Stories and Photos courtesy of TapintoClark.com
The Arthur L. Johnson Drama Department is bringing the original stage version of A Streetcar Named Desire to the high school this week. The play was originally produced on the Broadway stage in 1947 and will be produced on the ALJ stage, starring Clark's own high school performers.
Director Peter Nevargic expressed his pride in the incredibly talented and dedicated student actors as they tackle this classic play. According to Nevargic, this play is rarely seen on high school stages, which is even more reason to come out and see it.
A Streetcar Named Desire performs on Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 pm and Friday, November 17 at 7:00 pm in the ALJ auditorium. All tickets are $5.00 and are available at the door.
Arthur L. Johnson High School is located at 365 Westfield Avenue in Clark.
What are the influences that determine the evolution of fashion? This is the question that Ms. Kimberly Benett’s Fashion Marketing class was answering while completing a recent assignment which called for students to examine past ALJ yearbooks.
After researching economic conditions, social shifts, pop culture, and fashion trends throughout the twentieth century, students completed a culminating activity inspecting a true primary source, past editions of the Crusader yearbooks. “Students recorded observations on hair styles, popular dress, school culture, and more while investigating the swinging fifties to the grungy nineties. It really is an immersive activity,” said Ms. Bennett.
In addition to relishing over the fashion, a number of students were both excited and horrified at family members’ photos from the past. Hannah Brogan, a Junior, said of her mother, Susan Joback class of ‘89, “Look at that hair. I can’t believe that was how she wore it back in the day.”
Students were also given the opportunity to conduct some of their research via the archived yearbooks on the school’s website. As part of the Union County Heart Grant, ALJ yearbooks from 1957-1967 thus far have been digitized. The Clark Historical Archives site features town history such as local newspaper articles, historical books, yearbooks, and Clark's Fallen Heroes dating back to the 50's. To donate or sponsor the digitization of an ALJ yearbook contact the ALJ Library Media Specialist, Carla Celso (732-382-0910 extension 3155).
Overall it seemed that the project was a major hit, “I really loved this project, my favorite decade to look through was definitely the fifties. I just love everything about that time.” Bella Anastasatos, a Junior.
Story and Pictures courtesy of TapintoClark
By Dan Collins
On November 3rd, 2017 ALJ played against Governor Livingston High School. The Crusaders took the field with an overwhelming first half performance, scored 34 points in the first 24 minutes of action and stormed past the Highlanders by a final score of 41-6 Friday night in Clark.
After Metz intercepted a pass from Governor Livingston junior quarterback Dylan Dwyer on their opening drive, the Crusaders went to work and it took a few plays to get on the scoreboard.
Turek took the ball and plowed his way to the end zone for a 42-yard rushing touchdown and following Casalino’s extra point, Johnson took the 7-0 lead. It was the third play of the Crusaders’ drive following Metz’s interception.
After forcing Governor Livingston to punt, Johnson began their next drive at midfield and continued to chip through the Highlanders defense. Junior Vito Galluzzo got his team more points with a rush up the sideline and into the end zone for a nine-yard rushing touchdown. Following Casalino’s extra point, Johnson took a 14-0 lead.
Their defense continued to pressure Governor Livingston, who struggled to get ball movement going during their drives. Following another three-and-out by the Crusaders, which ended with the Highlanders punting, the Crusaders running game continued to prove successful.
It took only play of the next drive, as Bruno took the ball and took it to the end zone for a 33-yard rushing touchdown, adding to his team’s hot start. He finished the evening with 62 yards on six carries, including his 33-yard rushing touchdown.
“We all stick together and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys,” Bruno said. “We all love each other and played for each other tonight.”
“We’ve been playing together forever, so we are playing for each other and that’s a big part of it,” Greenbush said.
Johnson led Governor Livingston 21-0 after the first quarter and never looked back as they took the field yet again. After receiving the ball with a minute remaining in the first quarter, the Crusaders charged down the field with short running plays.
Turek, who’s been an anchor for Johnson on the running game, finished off the drive with a ten-yard rushing touchdown, as the lead became 27-0 with Johnson in front. He finished the evening with 101 rushing yards on 11 carries, to go along with his two rushing touchdowns.
“These past four years have been amazing with my best friends,” Turek said. “I’m so happy we finally get a home field game with all our fans. It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”
Later in the quarter, Metz added to the scoreboard with a 62-yard rushing touchdown on the ground, as Johnson took a 34-0 lead into halftime over Governor Livingston.
“I love this team,” Bowen said. “We’re very close-knit and a family. We love each other and it’s a really special bond we hold together.”
With the starters out late in the fourth quarter, sophomore backup quarterback Evan Parenti added to the offense with a three-yard rushing touchdown to finish the scoring on the night.
Governor Livingston broke the shutout bid with an eight-yard rushing touchdown from junior James Synder in the fourth quarter.
The Highlanders were dealt injuries to key players and losses that proved to be tough, but the leadership displayed by their senior players has stood out as a positive quality despite the record.
“We’ve had some injuries [and] seen a lot of adversity this season,” Governor Livingston head coach Dan Guyton said. “No matter what, our seniors continue to lead and play hard. We haven’t been divided, we’ve come together and continue to play hard. That’s a testament to our senior leaders.”
The Johnson Crusaders (7-1) will remain home for the first round of the NJSIAA Central, Group 2 state playoffs on Friday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m. Their opponent is TBD.
“Everybody in our section is tough [and] are good football teams, but so are we,” DelConte said. “Our guys are ready to roll and I know we can bring it. I know these guys are going to be ready to take it to the next level and whoever it is, we’ll be ready.”
The Governor Livingston Highlanders (1-7) will play in an NJSIAA consolation match next week, with the time and opponent TBD.
By ELIZABETH PARASCANDOLA-CLEE AND DANIEL COLLINS
CLARK, NJ - The annual tradition of holding a pre-game ceremony to recognize the contributions of Seniors continued on Friday evening November 3rd, at Arthur L. Johnson High School. Members of the class of 2018 were honored at the start of the final regular season Crusader home game.
Seniors in the Crusader Marching Band, Cheerleading Squad and Football teams were called to the field with their families to mark the celebration.
Story by Bailey Rosenmeier. Photos by Victoria Zatko
On Friday, November 3, 2017 Arthur L. Johnson hosted the annual Homecoming ceremony with a change of location from Johnson’s lower gym to the football field at halftime of the Johnson vs. Governor Livingston football game.
The nominees made an extravagant entrance and were driven around the track on the back of a Clark police truck with an open back in order for all of their friends, family, and fans to see them dressed as school royalty. After the ride, the female nominees were escorted off the truck by their prince for the night, and walked to the center of the football field.
The candidates later formed a line, with females on one half, and the males completing the other half, all eager to learn who would claim the title of king and queen.
Moments later, expressions of excitement and glee erupted throughout the crowd once learning the 2017 Homecoming king and queen were Gabriella Smith, and George Visconti.
All the girls received flowers, and circled in a group hug with the queen, Gabby, showing the crowd the gratitude and happiness they gained from the night itself.
Ms. Wronski and Mr. Raguseo, Class of 2018 advisors, moved Homecoming to the football game to improve visibility of the event. “I was very pleased with the outcome,” said Ms. Wronski.
CLARK, NJ - Article and photos courtesy of TapintoClark
Joseph Turek, senior at Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark, was recently named Scholar-Athlete of the Week by News 12 New Jersey & NJEA.
According to school officials, students nominated for this award must excel in both academics and athletics and demonstrate leadership skills in the school and involvement in the community. Turek was nominated for the award by Coach Anthony Delconte and Athletic Director Gus Kalikas.
"Joe is an exemplary student-athlete who we are most proud of. We are excited for what the rest of his senior year holds for him," said Superintendent of Schools Ed Grande.
According to Turek’s father Bob Turek, Joe is looking to play football in college too. Joe is currently eyeing Holy Cross, Bucknell and Kutztown as possible school choices.
Turek’s dad expressed his appreciation for the recognition his son received through this award. “The responsibility of a scholar athlete is to be a role model on the field, in the classroom and in the community as well. We are very proud that Joe has been recognized with this honor by his coaches and NJ News 12. He is a great kid and well deserving of this award,” said Bob Turek.
Having won this honor, Turek is now eligible for a $5,000 scholarship at the end of the school year.
By Maryann Makosiej (Courtesy of TapintoClark)
New York, NY - On October 15, six students from Arthur L. Johnson High School attended the first inaugural Civics Unplugged Forum Series Seminar at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York City.
Although a simple Sunday once a month, Civics Unplugged delves into subject matter ranging from voting rights, trade, immigration, press, PACs, think tanks, campaign finance, to the merits of the system of checks and balances. As a partner organization to Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit international educational and professional development organization, it provides an opportunity for high school students from across New York and New Jersey to go beyond the classroom and engage with a diverse group of voices.
Bailey Latza, a senior, stated that “learning from people from such diverse walks of life was eye-opening”, while Kayla Dias, also a senior at ALJ, was intrigued by the questions poised by her peers. Each Civic Fellow walked away with a different perspective or idea, their beliefs challenged in a safe, academic setting to better understand the world around them.
The participants, starting the day being addressed by the founders, each attended three seminars intended to foster critical thinking and introduce rigor of dialogue. Each discussion, ranging from the importance of perspective and recognizing bias to the inflection of language in society, provided new avenues for each student to connect with peers across socioeconomic, cultural, religious, and political lines.
At lunch, each student had the opportunity to learn about the backgrounds and cultures of the other 71 participants from 11 different high schools across the tri-state area. This time, Brenner Gull stated, was his favorite because he had a chance to discover a snapshot of life from the five boroughs, as well as lend a snapshot of his own.
“Our students have a role in the civics process, and should be aware of how they use their voice to foster change within their communities,” said Frank Stebbins, the ALJ advisor for the Civics Unplugged Series. Indeed, Civics U extends far beyond 72 participants from 11 different high schools in the tri-state area. Simply, it is a call to action for a completely new school of thought to invite the youngest generation to the proverbial, political table.
The Civics Unplugged Series was created after Jeffrey Silverman, Chairman and Founder, when he noticed a lack of dialogue surrounding current events and civics within his children's’ schools. The presidential election was a pivotal point to him, stating that it “proved to my kids that democracy is an active process. When people become complacent, few people end up making a decision for many”.
ALJ Student of the Month for October 2017 is senior, Emma Knutson. Emma is a member of the National, Spanish, and and Science Honor Societies. Emma is a commended National Merit Scholar by the National Merit Scholarship program, an academic competition for students who show outstanding ability and potential for academic success in college. Enrolled in over five AP courses this year, she has earned the title of College Board AP Scholar with Distinction which is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
Emma is not only a star in the classroom, she is also an actress for Arthur L. Johnson's theater productions. Last Spring, she played Grandmama in The Addam’s Family Musical, and this November you will catch her on stage playing Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. In her spare time, Emma enjoys practicing instruments such as guitar, flute, and piano. She loves to sing and gets inspiration from watching movies and reading books.
Emma will be attending college next fall in pursuit of a psychiatric degree. She also aspires to be an author of short stories and books.
Photos by Samantha Marano and Kate Humphreys
By Dan Laucik
On October 31st, ALJ celebrated its annual Senior Halloween Event. Staged in the lower gym, the participating seniors got together to show off and spread school spirit through their creative costumes.
Most of the seniors coordinated costumes in groups which included, Batman and his enemies, Power Puff Girls, Clueless, Spongebob, Shrek, and Fairly Odd Parents just to name a few. Others chose to run solo like Sam Perednia as an old lady.
The winners of the event were judged by teachers and staff. The most original costume went to Jade McCormack as a marionette. The most terrifying costume was given to Jeff Drajin as the Joker. The funniest went to Ryan Rutrano as Salt Bae. The group award went to the Batman group made up of Jeff Drajin, George Visconti, Kareem, Ryan Spallone, Chris Cundari. Finally the best all around went to Mike Adamowitz, Pat Quigley, Nick Calabrese who were dressed as the ALJ security guards.
Teachers got into the act by following their annual theme. This year’s theme was breakfast. Snap, Crackle, Pop, Iron Chef, Fruity Pebbles and French Toast made up just a few of the teachers and staff costumes. Mrs. Feeley dressed up creatively as a “Cereal Killer.”
In addition, for the first time, underclassmen were allowed to dress up if they donated $5 to help support the junior class. Vice Principal Ed Bucior, who dressed as Fred Flintstone (AKA Fruity Pebbles), said, “It was great to see so many people dressed up.”