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May 23, 2024

Artists, Mentors Recognized

Angel artists who have made significant contributions to the Academy of the Holy Angels’ fine and performing arts programs earned recognition at the 2024 Angels in the Arts Awards Dinner.


AITA scholarships were presented to Nora Giannantonio, theater; Olivia Papp, choir; Ellie Sawyer, handbells; Julianna Rosen, fine arts; and Juliet Gelineau, dance team. Elise Kim, who earned an AITA scholarship for her work as leader of the AHA Orchestra’s flute section, was recognized in absentia.

Nora Giannantonio, Olivia Papp, Ellie Sawyer, Julianna Rosen, Juliet Gelineau, and Elise Kim.


Georgette “Gigi” Ochs received the 2024 Jessica DeSanta Scholarship, an award of $2,500 for her undergraduate studies. This scholarship, which was established in memory of AHA alumna Dr. Jessica DeSanta, is presented to a Tri-M (Music) Honor Society member who demonstrates excellence in instrumental music and commitment to AHA’s music program.

Georgette “Gigi” Ochs


Ochs finished her upper school years as leader of the AHA Concert Choir’s Soprano I section. She was also a member of the select a cappella group, Seraphima. Earlier this year, Ochs sang at Carnegie Hall as a member of the International High School Honors Chorus, where she also sang solos. Her interest in music also led her to play flute for the AHA Orchestra.


Head Dance Coach Jenny Sweet honored AHA’s second group of National Honor Society for Dance Arts inductees. Sweet launched AHA’s chapter in 2023 to recognize her dancers’ outstanding artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement. New members include Kat Bing, Chloe Kwon, Caroline Kartman, Ava McAdams, and Emily Figueroa. Senior cords were presented to Karis Cho, Juliet Gelineau, Alexandra Nicholas, Maggie Yu, and Olivia Leys.

Head Coach Jenny Sweet congratulates the new members of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts.

The evening also included special recognition for the following individuals:

  • AHA Performing Arts Director Dan Mahoney, who will retire in June;
  • Angels in the Arts President Karen Sawyer;
  • Katharine Collins, whose production of “Urinetown” has drawn award nominations from three prestigious organizations;
  • Jenny Sweet, whose dancers are the reigning World Champions of Junior Hip-Hop;
  • Andrew Monticello, who helped Ella Eom, Lauren Yoon, Haley Lim, and Brianna Kim earn an opportunity to perform at Alice Tully Hall.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from many cultural and religious backgrounds. AHA’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.