BOE recognizes student accomplishments

From Pascack Hills, Tala Atkinson, Eli Behar, Riley Haworth, and Trayee Jha were acknowledged.


Olivia Ge

BOE vice president Gini Varghese (left) with some students from Hills and Valley. Junior Trayee Jha (second from right) was recognized for receiving an award in social studies.

On Monday night, the Pascack Valley Regional High School District Board of Education recognized some students in the district for their recent accomplishments. From Pascack Hills, Tala Atkinson, Eli Behar, Riley Haworth, and Trayee Jha were acknowledged for their achievements. 

Olivia Ge
Atkinson receiving her award.

Atkinson, a junior at Hills, was recognized for having her painting, “Miming Display” displayed in the Pine Gallery at the Fair Lawn Library as part of the Congressional Art Competition. She won that competition, and was also recognized for it being displayed in the United States’ Capitol. 

“Congressional Representative Josh Gottheimer was there to congratulate Tala. She won the competition and her artwork will hang in the U.S. capitol, representing our congressional district,” BOE president Joseph Blundo said. 

Olivia Ge
Behar taking a photo with his award.

Behar, a Hills senior, was recognized for winning the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Scholar Athlete Award, which is given to a senior that plays a varsity sport, has a GPA of a 3.0 or higher, and shows school and community citizenship. He received this award for his participation in varsity cross country, winter track, and spring track.

Haworth, another junior, was recognized for being accepted to the 2022-23 All-State Mixed Choir. As a part of this choir, she will perform in two concerts in November: one in Atlantic City on Nov. 11 and one in Newark on Nov. 20.

“These students are accepted based on their audition during which they undergo a rigorous process. They had to perform a solo, a quintet, and scales,” Blundo said. 

Olivia Ge
Jha with her award.

Jha, a third junior, was recognized for being awarded with a certificate by the New Jersey Council for Social Studies, which acknowledges her grades, engagement, leadership, and contributions to social studies. 

“Trayee’s name will be added to the NJCSS Hall of Fame,” Blundo added.

The BOE also approved donations from several that will be put towards senior awards and scholarships, such as the PH LaRezza Scholarship, PH Wrestling Team scholarships, and PH Director of Guidance Award Scholarship. 

Hilary Siegel, the BOE student representative for Hills, was unable to attend the meeting, so interim superintendent Daniel Fishbein gave her monthly report. 

He recognized May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and acknowledged that the Asian Culture Club hung posters throughout the school with a goal to inform students and staff. 

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, and the report stated that the PH Cares Club encouraged students to wear green, a color of mental health awareness. They organized a display in the library and hung proclamations of support throughout the school. 

Becca’s Closet, a service club, set up free pop-up shops in the beginning of May to help students find dresses for prom. 

On Saturday, Teens Against Cancer participated in the annual Relay For Life. Students raised just under $15,000 to support the cause dedicated to saving lives against cancer. 

The Powder Puff Game will take place on Tuesday, where junior girls compete against senior girls in flag football. It was originally scheduled for April, but was postponed due to high winds and cold temperatures. This will be the last school-wide event of the year. 

Finally, the Environmental Club’s Earth Day cleanup was postponed to May 26; volunteers will clean up the school grounds with goals to make the planet cleaner. The 2022 Art Fest will also take place that same day to celebrate student projects. 

Throughout the meeting, the BOE approved items such as the three-year technology agreement and the summer reading list for this year. They ended by listening to the Curriculum and Technology Report, given by BOE member James Stankus. He updated the members on items such as SAT, ACT, and college essay prep classes being offered over the summer, financial literacy, and the distribution of iPads to teachers for next school year.

“They will be used as a second teaching tool,” Fishbein stated.