Congratulations Francesca Sacco !!!

Mannes Centennial Celebration: Mannes College of Music, now part of the New School, was founded by David and Clara Mannes in 1917. A celebratory Centennial   concert was held at Carnegie Hall on Tues, April 25, 2017 at 7 pm.

The concert featured Frederica von Stade, David Hayes, Joseph Colaneri. Matthew Brady, Michel Camilo, the New York Choral Society, the Mannes Prep Chorus, and the Mannes Orchestra.

A great variety of works, from Mozart, Verdi, and Mahler to "What the World Needs Now is Love," by Mannes alumnus Burt Bacharach, were performed. Mr. Bacharach was awarded the first annual Mannes Alumni Prize for his musical contributions to society.

Francesca LaMarca Sacco, a sophomore at LHS and a student in the Mannes Prep Division for 9 years, was the only high school student to audition for and join the Mannes orchestra for this performance. The Mannes Orchestra is made up of college students. Francesca studies violin with Ms. Adela Peña and piano with Ms. Alexandra Eames at Mannes.

MBLA Field Trip to the Prudential Center

Walking through the inner hallways of the Prudential Center, 27 freshmen and sophomores of the Marketing and Business Leadership Academy felt very privileged to view areas of the venue not seen by the general public. Their recent tour of the facility led them onto the press level, into the Seton Hall locker room, and into members-only suites and clubs. Along this route, students and Academy faculty Mrs. Antonucci, Mr. Fishman and Advocate Mrs. Gianfredi were given explanations of the marketing and sales practices of “The Rock” from Mr. Jason Cohen, Team Lead of Group Events. Mr. Cohen answered their questions and offered practical insight into topics such as the ticket pricing strategies and the revenue stream derived from concession stands at the venue. While there, students got an up-close and personal view of the Zamboni and the practice ice. Opportunity for externships was also discussed because there is an externship requirement for seniors of the MBLA.


2015-2016 New Jersey School Performance Reports

 The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) presents the 2015-16 School Performance Reports. These reports are designed to inform parents, educators and communities about how well a school is performing and preparing its students for college and careers. In particular, the School Performance Reports seek to:

  • Focus attention on metrics that are indicative of college and career readiness.

  • Benchmark a school's performance against other schools that are educating similar students, against district and state-wide outcomes, and against state targets to illuminate and build upon a school's strengths and identify areas for improvement.

  • Improve educational outcomes for students by providing both longitudinal and growth data so that progress can be measured as part of an individual school's efforts to engage in continuous improvement.

While the New Jersey School Performance Reports seek to bring more information to educators and stakeholders about the performance of schools, they do not seek to distill the performance of schools into a single metric, a single score, or a simplified conclusion. Instead, the intention is that educators and stakeholders will engage in meaningful conversations about the full range of the data presented. While the School Performance Reports bring attention to important student outcomes, the NJDOE does not collect data about other essential elements of a school, such as the provision of opportunities to participate and excel in extracurricular activities; the development of non-cognitive skills; the pervasiveness of a positive school culture or climate; or the attainment of other employability and technical skills, as many of these data are beyond both the capacity and resources of schools to measure.

“Girl Up” Women’s Shelter Drive at Leonia High School

Leonia High School’s newly-formed “Girl Up” Club held a collection of much-needed supplies for the Center for Hope and Safety, a women’s shelter in Rochelle Park. “Girl Up” is affiliated with the United  Nations and is dedicated to raising awareness of women’s issues across the globe.

Student leaders Isabelle Raskin and Ji Jung Lim are sophomores at Leonia High School (class of 2019) and formed the club after learning about some of the hardships facing girls and young women around the world. Their goal, according to Isabelle, is to help in whatever seemingly small ways they can “because that little bit makes a difference.” After researching local communities, Isabelle contacted the shelter in Rochelle Park to see what they needed. The club came together to collect five boxes of kitchen and bathroom supplies to bring to the shelter.

Isabelle and Ji Jung are excited about the future of their club, and are already planning a number of future events to raise awareness for the plight of adolescent girls across the globe.


Members of Leonia High School’s Girl Up club collected kitchen and bathroom
supplies for the Center for Hope and Safety in Rochelle Park.

LAS Science Academy Trip 2017

The Junior Science Academy Class visited the City University of New York – College of Staten Island on March 24th. Thanks to Professor Neophytos A. Antoniades, PhD and lab technician Richie Brown the students were engaged the entire day exploring many aspects of electronics. The class performed many eye-opening experiments in the lab. Their knowledge and enthusiasm was apparent to Mrs.Butterfield and Mrs. Smyth. The real life application of Faraday’s Law and other topics explored was quite valuable to the students. They even had a chance to view some projects made by students at the University – a real thrill!!! To quote our students – “This was a cool, Educational Field Trip”. The students were treated to a pizza lunch. Thank you Dr. Antoniades!

Create Design Challenge


Allen Lee, Daniel Park, Kevin Wu and their teacher Mr. Hamrani participated in the 2017 Panasonic Creative Design Challenge. The Challenge took place at NJIT in Newark.  

Rockefeller University Trip

Nine students from AP Chemistry class and their teacher, Mr.Tharian from Leonia High School attended the 58th Annual Rockefeller University Science Lecture for High School Students on Jan 7th, 2017. The lecture series was established in 1959 by Alfred Mirsky, a biochemist and Rockefeller University librarian. Dr.Mirsky modeled these lectures on a popular series of science lectures for children pioneered in London in 1826 by Michael Farday- known as one of the greatest experiments in the history of science. Dr. Jean-Laurent Casanova, M.D., Ph.D., a Professor at the Rockefeller University, delivered the lecture on the topic “Are infectious diseases only infectious?” Through exciting illustrations, the professor explained the importance of microbes and vaccines in our daily life and various modern techniques to study different interactions at the cellular level. The Professor emphasized the need for scientific research through these techniques in order to solve current medical and scientific challenges. Interactive demonstrations were also conducted during the lunch break. Students enthusiastically participated in these events and the experience made them aware of research in higher education and related job opportunities in different fields of science.


Leonia Student Presents Syrian Refugee Photography Exhibition in Washington DC

On December 2, 2016, Leonia High School Senior Sinem Oguz presented her photo exhibit, On the Border: Syrian Women and Chil+dren, during a discussion panel at NYU’s satellite campus in Washington DC. The collection features images from the Syrian Refugee camp in Akcakale, Turkey and focuses on resilience of childhood innocence in the face of ongoing conflict.      

As a young woman of Turkish descent, Sinem has remained acutely aware of the Syrian Civil War’s impact back home. Last year, Turkey’s National Disaster Response Program (AFAD) approved Sinem’s request for access to specific refugee sites. On the Border chronicles Sinem’s experiences in Akcakale and provides a human connection to a conflict half a world away. Sinem’s visit included a helicopter tour of the entire camp and visits with a number of families in the camp.

The NYU panel is the fourth time Sinem’s exhibition has been showcased since 2015. Sinem has expressed immense joy in being able to use her hobby to make a difference. Sinem is currently enrolled in the Leonia Academy of Science and is considering a future in Doctors Without Borders to combine her prospective career in medicine with her passion for activism.

LHS National Honor Society Hosts Blood Drive

On Wednesday, November 16, members of Leonia High School’s National Honors Society hosted their biannual Blood Drive in coordination with Community Blood Services. Seniors Minna Abdelaziz and Mayuri Nagpal chaired the November Blood Drive with guidance from NHS faculty advisor Nicole Bozik.  

Throughout the day, National Honors Society members assisted donors by providing snacks, walking students back to class, and completing much needed tasks for Community Blood Services personnel. The Blood Drive was open to all, and saw a strong response from the entire school community. Parents, teachers, and students donated a total of 53 pints of blood for local blood banks, which can save over 150 lives.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, donors, and participants.

The National Honors Society will host another Blood Drive on March 1, 2017 at Leonia High School. 



Shivani Aggarwal – Harvard University

Hannah Chen – University of Chicago

Greetings Parents and Community Members:

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas....” As I write this message of glad tidings, the air temperature has a wind chill of 11 degrees and I think I saw a flurry of snow earlier in the day. It must mean that the holidays and winter solstice are near.

On behalf of the Leonia Board of Education, our faculty, administrators, staff and students, I wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a New Year filled with good health and much happiness.

Thank you for your partnership with the Leonia Schools. Together, we provide every child with an opportunity to grow in content academics, art and music, wellness and personal growth.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season, and a New Year filled with much joy.

Joanne Megargee


Leonia High School Hosts Open House for Academy Programs on November 29th

At 6PM on Tuesday, November 29th, Leonia High School will host its first Open House for The Academies to showcase the high school’s specialized academic programs: The Leonia Academy of Science, the Leonia Academy for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, and the Marketing and Business Leadership Academy. These enrichment programs allow students to focus on their career interests through advanced coursework in their chosen fields of study.    

Tuesday’s Open House will provide a broad overview of these programs in addition to smaller Academy-specific workshop presentations from faculty advisors and current students. Prospective students and their families will be able to sit in on two different Academy presentations throughout the course of the night.    

Beyond the classroom, Leonia High School’s Academy programs provide students with unique fieldwork opportunities and engaging scholastic study. Academy students complete externships during senior year specifically geared towards LHS students. This experience provides students with a unique advantage as they pursue competitive internships beyond high school.

Recent Leonia High School Academy graduates have gone on to attend: Cornell University, NYU, Smith College, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania, and other competitive universities.  

For more information regarding the Academies, visit or contact Dr. Bertolini at 201-302-5200 ext. 5200.


Leonia High School’s Marketing and Business Leadership Academy

In September, Leonia High School’s newly christened Marketing and Business Leadership Academy welcomed the Class of 2020, the program’s first four-year cohort. The MBLA is helmed by Rowena Gianfredi, long-time DECA coordinator and veteran teacher. This program offers a challenging business-centric curriculum and provides students with a unique competitive edge when applying for future internships in college.

Students in the Marketing and Business Leadership Academy complete a set of core classes and select one of three majors: marketing, economics and finance, or accounting. In addition to the required courses for each major, students complete elective credits in their choice of related classes including AP Micro and Macro Economics, Ethics, Graphic Design, Web Programming, and AP Statistics. Students fulfill the requirements of the MBLA coursework in addition to the high school’s general education curriculum and state graduation requirements.

During senior year, all MBLA students complete a required “externship” in a field related to their major. These internships are geared specifically towards Leonia High School students and provide engaging real-world experiences during the school year. MBLA externships can also run in conjunction with existing Academies including the LHS Science Academy and the LHS Academy for Hospitality and the Culinary Arts.

The MBLA Class of 2017 will be completing internships in diverse business areas including medicine, politics, hospitality, and marketing.

Shivani Aggarwal, a member of both the MBLA and the Science Academy, is completing her externship with a Parexel, an international life sciences consulting firm. To combine her love of science with her interest in business, Shivani will be working with the Medical Communications division with a focus on marketing specifically to pharmaceutical companies.

Minna Abdelaziz will also pursue a medicine-related MBLA externship at DMG America LLC, a dental marketing firm located in Englewood, NJ. Minna’s Friday schedule will be broken into three different blocks devoted to advertising, finances, and a self-directed study.

Matthew Kim will be working with Assemblywomen Valerie Huddle of District 37 where his will learn about the business of campaigning. His internship will allow him to see the inner workings of a political office.

Lauren Bigler and Elizabeth Vega will be studying hospitality and hotel business at the Glenpointe Marriott as they shadow the Human Resources manager. Throughout the course of the year, they will complete rotations in different administrative sectors of the hotel.

Other MBLA seniors will complete marketing externships at Southard Communications and online marketing company SWAT Digital.

For more details about the MBLA, visit the “Leonia Academies” page at



Good News!

Cupcake Wars

The Leonia Academy for Hospitality and the Culinary Arts Advocate Mrs. Gabrielsen with the winners: Cristina Zaccheo, Yuki Yamada, John-na Watson, Rico Lopez, Kelly Sun, Gabrielle Lopez.

Most Creative   

1st place – Rico Lopez
2nd place - Cristina Zaccheo

Best Overall Taste

1st Place – John-na Watson
2nd Place – Kelly Sun

Best Overall Presentation

1st Place – Yuki Yamada
2nd Place – Gabrielle Lopez

Over 2000 cupcakes were sold; 40 different samples were entered in the competition.  Below is a small sampling of the entries.  Many thanks to all who participated in Cupcake Wars by entering  cupcakes, judging and purchasing cupcakes.  Thank you to LAHCA Members for working the event.

Paw Print Signing

On a sunny day in September, the Leonia High School Senior Class of 2017 made their marks on the school during the annual Paw Print Signing event. At the beginning of each year, the maroon Paw Print behind the high school is given a fresh coat of paint for the new graduating class. Seniors fill the sprawling area with signatures demonstrating their own personal styles. Some seniors coordinate their signatures with friends in painstaking detail, while others opt for simplicity. The Class of 2017 continued this tradition and, when the paint dried, gathered to take the traditional class picture.

The event is coordinated by senior class advisors Mrs. Gabrielsen, Mrs. Antonucci, Mrs. Sahagian, and Ms. Millar.



The Principal, Edward A. Bertolini, of Leonia High School announced today that Naomi Cruz, Casey Kammerman, Michelle Y. Kang, Julian S. Pecht, Nithya Selvaraj, Xiangyue Wang and Toby Yun have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to these scholastically talented seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC.  “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation.  We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Leonia High School Congratulates Four Semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition

Leonia High School seniors Shivani Aggarwal, Karis Cha, Hannah Chen, and Rachel Kim have been named semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition. These students were among the 

1.6 million juniors nationwide to enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 PSAT. The national pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of US high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring students in each state.  

Merit Scholars are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. All four Leonia High School Semifinalists are currently enrolled in advanced placement college-level classes at the school.

To become a finalist, these students will go through a rigorous application process detailing their academic strengths, leadership qualities, and community involvement. Finalists will compete for a limited number of National Merit Scholarships. The 2017 winners will be announced between April and July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 323,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar Title.

Welcome Back!

August, 2016

Greetings Parents, Guardians, Students and Community Members:

On behalf of the Board of Education, our Administrators, Faculty and Staff, I welcome you to the 2016-2017 school year.  May your child have much success in their new grade level and may you find a true partnership with the Leonia Public Schools.  We look forward to welcoming you on those first few days and hope that you will stop in to say hello, as well. 

For your read, The Bergen County Association of School Administrators has published a welcome letter that I thought would be of interest.  Enjoy the helpful hints for a successful school year.  Most of all………welcome back!

Joanne Megargee, Superintendent


August 2016

The Bergen County Association of School Administrators, comprised of school superintendents and other central office personnel, looks forward to welcoming Bergen County’s 162,000 students back to our schools for another year of learning and growth. We delight in our work with your children and families, and with excitement and enthusiasm pass along the following guidance as we stand on the cusp of another school year.

  • A New Year is a Fresh Year

Entering the next grade level offers your child the opportunity to have a fresh start. Use this wisely. Before the school year begins, speak with your child about the successes and struggles of last year, and how this year can be used to make steady and upward improvement. Perhaps a change in study patterns, attending extra help, or more support at home is necessary.

  • First Things First

Bergen County’s schools offer many exciting opportunities and activities for their students, and while there is strong social/emotional growth that takes place during school, it is important to remember that our schools are primarily academic institutions. It is essential that you help to support the academic growth of your child by consistently and clearly expecting them to dedicate time to their studies. There is no greater thing that you can do to help prepare your child for their future.

  • Hard Work Above All

There is simply no replacement for hard work. Emphasize to your child that time dedicated to their studies, attention to school work, and effort will be the deciding factor between success and failure.

  • An Involved Child is a Successful Student

Research shows that the most highly engaged, successful and satisfied students are those that play a role in the life of the school beyond their classroom studies. Encourage your child to join school clubs or sports teams, volunteer, and be a part of the life of their school. You can set this example by joining your school’s Home & School Organization, attending school functions, and showing your child what positive and helpful participation looks like.

  • Strive for Balance

Help your child find the appropriate middle ground between taking their studies seriously enough, but not so much that there is a negative impact on their health and wellness. There have been increasing reports of students experiencing high levels of stress due to seemingly unending deadlines and expectations. Using time wisely, not taking on too much outside of school, and finding time to relax are all essential. Keep an eye on your child, and continue to strive for that middle ground.

  • You Set the Greatest Example

As important and vital schools and teachers are in the life of your child, remember that you are your child’s first and most influential teacher. Your words, attitude and actions set your child’s tone and attitude, and it is essential that you support your child’s school experience. Set an example by working closely with teachers, be involved in the life of the school, and continue to remind your child that a strong education is the best ‘insurance policy’ that one can have in an unpredictable world.

We look forward to a great 2016 - 2017 school year, and wish our students, families, and communities all the best.

The Bergen County Association of School Administrators