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Roxbury High School Celebrates Academic Excellence


Roxbury High School Celebrates Academic Excellence 

SUCCASUNNA, NJ (October 28, 2015) — Last Thursday, Roxbury High School honored academic excellence in its school with its annual Academic Excellence Recognition Evening, where students in grades 10 thru 12 were presented certificates and awards for achieving a 3.75 grade point average (GPA) or higher in the 2014-2015 school year. More than 375 students achieved this honor.

The program that evening offered the vocal talents of two students, Erin Gaffney and Hally Smith, also award recipients, in between the presentation of the first, second, and third year awards.

This year, 172 First Year Awards were handed out, 129 to sophomores, 19 to juniors, and 24 to current seniors. Second Year Awards followed for those individuals who have earned a 3.75 GPA or higher for two consecutive years with 92 juniors and 21 seniors earning this distinction. Third Year Awards were given to 91 seniors for reaching this goal three consecutive years. Before closing, Principal Jeffrey Swanson presented the National Merit Scholarship Awards to five students.

In addition to honoring those current high school students, the Roxbury Board of Education, honored its inaugural Distinguished Alumni candidate, Dr. Jonathan Viventi, a researcher, who in 2014 was named to MIT’s Technology Review’s List of Innovators Under 35 and Popular Sciences “Brilliant Ten”. Dr. Viventi is a graduate of Princeton University; holds a graduate degree in biomedical engineering from The University of Pennsylvania where he was also a post-doctorate fellow; and is currently a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University. Dr. Viventi’s research uses flexible electronics to create new technology for interfacing with the brain at high resolution over large areas, according to Duke University’s website. These new tools can help diagnose and treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy and help improve the performance of brain machine interfaces.

Dr. Viventi, a 2000 graduate of Roxbury High School had this to offer students as he accepted this award, “I really think of Roxbury as where I started my career years ago. So how did I get here? So first some obvious things, I liked science and math, I competed in science and math leagues when I was here. Some less obvious things, I worked on cars, computers, I built things and took them apart and to that point I want to thank my parents for all their support and putting up with all the disassembled things all over the house. I also did things outside the classroom like performing in choir with Ms. Lynch. So what’s next for you, obviously study hard and get good grades, but what I think is even more important even than your grades is to focus on learning how to work independently, work how to solve problems with creative solutions. If you’re interested in science or engineering, work hard on getting independent projects, try to volunteer in a research lab. I think you’ll learn more by more building something and doing something than you will in a classroom. Don’t be afraid of failure. When you fail, avoid cynicism at all costs. There are plenty of other people who will excel at it and there’s no time to dwell on your failures.”

Viventi continued with, “I know it can be hard to fit in when you excel in academics, especially in high school. It’s really tough to be different, but I want you to know it gets better. It wasn’t until my senior year that I really formed a close group of friends that I’m still in contact with today. Make the best of your time here. I really appreciated when I got to college that Roxbury provided exceptional opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Your future is bright and you can achieve great things when you put your mind to it.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award program was established to honor alumni who have typified the Roxbury School District tradition of excellence and brought honor to the community by their personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service. Board President, Theresa D’Agostino said “Jonathan typifies the essence of the Roxbury Distinguished Alumni award across all three criterions. Our underlying mission is to inspire and empower all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. This award takes a look at our role models to celebrate how they have leveraged their academic, business, and social acumen to motivate and inspire us all.”

A special thanks goes out to Mr. Jeffrey Swanson, Principal, Ms. Lorraine Lynch, Director of Choral Activities, and the high school administrative and teaching staff for supporting the academics and student achievement of Roxbury High School.

Alumni Award  
Alumni Award  

Acceptance Speech  

 Recipient and Parents
Recipient and MTA Teachers  

Distinguished Alumni Award Acceptance (pictured left to right, Dr. Patrick Tierney, Roxbury Superintendent of Schools, Theresa D’Agostino, Board President, Dr. Jonathan Viventi, Distinguished Alumni Recipient, and Rich Alexander, Board Member and Community Relations Chairperson 

Pictured left to right, Assistant Principal Jon Deeb, Athletic Director Stu Mason, Assistant Principal Dr. Linda Bowles, Principal Jeffrey Swanson, and Distinguished Alumni Recipient Dr. Jonathan Viventi

Acceptance Speech of Dr. Jonathan Viventi

Distinguished Alumni Recipient and his parents (pictured left to right, Mrs. Marilyn Viventi, Dr. Jonathan Viventi, and Mr. Viventi)

Distinguished Alumni Recipient and former Mount Arlington staff (pictured left to right, Mrs. Gilcher, Mrs. Gallapo, Dr. Jonathan Viventi, Ms. Jennings, and Mrs. Viventi)

(Photos courtesy of Roxbury Public Schools)


For more information, contact: Roxbury Community School coordinator Ann Rhodes at or 973-584-7699.


Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at or on Facebook at

Ann Rhodes