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SOM School District Recognizes Students, Staff

At Monday's BOE meeting, the administration announced awards and honors.

SOM School District Recognizes Students, Staff SOM School District Recognizes Students, Staff

Monday's Board of Education meeting kicked off with a rousing performance by the Columbia High School acapella group The Unaccompanied Minors. (Check out a video of the group performing earlier this year at CHS; attached to this article.)

BOE member Lynne Crawford announced the following board recognitions of students and teachers:

Columbia High School Student, Michael Ferranti, a freshman member of the CHS honors wind ensemble, was selected as a member of the 2012-2013 North Jersey Junior Region Band for his audition on the trumpet.

Three members of the CHS Honors Wind Ensemble were selected as members of the 2012-2013 North Jersey Area Symphonic Band. Junior Ryan Morey will be joining the Area Symphonic Band for the second year in a row and this year his score earned him the third overall chair in the trumpet section. Ryan will also be joining the Region Brass Ensemble this year. Ryan was also selected for the Region Symphonic Band, the only CHS student accepted this year.

Junior Nathaniel Pham was accepted to the North Jersey Area Symphonic Band on flute, and was also accepted into the Region Flute Choir.

Sophomore Matthew Schilling was accepted on bass clarinet and also earned a qualifying score on both alto clarinet and contrabass clarinet.

Mr. Peter F. Bauer is the Director of Bands.


The new Math Counts teams at Maplewood Middle School and South Orange Middle School each had an impressive showing at their first regional competition, in West Orange on February 2, 2013.

Isaac Schmidt from Maplewood Middle School placed 3rd overall and is going on to compete in the state championships.

In addition, Maplewood Middle School Student Charlotte Steiner and South Orange Middle School Students Adam Friedman-Brown, Eliana Schulman, Anshul Vyakarnam, and Isabelle Wendt all placed in the top 25% of competitors.

South Orange Middle School was named Best New School in the competition winning 10th place among all teams, and Maplewood Middle School was ranked 11th.

Maplewood Middle School Teacher, Julie Skrivanic and South Orange Middle School Teacher Jackie Witt, led the district’s Math Counts Teams.


Eleven Columbia High School Students were accepted in the North Jersey School Music Association’s Honors Chorus: senior, Christelle Daceus; juniors, William Bolles-Beaven and Siobhan McLennon; Sophomores, Olivia Calabrese, Natalie Dix, Hannah Nye, Vivienne Longstreet, and Russell Pinzino; and freshmen, Carolyne Leys, Grace Savoia-Di Gregorio, and Isaiah Thomas. Grace was also selected as a member of the 2013 National Honor Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association. Grace will be singing in the Junior High/Middle School National Honor Choir in Dallas, Texas in March of this year. This is the first time that 11 students have been selected from a single school for the North Jersey School Music Association’s Honors Chorus. Ms. Jamie Bunce is the Director of Choral Activities.

Sarah Bayless, a Junior at CHS, competed in synchronized skating in Sweden representing the Junior Team USA class.

Rodney Cenat won the county championship in wrestling in the 285lbs weight

The Columbia High School Boys Track Team won the Group 4 North 2 Sectional Championship in Toms River. Sydney Scruggs won the 55 meter hurdles and Josh Nijman was shot put champion. Emanuel Grant won the 400 meter race.

The Columbia High School Girls Track Team won the Group 4 State Championship. Olivia Baker won three gold medals, including for the 400 meter run and the 800 meter run.


Columbia High School dance teacher, Kandice Point-Du-Jour, was named the K-12 Dance Educator of the Year by the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD). Ms. Point-Du-Jour received this prestigious award at a Banquet held on February 24, 2013.

South Orange Middle School Librarian Elissa Malespina, was published in the February/March 2013 of the School Librarian’s Workshop. The article entitled “Getting Pinned,” appears in the “Tech Talk” section of the newsletter and provides information on the fast growing social network, Pininterest.

Columbia High School former athletic director, science teacher, and lacrosse coach Robert Curcio, was inducted into the Directors of Athletics Association of New Jersey (DAANJ) Hall of Fame which recognizes athletic administrators who have attained excellence and contributed a positive and dynamic impact upon student-athletes, high school communities, coaches and colleagues.

Beth Dalzell, CHS special education math teacher, was awarded her doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University.

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