MIDDLETOWN, NJ: Community members and families enjoyed an awards ceremony, at a previous Middletown Township Board of Education meeting, broadcast on Zoom.
The meeting opened with a student and faculty recognition and awards ceremony, which aimed to recognize students and faculty members for their accomplishments in numerous areas, such as biliteracy (meaning proficiency in reading and understanding more than one language), athletic and other achievements, and good citizenship, among other things.
The Biliteracy awards, officially named the Seal of Bilteracy awards, were announced by District Administrator Marjorie Caruso, and were bestowed upon High School North Students Marilyn Mangan, Emily Rozzo, and Kaitlyn Vogel for French; plus Brandon DelGrosso, Jasmine Ocasio, Patrick Seeley, and Jessica Uraga for Spanish; as well as High School South students Kaitlyn Gronau for French, Christian Huelic-Morales for Spanish, and Amelie Villa for German.
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Caruso also bestowed these awards on Carey Albanese of High School South, as well as Jennifer DeMaria and Diane Jones of High School North.
The Biliteracy awards also help students and faculty members appreciate the value of understanding and respecting different cultures, Caruso said.
Following this was Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Pickus announcing Middletown High School South Senior Molly Buthorn as the recipient of the Good Citizen Award, which Pickus said is meant is to promote values such as leadership, dependability, service, and patriotism.
Afterwards, District Arts and Business Education director Steven Graziano recognized Middletown High School North Students Abigale Coakley, Anthony D’Antuono, Isabel Postelnek, and Andrew Wrede (all from High School South); as well as Tessa Boehler from High School North – for the All Shore Symphonic Band Award.
Graziano also recognized High School North students Jessica Ardolina, Sarah Buckman, Julia Buonacquista, Sam Cusson, Ava Giglia, Rachel Grodek, Sealth Grover,Bryan Reimertz, Erin Saxe, Shannon Solazzo, and Sara Welsh; as well as High School South students Andrea Lopez, Kaitlyn Gronau, Francesca Stix, and Olly Banerjee – for the All-Shore Chorus awards
District Athletic Director Rich Caroll then announced Emily Salvadore of High School South, and Ellie Kacen of High School North, as the local winners of National Girls and Women Day in Sports Award, which promotes female student athletic achievement by recognizing one female student athlete per school each year.
Caroll also gave a special recognition for Middletown High School South’s Cross Country Coach Bill Clifton. Clifton has been the head girls’ cross country coach at Middletown High School South for the past 19 years; and has earned multiple coaching titles and awards, including some county and state-wide ones, during his career – including the NJ State Coach, NorthEast Coach, and National Coach of the Year awards just this year alone, Caroll said.
“It’s the most special award I’ve probably had to present,” Carroll said.
After this came District Administrative staff member Patrick Rinella announcing New Monmouth Elementary School Nurse Catherine Grano as the recipient of the NJ State School Nurse Association’s School Nurse Excellence Award, which Rinella said honors excellence in school nursing.