Student of the Month

Students at Westwood Regional Jr./Sr. high School may be selected by teachers as a recipient for demonstrating some or all of the following qualities: citizenship, kindness, diligence, positive attitude, academic success, personal responsibility, accountability, empathy, character, and cardinal pride.

Nicky Baez June 2017 Matthew DeMarco

Nicky Baez, Grade 10, nominated by Katherine Ondrof

Nicky has been my student for 2 years now, and I enjoy having him in class more and more each day. He always completes assignments despite a long list of extracurricular responsibilities outside of school. Perhaps more impressively, though, he is a kind student who always treats everyone he encounters with respect. Though I witness his compassion daily in my own classroom, its impact became most apparent to me while on lunch Academic Support Lab duty, where Nicky was taking a test: a frazzled, younger student panicked over not having a pencil for a test of his own, and, despite not knowing him, Nicky offered him one and let him keep it for the rest of the day. This unprompted tendency to help anyone who needs it is rarely observed among students his age and makes Nicky truly deserving of student of the month.




Matthew DeMarco, Grade 8, nominated by Jessica Martello

Matthew DeMarco is a noteworthy student who works actively, remains on task, and works to the best of his ability. Matt is extremely respectful to his peers and teachers and works well with others. He is resilient, has a positive attitude, and is always willing to help a fellow student. He is exceptionally organized, always prompt, and completely reliable. It is clear that Matt is determined to succeed. He is currently taking Algebra 8 Honors, Spanish 8 Honors, Science 8 Honors, and English 8 Honors.

Kristen Zozulia May 2017 Zachary Kemp

Zachary Kemp, Grade 8, nominated by Robert Guy

Zachary is an extremely positive student and has a knack for math. Zachary shows up every day prepared to solve any problem that is presented to him. He has displayed an enormous amount of growth over the course of this year. He went from earning a B- in the first marking period to now having an A+ average. Zachary has also matured as a person where he now has no problem asking the right questions and advocating for himself which is a great thing to see for a student at his age. Zachary has a bright mathematical future ahead of him.



Kristen Zozulia, Grade 12, nominated by James Thomas

Kristen has continued her domination in Academic Decathlon over three competitions. This year, she set five school records including becoming the first student to break 8000 points (earlier this year, she was the first to break 7000 points). She also became our school's first five time MVP with her medal winning performance at the national competition. She is currently taking AP Biology, AP Calculus BC, AP Physics, and AP Spanish. She is extremely hard working, determined and just an overall great student.


Jorden Berry April 2017 Kayla Jarski


Jorden Berry, Grade 12, nominated by Danielle Sommerville

Jorden has shown consistent academic growth in AP Biology this year. His writing has improved, and he has given many excellent presentations. Jorden works well with others and is keen to share insights with the class. Jorden went above and beyond the typical student and pursued a volunteer genetics research position at William Paterson University in his spare time. Jorden works tirelessly to bring awareness to Autism Spectrum Disorder, and he is a member of the student council. He is a passionate student, an AP scholar, and an academic decathlete and is currently taking AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Statistics, and AP Literature and Composition. Jorden has committed to The University of Delaware where he plans on majoring in Biochemistry. He will be a great representative of Westwood Regional High School and is a valued and respected member of the class 2017.


Kayla Jarski, Grade 8, nominated by Donna Kahn

Kayla Jarski is a very motivated student who works well with all students. She participates extensively and always earns excellent test, project and quiz grades. In addition, she demonstrates exceptional ability to synthesize Spanish vocabulary and grammar in order to communicate extremely well. She is always eager to learn and has a fantastic work ethic. She is such a pleasure to have in class and has made Honors with Distinction for the first three marking periods.

Meghan Riedel March 2017 Stephen Munson

Meghan Riedel, Grade 8, nominated by Robert Guy

Meghan shows up to class on a daily basis with a great attitude and willingness to put in the necessary effort to be successful. Meghan has earned an A for the past two marking periods in Math where she excels in piecing larger concepts together and has made Honors with Distinction for the first two quarters. She is always enthusiastically encouraging other students to succeed which illustrates that she is selfless in her learning. Meghan has not missed an assignment to date and she has a bright future ahead of her.

Stephen Munson, Grade 9, nominated by Robert Glander

In class Stephen is a demonstrated leader. He is always first to volunteer, first to help, and first to try something new. He shows consistent effort which the rest of the class feeds off of. There is one specific example that separates him from the others. In class there was a student who noticeably felt isolated and separated from the class. This student is new to the school last year and speaks limited English. Stephen took this student under his wing and helped make him feel like part of the class. Most students would cringe at the thought of having to do this, but Stephen embraced it. Stephen included his fellow student in everything he did and walks and talks with him at the beginning of every class. Stephen makes sure they are on the same team for every game/activity we do in class. It's amazing to see that even though there is a huge language barrier Stephen and this student have become very good friends. Stephen exemplifies what it means to be Student of the Month.


Irene Ahmed February 2017 Amelia Bender

Irene Ahmed, Grade 12, nominated by Danielle Sommerville

Irene is an AP scholar, having received the score of 3 or above on three separate exams in the 2015-2016 school year. She is on track to receive several additional qualifying AP scores this school year.

Irene is an active member of our class community. She brings a positive energy to the class, and she is always wiling to do whatever it takes to meet the high standards that she sets for herself. She was aptly named "the student most likely to change the world" (superlative in the yearbook) by her peers. Irene's academic confidence, easygoing personality, and drive to succeed will certainly make her one of the great movers and shakers of her generation.

Irene is both humble of her success and grateful for the guidance and help she receives. Her grounded nature is refreshing. Irene shows kindness to her peers and has an excellent sense of humor. These traits, in addition to her academic excellence, will help her realize her potential in her chosen post-secondary endeavors and eventual career

Amelia Bender, Grade 8, nominated by Justin Baumgartner

Amelia is on a unique level when it comes to her abilities and achievements in Language Arts class. She averages anywhere from a 98-100 on all of her assignments and as her overall grade. She is the model student in terms of handing in assignments on time and having her work exceed what I would deem reasonable. She does not show any other level besides giving 100% on everything. Most recently she suffered an injury outside of school and when most people would take off as much as they can, she powered through as to not fall behind in her classes. That shows a great level of responsibility and maturity.

Simran Singh January 2017 Farah Hamzeh

Simran Singh, Grade 11, nominated by Miguel Thomas

I was working closely with Simran during our lunch time for the last month preparing her application for a contest organized by the Spanish Teachers Association. I had the opportunity to discover what an amazing person she really is. She is the co-founder of the History Bowl and the World Cultures Club. She is also a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Environmental Club, Academic Decathlon, Pit Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Cardinals Care. She volunteers at a hospital, teaches dance, and is involved in Girl Scouts. She is the treasurer of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and is a member of the General Assembly Student Council and the Math Team. She always has a smile on her face and treats everyone with respect.


Farah Hamzeh, Grade 8, nominated by Jeffrey Welfel

Farah is an extremely passionate student. In the beginning of the school year, she was quite shy and timid, yet as the minutes, hours, days and weeks pass by, she has become more and more comfortable in her own skin. Over the past few months together, she has grown into a mature, caring and dedicated individual. She is not afraid to make mistakes, ask questions, participate, and assist others who she sees are struggling with not a single qualm. She has been taking on a more active role in class as a leader who promotes an extremely positive vibe, which in turn is a contagious attribute that all can benefit from. I look forward to working with Farah, seeing her grow even more and push the boundaries to having even more successful academic years to come.

Tatianna Beutel December 2016 Michael Vincenty

Tatianna Beutel, grade 8, nominated by Jessica Martello

Tatianna Beutel has a drive to not only succeed, but to excel. She has demonstrated tremendous effort and growth throughout the year and brings a great energy to class. She has that combination of a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. I have found Tatianna to be an intelligent, conscientious, and responsible student who masters concepts and applies them well. She has academically excelled among her peers, often explaining concepts to confused classmates, regularly participating and contributing to class discussion, asking questions to ensure that she has a firm understanding of concepts, and seeking additional sources for supplementary problem solving exercises. Her cheerful nature and openness to feedback means she's always learning and growing as a learner, an impressive strength that will continue to serve her well in her future.

Michael Vincenty, grade 10, nominated by James Lawrence

Michael, aka "Mooky," has been my student for the past two years. He is by far one of the most helpful individuals I have encountered at Westwood. He is a hard worker who puts his full effort into anything he does, whether it be his schoolwork, marching band, or his participation in the fall play and spring musical. His politeness and kindness to others are also what makes Michael a great student all of the time.

Josefhin Alcala November 2016 Vincent Ruff

Josefhin Alcala, grade 8, nominated by Justin Baumgartner

Josefhin is an 8th grade student and is adjusting very well after transferring from Clifton. This is her first year in the Westwood Regional School District. She has been a model student in the classroom and friendly to others outside the classroom. She is always prepared, always participating, and always positive. She is always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. She is a great addition to the Westwood Jr./Sr. High School.


Vincent Ruff, grade 11, nominated by Susanne Phillips

It has been such a pleasure watching Vincent Ruff mature into a conscientious student. In class, he sets the tone by taking his material out and copying any necessary information for the day’s lesson. He volunteers to read, answers questions, starts discussions, completes his assignments, and helps others if needed. Recently he hurt his wrist and needed some help doing his school work. Upon receiving help from staff, he was grateful and polite-going so far as to say how he felt bad for making someone else write for him. He has a “no nonsense” attitude and it is evident in all of his actions whether it’s in class, sports, or at work. Vincent has ambitious goals and works hard towards achieving them. When he is struggling he takes the extra step and seeks out his teachers for help. He is pleasant, respectful and just a pleasure to teach.


Brianna Scallo October 2016 Daniela Maiz

Brianna Scallo, Grade 8, nominated by Jessica Martello and James Lawrence

Brianna Scallo is a student with exemplary integrity and positive attitude. As a hard working and enthusiastic learner, she is bound to accomplish great things. She actively participates in classroom discussions and activities, as well as in extra curricular activities such as marching band. She frequently takes time out of her study hall to practice her flute. She takes the initiative to ask questions when she needs clarification and to help other students when they need clarification. Being a responsible, respectful, and mature student that displays leadership makes Brianna a positive role model to her peers.


Daniela Maiz, Grade 12, nominated by Miguel Thomas

Daniela is a diligent, hard working student with a positive attitude. She takes multiple AP classes including Literature and Composition, Calculus BC, Psychology, Physics, and Spanish. She is also very involved in school and the community as she is part of NHS, Spanish HS, Academic Decathlon, Cardinals Care, Interact, and Peer Pals. Daniela also never fails to say hello or have a conversation with me when we pass each other in the hallway, or in study hall. Daniela always contributes to class discussions, and is a pleasure to have in my class.


Peter Mitelman September 2016 Collin Goodman

Peter Mitelman, Grade 8, nominated by Jeffrey Welfel (September)

Peter comes to class not just on time, raring to go, but brings a sense of fresh excitement and energy to the class. He is very inquisitive, not afraid of making mistakes or asking questions if one comes to mind. He is a team player as he regularly encourages others to participate in class. He will offer explanations to others when confused and is very patient with classmates. He has completed any and every assignment asked of him, with stellar quality and is a pleasure to have in class. I honestly believe Peter's positive and upbeat start in September will encourage others to do more and try harder for a productive school year.

Collin Goodman, Grade 11, nominated by Kimberly Rea (September)

Collin arrives each and every morning with a smile on his face ready to conquer the day and all of his assignments. He enjoys helping his peers and teachers and often comes up with new ideas to improve the classroom. Collin is also responsible for posting the letters at the end of each day, so all students know what day it will be when they arrive the next morning. Collin always has a positive attitude and represents the values all students aspire to at the high school.