The Eagle Eye
Alumni Newsletter: Volume 1 - FALL 2018
Welcome to the 1st Edition of The Eagle Eye!
Egg Harbor Township Schools recently launched its new Alumni Association for a few reasons:
- To pick your brains --- our former students -- and find out what roads you chose to follow;
- To find out where you are now in your careers and your lives, and what interesting steps you took along the way to get where you are today;
- To gauge your feelings on how Egg Harbor Township Schools prepared you for your journey.
We also want to know what you think we can do better NOW to prepare current students for their future!
Maybe you chose a traditional academic path, or perhaps you took the road less traveled and blazed your own trail. Regardless of how you got to where you are today, we are grateful to you for putting Egg Harbor Township School District on the map, making a difference in the world, and for helping us become better educators.
In each edition, we hope to share your stories, inspire opportunities for you to reconnect with us, and invite you to participate in exciting things happening in the Egg Harbor Township School District.
Former students who have not yet done so are asked to visit http://www.eht.k12.nj.us/community_resources/alumni_association, register AND take the brief survey to help district leaders mold online offerings that support your needs. Those who register AND take the survey will be sent a FREE Alumni Car Magnet!
The MISSION of the Alumni Association is simple:
OUR GOALS ARE UNCOMPLICATED:
*To Provide a Framework for our Alumni to Connect with Peers for Educational, Professional
and/or Social Purposes
*To Involve our Alumni in the Advancement of the Mission, Goals, and Strategic Planning of
Egg Harbor Township School District
IN THIS EDITION YOU WILL MEET FOUR OF OUR DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI: Chin Pandya, Dave Sholler, Jennifer Donovan Meyer, and Kristen Johns
CLASS OF 2001 ALUMNUS CHIN PANDYA DONATES $2,000 FOR NEW EHTHS BAND EQUIPMENT
Chin Pandya, class of 2001, recently donated $2,000 to the Community Partnership for Egg Harbor Township Schools Inc., to purchase new percussion equipment for the Egg Harbor Township High School Band.
As a student at Egg Harbor Township High School, Chin excelled in Band/Orchestra, Tennis, Soccer, Mock Trial, Musicals and Drama. When asked if he felt EHTHS prepared him for his career he said, "Yes, I had fantastic teachers, coaches and advisors who taught me the importance of hard work and humility" specifically acknowledging Dr. Kadetsky, Mr. Pugliese, Mademoiselle Herr Guenther, Mr. Wilkinson, Mr. Cohen and Mrs. Almanza.
"Dr. Kadetsky [the district's Supervisor of Fine & Performing Arts] was more than a teacher, he was an advisor, a mentor, and most importantly, a friend," said Chin when he was asked why he wanted to give back to the district. "I was thrilled to be able to donate to the band as a small token of my appreciation for everything Dr. Kadetsky did for me as a student."
His two favorite high school memories are when he played the Scarecrow in the Wiz, and winning the South Jersey Championship in Tennis.
An investment banker at Houlihan Lokey based in Los Angeles, CA, Chin received his BS in Finance and Accounting from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. Prior to his current position with Houlihan Lokey, Chin worked in investment banking and advisory positions at Los Angeles-based UBS and Price Waterhouse Coopers in New York City.
Although he has lived in Los Angeles for more than a decade, he says he will always be a South Jersey boy at heart. Chin is married and has a new baby girl. His hobbies include playing music and tennis, watching Netflix, and supporting his favorite Philadelphia sports teams -- especially the Eagles.
DAVE SHOLLER RETURNS TO HIS ROOTS
There's a reason why Dave Sholler majored in communications at Stockton University. He's good at it.
Whether he's offering advice to novice 76ers players who tower over him on the basketball court, or speaking to large groups of impressionable Egg Harbor Township students, he uses his past experiences as a tool to drive his point home.
Dave recently returned to his South Jersey roots after landing a job as Vice President of Communications with the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to securing the position with the 76ers, Dave worked for the Ultimate Fighting Championship/World Exchange Cage fighting (UFC/WEC) as Manager of Public Relations, Senior Director of Public Relations, and Vice President of Public Relations/Athlete Marketing & Development for seven years.
Since returning home, Dave's name has quickly become synonymous with giving back. Never forgetting where he came from, Dave has made it his personal mission to share his life story with young people of Egg Harbor Township who are struggling the way he once was.
During recent presentations to Egg Harbor Township High School and middle school students, he talked openly about growing up economically-challenged, and living in a single-wide trailer with his three siblings, hard-working mom, and drug-addicted father. The oldest of four children, Dave took on a parental role at an early age when his father, an opioid addict, could not. He encouraged his siblings Dan, Dennis and Jillian to stay out of trouble by encouraging them to play sports -- using rolled up socks as balls to practice with them from home.
While a student at Egg Harbor Township High School, Dave participated in extra-curricular activities including EHT-TV and the Student Newspaper. When asked if he felt EHTS prepared him for his career he said, "I wouldn't be where I am today without the support and mentorship of the EHTHS administration. I was given access to the tools and resources needed to build the foundational skills that I apply in my field now."
Never forgetting those who helped him along the way, Dave credits retired EHTHS staff members Michael Coyne, Karen Warner and Ralph Ridolfino; current staff members Tony DeRosa, Dr. Terry Charlton and Dr. Kim Gruccio; former staff member Nicholas Marmarou -- now with Rancocas Valley School District -- and George Wilkinson, who died in 2013.
His favorite EHTHS memory was hosting the morning news on EHT-TV and chronicling the success of the schools' sports teams. "I really appreciate the camaraderie and support our school district fosters," he said.
Dave's favorite pastime is spending time with his wife Tiffany and their children: twin daughters Luciana and Lindleigh, and newest arrival -- son Santino. Other favorites include fishing, crabbing and food.
Balancing his family life with corporate management demands is challenging enough, but Dave always makes sure he carves out time for those less fortunate by sharing his story with area youth, spearheading efforts to collect supplies for the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, and serving as a volunteer Board of Trustee member for the Community Partnership for Egg Harbor Township Schools, Inc.
When asked why he feels the need/desire to give back he said simply, "It's the least I can do for a district and community that game me so much."
EHT GRADUATE REACHES FOR THE STARS
Jennifer Donovan Meyer is literally reaching for the stars as Associate Scientist for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, VA.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a federally-funded research and development center of the United States National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. Radio astronomy is the study of celestial objects that give off radio waves. Scientists like Donovan study astronomical phenomena that are often invisible or hidden in other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
A member of the Egg Harbor Township High School Class of 1999, Jennifer graduated with honors in Physics and Astronomy from Franklin & Marshall College, and received her MA, MPh and PhD in Astronomy from Columbia University.
A well-rounded student at Egg Harbor Township High School, Jennifer was a member of the EHTHS marching band/color guard, the Interact Club, the Yearbook Club, and participated in school musicals. She also competed in figure skating.
As an undergraduate student at F & M, Jennifer was a member of the Orchestra, Dance Company, and Physics and Astronomy Club, all while continuing her competitive figure skating aspirations.
Those skating skills paid off when she was a graduate assistant student astronomer at Columbia University by day and a member of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby team by night. During the day, Jennifer listened for and tracked the faintest sounds from atoms in galaxies millions of light-years from Earth. But at night she was 'Luna Impact' hip-checking and hip-whipping her way around the rink, according to a feature article in the 2007 New York Times.
Jennifer feels that Egg Harbor Township Schools prepared her to work with other people who saw things differently than she did, which is something she does on a daily basis in her current career. She says she still uses the phrase "Even a broken clock is right twice a day" crediting her sophomore EHTHS chemistry teacher Dr. Knobloch for imbedding that famous phrase into her mind.
Like Chin and Dave, Jennifer remembers her roots. Over the years, she has donated thousands of dollars to fundraising events that benefit Egg Harbor Township students.
"My brother Chip and I were raised knowing that it's important to give back and to try to make a difference in your community. Giving back to the EHT school system has always been a way to continue to support a community that always supported me, as well as to honor the work that my father [Chuck Donovan] did for the EHT School system, and that my brother is currently doing for the students of EHT -- not to mention it's where my nieces will grow and thrive," she said.
"Frankly I'm really proud of the work that Chip is doing, and this is also a way I can help him achieve his goals for the students of EHT since I'm not there to do more," she added.
Married since 2009 to her former college physics lab partner, Brendan, Jennifer gave birth to their first child, Logan Charles Meyer, in May.
KRISTIN JOHNS IS CAPTAINING HER OWN VESSEL FOR THE NATIONAL OCEANIC ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION (NOAA)
Kristin Johns, EHTHS class of 2009, is a Lieutenant Junior Grade with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Commissioned Officer Corps, working as the Operations Officer aboard the Nancy Foster, a federal research NOAA ship home-ported in Charleston, SC.
Her primary job is to manage and facilitate the science that happens aboard the ship including supporting fish habitat and population studies, seafloor mapping surveys, oceanographic studies and maritime heritage surveys.
Prior to her work on the Nancy Foster, Kristin was stationed in Norfolk, VA, serving as Deputy Chief of Operations and helping to manage and assist NOAA's nine Atlantic research ships. Her first job was that of a Junior Officer on NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter, where she learned the ins and outs of ships, how to drive them, and the science conducted from them.
After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Science from Rutgers University (New Brunswick) in 2013, Kristin reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Officers operate NOAA's survey & research vessels, pilot aircraft, lead field parties, & serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.
Before joining the NOAA ranks, Kristen developed her passion for everything 'ocean' after working at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine as a student guide and assistant, the Marine Science Program at Rutgers University where she volunteered with the American Shad Project conducting research for the dispatch of the Rutgers Glider across the Pacific Ocean, as a Medical Assistant in Somerset, NJ, and a lifeguard during the summer while a student at Rutgers University (New Brunswick).
Kristin credits EHTHS with preparing her for college "by giving me a strong foundation for learning, specifically in the sciences. It also taught me the importance of timeliness (getting to class and soccer on time), working hard even when things didn't always come easily, the importance of staying healthy and physically fit, and more importantly having fun! The best thing that EHTHS gave me is lasting friendships -- people that have supported me through it all," she said.
"As a military kid (my dad was in the US Coast Guard for 32 years), I leaned to love the lifestyle of moving around and traveling. I knew that I needed an occupation that doesn't settle in one place. I also wanted to serve my country in some capacity."
While at EHTHS, I loved all of my science classes, particularly oceanography, physics and chemistry. While in college, I studied biological sciences and was involved in research with the Marine Science Department -- all of which helped me land my perfect job -- one that includes science, service to my country, and adventure," she said.
Her favorite EHTHS memory is sitting around the cafeteria lunch table laughing with her friends. Her favorite EHTHS teachers were Ms. Reinhardt, Mr. Lesnick, Mr. Bowe and Mr. Caiazza.
At Rutgers University, Kristin focused her studies in Marine Science, Microbiology, and Medicine. She developed a passion for the ocean studies and the uniformed services at a very young age thanks to the enthusiasm of her father who serves in the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard enabled Kristin to become accustomed to adapting to new places, service etiquette, and individual and team growth.
Kristin has two younger sisters that she is extremely proud of. Ericka graduated from Atlantic Cape Community College's Nursing Program and Jena is a student at the Air Force Academy where she is ranked in the top of her class.
At EHTHS, Kristen was a member of the girls varsity soccer and track teams. An avid surfer and snowboarder, Kristen was a member of the Snowboard and Club Soccer teams at Rutgers, and also enjoyed rock climbing, hiking and boating in the off-season.
Her other interests and hobbies include visiting National Parks and traveling in general. She is passionate about the environment, environmental awareness and conservation. Kristin's professional associations include the Military Officers Association of America and Surfrider Foundation.
Planning her March 2019 marriage to Tyler Sjoka, Kristin would like to serve as a mentor to EHTHS students who are interested in following in her footsteps!
Attention Class of 1999:
Your 20th year REUNION is currently planned for July 26 - 28, 2019.
Attention Class of 1989:
Egg Harbor Township High School Class of 1989 will celebrate their 30th Year Reunion from
7 - 11 pm, Saturday, July 13, 2019, at McCullough's Emerald Golf Links, located at 3016 Ocean Heights Avenue in EHT.
Cost: $45 per person due by June 1, 2019
Attire: Summer Cocktail Party Casual Chic
Food & Beverages: Appetizers and 'light bites', soda and iced tea provided. Cash Bar.
For More Information, email: EHTClassof1989@gmail.com
Reunion Facebook Page: EHT CLASS OF '89
(or contact Kristin Schmoll Santiago or Kim Valasek Pagano on their Facebook pages)