A L U M N I S P O T L I G H T
Ellison Alumni News
Tess Fisher is a 2014 Ellison graduate. The Vineland High School senior made South Jersey history when she captured her fourth consecutive South Jersey Interscholastic Tennis Championship. She’s believed to be the first to ever achieve that feat, according to tournament director Jeffrey Holman.
Christian Carson is a 2016 Ellison graduate. He attended Ellison for Kindergarten through 8th grades. While at Ellison he earned a science fair award and was awarded the Headmaster Award.
As a St. Augustine freshman, he was awarded as one of the best freshman debaters and was also a co-captain for the freshman basketball team.
Now a sophomore at St.Augustine Prep, Christian is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and a member of The People to People Academic Program. He is also a Presidential Scholar and a sophomore student representative.
Rita Barretta is a 2011 Graduate of Ellison. Graduating from Our Lady of Mercy Academy in 2015 as an honor student and President of the OLMA chapter of the National Honor Society, Rita earned the Ronald Reagan award for leadership and the Gloria Noto scholarship award. Now a junior at St Joseph's University, she double majors in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Rita maintains straight A's and has consistently achieved Dean's List at St Joe's. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the SJU chapter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. During her summer vacations Rita has returned to Ellison where she worked as a Teacher's Assistant. Rita credits many of her academic achievements to her time at Ellison; she still maintains close relationships with her Ellison School classmates.
Derek Colla graduated from Ellison School in 1997. He attended Vineland Senior High School and did his undergraduate studies at Washington & Lee University. He then attended Harvard Law School. He currently works for a Corporate Law Firm, Cooley Godward Kronish LLP in Washington, DC. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Kimberly and son, Sawyer.
Jenna Troyano graduated from Ellison in 2015. She earned a four year academic scholarship to OLMA. As a sophomore, Jenna had the opportunity to take part in the Trading Day Stock Market competition held at Stevens Institute of Technology. The team received a second place award out of 22 other teams. She is now the Vice President of her junior class and is also a member of the National Honor Society. She has played on the OLMA Lacrosse team and currently plays on the OLMA Volleyball team. Jenna still puts in volunteer time at Ellison School events. We are thankful for her and very proud of her!
Juliana "Jules" Cristelli is a 2014 graduate of Ellison School. She is currently a senior at Our Lady of Mercy Academy. While at Ellison, Jules was a member of the Interact Club and took part in many service projects. She was also a volunteer at the local SPCA and an altar server at St. Padre Pio Parish.
During her high school career, she has been involved in many extra curricular activities including Interact Club and Big Brother's-Big Sisters. She was her sophomore class secretary and is currently the senior class treasurer. Jules participated in, and lettered in many sports including tennis, swimming and lacrosse.
In her spare time, she enjoys taking flying lessons and is aspiring to get her pilot's license. She volunteered at Shore Memorial Hospital last summer. She was also employeed last summer at Locals Coffee & Smoothies on the Ocean City boardwalk where Mrs. Garza is the manager! She has currently applied to numerous colleges including St Joe's University and Tampa University to pursue a career in neonatal nursing.
Gianni S Finizio is a Lifer at The Ellison School. He entered pre-school 3 in 2002 and graduated 8th grade in 2013. His parents chose Ellison because of the teacher-student ratio and the rigor of the curriculum. As an Ellison student, Gianni took his academic education seriously. He attributes his early independence to his pre-school teacher, Ms Scavelli, his strong mastery of the Spanish language to Mrs Garza, his love for Math to Ms. Hynes and his ability to argue and debate well to the strong foundation he obtained at Ellison. He also attributes some of his best memories to time spent with Mr. Mayhew while playing mat ball and castle ball in gym. Gianni was very involved in the Soup Kitchen and various community charitable events through the Interact Club while at Ellison. Graduating first in his class, he received the Founder's Award for Academic Excellence.
Gianni then went on to St Augustine Prep High School. He fenced as a Freshman and was coxswain for Crew. He earned his spot on the Varsity Light Weight 8 boat Sophomore and Junior years, and then earned top spot as the Varsity 8 boat coxswain in his Senior year. Gianni lead his boats to National competitions at the Cooper River in New Jersey, Zainesville, Ohio and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Over his 4 years, he displayed his leadership skills as an elected class representative in student government, as well as President of the Academic Club where he organized and ran the quiz bowls for competing middle schools, hosted by St Augustine Prep. He was inducted in the Spanish National Honor Society as a Sophomore and the National Honor Society as a junior heJcontinued to participate in organizations such as Interact Club and Hermit Ambassadors over his four years.
Gianni graduated St Augustine Prep in May 2017. He received the History Medal of Excellence with the highest average in his graduating class all four years and he graduated as a Presidential Scholar, having maintained over 95 grade point average all four years. He currently attends George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he received a Presidential Academic Scholarship. He is currently pursuing a degree in Biology. He enjoys backyard football games with his friends, discussing sports, and traveling with his family. He is currently looking into traveling abroad during his college career.
Gianni recently visited The Ellison School over holiday break. He shared that he believes his academic success is due greatly in part to the investment his parents made in his Ellison education. He believes Ellison educators know how to engage students and make important material fun. He still sees and talks with his former Ellison classmates. He believes the friendships he formed at Ellison will be a part of his life forever. Gianni looks forward to checking in at Ellison whenever he's visiting in Vineland.
Anthony Cristelli is a 2016 Ellison School graduate. While at Ellison he was a member of the Interact Club and participated in intramural sports. He was an altar server at St. Padre Pio Parish during his time at Ellison. He is currently a sophomore at
St. Augustine Prep where he swam for the swim team and is a member of the Hermit Ambassadors. He is currently excelling in Honor's Spanish II. As a junior, he will be participating in the Big Brother's program. He is volunteering his time at Cathedral Soup Kitchen in Camden, NJ and has already taken the SAT's to help him begin his preparation of the college selection process.