News

2022

  • September

    Eleven Newark Academy Students are National Merit Semifinalists

    Newark Academy is proud to announce that 11 current seniors were named 2022 National Merit Semifinalists, joining 16,000 students across the country.

    The semifinalists include Rahul Arora, Juliet Bu, Evan Bulan, Alyssa Cai, Nitya Gupta, Luka Loncar, Pierce Malloy, Matthew Susilo, Yavan Vyas, Ian Zhang and Olga Zhukova. These students will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring.

    NA’s 11 semifinalists were among the 45 seniors who were named National Merit Commended Scholars for placing among the top 50,000 students who entered the competition. Additional Commended Scholars include Alexander Atlas, Aakriti Caprihan, Kaitlyn Chee, Marina Chernin, William Crall, Carmen Dai, Dina Drogin, Silas Epstein, Wesley Freeman, Harold Fullilove, Ben Glickman, Marshall Graves, Navyaa Jain, Miranda Jiang, Arjun Khanna, Elena Koestel, Jason Kogan, Marie Kung, Charles Kunzweiler, Jasper Lee, Julia Li, Pranay Maddali, Miles Mu, Evan Samaro, Ashna Shah, Lauren Siegel, Matthew Teytel, William Tsai, Abhishek Varadarajan, Joelynn Wang, Claire Waskow, Andrea Yan, Ashton Zhao and Jayden Zhou.

    The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that recognizes and provides scholarships to students. Each year, approximately 1.5 million high school students take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) to enter the program.
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  • Convocation Kicks off the 2022-23 Academic Year

    Newark Academy students, faculty, staff and representatives from our Alumni Board of Governors gathered together to kick off the 2022-23 school year with the annual Convocation ceremony on Thursday, September 7 in the Coraci Performance Hall. The event highlighted the annual Convocation address, delivered by alumnus and Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon ’02, and recognized long-serving faculty and staff.

    “The wonderful thing about the school calendar is that every fall offers the promise of new beginnings,”said Head of School Donald M. Austin in his welcoming remarks. Mr. Austin closed by asking students to think about the ways in which they can both draw strength from Newark Academy and contribute positively to the experience of others.

    “We’re not here just to get straight A’s and into college, we’re here to build a foundation of knowledge that allows us to find, excel at, and pursue our passions,” said Student Council President Harold Fullilove III ’23. “Find that thing you won’t shut up about and use that passion to leave a permanent mark on the NA community.”

    Dean of Faculty Traci Osterhagen Brock recognized milestone awards for long-serving faculty and staff. Shun-Yao Chang, Rachel Shapiro Cooper, Bella Galvez, Felipe Ledezma, Tim McCall, Alexis Sommers, Reyther Ortega, Patty Pascal, Margaret Purcell and James Worrell received awards for five years. Diana Fernandes and Stephanie Hammond received awards for 10 years. Don Austin, Bill Hobson, Viraj Lal and Julius Tolentino received awards for 15 years. Benson Hawk, Betsy LaPadula, Maria Teresa McNeilly-Anta, Kerry Winiarski and Mary Ellen Weinel received awards for 20 years. Director of Counseling Carol Spooner was honored for her 30 years of service to Newark Academy. 

    During his keynote speech, James recalled seeing the words “all beginnings are hard” written on the chalkboard in his very first college class. He shared these words with Newark Academy students, faculty and staff as they embarked on the new school year. “I hope that phrase provides you with a dose of perspective, a little bit of compassion, as you weather the ups and downs of finding your place here,” he said.

    James, a cancer survivor, went on to detail his journey battling lymphoma and how the two things that got him through the hard time were laughter and community — including his friends from Newark Academy who took him out for walks, brought him meals and provided him comfort through his recovery.

    Concluding his remarks, James left one final piece of advice for students, “I hope that as you move through NA and the rest of your lives … that each of you will take this year to erase the difficulty of beginnings, knowing that with perseverance, with strength, with passion, with laughter and with community, you can use this year to build or build upon foundations that will last your lifetimes.”
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  • The David Teiger ’47 Gallery for the Studio Arts Features “Circularity”

    International visual artist Manjari Sharma is showing a body of work at the Newark Academy David Teiger ’47 Gallery for the Studio Arts from Tuesday, September 6 through Friday, October 7, 2022.

    LA-based and born and raised in Mumbai, India, Sharma makes art that addresses the issues of memory, identity, multiculturalism and mythology. Her exhibit, Circularity, is composed of photographs that capture her creative ideas across time. Among these are several pieces from the series ‘Darshan,’ which has garnered critical acclaim. The work consists of photographically recreated classical images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses that are pivotal to mythological stories in Hinduism. Most commonly used in the context of Hindu worship, Darshan is a Sanskrit word that means “apparition” or a “glimpse.” 

    “Having left a ritual-driven community in India, my move to the United States precipitated an enormous culture shift,” says Sharma. “It was this cultural paralysis that motivated me to use my one medium of worship – the camera- to study, construct and deconstruct the mythologies of my land.” Sharma’s work has been seen in the New York Times, VICE Magazine, CNN, LA Times, The Huffington Post and NPR, to name a few. Works from her projects have been published, exhibited and traveled to galleries, museums and festivals worldwide. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Carlos Museum, Birmingham Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well as a number of private collections.

    In addition to sharing her work with the Newark Academy community, Ms. Sharma will engage in a one-week residency in which she will share her expertise, knowledge and process with students. The Teiger Gallery is located in the center of the Elizabeth B. McGraw Arts Center on the campus of Newark Academy in Livingston, New Jersey.

     If you are interested in visiting the exhibit, please contact Gallery Director Elaine Brodie at ebrodie@newarka.edu
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  • June

    Alumni Reminisce and Reconnect at Newark Academy Reunion

    During a day of reminiscing, catching up and celebrating, Newark Academy alumni returned home to campus to reconnect with each other, faculty and staff at Reunion on Saturday, June 4, 2022.

    The jam-packed day kicked off with the Alumni of Color Breakfast, featuring remarks from Director of Equity and Inclusion Rochelle Edwards and a student panel. The student panel included Justin Baker ’24, Isadora Martinez ’24, Abigail Pacheco ’24 and Yasmeena Sharif ’23, who each shared their experience as a student of color at NA.

    “Having faculty of color has helped me so much and given me support, particularly as a student of color,” Isadora said.

    Yasmeen expressed her gratitude to alumni of color for giving her advice along the way and noted that she hopes to pay it forward. “I hope to do the same in my senior year and pass down advice to the younger classes,” she said.

    The annual Women of NA luncheon continued midday, featuring speakers Gina Mandelbaum ’75, Nancy Baird Harwood ’75, Louise Klebanoff ’76 and Dean of Students Pegeen Galvin, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Newark Academy’s return to coeducation. 

    “Being one of the first girls at NA was intimidating,” said Louise. “It was a realization that if I worked hard, I would earn respect and learn how to study. These lessons learned at NA carried through to college and medical school.”

    Nancy added, “being a beneficiary of NA culture has been a blend of learning and curiosity. It’s been meaningful for my family and I hope to contribute to helping NA grow for the next half century.”

    During the Alumni Awards Ceremony, the Alumni Association conferred its top honors for distinguished alumni to Dr. Salamishah Tillet ’92 (Achievement Award), S. Dillard Kirby ’77 (Fulton H. MacArthur Award), Peter Rundquist ’82 (Artistic Achievement Award), Danielle Schwartz Auerbach ’01, Ralph Pellecchia ’62 and Whitney Russell ’62 (Athletic Hall of Fame Awards) and Bob Mallalieu (Distinguished Faculty Award). Read more about the ceremony here.
     
    The evening capped off with an outdoor dinner and reception in which alumni reconnected with each other, reminisced about their shared Newark Academy experiences and caught each other up on their successes. The grand finale illuminated campus with an incredible 15-minute fireworks show, sending off alumni until the next Reunion.
     
    View photos from Reunion here.
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  • NA Alumni Association Confers Annual Alumni Awards

    In a beautiful celebration of the little moments and shared experiences at Newark Academy that made a significant impact in the lives of numerous graduates, even decades later, the Alumni Association conferred its top honors for distinguished alumni during the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony at Reunion on Saturday, June 4, 2022 in Kaltenbacher Hall.

    Alumni Board of Governors President Rebecca Moll Freed ’94 led the ceremony, noting that “all of our honorees have made an impact on NA during their times on campus and even beyond. “We’re grateful for all of your accomplishments, spirit and your continued effort to pay things forward.”

    Rebecca began the ceremony by recognizing the Class of 1995 with the Ad Lumen Award, which honors the class that posts the largest percentage increase in gifts to the Annual Fund in a given year. The Class of 1995 increased its participation by 18 percent this past year. The Class of 1981 was also awarded, receiving the annual 1903 Cup – given to the NA class from the last 50 years whose giving embodies alumni generosity as measured by the percentage of the class that contributes to the Annual Fund. For the sixth consecutive year, the Class of 1981 was awarded the cup, with 48 percent participation in giving to the Annual Fund this year.

    Individual alumni were also recognized during the evening’s ceremony. Alumni awards included the Achievement Award, Fulton H. MacArthur Award, Artistic Achievement Award, Athletic Hall of Fame Awards and the Distinguished Faculty Award.

    “Without exception, these members of our Newark Academy community demonstrate daily the hallmarks of Newark Academy education and our mission,” said Head of School Donald M. Austin.

    Alumni Achievement Award - Dr. Salamishah Tillet ’92

    Salamishah was awarded the prestigious Alumni Achievement Award, which honors NA graduates who have distinguished themselves in their field of endeavor. Salamishah was presented the award by her former English teacher Frederick Von Rollenghagen. “Salamishah has always been a woman on the move, a fighter fighting the good fight,” said Von. “Here at NA, she was a scholar and an athlete; from early on, a person who has always given her best and relentlessly worked hard to make sure that others always give their best selves.”

    Salamishah earned the honor for her work as an activist, writer and professor. Currently serving as the Henry Rutgers Professor of African American Studies and Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark, Salamishah co-founded the nonprofit, A Long Walk Home, alongside her sister Scheherazade Tillet ’96. The organization uses art to empower young people to end violence against girls and women. This year, Salamishah, who is a contributing critic at large for the New York Times, received the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for her essays on race in arts and culture.

    “My journey to be a reader, my journey to understand the power of art to impact our lives, my journey to understand the way in which art can help us understand difficult conversations and have them with each other is in great part to the community that I had [at NA],” said Salamishah. “I really believe that I had such a powerful experience here learning to analyze and learning to critique and learning to talk and learning to love literature and art, and I’m so very grateful for my experiences here at Newark Academy.”
     
    Fulton H. MacArthur Award - S. Dillard Kirby ’77

    Head of School Donald M. Austin presented the Fulton H. MacArthur Award to S. Dillard Kirby ’77. The award is given to NA graduates who have distinguished themselves through loyal and dedicated service to Newark Academy through their efforts on behalf of the Alumni Association, the Board of Trustees, or in another volunteer capacity. “[Dillard] always found time and energy for NA. He served on the Board of Trustees and left an indelible mark on the Academy through his thoughtful guidance, his expectation of institutional excellence and his demonstration of generosity to his alma mater,” said Mr. Austin.
    Dillard recalled his time at NA, crediting a course with former faculty member Blackwood “Blackie” Parlin for learning empathy and a love of mankind. He also reminisced about the time the entire football team came together to buy him a new Varsity jacket, since he had lost his – then subsequently awed the crowd by pulling it out and proudly putting it on.
     
    Artistic Achievement Award - Peter Rundquist ’82

    Arts Department Chair Viraj Lal introduced Peter Rundquist ’82, the recipient of the Artistic Achievement Award, which is presented to NA graduates who have distinguished themselves in the fields of creative, literary, performing and visual arts who began their careers with significant contributions to the arts while at Newark Academy.

    “It was here at NA that the spark of creativity and composition was kindled into a flame,” said Peter, noting that he was challenged to perform publicly for the first time while in school. “At NA, I was free to make mistakes in a safe and forgiving environment. It was here that I learned music and the arts connect us with all of our passions… It was through music and the arts that illuminated and cultivated and connected me to my emotions and instilled in me a sense of resolve of purposeful perseverance.”
     
    Athletic Hall of Fame Awards: Danielle Schwartz Auerbach ’01, Ralph Pellecchia ’62 and Whitney Russell ’62

    The Alumni Association presented the Athletic Hall of Fame Awards to Danielle Schwartz Auerbach ’01, for her prowess on the tennis courts, and to teammates Ralph Pellecchia ’62 and Whitney Russell ’62 for their performance on the football field, basketball courts as well as in track and field and baseball, respectively. 
    Upper School Principal and tennis coach Dr. Richard DiBianca introduced Danielle for her Hall of Fame accolade – the two formed a close bond during Danielle’s time at NA, as Dr. D would frequently advise her athletically, academically and socially.
     
    “What I remember most of all is the incredible school spirit,” Danielle said. “There was always such an extraordinary sense of pride representing Newark Academy and everything it is known for: its long history, rich traditions, outstanding reputation for academic excellence, athletic successes and NA’s focus on developing future community, national and global leaders.”

    Pat Ciccone ’62, a 2007 NA Hall of Fame inductee, presented his former teammates and lifelong friends Ralph and Whitney with their Hall of Fame accolades, mentioning that he was always inspired to work harder to meet their expectations of him. “I made many lifetime friends, and I think that’s the best thing about [my Newark Academy experience],” Ralph said. Whitney added, “This evening is stunning in the fact that there’s such excellence growing in the school in so many areas and ways.”
     
    Distinguished Faculty Award - Bob Mallalieu

    After 37 years of service to Newark Academy, Bob Mallalieu was presented with the Distinguished Faculty Award by Head Librarian and his colleague of 26 years Jean Moroz. The award recognizes an NA faculty member who has a significant impact upon the educational development of students. Over his tenure, Bob served as the director of library media services, Summer Session director, department chair, administrator, coach, advisor, public speaking teacher and more. Most memorably, Bob was part of The Watchung Mountain Boys, a beloved Morning Meeting performance group.

    “When I first came to NA, I found it to be a place that provided opportunities to grow and to give, and often, in unexpected and uncharted ways,” said Bob. “Life at Newark Academy was and is very good, and for that, I am indeed thankful, grateful and blessed.”
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  • Newark Academy Graduates the Class of 2022

    Newark Academy conferred the degrees of 101 students from the Class of 2022 at the 248th Commencement Exercises in the Kirby Gym on Sunday, June 12, 2022.
     
    The Class of 2022 boasted 53 International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidates, 31 National Merit Scholars and 20 Cum Laude Society Members; led the Minutemen to eight state championships and two Tournament of Championship wins; and completed nearly 9,000 hours of community service since their freshman year.
     
    “Even though most of your high school time happened during the pandemic, you pivoted, adapted and had a remarkable run, both in the classroom and outside the classroom,” said Head of School Donald M. Austin. He noted that the Class of 2022 were great supporters of each other and rebuilt the school spirit and traditions that were lost during the pandemic.

    Chairman of the Board of Trustees Samuel W. (Sam) Croll III ’68 encouraged students to savor this moment they have worked so hard for and to always stay connected to Newark Academy.

    Director of Equity and Inclusion Rochelle Edwards commended the Class of 2022 for practicing a growth mindset and remaining resilient throughout the turbulent past few years. “You have chosen kindness,” Rochelle said. “Your dedication shows that you know that this community is not just about you, but about the classes of students who will follow.”

    Stella Gilbert ’22 was chosen by the Cum Laude Society to deliver the traditional T.C. Abbey Oration, recited each year at Commencement in honor of beloved teacher T.C. “Charlie” Abbey. Stella discussed the less traditional type of leadership she watched spread through the Class of 2022 – being the “first follower.” “A first follower has the power to turn a seemingly absurd person or idea into a movement by being the first to align themself with an issue. They’re the person who sees a leader and follows along, shifting it from a solo effort to a defined group,” she said, noting that no movements, ideas or even arts performances are possible without first followers.

    Michael Pyo ’22 followed with an original poem titled, “We > Me,” to his fellow graduates. “While at times we might feel alone, this community will always be your home,” he said.

    Milanis Rivas ’22 then introduced Upper School Principal Dr. Richard DiBianca who gave the Commencement Address. “My high school career serves as a testament to his encouragement, support and unwavering belief in students,” she said.

    Dr. D, who is stepping down from the post after 24 years to return to the classroom full-time in the fall, took the opportunity to teach one last lesson to the Class of 2022 – the quest for the best education in college. He equated college to an all-inclusive resort, encouraging the graduates to become a “bubble master” during freshman year by discovering all of the opportunities the university has to offer, and then stepping outside of that bubble in the following years. He followed with the second stage of the quest for the best education in college which he called “adventure tourism,” – engaging with the place where you live and the location of your college. Concluding Dr. D’s quest for the best education, is the stage of “interpersonal immersion,” in which he called on the Class of 2022 to get to know the people outside of their college bubble. 
     
    “College will be a fun and engaging all-inclusive resort bubble, but getting the best education at college will require you to get outside of it,” he said. “That is stepping away from the ‘me.’ Getting to know the area your college is in will broaden your horizons, but interpersonal immersion provides the double benefit of educating you and adding social value. That is stepping towards the ‘we.’”

    Mathematics faculty member Tony Ungaro, who is retiring after 47 years of service to the Academy, concluded the ceremony by quoting singer/songwriter George Aberle. “The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love and be loved in return,” he said.
     
    Senior Class President Luke Waskow sent the graduates off with the traditional turning of the tassel and the throwing of the caps.
     
    To watch the entire 2022 Commencement Ceremony, click here.

    To view the full Facebook photo album, click here.
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  • Newark Academy Celebrates the Class of 2026 at Grade 8 Class Night

    Newark Academy celebrated the achievements of the eighth grade class and its symbolic move to the Upper School during a graduation ceremony in the Coraci Performance Hall on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.
     
    In his welcome address, Middle School Principal Tom Ashburn gave the Class of 2026 three goals for their transition to the Upper School: to be joyful in managing their lives, to find fulfillment in what they do and to seek out people you love and who love you back.
     
    Head of School Donald M. Austin highlighted the students’ resiliency and adaptability through their time in the Middle School and called on them to prioritize strong relationships with friends and faculty in the Upper School, to get involved early and be patient with themselves.
     
    Eighth grade speaker Naveen McNeal talked about the three things the superhero Captain America has to succeed: courage, shelter and a shield. He noted that the Class of 2026 has all of those things and can therefore be superheroes themselves in the Upper School – with their shield being the NA community. “I found my people at NA,” he said.
     
    Eighth Grade Class Representative Gina Schreier closed out the ceremony by advising her peers to live in the moment and enjoy making memories as they transition into the Upper School.
     
    To view the full Facebook photo album from the Grade 8 Class Night, click here.
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  • May

    Alumni Reconnect at Minuteman Golf Outing and Tennis Invitational

    Newark Academy alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends came together for a fun-filled day of golf and tennis at the annual Minuteman Golf and Tennis Invitational at the Mountain Ridge Country Club on Thursday, May 12.

    “I had a great experience at Newark Academy, and we wanted to start getting more involved as we plan for both of our daughters to go there in the future, so we wanted to reconnect with alumni, faculty and staff,” says alumna and incoming NA parent Liz Nachtome ’97.

    Throughout the day, pairs competed together in doubles tennis and enjoyed time on the links – aiming to win a free car on the hole-in-one shot and trying to beat alumnus and professional golfer Sam Goldenring ’16 on hole 16 for extra raffle tickets.

    “It’s been great,” says Sam. “Since I graduated, I haven’t really been back to campus properly, but I’ve stayed close with [other NA families]. Now that I’m done with college and back in the area more often, it’s nice to get back to my NA roots.”

    For the Garrod’s – three generations of Newark Academy graduates – the golf outing is a family affair that keeps them close together and bonded through their shared ties to NA. View more photos from the event here.

    The next signature NA event, and biggest NA alumni event of the year, is Reunion. Join us as we celebrate years ending in 0, 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7. Register here.
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  • Salamishah Tillet ’92 Earns 2022 Pulitzer Prize

    Newark Academy alumna Salamishah Tillet ’92 was awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for her New York Times essays on race in arts and culture. Salamishah, who is a contributing critic at large for the Times, earned the accolade – the nation’s highest in journalism – for “learned and stylish writing about Black stories in art and popular culture – work that successfully bridges academic and nonacademic critical discourse,” the organization announced.

    Salamishah is the Henry Rutgers Professor of African American Studies & Creative Writing at Rutgers-Newark and the director of Express Newark, a center for socially engaged art and design that brings the community together. She is also co-founder of A Long Walk Home, a non-profit organization that empowers young people to end violence against girls and women.

    In 2017, Salamishah was part of Newark Academy’s Women of Distinction. She will also be awarded the 2022 Newark Academy Alumni Achievement Award during our Alumni Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 4.
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  • Chameleon Garners Essentially Ellington Accolades

    Newark Academy’s jazz band, Chameleon, earned several accolades at the 27th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival from May 5-7 at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Competing among the top 15 jazz bands in the country, Newark Academy received the Outstanding Rhythm Section and Outstanding Trumpet Section awards.

    Several students were also individually recognized for their performances:

    Outstanding Drums
    Ben Schwartz ’24

    Outstanding Alto Saxophone
    Noah Chirnomas ’22

    Outstanding Tenor Saxophone
    Ethan Lee ’22

    Honorable Mention Piano
    Marshall Graves ’23

    Outstanding Piano
    Ben Collins-Siegel ’25

    Outstanding Trumpet
    Sid Chalasani ’22

    Outstanding Bass
    Ben Collins-Siegel ’25

    This was Newark Academy’s sixth appearance as a finalist at Essentially Ellington, chosen by a panel of judges comprised of distinguished jazz musicians and historians. Through Essentially Ellington, students were immersed in mentoring, jam sessions and workshops, culminating into the competition. For more information about NA’s jazz program, visit https://www.newarka.edu/arts/instrumental-music
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  • Five More Minutemen Commit to NCAA Athletics

    Five more Newark Academy seniors committed to competing in college-level athletics next year:
    • Chase Clarke to Bentley University for basketball
    • Brandon Cortez to Fordham University for swimming
    • Ali Elmasry to Columbia University for swimming
    • Maya Lily Knoller to Gettysburg College for swimming
    • Michael Pyo to Haverford College for fencing
    See more photos from their signing day on social media @NA_Minutemen.
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  • Newark Academy Announces 2022 Ad Lumen Awards

    The prestigious Ad Lumen Award is presented annually to seniors who, in the eyes of their peers and of the faculty, best represent the ideals expressed in the Newark Academy mission statement. While the award recipients typically excel in the classroom, what truly distinguishes them is their commitment to enriching the NA community. In often modest yet purposeful ways, these students are the ones who shape and fuel the remarkable achievements of student organizations, sports teams, arts ensembles and academic classes. They pursue their passions with energy and focus, giving the best of themselves and bringing out the best in others. Congratulations to the Ad Lumen Award recipients from the Class of 2022: Lucy Alaeto, Drew France,  Stella Gilbert and Kaya Patel.

    Lucy Alaeto
    (Top left)
    In a world where many are quick to offer answers, Lucy Alaeto stands out as someone who has demonstrated the courage to ask difficult questions. In Morning Meeting presentations, at Equity and Inclusion Team meetings, as a leader of the Black Student Union, and when speaking with school administrators, Lucy has asked us all to think deeply about who we are, what we stand for, and how we can become a stronger community. Her impact has been significant. For example, in large part because of her educated and educating voice, Newark Academy implemented its BIAS Response and Education system. Her contributions to the Global Speaker Series Committee have similarly challenged us to grow. As a student, Lucy evinces curiosity and tenacity; her presence makes the classroom a better place. Today, we are pleased to recognize her many contributions to Newark Academy with the Ad Lumen Award.

    Drew France
    (Top right)
    Given her intellectual curiosity, desire to lift others up, and strong communication skills, it is no surprise that Drew France has had such a profound impact on the Newark Academy community. As a peer leader, she has modeled mature academic and social choices for younger students; as a member of the Honor Council, she has balanced consequences with compassion; and as co-president of the Black Student Union and member of the Equity and Inclusion Team, she has been instrumental in making our community welcoming for all. She has brought the same level of commitment and standard of excellence to the Mock Trial Team. In the classroom, Drew’s contributions have been described as “creative, critical and sophisticated.” She enhances class discussions by making connections to current global issues, demonstrating a seriousness of purpose in her academic work. Today, we are pleased to recognize her many contributions with this Ad Lumen Award.

    Stella Gilbert
    (Bottom left)
    Highly accomplished yet incredibly modest, independent-minded yet collaborative — this is Stella Gilbert. She does not shy away from challenges; she gravitates towards them. Her drive and passion are remarkable, and her pursuit of her interests is deep. As a School Council member, and this year as council president, she has worked hard for the good of the community. We have all benefited from her steady leadership, which is distinguished by inclusion, compassion, efficiency and vision. She has demonstrated a similar commitment to group success as a Mock Trial lead attorney, field hockey player and singer. Stella’s teachers are quick to note her extraordinary love of learning and selflessness as a student, attributes that inspire her classmates to do their own best work. Although she often shies away from the spotlight, today we are pleased to shine one on her as a recipient of the Ad Lumen Award.

    Kaya Patel
    (Top right)
    Scientist, volunteer, athlete, dancer, artist, writer, scuba diver, cake decorator, activist and scholar. This list describes not 10 different people but one: Kaya Patel. Kaya does so much that she seems to have found a way to fit more than 24 hours into each day. While the breadth and depth of Kaya’s involvement in our community are astounding, what is even more impressive is the sincerity, passion, and joy with which she approaches everything she does. In the classroom, Kaya asks challenging questions, pushes discussions forward, and forms study groups with peers. Outside of the classroom, Kaya demonstrates remarkable generosity of spirit. We have seen this from her on the field hockey pitch, as a member of the Community Service Council, as an editor-in-chief of the Minuteman, and on the Sustainability and Green & Blue Committees. Kaya is a most deserving recipient of the Ad Lumen Award.
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  • Chameleon Earns 11th-Straight State Title

    Newark Academy’s jazz band, Chameleon, earned its 11-straight state championship at the New Jersey Associate for Jazz Education (NJAJE) State Finals on Sunday, May 1 at JP Stevens High School. This was NA’s first time performing in the Division I category with the largest schools in the state. Chameleon also received Outstanding Saxophone and Rhythm Section Awards, as well as the top Sight-Reading Award.
     
    Sid Chalasani ’22 received the Rick Kerber Award, which is a $500 scholarship presented to an outstanding senior who will be attending college for the further study of music after graduation. In addition, Ethan Lee ’22 and Ben Collins Siegel ’25 won Outstanding Soloist Awards and Yasmeena Sharif ’23 was awarded an honorable mention.
     
    The NA Big Band also competed at the NJAJE finals and had a great performance, placing fourth in the state, less than a point behind third place.
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  • April

    Five NA Photography Students Earn Inspired Minds Accolades

    Five Newark Academy freshman photography students were recognized by the Inspired Minds: Young Artist Exhibition. Four students – Duncan Cheng ’25, Sachi Goel ’25, Gracie Kelly ’25 and Jadyn Soares ’25 – were selected out of 1,000 entries by a jury of distinguished artists, photographers and curators to be included in this year’s exhibit at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. Zachary Shoman ’25 earned an honorable mention.

    Inspired Minds: Young Arts Exhibition is a celebration of young artists in the Northern New Jersey region. The exhibition provides an opportunity for young artists to have a comprehensive professional experience: from submission, selection and exhibition to the sale of their art.
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  • March

    Seth Lieberman Joins the Minutemen as Director of Athletics

    Newark Academy has named Seth Lieberman as its next Director of Athletics. Seth comes to the Minutemen family with extensive experience leading athletics at a variety of independent schools, in addition to his diverse skill set. He brings with him a passion for athletics, experience in building and developing athletic programs, and an unwavering commitment to ensuring that every student-athlete has a positive experience.

    Seth is currently the Director of Athletics, Health and Wellness at Barrie School in Bethesda, Md. He was recently named the 2022 Maryland District 2A Athletic Director of the Year, and he is a finalist for the 2022 Maryland School Athletic Director Association's Athletic Director of the Year. Previously, Seth held the position of Director of Athletics at Saint Mary's School in North Carolina, Trinity School in New York City, and the Cannon School in North Carolina.

    Seth received his bachelor's degree, with a double major in geography and sociology, from Clark University in Worcester, Mass., where he was an Academic All-American student-athlete as a swimmer. He has a master’s degree in athletic administration from Springfield College, where he was the head coach of the women’s rugby team. A product of Maine overnight sports camps, Seth enjoys playing and watching all sports. In his spare time, he stays active and roots for his beloved New York sports teams and Carolina basketball, attends concerts (especially Bruce Springsteen), and travels in the U.S. and abroad.
     
    “I am humbled and honored to be named the next Director of Athletics at Newark Academy,” Seth says. “It was clear in my visit to campus the passion that everyone has for athletics. I’m excited to join the Newark Academy community and look forward to being a part of Minutemen Nation!” He will officially join Newark Academy in July 2022.
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  • February

    Chameleon Named a Finalist in the 27th Annual Essentially Ellington Competition

    Newark Academy’s jazz band, "Chameleon," was chosen as one of the 15 finalists to perform at the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, which will be held May 5-7, 2022 at Jazz at Lincoln Center.  The school will be making its sixth appearance at Essentially Ellington, under the leadership of Jazz Director Julius Tolentino. The Newark Academy Jazz Band has been recognized nationally, earning first place at the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival Competition and the Charles Mingus Festival in previous years. In addition, Chameleon has been awarded first place in the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education State Festival for 10 years straight and has placed as high as second in the country at Essentially Ellington.

    The annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival is one of the most innovative jazz education events in the world. It is known as the “Super Bowl” of high school jazz band competitions, attracting the top programs in the country to make an audition tape. Jazz at Lincoln Center selects 15 bands from over 100 submissions.  The 15 finalists will travel to New York City to spend three days immersed in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals and performances at the “House of Swing” Frederick P. Rose Hall, in Jazz at Lincoln Center.

    The Competition & Festival is the culmination of the yearlong Essentially Ellington program, during which participating bands are invited to submit a recording, and 15 finalists are selected through a rigorous screening process. Each finalist band receives an in-school workshop led by a professional musician before traveling to New York City to perform before internationally acclaimed jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and a panel of esteemed judges. The festival concludes with a concert and awards ceremony featuring the three top-placing bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
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  • Newark Academy Names Dr. Cathy Atwell as Upper School Principal

    Newark Academy has named Catherine “Cathy” Atwell, Ed.D, to the role of Upper School Principal, as Dr. Richard DiBianca steps down from the post to return to the classroom at the end of the academic year. Dr. Atwell will begin her tenure on July 1, 2022.

    Dr. Atwell has taught and served in a variety of administrative capacities at the Marlborough School in Los Angeles. While at Marlborough since 2004, Cathy has taught world history, economics, global studies and a wide range of electives emphasizing interdisciplinary learning and connections to current events. Most recently, she served as Dean of Student Research and Head of Marlborough’s Honors Research in Humanities and Social Sciences program, which pairs juniors and seniors with academic mentors at universities across the globe to pursue year-long independent research projects. Cathy has also served as the 11th Grade Dean and Department Head for history and social sciences. In 2018, she was recognized by Honored, a non-profit organization dedicated to spotlighting the role that teachers can play in transforming students’ lives.

    Cathy graduated from Dartmouth College, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in Russian area studies. While in college, she traveled to Russia twice, the second time as part of the first U.S.-Soviet undergraduate exchange. She earned an M.A. in history from Stanford University, conducting archival research in Russia for approximately 18 months. Cathy has also lived in Kenya, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. In 2018, she completed her doctorate in International Education at the University of Southern California, writing her dissertation on the benefits of implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) program for critical thinking instruction in humanities and social studies in Saudi Arabia. For fun, she loves to scuba dive, ski, hike and spend time with family, including her dog UB and cat PG (both rescues and best friends).
     
    “The warmth of the welcome I felt during my visit, together with the obvious intelligence and spirit of the students I met, made the choice to join the NA community an easy one. I also loved connecting with NA parents, leadership, faculty and staff,” Cathy says. “It’s clear that NA is a special place—a school that lives its mission and values, prioritizing kindness, inquisitiveness, diversity, experiential learning and belonging. I can’t wait to get to know you all better!”
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  • 24 NA Students Earn Scholastic Awards

    The Scholastic Awards is the nation’s longest-running recognition program for students in Grades 7 through 12 for creativity and excellence in various categories of arts and writing. Two artists, Olivia Dai ’26 and Kaya Patel ’22, earned recognition for their art pieces. Olivia earned two Gold Keys and one Silver Key over three pieces and Kaya received a Silver Key and Honorable Mention. Twenty-two Newark Academy students were recognized for their writing in various categories:

    Honorable Mention:
    Rahul Arora ’23
    Siyona Bordia ’25 (2)
    Marina Chernin ’23
    Navyaa Jain ’23
    Meghan Lai ’24
    Svanfridur Mura ’24 (2)
    Olivia Palker ’24
    Ashna Shah ’23 (2)
    Andrea Yan ’23
    Brian Yun ’24
     
    Silver Key:
    Dina Drogin ’23
    Skywalker Li ’22
    Olivia Palker ’24 (2)
    Neil Pandey ’24
    Pranay Maddali ’23
    Lauren Siegel ’23
    Lily Sternlieb ’24
     
    Gold Key:
    Marina Chernin ’23
    Jessie Luo ’22
    Kieri Keys ’24 (2)
    Elliot Kung ’25
    Yasmeena Shareef ’23
    Rebecca Shan ’23
    Ambika Sharma ’24
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  • Six NA Student-Athletes Sign National Letters of Intent

    Despite the challenges and constant unknowns in athletic schedules over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, six Newark Academy seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to play at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and III levels. The NA student-athletes who have committed to becoming college athletes in the fall of 2022 include:

    • Nate Campbell ’22 - Swarthmore College for Lacrosse
    • Konrad Czyzewski ’22 - University of Notre Dame for Fencing
    • Nathan Drogin ’22 - Princeton University for Golf
    • Selah Dungey ’22 - University of Chicago for Track and Field
    • Lauren Hardman ’22 - Swarthmore College for Field Hockey
    • Nicolas Kotzen ’22 - Columbia University for Tennis
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  • January

    Global Speaker Series: Dr. Andrew Dent Empowers Students to Make Better Consumer Choices

    One of the world’s leading authorities on materials in design, Dr. Andrew Dent, spoke with Newark Academy students about the innovations occurring in material science to improve carbon footprints, as part of NA’s Global Speaker Series on January 27, 2022.

    Dent, the Executive Vice President of Materials Research at Material ConneXion and Chief Material Scientist at Material Bank, discussed the environmental importance of shifting toward a circular economy, using a model of reusing and recycling, over a linear one in which resources are finite.

    “Innovation in materials has taken us a long way – makes us safer, allows us to go faster, just improves our lives in general – but we’re having challenges with the amount of waste we’re producing,” he said.

    Dent surprised many students with examples of how the world is improving its use of recyclable materials from “icky things” – such as sneakers being made from synthesized used bubble gum and wasted linen being recycled to create the shell of a Tesla.

    “Material science is small but has an outsized impact,” he said. Dent concluded his presentation by highlighting the importance of consumer choice and what each student can do right now to help the environment.

    “In your daily life, think about materials you are using and things you are wasting. Every time you use something that isn’t necessary, be mindful,” he said using plastic water bottles as an example. He urged students to understand what products are made from, research if they are ethically sourced and if they are created from recyclable materials when making their consumer choices.

    “That is your choice, that is your power,” he said. “As a consumer, as a human, you have incredible power.”

    Immediately following the talk, Dent held smaller breakout sessions for students interested in continuing the conversation on innovation approaches to material science.

    Since 2008, NA’s Global Speaker Series Committee has brought distinguished individuals from around the world to address the NA community, enriching students’ understanding and broadening their intellectual horizons. The series is made possible through contributions to the Annual Fund.
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  • Keys and Silliman Earn Superior Medals at NJ Thespian Festival

    Newark Academy sophomore acting students Kieri Keys ’24 and David Silliman ’24 earned Superior Medals for their acting duet at the school’s first appearance in the New Jersey Thespian Festival. 
     
    Kieri and David, two members of NA’s International Thespian troupe, were recognized with the highest level of achievement during NA’s first year of entry in the festival. The NA Theatre program inaugurated its first International Thespian troupe earlier this academic year.
     
    Newark Academy was joined by 400 other schools throughout New Jersey in this regional competition. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the festival became virtual at the last-minute, leaving just a six-day turnaround for students to rehearse and film their entries. With this accolade, Kieri and David are now invited to perform their scene for the International Thespian Festival in Indiana in June 2022 during which they will compete for scholarship opportunities.
     
    "We were thrilled to get a superior awarded score for two of our members. This is just the beginning for us and I am so grateful that I get to do this work with our students at Newark Academy," said Director of Theatre Arts Rachel Shapiro Cooper.
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  • 11 Selected to North Jersey Regional Wind Ensembles and Orchestras

    Several Newark Academy instrumental students were accepted into the North Jersey School Music Association’s regional wind ensembles and orchestras.
     
    Sixth grader Laura Lin ’28 was accepted into the intermediate orchestra. Upper Schoolers Julia Zheng ’24, Lynna King ’25, Alyx Martos ’25, Juliet Bu ’23, Carmen Dai ’23, Mina Ko ’25 and Ian Zhang ’23 were accepted into the advanced groups. 

    Julia Li ’23 and Spencer Nowak ’22 also made noteworthy accomplishments, each placing first on bass and bassoon, respectively. Pamela Davidson ’23 made principal second violin, placing fifth out of 76 violins auditioning in the region.

    “Newark Academy instrumentalists are dedicated to excellence,” says Orchestra Director Oliver Hagen. “Our program thrives off of students’ personal sense of motivation and individual practice commitment. Our thriving program, in turn, helps prepare students to succeed at their goals, and thus there is symbiosis.”

    The North Jersey School Music Association includes participation from students throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties. In an effort to stimulate wider public interest in school music and music education, the NJSMA provides performance opportunities to advance the caliber of music performances in schools.

    To learn more about Newark Academy’s Arts program, click here.
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  • Brandon Recce ’22 Named Top 300 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar

    Newark Academy senior Brandon Recce ’22 has been named a top 300 Scholar in the 81st Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) — the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. With this recognition, Recce becomes the first NA student to reach this level of the competition, earning the accolade for his project “Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of Highly Skilled Immigrant Workers on American Innovation.”

    “Being named a Regeneron STS scholar is an affirmation of my work as much as it has given me a lot of confidence to continue pursuing ideas and research that inspires me,” Brandon says.

    As a second-generation immigrant, Brandon found a passion in evaluating the impact that immigration has on the economy. After reading published works on the impact of immigration on innovation, Brandon realized he could extend the prior work. He downloaded several online datasets (USPTO/USCIS) from public government sources and was able to show a causal relationship using instrumental variable analysis between issued H-1B work visas and the number of patents produced. He also used machine learning-based topic analysis to identify sectors where immigrants had the largest impact. The two areas of largest impact were computer science and optoelectronics. 

    Regeneron STS recognizes and empowers the most promising young scientists in the U.S. who are creating the ideas and solutions that solve our most urgent challenges. A total of 1,805 students around the country entered the competition this year. As a scholar, Recce will receive $2,000, and Newark Academy will also receive $2,000 to use toward STEM-related activities. 

    Recce is now in the running to be named as one of 40 Finalists, who each receive $25,000 and participate in the final competition in March 2022. The top prize for the most promising emerging STEM leader in the United States is $250,000.
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Reimagining rigor for students in grades 6-12