D.A.R. names outstanding graduates

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:50

One student from each Sussex County high school selected for award SUSSEX COUNTY — The Chinkchewunska Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution annually recognize one outstanding senior from each high school graduating class in Sussex County. This award is given across the nation and is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship. In April these 11 recipients were honored in Princeton at the New Jersey State Awards Day Luncheon and at the Chapter Awards Day Luncheon in Wantage at the DAR Museum. These students exemplify the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in school, at home, and in the community. Alexandra Bryans Alexandra Bryans of Byram is a 2011 graduate of Lenape Valley Regional High School where she was on the honor roll, and has been a member of Student Council, Peer 2 Peer, Interact, yearbook staff, and International Friendship Circle. She has also been involved in an anti-bullying seminar, Habit For Humanity, Special Olympics, and UNICEF. She is a peer group leader at Camp CHAT (Children Have Arthritis Too) in Hackettstown. Last year she was asked to be a guest speaker in Los Angeles at a conference of 825 sales representatives and researchers working for Genetech. Alexandra is enrolled in the Nursing College of Seton Hall University where she will pursue a BSN in pediatric oncology or intensive care. Melissa Conrad Melissa Conrad of Hamburg is a 2011 graduate of Wallkill Valley Regional High School where she is on the honor roll, and is an NJSIAA Scholar Athlete. She also received the Superintendent’s Roundtable Award, and the Sussex Bank Athlete of the Month Award. She has been a student council officer for four years, and this year is president of the executive board. Melissa is a Peer Development leader, a member of National Honor Society, and Spanish National Honor Society. She assisted as a Spanish tutor, and as a tutor for freshmen in all subjects. Melissa has participated in varsity sports each year. She has been a member of the cross-country, tennis, soccer and track/field teams, and is senior captain of the basketball team. Melissa will attend Penn State University in State College, Penn. She will major in Advertising/Public Relations and would like to work as a public relations specialist or reporter for a professional athletic team. Michelle DiMartino Michelle DiMartino was a high honors student at Vernon Township High School where she was a member of the French Honor Society, and received the senior award for Academic Excellence in Social Studies. Michelle has been an active participant on the literary magazine (editor-in-chief), as co-facilitator of Teen Prevention Education Program, and French Club. She has received awards as a NJ STARS recipient, and Model UN Participant. Michelle has attended workshops with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Tour. She attended a leadership council in Washington, DC. She is also one of two senior leaders to organize a retreat for Antioch, a group of 70 tenth graders from her parish. This summer she will travel to Rochester, N.Y. to a Catholic Work Camp to build/repairs homes. Michelle will attend Fordham University in NYC, majoring in International Political Economy/International Affairs. She would like to work for the U.S. State Department. Gabrielle Gutierrez Gabrielle Gutierrez of Wantage is a graduate of High Point Regional High School where she was on the high honor roll, president of the National Society and a member of the Foreign Language National Honor Society. She received the HPRHS Principal’s Leadership Award, and the University of Rochester’s Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony Award. Gabrielle served as president of High Point High School's Key Club. She has attended six leadership conferences and training symposiums. This year as lieutenant governor, she coordinated the Midwinter Training Conference for 20 incoming regional lieutenant governors. She recently received the Robert F. Lucas Distinguished Lieutenant Governor for the NJ District of Key Club International Award. She participated in peer counseling, Pass-It-Along, girls’ lacrosse, cross country, and art club. Gabrielle will attend Mount Holyoke College in MA where she will major in English Language and Literature and pursue a career in teaching. Kaitlin Kolzow Kaitlin Kolzow graduated from Newton High School Cum Laude as a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society president, and student council. She has been an active member of pep band and jazz band, robotics club, Pass-It- Along, Calliope Literary Magazine, and her church as a youth minister. Kaitlin initiated a program through Pass-It-Along called “Clicks4-Kids” which donated $21,000 worth of computers to a school in Newark. This summer she will volunteer at a Robotics Camp, and will assist her robotics team at the NJ State Fair. Kaitlin will attend Scranton University in Scranton, Penn. She will be a Biochemistry, cellular/molecular biology major. She will also participate in the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program which focuses on philosophy, community service and faith. Elena McKeown Elena McKeown of Hampton Township is a graduate of Kittatinny Regional High School as a member of National Honor Society, high honor roll, and was Student of the Month in October. She has received achievement awards in biology, chemistry, environmental science, Spanish, German, social studies, English, and American literature. She also helped to build and maintain the school’s organic garden. She has been a volunteer for CLAWS Cat Rescue and Adoption Center, Morning Star Farm’s therapeutic horseback riding program, a local soup kitchen and child care center, and The Homestead. This summer, Elena will participate in a four-week exchange program with a girl from Hamburg, Germany. Her future plan is to attend Drew University where her major will be environmental studies. Brian Murphy Brian Murphy of Branchville was Valedictorian of his class at Sussex County Technical School and chosen as the school’s Scholar Athlete. He is a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society (president), Student Council (treasurer), and National Society of High School Scholars and Skills USA. Brian also received the Superintendent’s Roundtable Award, the Top Shelf Award, and Math and Science Awards for Academic Excellence. He has been an integral part of the varsity cross country and track and field teams, and is captain of the varsity basketball team. He graduated with 10 varsity letters. Brian coaches recreational basketball, is a member of Pass it Along, has participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and Juvenile Diabetes fund raising. Brian will attend NYU Polytechnic in Brooklyn where he will major in electric engineering. Katy Venizelos Katy Venizelos graduated from Sparta High School where she is a member of National Honor Society and student council. She was also Peer Development Program Leader. Katy has been a member of the marching band, swim team, softball team, and performed in the spring musical. She has been a service member of Pass-It-Along, and has tutored students in Spanish. In the summer Katy has been a counselor for her church’s Vacation Bible School, and she is considering training to be an elementary school teacher. In her spare time her passion is acting. Katy will enter Fordham University in the fall. It is the school she has wanted to attend since she was a little girl. Alexander Warner Alexander Warner of Rockaway graduated from Pope John XXlll Regional High School. He is a member of National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Habitat Club (president), distinguished honor roll, and received academic excellence awards in French and US History. He also received the Pope John XXlll Book Award. Alex was a nominee for the Governor’s School for Environmental Science and a Boys’ State nominee. He was a member of the Pope John Players as an actor and a director. Alex is a two-sport athlete and captained both the varsity football and varsity lacrosse teams. He was chosen as the school’s Scholar Athlete. He enjoys coaching youth sports. Alex will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge where he will major in mechanical or environmental engineering. He will also play football and lacrosse. Chelsea Westra Chelsea Westra of Glenwood has graduated as valedictorian of her class at Veritas Christian Academy in Sparta. She also received the ACSI Academic Award. Chelsea was treasurer of student council, a member of the band, choir, and yearbook Committee. She played varsity basketball, soccer and softball, and also participated in the academy’s drama program. During the summer she served at the NJ State Fair and her church’s Vacation Bible School helping with children. Chelsea will major in psychology at Wheaton College in Wheaton,Ill. She plans to become a clinical counselor and combine that work with her own therapeutic riding center so she can both counsel people and work with horses. Carly Wolff Carly Wolff is a member of National Honor Society and has received two academic achievement awards, and two honorable mention awards for varsity soccer at Hopatcong High School where she has also participated in concert band, chorus, select choir, women’s choir, school musicals, ski club, and varsity soccer, and track and field teams. She achieved the honors of Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards as a Girl Scout. Carly also participated in Operation Santa — a collection of items for US troops in Iraq, and she made a trip to Tennessee with her church group to lend aid to those in need.(including building a deck). This summer she is a lifeguard at Camp Wheeler, a Cub Scout camp. She will also complete testing for her black belt in Isshinryu Karate. Carly will attend County College of Morris where she will play women’s soccer. In two years she plans to attend a 4-year school to complete her Bachelor’s degree studying Interior Design.