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Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark graduated its ninth class during an emotional commencement ceremony in the dramatic setting of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Proud parents, siblings, teachers, honored guests and fellow students from the school cheered loudly as 49 students received their diplomas June 28 from the K-8 Blue Ribbon school that is widely regarded as one of the highest performing in New Jersey.
The class of 2013 earned more than $5 million in scholarship offers to attend some of the nation's best private boarding schools and day schools, including Choate Rosemary Hall, Phillips Exeter Academy, Phillips Academy Andover, Hotchkiss, the Hun School, St. Paul's School in New Hampshire and St. Andrew's School in Delaware.
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Kristin Kovatch, a teacher at the North Ward Center's Child Development Center in Newark, has been named "Teacher of the Year," by Newark Public Schools.
Kovach, one of three teachers selected by the district for the annual award, was recognized for her "unbending commitment" to her students throughout her four-year tenure at the preschool.
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On his 100th birthday, after the singing and after the cake, Jorge Osorio rose to his feet, bringing calm to the normally vibrant community room at Casa Israel, the adult medical day care center operated by the North Ward Center.
But rather than preserving that calm, the centenarian—in line with an evident zest for life — broke out in song and lead the crowd in a rousing rendition of the timeless ranchera song, "Cielito Lindo," replete with the familiar refrain:
"Ay, ay, ay, ay. Canta y no llores." Sing and don't cry.
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The Robert Treat Academy Charter School girl's basketball team won the Charter School Athletic League championships, defeating St. Philips Academy 20-18 in the final game.
Principal Theresa Adubato said winning the League championships brought a new sense of pride to the K-8 school, which is nationally recognized for its lengthy list of academic accomplishments, but has not achieved athletic glory until now.
"For the first time, our students have been recognized and honored beyond academic achievements," Adubato said. "Our girls are model Robert Treat students and are a source of inspiration and motivation for the entire student body and staff."