2013 PEOPLES CHOICE AWARDS
Amanda Durbin Mrs. Sally Yerk
I have nominated Miss Amanda Durbin because it is students like Amanda that make teaching every day a joy. Amanda lights up a room with her thoughtfulness, kindness, good nature, and drive to always do better. I had the privilege to teach Amanda at Teitelman and watched her mature from a 7th grade girl into a beautiful young woman. I know Amanda is only beginning a path that will lead her to a blessed and eventful future. Thank you, Amanda, for allowing me the pleasure of sharing your time at RMT! I wish I had an inspirational or funny quote to share – I don’t. But when I had the opportunity to nominate a student, Amanda’s face popped into my head and that made me smile and laugh out loud!
Joe Raimondo Mr. Bill Damiana
My nominee is one of the hardest working students I have ever had in my 28 years in education! There is nothing that my nominee, when called upon, won’t do to earn a good grade in the classroom. He accepts all of my requests for helping out in the classroom environment. My nominee is cool under pressure and is always willing to lend a helping hand! Although a freshmen this year, I expect big things from my nominee throughout his high school career! Joe Raimondo
Kaitlin Poling Mrs. Ginny Rutherford
Kaitlin is only a freshman, but she hit the ground running in September. I had the privilege of teaching Kaitlin at Teitelman for 2 years and knew she was mature beyond her years, but I was really impressed with the way she adjusted to life at the High School with barely a hiccup. She came to my classroom ready for anything and game for new challenges…always pleasant, always smiling, and always respectful. She is quiet but determined. She is able to express her opinion clearly and with conviction but she also is a great listener. She loves to learn and question and grow. She inspires me with her patience and kindness towards other. She is smart. She doesn’t mind rolling up her sleeves and doing the hard stuff. She is going places for sure. I can’t wait to see where!
Michael Hughes Mr. Rich Demers
Each day I wake up, I wait for the first light with great anticipation. I say my thanks and look forward to what the day will bring. My job may seem redundant, reteaching the same information 6 times a day. This is quite the opposite due to the amazing 125 students I teach, and dozens of athletes I coach. Finding someone to nominate for my People's Choice Award is not easy, for I can find greatness in most. This year, I am nominating a very quiet young man whose light is starting to shine bright. He needed some encouragement in the beginning to get the fire started, but surely as the sun rises in the East, his performance has steadily increased. He is now the top in the class. His words before handing in the last test, "I think I really blew this one." He actually had me worried. Right, he earned a 98% and brought another smile to my face. To all the amazing students here, I love you all and your contributions to LCMR. Another seed is planted. Mike Hughes, you’re my People’s Choice, thank you for being you.
Annette Hill Mrs. Leigh Shea
In the past, I have always chosen a senior as my People’s Choice nominee because I believe it takes 3 to 4 years to watch the student evolve from an immature freshman to a mature and confident senior. It also allows me to witness the accomplishments they make along the way. This year, however, someone caught my eye right from the get go. A freshman usually comes in and needs time to adjust to juggling the social life of high school with their academics and sports, but not this freshman. This student caught my eye because of the diligence she portrays each day as she hurries into class, anxious to get to her assignments. She works hard at her academics and always wants to be one step ahead (usually finishing her projects weeks before they are due!). She has no problem incorporating the sport that she plays and her social life as well. I depend on her to come in everyday and keep me up to date on the week’s assignments that are due. She brings such a positive energy to our school and can brighten up anyone’s day. My People’s Choice Award goes to Annette Hill.
Robert Freas Mrs. Carmen Alessi
This was not love at first, or second sight. This student came into my class and quietly did nothing. For two years I had to bite my tongue and grind my teeth as I observed the Robert’s complete lack of interest and concern. Then this year came and who shows up in my roster? The same student, or so I thought. The student is still quiet, but now knowledge and information are starting to sneak out and I am amazed as to what has been collecting in his memory. This student has taught me a valuable lesson: never give up on a kid! He has humbled me by demonstrating skills and abilities that I seriously doubted he could obtain. He showed me! Robert Freas, I am sorry I was wrong. I am glad you stuck with it. I sincerely enjoy having you in my class.
Rachael Sheets Mr. Mark Gardella
My nominee is not in an academically motivated class but I can always count on her to come in with a smile and ready to get her work done. So for your pleasant attitude and motivation to get your work done, I nominate you Rachael Sheets for my Peoples’ Choice Award.
Victoria Jacoby Ms. Nicole Caruso
When I think back to my own experience in high school, as well as my experience working in one, I can honestly say that I wish there were more Victorias. I wish the halls were full of quirky, hardworking and polite young ladies: Students who truly demonstrate respect for their peers, respect for the faculty, but most of all respect for themselves. Victoria has a glow about her that follows her everywhere she goes. There is an innocence about Victoria that is both unique and refreshing. She doesn’t try to be anyone other than who she is. Anyone that knows Victoria knows her smile; it is bright and genuine. I am nominating Victoria because she constantly reminds me that solid, healthy, female role models for young girls do still exist. Not only do they exist out “there “but they exist here in the halls of LCMR. I am proud to call Victoria my People’s Choice nominee.
Carissa Scott Mrs. Jan Randle
I have had the privilege of teaching Carissa Scott twice: once in kindergarten and now in high school. She has remained the same sweet girl who tries her best at everything she does. When things get tough, Carissa musters strength and grace to plow through and perform proudly. She doesn’t hesitate to ask for help and spend after-school time to help bring up her grade. She “goes for it” and won’t give up. Carissa sets high expectations for herself and rises to a challenge. She will succeed in so many ways! Academics aside, Carissa is a happy girl who makes the classroom a better place. Her heart is as huge as her infectious smile. She loves a good laugh and brings joy to peers as well as adults. I remember her kindergarten compassion and big bear hugs. Carissa’s warm, loving character hasn’t changed one bit. I am thankful and honored to have a small part in shaping her future.
Brittney Middleton Mrs. Joan Dilling
My nominee for People’s Choice is a completely different person from who she was last year at this time. She has made a complete turnaround in both her attendance and her grades. She is a focused, hard working student, who will bend over backwards to help me out. She has become a leader in my classroom, helping other students and myself, often knowing what I need even before I do. When I have to rely on something getting completed on time and correctly she is my go to girl. Her positive attitude towards her class work and other students is infectious. Students want to be near her and emulate her. This is why I have nominated Brittany Middleton my People’s Choice Award.
Brittany Miller Mrs. Alice Vasser
Life is about choices. Similar to this award, the choice you make is not based upon beauty, not based upon academics, not based upon skills; it is one of the most fun and sometimes overwhelming honors because it is based on how you feel about a student. My student first burst into my room as a freshman, with a bad attitude and a lot of potential. She was mad at the world and not afraid to tell you why. Quick to react, this student was filter-less about their mood changes. It got to the point where I would greet her with, “How’s the weather?” for which she would respond, sunny, partly cloudy or there is a hurricane a brewing. One thing we had in common was coming from New York City. I could appreciate her attitude, not get intimidated, but understand this is just one day and tomorrow may be something completely different. In the midst of learning to understand her, I did find that she cared about her grades, she cared about doing her best and as much as it might have been convoluted, she cared about what “certain” people thought about her. As a result, she came into school year as a sophomore with a new attitude. She was more positive, challenging herself to try new things, giving out more smiles than frowns, making the choice to become the leader I knew she could be. As an incentive for her to keep up the good work, I would like to reveal that I chose BRITTANY MILLER as my People’s Choice candidate for 2013.
Brandon Worby Mrs. Peg Kroeger
There is not a day that goes by when Brandon is not smiling and upbeat. He is an absolute joy to have in class and is one of the hardest working students I have ever had. Brandon takes his time on everything he does, and he always makes sure the end product is the best he can do. Brandon makes me love my job because he truly loves learning.
Chandler Nicas Mrs. Hannah Nelson
My People’s Choice nominee is one of the reasons that I went into this profession. This student has exemplified true character through his willingness to make a change in himself and desire to want more with his life. When I met this individual, he was behind from his freshman year. However instead of continuing down that path, he made a conscious decision to go another way. He not only passed his classes and attended school, but went on making honor roll and became involved in extracurricular activities. He began to challenge himself, by successfully taking 2 Math classes, along with joining the musical. I have been honored to be part of his journey thus far. I want to thank my People’s Choice nominee for validating why I came into this profession. My People’s Choice candidate is Chandler Nicas.
Kelianne O’Shea Ms. Elaine Marro
I have chosen a student-athlete who is always a bright spot on our team. She is upbeat, enthusiastic, and a motivator for her teammates. This is my third year with her now on the team and each year she improves. She has proven to be a leader for our team and because of that has been chosen to share the captain spot as a junior. I know that my candidate is also very successful in the classroom. She works very hard in what she does, and rarely complains. I enjoy having her on our team, as does all the other girls especially since she has a CVS in her track bag. If anyone needed anything from a hair tie to a 6 foot hoagie, she has it in her bag. I want to thank her parents as well for being very supportive of our team. Although she is injured at the moment, she is out there on the field with us in the freezing cold counting and timing the bear crawls. For these reasons and many more, I have chosen Kellianne O’Shea as my People’s Choice nominee.
Alex Meyers Mrs. Patty Neville
My nominee is one of the most inspiring young men I have ever met. His character can be described as insightful, courageous, and especially honorable. His work ethic, exceptional. His level of artistic achievement, awe-inspiring. He approaches each assignment with commitment and passion. He exhibits a quiet, thoughtful presence in the classroom filled with intelligence and creativity. Watching him work is like watching a sunrise, slowly caressing the clouds to bring a magical brilliance to the day. He contemplates every possible scenario, stretching his imagination to search each obtainable outcome. The grand finale finally bursting into an array of color, lines, and shapes, illumining mastery and sophistication of technique. His work is like the sunrise, holding the promise of what is to come next. I am sure we will see great things come from this young man. It is my pleasure to announce my People’s Choice, Alexander Meyers.
Jillian Dunn Ms. Lea Kopsitz
As a new teacher, you have at least two objectives in mind at all times: first – plan, plan, plan, plan, plan, and second – think up ways to make learning fun for the students. Even though I have been a part of this school district for over three years, my first year as a full time teacher I have truly been blessed. My planning still needs work (and it always will) but I have amazing students that make this career worthwhile. My People’s Choice nominee is one of those amazing students. She is vibrant and funny and silly, but she also works very hard to keep up her grades, is always willing to help out any other student, and is always ready to learn. She has given feedback on different assignments (given it quite freely and without prompting, might I add) and is always prepared with a smile on her face and a pen in her hand. She makes me smile and tries her very best every day in my classroom. She makes my days a little bit brighter; she makes a lot of people’s days a little bit brighter, and I know that she will go far in life as long as she keeps her head up and keeps charging ahead. My People’s Choice nominee: Miss Jill Dunn.
Veronica Holmes Mr. Mike Wilson
Beautiful, intelligent, spiritual, punctual, elegant, gracefully refined and dignified in life is how I define Veronica Holmes. She speaks with confidence and embraces challenges as an opportunity for success. She sets forth to conquer the imaginable by creating a plan that so many fail to even dream. She doesn’t hesitate when called upon. She begins every project with premeditated plans, finalized with thoughts of success! When she fails, she doesn’t accept its face value. Gracefully, like a ballet dancer presents her turns or like a smooth magician creates illusions, her contingency plan magically appears! While the crowd is mesmerized she remains humble and her beauty is exemplified through her dignified performance, her elegance refines the audience’s spirits, lifting and motivating the world!
Destiny Bannon Mr. Mike Perry
Destiny is a positive, hardworking, young woman who is not afraid to be a leader. She has shown these qualities as a Captain of the Lower Township Police Explorers. Destiny has guided the Lower Township Police Explorers through volunteering for such events as Lower Township’s National Night Out, Whale of a Day, and in numerous Explorer related fundraisers. I feel that with these qualities Destiny will succeed in any career path she decides to take on.
Lindsey Lare Ms. Jackie Siscone
I could nominate Lindsay Lare for a litany of reasons including: her incredible work ethic and intense commitment to academic achievement; her athletic milestones and prowess; her desire to be the best at everything that she sets out to do. However, I am not nominating Lindsay for any of these reasons. Quite simply, I am choosing her because she exhibits the traits of a compassionate, empathetic human being on a daily basis. I have yet to meet a student who yearns to make the world a better place as badly as Lindsay Lare does. Lindsay personifies exactly what an onion symbolizes; she has so many layers to her that will make a difference in everyone who is lucky enough to cross her path and peel them back.
Brianna Gallagher Mrs. Mary Rose Bispels
Connected, that is how I feel toward my People’s Choice nominee. Literally, from the day she was born, our lives have been connected. Brianna was born on the same day, at the same hospital on the same floor as my daughter; connected. Flash forward to 8th grade orientation. She bopped right into my room and exclaimed that she wanted to take computer classes and get involved; connected. Brianna was my student for two classes and became a shining star in each; connected. She joined Renaissance as a freshman and has been extremely involved from the very beginning, taking on various officer positions, ending up with her being President this year; connected. Finally when we began the Advisor/Advisee Program, when I was assigned my group of students there was Brianna’s name in the mix; connected. Brianna, may we always keep our connection! I have no doubt you will be successful as you “connect” to your future path.
Robbie Gould Mr. Dave Heary
Robbie has been involved with Culinary Arts extracurricular activities for the last several years even though at times he was not currently taking my class. I knew that he had the desire, aptitude and willingness to help this program succeed. Robbie continues to challenge me to be a better teacher to which I am grateful. In addition to Robbie being an excellent student and a member of the school band, he also finds time to work almost every weekend in a restaurant and additionally is a volunteer fire fighter in the community. Robbie consistently leads my class in scholastic achievement as well as being a role model for the other students both academically and practicality. I am extremely proud to nominate Robbie for this People’s Choice honor.
Victoria Mann Mrs. Fran Zukawski
Vic Mann is simply amazing and yet there is nothing simple about her. She is a unique combination of beauty, brains, athleticism and leadership qualities. Fist, I am putting it in writing, that she gets her beauty from her mother! Vic is also top of her class and takes five AP classes (one of which she even takes as an independent study.) She has a genuine thirst for knowledge. Athletically, Vic will leave LCMR with eleven Varsity letters and one JV letter. What is more impressive is that she was Captain of the soccer and lacrosse teams her junior and senior year and Captain of the swim team her senior year. I was lucky enough to be her coach for swimming. With hard work, she went from being a beginner her freshman year, to the only female to qualify for the CAL sectionals her senior year. She never ceases to amaze me. My only problem with Vic is that she grew up too fast. I miss the little girl that used to run around the soccer field defending her teammates from opposing players that thought because we were small we were weak. She was our knight in shining armor. She still is mine! I simply love her!
Frances Torres Cooper Mr. Charles Taylor
I have known this young lady since second grade. I have watched Frannie grow up. I have seen her struggle to find herself at Teitelman. In high school, she has been involved in school sports, plays, orchestra, musicals and talent shows. She is always well organized. Pressure never seems to bother her and she always is friendly to talk to. Now as a senior, she is poised and confident to take her place in the world. I know she will make a positive difference. You are deserving of this award, Frannie Torres.
Damiana Gumiran Mrs. Dana Markovitz
I don’t need to stand up here and talk for a long time about this student. To be honest I have only known her for a year and a half. But it didn’t take very long for her to make an impression on me. When she came to register the summer before her junior year, I was impressed by her politeness and her positive outlook on starting at a brand new school. If it were me, I would have been a jumble of nerves, but she carried herself with confidence and determination to make it a good transition. She became a guidance aide her first semester, a job that many new students would not feel comfortable doing. She accomplished every task with a smile on her face no matter how boring the assignment. She even managed to get an invitation to the exclusive guidance holiday party, on the condition that she brings a goody to share (shout out to her mom for making the awesome vanilla cookies!). My People’s Choice nominee is Damiana Gumiran.
Eve Berger Ms. LeeAnn Catti
This year my People’s Choice nominee is very special young woman. She swam for me and the team all 4 years of her high school career. She was one of the captains of the swim team and was a true leader both in the pool and out. She is a role model in the classroom and her many extracurricular activities. She is also a three-sport athlete and captain of all three sports she participates in. As her swim coach, I have had the privilege of watching her develop into a mature young lady and an asset to our school and community. She is always willing to help her teammates and coaches whenever needed. In swimming, we have an event called the “dreaded 500.” I literally put her in this event every meet and she never complained one bit. When writing a line-up, I knew I could put her in this event and she would try 110 percent for me and the team. Beginning swimmers also looked up to her and were confident that she would guide them to a successful season. There is no doubt in my mind that she will be an asset to any College or University she chooses to attend. I see nothing but a bright future in store for my People’s Choice nominee, Eve Berger.
Shantel Johnston Ms. Liz Skrabonja
In such a large, dynamic school, many students transition in and out of our lives, and unfortunately sometimes even the best students become a distant memory. I don’t anticipate ever forgetting this student. I first met Shantel walking laps together during a double period gym class, where suffice to say we got to know each other pretty well! Since that time, I have bore witness to a girl going through the growing pains of high school, while shouldering adult responsibilities. We can all attest to Shantel’s endless energy, undying work ethic as well as her leadership and successes in track and cross country. However, it is my belief that it is her strength and ability to rise above and work to handle the challenges and conflicts she encounters that will separate her from the pack. Keen running Shantel!! Life really is a journey, but only you can decide which road to take. For sure there will be unexpected twists and turns, and even potholes; but by staying the course, pushing through the pain and staying true to your moral compass, your dreams await you at the finish line. Thank you for your smiles, good conversation and friendship. I believe in you and keep you in my heart and prayers. Don’t ever stop believing in yourself.
Nicole Sangillo Mr. Mark Schiffbauer
Lindsey Harner Mr. Chris Vitale
When I first met this student in my sophomore English class, she immediately stood out thanks to her superhero t-shirt collection. I soon realized that her wardrobe collection was more than just a fashion statement but instead reflected her true nature. I cannot think of a more heroic student in this school. She’s not only intelligent, hard working, and compassionate, but she understands that with these great powers come great responsibility. Few students have made sacrifices so readily for a worthy cause; few students have worked as hard to make their world a better place. This student’s bravery—her willingness to stand up for what she believes by staying true to herself—taught me more than any lesson about symbolism, syntax, or the American Dream I taught her. She is a true role model and an inspiration to us all. For these reasons, I nominate Lower Cape May Regional’s true superhero, Lindsey Harner, as my People’s Choice nominee.
Andrea Bispels Ms. Pauline Prince
This young lady is a Powerhouse of School Spirit. A member of National Honor Society, Tri-M Honor Society, Peer Leaders, a cast member of the Fall Play and the Spring Musical. The only LCMR student to attend RYLA, the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, voted Most School Spirited by her peers in the Class of 2013. When I co-hosted the talent Show this year, I saw in her a love for her school and her classmates, and a true respect for her teachers. What a personality I experienced that evening. I call her “bows” but you know her as Miss Andrea Bispels.
Jackson Sole Mr. TJ Belasco
The nice thing about this paragraph is I have a wonderful history to recall. I remember Jackson and his high energy from his West Cape May days. The great thing about Jackson is he found a means of channeling that energy as he made his way through high school. So as he readies himself for graduation, he is a National Honor Society member, a three sport varsity athlete, an Eagle Scout, and a soon to be Hokie. This does not even account for the accolades that the yearbook has presented to him. Still, none of these reasons are why he is my People’s Choice Award nominee. I chose Jackson for the way he carries himself. In a world where gentlemen in high school are few and far between, Jackson is a true gentleman. From the way he deals with teachers, to the way he carries himself among his peers, he always treats people with dignity and respect. I look forward to his enthusiasm every morning he comes into my classroom. I am always greeted with a warm hello and a readiness to discuss the previous evening’s reading. In addition to school, I have been lucky enough to watch Jackson as he works at the Washington Inn through the summer. All of these experiences have shown me that this is in fact his true personality. He takes life as it comes and handles everything with an amazingly upbeat personality. As I write this I am reminded of the 1989 movie "Say Anything." The main character is arguing with one of his female friends about being a guy. She tells him, “No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy." Jackson Sole fits that line. In a teenage world full of guys, he is a man. I am glad I had the opportunity to teach Jackson and look forward to seeing the success that comes his way. In the words of another very wise man Jackson knows, "It is good to be king."
Ryan Riess Mr. Ray Obst
If I could create a student what would he look like? I would want someone that is pleasant to work with in class. They come to class every day with a smile on their face and they leave with a smile on their face. I would want a hard worker; someone who does his homework every night and pays attention and participates in class. I would want someone that asks good quality questions. I would want someone that got upset when they did below their standard on a test. Never being satisfied with being mediocre. Basically I want a hard working individual with a great attitude. This year I am lucky to have several of these students but the one that I believe exemplifies these characteristics the most is my People’s Choice selection, Ryan Riess.
Catherine McDonnell Mr. Pete Daly
This is going to be the most difficult People’s Choice speech I have had to make because I cannot tell anyone why I will always remember her. My nominee started here at Lower a solid B –C student. She is leaving LCMR as a solid A-B student, except Math but everyone has a difficult subject. It is not only her grades that reflect her growth and dedication to school. In her first two years I saw her regularly in my office or in the halls. All of the sudden her Junior year I didn’t see her at all except in the hallway and at Lunch. At the same time all her grades improved. I am not sure what provoked this tremendous turnaround but she matured exponentially. She has become one of my favorite students to see in the hallway or in lunch. Always with a smile and a hello. I can proudly say that we have many students that exhibit similar growth and maturity here at Lower Cape May Regional. So why did I pick my nominee, well she taught me one great lesson that I will never forget, always lock your car doors. My People’s Choice Award nominee is Ms. Catherine McDonnell.
Emily Tomlin Mrs. Jane Rife
I have not known Emily too long unless you count it in dog time and then it’s been nearly 14 years! I do not know what she was like in elementary school or junior high, but I’m pretty sure that the things that I like most about Emily haven’t changed that much at all. Emily is the girl her peers elected to be NHS President. I didn’t know her that well then…I knew she was smart and sweet, and contributed to the school and community…I knew she had a great smile, a sincere one. I figured that she would be a good president. I learned that Emily is a phenomenal person, not just good, not just sweet, not just a pretty girl with a great smile, but phenomenal! At our first meeting for the year, Emily walked in with her agenda printed out; plans for the year, ideas for service to the school and community – she was going to make this organization shine! And as that famous doctor, Dr. Seuss said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” Emily will make things better wherever she is. She will! I have marveled at Emily and her determination. I admire her kindness to others, her talent, her grace and her spirit. She is a classic: polite, articulate and beautiful inside as well as outside and I am constantly more impressed by her every day.
Kelly Ann Grey Mrs. Karren Barr
My People’s Choice nominee is unique, caring, unusual and outspoken. She chooses her friends by their character, in the way they live their lives not by their status or position. Maya Angelou once said; “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry; but by demonstrating that all people cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other we may even become friends”. Kellyann exemplifies this passage. She is always working to unite her friends and classmates towards open minded issues of our times. Kellyann is an enthusiastic leader; I expect to see her name attached to political issues in our future, making changes to people’s opinions and our countries civil rights. Kellyann; I expect big things! Good Luck and God Bless. Love Ya Always!
Karleigh Spicer Mrs. Theresa Spicer
Through the years, I have watched you grow from a child into an incredible young woman. It is a journey that I am honored to have been a part of, a journey that showed me as much about myself as it did about you. And what a journey! You and I have had some wonderful times together. There has been laughter and tears, joy and sadness, hope and pain, but through it all you have kept moving forward with a smile on your face. There have been some challenges too, and I know you will face many more challenges as you move forward and begin creating a life of your own. I also know that if you approach those challenges with the same love and courage that you have now, you will find your way in life and you will be happy. You are getting to go on another journey, as you graduate from high school and get ready to start college in the fall. I am so proud of all that you have accomplished and all that you have done with your life so far. I can’t wait to see what the future will hold for you! I love you!
Matt Roach Mr. Frank Ackley
Matt is a pleasure to have in class. He generally has a smile on his face, while exuding a positive attitude. Although Math is not his favorite subject, nor one that is his strength, Matt works hard daily to complete the assignments, and I believe to understand the work. He adds much to the overall class atmosphere, and should pass the class for the year as long as he continues at his current performance level. Matt's personality, his ability to relate to others, his work ethic, and his self-confidence will all work in his favor once he graduates into the "real world". Matt, and other students like him, are who make teaching such a rewarding profession to be in. I am very blessed to have Matt Roach as a student this year.
Jenn Hickok Mrs. Kathy Parker
Jill Vandermark Mr. Mark Schiffbauer
Christopher Addonizio Mrs. Sandi Eakin
I have known my nominee for 18 years, 4 months, 8 days, and about 12 hours. I think it is safe to say that we have had time to get to know one another. Over that short time I have watched him grow into the most amazing young adult - it takes my breath away! From his love of academics to his deeply ingrained service streak, to his wicked sense of humor he makes me so proud. I am delighted to share an insane affection for an eclectic set of interests, among them, Dr. Who, Key Club, Being Human, chocolate, theater, grumpy-cat memes, science, Shakespeare, pasta, traveling, and an intense dislike of the heat. I have always delighted in every new step you take and every new experience that you tried. I can only imagine the mark you will make on this world. As you finish here at LCMR and leave for another phase of this marvelous adventure we call life, I pray that you take with you all that your teachers have given you and the fun times you had with friends, and build on that solid foundation. Go seek out a life that is filled with what you enjoy and you will leave this world better for being here. And as you do all this, remember I am here for you .... Your mom loves you!
Nick Avicolli Mr. Jeff Martin
My People’s Choice nominee is a person of quiet demeanor and good core values. I can attest to his willingness to better his environment and care for all living things. This student volunteers his time and exhibits genuine concern for his community. He also comes from a family that respects these values. Therefore, I am proud to name Nick Avicolli as my 2013 People’s Choice Award nominee.
Brian Sulecki Ms. Pauline Prince
He is quiet, smart, an athlete. He works hard and has a great love for music. He is a member of Tri-M Music Honor Society, Marching Bard, and Pit Band. Brian has played on the soccer team for four years, our ice hockey and golf teams for three years. This student has touched my heart every day. He has also made me proud the last four years here at Lower Cape May Regional High School.
Lauren Murphy Mrs. Gina Girone/Lauren Hansen
Lauren was an innovator in RMTV with an effervescent personality that made her a natural born leader. Her dependability and work ethic has carried her through a successful high school career. We can’t wait to see everything she’s going to accomplish in college and beyond.
Tyrill Beachaump Mr. Castellucci
Tyrill has demonstrated the ability to overcome personal obstacles, returning to school to earn his diploma when most in his circumstance would have dropped out. And despite his own stresses and difficulties, supported a friend in severe crisis in a most courageous and loyal manner to insure that she graduated high school despite her obstacles. For courage, loyalty, devotion to friendship, personal sacrifice, steadfast desire to succeed despite any potential difficulty, and for recognition of the importance of an education, not only for himself but also for his friend, Tyrill is my nominee for the People’s Choice Award.
Olivia Zeitler Ms. Heather Novitskie
When I met Olivia Zeitler for the first time her sophomore year, I knew that she was a sweet person and overall good student. I knew that she participated in extracurricular activities, was a good athlete, and a hard-worker. As I got to know Olivia better her junior year, I knew that she was a determined young lady with set college, career, and life goals. So, it was no surprise to me that her senior year, Olivia was chosen as a peer leader. I was excited when I found out that I would be her observer for Peer Leaders. As an observer, I would have to critique and fill out an evaluation form for Olivia while she met with her group of freshmen students and ran different activities and lessons. I knew that she would make a good peer leader if only for her friendly demeanor and great work ethic. What I didn’t know is that Olivia would turn out to be one of the most impactful, effective, and influential peer leaders I have observed over the years. When filling out her evaluation sheet for the first time this year, the words “exceeds expectations” kept repeating in my mind. I saw different sides of her that I have never seen before. She is a natural leader; she is caring and such a good listener; she has a natural way of making her freshmen students feel comfortable and at ease; she has an easy and natural way of connecting with her students by sharing her own life experiences; she is not afraid to talk to her students about her own obstacles and hurdles, if only to make them feel like they are not alone. She always sets a good example and encourages her students to overcome challenges, just as she has. She remembers things about her students and asks questions about their lives. She is FUNNY! and has a great sense of humor. She truly cares for others- a trait that cannot be faked, taught, or forced. I could go on and on counting the number of ways this student has impressed and surprised me and she continues to do so with every conversation and peer leader evaluation. She is such a unique and special person and I wanted to let her and her family know that she is making a positive impact at this school and with her students. I know that she will continue to exceed expectations just by being the person that she is.
Brett Barnes LCMR Girls Lacrosse Coaches
Brett is a quiet leader, always putting 110% effort into everything she does, and never complains. She has been a part of the girls’ lacrosse team all four years at LCMR and though she isn’t the loudest player or the player getting all the glory, she is a role model for the younger players with her poise and dedication to the sport.
Tyler O’Briant Mr. Sam Best
Tyler has truly made a transforming change. He is an amazing young man who can do anything he chooses if he continues on this positive path. It is my extreme pleasure to honor him as a major contributor to our LCMR Today program.
Zach Valcarce Mr. Ed Kraemer
I love to put the spotlight on those who do not seek it out, but truly deserve it. This young man is a model for others. He knows how to work hard but have fun while doing it. So many people peak early and remember those good old days for the rest of their lives. I know this young man will continue to work hard and have fun. I look forward to watching him peak the rest of his life.
Rory Racela Mr. Joe McKenna
I have not known this student long, but during the course of this school year this student has consistently proven himself to be conscientious and upstanding. He is diligent in his work, serious in his goals, and has shown a maturity far beyond his years. In the classroom, I have come to depend on his good nature for both stability and support. No matter what he might choose to do after graduation, I am assured that only great success awaits him in the future, and I can think of no one more deserving. He is truly a great person and it has been a great pleasure having him in my classroom.
Shelby Brown Mr. Brett Matthews
Shelby is an amazing student-athlete that I have had the pleasure of coaching the past two seasons. During this time, she never missed a practice, was an exceptional leader and worked hard every single time she stepped on the field. In Shelby’s senior season, she helped build a defense comprised of two seniors, two underclassmen and a first year goalie. With only two players having varsity experience at their defensive positions, Shelby worked with the underclassmen and they came together as a single unit. This unit only allowed 3 goals in the last 8 games of the season, which is nothing short of amazing. The People’s Choice Award is a great opportunity for me to acknowledge Shelby for an outstanding 4 years in our soccer program and also a great opportunity for me to thank her for everything she has done for the Lower Cape May Regional Girls Soccer Team. Thanks Shelby, we will miss you.
Cheyenne Birch Mrs. Debbie Sundstrom
What is a People’ Choice Award nominee? They have to exemplify a special quality. This is what Cheyenne has shown me over the past 3 years. Her imagination towards her passion has no limitations. Crossing lines of design and her artistic abilities into other areas has proven successful for her. I told her you can do anything you put your mind to. She has shown me that her love of baking and design can be brought together to make wonderful works. Together we have created many baked products. Recently she surprised me by presenting me with a gift that I will cherish forever. Bringing her love of painting and design with her love of baking she created a beautiful portrait of cupcakes. I know whatever path she ultimately decides upon, she will bring the fine arts together with the practical arts. After all we coined the phrase together, “It’s my passion”. Tonight I will give to her a new quotation. “It’s not just my passion it is our passion”. Go create, design, and bake…. Cheyenne I wish you nothing but success.
Eric Barikian Mr. Dennis Elia
I nominated this young man for several reasons. Over the last for years I have watched, coached and sometimes even critiqued him. I have seen a change in him that you rarely see from kids his age. Eric has been through some tough and trying times here at LCMR and somehow always comes up with a smile on his face. I am very proud of the young man that he has become today.
Natalie Craig Mr. Dave Pacevich/Denise Madden, Care Alternatives Volunteer Supervisor
It is an interesting moment in a teacher’s career when they have a student that can give back just as much as they have taken, and that is really what senior year should be about. So what has Natalie Craig given back to her school?
- · Sometimes tardy, but always attentive and demanding of the teacher to give a good lesson.
- · Natalie provides the eager ears of Mr. Pacevich and her school mates with a brutally honest interpretation of the world around us with her own “The World According to Nat.”
- · Natalie took Anatomy this year as a Senior, and this is her 3rd year on the track team, and I appreciate a teenager that involves their parents in their lives…Mom came on our field trip, and Dad taught us Yoga.
- · Just to prove the love that she has in her huge heart she trained 5 hours to be a volunteer for Care Alternative Hospice. Denise Madden is our Hospice contact, and she has been amazed with the level of devotion that Natalie has shown this year, making more visits than any other volunteer in 2013. Natalie, I have chosen you to be my People’s Choice Award Winner. You are and will remain in my list of All Stars of my teaching career. In a 25-30 year career a teacher at LCMR will see an average of 2,500 students, assuming they have an average of 15 students per class. Look around you tonight and feel honored that you made it to the All Star team of students that have given back to their teachers.