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.”
On October 27th, ALJ went pink in support of breast cancer research. It seemed everyone was participating in the event. Students, teachers, counsellors, secretaries and staff all donned their pinkiest pink in support of the event.
SMAC (Student Movement Against Cancer) sold T shirts to many students and teachers to raise funds for research. They also decorated the hallways throughout the school with crepe paper. Teachers and staff throughout the district held a Jean Day event to raise funds as well.
Mrs. Headrick and Mrs. Cusick are the advisers to the club. Mrs. Cusick thanked everyone for their support. "It was so awesome to see so many students, staff and faculty in pink! SMAC raised a total of $2,027.75 for an amazing foundation, the Susan Satriano Scholarship Fund and we couldn't have done it without your support," said Mrs. Cusick in an email to the staff.
Courtesy of Tapintoclark
CLARK, NJ - George Visconti Jr., an Arthur L. Johnson High School senior was awarded the Wendy’s High School Heisman award in recognition of his leadership both on the courts and in the classroom.
According to ALJ officials, George has been a competitive athlete throughout his years at ALJ. His contributions to the basketball program are significant, most notably leading the 2016-2017 team to the Central Jersey Group 2 State Championship game, a first for the Crusaders.
George has been a starter for the basketball team since his freshman year, and holds the school record for most points with one year remaining in his playing career.
In school, George maintains a high grade point average in honors and Advanced Placement level courses. He participates in the Crusader Athletic Leadership Council as well as many other school activities.
According to the Wendy's High School Heisman website the award was created by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas in 1994. Thomas was a high school dropout who went on to become a successful entrepreneur.
Thomas worried that his unusual journey to success might inspire others to leave school early and expect similar results, as indicated on their website. As a result Thomas went back to school at the age of 61 and received his General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
The site goes on to describe Thomas as being inspired by this moment and wanting to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth in America, launched the Wendy's High School Heisman program.
Two ALJ teens competed for the title of Miss New Jersey Teen October 14th and 15th. Out of the 110 contestants from across the state, Brooke Gallo and Kaitlyn King were selected as semi- finalists. Kaitlyn was named as 4th runner up and Brooke won a humanitarian award for collecting 275 coats for the boys and girls clubs of NJ. Brooke Gallo said, "This was my very first pageant and I was so honored and excited to be part of this experience. Over the weekend I had met many girls with great life experiences. I had made many of friends over the weekend and I was especially humbled to receive the Miss Humanitarian award and make the top 19. I couldn’t be happier for Kaitlyn for coming in the top 5!"
Mrs. Susan Dougherty, retired ALJ teacher and advisor to the Miss America pageant said, "Congratulations to both girls who competed in interview, fitness and evening gown and made their families and school proud."
The ALJ Crusader of the Month for October 2017 is senior, William Shaughnessy. Will is an active member in the Marching Band, Student Council, and Peer Leadership. He is also an award winning Key Club member, logging in over 400 hours of community service.
Will is Lieutenant Governor in the New Jersey Key Club, the first time ALJ has had an LT in many years. As LT, Will is responsible for assisting six school districts in southern New Jersey. He has also received the Tri-M Music honor and is a Science Olympiad.
Will also has earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America Troop 145. This rank is earned by less than 2% of all scouts. His Eagle project centered around improvements and repairs to the Clark Police shooting range.
When Will is not giving his time to others, he enjoys watching Netflix, attending Key Club conventions, and working. He is the co-chair of a raffle fundraiser for the Children’s Specialized Hospital. His favorite thing about ALJ is being in the IMC with his friends during activity period.
Will plans on attending college next fall to pursue his MBA.
The Arthur L. Johnson Crusader Marching Band took the field for the first Tournament of Bands (TOB) competition on September 23rd at Matawan HS, performing this year’s field show titled, “Noble Hearts.” The field show is a tribute to the veterans who have served and serve in the US Armed Services. The ALJ Crusader Band won first place in Group 2 Open, which is a very competitive group in TOB. Additionally, the Marching Band won Best Music and Best Visual.
On September 30th, the ALJ Crusader Marching Band again entered the field of competition at Ramsey HS and won first place in Group 2 Open, as well as the Best Music and Best Visual awards.
On Saturday, they will compete in the NJ State championship held in Toms River. On Sunday, they will compete in Chapter 10 Championship held in West Essex.
Senior William Shaughnessy commented, “I’ve always found competing energizing. Not only are you fighting for bragging rights, but you are also fighting for your 50 friends and for school pride. When you walk off the field after a competition, there’s a sense of relief, but moreover, there’s a sense of accomplishment. As a senior, those feelings don’t go away, it just gets more sentimental. I’m thankful to Mrs. Bollaro and staff for investing so much time in us and pushing us day in and day out to be our best. The life lessons that marching band and competition have taught me are invaluable.”
.Mr. Reyes recently announced a new summer trip to Italy for June 2018. “Normally the Italy trip is held during Spring Break, but some athletes came to me and asked if I would run a trip in June,” said Mr. Reyes.
Travelers will depart soon after the end of the school year and spend 10 days in Italy. The first city on the itinerary will be Venice. One of the most unique cities in the world, Venice’s canals and gondolas make it a one of a kind. In addition, the incredible Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica are architectural wonders. Venice is also famous for its glass manufacturing and cobblestone pathways.
From here the trip will take travelers to Florence. Tours will include the famous Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. Florence is famous for supple leather, and 18 karat gold. Travelers will marvel at the capital of the Renaissance in the center of Italy.
From stunning Florence, the trip will spend a day exploring the inspiring town of Assisi and its cathedral famous for its religious importance. They will then continue to Pompeii and Capri, where they will explore the ruins of Pompeii and the white sandy beaches of Capri.
The last stop on the excursion will be the Eternal City of Rome and the Vatican. Travelers will wonder at the grandeur of the Colliseum and other Roman ruins. They will gaze in amazement at the Sistine Chapel and the world’s largest church at St. Peter’s.
Price included flight, hotel, most admissions and breakfast and dinner. For more information see Mr. Reyes in Room 215 or check out the website at eftours.com/2060366KY. The YouTube video below is a similar tour to the one in June 2018.
The Crusader Today will be raffling off two tickets to see Bebe Rexha and Marc E Bassey in concert. The concert will take place On November 5th at iPlayAmerica in Freehold, New Jersey. The Crusader Today is holding the raffle to encourage students to read the school blog. The drawing will be held at 2:30 on October 27th at the security desk. Entering to win is easy:
It’s that simple. Only one entry per person. Winners do not have to be present to win. Tickets are courtesy of MOXIE. Winners will be asked to write a brief overview of the concert and release selfies and pictures of the event for blog use.