Valedictorians, Salutatorians & 3E Awards 2018

The Superintendent’s 3E Awards are given to seniors who represent the best in Equity, Effort and Excellence at their schools. Valedictorians and Salutatorians were also recognized at this event. A total of 78 students were honored this year at the awards ceremony at the Newark Museum. Congratulations to all!

American History High School

AHHS - Lydia OtooLydia Otoo
Valedictorian: Lydia has worked diligently every school year to maintain her academics even before she relocated to America with her family. Lydia’s resilience comes from her recognizing that diligence and commitment are essential to her future and achieving her goals. As part of her diligence, Lydia made the decision to take advantage of the high school initiative program at the local county college. Lydia is taking college courses for credit in order to challenge herself and prepare for the academic rigor at the college level. In addition, she is ranked 1 out of 70 seniors and boasts a 4.3 GPA respectively. Outside of academics, Lydia is very dedicated to her community and social endeavors. As the President of Future Educators of America, Lydia maintains the respect of her peers with her unwavering leadership skills as well as her ability to be a team player. This fall, Lydia will major in biology at Rutgers University, Newark with the hopes of becoming an OB/GYN.

AHHS - Tania ChoudhuryTania Choudhury
Salutatorian: Tania is active in several clubs and activities. She also participates in Stand and Deliver, a public speaking club and Future Educators of America. In Tania’s junior year she applied and was accepted into the Cooperman Scholar’s program which is a very highly competitive college prep program. Her caring nature and personality allows her to work well with others in a team setting, as she always respects others’ opinions even when they differ from her own. I am certain that Tania is going to continue to do great and creative things in her future. She is talented, caring, intuitive, dedicated, and focused in her pursuits. Tania consistently seeks out constructive feedback so she can improve her academic skills, which is a rare and impressive quality in a high school student. This fall, she will attend The College of New Jersey to study Criminology with the hopes of becoming an attorney in the future.

AHHS - Ashley WinnAshley Winn
Equity: Ashley has worked diligently every school year to maintain her academics in-spite of her struggles at home. Ashley was forced to grow up fast and take full responsibility for her life as well as help her siblings. She knows that hard work pays off and is committed to giving her all to ensure that she fulfills her goals. This year, she is challenging herself with a very rigorous and demanding course load. She is taking college classes with the Rutgers Reach Program, and AP English. She is ranked 3 out of 70 seniors and boasts a 4.0 GPA. Ashley’s hard work has earned her the Presidential Scholarship from Montclair State University. She is a team-player, a leader, and very dedicated to all that she takes on. Ashley has played on the bowling team, participated in Future Educators of America, a delegate for the senior class and a member of the video production club. She will major in Television Production to pursue a career in Film.

AHHS - Nehemiah Appiah-KubiNehemiah Appiah-Kubi
Effort: Nehemiah boasts a 3.6 GPA and is ranked 10 out of 70 students. He is a serious, independent and determined student who possesses wonderful insight. He is very hardworking, determined young man. Early last year Nehemiah’s mother passed away from a brain aneurism in her sleep and it was a devastating time for Nehemiah. But despite this tragedy Nehemiah, came to school every day and continued to work hard and maintain his grades. His school family and his biological family rallied around Nehemiah and supported him through this very tough time. He is highly regarded by his peers as well as faculty for his positive outlook on life and his positive and caring spirit. Nehemiah is taking college courses for credit in order to challenge himself and prepare for the academic rigor at the college level. As a dual enrolled student, Nehemiah has the opportunity to earn up to 10 college credits from Essex County College. He will attend Rutgers University, Newark this fall and major in Biology.

AHHS - Erica LassiterErica Lassiter
Excellence: Erica has worked diligently every school year to maintain her academics. This year, she is challenging herself with a very rigorous and demanding course load. She is currently taking college courses at Essex County Community College. She is ranked 8 out of 70 seniors and boasts a 3.7 GPA. Outside of academics, Erica is involved in volleyball, bowling and works a part-time job. She is a team-player, a leader, and very dedicated to all that she takes on. Her drive and passion is notable. Overall, Erica is a beautiful young lady inside and out. She is extremely hardworking and committed to letting nothing stop her from reaching her goals. Erica has an interpersonal drive that will only allow her to succeed. This fall she will attend Rutgers University, Newark as a HLLC scholar majoring in Public Administration.

Arts High School

Arts High School - Nathalia CruzNathalia Cruz
Valedictorian: During her four years at Arts High School, Nathalia has dedicated herself to her academic studies, and to her Arts High School major, vocal music. In addition to her academic excellence, Nathalia has participated in the Arts High School Advanced Choir, and become the president of the school’s Musical Theater Club. As a Peer Leader and the Secretary of the Tri-M National Music Honor Society, she has served as a student leader and role model to her schoolmates. Through hard work, consistent effort, and personal sacrifice, Nathalia was able to score a full ride to one of the nation’s most prestigious research universities. Nathalia Cruz will attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia on a full scholarship. Her major is undecided at this time.

Arts High School - Isiah MajorIsiah Major
Salutatorian: During his time at Arts High School, Isiah was always very protective of, and strategic with, his time and his energy. Having a clear understanding of his own abilities (and his limits), Isiah did not participate in a lot of extra-curricular sports and clubs. Instead, he chose to remain 100% focused on his studies and his art. Isiah’s concern was not in looking impressive for the number of different things in which he could be involved, but rather on being impressive for how much he was able to achieve in the limited number of activities on which he chose to spend his time and effort. Isiah’s honest practical approach has allowed him to become his class’s salutatorian. Isiah Major will attend Rider University, where he intends to major in Graphic Design.

Arts High School - Katherine Pina
Katherine Pina
Equity: Kathy has served as a Peer Leader, as a member of the Arts High School Latin and Jazz bands, as the President of the Tri-M National Music Honor Society, as Student Production Stage Manager for Arts High performances of all sorts, as a Music Mentor for Middle-School Students, as a member of various athletic teams, an exceptional student, a teacher’s assistant, a tour guide, ambassador, friend and confidante. Kathy is simultaneously a leader and a team player, who always wants the best for all involved. Always surrounded by close friends, yet seemingly friends with everyone, Kathy embodies what we all strive to be. Katherine Pina will attend The College of Saint Elizabeth, where she intends to study Biology/Pre-Medicine. She hopes to one day become a pediatric surgeon.

Arts High School - Autumn HolmesAutumn Holmes
Effort: Autumn has always been an exceptional student, and high school was no different. She didn’t brag or draw attention to herself. Instead, she kept her head down, worked hard, and let her academic results speak for themselves. After losing her grandmother during her sophomore year, it became difficult for Autumn to continue to focus on school the way she had before. She knew in her heart that her grandmother would want her to continue to be successful, to finish high school, and to pursue her goal of becoming a doctor. Even when her focus waned, she fought back. Her father has been her rock, and helping to ensure that she remained focused. Autumn graduates 3rd in her class. Autumn Holmes will attend Rutgers-New Brunswick, majoring in Biology. Her ultimate goal is to become a pediatric surgeon.

Arts High School - Christopher TaylorChristopher Taylor
Excellence: Raised by his grandmother, Christopher has consistently striven for excellence with a humble heart. His artistic journey began with AileyCamp Newark, and continued at Arts High School. In 8th grade, Christopher became the youngest dancer ever to perform in Dance on the Lawn in Montclair, and he has had the honor of performing with the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation at Lincoln Center for four years. Christopher serves as mentor to the young dancers of Arts High and was instrumental in choreographing college audition solos for a number of his classmates. No matter how much he achieves, Christopher approaches each day with a smile on his face and an attitude to learn. Christopher will attend The Ailey School in the fall. His ultimate goal is to become a dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Bard Early College High School

Bard Early College High School - Journee Arciyanna RossJournee Arciyanna Ross
Valedictorian: Journee is a self-described conspiracy theorist who uses her curiosity of the world around her to fuel her stance in debates and philosophical conversations. Journee believes that especially in Newark where most of the students are those of color, campaigns for fairness and equality should be echoed wherever there is a listening ear. Apart from her community efforts, Journee is the top performing student of her class; academically earning a 4.041 GPA. Journee will attend the University of San Francisco; majoring in Philosophy with a Minor in Legal Studies. Her aspirations are to further her education and obtain her JD LLM.

Bard Early College High School - Gaby RomeroGaby Romero
Salutatorian: Gaby’s introspection is guided by Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality. Gaby enjoys discovering the uniqueness of the human mind and learning what makes people “tick”. She has lent her skills to supporting senior class fundraisers and other school-wide efforts during her 4 years at Bard High School Early College. She is a firm believer that societal actions reflect individual motive and has used her persuasive skills to keep her peers engaged and focused on giving of themselves to support and encourage others. After graduating from Bard High School Early College with a 3.987 GPA, Gaby will attend Rutgers University-Newark Campus. Her hope is to graduate early and immediately pursue a Masters and Doctorate in Psychology.

Bard Early College High School - Asada RashidiAsada Rashidi
Equity: Asada embodies the “Golden Rule” innately. Among her peers, Asada is the mediator, the peacemaker, the arbitrator. She is the student mending ills and helping her friends see things from a different point of view. In addition to her impact at school, Asada is often in the community’s line of sight, exemplifying equity through grassroot efforts. Recently, Asada received Special Youth Recognition and induction into the Hall of Flame by the Newark Circle of Sisters. Asada is always emitting positivity both socially and academically. After graduating from Bard High School Early College, Asada will attend Spelman College, majoring in Environmental Studies. The social aspect and impact of understanding the world around her is what heavily guides her passion in this field.

Bard Early College High School - Emilly BustamanteEmilly Bustamante
Effort: At Bard High School Early College Emilly’s story of effort and perseverance began with her transition to the school. Emilly admits that she was not prepared for the academic rigor of BHSEC and gives credit to a 9th grade teacher for coaching her on methods to successful study to catapult her into her streak of Super Honor Roll and an impressive 3.5 GPA. She manages the challenges she faces and redirects her energy toward service as both a Student Ambassador and Fundraising Committee member. After graduating from Bard High School Early College, Emilly will attend Rutgers University’s Newark Campus studying Biology as she strives toward becoming an Occupational Therapist. Emilly will gain hands-on experience volunteering at a rehabilitation center that is dear to her heart.

Bard Early College High School - Keyasha Aikens-BerryKeyasha Aikens-Berry
Excellence: Keyasha carries an unassuming excellence that in no way overshadows her tenacity and result driven character. Thanks to the help of her father’s lectures against procrastination and aims at wise friend choice, Keyasha has persevered while being a beacon of positivity within the school. Keysha is a member of the National Honor Society and through her community service, has left her legacy with incoming students by assisting with the Admission Days at BHSEC. Keyasha’s excellence is unique and not only displayed though academic performance but through her demeanor and air of modesty that is not often recognized but is greatly admired. After graduating from Bard High School Early College, Keyasha will pursue a degree in Information Technology from Montclair State University.

Barringer Academy of Arts & Humanities

Barringer Academy of Arts & Humanities - Lizette DiazLizette Diaz
Valedictorian: Lizette Diaz is one of our most outstanding students at Barringer Academy of the Arts and Humanities. Her academic achievements coupled with her leadership skills as a student ambassador are remarkable and she exemplifies greatness. She is intelligent, committed, and a hard working student. Lizette was born in Puerto Rico and arrived in the United States to begin her academic studies in the eighth grade at Rafael Hernandez Middle School. Throughout her tenure in high school, Lizette maintained a rigorous academic schedule earning a 4.17 grade point average. Lizette Diaz will further her post-secondary studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey where she will major in Business Administration.

Barringer Academy of Arts & Humanities - Natalia Rocio Armijos CalderonNatalia Rocio Armijos Calderon
Salutatorian: Natalia Rocio Armijos Calderon is from Cartagena, Spain and lived in Ecuador before moving to the United States in 2014. Upon her arrival, Natalia melded into the mainstream of academic life at Barringer Academy of the Arts and Humanities. She immediately distinguished herself by earning honor roll status in the ninth grade and onward in her academic studies. Natalia has continued to earn academic laurels during her tenure and has earned a grade point average of 3.99. Though quiet in nature, she is is a valuable and respected student leader in our school community. Natalia will further her post-secondary studies at the University of Murcia in Cartegena, Spain, where she will pursue her career to become a doctor.

Barringer Academy of Arts & Humanities - Tashan BlackTashan Black
Equity: Tashan Black has been a student at Barringer Academy of the Arts and Humanities for his entire high school career. Tashan is an eager and hard working student. With an outgoing demeanor and cheerful front, Tashan has worked hard to achieve academic success. He is a true example of showing students that they are “enough.” His teachers all report that he does his assignments and fulfills his other responsibilities towards Barringer Academy of the Arts and Humanities with an enthusiastic spirit. Tashan is liked and respected by his peers. Tahsan will further his post-secondary experience at Essex County College where he will purse a degree in the health care industry.

Barringer Academy of Arts & Humanities - Cindy Elizabeth PinedaCindy Elizabeth Pineda
Effort: Cindy has overcome major issues in her life, issues that would stifle any student’s progress from reaching their fullest potential. In every challenge, Cindy has met these obstacles head on with grit and perseverance. Cindy is quiet and somewhat reserved but at the core is a highly intelligent, determined, and focused person. Cindy’s dedication can be seen in her consistent success throughout her school career, with one of the highest grade point averages and SAT scores in her senior class. This academic focus has earned numerous acceptance letters to New Jersey’s finest colleges and universities. Cindy has an incredible talent in drawing and artistic expression. Cindy will further her post-secondary education at Montclair State University where she will study biology in pursuit of becoming a doctor.

Barringer Academy of Arts & Humanities - Moses B. AwuahMoses B. Awuah
Excellence: “What a pleasure to have in class!” is the comment you hear most often from Moses’s teachers. For Moses, good is never enough, neither is just “A!” Moses strives for excellence in every aspect of his life and he is specifically particular not to settle for an “A” but strives for the “A+.” Moses also creates exquisite artwork with stunning detail and emotion. Additionally, Moses’ artwork has been recognized in the art community in New Jersey. Attention to detail and hard work fit perfectly in Moses’ plan to pursue a career as an engineer. Moses has been accepted to many colleges and universities in New Jersey and beyond. At Barringer Academy of the Arts and Humanities, Moses is a student ambassador, peer leader, art entrepreneur in residence, but overall, he exemplifies our three pillars of “show up, you are enough and be brave!“ Moses will further his post-secondary education in the fall at The College of Saint Elizabeth.

Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M.

Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M. - Jonah SierraJonah Sierra
Valedictorian: Jonah is the embodiment of a student who has demonstrated outstanding behavior and academics consistently for the past 4 years. He currently is ranked at the top of his class with a 4.25 GPA and is preparing to continue his education at a prestigious university. Jonah is a caring and compassionate individual who is a friend to all. He is a leader who wants the best for not only himself, but his classmates and the school as a whole. Jonah is a passionate artist, as well as a forward thinker. He exceeds expectations with his willingness to participate in extracurricular activities. Jonah is the model student with a bright and remarkable future. This fall, Jonah will attend Syracuse University.

Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M. - Theresa JeanTheresa Jean
Salutatorian: Theresa Jean is one of the most diligent individuals to ever grace the hallways of Barringer S.T.E.A.M. She is highly motivated and determined to succeed. At Barringer Academy of STEAM, Theresa has worked tirelessly to be a stellar student and athlete. She will not quit and everyone who has encountered her admires her work ethic. Due to her grit there is no doubt that Theresa will find success at the College of Saint Elizabeth and where she has plans to major in pre-medical studies with the hopes of becoming a surgeon.

Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M. - Yokadamis TaverasYokadamis Taveras
Equity: Yokadamis Taveras is a kindhearted, intelligent, responsible, and passionate young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Despite her disability, she comes to school on a regular basis with an excitement for learning and an attitude of dedication and perseverance. Yokadamis exudes an aura of positivity and resilience when in the classrooms and hallways of our school. Yokadamis is a model student who sets a positive example for her peers. She has always been diligent about her academics and strives for mastery at every turn. Her work ethic, self-motivation, and focus on doing well are an inspiration to her classmates. She is beloved by her teachers, peers, and faculty. Yokadamis Taveras will attend Rutgers University this fall.

Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M. - Rancell RomeroRancell Romero
Effort: Rancell has an outstanding academic record which has gained him various academic excellence awards. He was awarded the Leadership Certification for his strong leadership skills among his peers during the 2017 NJIT ESL Summer Program. One of Rancell’s meaningful school contributions was his advocacy ability for anything unjust and his empathy for others. His passions along with his personal experiences have led Rancell into advocacy work. He is talented, caring, intuitive, dedicated and focused in his pursuits. Rancell is truly an exceptional individual who will impress everyone he meets. Rancell Romero will attend Rutgers University.

Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M. - Pelumi OdunugaPelumi Odunuga
Excellence: Pelumi Odunuga is an intelligent, inquisitive, hard-working, and responsible young man with a bright future ahead of him. Since becoming a member of our S.T.E.A.M. family his sophomore year Pelumi has grown as an individual both academically and socially. He is a model example of what a true scholar is due to his dedication to his studies and the betterment of his peers. His love for reading and learning shines through in all that he does. Pelumi’s exuberant disposition has endeared him to his peers and teachers alike who have confidence that he will achieve his goal of working with the United Nations in the future. Pelumi will attend Rutgers University this fall.

Central High School

Central High School - Corinne Jean-JacquesCorinne Jean-Jacques
Valedictorian: Corinne Jean-Jacques is an essential asset to her teachers, peers, and school community. She always manages to find time to help those in need, while maintaining an exceptional GPA. Corinne is responsible, mature, and it is without a doubt that she will continue to be successful in her future endeavor. Corrine plans to attend Bloomfield College in the fall 2018.

Central High School - Mariama SheriffMariama Sheriff
Salutatorian: Mariama Sheriff is the epitome of hard work, dedication and astuteness. What I have admired in Mariama is her ability to maintain such a high standard of academic excellence while pursuing other endeavors. Not only does Mariama play center-front volleyball, but she also volunteers at the mayor’s office as a resource for community outreach. Mariama is a member of the National Honor Society and she is currently dual enrolled at Essex County College. Mariama is also an NJ Stars candidate and is poised to receive a full scholarship to complete her Associates Degree. Mariama’s future pursuits include a career in criminal law. Mariam’s future pursuits include a career in criminal law. She will be attending Montclair State University this fall.

Central High School - Aissata BereteAissata Berete
Equity: Aissata Berete is a student with outstanding character. Aissata is dependable and always willing to go the extra mile for her school community. I have had the pleasure of knowing Aissata for six years, as she was my student in elementary school. It has been an honor to watch her grow into the compassionate young lady she is today. Aissata has always shown extraordinary diligence in her studies and possesses honesty and integrity. Aissata will be attending St. Peter’s University this fall.

Central High School - Pape M. YankaPape M. Yanka
Effort: Pape came to the United States from Senegal, Africa roughly two years ago, speaking limited English. He enrolled in Central High School’s ESL program. After getting acclimated to Central High School, he began to thrive academically and socially. He is a participant of the Central High School Boy’s Soccer team, two pre-college programs offered at Essex County College and NJIT, and has also achieved Super Honor Roll. Upon arriving to this country, Pape was forced to leave his mother behind in order to obtain a better life here, in the United States. Pape Yanka is the epitome of perseverance at Central High School. Pape is a NJ Stars candidate and will be attending Rutgers University, Newark as an Engineering student.

Central High School - Sonobia DuncanSonobia Duncan
Excellence: Sonobia Duncan is a star student with the determination to achieve success. She ranks number six with a 3.697 GPA. Sonobia started out quite shy, but has blossomed into a mature, hardworking, and assertive young lady. She also exemplifies growing leadership capabilities as she is the captain of the band dancers. Sonobia did well academically during her sophomore year that she was chosen for the Essex County College initiative where she took classes during her junior and senior years earning credits towards her associates. Sonobia plans on attending Rutgers University, New Brunswick this fall. She will be majoring in Language Interpretation and Translation with a Korean Concentration.

East Side High School

East Side High School - Xavier Romero CarreraXavier Romero Carrera
Valedictorian: Go getter student with a positive attitude. Very intelligent who excels at everything academically. Xavier is a well liked student who is truly a leader as he is ranked #1 in this Class of 2018. He is current active in the Robotics and Spanish Club. He also is a member of the National Honor Society. Essex County College majoring in Engineering.

East Side High School - Catuxa Tato MontemuinoCatuxa Tato Montemuino
Salutatorian: Catuxa is a bright, mature, and dedicated young woman. She has taken challenging courses since her freshman year, and will graduate in June with an Associate’s Degree from Essex County College. Catuxa participates in the Student Council, the Newark Student Union, the Future Project, and the Debate team. She is a member of the Girls Who Code Club and the National Honor Society. Outside of school, Catuxa is involved with the Spanish Association of Culture and Language (ALCE), New Jersey Communities United, and Folk Dancing. She has held part-time jobs with Natura USA and with Woops Bakeshop. Catuxa has accomplished all of this while maintaining a 4.121 GPA. Her drive to succeed and commitment to learn is a trait she will take with her anywhere she chooses to go. This fall she will attend Rutgers University, Newark and major in Biology.

East Side High School - Abigail DevinoAbigail Devino
Equity: Abigail embodies the golden rule and even broadens it with her helpfulness and kindness. She is very bright and inquisitive, but it is her kindness and goodness that shines through as a person. A famous quote better describes Abigail. “Some people make you laugh a little louder, your smile a little brighter and your life a little better.” Bright, talented, intellectual and beats to her own drummer. She was elected Student Council President for her commitment to community service and her service to all of the students at East Side. First to volunteer to a Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and countless other school initiatives, Abigail is there to support. She is all of the above while also being an excellent student with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 with all Honors and AP classes. Abigail will be taking her talents to Caldwell University on a full scholarship. She plans on studying English and Education.

East Side High School - Janet CazaresJanet Cazares
Effort: Janet’s transition from middle school to high school was one of her biggest challenges. Within the first couple of months she experienced “imposter syndrome” and thought that she could not triumph or fit in amongst her peers. She struggled to make friends and finding her voice in the classroom. She pushed herself into situations where she had to facilitate conversation and joined clubs that relied on collaborative work. In doing so, she created a small niche where she could relate to other people, while simultaneously unlocking a profound passion for social justice. This propelled a sense of self-exploration about how her personal story can fit into the larger tapestry of a national and global story. Janet will be attending Rutgers New Brunswick in the fall.

East Side High School - Gina MatosGina Matos
Excellence: Gina is a leader, scholar, visionary and activist. Many of you might know of all of her attributes, as she serves as the Student Representative on our Newark Advisory Board where she has done an excellent job. Gina is also President of East Side’s Student Council and Honor Society. She has been at the forefront of many school and community service projects such as Habitat for Humanity. Gina has a cumulative GPA of 3.8 with the most rigorous schedule and will graduate this year with an Associate Degree from Essex County College. She will be entering college as a junior. Gina will be bringing her talent to Rutgers Honor Learning Community with a full scholarship. She will be majoring in Public Affairs and Administration and is thinking about attending law school after graduation.

John F. Kennedy School

John F. Kennedy School - Ty’Quinn GarrisTy’Quinn Garris
Valedictorian: Go getter student with a positive attitude. Very intelligent who excels at everything academically. Xavier is a well liked student who is truly a leader as he is ranked #1 in this Class of 2018. He is current active in the Robotics and Spanish Club. He also is a member of the National Honor Society. Essex County College majoring in Engineering.

John F. Kennedy School - Daniel SilvaDaniel Silva
Salutatorian: Daniel is a responsible and very reliable scholar. He is a self-driven learner that is highly motivated to succeed both academic and socially. When given a task or assignment, Daniel is capable of completing it without having to be reminded to do so. He has the capacity to see what needs to be done and to just do it. Being punctual and regular in attendance are two of many examples of desirable character traits that he possesses. Throughout Daniel’s entire high school career, he has received numerous awards and recognitions for academic and extramural successes. Such accolades and acknowledgements substantiate his selection for salutatorian. Daniel plans to continue to work at local library in his community. In the near future he plans to attend the SLE program at Beth Israel Hospital.

John F. Kennedy School - Erick JiminezErick Jiminez
Equity: Erick Jimenez is a cheerful student who enjoys the various work experiences that he engages in at John F. Kennedy School. Erick treats all the staff members and students with the utmost respect when he works the school’s snack cart. He enters each class with a smile and attends to the task at hand causing no disruption to the students who are working. He also participates in community learning and treats the various members in the community with fairness and respect. Erick exemplifies in spirit how others should be treated despite, race, religion and disability. Erick plans to attend either The Innovative or Hope Program which are both community based programs that will allow Erick to continue to enhance his social and vocational skills while in his community.

John F. Kennedy School - Farley DaSilvaFarley DaSilva
Effort: Farley has shown great diligence by attending the SLE program located in Beth Israel Hospital. Farley had to overcome the uncertainty of being in a new environment and learn the various procedures and protocol of the hospital to maintain his position. He is determined to excel in school and demonstrate this by consistently engaging in school activities as often as he can despite his commitment to the SLE program. Farley has overcome many challenges in his life all while maintaining a positive attitude and a commitment to school and work. Farley plans to continue the SLE program at the Beth Israel hospital and will hopefully gain employment there in the near future.

John F. Kennedy School - Zaniyah CherryZaniyah Cherry
Excellence: Zaniyah Cherry has great potential and works towards achieving it; excellence is a word which truly defines her. She has strengthened her leadership skills and is good citizen. Always willing to volunteer for community service by assisting both teachers and her peers, Zaniyah possess a giving nature which endears her to the John F. Kennedy School community. She enjoys creating do-it-yourself arts and crafts designs with the Ellison die cast machine and sharing these creations within her school community. Upon graduation Zaniyah’s future goals include working in the food services industry; she has received her certificate as a food handler which will assist her in this future endeavor.

Malcolm X Shabazz High School

Malcolm X Shabazz High School - Shanice WellingtonShanice Wellington
Valedictorian: Shanice is a consistently motivated, focused, charitable and personable young lady. She is always eager to accept new challenges and shares her interests, achievements and ideas with her fellow classmates. Shanice leads by example and our students, as well as staff find her enthusiasm and dedication both inspiring and motivating. Shanice has exceptional organizational skills and a diligent and tenacious work ethic. Her exemplary academic performance is a direct result of her hard work, strong focus and personal desire to excel. She has a heart of gold and is readily available to assist anyone who is in need. She has shown herself to be a caring, motivated, determined, persevering and enlightened young lady. Shanice will attend Rutgers University, Newark. She has been accepted into the Honor Living Learning Community (HLLC). She will be majoring in Social Work. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree, she will continue her education by pursuing her Master’s Degree.

Malcolm X Shabazz High School - Briana RacineBriana Racine
Salutatorian: Briana is an extraordinary and determined young lady who has yet to let any challenge deter her from taking the necessary steps that will lead her towards future accomplishments and career success. If you were to listen to any of her teachers, you would consistently hear of her respectfulness, determination, motivation, compassion and her enthusiasm for learning. She is also a favorite amongst her peers because of her kindness, gentleness and positive attitude. She has managed to balance academics with extra-curricular activities; which has helped her to develop life-long, productive work habits and valuable time-management skills. Briana is a resourceful young lady who is absolutely ready to put forth the dedication and commitment needed to make a substantial difference in the world. Briana will be attending Bridgewater College in Virginia this fall.

Malcolm X Shabazz High School - Spencer OkotahSpencer Okotah
Equity: Spencer embodies the spirit of equity because he is kind-hearted and has a kind-spirit. On his first day at MXSHS, Spencer introduced himself to staff and students, informing everyone how nervous he was and his desire to make new friends and meet new people. Spencer was welcomed immediately. He is a pleasure to be around and he treats everyone fairly. I often hear his peers talk about how kind he is. Spencer models positive behaviors and carries himself with pride. Spencer often talks about his desire to give back to his community and help those in need. Spencer has been a great influence to many of his peers here at MXSHS and I believe that this award represents who he is and what he stands for, Equity. Spencer’s post-graduation plan is to attend New Jersey City University as a full-time student. He is majoring in Biology and is planning to pursue his career in Pharmacology.

Malcolm X Shabazz High School - Keyasha RiversKeyasha Riversa
Effort: She had worked hard to be a part of the school community and to share her gifts and talents with all of us. She has preserved and has learned to successfully adapt to all sorts of challenging situations; a skill that will be of great benefit to her in life. Her positive outlook on life is contagious and refreshing. Keyasha is a self-motivated and personable young lady of numerous talents and considerable self-discipline. She is fun loving, likable and enthusiastic. She is very respectful of herself and others and is genuinely motivated to be successful in her chosen career field. She is a conscientious, persistent and extremely hardworking young lady who is absolutely ready to meet the challenges of college life and beyond. Keyasha will be attending Alabama A & M University. She plans on Majoring in Forensic Psychology. Her planned career goal is to become a Forensic Psychologist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Malcolm X Shabazz High School - Dante ArtisDante Artis
Excellence: It is my pleasure to recommend Dante Artis for the Superintendent’s 3E, Excellence, award. Dante has proven to be a special student who has demonstrated a great deal of respect, devotion, and skill to every aspect of his scholastic and social life. In addition to his academics, he has found time to participate in community service events. His volunteer projects were with the Branch Brook Park Alliance, Community Food Bank of NJ and Seton Hall Upward Program. He is someone I admire for his vision of life and devotion to all he does. His potential for future success is limitless. Dante’s post-graduate plans are to enroll at Delaware State University as a Criminal Justice Major with a Minor in Game Design. He will also continue his athletic career as a Division I football player with the Delaware State Hornets.

New Jersey Regional Day

New Jersey Regional Day - Joshua RiveraJoshua Rivera
Equity: Joshua is a well-mannered and kind-hearted student. He is extremely caring and can spot someone who needs a warm smile or a little loving attention. He is very observant and immediately notices when a person is not acting like their usual self. He responds with kindness to those who are having difficult times. He always follows the “Golden Rule,” of treating peers, teachers, and staff with the utmost respect and sincerity. Joshua is extremely warm and friendly- he loves to make conversation with those around him, whether they are friends or new acquaintances. He embodies the three A’s that our school exemplifies, which are: Appearance, Attitude, and Attendance. Upon graduating from New Jersey Regional Day school, Joshua will participate in an adult day program with supportive employment.

New Jersey Regional Day - Katherina DoyleKatherina Doyle
Effort: Katherina is graduating from New Jersey Regional Day School where she has been attending since 2014. She has persevered through educational, emotional and social obstacles to demonstrate high levels of achievement. Despite this, she has great enthusiasm for learning and loves to participate in daily lessons and activities. She enthusiastically expresses her love of school. Katherina is extremely shy and finds many social interactions challenging. But she is determined to connect with her peers and make friends. This has led to being elected Classroom Representative on our Student Council. Upon graduating from New Jersey Regional Day school, Katherina will participate in an adult day program with supportive employment.

New Jersey Regional Day - Maria InahuazoMaria Inahuazo
Excellence: Maria displays excellence in her acceptance of responsibility both at school and at home. Maria takes seriously her school-based job of Chromebook Monitor, distributing and collecting student Chromebooks to classrooms on a daily basis, while keeping an inventory of dozens of devices. She also participates in the shared-time program at Goodwill Industries and Retail Store, where her work was exemplary. She is a wonderful representative of our school with excellent attendance at the program. At home she helps her family greatly by assuming responsibility for her two year old brother, lovingly and independently taking on many tasks related to his care. Upon graduating from New Jersey Regional Day school, Maria will participate in an adult day program with supportive employment.

Science Park High School

Science Park High School - Gabriela De CarvalhoGabriela De Carvalho
Valedictorian: Gabriela has worked diligently at SPHS over the past 6 years. She has taken multiple honors and AP courses and has maintained over a 4.3 GPA. Gabby is intelligent, hard-working, and a joy to have in class. We wish her the best and know she will be a success. Gabriela will be attending NJIT Honors College in the fall.

Science Park High School - Bukola AjanakuBukola Ajanaku
Salutatorian: Bukola has worked diligently at SPHS over the past 6 years. She has taken multiple honors and IB courses and has maintained over a 4.2 GPA. Bukola is extremely intelligent and an absolute joy to be around. She will be missed. Bukola will be studying at University of Pennsylvania in the Fall and eventually has hopes of going to medical school.

Science Park High School - Andre WilliamsAndre Williams
Equity: As an active member of the Science Park High School student leadership organization, Andre was vital in working with administration as an advocate for Science Park students. Andre will attend Villanova University in the fall.

Science Park High School - Trinity CorneyTrinity Corney
Effort: Trinity exemplifies perseverance and not allowing obstacles to get in the way of her goals. She is motivated and always has a smile on her face. Her strong work ethic and dedication to her education is admirable. Trinity will be majoring in Communications at Montclair State University.

Science Park High School - Brianna AaronBrianna Aaron
Excellence: Brianna demonstrates excellence in all she does. She is a nationally recognized debater who has competed all over the world, an IB scholar, and an all-around excellent individual. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and is able to juggle the rigors of academics with the demands of debate. Brianna will be attending Wake Forrest University in the fall.

Technology High School

Technology High School - Chantaly VillalonaChantaly Villalona
Valedictorian: Chantaly has a deep appreciation for the value of education and hard work. During high school Chantaly always ranked at the top of her class. Chantaly has taken advantage of every opportunity that would help prepare her for the rigors of the college curriculum. NJSeeds, Rutgers SMART program, Stevens Institute Summer Program and NJIT Upward Bound are some of the programs she participated in during high school. In addition to academics, Chantaly is involved in many extracurricular clubs and sports. She is a leader in her class and she is well liked and respected by both students and staff. Chantaly believes strongly in giving back to the community and volunteers regularly at her church in addition to her involvement with several other community service projects. Chantaly will be attending Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA majoring in Software Engineering.

Technology High School - Yaa ObengYaa Obeng
Salutatorian: Yaa is the Salutatorian of Technology High School. She is truly an outstanding young woman with the commitment, drive and dedication needed to succeed. Yaa’s commitment and enthusiasm to her education earned her the honor of representing the student body of Technology at a tri-state area press release on the opening day of school. Yaa does not like to be idle. She’s completed over 100 hours of community service and has served as a teaching assistance and peer tutor. Yaa will spend her summer participating in lung stem cell research at Columbia University. In the Fall she will enroll in Amherst College in Amherst, MA where she will major in Neuroscience with an interdisciplinary concentration in International Health Administration.

Technology High School - Claudia GoncalvesClaudia Goncalves
Equity: William Shakespeare in a Midsummer Night’s Dream describes Helena by saying, “though she be but little, she is fierce!” Claudia Goncalves approach to life embodies all the elements of this quote. She is passionate about her education always seeking answers not only for herself but for her peers. Claudia does not hesitate to share her resources. Her classmates and closet peers rely on her leadership skills, passion, and authenticity when advising, or spearheading a cause. Claudia will be attending The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ. She plans to major in Political Science with the goal of pursuing a Law degree. She plans to study Criminal Justice and Immigration Law.

Technology High School - Justin CruzJustin Cruz
Effort: Justin possesses an admirable sense of values and priorities and puts forth an extraordinary amount of effort in his approach to all endeavors. He challenged himself academically by selecting to enroll four ECC classes at THS and the Rutgers REaCH Program. He was selected as a Cooperman Scholar and has participated in various college preparatory programs including RU-NEXT and Rutgers Future Scholars. Justin has been a member of the Chess, Math and Animae Clubs and the Bowling Team. He has volunteered his time at the Homeless Animal Adoption League. Justin is a self-directed young man who has overcome numerous obstacles yet never loses sight of his goals. He will attend The College of New Jersey majoring in Criminal Justice.

Technology High School - Amy-Ann EdziahAmy-Ann Edziah
Excellence: Inquisitive, responsible and motivated are a few of the words that come to mind when describing Amy-Ann. She is a hard worker who understands the value of education. Amy-Ann has been a member of NJ LEEP, the All Stars Project of NJ, Quest Bridge, and Education to Employment to name a few. She participated in the Summer Surgical Internship Program for exceptional high school students at St. Barnabas Medical Center and has won numerous awards for her hard work. Amy-Ann strives for excellence in everything she does. Amy-Ann will attend Swarthmore College where she will major in Biology and minor in Women and Gender Studies. She hopes to pursue the pre-med track and attend and graduate from medical school.

University High School

University High School - Prince AbimahPrince Abimah
Valedictorian: Prince is a model student; self-motivated, ambitious, competitive and determined to succeed. This young man’s stellar academic record has earned him Super Honor Roll, and Principal’s list since his freshman year. Prince was inducted into the University High School chapter of the National Honor Society. An advanced placement Honor’s student, he has exceptional academic abilities. Prince has been a member of the track team since his freshman year and won the Track and Field Student athlete award. He is also a member of the Weequahic High School’s Soccer Team, and was selected as MVP in 2014 and 2015. This year he received the 2018 Essex County Academic Award. Unaffected by all his success, Prince remains a very humble young man with a strong sense of character. Upon graduation, Prince wishes to pursue a career in medicine. He will attend Rutgers University, New Brunswick this fall.

University High School - Inasia BeltonInasia Belton
Salutatorian: Since her freshman year at University High School, Inasia made Principal’s List and has earned Super Honor Roll. She was inducted into the University High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society. Inasia has accumulated substantial hours of community service tutoring 7th – 9th grade students. An active tennis player, Inasia made team captain her senior year, and won several awards and trophies in the sport. She also plays softball, is a member of the French club as well as the Junior Entrepreneur club. This year, Inasia was awarded the 2018 Essex County Academic Award. Inasia is a well-rounded young lady that will thrive in any endeavor she ventures. Inasia has been accepted to several colleges and universities, and will attend Denison University in Ohio in the fall.

University High School - Kelly McIntyreKelly McIntyre
Equity: Kelly, simply put, the type of student every teacher wants to teach. Partially, that is because she exhibits the skills and abilities to effectively complete difficult tasks and assignments that reach a standard that few students around her match or surpass. She also possesses an innate sense of wonder and curiosity that pushes her to ask deep, critical questions about the world. Her boundless intellectual potential can only be matched by her pleasant, ebullient personality. Kelly has made University High School a better place through her diligent effort, fairness, her vast creativity and academic ability, her infectious smile, and her easy-going, amiable nature. Kelly will be attending Rutgers Newark where she plans to study Journalism. She will continue to write poems, essays and articles at her hobby.

University High School - Tamara JohnsonTamara Johnson
Effort: Tamara has maintained over a 3.0 GPA since enrolling at University High School freshman year. Tamara has learned the tools of being successful. She understands what it takes to be at the head of her class. Her solid foundation, ambition and desire to succeed has placed her amongst the top 5% of the Class of 2018, ranking # 3, despite personal challenges. Playing basketball has provided her with an outlet to express herself athletically. She has served as Team Captain and has been instrumental in her team winning championships on all levels since freshman. Tamara Johnson will attend Rutgers University-Camden. She will study Criminal Justice and plans to further her education by attending Law School and become an advocate for children.

University High School - Da’Quan PattersonDa’Quan Patterson
Excellence: Da’Quan has been a student of University High School since 7th grade. In the past 4 years, he has shown great strength in his academic area and sports . This amiable, humble young man has worked very hard each year and has been in the Principal’s List/ Honor Roll and a member of the National Honors Society. Da’Quan is a self driven student who is not afraid of challenges and calmly tackles them with a high level of determination and zeal. Da’Quan was accepted to more than 20 universities. His enthusiastic approach to excellence in the school community can only be understood by the comments from his teachers and coaches. As an athlete Da’Quan is a member of track and football. His athletic coach describes him as a Scholar – Athlete who is intrinsically motivated to achieve and a team player. Da-Quan Patterson will attend Husson University where he plans to major in Business.

UPLIFT Academy

UPLIFT Academy - Romaine BantonRomaine Banton
Valedictorian: Romaine is a very quiet and calm individual. He stays focused on his task of completing high school in order to make his transition to adulthood. Romaine entered the school system from Jamaica very uncertain and concern about how he would fit in. He made the necessary adjustments and excel in his academics and socially with peers. Romaine has proven himself a leader of his senior class and intends to attend Essex County College to study Computer Technology upon graduation from UPLIFT Academy.

UPLIFT Academy - Tymirah BurksTymirah Burks
Salutatorian: Tymirah is a very mature and pleasant individual. She often thrives to treat others the way she wants to be treated and lends assistants and reason to her peers. Tymirah is a student leader that leads by example respectfully. She has grown to accept responsibility of being in charge of her drive to accomplish her goals. Tymirah has stated that she intends to attend Kean University with an undecided major for the first year. After her first year of experience of college she believes she will be ready to dive into a specific major.

UPLIFT Academy - Cassandra RuffinCassandra Ruffin
Equity: Cassandra is always considerate of the larger Community. She can reason in making decisions and even if the decision does not work in her favor Cassandra is receptive and understanding. Cassandra is acknowledged by her peers for consistently showing fairness of opinion to all in the community. She is often the voice of objective reasoning to encourage her peers to consider all possible views of a controversial situation. This is a clear characteristic of leadership and equity. Cassandra plans to attend Essex County College after high school.

UPLIFT Academy - Cristian MorenoCristian Moreno
Effort: Cristian has been very consistent since he arrived at UPLIFT Academy. He has set a goal to complete high school and exhibits hard work to achieve his goal. Cristian quietly and diligently works hard and stays the course, focused on getting the job done. His efforts are noticed by the entire community which supports him and encourages him along the way. Cristian plans on attending Essex County College and then transferring to a four year college.

UPLIFT Academy - Aniyah ReddickAniyah Reddick
Excellence: Aniyah deserves this award for her academic Excellence. When she was unable to attend school for personal reasons, Aniyah took the initiative to keep in touch with her teachers for assignments. This lead to her producing high quality work earning top grades in classes. According to Aniyah teachers she is the epitome of an “excellent” student in mathematics. Aniyah has to ability to analyze, communicate and justify solutions. Aniyah is willing to speak her mind and extend herself to her peers. Aniyah plans on attending Essex County College and working to explore possible insight on a desirable career path.

Weequahic High School

Weequahic High School - Zeinab KoneZeinab Kone
Valedictorian: Zeinab Kone is an outstanding scholar. She works hard to ensure that her grades are the best. A true self-regulator, Zeinab manages her time, energy, and schedule in ways that reaps the greatest benefits for her and even her peers. She participates in many leadership activities such as Student Council, Senior Class, Volley Ball, Indoor and Outdoor track as well as Pre-College Programs during the Summer and Fall. Zeinab’s grades reflect excellence inside the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. Through our Jobs For American Graduates (JAG) programs, she participates in feeding the homeless as well as providing warm clothing during the cold winter months. She is truly an outstanding scholar and will attend Rutgers University, Newark Campus this fall.

Weequahic High School - Samuel AdesinaSamuel Adesina
Salutatorian: Samuel Adesina loves a challenge. He takes pride in his work and knows that the work he produces is a reflection of his hard work and effort. He places a very high standard on himself and at times is very critical of his work. Samuel is rarely ever absent from school, and his grades reflect high achievement. He currently participates in many school activities such as Student Council, Senior Class Yearbook, and even works some days after school and on the weekends. He will attend St. Peters College this fall.

Weequahic High School - Salih BrownSalih Brown
Equity: It is rare to meet a student with as much compassion and self-awareness as Albertine. Albertine’s strength of character has not only helped her adapt to a changing environment, but she works to inspire many people with a sense of purpose. Albertine will be continuing her education at Bloomfield College.

Weequahic High School - Siachico BermudezSiachico Bermudez
Effort: Siachico Bermudez has defied the odds in her life and is deserving of this recognition. Siachico transferred to Weequahic High School and arrived in a emotional state. She loss family members prior to her arrival and was on the verge of giving up on her own aspirations. However, when she enlisted in the Beth Israel Hospital program for students wanting to work in the medical field she found her calling. This program has changed her life and the way she thinks about her future. Against all odds, Siachico is currently working hard to complete her last sections of the program and looks forward to a career in the medical field upon graduation at Beth Israel Hospital.

Weequahic High School - Latiefa BarrettLatiefa Barrett
Excellence: Latiefa Barrett is a hard worker. Latiefa demonstrates excellence in every thing she does. She refuses to allow negative situations get in the way of the goals she has placed on her life. She participates in many school activities, programs, and assemblies. Latiefa, participates in Stand and Deliver, Poetry Club, Volley Ball, and is a member of the Wrestling Team. She is often found using her oratory gift in school assemblies and programs. She also volunteers with outside after school programs in the Newark community. Upon graduation, she will attend Bloomfield College.

West Side High School

West Side High School - Nemrah AkramNemrah Akram
Valedictorian: Heaven Hardworking, Dedicated and Motivated are just a few words that describe Nemrah Akram. Nemrah’s stellar academic record has earned her Valedictorian status. She has had perfect attendance and has taken several Advanced Placement courses. Nemrah has worked exceptionally hard throughout high school to achieve and maintain a GPA above 4.0. Nemrah’s commitment to academic achievement is second to none, all while helping to care for her three younger siblings. She strives for excellence in everything she does. Nemrah is admired and valued by our entire school community. Her motivation and academic excellence has earned her admission into New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she will be attending school in the fall.

West Side High School - Segun AjibadeSegun Ajibade
Salutatorian: Segun is a hardworking young adult with excellent academic and leadership skills. He has demonstrated outstanding character and maintains a clear sense of purpose. As a long standing Honor Society member, Segun has consistently excelled in his academic obligations, which has earned him the honor of Salutatorian. Segun’s academic strengths have earned him the honor of being nominated for the position of Newark Public School Student Representative as well as being the recipient of several academic scholarships. In addition to his excellent academic accomplishments, Segun has also demonstrated excellent character and leadership skills in many extra curricular activities. His self assured and mature demeanor compliments the school culture and makes him valuable to any group endeavor. Segun plans attend Rutgers, Newark, The State University of New Jersey in the fall.

West Side High School - Nana EsselNana Essel
Equity: Nana exemplifies the type of person many strive to be. He is well-liked by both staff and students, he exudes a level of self-discipline that is impressive. Using excellent time management skills, he has remained an honor roll student while working at Capital One. In addition to working as a student banker, Nana serves as the captain of the soccer team and volunteers as a youth organizer for his church every Sunday. His calm nature and even temperament allows him to intervene and mediate conflicts between his peers. Nana has a way of making both sides feel heard. He is respectful, polite, and most of all, genuine. Nana will be attending Bloomfield College in the fall and will most definitely be a success in whatever he chooses to do.

West Side High School - Sarayah WootenSarayah Wooten
Effort: Sarayah comes from a single parent household, and is responsible for the daily care of her younger brother, including getting him to and from school. Furthermore, Sarayah works two jobs while at the Red Bull Arena and Kicks USA, in order to help with the household bills. Sarayah has an intrinsic motivation and is determined not to let her younger brother travel down that path. She has the determination, academic ability, maturity, and personality to succeed. She will be attending William Paterson University and will major in either Nursing and/or Psychology. She has also expressed a desire to earn her Ph.D.

West Side High School - Jeremy PeraltaJeremy Peralta
Excellence: Jeremy exemplifies excellence in all that he does. He plays a huge part in the culture and climate of our school campus. He is respected by the staff and his peers because of his contributions to student life at our campus. Jeremy creates school flyers, posters and videos, and as a result, our school has won the district’s school spirit video for two years in a row. He assists teachers with operating the SMART Board and willingly repairs computers and installs printers when needed around the school. This young man is a well-rounded and grounded individual who challenges himself, and actively seeks new opportunities and experiences. The work he has done at our school is priceless, and he is truly indispensable. Jeremy plans to attend Kean University in the fall.