Jefferson Arts Committee awards two scholarships this year

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The Jefferson Arts Committee recognized the achievements of two outstanding Jefferson Township High School students during the Senior Awards Ceremony held on June 14th in the school auditorium.  

The students were chosen from many applicants based on their intent to pursue their college education in an art related field, maintaining average or above average grades in high school, and participation in school and or community activities. Scholarship Committee members included Chairperson Rose Jackameit, Kathleen and George Damerel, John Focacci, and Jason Nicholas.

Jackameit presented the Jefferson Arts Committee Memorial Scholarship for $1,000 to graduating senior Ryan Schmidt who plans on attending the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with an intended major in Instrumental Music Education.   An outstanding student ranked second in a class of 250, Ryan will be the Class of 2018’s Salutatorian.  With a career goal of becoming a high school or college instrumental music director, Ryan has been recognized just this current school year alone as the recipient of several awards including the Mayo Performing Arts Center Student of the Month Award, the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, and the Peer Development Program Award.  He was chosen as one of 20 students in North America to participate in this year’s International BASF Summer Science Academy.      Among his many academic honors are National Honor Society, Spanish Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, Tri-M Music Honors Society, as well as subject awards in Science, English, and History.  A member of numerous school clubs, several of which he was a founding member, Ryan has been very active throughout his high school career in Student Council and  service projects while excelling in the music field as a member of the Sussex County Honors Band, North Jersey Area Honors Band, North Jersey Region Honors Band, North Jersey Region Symphonic Orchestra, New Jersey All-State Band, the Jefferson Township Wind Ensemble, the Jefferson Township Community Jazz Band, the JTHS Marching Band, and as a musician in two local churches.

The Jack and Rose Kelly Founders Scholarship for $500 was presented to Katrina Jenisch who plans on attending County College of Morris with an intended major in Photography with a career goal of becoming a professional photographer.  Ranked 94 in a class of 250, Katrina has been in the school band and art club as well as participating in recreation softball for the past 13 years.  She is a past recipient of the Jefferson Arts Committee’s Student Artist of the Month award and took a second-place photography award in the Blackwell Street Center for the Arts’ 30th annual high school student art exhibit.   She enjoys ice skating and is a volunteer at her church with the Sunday School program and assists the staff in the church nursery.  Her other community service projects revolve around painting and video taping events, all while working a part-time job.

As the Jefferson Arts Committee is dedicated to the pursuit of cultural and artistic activities and encourages youth to participate in such activities, actor Danny Kay’s statement seems fitting: “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it!”   Congratulations to Ryan and Katrina and all the students of the 2018 Jefferson Township High School Class of 2018 as they move on pursuing their career goals and dreams.


Pictured Above:

  • Ryan Schmidt was the recipient of the Jefferson Arts Committee's Memorial Scholarship.
  • The Jefferson Arts Committee awarded its Jack and Rose Kelly Founders Scholarship to Katrina Jenisch.

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