After more than a year of virtual learning due to COVID-19, Ewing High School seniors will finally get to experience a normal rite-of-passage.

Ewing High School

Commencement exercises for the EHS Class of 2021 are set to take place on Tuesday, June 22, at the Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton at 7 p.m.

The district plans to continue to monitor public health guidelines for changes, and is currently planning to allocate five tickets each for guests to attend the ceremony.

Guests should wear masks and all attendees will be required to complete a COVID-19 screening prior to admission, and adhere to social distancing protocols while in the arena.

The district is also hoping to livestream the graduation to people who are unable to attend the ceremony.

Meanwhile, to read about this year’s EHS Top 10 academic seniors and their feelings about their senior year as impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, see below.

Nina Pschar

1 Nina Pschar

College: University of Vermont

Major: English /French

Career plans: Secondary Education

Planned college activities: Literary Magazine, Newspaper, Beekeeping.

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: Frescoes Literary Magazine, Ewing’s Voice, New Jersey Future Educators Association (NJFEA), National Honor Society (NHS), Environmental Club, EHS Varsity Swim team, Yarnworks.

Who inspires you? My mom; she does so much for the people around her with an open heart! I hope to be just as compassionate of a teacher as she is. 

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? I never expected to end high school this way, but I am so grateful for all of my teachers that did their best to make this year special for us! I miss seeing people’s faces, but nevertheless I have many good memories to carry with me. 

Favorite high school memory? My AP Human Geography class! The content was so intriguing and my classmates were so fun to work with. I wish I could take that class all over again.

Kylie King

2 Kylie King

College: Middlebury College

Major: International and Global Environmental Studies

Career plans: I’m not sure yet but hopefully something where I get to work with people and promote sustainability.

Planned college activities: I plan on joining the Middlebury Mountain Club and the Mixed Kids cultural organization.

Clubs/sports teams at EHS? Environmental Club, Orchestra, Yarnworks, National Honors Society (NHS), Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP)

Who inspires you? My mom inspires me because she always works hard and devotes time to others. She is one of the most selfless people I know and has been my biggest supporter throughout high school.

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? Though I wish I could have experienced a normal senior year, I got over the initial disappointment and tried to make the best of the situation. I’ve spent the past year growing and self-reflecting. Quarantine gave me the opportunity to take time for myself and reassess my values.

Favorite high school memory: My favorite high school memory was a team building trip I took with Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP) the summer before my junior year when I got to canoe for the first time with my friends.

Azzaya Galsandum

3 Azzaya Galsandum

College: University of Pennsylvania

Major: Biochemistry

Career plans: Medical Scientist

Planned college activities: Not sure which clubs or organizations as of yet.

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: EHS Varsity Swim team, Rotary Club, Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA), Frescoes Literary Magazine, Math League, Yarnworks, National Honors Society (NHS), EHS Tutoring, Panther Pals, and Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP)

Who inspires you? My sister inspires me because she has always guided me through school. She has been there to push me to my limits and help me grow as a person.

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? It was a bit saddening to see my senior year end up this way, but it also made it a lot less stressful and easier on me.

Favorite high school memory: My favorite memory, or more so set of memories, would be drawing my little French cat on the whiteboard/Promethean for Madame Hill every day during French class.

Emily Czelusniak 

4 Emily Czelusniak

College: Skidmore College

Major: Anthropology

Career plans: I plan to become an archaeologist.

Planned college activities: Swimming, Photography club, and the Outing Club, Pulse!

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: I was part of the EHS Varsity Swim team, Key Club, Environmental Club, the Marching/concert band and the spring musical as a pit musician.

Who inspires you? My biggest inspirations are my friends. They push me to be a better student, person and athlete every day.

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? I am disappointed that I could not experience a fun and normal senior year, but I have learned to always find the bright side of things during this time.

Favorite high school memory: I have so many great memories from EHS that it’s hard to choose one! Some of the ones that stand out are Friday night games with the marching band, APUSH, AP Lang, AP Human Geography, the bus rides home from swim meets and MCTs.

Natalie Staub

5 Natalie Staub

Rank: 5, GPA: 4.56

College: Baylor University’s Honors College

Major: Health science studies within the pre-physical therapy program.

Career plans: Pediatric Physical Therapist

Planned college activities: I am hoping to join some clubs that relate to the medical field, and maybe even a dance club team. Once I get to Baylor and learn about all of the clubs they offer, I’m sure I will join others that I’m not even aware exist!

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: Varsity Cheer, manager of the varsity wrestling team, Unified Club, Athletic Training club, Panther Pal mentoring program, Peer Leadership, National Honor Society (NHS), Consumer Bowl

Who inspires you? My mom has always been one of my biggest inspirations, as she has shown me what it takes to be a powerful woman in society. Her drive to succeed, her work ethic, and her commitment to others are something that I have always looked up to. She does whatever she can to help the community and support our family, and I will forever admire her for that. I hope to be half the woman she is one day!

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? Starting off senior year in the midst of the pandemic was definitely a huge disappointment. I felt like I wasn’t getting the normal “senior feeling” that most people get to experience. But as the end of the year is quickly approaching and all of our important activities are coming up, I am ecstatic that we are able to have modified versions of our normal ceremonies. Though it is still somewhat disappointing to be far from normal, anything we get to take part in is better than nothing at all!

Favorite high school memory: My favorite high school memory is winning 1st place at the CVC Cheer Competition. Cheer was full of many hardships, so winning the trophy was the moment when I felt that all of the blood, sweat, and tears had finally paid off! Being able to celebrate with my coaches and teammates was one of the best feelings, and something I will never forget!

Monica Wang

6 Monica Wang

College: Penn State University

Major: Accounting

Career plans: Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Planned college activities: I do plan on getting involved, though I’m not set on any clubs or organizations just yet.

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: Math League, Yarnworks, and Rotary Club. I played on the EHS Girls Varsity Field Hockey team.

Who inspires you? People who inspire me are my parents because they work incredibly hard to support me and my education even if it means putting aside their endeavors to help me.

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? I’m definitely a little bummed to have missed out on having a “senior year” and getting to experience prom/etc. Though being entirely virtual has been much more relaxing and not as stressful as being in person typically is.

Favorite high school memory: My favorite high school memory was my Senior Night for Field Hockey. It was such a fun night and great way to have wrapped up my season. In the mists of the whole pandemic, it was nice to have had a sense of normalcy with a traditional/annual senior night.

Marian Ordonez

College: Middlebury College

Major: Political Science

Career plans: Attend law school and work as a lawyer in Immigration. 

Planned college activities: I plan on joining the Immigrant Rights Alliance club, Language Development Club, Hiking club and many more.

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: I was part of the Girls Varsity Soccer team, Girls Varsity Bowling team, Peer Leadership, National Honor Society (NHS) and the Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP).

Who inspires you? My brother is one of the most influential people in my life. When we first came to the United States he was the only person that was going through the same thing as me: trying to navigate a new country, learning a new language, trying to make new friends. It was hard, but seeing him persevere above all that, pushed me and continues to push me to be the best that I can be.

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? It’s depressing watching your high school years’ end behind a screen and not being able to spend them with all your classmates. But I’m still grateful for everything I have been able to do such as: soccer season, bowling season, prom and graduation (soon). Anything is better than nothing!

Favorite high school memory: My favorite high school memory is messing around during practice with Lanie, Hazel, Morgann and Abby.

Charlie DeBlasio

8 Charles DeBlasio

College: Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach)

Major: Aeronautical Science

Career Plans: Naval Aviator 

Planned college activities: None

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: EHS Varsity Boys Soccer team, Key Club, National Honor Society (NHS), Stage Crew

Who inspires you? The captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, he is a great example of a good person, strong leader, and family man. 

What are your feelings about the way the pandemic affected your senior year?It definitely was a twist, but the teachers and staff made it as easy as possible to adapt. I would have liked to have had a normal senior year, but I wouldn’t have had certain memories this year if it wasn’t for the virtual learning experience.

Favorite high school memory: Soccer games under the lights. I really came to appreciate every minute of them this year, when it wasn’t a guarantee we would be allowed to have them.

Gabrielle Gregg

8 Gabrielle Gregg

College: The University of Tampa

Major: Psychology

Career plans: I’m currently undecided about what career I’d like to pursue, but I’m leaning towards the medical field. I’m excited to explore different options over the next four years.

Planned college activities: I plan on participating in the Honors Program and doing research, as well as joining a sorority and doing volunteer work. I may also join a theater or dance troupe.

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: I was a four-year member and Vice President of Student Council. I was a two-year member of National Honor Society (NHS). I was a four-year member of Key Club, and the Varsity Fall Cheerleading team. I also participated in the Spring Musical as a dance captain/choreographer, and was a member of the International Thespian Society.

Who inspires you? My parents inspire me because they are both hard workers and always lead by example in encouraging me to never give up.

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? The  pandemic made me appreciate the opportunity to go to school more than I thought possible. You never truly realized how much of a privilege it is to be able to learn surrounded by your peers and teachers until you’re unable to do it anymore. While I am sad that I missed out on many of the opportunities that senior year had to offer, I now know to cherish every opportunity that comes my way going forward because they go by so fast.

Favorite high school memory: My favorite High School memory is participating in the musical Legally Blonde. It was my first musical production at EHS, and a big step out of my comfort zone as a dance captain. I made so many new friends and formed new relationships with teachers. It was so much fun performing with such amazing people.

Zachary Benedetti

10 Zachary Benedetti

College: The University of Richmond

Major: Psychology

Career plans: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Planned college activities: Club Swimming and an A Cappella Group

Clubs/sports teams at EHS: EHS Varsity Swim team, Drama Club, Marching Band, National Honor Society (NHS), International Thespian Society, Peer Leadership

Who inspires you? All my friends continue to inspire me as they navigate past the obstacles this challenging year has thrown at them, while still always being able to make me laugh and smile.

What are your feelings about the way the  pandemic affected your senior year? This is surely not the senior year I had hoped for or expected, however the challenges I’ve endured throughout the school year have helped shape me into a better student and a stronger, determined, and more resilient individual.

Favorite high school memory: My favorite High School memory was attending the International Thespian Festival in Nebraska my sophomore year.