Columbia High School’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian to be Honored at Essex County Academic Awards Program


Chloe Barter and Benjamin Gevirtz will be recognized with other valedictorians and salutatorians from other Essex County high schools

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From SOMSD: 

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. – Columbia High School (CHS) and District officials today announced that the two academically highest-performing members of the Class of 2024 have been determined and will be honored at the upcoming Essex County Academic Awards program.

Chloe Barter, Valedictorian of the Class of 2024, has been accepted to Georgetown University and intends to major in government. Barter has served as Director General of the CHS Model United Nations club and has volunteered as a tutor with the Achieve Foundation.

Benjamin Gevirtz, Salutatorian of the Class of 2024, has been accepted to Haverford College and is still deciding on a major. He has been one of the directors of the Shakespeare Club, an editor of the award-winning literary and arts magazine, “Guildscript,” and one of the heads of the Pen and Page Book Club.

Director of Counseling Anthony Vecchione, Guidance Counselor Renee Johnston, Valedictorian Chloe Barter, Salutatorian Benjamin Gevirtz, and Guidance Counselor Brian Clyburn

The students were joined by Director of Counseling Anthony Vecchione, and Guidance Counselors Renee Johnston and Brian Clyburn for a photo last week.

Barter and Gevirtz were determined to be the two highest-performing seniors through the review of the seniors’ weighted, cumulative grade point averages achieved by the end of the first two marking periods of senior year.

District and school officials commended Barter and Gevirtz on their academic excellence.

“Achieving the highest grade point averages in their class is not something that happens accidentally,” said Dr. Kevin F. Gilbert, Acting Superintendent of the South Orange and Maplewood School District. “It takes a continuous personal commitment to keeping academics as a top priority. I am particularly proud of Chloe and Benjamin for being active members of the Columbia High School community as well as being excellent students.”

“I wish to congratulate Chloe and Benjamin for being exemplary scholars and outstanding representatives of Columbia High School,” said Interim Principal Ricardo Pedro. “They inspire all of us to do our best in all of our endeavors, and I wish them continued success as they look ahead to their studies in college.”

“I want to congratulate Chloe and Benjamin for their outstanding academic accomplishments,” said Vecchione. “They have both worked hard consistently during their high school careers and we are all very proud of what they have achieved.”

The Essex County Academic Awards program is held annually to honor high school valedictorians and salutatorians from high schools throughout the county. The program is scheduled to take plan on May 1st at Nanina’s In The Park in Belleville.

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