Atlantic Highlands Elementary School (credit: Allan Dean)

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – The Board of Education at the Atlantic Highlands Elementary School calls its student Champions, citing the excellence of the students and their cooperation with faculty during class.

Each month, the Board recognizes students selected by their teachers as the Champions of the month. Each month, a different characteristic of students is recognized, each month featuring a characteristic cited for one letter of the word Champion.

At last week’s meeting of the board, Principal Lori Skibinski  announced the students who were selected by their teachers for exhibiting extraordinary examples of Heroism, the word of H in Champion.

According to  Skibinski, heroism appears in a variety of ways, from giving up something to give to another as kindergarten student John Muldowney did, to being a “voracious reading machine as third grade student Orion Hyatt exhibited, or showing kindness and sensitivity with a quest for understanding as sixth grade student Tiernan Ilarraza displayed.


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The characteristics as explained by the faculty members who made their choices also included never giving up, as second grader Col Iaffaldano showed, approaching learning with determination as third grader Jaidan Sharack did , or having empathy and thinking of his classmates as fourth grader John Diego Zertucci did.

Other students who received the awards, and were recognized by the board while dozens of their peers who attended the meeting virtually applauded from their homes, were Kindergartener Rhys Yannarelli, First graders John Battiglieri and Logan Kosakowski, second graders Joe Sannon, Colin Iaffaldano, Sebatia Elzer and Lily Lawson, third graders Ryder Palamara, fourth grader Nea Nilson, Rene Zamkotowirz , fifth graders Jonathan Gilpatrick and Nilah Franklin-Jackson, and sixth graders Jack Carlstrom, Addison Krzycki, Josie Carr, Tiernan Ilarraza, Isabella Durago and John Verange.  Each of these students was also cited for a specific act of heroism in the classroom or in general contact with schoolmates or faculty members.

Dr. Compton also praised Mrs. Skibinski for introducing the Champion Program into the school. “This is one way to showcase our students each month, and symbolizes the different characteristics that represent a CHAMPION each month.” The superintendent added that “the faculty has been wonderful in helping prepare the narratives about each individual student.  The program gives all students the opportunities to be recognized, and it emphasizes not only good student achievement, but the importance of character education. More importantly, it shows  each child is valued.” 


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Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, www.venividiscripto.com in...