PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 2020
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Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant
jcrusco@holyangels.org

Cooper Earns Angel Award as AHA Recognizes Top Athletes

Demarest, NJ: In a year when several Holy Angels seniors could have received the prestigious Angel Award in athletics, varsity athlete Baylee-Rose Cooper of Saddle Brook walked away with the win. Cooper was honored for her notable contributions to the varsity volleyball, bowling, and lacrosse programs, and for her exceptional spirit.

AHA Athletic Director Patti Gorsuch, who hosted the online award ceremony, described Cooper as a very special teammate who projects a steady and calm demeanor. Gorsuch said this year’s Angel Award winner is an exemplary representative of AHA who displays spirit and kindness, and a willingness to try new sports. The award includes a $1,500 scholarship.

“She learned how to do it all!” Gorsuch said.

As an Angel, Cooper received seven varsity letters and another three junior varsity letters. Cooper, who plays flute and piccolo, is a member of the Tri-M Honor Society, which recognizes high school students who demonstrate excellence in music, scholarship, character, leadership, and service to others. She shared her musical abilities with the AHA Orchestra. As a participant in Young Neighbors in Action, Cooper traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate for underprivileged girls and their families. She attended the United Nations Day of the Girl celebration with other peers from AHA. In the fall of 2019, she was commissioned as a Eucharistic Minister. This fall, she will enter the University of Rhode Island.

Gorsuch announced that the Academy will retire the jerseys of three graduating athletes: track standouts Nicole Barbaro of Fort Lee and Maris Rodriguez of Ridgewood; and volleyball star Jalen Wynn of Fort Lee. Gorsuch proudly announced that this is the first time AHA has retired a volleyball player’s jersey.

Wynn was named First Team All-League, and First Team All-County and All-State. She also received a scholarship from the Bergen County Women Coaches Association. Wynn will attend the University of Connecticut.

Barbaro’s many accomplishments include being named First Team All-League and All-County. The latter honor she received twice. She also received Athlete of the Week recognition from The Record. Barbaro is bound for Amherst College.

Rodriguez, who is one of the fastest runners in New Jersey, is a seven-time First-Team All-League athlete. She has also been honored as First Team All-County twice, and was named The Record’s Athlete of the Week. In addition, Rodriguez is a New Balance Nationals qualifier and a five-time invitee to the State Meet of Champions. She will continue her track career and her studies at Saint Joseph’s University.

Rodriguez and Barbaro also received Big North Conference Student Athlete Awards, as did AHA’s Eleanor Kasprzak, a soccer and lacrosse player from Ramsey. Kasprzak left AHA as president of the Student Council Executive Board. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. This fall, Kasprzak will attend Vanderbilt.

Cooper and Charlotte O’Donoghue of Oradell received the BCWCA Multi-sport Athlete Award. Like Cooper, O’Donoghue will be attending the University of Rhode Island.

The Parents’ Athletic Association presented scholarships to soccer and softball player Samantha Hess of Nutley, and volleyball and basketball player Corey McLaughlin of Demarest. Hess will attend Bentley University; McLaughlin will attend Colgate.

Sarah Folk received the Student Athlete Award from the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. This Old Tappan resident posted an excellent grade point average and exceled as a member of the AHA Bowling Team. She will continue her studies at the College of New Jersey.

Gorsuch also recognized Montvale resident Faith Furletti, calling her the finest gymnast AHA has ever had. Furletti, who is a member of the Class of 2021, is currently being considered for her third consecutive Gymnast of the Year title.

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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