In keeping with a well-established tradition, Principal Richard J. Baccarella proudly announced the Bayonne High School Class of 2017 Circle of Ten, representing the top ten grade point averages at Bayonne High School. Listed here in order of ranking, these outstanding scholars will be the first to receive their diplomas at the June 20 commencement ceremonies. The graduation starts at 6 p.m.
1. Nada Wahba is this year’s valedictorian. In the fall, she will be attending the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University with a major in Microbiology.
Throughout high school, Nada enriched her experience with different advanced placement and honors classes in humanities and STEM. She also participated in several activities including tennis. Nada started playing tennis during her sophomore year of high school and played second doubles. During that year, with the help of her coaches, Nada was able to win the HCIAL Individual Tournament Second Doubles Championship along with her second doubles partner. In 2015, Nada and her team were named the Red Division Team Champions. During her senior year on the team, Nada became captain of the team, where she played second singles and was voted 1st among the second singles players in the county. Tennis has been a great outlet for Nada throughout high school and she made some of her greatest high school memories while playing with her team. Through tennis, Nada had the chance to experience the support from her teammates and coaches and she has met many amazing friends.
Besides tennis, one of the greatest experiences that Nada had in high school was during Model UN, a competition that simulates the United Nations. Through the club, Nada was able to go to the United Nations in New York, learn about a foreign country and represent it, and have debates about different issues concerning the country. Another one of Nada’s most amazing memories was formed through the Constitution Competition. With the help of her teachers, Nada and her classmates were States Qualifiers and got to attend the “We the People” competition where they became experts on the ideals of the Constitution and learned about the United States government. Nada was also a member of the school newspaper, The Beacon, during her junior and senior years, where she was a writer and assistant editor. She also participated in the New Jersey Physics Olympics, Science League, and Bayonne Chamber of Commerce.
During her junior and senior years, Nada was inducted into the National Honors Society, Language Honors Society, and Rho Kappa Social Studies Honors Society. She also became a College Board AP Scholar and a National History Day Regional Winner. Throughout the summer of her junior year, Nada participated in the Project SEED internship in NJIT where she conducted pharmaceutical research with her mentors. With the help of her teacher, she developed a project concluding the findings of the experiment and presented the project at the STEM showcase where she won a silver medal and the NJ Society of Women Engineers Gold Award.
Nada owes her success to her parents and her sister for the great sacrifices they do for her every day. She truly believes that God has an amazing plan for her future and trusts in his promise, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you,” Jeremiah 29:11.
2. Karolen Eid is this year’s salutatorian. She will be attending Princeton University with a concentration in International Affairs. Karolen was also accepted into Harvard University, Yale University, New York University, Rutgers University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Throughout her years at Bayonne High School, Karolen took advantage of the various advanced classes offered. Among her favorites were AP English Literature and AP European History. She was named an AP Scholar with Honor and was inducted into the National Honor Society, the Spanish Language Honor Society, and the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society. Karolen also achieved First Honor Roll as well as Principal’s Honor Roll during her time at BHS.
Currently, Karolen is the Editor-in-Chief of Bayonne High School’s student newspaper, The Beacon, which allows her to encourage student writers to express their ideas and inform the student body. During her sophomore year, Karolen was the co-captain of one of the school’s “We the People” Constitution Competition teams and was able to lead her unit in achieving 1st place in the state. In her senior year, she deeply enjoyed participating in the school’s Model UN team which allowed her to explore the realm of international affairs. Another of her greatest experiences at BHS was participating in an AFA2 World Travelers trip during her junior year and exploring England, Ireland, and Wales with her friends.
Karolen has also participated in the National History Day Program for several years, through which she worked independently, as well as with other students, in creating documentaries about historical figures and events. Recently, she used this as an outlet to raise awareness about the tragedies of genocide. Karolen’s documentaries have been successful, and her group has qualified for the national competition which they will attend in Washington D.C during the month of June.
After four incredible years at Bayonne High School, Karolen is immensely grateful to all of her incredible teachers who have guided her in pursuing her interests. She believes that their boundless dedication and energy are what inspired her to always work tirelessly in achieving her goals.
Karolen is the daughter of loving and hardworking parents, Fadl Eid and Nabila Mayez. She loves spending time with her sisters, Sandra and Klara, as well as her cousin, Marina, who is like a third sister to her. Karolen hopes that her sisters and friends will always have success in their endeavors. She is looking forward to beginning her college experience in the fall and hopes to maintain her success throughout her college years.
3. Nardeen Khella holds the rank of three in this year’s Circle of Ten. She is the daughter of Attia Morgan and Mary Meawad, and is a native Egyptian. Nardeen moved with her family to the United States during the summer before her freshman year at Bayonne High School. In the fall of 2017, Nardeen will be attending Princeton University and plans to major in Molecular Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience, following a pre-med track. Nardeen was also offered admission to the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. Nardeen will also be attending a seven-week summer program, led by the Princeton Freshman Scholar Institute during her upcoming summer. She will spend her time on campus taking part in an academic program, as well as Princeton’s community action, and co-curricular activities.
During her time at Bayonne High School, Nardeen started her course load during her first year with regular Level B classes, while concentrating on learning the language and immersing herself in the American Culture and ideologies in order to find her true self in her new society. Starting her sophomore year, she started taking more rigorous honors and advanced placement courses. She also participated and helped in leading a plethora of Bayonne High School activities and clubs. She was the Captain of Bayonne High School’s second team at the NJ Physics Olympiad during her senior year and the Captain of the NJ Math League during her junior year. She also participated in the Science Club, Science League, 800 Club, Future Business Leaders of America Club. She has also been inducted into the Spanish Language Honor Society and the National Social Studies Honor Society.
Nardeen is the first Bayonne High School student to win first place in the oral presentations at the North Jersey Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, representing the region in the 54th National Symposium in Ohio during May of 2016. She won the International Yale Science and Engineering Award for her junior science research. She was a gold medalist as well as a recipient of the President’s Award for STEM Excellence in the Barnabas STEM Showcase. During the summer of her sophomore and junior year, she earned her title as an American Chemical Society-Project SEED I and II Intern. She has also attended the ACS international symposium in Pennsylvania to present her research which she has conducted during the summer of her junior year.
Nardeen attributes her success to her loving and supportive parents and siblings who believed in her ability to expand her limits even when she was only starting off with her regular classes. She also appreciates her teachers who believed in her and supported her throughout her journey. She ultimately thanks God as she has witnessed her faith in his blessings grow every day. Her beliefs have helped her become a functioning and loving individual in her society that accepts everyone with their differences. Nardeen stands by Luke 1:37, which states, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
4. Haseeb Mughal holds the rank of four in this year’s Circle of Ten. In the fall, Haseeb will attend the Honors College at Rutgers University as an undecided major. Although he is currently undecided, he will likely declare an undergraduate major related to a career in business and computer science or neuroscience.
Throughout his four years at Bayonne High School, he achieved First Honor Roll and Principal’s Honor Roll. He has taken a rigorous course load which has included eight honors classes and eight advanced placement classes, and he was awarded the AP Scholar Award at the end of his junior year for his scores on AP exams. Furthermore, he was inducted in the National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, and National Social Studies Honors Society. For his hard work, he was awarded the Marietta A. DiCroce History Scholarship, Mary Moloney Memorial English Award, and HAMA Award. He has also earned a perfect score of 800 on the Math Level Two SAT Subject Test.
Haseeb has been a writer for The Beacon, the school newspaper, since his junior year. During his senior year, he participated as the section editor for the sports section of the newspaper and has written several articles about basketball. He has participated in the AMC Math competition, Math League, Science League, Hudson County Science Fair, We the People Constitution Competition, Model United Nations, and several essay contests. Haseeb has enjoyed working on all of these competitions alongside his friends. While spending time working on some of these competitions, he has created unforgettable memories. In his freshman, junior, and senior year, Haseeb participated in the National History Day competition. He has participated in the regional competition and state competition. This year, he, along with his group, will travel to Washington D.C. as a qualifier for the national competition for their documentary on Raphael Lemkin.
Besides involving himself in school, Haseeb has spent several hours volunteering at daycares. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing basketball. He also enjoys watching movies, shows, playing video games, reading, and spending time with his friends. Throughout high school, Haseeb has opened up to different genres because of his friends and teachers.
Haseeb is part of the Circle of Ten because of his wonderful teachers. Throughout high school, his teachers, who have had an inconceivable impact, have displayed significant patience and confidence in him, and they have allowed him to remain successful in his difficult classes. He will always remain thankful to them for his current and future accomplishments. His family has also helped him reach where he is today. Without his caring family, Haseeb would not have been able to graduate in the Circle of Ten. Haseeb is the son of Shamim and Humayoun Baig. He has one brother and one sister, Hammad and Khadija.
5. Muhmmad Choudhary holds the rank of five in this year’s Circle of Ten. In the fall, he will attend Rutgers New Brunswick and major in Biomedical Engineering. The Rutgers Biomedical Engineering program has a very compelling accelerated Master’s in Science program which Muhmmad plans on applying for when eligible. Afterward, he hopes to go to medical school and train to become a surgeon. His end goal, however, is to create and program surgical robots and various types of medical technologies. There is a technological revolution occurring in this generation, and with the shortage of doctors across the world, robots are a great solution to help people in need.
Throughout high school, Muhmmad always tried to challenge himself with the most difficult courses available. He is an AP Scholar with Honor and the AP classes he took were Physics 1, US History, English Language and Composition, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Computer Science A, Statistics, and Biology. The most challenging, yet most rewarding class he took was AP English Language and Composition because it made him realize that anything can be analyzed, and by doing so, you save yourself from falling victim to effective rhetoric. The classes that had the greatest influence in his choice for a major, and in his career plans, were AP Biology and AP Computer Science A because of how fascinating they were.
The extracurricular activity that Muhmmad dedicated the most time to throughout his four years in high school was the robotics club. In his freshman and sophomore years, he observed the team and learned how to build and program robots, and in his junior and senior years, he contributed by actually building and programming robots. This year, he trained the incoming freshman students as a senior member of the team. He learned so many new things and had so many great opportunities in dealing with science and technology because of his involvement in the robotics team, and he made a lot of close friends, not just from BHS, but from all across the state. He is also part of the school’s Technology Student Association and he attends and competitions in the annual New Jersey TSA Meeting at The College of New Jersey.
Muhmmad has very little time left in Bayonne High School, but if there is only one thing he could bring with him from his high school experience, it is to constantly challenging himself and learning new things inside the classroom, and especially outside the classroom.
6. Tumai Ly holds the rank of six in this year’s Circle of Ten. She will be attending the Honors Program at St. John’s University for the Fall Semester of 2017 with a full-ride scholarship. She plans to major in Legal Studies, and minor in English. She was also accepted to several other universities, including Bay Path University, Hofstra University, Quinnipiac University, and Susquehanna University.
Tumai has only attended Bayonne High School for three years, moving from Florida after her freshman year. During her time at Bayonne High School, Tumai’s course load included both honors and advanced placement classes. Since freshman year, she has taken a total of seven AP classes, and was named an AP Scholar with Honor at the end of her junior year. She has been inducted in the World Language Honor Society for Spanish, the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, and the National Honor Society, of which she is secretary.
During her sophomore year, Tumai placed second in the 2015 Sister Rose Thering Essay Competition. During her junior year, she participated in the National History Day competition, and moved on to the regional level with her team. She is a member of the Mock Trial team, the Model United Nations team, and a Student Ambassador since moving to Bayonne. Aside from being involved in school activities, Tumai volunteered at the CarePoint Health Bayonne Medical Center during the summer of 2016. In addition to school activities and volunteer opportunities, Tumai has participated in various summer programs. During the summer of 2014, she participated in the Junior Statesmen of America’s summer school at Princeton University. She was enrolled in the Honors Speech and Political Communication class, and graduated with a 92 average. During the summer of 2015, she participated in the National Student Leadership Conference at American University. She was part of the Law and Advocacy program. During the summer of 2016, she participated in the International Young Leaders Assembly’s Global Summit at the United Nations Headquarters.
Tumai is the daughter of Thuy Huynh and Ha Ly and the granddaughter of Dung Doan. She is the younger sister of TuLoan Ly and the older sister of Tuchau Ly. Tumai would like to thank all her teachers, both in Bayonne and in the schools she attended in Florida, for teaching her and helping her be successful. Tumai would also like to extend her gratitude to her friends from Bayonne, Florida, and around the world who have served as a source of inspiration and encouragement for her. Tumai is also very grateful for her family’s unconditional love and support. They are very loving and supportive of her choices, and make her aspire to be successful in all her endeavors.
7. Cassidy Svercauski holds the rank of seven in this year’s Circle of Ten. She will be attending Muhlenberg College in the fall, majoring in Dance Education and Performance. Throughout her career at BHS, she achieved first honor roll and was a member of the National Honor Society and Rho Kappa National History Honors Society.
Cassidy has been an active participant within the BHS community over the past four years. She was an executive board member for the class council, Team 17, and has written for the school’s newspaper, The Beacon. She also served as an assistant-principal’s office hostess during her time at BHS.
Cassidy has been heavily involved with the arts during her time at BHS. She has been in the BHS Marching Band since seventh grade and was drum major during her sophomore, junior, and senior years. She was also a member of the BHS Indoor Percussion and played marimba. Cassidy is a member of the BHS Dance Company and was this year’s dance captain. With the BHS Dance Company she has competed at Teen Arts and has won awards at both the county and state level. She was also a principal dancer in the BHS Drama Society productions of Almost Maine and A Christmas Carol.
Outside of school, Cassidy dances at Ms. Hugette’s Dance and Theatrical Studios and is an assistant teacher for dance students ages eight to fourteen. At the studio she has studied ballet, lyrical, jazz, and hip hop.
Cassidy would like to thank her parents, family, teachers, and friends for always supporting her and inspiring her to work hard and never settle for anything less
8. Kirtika Sharad holds the rank of eight in this year’s Circle of Ten. Kirtika will be attending the George Washington University, located in Washington D.C., as an International Affairs major. Her concentration will be in Conflict Resolution. Kirtika was also accepted into Rutgers University and Fordham University, from which she received very generous scholarships.
Throughout high school, she has taken many honors courses as well as six advanced placement courses. She has consistently been on First Honor Roll. She has been inducted into the National Honor Society and the World Language Honor Society. She is also the president of the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor society. During her years at Bayonne High School, Kirtika was a member of multiple clubs and activities. She was a member of Team 17 for all four years at BHS. She was also a part of Model United Nations team her senior year and participated in the National High School Model United Nations. Kirtika is also the Assistant Editor-in-Chief of BHS’s school newspaper, The Beacon. In addition, Kirtika has acted in two plays: Almost Maine and Stage Door. During her sophomore year, Kirtika won the Sister Rose Thering Essay writing competition. Kirtika was a state qualifier in the National History Day competition in her junior year and was a national qualifier in her senior year. In her free time, Kirtika enjoys spending time with her friends.
Kirtika is the daughter of Pradeep and Shail and sister to Yashsavi Sharad who recently graduated from Rutgers University. She would like to thank her friends, family and teachers for always supporting her and allowing her to blossom.
9. Nourhan Sharafeldin holds the rank of nine in this year’s Circle of Ten. Nourhan will be attending The College of Arts and Sciences in Rutgers University Newark in the fall. She was also accepted to Rowan University, The College of New Jersey, St. John’s University, and Rutgers University New Brunswick where she received generous grants from every school.
In Nourhan’s rigorous four years of attending Bayonne High School, she took several advanced placement and honors courses and received First Honor Roll every marking period. She was also inducted into National Honors Society, National World Language Honors Society, and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honors Society. Nourhan took part in Constitution Competition and, along with her group, won first place. She took part in National History Day and made it to State finals with her group. She was involved in National High School Model United Nation, was a chair member in Team 17, and a part of the Italian Club.
Between balancing her academics and extracurricular activities, Nourhan enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She is the daughter of Magdy Sharafeldin and Azza Mohamed. She has two older brothers, who also graduated from Bayonne High School, and are currently on their way to getting their college degrees.
10. Annasimon Makkar holds the rank of ten in this year’s Circle of Ten. She will be attending the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She plans on majoring in Public Health while continuing on a pre-medicine track in hopes of becoming a physician.
During her high school years, Annasimon took multiple advanced placement classes and more than 15 honors courses while being involved in many extracurricular activities and having a part-time job at Bayonne Barbeque. She is a member of Coptic Society, Team 17, and the yearbook committee. Also, she is a student ambassador and was a part of Student Government since her freshman year. In addition to her rigorous schedule, Annasimon competed in the National History Day Competition, Constitution Competition, and Model United Nations Competition.
Throughout her high school career, Annasimon was inducted into National Honor Society, Rho Kappa World History Honor Society, and the World Language Honor Society for Spanish. She volunteered for community service at Saint Abanoub and Saint Abanoub Church for many years and volunteered at daycares, senior citizens homes, homeless shelters, shoreline cleanups, and judged the at middle school forensics competitions.
There are many individuals who have helped Annasimon get to where she is today. She would like to thank all her teachers for pushing her to do her best and her guidance counselor, Mrs. Hromy, for all her support and dedication in helping her be a part of the Circle of Ten. Also, Annasimon would like to thank her family and friends for all their support and encouragement throughout high school.
Annasimon is the daughter of Reda and Rashad Makkar. Her older brother graduated in the Circle of Ten from Bayonne High School three years ago and is currently attending the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. Also, her cousin Basanty Gerges moved to the United States from Egypt in 2011 to live with her family in order to have more opportunities and get a better education.