JUNE 2018
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Angels in the Arts Event Is Celebration of Students’ Creativity

Demarest, NJ: Art is one of the pillars of the curriculum at the Academy of the Holy Angels, where several esteemed fine and performing artists were honored at the 2018 Angels in the Arts Appreciation Dinner. Mary Haws, Jessica Boccassini, and Margeaux Gould walked away with this year’s top awards.

Haws earned the AITA Angel Award for her outstanding contributions to the arts at AHA, her personal and artistic growth, and her community outreach. This senior from River Vale has shared her musical talents with the AHA Handbell Choir, Instrumental Ensemble, and the AHA Orchestra, where she played harp and bass. She has also taken Advanced Placement Studio Art, which pushed her to view problems from new perspectives and seek answers within herself.

“Art, like music, can communicate what words cannot, and build community,” Haws wrote in her application.

She has been serving as co-president of Tri-M (the National Music Honor Society) and is a member of the National Art Honor Society. She has been involved with the Academy’s yearbook and newspaper, and was an integral part of the Center for Hope and Safety Benefit Concert.

Haws, who has maintained the top grade point average in her class, was this year’s Senior Commencement Speaker, the top honor AHA can confer upon a student. She will attend Rice University in September.

Jessica Boccassini of Rutherford and Margeaux Gould of Weehawken both received Angels in the Arts Scholarships.

Boccassini believes that anything is possible with the right amount of hard work and determination. This senior has played clarinet with the AHA Orchestra, and lent her alto voice to the Vocal Ensemble and Choir, which she has been serving as choir manager. She has also been involved in the Academy’s theater productions. She is both a dancer and a choreographer.

Gould is president of the National Art Honor Society, and a member of Tri-M. She was the principal clarinetist for the AHA Orchestra, and has been part of the Music in Our Schools Month performances. Her submissions to the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition drew a 2018 National Gold Medal for sculpture and a 2017 National Silver Medal for jewelry.

Gould also painted children’s faces at the Food Truck Festival, traveled to Connecticut with the orchestra to perform for the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and helped set up and take down in-school art shows. She has also worked with the Lobby Design Team that decorates the main lobby in advance of the fall drama and spring musical.

During the AITA celebration, Katie McSherry Collins presented honor cords to the senior members of the Thespian Honor Society, Jenny Sweet honored the three-time national champion AHA Dance Team, and Mariann Annechino presented honor cords to the members of Tri-M. Jennifer Lee presented cords to the members of the National Art Honor Society, and Lisa Marciano presented plaques to the senior members of the AHA Concert Choir.

AHA’s outstanding theater productions, headed by Collins, have been nominated for Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards and Metropolitan High School Theater Awards. Rianna LeHane’s vocal performance in “Catch Me if You Can” earned her a nomination for a Metro Award. Saint Joseph Regional High School student Luke Berninger’s work in “Catch Me if You Can” garnered Rising Star and Metro nominations for Best Leading Actor. Ariane Ryan was nominated for a Rising Star Award for her choreography, and AHA earned a Metro Award nomination for outstanding lobby design.

This summer, Angels U will allow girls entering grades six through nine an opportunity to dabble in the fine arts, the performing arts, and other subjects as they select “majors.” In addition to the fine arts, performing arts, and dance, Angels U participants may choose to study science and math, engineering and technology, and leadership skill building. Angels U will be held from July 9th through 20th on the AHA campus in Demarest. Visit for details.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


Academy of the Holy Angels

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Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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