Community News is proud to continue its long-standing tradition of recognizing the academic high achievers of the graduating class of the township’s three public high schools.

Below, readers will find profiles of the top 10 seniors by grade point average for Steinert High School.

Included in the profiles are the students’ plans for continuing education, as well as their favorite memories of their scholastic careers and the teachers who have inspired them the most.

Community News typically publishes these profiles in June, but the final class rankings were not available.

We congratulate all of the graduates of the Class of 2021.

Isabella Kaufman

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Emory University / Biological Sciences / Immunology or virology

Class rank: 1

GPA: 4.9775

Sports: Cross country, winter track, spring track

Clubs: Peer Leadership, DECA, SGA, Key Club, National Honors Society, Spanish National Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, Art National Honors Society, and act as the SGA Service Vice President

Prior schooling: University Heights, Yardville, Reynolds

Teacher who inspired me: Mr. Cullen’s contagious enthusiasm for science will resonate with me for the rest of my academic career.

Favorite memory: Peer Leadership training, because people with different perspectives and strengths were able to work as a group in order to solve puzzles and games. It was a great bonding experience and definitely taught us all a lesson that we’ll take with us to college and beyond.

Dana Cuan

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N.J. Institute of Technology / Architecture / Architect

Class rank: 2

GPA: 4.9329

Clubs: TTRPG Club (president), National Art Honor Society (chairman), Steinert theatre productions, Peer Leadership, National Honor Society

Prior schooling: Langtree, Sayen, Reynolds

Teacher who inspired me: Ms. Blew inspired me with her pre-assessment mantra: “My grades do not define me as a human being. I am defined by how hard I work, and by how I treat others.” I’ll be sure to take that lesson with me to college.

Favorite memory: That would have to be the play this year, Into the Woods! It was extremely hot and we were all sunburned by the end of it, but it was so much fun and I became friends with a wonderful group of people.

Leena Chatterjee

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The Ohio State University / Neuroscience / Psychiatrist

Class rank: 3

GPA: 4.9326

Clubs: German Club, Key Club, FBLA, National Honor Society, German Honor Society, National Art Honor Society (acting president)

Prior schooling: Sunnybrae, Grice

Teacher who inspired me: I was most inspired by my high school German teacher, Frau Smith. Her class allowed me to experience new cultures in a way that I will never forget. I learned so much from her and her class was always my favorite.

Favorite memory: During Spring Break of sophomore year, Frau Smith hosted a trip to Germany and the Czech Republic that I was fortunate enough to go on. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I got to learn about European culture firsthand while making lifelong memories with my friends.

Morgan Hart

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Widener University / Biomedical engineering / Pediatric prosthetics

Class rank: 4

GPA: 4.8703

Sports: Soccer (team captain)

Clubs: National Honors Society, Art National Honors Society, Spanish National Honors Society, Spanish Club, Key Club, Hamilton News

Prior schooling: Sayen, Reynolds

Teacher who inspired me: Mr. Hastings. He had confidence in me that I had yet to have in myself as a freshman entering high school. He pushed me to work hard to become the successful student and soccer player that I am today.

Favorite memory: My favorite memory of school is Wacky Races. Since freshman year, it has been the school event that I look forward to the most. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by your friends and laughing until you can’t breathe. When I look back, Wacky Races will definitely be one of the most memorable parts of my high school experience.

Jamie Gilson

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Boston College / Mathematics and linguistics / Research/academia

Class rank: 5

GPA: 4.858

Clubs: Jazz Band, Marching Band (clarinet section leader), National Honors Society, Spanish National Honors Society, Dungeons and Dragons Club (dungeon master), School Newspaper, Math Club, Book Club

Prior schooling: Alexander, Reynolds

Teacher who inspired me: Mr Femiano, my 6th grade math teacher. While I already knew I had good math skills, his teaching style and unique sense of humor made his lessons engaging and helped me discover how much I enjoyed learning about math. He made me feel at home in his class, which made it easier for me to pick up knowledge which was very new to me at the time.

Favorite memory: Attending and performing with the Steinert Jazz Band at the National Jazz Festival in February of 2020.

Nicole Bruno

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Villanova University / Business / Undecided

Class rank: 6

GPA: 4.8348

Sports: Tennis

Clubs: Student Government Association (corresponding secretary, Choir (co-president), Yearbook (student & faculty section editor), Future Business Leaders of America, Italian Club, National Honor Society, Italian National Society

Prior schooling: Alexander, Reynolds

Teacher who inspired me: Mr. Ryan, my Pre-Calculus teacher. He was a teacher who challenged me to be the best I could be, and also reignited my interest in math and problem-solving.

Favorite memory: Student events like Wacky races where I have been able to make so many great memories with my friends. I also have really enjoyed being on the tennis team, where I made so many amazing friends.

Callie Dufficy

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Temple University / Neuroscience (cell and molecular) / Neuroscience researcher

Class rank: 7

GPA: 4.8048

Clubs: National Honor Society, German National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society (secretary), German Club, SGA, Key Club

Prior schooling: Sunnybrae, Reynolds

Teacher who inspired me: Frau Smith has inspired me to continue to travel and learn as much as possible in my future. We are never too old to learn new things, and I hope to follow her dedication when I grow older.

Favorite memory: The Germany Trip of 2019 is definitely my favorite memory of school because of the memories I made during that spring break. I was able to travel places I’ve never been to and learn about the history and culture of the people living there.

Gia DiNatale

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The College of New Jersey / Biology / Biological researcher

Class rank: 8

GPA: 4.7947

Clubs: Consumer Bowl, NHS, Key Club, School Theatre (stage crew), Spanish Club, Yearbook (co-editor and copy editor)

Prior schooling: Alexander, Reynolds

Teacher who inspired me: My Pre-Calculus teacher, Mr. Ryan. Even in the midst of the pandemic this school year, he has still kept an open mind and made learning more enjoyable by doing so. In doing this, he has taught me that in spite of unfavorable circumstances occurring when it is least expected, keeping a positive attitude is an essential key to overall success. He has also allowed me to appreciate how valuable the gift of learning is, regardless of any mistakes that I might make along the way.

Favorite memory: All of the Steinert plays that I have been involved in. Participating in the stage crew was a fun, incredible experience that will always be very special and valuable to me. The other crew members were inclusive and kind as well, which made even the most difficult of practices and shows worthwhile. I am so beyond thankful for not only the overall experience of Stage Crew, but also for my advisors, Mr. Caruso and Mr. Wheeler, and the incredibly hardworking, talented cast and crew members.

Mary Moticha

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Rutgers University, Honors College / Pharmacy / Pharmacist

Class rank: 9

GPA: 4.7935

Sports: Tennis

Clubs: Key Club, Student Government Association, Unified Club, Unified Sports, Peer Leadership, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society

Prior schooling: University Heights, Reynolds

Teacher who inspired me: My Honors Pre- Calculus (10) and AP Calculus BC (12) teacher, Mr. Ryan has been an inspiration to me. He has encouraged me to put forth my best effort into my schoolwork. He has been supportive in my academic achievements and his classes have effectively prepared me for difficult college courses.

Favorite memory: Some of my favorite school memories were made through the Steinert Girls Tennis Team, especially going to the Mercer County Tennis Tournament. It was a two-day event held at Mercer County Park. I enjoyed the days competing against my friends from other schools and cheering on my teammates.

Zack Kovacs

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Mercer County Community College / Film/Television / Media/screenwriting/acting

Class rank: 10

GPA: 4.7844

Clubs: SGA, (school board rep), Marching Band (section leader for two years), DECA, Hamilton N.E.W.S, Peer Leadership, Key Club (officer), and National Honors Society (secretary)

Prior schooling: Langtree, Crockett

Teacher who inspired me: Mr. Freeman, my 11th and 12th grade english teacher. Before high school, it was hard for me to express myself. Through Mr. Freeman’s teaching of writing, which had always been a passion of mine, I was able to gain a better understanding of myself. I wrote a lot of essays for Mr. Freeman, and none of them felt like work because Mr. Freeman inspired me to express myself in writing, expanding my love for it even more than it was already, and through that, I feel like I was able to better express myself outside of writing.

Favorite memory: Being able to attend all of the different school events, games, or other activities that brought me closer to my friends. One in particular is being able to travel to Florida with the band, where I met so many great people and enjoyed my time in high school. These memories will never leave me as many of them hold special places, for introducing me to a lot of new people and strengthening old bonds, these are my favorite memories.

Steinert 2021

(Facebook photo.)

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