NJEA, News 12 honor scholar athletes

NJEA and News 12 New Jersey honored 30 of New Jersey’s top graduating seniors at the 22nd Annual Scholar Athletes Award Luncheon on June 15 at Pines Manor in Edison. Livingston High School senior Joseph Cullen emerged as the 2019 NJEA News 12 New Jersey Scholar Athlete of the Year and $5,000 NJEA scholarship winner.

Cullen was the captain of the Livingston Football team for two seasons. He rushed over 1000 yards as a senior and had more than 300 tackles. Cullen also played varsity basketball and ran varsity track. Though playing three sports occupied most of his free time after school, he managed to find time to also volunteer for the Shining Stars program. Cullen credits his ability to manage three sports to proper time management and “finding the right balance” of sports and other activities.


The other finalists for Scholar Athlete of the Year received $1,000 scholarships. They were Ya-Sha-Rah Brathwaite from John E. Dwyer Technology Academy, Emmanuel Lewis from Willingboro High School, Tommy Scalici from Morris Knolls High School, Spencer Solomon from James Caldwell High School, Technology Academy.

News 12 New Jersey News Director Jeremy Settle and NJEA Associate Director of Communications Kim Crane presented the awards.

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.

2019 Scholar Athletes

  • Phylicia Menendez—Union High School
  • Derek Levendusky—Keansburg High School
  • Zachary Hoban—Seton Hall Prepatory
  • Hailey Zito—South River High School
  • Madison Plotkin—Northern Burlington County Regional High School
  • Ya-Sha-Rah Brathwaite—John E. Dwyer Technology Academy
  • Chris Autino—Ramsey High School
  • Holly Wetzel—New Egypt High School
  • Jaden Key—Red Bank Catholic High School
  • Emmanuel Lewis– Willingboro High School
  • Alexis Cooke—Kittatinny Regional High School
  • Noah Stansbury—Edison High School
  • Nicole Makin—Burlington City High School
  • Tommas Scalici—Morris Knolls High School
  • Lydia Voss—New Providence High School
  • Robert Buecker—Notre Dame High School
  • Emily Zylka—Donovan Catholic High School
  • Joseph Abadilla—Carteret High School
  • Lola Mullaney—Manasquan High School
  • Joseph Cullen—Livingston High School
  • Sabrina Ray—South Brunswick High School
  • Sarah Ibewuike—East Orange STEM Academy
  • Diamond Miller—Franklin High School
  • Phillip Gong—Northern Valley Regional High School
  • Zachary Williams—Millburn High School
  • Brook Matthews—South River High School
  • Alexa Minton—Manasquan High School
  • Spencer Solomon—James Caldwell High School
  • Jenna Paul—Toms River High School North
  • Nicole Alonso—DePaul Catholic High School

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