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…on our cover

To Succeed, Get Involved . . . . . . .6

As we do every June, this edition

He’s Made In Clifton . . . . . . . . . .18 Their Greatest Influences . . . . . 20 New CD, Ready To Roll . . . . . . . .25 Sharing CHS Memories . . . . . . .39 Meet the Top 10 Students . . . . 47 The Self-Employed Teen . . . . . . .60 She’ll Make a Difference . . . . . .68 Advice to the Class of ‘07 . . . . .76

primarily focuses on the Class of 2006. We celebrate the achievements of these Clifton kids, and share their dreams, hopes and plans with our readers so that when the graduates take the field at Clifton Schools Stadium on June 26 at 6 pm, each student may be more than just a face in the crowd.

Clifton Merchant Magazine is published monthly at 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton • 973-253-4400

Beyond Skin Deep W ––––––––––– Story by Joseph Shackil –––––––––––

hen we think of role models in society today, a variety of people may come to mind, depending on where you are from and what your influences are. However, regardless of whom you view as a personal inspiration, each individual that can be deemed iconic to their peers has characteristics that are constant with other role models: warm heartedness, good morals and most of all, determination. Kristin Nugent is one extraordinary person that fits this mold. Nugent is a soon-to-be graduating senior at Clifton High School. Recently, she has gained a modest amount of attention after she was featured in a front page article in the Herald News, which detailed the painful process of what life is like with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). EB is an illness that generally sets in shortly after birth that causes the skin to become extremely fragile. Because of this, the skin can easily be injured, causing painful blisters to form. These blisters can cause serious problems if they become infected. Nugent has had to go through the same flesh tearing process every morning, dealing with bandages, rashes and the other painful symptoms of this disease. While many will read with sympathy, Nugent insists that your sorrow is unnecessary. “EB isn’t my life,” Nugent affirmed. “It’s only a part of it.” When most people look at her, the first thing they notice is her blistered skin and a wheelchair—but how many people actually know just who Kristin Nugent really is? Beyond the skin rashes, the bandage changes, 16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of Every Month. HAVE IT MAILED... $15/year in Clifton $25/year out of town CALL 973-253-4400 entire contents copyright 2006 © tomahawk promotions 4

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

“Between juggling work, cooking every night and dealing with my care, she has always taught me that there is no way anything can stop me from doing what I want to do. There is always a way.” —Kristin Nugent referring to her mom.

the wheelchair and countless other afflictions that burden her life, there is a charming, intelligent and interesting teenage girl—just like any other student you would find in the halls of CHS. “I like to shop and stuff like any other teenage girl does,” said Nugent, who can often be spotted at Willowbrook Mall wearing her Prada monkey slippers. “I hate getting up in the morning, I don’t always enjoy going to a school all the time. I’m just basically a regular kid.” The fact that she gets up and actually goes to school regularly even with her added burdens makes Nugent’s story much more astonishing. She could have easily been home schooled, which would require less strain on her body, yet, she is determined to show her cheerful face and bright personality every day. “It’s obviously a lot better to go out and think of other things,” Nugent said, once again downplaying how amazing her determination and heart really is. “It takes my mind off of a lot of things, going to see friends and all that kind of stuff.”

Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Downtown Clifton, NJ 07011 973-253-4400 • tomhawrylko@optonline.net

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Hawrylko BUSINESS MANNAGER Cheryl Hawrylko GRAPHIC ARTISTS Mary Lalama, Fabian Calvo WRITERS: Jack DeVries, Cheryl Hawrylko, Joe Torelli, John Bendel, Robert Wahlers, Gary Anolik, Joe Hawrylko, Alicia Feghhi

Kristin Nugent, CHS Class of 2006.

Although seeing her friends everyday is very important to her, the place where Nugent feels most comfortable is at home with her supportive family. The oldest of four, Nugent holds her place as the big sister, taking care of her younger siblings, Katie, 15, Emily, 4 and Mikey, 1. She spoke highly of her stepfather, Mike, who she fully considers her father because of his willingness to take on the responsibility of helping care for her.

Nugent also spoke about her grandparents in high regards, who were taken from their homes in Poland when they were just children during WWII. After being displaced as far as Africa, the two met and lived in England for some time before moving to the United States with no money and starting a family. Any time that Nugent encounters adversity, she said that she just thinks of what her grandparents went through. Above all, however, is her mother, Theresa, whom Nugent considers her biggest influence. “My mom is my biggest influence. She has four kids and she went back to Grad School to get her Masters in Teaching,” she said of her mother, a teacher at CCMS, who was the driving force behind her going to school. “Between juggling work, cooking every night and dealing with my care, she has

always taught me that there is no way anything can stop me from doing what I want to do. There is always a way.” That is the way that Nugent has lived her life. She has never let anything stand in her way and now, on the verge of finally completing high school, Nugent has no plans to slow down at all, heading to Montclair State University in the fall. She plans to Major in Psychology and Minor in Special Education and hopes to use what she has gone through to help other young individuals who are dealing with a traumatic experience. “I want to combine the two fields and hopefully work with kids who have cancer or are going through something similar,” she said. “I think I can relate on another level, rather than someone who just sits there and nods their head and says ‘uh huh.’”

“I want to combine the two fields and hopefully work with kids who have cancer or are going through something similar,” Kristin said. “I think I can relate on another level, rather than someone who just sits there and nods their head and says ‘uh huh.’”

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She Got Involved ––––––––––– Story by Alicia Feghhi –––––––––––

It’s no magic trick. All Connie Musleh did was get involved by joining clubs, like TIGS, the Mustang Band, choir and track.

Connie Musleh and Jessica Cornett.


s a freshmann, CHS was a scary place for Connie Musleh when she first wandered through the crowded halls of unfamiliar faces. “I hardly knew anybody,” she said. Now, when she leaves the jam-packed halls, manny of those formerly unfamiliar faces are now her friends. It’s no magic trick. All she did was get involved by joining clubs, like TIGS (Teen Institute of Garden State), the Mustang band, choir and the track team. “The people that I’ve met are like a family to me,” she said. In addition to all her extra-curriculars, Musleh also excels academically. She was honored at the Academic Awards Dinner last year. “I try to give my best effort in whatever I do,” she said. “It’s not easy balancing school and athletics, but I’m proof that it can be done.” Musleh has been an active member in TIGS since her sophomore year, now known as the Mustang Institute. Its mission is planning safe, drug and alcohol free 6

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

events for students. “There are so manny ways to have fun without drinking, and I want to help kids realize that,” she said. Musleh, who was last year’s MVP on the girls track team, has earned 10 medals in 2006 in the shot put, discus and javelin events. This year she has been awarded 2nd Team All-League in the shot put and javelin. She will receive a varsity Mustang Band jacket at this year’s awards dinner for marching all four years. She was a color guard while being a sergeant for the past two years. Being in the band and choir has taken her around the world—from Washington, D.C., to Quebec and to Iceland. “Iceland was so relaxing,” she said. “If I could go back there right now, I would!” Musleh will miss track and band the most. “Track and band are a big part of me. It got me through high school,” she said. “If something was bothering me, I could go to band and march it out and I could go to track and throw it out. It’s a release.” However, her school of choice, Le Moyne University in Syracuse, NY, lacks a track team. But that doesn’t stop Musleh from getting involved. “I’ll get a group of people together and we can try to form an intramural team.,” she said. She believes that high school is the best four year’s of her life—so far. She knows that there are more exciting things to come her way, and it all starts on June 26—graduation day and her 19th birthday. “I’m celebrating a new beginning,” she said. “I’ve had the best time of my life, but this is not the end. There’s more out there for me.” This fall, there certainly will be more “out there” for Musleh, who will study history and then go to law school after graduating. At Le Moyne, she will yet again roam the halls of unfamiliar faces. This time she’s not afraid. Those unfamiliar faces will soon become familiar. It’s no magic trick. “Just get involved,” she said.

Go Forth with Ambition! Congratulations to the

Class of 2006 2005

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Where will you be in September?

David Michelotti: I’ll be at Passaic County Community College, because I got a full scholarship and if it’s free, its for me. Cynthia Husrie: Taking courses at nearby Montclair State University. Jamie Leather: Attending Temple University. Helen Espeillat: Berkeley College. Krystal Pratt: At the Cittone Institute, where I will study Massage Therapy. Jacklyn DeMuro: In New York City at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, where I will study Fashion Merchandising.

Lauren Spagnuolo: Pursuing Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology while hopefully working parttime as a dance teacher. I chose Stevens because not only is it geared towards my field of interest, but also because it is a smaller school where I feel I will have more opportunities available.

Ashley Terhune: I will be at Bloomfield College, playing softball as a Lady Deacon while earning my way to a teaching degree. Teila Krahn: At Stevens Institute of Technology where I will be studying Chemical Engineering. I chose Stevens because of the training and education it would provide me in my future career as an engineer. Chemistry was always one of my favorite subjects and as an engineer, I will have manny opportunities to explore this exciting field. Kevin Guinto: I will be attending Montclair State University, where I will major in Chemistry. Christine Karabetsos: I will be attending Caldwell College. Stephany Antonio: At Bergen County Community College. I will have a good job and will be keeping my life together, just as I am right now. Angie Diaz: At my dream college, John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Anthony Marrone: I will be studying Justice Systems at Montclair State University. I have always wanted to do something in my life where I could help people and defend their rights as American citizens, as I could see nothing better than becoming an officer of the law. Vanessa Marie Vasquez: Starting a new beginning at either Montclair State or William Paterson. Marivic Cubero: In Rhode Island, where I will be attending Johnson and Wales University. Diane Szaflarski: I’ll be majoring in Chemical Engineering at Seton Hall University.

All surveys prepared by Joe Hawrylko 8

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Jennalynn Pizzimenti: I will be majoring in Physical Education and Health at MSU. Since I want to get my Masters in this area, Montclair State’s senior year options program helped me decide early that the university was for me. I loved the campus and felt comfortable on it. The professors were very helpful and I learned a lot through the challenging college credit courses offered by CHS. Sage Walsh: Studying Music Performannce on Trumpet at Montclair State. Vanessa Overhoff: I’ll be attending the Carsten Beauty School in Mannhattan, as well as studying Business Mannagement at Montclair State. I will also be living with my high school sweetheart Jorge Aponte somewhere in North Jersey. Christina Santiago: Caldwell College, where I will major in PreMed. Richard Ossa: Studying Chemical Engineering at NJIT.

Dana Czerwinski

Matthew Shumko

Ushma Patel: Majoring in Pharmacy at the University of Connecticut. Neena Gupta: At the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Christopher Donini: At Cornell University in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Nina Naydenova: Double majoring Mathematics and Finance at Boston University. Vinod Rajan: At St. John’s University in Queens, NY. Nancy Aguilar: Attending classes at Montclair State University.

Emily Zawicki

Kyle Livesey

Karly Maliniak: I will be attending Penn State University. I chose PSU because the campus and the student life there fits me very well. LeeAnn Iapicca: I’ll be at Montclair State University because I want to commute but still go to a fairly large school. Allison Austin: I’ll be at Alvernia College in Reading, Pennsylvania., where I will major in Athletic Training. I reached this decision after visiting several other colleges and recognizing that Alvernia provides the best career opportunities.

Jessica Cornett

Matthew Shumko: In September, I will be at the University of Pittsburgh. I chose the school because of their great medical program and because I enjoyed all my visits there in high school. Colleen Kalan: I will be attending MSU, where I will major in History, with the intent of becoming a teacher. I’ve always wanted to teach and MSU has a strong education program. Kyle Livesey: Attending college in New York City. I want to be a trader on Wall Street some day.

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Paid for by Elect Joe Cupoli, Fusco for Council, Eagler for Council, Latona for Council June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Megan White: Attending Drexel University, because I decided that it had the best learning environment for me. Tiffany Eusebio: I’ll be dorming on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University. At first, like manny other students, I was inclined to continue my education out-ofstate. However, Rutgers offers a great college experience close to home, the best of two worlds.

Elizabeth Sinski: I will be attending Montclair State, because they have a great theatre program, which is what I want to major in. I will have a concentration in Set Design and Production. Colleen Hughes: At Montclair State University. Amannda Jaskot: Dorming with my best friend Kristin Reisinger at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Emily Zawicki: Albright College in PA, where I will be studying Sign Language. I applied there and then three weeks later I got a phone call saying that I was accepted. Diane Szaflarski: Seton Hall University, where I will major in Chemical Engineering. I chose SHU because it is close to home and I liked the campus. Jessica Cornett: I’ll be at Morris County Community College, where I will major in Fashion Design. 1176

Dana Czerwinski: I chose Montclair State, because I just feel it is the right school for me. Jacqueline Nigro: I will be studying dance somewhere. Stephanie Colangelo: I will be majoring Dance at Montclair State University in the fall. I chose MSU because it is a very good school. Since I want to dance, it helps that it is close to the city and has a good surrounding environment. Kristina Gorgovski: I’ll be at Montclair State University, my first choice. I knew MSU was for me because of its big and beautiful campus that offers tons of opportunity. Plus, its close to home so traffic won’t be a problem. Vanessa Sacoto: Although I haven’t selected a school yet, I will definitely be transferring to East Stroudsburg in Spring 2007. Kristin Reisinger: In Scranton, PA at Marywood University with my best friend Amannda Jaskot.

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Caitlin Lotorto: I will be attending The Fashion Institute of Technology. I chose to pursue an Associate’s Degree in Pattern Marketing Technology and a Bachelor’s in Fashion Design.

Shannon McCracken: At John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Mannhattan, where I will major in Criminal Justice. Someday, I will be a police officer. Jessica Changsao: Majoring in Fashion Studies at Montclair State University. Fashion has always been a passion of mine and I’m ready to learn more about it other than through fashion magazines.

Christine Karabetsos: At Caldwell College where I will study Education. I reached this decision because I enjoy working with children.

Patricia Vorela: Starting my first semester at Rutgers University. Vincent Cordi: Attending Rutgers Newark. I went to an open house and fell in love with the school. Rutgers is a great place to pursue my major, English and Pre-law. Jane Martinez: At Lycoming College in PA. Out of all the schools that I looked at, Lycoming was the only one that caught my attention and it ended up being the only college I applied to.

Rob Young: At Rutgers University in New Brunswick, where I will major in Biochemistry. I chose this major because it fits my interests and Rutgers is an excellent school where I can achieve this degree. With Rutgers being only 45 minutes away, it allows me to come home and visit family and friends on the weekends.

Roxanne Jensen: Attending Douglass College at Rutgers New Brunswick, where I will be studying Pre-Med and working towards becoming a Pediatrician. Melisa Sternberger: The College of New Jersey, because they offer a five year Masters program in Deaf/Elementary Education. Patrick Errico: I plan on going to college in September, but I am still undecided on where. Suzanne Czyzewski: Majoring in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, where I will be live.

God Bless Our Class of 2006 Best Wishes to our 8th Grade Graduates... Saint Clare Parish believes that our school is its lifeblood. Open Registration for PreK 4 through Grade 8. Call for an appointment or just stop by!

Saint Clare School 39 Allwood Road Clifton, NJ. 07014

973.777.7582 saintclareschool@aol.com www.saintclareschool.com


June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Signs to a Career D

aniah Aburomi has always been interested in history and politics and has thought about a career in law. But recently, she also has been thinking about a college major in psychology and pursuing a career working with the deaf and hearing impaired. Aburomi’s newfound interest stems from her participation during the past two years in a sign language class at Clifton High School. She first took the introductory elective course as a junior because her older brother had taken the class and recommended it to her. “I knew the teacher and I my brother enjoyed it,” she said. “I thought it would be fun to learn sign language.”

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June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Daniah Aburomi signing with her sign language teacher, Lori Mistretta.

In addition to mastering the basics of communicating in American Sign Language, students in teacher Lori Mistretta’s sign language classes at CHS also learn about what causes deafness, as well as about the psychological and cultural aspects of being deaf. Aburomi took Sign Language II and said learning about the difficulties that deaf people face in every day life has sensitized her to their needs. “We saw videos in which deaf people spoke about their childhoods. It was very sad,” she said. “Manny of them felt very isolated growing up because they couldn’t communicate with people around them.” Aburomi wishes that more people would learn sign language, and she feels that it should be recognized as a language as important to learn as all of the spoken languages of the world. “I really think that more professional people, especially doctors and psychologists, should

learn sign language,” she said. “It’s much easier to get your thoughts and feeling across to someone when they understand your language, rather than having to communicate through an interpreter.” Aburomi plans to continue her study of sign language next fall, when she enrolls at Montclair State University. Although most colleges, including MSU, do not yet accept sign language courses for the two years of world language study in high school that they require of applicants, MSU now offers its students American Sign Language as an option to fulfill their six credit world language general education requirement. Having taken two years of sign language classes in high school, Aburomi will be eligible to take a placement exam, which may allow her to enroll in the intermediate, rather than beginning sign language course at MSU.


What was your favorite class?

Derek Dobol: Senior health with Mr. Pontes because it was so funny and we not only discussed sex education, but we talked about graduation. It was really the first time that it hit me that I am finally leaving school for good. Caroline Vallila: Junior year history with Mr. Arts. It was my favorite class because Mr. Arts put a smile on the whole class’s face everyday and he is a great teacher. Cara Conocer: My junior year English class with Ms. Knox was my favorite. She taught English in such a way that it was much more than writing essays and reading classic works from old books. I learned that English literature was relevant in my life. With Ms. Knox’s guidance, I improved and became confident in my writing. It became my passion.

Puja Patel: I did not have just a favorite class because in each, I gained a new memory, a new experience and most of all, a new friend. Nancy Aguilar: Phys. ed in my junior and senior years. Class was always fun with Mr. BelBruno. Kativska Rivas: English with Mrs. Kensicki. She is patient and she tries to help everybody understand and learn English. Dana Czerwinski: I would have to say that zero period CAST has been my favorite class over the last four years. Mr. McCunney has taught us so much and we had fun throughout the year while learning. David Gabel: CAST because it involves the audio and video field that I am interested in. Andrea Ormeno: History class. I really enjoy learning about the past of the United States.

Mahmoud Suliemann: Most definitely history with Mr. Fackina. He made everything easy to understand in class. The best part of his class was when we would play the history game. If you answered his question right, you got a chance to shoot a paper ball into the basket for points..

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Jusuf Hoxha: Mr. Ashworth’s English class in freshmann year, because he was a really cool teacher and the class was great. Krystal Pratt: It was not so much the classes that I had that I liked but the teachers who taught them, which made their class special. Mr. Lesler, Mrs. Craig, Mr. Pontes, Mrs. Derose and Miss Anderson were all excellent. Talia Alston: Junior year history class with Mr. Lesler was the best! Christina Atiya: AP U.S. history with Mr. Harding. I learned about The Roaring Twenties by listening to the music of the time period. We also learned about imperialism by writing articles and editorials and just about life in general. Mr. Harding was one of the most unique teachers at CHS. Sara Can: Probably Ms. Sauchelli’s class sophomore year. That class really got me into art, which made me decide to become an art teacher. Vinod Rajan: Psychology. I learned more in that class than any others. Alicia Alejandro: I loved English class. I always enjoyed when we would do creative writing or when we had to write persuasive essays. Kristina Gorgovski: Cast with Mr. Dixon and Mr. McCunney. Jane Martinez: Art class my sophomore and junior year was the best class ever. I love and enjoy art and the people in the class were so funny. We always joked around a lot.

Goodbye & best wishes to the Sacred Heart School’s Class of ‘06!

Sacred Heart School’s Class of 2006 has been together since First Grade, with manny of the graduates beginning their educational career at SHS in PreSchool. The Class of 2006 can be proud to state that they have all been accepted into the High School of their choice, based on the competitive entrance exams called the COOPS. In September, 12 graduates will be attending Paramus Catholic HS, two will be attending Bergen Catholic HS, one will be attending DePaul HS and 2 will be attending public high schools. The Class of 2006 is a pro-active, service oriented group. The students have spearheaded cam-

paigns in school to help feed the poor via food drives and “Project Starfish”, helped sick children with the St. Jude Math-a-thon, and brightened up Christmas for hospitalized children with Bear Hugs for Kids. They all have volunteered their time to help at events in the school and parish community, including the annual Polenta Dinner, Tricky Tray and Beefsteak Dinners. SHS’s Class of 2006 will be held in high esteem by faculty, staff and students for their kindness, generosity and enthusiasm. As they begin another chapter in their lives, we all wish them great success and happiness.

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Joseph DeSomma: Music class with Mr. Morgan. He was a great teacher and I learned so much about music from him. Being in music class allowed me to practice every day for band. It wasn’t easy, but he made it fun. Richard Ossa: Math was always my favorite class. I was lucky to have cool teachers that made everything seem so easy. Mrs. Rooney for Algebra I, Mr. Ewais for Geometry, Miss Mihalik for Algebra II and Mrs. Dolinsky for Pre-Calc and finally Mrs. Brach for calc AP. They are all amazing teachers that made me enjoy going to their classes. 1348 Clifton Ave • Clifton



Dominique Floyd: Ms. Bobby’s energetic senior gym class. She made every day fun. Vincent Cordi: The business law class that I took this year. I would like to eventually become a lawyer and this class interests me the most. Melissa Gonzalez: Creative writing class allowed you to express yourself in ways you normally can not. Amie Desai: English honors with Ms. Saddick. I learned a lot, not only about English literature, but also about life. Ms. Saddick has been a wonderful person. Mark Bitar: CAST with Mr. McCunney. We had a lot of fun being able to express ourselves on TV. Having Ms. Mistretta next door was always a perk. Sunny Kasabwala: Psychology because I did so well and it was interesting talking about experiments and learning the fundamentals of the humann brain. Julissa Burbano: All my history classes, because I like learning about past history and I enjoy seeing how life was in the past without all the technology we have now. Iris Gomez: My favorite classes were psychology AP and biology AP. These classes gave me a better understanding of how the humann body and mind work

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Natalie Cruz: Piano class. This is my fourth year playing the piano. It is my favorite hobby and I love making up my own pieces of music. Cindy Hasrie: Biology with Ms. Tobey was my favorite class. I’ve never experienced more chaos in one classroom. Megan Maletich: CAST. It was fun to produce the morning news. Michael Cannizzo: The Jr. ROTC. Everyone in the course became family and we had so much fun. Sgt. Major James Davis taught me discipline, teamwork and leadership. Lauren Jane Geier: Creative writing in my junior year, without a doubt. I was able to do something I love and get school credits for it at the same time! I loved Mr. Notari and being able to express myself and writing for class and for my own enjoyment. Lauren McKay: Definitely band class. I enjoyed playing my flute there and being able to see my friends from the Mustang Band. I was in that class since freshmann year and it was a great experience. Diane Szaflarski: Mr. Dionisio’s chemistry class in my sophomore year. His funny, off-topic stories made 8th period fly by and the bunsen burner never failed to make lab interesting.

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Made in Clifton ––––––––––– Story by Alicia Feghhi –––––––––––


herever Nelson Carrero goes after graduation, he will bring Clifton with him—literally. “All of my memories were made in Clifton,” said Carrero, who moved from Passaic to Clifton when he was four years old. “I’m always going to carry a little bit of Clifton with me ten years from now... and beyond.” Clifton will be with him when he is in the United Kingdom for a foreign exchange program that NJIT offers. Carrero will study biomedical engineering with the goal to find a cure for terminal illnesses, such as cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. “It’s a big dream, but it’s possible,” said Carrero, who may pursue a Doctorate. He credits this dream to his parents, who supported his desires even though they didn’t know what biomedical engineering was. “My mom always told me, ‘If you want to do something, then you can do it,’” he said. “But when I told her that I want to study biomedical engineering, she said, ‘OK, I don’t know what that is but go for it.’”

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You bet he’s going for it. His AP biology course was the stepping stone for his quest to improve humann life. “AP bio was interesting, but intense,” said Carrero, who dissected a cat. “I don’t have a cat, but chances are I probably won’t get one after that experience.” Not only will Carrero spend most of his time in the lab wearing a white cloak, but he may be wearing an NJIT baseball uniform on the field. “I always wanted to play baseball in high school, so maybe I’ll check it out,” he said. Carrero has another hobby: guitar. He was a member of the guitar club and enjoys playing his guitar in

his spare time. “After a hard day of school and homework, I’ll relax by playing guitar,” he said. He’s had manny demannding schooldays. “From filling out college applications, to the SAT, to studying for tests and to prom planning, I was exhausted,” said Carrero, who also had to fit in some downtime after work at Stop & Shop. Carrero was also recognized for his potential to become a leader in the community and in the future. The Rotary Youth Leadership, a worldwide organization of professional leaders that provides services to make a difference in the world, selected Carrero to represent CHS because of his leadership skills.

“I’m just happy to help people,” said the recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Carrero said that he was known as the quiet kid in class. “I think teachers will remember me as the quiet one,” he said. Though Carrero is hush-hush in class, his accomplishments and dreams reverberate. His love for his hometown and his determination to impact the world will continue to echo throughout the crowded halls of CHS—and wherever he goes.

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“All of my memories were made in Clifton,” said Carrero, who moved from Passaic to Clifton when he was four years old. “I’m always going to carry a little bit of Clifton with me ten years from now... and beyond.”


Who was your greatest influence?

Stephanie Janjetovic: Mr. Chilowicz was a great influence. He wanted me to work hard and never give up. Mr. Bell was another person who influenced me a lot. He was always there for me when I needed him the most. Both were great teachers. Joseph DeSomma: That’s easy— Bob Morgan. Mr. Morgan was both my music teacher and Band Director. As tough as he was, he was fair and became my mentor and friend. I’m grateful to Mr. Morgan because he always pushed me to strive harder both in school and in band. He taught me drive, dedication, desire and discipline will play an important part in my life.

Azzeh Abdelatif: The people who influenced me the most were my teachers and my family. The most important of all to me was my parents. But I just want to say thank you to everyone for everything. 20

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Jennifer Lozy: Mr. Bell, because he was more than my teacher, he was my friend. Natalie Cruz: Those who have influenced me over the past 12 years the most have been my parents and myself. School has always been important to me, but my parents’ guidance has led me towards my choice of becoming a pediatrician. I will continue, just as I always have, to try to do my best in all that I can. Talia Alston: My mother is the person who influenced me the most. She supports all of my dreams, even if she thinks they are bad. Neena Gupta: All of my friends who have helped me survive CHS. Vincent Cordi: My parents have influenced me the most. They have always pushed me to succeed and do better. They taught me to never settle for less. Normalys Santana: My parents and my cousin Dinelia influenced me the most during high school and I want to thank them for everything. Kristina Gorgovski: I would have to say that everyone that I have come across during my four years at CHS has influenced me in some way and will always been important in my life. Sunny Kasabwala: My parents, Dinesh and Prity Kasabwala, because they were the ones who pushed me to do my best in everything that I try. Vanessa Overhoff: Mrs. Sauchelli, the graphic design teacher. She’s a great listener and is wonderful with advice. Her personality is unique and she never forgets what it is like to be a high school student.

Joanah Zeitoun: My mother, because she made me the person I am today. She taught me the two most imprtant thigns in life and that would be to never give up and to follow my dreams. When times got rough and things looked bad, my mother was always there by my side to give me the motivation that I needed. Not only has she been my mother, but she has also been my best friend. I don’t know where I would be without her guidence. It makes me happy to know that I have made her proud for all I have accomplished. I love you mom! Andrea Ormeno: My mother, because she was the one who kept me in school. Lauren McKay: My parents, Mr. Morgan, Ms. Craig and Mr. Venturelli were my greatest influences in high school. Puja Patel: My teachers, friends and family have each influenced me in different ways. Each gave me a new look, opened a new door of opportunity, which I could not have done without them.

Mark Bitar: My teachers, who are the ones that motivated me to strive and always do my best work, as well as my family, which taught me to never stop trying and to not give up.

George Pipala: The only people that really influenced me were the cops in town that I know. They have helped me make my decision of pursuing a career as a police officer a lot easier.

Alicia Alejandro: All of my teachers were an influence on me during high school. They all were a mentor to me and each taught me very well and gave good advice.

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Yesenia Mendoza: My parents truly influenced me throughout high school. They were always there for me and constantly encouraged me to strive for my best. Nathalie Toxtli: Mr. Morgan was the most influential teacher I had during high school. He inspired me to never settle for less and always give it my all. Akaifia Johnson: The person who influenced me the most is my junior year chemistry teacher, Ms. Aach. Christina Atiya: I have always loved science, primarily because my parents exposed me to it at an early age through numerous visits to science museums. While my biology course made me very interested in the humann body, AP Chemistry convinced me to select a major involving both chemistry and biology. However, the greatest impact of my chemistry class was its elevation of my scientific curiosity. This in turn has convinced me to pursue a career in scientific or medically oriented research.

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Ushma Patel

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Ushma Patel: Mrs. Dolinsky, who I had for pre-calculus, was the greatest teacher I ever had. She always helped me out whenever I needed guidance. Diane Szaflarski: Various events and people. My biggest career influence was when I received the Society of Women Engineers award in my junior year. My math and science classes also had an influence in my decision. Also, CHS Track & Field Coach Pontes, who taught me to believe in myself and to never give up.

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Dominique Floyd: My parents were my greatest influence. Throughout all of my years of school, they were there pushing me forward. Now that I’m close to graduating high school, I can appreciate all that they have done. Richard Ossa: Being around chemistry teachers in my childhood influenced me to start liking this subject. Once I grew older, chemistry became one of the classes that I enjoyed the most. Also, seeing how chemistry is a big part of this modern world motivates me to

Natalie Toxtli

study this subject more in depth. However, out of anyone, my parents influenced me the most. They were always there showing me their support and always encouraged me to take challenges that would benefit me in the long run. Jusuf Hoxha: I’ve had great teachers in CHS and each made each class great. They did their best and that made myself and my friends enjoy our classes. My parents were the ones that helped me the absolute most in life and in school and I thank them for everything.

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Who was your greatest influence?

Angie Diaz: My mother. She taught me the value of education and the privilege of being born here because back in Peru she did not have the same opportunities that I have in the United States. Carolyn Rivera: My parents, who helped me make the right decision in manny areas in my life. My mother has taught me to be a very independent person. They have taught me to put all my decisions in God’s hands and everything will turn out right. My career choice is nursing and I know my parents are going to back me up every step of the way. Nancy Aguilar: My criminology professor at MSU influenced me to major in psychology because he explained to me all the positive things about the field. Caroline Vallila: Mr. McCunney and Mr. Dixon influenced my decision in wanting to major in Broadcasting in college. They made the CAST class at CHS so interesting and fun. Marivic Cubero: My teachers Mr. Bell, Mrs. Derose-Travia and Ms. Sobel, as well as my mother and two brothers were my influences throughout high school.

Christine Karabetsos: My 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Holland, because of the way she taught her class and the advice that she gave me. Julissa Burbano: My family, teachers and friends have influenced me to make decisions in life that have helped me succeed. I feel that they have more experience than I do and they help guide me to make the right choices in life. Ashley Terhune: Miss Youncofski influenced me as a teacher and as a friend. It’s not ever day that you find a teacher that you develop a friendship with. Mr. Carissimo was also a great influence during high school. The both of them always pushed me to do my best, in and outside of school. Vanessa Marie Vasquez: No one really influenced me directly, but I did have my parents and friends help guide me in the right direction. Helen Espaillat: My parents and my teachers, especially Mrs. Landesberg and Mrs. Kensicki. Christina Santiago: My parents... they have always been there... pushing me through high school and all through my life.

Stephany Antonio: Without doubt, my mother and my stepfather were my biggest influences. They have always been there for me and always keep me motivated in my personal life, in school and spiritually. Angela Zarate: My parents... always there when I needed them. Jacklyn DeMuro: My junior geometry teacher, Mrs. Rofi. She actually got me to understand math. Before I had her as a teacher, math was like a different language to me. Christopher Donini: My greatest influences were my parents, Albert and Barbara, because they have good values and standards and set a good model for me to follow. Lauren Spagnuolo: I’d have to say that my math teachers, particularly Mrs. Agresti and Mrs. Brach, have influenced me the most throughout the years. Yes, Mrs. Agresti, fractions are fun! Kevin Guinto: The people who influenced me the most would be my parents. They were always there, pushing me to strive to achieve more Nina Naydenova: The older Mr. St. Clair, my sophomore physics teacher.

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Tumbling Dice ––––––––––– Story by Daniel Burgan –––––––––––


t is not unusual for a group of friends to be doing something that they love and for CHS seniors Kris Kida and Jovan Mann, that something is making music. “Jamming together” since seventh grade eventually led Kida (bass) and Mann (lead guitar) to form a rock n’ roll band called Tumbling Dice with two other friends, drummer Joe Huster, also from

Clifton, and Union native Josh Sigley, who takes care of the vocals. Tumbling Dice (the name of a track by the Rolling Stones from their Exile on Main Street album) was formed two years ago. The band draws its musical inspiration from a variety of places, mostly rock groups that traverse the genre’s expansive spectrum. “I listen to anything from Mega Death

to Rush to Bob Dylan,” said Kida, who plays bass. His band and class mate, Mann, echoed the same sentiments. He mentioned how the various artists and types of music enjoyed by each band member gives them the chance to show diversity when it comes to writing their original music and lyrics. Although the band has been together for a while, Tumbling Dice have not played very many shows—not because of a lack of effort by the band but rather because, “we wanted to learn all of our songs before we started playing. We didn’t want to be on stage teaching ourselves the songs. But when we finally felt comfortable and starting booking shows, a lot of places wouldn’t let us play because we weren’t 18 yet,” said Kida.

Jovan Mann, Kris Kida, Josh Sigley and Joe Huster are Tumbling Dice.

The wait worked for the Clifton band. They recently published a CD with six original songs and are now in the third round of the 2006 New Jersey Battle of the Bands, a competition that started with over 1,000 musical acts. The field has been reduced dramatically but Tumbling Dice is still in the competition. The winner will get the opportunity to play at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, a popular musical showcase venue in New Jersey that has served as a launching pad for other hometown garage bands.

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Influential in Mann’s musical career was his cousin who “got me into playing guitar. He played the drums and I wanted to play along; I got my first guitar and the rest is history.” Since the band formed before any of its members had their licenses, they relied on their families’ support and help to get to and from practices and shows. “My family has been great,” Mann said, adding how important friends and family have been to the band’s success. Kris Kida’s feelings about the band’s success in getting past preliminary auditions in the Battle of the Bands competition was also much the same, noting how, “just getting to the third round has been worth it, especially since we weren’t sure how we were going to do when it all started. But just knowing that so many bands were eliminated and we’re still in it is great, especially since our music isn’t really mainstream.”

“Making it to regionals has been, by far, the best experience with the band,” said Mann, adding that Tumbling Dice has upcoming performances on June 4 at the Bloomfield Ave. Cafe and then on June 24 they perform at the Saint in Asbury Park. For more on the band go to wwwmyspace.com/tumbling. Mann, who is interested in journalism and writing in general, said that after graduation he plans on taking a year off from school and continue to work at the Passaic Valley Water Commission. As far as additional schooling, Mann is hoping to fine tune a career in music by being accepted into the Berklee College of Music in Boston. But as far as the immediate future... “I just want to play with the band this summer as much as possible and get our name out in the tri-state area.” His goal, though, is to “be a musician, a respected one, for the rest of my life.”

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Despite his love for performing original rock and roll and his hopes for the future of Tumbling Dice, music is not the only thing on Kida’s mind. Come September, Kida will be making his way to John Jay College in New York City where he expects to get a degree in Criminal Justice. He has already been getting his feet wet in the world of law enforcement. He currently works for the Clifton Police Department. He also plans on taking the New Jersey Law Enforcement test with the goal of becoming one of Clifton’s finest. If he does that, he’ll be following in the footsteps of his older brother Kasey. “It’s becoming a family thing,” Kida said. As far as Tumbling Dice, the bandmates are hoping for that “big break”. “We want to make it big. I couldn’t work in an office all day, and nothing would be better then making music and hanging out with Jovan, Joe, and Josh,” Kida said.

A real five and dime store has returned to Downtown Clifton. Amazing Deals is at 1139 Main Ave. near the intersection of Main and Clifton Ave. which formerly housed JO Grand. Owned since December by Farid Abrahim, pictured left, this is the second location for Amazing Deals, which has a store in Teaneck. The Clifton location is now cleaned up, well-lit and fully stocked with thousands of items, many still a dollar. But don’t get Amazing Deals confused with a dollar store. Abrahim now also sells furniture for the home or office and he has a large selection of housewares, party supplies, cleaning products and many closeout items which change weekly. “We are going back to where it was before,” Abrahim said of the legacy of this old retail location. “And then we are building upon that.”


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June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Class of 2006!

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What will you miss most about CHS?

Ewelina Krzywinska: The support of my teachers helping me to adjust to a new country and school. I would especially like to thank Miss. Mahon, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Kopko, Mr. Santulli and Mr. Fruhman for their patience in helping me catch up and for preparing me for college. I will also miss all my friends in the class of 2006. Richard Ossa: I’ll miss all the cool teachers, Mr. Pontes’ ‘funny’ jokes and just seeing my friends. Sasha Cordero: Walking through the halls passing by all my friends. Sara Can: Everything about high school. The people, the teachers and all of the traditions. Joseph Alvarez: I will miss all the amazing friends that I have made. These last four years have been the best of my life and I will miss CHS and running track a lot.

Karen Bejarano: I’ll miss seeing my friends in class, hanging out in the hallways and seeing my favorite teachers everyday. 28

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Roxanne Jensen: All the relationships with my friends and being able to see them every day and just talking about the silliest things. Colleen Hughes: Taking for granted that I see all of my closest friends everyday. Brianna Coyle: My friends. I have made the best friends I could ever ask for at school. They have helped me through some of my hardest times. No one will replace those people and I will take them with me always. Ferdous Thabatah: My friends are the one thing that is keeping me attached to CHS. Beata Bodyziak: I will miss walking through the halls, not knowing who I will see next, seeing random people you have never met before CHS is so big. It truly was an amazing experience. I will never forget Clifton High School. Brian Smith: All of the caring teachers and staff. They really made my four years enjoyable. Lauren McKay: Being a part of the Mustang Marching Band, the football games and seeing the reaction of the crowd when we came out for the pre-game and half time shows. I will also miss seeing all my friends everyday and being with the people I’ve known since elementary school. I’ll also miss half days and SC days. Sarah Bekeet: The comfort of knowing that academic mistakes made in high school can always be made up for, where as college, one poor grade can lead to future problems, such as not being accepted into a particular graduate school. Pat Ferry: Friends and teachers.

Shannon Van Beveren: Believe it or not, I will miss going to school every morning the most. With all the different kinds of people at CHS, I met so many new friends during the years...I love it here. As much as everyone is so worried about how crowded the halls are, you wouldn’t be able to have as good as a high school experience without all the kids in school. Christine Karabetsos: My friends, teachers and the high school experience. Jaclyn Saltamachia: Ice hockey with the boys, the girls on my softball team and doing close to nothing productive seven days a week during senior year. Priscilla Balan: I will definitely miss being a student at CHS. I know that over the years, it seems all I did was complain, but now that I’m departing from the school in June, I am sad that I will not see my awesome friends as much as I do now. Marissa Amelio: Seeing my friends every day.


Congratulations to the Class of 2006, and much success for the future!

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Tylenciz Selph

Brian Smith

Jessica Giganti: The people. Everyone is different from one another, everyone is a character here. Chandrel Lee: Seeing all of my friends and the faculty at CHS. Diane Szaflarski: I will miss running for our track and cross country teams, as well as seeing all of my friends every day. LeeAnn Iapicca: All of the weekends and time spent with my friends. All of the teachers. Alexander Evangelakos: Seeing so many of my friends every single day at the same place.

Roxanne Jensen

Chris Toedler

What will you miss most? Maryann Choy-Ames: I’ll miss most are my supportive teachers. Chris Toedler: Producing the morning news with Mr. McCunney. Everyday was a different laugh and experience. It was the one thing that motivated me to wake up every morning. Jane Martinez: Seeing all of my friends everyday. Jody McIntosh: All the friends I’ve meet over the years, my cello, Maria Conchita Rosales-Smith, and my amazing teachers. Carmela Zoccali: All of my friends, being in Biology AP lab. Karly Maliniak: I’ll miss my teachers, cheerleading and spending the weekends with all my friends. Matthew Meade: The CAST program, Friday night football games at the stadium and being around the people who made me laugh for the last four years.

Michael Garbrandt: Hockey and playing on Friday night in front of my fellow students. 30

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Belinda Rosario: All those days just before vacation when teachers didn’t give a lot of work and the classroom got a chance to talk and bond with each other. Tylencia Selph: The teachers, especially Ms. Peters, Mr. Walker and Mr. Contarino. They were all great and always made time for me.

Jaclyn Saltamachia

Lisa Hojnacki: Knowing that June 26, 2006 will be the last time that I can open my locker, walk through the halls of Clifton High School and wear my ID as a CHS student. Connie Musleh: Football games and doing pregame, halftime and post game at every home game with all my friends and getting the band apples after halftime. I’ll also miss going to IHOP after the game. These are good times and memories that I will miss. Kristina Gorgovski: What I’ll miss the most about high school is seeing all the people I’ve grown up with everyday. Megan Maletich: I will miss seeing my friends in the hallways and seeing all of the teachers. Anthony Shackil: I would have to say bumping into all of my friends in the hallway. In a school with over 3,000 students, you can make a lot of friends. I’ll miss them all so very much. Alicia Alejandro: I’ll actually miss the crowded hallways—you get used to it. I’ll also miss my senior co-op class with Mrs. Rossi. I love her! Cindy Hasrie: I’ll miss not having to take responsibility for most of what I did wrong.

Federal Mortgage Offers Senior Citizens A Reverse Mortgage


or some 33 years now, Anthony A. Accavallo, shown here, has been helping make the American Dream become a reality, right here in Clifton. As President of Federal Mortgage & Investment Corp. at 1111 Clifton Ave., Clifton, he and his firm have written millions of dollars worth of mortgages which have allowed people to purchase homes. And while that work has been fulfilling, Accavallo said he is getting his greatest satisfaction these days by helping senior citizens with reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a special kind of mortgage loan for seniors. “It is a safe, easy way to turn your home equity into tax-free cash,” he continued. “Unlike a home equity loan, you do not

have to make monthly payments. Instead, a reverse mortgage pays you. More importantly, you do not have to repay the loan for as long as you live in the house. It’s a great way to keep your home and get money from it at the same time.” The name “reverse mortgage” describes exactly what the mortgage is — it is the exact opposite of a conventional mortgage. That is, with a conventional mortgage the borrower pays the lender but with a reverse mortgage, the lender pays the borrower. In the past, a senior citizen in need of money would have to take out a loan against their house and immediately start making monthly payments again or sell their home. But a reverse mortgage allows seniors to borrow against the equity they

How do I qualify for a Reverse Mortgage? It’s simple. You and your co-borrower must be at least 62 years old. You must own your home free and clear or have just a small balance on your existing mortgage. Best of all, there are no income or credit requirements to satisfy. How can I receive my money? You can receive it in several ways: •Equal monthly payments as long as you live in your home •Equal monthly payments for a certain period of time •As a line of credit you can draw upon as needed, for whatever reasons •As a lump sum draw at closing •A combination of the above, to meet your requirements. When must I repay the loan? You must repay the loan if you no longer live in your home. In the event of your death, your heirs can choose to repay the loan and keep the house or sell the house and repay the loan, What are interest rate charges & fees? •An adjustable rate of interest is charged on reverse mortgages •Closing costs are typical for any mortgage closing and all may be financed •No out-of-pocket expenses at closing Are Reverse Mortgages safe? •Yes, FHA and FannieMae guarantee the payments you receive •FHA and FannieMae also guarantee you will never owe more than your house is worth — no debt left on estate

already have in their home... and they never have to make a monthly payment. Each reverse mortgage candidate is required to attend a free counseling session with a local independent housing agency approved by FHA (Federal Housing Administration). Candidates are encouraged to bring other family members with them to help in the decision-making process. “This process ensures that the borrower understands the program fully and aides them in determining whether or not a reverse mortgage is for them,” said Accavallo.

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What will you miss least about CHS?

Beata Bodyziak: Sitting through DASH with Mr. Spota. Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Spota is a wonderful teacher. He taught me well and truly prepared me for calculus. However, DASH is just a major bombshell to deal with. Belinda Rosario: I won’t miss staying up late last minute to finish a project then in the morning forgetting it and getting those ten points off my grade. Brianna Coyle: The drama. Although no matter where I go there will be drama, at least I won’t have to listen to it in the halls of CHS. Connie Musleh: Zero period and doing all my school work. Karly Maliniak: Not having to be at school by 7 am everyday. Alexander Evangelakos: Waking up so early to make it to zero period on time and the overcrowding.

Jessica Giganti: Getting pushed through an oncoming crowd of people by another crowd of people. Karen Bejarano: I probably won’t miss the crowded halls in between periods and I will definitely not miss waking up at 5 am to go to zero period on time. LeeAnn Iapicca: Waking up at 5:30 am and trying to find parking that’s not a mile away. Maryann Choy-Ames: Walking through ridiculously crowded halls. Jody McIntosh: The crowded hallways and having to wear four year old ID pictures. Jane Martinez: I won’t miss all of the people shoving in the hallways. Lisa Hojnacki: Waking up so early for zero period is the one thing I’ll miss least. Hearing Mrs. Rossi talk about work at 7 am won’t be anything to cry about missing!

Sarah Bekheet: I think the rest of the class of 2006 will support me when I say that I will not miss the highlighter-yellow lanyards we’ve worn since ninth grade, waking up early for zero period, trying to survive the South wing intersections and the smell when approaching the locker rooms!

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June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Jessica Giganti

Pat Ferry

Chris Toedler: Waking up early and doing the same thing over and over everyday. I won’t miss all the high school drama either. Chandrel Lee: Crowded hallways. Diane Szaflarski: Writing for AP English...crowded intersections. Marissa Amelio: The only thing I will not miss about CHS is the congested hallways. Anthony Shackil: Being late to class because I got “mugged” in the South intersection. It is so difficult to get through the hallways as it is, let alone in only three minutes. Carmela Zoccali: All of the crowded hallways. Lauren McKay: It was always such a hassle just to change classes, so it would be nice not to travel through such a mosh pit anymore. Brian Smith: The crowded hallways the least. Even though I rarely used them, they still were the topic of many conversations.

Anothony Shackil

Priscilla Balan: Crowded halls! Jaclyn Saltamachia: Getting to the senior parking lot before 6:30 am in order to get a spot. Richard Ossa: The South wing intersection, fitness days and all the long research papers. Christine Karabetsos: Waking up at 5:30 am for zero period and the crowded intersections. Ewelina Krzywinska: The sound of the passing bell and the regiment of following the school rules. Megan Maletich: I will miss the crowded hallways the least. Christopher Maxwell: The tests and quizzes. Sasha Cordero: Crowded hallways. Michael Garbrandt: Getting up early for zero period class! Colleen Hughes: That awful smell in the East wing stairwell. Cindy Hasrie: I won’t miss being treated like I’m in jail. I’ll finally have more freedom.

Chandrel Lee

Matthew Meade

Matthew Meade: The jam-packed hallways. Shannon Van Beveren: Petty drama. Too many people are too worried about everyone else’s business. I am ready to get away from all this “Who kissed who’s boyfriend and “How come I wasn’t invited to that party” stuff. Roxanne Jensen: Zero period. I’m glad that I’ll be able to sleep some more in college. Joseph Alvarez: Crowded halls. Sara Can: I won’t miss how crowded the entire school is! Ferdous Thabatah: Doing homework, writing essays and staying up all night preparing for a test. Pat Ferry: The crowded hallways. Alicia Alejandro: The lunchrooms...I really didn’t like the food. Kristina Gorgovski: The homework, essays and tests. Tylencia Selph: Ohhh.. those crowded hallways. 1040

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Do What You Want J ––––––––––– Story by Alicia Feghhi –––––––––––

ohn Salierno adhered to his mantra throughout his years at Clifton High School: “Don’t try to be like everybody else. Do what you want.” Salierno, 18, has been doing just that. His CHS career consisted of playing on the basketball and tennis teams and joining the Italian club. He expanded his go-getting attitude even outside of CHS. For the past three years Salierno has been playing the trumpet for the Bloomfield Youth Band. He also is as an active member of the Hemophilia Association of New Jersey (HANJ), which has awarded him a $1,000 scholarship. Salierno was diagnosed with hemophilia, a bleeding disorder, when he was 13. People diagnosed with hemophilia have problems with blood-clotting factors, which help stop bleeding after a cut or injury and are needed to prevent bleeding. He knew something was wrong when he felt a sharp pain in his hip. His family thought his heavy book bag was causing the problem. But the doctors did not know. “It scared my entire family because no one knew what was wrong,” he said. An orthopedic surgeon said Salierno just had a “bruised hip.” The doctor wrote a note to the teachers, suggesting that Salierno have a set of school books at home. Doctors thought that by not carrying his heavy book bag, it would relieve the bruised hip. After undergoing more tests, Salierno was told that he had hemophilia. He then joined the HANJ because “I wanted to help 36

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

John Salierno overcame some obstacles, did things his way and advises the next generation of Mustangs to do what they think is best for them.

kids who have hemophilia become motivated to keep doing what they like, and to never doubt themselves.” He always volunteers in events, especially sport outings. “I enjoy what I do and it feels good to help others,” he said. Hemophilia didn’t stop Salierno from pursuing his interests. “If I want to do something that I like, I’ll do it. I don’t want to let anything get in my way,” he said. In

the summer before going into sophomore year, he went to a basketball camp with the intention to make the team. However, he sprained his ankle and was hospitalized for quite some time. “It was disappointing because I really wanted to play basketball,” he said. In October, Salierno injured his psoas major, a muscle that flexes the hip and is essential for sitting and walking.


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He re-injured it in December while shoveling snow, which caused him to stay home until February. “I had to stay in the hospital and at home,” Salierno said. “I missed seeing my friends and playing sports.” Just when Salierno thought the medication would work, it backfired. His hands and shins were swollen because of the medication. “My body would fight the medicine by producing antibodies,” he said. Though Salierno was out of school from March until the end of the school year, he was still learning. He taught himself to play piano and learned Italian with the help of his father, John Sr., a retired Spanish and Italian teacher at Passaic Valley High School. Now a realtor at Weichert, John Sr. said the Passaic County Board of Realtors awarded his son a $3,000 scholarship.

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“He sets a good example in sportsmanship for the kids on his team,” John Sr. said of the reason for the award. “He persevered and is active and has the same skills and abilities as the rest of his teammates.” Salierno credits his solid determination to helping him make the basketball team in his junior year. He remembers how he felt on the first game of that new season. “I was so nervous. I haven’t played in so long,” he said. “But I scored 24 points.” Salierno has also competed in tennis at the varsity level and served as the team’s captain this past season. Now he is acing in tennis as an instructor at USA Tennis in Parsippany. He plans to compete at the Division I level at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. “It’s better to take a chance than not try at all,” he said. Though Salierno is undecided in regards to a major at St. Peter’s, he would like to teach either Italian or Spanish in high school, just like his dad. John Sr. said his son’s biggest accomplishment is that he never felt sorry for himself. “He could have not tried out for sports,” he said. “He acted as though there was nothing wrong with him. He didn’t want any pity. He made the best out of every situation.” Salierno overcame many obstacles as a teenager. He is determined not to let any doubts get in his way in the future. “I just keep going, keep trying and keep believing,” he said. “There’s no other way.”

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Share your favorite CHS memory...

Joseph Alvarez: Getting picked by my peers to be a part of the 2005 homecoming court. Alicia Alejandro: Being nominated for Homecoming. It was fun and I had a great time. Karen Bejarano: Being voted onto the Student Council. It was very exciting and a lot of fun. Michael Garbrandt: Winning the Dr. Earl Horner Cup with the hockey team. Belinda Rosario: Junior year when I donated blood for the first time. I was very overwhelmed and surprised to see all the students donating blood. I was very nervous at first but when I got there, I forgot about it and donated. it felt good knowing that there are people in CHS who really care.

LeeAnn Iapicca: Being a Varsity cheerleader captain, along with my best friend Karly Maliniak, as well as a part of the CAST program. Brianna Coyle: I have been playing since I was five years old and it definitely paid off. During my senior, I was selected as captain and will truly miss playing soccer at Clifton High School. Anthony Shackil: In my last game as a Clifton lacrosse player we played Millburn. We lost in triple OT but the memory will last forever. I love you guys. Matthew Meade: Having my own CHS-TV show on Monday nights. I also can’t forget about the time when we beat Kennedy in football 36-35 after we were losing pretty bad in the first quarter. Cindy Hasrie: CAST class with all my friends and my favorite teachers, Mr. McCunney and Mr. Dixon.

Alexander Evangelakos: Going to the prom last year and playing volleyball freshman and sophomore years. Roxanne Jensen: Freshman year in K-5, when my friend Julie was eating a blue PixieStick and started laughing. There was blue powder everywhere, it was hilarious.

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Share your favorite CHS memory...

Richard Ossa: Definitely the “powder incident.” That day, I was stuck in lab the whole morning because of the school lock down. Shannon Van Beveren: My sophomore year, when I met all of my friends. It’s funny how high school changes everybody and how all your friends change fast. I met my two best friends at CHS. Beata Bodyziak: The thing I loved about high school was getting to see all of my friends under one roof. Walking the halls in between classes was a quick catch up for everyone. Oh, and of course, I’ll never forget trying to always hide my cell phone in class. That was the best! Everyone always used text messages to talk during class. Also, when I think about track, I’m going to miss throwing. Another favorite memory was winning the League title for javelin.

Sara Can: My junior year lunch. I loved my table. I’ll miss you all! Megan Maletich: Cheering at the Friday night varsity football games. Maryann Choy-Ames: Being interviewed by The Herald News reporter regarding my classes at Montclair State University. Christopher Maxwell: Junior prom.

Priscilla Balan: My involvement in the EMT course. Three days a week, we would go to the Passaic County Community College Public Safety Academy in Wayne. I met some wonderful people and we would became close friends. Jody McIntosh: Mrs. Tobey’s biology class during my sophomore year with Nancy, Susan, Margaret and Lima. It was like being with Ms. Frizzle on the Magic School Bus.

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Chris Toedler: My friends, they were a big part of all my memories, none of which would have been possible without them. Colleen Hughes: Finding a way to do the minimal amount of work in gym without getting yelled. Lisa Hojnacki: Playing for the volleyball team all four years and being named captain. This year, we weren’t just a team, but a family, which developed through the season. Karly Maliniak: Cheerleading at the Thanksgiving Day game and breaking the victory bell with the rest of the Varsity squad. Jessica Giganti: Senior year, when I made distinguished honors for the first time ever. I got into the Academic Awards Society too. Jane Martinez: Sophomore year art class. We painted my friend’s face and made her walk through the halls to her next class. Vanessa Sacoto: The 04-05 volleyball season. I went to every home game to root for the boys. Also, being soccer manager for the boys Varsity soccer team four years in a row with my best friend Tina Rossi. Diane Szaflarski: The band trip to Washington D.C. sophomore year. Brian Smith: Performing at Giants Stadium as a Marching Mustang. Chandrel Lee: Hanging out with my friends in the morning.

Marissa Amelio: Managing the Clifton baseball team. The players were good athletes and great guys. Lauren McKay: The band trips to Washington, Quebec, when we played on MTV for TRL during my freshman year, as well the halftime show at Giants Stadium. Many of my favorite memories were at the Clifton Stadium when we played the pre-game and half time shows. Christine Karabetsos: Taking driving lessons with Mr. Randazzo. Sasha Cordero: Making the cheerleading squad for the 05-06 year. Jaclyn Saltamachia: The softball team’s Senior year trip to Disneyland. Sarah Bekheet: The lockdown during my sophomore year. I was in the air-conditioned media center. Kristina Gorgovski: Talking with my friends in the halls and being an anchor on the morning news. Ferdous Thabatah: Mornings spent with my friends in Central wing. Tylencia Selph: Winning Counties in bowling three years straight. Connie Musleh: Winter track when I threw a 35’5” and it was my best so far. Having my friends and coaches cheering me on felt great. Coming in first was awesome too. Carmela Zoccali: Hanging out on the stairs before school. Pat Ferry: Scoring my first goal as a defenseman in lacrosse.

Cwelina Krzywinska: The day when God sent me a wonderful person who brought sunshine into my life and changed it forever. I always thought that I was inferior to others just because I am disabled. I never really had any friends to talk to or hang out with. Until one day, when Sonia Cardona was assigned to me as an aide. Step by step she was changing me for the better in her magical way, encouraging me and pushing me forward. Without her help, I wouldn’t have that confidence that I have now. No longer running away from people, I can look back into their eyes. Meeting Sonia was my most memorable moment.

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What is your greatest achievement?

Stephany Antonio: Making my parents proud. Attending school and always upholding my good grades made them very happy. Graduating high school is a big achievement because I am now moving to another chapter in my life and they are proud of that. Sunny Kasabwala: Running at the NJ State Group meet and breaking 19 minutes on the 5k course for the first time, with a time of 18:54.08. Christina Santiago: Being selected to go to Iceland, Florida and Carnegie Hall with the Concert Choir and being named to the Distinguished Honor Roll the past four years, as well as being selected to the National Honor Roll.

Bowen Walsh: Finally getting a lead role as Sky in “Guys and Dolls” was huge for me. Making National Honor Society was also a big deal, as well as beating out my brother in the trumpet section in band for the first time. However, probably the most important thing to me over the last 12 years was remaining a true individual. 44

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Colleen Hughes: Graduating in the top five percent of the class. Vanessa Marie Vasquez: Meeting my friends and passing with good grades. I learned new things from many different people, which made me into the person who I am today. Kevin Guinto: Playing at the CHS Star Showcase with my band, CaucAsia. We practiced hard, overcame our fears and played an amazing show. Kristal Pratt: Believing in myself and actually succeeding. Jamie Leather: Getting into Temple University. Normalys Santana: Working hard every year and finally graduating. Neena Gupta: Being able to graduate high school. Cynthia Hasrie: Achieving more than anyone ever expected me to do.

Sage Walsh: Making my way into Region Band and New Jersey All State Ban was a truly flattering experience for me. Also, having the opportunity to play along side my brother in “Guys and Dolls” was very cool.

Amanda La Forgia: Making the Distinguished Honor Roll for all four years of high school. Angie Diaz: Maintaining high academic grades, making Honor Roll in every school year and having the privilege of being nominated for other academic awards. Lauren McKay: It would have to be scoring in the top five for the auditions in the flute section of the Mustang Marching Band. Megan Maletich: Making great friendships and being on the cheerleading squad all four years. Marivic Cubero: Being elected to the Student Council in my junior and senior years. Christine Karabetsos: Studying hard and attaining good grades so I would be able to further my studies in college. Alicia Alejandro: Passing each and every grade and just turning out to be the way I am today. Kristina Gorgovski: Graduating on the Clifton Stadium field. Jorge Aponte: Almost getting on the Honor Roll in my senior year because of hard work and being able to buy my own car.

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Christopher Donini: Becoming the starting goalie on the 2006 hockey team that won the County Tournament, the Division Title and Division Playoffs, as well as receiving 1st Team All-League and AllCounty, 2nd Team All-North Jersey and 3rd Team All-Public honors. Vanessa Overhoff: Getting through high school and just growing up. It has been a crazy experience and I am happy to have made it so far. Lauren Jane Geier: Finding my love for literature and writing. When I was younger, I didn’t like reading and/or writing at all. However, after years of school, I realized that spreading stories through writing, sharing life lessons and just sharing the written word is wonderful, at least in my eyes. Diane Szaflarski: Beating Kristen Crawford from Kennedy for the first time to win the League meet in cross country this year. Ushma Patel: Being inducted into the National Honor Society and making the Distinguished Honor Roll at CHS all four years. Stephanie Janjetovic: Actually passing my Italian class. Jacklyn DeMuro: Getting into the college of my dreams, the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in New York City. Nina Naydenova: Finally graduating and getting into a good college.

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Yesenia Mendoza: Always getting good grades so that I never had to go to summer school. Mateusz Kacrymski: It hasn’t happened yet but will happen very soon, when I graduate on the field. Nancy Aguilar: Being accepted to every school I applied to and finally figuring out what I want to do with my life. Angela Zarate: Obtaining all the skills I need to be a successful person.

Lauren Spagnuolo: The time I’ve dedicated to dancing at the Dance World Academy, as well as the past five years I’ve spent as an assistant dance teacher. I can’t help but smile each time I think about how I began dancing even before starting pre-school. Another one of my personal achievements has been finishing 9th in the CHS class of 2006. Jade Kolatsky: Becoming a mother, being able to succeed and graduate.

Ashley Terhune: Making Honor Roll the first two marking periods of senior year and getting into college with a softball scholarship after my dad died in September.

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Andrea Ormeno: Being able to attain good grades every year. Nelson Carrero Jr.: While the last 12 years of school in Clifton have been filled with academic success, senior year was perhaps my greatest achievement. With the coming of Prom, sending out college applications, decisions that had to be made and all of the work that must be done before graduation, school became slightly overbearing. However, I felt my greatest achievement was sticking with my school work and honestly putting forth effort, even when my body thought I should do otherwise. One of the biggest parts would have to be biology AP class, which although fascinating, was at the same time extremely strenuous. The last year has been crazy, but now the end is here and I know I’ll miss the noisy hallways, teachers, friends and those memory filled walls. Sara Can: Surviving CHS..

Meet the CHS Top10 ––––––––––– Story by Joseph R. Torelli ––––––––––– It seems as if everyone has a Top 10 list these days. While most of them are based on public opinion and popular taste, ours is different; our list of the Top Ten CHS graduating seniors has been determined by hard statistical data. But even though it is based in fact, we think your opinion will be that these outstanding young Clifton students truly are the best of 2006.

Christina Atiya Class valedictorian, Christina Atiya, is as committed to her community and fellow students as she is to her studies. She continues to be an active campaigner for a new school annex and, despite an enormous academic workload, has volunteered more than 400 hours at the Clifton Public Library, Hamilton House Museum, the summer music camp at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, and at St. Mary’s Hospital during her four years as a CHS student. Christina is also actively involved in the congregational life of her church. The former School 14 student has won numerous academic awards, including Chemistry Student of the Year, the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science award, and has been inducted into the National Honor Society. She will attend Columbia University this fall where she will major in Biological Sciences.

Roxinne Templanuevo A career in pharmaceutical science is Roxinne’s dream as she prepares to enter Rutgers University in September. A gifted musician, this year’s class Salutatorian was named Concertmaster for the CHS string quartet in the 10th grade and has been active in a host of academic clubs and organizations, including the Knights of Pythagoras, the Academic Decathlon, the Math League, the Science League, the CHS Orchestra, and the Conservation Club. Roxinne has also spent 140 hours volunteering at PBI Regional Medical Center during the past three years. Among her academic achievements, she was named the CHS Biology Student of the Year as a sophomore, was inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and has been named to the Distinguished Honor Roll.

From left, on a recent rainy day at Clifton High, Christopher Donini, Christina Atiya, Laryssa Patti, Rebecca Weiss and Roxinne Templanuevo. June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


From left, Nisha Mirani, Lauren Spagnuolo, Anna Kata, Nina Naydenova and Matt Barrett.

Rebecca Weiss In addition to being ranked third in the CHS Academic Top 10, Rebecca is an outstanding athlete who was named Captain of the CHS cross country, indoor, and outdoor track teams during her senior year. Her academic achievements are just as stellar. Besides being named to the Distinguished Honor Roll for four years, Rebecca is a member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honors Society, is a National Merit Commended Student, and has been named an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar. She also manages to stay involved in community activities, volunteering at the Literacy Outreach Program in Paterson. A former Peer Tutor at CHS, and Reading Partners volunteer at the Clifton Public Library, Rebecca will attend Wesleyan University in the fall where she will major in American Studies.

Christopher Donini Christopher, who finished in a dead-heat with fellow senior Laryssa Patti for fourth place among the 2006 graduating class, was recently named CHS Scholar Athlete of the Year. An avid skater, he was an all-coun48

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

ty and all-league goal tender on the CHS ice hockey team and was named one of the New Jersey’s top five high school goaltenders by the Star Ledger. His school activities included membership in the Knights of Pythagoras, the Science League, the Math League, the Asian Studies Club, the Academic Decathlon, and the Student Council, where he served as Recording Secretary during his senior year. A Distinguished Honor Roll member for four years, the National Honor Society and Spanish national Honor Society inductee will attend Cornell University in September where he will major in Industrial Labor Relations with an eye towards a career as a professional sports agent.

Laryssa Patti Laryssa is as proud of her Ukrainian heritage as she is of her accomplishments as a CHS graduating senior. She was a group leader and camp counselor for PLAST, a Ukrainian scouting organization, and was valedictorian at the Ukrainian School of Lesia Ukrainka, which she attended on weekends for 12 years. An avid volleyball enthusiast, Laryssa was team manager for the CHS varsity volleyball team for three years. She was also

active in the Knights of Pythagoras, the Math League, the Science League, the KEY Club, and the Botany Club while at CHS, and won gold and bronze medals in the US Academic Decathlon. Laryssa was inducted into both the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society. She will attend Rutgers in the fall as a pre-med major.

Anna Kata Yale University will be Anna’s academic home for the next four years as she pursues a degree in Biology while preparing for medical school. She has already gained both practical and academic experience in medicine through her participation in the Columbia University Science Honors Program where she excelled in courses in Organic Chemistry, Neurobiology, and Anatomy, and through her many hours of volunteer service at PBI Hospital in Passaic. Anna also represented CHS in Science League competition in biology and chemistry and worked after school as a pharmacy technician for CVS. When not actively participating in science-related endeavors, the National Honor Society inductee and National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist played cello in the school orchestra and participated in the student exchange program, where she attended Greensward College in England for two weeks while enjoying London and Cambridge.

Nisha Mirani A passion for the arts motivated Nisha to found and direct the first-ever Poetry and Writing Club at CHS in 2004. An accomplished writer, this talented senior was selected to participate in New York University’s Urban Journalism Workshop, took first place honors in both the New Jersey State Theater Alliance poetry contest and the Clifton Youth Week poetry contest, and was chosen as editor of the National Youth Poetry and Art Anthology, a publication of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Nisha has been inducted into both the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society, and was a member of the Botany Club at CHS, while also participating in the Literacy Outreach Program. She will pursue a career in writing after attending Brown University where she will major in English and Modern Culture and Media.

Nina Naydenova Nina’s talent in mathematics has been evident throughout her high school career, most notably as she won first prize in problem solving while a member of the Knights of Pythagoras, and earned a number of 2nd and 3rd place finishes in Math League competition. It seems only natural, then, that she will major in Mathematics when she attends Boston University in September. Besides her interest in math, Nina has a flair for


June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


foreign languages and is involved in the arts. She is currently studying French with a private tutor and has taken lessons in Bulgarian language and literature. She also plays piano and flute and is an avid dancer. Among her academic accomplishments, Nina has been named to the Distinguished Honor Roll for four years, won 2 bronze medals in the Academic Decathlon, and was inducted into the National Honor Society.

Lauren Spagnuolo Looking back at Lauren’s four years at CHS, it is hard to imagine how she achieved such an outstanding academic record while maintaining such a busy schedule. Among her many activities, Lauren played violin in the CHS orchestra, was President of both the Knights of Pythagoras and the French Club, participated in the Math League and the Science League, was a member of Conservation Club and the Junior Engineering Technical Society, worked on the school’s literary magazine, and tutored her fellow students. She also attended Dance World Academy for 15 years and was a student dance teacher for five. A US Achievement Award winner and National Honor Society inductee, Lauren has been accepted to Stevens Institute in Hoboken where she will concentrate on studies in mathematics and scientific research.

Matt Barrett A career in film-making is Matt’s goal as he enters Ithaca College where he will major in Film and Cinema this fall. The highly competitive CHS CAST program, in which he participated, provided him with invaluable experience for his chosen profession as he produced videos for the annual school film festival and co-produced TV shows on Clifton’s local cable channel. A fine athlete as well as a gifted student, Matt ran indoor track as a sophomore and played varsity baseball as a junior and senior. In his spare time, he tutored at the Clifton Public Library, was a youth minister at St. Paul’s Church, and a volunteer for the Clifton Recreation Department. Matt was named to the Distinguished Honor Roll all four years at CHS, was named an Edward J. Bloustein Scholar, and was inducted into the National Honor Society.

CHS Top 10 Facts • Eight of this year’s CHS Top 10 students attended Woodrow Wilson Middle School, while two are proud alumni of Christopher Columbus Middle School. • Three are outstanding student athletes; one all-county hockey player, one captain of the cross-country and indoor and outdoor track teams, and one varsity baseball player.. • Combined, they applied to more than 30 colleges. Four have been accepted to Ivy League schools, while the others will attend outstanding colleges in New Jersey, Connecticut, Boston, and upstate New York. 50

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Where will you be in 2015?

Lauren Jane Geier: In truth, I hope to still be alive and healthy. By then, I would like to be an English teacher/creative writing teacher at the high school level, because I had so much fun here in those courses, especially with Mr. Notari, and I’m sure others are just as willing to learn. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even be married by then, which is a scary thought. Jacklyn DeMuro: Hopefully living in a beautiful house, with a great job and a wonderful husband. Amanda La Forgia: Teaching in a school system and being the best teacher I can be. Kevin Guinto: Hopefully I will be a chemistry teacher at Clifton High School. Christine Karabetsos: I’ll be a teacher somewhere in the Clifton School system.

Nathalie Toxtli: I will be traveling across the globe to visit some of the world’s major fashion cities. Stephany Antonio: If everything goes well, I will be either finished or nearly done with school and hopefully working as a psychologist. I will be someone that will help the community and other countries in any way possible. Angie Diaz: I will be working for a federal agency and hopefully going for my masters in Criminal Justice. I will most likely have a house of my own and be just married. Jennifer Lozy: I’ll hopefully have a successful job, a hot boyfriend and a lot of money. Vanessa Marie Vasquez: Living somewhere in New Jersey, having just finished my Masters. Hopefully, I will have a house of my own and married with children.

Alicia Alejandro: I see myself as being very successful, having already started my career in the police department as a narcotics officer. I will be on the streets, making the world a better place by keeping drugs out of kids’ hands.. Vincent Cordi: Probably at a graduate school, where I will be going for my degree in Law.

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Normalys Santana: If I’m lucky, I’ll be certified as a Spanish and History teacher and married with a family. George Pipala: Graduated college and going to the Police Academy. Marivic Cubero: Hopefully I will be engaged and I will own my own restaurant in New York City. Winiris De Moya: Working for the World Trade Organization. Ashley Terhune: Teaching after receiving my Masters. I will be engaged, able to support myself. Nelson Carrero Jr.: I’ll be turning 26. It’s difficult to tell where I’ll be. I’m hoping that I can do research outside of the country. Perhaps, I’ll be in the UK. Maybe, I’ll decide to stay in the States. Married? Maybe. I might even still be in school for a Doctorate degree. It all depends on the circumstances that arise and decisions I make as they come. Regardless of what happens in the near future, I’ll eventually be back in Clifton, my beloved hometown.

Christina Santiago

Vincent Cordi

Where will you be in 2015? Diane Szaflarski: I will be married and raising a family on my ranch in the country while being employed as a chemical engineer. Mateusz Kacrymski: Married and living happily with my family. Akaifia Johnson: I will probably be married, with a beautiful family and a great job. Sunny Kasabwala: Working at a business or in the banking industry. Richard Ossa: Hopefully working for a prestigious company and traveling around the world. Andrea Ormeno: Working as a nurse, a job that I love. Sara Can: I’ll be a CHS art teacher. Jorge Aponte: I’ll be happily married and owning my own business and house, God willing. Cynthia Husrie: If I’m lucky, I will be making more money than I can handle.

Joseph DeSomma: I’m not sure yet. Hopefully, I will be doing audio/visual work at a television station in the area. If that does not work out, I may become a Clifton policeman. Over the years, this has become a career path I have seriously considered. I would love to serve my hometown. Nina Naydenova: I will be living in New York City, where I will be working in the United Nations, dealing with international business relations. Christina Santiago: If all goes well, I will be working as a doctor and be married with children. Neena Gupta: Working somewhere as a photographer. Christopher Donini: Working in a law firm or as a sports agent in NYC. Ushma Patel: I’d like to think that I would be married and making a lot of money.

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Megan Maletich: Working on producing a show at MTV studios, . Yesenia Mendoza: I see myself working in a hospital as a medical assistant while starting a family. Bowen Walsh: I would like to be in a professional orchestra or other ensemble, but the future is a funny thing. I’ll see what comes my way and roll with the punches. Stephanie Janjetovic: I’ll have found a good job and will be married with one kid, a nice home and a car. Nancy Aguilar: Hopefully engaged and entering school again for my Masters in psychology. Vanessa Overhoff: I’ll be a seasoned hair dresser and will have my own salon. I will also be married with two kids and living quite comfortably. We are the class of 2006, the future depends on us. David Gabel: I see myself graduating from MSU and starting my own touring business, traveling the country with bands and singers. Krystal Pratt: Owning my own upscale spa somewhere. I will be encouraging high school students that dreams do come true. Jane Martinez: I will be a well known designer and I’ll be married to a rich man. Helen Espailla: Hopefully, I will have my Masters and a good job, as well as a husband and a big house with children. Lauren Spagnuolo: I hope to have attained my Doctorate Degree. Angela Zarate: I will be in my own Dentist office. Jamie Leather: I will be on my way to becoming a student assistance counselor while hopefully starting a family of my own. Vinod Rajan: Hopefully finished with grad school and in pursuit of my career as a dentist or a teacher.

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What will you be doing this summer?

Rob Young: This summer should be the best one yet. I will be spending a majority of my time with friends before I head off to college and into the real world. I’ll be at the shore, Six Flags and maybe even England. Aside from fun and games, I also plan on working and trying to earn every last penny I can before heading off to school. Amanda Jaskot: During my last three months in Clifton, I plan on spending a lot of time with my friends and boyfriend before I have to pack up and move away to college. Other than that, I plan on using a lot of time relaxing and just enjoying the summer.

Elizabeth Sinski: I will be working full time at BDE Computer Services, as well as life guarding on weekends.

Matthew Shumko: Working and hanging out with family and friends. Jennalynn Pizzimenti: I plan to take summer courses at MSU. I will also enjoy time with my friends and family by going to the beach and on vacation. Emily Zawicki: Taking summer courses at Albright College. In August, I will be down the shore with my mom and dad and little brother. I’ll also hang out with my friends and my boyfriend. Megan Maletich: I plan to continue working throughout this summer. I’ll also get plenty of relaxing in, as well as finding time to hang out with all of my friends before everyone leaves for college. Sara Can: I will get a part time job but I want to spend time with everyone from the class of 2006. David Michelotti: I’ll be working and going down the shore with my girlfriend and my friends. Alicia Alejandro: Working most of the summer so that I have money for books in the fall. Krystal Pratt: Working until August when school starts, then I’ll have to balance school and work. Masood Khan: Just chilling out and relaxing all summer long. Vanessa Sacoto: I will be working at Alexus Steakhouse & Tavern, as well as trying to hang out with my closest friends as much as possible before they head out to college.

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June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Anthony Marrone: I will spend my summer saving up for college at my places of employment: Best Buy and the Clifton Police Department. I will vacation with my family at Cape Cod. Kristina Gorgovski: Spending as much time as I can with my friends before everyone goes their separate ways. In addition, I plan to go to Florida with my family to relax and savor my memories. Taking a lot of pictures this summer is a must! Somewhere along the line I will find some time to work. Shannon McCracken: I will be taking summer courses at John Jay College. I will also spend a lot of time at the beach with my friends. Nabila Ammar: I’ll be working and spending time with friends before everyone leaves for school. Jennifer Lozy: Working at Colonial Pharmacy and spending time with friends down the shore. Vinod Rajan: Work, hang out with friends, sleep, repeat. Lauren McKay: I definitely will be spending some time at the beach with friends. I’ll also be working at the Allwood Bakery, as well as just lying around and relaxing.

Wendy Ortega: I have many plans for this summer, including work and taking a real estate course. I will also be spend time with my family and friends from high school. Kristin Reisinger: Working at the Clifton Pool as a life guard over the summer. Other than that, I will spend much of the summer at the beach with all my friends before we all go off to college. Allison Austin: I’ll be working all summer at Notchview Pediatrics, but I will also be getting together with my best friends to just chill and relax. Also, I will spend a week in California with my parents and three younger sisters, Sarah, Elizabeth and Emily. Teila Krahn: I plan on relaxing a bit this summer before starting college. I also plan on participating in a summer girl’s lacrosse league and gain some more experience before eventually playing for my school. Ferdous Thabatah: Going to Michigan for a while after graduation and then I will start preparing for school in September. Jacqueline Nigro: During the summer, I plan on working as a hostess a few days a week, as well spending time with my friends and my family on vacation. Dana Czerwinski: I plan on spending as much time with my friends before we all go off to college. I will also visit Florida this summer.

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he month of June has many happy occasions. Graduations, weddings, anniversaries and Father’s day. A gift of jewelry is an everlasting token for the person celebrating a special event this month. Morre Lyons has gifts for the bride and groom as well as the wedding parties, Dad and graduates. In addition to jewelry, we have many Swarovski pieces to fit your needs. Ebel has introduced a new and exciting watch called the “Brazilia”. Top model Giselle is gracing the advertisements. Come in and take a look. White gold continues to be the dominant choice, however yellow gold is seeing a resurgence in it’s popularity. Don’t forget our stunning sterling silver pieces, which we add to our inventory on a regular basis. Remember sterling silver comes in all designs from the classic to the fanciful and is appropriate for all ages and occasions. What do these soup flavors have in common? Chowder, Bisque, Black Bean, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin and Minestrone? They are the newest and most exciting colors of cultured freshwater pearls by Honora. Colored pearls are the hottest thing on the runways this spring. Pearls go with everything and can be worn for any occasion. Please take care of your pearls - they are porous and can be damaged if you spray perfume or hairspray while wearing them so remember, pearls should be the last thing you put on. June has two birthstones to pick from and they are pearl and Alexandrite. The pearl is the oldest gem known to man, for centuries it has been a symbol of purity, wisdom, beauty and wealth. Alexandrite is one of the most fascinating gemstones because it actually changes color from green in daylight to red in incandescent light. Have a joyous June and we’ll talk to you next month.

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Karly Maliniak: I will be spending lots of time with my family and friends, going down the shore and just having a good time before I have to leave for school. Suzanne Czyzewski: When I’m not on vacation with my family, I will be spending as much time as humanly possible with all my high school friends since I probably won’t have the chance to see them once September comes.

Diane Szaflarski: Working a little bit, then I will be enjoying the rest of my summer with my friends before everyone leaves for college. I will also be training to run for the SHU cross country team in the fall. Jane Martinez: I will be working Monday through Friday, but after work and on weekends, I will be going out and having a fun time with friends and family. I will also visit California and Florida.

Stephanie Colangelo: Although I’m working, I will still find time to go down the shore with friends and family and enjoy the warm weather. I will also be going to Russia for dance.




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Colleen Kalan: Besides working, I will be spending time with my friends going down the shore and having as much fun as possible on those crazy Jersey summer nights. Dennis Yosco: Working somewhere full time to make money. On day’s off, I will be down the shore. Tiffany Eusebio: I’ll spend most of my free time with my family and close friends. The summer of your senior year only happens once. I will cherish the memories made, especially during my transition to my first college semester. Jessica Changsao: Right after graduation, I will be on a three week vacation to the Philippines and Thailand with my parents and my sister... my first plane ride. Lauren Spagnuolo: I need to find a job! But more importantly, I need to find some time to relax and be with my boyfriend, Bryant, who is going away for college.

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Jessica Cornett: I’ll be working at the Caldwell Community Center, where I teach swimming lessons. On weekends, I will be at my shore house with my family. I’ll also be a life guard this summer. Vincent Cordi: I will be doing a whole lot of work because I need the money. I’m also going away to Mexico and will be down the shore a lot with all my friends before they go away to school. Daniela Vitale: I’ll be visiting Italy again with my family to visit relatives and friends. Patricia Vorela: Working at an orthodontist’s office for a month to earn some money. After that, I’m taking off for a month before school to going back to my country. Patrick Errico: Working part time, playing baseball and going down the shore with all my friends. Megan White: Working as a lifeguard at a Girl Scout camp.

Teila Krahn

Wendy Ortega

What’s up this Summer? Kyle Livesey: Participating in an internship program with Morgan Stanley, as well as Goldman Sachs. I’ll also be on vacation with my family and will find time to play a lot of music with my band. Richard Ossa: Working to save up as much money as possible for college. In my spare time, I will be going to the beach and to Six Flags with my close friends. I will have to say good bye to some of them, but we’re going to try to spend a lot of time together before we go our separate ways. Roxanne Jensen: This summer, I will be working and preparing for college. I will also be in Long Island, camping with my family. LeeAnn Iapicca: Spending time with my family and friends in Clifton and down the shore. I will also be working part time at the Clifton Little School.

Jacqueline Nigro

Allison Rooney: I will be working at Animal Emergency and Referral Associates as a full time assistant veterinary technician to save money for college. On my days off, I plan to spend as much time at the beach and with my friends as possible. And, of course, I will be doing plenty of relaxing. Christine Karabetsos: I’m going to Greece this summer with my family to see relatives and to relax and have a good time. Caitlin Lotorto: I have a new job with Nordstrom, working in the junior department called Brass Plum. I also am waiting to hear back from Liz Claiborne for an internship over the summer. Melisa Saternberger: I will be spending lots of time with my family and friends before going to college and meeting new people.

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Mixin’ It At Work ––––––––––– Story by Joe Hawrylko –––––––––––


he American Dream. This simple, little phrase can mean many different things depending on whom you ask. For many people, part of that dream is running your own prosperous business. Having said that, even with the countless new small businesses that open up annually, the number of entrepreneurs who actually enjoy success is well below 50 percent. In spite of the monumental odds placed in front of him, CHS senior David Gabel used a combination of hard work, organization and self discipline to establish Pulse Sound Systems—when he was just 14— which has been growing steadily ever since. “I just worked my way up slow and went from there,” the 17 year old said very nonchalantly. “Any kid can do what I do if they buy $10,000 in equipment on a loan from a bank, but it matters if you know how to do it and how to manage your business.” To make a career out of any field, you have to have a sincere interest in what you are doing. For Gabel, his first experience in his

David Gabel’s brother, Ryan, a CHS Sophomore, got his back when help is needed.

area of expertise was in during 7th grade in Woodrow Wilson Middle School, when he worked with the lighting and sound crew for a play at the school. After working with the crew for a few weeks leading up to the play, he became hooked.

Once he got to CHS, Gabel pursued his passion by joining the audio visual crew, which is how he ended up meeting the person who he now considers his mentor. “I met Chris Tekerian as a freshman while I was working at

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the CHS musical, Anything Goes. I helped him for the week of that play and he showed me the ropes,” explained Gabel. “Chris was the big step into me getting involved in starting my own business, because that’s how I got my first real experience right there.” After working the show with Tekerian, things began to take off. Gabel, a Marching Mustang, got his first solo gig working the CHS Band Bash. For the event, he managed to get by on what could be described best as a meager budget in the very expensive audio field. He invested $400 for his first set up, which included an amp and two portable speakers that he combined with stuff he already had. “It was ghetto,” Gabel laughed about his first set up. “But you got to get started somewhere. I got the gig through the band because they were trying to save money and knew that I was involved through CHS and asked me. Connections help.” A few more band gigs followed, as did other smaller events. Through word of mouth by the band and other customers, Gabel had built a small clientele. Eventually, all the marketing paid off and in the summer of of 2004, he landed his first major corporate gig at Repechage, a cosmetics company, where Gabel worked their annual party. “It was hardcore,” he laughed. “I got my first major upgrade for that show by putting over $700 into new

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My parents have been supportive yet critical,” Gabel explained. “They would ask me why I would put $2,000 into equipment...” speakers. I had to wear a tie and everything. It was a lot of fun though.” From there, Gabel began to get more serious with his work and also got more involved with live sound and lighting at local band shows. Business began picking up and he was putting more money into upgrading his system and at the same time, finding other ways to save money and make his business more professional. Gabel handles all of the financial aspects himself and invoices each client after the gig. He also saved himself a good deal of money by printing his own business cards, rather than purchasing them at Office Depot, which would have cost him $100. To complete the professional feel of Pulse Sound Systems, Gabel also has his own t-shirts, which he wears to work. “For working part-time, I’m doing pretty good for myself,” Gabel said with confidence. “I got myself a car and after that, I put all my money back into my bank account.” Yet, despite all his success, his parents still had their reservations about their son’s hobby turned business. After all, it does require quite a lot of money to stay up to date with the latest technology. “My parents have been supportive, yet critical,” Gabel explained. “They would ask me why I would put $2,000 into equipment, when I could spend it on a new car or save for something else.” Despite their concerns, it seems that Gabel is more than on the right track, as his clientele has grown exponentially. He has done work for many local gigs throughout the area—the Wayne Firehouse, a local hot spot for punk bands and the CHS Talent show—and has more events lined up over the next month. Yet, Gabel has not gotten ahead of himself, and knows that he still must get a degree, which is why, come September, he will be attending Montclair State, where he will study Technical Theatre. “Ultimately, I want to own my own touring company for bands as a stage coordinator for the show,” he said. “I know I’m not going to be there right away, but I’m moving towards it. I’m definitely going in the right direction.”


Where did you work? What did you learn?

Iris Gomez: I worked at the YMYWHA Community Center as an after school counselor for the day care center at the facility. Apart from the income I received for my services, the job gave me the opportunity to gain experience in working with young children. Andrea Ormeno: I worked two jobs, one at a Peruvian Bakery in Passaic and the second at a nutrition store in Passaic Park. George Pipala: During the school year, I worked at my mother’s restaurant, Teddy’s Catering. My favorite job was during the summer, when I work as a lifeguard. Natalie Cruz: My only job has been at Deluxe Cleaners on Main Ave., which is where I have been for a year. I work there to earn a little spending money. This is my first job and I enjoy working with all my co-workers.

Mark Bitar: At the Shoprite Pharmacy, where I worked as a technician and dispensed medication to the elderly. It is a good feeling helping people.

Dana Czerwinski: I work at Deluxe Cleaners on Main Ave. Sunny Kasabwala: I work at the Clifton Acme. I started working there because I did not want to rely on my parents for my expenses. Yoelia Rojas: At Loner’s PreSchool. I enjoying working with children and being able to play with them. Vinod Rajan: I work at Circuit City, because it’s, “Circuit City up, Best Buy down!” Sara Can: I didn’t work in high school. My parents felt that making sure I kept my grades up was enough work and I didn’t need the stress of having a job get in the way. Alicia Alejandro: I currently work two jobs. In the Garden State Mall, I sell shoes at Footlocker. I also work at Magic Sneakers in Paterson. Kativska Rivas: During high school, I worked at McDonald’s, 10 Spot and Dunkin Donuts. My favorite was McDonalds, because all of my friends from school worked there with me and we always had fun. Lauren McKay: I have been working at the Allwood Bakery since junior year. I enjoy working there and seeing my friends. Puja Patel: At the corporate office of Linens-N-Things in the Human Resource department. The job paid well and had flexible hours. I’ve worked there for about two years and it has been my only job. Christina Atiya: At Kumon Learning Centers, a tutoring center for math and reading. It helped me learn how to talk to children about academic subjects and allowed me to practice my leadership and communication skills.

Nancy Aguilar: Deluxe Cleaners on Main Ave. and I absolutely love it because I get to work with my three good friends Maria, Natalie and Travis. Talia Alston: I work at MrToys.com because I needed money to go out and pay for senior year expenses. Vincent Cordi: I worked at Ploch’s Garden Center, Shop Rite and at my favorite job, Abercrombie. The people were cool and it was a very laid back work environment. Cindy Hasrie: At PacSun in the Willowbrook Mall. I worked there my junior and senior years. It wasn’t the greatest job, but my boss was amazing. Mahmoud Sulieman: I work at Commerce Bank, because my brother got me a job there. It is my favorite job because it has been my only so-called real job and the pay is pretty good. Krystal Pratt: I worked in so many places in high school, but Hollywood Video was my favorite place, I have tons of memories. Kristina Gorgovski: I worked at Bernie’s Bagels. It was my favorite job, I had a lot of fun and I get paid good pay too.

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Derek Dobol


Derek Dobol: I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch at the mall. Diane Szaflarski: I worked at the Allwood Stop and Shop. I worked there because they were the first place to hire me and they have really good muffins. Michael Cannizzo: At Best Buy, because my friend got me a job there and they have good employee discounts. It was my favorite job. Jane Martinez: I worked in City Hall at the Health Department. I got the job because I was in co-op. Lauren Jane Geier: I got my first job at the Totowa Rag Shop in October of my senior year. I worked there because it was the only open position I could find at the time and because I have an interest in costume making and other crafts, so I thought it would be wonderful. I was actually let go in January, as apparently, I was only holiday help, which I was unaware of.

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Caroline Vallila: I worked at Abercrombie in the Willowbrook Mall. It was my favorite job because I had fun while I worked and I met a lot of great, new people. Megan Maletich: During high school, I worked at Shoprite, Bob’s and currently at a publishing company, which has been my favorite job. I worked to make sure that I would always have money. Dennis Yosco: I worked at several places, including Ploch’s Garden Center, Pacific Sunwear, Garden State Honda and Best Buy. Julissa Burbano: Rachele and Michele’s Oil Company. Mohammad Mohammad: I worked in a gas station because they paid me good. Amie Desai: During high school, I worked at Target. It was a good job because I like to meet new people, but it is not something I would like to do my whole life.

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June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Carolyn Rivera: Unicasa Universal Realty. I worked there so I can learn what responsibility is all about. I got a taste of part of the real world. Dominique Floyd: During my senior year in high school, I worked in the Violations Department in Clifton City Hall. I am appreciative and was very fortunate to get this job through the co-op program and I will truly miss the people there. Joseph DeSomma: Freshman and sophomore years, I worked with the Rec Department for Western Baseball as an umpire and in the basketball division as a score keeper. Last year, I worked at Camp Yawpaw for the Cub Scouts as a lifeguard. My favorite job was the scout summer camp—it’s a great job because you get to make money and have a great time outside at the same time. Jusuf Hoxha: At Stop and Shop, because it is a really good place to work.


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Another Path Taken F ––––––––––– Story by Joe Hawrylko –––––––––––

or some, motivation comes easily. The drive to succeed, the will to do work, it all comes from within. However, not everyone is like that. For others, it takes an external force to realize that hard work and dedication does pay off. Pat Smith was one of those kids. “When I was younger, I really just didn’t care for school at all,” explained Smith, who attended School 9. “I was just more worried about having fun.” Smith, a Clifton resident who attends the Academy High School at Passaic County Community College, wasn’t your model student as a young kid. His grades were just mediocre and it was apparent that he had no interest in school. In his first year at Christopher Columbus Middle School, Smith’s grades took a turn for the worst and he failed most of his classes and had disciplinary problems, as he missed a large portion of the school year. However, after meeting with his school counselors, something clicked inside his head and he made a monumental turn around. “I realized that if I wanted to do good in life, I was going to have to work,” Smith recalled. “I wanted to get a decent job and have a car and everything like that and you don’t get anywhere in life by doing what I was doing.” By 7th grade, Smith went from nearly failing every class, to almost straight A’s across the board. However, as much as his counselors in school helped him, he believes that it was working with his father, Bob “Smitty”, at Clifton Auto Repair, on Sargeant Ave.

Pat Smith took a different path to a high school degree.

“Working with my dad taught me a lot,” explained Smith, who has worked there for six years as an apprentice. “Aside from learning how to fix pretty much anything on a car, I learned self discipline, work ethic, organization skills and the value of a dollar. It definitely helped me straighten out my life.” At the end of 7th grade, Smith learned about Academy High School, which is a high school that is run in a similar manner to college. The hours are slightly shorter and the teachers treat the students as they would in college: if you don’t try, they don’t care. “You make your own experience there. You have to be mature and responsible,” Smith said. “If you don’t do your work, no one is there to push you. But if you work hard, you get rewarded with scholarship money and the opportunity to take college credits.”

He did exactly that, maintaining high enough grades all year to place on the Honor Roll. For his efforts, Smith’s two college credit courses that he took during his senior year were entirely covered by the school. Not a bad turn around for someone that could barely pass middle school. With high school coming to a close, Smith isn’t slowing down, as he has an eye to the future. Come September, he will be attending Bergen County Community College, to save money and knock off his college requirements, at which point he plans to transfer to Montclair State to become a teacher. “I’ve learned more hands on at my dad’s shop than most people who have gone to school,” reasoned Smith. “I want to try my hand at teaching, rather than being under a hood all day. If it doesn’t work out, I can always come back to the shop.” June 2006 • Clifton Merchant



How can we encourage kids to vote?

Stephanie Mejia: It is up to the kids. Keep yourself updated by picking up a newspaper more often and watching the news on TV. We need to know what’s going on in the world. After all, it’s our lives that are effected, so we should do our part and try to improve society. Danielle Sabestinas: Young people should be educated on how close elections can be and how the outcomes directly effect them.

Nicholas Kacmarcik: elected officials need to stress the importance of the government. Also, they can make sure we know how important each and every voter in our community is.

Sean Yip: Society can make the issues being voted about known so that young people are well informed and aware of the seriousness of the issues at hand. Alicia Alejandro: Politicians can pay attention to what younger people have to say. Society should listen to the opinions of our youth and then kids should get involved. Lauren McKay: I honestly think that there is nothing more we can do as a society to get young people to vote aside from continuing what we have been doing. It seems to have worked with a majority of teens, like myself. Jody McIntosh: Voting and staying involved in all levels of government seems to be the least of young people’s worries, but once we see the direct effect our negligence has on us, we will be compelled to get involved. If society stops focusing so much on how tan we are and more on who’s going to be the next person changing our lives for the better or worse, we will be better off. Susan Muheisen: By showing the effect that an election may have on their lives, young people will be encouraged to take part in issues that will effect them and their families.

Allison Rooney: Younger people need to understand that voting is a way to be heard in governmental issues. It often seems that students my age have strong opinions about the topics discussed in debates when they understand the facts, However, they are frequently intimidated by adults who have been involved in politics for many years. Second, I feel that ‘rowdy teenage kids’ who may ‘lack a meaningful perspective on situations being discussed’ may intimidate experienced people, leading the older generations to reject those youngsters from becoming involved. So to get more teenage involvement in government, there must be complete respect and understanding both given and received from both individuals.


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Jay-Anne Mandingin: In order to be involved with the government, people must stay informed. Thus, activities that encourage involvement and sufficient media coverage is necessary for young people to take an active interest in politics. Ahmad Elatab: They must take their minds off the other pointless junk that is shown on TV to their young minds. MTV, HBO and all the other junk on TV is irrelevant to what is going on in the world.

Vinod Rajan: Nothing. People should vote out of free will and should not have to be enticed. Krystal Pratt: Get youth involved so that they actually care about what they are voting for. David Gabel: I think that the government can start by recognizing teen’s opinions at the local government level. For example, Clifton politicians being “anti-student drivers” and making the streets near

St. Andrew the Apostle School

CHS permit parking only during school hours doesn’t encourage political activity, but discourages it. Vincent Cordi: Have more appealing referendums to vote on. Justine Agaloos: Society can advertise the causes and effects that our government has on our community. Posters could be put up in places where young adults congregate together or bake sales can be held that let kids know how the government effects Clifton.

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One Voice for Many W ––––––––––– Story by Joe Hawrylko –––––––––––

iniris De Moya believes that just one person could have a profound impact on the way that our country and the world is run—and she thinks that someday, she might just be that person. “People are making differences in our world often,” said the soon to be graduate and aspiring future World Trade Organization delegate. “You may not see it on the news all the time, but there ware people out there that are making a difference.” This bright and articulate senior has been a model student over her career at CHS, maintaining a high GPA as she challenged herself with honors and AP courses, while balancing out her college resume with activities like the French Club, CHS Orchestra, CHS Quartet and Ensemble and the anti-smoking group, R.E.B.E.L. However, even the most gifted of students often are stumped when presented with the daunting question that all upperclassmen that must face when they prepare to graduate—what are you going to do with the rest of your life? Last year when she began looking at colleges, De Moya was unsure of what she wanted to study. Luckily for her, she had a teacher that was able to give her some direction. If it had not been for Mrs. Dennison, De Moya might have not ever had interest in the political field. “As a junior, I had Mrs. Dennison for history class,” she said. “She was the one who told me some basic info about the Governor’s School and encouraged me to join it.” The New Jersey’s Governor’s School of International Studies is a summer program that is held at Ramapo College, where a select group of students

Winiris De Moya attended the New Jersey’s Governor’s School of International Studies which is a summer program held at Ramapo College and the experienced focused her on a career path in government affairs.

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dorm and attend classes on world politics, globalization and other topics that are important in today’s society. After giving it some thought, De Moya figured that she would send in an application, since it would be something interesting to try that could be used to bolster her college resume and gain experience living in a dorm style setting. “I thought it would be a cool experience to be away from home just to see what college life is about,” she explained. “When I read what it was going to be like, I thought I would take a few classes a week and the rest of the time I would just be hanging out.” After applying in January 2005, De Moya was accepted into the program in April after being selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants across the state. “I was shocked when I found out because I didn’t think I was actually going to get in,” she said, as she reflected on how selective the highly regarded program is. “I was anxious and couldn’t wait for it to start. When I finally got there in July last year, I realized how in depth it was.” The day to day routine of the program was similar to that of college. Students were given large suite-styled dorms to live in with a few other people and were required to attend two classes a day, which generally encompassed about six hours.

“It was much more than just class though,” explained De Moya. “There was debates on Fridays and things like that. It was supposed to be a model United Nations of sorts.” One of the first special events upon arrival was a trip to Quebec, which was meant as a bonding experience. The 100 student program was broken up into groups of 10, with each party representing a different country. De Moya’s group represented Russia and would do so for the duration of the program for debates and other special events. “It was an eye opening experience. We did so many fun things that I thought I would never do,” she said of her six day trip. “I actually went to Canada and spoke French there, saw sights, climbed hills and went to a bunch of government locations.” As much as she enjoyed the adventure to Canada, De Moya’s favorite part of the month-long program was on the last day of class, when they went to New York to visit the UN building. “We had gone to New York before to speak with (international) ambassadors, but we had never actually gone into the UN building,” she said. “We took a tour and then went into the seats. I had so much fun because that’s when it dawned on me that I could see myself doing that in the future.”

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Does your single vote count?

Allison Rooney: Although I am not registered with any political party, I do know that my vote does make a difference. I know this because of the 2004 budget, which passed by a mere three votes. Had those three people changed their vote or stayed home and decided not to utilize their right, the outcome would have been drastically different. Voting is listed under your constitutional rights, not privileges—it is your duty to vote and let your opinion be heard. Jay-Anne Mandingin: One person’s vote can make a difference because when all the votes are compiled, the world can be changed. I am not registered to vote because I am not old enough. Dana Czerwinski: I do think my vote makes a difference. Everyone’s vote counts and we all should vote and be heard. Special

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Vincent Cordi: Yes, my vote will make a difference because there have been several times that an election has been decided by just a few votes. I am not registered with any political parties. Stephanie Mejia: Every vote makes a difference. Alicia Alejandro: I registered to vote last year when I turned 18 and I did vote this year. It definitely makes a difference, your vote could change what is around you. Sean Yip: Yes, my vote makes a difference because by voting, I am supporting what I believe in and I think everyone should make their vote count. Vinod Rajan: Yes, every vote counts, but I am not registered with any party. Krystal Pratt: I believe one vote could make all the difference.

Justine Agaloos: My vote makes a difference. It is a chance to make my own decision to help shape the community. Each vote counts and with every vote it can determine the future for all of us. Ahmad Elatab: I don’t think it makes a difference. Personally, I think the big presidential elections are rigged, and if they are not, I would be surprised.

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registered to vote where you live now, Voter Registration: If you are not you may register by completing this form.

Mail to: Passaic County, Commissioner of Registration, 311 Pennsylvania Ave., Paterson, NJ 07503 • 973-881-4516 Print clearly in Ink. Use ball-point pen or marker Qualification of an Eligible Applicant You must be a citizen of the United States and, by the date of the next election, at least 18 years old and a resident of New Jersey and your county for at least 30 days. The Commissioner of Registration will notify you upon receipt of this form. The Registration deadline to vote at the next election is 29 days prior to election day. Check if you wish to be a board worker/poll clerk ❑ in future elections. Check if you are permanently disabled, unable to go to the polls to vote, and wish to receive information on ❑ an Absentee Ballot.

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Eddie Bivaletz: When I turn 18, I will be taking the time to vote in every election because my vote, just like everyone else’s, counts. There is a lot of people in Clifton but, as the last election showed us, too few that vote, so I am sure that my vote matters. Sara Can: Every vote counts. Without my vote, or the vote of anyone else, a wrong choice could be made. Lauren McKay: I am not registered to vote with any party, however, I do think its important for everyone to have a voice and one vote certainly makes a difference. George Pipala: I am registered to vote but proud to say not with any political party. Anthony Shackil: Yes, my vote counts. One person’s opinion and their vote is a powerful thing and can actually change the outcome of an entire election. Although I am registered to vote, I do not vote for any specific party.

Jody McIntosh: Although I am only 17, I do believe that when I am able to vote, it will make a big difference. Many teens do not realize the importance of voting at all levels of government and choose not to vote. Yet, they are the first to criticize the elected officials. Knowing that I have the right to vote and that I will take advantage of that right is a great feeling, because my contribution to the election is just as important as the next person’s.. David Gabel: Yes, because any election can be thrown off by just one vote or a block of votes, however, I do not vote for any specific political party. Susan Muheisen: My vote definitely matters because it can be the one vote that determines the outcome of the election or provide the solution to the problem at hand.

Nicholas Kacmarcik: I feel my vote makes a difference because one vote is one more for the majority. I am not registered with any parties, but I vote Republican. Danielle Sabestinas: I believe that each vote has the power to make a difference. In past Board of Ed elections, the outcome was determined by as little as three votes.

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How will you stay connected to Clifton?

Susan Muheisen: Having younger siblings keeps the issues of Clifton at mind because it determines their outcomes. Who knows what the future may hold. My career can possibly lead me back to Clifton. Dana Czerwinski: I am going to a local school, therefore, I plan on being involved in Clifton. Vinod Rajan: Clifton is my number one preference of towns to live in when I get older. Alicia Alejandro: I will be living in Clifton until I transfer to John Jay but I will still stay involved because I have family here. Sara Can: I want to live and work in Clifton. It is where I belong. Jane Martinez: I probably won’t be involved too much, but I will always come home to visit. Somewhere down the road, I probably will live here again.

Ahmad Elatab: I will stay involved by helping the local Boy Scout troops and helping the kids in school by offering my time. Allison Rooney: Although I do not anticipate returning to Clifton to live or work, once I graduate college, I will return to see my friends who may choose to stay and, of course, to visit my parents. Krystal Pratt: I’ll still be at home until I move out and start a family... Clifton will always be my home. Lauren McKay: I’ll attend the football games to see the band. Judy McIntosh: I’ll be coming home for vacations and I’ll support the orchestra concerts, but I do not plan on living here after I graduate. Stephanie Mejia: I’ll attend college nearby, so I will be home often. Jay-Anne Mandingin: I would like to be involved with Clifton, especially in the Board of Education. I will continue to attend Board of Education meetings. Justine Agaloos: I will major in Nursing at the University of Nebraska and surely miss Clifton. I’m keeping a stationary set and buying calling cards to stay in touch. I’m saving my money so I

Sean Yip: If there is a chance for me to be successful in my future in Clifton, then I will return here to live and work. can come back to Clifton to live. I’m hoping I can work at St. Joseph’s Hospital one day. Nicholas Kacmarcik: I’ll be studying Physical Education and hope to become a CHS gym teacher. David Gabel: This is my hometown and I will never regret growing up here. I think I will continue to volunteer with the CHS plays. Vincent Cordi: I will not be leaving Clifton any time soon because I will be living at home for college. I will make sure to vote during every election in town.

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Danielle Sabestinas: I will definitely try and stay involved with my friends and in the school system. However, I don’t plan on returning to Clifton to live or work.

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Your advice for the class of 2007...

Kristina Gorgovski: Don’t waste time! You will be amazed by how fast your senior year will fly! Put the grudges aside and focus on bonding with your graduating class! These are the people you have known since kindergarten, enjoy your LAST year together. Don’t hold back on anything. Caitlin Lotorto: Don’t ever slack off or it will come back to bite you in the butt!

Daniella Balcazar: My words of wisdom are to have as much fun as you can because senior year is the best but it goes by really fast, so enjoy it with your friends.

Dennis Yosco: Be smart, don’t get in trouble. Don’t drink and drive, it’s not worth it. Allison Rooney: This coming year is your last in high school and although it seems as through you have waited your entire life for this year, many of you will be moving on to college where you will face a more demanding curriculum than that of which you experienced here. My advice: enjoy your last year at CHS. Before you know it, you will graduate and leave many friends behind. Don’t take this last year for granted—live it to its fullest. Vinod Rajan: Mistakes don’t matter, it’s the consequences you have to live by, so think fast, talk slow and don’t forget to breathe because second chances do exist. Roxanne Jensen: Work hard and follow your dreams. Don’t be lazy about making college decisions and most of all, have fun! Ferdous Thabatah: Hold onto every moment of your senior year because it really does go by fast. Sara Can: Enjoy everything while you have it, always think to make the right choice. Wendy Ortega: To succeed in life, work hard and finish your education.

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Michael Kornytchuk: If you must ever choose between the smart thing and the funny move, always go with the funny. It makes life more interesting. Rob Young: Live your senior year out how you want to live your life. Regret nothing, but remember everything. Most importantly, keep in contact with everyone, you never know when you’re going to need a helping hand. And as the old saying goes, time doe fly when you’re having fun! Suzanne Czyzewski: Live on a whim and follow your heart. Masood Khan: Enjoy your last year. Just chill and don’t forget to do all of your school work.

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


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Krystal Pratt: Senior year goes by so fast. Megan Maletich: Have fun! Don’t be stupid. Daniela Vitale: Enjoy every second that you have in high school with friends because these are the best times of your life. Alicia Alejandro: Listen to your teachers, they are your second parents and school is like your second home. You eat and learn there and must pass all your classes. Always keep your heads up and never give up, your life is just starting. Lauren Sagnuolo: I suggest that you guys focus and concentrate from the very beginning of senior

Vanessa Sacoto

Ferdous Thabatah

year, that way, towards the end, you will have more time to relax and take it easy. Vincent Cordi: Have fun, enjoy your senior year and don’t regret anything. It all goes way to fast. Melisa Sternberger: Forget regret or life is yours to miss. Patrick Errico: Don’t hold anything back. Jennifer Lozy: Cherish your last year because it goes by so quickly. Lauren McKay: Never settle. Always work to your fullest potential. Don’t ever give up on yourself. Christine Karabetsos: Enjoy senior year while you can because it goes by really fast!

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Matthew Shumko: Just have fun, work hard and enjoy your last year. Jennalynn Pizzimenti: Good luck to the Class of 2007. Enjoy every minute. It passes by so quickly, so live it up! Teila Krahn: Do your homework, wear your ID and cherish every moment with your friends before you’re thrown out into the big, scary world. Elizabeth Sinski: I know that you have heard this and will hear it a million times more, but don’t put things off until the last minute. Trust me, I tried that route and it will only hurt you. David Michelotti: Get your college stuff done early: you don’t want to be stressing out about it at the last minute and its your senior year, relax and have fun. Allison Austin: Keep an open mind, seek every opportunity and take nothing for granted. Kristin Reisinger: Have fun and enjoy your senior year. Stephanie Colangelo: Have all your college stuff done early. Enjoy senior year and have fun! It goes by really fast. Amanda Jaskot: Senior year flies by extremely fast. Have fun and take the time to enjoy it because it’s over before you know it.

Karly Maliniak: Don’t take senior year for granted! LeeAnn Iapicca: Cherish every moment. Your senior year is one of the best years of your life and is over before you know it. Jane Martinez: Have fun and don’t slack off at the end of the school year. Colleen Kalan: Keep up with your school work and try not to let senioritis get the best of you. But remember to have fun! Dana Czerwinski: Make your own memories, because you will never believe how fast time goes. Don’t hold anything back...enjoy it! Jacqueline Nigro: If you put your mind to it, anything is possible. Vanessa Sacoto: Take in every moment as much as you can because before you’ll know it, graduation will come and you’ll ask yourself, “Did I do it all?” Shannon McCracken: It goes by very quickly, make the best of it.

Emily Zawicki: Stay focused, it’s not over. Your senior year flies by. Nabila Ammar: All your friends will be together, so make it count. Anthony Marrone: I have learned that senior year may seem like a time to sit back and relax while you wait for your college years to begin. But it is also important to take it seriously and reflect where you see yourself in the years to come doing a profession you enjoy. So keep up on your studies and stay active in your school and community. If you keep up in what you believe in your should do just fine. Jessica Cornett: Have an amazing senior year and try—your hardest. It’s a memorable year. Richard Ossa: Be on top of all your classes, getting A’s and B’s, but don’t forget to go out with your friends and enjoy your senior year to the fullest. Megan White: Don’t put things off until the last minute.

Jessica Changsao: Life is full of decision making. Some people look towards others for advice, but in the end, only one thing matters: you making the final decision. Know what is felt in the heart and soul. When it feels right, it’s right. You never know when you will get a second chance. Kyle Livesey: Stay focused, follow your dreams, strive for success. Diane Szaflarski: Enjoy ever moment because senior year will be over before you know it and don’t leave any 12 page research papers until the day before it’s due! Patricia Vorela: Always believe that you can do anything you want to do and achieve your highest goals. Also, remember to never quit, because quitters never win. Tiffany Eusebio: It’s hard to live up to one’s full potential if you’re following another’s footsteps. Don’t be afraid to be who you are, make your own mark on the world.

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Prom 2006

May 19, 2006 Skylands Manor

Next: Project Graduation

Project Graduation

Come Home Safely F

or too many kids, graduating high school may be the last event celebrated in their lives. That’s why parents plan Project Graduation. The goal of this 17th annual event is to provide a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment for CHS seniors on the biggest night of their lives, so that they Come Home Safely. After the commencement, students meet back at CHS and board buses for a nearby resort. Volunteer chaperones accompany about 450 seniors for the all-night gathering. Arrival time is about 11 pm. Once the students are in, the exit doors are monitored and they’re prohibited from leaving the premises. Inside, there’s swimming, dancing, basketball, tennis, food, refreshments and plenty of fun. The Project Graduation entourage departs the resort at 6 the following morning and returns safely to Clifton. Chair Maryann Cornett said payments will be collected next to the Main Office on the following dates: June 5 & 7: 5pm - 6:30pm • June 13: 6:30am - 8am • June 14: 10:30am - 12:30pm •June 15: 2:30pm 3:30pm •June 20: 5pm - 6:30pm •June 21: 11:30am - Noon.


June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Farewell Mr.Cannici


t was all about Bill, Cassie Craig, Mistress of Ceremony, told the audience at Bill Cannici’s retirement dinner on May 16, where over 200 guests showed up to honor the CHS Principal at The Venetian in Garfield. There was plenty of laughs, some tears and much rejoicing, as Cannici prepared to close the book on his 40-year education career in Clifton. Several individuals gave moving speeches, including his two sons, CHS Vice Principal Sue Peters, and Cassie Craig. Clifton Teachers’ Association Vice President Gerry Gunning also presented Cannici with a ceremonial sword to commemorate his four decades of service. The evening was memorable for all and was a fitting way to say goodbye. To Bill Cannici, thank you and Godspeed in retirement.


June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Dr. Suzi and Dr. Jeff thank all who made our May 20 Kids Day America/International a success... Mayor James Anzaldi • Clifton City Council Clifton Fire Dept. • Passaic County Sheriff’s Dept. Clifton Board of Education • Party City Jack the Jackal and the NJ Jackals • HBO Hyco Printed Products • Clifton Merchant Magazine • Dye Into Print • Metro Part Rental Freedom Cuts Etc. • NJ Dept. of Commerce Edible Arrangements • Mr. & Mrs. Rainforth The Hair Designers • DJ General • Zack’s Bagels The Glovin Family • Town Mortgage, LLC Staples • ASAP Linen • The Singer Family Todd Friedman • Passaic County Girl Scouts Charlie Brown’s Restaurant • Albert Sabeh Aileen Collucci, MA, CCC We would also like to give a special thank you to all the local businesses and school and the merchants of The Bobbink Shopping Village who displayed and distributed our event flyers.

Congratulations to our 2006 KDA Empowerment Award Recipients: Chris Belli, Tom Hawrylko, Dolores Colucci Healey, Debbie Oliver and Dr. Michael Rice.

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To Ghana, with Love ...from Clifton, A City That Cares


ndrea Linder discovered her life’s calling while working as a swim instructor at the YM-YWHA of Clifton on Scoles Ave. During a lesson, she watched as a child disabled by a stro ke tried to swim. “The child was so determined,” Linder remembers. “In spite of her physical challenges, she never became frustrated.” It was then the 1984 CHS graduate decided to become a physical therapist.

After graduating from Temple University, Linder went to work at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, gaining a vast amount of experience, including working with head trauma patients. Next, she moved to Englewood Hospital and helped develop the facility’s pediatric care program.

Then she heard God’s call. “I had a beautiful career as a physical therapist,” she recalls. “But I wanted to do more with my life.” Joining an organization called Joni and Friends, Linder went to Poland to work with the disabled. Her next trip was to the

Andrea Linder, her son Joshua Jehu-Appiah, her parents Karl and Gerline, and friends Marie Benfante and Elsie Siems. 84

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

African country of Ghana where she saw an even greater need for help. Linder’s first mission to Ghana was to bring wheelchairs to disabled people. While the work was rewarding, she believed there was more she could do. In 2001, she decided to spend more time in Ghana and dedicate her life to helping the less fortunate. “I arrived in Ghana a week before 9/11,” she remembers. “Just before the attack, I was on my way to the American embassy to register to stay in the country. The embassy closed for the day a half-hour later. “It made me question my decision—was I doing the right thing? Should I stay in Ghana when so much was happening back home? I had so much to do—buying a car, finding a place to stay—and now had so many misgivings about staying. “That day tested my faith.”

A Half A World Away It’s more than 5,000 miles from Clifton to Ghana, but the distance between the two places only begins to tell the story of their differences. In Clifton, residents complain about traffic filling their streets, live in well-kept wooden houses, and have an average life span that reaches well past age 70. In Ghana, goats and chickens run through dusty thoroughfares, families live in mud homes, and the average person does not see their 60th birthday. And then there are the children with disabilities. Clifton, like other U.S. cities, cares for them, educates them, and makes areas accessible for them. Disabled Clifton children learn they have the same

“People with disabilities are considered cursed in Ghana, they assume someone in their family broke a taboo and that is why they are disabled.” inalienable rights as any other U.S. citizen. In Ghana, disabled children are often left on the side of the road to die—something Linder knows all too well. “People with disabilities are considered cursed in Ghana,” Linder says. “They assume someone in their family broke a taboo and that is why they are disabled. “Parents with disabled children are encouraged by family members to leave them in the bushes and let nature take its course. A lot of times, the disability is caused by not taking the free vaccines, having no prenatal care, or giving birth to a child at home.” Linder, along with her family and friends (many who live in the Allwood section and are members of the Allwood Community Church) are working to change their fate. They want to save Ghana’s disabled children from an early death or the miserable future as a street beggar. “We want to give them a sixth grade education (the standard level of education in Ghana) and a trade,”


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she says. “Our ultimate goal is to make them functional members of the community.” Life is hard in Ghana, even for those without a disability. An English-speaking country the size of Oregon, it became an independent state in 1957, the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Formed from the merger of the Gold Coast, a former British colony, and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana boasts a population of 22 million. Of that total, Linder estimates two million are disabled. “An average Ghana family in the cities,” she says, “has about three children. In the villages, men gain status by the number of wives they have; women gain status by their number of children. A family may share the same bedroom that also serves as their living room. “Children do many chores. Their first daily chore is to sweep the entire house. Next, they fetch water. Some walk more than a mile to school, where two or three grades share the same classroom. Since there are no janitors, children sweep the school floors, clean the blackboards and, if they see their teachers carrying something, carry it for them.” Linder spends about six months of the year in Ghana and six months in her Allwood home. “Sometimes it’s frustrating,” she says about her life. “We have so much here and they have so little.” For disabled children, life is much more difficult. “Though I encourage parents to get their (disabled) children in a school,” Linder says, “it’s tough to find one that accepts them.”

“Getting the children to school is tough, because there are no school buses to take them.” Making a Difference To help, Linder and husband Joseph Jehu-Appiah, a Ghana native, are building a school for disabled children in the town of Apam, about 90 minutes south of the capital city of Accra. Jehu-Appiah will visit his wife in America, but remains in Ghana year-round to manage the school. Joseph and Andrea are parents to a 1 year-old son, Joshua. Their school has room for 25, but currently houses 16 children, ages 4 to 17. The students are diagnosed with illnesses from cerebral palsy to epilepsy. “Most children we deal with have physical limitations,” she says, “but are cognitively intact. One child in our school had to repeat nursery school four times because he could not write the letters of the alphabet but did know them. In the U.S., he would have a computer and be mainstreamed without a problem.”

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Positive change for the Ghana’s disabled is taking place, albeit slowly. Linder says Ghana’s parliament is passing a law that mandates disabled children must go to school. However, most teachers are not prepared to accommodate and educate a disabled student in their classroom. “And getting the children to school is tough,” Linder notes, “because there are no school buses to take them.” Though faced with obstacles, Linder’s faith in her mission remains strong. Supported through funding from churches and friends, she welcomes any support from the Clifton community. “If people would like to help, they can send a donation in my name to the Mephibosheth Ministry,” she says, “and 100 percent will go to support our work in Ghana.”

A roadside sign welcoming people to Clifton along main roads features the slogan: “A City That Cares.” Perhaps there is no better example of that slogan than hometown girl, Andrea Linder.

To support Andrea Linder’s work, send a donation to: Mephibosheth Ministry, 1406 Rainier Drive Colorado Springs, Colorado 80910 Write “Andrea Linder” or “Account 151” on the check. Another way to help is by attending a fundraising chicken dinner (prepared by Andrea’s father Karl) at the Allwood Community Church, June 17, at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 10. Contact Gerlinde Linder 973-773-9347, Marie Befante 973-777-8209 or Elsie Siems 973-473-5369 for tickets.

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Clifton Merchant Magazine

Letters to the Keith Bassford’s quote in your May edition upset me beyond words. He stated that Rosemawr residents voted against the Board of Education budget and aren’t really for Clifton school kids. I can’t speak for everyone in Rosemawr, but as long as I’ve been living in Clifton, I’ve voted for the School budget and encouraged my neighbors to do the same. I’ve seen how my son has benefited from full day Kindergarten in School 9 and I would not want to deny any child from having that benefit. How can you quote Mr. Bassford with no documentation or statistics on how actual people from actual addresses voted? The park and the budget are totally separate issues. Many Rosemawr residents do attend public schools. And, by the way, if the 1-2-6 voters had supported the budget, it would have won handily. Maybe there’s a story there. I am always in favor of a good dialogue and I welcome more debate in the pages of your magazine. Norma Demby

The Board of Trustees of St. Peter’s Haven for Homeless Families wishes to commend Clifton’s letter carriers for collecting more than 200 bags of groceries and other necessities from local residents. As much of the food were canned goods, readers can imagine the weight each carrier had to bear on their rounds. This collection provided the Haven with enough food items to carry it through the summer. We greatly appreciate the work of the letter carriers and the staff of the Clifton Post Office ... as well as all the donors ... because they truly make a difference in the lives of the homeless, hungry and working poor in our midst. Mary Allen , Board President St. Peter's Haven for Homeless Families

We were sorry Tom Hawrylko’s name did not appear on the 2006 City Council candidate’s list, but upon further reflection, we figured you are best off on the outside looking in, continuing your role at the magazine. Someone has to keep a clear perspective on the goings-on for the rest of us. Thanks for being that person. We look forward to your magazine each month. Helen & Roy Berkenbush

Ed. Note: I’m honored by your endorsement...

1288 Main Ave. Clifton 07011 Tomhawrylko@optonline.net

(note new address)


Political signs should be banned. The recent excessive display of political signs around Clifton during the recent City Council election detracted from the beauty of the city and created an unsightly distraction to drivers. Some citizens placed four or five signs on their front lawns and some candidates placed multiple signs on public property They seldom remove them from public property after the election I question the idea that a political sign attests to the quality or character of a candidate. Generally the signs indicate a politician’s personal relationship with the homeowner. It’s a way to say “I support you.” Why would the personal preference and perhaps political motivation of one of my neighbors convince me to vote for this candidate? It doesn’t! Clifton voters are intelligent enough to make up their own minds on the quality, integrity and qualifications of the candidates through information from the candidates’ press interviews and personal appearances. Let’s get involved enough to find out what each candidate has to offer. Mary R. Rogers

April’s Clifton Midget League article, along with the tribute to the late, Henry ‘Hooks’ Brower, was most enjoyable. I really think Hooks would have been proud of the way the league has progressed over the years. Unfortunately this year’s opening day parade celebrating our new relationship with Cal Ripken Baseball was rained out. The rain has not dampened the spirit of the more than 300 youngsters participating in the program this year. Clifton Midget League is rich with pride and history and Clifton Merchant has accurately portrayed that once again. We appreciate the outpouring of support from the local community we have received in our efforts. Nicholas J. Mangone Past President, Clifton Midget League

Please note: All letters for publication must include a writer’s name, address and phone number so that we can verify the sender. Anonymous letters are never published and all missives are subject to editing. June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


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New Board, New Council Commentary by John Bendel & Tom Hawrylko

A Time to Heal & Grow


he elections of 2006 changed the Clifton political landscape, shaking mountains down to hills and shifting political currents in new directions. The first wave hit in April when the voters elected two challengers and one incumbent to the Clifton School Board. The former School Board majority that bet its prestige on a new, 1,600-student Brighton Road high school was history. The new majority has promised a referendum on Latteri Park as a site for the new school. The May council elections were stunning. Clifton voters re-elected only three of seven incumbents, giving a council majority to four new council people, three of whom are also new to government. There was no coalition among the newly elected council members as there had been among the socalled 1-2-6 school board candidates—at least unofficially—so it is not clear where this newly constituted council will lead the city. But the elections themselves forcefully demonstrated the power of the vote, and right now, there is the sense of a roller coaster after a slow, clanking ride to top of the first hill. Along with a sense of suspense and anticipation, there is a broad, unobstructed view —a rare moment of clarity. Now we see new possibilities for solving some old problems. The Latteri Option The Board of Education has the clearest new direction, if not yet a settled plan. First on the agenda is a referendum on Latteri Park – or the Latteri property as some prefer to call it. At its first re-organization meeting, the newly constituted school board began to move toward a new

The School Board and City Council need to begin a serious and ongoing dialogue. Maybe they should conduct joint meetings or have members from one group regularly report to the other during public meetings. Whatever form the dialogue takes, it should be open to the public and broadcast on Clifton’s Channel 77. school there to relieve overcrowding, particularly in the high school. There is still time—though not much—to schedule the referendum for a December vote. It could be the third year in a row that Clifton voters will decide the fate of a school proposal. In 2004, the voters strongly supported a high school annex at 290 Brighton Rd. But the 290 Brighton Rd. proposal required a use variance from Clifton’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, a variance that was denied. The school board has taken that denial to court. The annex for 500 high school students at 290 Brighton Rd. is still a possibility—but no more than that. In another referendum earlier this year Clifton voters turned down an expansion of the 290 Brighton Rd. project onto properties to the north for a school that would have served 1,600 students and finally solved the overcrowding problem. The fallout from that defeat may have influenced both Board of Ed and City Council races.

Email us your opinions: tomhawrylko@optonline.net June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


If the school board continues its new course, the next referendum— perhaps in December—will likely be for a 1,200-student school at Latteri Park. Clifton residents have been seeking just such a referendum since the Community Advisory Committee recommended a new school at Latteri Park in Sept., 2003, in the same report that recommended the annex at 290 Brighton Rd. The school board moved the Brighton Rd. project forward, but not Latteri Park.

The school board has owned Latteri Park for decades, but by osmosis it became an active city park used by sports leagues, joggers and Rosemawr neighborhood residents who drew swords against the idea and cut it down handily. In 2003, the City Council voted a unanimous resolution to keep the Latteri property as a park and suggested Schultheis Farm as an alternate site. The council also began to consider buying the Latteri property from the school board and was in

Clifton Merchant Flip-Flop


n commentaries by Tom Hawrylko, Cheryl Hawrylko and John Bendel, Clifton Merchant has strongly supported construction of a new school to ease overcrowding, particularly at CHS. As a matter of editorial policy that has not changed— not even a little. Nevertheless, some accuse the magazine of a “flip-flop.” Their reasoning: Clifton Merchant and the Hawrylkos once circulated a petition asking for a referendum on building a school at the Latteri Park site. Then they supported building on Brighton Rd. Now they’re supporting Latteri Park again. Please note: the common element here is a new school. Clifton’s biggest problem has been and remains school overcrowding. The solution has been and remains a new school. We support building that school sooner rather than later as we have all along. Of course, it matters where the school is built. Some sites are clearly better than others. But we see the battles over where the school will be as less important than the school itself. So, when the Community Advisory Committee led by Tom Lyons, Joe Holmes and Ellen Corbo recommended Latteri Park as a school site, we got behind the idea. When political realities turned against that site and the school board focused on Brighton Rd., we endorsed that. Now, in the wake of the April school board elections, Latteri Park is on the table once again, and yes, we endorse construction of a school there. That’s because our goal has been and remains a new school. There has been no “flip-flop.”.


June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

the process of a Green Acres loan application for that purpose on council election day 2006. Now with the results of the April and May elections, the picture has changed. There weren’t enough votes on the school board to force a referendum on Latteri Park in recent years but there are now. We don’t know where the new City Council will come down on the issue, but it might not matter. If the political impetus of the spring elections continues, there will finally be a referendum on Latteri Park. A new school there would come at a cost to park users and the Rosemawr neighborhood, but on balance it would be a good thing. That does not assure either that a referendum will be approved or not blocked by legal maneuvers. Clifton Unite, the group that fought the advisory committee’s Latteri Park recommendation, has hardly gone away. Organizer Gilbert Denby said the group—which may change its name—is looking at all options to stop the school. They will be reaching to park users, all those Clifton ball-players and league members to help defeat a referendum. They are also looking at legal options to prevent any Latteri school project from going forward. Many Cliftonites believe a Latteri Park referendum will win voter approval easily. But Clifton voters have just demonstrated their unpredictability and no one can say for sure that legal obstacles won’t stall or even block a project once approved. Nevertheless, there we can see the very real possibility, even a probability, of a much needed new school, and that’s good news.

Election Day• May 9, 2006

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


The New Council It’s harder to say where the new council will lead Clifton. Only three incumbents were re-elected—Jim Anzaldi, Gloria Kolodziej and Steve Hatala. The four newcomers are Peter Eagler, Joe Cupoli, Tony Latona and Frank Fusco. During the campaign, each of the re-elected and newly elected candidates spoke with Clifton Merchant and was asked for an opinion on a number of questions. It may help to look at what each had to say. On the political side of municipal affairs, term limits were opposed by the three re-elected incumbents and Peter Eagler, who has substantial experience in elected government. Newcomers Joe Cupoli and Frank Fusco supported term limits while Tony Latona said “maybe.” So we won’t be seeing council term limits in the near future. We are likely to see the newcomers change their minds as they come to understand the labyrinthine nature of government and the learning curve it requires. Only four of the seven candidates responded to a question about direct election of the mayor as opposed to election by the council, which traditionally picks the the top vote getter. Is there a better way for Clifton elected government to function? Maybe. The majority of the candidates who won seem to support such a study. Let’s make sure a valid study of Clifton municipal government is conducted soon and that the results of that study re fairly considered by the Mayor and Council. The Buck Stops Here The Mayor and Council preside over Clifton’s cash register. Not surprisingly, everyone coming into office wants to increase revenue and lower expenses. Jim Anzaldi stressed the expense side as did Joe Cupoli, who specifically talked 94

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

A Reunited City


t seems like Clifton has been at war with itself for the past year or more. The resentments generated by public battles over a school site will not recede quickly. It’s up the city’s new leadership to help that process along. The Board of Education ard and City Council need to begin a serious and ongoing dialogue. Maybe they should conduct joint meetings or have members from one group regularly report to the other during public meetings. Whatever form the dialogue takes, it should be open to the public and broadcast on Clifton’s Channel 77. Democratic government is the process of choosing among or reconciling differing options. Arguments and confrontation are built in. Still, we’ve all seen where unacceptable hostility and name-calling have gotten Clifton recently—pretty much nowhere. That’s not something this terrific city can abide. We need to deal with our problems and build for Clifton’s future. We need to see our City Council, our School Board and their individual members settling differences civilly and conducting themselves in a manner that promotes confidence. Clifton deserves — and should settle for—nothing less.

about cooperatively increasing productivity among city employees. Gloria Kolodziej endorsed zerobased budgeting –a good idea if done properly. Peter Eagler, Frank Fusco and Tony Latona looked at increasing city income citing state and federal grant money as a source. Steve Hatala stressed attracting more ratables and Gloria Kolodziej referred specifically to attracting ratables that will not require more city services—businesses. The new council needs to take a fresh look at economic development. Clifton needs a full time economic development team. Right now, our city has a part time economic development director, a full time planner and a full time community development officer, none of whom seem to interact too often. That needs to change. This city needs to invest in economic development.

In addition, economic development policy decisions have been and will likely continue to be made by a three member City Council task force—Gloria Kolodziej, Jim Anzaldi and chaired by Steve Hatala. That too needs to change. Perhaps from among the four new council members the seats on the City Council’s economic development sub committee need to be shuffled. Additionaly, perhaps more than three members are needed on this committee and maybe more private sector business people need to be involved in the process. The new City Council won’t take office until July 1. Right now, committees are being assigned, issues are being discussed and a gaggle of things need their attention. We wish all our elected officials success and expect that these coming months and years will be productive and innovative.

Readers! In July and August, we’ll reach into our files to publish two keepsake editions of nostalgic photos, tales and fun facts regarding Clifton History. From 1678 when Hartmann Vreeland purchased Dundee Island to other interesting milestones in Clifton History, this will be perfect summer reading. Residents & readers who would like to share their nuggets of Clifton nostalgia should call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400 or send photos or notes to tomhawrylko@optonline.net.

Advertisers! Our July and August editions will indeed be special so call to reserve your advertisements. Provide us historic photos of your company’s founders, early years or other appropriate information and we’ll help you create unique advertisements. Call Tom Hawrylko for more info at 973-253-4400 or send info to tomhawrylko@optonline.net.

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Board takes action on

Latteri Park School T

by Joseph R. Torelli he Clifton Board of Education approved three resolutions at its May 16th meeting that are needed in order for it to go ahead with plans to place a school construction referendum before the public in December. Wasting little time after its May 3 vote authorizing the referendum, the Board approved a grade structure for the school, and authorized spending $10,300 for a required engineering survey and traffic study at Latteri Park, the proposed site for the school. The Board had postponed its decision on the grade structure during its May 3 meeting and was advised by school business administrator Karen Perkins that it would have to determine the structure before seeking approval from the state Department of Education. Commissioner Norm Tahan introduced the three resolutions at the May 16th meeting. The resolutions for the site survey and engineering study each passed by a unanimous 6-0 vote (Commissioner Keith La Forgia was absent). The resolution designating a 1200-student school for sixth through ninth grade students passed by a 5-3 margin, with Commissioners Mary Kowal, Kim Renta, and John Traier voting no. Traier said he voted against the resolution because he was opposed to sixth and ninth graders attending the same school. “The age difference is too great,” he said, “and I really don’t think it’s in the best interest of the kids.” Kowal and Renta said they voted against the resolution because they would not support building a school Other solutions under review include of any size on the Board-owned park property. “I supported the sixth through ninth grade structure the feasibility of widening the cenfor the (failed) Brighton Road referendum,” said Renta, tral hallway at CHS, as well as adding “so it would be hypocritical of me to say that I’m opposed to it now. I’m just being consistent with my an external walkway on the Colfax previous anti-Latteri Park votes.” Ave. side of the school to facilitate Tahan and Board President Marie Hakim said they easier passage between classrooms. would have preferred a sixth through eighth grade structure but were afraid that it would not provide a permaThe Facilities Committee is also nent solution to overcrowding problems at Clifton High reviewing high school class utilizaSchool and the city’s two middle schools. tion and scheduling to determine if “We are taking a long-term approach to solving overcrowding with this grade structure,” said Hakim. She these areas might yield a solution to added, however, that the Board is continuing to look for overcrowding without necessitating new and unique ways to ease the situation at the high school without having to relocate the ninth grade. relocation of the ninth grade. 96

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

Hakim explained that a school for ninth graders requires different classroom configurations than a school used exclusively for lower grades, especially for science courses. “By including the ninth grade in this resolution we have a fall-back position in case our plans for keeping it (the ninth grade) at the high school don’t work out,” she said. Among the other solutions under review, the Board will be determining the feasibility of widening the central hallway at CHS, as well as adding an external walkway on the Colfax Avenue side of the school to facilitate easier passage between classrooms. Hakim said that the Facilities Committee is also reviewing high school class utilization and scheduling to determine if a more creative approach in these areas might ease overcrowding without necessitating relocation of the ninth grade. Also relating to Latteri Park, Tahan reported that the Board had received the results of a commissioned study indicating that the park is not a protected wetland as had been previously reported. Tahan said that minor drainage problems at the site would be addressed when construction plans are drawn up.

Tahan and Hakim then tried to dispel rumors concerning the size of the proposed school building and whether additional property would need to be acquired to accommodate it. Both stated emphatically that the building would not contain four stories as they said some people had erroneously claimed. They also promised that the principle of Eminent Domain would not be exercised to seize additional property. “The site is more than large enough to house the school without us having to resort to Eminent Domain,” said Tahan. In other matters, Hakim reported that a bill had passed through the NJ Senate’s education committee that would provide for the election of school board members at the November general election instead of at special elections in April. If approved, the bill would also permit school districts to adopt budgets without voter approval if the budgets did not exceed state spending caps. Hakim cautioned that if the bill becomes law it will have a farreaching impact on Clifton and all school districts within the state.

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Board & Council Meet,

Trim School Budget by Joseph R. Torelli


he Clifton Municipal Council and the Board of Education agreed to cut $1 million from next year’s school budget at a specially scheduled joint meeting on May 17th. The Council was required by state law to review the Board’s $126.8 million spending plan for the 2006-2007 school year after it was rejected by voters during this past April’s school board elections, and then either cut spending on non-mandated items, or leave the plan intact. While they were not obligated to reduce the school spending plan, several council members said the wide margin by which voters defeated the proposed budget, 56 to 44 percent, was a clear signal to them that cuts had to be made. To ensure that their reductions would not effect spending on mandated educational programs, they hired the accounting firm of Carr, Daley, Sullivan, and Weir of Livingston to examine the spending plan line item by line item, and to review actual school expenditures for the current year. The firm specializes in school budget preparation. Focus on Capital Expenditures Council members questioned the Board several times about proposed expenditures for capital improvements – items such as window replacement, masonry repairs, new boilers, computer hardware and software, and renovations to the high school auditorium. More than $3 million of the $4.6 million targeted for those projects

After approximately one hour of discussion, the meeting went into recess so the two groups—the City Council and the School Board—could caucus separately. It took only 20 minutes for them to reach consensus, surprising some in the small group of citizens present at the meeting who were anticipating several hours of intense negotiations next year was to come from special Abbott-rim funding provided by the state. Mayor James Anzaldi and Councilman Steven Hatala asked whether it was permissible to use the Abbott-rim dollars for the capital projects. They recommended funding the capital improvements via voter referendum, as had been done in the past, and shifting the state money to other programs as a means of trimming the operational budget. Passaic County’s Acting Superintendent of Schools, Robert Gilmartin, who attended the meeting, said that as long as capital projects could be shown to enhance the learning environment, he believed that spending Abbottrim dollars on them was acceptable.



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Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej said she was opposed to trimming the budget without cutting recurring expenses. She noted that capital projects constitute a one-time expense and that eliminating them from the operational budget would do little to stabilize spending in future years. Councilman Stephan Tatarenko also was opposed to cutting capital spending. As a former Board commissioner who served on the Facilities Committee, Tatarenko said he was keenly aware of how important capital improvements are to both student welfare and the school district’s economic well-being, and said he would not vote to eliminate them. Reaching Consensus After approximately one hour of discussion, the meeting went into recess so the two groups could caucus separately. It took only 20 minutes for them to reach consensus, surprising some in the small group of citizens present at the meeting who were anticipating several hours of intense negotiations. City Clerk Richard Moran and District Business Manager Karen Perkins read separate resolutions announcing the agreed-to spending cut of $1 million. Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice and Perkins both said the reduction could be attained without touching capital projects. More importantly, school officials said they were confident that the planned expansion of full-day kindergarten classes to three additional schools would not be affected by the cuts.

“I am very optimistic that we will be able to reduce spending next year without cutting programs essential to the education of our students or the progress of the district,” said Dr. Rice. “We appreciate the reasonableness of the Council in this matter.” The Council left it up to the Board to decide exactly how to eliminate the $1 million from the budget. “We were very concerned about student welfare,” said Mayor Anzaldi, “but we were assured by Board commissioners that they could make the cuts without impacting critical programs.” Perkins said that most of the cuts will come from health insurance expenses due to a larger than anticipated surplus in that area. “We estimate the surplus to be somewhere between $500,000 and $700,000,” she said. Dr. Rice added that the rest of the cuts would be achieved through “turnover savings,” which represent the difference between the exit salaries of departing employees and the budgeted salaries of their replacements. The $1 million cut represents approximately two tax points, or about a $35 reduction in the previously anticipated $112 property tax increase that the initial budget would have cost the average Clifton homeowner. Final determination of the tax liability will not be determined, however, until the actual cuts are made and the budget is approved by the state Department of Education. The Board was scheduled to announce the final version of the budget at its May 31 meeting, after the deadline for publication of this magazine.

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The Clifton Optimist Club honors Debbie Oliver, John Biegel, Keith Oakley and the CHS Jr. ROTC at a beefsteak on June 11 at 4 pm at the Boys & Girls Club. To attend the dinner, send checks ($40) payable to: Clifton Optimist Club c/o Tomahawk Promotions, 1288 Main Ave., Clifton, NJ 07011 or to Dennis Hahofer, 5 Tremont Terrace, Wanaque, NJ 07465. For tickets, call Joe Bionci at 973-472-1707 or Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.

Bringing Out the Best in Kids is the theme of Optimist Clubs worldwide. The Clifton Chapter, while small in number, is involved in positive service projects aimed at providing a helping hand and being a Friend of Youth. By believing in young people and empowering them to be the best they can, Optimist volunteers make this world a better place to live. New members are always welcomed.

Front row, left to right: Cadet Captain Masiel Rayes, Cadet First Lieutenant Alisha Martinez and Cadet First Lieutenant Crystal Colon. In the back row, left to right: Cadet First Lieutenant Peter Capar, Cadet Major Michael Pagani and Cadet Captain Christopher Ashey.

Keith Oakley 102 June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

John Biegel

Debbie Oliver

CHS business teacher Cassie Craig, was recently named an Outstanding Educator from The College of New Jersey. She was nominated by former CHS student, Patrick Egan, (pictured below) who also attended the awards ceremony. Craig was one of 12 teachers out of nearly 100 nominated to receive this award for educational excellence.

In his essay, Egan wrote: “Through her constant words of wisdom and advice, as well as her enthusiastic presence, Ms. Craig has greatly influenced my life. Her energy in the classroom, as well as her teaching methods will definitely always be remembered and applied to my own teaching career.” “It was the Literacy Outreach Program, organized by Ms. Craig, that made me decide I want to major in Elementary Education. Ms. Craig is a wonderful, vibrant woman.

Because of her spunk, she adds enthusiasm and energy to everything she does.” “From her classroom to the football field”, he continued. “Ms. Craig gets to know each child she interacts with on a personal level which develops bonds that will last a lifetime.” CHS Principal Bill Cannici added also noted: “Teachers of excellent teach the relevancy of that subject in a person's life. Ms. Craig is the medium that serves to unlock the keys of prime performance.”


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Stacy Veech Sport: Softball, Soccer Honors: Softball: Two-time CHS Gold Glove recipient, CHS offensive MVP, All-State, nominated to AllAmerican team, selected in 1997 for Who’s Who in High School Sports. Soccer: CHS Coaches award, CHS Team MVP, All-State, selected as one of the Top 17 players in State. Learning to Play: I was a tomboy when I was little and I just played anything that had to do with sports. I had a lot of kids on my street growing up in the Maple Valley area. Most Influential People: Aside from my mother, Cindy Sloan, who coached the North Jersey Shilohs softball team, was my biggest influence. I was still playing Little League when I was 12 and she convinced me to try out for the team in the summer. After making the team, I found that it was much more com-

petitive. Sloan was my first coach who really knew about the game. Memorable Mustang Moment: When we won the State Championship 1997, going 31-0. Also being named Most Athletic in the Who’s Who in senior year. What It Meant To Be A Mustang: As a kid growing up playing softball, I knew Clifton softball had a great reputation and couldn’t wait. I still take a lot of pride in playing for the team today. I am proud to say that I went to Clifton and that I was a Mustang. Life After CHS: Veech went to Wagner College, where she received a Bachelor’s in Political Science while starring as a shortstop in softball and a forward in soccer. She currently attends Montclair State University and graduated in May with a Master’s in Legal Studies.

Class of 1997

Editor’s note: in last month’s magazine we published the ‘then and now” photos of the 2006 inductees to the Clifton Athletic Hall of Fame. Due to an editing error, we missed publishing this photo and story about Stacy Veech.

Stacy Veech, with presentor Cara Boseski at the CHS Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon on April 23. Boseski is the head CHS Softball coach and Veech her assistant. Also pictured, Greg Lesler, Stacy’s mom Gwen Van Dyk and Stacy’s sister Marci Hirkalar. 104 June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


magine for a minute that you’re at work one day and your boss calls you into her office. Naturally, you’d get a little anxious, but if you were good at your job, like seventh year Montclair State University lacrosse head coach John Greco is, you probably wouldn’t be too concerned. However, it is a good rule of thumb to expect the unexpected, as Greco learned the hard way in January of 2005. Greco was preparing for his third season at the helm of the Red Hawks Men’s lacrosse team, when he was called into a meeting by Director of Athletics Holly Gera, where administration dropped the proverbial bomb on him. “For financial purposes, the school was going to reclassify men’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s tennis and wrestling,” explained Greco, 29. “They dropped it out of nowhere.” The decision meant that Greco and his assistants Adam Torrisi and Kent Bania, all CHS ‘95 grads, would be out of a job at season’s end. To them, this was personal, since they all played together at Clifton, and then at MSU, along with current CHS lax coach Brian Armstrong. There is a long standing connection between Clifton and MSU lacrosse. “I think they targeted us because we are all part-time coaches,” reasoned Greco. “It is easier than cutting a full-time coach.” In addition to their jobs on the field, all three coaches are teachers. Greco is a social studies teacher at Christopher Columbus and Torrisi is a computer teacher at Woodrow Wilson, while Bania teaches biology at Nutley High School. Aside from the financial implications that the decision would have

MSU Red Hawks Head Lacrosse Coach John Greco and his assistants, Kent Bania, at left, and Adam Torrisi, together salvaged the LAX program at Montclair State.

on each of them, the coaches would also have to deal with the effects of the resolution on the team and players. For some athletes, Montclair was their school of choice because of the lacrosse team. “The school’s decision effected recruiting, scheduling and much more,” explained Greco, who added that many students opted to transfer after hearing of the news. “We were under the notion that it was our last year as a varsity program.” However, rather than just lay down and accept their fate, the team rallied, with coaches and players reaching out to anyone who could help. Irate parents wrote to the university, while players held fundraisers and increased their athletic fees by a dollar per credit hour. Alumni even contacted the Governor and Congress to voice their displeasure. Although Greco and his staff tried their best to keep moral high, several players defected to different schools, rather than stick it out. With their spirits sinking and their roster shrinking, the Red Hawks dropped four of their first five

games in what was seemingly the start of a forgettable final season. However, determined to go out with honor, the Red Hawks rattled off three wins in a row going into their final home game on April 23, where supporters of their cause held a rally as a last ditch effort to save the team. Up to that point, all efforts to reinstate the team had not swayed the MSU administration to reverse their decision. However, two days later, the entire team was shocked to see an article in the New York Times that revealed that because of the efforts of team supporters, the Red Hawks would be reinstated the following season. “It’s just nice to get our feet back under us this year,” Greco said as he summed up his thoughts about his team’s roller coaster ride this season. “Governor Corzine’s budget cut is going to effect us again. The lack of financial support from the university to the athletic dept is always an issue, we are always scrapping.” Story and photo by Joe Hawrylko June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Passaic Clifton Zonta Back row, from left: Kathleen Robertson, Ruthann Quinn, Shirley Bence, Irene Subtelny. Front row, from left: Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej, Barbara Kluck, Woman of the Year Patricia Vasilik and Zonta President Agnes Buchar.

Patricia Vasilik: Women of Year Clifton Main Memorial Children’s Librarian Patricia Vasilik has been chosen as the 2006 Woman of the Year by the Zonta Club of Passaic-Clifton. Vasilik was selected because of her extraordinary and tireless efforts within the community. She is the library’s liaison to the Clifton Public Schools, and for decades, has held story hours for young children. Additionally, she has also created and managed outreach programs to all of Clifton’s elementary schools and day cares, holds summer reading program and runs a tutoring program as well. And for anyone that meets Pat Vasilik, they’ll note that she does all her tasks efficiently and with a genuine smile. Vasilik has been employed by the Clifton Public Library since 1966, when she started working as a page in the Children’s Room. She is now the Children’s Librarian. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from WIlliam Paterson University and a Master of Science in Library Service from the University of North Carolina. Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global service organization that strives to advance the status of 106 June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

women and children, worldwide. Locally, the PassaicClifton Zonta Chapter is involved on many levels. Scholarships were awarded to two Passaic High School seniors, as well as to a woman in need of assistance to return to the work force. Zonta also distributed food baskets to families in need through DYFUS and also gave food to St. Peter’s Haven, which also received financial aid from the club. In Passaic High School, the Zonta Club started the Z Club, which is a youth service group for young men and women, and the students do a great deal of service for the community. “We would love to create another chapter of the Z Club in Clifton High School,” said longtime member Barbara Kluck, who handles publicity for the group. “But for some reason, we have not been able to get an advisor at Clifton High School. We hope that in this coming year, we will indeed get a new chapter established here in Clifton.” For more on Zonta and its activities, call Diana Jarotski at 201-337-4242 or Agnes Buchar at 973-785-0882.

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For months, the members of the St. Philips Knights of Columbus Council 11671 have conducted their annual charity drive to raise $15,000. On May 17, at the group’s Award Night, the checks were presented to three organizations which serve Cliftonites: The Clifton Adult Opportunity Center, the North Jersey Training Center and the Department for Persons with Disabilities of the Paterson Diocese. For more details on St. Philips K of C, call Grand Knight Ray Lill at 973-472-1756. In addition to the donations, several other people were recognized that evening for a variety of reasons. They are listed below...

2006 St. Philips K of C Awards: Police Officer of the Year: Officer Randy Colondres. Fireman of the Year: Fireman Gregory Zahne. EMT of the Year: Fire Fighter Richard Lyons. Outstanding Accomplishment and Service Award: Steven Kishel and William Jones. Knight of the Year: Edward Kishel. Special Dedication from a Knight to his Council: John Cortez. C.C.D. Teacher of the Year: Sandy Bischak. Teacher of the Year: Maria Slader. Youth of the Year: Nick Albizati. For Support of the Community: Tom Hawrylko. For Dedication to the Youth of Clifton: David Santosuosso. Special Award for Service to Council: Arlene Pompeo. 2005 Essay Contest: Nick Mangone. Memorial Plaques: John Butz and Tony Guida 108 June 2006 • Clifton Merchant

The individuals pictured here became Fourth Degree Knights.

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Vinny & Pat Dalbo celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 23. Jack DeVries . . . . . . . . 6/25 Lori Homsany . . . . . . . . 6/25 Connie Musleh . . . . . . 6/26 Walter Vladyka . . . . . . 6/27 Monica Szewczyk . . . . 6/29 Robert Conklin. . . . . . . 6/30 Christopher Lucas . . . . 6/30 Stephan Lonison . . . . . 6/30 Belated Best Wishes: Myrt Petty had a birthday on May Sarah and Fred Lombardo are 13 and Alyssa Dalbo turned married 60 years on June 23. 13 on May 26.

Ed & Eileen Gasior will be married 24 years on June 5... At right, Msg. Peter Dewey of St. Philips Church presented certificates to, from left, Raymond and Martha Fitzpatrick and Ross and Grace Alfieri for 50 years of marriage.

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lifton’s annual 11 am Memorial Day service was held at the monument in Downtown Clifton which is inscribed with the names of over 300 men who gave their lives defending our nation in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. The Marching Mustangs performed, those who died were remembered and those who fought in battle and returned were celebrated. At left are Clifton’s two oldest veterans, Mike Gulywasz, a paratrooper in the Army’s 11th Airborne and Joseph Jacob, who served in the Air Force in India. Both men are 96.

June 2006 • Clifton Merchant


Locks of Love @ CCMS

Kim Dreher, a 6th grade math teacher at Christopher Columbus Middle School, and a growing number of students and staff of CCMS have set a goal of donating 200 inches of hair to Locks of Love. Locks of Love is an organization that makes real wigs for children who have lost their hair due to illness. Dreher, at top of page right, said thus far, those students pictured have each agreed to cut 10 inches of their tresses. The staff at Salon Ilona has volunteered to come to CCMS on June 19 to cut, collect and ship the hair to Locks of Love. For more info, visit www.locksoflove.org or call Dreher at 973-769-0500.

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www.c21allcounty.com Mike Bocu, Broker of Record mike@c21allcounty.com

invest in historic

Botany District Get in on true ground floor opportunity...Botany Village Square. Two-four family homes, each building has an office on 1st floor (1600 sf Doctor's office & 1600 sf Tae Kwon Do center) plus eight residential units. Excellent Investment... $1,290,000


CLIFTON Multi-Family: This well built 3family is in move-in condition and will not only generate income but make a nice home. $545,000


CLIFTON: Move-In condition Ranch renovated in 2005 offers 3 BR, EIK, w/ CT, new BA , H/W floors, & summer kitchen in basement. $349,000.

CLIFTON 4 Family: Completely renovated four family home with 12 car assigned parking. Sep utilities, fenced yard, new siding and many updates. $699,900

CLIFTON Bi-Level: Lots of living in a great neighborhood... 4 Bdrms, 2.5 baths, 2 Car Garage, Hardwood floors and plenty of nice extra features. $479,900

PASSIAC Multi-Family: Everything has been done in this turn-key property to allow an investor to start making money. 12 units, 3 bdrms each, sperate utilities. Call now. $1,099,000

PATERSON Perfect for first time buyers: A mother daughter. Renovated, finished basement, 3 BA, ceramic tile, new siding. $279,000

WAYNE True move-in condition Ranch: 2004 Renovation. 4 BR's, large LR, new EIK, full bsmt & large deck w/fenced in yard. Parking for 4 cars. $349,900

ENGLEWOOD Colonial: Completely renovated 3 bdrms, full finished basement with summer kitchen and 2 addt’l rooms. Fenced yard. Lots of possibilities. $399,900.

WAYNE Pines Lakes: Large and immaculate 5 year-young 4 bdrm, 3.5 bth colonial w/hardwood floors, granite countertops. Private, leveled and fenced backyard. $849,900

BUTLER Updated Ranch: Home offers 4 BR, new KIT, finished basement, H/W floors and garage. $429,900. 1807


Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011






Call to use this Moving Truck!


Call for these FREE REPORTS


1 800-613-4059 and enter

ID #2013 You can call 24/7






This lovely 2 family home located in the Allwood section of Clifton offers 6 rooms on the first floor and 4 rooms on the second floor. 2 car garage. Corner property. Vacant for immediate sale!! Call today! CALL 877-833-2365





Large finished basement 4 bdrms, eat in kitchen, dining room, fireplace hardwood floors, and much more. Great area near NY tranp. Shopping and park. Ask for Maria Carrera. CALL 877-833-2365

Good size rooms, a/c in dining room stays. 3 bdrms, 2 full baths. Well kept home for growing family, near schools. For more details Ask for Nina Robayo. CALL 877-833-2365




35 year old building with 7-4 rooms, 2 Bdrms, & Bath units. The 8th unit combined the 2 bdrms to 1. Separate utilities. Secured parking. Laundry facilities. Gross Income $147,000. CALL 877-833-2365




Fabulous open floor plan. Awesome views over- looking inground pool. Hardwood floors, throughout, 3 bdrm, 2 baths, a formal LR, formal DR, a dream KIT, 2 car gar. Ask for Sophia Constandinou CALL 877-833-2365



A large custom built 2 family on a Cul-De-Sac. 3 bdrms, 2 f/baths, large LR, Large EIK, Rec Room on ground level w/2 car garage. 2nd floor – rental apt – 2bdrms large LR-DR, EIK. Ask for Sophia Constandinou. CALL 877-833-2365





Situated in Lakeview. Features 3 bdrms, Fin. Partially bsmnt, EIK, privacy fence, storm door, storm window, and all appliances included. Ask for Nancy Rodriguez. CALL 877-833-2365










Oversize lot with driveway, 2 car garages (detached), back yard with oversize attic, separate utilities and much more. Ask for Alberto & Gladys Mesones.

House very clean, fin. bsmnt w/2 rms. New KIT, new cabinets, dishwasher, above ground pool, 2 detached car garage + driveway and much more. Ask for Alberto & Gladys Mesones. CALL 877-833-2365

Do not hesitate! Features 4 bdrms, 2 full baths, Fin Partially basement. LR, DR and EIK on each floor. Includes attic with 2 bdrms. Ask for Ramon Ramirez.

CALL 877-833-2365

CALL 877-833-2365

To hear a brief recorded message Call

1 800-613-4059 and enter

ID #2043 You can call 24/7

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Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - June 2006  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - June 2006