Principal Richard J. Baccarella has proudly announced the Bayonne High School class of 2014 Circle of Ten, listed in order of rank. These outstanding scholars will be the first to receive their diplomas at the graduation ceremony, to be held on Tuesday, June 24, at 6 p.m.


1 Hannah McMullan

Valedictorian Hannah McMullan will be attending Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a double major in neuroscience and classical studies.  She received a $1,000 scholarship from the New Jersey Junior Classical League.  She is a four-time Gold Medalist in the National Latin Exam, has won both a Gold and a Silver medal in the Medusa Mythology Exam, two Gold medals in the National Roman Civilization Exam, and two Gold medals in the National Classical Etymology Exam.  Hannah is a National Merit Commended Scholar and an AP Scholar.  She is a member of the New Jersey Junior Classical League Executive Board, on which she has served as Northern Registrar, Corresponding Secretary, and President.  She is a member of the Bayonne High School Latin Club, the Bayonne High School Science Club, National Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, and the Bayonne High School Science League team.  She was a member of the 2011 state-championship-winning Level I Certamen team and the 2013 county championship-winning Mock Trial team.  During her junior year, Hannah was accepted into the New Jersey Governor’s School in the Sciences and the New Jersey Scholars Program.  In the latter, she studied the sociological, literary, historical, economic, and cultural anthropological aspects of immigration.  Hannah enjoys reading, listening to music, and working on her novel.  She is the daughter of Dr. Andrea Resetar and the late James B. McMullan, Jr.

2 Katelyn Nuccio

Katelyn Marie Nuccio is this year’s salutatorian. She will attend Villanova University in the fall. She is currently enrolled in Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; she is interested in mathematics, literature, business, psychology, and international communications. She has received the Federal Pell Grant, the Villanova Grant, and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

She achieved Principal’s Honor Roll since her freshman year. She took an Advanced Placement course in Calculus AB andstudied Spanish for four years. Katelyn has received college credits from Seton Hall University for her Spanish 3 Honors and Spanish 4 Honors courses.

She is a National Honor Student in the USAA National Yearbook. She has received the NJSIAA Twenty-first Annual Scholar-Athlete Award, and she is one of two BHS students who are being honored by the Twenty-seventh Annual Hudson County Academic Achievement Recognition Program.

Katelyn is captain of the BHS Girls Varsity Soccer team; she has played since her freshman year. She has played in three Hudson County championships and four NJSIAA state tournaments. She received Honorable Mention All County her sophomore year and Second Team All County her junior and senior years. She is also captain of the Track and Field team—a member since her junior year.

Katelyn is the Secretary of the National Honor Society and a member of the Spanish Language Honor Society. She was a member of the Asian Interest Club her freshman and sophomore years and was a participant in the National Spanish Exam and the American Math Competition.

She is captain of the Relay for Life team, Making Strides. She has volunteered at the Bayonne Cluster Soup Kitchen and at a BHS track meet for children with autism. Since her freshman year, Katelyn has participated in the annual BHS Powder Puff Flag Football charity event.

Katelyn enjoys playing soccer, spending time with friends and family, reading, and exercising.

She is the daughter of Margaret and Louis Nuccio.

3 Timothy Amin

Timothy Hosni Amin is the son of Hosni and Nancy Amin, who both originate from Cairo, Egypt.  Timothy will attend the Rutgers University: Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in the fall.  Rutgers has awarded him the Scarlet Scholarship and Dean’s Scholarship. He has taken Honors and Advanced Placement courses in math, history, science, English, and Spanish, attaining a GPA of 101.6.

Timothy has volunteered for Relief Bus, Stop Hunger Now, the Bayonne Public Library and Bayonne Pharmacy, and in local senior homes.

Timothy is a facilitator in Peer Leadership; a competitor in the Academic Bowl competition; a class representative in Student Government Association; a published author on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI); and a member of the Polish and Italian Cultural Societies.  During the summers of his freshman and sophomore years, Timothy was a student in the NJCU Proyecto Science Summer Program and served as class president. He is a College Board-certified AP Scholar; a two-time recipient of the Principal’s Honor Roll; a 16-time recipient of the First Honor Roll; and a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.

Timothy attributes his academic success to his loving and supportive parents and sibling as well as his outstanding educators at Bayonne High School.  Most important, he thanks God every day for His abundant blessings.  He stands by Proverbs 16:3, which states, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”


4 Arsany Makkar

Arsany R. Makkar, son of Rashad and Reda Makkar, will be attending the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University and may pursue planetary/geoscience. He enjoys extracurricular sports and activities.

Arsany was a First Honor Roll student, winning numerous Student of the Month awards and has taken honors and AP classes in United States History, European History, English Language, English Literature, Calculus, Chemistry, and Economics. He also took four years of Honors Latin. He received a perfect 800 on the SAT Math.

Arsany is a member of the Science League, Science Club, Math League, Chess Club, Latin Club, Economics Club, Academic Bowl, and Science Seminar. He competed at the TSA Tech bowl and TSA TEAMS Competition. Arsany played both track and volleyball. He was also inducted into the National Honor Society and the NJCL Latin Honor Society (World Language Honor Society).

Arsany and the BHS Latin team placed in the top 20 at the National Junior Classical League (NJCL) for the Certamen Competition in their freshman year. He took second at the NJCL chess competition. Arsany holds numerous gold and silver medals in the National Latin Exam and the Classical Literacy Exam. He was also the NJJCL Contest-Coordinator in his senior year where his team constructed tests for the NJJCL State Convention.

Arsany presented his summer research at the 2014 Hudson County Science Fair and received Second Place as well as the Intel ISEF affiliated ASM Materials, an Education Foundation award, netting him a trip to Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles.

Arsany attends Bible study and hymn competitions and plays on the Coptic Orthodox Youth Basketball League. He loves nature and photography.


5 Nicholas Petriello

Nicholas Petriello will attend Rutgers University, studying computer science. He received a Federal Pell Grant and a Rutgers Assistance Grant.

He was a member of the Latin, Italian, and Polish Clubs.  He was part of and captain of the Academic Bowl Team, a member of the Bayonne High School Certamen Team and won first place in 2011. He represented New Jersey in a larger Certamen League at the Junior Classical League National Convention for the past three summers. This year he was a contest coordinator.  During the summers he attended the National Convention and received awards on written tests and graphic designs. As a member of the National Junior Classical League, he visited Eastern Kentucky University in 2011, Wake Forrest University in North Carolina in 2012, and the University of Nevada in 2013.

During the summers of 2010 and 2011, he  worked at Bayonne Community Pool as a pool attendant.  In the summer of 2012 he worked as a camp counselor at Mary J. Donohoe Summer Camp.

He likes watching movies, reading everything from literature to comics, playing video games, and yo-yo.  He also enjoys spending time with his friends and two sisters, Raffaelina and Gabriella, and his mother, Constantina.


6 Tasfia Tasnim

Tasfia Tasnim is the daughter of Md. Zaherul Islam and Hasina Akhter. She is a native of Bangladesh, moving to the United States in 2009.

She will attend New York University School of Engineering with a concentration in Biomolecular Science in Engineering. She was offered a scholarship from the NYU Engineering Department as well as grants and other rewards.

Tasfia has consistently been in the First Honor Roll and completed Honors and Advanced Placement courses in United States History, European History, English Language and English Literature, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Spanish Language. She received the AP Scholar Award, was named as the school winner for American Math Competition 12, named as a Questbridge College Prep Scholar, Questbridge College Match Finalist, and was inducted into the National Honor Society and World Language Honor Society.

She is president of the Science Club and Vice President of Interact. She was a member of Science Seminar, Science League, Math League, Academic Bowl, Spanish Club, Peer Leadership, Team Spirit, Karate League, Democratic Club, Economics Club and Indoor/ Outdoor Track. She won third place in the state in the Constitution Competition as a sophomore, and as a junior, advanced to the state competition for her National History Day research paper.

Tasfia is a four-time winner at the Hudson County Science Fair and was given a trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Phoenix. She received grants from the Young Science Achievers Program in her sophomore and senior year. She was also a part of the Junior Science Humanities Symposium, TSA tech bowl and TSA Teams. As a senior, she received an internship “Partners in Science” through Liberty Science Center.

Tasfia volunteered 120 hours at Liberty Science Center and served Thanksgiving dinner to senior citizens. She also volunteered for the Habitat for Humanity Walk, “Run Like Hell-th” 5K Run and Wellness Walk, Los Angeles Forensics Science Symposium, Pittsburgh Forensic Science Symposium, and the YUDA band leadership Program. She received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and joined the RYLA youth program.

Tasfia enjoys painting, surfing the internet, and hanging out with friends.


7 Samantha Serrano

Samantha Serrano will attend George Washington University in the fall, majoring in political science; she plans to pursue a law degree.

She achieved First Honor Roll consistently. She took Advanced Placement courses in U.S. History, English Language and Composition, Government and Politics, European History, Psychology, and English Literature and Composition. She studied Spanish for four years, the last two in Honors Spanish.  Samantha was inducted into the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society in her junior year.

In her senior year, she was elected president of the BHS Student Government.  In her freshman year she was Homeroom Representative, sophomore year, RSVP Chairman, and junior year, Parliamentarian.

She was the New Jersey Board of Education Honoree for Academics and Leadership for Hudson County.

As a junior, Samantha was elected to the New Jersey Association of Student Councils (NJASC) where she served as the New Jersey State Treasurer. She attended three NJASC Leadership Training Conferences.  As part of the NJASC Brooklawn Leadership Training Conference, she taught leadership skills to elementary school students and attended the National Association of Student Councils Conference in Las Vegas. In 2013, Samantha’s state theme was selected as the winning entry by the NJASC:  Jersey “STRONG”- Students That Represent Our Next Generation.

Throughout her junior and senior years, Samantha served as Chairman of Operation Playground to raise funds for a playground in Bayonne, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

In 2013, Samantha was the New Jersey State Award Winner and a national qualifier for the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C., in the Senior Essay Division for her paper titled Greensboro Four:  Taking a seat in history.

In her sophomore year, Samantha was a team leader in the We the People Constitution Competition.  She won second place in the Jeffersonian Democracy Essay Contest, sponsored by William Paterson University.

Samantha was selected as the Hugh O’Brien Youth Program (HOBY) BHS representative in her sophomore year and attended the HOBY Advanced Leadership Academy as a junior where she worked with Nice Shirts and Hearts nonprofits.

Samantha was involved in the Mock Trial (county champions 2013), BHS Ambassadors Club, Class Council Secretary, Polish Cultural Society, Cheerleading, Math League, Science League, and BEN-TV Club.

She was awarded the National United Choirs of the Polish National Church Music Scholarship and volunteers for the Cluster Soup Kitchen.

Samantha is the daughter of Susan Shelton and Carmelo Serrano.

8 Joseph Belmonte

Joseph Belmonte will attend Columbia University this fall. pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering.

He achieved First Honor Roll, is enrolled in the English and History Honors Program, and took Advanced Placement courses in English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, United States History, and European History. Joseph took Engineering courses and five years’ worth of math. He took a combined Geometry/Algebra II Honors course as a freshman. During his junior year, Joseph was inducted into the National Honor Society and the Italian Language and Culture Honor Society.

During his sophomore year, he won the Abram Kartch Thomas Jefferson Lecture Series Essay Contest (hosted by William Paterson University), for his analysis on a lecture on “Thomas Jefferson and Democracy” given by Dr. Andrew Shankman. Joseph received a commendation from the Board of Education for this essay contest.

During his sophomore year, he participated in outdoor track. As a senior, Joseph was a member of the Polish Cultural Society, Middle Eastern Cultural Society, and the Parliamentarian of the Italian Club. He was Vice President of the Science Club and participated in the Federal Reserve Challenge, as part of the Economics Club. Joseph was a member of the Academic Challenge club for his junior and senior years, serving as the Captain for Team A during his senior year, as well as the SIC (Student in Charge) for the Academic Challenge Club.

Joseph enjoys reading science fiction, philosophy, historical fiction, and Russian literature. He He recently secured an internship at Silverman, a company that seeks to improve underdeveloped neighborhoods in Jersey City. He hopes to get part-time work at Silverman before taking a  summer program at Columbia.

Joseph is the son of Francisco and Clara Belmonte, who are immigrants from Argentina.


9 Marina Bastawross

Marina Bastawross will attend Rutgers University on a scholarship where she will follow a pre-med curriculum.

She came to the United States during her freshman year and mastered English in a short time. She was a member of the Science League and was consistently on either the Principal’s Honors or First Honor Roll. She participated in the American Mathematics Competition and has taken advanced placement and honors courses in chemistry and math.

She was very active in her church, volunteering in the summer camp as well as the scouting program. She also teaches a class in Bible study. She was nominated to receive a scholarship from the United States Achievement Academy. Marina enjoys reading and playing piano, violin, and volleyball. She is also interested in science research.

She is the daughter of George Bastawross Merhom and Ingiel Tadros.

10 Monica Soliman

Monica Soliman, the daughter of Adel Soliman and Jehan Ghobrial, was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. In June of 2008, she immigrated to the United States. Two years later, she graduated as the salutatorian of her middle school. She attended Proyecto Science during her eighth grade year, freshman year, and sophomore year of high school. She graduated from Proyecto Science as one of the top five students in her class.

Monica received first honor roll all four years, taking the most rigorous Advanced Placement courses. During her freshman and sophomore years, she was involved in Science Seminar in which she had to do science projects at Liberty Science Center. She also worked at a professional lab at the The New Jersey Institute of Technology. Monica joined the Science League, Math League, Karate League, Chess Club, Spanish Club, Spirit Club, Peer Leadership, Christian Club, and Middle Eastern Cultural Society. She was a member of the National Honor Society and World Language Honor Society. In the fall, Monica will attend Rutgers University as a Biological Science major. She plans on becoming a neonatologist.

Monica enjoys listening to music, biking, and spending time with her family and best friend.


Read more: Hudson Reporter – Bayonne High School Honors CIRCLE OF TEN

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1 Comment

  1. Lot’s to be proud of.

    But let’s not forget that Chuck Wepner was also known as the “Bayonne Bleeder”

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