|2013 NJEA News 12 New Jersey Scholar Athlete of the Year Austin Sommerer receives his award. (Left to right: NJEA Associate Director Dawn Hiltner, Sommerer, News 12 Sports Director George Falkowski, and News 12 Sales Manager Laura Johnson.
NJEA and News 12 New Jersey honored 30 of New Jersey’s top graduating seniors at the 16th Annual Scholar Athletes Award Luncheon on June 15 at Pines Manor in Edison. Toms River High School graduate Austin Sommerer emerged as the 2013 NJEA News 12 New Jersey Scholar Athlete of the Year and $1,000 NJEA scholarship winner.
Sommerer, a soccer player and honors student, will attend Penn State University this fall as a business administration major. As a Toms River resident, Superstorm Sandy had a profound impact on him and many of his classmates. Since his was one of the few homes in Toms River with power after the storm, 22 of his soccer teammates took up residence with the Sommerer family. He and some friends created a documentary on the storm damage at the shore and efforts to rebuild.
New Jersey State Teacher of the Year Lauren Marrocco shared some words of wisdom with the scholar athletes. Retired N.Y. Yankees relief pitcher and manager emeritus of the Somerset Patriots baseball team Sparky Lyle delivered the keynote address.
The students were selected based on their academic and athletic achievements, as reported in nominations received from high schools around the state. Each week, the Scholar Athlete was featured in a news segment on News 12 New Jersey.
2013 Scholar Athletes
- Barbara Spiegel, Metuchen High School
- Lauren Gramatica, Union High School
- T.J. Taylor, South Brunswick High School
- Nicholas Smith, Lodi High School
- Maria Madsen, Howell High School
- Samantha Alba, Glen Rock High School
- Katie Hatler, Jefferson Township High School
- Klaudia Maslowska, South Amboy High School
- Austin Sommerer, Toms River High School
- Alexis Smith, Florence Township Memorial High School
- Michael A. Nicolaro, East Brunswick High School
- Marisa Ruskan, Bridgewater-Raritan High School
- Jillian Smith, Southern Regional High School
- Jacob Henry Warech, Morristown High School
- Evan Mahoney, Central Regional High School
- Brianna Squilla, Highland Regional High School
- Nicole Fanfarillo, Glassboro High School
- Nicholas Alan Elmer, Penns Grove High School
- Daniel Peterson, Middlesex High School
- Rebecca Plessel, Rutherford High School
- Maria Santora, Hanover Park High School
- Haley Durning, Kearny High School
- Selene Nelson, Old Bridge High School
- Elizabeth Butler, West Orange High School
- Katiana Golino, Carteret High School
- Melissa Granet, Shore Regional High School
- Hana Ku, Ridge High School
- Kristiana Price, Ocean Township High School
- Shannon Keegan, Matawan High School
- Derek Liu, Holmdel High School