Every MAST graduate headed to college – Natural Self Esteem

SANDY HOOK — The 69 students who graduated from MAST, the Naval Academy of Science and Technology, in ceremonies June 22 broke multiple academic records and achieved a range of different fields, from music and art to Community service and scouting, said Marcy Kay, leadership consultant at MAST. Graduates also receive four-year scholarships totaling more than $15 million from many colleges, as well as the US Naval Academy, US Coast Guard Academy, and US Merchant Marine Academy. Nine students received ROTC scholarships to the colleges of their choice.

The educator also noted that Congressman Frank Pallone sent each of the students in his congressional district a certificate of completion and a special recognition of their honors from the National Honor Society. He also named Harrison Adler as the outstanding senior in his district.

Kay cited statistics characterizing the MAST class of 2022, including about 65 percent of the class admitted on scholarships to colleges with more than 600 submitted applicants. Each of the 69 graduates will attend a four-year college, the adviser said.

With 100 percent of graduates looking to college, 89 percent have declared STEM majors in science, technology, engineering, or math, and the average GPA for the school was 91.66 percent, which compares to the MAST average of 90 percent in the last 14 years where all classes are taught at Honors or AP level.

For the SAT results, Kay found that the average combined score for the class was 1359 out of a possible 1600 and the average ACT score was 32 out of a possible 36. That score, she said, “makes her the highest average ACT score compared to any other MAST graduating class in the past 14 years.”


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Kay also cited students Maharshi Barot, Bran d’Emery Edwards, Grace Decker, Arjun Farsaiya, Conor Greene, Mary Catherine Harvey, Mackenzie Jackman, and Abhinava (Abi) Pendyala for special recognition. The advisor explained that approximately 1.6 million students take the PSAT exams each year, and of these, 50,000 are selected for special recognition, representing three and a half percent of all test takers.

“Out of 1.6 million people taking the PSAT, only 3,100 are listed as outstanding participants; Therefore, these eight students are in the top 2.5% of all who take this test,” she said.

In other awards, the Northern Monmouth County Branch of the American Association of Women University honored Grace Decker as the highest-ranking female math graduate.

Ocean’s Olivia Bonforte was honored with the coveted Brian D. McAndrew Student Achiever Award for being distinguished academically, athletically, and in her community service work. In presenting this award to Bonforte, some of the graduate’s achievements highlighted during the ceremony were her extracurricular activities, including participation in the school’s award-winning NJROTC Drill Team, her membership in the Color Guard during her freshman and sophomore years, her Named an honorary cadet in her freshman year by the Naval Science Instructors and her appointment as Battalion Operations Officer that year. Kay added that Bonforte was the top team member on Northview High School’s NJROTC Academic Test, vice president of the freshman class, and this year president of the Key Club, the school’s service organization. She is a field hockey player at her home college, where her team was a 2020 state finalist and 2019 North Division champion.

Bonforte is also active in community service, May continued, citing her as coaching young children in field hockey for Ocean Township, organizing a clothing collection for her church and helping out with the Jersey Girls Triathlon, gift wrapping during the holidays at Barnes and Noble, teaching children in reading and mathematics and served as a teacher and coach for young field hockey players. She also volunteers at MAST’s Back to School nights and informational events, and is a member of the Student Environmental Advocates and Leaders Program, a program of Clean Ocean Action. Bonforte received both a four-year NROTC scholarship and a three-year Army ROTC scholarship, but has chosen to accept the Navy scholarship and will attend George Washington University.

Kay commended each student for their outstanding achievements during their four years at MAST and commended their parents for the extra effort it takes to juggle the schedules of students attending schools outside of their immediate school district, noting that the class has achieved success in both areas in so many areas inside and outside of the classroom, and many have received awards for their extracurricular activities, including Boy Scout Eagle Awards and the Girl Scout Gold Award. Many students are dedicated community service workers, she said, and travel the world with their families.

“The MAST Graduating Class of 2022 has been through a lot over the last four years,” said MAST Director Earl Moore. “To have achieved the level of success they have achieved despite all the challenges they have faced is truly remarkable. Not only have they demonstrated their academic prowess and dedication to community service and involvement, they have shown how young people can thrive even in difficult times. You have grit. They are not afraid to face challenges head-on. And they can adapt to changing situations and don’t even seem to get out of step. It’s good to see, because these children are the future of our communities, our state and our world.”

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