JUNE 2020
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Angels Who Excel on Stage & Behind Scenes Join Thespian Honor Society

Demarest, NJ: Brave! Multiple students who give their all to the Academy of the Holy Angels’ Theater Department are now members of the Thespian Honor Society. Inductees include Angels who appear on stage and those who handle a number of responsibilities behind the scenes.

The newest honorees are: JaeMin Chu of Tenafly; Patricia Coleman of New City, New York; Shannon Dobres of Bergenfield; Julia Fernandez and Daniella Naham, both of Teaneck; Deanna Frassa of New Milford; Erin Gallagher of Oradell; Nora Jacobi of West New York; Ariana Layne of Upper Saddle River; Jolie Lo Grasso of Nutley; Rebecca Lovatt of Wood-Ridge; Olivia Martinez of Paramus; Josephine Noble of Demarest; Maya Paul of River Edge; Isabela Presti of Hasbrouck Heights; Amrita Raval of Nanuet, New York; and Emma Yale of Westwood.

Inductees recite the following pledge: “I promise to uphold the aims and ideals of the Thespian Honor Society. I am a student of theater and excellence is my ideal. I promise to perform my part as well as I can; to accept praise and criticism with grace; to cooperate with my fellow thespians and work for the good of the troupe; and to share my love of theater.”

AHA Academic Dean Francesca Tambone-Puzio and AHA Performing Arts Director Dan Mahoney presented the online ceremony, which began with the “Drama Prayer.” Asked if any inductees would like to comment, Patricia Coleman shared how much she enjoyed rehearsing for the 2020 musical, “Disaster.” The show was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Inductee Deanna Frassa concurred, noting the positive environment the theater students enjoy. Both Angels performed in the fall 2019 production of “Twelve Angry Jurors.”

Tambone-Puzio congratulated the thespians, pointing out how many people are necessary to each production. She thanked everyone for sharing their gifts and talents, saying, “You make it look so easy!”

She also expressed her gratitude to the Angels in the Arts parents and all of the parents/guardians who give the students the opportunity to enjoy a Holy Angels education. She thanked Director Katharine Collins, AHA President Melinda Hanlon, Dean of Students Andréa Beyer, and Principal Jean Miller for their support of the arts at AHA.

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.

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