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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Class of 2020 at RHS: Mentors and Inspiration

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Rutherford High School Class of 2020

TIR: Who have been your mentors during your time as a student in the Rutherford School System?

Brian Inguanti: I definitely have several people I can call my mentors. Coach Howell was my football coach for 4 years. He taught my teammates and me a lot about work ethic, dedication, and teamwork. I can confidently say he played a large part in who I am today. Another mentor was Mr. Stracco. He was my public speaking teacher and he really helped my writing/speaking abilities. I was in several interviews earlier this school year for some scholarships, and I think part of what made me successful was his instruction. Another mentor I had was Ms. Gagis. She was my guidance counselor and really helped me figure out what I wanted to do after High School.

Mia Capobianco: All of these mentors have always reached out to me and provided support if I was ever struggling with school or something personal: Mr. Bergen (sophomore and junior year), Ms. Curtis (sophomore year), Mrs. Pasquale(senior), Mrs.Capobianco ( all of my life...laughs), Dr. Hopkins (all 4 years), and Mrs. Howard (junior and senior year).

Emilia McCarthy: The teachers and coaches who have guided me throughout my high school years into the person I am today will be something I will cherish from my time at RHS. Some mentors I had during my time at RHS were Ms. Delia, Coach A., and Coach Bott. My math teacher, Ms. Delia, made a tremendous impact on my education, where she was able to teach me beyond my limits and enlighten me on a subject I had no interest in before high school. She was even a second mother to me as well. My coaches, Coach A. and Coach Bott have taught me dedication and grit, two aspects I will forever hold onto, throughout my years in the RHS athletics program. They have been there for me all four years of high school, whether on the field or even in the halls, never failing to provide the support I needed through many stressful times.

Ms. Jennifer Gagis, Guidance Counselor, wanted to let the Seniors know, “Buddha once said, ‘Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.’ As you embark on this new journey in your lives, remember to live in the moment. Cherish the process. Smile often, cry as well, and love every time you get the chance. Remember to always be gentle with yourselves. You will stumble and fall and make mistakes, but you will also learn exactly what you want in life. Life is not about perfection, but progress. Remember the magic in every moment of life. I wish you all the best in whatever your future endeavors entail. Do great things and never forget where you came from.”

“Making mistakes is part of growing and learning. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Fix it, learn from it, and move on. You'll be much happier if you learn to take it in stride and skip the anxiety, “ Mrs. Geraldine Howard, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, told the Senior class.

“I implore the Class of 2020 to challenge the perspective that your senior year is going to be defined by what you 'missed out on'. Make the choice to be defined by what you do have, and find solace in that, however difficult. With the presence of this pandemic, nearly every graduating Class of 2020 from around the world now share a common thread together, a thread that can be a catalyst for your greatness, if you make that choice. With that being said, I am challenging you, and the world, to move forward in life and apply the lesson this pandemic has taught us all: make the most of now because it is all we have. Thank you to the Class of 2020 for making my job at RHS not feel like a 'job', but more like a home!” Mr. Mark Bergen, English Teacher told TIR and the Class of 2020.

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