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November 25, 2021

Holy Angels Seniors Enter Rho Kappa Honor Society

Forty-three Academy of the Holy Angels seniors are now members of the Alice Paul Chapter of the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society. Inductees were honored at the Tenth Annual Rho Kappa ceremony which took place on November 16.


New members of Rho Kappa include Erin Altenbach, Zoe Manning, Josephine Noble, and Olivia Presser of Demarest; Jacqueline Arbogast of Warwick, New York; Kara Battaglia of Blauvelt, New York; Zeida Ben-Fredj Lopez of Bergenfield; Myra Bocage of Chestnut Ridge, New York; Alexa Cawood of Park Ridge; Mia Chang and Ashley Sung of Fort Lee; Patricia Coleman of New City, New York; Emma Coughlin of Franklin Lakes; Isabella Dail of Saddle River; Emily Danahy and Katherine Day of Oradell; Julianna DellaCroce of Hawthorne; Katherine “Amanda” Donohue of Hoboken; Deanna Frassa of New Milford; Catherine Geraghty and Ria Jani of Haworth; Hannah Glaser and Ashley Terjanian of River Vale; Jenelle Henry of Teaneck; Brooke Hess of Cedar Grove; Marie Howard of Ridgewood; Eliza Hoover of Mahwah; Alina Keshishian, Daniela Marinuzzi, and Nina Sango of Englewood Cliffs; Elizabeth Kim of Old Tappan; Hannah Kim and Chelsie Lim of Cresskill; Jolie Lo Grasso of Nutley; Katherine Merriam of Tenafly; Zuleima Noriega of Haledon; Chaelin Park of Palisades Park; Grace Sawyer of Weehawken; Julia Swearer of Upper Montclair; Alexa Watson of Montvale; Grace Watson of Glen Rock; Mackenzie Wedeen of Englewood; and Emma Yale of Westwood.


AHA Social Studies Department Chairperson Gail Fair and faculty members Ava Bertone, Jennifer Cucchisi, Megan Delasandro, Patrick Dunne, and Jamie Dykes hosted the ceremony. AHA Principal Jean Miller congratulated this year’s honorees and presented them with their Rho Kappa certificates.


Bertone led the opening prayer, which was written by AHA Religious Studies Department Chair Carol Fay. In his remarks, Dunne noted that Rho Kappa refers to head and hand, a reminder that knowledge without service is useless. Inductees promise to serve.


Holy Angels and the greater community, “for true scholars of the social studies lead by example.”


“You should consider yourselves primary sources,” Fair told the students, referring to their resilience and desire to keep learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Teachers from the department also lit white, green, gold, and blue candles that symbolize the traits of a Rho Kappa scholar, including truth, knowledge, wisdom, and service.


“Service is a key component of Rho Kappa, and your service begins tomorrow morning,” Fair announced. She explained that the honor society will host a Penny Challenge for Haiti. This fundraiser will support the collaborative work of Beyond Borders and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.


AHA Principal Jean Miller congratulated the new inductees, calling the Angels agents of change.


“You are light and hope for all of us,” Miller said, noting that the students are already leaders and role models.

She also expressed her appreciation for the AHA Social Studies Department’s passion for their subject and the guidance they offer their students.


The National Council for the Social Studies established Rho Kappa in 2011. AHA’s chapter was organized in 2012, and was named for Alice Paul whose tireless leadership made women’s suffrage a reality. Since the Academy’s first inductees were honored in 2013, every Rho Kappa member from AHA has received a yellow rose pin, a remembrance of the flowers worn by those who supported Paul’s dedication to the passage of the 19th Amendment.


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 a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’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.