Body, Mind, And Spirit

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Published: June 28, 2014 @ 12:00 PM EST

The school year in Roselle Park is over. In emphasizing the merits of education, two award presentations given on the same night at a June Board Of Education (BOE) meeting symbolized – either by plan or by providence – that school is for the body as well as the mind, both which instill the spirit of learning every child carries with them into adulthood.

First up, the Roselle Park Wrestling Team, with a record of 23-1 (setting the school record for victories) , was recognized for another stellar year that included four Tournament Championships, a Panther Invitational Championship, and the North Jersey Group 1 State Championship. Add to that the achievements of being ranked 3rd in Region Three and 13th by both the NJWCA (New Jersey Wrestling Coaches Association) and the Star Ledger, and it is easy to see why the Board recognized what Head Wrestling Coach John Ranieri called “one of the greatest wrestling experiences a coach and program could ever hope for. ”

The team of 19 included wrestlers Bradley Carle, Joe Devito, William Ferdinando, Dave Forstenhaulser, Mike Figueredo, Joe Fulinello, Josh Gergich, Chris Gural, Pete Hilburn, Sebastian Leo, Steve Loevsky, Brian Matthews, Alan Nunez, George Perez, Andy SantaMaria, Marc Signorello,  Matt Swain, Bobby Vail, and Phil Woods who were guided by not only Head Coach Ranieri but also Assistant Coaches Craig Frost, Keith Appello, Rich Greco, Kevin Carroll, Nick Florio, and Trainer Kevin Rodriques.

As one unit, they used both aspects – body and mind – to develop strategy and execution. Mr. Ranieri, in marking the achievements of the entire Roselle Park Wrestling Program, stated before presenting each wrestler with their award, “A successful wrestling program must consist of unselfish athletes, who are willing to make sacrifices to accommodate a flexible line up, positive Team Chemistry and most importantly an entire roster that shares a common vision.”

Next were students from the Sciences. Grzegorz Klepczyk,  a junior, was presented with the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award in recognition of his outstanding achievement and superior intellectual promise in the field of science. Five students enrolled in the special Independent Study program were recognized for demonstrating proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). And the “Noble Nine” – members of the AP (Advanced Placement) Chemistry class – were presented with certificates for demonstrating their commitment to the study of AP Chemistry and the mastery of laboratory skills engaging Vernier real-time data Technology. Those students included Alyssa Bellomo, Nathaniel Bayot, Noel Cheng, Michal Kierznowski, RPHS Class of 2014 Salutatorian Erin Nese, Philip Alexander Palmarozzo, and Anthony Rodriguez.

All students were guided and instructed by RPHS teacher Raymond Bangs. Many students talked of the input and influence Mr. Bangs had in their education.

Nathaniel Bayot commented, “As a junior, I never really thought about where I was going after high school. Mr. Bangs inspired me to think about where I would go in life. This has led to my desire to attend the STEM program at Kean University. My performance in his class has resulted in the opportunity for me to take college level courses at Kean University as a high school senior.”

Philip Alexander Palmarozzo stated, “Mr. Bangs’ words inspired me to take the AP Chemistry class. I was able to realize that his class is very challenging, but it is also very rewarding.”

Alyssa Bellomo said, “I recall that when I was in elementary school, during an afterschool program which I attended, Mr. Bangs used to come in and engage the young students in science projects. As a child, this inspired my interest in the sciences. I remember that Mr. Bangs told me that if I went to Roselle Park High School, I would most likely have him as a chemistry teacher. I am so grateful I did.”

Anthony Rodriguez praised his teacher, “From your ordinary teenager, with no plans for the future, I now plan to pursue a career in the field of chemical engineering which I never knew existed before this course. Opportunities come, even when unexpected. Whether it’s an AP class or an independent study, it is important that you take advantage of them to broaden your perspective.”

Michal Kierznowski remarked, “One of the most time-consuming projects that I have ever worked on was the medibotics robot. It was ironic that this project was sponsored by NJIT which is the university I will be attending in the fall. Working on the robot brought back wonderful memories of my childhood because it was based on Legos. The sophistication of the computer programing was a challenge I really enjoyed. Both the AP Chemistry and the Independent Study program gave me amazing opportunities of which my friends who attend to other schools such as the Magnet Schools can only dream.”

Both ends of the spectrum – from the body to the mind – came together to accentuate the connection all education has, teaching both aspects of a person to enrich the soul that will continue onward into the future, knowing their foundation has been cemented in Roselle Park.