Mayor recognizes high school students at Chamber event

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — Mayor Robert Parisi took the time to recognize outstanding West Orange High School seniors at the annual West Orange Chamber of Commerce Mayor’s Breakfast, held at the Wilshire Grand Hotel on Feb. 8.

Superintendent Jeff Rutzky, Assistant Superintendent Eveny De Mendez, Board of Education President Sandra Mordecai, Board Vice-president Irv Schwarzbaum, and board members Laura Lab, Ron Charles and Mark Robertson were all in attendance.

Introducing the students’ accomplishments spanning academic, athletic, artistic and community achievements, Parisi congratulated Sophia Adelson, Abraham Dada, Mariel Rose Go, Derek Lim, Bryce Millington, Janiya Peters, Ciara Racanelli, Emily Sanchez, Peyton Smith and Carolyn Yip for all their hard work.

For instance, the mayor recognized Lim for being the Class of 2017 valedictorian and Goh for being salutatorian; Smith for being an Eagle Scout who has been accepted to Syracuse University; Dada for his early acceptance to Harvard University; and Rosu for his acceptance to West Point.

“For the first time in our township’s history, simultaneously we have WOHS alumni at the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and West Point … carrying with them the lessons and experiences forged within the hallways of our schools and the neighborhoods of our community,” Parisi said. Those alumni are Dylan Pennell, Class of 2014, at the US Naval Academy; Ginamarie Arrabito, Class of 2015, at the U.S. Air Force Academy; and Christopher Morgan, Class of 2015, at West Point.

In addition to the recognition of students, Parisi also recognized the West Orange High School marching band for winning every single competition this season, including State and National championship wins, for their performance of “Defying Gravity.”

Band Director Lew Kelly, along with Erin Lagatic and Josh Zimmer, were on hand for the recognition along with drum majors Divya Anand and Jax Apollon.

The West Orange High School cheerleading team was also recognized for all their successes over the past four years as they prepared to head out for the UCA National Cheerleading Championships in Orlando. Anna D’Elia, Co-captains Emma Scalora and Skyler Fleischer, and head coach Olivia Del Spina were present.

“It’s one of our proud moments as board members when our students are showcased for their academic achievements, volunteer service, and participation in athletics and our fine and performing arts programs,” Mordecai said. “They are well-rounded, thoroughly prepared for the next part of their journey. They are a testament to the broad curricula and extra curricula programs our district offers and our tradition of excellence.”

“Our students are the pride of our community,” Parisi said.

Photos Courtesy of WOSD