New Eagle Scouts
Jason R. Foster and Christian F. Baron were honored by Boy Scout Troop 40 at a court of awards ceremony in West Windsor for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout — scouting’s highest rank. After completing National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), they brought their training back to the troop to spread leadership skills and scout spirit in the troop.
Foster led an Eagle Scout project that brought canine agility courses to West Windsor Community Park’s dog parks. With the help of West Windsor landscape architect Dan Dobromilsky, Foster led the design, construction, and installation of the course. The A-frame ramp, walk ramp, slalom course, and hydrant jump are already in use by dogs and their owners. Shale rock underneath the soil made the installation challenging, but Foster overcame the challenges with the use of a power auger and with help from West Windsor Township’s backhoe operator. “Working through the setbacks in my Eagle project helped me to become a better leader,” says Foster.
His Boy Scout experience began in first grade as a tiger cub in Pack 40. He received his Arrow of Light and bridged into Troop 40 in 2005. Since joining the troop, Foster has served as patrol leader, historian, instructor, and assistant senior patrol leader, and is now a junior assistant scoutmaster. He also received the Order of the Arrow and an Ad Altare Dei religious medal.
Foster works with Kids for Kids to help underprivileged children in the area, has served as the head of games at Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church’s vacation Bible camp for three years, and volunteered at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church’s Cherry Tree Club. He has also worked as a lifeguard and as a referee for the WWPSA recreational league.
A junior at High School North, he plays varsity soccer, earning honorable mention All-Conference in 11th grade. As starting outside hitter for the North volleyball team, he was awarded second team All Central Jersey in his sophomore year. A peer leader, he will attend Boys State at Rider University this summer.
Christian Baron led an Eagle Scout service project that brought a handicapped-accessible picnic table to West Windsor Community Park. Building the table required carpentry and landscaping skills.
A senior at High School South, he has played volleyball in high school and on club teams for four years and was captain of the JV team last year. Baron has been a member and section leader of the South choir for two years, performing Carmina Burana and Stabat Mater at Carnegie Hall. An accomplished pianist, Baron has played in four piano concerts at the Westminster Choir College.
He has volunteered for the West Windsor Lion’ Santa’s breakfast and the Renaissance Faire. He has also worked at the NJ Special Olympics and served as an usher at St. David the King. Baron, who plans to study finance and pre-law in college, has been invited to intern in a legal office this summer.
Baron began scouting in fourth grade as a Webelos I in Pack 48. In 2004, after earning every Webelos pin available and the religious emblem Parvuli Dei, he earned the Arrow of Light, and bridged to Troop 66. In his first year as a Boy Scout, he attended Philmont family camp and hiked the Tooth of Time as a 12 year old. In Troop 66 he served as den chief, historian, assistant patrol leader, and patrol leader. Moving to Troop 40 in 2006, Baron became troop quartermaster and served in that capacity for two years. He has been an instructor, assistant senior patrol leader, and now is junior assistant scoutmaster.
“I’ve been in Boy Scouts for half my life, and appreciate the leadership skills that Scouting instills,” says Baron. “Achieving the Eagle rank has prepared me for the next step in my life.”
Students from the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District were among the 500 students who participated in the recent New Jersey History Day State Competition. Judges from the worlds of business, media, education, entertainment, and the non-profit sector considered the historical merits, quality of presentation, and connection to the theme — Debate and Diplomacy — to determine two state qualifiers and an alternate in each category, as well as several special prizes. The state qualifiers will represent New Jersey at the National History Day National Competition in June.
Among the WW-P prize winners:
Special Prize: Best Use of Newspapers in Historical Research: Yinan Zheng, Grover Middle School; Junior Individual Exhibit: Sally Jiao, High School South, Senior Individual Documentary.
Special Prize: Maritime Historical Society: Kertana Anandraj, High School South, Senior Paper.
Junior Paper: Anika Varty, Community Middle School, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: From Debate to Law”; and Vansh Bansal, Community Middle School, “Terrorism and Immigration.”
Junior Individual Performance: Sundar Solai, Community Middle School, “The Antarctic Treaty: An Icebreaker for International Diplomacy.”
Junior Group Performance: Samantha Sun and Shreya Marathe, Community Middle School, “Female Suffrage and Equality: The Continuing Fight.”
Junior Individual Documentary: Liam Knox, Community Middle School, “Give Peace a Chance: Kennedy’s Peace Corps and the New Diplomacy”; Tarun Bommakanti, Community Middle School, “Brown v. BOE: Separate But Not Equal”; and Mathangi Ganesh, Community Middle School, “The Fight for World Order: Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles.”
Junior Individual Web Site: William Jiao, Grover Middle School, “The Nazi-Soviet Pact Sparked the Flame of WWII and Altered the Diplomacy that Followed”; and Sanjana Saksena, Community Middle School, “The Munich Pact.”
Junior Group Web Site: Tommy Liang and Bill Huang, Grover Middle School, “Fidel Castro Used Diplomacy through the Cuban Missile Crisis to Gain Power.”
Junior Individual Exhibit: Yinan Zheng, Grover Middle School, “The Panama Canal Transfer: Bloody Riots Trigger Tedious Diplomacy & New Relationships Between Panama & the Colossus of the North.”
Junior Group Exhibit: Shruti Marathe and Alisha Kanitkar, Community Middle School, “The Lend-Lease Debate: Protection or Destruction?”
Senior Paper: Anne Corbett, High School North, “Tennessee v. Scopes: The Evolution Debate”; and Keertana Anandraj, High School South, “The Trent Affair: Seward’s Diplomatic Response to the British Lion Saves Lincoln’s Union.”
Senior Group Performance: Lavanya Ganesh and Aneesha Raghunathan, High School North, “Occupation Housewife: The Debate over the Feminine Mystique.”
Senior Individual Documentary: Sally Jiao, High School South, “Reopening the Debate: Nixon’s China Diplomacy.”
Senior Group Documentary: Ingrid Ma and Thea Ma, High School North, “The Equal Rights Amendment: The Struggle of America’s Silent Majority.”
Senior Individual Website: Michael Zhang, High School North, “The First Opium War.”
Senior Group Exhibit: Tejasvi Gowda, Aditi Trivedi, Meera Dhawan, and Sai Pentyala, High School North, “The Debate of Creationism and Darwinism: How the Scopes Trial Sparked the Decline of American Fundamentalism.”
Brian J. Platton of West Windsor, a lawyer of Chambers USA’s health law section, was selected as a leader in his field for healthcare by the firm. The 2011 edition of the national directory, which is set to be released in June, will include 33 additional attorneys from the firm across 12 different practice areas.
Platton’s practice focuses on transactional healthcare and other business law. He represents managed care companies, insurers, academic medical centers, hospital systems, pharmaceutical manufacturers, investors, venture capital and private equity funds, life sciences companies, and information technology companies.
A graduate from State University of New York at Brockport, he received his law degree from the New York Law School, where he served as executive editor of the Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Caryn Berla and Aron Arias of Princeton Junction have joined Cruise Planners/American Express, a national travel agency that specializes in cruise and land vacation packages. Their company, ABC Family Cruising and Travel, is based in West Windsor.
“More and more people are taking cruises every year,” said Berla. “The cruising trend has changed and cruisers are more adventurous and youthful. There’s also been the emergence of multi-generational cruisers — families that take their cruise vacations together.”
They can offer customers exclusive pricing on a wide range of cruise packages, a choice of thousands of group departures, private cruise sales, as well as cabin upgrades and special amenities such as shore excursions, discounted fares, travel gifts, and more. The couple also provides land and tour packages to destinations around the world.
“Whether you are celebrating a milestone birthday, wedding/honeymoon, family reunion or just want to get away with loved ones, we can assist you in planning the perfect vacation” added Arias.
Cruise Planners is a provider of accredited programs of continuing medical, nursing, legal, and dental education seminars at sea. “We are very excited to offer our customers a venue for exceptional continuing education while on vacation with their colleagues and family members,” says Arias.
Mariner Club sailings in which customers receive benefits such as a private cocktail party, shore events, and shipboard credits are available. Customers can now use their American Express reward points to cover all or part of their vacation.
For more information, visit www.familycruising.net or call 855-222-1022.
Northeastern University: Lauren Grenzig graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in health science. She graduated from High School North, Class of 2007.