School board honors Masuk and Jockey Hollow scholars, award winners

Masuk Principal Steven Swensen, left, with from left, students Erica Feher and Justin Guinta, Board of Education Chairwoman Donna Lane and Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza.
Jockey Hollow student Ava Moretti with, from left, student Shivani Anand, Principal Michael Crowley, Board of Education Chairwoman Donna Lane and Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza.

MONROE, CT — Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza and the Board of Education honored outstanding students of Jockey Hollow Middle School and Masuk High School during a short ceremony held at a recent board meeting.

Masuk Principal Steven Swensen told the board his students, Emily Dial and Emmanuel Hernandez, earned recognition as College Board 2021 National Recognition Program Scholars.

“This is for their academic excellence and just outstanding performance on their PSATs,” Swensen explained.

Masuk Principal Steven Swensen, left, with, from left, student Emily Dial, Board of Education Chairwoman Donna Lane and Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza.

Four other students received Western Connecticut Superintendents Association Awards: Shivani Anand and Ava Moretti of Jockey Hollow, and Masuk students Erica Feher and Justin Guinta.

Kobza said the association honors two students from the middle school and two from the high school every year, inviting them to a ceremony at the Amber Room in Danbury. However, that event could not be held this year.

“It’s a really great honor,” Kobza said. “The staff from each school is asked to choose the students who best exemplify our core values as a school. It’s based on commitment to their academics, leadership to the school community and community service to the school and the greater Monroe community. I think it speaks volumes to these four individuals.”

During the ceremony in Danbury, a blurb is read about each student, so Kobza asked Swensen and Jockey Hollow Principal Michael Crowley to read blurbs about each of their students at the board meeting on May 10.

The following descriptions were compiled by the students’ teachers:

Shivani Anand: Shivani is an incredibly bright and compelling student. Her dedication to her course work is impressive. But she truly stands out to her classmates and the Jockey Hollow STEM Academy staff when she unleashes her ability to speak fiercely and passionately.

Her written work is mature and focused and she takes pride in every task she takes on. Shivani has proven time and again what young people are capable of when enthusiasm and intelligence mix. 

Ava Moretti is capable of turning any group of students into a warm and supportive community. Her infectious enthusiasm in the classroom has made her an invaluable member of Jockey Hollow and a friend to all. She is dedicated to improving herself academically, striving to master skills in a creative and meaningful manner.

Her athletic prowess is equally impressive and Ava has added so much talent to the softball and basketball teams. A leader in and out of the classroom, Ava has shown maturity, kindness and intelligence in all aspects of her school career.

Erica Feher: Erica’s enthusiasm and passion for life and learning is contagious and refreshing. She puts her heart and soul into her interests and is a pleasure to teach. She has found a calling in multimedia design and production and is motivated and naturally inquisitive.

She has confidence and follows through with projects that interest her. Mostly these projects benefit the community and individuals in a positive way. Erica has a passion to share her talents and skills for the greater good and does them with a smile on her face.

Erica also took on a side project of designing the new principal’s business card, working with a professional in the printing business to make sure the proof was up to proper specifications.

Justin Guinta: Justin is a hard worker who loves learning. He is a very positive person — kind, compassionate, spiritual and respectful to everyone he meets. Justin is a natural leader whose charismatic personality draws people to follow.

There is no doubt that Justin will be successful in the future, and if he accomplishes his personal goal of becoming an FBI agent or the secretary of Homeland Security, this country will be a much safer place for all who call it home.

Justin was also a Commended National Merit Scholar along with some of his classmates, but could not make the meeting in the fall.

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