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West Essex High School Welcomes Senior Citizens for Annual Breakfast

Allison Freeman

Friday, December 20, 2013 • 12:55am

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - More than 120 senior citizens from throughout the West Essex area spent the morning of Dec. 18 at the annual West Essex High School Senior Citizen Breakfast. Students in the high school's culinary program prepared a delicious breakfast for their guests including homemade quiche, fruit salad, carrot muffins and banana bread. The senior guests also talked with students and enjoyed performances by the West Essex High School Dance Team and choral and musical groups.

Senior Breakfast
Prior to the occasion, Zaira Baranukova and Jan Sanchez, seniors from Fairfield, helped decorate the school’s cafeteria with poinsettias.

Zaira Baranukova and Jan Sanchez  Credit: Allison Freeman

Students in the Culinary II and Food and Sports Nutrition classes prepared all of the food for the breakfast, set up and served the meal and also socialized with the senior citizens at the event. "It is nice for the senior citizens to come to West Essex and celebrate the holidays with their family and friends," said Anthony Rubino, a sophomore from North Caldwell, as he worked at the breakfast. "It is really fun doing this and it is nice seeing them enjoy everything that we made."

Matt Jones, a sophomore, served food at the breakfast.

Matt Jones  Credit: Allison Freeman

A sophomore from Fairfield, Mikaela DeSantis, enjoyed taking part in the event.

Mikaela DeSantis   Credit: Allison Freeman

Muriel Mota of West Caldwell talked to Amanda Wolfson, a senior from North Caldwell, all about celebrating the holidays. "We are having so much fun," Wolfson said as she posed with Mota for a photo.

Amanda Wolfson and Muriel Mota  Credit: Allison Freeman

During the breakfast, the dance team and a small musical group performed for the guests.

Angelica Turano, a sophomore from North Caldwell, served the homemade breakfast to Terry and Hyman Izraeli, of West Caldwell. "The students here are just wonderful," said Terry, who enjoyed the breakfast with her husband of 56 years.  

From left: Hyman and Terry Izraeli and Angelica Turano   Credit: Allison Freeman

Holiday Performances
Afterwards, seniors moved to the auditorium to enjoy performances by the orchestra, band and choral groups. The young men from the West Essex Chorale performed with the group. 

Credit: Allison Freeman  

The girls choir, Bella Voce, performed their holiday selections. The program featured many holiday classes including "Sleigh Ride" and "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from "The Nutcracker Suite." West Essex Supervisor of the Arts Vee Popat even performed "Silent Night" on his saxophone. 

Credit: Allison Freeman

Soloists Jennifer P. Shaw, a junior from Roseland, and Raiya Campanero, a freshman from Fairfield, performed solos at the concert.

Jennifer P. Shaw and Raiya Campanero  Credit: Allison Freeman

The singers and musicians performed the finale together.

Credit: Allison Freeman

After the performances, seniors were given gift bags of cookies baked by the culinary students. Retired West Essex Middle School Teacher Bonnie McLain said she loved coming back to West Essex to see everyone. "It was beyond belief," she said of the performances. "Better than I remembered!" 

Joe Piel, the first principal of West Essex High School when it opened in 1960, returned to enjoy the breakfast and entertainment. "I really enjoyed the program today," he said.

West Essex High School’s first principal Joe Piel  Credit: Allison Freeman

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