Every month teachers nominate seniors who demonstrates kindness, leadership, integrity, and service to the community. This month, Jess Valente has won the Senior Spotlight for her involvement in the community and clubs at Ramapo.
Jess’s most prominent involvement is in Gold Masque. For Jess, “Working in stage crew is one of the things in life I enjoy most which is why I spent so much time on it, even when I’m not at rehearsal I’ll be making prop lists or sign in sheets or posting videos of what they worked on in rehearsal because my goal is to have the kids put on the best show possible!” Jess has been involved in seven Gold Masque production over her four years at Ramapo, serving as the Assistant to the Directors in the fall production Peter/Wendy and the Production Stage Manager for Young Frankenstein which will be performed in May! Jess contribution to Gold Masque has been so substantial that the program will surely miss her next year!
Jess is also a member of the Ramapo choir; “I love choir not only because I enjoy singing but everyone involved is so amazing and makes the experience so much better.”
Mrs. Reitter, the choir director, nominated Jess because of her “work ethic and her positive attitude.” When working with Gold Masque, “Her energy is contagious and so is her inclusive nature. She always wants the best for everyone around her.” According to Mrs. Reitter, Jess best quality is that “she knows when to be goofy and silly and when to be mature and productive.”
Outside of school, Jess is “actively involved in the Youth Ministry at Saint Elizabeth’s Church in Wyckoff.” For the past three years she has served as a PST (peer servant team). “As a PST Leader, I helped plan and organize social activities for the members of our youth group. I also help lead three weekend overnight retreats which are conducted to celebrate the Church Confirmation Candidates of the youth group.”
Last summer, Jess was able to be a camp counselor at YMCA Camp Bernie. Along with being a counselor, Jess was able to use her experience and love for theatre to be Drama Program Director, where she got to “direct shows for the kids to put on every 2 weeks, which was so much fun because theater is what I love to do and sharing that love with children was so rewarding.”
In every aspect of Jess’s contribution to the community and Ramapo, Jess spreads positivity and her love of theatre, making leadership and service less of a chore, and more of a outcome of her natural integrity.
Jess will be attending Elon University for theatrical design and technology with a concentration in stage management, and we all wish her luck in the future!
Featured Photo: Jess and Allie D’Andrea on the set of Peter/Wendy (Photo courtesy of Jess Valente)
By: Gretchen Buchmann, Editor in Chief