Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Multiple Students Gain Acceptance to Rho Kappa

Demarest, NJ: Multiple seniors from the Academy of the Holy Angels have been inducted into the Alice Paul Chapter of the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society. Membership is extended to students who demonstrate excellence in social studies and a commitment to serving others.

New members include Jessica Boccassini of Rutherford, Elizabeth Braun of Oradell, Jill Canavari of Clifton, Haojing Chen of Paramus, Isabella Cresci of New York City (NY), Kyra Cseh of Ramsey, Teagan Cunningham of Saddle River, Grace Diaz of North Bergen, Molly Doyle of Pearl River (NY), Tyara Estrada of Kearny, Cassandra Keith Garcia of New Milford, Julianna Gentile of Hillsdale, Sophia Georgiou of Montclair, Kristen Gil of Cliffside Park, Kaitlyn Gillies of Elmwood Park, Sakura Kagawa-Ferraro of Fort Lee, Eleanor Kim of River Edge, Iris Knowles of Clifton, Hoi Lam of Englewood Cliffs, Jennifer McGann of Old Tappan, Kathleen Miceli of River Edge, Rhiannon Novelli of Waldwick, Danielle O’Connor of Saddle River, Hayoon (“Ashley”) Park of Orangeburg (NY), Laura Pesanello of Mahwah, Elena Pulanco of Englewood, Rhiannon Reilly of the Township of Washington, Sara Rivoir of Englewood, Angela Romanos of Paramus, Danielle Sanchez of Nanuet (NY), Ayse Seker of Park Ridge, Samantha Sivulka of Englewood Cliffs, Anya Skae of Nanuet (NY), Caroline Sommers of Harrington Park, and Sofia Urquiola of Bergenfield.

History Department Chairperson Gail Fair and faculty members Jennifer Cucchisi, Megan Delasandro, Patrick Dunne, Jamie Dykes, and Christopher Petrozzo led the symbol-rich ceremony. The name Rho Kappa itself is a reference to head and hand, a reminder that knowledge must be accompanied by service. Through the Rho Kappa oath, inductees pledge service to AHA and the greater community, “for true scholars of the social studies lead by example.”

Each inductee also receives a yellow rose pin, memorializing the yellow roses worn by those who supported Alice Paul’s fight for women’s suffrage. AHA named its Rho Kappa chapter for Paul in recognition of her dedication to the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

“I hope you will be an active follower of the issues facing our country and become a consistent voter in all elections,” Fair said in her address, adding that this was another way the students could live out the Holy Angels philosophy to work for the transformation of all people.

In her congratulatory remarks, AHA Principal Jean Mullooly fondly recalled the history teachers she had when she was a Holy Angels student, and extolled their passion for their subject.

“I love coming into the history classrooms,” Mullooly said. She noted that, although familiar stories are being related each year, they are presented in fresh and different ways.

Dean of Academics Francesca Tambone-Puzio told the students, “I continue to be in awe of all of your gifts and talents.” She pointed out that the study of history epitomizes the growth mindset philosophy being promoted at AHA, because those who study history learn from the mistakes of the past, and strive to make improvements for the future.

The National Council for the Social Studies established Rho Kappa in 2011 to encourage students to pursue the social studies. This honor society is currently the only national organization for high school juniors and seniors that recognizes excellence in the social studies. (Source: Holy Angels received a Rho Kappa Charter in 2012, and installed its first members the following year.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. 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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