Each year around this time, Newark Public Schools (NPS) takes a moment to acknowledge the accomplishments of its students as they wind down the year and look ahead to new beginnings. This is especially true for our graduating seniors who are transitioning on to college and careers. As we look back on this year, one of great change, great challenge and great accomplishment we look to celebrate all of our students who are at the heart of all our efforts.
In that spirit, we are proud to announce the Superintendent’s “3E” Award – Equity, Excellence, & Effort – for well-deserving graduating seniors. The 3E Award honors NPS students who relentlessly prioritize equity for themselves and others, show tremendous effort through diligence and hard work, and achieve excellent results in carving their own pathways to success.
Recipients have been selected based on the following criteria:
- Equity – Relentless Focus on Justice and Fairness: The nominee exemplifies spirit and actions the old adage, “treat others the way you want to be treated”.
- Effort – Hard Work and Consistency of Effort: The nominee demonstrates diligence and perseverance in overcoming obstacles and consistency of effort over time.
- Excellence – Results Driven: The nominee demonstrates excellence and tangible results in: community involvement for justice and equity, self-improvement, and academic achievement.
American History High School
Effort: Zaire deserves the 3E award for effort because she always puts forth her best in any task that she takes on. As Vice President of her senior class, Zaire planned numerous activities and events to raise class spirit, and demonstrated an ability to unite her peers and ensure that everyone’s voice was heard. Zaire is extremely involved in the community, participating in programs to build her own leadership skills and to give back to those less fortunate. Zaire will be attending Hampton University, the school she set her mind on sophomore year, this fall.
Equity: Jaylin deserves the equity award because of his caring and positive attitude. Jaylin’s success as a student was not limited to the classroom, where he balanced the rigorous academic expectations of his AP classes and Essex County College classes, but expanded to his role as a varsity basketball player, in which capacity he proved to be an effective leader, team player, and positive role model for his peers. Jaylin will attend New Jersey City University, where he was awarded the Top of the Class Scholarship.
Excellence: Gesselle deserves the excellence award because of her dedication and perseverance throughout the last four years of high school. Gesselle is the Valedictorian of her class, and maintained a rigorous schedule of honors and AP classes beginning her freshman year. Gesselle not only excelled academically, but also worked before and after school at her family’s business, and participated in extracurricular activities such as Stand and Deliver and the Art Club. Gesselle was the first to receive the “Believe in Newark Foundation Scholarship”, and will be attending New Jersey City University, where she was awarded the “Top of the Class Scholarship”.
Arts High School
Effort: Carol, President of the Student Council at Arts High School, is the quintessential representative of the word effort. She consistently exercises strength of leadership, a deep sense of personal responsibility and a relentless pursuit of individual excellence and achievement. At school, Carol demonstrates commitment to preparing herself for college, as well as her extracurricular activities, including Tri-Music, National Honor Society and the Peer Leadership Program. Outside of school, she works a part-time job and participates in the New Jersey Law Education and Empowerment Project, a college bound program. Carol will attend Rutgers Newark in Fall 2016.
Equity: Jose deserves the 3E award for Equity because he consistently advocates for social justice at various levels and recognizes the social responsibility of individuals in a democracy. He believes that every individual deserves the opportunity to live an equitable and fruitful life. He isn’t afraid to challenge anything that stands in the way of what is right and uses his voice to amplify the voiceless. This fall, Jose will attend William Paterson University, where he plans to major in Environmental Sustainability and Economics.
Excellence: Josiah exemplifies excellence in all areas of his life. Among his many accomplishments, Josiah is Arts High’s Valedictorian, won 1st place in a constitutional law debate facilitated by NJ Supreme Court Justice, Justice Patterson, teaches songwriting workshops at school and teaches music to kids at his church.Josiah will study Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he was awarded a full scholarship based on academic merit and musical talent.
Bard High School Early College
Equity: Assitan Drame deserves the 3E award for equity because as one of the senior class leaders, she remained impartial and open to various ideas and opinions, treating her peers and all in the school community with respect. Assitan represents diplomacy in the various leadership positions she has at school and helped raise over four thousand dollars for her class activities. This fall, Assitan will attend Rutgers University, where she plans to study medical imaging.
Excellence: Helen Pan, who is one of Bard’s highest academically ranked students, deserves the 3E award for excellence as she has always strived hard to reach her academic goals. Helen is persistent and self-directed, achieving academic excellence while also balancing significant work responsibilities at her family’s restaurant. She was selected as one of the Cooperman Scholars for the 2015-2016 academic school year and as a result of her hard work, Helen will begin her studies in engineering and mathematics at Rowan University this fall.
Effort: Maria Pincay deserves the 3E award for effort because she has persevered and grown in spite of the many obstacles she has faced. Maria worked tirelessly to improve her mastery of language and writing skills while at Bard, while also working two jobs in order to assist her family. Maria completed her application process early and as a result of her hard work was accepted into thirteen colleges and universities. She has chosen to attend William Paterson University in Fall 2016, and plans to study criminal justice and Chinese.
Barringer Academy of Arts & Humanities
Excellence: Nana Bempah is a true scholar. He is described as a thinker, fair and respectful, with a great sense of humor. Since his primary school days, he has always achieved the highest scores among his peers, and is this year’s valedictorian. He did this while also being awarded the Scholar Athlete award for Essex County as captain of Barringer High School’s Soccer Team. NaNa has ambitions for a career as a pharmacist, and plans to attend New Jersey City University to study Chemistry.
Equity: Ricardo strives everyday to help others. His generosity of spirit is clear to everyone who knows him and he’s been known to stay after school to lend a helping hand to staff and his fellow scholars. His contributions to the Barringer Academy of the Arts and Humanities community have been many, ranging from the smile he brings to school each and every day to helping to launch the school’s recycling program. Ricardo has completed the Police Explorer Program and has ambitions to join the military or police force following graduation.
Effort: Monique deserves the 3E award for effort, because of her daily commitment, not only to her own growth and success, but to the success of her peers. Monique advises her peers to take advantage of all of their opportunities; she works hard and encourages them to do the same. Monique plans to take her talents to Essex County College in Fall 2016.
Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M.
Equity: Ivan Collado deserves the equity award because throughout his high school career he has promoted fairness in words and action. Ivan has been the first place winner of STEAM’s Annual Poetry Slam for the last three years. His poems have made a major impact on the culture of the school and have truly raised the bar for the annual Poetry slam. Ivan’s poetry pieces encompass all aspect of equity and fairness in a school community. He will attend Bloomfield College in Fall 2016.
Effort: Maylynn Guzman has in intrinsic motivation that allows her to keep pushing even when faced with adversity. Despite difficult circumstances, Maylynn maintained her grades all four years and participated in various school activities that promote college and career readiness in the school community. Maylynn will attend Rowan University in Fall 2016.
Excellence: Carlos has exhibited the characteristics of a great student leader to all students at STEAM. He has risen to all academic challenges at Barringer STEAM, and recently competed in a 3D printing competition in Manhattan where he worked with a team on an adaptation of a prosthetic hand for a six year old girl who was born without fingers. His innovative design was 3 votes away from winning a 3D printer for STEAM. Carlos plans to attend Essex County College in Fall 2016.
Central High School
Excellence: Maymouna deserves the 3E Award for the excellence because of her consistent pattern of community involvement and academic achievement. She is ranked number one for the class of 2016, and is the recipient of the YMCA Scholarship and the Essex County Retirees Education Scholarship. Maymouna will attend Rowan University in Fall 2016.
Effort: Emmanuel deserves the 3 E Award for effort because of his consistent pattern of achievement in and outside the classroom. He is ranked number five for the class of 2016, and has excelled in Central High School’s Pre-Engineering Academy, Honors and AP classes and the Dual Enrollment program with NJIT. In addition to his academic talents, Emmanuel is a talented athlete and excelled on Central’s football team, earning himself a full athletic scholarship to Monmouth University.
Equity: Daja deserves the 3E Award for Equity because of her consistent involvement in the school community. She has excelled academically while at Central High School, has given back to her 9th grade peers as a mentor for My Little Sister, and was a member of the school band for 4 years. Daja will attend Morris Brown College in Fall 2016.
East Side High School
Effort: Samantha is a hard worker who is determined to excel in all she does. She has achieved academic excellence throughout her 4 years at East Side High School, while participating as an active member in several clubs and organizations on campus, including the Honor Society, Student Counsel and the Portuguese Club. Samantha is also extremely active in the Ironbound Community through her community service. Samantha has decided to attend Seton Hall University, and has ambitions to study abroad, in order to further her education and knowledge of life overseas.
Equity: Luis Lopes is a caring person who helps anyone in need, and never demands anything in return. Helping others is enough of a reward for him and he believes that everyone should help each other, to make society better. He is a compassionate person, a hard worker, and will attend Franklin & Marshall in Fall 2016.
Excellence: Nathan is Valedictorian of his class and excelled equally in his community service, character and morals. He served as the Student Representative on the Newark Public Schools Board, and also served as President of the Student Council and the National Honor Society at East Side High School. Nathan is the recipient of the prestigious Horatio Alger Scholarship, is also a Questbridge scholar and will attend Columbia University in Fall 2016.
Fast Track Success Academy
Equity: Christopher Carter is a motivated individual with a high degree of integrity. He takes the initiative to be a leader, strong communicator, and is the voice for his peers when there is an issue that needs resolving. Christopher has shown that he not only has these skills, but that he also has the ability to inspire, show respect and cooperate as a team player. He has been accepted to Essex County College, but plans to build up his work experience up first.
Excellence: Minata is dedicated, focused and determined. She maintained a job throughout her time at Fast Track, took classes at night and excelled in her online courses. Minata received the Honor Roll and Citizenship awards, and has been nominated for Fast Track’s “Faith” award, for upholding the school’s core principals with excellence. She will study business administration at College in New York this fall.
Effort: Joshua is extremely hard working and is one of very few students that completed the six month Allied Health program at Fast Track, successfully obtaining certifications in Home Health Aide, EKG, and Phlebotomy. Joshua is a model student who exemplifies Fast Track’s core principles of unity, purpose, integrity, and trust. Joshua will attend Essex County College, where he plans to study Computer Science.
Malcolm X Shabazz High School
Equity: Davon deserves the 3E Equity Award because he is a student of tremendous character. Prior to entering Malcolm X Shabazz High School, Davon was faced with many challenges. He embodies Equity because he is kind-hearted, has a kind-spirit and is known as a gentle giant. Davon is known as the “Fireman” and his character reflects what a firefighter stands for: pride, dignity, and respect. Davon has been a great influence to many of the young men and young women at Malcolm X Shabazz. He will attend Essex County College in Fall 2016.
Excellence: Ini came to Shabazz his senior year from out of the county, and needed to double up on some classes in order to meet NPS graduation requirements. Ini took classes before the school day started, and never settled for a “B” in any of his classes. Because of this hard work, Ini’s grades enabled him to get accepted into 5 colleges. His greatest accomplishment was getting into a college of high interest, Centenary College, in addition to being offered numerous scholarships because of his admirable academic achievement.
Effort: Isaac Upshaw is a highly motivated and determined young man, who has risen above the negative constraints of his inner city environment and has emerged with positive goals and high ideals. Isaac is a leader, and has an electricity that simply makes everyone around him want to be a better human being. As a result of Isaac’s ability to balance academics with extra-curricular activities and employment, he has been accepted as an incoming 2016 Educational Opportunity Fund Freshman at New Jersey City University, where he will spend time this summer taking classes on campus and preparing for the fall.
Newark Leadership Academy
Equity: Dennis’ willingness to step in and provide assistance to both staff and students when needed makes him stand out as a nominee for this award. He is a peer leader and has represented Newark Leadership Academy throughout the city for the last 2 years. He has used spoken word to give voice to our young people who are often ignored. He has the courage to step in to redirect and support his peers when needed, even when what he has to say is not popular. Dennis will attend Essex County College in Fall 2016.
Effort: Donovan is a determined and talented young man, with a positive attitude and willingness to help others. Throughout Donovan’s time at Newark Leadership Academy, he arrived early to school daily and was always one of the last to leave. He took advantage of every opportunity to learn both within the school and outside of it, participating in monthly community service and working construction. Donovan will attend Essex County College in Fall 2016.
Excellence: Shazzyah deserves the 3E award for excellence for her relentless commitment to meet her academic goals, and for her many contributions to the community. Shazzyah volunteered weekly with a local child care partner to make a positive impact on the lives of preschoolers, participated in the culinary arts program at NLA, and always did the right thing, even when not popular among her peers. Shazzay will attend Essex County College in Fall 2016.
New Jersey Regional Day
Excellence: Throughout the years, with hard work, perseverance, and a strong will, Devante has developed into one of the most responsible and respectful students at New Jersey Regional Day School. Devante strives for excellence in every endeavor he takes on. Devante is talented in the long jump and softball throw, and worked hard to develop skills through participation in programs at Classic Thyme Cooking School, Chatham Hills Nursing Home, Goodwill Industries, NJ Food Bank and Meadowlands Environmental Center. Devante has ambitions to work at a restaurant following graduation.
Effort: Perseverance and determination describe Tameeka perfectly. While at New Jersey Regional Day School, Tameeka developed skills through participation in a number of programs at Classic Thyme Cooking School, Goodwill Industries, Meadowlands Environmental Center, the New Jersey Food Bank and Newark Leadership Academy. Each opportunity presented new challenges and Tameeka demonstrated that through hard work she can overcome any obstacle. Tameeka is planning a career in the cosmetology field upon graduation.
Equity: Na’Diah’s concern for her classmates is one of her best qualities. She is not only respectful to others but she works diligently to communicate with and understand her peers. Throughout the years she has become a champion of equity and has become a great example for her peers. She consistently models how others are to be honored and respected. Na’Diah will pursue a career as an educator upon graduation.
Science Park High School
Equity: Jeremiah deserves to be recognized for his commitment to fairness and justice. He is a true gentleman to everyone he encounters and a natural leader who can light up a room with his dynamic personality and charisma. He never says no to helping someone in need and is always willing to go out of his way for the Science Park Community. Jeremiah will attend the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Fall 2016.
Effort: Tyara is a true hero. In 9th grade she was diagnosed with cancer and left for home instruction to undergo chemotherapy treatments. During that time, she kept in close contact with the school community at Science Park, and never once let her grades or spirits fall. A consistent, dedicated, and enthusiastic person, Tyara is a strong student athlete with an impressive resume. She has been a member of three Varsity sports teams and our school choir all while maintaining excellent grades. Tyara will attend Rutgers University, New Brunswick in Fall 2016.
Excellence: Leonid is an exemplary student. He is currently enrolled in 6 AP classes, participates in a number of extracurricular activities, and is an accomplished pianist. He leads by example, both inside and outside of the classroom, and serves as an officer in the National Honor Society. Leonid was also recently a member of the chemistry Olympics team that placed 1st and 3rd in NJIT’s annual competition. Using his AP experience, he was able to make positive contributions to the winning team. Leonid will attend Boston College in Fall 2016.
Technology High School
Effort: Monica can be counted on to do whatever is necessary to be successful and truly believes education is key to her own success. Monica consistently challenges herself and understands this is how one grows intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. She is a student who uplifts others and encourages them to work hard and to achieve their goals. Whatever she does, she always gives it her all. Monica will attend Delaware State University Honors program in Fall 2016.
Equity: Carolina Paula is the senior class president at Technology High School, and is an extremely well rounded young lady. She has maintained solid grades throughout high school and has been very involved in activities both in and out of school. As a member and past president of the International Rainbow Order for Girls, Carolina has participated in many community service activities that have helped a countless number of people. She will attend Stockton University in Fall 2016.
Excellence: Katherine Penafiel has been an outstanding and dedicated student all 4 years of high school. She has consistently challenged herself by taking AP and college level courses, and is graduating fourth in her class. She has also competed as an athlete during her years at Technology, which helped her develop excellent teamwork and leadership skills. Katherine will attend Kean University in Fall 2016.
Univeristy High School
Effort: Dihzae is goal-oriented, and self-motivated. Early on during high school Dihzae was not pleased with his grades, and spoke about improving from average to more academically sound. He worked hard, set goals, sought mentorship and tutoring, and utilized all his resources to prevail. Over time his effort began to pay off. Grades improved and work ethic increased. He excelled in AP coursework, and will attend Kean University in Fall 2016.
Equity: Khadija has served as an activist for several social justice causes, is passionate about reform on issues that matter, and has an understanding of politics and community that goes well beyond her years. As an active debate team member, she has used her platform to educate peers. Believing strongly in fairness and equality for all, Khadija understands what it means to have upstanding character and exemplifies that every day with her solid moral compass . She will attend Seton Hall University in Fall 2016.
Excellence: Cecelia has earned A’s throughout her entire high school career at University High School, and is the Class of 2016 Valedictorian. She is a member of the track team, has volunteered with recruiting and High School fair efforts, and has volunteered as a Student Ambassador whenever needed. Cecelia will attend Rutgers University in Fall 2016.
Weequahic High School
Equity: Jacqueline deserves the 3E award because she sets academic goals for herself and makes every effort to achieve them. Jacqueline was born and raised in Ghana, and has been in the United States since December 2014. She embodies the spirit of “treat others the way you want to be treated” by being polite, kind and respectful to others. She is a model student and is well respected among her peers, faculty and administrators. Jacqueline will attend Montclair State University in Fall 2016.
Excellence: SaJaida deserves the 3E award because she demonstrates excellence in school and throughout her community. She has participated in the Autism Awareness Fundraiser and the Making Strides against Breast Cancer 5K walk. SaJaida has also maintained excellent grades during her four years at Weequahic High School. SaJaida will attend Saint Peter’s University in Fall 2016.
Effort: Naylene Vasquez transferred to Weequahic High School during her junior year from a school in Harlem, New York. Since arriving at Weequahic, she has participated in numerous extracurricular activities including: the National Honor Society, student government, yearbook committee, and softball. In addition, she has spearheaded a number of senior activities and received the distinct honor of Salutatorian for the Class of 2016. Naylene will be the first person in her family to go to college, and will attend Saint Peter’s University in Fall 2016.
West Side Campus
Excellence: Kossi Amegnran exudes excellence, not only because of his excellent grades, but also because he possess and displays character traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring and citizenship. Kossi has consistently maintained his place on the super honor roll and honor roll rosters at Newark Early College over the past four years. Furthermore, his passion to make a difference, has allowed him to be an active and influential part of school and community affairs. Kossi has been the recipient of grants and scholarships that will cover nearly all of his college costs and will be attending Fairleigh Dickinson in the Fall.
Equity: Stacy Tyndall is known throughout Newark Early College as the voice of the student body, even before she became a member of Student Government. Stacy demonstrates academic success, but it is her drive to help others that makes her a perfect candidate for this award. Stacy looks forward to beginning her post-secondary studies at Rutgers University where she intends to study Criminal Justice. Stacy is a recipient of the Rutgers Honors Living-Learning scholarship. We are confident that Stacy will realize her dream of becoming an attorney, as she continues to advocate for the rights of others.
Effort: Trashawn White-Hines deserves this award, because of his ability to overcome obstacles and put forward consistent effort over time. He has excellent grades and a long history of making the honor roll over the course of his academic career. While it has not been a simple journey for him, Trashawn defied the odds through his personal drive and determination to succeed. As a result of his academic success during his first three years, he was chosen to participate in the Beth Israel Onsite Learning Program. Trashawn was accepted and will be attending New Jersey City University in Fall 2016.