Shoprite Stars MP2

Shoprite Stars MP2
Posted on 01/18/2019
MP2 Shoprite Stars

Congratulations to Marking Period 2 Shoprite Star winners:
Dorian Gashi, Ellie Decker,Mark DiGangi, Edward Ding, and Matthew Mierzwa!

ACADEMICS - Edward Ding

Even in a group of highly accomplished peers, Ed Ding stands out. Ed is a curious young man who loves to learn and is willing to take a risk and try new things. For example last summer he not only visited China, he worked as an intern at a technology company there. He translated marketing presentations, performed hardware & software testing and participated in training sessions. It was a great opportunity and certainly gave him a chance to practice his Mandarin. From the very first, Ed has excelled in our most rigorous course of study. Throughout all four years, every one of his core academic courses has been at the honors or Advanced Placement level. By his junior year, he was taking five AP courses and 3 honors courses. This year, he continues to challenge himself with six AP courses. Not surprisingly, he’s proud to have been inducted into four honor societies, including the National Honor Society. He was also names as a National Merit Semifinalist.Ed has been accepted, early decision, to Vanderbilt University.

ATHLETICS - Ellie Decker

Ellie has been widely recognized as an Athlete of the year and certainly deserves STAR status!

Athletics are a big part of Ellie’s life with varsity letters in two of our most highly competitive programs – women’s field hockey & lacrosse. She is a talented athlete and fierce competitor. But Ellie understands that there is no “I” in team & values the support and camaraderie of her teammates & coaches. Last year, Ellie missed the entire lacrosse season due to an injury. Nevertheless, she attended every practice & game and became the heart of her team, cheering on her friends and inspiring them to reach higher & play harder. She’s been recruited to play field hockey at Columbia next year!  

THE ARTS - Mark DiGangi

Mark is an exemplar art student. Mark has taken a variety of art classes here at West Essex. He is the President of National Art Honor Society 2018-19 school year. Mark received the NAHS Member Of The Year Award & Scholarship in June 2018 for going above and beyond in his responsibilities to our Art Honor Society. Mark was a dedicated student in my AP Art History class during the 2017-18 school year. He always maintained an A average in a very challenging class. Mark always has a positive attitude and is ready and willing to help out others in anyway he can; not because he is asked, but because it is in his character to do so. For example Mark dedicated his time from Oct to November during unit lunch in the art rooms to help other members of the NAHS draw their portraits for the Memory Project. He worked with his peers showing them how to create portraits that will be gifted to the children of Myanmar.  

LEADERSHIP - Dorian Gashi

Dorian is a natural leader – he does the right thing, even when no one is looking.

Football is a big part of his life. He started playing football in third grade. Right away, he was hooked & his love for the sport has only grown. Football has also taught Dorian the importance of team unity & he’s proud to have been selected as one of this year’s co-captains.

For years, his friends urged him to get involved in student government. Finally, he gathered his courage and ran for office at the end of his freshman year. He’s been involved every year since. This year, he is the student council vice president. As the liaison between students & administrators, he hopes to find solutions to student concerns.


Matt is beyond involved in community Service. Matt volunteers his time at Camp Sunrise - A special needs camp where he volunteered 2 weeks of his summer to help people with disabilities and special needs. He can also be found  at the Library where he created a program to teach children in the library how to code. Matt is also a Volunteer Counselor at Vacation Bible School where he volunteered a week of his time during the summer teaching children about the bible and the church. Camp Snowball is another program that Matt is involved in.  Over the course of the winter he was accepted into a weekend program of Camp Sunrise where he will be able to care for people with disabilities and give them the best weekend possible! Matt is involved with the Clifton Key Club and feeds the hungry at the Soup Kitchen about 4 times a year. In addition to all of his outside volunteer work Matt is also an In School Volunteer - Every Wednesday He goes into the special needs classroom during lunch and plays board games with the students!