WEST ORANGE, NJ — It was a night to remember for graduating seniors of the West Orange High School Class of 2017 as the West Orange Scholarship Fund distributed a record $108,500 at the Senior Awards Night held June 8.
“A special thank you to all the organizations that have provided scholarships this evening to our students,” West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore said. “Congratulations to the West Orange Scholarship Fund for setting a new record in providing our students with a record amount of scholarship awards.”
In addition to the record $108,500 the WOSF distributed to 79 seniors, several other local scholarships and West Orange High School academic awards were distributed.
The Nikhil Badlani Foundation, which partners annually with the WOSF to provide $10,000 in scholarships, this year distributed $41,000 to 22 seniors. Following a challenge grant, the NBF raised an additional $31,000 to honor the memory of their son, Nikhil, who died in a car crash on June 11, 2011. Nikhil would have been a member of the WOHS Class of 2017.
“Thanks to the WOSF’s special partnership with the NBF, our giving rose to a new level this year,” WOSF treasurer Jim Quinn said. “And thanks to the hard work of volunteer trustees and the generosity of the West Orange community and alumni, this was a remarkable year.”
Moore also presented the Badlani family with an Honorary Mountaineer Recognition for Nikhil, and a plaque that read: “This Mountaineer’s life bestows hope and promise to WOHS and his fellow classmates. Nikhil’s kindred spirit proves that those who are loved are with us every day. Though not seen, his spirit continues to inspire. From driver awareness to providing opportunities for students to play instrumental music as well as awarding student academic scholarships. We will always be grateful and you will forever be in our hearts.” The plaque is signed: “Your West Orange High School Mountaineer Family.”
“It was our pleasure to recognize the achievements of 22 WOHS seniors at the Senior Awards Night,” Sangeeta Badlani said. “These children have worked very hard and we are happy that we are able to contribute in a small way towards their college education. We are amazed by the level of talent in these children and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.”
Emotional moments came as Chris Clarizio presented Class of 2016 graduate Jimmy Tiernan with the Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Scholarship. Tiernan battled cancer during his senior year at WOHS and spent the past year dealing with medical complications. He is now cancer-free and heading to college in the fall. Senior Dillon Reitberger also received a Clarizio Scholarship. His brother Jimmy, a former WOHS graduate and PAL coach, died in 2015.
Another notable scholarship distribution came from the Shauger Group, spearheaded by Donald and Lisa Shauger on behalf of the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship. Groves was a lifelong West Orange resident and police officer who worked in the Community Services Unit and loved the children of West Orange. Groves died from cancer in 2013.
Several students received military scholarships. Andrei Rosu received his appointment to West Point, Alex Choy received an Army ROTC scholarship to UCLA and Bianca Trinidad received an Air Force ROTC scholarship to George Washington University. When Choy and Trinidad graduate, they will enter the service as commissioned officers.
Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Rutzky, also a trustee on the WOSF, was on hand to congratulate each student as they received their award.
“I am overwhelmingly happy for this Class of 2017,” Moore said. “This is a special class that has raised the bar both academically and athletically and they deserve all the accolades and scholarships they’ve received.”
The event honored Senior Class Council members President Abraham Dada, Vice President Mattison Touzeau, secretary Nerissa Santa-Cruz and treasurer Carolyn Yip, as well as Student Council officers President Bianca Trinidad and vice presidents Iveth Gonzales and Sam Banks.
The following students received Principal’s Awards for outstanding scholastic achievement: Aira Dolfo and Emily McCluskey in art; Gabriella Rodriguez, William Schulmeister and Austin Bartola in music; Gabriella Rodriguez in theater arts; Dylan Rosa in business education; Keilyn Navarro in cooperative business education; Olivianne Iriarte in technology and engineering; Julissa Sanchez Elizarraraz and Sydney Squires in family and consumer science; Dylan Fequiere and Anusha Sivendra in physical education; Janiya Peters in English; Paola Serrano in English as a second language; Abraham Dada in biology; Divya Anand in chemistry; Mariel Go in physics; Derek Lim in general science; Austin Bartola in social studies; Derek Lim in mathematics; and Ariel Lee, Noah DeFranceschi, Abraham Dada and Sara Laine in their respective world languages.
Math department awards included: the senior New Jersey Mathematics League Award to Sophia Adelson, Abraham Dada, Abigail Klausner, Maire Murphy, Shaurya Sanghvi and Carolyn Yip; the Essex County Mathematics League Award in calculus to Sophia Adelson, Abraham Dada, Mariel Go, Derek Lim, Breanna Richards, Shaurya Sanghvi, Carolyn Yip and Kevin Zeligson; and the Essex County Mathematics League Award in statistics to Sophia Adelson and Maire Murphy.
Social studies department awards included: the History Award to Sophia Adelson; the Philosophy Award to Tyla Morgan; and the Jewish War Veterans Sanford L. Kahn Ladies Auxiliary Award for Americanism to Janiya Peters.
The ESL department gave the Michele Daniels Outstanding ESL Student Award to Itxin Aguilar. The business education department gave the Cisco Award to Nidhin Joy.
World language department awards included: the Confucius Honor Society Award to Peyton Smith; the Societe Honoraire De Francais Award to Sophia Adelson; the Societa Onoraria Italica Award to Katherine Minchala; the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica Award to Ana Olivera; the Recognition for Dedication to the Study of Chinese Award to Umar Mahmood; the Recognition for Dedication to the Study of French Award to Sophia Adelson; the Recognition for Dedication to the Study of Italian Award to Iveth Gonzales; and the Recognition for Dedication to the Study of Spanish Award to Anthony Marquez.
Language arts department awards included: the Philip Roth Award to Elijah Chilton and Bianca Trinidad; and the Norman Mailer Award to Peyton Smith.
The President’s Award for Education Excellence was awarded to Arjun Abraham, David Adelsohn, Sophia Adelson, Alanur Akarsu, Deborah Alabi, Divya Anand, Sah Awundaga, Robert Banks, Samuel Banks, Austin Bartola, Niara Boykin, Elijah Chilton, Alexander Choy, Trey Cohn, Abraham Dada, Isabella DeFranceschi, Aria Patricia Dolfo, Alexander Edelstein, Mariel Go, Anthony King, Abigail Klausner, Derek Lim, Germaine Louis, Emily McCluskey, Grace McGough, Bryce Millington, Marie Murphy, Julianne Newman, Ivana Onubogu, Janiya Peters, Sara Petrie, Ciara Racanelli, Breanna Richards, Andrei Rosu, Emily Sanchez, Shaurya Sanghvi, Amanda Scalora, William Schulmeister, Anusha Sivendra, Peyton Smith, Njeri Sparman, Acacia Tam, Mayra Tamay, Marie Bianca Trinidad, Daniela Vargas and Carolyn Yip.
The Principal’s Award for School Service was awarded to Divya Anand, Austin Bartola, Emily Beirach, Niara Boykin, Abraham Dada, Nasir Foster, Iveth Gonzales, Abigail Klausner, Josephine Kravits, Sara Laine, Ariel Lee, Umar Mahmood, Bryce Millington, Lindsey Morales, Tyla Morgan, Janiya Peters, Lee Richards, Gabriella Rodriguez, Andrei Rosu, Alex Roxas, Julissa Sanchez-Elizarraraz, Shaurya Sanghvi, Florencia Scala-Real, William Schulmeister, Lydia Schustermann, Bryan Smith, Peyton Smith, Julie St. Felix, Acacia Tam, Mayra Tamay, Michelle Torres and Daniela Vargas.
Military awards included: the Marines Distinguished Athlete Award to Michael Osuji and Amanda Scalora; the Marine Semper Fidelis Award for Musical Excellence to Divya Anand; the Marines Distinguished Scholastic Excellence Award to Andrei Rosu; the Army ROTC Scholarship Award to Alexander Choy; the Air Force ROTC Scholarship Award to Bianca Trinidad; VFW Post 376’s Commander Ralph Panciello Merit Scholarship Award to Danielle Arrabito and Iveth Gonzales; and the West Point Scholarship Award to Andrei Rosu.
Local scholarship awards included: the Metty Maddalena Memorial Award to Sarah Boyd and Clyde Williams Jr.; the Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Foundation Scholarship to Bryce Millington, Dillon Reitberger and James Tiernan; the Melissa Williams Scholarship to Sophia Adelson; the Passe Scholarship to Jonathan Arroyo, Amaya Arscott, Kyla Dukes, Nkechinyere Igbokwe, Brendan Jackson, Rishi Mukherjee, Anthony Sandin and Ashley Zhinin; the Black History Month Dinner Scholarship to Justin Davis; the New Jersey State Trooper Scott M. Gonzalez Memorial Fund Scholarship to Jonathan Arroyo, Victor Lopez and Rishi Mukherjee; the Seed Scholarship Award to Dyronda Vickers; and the Sanford L. Kahn Post #538 Jewish War Veterans XX Olympiad Memorial Award to Russell Hoffer.
West Orange Scholarship Fund awards included: the Frederick W. Reimherr Scholarship to Njeri Sparman; the Farnham Yardley Scholarship to William Louigene; the Harriet Yardley Scholarship to Breanna Richards; the Ian Jordan Goldmunz Scholarship to Ruth Simon; the Louise Spitz Lehman Scholarship to Victoria Oyeneye; the West Orange Mountain Club/Jack Bogwold Scholarship to Kristina Boafo and William Louigene; the Lori and Marty Waldman Family Scholarship to Ali Mirza; the Peg Reitman Carter Scholarship to Ivana Onubogu; an anonymous scholarship to Kristina Boafo; the Joseph Tylus Memorial Fund Scholarship to Susana Arroyo; the West Orange Fund Scholarship to Susana Arroyo; the Reid Family Trust Scholarship to Adnan Salem; the Jerry P. Tarnoff Scholarship Fund to Gabriel Andrade; the Weston Family Fund to Denise Alabi, Jewel Burnett, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Osuji; the Krimmel/Selpe Memorial Fund to Shaurya Sanghvi; the Jeanne Herman Saslow Fund Scholarship to Aira Dolfo; the Subhash Kar Memorial Scholarship to Arjun Abraham; the Jano Lee Groves Scholarship to Michelle Torres; the Spinelli Family Scholarship to Jennifer Lopez; the Quinn Family Scholarship to Acacia Tam; the Linda Quinn Memorial Scholarship to Germaine Louis; the Sforza Family Scholarship to Heather Cohen; the Arthur J. Alloggiamento Scholarship to Mayra Tamay; the WOHS Principal’s Scholarship to Austin Bartola, Jewel Burnett, Justin Davis, Logan Henley, Olvianne Iriarte, Samuel Klein, Bryce Millington, Amanda Scalora, Njeri Sparman and Mattison Touzeau; the Lillian Kunz Anderson Scholarship to Derek Lim; the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship to Tynae Adkins, Romina Amedrano, Justin Davis, Dylan Fequiere, Iveth Gonzales, Jendaya McNeill, Chelsea Morales, Melanie Pacheco, Janiya Peters, Linda Porcayo and Jane Wagner; the West Orange Council of PTA’s Scholarship to Sara Laine; the West Orange Chamber of Commerce Fund Scholarship to Samantha Dinio and Gaston Villafan; the Rotary Club Scholarship to Eliette Janeteas; the Joan Green Miron/Jeanette Green Scholarship to Asiyah Neal; the Bligh Family Scholarship to Shaurya Sanghvi; the McKeon Family Fund Scholarship to Niara Boykin and Adnan Salem; the Kessler Scholarship to Josette Blenman and Mayra Tamay; the Nikhil Badlani Scholarship to Sophia Adelson, Jonathan Banks, Robert Banks, Samuel Banks, Austin Bartola, Andrew Bazan, Laurie Delinois, Isabel Echeverria, Fabiola Etienne, Matthew Hascsak, Logan Henley, Olivianne Iriarte, Samuel Klein, Josephine Kravits, Bibiane Marc, Emily McCluskey, Bryce Millington, Jason Munoz, Pablos Rojas, Emily Sanchez, Ezekiel Timen and Kevin Zeligson; the Parisi Family Scholarship to Derek Lim; the Wanda & Dan Anderton Scholarship Fund to Luis Soto; the Joseph Suriano Scholarship to Victoria Oyeneye; the Adesokan Family Scholarship to Arjun Abraham; the Mountaineer End Zone Scholarship to Michael Osuji; the Philip Augustin Humanitarian Award to Anthony King; the West Orange Women’s Club Scholarship to Aira Dolfo, Sara Laine and Ruth Simon; the Northwest Evaluation Association Scholarship to Jorge Alca; the Rose Baptiste Scholarship to Eliette Janeteas; the Narain Family Scholarship to Anthony King; the West Orange Education Foundation Scholarship to Lauren Rossman; the Isaac Arowosaye Sr. Scholarship to Asiyah Neal; the Marie DeMaio Scholarship to Katiana Lacroix; the Michael F. Fabiano Sr. Scholarship to Germaine Louis; the William Lutkins Scholarship to Tynae Adkins; the Regal Bank Scholarship to Alana Akarsu; the John And Diane Vantuno Family Scholarship to Abraham Dada; the Whole Foods Scholarship to Laryssa Durschlag, Ciara Racanelli, Jordan Stennett and Dyronda Vickers; and the Wosf General Endowment Scholarship to Tiana Dunston, Ana Olivera, Breanna Richards and Michelle Torres.
Lastly, the principal applauded salutatorian Mariel Go and valedictorian Derek Lim.