ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Twelve local grade school students have been honored for their participation in the annual Arbor Day poster contest sponsored by the borough's Shade Tree Commission.

Four top winners were recognized in the state contest for fifth graders. They are Annelise Hackett, who won first place and received a certificate of merit, and Alex Paredes, who finished in second place. Both are pupils at the Atlantic Highlands Elementary School.

Louise I. Donoghue, commission chairman, also announced that two fifth graders at Mother Teresa Regional School have also been similarly honored with Kate Manning winning a certificate for first place and Claire Connelly finishing second.


Annelise Hackett (left) and Alex Paredes flank Mayor Frederick J. Rast II and Louise I. Donoghue, Shade Tree Commission chairman, after the two fifth graders received their awards from Rast and Superintendent Christopher Rooney in the annual statewide Arbor Day poster contest at an awards assembly at the Atlantic Highlands Elementary School Friday, Arbor Day. Photo by Peter E. Donoghue

Mrs. Donoghue presented awards to the Hackett and Paredes girls and the winners among first, second, third and sixth grade participants at an awards assembly Friday --- Arbor Day -- at the public elementary school.

Winners in those grades were in the categories of most artistic and most thematic.

First grade winners were Cara Plumaker, artistic, and Ingrid Mlanka, thematic.

Second grade winners were Corina Vidal, artistic, and Ava Iannace, thematic.

Third grade winners were Jaime Plumaker, artistic, and Charlie Lehoczky, thematic.

Sixth grade winners were Peter Hjelm, artistic, and Maggie Hjelm, thematic.

Fourth grade students did not participate.

The contest was coordinated by art teacher Caroline Northrup at the Atlantic Highlands school and by Carolyn Dempsey at Mother Teresa.

Mrs. Donoghue was assisted in distributing prizes by Superintendent Christopher Rooney and Mayor Frederick J. Rast III.