Best of the best

North Bergen High School kids get scholarships, honors

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Students Daniella Malavar (pictured left) and Wafa Ali (pictured right) celebrate their numerous awards and scholarships at the ceremony.
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Pictured center: Amani Attalah, who won the Nicholas J. Sacco Foundation Award and the North Bergen Federation of Teachers Scholarship at the ceremony.
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Mayor Nicholas Sacco giving a speech to the students.
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Bader Risheg, pictured left, awarding Gineen Abuali, pictured right, with the Middle Eastern Club Scholarship.
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  1 / 4 
Students Daniella Malavar (pictured left) and Wafa Ali (pictured right) celebrate their numerous awards and scholarships at the ceremony.
  2 / 4 
Pictured center: Amani Attalah, who won the Nicholas J. Sacco Foundation Award and the North Bergen Federation of Teachers Scholarship at the ceremony.
  3 / 4 
Mayor Nicholas Sacco giving a speech to the students.
  4 / 4 
Bader Risheg, pictured left, awarding Gineen Abuali, pictured right, with the Middle Eastern Club Scholarship.

North Bergen High School held an awards ceremony on June 1 for its top students, giving out over 200 different honors to 108 recipients. More than 40 were scholarships.
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“You must be so proud of our students and your children.” — Paschal Tennaro
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“Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, aunt and uncle, brothers and friends, you must be so proud of our students and your children,” said NBHS Principal Paschal Tennaro to the school’s packed auditorium. “As we at North Bergen High School are so proud of them. My congratulations to your families. You have done an extremely excellent job.”
Mayor Nicholas Sacco–who also doubles as the town’s director of elementary and secondary education–was on hand to administer his Sacco Memorial Scholarship award, dedicated to his parents. He also administered his Nicholas J. Sacco Foundation Awards and the North Bergen Education Foundation awards to deserving students.
Student Katelyn Andres (who co-incidentally played the mayor during this year’s Law Day event) received the Memorial Award. Winners of the Sacco Foundation Awards included Wafa Ali, Amani Attalah, Francis Englese, Michael Mejia, Ameer Samha, and Kyle DeOrio, among others. Winners for the North Bergen Education Foundation included Destinee Haberstroh, Justin Guarcello, and Andrey Henao.
“I don’t know where the time has gone,” Sacco told the audience. “Think about preschool. Now look at these kids today. [High school] is something that ended so quickly. It’s something these kids will remember for the rest of their lives.”
“The students here have worked hard in all their individual areas, and tonight, we’re rewarding their hard work,” said Superintendent of Schools George Solter Jr. “I’d like to especially thank all the scholarship award givers tonight in the audience. I think it’s an honor that you’re here to recognize our students and their achievements, and I thank you for your donations and your work in making sure that the students are rewarded.”
Solter helped administer the World Class Student award-which went to students who “took the very hard courses of physics, chemistry, biology” and “four years of math, half a year of economics and three years of social studies,” he said. Additional mandated subjects included World History, and US History 1 and 2. “These are students who are not just skating through; they are working hard.” Winners included Lawrence Avalos, Kristal Bonsenor, Maytte Cadena Perez, and Gwynethe Gomez, among others.”
“Please give yourselves a big round of applause,” said Bader Risheg, who moderates the school’s Middle Eastern Club, and handed out club scholarships to Wafa Al and Gineen Abuali. “The pursuit of excellence is what brought you and your families here today.”
Other winners included Yisel Breton and Liscary Pacheco, the two seniors who won the Hackensack UMC Palisades Merit Scholarship at the school; Abauli, who won Freeholder Anthony Vainieri’s Funeral Home Scholarship for 2017 (Vainieri operates his own funeral home in the township); and Maria Vizcaino, who won an award from the Guttenberg Federation of Teachers.
At the event, it was announced that the school will be celebrating 25 years of participating in Project Graduation, a national high school program providing adult-supervised and alcohol-free activities for post-graduation parties, with this year’s event on June 22. According to the principal, NBHS is the only high school in the state that has held Project Graduation for that many consecutive years.
Hannington Dia can be reached at hd@hudsonreporter.com