CliftonMerchant Magazine - June 2019

Page 1

From the Editor


Gordon Olsen Print Shop got me “Squared Away” and launched me into this Trade. - Tom Hawrylko, Editor & Publisher By sophomore year in Perth Amboy High School, I knew my future was in printing. Running forms on the AB Dick 360, shooting envelopes through the Multigraph or cranking up an old hand press, I found my future. Our teacher, Mr. Olsen, was a tough Marine and a father figure. Freshman year, he taught us the basics, how to hand set type in a galley and lock it down for printing. We printed posters for the plays, forms for the main office and letterhead for the principal. Mr. Olsen taught us procedures to follow, that deadlines were to be met and to be “squared away” at work. In sophomore year, print shop was a double period, starting at 7:30 am. I liked the work and the vibe so much I would come back later when I had open period to finish jobs, listen to Mr. Olsen tell stories or help clean up. He took a shine to me and I was proud to be in his crew. But at the end of that first marking period, Mr. Olsen threw a fast ball and taught a life lesson.

My report card showed a “D” in Print Shop—a typo no doubt. Next day I saw Mr. Olsen. “That’s no mistake,” he said. “You’re late. I don’t care how much you come back to help out or whatever. Late is late.” To Mr. Olsen, 7:30 meant be there at 7:20. No coming in looking like you just woke up. Be early. Be sharp. Be ready to work. I got the message. Through my graduation in 1975, I got “As” in Print Shop. Thanks to Mr. Olsen, I learned a trade that would allow me to start my business and found this magazine. The point is teachers like Mr. Olsen help shape young minds, lives and values. And that’s a job well done. 16,000 Magazines

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Contributing Writers

Business Mgr. Gabriella Marriello

Jack DeVries, Joe Hawrylko, Irene Jarosewich, Tom Szieber, Jay Levin, Michael C. Gabriele, Ariana Puzzo, Patricia Alex, Tyler Gamba

Social Media Mgr. Ariana Puzzo • June 2019


Selling your car, whether through a newspaper or online through a website like Craig’s List is a process loaded with pitfalls. Once your phone and address is “out there,” who is going to show up at your home? Selling your car privately is a hassle and it takes a lot of time and energy to complete the sale.


June 2019 •

Plus you’ll need to be ready to answer numerous phone calls at any time, even late at night. Many of these potential buyers just waste your time and never show up. For those that do show, you’ll have to deal with test drives, tire kickers, low-ballers, negotiations and weirdos. Instead sell your car to Fette, a name you trust.

Trust the Fette Auto Group when selling a car. Since its founding in 1952 by the late Henry Fette and now run by his grandson, John, Fette makes the process secure and easy. Either go to or visit the showroom and tell us the details about your car like year, make, model, mileage and condition.

Sales Manager Chris Ciresi or one of his team will make an appointment to inspect the car and make an instant offer. Be sure to bring all the necessary documentation. You’ll instantly receive a check for your car. The team at Fette makes the car-selling process safe, easy and hassle free.

Many sellers are legitimately concerned about strangers coming to test drive the vehicle at their home. • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

Who is the unsung hero of your graduating class?

Vernon Thomas: Gaby Wijangco (right) does so much for the CAST program and picks up a lot of slack. If she is doing a project, it is always polished.

Joe Lauritano: Kaliah Acevedo (right) works five days per week and still manages to earn great grades. She is polite and kind.

Brianna Engelhardt: Gaby Gaspar (right), who always gave me Ashworth’s homework.

Connor Sjosward: Jay Patel (right) works hard and is very respectful.

Liliana Dominguez: Melanie Mestro, a friend who has always given me good advice.

Tashiana Farrar: Anesty Acevado, the kindest person I ever met who sticks up for herself and others.

Nicholas DeGennaro: Joseph Kajon, one of the nicest and smartest people I ever met. Joe is student body president and we worked closely this past year creating fun events. He was also the lieutenant governor of our school’s Key Club district and organized a school color run, raising over $2,000 for charity. He balances good grades with activities, such as varsity soccer and drama club. Joe is an outstanding student and always willing to help when you need it. Joey Petti: Me, a low-key genius who will go on to do amazing things. I never received any attention, rightfully so, though nobody knows the great ideas that flow through my brain, and nobody will until I have accomplished what I will accomplish in the future.


June 2019 •

Samantha Zakrzewski: Vernon Thomas—an incredible artist who designs his own clothes! He has an immense amount of talent and bound to accomplish remarkable things.

Melanie Flores: Krunal Rana, one of the most selfless people I know. I’m so glad to have met him during my senior year and wish him the best—he deserves the world and more.

Gean Pierre Cruz: Haylee Pardo, a person of excellent personality with traits that make her different. She is kind, enthusiastic, humorous and skilled, and has helped me through my times of need. I am appreciative of her as a friend and colleague. She does the most for her community, especially for friends and family.

2019 Senior Survey

Who is the unsung hero of your graduating class? Steve Peralta: Donavin Leon (right) is the mellophone section leader in Marching Band, ranked first chair in the North Jersey Region Band and has written and arranged multiple songs for the band. He has amazing passion for performing and creating music.

Thomas Harris: Donavin Leon, who has written many musical arrangements for the CHS band programs. His most popular arrangement is Bohemian Rhapsody, as performed at the 2019 All-City Band Concert. Donavin Leon

Allie Acosta: Jody Martinez always finds a way to make me smile... the sweetest person I know. Victoria Salmeri: Melanie Flores, a hard-working student who doesn’t receive enough recognition for the effort and dedication she puts into her schoolwork.

Julie Martell: Magen Cabrera, one of my dearest friends and a smart, kind and caring girl. She is on the quieter side yet still involved. Magen is very involved within the school community, doing stats for the volleyball team and participating in our school’s musical. She is also an A-plus student, willing to help you out in math whenever needed and a good shoulder to lean on.

Hannah Urbanowycz: Joe Lauritano, who is involved in school sports and friends with everyone! A really nice guy who will brighten your day! Jay Patel: Joe Lauritano, a very strong person. Yasser Abdulghani: Brianna Engelhardt. Chelsy Rivera: Edita Lukovic.

Amani Brinson: Aziyyah Waring, who will not hesitate to help or stop someone from doing unkind things. Zaida Telleria: Mathew Guerrero.

Santino Lista: Kendra Fortozo, one of my first friends. She has always kept it real. • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

Who is the unsung hero of your graduating class? Charles Hiromoto: Mohammed Yousef Sabri, who gets great grades and is an amazing friend who cares about others and bringing a smile to everyone’s face. Ana Chandler: Kaila Vega, my best friend since freshman year who is very intelligent. Nasrallah Jaber: Ameer Abd, who helped and supported me.

Akefia Morgan: Lahira Gomez, probably one of the most dedicated, caring and unique people I’ve met. Her life has been trials and tribulations yet she still takes time to make sure her friends and family are having the best life. She dedicates herself not only to helping people but also to animals. She’s the only person I know that would take any animal, no matter the condition.

Geovani Guerrero: Akshar Patel Triana Garcia: Jody Martinez, the Milton Zarzuela: Akshar Patel al(above) is unique because he helps sweetest, nicest, most intelligent ways comes through when you need everybody with school work. person I’ve ever met. She is the best help with school. friend a person could have and is willing to drop everything to help­—even if it doesn’t Alyson Rios: Charles Hiromoto, involve her. You don’t see people like Jody everyday. who is nice and always there to help and knows how to cheer someone up! Julissa Bailon-Gonzalez: Linda Cruz-Acevedo, who took steps in achieving her careers goals early on in high school. She is the most supportive and best friend I could ever dream of. She has such great potential and I believe in her. Miguel Angel Aristizabal: Casey Gervacio.


June 2019 •

Ana Chapal: Haylee Pardo, a promising student who will attend Rutgers University in the fall. She played varsity softball and varsity cheerleading at PCTI. She recently won the 2019 Passaic County Championship. John Labanich: Jay Patel. • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

Who is the unsung hero of your graduating class? Tomasz Borowiak: Khalid Musa, whose attention to detail, persistence in learning and helpful nature makes him unique.

Cesar Diaz: Vimari Lopez, an outgoing person who helped me during my toughest times. Akshar Patel: Brandon Sunbury.

Brandon Sunbury: John A. Polanco, who always made everyone laugh and didn’t let a day be boring.

Gabriella Wijangco: Brianna Morrison (above) who puts so much time and effort into making our CHS experience great. Not only does she do much work for our community, but she’s a genuinely nice person who wants the best for the people around her. She has accomplished much in high school, like running her own business and becoming class president. I can’t wait to see where she goes next!

Ashley Goris: Brianna Morrison is the only person who actually cared about our class as a whole and made it a priority to get us together to have fun.


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Sarah Counterman: Krystal Brancato simply because she cheers me up when I am sad.

Miranda Porter: Aimee Hirst, who has been through it all. She does her work when told, gets really good grades and is definitely more mature for her age then anyone else. Aimee is definitely unique. Haneen M. Waqqad: Sarah Bhowanlal, the most resilient and determined person I know. Sarah may be #11 in our class, but she’s #1 in our hearts.

Trinity Sarden: Trinny’s my right hand and my go-to. I’m so thankful for her and her friendship!

Tala Alagrabawi: Stephany Jarmillo, who works insanely hard and puts her all in everything she does.

Miracle Christmas: Jamell Rodriguez, who was enrolled in the Performing Arts-Dance Shop at PCTI and showed determination and tenacity throughout the year. Not only is she part of Dance World Academy (DWA), Jamell enlisted in the National Guard. She balanced her school and extracurricular activities extremely well. Jasmine Tuncel: Yasmin Nijem, a hardworking student who has leadership positions in several extracurricular activities, such as GLI, CSU and Marching Band. While she may not be the star of the musical or have solos in the band, she is an undeniable member of CHS who constantly supports her fellow classmates. Menah Gabr: Hannah Garcia, who is talented in dance, plays many different instruments and has the singing vocals of an angel.

Johann Gamo: Anthony Vitale, who has been a great friend who’s been there through thick and thin.

Kyra Rodriguez. She is the SCTA president, CAST anchor, varsity softball player, distinguished honors student and yet somehow she does so many things for everyone.

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Daniel Simpson was a stranger in a strange land. At age 10, his family moved more than 2,500 miles, relocating from Las Vegas to Clifton. In the summer of 2011, Simpson joined an organization that would ease his transition and forever influence his life: the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton. “During my first year at camp,” Simpson said, “I was part of a 10-11 year old group of campers called the Ravens. At first, it was hard making new friends because everyone already knew each other. Nevertheless, the Boys & Girls Club definitely made me feel welcome, and I quickly began to feel comfortable. Eventually, I started to build friendships.” Simpson has never stopped building friendships—at the Club, in his school or in his community. By working hard and taking advantage of many opportunities, he has continued to grow and excel, and is this year’s winner of the B&GC’s Alumni Scholarship. A student at Passaic County Technical Institute, Simpson plans to use the $2,000 award to study business management and marketing, possibly at Ramapo College. In high school, Simpson earned a 3.3 GPA and became a member of the school’s Honor Society. He is also part of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, specializing in piano and percussion, and performs in the school’s marching band, playing lead snare drum for the past three years. Simpson was also an outstanding track athlete for PCTI, earning All-Passaic County first team honors for


June 2019 •

the triple jump and second team for the high jump. “Since my parents work,” Simpson said, “I attended the B&GC’s after-school program for many years. It was a fun environment and a safe space to go after school. I benefited from the structured program, which included homework hour. I learned great study habits that helped me maintain excellent grades in school.” Simpson also became involved with many B&GC groups, like the Keystone Club, along with community organizations, like The Door Youth Development Center, the YMCA of Greater Bergen County and the Democratic Campaign Committee. In 2015, Simpson was awarded the B&GC of Clifton’s “Boy of the Year.” “I was thrilled to accept this award,” he said. “It was an honor then and still is to this day.” In addition, Simpson earned his lifeguard certification at the Club and later worked as a counselor and lifeguard at a YMCA Camp. “I enjoy working with and mentoring youth, and plan to do this again this summer,” he said. Simpson knows the B&GC has provided him a strong foundation. “The Club will forever be part of who I am,” Simpson said. “My experience as a member taught me how to prepare for new beginnings, be open for change and transition to whatever life may throw my way. “The Club has shaped me into the young man I am today.”

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Next Chapter:

Michael Lechicky is a young Renaissance man, standing on the precipice of adulthood, looking forward to what comes next. With his high school chapter at Paramus Catholic complete, Lechicky is ready for his next one at college where he will attend Paul Smith’s College of Arts of Sciences, located 45 minutes west of Lake Placid, N.Y. He became interested in the school after meeting one of its professors during a family vacation in the Adirondacks. After participating in one of the school’s summer programs, he was hooked. “The experience changed my life,” said Lechicky, “two weeks of trekking through bogs and spruce forests looking at birds, collecting insects and sampling fish. “I had some doubts if I would miss out on other opportunities by going to a school that is so specifically dedicated to environmental science and forestry, but then I decided to do what I want to do now instead of worrying about the future.” While he enjoyed most classes at Paramus Catholic, there were a few that made a big impact on him. “One of these is Animal Behavior & Zoology,” Lechicky said, “which covered all the major animal kingdoms in certain detail, provided us with a ton of fascinating labs and, most importantly, exposed us to the infinite wealth of knowledge that is former Bronx Zoo educator and marine animal trainer Ms. Dobelle. “Her class is one that I have probably forgotten the fewest things from. That also was a good clue that I should pursue something in the natural sciences.” This summer, Lechicky plans to become more involved with area railroad history groups, another of his interests.


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He will also continue his environmental learning on a three-week trek west with his family. “By train and car,” he said, “we will stop at such places as Promontory Summit, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Rocky Mountain National Park, and other places in New Mexico and Colorado. “I love traveling to places I know nothing about, where I can be free from all that binds me here and experience the wild taste of an adventure in which the next town or sight is unpredictable.” During high school, Lechicky was also part of the Concert Choir and developed his artistic abilities in his drawing and photo classes. In addition, he learned much in English class. “There’s something about English teachers,” he added, “a bluntness about the human condition that teaches people life and reality and our history like nothing else does.” In the next few years, the multi-talented Lechicky hopes to create a short independent film that would make use of public Clifton spaces. “Once a Cliftonite, always a Cliftonite,” he said. “There’s lots to explore and enjoy in this area.” Approaching his next chapter outside his hometown, he remains grounded in his sense of self. “I have developed a lot as a person over the past 12 years, and more so even over the past four years,” Lechicky said. “I have become more open, more confident; have developed my character and stayed true to who I am. “There’s a lot I don’t know about myself, but the things I do believe in I do so confidently and surely.” • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

What was your greatest achievement in the last 12 years?

Johann Gamo: Winning a bowling tournament in Maryland and earning $1000 in scholarship money. Editor’s Note: Gamo became the second two-time Passaic County champ in school history, joining Dave Simon (1993, 1996). He added the North 1B sectional title to become a threetime state qualifier and finished with a 224 average, 279 high game and 781 high series. Michael Porter: Becoming an Eagle Scout. It took me about a decade to reach it, but every second striving for it was well worth it.

Ana Gjorgjeva: Coming out of my shell. When I did that, I achieved so many things, becoming the weather girl on the morning news and making National Honors Society. Steven Peralta: Passing my audition for the 78th Division Army Band at Fort Dix, N.J.

“Congratulations to Antoinette Muir on her commitment to the University of New Haven to run track and major in accounting,” wrote Mustangs Cross Country Coach Mike Rogers, at right. “She is one of the hardest workers and fiercest competitors in the history of our program. Antoinette is an unsung heroes and critical to our success.” She is pictured with her mom and Coach John Pontes, Principal Mike Doktor and Athletic Director Tom Mullahey.

Ana Chapal: Becoming PCTI varsity cheer captain and being accepted to Boston University.

Kyle Lesler: Delivering a 2018 state and county baseball title with my teammates at DePaul Catholic High School. It was the first time the school won a state sectional title; doing it the same year we won the Passaic County title was special. Amani Brinson: Being a starter during varsity basketball games. Santino Lista: Believing in and continuing to love myself.

Allie Acosta: Moving to the USA and meeting awesome people who I can always count on. I also learned the tool names in English for the Robotics Club and overall improved my grades. Emily Bradley: Working hard and making Principal’s List senior year. Nasrallah Jaber: Earning distinguished honor.

Melanie Flores: Making the Top 10 of my senior class and visiting five out of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Amani Brinson, Nicholas DeGennaro, Samantha Zakrzewski, Michael Porter, Miranda Porter and GeanPierre Cruz.


June 2019 • • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

What was your greatest achievement in the last 12 years? Jared Talavera: Winning the 2015 Christopher Columbus Middle School spelling bee in 8th grade. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to represent CCMS and Clifton in the 2015 state spelling bee... (though I lost that one!).

Thomas Harris: Auditioning for and making it into the 2019 NJSMA High School Symphonic Band on the trombone, giving me the opportunity to perform with some of the best high school musicians in northern New Jersey. Aaron Abedrabbo: Doing what certain people thought I couldn’t. Libanessa Lamouth: Being inducted into the National Honor Society and receiving the Distinguished Honor Roll for four marking periods my senior year.


June 2019 •

Akefia Morgan: Getting into the art honor society and bettering my art skills.

Miranda Porter: Graduating high school. School has always be a challenge for me, so graduating is definitely my greatest achievement.

Miranda Porter: Graduating high school. School has always be a challenge for me, so graduating is definitely my greatest achievement. Josias Paredes: Earning honors freshman and sophomore years.

Victoria Salmeri: Earning the Distinguished Academic Award for four years.

Joseph Walker: Earning first team lacrosse all-county honors two years in a row and scoring 100 career goals.


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2019 Senior Survey

What was your greatest achievement in the last 12 years?

Kyle Lesler, Aziyyah Waring, Christopher Cabrera, Olivia Ulczak, Aaron Abedrabbo and Julie Martell.

Chris Cabrera: Buying a car.

Brandon Sunbury: Making my family proud.

Sarah Counterman: Receiving Distinguished Academic Awards four years in a row. Hannah Urbanowycz: Becoming Mustang cheer captain and winning a state title. Menah Gabr: Being in the Top 10 of my class.

Miracle Christmas: Working extremely hard throughout middle school and high school to get accepted into my dream college, Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.

Haylee Pardo: Raising over $1,000 for the March of Dimes foundation to fund research to help premature


June 2019 •

babies and their mothers. I was a premature baby and wanted to give other babies an opportunity to live a healthy life. Gabriella Wijangco: Becoming one of the morning news anchors for CAST. Throughout my 12 years, I was known as the girl who didn’t talk much. Breaking out of my shell was something I was even surprised about. It taught me many things like public speaking and is one of those accomplishments I speak about with pride. Jay Patel: Being the first Indian to score two defensive touchdowns for the varsity in one season. Vernon Thomas: Becoming president of CHS’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

What was your greatest achievement? Genesis Isuiza: Being in the Top 10 of my class, as well as being a four-year recipient for the Distinguished Academic Award. I was also beyond blessed to have won a $900 grant for the Homeless Bus Organization, which fed over 300 people in NYC. Tomasz Borowiak: Not falling to the vices around me. Connor Sjosward: Receiving a lacrosse varsity letter. Yasser Abdulghani: Passing Ashworth’s class. Joe Lauritano: Earning honor roll every year.

Julie Martell: Getting the lead in my school’s musical, Into the Woods. I have been apart of the Drama Club since sophomore year and I began in the ensemble. As the years went by, my roles got larger. By senior year, I got the lead and was ecstatic and filled with joy. Samantha Zakrzewski: Being in the Top 20 of my graduating class—and honor that truly represents my hard work and dedication throughout high school. Nicholas DeGennaro: Graduating with honors and a 4.0 GPA. I thought I wouldn’t get the good grades I got in middle school. However, through hard work and dedication, I maintained an A average during all four years.


June 2019 • • June 2019




CAST III seniors who have been producing the morning news, music videos and various other segments this school year are leaving upon graduation. “I am going to miss them,” said CHS teacher Michael McCunney. “They started in CAST I in their sophomore year and now are graduating from CAST III.” CAST, an acronym which stands for Communication, Arts and Science Training, began back in 1979, started by CHS teacher Frank Perotta. The program originally focused on television production and the CHS morning news and shows for the local public access channel. Today, CAST has grown to a three-year program where students, starting as early as sophomore year, can learn about television and film production. “I came to the CAST program in 1998,” said McCunney. “In the fall of 1999, teacher Bob Zschack asked me if we could put together a film festival to raise


June 2019 • • June 2019


At left, students at work in the CAST program; above and at right, alumni who returned for the 20th CAST Film Festival.

money for the Clifton Education Foundation. And so began the CAST Film Festival in April 2000. During the past two decades, the CAST Film Festival has raised nearly $58,000 for the Clifton Education Foundation. This year’s festival was held May 9. “Since this year mark’s the 20th annual Film Festival, we thought we should do something special to celebrate the anniversary.” McCunney had an idea of inviting CAST alumni to talk on camera about their festival experiences.


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“Alumni from as far back as our first film festival came in,” said McCunney. “We reached out to more than 400 former CAST to students. Nearly 40 came to the studio and recorded with me or sent clips talking about their films and wishing us well.” McCunney created 25 flashback segments and added brief clips from the former students’ own short films when they were in the CAST program. “Those segments,” McCunney said, “along with 15 original films from this year’s CAST juniors and se-

niors, made up what many considered our best film festival yet.” An alumni reception before the festival , suggested by Loretta Ahmad, president of the Clifton Education Foundation, was well attended. “A number of our alumni have gone on to careers in television and film, working for NBC, ABC, HBO, as well as their own video and film production companies,” said McCunney. “Others chose different exciting career paths, and all spoke warmly of their experiences in CAST and creating short films.” The reception combined with the CAST Film Festival made for a memorable evening. “We certainly raised the bar for future CAST student producers,” McCunney said, “and I look forward to next year’s film festival.” • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

What was your favorite class?

Taking a break from a quiz and listening to Miles Davis, some of the CHS Seniors in Mr. Ashworth’s 3rd period English class.

Joseph Rabanal: History with Mr. Lesler and English with Mr. Ashworth.

Evelyn Mejia: Though chemistry does not pertain to my major, it was an amazing course and my favorite science. Samantha Zakrzewski: Mr. O’Reilly’s AP Psychology class. He is an outgoing, enthusiastic teacher who makes the class entertaining. Nicholas Angel: Mr. Alberghini’s Auto Tech. Vernon Thomas: Sociology.

Noor Savaini: World History. Tashiana Farrar: ROTC.

Connor Sjosward: Mechanics.

Nicholas DeGennaro: Journalism. I got to put together my entire


June 2019 •

school yearbook and see it published. Being yearbook editor was fun. I let my creativity roam and put it into pages created with pictures and memories with my friends. Celeste Castera: Mr. Ulley’s Human Behavior. Gabriela Gaspar Guerrero: Mrs. Lesler’s Sign Language class. Alyson Rios: ROTC all four years. Cesar Diaz: Digital Photography.

John Labanich: History through Film.

Libanessa Lamouth: Art with Ms. Sauchelli.

Brandon Sunburg: Mr. McCunney’s CAST class. Without a doubt, the most entertaining class. The students and Mr. McCunney worked as a team and I learned a lot.

Sarah Counterman: Sign Language with Mrs. Lesler.

Vimari Lopez: Art class with Mrs. Fox and Math class with Mrs. Stec. Jared Talavera: Foods/Nutrition CP class with Mrs. Kida in my junior year. We cooked up a lot of delicious treats and meals, such as pot pies, cookies, pizza, even bananas foster! I made spectacular friendships while I ate spectacular dishes. Hannah Urbanowycz: Sign Language II with Mrs. Lesler and CAST III with Mr. McCunney. Carlos Macias: MJROTC.

Brianna Chrzestek: Criminal Justice with Mr. Gonzales!

Miranda Porter: CAST with Mr. McCunney and helping with recording our Morning News. • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

What was your favorite class?

Kyra Rodriguez, Santino Lista, Haylee Pardo, Josias Paredes, Akefia Morgan and Brandon Sunbury.

Haylee Pardo: Medical Arts class at PCTI because I learned skills most students would not be exposed to in other schools. By taking this class for four years, I became CNA and CPR certified, and learned other skills useful in the medical field. And I made friendships in this class that will last a lifetime.

Ashley Goris: Mr. Lesler’s U.S. History II Honors class and Mr. O’Reilly’s AP Psychology. Ana Gjorgjeva: CAST because we have so much freedom to express ourselves. Steven Peralta: Band class.

Michael Porter: Honors American History 2 with Mr. Lesler for many reasons. The biggest would be his helping my class learn not only about history, but how to step back and look at the bigger and more profound picture on current events.

Ana Chapal: Medical Arts. It was out of my comfort zone with a new curriculum each year and pushed me to obtain knowledge in Medical Terminology, Dental Assisting, and gain a CNA and EMT license.

Melanie Flores: AP Psychology. I’ve learned so much from the great Mr. O’Reilly and had so much fun.

Gabriella Wijangco: CAST with Mr. McCunney and American History with Mr. Lesler. Both had such a passion for their subjects and made learning memorable.

Alaa Tahboub: Mr. Lesler’s History class.

Kyle Lesler: Gym class with my friends, teammates and Coach John McKenna (he’s a Clifton guy, too).

Haneen M. Waqqad: AP United States History with Mr. Henry!

Peter Wilk: Power Mechanics with Mr. Alberghini. You faced a new challenge every day. His class is hands-on and teaches you how to hold yourself together in the real world past high school. Tomasz Borowiak: Mr. Burns’ physics class. Miracle Christmas: U.S. History II.

Genesis Isuiza: English with Mrs. Miller-Hamilton. We always had fun projects and small parties. She was always relatable and made us feel comfortable and safe to speak about anything—including issues going on in the world.

Congratulations Class of 2019! “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” - Eleanor Roosevelt

Councilman Bill Gibson, Robin & Family 30

June 2019 •

Jasmine Tuncel: I can’t choose between Studio Art III and Design Careers.

Juliana K. Loukachouk: Biology. Mr. Meck is the most outstanding teacher because he made a difficult biology honors class easy with engaging and fun lectures and labs, such as dissecting a frog. Filip Musial: Mr. Burns’s physics class. • June 2019


Whether it is goods being delivered by a big tractor trailer or the auto transporting you from school to home to work, it’s people like those pictured above who keep things moving. “Skilled trades programs are so important,” said CHS teacher Richard Alberghini. “And these students have an outstanding opportunity before them.” Alberghini, who spent three decades in the private sector before beginning his teaching career, makes sure his students know about those opportunities. To augment their knowledge gained in his Power Mechanics and Auto Tech classes, Alberghini invites industry speakers to talk with his classes, as well as taking his students on field trips. “We visited Komatsu, Foley Caterpillar, Campbell Freightliner, Lincoln Tech and Universal Technical School (UTI),” Alberghini said. “Finally, after years of pursuit, I was able to get a trip this year to the BMW training center in Woodcliff Lake. “These visits provide students with career alternatives and truly inspire many to go on to careers in the automotive-diesel industry.”


June 2019 •

Ever appreciative of the support for his students by the BOE and CHS administration, Alberghini is also thankful for a special gift. “I’d like to thank Clifton,” he said, “for donating two vehicles to this shop. This allows students to perform procedures on vehicles in a workplace-like situation.” Another class highlight was the introduction to welding, which has been successful and popular with the students. “This is a basic course in MIG welding,” Alberghini said, “where students create a project generated from scrap metal in the shop.” This year, 11 students are moving on to education in automotive, diesel and aircraft maintenance institutions. Some received up to $20,000 in scholarships to these schools. “Mrs. Rossi has also been instrumental in obtaining these scholarships,” Alberghini added. So the next time a big truck roars by or your vehicle delivers your family safely to its destination, think— the mechanic making them run so well might have gotten his start at Clifton High School. • June 2019


STATE STAT LEADERS Mustang Seniors Giuliana Richards and Joseph Walker.

By: Tom Hawrylko

From the May 1 Star Ledger

It started with a discarded lacrosse stick. “I was first introduced to lacrosse in 6th grade when my older sister Tiffany found an old stick at our local park,” said Giuliana Richards, who would go on to set CHS girls lacrosse records for single season and career scoring. “Tiffany was drawn to the sport immediately and decided to try out for the high school team her sophomore year.” Thus began a long successful run for the Richards family. Tiffany went on to score 110 goals in her career, setting CHS’s then career record. “After Tiffany left high school,” Giuliana said, “I entered. I had the pleasure of playing not only three sports with my other sister Amanda, but playing lacrosse with Olivia Demuro, who broke my sister’s career scoring record with 150 goals.” During her freshman year, her first time ever holding a lacrosse stick, Giuliana scored 18 goals. Talk began that Richards might put the family name back atop the record book. “It wasn’t until Coach Gryszkin pulled me aside and told me that Olivia only got four goals her freshman


June 2019 •

From the April 30 Star Ledger

year when I realized, ‘Hey, maybe I can do this.’ From then on, I was determined to get at least 151 goals no matter how hard it would be.” She did that and more, ending her career with 237 goals and 46 assists, setting the school record for career goals and points. She also eclipsed 100 goals in a single season (104 this year). Richards, the Mustangs team captain, emphasized she owes much of her individual success to her teammates, whom she called her “best friends and family.” One of those supporting teammates was junior goalkeeper Nicole Ozga, a three-year starter who totaled 180 saves this season (565 saves for her career). While the Mustangs finished 6-11 this year, they did win four out of their last six games. Along with her teammates, Richards says her coaches played a critical role in her career achievements, especially Gryszkin. “Coach Gryszkin always believed in me and pushed me when I needed it most,” she said. “I definitely could not have done this without her.” But her most important motivator was family.

“I mostly did this for them—especially for Tiffany,” Richards said. “I just wanted to make them proud. “Lacrosse,” she added, “will always be a part of me, and I will never forget these last four years. I will truly miss it. Thank you, CHS.” Lacrosse wasn’t Joe Walker’s first love. The Mustangs high-scoring midfielder wanted to play a different sport. “I started out as a baseball kid till I reached the age 8,” Walker said. “That’s when I picked up my first lacrosse stick. Fast forward 10 years and I’ve grown to learn and love the game.” Indeed he has. As a three-year varsity starter, the senior has set a path of career excellence for others to follow. “I’ve been a Clifton kid my whole life,” Walker said, “and being in this program was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve made friendships that will last lifetimes, learned things schools couldn’t teach and broke barriers I never thought could be broken.” One of those barriers broken was the career 100-goal mark that Walker eclipsed on April 18. Forming a high-scoring tandem with teammate Jack Louer, a junior, the two Mustangs each scored their 100th career goals in a 20-9 away win over Waldwick. “It was a really special day,” CHS Coach George Cowan told “They are both tremendous athletes and work really well together. They’re a dynamic duo.” Walker has been a special player his entire CHS career. This year, he scored 55 goals with 30 assists. During his three varsity seasons, he totaled 130 goals with 62 assists. He also earned all-Passaic County first team, as well as all-Curio League first team during his junior and senior year. “I’m thankful for all the support and help I received from all my coaches,” Walker added. “My teammates have been crucial to my success. If I didn’t have those guys on the field with me, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. “I’m grateful to have played with all those guys.” This year, the Mustangs finished 9-9 but did qualify for a Group 4 state tournament game.

Next year, Walker plans to continue to play at Union County College and move on to a university after two seasons. “All I ever wanted was to be known for my talent,” he said. “I’m beyond grateful to have the skills I have in this sport. I worked very hard to achieve my goals and be a top-ranked scorer. “It all paid off.” Wherever his future takes him, Walker will always treasure his time as a Mustang. “Putting on that Clifton jersey and playing hard for my city means everything to me,” he said. “Being a Mustang is more than just playing on team for me—it’s family and a second home. I’m grateful to been a part of the Clifton lacrosse program.” • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

Give some advice to the Class of 2020.

Libanessa Lamouth, Jared Talavera, Emily Bradley, Tomasz Borowiak, Sarah Counterman and Edward Salvador.

Connor Sjosward: Do all of your homework, especially in Ashworth’s class.

Chelsy Rivera: Team work makes the dream work. If you have Ashworth, make a group chat.

Kalina Perez: Be on top of your work.

Leslye Castillo: Take advantage of what CHS has to offer, join clubs, go to every school event. Your senior year will fly by!

Katherine Cortes: Don’t procrastinate.

Amani Brinson: School is not over! Don’t let being a senior make you believe that you don’t have any more work to do. Do not stop working until the day of prom.

Khushbu Gandhi: It’s okay to be wrong and make bad decisions sometimes. You just have to learn from them and make the best out of the situation. Brianna Engelhardt: Pray that you don’t have Ashworth. Ameer Abdel-Aziz: Don’t ever drop out of school. When thinking of a major, think about what you can do, not the money.

Noor Savaini: Failure is the road to success.

Julie Martell: Keep working hard. Since it’s senior year, many believe that it’s an easy year, but they are wrong. Strive for greatness and do not give up. Joe Lauritano: Don’t be a follower. Pave your own path. Be different.

Jay Patel: Do not slack on college applications. Joey Petti: Do not listen to anything anyone tells you. If you want to accomplish something, put your head down and execute.


June 2019 •

Ana Chapal: Go with your gut. You never regret those decisions. Samantha Zakrzewski; Enjoy your senior year! Although it may be stressful and overwhelming at times, it’s bound to be your most unforgettable year. Make sure to participate in school events as it’s your last year and you’ll regret it if you don’t. Nicholas DeGennaro: Senior year could be the hardest or the best year of high school. It is up to each person to make it what they want. Everyone’s future is bright with opportunities, and it’s your time to take advantage of them! Libanessa Lamouth: Do your homework!

Joseph Rabanal: Don’t fool around the whole year and start trying at the end.

Aaron Abedrabbo: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is better to be a fool for a minute than for life. Milton Zarzuela: Get your applications done early, study for the SATs. You will regret it if you slack off. Akshar Patel: Work hard, try new things, and always plan ahead.

Gean Pierre Cruz: Do not waste your time and energy on someone if they are not willing to reciprocate.

Melanie Flores: Enjoy senior year, it goes by so fast! Also it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get into your dream college. Life works out!

Michael Porter: Don’t take classes because they’re easy; take them so you can better yourself.

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2019 Senior Survey

Give some advice to the Class of 2020. Emily Bradley: Enjoy every moment of your senior year. It goes quick. Before you know it, you’re getting your cap and gown, and graduating.

Ashley Goris: Stay focused on yourself. Don’t worry about friends and relationships—that’ll come later in life. Attend as many school events as you can. For the ladies, don’t spend over a grand on the prom—its not worth it.

Brianna Chrzestek: Enjoy every last thing and get involved! It goes by way too fast and you will miss it.

Tala Alagrabawi: Don’t slack off your senior year but also don’t forget to have fun.

Joseph Walker: Work hard even when no one is watching.

Victoria Salmeri: Take school seriously, but don’t forget to have fun, Don’t let school work control you all the time. Give yourself time to de-stress, always think of yourself first—self-care is super important. Make the most memories with friends; it’s your last year!

Miranda Porter: Do all your school work, pay attention, get more involved in school activities and choose your friends wisely. Hannah Urbanowycz: Make sure to get involved and make all of the memories that you can!

Jared Talavera: Even though you should still work very hard in school, you should never ignore following your dreams and enjoying time with your family and friends… because if you don’t do it, then regrets will follow you. Carlos Macias: If they don’t know your dreams, they can’t shoot them down.

Miracle Christmas: Procrastination is a habit you should break from; it stresses you more than what you already have on your plate. Enjoy your final year in high school because it finishes very quick. Haylee Pardo: Don’t give up because it is almost over! It’s easy to be lazy your last year of high school, but why stop now when you have worked so hard for the past three years? Leave your mark and end school with a bang. Jasmine Tuncel: Apply for as many scholarships as you can.

Peter Wilk: Live in the moment because time goes by fast and you can’t be a senior forever.

Kyle Lesler: Stay humble and stay focused. Life throws challenges at you. It makes the success greater. Whether things are up or down, stay humble and focused on your goals, and you will achieve them in the future. Haneen M. Waqqad: People will try to define you. Don’t let them do that. Gabriella Wijangco: Attend as many school events as you can. Having school spirit isn’t “lame.” You don’t realize how quickly senior year goes and once May/June comes, you’ll regret not being able to do the things you could have done. Filip Musial: Don’t procrastinate and do some introspection once in a while. Tomasz Borowiak: Apply Early Decision to your first choice college. Prepare applications early.

Joseph Walker, Victoria Salmeri, Kenneth Rivera, Melanie Flores, Yeferson Acosta and Hannah Urbanowycz.


June 2019 •

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His Father’s Son Pete Wilk’s character and accomplishments add to his family legacy. By Jack DeVries Pete Wilk knows his dad is watching over him, rooting for him each time he steps on the mound or takes the ice for the Clifton Mustangs. Pete Sr. never missed a game and his son knows he is still with him today. “When the games get tough,” Wilk said, “I know he’s rooting me on. He’s definitely there for those big moments.” In September 2016, Pete Wilk Sr., 51, succumbed to a massive heart attack. “His greatest joy,” said wife Cyndi, “was watching our children, Pete and his sister Samantha (who played softball for CHS), play sports.” “He had a great work ethic,” Wilk said about his father, “and was respectful to everybody. He was very charismatic—everybody liked my dad. I respected his attitude toward everything.” Pete Sr. was born in Bojanow, Poland, and came to America in 1972. He became a master plumber who owned and operated Cyndi Heating & Plumbing in Clifton for 11 years. And, though their time together was tragically cut short, he imparted his wisdom and integrity in his children. Something people notice about his son Pete, who graduates from CHS in June. “Pete is a gem of a kid—all the way around!” said his Acquackanonk Gardens neighbor Frank Burke. “He’s the kid you would let watch your house, marry your daughter or work for your company—a well-rounded fun kid who is always smiling. He was dealt a tough blow with the passing of his dad, but has since carried himself in a manner in which his dad would be super proud.” While sports have loomed large for Wilk—he’s a left-handed pitcher with a mean slider and hockey center for the Mustangs—his biggest accomplishment came in the classroom. “My greatest achievement in the last 12 years,” he said, “was getting inducted into the National Honor Society. Throughout my years in middle school, I would always fall short of the honor roll status by one or two points. That also occurred my first two years of high school. “But I kept pushing through, paying more attention, applying myself—doing all my homework, studying more and getting my assignments in on time. In my junior and senior years, I was able to get distinguished honor roll for all four marking periods.”

Pete Willk with his family, from left: mom Cyndi, dad Pete and sister Samie.


June 2019 • • June 2019


Wilk also had to push through on the diamond after sustaining an injury diagnosed as a shoulder impingement, sustained while pitching with his travel team. “I was throwing a bullpen and felt something in my shoulder,” he said. “It’s been a reoccurring thing. I work with our trainer every day and I’m fighting through it.” Wilk has enjoyed many thrills as an athlete. As a junior, he helped Clifton upset defending champion Pompton Lakes in the first round of the Passaic County Tournament in April 2018. Clinging to a 2-0 lead, Wilk came on in the seventh inning and surrendered a leadoff single. With the heart of the Pompton Lakes order coming up, the southpaw bore down and struck out the next batter and induced a game-ending double play, saving the game for the Mustangs. Another big moment came in late December 2018 when he scored the game-winning goal in the Bayonne Holiday Tournament. Because of illness and injury, the Mustangs were down to just 10 skaters and a goalie. Wilk’s goal came with a 3-3 score with 13:15 remaining. Teammate James Fusaro, who assisted on Wilk’s goal, helped power the Mustangs that day with a hat trick. “It’s giving it our all,” Wilk told after the game. “Working hard in practice every day, getting on the ice, keeping our composure, using every one of our players on the bench… But you know what? We came through big and did everything we needed to do.”


June 2019 •

On May 20, Wilk enjoyed a final athletic thrill. During Clifton’s 5-4 win over North Bergen in the first round state tournament game, the lefty pitched six strong innings for the win, striking out six while surrendering just two earned runs. Looking back on his CHS academic and athletic career—outside of his family—Wilk said many people impacted his life. “It’s hard to just pick out one person,” he said, “when all of my teachers and coaches were huge supporters in what I do. They kept me on track. I also can’t forget about all my teammates throughout the years—how we created bonds that can never be broken.” Because of his shoulder problem, Wilk believes he will be done with sports after high school. However, he does plan on helping coach a summer baseball team and assist at Mustangs Coach Joe Rivera’s baseball camp. After graduating, Wilk has a definite vision for his future. “I will hopefully be working at PSE&G,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to work at PSE&G since I was very little. My uncle (John Wilk) has been like a father figure to me and been working there for 16 years. I want to follow in his footsteps.” Though a chapter in his life is ending, Wilk will always remember wearing the maroon and gray. “Being a Mustang is everything,” he said. “The coaches, teachers and teammates—I don’t think there is any place like it. It’s one of a kind. I love representing Clifton.” • June 2019


Real World Experience Co-Op Provides Students With A Career Roadmap.

Co-op students; from left, rear: Aya Abdallah, Brianna Berry, Shawn Moreland, Kenneth Rivera and Giovanny Gomez; middle: Andrea Irias, Christopher Bravo, Jocelyn Roldan, Mrs. Rossi and Edward Salvador; front: Jeanelle Colon and Miranda Tineo.

Critics sometimes complain high school does not prepare students for employment. They obviously know little about Clifton High’s Cooperative Education Program. “I am so proud to say,” said Co-op Program Coordinator Kathleen J. Rossi, “that I was enrolled in the CHS Cooperative Business Program when I graduated in 1977. My teachers, Molly Del Favero and Eleanor Kasenchar, molded me into the teacher I am today.” Rossi, who returned in 1987 to teach business education, has been a co-op coordinator since 1995. “The co-op program,” she said, “taught me how to act in the business world and learn what ethics and integrity are.” Cooperative education is a college prep course, along with a paid internship and work readiness course. Based on grades, attendance and discipline, students apply and earn program admittance. CHS has approximately 75 students enrolled this year, and there is usually a waiting list to get in.


June 2019 •

Students, split into business or marketing sections (taught by Howard Schlesinger), attend school mornings and are released around noon to work. Co-op students have worked for the Clifton Police Department and Municipal Court, and Clifton City Departments. They’ve also worked for the North Jersey Chamber of Commerce, business professionals and companies like IHOP, Corrado’s, Rutt’s Hut, Hot Grill, Pizza Hut, McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, as well as childcare centers, the Clifton Boys & Girls Club, Stop and Shop, ShopRite, and many more. The co-op schedule is tough. Along with maintaining their studies, students work 18-20 hours per week through June, earning minimum wage and above. Their classroom work teaches them ethics, integrity, team building, and managerial and communication skills, along with computers, finance, dressing for success and time management. “Thanks to Ms. Rossi and my interactions with supervisors at Shop Rite of Lodi,” said Josh Rodriquez, “I

learned that first impressions—over the phone, in person or on paper—are really important.” Real world learning is always emphasized. CHS senior Yeferson Acosta discovered his first career choice was not what he expected through his internship at Fredson, Statmore Bitterman. “I considered law,” he said, “but after working there, I decided that being a lawyer was not for me—too much repetitive work.” Instead, Acosta will attended William Paterson University to major in public health. But interning at Basaran Law, an immigration law firm in Downtown Clifton, helped Buket Ozsahin solidify her career goal. “I always wanted to be a lawyer,” she said. “Working on mail, and receiving and filing applications, helped me understand that law is a process. “While it can be boring and repetitive, meeting deadlines, being accurate and timely are crucial to winning a case. I like that structure.” Dayanara Villar started working for Pizza Hut as a junior. “I started out making pizza and I learned everything I could,” said Villar, headed to Jersey State University to study public health.

In January, she was promoted to counter shift manager, making $12.50 an hour. Co-op students can also apply and earn scholarships through the NJCEACA, a cooperative education association that helps programs adhere to state rules and regulations. This year, co-op students Ed Salvador earned a $20,000 scholarship to UTI Automotive/Diesel Technology, and Kenneth Rivera was awarded a $6,500 scholarship at the Teterboro School of Aeronautics for Aircraft Maintenance. Jonathan Mendoza will Lincoln Tech Automotive with a 25 percent scholarship, and Stefany Serrano and Jocelyn Roldan will attend Berkeley College on full scholarships. Co-op students who will attend college include Ozsahin, Briana Berry, Aya Abdallah, Miranda Tineo and Kevin Bartko. Joining them are Giovanny Gomez, Jeanelle Colon and Christopher Bravo, who earned a full ride to NJIT to study civil engineering. “Since 1995,” said Rossi, “I’ve loved every minute of my job. I get to see my students in school and on the job, representing Clifton High School.” • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

Where have you worked in high school? Brianna Engelhardt: At the Clifton Little School.

Angelique Tojil: Where do I start? Starbucks, Foot Action, Stop N Shop, Shake Shack. Geovani Guerrero: GNC, Adidas. Noor Savaini: 7-Eleven.

Tashiana Farrar: Passaic County One Stop.

Jemlyn Velasco: Tutoring in a private school. Shout out to New Hope School!

Joe Lauritano: Landscaped with my father throughout high school. Katherine Cortes: Daycare worker in Passaic.

Jacob Febles: Banana King, Maple Valley Diner. Amanda Peskosky: Boston Market, Stop N Shop.

Nicholas DeGennaro: Although I did not work, I volunteered. I’ve been a student ambassador for four years, giving tours to families and sharing information to prospective students. I’ve also been an assistant track and field coach for my former elementary school, going to practices and meets. And I volunteered over 30 hours to my church’s CCD program, working as a teacher’s aide. Jay Patel: McDonald’s, Hot Grill and landscaping.

Other students in the CHS Coop program, from left, Dayanara Villar, Buket Ozsahin, Sabrina Gomez, Joshua Rodriguez and Yeferson Acosta.

Liliana Dominguez: At Clifton’s Best Bakery, Lakeview Bakery!

Joey Petti: Worked at a stone office in Paterson named Wilkstone, LLC

Julie Martell: I volunteered and worked. I’ve been a student ambassador and Key Club member. I also volunteered at my church doing things like making food baskets for the poor. My first and current job is as a Panera line cook. Kayla Espinosa: Allwood Bakery, Francesca’s Bakery.

Miranda Mattila: Volunteered at a nursing home. Amani Brinson: I enjoyed working at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club. Santino Lista: Applegate Farms.

Aaron Abedrabbo: Home Depot, The Mountainside Inn, Daughters of Miriam and Friendly’s. Akefia Morgan: Journey’s, Wendy’s, LA Fitness.

Alyson Rios: Worked at Planned Parenthood as a teen peer educator and City Green, teaching children about healthy food, food access, plants and their life cycles. Akshar Patel: Montclair Learning Center. Sarah Counterman: I did the CHS Job Skills Program and have been at Stop N Shop, School 16 and Boys & Girls Club.

Brianna Chrzestek: At a daycare and currently babysitting.

Menah Gabr, Kevin Bartko, Genesis Isuiza, Christopher Bravo, Melissa Elias and Matthew Sampayo.


June 2019 •

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2019 Senior Survey

Where have you worked in high school? Working at Deluxe Cleaners on Main Ave. in Downtown Clifton, both Matthew Sampayo and Luis Navarro have built confidence and learned how to save. “Working as many hours as I do while I am in the CHS Dual Enrollment Program has taught me to manage time and money,” said Navarro, who has also earned 30 college credits at Passaic County Community College—thanks to a partnership with CHS. “I’ll actually be in my second year at PCCC in September.” Navarro, who has worked at Deluxe for a year, said completing his basic courses allowed him to explore his career goals. “I thought I was going into mechanical engineering, but I’ll likely pursue a career in the medical field,” he said. Come September, Sampayo also sees his path taking him to PCCC.

“Community College is the best way to figure things out and avoid debt,” said Sampayo, who is thinking of a career in psychology—a interest he has used on his job at the DeLuxe counter. “I’ve learned to always be professional, how to interact with people and keep calm when everything is crazy around us.” Sampayo previously worked for City Green in Clifton where he learned how to lead and mentor younger children. “But I needed more structure and a friend recommended me here,” he said, noting this is his fourth month at DeLuxe. “I’ve learned a lot here... diligence… responsibility…” Both grads agreed working is a good for the ego. “Working builds confidence,” Sampayo said. “We look people in the eye. We solve problems.” “It’s a great learning experience,” added Navarro.

Joseph Walker: World Market.

Ana Chapal: Volunteered for Clifton Junior Mustangs Cheerleaders, CNA at Daughters of Miriam Nursing Home and waitress at Enzo’s Pizzeria in Montclair.

Hot Grill, Deluxe Dry Cleaners,

Hannah Urbanowycz: Jumpnasium and Tiki Bowls.

Haylee Pardo: Applegate Farms, Hot Grill, and the Clifton Rec Department as a camp counselor. Gean Pierre Cruz: Michael’s.

Jared Talavera: Boys & Girls Club of Clifton as a locker inspector. Michael Porter: Volunteer work through MCJROTC, Boy Scouts and other groups. Melanie Flores: Volunteered at St. Mary’s Hospital. Miranda Porter: Tiki Bowls.

Alaa Tahboub: Corrado’s pet market/garden center.

Ana Gjorgjeva: Boys & Girls Club of Clifton and I have been involved in Key Club and Cultural Diversity. Tala Alagrabawi: Abercrombie and Fitch, Wize Guys and babysitting.


June 2019 •

Gabriella Wijangco: Allwood Play & Learn as an afternoon assistant. Peter Wilk: Babies R Us, Stop N Shop and, on weekends, Spies Electric. Miracle Christmas: I worked at La Vida III in Paterson. Jasmine Tuncel: I did not work in high school. Filip Musial: I have not had a job in high school. Kyle Lesler: With my baseball commitment during high school, I was lucky enough to work beefsteaks for Nightingale Catering. I got to work with my friends and make money while working at charity events. Menah Gabr: I did not work in high school. Genesis Isuiza: Volunteered or tutored.

With Great Pride, We Recognize the Clifton Office’s Highest Achievers. January 2019 Award Winners January 2018 Award Winners

Alma Billings

Geffrey S. Gardner Top Lister Top Lister

Tiana Calandro Beryl Bells Top Sales Top Sales

Tiana Calandro

Patricia “Patty” Badia Top Producer Top Producer

February 2018 Award Winners February 2019 Award Winners

Patricia Alma Billings “Patty” Badia

TopLister Lister Top




Hilda Ferro

Marsha Lindsay “Patty” Badia Agent Agent of ofthe theMonth Month

Aynur Daudova Weichert Pride Weichert Pride


Sheryl Madonna

Patricia “Patty” Badia Patricia “Patty” Badia Patricia “Patty” Badia “Patty” Badia “Patty” Badia “Patty” Badia TopSales Sales Top Producer Producer Agent of Top Agent of the the Month Month Top

Dawana White Weichert Pride Weichert Pride

March2018 2019 Award Winners March Award Winners

Alma Billings




Patricia “Patty” Badia Patricia “Patty” Badia Patricia “Patty” Badia Patricia “Patty” Badia “Patty” Badia “Patty” Badia “Patty” Badia Top Lister Top Lister Top Sales Top Producer Agent of the Month Top Producer Top Sales Agent of the Month

April2018 2019 Award Winners April Award Winners

Alma Billings Patricia “Patty” Badia Top Lister Top Lister

Saboor Kelley Beryl Bells Top Sales Top Sales

Hilda“Patty” Ferro Badia Patricia Top Producer Top Producer

Christopher Beryl Bells “Chris” Agent ofAndres the Month

Agent of the Month

Lucretia Mabel D. Martinez “Lu” Petronio Weichert Pride Weichert Pride

Patricia Dahae Pak “Patty” Badia

Weichert Pride Weichert Pride • June 2019 • June 2018

49 37


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Offer is valid on Peak Results Monthly with Contract memberships only and covers enrollment, first month and processing fees and expires 6/30/19. New members will be charged the following month the standard $29.95 monthly fee. Additional fees and restrictions may apply. See club for details.


June 2019 •



The Top 10 Mustangs earned their rankings academically. But there’s much more to this outstanding group than just good grades. They also represent their school, families, friends and city as outstanding people with great potential to accomplish more. We look forward to the year 2029 and learning what these Mustangs have accomplished in their lives. 1- Murad M. Arslaner Besides graduating at the top of his class, Murad Arslaner packed many activities and accomplishments into his CHS years. “I was extremely involved in Clifton High’s robotics team (FIRST Robotics Competition) for the last three years,” Arslaner said. “I was the programming/electrical co-lead and part of the drive team.” Arslaner’s contributions helped CHS win multiple control system and autonomous awards. The robotics team won one event in Cleveland, Ohio, last year, and were finalists at a Rockland County event this year. “I always liked computers since I was a kid,” he said, “spending time building them and coding.” Arslaner was also part of the CHS Physics Club. “We were first place overall, winning NJAAPT Physics Olympics last year and this year,” he said. A Distinguished Honor Roll achiever in all marking periods, all four years, Arslaner was a member of CHS’s National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society. In the community, he volunteered at Montclair Film, was a FIRST LEGO League referee and taught at his mosque last summer. Arslaner will attend Stevens Institute of Technology and major in computer science and engineering.


June 2019 •

2 - Jasmine M. Tuncel Salutatorian Jasmine Tuncel is more than just a top student; she’s also a hardworking artist. In both her junior and senior years, Tuncel had several of her pieces featured in the annual Phoenix magazine. She also designed the posters for this year’s fall play, Zorro: The Radio Play, and the spring musical, Anything Goes. Tuncel’s artistic abilities were nurtured at CHS, especially by Ms. Sauchelli. “Her Design Careers class helped me realized how much I like graphic design,” said Tuncel, who is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Gallery Club. “I plan to go to Fairleigh Dickinson University,” she said, “and major in graphic design so I can pursue a career I’m passionate about.” 3 - Filip Musial Filip Musial was born in Poland and came to the U.S.A. at age 2. As a child, he spent a lot of time on the Internet, which kindled his interest in computers and learning. As a senior, he was captain of the “Mechanical Mustangs,” CHS’s outstanding robotics team. Next year, Musial will attend Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., to study computer science.

“I decided on NEU,” he said, “because of the great opportunities it provides to get work experience while in college through its coop program, as well as a desire to spend some time outside of New Jersey.” Saying his greatest achievement in high school was helping the Mustangs win a robotic competition as a junior, Musial said his mentor Kyle Hobin has made a big impact on him. “Kyle has been my greatest influence,” he said. “He has consistently pushed me to work hard through adversity, and his knowledge and kindness have been an inspiration to me.” 4 - Melanie L. Flores Melanie Flores is clear: she owes much of her success to her parents. “They immigrated from Peru,” she said, “and always made my ed-

ucation their top priority. My parents were never given the opportunity to attend college. They’ve always pushed me to dream big. I can never repay them for the opportunity they gave me.” Her father Alfredo always made time to take her to the library as a child; her mother Veronica helped her when she struggled with fractions. She also said her CHS teachers played a big role in her life. “I’d like to thank to these amazing teachers—Mr. O’Reilly, Mr. Henry, Mr. Meck, Mrs. Carofine, Mr. Burns, Mrs. Miller-Hamilton and Dr. McCoy—for making me the well-rounded individual I am today,” Flores said. Part of the CHS Cheerleading team, Academic Decathlon and vice president of scholarship of the National Honor Society, Flores will attend Boston College and major in biochemistry on a pre-med track with a possible minor in psychology. • June 2019



June 2019 • • June 2019


5 - Roshni Mistry Roshni Mistry has chosen a noble career path: she wants to pursue a degree in nursing and become an emergency room nurse. Mistry said her family’s influence is strong in her life. She thanks her parents for always motivating her and offering help whenever needed, and she is especially grateful to her sister Priya. “She provided great advice,” she said, “which aided me significantly during my four years of high school.” Mistry will also never forget her friends at Clifton High. She thanks them for “making her laugh on those especially dull Monday mornings.” She also wishes to thank and congratulate the Class of 2019 for their support and accomplishments.


June 2019 •

6 - Evelyn E. Mejia It seems Evelyn Mejia can’t get enough learning. Headed to Hofstra University, Mejia plans to double major, with marketing being one and the other major to be decided. “There are so many great options,” she said. “I will pursue a minor as well, but do not know which one—maybe more than one. This is one of the main reasons I chose Hofstra. They have a variety of majors and minors that will allow me to prepare for my future.” At CHS, Mejia followed a similar path. “Throughout high school, I have taken multiple challenging courses,” she said. Her favorites included AP courses like psychology, chemistry, statistics and calculus, and college level accounting and web design. Mejia attained Distinguished Honor Roll all four years, and was Academic Decathlon captain, National Honor Society president, SCA treasurer, and a Key Club and Italian Club member.

“The reason why I work hard and have achieved so much is all thanks to my parents,” Mejia said. “They sacrificed a lot to give me everything—something I do not take for granted.” 7- Menah Allah R. Gabr The youngest of five siblings, Menah Gabr is the last of her family to graduate high school. A vibrant individual, Gabr followed in her brother and sisters’ footsteps, becoming an honor student with a place in the Top 10 of her class. While she plans to pursue a science career, Gabr’s favorite class was Mrs. Miller-Hamilton’s English class in both her freshman and junior year. One of her favorite activities at CHS was attending the football and basketball games. “There was great energy and support that the students exerted all together,” she said.

After graduating, Gabr will attend Seton Hall University, alongside her sister whom she calls her “twin.” “When I toured the Seton Hall campus,” Gabr said, “I instantly felt at home. Being so comfortable, so quickly, made me feel like I belonged nowhere else other than there.” Gabr also said her parents have been her greatest influences during her time at CHS. 8 - Juliana K. Loukachouk Since freshmen year, Juliana Loukachouk has been involved in her school community through various clubs, such as the Student Council and Pre-Med Club. She’s also involved in her Clifton community, volunteering every Friday through her UAYA Youth Group. “My Ukrainian culture and support system of family and friends,” she said, “has helped me be the person I am.” • June 2019


A four-year distinguished honor roll achiever and National Honor Society member, Loukachouk has always been interested in the arts and sciences. After graduating, she will attend Seton Hall University where she will be studying in the physician assistant program. Throughout her life, Loukachouk’s role models have been her parents, Lydia and Igor, who push her continuously to be her best self. She is also proud of her brother Daniel, a junior at Rutgers University at the Newark Business School. Fluent in Ukrainian, Loukachouk has visited eight counties and is excited about life’s next chapter. “The medical field is constantly changing and expanding,” Loukachouk said, “and that’s what pulled me toward it. You never know what new discoveries you can make and how many patients’ lives you can save, which is the most rewarding part.” 9 - Genesis D. Isuiza Genesis Isuiza was deeply involved in her CHS community. She was part of the Academic Decathlon, Yearbook Club, Spanish Club, and Pre-Med Club, and played tennis for a year. She was also was Key Club president.


June 2019 •

“I was able to apply for grants,” Isuiza said, “to feed the homeless and provide necessities to our soldiers abroad. I truly made the most of my high school experience and will be taking many memories with me to Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the fall.” Isuiza plans to major in biology, hoping to someday earn a medical degree and PhD, and become a trauma or cardio thoracic surgeon. She also has dreams of establishing an international foundation to help with many causes, such as homelessness, cancer, down-syndrome, etc. She is grateful for the values her parents instilled in her. “As a first-generation student, I hope to make my family proud and inspire other Hispanic kids like me.” Speaking to the Class of 2010, she said, “Dream big. I would advise them to follow their dreams despite how impossible they may seem. Anything can be achieved with determination, perseverance and positivity.” 10 - Tomasz Borowiak Tomasz Borowiak’s love of learning started with his father. “My father,” Borowiak said, “spent many hours educating me on topics outside of the school’s reach at a young age. His perseverance showed me that anything is possible if you put forth the effort.” When he entered CHS, Borowiak said Mr. Roger’s teaching enthusiasm created a rewarding environment. “Mr. Burns’ Physics and Engineering Club,” he added, “proved to be both challenging and amusing, while the Clifton Student Union Coalition emphasized the importance of interaction between administration and students.” Borowiak will attend Stevens Institute of Technology and major in computer science to pursue a career in cybersecurity. He also will remain connected to Clifton. “As I am attending Stevens with other Clifton alumni and commuting, I am sure we will come back often. My experience at Clifton High created lasting friendships.” • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

Where will you be in Sept. 2019? Julie Martell: Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., majoring in speech pathology. I visited many colleges, but when I visited Iona, I felt I belonged. Vernon Thomas: At PCCC—it is the most affordable and yields the greatest rewards.

Joe Lauritano: Montclair State University. Both my parents went there and I live five minutes away.

Joey Petti: Bergen County Community College. No matter what school you go to, it’s not a big indicator that you will become a millionaire or a genius... either you will learn and execute or you will not. Jacob Febles: U.S. Coast Guard.

Christopher Cabrera: William Paterson University.

Charles Hiromoto: PCCC. I want to get my general education classes finished and transfer. Hannah Urbanowycz: Stockton University.

Michael Porter: Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, one of the few maritime schools in the country. It has everything I want and more. I can earn a Marine Systems Engineering degree. Alaa Tahboub: WPU.

Ahmed Aboudayya: Bergen County Community College.

Miranda Porter: Kean University, majoring in early childhood education and special education.

Samantha Zakrzewski: Montclair State University. MSU has an outstanding psychology program, and it’s five minutes from my house and affordable.


June 2019 •

Mike Garcia, Christopher German and Henry Garcia plan careers in the

automotive industry, thanks to their training in CHS Auto Shop.

ENGINES TO SUCCESS Three CHS students plan to embrace great “hands-on” opportunities. Mike Garcia is headed to Lincoln Tech on scholarship. “Robotics courses and the Mechanical Mustangs,” Garcia said, “influenced my passion of building.” The 18 year-old Garcia (at left) also works at Chipotle on Route 3. Christopher German will attend Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Bloomfield on scholarship where he will study automotive and diesel engine. German has been working in Home Depot in Passaic, repairing snow blowers, lawn mowers and small engines. He cited his sister Jennifer, a 2014 Passaic County Technical Institute grad, as the person who motivated him to succeed. “She convinced me to take this (auto) class,” her said, “because I was a hands- on person. Now I’m getting a scholarship to attend school!” Henry Garcia has spent a year working at the Mountainside Inn, doing almost every task—from dishwasher and general clean up, to working in the kitchen, prepping salads and other foods. But come September, he will attend Lincoln Tech in South Plainfield. Garcia inherited his automotive work skills from his uncle, Ruben Lopez, who owns Lopez Auto Repair on River Drive in Passaic. “The hands-on work entertained me,” said Garcia. “My uncle said you can stay on this level or you can go bigger.” Obviously, Garcia intends to take his skills to the next level. “When I got the scholarship,” he said, “I feel that my future will be secure. I will be earning a live-able wage and will have the skills and support I need to succeed.” • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

Where will you be in Sept. 2019? How did you reach that decision?

Luis Navarro, Dayanara Villar, Steven Peralta, Buket Ozsahin, Thomas Harris and Brianna Berry.

Noor Savaini: Bergen Community College.

Jemlyn Velasco: In a one-year program of leadership requiring me to take a gap year.

Tiffany Flores: John Jay College — my dream college. Ameer Abdel-Aziz: Montclair State University, majoring in mathematics.

Isis Watson: William Paterson University. They have a good psychology and early child care program. Michael Brozek: Working as an apprentice.

Nicholas DeGennaro: Rutgers University in New Brunswick. I’m excited to be a Scarlet Knight. Geovani Guerrero: Studying criminal justice at MSU.

From left top: David Zavala, Yousef Ali, Vanessa Sanchez and Justin Montoya.

Nicholas Angel: New York City in a tattoo school.

Khushbu Ghandi: Rutgers University-New Brunswick for pre-med. Jay Patel: MSU where I hope to be playing football. Connor Sjosward: Centenary University.

Melanie Flores: Boston College. I’ve always wanted to study in a major city and a lot of medical opportunities await me there.

Ashley Goris: Finishing U.S. Army basic training and going to Gordon, Ga., for my AIT (Advanced Individual Training) job training. Ahmad Abdelslame: Rutgers University.

Meet the Clifton grads from NJEDDA, North Jersey Elks Developmental & Disabilities Agency in Downtown Clifton. David Zavala has dazzled staff and students by remembering the birth date of anyone he has met. He discovered his memory is an asset when he learned to play the piano. David’s family and church are an important part of his life. Exploring work experiences and life skills training helped him determine his next path in life.

Yousef Ali participated in the Job Quest program and alongside his personal aide, he could be counted on to deliver mail and supplies to each classroom. He finds enjoyment playing a keyboard, listening to music and spending time with his mother. Vanessa Sanchez has gained the ability to speak English and happily greets staff and students as she travels through the building to staff offices and classrooms. Vanessa is a great fan of Telenovelas. Vanessa’s friendly personality creates positive friendships with other students. Spending leisure time with her family is her biggest joy.


Justin Montoya was involved with the Job Quest program as a volunteer worker at the Passaic ShopRite. His smile and quiet charm are assets as he works in the community. Justin enjoys listening to music and using a computer. One of his special times is keeping his father company as he rides along on his father’s bus routes. June 2019 • • June 2019


2019 Senior Survey

Where will you be in Sept. 2019?

Jocelyn Roldan, Matthew Troller and Aya Abdallah.

Johann Gamo: William Paterson University, a college close to home.

Ana Gjorgjeva: Fairleigh Dickinson University, studying in their political science program.

Thomas Harris: The University of Delaware, majoring in computer science. Steven Peralta: Studying music education at New Jersey City University. I’ve wanted to be a teacher my whole life and music is what I’m the best at. Ana Chapal: Boston University, studying biology on the pre-med track.

Kyle Lesler: Manhattan College. It gives me a great combination of baseball and academics. Gabriella Wijangco: Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School, majoring in Culture and Media Communications. Tala Alagrabawi: Seton Hall University.

Haneen N. Waqqad: Ramapo College, majoring in philosophy within the pre-law program. Nothing beats a full ride scholarship! Miracle Christmas: Spelman College in Atlanta—my top school.

Nasrallah Jaber: Montclair State University. Santino Lista: William Paterson University.


June 2019 •

Akefia Morgan: Buffalo, N.Y., getting my degree in psychology.

Miguel Angel Aristizabal: College of Saint Elizabeth. Josias Paredes: Trade school.

Milton Zarzuela: Study computer science at Seton Hall University.

Alyson Rios: Passaic County Community College, getting my basic classes done so I can continue to become a game developer. Cesar Diaz: Parris Island, S.C., for bootcamp to become a U.S. Marine. John Labanich: Ramapo College.

Libanessa Lamouth: Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma—a fresh start, a new life. Sarah Counterman: Working part-time; planing to attend college to study art and sign language. Brianna Chrzestek: East Stroudsburg University, studying early childhood education/special education. Carlos Macias: Hopefully, at Parris Island, S.C., becoming a Marine.

Victoria Salmeri: Felician University, studying social and behavioral science program. Jared Talavera: Montclair State University, majoring in accounting.

Joseph Walker: Union County College. I get to continue to playing LAX.

Jason Finan: (above) I originally had plans to attend Quinnipiac University in Connecticut but because I wisely decided I did not want to take on a lot debt. Debt plays a huge role in all of our lives and will definitely take a toll on our minds. Instead I will be studying communications at Montclair State University. I have to thank Mr. McCunney for his direction because he played a huge role in my decision. Hockey will always play a factor in my life. The game and being part of a team taught me a lot of life lessons and I will continue to play in the USPHL and look to excel in that league, eventually ending up at a Division 1 school. I am playing for the New Jersey Hitmen junior program and I wish that I played here earlier. Haylee Pardo: Rutgers in New Brunswick, majoring in biology and hopefully minoring in dance.

Emily Bradley; Monmouth University. I wanted to stay nearby and in New Jersey. • June 2019


Alice Acosta Rodrigues, Tanner Rivera, Steven Mozek and Saif Ellithy

June has arrived for Mustangs of the Month.

The vice principals from each Clifton High wing have spotlighted four students who have gotten a head start on the latest activities on the campus, one from each grade. Saif Ellithy, Freshman Saif Ellithy has big dreams. Entering Harvard University is one. Don’t put it past the freshman. “When I was in middle school,” Ellithy said, “I was in the ESL program because I did not know how to speak English. I was in POE (Port of Entry) and then I was moved to beginner, then to advanced and exited—all in one year. “I also made the National Junior Honor Society the same year.” Ellithy is a big fan of his teachers. “In middle school,” he said, “Ms. DiGiacomo always encouraged me. She taught me how to speak English when I was in the ESL program. It was very hard but she made it easy. “My [CHS] English teachers, Ms. Monachello and Mr. Hernandez, helped me out a lot. They taught me how to write an essay and more.” He also appreciates his math teachers, Ms. Rooney and Ms. Asemian, and his biology teachers, Ms. Ploch and Mr. Rando. “All my teachers encourage me,” said Ellithy, who played on the volleyball and swimming teams, and hopes to join Key Club in the future. Inspired by his family and friends Yousef and Achraf, the freshman looks forward to getting into AP classes in the future. “I want to earn college credits before my senior year,” he added.


June 2019 •

Steven Mozek, Sophomore Steven Mozek is enterprising. Adaptable. Focused. “I plan on doing the full four years of ROTC,” Mozek said. “Then, after that, I would like to pursue a career in the military.” But there is more to the sophomore than his desire to serve his country. He’s also an entrepreneur—something he was inspired to do by Woodrow Wilson Middle School’s Mr. Gross. “He was the wood shop teacher there,” Mozek said. “He taught me how to cut wood and now I have my own business of cutting wood designs for people. I cut logos, animals, etc.” When he entered CHS, Mozek used his middle school experience to ease his transition. “I learned a lot from the mistakes I made in middle school,” he said. “I adapted to my new surroundings and that’s it.” Mozek is inspired by the late character actor R. Lee Ermey, a former U.S. Marine who is best known for his role as a gunnery sergeant in the movie Full Metal Jacket. “My favorite subject,” he added, “is ROTC because it teaches me self-discipline and to be a better citizen.” Tanner Rivera, Junior One day, don’t be surprised if you see Tanner Rivera behind the bench at a New Jersey Devils game or helping an injured New York Giants player on the field. “My aspiration is to be an athletic trainer,” the junior said. Rivera has played basketball and softball since freshman year, and is also the Athletic Training Club president. But her interests go beyond sports. She also plays the cello. “It has played a huge role in my life,” she added. Rivera’s favorite subject is history. “So much has happened in the past,” she said, “that affects how society works today.” She is inspired to learn by her teachers. “I have been with Mrs. Babiak, Ms. Conti and ‘Train-

er Tom’ (Cutalo) since my freshman year,” Rivera said. “They have helped mold me into a better person.” But her biggest inspiration is her mother. “My mom always believes in me,” she said, “even when I don’t believe in myself which has helped me succeed.” At CHS, Rivera has also learned time management by balancing a full schedule of classes, studying, sports and, sometimes, late musical rehearsals. She also finds time to participate in History Club. After graduating, she wants to attend to Howard University or Rowan University. Alice Acosta Rodrigues, Senior Alice Acosta Rodrigues says English and engineering are her favorite subjects—viewed by many as being on the opposite ends of the student interest spectrum. “At engineering class,” Acosta Rodrigues said, “we usually build robots. I love it because it is related to what I want to study at college. It requires a lot of thinking and problem solving, my two favorite things to do.” In English class, she appreciates learning a different way. “There is always a proper reason for the kind of work we get,” she said. “It was never simply taking notes or reading a certain book. Mr. Ashworth thinks of imaginative ways to teach us.” Calling Ms. Dituri one of her most influential teachers, Acosta Rodrigues said Mr. Lesler and Ms. Allen taught her punctuality and patience respectively. She draws inspiration from her parents. She admires her father’s problem-solving abilities and appreciates her mother’s motivation. In the CHS Robotics Club, Acosta Rodrigues specializes computer-aid design (CAD). She will attend Bergen Community College and hopes to later study mechanical engineering at MIT or NJIT. “I would like to someday own a company that creates technology to help with daily life activities or for people with disabilities.” • June 2019



“The Show” By Jack DeVries


June 2019 •

Youth baseball is in full swing. For many, to paraphrase James Jones’ character in Field of Dreams, “The memories are so thick, we have to brush them away from our faces.” One of my earliest recollections was watching the 1964 World Series on our black and white TV at our home on Trenton Ave. After Mickey Mantle hit a home run, my mother went nuts—yelling, clapping and acting nothing like the usual Donna Reed character who ran our house. Her cheers gave me religion. Baseball became my obsession. In 1965, having turned 7, I got the call to The Show. I was ticketed to play in Clifton’s Eastern Division within the friendly confines of Curie Park—a pleasant diamond nestled near the Department of Public Works garage or “DPW” (“dirty pig wash” as we ballplayers called it). As a proud member of the Pulzato Tile team, I was given a black cap with a “C” representing Clifton above the bill and a gray flannel uniform you had to return. The coaches said police would come to your house if you didn’t.

One man’s look back on Clifton youth baseball

Before my first practice, my mom said, “Your cousin Bobby was scouted by the Boston Red Sox.” That was true. My cousin Bob Sperlazzi had been an outstanding first baseman and pitcher for Passaic High School. I was coming from fine athletic stock. So, with the talented family blood coursing through my veins, I met my team at Curie Field. And discovered I was the worst 7 year-old player in the history of Little League. One of my coaches was a dark-haired man with sympathetic eyes named Lou. After throwing overhand and watching me swing and miss every pitch, he lobbed a few underhand so I could tap grounders back to him. If I couldn’t hit, maybe I was a glove man. That was fantasy—high pops looked like attacking spaceships; hot grounders buzzed like mini lawn mowers. And, when the ball hits you, I discovered, it hurts. At 7, I learned my first important game lesson: there are no baseball gods. There is no Babe Ruth smiling down from the heavens, ready to give little fellas a hand. There was no Angelic Ty Cobb or Saint Lou Gehrig—only cold hard reality. The game doesn’t care how much you love it. Without talent, you end up in right field. Exactly where I found myself for my required two innings of game action. By league rules, I had to bat once every game. I’d walk to the plate, rub dirt on my hands and swing at the first three balls thrown to me—hitting nothing but air. I’d trudge back to the bench dejected, and Lou would say quietly, “Good try… but you don’t have to swing at every pitch.” Along with having my scary talent on the team, Lou had his hands full. Pulzato Tile was by far the league’s worst team. Every game, after our usual beating of 34-3, we’d hear the winning team yell: “2-4-6-8, who do we appreciate? Pulzato Tile!” It became our song. With my consecutive strikeout streak intact, we entered our last game 0-8, ready to play the first-place McNerney-Burnadz Memorial Home. Lou warned us to get

our uniforms back by Monday. The strain of the long season was wearing on him. But, on that sunny late afternoon, I learned why the games are played… Incredibly, Pulzato Tile put together a few hits. Combined with a few McNerney errors and a thousand bases on balls, we scored 10 runs. Everything they hit, we caught for outs. Lou almost cried. He was so overcome with emotion, he let me play shortstop. I’m lucky I found my way there. In the sixth inning, in my last official at bat, I discovered what lousy control seven- and eight-year-old pitchers have. Taking Lou’s advice, I kept the bat on my shoulders, and… walked. I trotted down to first base—trying to look like I did this all the time. But inside, I was my mother screaming after a Mantle home run. My joy quickly turned to panic when I realized I’d never run to second in a real game. Thankfully, the next kid struck out. With our first victory, it was our turn to do the “appreciate” chant, and we did it with gusto. Lou gave us an extra day to get our uniforms back. And we walked off the field winners—even me. After that game, I quit Little League and went to the sandlots, playing seasons of “self-hit” baseball with others of similar talent. After working myself into a mediocre player, I played a couple of seasons of Babe Ruth ball, the league for 13-to-15 year olds. I became the too-small, last-kid-on-the-bench player for New York Sash & Door. On my team was Jim Jenkins, future halfback for Clifton High, and a host of other big kids. I spent two seasons without getting a hit but did walk, ground out and was able to make plays in the field. Thank God for slow-pitch softball or I’d be hitless today. In Jim Bouton’s classic book, Ball Four, he writes, “You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” Those of us who played understand. • June 2019


Mustangs headed to Nationals, from left, Nahioly Almonte, Kiara Fisbeck, Katie Kakascik, Antoinette Muir, May Yuasa, Adelys Hernandez, Brianna Rubio, Mia Dubac and Andrea Dubbels. Photo:

The top-rated Clifton Girls Track and Field team is heading to the New Balance National Championship Meet in Greensboro, N.C., June 13-16. Clifton athletes qualified for the Freshman Division Long Jump championship, the Distance Medley Emerging Elite race, and the Sprint Medley Championship Division race. Mustangs competing at Nationals are: Senior Antoinette Muir is the CHS 100-meter dash record holder. After overcoming an injury last year, Muir became a first-team All-Passaic County athlete and will compete at the University of New Haven next year. Junior Andrea Dubbels is the CHS 1600-meter run record holder, last year’s state sectional 800-meter champion and this year’s county champion in the 800 and 4x800-meter relay. Junior Brianna Rubio is the CHS 200-meter dash record holder, last year’s 400-meter state sectional champion, this year’s 200-meter dash county champion and runs the anchor leg of the county champion 4x100 and 4x400 teams. Junior May Yuasa was on the school record 4x800 relay team last year and this year’s county winning 4x800 team, and also competes in the pole vault. Sophomore Mia Dubac is the county champion in the 3200-meter run and 4x800-meter relay. She has run the program’s second fastest times in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs. Sophomore Adelys Hernandez is an improved sprinter, one of North Jersey’s best 400-meter runners and one of Clifton’s 10 first-team All-Passaic County honorees. Sophomore Kiara Fisbeck ran the 800-meter leg on Clifton’s school record-breaking distance medley team. Freshman Katie Kakascik was league champion in the long jump and runner-up at the county, and had the fifth best long jump among all state freshman.


June 2019 •

Freshman Nahioly Almonte was part of Clifton’s Passaic County record-breaking sprint medley team and its school record 4x200 meter relay team. Friends of the Mustangs are raising funds for the trip. Readers can help by donating through (search “Run, Lady Mustangs, Run!”) or send to Clifton Track Booster Club, 18 Paranya Ct., Clifton, N.J. 07013; make checks payable to Clifton Track Booster Club. The International Thespian Society is an honors society named after the ancient Greek, Thespis, recognized as the first actor. The society was established in 1929; and now, 90 years later, Clifton High School is making history by inducting honorees for the first time. “These students are being inducted based on their involvement in theatre arts over the course of their high school years,” said CHS Drama teacher Lisa Poggi. “They are model citizens and students and represent a group of young people with passion for the many aspects of theatre, including acting, singing, dance, stage crew, stage management, and design.” Poggi said she expects some of the students will pursue further study in theatre upon graduating from CHS. “I am just so proud that we are making Clifton history,” said Poggi, adding “I am also proud to recognize these first inductees and hope that the number of inductees will grow as the program continues at CHS.” Support the Kiwanis Club Of Clifton on June 12 by eating at Uno Chicago on Rt. 3 West. Eat in or take out, mention the club and 20 percent will benefit this service organization. Kiwanis will also host a food drive on June 29 outside of Stop & Shop on Broad St. from 10 am to 3 pm collecting items to help feed children in need as part of Power Of One’s school pantry. For info, write:

These Mustangs are being inducted into the International Thespian Society, June 11, at the CHS auditorium at 6:30 pm. Rear from left, Bianca Aguila, Gabriela Gaspar, Christian Collazo, Madison Potash, Sebastian Gallon, Zariah Rivera, Charles Hiromoto, Danielle Nelken and their director, Ms. Lisa Poggi; center (lifted), Olivia Coronel; front, Anthony Zawrak, Michael Da Silva, Jessica Bracken and Ian Kearney.

Alana Muller, a freshman at Paramus Catholic, was honored by Clifton’s volunteer programs, FOCUS. Over the past year, she has run a monthly program for elementary children called “Reading With Alana” on Saturday mornings at the Clifton Public Library. Alana, 14, has also volunteered for other work at the library, as well as at St. Peters Haven pantry and has helped set up the monthly St. Peters Market Fair. Alana said she hopes to expand the program into the Allwood Library this summer. She enjoys working at the Clifton Library and has done other volunteer work there since age 10. • June 2019



Above left, the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton’s “2019 Youth of the Year” Yasmin Elmasry; at right from left, Danielle Colon, Michelle Urrego, Jane Garay, Arianna Castro and Nicole Alexander, who were among 67 CHS juniors taking part in the 41st Career Exploration Day on May 2, sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton. These students have an interest in graphic arts, photography and writing, so they worked with the Clifton Merchant Magazine’s Tom Hawrylko, who spent a half-day with them, touring the city and meeting at the magazine’s office. Afterwards, they and other juniors met at the Club to hear speakers from Montclair State University, Taco Bell and other industries speak about careers.

When her mom signed-up Yasmin Elmasry for swimming lessons at the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton, she told her 6 year-old daughter this place would be her “second home.”

While Elmasry didn’t understand what her mom meant, the words turned out to be true—the B&GC would be a big presence in her life. As a young girl, she spent more than two hours at the club each weekday. “Everyone there was welcoming,” she said. Now, Elmasry has the honor of respecting her second home as it 2019 Youth of the Year. The Montclair Kimberley Academy junior received the honor at the April 8 B&GC Annual Awards Dinner. Along with a $3,000 scholarship, Elmasry will represent the B&GC of Clifton in a competition with winners from New Jersey clubs for selection as State Youth of the Year. “What does the Club mean to me?” she said. “It means a home—a home where I can trust everyone and be able to express my ideas freely.” Elmasry, a swimmer and community volunteer who is active in her school, hopes to attend an Ivy League school like Harvard University. “It has been my dream since elementary school,” she said.


June 2019 •

Lembryk Soccer Academy’s 2019 Summer Camp enters its 26th year of training. Led by Stan Lembryk, head boys soccer coach at CHS, the camp runs from July 22-26 at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Session 1 (Pre-K through Grade 8) is from 9 am to noon; Session 2 (Grades 9-12) is from 4 to 6 pm. Visit or contact Lembryk at 973-460-9026. Part of the proceeds support the CHS soccer programs. The 9th Annual John Greco Memorial Golf Outing is June 24 at the Rockaway River Country Club in Denville. Funds support the John Greco Memorial Scholarship Fund, a 501(c )(3) Non-profit organization. Golf $170 per person. Dinner is $70. Sponsor a tee for $100. Get more details at or call Al Greco at 973-773-0448 for more info. Sign up for Mustangs Coach Mike Cadmus’ basketball camp. The first session is July 15-19 for players entering 5th to 9th grades; second session, July 22-26, is for players entering 2nd to 5th grades. Camp is held from 8 am to noon and cost is $100 per player. Focus is on developing skills and keeping it fun. To learn more and to sign up, go to • June 2019


MUSTANG REUNIONS CHS Class of 1969 plans a big weekend reunion, starting Oct. 25 with a 3:30 pm tour of CHS. Other events include dinner at the Hot Grill, attending a Mustangs football game and miniature golf at the Willowbrook Golf Center. The weekend culminates with a buffet dinner from 5:30 pm to 10 pm at the Double Tree by Hilton, 690 Route 46 West in Fairfield. Register with CHS Class of 1979 will hold its 40th reunion Nov. 16 at the Black Bear Golf Club in Franklin, N.J. Tickets are $79 and must be purchased by Sept. 1. For details, email Debra Hatem Gorny and Linda Haraka DiFalco at

A Fish and Chips Dinner by Tastefully Simple was hosted by two senior clubs: AARP 4192 and Young at Heart Club on April 12 at the Masonic Lodge. Pictured are members who volunteered to serve the attendees. Young at Heart Club is seeking new members; the group meets the first and third Wednesday of the month.

CHS Class of 1989 30th reunion is on Oct. 5 at 7 pm at Portobello in Oakland. The $100 ticket includes dinner, a five-hour open bar and DJ. Committee members include Ken Collucci, Renee Wos, Stephanie Schmidt, Jill Caruso, Jeffrey Kracht and Samantha Schlossberg. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 30. For info and details, go to Clifton High School Class of 1989 on Facebook. You may also call or email Samantha Schlossberg at 973-951-5886 at

The Clifton-based Garden State Opera will present The Silk City, libretto and music by Francesco Santelli, Oct. 27 at the Clifton Jewish Center on Delaware Ave. The opera is set in the turbulent times of the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913. Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors) and can be purchased through starting August 1. An Oct. 26 dress rehearsal is open to Clifton schools students (accompanied by teachers) by reservation. Call 973-986-4600 for info.

CHS Class of 1970 is looking for the info on class mates, such as mailing addresses, emails and phone numbers. Ann Marie Ayers-Williams is beginning the planning stages for the 50th reunion on Oct. 11, 2020. Send your info to

Look for a mysterious detective in the cast of The Man Who Came to Dinner on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8, at 8 pm as well as in the 2 pm show on Sunday, June 9. The comedy is presented by the Theater

The Clifton Arts Center is organizing a citywide garage sale June 29. The $25 fee includes a $10 city garage sale permit and a $15 a tax-deductible donation to Clifton Arts Center. The center will provide online and newspaper classified advertising and distribute a citywide listing of participating addresses beginning three days before the event. To participate, register at the Clerk’s Office at City Hall no later than 3 pm on June 19. Don’t have a garage but like to participate? Donate items to the CAC. Learn acceptable donation items on or call 973-472-5499. Items may be dropped off at the CAC, June 26-28 from 1-4 pm.


June 2019 •

League of Clifton.

Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 at the door. Tickets for seniors and students are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Group sales available. To reserve tickets, call 973-928-7668 or visit Shows held at the Theresa Aprea Theater, 199 Scoles Ave. in Clifton. • June 2019


Linda Renavitz remembers the first time the Affordable Home Services crew began siding her house at 304 East First St. “It was June 4, 1976,” said the former Linda Krenitski, CHS 1968. “I saw Jimmy and he was so happy saying ‘Kathy had the baby!” That baby would be second son to Affordable Home Services owner Jim Federle and his wife Kathy. That boy, John, is now 42, and he has grown into the Clifton business, which Jim’s dad Frank founded in 1947. So now some 42 year later, Linda and her husband Bob, called back The Federle Family to update and reside their Lakeview home.


June 2019 •

Jim Federle with 304 East First Street owners Bob and Linda Renavitz. At right, that’s Jim’s son John who was born on June 4, 1976 when Affordable Home Services began the first siding job on the Renavitz home. Also pictured is Jim’s son Jim and Ron Michaud who Jim Sr. sided the home with in 1976. Ron still works with Affordable and is like a family member. At right, the Renavitz home in 1976. • June 2019


Over the course of two weeks, they stripped the home of the old siding, insulated the structure and installed Alside’s 5 inch Vinyl Coventry siding, plus added other little touches to complete the project. “It’s a must see job,” said Federle as he admired the work done by the crew under the direction of his son John. “Look at the way we trimmed those windows using our exclusive hidden “J” system. And we boxed in the overhang at the peak to keep out squirrels and birds.” While the Renavitz family stayed with the original color scheme and facade profile, they reversed colors on the finished home, changing the colors of the trim and the shutters. Only One Contractor to Trust... From that first job back in 1976, The Federle Family has done a lot of work for the Renavitz clan. Some years back, they installed windows at her daughter’s Michelle’s house on East Third. In 2009, Affordable put a new roof on Bob and Linda’s Dutch Colonial home. “I’ve had so many contractors ring my doorbell,” said Linda, “ and I always tell them that there is only one person I trust to do my work. That’s Jimmy and The Affordable Family. They are dependable and they stand by their work.” “Back in 1976, I did this job with Ron Michaud and we were using 5 inch Alside steel siding,” recalled Jim, adding that was state of the art then. “I used Alside because my dad used Alside when he began in 1947,” he added. “Alside had two warehouses and made just aluminum guttering and storm windows back then. But getting associated with Alside was one of my best business decisions I ever made. It’s a great company.” Alside and Affordable since 1947... Today, Alside has over 100 locations and is a leading manufacturer of vinyl siding and


June 2019 •

On April 23, Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, John Federle, his daughter Ariele and her grandfather Jim Federle.

accessories, vinyl windows and patio doors, and Jim’s favorite manufacturer of home improvement products. He said that since products are manufactured locally, Alside stands behind all their products. If there is ever a problem, it is quickly solved. “Like Alside, Affordable has grown and we both have thousands of satisfied homeowners,” Federle added. “I believe in their products because Alside stands behind what they manufacture with their guarantee. Match that with Affordable’s guaranteed for life warranty on all our roofing, siding and windows and the homeowner is the winner.” • June 2019



Do you feel The Hug? Clifton cancer survivor Chris Liszner asked the above question to Relay For Life attendees as a follow up to the annual event. The answer was a resounding “Yes!” On May 18, more than 300 people participated in this year’s American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life at Clifton Stadium. A day and night of fun with friends, emotional stories and hugs of support, Relay For Life is also a national movement that has raised more than $4 billion since its inception to fight cancer. Along with raising money to combat the disease, the event honors cancer survivors, caregivers and those who lost their battle. “This was my 20th year of being cancer free,” said Liszner, “and I couldn’t have asked for any other way to celebrate. I have always been blessed in my life, and having you all with me as I celebrate makes it even better.” Liszner, who has walked in 13 Relays, lost her mother Agnes Territo to cancer in 1994 and her best friend Angela Barat in 2018. “No one should lose their mom or anyone to cancer,” she said, “so I continue to fight with the greatest of friends, family, supporters and my awesome Red Hat Angels. I love you all.”


June 2019 •

Photos by Nicole Rossi

Teams begin fundraising months before the event with activities like bunco, bowling and bingo. To date, the three top fundraising teams are the Fighting Jeffrey’s Jade Team ($12,143), the Red Hat Angels Jade Team ($11,711) and In Memory of Jenny Jo Gold Team ($6,099). Top individual fundraisers are Ryan Dvorak ($6,669), Liszner ($4,430) and Michelle DeHaven ($3,144). This year, Relay For Life of Clifton has raised $53,650.41—close to their goal of $60,000 (donations are accepted to Aug. 1). Money raised goes to assisting people in their fight to get and stay well. Funds also go toward research to find a cure. At this year’s event, Dawn Valentine kicked it off by singing the National Anthem, and Bob Foster, executive director of Boys & Girls Club of Clifton and cancer survivor, shared his story of how he recently battled the disease.

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Thirty other cancer survivors celebrated their triumph over cancer by walking in the Relay’s Survivors’ Lap. The Memory Lap was dedicated to Jennifer Kolodziej Lauritano. A fighter to the end, Lauritano is pictured on the facing page next to her family walking at the at the Relay. They walked to keep her spirit of finding a cure strong. The Relay also celebrated life. During the event, children got tattoos, had their face painted and decorated cookies. Others participated in a water balloon toss, played volleyball and threw Frisbees. Intrepid eaters partook in the popular pie eating contest. As night fell, lights were turned off and candles lit during an emotional luminaria service as walkers remembered those lost to the disease. Participants walked in a lap of silence around the track lined with 350 luminary bags—a tribute to those who battled and survived, and those who lost to the disease. “Together, we are more powerful than any cancer can be,” said Liszner. “Our first fundraiser for next year is our Ice Cream Social in August—we don’t stop!” For information about Relay For Life or to make an appreciated donation, visit

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Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi gets ready to cut the teal ribbon at Lakeland Bank’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to mark the official opening of Lakeland’s new branch in Clifton. Lakeland’s Chairman Mary Ann Deacon, President and CEO Tom Shara, Branch Manager Perry Lighty (center and right inset) are joined by colleagues as well as members of the city council and other community leaders at the May 22 event.

Lakeland Bank cut the ribbon on May 22 at its new state-of-the-art branch at 11 Ackerman Ave. in the Botany Plaza, adjacent to Historic Botany Village. On hand were city, community and county leaders for a reception and networking event. “We truly appreciate the warm welcome,” said Thomas Shara, president and CEO of Lakeland Bank. “Lakeland is excited to be a part of the Clifton community and we were honored to have many of the local dignitaries and business owners join us at our ribbon cutting and reception. The branch officially opened for business in March and is hosting a Grand Opening event for the community on June 8 from 9 am to 2 pm with a food truck, soccer juggler, face painting and giveaways. “Our Clifton staff is a very unified and experienced team, and I am excited about the excellent service they will provide to our customers under the guidance of Branch Manager Perry Lighty,” said Ellen Lalwani, EVP, chief retail officer. “Perry has more than 30 years of industry experience working for banks in Passaic County.” As a full-service bank, Lakeland Bank will offer the Clifton community in-branch solutions, as well as online and digital solutions to help address customer banking preferences.


June 2019 •

Visit the Avenue of Flags on June 14, Flag Day, when volunteers set up the display of 2,092 flags through lanes of the municipal complex. The flags go up around dawn and come down at dusk. They’re quite a sight, the Stars and Stripes billowing in the breeze of a sunny, blue-sky day. As you walk through them, the flapping of the nylon in the wind and the grand display of the red, white and blue makes visitors appreciate American values. Sponsor a flag in the name of a Clifton veteran at a cost of $110. Volunteers welcomed to put up and break down the flags. To help or for details, call Keith Oakley at 201-774-6666 or Joe Tuzzolino at 973-632-9225. Another way to honor American heroes is to participate in the Tank Pull Challenge on June 23 from 8 am to 4 pm at 1100 Clifton Ave. Presented by the Knights of Columbus, teams move an 80,000 pound tank mounted on a flatbed truck. Taking part in the Tank Pull Competition benefits the veterans and particularly the Wounded Warriors financially and materially, and ensures that their service will not be forgotten. To date, the event has raised over $1 Million Dollars for wounded warriors. The 20-member team entrance fee is $1,500, submitted by June 12 (register at

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THE Jefferson Awards May 19 was a proud day for Clifton as two of the city’s hard-working charitable organizations were recognized in Trenton. At the New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Award Celebration of Volunteerism ceremony— held at the Trenton War Memorial Building—Clifton Cares and St. Peters Haven were honored for their efforts. More than 650 applications for the coveted Jefferson Award were received, and only 100 organizations selected. Clifton Cares and St. Peter’s Haven received Jefferson Awards for Volunteerisim. Clifton Cares began in 2010 and since that time, its volunteers have shipped more than 9,000 care packages (filled with donations from Cliftonites) to service men and women deployed overseas. “We are so proud of our work,” said Chris Liszner. “Our nominator was Ray Lill, who has been a supporter of Clifton Cares both monetarily and by singing our praises to everyone.” St . Peters Haven, established in 1986, operates a food pantry and transitional family shelter. It is also funded by many city donations. Dr. David Staubach, a retired veterinarian from neighboring Passaic, was also recognized for his compassionate and personalized care, regardless of ability to pay, as well as his charitable fundraising efforts. Finally, as one of the founders of Clifton Cares, Dona Crum was honored with the prestigious Ambassador Award for Volunteerisim for her work in starting the organization. Recipients of the Jefferson Awards demonstrate unique vision, dedication, tenacity of heroic proportion and serve as an inspiration to others. Awarded programs and individuals have achieved measurable community impact and represent outstanding acts of public service, without the expectation of recognition or compensations.


June 2019 •

At the Jefferson Awards ceremony are Clifton Cares’ Dona Crum (left), Bill Van Eck and Chris Liszner.

While Bill Van Eck accompanied his fellow Clifton Cares volunteers to receive the Jefferson Award, he was also the recipient of a special honor May 21 at a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky. Van Eck, who is essential to the Clifton Cares operation and a valued member of the Avenue of Flags volunteers, received recognition as a “Distinguished Member” of the U.S. Army 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, known as the “Proud Americans.” Deployed to Vietnam in 1965, Van Eck operated long range artillery equipment. He was one of four Proud Americans to be awarded a Bronze Star for rescuing a wounded engineer captain and his men at Trung Lap Special Forces Compound. In the 1990s, Van Eck was instrumental in resurrecting a discarded gun barrel to honor the service of the Proud Americans. The barrel is now on display in the Fort Sill Museum in Oklahoma. • June 2019


Clifton’s favorite Cab, the late George Hayek is always in our beat.


June 2019 •

For 2019, the Hawthorne Caballeros stay true to their roots with a powerful Latin Jazz opening. But as the field unfolds, you will hear and see the process of being put in a box, both literally and figuratively! Having the name “Caballeros” is synonymous with one thing, Latin Jazz! La Ruptara begins with a mysterious, yet familiar sound. Echoes of Caballero past are heard with the main influence being the traditional sound associated with the corps. They begin their show deeply rooted in the Caballero tradition- and along with that tradition comes innovation. Where are they headed? That is the surprise artistry of every season of the Cabs, a distinct drum and bugle corps that began in 1946, by Jim Costello, his brother Bob, John McAuliffe, Joe Scarber, and George Hayek.

Seventy-three years later, the tradition continues with maneuvers of 200 steps per minute, as snare drummers and horn players literally fly, each line a different color. With multiple brass performers, percussionists and color guard, look for dancing and acrobatics in this movable, musical performance at Clifton School Stadium on July 13. Gates open at 5:30 pm and performances begins at 6:30 The Cabs show for 2019 brings “a new look for the field with a never before heard musical style,” said Adam Freeman, the Caballeros music director. “Was it the right choice? Have we gone too far from our roots? For our final production, we take a look at where we have traveled in our evolution,” Freeman continued. “We will create a new box for ourselves, one that takes the next step while celebrating our style and rich heritage. Look for the field to become something new, yet surprisingly familiar.” Advance tickets at Call 888-547-6478 for best seats now Day of show call 973-945-5912. Appearing at the 55th Drum Corps Grand Prix in Clifton on July 13... Skyliners, Scranton, PA Sunrisers, Long Island, NY Bushwackers, Princeton, NJ Hurricanes, Seymour, CT Fusion Core, Morris County, NJ Buccaneers, Reading, PA Caballeros, Hawthorne, NJ In Exhibition: Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni Corps Saints Brigade, Drum & Bugle Corps, Westchest County Skyliners Alumni, Drum & Bugle Corps • June 2019


Monday, May 27, 2019


June 2019 •

Clifton paused Monday, May 27, with services and tributes in Allwood, Athenia and Downtown Clifton to honor Fallen Americans—and closer to home—the 300 Cliftonites killed in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and in the Gulf War. At the Main Memorial, 100 folks gathered at 11 am at the War Monument where Rabbi Bob Mark of the Clifton Jewish Center offered an invocation, and the Marching Mustangs performed America the Beautiful and Taps at the conclusion. U.S. Navy veteran Joseph Imperato was the featured speaker. Another 100 attended services at the Athenia Veterans Post on Huron Ave. Photos at those events and at the Avenue of Flags are found on these pages. Originally called “Decoration Day,” Memorial Day honors those who died while defending freedom, democracy and the American Way. • June 2019



June 2019 • • June 2019



June 2019 • • June 2019


“Never Forget – Never Again” is often heard on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorated May 2. Memoriums for six million Jews killed in World War II by Nazis and their collaborators were held around the world by Holocaust survivors, family members and the Jewish community. Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute (DMC) on Hazel St. hosted a ceremony that included nursing home residents and apartment tenants who are Holocaust survivors, children of survivors and others who were soldiers in the fight against the Nazis and their allies.

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Other highlights for the Class of ’98 included a “Prom Fashion Show” in February, and the performance of Once Upon a Mattress in March. On May 8, the annual senior prom was held at the Led by Rabbi Mirsky,where attendees Skylands ManorMoshe in Randolph the said Classprayers, of ’98 told of experiences and lost ones, and lit seven memodanced to classics such as YMCA and Shout and perrial candles. Six represent the six million Jewish peoformed the Electric Slide dance. pleThe murdered in themonth, Holocaust while the 24 seventh was in following at the June commencememory victims killed recent anti-Semitic heard in from Scott Pogorelec, shootsenior ment, theofaudience ings at the Chabad of Poway, Calif., and the Tree of Life class president, Humaira Chaudhry, valedictorian, and Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa. Mary Laihee, salutatorian. Milton Yudkowitz, and AusHowever, the Class aof94 ’98year-old was onetenant member short at chwitz survivor, lit the seventh candle and then led the graduation. Marek Bodyziak passed away two years audience earlier at in 17.the Yiddish Song of the Partisans, consideredBodyziak a Holocaust survivor dreamed of anthem. one day becoming a profesAs he sang, Yudkowitz campa sional soccer player andbared was the on concentration his way, earning number visibleteam. on his arm. his life was cut short in spot on still the CHS Sadly, After WWII ended, Yudkowitz immigrated to the 1996 by cancer. U.S. where he met his late wife Gloria. He owned CHS also lost two former educators during the ’97butcher shops in Newark Passaic, which supplied ’98 school year with the and passing for Aaron Halpern, kosher meat to Daughters of Miriam Center—a refuge who served as CHS principal from 1963-88, and for elderly Holocaust survivors for decades, Charles Holland, former humanities supervisor from “We need to ensure,” said Rabbi Mirsky, “that peo1960-97. ple After don’t experiencing forget the terrible consequences of the thisClass hatred, triumph and sadness, of especially in light of the rising anti-Semitism we are ’98 moved forward into a world that would change experiencing today.” from analog to digital during the next decade. • June 2019


Birthdays & Celebrations - June 2019

God Bless Saba Ralli who turns 22 on June 16. Daniel Sotamba turns 6 on June 30. Our friend and writer Jack De Vries will also be 62 on June 25. Emma, Olivia & Victoria Green will turn 13 on June 24. Ashley Parsons turns 29 on June 13. Mom and dad send 21 kisses to Ava Nicole Genardi who has a birthday (but no photo!) on June 9.

Happy Birthday to.... Send dates & names ....

Congratulations to Frank & Brenda (Ludvik) Calandrillo on their 35th wedding anniversary on June 2. Bob & Alice DeLiberto will be married 32 years on June 27. Special blessings to their parents Dorothy & Joseph DeLiberto who also celebrate—their 65th anniversary!—also on June 27. Alan & Carolyn Spoto celebrate 34 years of marriage on June 9th. Happy 37th Anniversary to Eileen & Ed Gasior on June 5. Vinny Dalbo....................... Holly Kocsis....................... Timmy Spears..................... Jonathan Borrajo................. Denise Magaster................. John Traier......................... Karl Aponte........................ Thomas Lesch..................... Michael Musto....................


6/1 6/1 6/1 6/2 6/2 6/2 6/3 6/4 6/4

June 2019 •

Emma Nysk........................ 6/5 Brian Coleman................... 6/6 Rob Cone.......................... 6/6 Samantha Malenchak.......... 6/6 Koreana Sabo.................... 6/8 Robert Ciallella................... 6/9 Ava Nicole Genardi............ 6/9 Larry Grasso.................... 6/10 Joey Randazzo................. 6/10

Nicole Carreno................. Margaret Nysk................. Adam Soder..................... Cindy Brevic Goldstein...... Steven Hatala, Sr.............. Anna Jurgowski................ Christopher Stetz............... Christopher Zaccone......... Andrew Bandurski.............

6/11 6/11 6/11 6/13 6/13 6/13 6/13 6/13 6/14

Happy Belated to Phyllis Pogorelec who celebrated May 2, Reid Thomas Pogorelec on May 16, and Loretta Pogorelec on May 25. Danielle Dvorak................ Derek Dvorak................... Stephanie Dvorak............. Jane Justin........................ Kristina Marchesani........... Joseph Peterson................ Raymond Kuruc................ Rafelina Reyes.................. Tabitha Sosa..................... Jim Schubert Sr................. Aileen Haight................... Alexander Conklin............ Joseph Hrina.................... Mike Skurski..................... Brittany Martorella............ Connie Musleh................. Daniel Marriello................ Susan McDonald.............. Walter Vladyka................. Marco Greco................... Kristen Murcko.................. Monica Szewczyk............. Robert Conklin.................. Christopher Lucas..............

6/16 6/16 6/16 6/16 6/16 6/16 6/18 6/18 6/18 6/18 6/20 6/22 6/23 6/24 6/25 6/26 6/27 6/27 6/27 6/28 6/28 6/29 6/30 6/30

Rich & Susan Van Blarcom marked their 40th anniversary on June 2. • June 2019 


Dwight D. Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander in charge of all forces involved in the Invasion of Normandy.

June 6, 2019 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day. On that date in 1944, over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes and over 150,000 service men—many not even 20 years old—came ashore carrying eighty pounds of equipment ready to defeat the Nazis. The Invasion of Normandy was critical to changing the destiny of the WWII.. As described on web site, “(The Allies) faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by


June 2019 •

small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell. When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet somehow, due to planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached.” We remember the heroes of D-Day—75 years later and for eternity. Their bravery and sacrifice of The Greatest Generation will never be forgotten.

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Bobby Persaud

Tatiana Mosquera

Jacqui Rogers

Vilma Suarez

Nina Robayo

Jose Trinidad

Yanet Iturralde Santana

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