ALLENTOWN-UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Allentown High School Senior Car Parade, a tradition that was restarted last year due to COVID-19 was held tonight though the streets of Allentown and Upper Freehold Township. The parade started at 6:00 p.m. and featured the Class of 2021. It was reported the tradition was held prior to 1980 and faded away and restarted last year due to the pandemic. The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and members/fire police from the Hope Fire Company of Allentown assisted with the parade.
Video and photo gallery from the 2021 Senior Car Parade:
UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP-ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–At the entrance of Stone Bridge Middle School, student Dylan Lacroix, a Cadet Airman 1st Class in the Civil Air Patrol, has set up a “Missing Man Table.” He brought up the idea to Mrs. Folino and Mr. Myslinski.
The missing man table is traditionally part of military dining ceremonies and may also be performed for Veterans Day and Memorial Day services. The table has many different items to symbolize the missing soldiers.
The sign in front of the table reads:
“The table that stands before you is a place of honor. In setting this table, we acknowledge those missing from our celebration tonight. And, we remember them.”
* The table is small, and set for one — symbolizing the vulnerability of a lone prisoner against his captors.
* The tablecloth is white — symbolizing purity of intention in responding to the nation’s call to arms.
* The chair is empty, for they are not here.
* The wine glass is inverted — they cannot toast with us this night.
* The slices of lemon — reminding us of their bitter suffering.
* The grains of salt — representing the countless tears of the families.
* The single red rose — reminding us of loved ones who keep the faith awaiting their return.
* The burning candle and yellow ribbon — symbolizing everlasting hope of a reunion with the missing.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Students from the Robbinsville High School Class of 2021 are participating in the 11th Annual “U Got Brains Champion Schools Program,” sponsored by the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. Students participating in this annual program have been tasked with creating a peer-drive campaign that demonstrates safe driving.
This year Robbinsville High School has directed their campaign’s focus on the dangers of distracted driving. Through their research, students learned that cell phone and texting laws are only effective when paired with high-visibility enforcement efforts, such as the use of electronic signs. As a result, the students created a campaign focused on implementing these high-visibility enforcement efforts.
The first implementation was aided by the Robbinsville Police Department who displayed the slogan “If you’re texting, who’s driving” on several electronic signs throughout the township. This slogan was the winning submission of a schoolwide competition that kicked off this year’s campaign.
In conjunction with April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, students created videos to increase the visibility of their campaign messaging. The first video was a student-created public service announcement reminding their peers to “Just Drive,” which also served as an entry into the New Jersey Manufacturers “Just Drive” competition. An additional 18 short videos stating a statistic about distracted driving and including the campaign slogan were made and aired during the daily announcements at the high school.
In an effort to expand our viewing audience beyond the high school and Robbinsville community, the students teamed up with The TV Truck to transport their big messages of safe driving to a big screen shown throughout the region and across state lines. The truck will be traveled around Mercer and Bucks counties on April 19th, stopping at RHS to show a series of short videos about driving and ride-share safety.
Later that evening, there was a parent-student virtual presentation called Share The Keys, presented by NJM Insurance Group. Students wanted to be sure that parents were included in their campaign as parental involvement aids in reducing teen driving crashes.
The students would like to thank Brain Injury Alliance for allowing them to participate in this year’s competition, as well as The TV Truck, Robbinsville C.A.R.E. Coalition, Just Between Friends Mercer County, and the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation for their generous donations and support in helping to implement high-visibility enforcement efforts aimed at reducing distracted driving. The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation was started by the Robbinsville Josephson family, whose daughter Samantha, a former RHS graduate, was brutally murdered when she was targeted by a person posing as a rideshare driver in 2019. Her parents’ mission is to educate everyone on rideshare safety.
At the conclusion of the U Got Brains program, three winning schools will be selected by a panel of judges to receive a grand-prize of $10,000 cash donated to their school by Founding Sponsor, NJM Insurance Group. The program is fortunate to have a group of community safety leaders who have chosen to support these efforts through sponsorship, including New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, State Farm Insurance, National Road Safety Foundation, Allstate, Volvo, Nikhil Badlani Foundation, State Farm Insurance, Teen Safe Driving Coalition, New Jersey Education Association, and AAA.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Parents of Robbinsville High School seniors have taken up the challenge to provide memorable experiences for the graduating Class of 2021. Throughout the year in this small, close-knit Mercer county town, parents created memory-making moments for the approximately 250 seniors finishing out their high school careers in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. On Monday, April 19, a group of parents along with the help of the senior class installed the words “CLASS OF 2021” on the chain-link fence at the high school tennis court called the Fence of Hope. Also, they provided hundreds of school colored ribbons for the students to write notes on and tie to the fence to complete the project as a physical reminder to the graduating class that memories are made in many different ways.
ALLENTOWN, UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–This year a competitive Lego robotics team was established at Stone Bridge Middle School. Melissa Domen, the business leader of the Allentown high school robotics team, is the founder of the middle school team.
The name of the middle school team, True North Robotics, unites Stone Bridge Middle School’s motto of “Finding your True North” with the students’ passion for robotics. With the guidance of high school students on Redbird Robotics, 14 middle school students have learned programming, building, and teamwork skills, while having a successful rookie season this year so far.
On Feb. 13, 2021, True North Robotics did an outstanding job at the virtual Qualifying Event competition and headed to the virtual Southern NJ District Championship competition on April 10. The team received the Robot Design Award and the Breakthrough Award. At the Qualifying Event, the students placed fifth and sixth in the robot challenge game. At the Southern NJ District Championship competition, the students won the Rising Star Award and held an overall score well above the average for a rookie team.
Participating teams were judged on four different components during the competition including the Robot Game, a Robot Design Presentation, an Innovation Project Presentation, and a Core Values activity. For the Robot Game and Robot Design, the team built and programmed two different robots made out of Legos to complete a series of obstacles in 2.5 minutes. For the Innovation Project, True North Robotics invented and created prototypes of special swimming gear to help prevent swimmer’s ear and a mobile gym to encourage everyone to be more active.
In February 2020, Melissa Domen was awarded a grant by the Upper Freehold Regional Education Foundation to start True North Robotics. Since middle school level robotics competitions have a limit of 10 team members per team, True North Robotics split into two smaller competition teams. One competition team is called True North Robotics Impact and has eight students (Aaryan Desai, Ioanna Varouhakis, Vishek Desai, Luke Greenbaum, Taylor Lalla, Elena Mathew, Theo Renzulli, Jeremy George) , and the other competition team is called True North Robotics Innovation and has six students (Sean Gavin, Mia Laudien, Remy Fortsch, Aarav Patnaik, Benjamin Utset, Sienna Jones). Each of the smaller group team names are named after the Core Values of FIRST: Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork, Fun, Coopertition, and Gracious Professionalism.
The nonprofit organization FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST runs many types of robotics competitions for different grade levels from PreK through 12th grade. Both True North Robotics and Allentown High School Redbird Robotics are FIRST robotics competition teams. The True North Robotics’s competition level is called FIRST Lego League, and the Allentown High School Redbird Robotics’s competition level is called FIRST Robotics Competition.
What makes this team unique compared to other middle school robotics teams is that this team is 100% student run. Shane Conlin, Amelia Tricker, and Liam Granaghan are current Allentown high school students on the Redbird Robotics team and have been helping the True North Robotics team this season. Mr. Mark Guterl, Mrs. Stefanie Folino and Mr. Brian Myslinski have also been a great support for the team since its start. It has certainly been a team effort to get this team up in running with success. It has been quite an experience starting up a new competitive robotics team during a pandemic. The season kicked off in the summer of 2020 with online meetings. Students learned several skills like coding a robot, building robots, robotics competitions, the culture of the FIRST organization, and high school robotics. The end of the summer was also spent meeting in-person to build robots and obstacles made out of Legos. Safety measures such as social distancing and sanitizing were practiced at every single meeting. Both online and in-person meetings were held four days a week throughout the school year. Usually the competition season for middle school robotics starts in August and ends in December. But with it being a new team in a pandemic, this year’s season started in June 2020 and will be continuing until the end of April 2021. Soon, the team will start planning next year’s season. The team is always looking for new Stone Bridge Middle School students to apply for the team. Also, if you are a local individual or business that would like to get involved with the Upper Freehold Regional School District Robotics Teams, please email email@example.com
National FFA Week Celebrated Virtually February 20 – 27, 2021
ALLENTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–During a normal year the Allentown FFA chapter holds many National FFA Week events. Some of the events include a sponsor’s breakfast, open house, display at Tractor Supply, and a visit to the 1st National FFA President’s gravesite with wreath laying in Freehold. The Allentown High School FFA Chapter moved their National FFA Week activities to virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and plans to return to normal in person FFA Week activities in 2022.
Traditionally, the Allentown FFA Chapter would thank our sponsors and supporters at the Annual Sponsor’s Breakfast and Open House on this Day of FFA Week. As with many things this year, we had to change our format to deliver this event virtually! We want to thank you for your continued support of our program. Your support enables our members to develop premier leadership, personal growth, and achieve career success!
2021 Allentown FFA Sponsor’s Recognition Event –On the Friday of National FFA Week, the Allentown FFA Chapter recognizes and thanks our sponsors and supporters! This event helps showcase the accomplishments of FFA Members and how FFA can positive influence our students. Due to COVID-19, we were unable to meet in person. However, we still want to share our story!
Philadelphia, PA–Dunkin’ and its greater Philadelphia-area franchisees, in partnership with Scholarship America, today announced the recipients of its eleventh annual Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program. The program helps high school seniors and college students in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Kent and New Castle counties in Delaware pursue a part-time or full-time undergraduate degree at the institution of their choice.
From more than 1,500 applicants, Dunkin’ and Scholarship America selected 25 students to receive a $2,000 academic scholarship to an accredited two or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school of their choice for fall 2020. Dunkin’s Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program was open to current part-time and full-time undergraduate students and high school seniors. Dunkin’ awarded a total of $50,000 to the 25 recipients who were selected based on their academic records, demonstrated leadership skills, and overall commitment to their schools and local communities.
To date, the Dunkin’ Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program has awarded $450,000 in scholarships to 275 outstanding high school seniors and college students. The program was founded in 2009 by Dunkin’s Philadelphia-area franchisees as a way to ease the financial burden of college for students throughout the region.
“On behalf of my fellow franchisees, we are honored to award these 25 exceptional students with the 2020 Dunkin’ Regional Scholarships,” said Perry Shah, local Dunkin’ franchisee and Philadelphia regional advertising committee chairman. “We are so proud to see the scholarship program continue to grow each year and support students in our local communities. It is an honor to have the opportunity to further students’ educational goals and we look forward to the amazing achievements of these future leaders.”
To celebrate their 2020 Dunkin’ Regional Scholarship, each of the student recipients will enjoy a special visit at their residence from the Dunkin’ Community Cruiser. From July 30th through August 11th, Dunkin’ and its Community Cruiser will celebrate each student by providing a well deserved coffee break to the recipient’s family and friends.
Recipient: Nicholas Vellenga
Hometown: Ewing, NJ
High School: Ewing High School
University: Georgia Institute of Technology
Bio: Nicholas Vellenga is a recent graduate of Ewing High School, where he served as valedictorian. He is a recipient of the Senior Mathematics Department Award, Senior Spanish Department Award, 2020 Robotics Club Activities Award, President’s Gold Award, and USMC Scholastic Excellence Award. Vellenga also served as a member of the National Honor Society, Robotics Team Technical Manager, and is an Eagle Scout. This fall, Nicholas will attend Georgia Institute of Technology, where he plans to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Recipient: Kaitlyn Young
Hometown: Robbinsville, NJ
High School: Robbinsville High School
University: La Salle University
Bio: Kaitlyn Young is a recent graduate from Robbinsville High School. She was the recipient of the Excellence in Design, Computer Science, and English Award, and the Robbinsville High School Citizenship Award. In addition, Young was a member of the International Thespian Society and the National Honor Society. Outside of the classroom, she was a Physics and Honors Biology Tutor, Community Theater Performer and Volunteer, FIRST Tech Challenge Team Student Mentor, and an Assistant Teaching Artist at the McCarter Theatre Center. During her free time, Kaitlyn enjoys dancing and learning new musical instruments. This fall, Kaitlyn will attend La Salle University, where she plans to pursue a degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–After a long wait for outdoor graduations due to the COVID-19 pandemic Allentown High School’s Class of 2020 was able to have a full commencement this afternoon. This was Allentown High Schools Ninety-Fifth commencement.
The ceremony was held outdoors at Arm & Hammer Waterfront Park due to COVID-19 restrictions.
ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Upper Freehold Regional Schools released that there will be a in-person graduation this year at Arm & Hammer Park, Trenton Thunder baseball stadium on July 9, 2020. See below:
Great news shared by Mrs. Embley for our Seniors!
Dear Senior Parents,
We are excited to announce that we plan to hold our in-person graduation on Thursday, July 9th at 4:00 PM at the ARM & HAMMER Park on the Trenton Thunder Baseball Field. At this time, we are expecting to be able to hold just one ceremony including all our 2020 graduates. Seating will be limited and all social distancing protocols will be in place. We are in the early planning stages and do not have more information to share at this time.
Please remember, at any time the Governor can revoke our abilty to hold an in-person ceremony and/or greatly limit the number of people who can attend.
We are very hopeful this will work out and be a great send-off for our graduates. As soon as I have more information, I will let you know.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.
Local coverage area semifinalists:
Vineeth Duggirala, East Windsor – Mercer County Technical Schools – Health Science Academy
Jonathan Li Lin, Cranbury – Princeton High School
Lucy Zou, East Brunswick – East Brunswick High School
Laura Futamura, Middletown – High Technology High School
New Jersey Full List: NJ – Rohan Amin, Denville – Delbarton School **NJ – Grace Elizabeth Brokenshire, Woodbury Heights – Gateway Regional High School **NJ – Alicia Caichen, Paramus – Bergen County Technical Hs NJ – Elizabeth Angelina Caso, High Bridge – North Hunterdon High School *NJ – Elli Choi, Tenafly – Tenafly High School NJ – Eunice Y. Chong, Demarest – Northern Valley Regional High School NJ – Shawnak Deb, New Providence – Union County Magnet High School NJ – Vineeth Duggirala, East Windsor – Mercer County Technical Schools – Health Science Academy *NJ – Laura Futamura, Middletown – High Technology High School *NJ – Felicia He, Saddle River – The Brearley School NJ – Kevin Huang, Bellmawr – Triton Regional High School NJ – Jonathan Koa, Mahwah – Mahwah High School **NJ – Dong Jun Lee, Fort Lee – Bergen County Technical High School NJ – YoungEun Lee, Demarest – Northern Valley Regional High School *NJ – Jeffrey Xiang Liao, Livingston – Livingston High School NJ – Jonathan Li Lin, Cranbury – Princeton High School NJ – Shreya Nuli, Bridgewater – Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School NJ – Ojas Parmar, Edison – Rutgers Preparatory School NJ – Jason Ping, Fort Lee – Academy for the Advancement of Science & Technology NJ – Katie Volpert, Highland Park – Highland Park High School **NJ – Alan Yeung, Sparta – Sparta High School NJ – Ethan Zhang, Short Hills – Millburn High School NJ – Kathryn Shao Zheng, Tenafly – Tenafly High School NJ – Lucy Zou, East Brunswick – East Brunswick High School
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville High School Senior guys compete for the title and crown of “Mr. RHS” There were twelve contestants, one for each month from January to December performed in individual skits, a talent competition and a group number. Admission was $5. for students, $10. for adults and additional vote tickets were $1. each. All funds raised were for the benefit of the RHS Class of 2020.
Mr. July Nick Carella won the title and crown as Mr. RHS 2020.
Mr. January: Alex Fleischner Mr. February: James Cavanaugh-Gialloreto Mr. March: Zach Glassband Mr. April: Connor Fitzsimmons Mr. May: Michael Radosti Mr. June: Nick Zangrilli Mr. RHS 2020: Mr. July: Nick Carella Mr. August: Chris Mysh Mr. September: Dayyan Hamid Mr. October: Rohit Nair Mr. November: Robbie Lotito Mr. December: Ryan Siminske
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–On Sunday, February 9, 2020, the Robbinsville High School Red Cross Club hosted its annual blood drive. Currently, there is a critical blood shortage. The Red Cross Club took action by partnering with the American Red Cross to hold a blood drive. The blood drive was led by club members Arrshia Kumar, Jaii Pappu, Joelle DelPrete, Saisha Ahluwalia, Sydnie Lui, and Raaha Kumaresan.
Club members were excited for the event. Many students volunteered at the event. They greeted volunteers as they came in and managed sign-in. Students also brought in baked goods for the blood donors. The blood drive was a great way for students to engage with their community and make a difference. Every blood donation can save up to three lives. The blood drive was successful. They collected 25 units of blood. Thank you to all the club members, Red Cross nurses, and blood donors.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐！and is celebrated this year on January 25, 2020. It is the Year of the Rat.
Students celebrated Robbinsville High School’s 8th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration. The events included: The Dragon Dance, Group Singing, Opening Ceremony, Taichi, Ping Pong Match, Yo Yo, Cai Wei group dance, WuShu. The event concluded with the Lion Dance and traditional Chinese foods.
Traditional foods included Beef Lo Mein, Sesame Chicken, Pork Fried Rice, Vegetable Rice, Noodles, General Tso’s Chicken, Dumplings, White Rice, and Fortune Cookies.
The event was hosted by the Robbinsville High School Chinese Club and Ping Pong Club under the direction of Mrs. Kanagawa