RFH NEWS: STROKE, SWIM, SWASHBUCKLE

RFHmusketeersThe Tower Players at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, shown here in THE THREE MUSKETEERS — ALL SWASH AND NO BUCKLE, earned a number of nominations and awards for their 2013/14 season.

From press materials furnished by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School and Fair Haven School District

A banner year for the Rowing team, a trophy case of awards for the Drama troupe, a collection of precious-metal medals for a Fair Haven swimmer, and an early welcome to incoming freshmen — all events that capped another memorable school year, as the 2013-2014 session at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School approached its close.

RFH ROWING WRAPS UP 2014 SPRING SEASON 

The RFH rowing community came together at the Ocean Beach Club on Wednesday, June 11, to celebrate the season, recognize outstanding achievements and sadly say goodbye to its graduating seniors. There was much to celebrate, as RFH Rowing captured three First Place and two Second Place finishes at the Saint Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware. At the Central New Jersey Rowing Association’s Wagner Cup, held on the Raritan River, the team won eight First Place medals and claimed a First or Second Place in all entered events. The Men’s Junior Quad (Brendan Edwards, Ben Cooper, Matt Bavuso and Sheridan Camarata) won The Bronze Medal in the 2014 New Jersey Garden State Championship, and also qualified for the semi-finals at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the largest Scholastic Regatta in the world.

Winning the “Hammer” award for the fastest ERG times were Paul Criscitiello and Ryan Kearney for the men and Maren Gierlatowicz and Emily Kean for the women.  The “Beast Mode” awards for outstanding determination to succeed in physical fitness were Kaitlyn Peitler, Helena Van Hemmen and Dawson Epstein. Claiming the “Most Improved Rowing” award were Greg Nixon and Mariah Parsons.

Finally, RFH Rowing said farewell to its graduating seniors including Madison Bess, (Ithaca College), Evan Callahan (Rutgers University), Mary Clare Condon (Boston College), Kate Edwards (Drexel University), Rayan Heard (Notre Dame), Kaitlin Hill (Rutgers University), Katelyn Kearney (Drexel University), Francisco Orejarena (Rutgers University), Elise Reynolds (Lafayette College) Todd Spencer (Drexel University) and Matt Valko (Delaware University).

RFH Rowing MollyHead Coach Molly O’Rourke praised the RFH rowers during an awards ceremony on June 11.

‘MUSKETEERS’ GO FOR THE GOLD

The Tower Players of RFH earned nine Count Basie Award nominations for their fall 2013 production of The Three Musketeers — All Swash and No Buckle, and five for their spring 2014 musical production, Evita. The RFH troupe took home five Count Basie Awards at the May 21 ceremony, including Outstanding Production of a Drama, Outstanding Direction in a Drama (by drama/English teacher Suzanne Sweeney), Outstanding Lighting Design in a Drama (RFH social studies teacher Matthew Leddin), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (to senior Christopher Brodsky for his portrayal of D’Artagnan), and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama (to RFH junior Christopher Tuttle for his role as Rochefort). The show was also honored with two awards (Outstanding Achievement by an Acting Ensemble and Outstanding Production of a New Work or Adaptation) at the Sixth Annual Montclair Theater Night Awards ceremony, held on May 12. At the 2014 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards Ceremony held in Millburn on June 3, the RFH Tower Players received an Honorable Mention for Costume Design, and made it into the final round of nominations for the Educational Impact Award for Evita.

SWIMMER WINS SPECIAL OLYMPIC GOLD, SILVER

RFH student Hayden Schumann won four major medals — three gold and one silver — in aquatics events at the Special Olympics of New Jersey Summer Games, in which more than 2,500 athletes competed in seven sports at The College of New Jersey in Ewing from May 30 through June 1. The son of Susan and Chris Schumann of Fair Haven earned a gold medal for his performance in the Mens 200 Meter Freestyle event. He claimed gold as well in the Mens 200 Meter Relay Event, swimming the breaststroke leg, and followed up with another first place finish in the Men’s Individual 50 Meter Breaststroke. In the Mens Individual 100 Meter Freestyle Event, Hayden took silver with a second place finish.

Hayden earned his four medals as a member of the Jersey Hammerheads. The team practices at Raritan Bay Center in Perth Amboy, as does the RFH swim team. It was during an RFH practice that Hayden caught the eye of Jersey Hammerheads Coach Mike McQuay. He was subsequently invited to join the team, and has been swimming with them since February 2014. As a member of the RFH swim team, Hayden earned a varsity letter during his freshman year. He was a team Captain this past season, and is a four-year varsity letter winner. Hayden has been swimming competitively since 2010, when he joined his first Special Olympics swim team. He plans to continue participating in the sport and hopes to someday shine on the national stage by qualifying for the Special Olympics USA Games, which were held in New Jersey for the first time this year.

A NEW BEGINNING FOR KNOLLWOOD’S CLASS OF 2014

The graduation of eighth grade students from Knollwood School in Fair Haven is always a memorable moment of transition — and with this year’s ceremony, held in the auditorium at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School on June 18, many of the graduates got an early look at the high school that they’ll be attending in the 2014-2015 school year.

Fair Haven Board of Education President Mark Mancuso joined Fair Haven Superintendent of Schools Nelson Ribon in awarding diplomas to 127 graduates. The graduating students were addressed during the ceremony by Ribon as well as by Knollwood School Principal Kevin Davis and Board Member Jeffrey Spector. Awards recognizing individual students for special achievements were presented. These included the “Superintendent’s Outstanding Student Award,” which was given to Joseph Stein by Ribon.

After the ceremony, graduates were bused back to Knollwood School on Hance Avenue where they embarked on an age-old Fair Haven tradition — the walk back to Sickles School on Willow Street, where many of them began their grade school education. The All Purpose Room at Sickles School had been magically transformed according to a “secret theme,” thanks to a legion of eighth grade parent volunteers, led by Dance Committee Chairperson Amy Sullivan and Co-Chairs Christine Hearn and Jennie Lucci. This year, as the parent volunteers worked wonders with “New Year’s Eve in New York City,” complete with a “Lincoln Tunnel” display at the entrance (manned by seventh-grade dance chaperones dressed as NYC police officers), a replica of an EZ-Pass Toll lane, and life-sized taxi cab cutouts. The All Purpose Room featured a dazzling array of special touches including a working replica of the bejeweled globe that is used to ring in the New Year in New York City.

The following Knollwood graduates were also recognized for individual achievements during the graduation ceremony: Katelyn Lucci (Bud DuPree Volunteer Award); Cameron Spector (Fair Haven Education Foundation Scholarship); Mark Hoye and Julianna Meinz (Daughters of the American Revolution Citizenship Award); Dante Cioffoletti (Dr. Patricia B. Campbell Outstanding Artist Award); Rogan McGarvey and Kevin Witterschein (Nancy Field Collier Music Award); John Phelan and Emma Singleton (Dorothea Degano Music Award); Michaela Lake and Jack Presti (Living the Writerly Life Award); Elinor Gibney and Carson Rea (John L. Measley Physical Education Award); Aidan McGurl (World Language Award — Spanish); Calvin Bruno (World Language Award — French); Nathaniel LePage (Historical Association of Fair Haven, Inc. Award); Kathryn Medrow and Jack Presti (Michael Mekenian Science Awards); Katelin Boak (Fair Haven Education Association Award for Academic Excellence).

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