PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 2019
CONTACT: 
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant
jcrusco@holyangels.org

Ashley Hess Earns 2019 Angel Award

Demarest, NJ: Just days after graduating Second in Merit from the Academy of the Holy Angels, scholar athlete Ashley Hess of Cedar Grove received the Angel Award, the most prestigious honor an AHA varsity athlete can attain. Hess received her award at the Parents’ Athletic Association’s Spring Sports Dinner, where she was recognized for four years of success, exceptional dedication, leadership, and sportsmanship in the Academy’s tennis program.

AHA also retired Hess’s tennis uniform. This fall, she will don a new uniform when she begins playing for the Dartmouth Tennis Team.

“Both were two completely unexpected and humbling honors,” Hess said. “I have made so many wonderful memories in my tennis uniform, and I am proud to have represented Holy Angels in high school tennis. I am beyond grateful for all of the opportunities that AHA Athletics has gifted me. I will truly miss competing for AHA next year.”

In her address at the PAA event, AHA Athletic Director Patti Gorsuch recalled meeting Hess for the first time.

“Five years ago, I met a soft-spoken, yet confident and enthusiastic, grammar school student who was escorted into my office during her tour of the school as an Angel for the Day,” Gorsuch stated. “Immediately, she struck me as someone that I would always remember. I just didn’t know how at that very moment. She had that special something. It was the way she carried herself, the way she smiled, the intelligent questions that she asked, the polite way that she spoke…special in every sense of the word. But I had no idea that she would magically transform herself year by year into an athlete so strong, so talented, that her name would grace the sports pages season after season: First Team All-County, Athlete of the Week, Athlete of the Season, state finalist, county champion, All American…the list goes on and on. But as the medals and trophies piled up, which was indeed amazing, something else remarkably happened. Our Angel grew up before our eyes. A new leader emerged, mature and confident, ready to celebrate her team’s victories or console them through the losses. She became the captain, the one to go to, the one who took charge on the court or off it. Her kindness and ability to help everyone around her simply blew us all away.”

Hess has won the Bergen County Championship, and was a state individual finalist in 2017 and 2018. She is also a two-time National High School Tennis All-American.

Hess’s ability to remain positive was an inspiration to teammates, coaches, and fans, the athletic director noted.

“It was her unique ability to make all of us feel good, to make each of us smile whenever we saw her gracefully move on the court to smash a ball for a winner, or put her arm around a teammate who was having a hard day. She made us all realize just how important good sportsmanship really is,” Gorsuch added.

In fact, Hess recently earned the Edith Martin Girls 18’s Sportsmanship Award from the Eastern Section of the United States Tennis Association. This is the highest honor presented by the USTF.

She also represented Holy Angels at the National Girls and Women in Sports Day held at Seton Hall.

During her senior year at Holy Angels, Hess served as president of the Student Council Executive Board. She is a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, and a member of the National Honor Society, the Société Honorarie De Français, Mu Alpha Theta (the National Math Honor Society), the Science National Honor Society, and Rho Kappa (the National Social Studies Honor Society).

She is a lector at Saint Catherine of Sienna church and serves as a public speaking coach for grammar school students.

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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