RBR scholarsNational Merit Scholars Leah Roberts (Little Silver), Sara Halloran (Red Bank), Sofia Dadap (Red Bank) and Halle Butler (Little Silver) are pictured with (back row) RBR Guidance Supervisor Dawn Kaszuba, and (end) RBR Principal Risa Clay.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Recently, the Red Bank Regional Board of Education recently honored Halle Butler and Leah Roberts, both of Little Silver, and Sofia Dadap and Sara Halloran, both of Red Bank, for being named National Merit Commended Scholars. These awards are based on the students’ performance on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test. The National Merit Scholars represent the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2012-2013 competition.

RBR Guidance Supervisor Dawn Kaszuba states of the students’ accomplishment, “This distinction is a testament to the commitment to excellence and hard work of these four young ladies. Interestingly, this year’s commended scholars are all a part of the VPA (Visual & Performing Arts Academy) program.”

Halle Butler is a flute major in the VPA and participates in the Concert Band and Choir and has been selected for the prestigious All Shore Symphonic Band all her four years in high school. She has performed in several RBR dramatic productions and has spent weeks of the past two summers as a volunteer camp counselor for the RBR VPA Summer Camp. She was selected to perform in the Two River Theater’s A Little Shakespeare and performed as the first flutist in Peter Pan at the Strand Community Theatre.  Halle is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society but also maintaines membership in the English, National, Math and Spanish Honor Societies and serves as the Vice President to the latter.  She is also a member of the RBR Science League, and participated in the Glamour Gals, Fashion and Key Clubs. She has played on the RBR Tennis team for the past three years.

Sofia Dadap is a Creative Writing Major in the VPA where she has performed her poetry in many venues and also won acclaim from the National Scholastic competition. There she won a National Silver Medal. She also had her poem published in the Scarborough Arts Big Book in 2013.  Sofia is a member of the National English, Math and French Honor Societies.  She is Co-Editor in Chief for the RBR school newspaper, The Buccaneer, serves as Vice President of the Multi-Cultural Club and Treasurer for both the Math League and Gay Straight Alliance. She also participates in RBR’s Mock Trial and the bowling team.  Sofia has explored her academic interests over the summers at Columbia University doing science research at the Osgood Laboratory and at NYU in its Math Circle at the Courant Institute. She has taken private piano and violin lessons at the Westminster Conservatory and performed in the County Basie Jazz Ensemble as a pianist.  . She has performed community service including as a summer counselor for a Marine Science Camp and performed home repair projects through Group mission trips to upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Sara Halloran is a drama major at RBR and has appeared in several RBR drama productions and musicals. She has a strong affinity for math and science and is a member of the Science and Math Leagues, serving as secretary to the latter. She is President of the National Honor Society, and Secretary of the Math Honor Society and has gained membership in both the English and Spanish Honor Societies as well. Sara is an RBR Student-to-Student Peer leader; participates in the Mock Trial, Youth and Government and Key clubs.  Her favorite extra-curricular program is tennis where she has earned a varsity letter for all three years of her participation.  Sara has also explored academics during her summer hiatus attending the Stanford University EPGY Summer Humanities Institute as well and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.  She shares her talents with the community volunteering to coach tennis and tutor students.

Leah Roberts is also a Creative Writing Major in the VPA program and has performed her work in many venues. She has also brought pride to RBR in the National Scholastic competitions winning two gold and one silver key and four honorable mentions. Her work was recently selected for first place in a poetry competition for the Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen and is on display at the community restaurant. She is a member o f the Math, Spanish and English National Honor Societies and participates in the Math League.  She is also a member of the Gay Straight Alliance and Environmental clubs.  Over the past four years, she has consistently volunteered at the Guilford Handcraft Expo assisting elderly artists display their works of art. She has also joined her Mother and sister each year in manning numerous fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House, a charity close to their hearts.

All four young ladies have wonderful opportunities to attend very good colleges. Interestingly, while they are all VPA majors and the arts played a significant role in their lives, they go to college undecided and very interested in many different academic disciplines.