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Bayonne High School honors “Circle of Ten”

  1 / 10 
1. Emilie Puja
  2 / 10 
2. Michael Hanley
  3 / 10 
3. Patryk Swierzbinski
  4 / 10 
4. Yash Parikh
  5 / 10 
5. Damon Lin
  6 / 10 
6. Tuchau Ly
  7 / 10 
7. Amanda Shi
  8 / 10 
8. Alysa Vega
  9 / 10 
9. Marc Angelo Gumangan
  10 / 10 
10. Alyssa Rozario
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  1 / 10 
1. Emilie Puja
  2 / 10 
2. Michael Hanley
  3 / 10 
3. Patryk Swierzbinski
  4 / 10 
4. Yash Parikh
  5 / 10 
5. Damon Lin
  6 / 10 
6. Tuchau Ly
  7 / 10 
7. Amanda Shi
  8 / 10 
8. Alysa Vega
  9 / 10 
9. Marc Angelo Gumangan
  10 / 10 
10. Alyssa Rozario

In keeping with a well-established tradition, Principal Richard J. Baccarella proudly announced the Bayonne High School Class of 2021 Circle of Ten, the first post-pandemic graduating class. Listed here in order of ranking are 2021’s graduating students with the top ten grade point averages.

1. Emilie Puja

I am the valedictorian of the Bayonne High School Class of 2021. I will be attending the Honors College at Rutgers University in the fall, undecided as to my major. A proud member of the BHS Model United Nations club since freshman year and the class since junior year, I attended over 10 conferences and won several awards. Selected as a Plenary Speaker with my partner at the National High School Model United Nations conference in 2020, I spoke in front of thousands about our committee’s achievements at the closing ceremony of the event. Through Model UN, I developed an interest in the world’s cultures and cofounded the school’s Multicultural Communications club in 2019. I also have an affinity for art, having received several awards for art at NJ Latin State Convention and completed the 2020 Norwich University of the Arts Summer School. Having taken seven AP classes since freshman year, I received the AP Scholar with Honor from College Board. I was also accepted into the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, National Latin Honor Society, and was recognized as a 2020 College Prep Scholar by QuestBridge. I would like to thank all of my teachers for their support and encouragement, including my club advisors Mrs. Chludzinski, Mrs. Scholz, and Mr. McCafferty. Finally, I would like to thank my friends and family for their unwavering support.

2. Michael Hanley

I will be attending the Honors College at Rutgers University School of Engineering. I will be majoring in computer and electrical engineering. I was also accepted to The College of New Jersey, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Stevens Institute of Technology. I took a challenging course load of advanced placement and honors classes, including calculus, computer science, physics, English, and history. Though I have a strong interest in technology and math, I also studied Spanish all four years which included honors classes. I consistently earned First Honor Roll and earned Principal’s Honor Roll during my freshman and junior years. My entry in the Americanism Essay Contest was recognized with an Honorable Mention by the American Legion Auxiliary. During my years at Bayonne High School, I participated in the Chess Club and the Math Team. I was an active member of the Physics Olympics. I also spent time volunteering at Living Faith Ministry helping with the food pantry. I was awarded the James Dickson Carr Scholarship, the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship, and the William Gawor Perpetual Scholarship. I would like to thank my teachers and the staff at Bayonne High School for the education that I received there. I would also like to thank my family for their support over the years.

3. Patryk Swierzbinski

My name is Patryk Swierzbinski. I’ll be going to the University of Rochester, and I intend to major in Computer Science while also getting a minor in Creative Writing. My interest in these fields and the time I’ve already spent learning about them stem from some of my longest-running passions, most especially video games. For as long as I can remember, they have acted as my primary source of entertainment and have evolved in my mind to a profoundly unique art medium. I don’t embellish when I say video games have inspired me on multiple levels, and I aspire to make games of my own. Besides that, however, I have hobbies that range from chess to swimming, and before COVID-19, I also spent a significant portion of my time working either as a lifeguard and swim instructor in Lincoln Community Pool or as a volunteer for Liberty Science Center. Each of these led to me meeting many new people and helped me to grow in ways I never would have imagined beforehand, and it makes me all the more excited to see what college life has to offer me. In particular, swimming has been a constant in my life, and has given me so much. It’s difficult to imagine who I would be without the experiences I had in the water. I am proud of how much I’ve evolved over these past four years, and I look forward to seeing how I can further improve myself in the encroaching future.

4. Yash Parikh

I am going to be attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology as a Biology major in the fall. I aspire to pursue a career in the medical field. I have volunteered at the Hudson County Orthodontics, giving me more of an understanding as to what the medical environment is like. I took nearly every honors course, several AP courses, and have consistently maintained First Honor Roll during my tenure at Bayonne High School. I was a member of the Bayonne High School National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and National World Language Honor Society. I was also the Vice President of Students Movement Against Cancer, or SMAC, in coordination with the American Cancer Society. I participated in Robotics, Math Team, Science League, and Physics Olympics, which helped me explore my passion for STEM in a hands-on manner. I also attended Proyecto Science over the summer. Aside from school, I am passionate about working out, drawing, playing video games, and hanging out with friends. I take every opportunity presented to learn new skills, such as playing the guitar and photography. I am also a manager at the Bayonne Five Guys. I am the son of Vikas and Komal Parikh and the older brother of Yug Parikh. I would like to thank my family, friends, teachers, and everyone who has been a part of my journey for their immense support. Without them, I would not have gotten where I am today.

5. Damon Lin

I am going to be attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology as a Biology major in the fall. I aspire to pursue a career in the medical field. I have volunteered at the Hudson County Orthodontics, giving me more of an understanding as to what the medical environment is like. I took nearly every honors course, several AP courses, and have consistently maintained First Honor Roll during my tenure at Bayonne High School. I was a member of the Bayonne High School National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and National World Language Honor Society. I was also the Vice President of Students Movement Against Cancer, or SMAC, in coordination with the American Cancer Society. I participated in Robotics, Math Team, Science League, and Physics Olympics, which helped me explore my passion for STEM in a hands-on manner. I also attended Proyecto Science over the summer. Aside from school, I am passionate about working out, drawing, playing video games, and hanging out with friends. I take every opportunity presented to learn new skills, such as playing the guitar and photography. I am also a manager at the Bayonne Five Guys. I am the son of Vikas and Komal Parikh and the older brother of Yug Parikh. I would like to thank my family, friends, teachers, and everyone who has been a part of my journey for their immense support. Without them, I would not have gotten where I am today.

6. Tuchau Ly

I hold the rank of six in this year’s Circle of Ten. I will be attending the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University for the Fall Semester of 2021. I plan to major in Global Marketing with Consumer Insights. I was also accepted to several other universities, including AMDA, Rider University, St. John’s University, and Villanova University. Throughout my years at Bayonne High school, my course load included honors and a total of six advanced placement classes. I have been inducted into the World Language Honor Society for French, the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, the National Honor Society, and the Thespian Honor Society, of which I am Vice President and Interim President. Throughout high school, I participated in all the BHS Drama Society’s production as a cast and crew member. I performed in 1776, Mamma Mia! and most recently, Once on this Island as Ti Moune. I also stage-managed for Lizzie Borden Took an Axe and the award-winning, student- directed chapter select, Lockdown. Since my sophomore year, I have been a member of the BHS Thespian Troupe 5093 and participated in several competitions, including Teen Arts, STANJ, and Thespian Festival. Aside from school activities, I volunteered at the New York Red Cross and am marketing intern for Arts Ed Now. I would like to thank all my teachers, friends, and my loving family for helping me be successful; without them, I would not be where I am today.

7. Amanda Shi

I decided to attend Rutgers University-New Brunswick. I will be attending the Rutgers Business School Honors College in the fall with some of my closest friends, and will be majoring in Accounting, with a potential second major in Finance or Marketing. I was also accepted into other schools like Stevens Institute of Technology and Villanova University. I have taken many honors and AP classes throughout high school, including AP Economics, AP Statistics, AP Calculus, AP English, and AP U.S. History. Throughout high school I joined many clubs and activities to discover my interests and passion. I am especially fond of being a part of Business Club’s DECA for two years, and a peer leader in Peer Leadership for three years. I was also accepted into the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, and the Italian World Language Society. I participated in Questbridge and achieved College Prep Scholar and Questbridge Finalist titles. I would like to thank all of those who supported me, from teachers to friends and family. They motivated and encouraged me to constantly become the best version of myself.

8. Alysa Vega

Having moved back and forth among several different schools in the past, I can genuinely admit that Bayonne High School has been the best of all of them. I have had a wonderful time at Bayonne High School, made many amazing friends, and discovered a love for music and performance in the guitar program with the assistance of an amazing teacher. I am part of the National Honors Society as well as the World Languages Honors Society at BHS and even received my Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish. Outside of school I enjoy spending time outdoors, visiting New York City, and occasionally immersing myself in arts and crafts, making gifts for friends and loved ones. I hold a deep love for video games and, combined with a love I hold for storytelling, believe it would be a dream to assist in creating one someday. Aside from my hobbies and interests, through most of high school, my wants were unknown to myself, and my plans for my future revolved around settling for what I believed would be a decent career. Recently, however, I realized that I am able to translate my personal interests in technology and gaming into a fitting and genuinely fun career and decided to study Computer Science in college in the fall. I am blessed to have a supportive family that accommodated to and assisted with my sudden change of interests this past year, and know they will continue to love and support me through all else.

9. Marc Angelo Gumangan

I plan on majoring in Biology and hope to one day become a biologist. This interest in biology stemmed from my childhood where I enjoyed watching shows like “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” I took multiple STEM classes throughout high school and made STEM my focus throughout school. While in college, I hope to broaden my horizons and meet people who are just as passionate about science as I am. In my free time, I enjoy watching TV shows and eating my favorite foods.

10. Alyssa Rozario

I will attend Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick, with the intent of majoring in Finance. Throughout my high school career, I took several honors and AP courses in both the humanities and STEM. While doing so, I earned both First Honors and Principal’s Honors, and was recognized as an AP Scholar for my performance on the AP Human Geography, AP US History, and AP English Language & Composition exams. I was also inducted into the Bayonne High School chapters of the National Honor Society, National French Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society. I participated in Model United Nations since my freshman year, attending about 12 conferences, and cochaired a committee in BHS’s Junior Model UN Conference. I earned the honorable delegate and best delegate awards at New York University’s Model UN Conference and the National High School Model UN Conference, respectively. I also made great memories while serving as President of the Travel Club, Vice President of the Multicultural Communications Club, and Treasurer of the French Club, all experiences which fostered my love for learning about different cultures and gaining a global perspective. I hope to continue similar activities at Rutgers to expand both my knowledge of and experiences within the world. I would like to thank all of my teachers, friends, and family for their endless guidance and support.

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