Locals shine at NJSIAA Scholar-Athlete Awards program

Photo by Jim Hague/ From left, Shannon Mattern of Harrison, Arden Servidio of Nutley and Angela Sammarone of Lyndhurst get together at the NJSIAA’s annual Scholar-Athlete Program last Sunday at the Pines Manor in Edison.


Photo by Jim Hague/ Kearny senior Christine Castelluber was one of the local students honored by the NJSIAA at the annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Program last Sunday.



By Jim Hague


Christine Castelluber keeps a tremendously hectic schedule. The Kearny High School senior is a member of the tennis, swim and crew teams and has also been an active member of the school’s marching band, playing the piccolo and becoming a conductor this year.

It’s a wonder how Castelluber has the time to do anything else in her life.

“I’ve been really involved,” Castelluber says with a laugh.

But Castelluber has also been able to maintain a stellar academic record as well.

“There are times that I go from school to practice to band and not get home until like 9:30 at night,” Castelluber said. “But I remember telling myself that if I could get through the first marking period my freshman year, that I could do it.”

Castelluber is the top student/athlete at Kearny _ and last Sunday afternoon, she was rewarded for her dedication in both athletics and academics by being the Kearny representative at the NJSIAA’s 19th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Program at the Pines Manor.

Castelluber was one of 300 high school students throughout the state.

“It was very impressive,” Castelluber said. “I didn’t expect it to be that big with so many people. I felt honored to get this opportunity to be chosen for the award. If I get an award for sports, that’s one thing. Usually, the academic side doesn’t get recognized. Considering this was for both make it that much better.”

Castelluber was one of five local seniors who were recognized by the NJSIAA at the annual luncheon.

Arden Servidio is a member of the girls’ tennis team at Nutley High School.

“I was very excited to receive the award,” said Servidio, who played first doubles for the Maroon Raiders. “I put a tremendous amount of effort on the tennis court and in my schoolwork. I am very grateful to be chosen.”

Servidio, headed to Stevens Tech in the fall to study biomedical engineering, thought the program was “very powerful.”

“To see all the other student/ athletes receiving the award from throughout New Jersey and to think that I was one of the 300 chosen is a tremendous feeling,” Servidio said. “Tennis usually gets overlooked as a sport and we play just as hard as any other sport. So to represent tennis and Nutley High School, I’m very, very happy.”

Shannon Mattern of Harrison is a three-sport athlete for the Blue Tide, competing in swimming, cross country and softball. Mattern had three hits in the Blue Tide’s big state tournament victory earlier this week.

But for a student/athlete from a small Group I school like Harrison getting a chance to be like all the rest in New Jersey was an achievement for Mattern.

“It really meant a lot for me,” Mattern said. “It’s proof that all my hard work has paid off. I guess I was surprised when I was told I was selected. I never thought I could be part of something like this. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Mattern is headed to Kean University in the fall, where she’s undecided about a major, but she may consider secondary education.

“Just being there made it very important for me and for Harrison,” Mattern said.

Other locals honored include Angela Sammarone of Lyndhurst, who played soccer and was part of the bowling team, and John Wiley of Bloomfield.

Castelluber is headed to the College of New Jersey, where she will major in biology with the hope of becoming a doctor like her mother, Dr. Gisele Castelluber, a family doctor based in Lyndhurst.

“She’s been a big role model to me,” Castelluber said. “I come from a good family.” Castelluber has an older brother and sister who both graduated from Kearny.

“I guess it’s safe to say that I had a good career,” she said.

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