Wickham and adviser Bruce Miller.

A group of students from Jackson Liberty High School were recognized for the roles they played in the New Jersey State Bar Association’s annual Mock Trial competition. Hundreds of students participate in the mock trial competitive event, playing the roles of judge, jury, attorneys and witnesses.

The program has three goals: to increase comprehension of the historical, ethical and philosophical basis of the American justice system; to help students increase basic life and leadership skills such as listening, speaking, writing, reading and analyzing; and to bring law to life for students through active preparation for and participation in the competitions.

“This year’s case involved the accusation that a student unlawfully downloaded and distributed music files,” Krakower told those in attendance at the board meeting. “And this year the students from Jackson Liberty High School took home the third-place prize in the county for the way they researched and executed their arguments.”

Recognized for their involvement on the Mock Trial team were teacher Christopher Nye and students Jillian Anzalone, Kelli Coyle, Amanda Cromwell, Kasey Friedland, James Hearon, Joseph Ingrao, Dylan Kaplan, Paul Maier, Christopher Meinders and Monica Morales.