News From the Eagle's Nest

Principal's Newsletter - MacNaughton's Minutes

Dear MK Community,

As this holiday season approaches, we would like to thank you for your continued support. May this season warm your souls, bring love to your hearts and bless you with everything life has to offer. On behalf of Morris Knolls High School, I would like to wish you a joyous holiday season. May the spirit of the season bring you and your family HOPE, HAPPINESS, and PEACE.

As 2021 draws to a close, we can reflect on how this year has challenged all of us in new and unexpected ways. Even so, our community has come together and persevered. Our students, staff, and parents have been so resilient over the past few months and I am confident that our future is bright. May 2022 be filled with hope and promise and may we all soar like GOLDEN EAGLES!

Morris Knolls has remained open and our safety measures are working. We are witnessing an increase in cases throughout our state and county and I remind all members of our school community to continue to practice good safety measures to remain healthy.

As we adapt to these new realities and prepare for possible unknowns that lie ahead, we will continue to take a thoughtful approach to problem-solving. Your input and questions are always welcomed at

This newsletter is dedicated to the amazing accomplishments of our awesome students. Thank you to everyone who shared these achievements with me to include in the newsletter and I encourage all of you to continue to send any student or staff achievements to me for future newsletters. I have also included some useful resources and information.

Have a relaxing break with family and friends!

With Golden Eagle Pride,

Ryan MacNaughton

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Academy of Performing Arts Students, Tia Levinson, Greta Schneider and MK Students Sari Gabay and Mariela Weisberg volunteer to brighten up the holidays for those less fortunate! (Click the video below to view the CBS News Clip!)

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Students Board Holiday Train With Santa In NJ Transit Tradition
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Vanessa Arango, Bobby Becht, and Alyssa Fox earn NJ All State Choir Recognition. Congrats!!

Morris County Honor Choir Announced. Congratulations to Vanessa Arango, Julia Caponegro, Alyssa Fox. Erin Miskimon, Grace Nagle, Anna Statari, Zoey Thibodeau, and Megna Wadher!!!

Bobby Becht (11) and Michelle Lee (10) accepted into MPAC Teen Performing Arts Company

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Maggie Waldron and Grace Thiel from the APA program performed in A Class Act NY’s Main Stage Production of CHICAGO in November at the Riverside Theatre in NYC!!!

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Kiersten Rock-Torcivia Making a Difference in this World!!

Kiersten donated an AED machine through her charity Heartfelt Harmonies to The Boys and Girls Club of Newark! The Boys and Girls Clubs of America provide after school programs that help young people build skills, get support, and empower youth!

In addition she hosted a photography exhibition and sale fundraiser on December 5th at the White Meadow Lake Clubhouse to raise money for her charity that she started!

Heartfelt Harmonies

Click to View Kiersten's Charity Website

RYAN BELLER was Runner Up at the National Summer Goalie Lacrosse Showcase - Grade 11 - GOALIE, JERSEY THUNDER, MORRIS KNOLLS HS

Beller was a spark plug in net at the Goalie 350 summer showcase, and made his presence known in net throughout the event. He is extremely athletic and able to move pipe to pipe lightening fast, and make some incredible saves in the process. Beller never gave up on a shot! Congratulations Ryan!!!!!

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Morris Knolls Girls Soccer Goalie Danielle Klingener Gets 100th Career Save against Columbia. Way to go Danielle!!

D Klingener GKVideo


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Elisabeth Bubay and Anthony Bubay Earn Recognition (Click article below to View)

Anthony Bubay nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts and again in 2015 to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Senior Kaitlyn Erickson organized a Unified Fall Program to Promote Inclusivity at MK

Her goal with the event was to promote inclusivity and spread kindness. She plans to organize multiple events throughout the year to promote unity within our school community. Great work Kaitlyn!!

The Morris Knolls Golden Eagles Marching Band took 3rd place on October 23, 2021 at the Verona Festival of Bands 2021 along with the award for Best Visuals. They then competed at the State Championships at TCNJ on October 31, 2021 taking 4th place. The MK Band Boosters are so proud of how far the band has come after its 2-year hiatus and wish the senior band members of the Class of 2022 all the best.

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Paige Van Orden nominated for the 2022 Distinguished Student Award for the NJ Association of Gifted Children

Paige will be representing Morris Knolls as she competes against students across the state. She is extremely talented and she started her own business called Kicks by Paige where she paints custom sneakers for customers. She’s even painted shoes for professional NFL players. Congrats Paige!!

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Freshmen Homecoming Prince:

Brent Berchin

Marcello Flammia

Justin Hanson

Christopher Kaiser

Freshmen Homecoming Princess:

Jayden Boralsky

Isabella Diserio

Alyson Frio

Brooke Marositz

Aleena Seyam

Addyson Walker

Sophomore Homecoming Prince:

Darin Cashman

Luke Dickerson

Michael Simone

Tyler Spillane

Giacomo Zizza

Giovanni Zizza

Sophomore Homecoming Princess:

Catherine Baresh

Mikayla Doyle

Madison Fosko

Brianna Garder

Maria Lilov

Junior Homecoming Prince:

Jake Aspinall

Mithresh Aswath Gayathri

Shane Blaber

Elijah Dor

Sebastian Mendoza

Junior Homecoming Princess:

Vanessa Arango

Naomi Fox

Janiya Koger

Tia Levinson

Umika Singh

Carly Wemmlinger

Homecoming King:

Antonio Agodini

Sean Bienkowski

Jack DeFranco

Joseph Dellemonache

Nicholas Tavarone

Homecoming Queen:

Julia Caggiano

Abigail Comprelli

Jamie McLemore

Averie Morren

Molly Secallus

Congratulations to the cast and crew of "30 Neo-Futurist Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" on a successful run!

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Brianna Mangeri (Grade 9) earns Girl Scout Silver Award!!

Brianna received the Girl Scout Silver Award based on a project she initiated and coordinated with a friend to collect and distribute clothing, toiletries and personal items in string bag backpacks for the homeless population in Newark. Also included in each bag was a hand painted heart with inspirational scripture. The girls were able spend a day in Newark personally distributing their string bags to thankful recipients. Way to "Be the Difference" Brianna!!

National English Honor Society Hosts "Battle of the Books"

Do you and your friends love reading and want the chance to win a Barnes and Noble gift card? If so, NEHS is hosting a competition for you! "Battle of the Books" is a trivia tournament which will be held after school on May 13, 2022. Students will compete in teams of 3-5, and those who don’t have a team will be assigned to one. Teams will be asked trivia questions about the 10 books listed below, so each book should be read by at least one team member prior to the event. If you would like to sign up, just fill out the attached Google form and turn in the permission slip to Mrs. Amicucci in Room B26 by May 12th.

List of books: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Anxious People by Fredrik Backman, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Battle of the Books Sign Up Form

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Morris Knolls Athletes Sign Division 1 Letters of Intent to Continue Academic and Athletic Career! Congrats and thank you for your contributions to MK!

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Caroline Weldon Commits to the University of Richmond - Swimming

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Neil Lilov Commits to Penn State University - Fencing

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Amani Herring Commits to Penn State University - Gymnastics

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Brianna Mennella Commits to James Madison University - Lacrosse

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Abigail McDonald Commits to FDU - Metro - Lacrosse

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MK Announces Educator of the Year Awards!

2021- 2022 Educator of the Year - Mr. Matthew Higgins

Mr. Higgins is a teacher who has been a member of the Morris Hills Regional District since 1997. He is a Social Studies teacher at both Morris Knolls High School and Morris Hills School. He is viewed as an individual who always is willing to help his colleagues and goes above and beyond for his students. He truly knows how to connect with his students. Congratulations Mr. Higgins and thank you for making a difference in the lives of so many students.

2021 - 2022 Educational Specialist of the Year - Ms. Danielle Van Der Veken

Ms. Danielle Van Der Veken is a staff member who has been a member of Morris Knolls High School since 2017. In addition to being our school’s Student Assistant Counselor, she is the school’s Anti-Bullying Specialist, Advisor of TLC, 504 Case Manager, and an I&RS committee member. Colleagues are awed by her tireless work ethic and constant willingness to make time for students throughout the school day. She truly cares about the well being of our students. Congratulations Ms. Van Der Veken!

2021 - 2022 Support Staff Member of the Year - Mr. Marco Garcia

Mr. Garcia has been working in the Morris Hills Regional District since 1998. He was nominated by 13 individuals ranging from students to staff. People continuously mentioned his infectious personality and the pride that he takes in Morris Knolls. He exemplifies what it means to go above and beyond the call of duty. Congratulations Mr. Garcia!

Congratulations to the Super Football Conference “Man of the Year” recipient, Colin Groome. He will be honored at MetLife Stadium at a future NY Jets game!

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2021 Morris Knolls Super Football Conference Division Champions!

2021 Morris Knolls Football Super Football Conference, Liberty Red Div. Champions Season Highlights
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Will Hogan - Class of 2020 Helps Saint Bonaventure Win National D1 Rugby Title!!! Morris Rugby players continue to make noise at the national level.

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Stockton's Jessica Heitmann (Class of 2018) named NJAC Player of the Week

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Scheduling for the 2022 - 2023 school year is right around the corner

We are currently in the process of scheduling for the 2022-23 school year. Of all the things we do in high school, scheduling is perhaps the central most important process we engage in. As a result, it is crucial to take the process seriously, bringing significant thought to course selection and decision making.

We had our AP/Elective Fair this week for all students and exposed them to so many interesting courses. I encourage you to have a discussion with your son or daughter about challenging themselves to take on a more rigorous course selection for next year. Academic rigor brings great rewards when serious effort is matched with proper course selection. I encourage your son or daughter to aim high and take on one of our 27 AP offerings that are available at Morris Knolls. We want our students to select a course load that is comprehensive, challenging, and rigorous to help prepare students for the college experience!

Please click the link below for more info on available Advanced Placement Courses and Departmental Electives.

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  • Monday, January 3rd - School Resumes
  • Thursday, January 6th - 8th Grade Parent Night
  • Monday, January 17th - School Closed - Martin Luther King Day
  • Monday, January 31st - End of Marking Period 2

Click Below to Join the Morris Knolls Home and School Association!

We are looking for 100% participation!


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