The Jefferson Arts Committee (JAC) recognized the achievements of two outstanding Jefferson Township High School students during the senior awards ceremony held on June 14 in the school auditorium.

The students were chosen from many applicants based on their intent to pursue a college education in an art related field, maintaining average or above average grades in high school, and participation in school and/or community activities.

Ryan Schmidt received the $1,000 JAC Memorial Scholarship. He plans to attend Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, major in instrumental music education, and pursue a career as a high school or college instrumental music director. An outstanding student ranked 2 in a class of 250, Ryan will be the Class of 2018’s salutatorian.

Ryan has excelled in the music field as a member of the Sussex County Honors Band, North Jersey Area Honors Band, North Jersey Region Honors Band, North Jersey Region Symphonic Orchestra, New Jersey All-State Band, Jefferson Township Wind Ensemble, Jefferson Township Community Jazz Band, and JTHS Marching Band. He has also been a musician in two local churches.

In addition, Ryan has been recognized through the Mayo Performing Arts Center Student of the Month Award, the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, and the Peer Development Program Award. He was chosen as one of 20 students in North America to participate in this year’s International BASF Summer Science Academy. Among his many academic honors are National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and subject awards in science, English, and history. Ryan is a member of numerous school clubs and a founding member of several. He has been active throughout his high school career in the Student Council and service projects.

Katrina Jenisch received the $500 Jack and Rose Kelly Founders Scholarship. She plans to attend County College of Morris to major in photography, with a career goal of becoming a professional photographer.

Ranked 94 in a class of 250, Katrina has participated in the school band and art club as well as in recreation softball for 13 years. She is a past recipient of the Jefferson Arts Committee’s Student Artist of the Month award, and earned a second place photography award in the 30th annual high school student art exhibit sponsored by Blackwell Street Center for the Arts.

Katrina enjoys ice skating and volunteers at her church with the Sunday school program and in the church nursery. Her other community service projects revolve around painting and videotaping events, all while working a part-time job.

The Jefferson Arts Committee is dedicated to the pursuit of cultural and artistic activities and encourages youth to participate in such activities. The scholarship committee members were Rose Jackameit (chair), Kathleen and George Damerel, John Focacci, and Jason Nicholas.

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