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Students of the Month: Mathematicians 'March' to Success

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Jocelyn Martinez '19
1 March 2019


Passaic Valley is filled with many bright students, and it is important that these young adults are acknowledged for their hard work. The Student of the Month award allows these academically gifted students to be recognized for their achievements. March highlighted students who excelled in mathematics. This month's awards went to Joseph Valencia '19, Salvatore Mancini '21, Johnny Sahdou '22, and Isabella Zigarelli '22.

PVTV's Interview with Joseph Valencia

The Students of the Month were announced in the beginning of the month and were invited to the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, March 11th. The students were nominated by Mr. Salvatore Sileo, Mrs. Heather Goethe, Mrs. Nancy Helbourg, and Mrs. Ennely Thorton, who sent in recommendations and descriptions of these students to Principal Mr. Raymond Rotella.

Valencia was described by Mr. Sileo as, "An individual who constantly aspires to excel in all of his activities." In Mrs. Thorton's recommendation, she described Mancini as a determined young man. Mrs. Goethe mentioned Sahdou's hard-working and positive characteristics that he consistently shows in class. Zigarelli was praised by Mrs. Helbourg as, "Responsible, conscientious, generous, thoughtful, and a hardworker."

For some of the recipients, the recognition came as a shock. "I would not have picked myself for this award, but I was so happy and surprised when informed of my recognition," exclaimed Mancini.

The Student of the Month award allows students to realize that hard work pays off and encourages them to remain persistent. "I believe the amount of effort you put in to achieve your goals is what you will get out," stated Sahdou.

PV students who wish to achieve such heights can learn a lot from March's Students of the Month. "I always make sure to make time for studying, and I give one-hundred percent on all my projects and homework," mentioned Zigarelli.March's Students of the Month; photo credit: Mr. Rotella

The Student of the Month award has been a tradition since 2010 and has recognized a lot of the amazing students. It does not simply recognize students with high GPAs, rather it acknowledges that being a "good student" is far more than just a grade. "Often a student is nominated for overcoming a challenge, impressive work ethic, personal growth, or for their willingness to help others, inside and out of the classroom," explained Mr. Michael Carlucci.

Valencia's nomination, for example, factored in a lot more than just his great grades. "I also like to see if there is any extra volunteer work for my school," he said.

One student from each grade is selected every month, which guarantees that students in each grade get an equal opportunity. Also, a different department is allowed to nominate students for this award each month, and all of the teachers in this department are asked to nominate one student who they feel is fit for the award. "Their is no set criteria to receive this award," explained Mr. Carlucci. Therefore, each teacher is required to submit a write-up explaining how the pick embodies the idea of "Student of the Month."

Following the selection, these students are informed by Mr. Rotella the great news that awaits, and they are then invited to the next Board Meeting where they are officially acknowledged for their outstanding qualities. Along with a formal recognition from the Board of Education, a picture of the students is displayed in the building and showcased to the rest of the school. In addition, the names of these students are put on the marquee in front of the school so that they can be recognized by the town as well.

The traditional Student of the Month award has resulted in many positive outcomes since its implementation nine years ago, such as an increase in school pride and the recognition of the outstanding students that enroll here, and this award will continue to do the same in the future.