RFH Senior Awards Ceremonies

October 8th, 2013


Rumson – “The students in the 2013 graduating class are some of the most amazing young people I have ever met,” says Fran Swift, Director of Guidance at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

Many of these outstanding students were honored for their achievements in academics, sports, the fine and performing arts, and school and community service at the annual Senior Awards Ceremony held in the RFH auditorium on June 17th.

At the ceremony, 80 students representing roughly 35% of the graduating class were recognized with Gold and Silver Award certificates for academic achievement from The President’s Education Awards Program.38 members of the Class of 2013 received the Gold Award, while 42 were recognized with the Silver Award.

At the Awards Ceremony it was also announced that three members of the graduating class had been chosen as recipients of University Distinguished Honors. The students who achieved this prized distinction are Laura Courchesne, Alexandra (Sasha) Crockett, and Ellie Halfacre.

Courchesne was awarded the Foundation Fellowship, the most prestigious scholarship offered at the University of Georgia in Athens. She was chosen from among 61 finalists for this generous scholarship, which covers the cost of attendance and includes grants for travel-study and research.

Crockett was selected to receive the Roger Williams University Intercultural Leadership Award. Covering four full years’ tuition at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, this scholarship also includes participation in activities designed to complement the student’s academic pursuits.

Halfacre was selected as a 2013 Eugene duPont Memorial Distinguished Scholar by the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. This award, which is the University’s most prestigious honor, covers tuition as well as room and board. It also provides a one-time allotment of up to $2,500 that may be used for a learning experience of the student’s design beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

National Merit Scholarship Recognition is awarded to students who attain test scores in the top three percent nationwide on the Preliminary Standardized Aptitude Test (PSAT), a nationally-recognized indicator of college readiness. Nine RFH seniors were recognized for earning National Merit Scholarship Recognition as well as the Gold Award from the President’s Education Awards Program.

Connor Briggs, Robert Chan, Laura Courchesne, Amelia DePaola, Kristina Nicole Liang, Sophie Litwin, Kelsey O’Hare, Benjamin Sherman, and Jessica Yorke achieved this distinction. Denis O’Sullivan earned National Merit Scholarship Recognition as well as the Silver Award from the President’s Education Awards Program.

 Overall, over 100 awards and scholarships were given to RFH students recognized for academic achievement, athletic achievement, dedication to the fine and performing arts, and service to the school and community. 

Also at the ceremony, Harvard-bound Monica de los Reyes was announced as the Valedictorian of the Class of 2013. Her achievements include the following distinctions - 

• Commended Student, National Merit Scholarship Recognition Program

 • Gold Award, President’s Education Awards

 • U.S. Marine Corps’ Scholastic Excellence Award

 • RFH Class of 2013 Scholarship Award

 • Spanish Award, Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey

 • Honors from the National Hispanic Recognition Program

 • Frank W. Baigent Memorial Award for scholarship, leadership, and service. Another highlight of this year’s ceremony was the awarding of two new scholarships.  

The Monmouth County Guidance Directors Association created a scholarship now offered at high schools throughout Monmouth County to students who plan to attend community college in the fall. The first RFH recipients chosen for the Monmouth County Guidance Directors Association Award were Kyle Clayton and Neilan Smith.

The Alan B. Fendrick Scholarship was started by the family of this Rumson resident after he passed away from cancer over a year ago. Alan Fendrick was a founding member of the RFH Courtside Club, and the scholarship named for him recognizes support of the basketball program as well as his character traits — optimism, creativity, enthusiasm, and selflessness. Alan’s son Zachary presented this award to cheerleader Gabrielle Minassian and basketball player Matthew Kelly.

“These students have been honored for their academic achievements, extracurricular activities and community service,” said Swift. “But more than that, these recognitions speak to their motivation and passion to excel in ways that set them apart from others.”

Among other notable feats by the RFH Class of 2013 –

• 230 acceptances to colleges and universities considered “highly competitive” by the nationally-recognized Barron’s College Rating Group

• 92 acceptances to colleges and universities that appear in the U.S. News and World Report “Top Fifty” list

• Seven acceptances to Ivy League schools

• Four students accepted into prestigious McGill University in Montreal,     Canada

 • Four students planning to continue their fine arts education at nationally – recognized institutions — the Rhode Island School of Design (R.I.S.D.) in Providence, Temple University in Philadelphia, and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Eleven members of the RFH Class of 2013 have accepted scholarships to participate as members of sports teams at Division I schools. Additional students are planning to play sports at colleges and universities with Division II and III level programs, and many more are planning to participate as members of sports Club Teams.

Seniors Connor Briggs and Sara Ahimovic were also honored at separate ceremonies for their awards from the NJSIAA and the Red Bank Rotary Club.



Mary Ann Kampfe, RFHRHS Public Relations 

mkampfe@rumsonfairhaven.org or 908-347-8885

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