Congratulations to the following Beth Tfiloh High School students and faculty members whose achievements, character and community involvement were celebrated at the 2020 High School and Unsung Hero awards ceremonies!
The Student Government presented the Mr. Paul Bolenbaugh Teacher of the Year Award on behalf of the entire High School to Mr. Phil Jacobs.
The Jewish Theological Seminary Ahavat Torah Award: Arieh G. ‘21
Chatham University Rachel Carson Healthy Planet Award: Alana G. ‘21
The Brandeis Book Award for Social Action and Civic Engagement: Eliav H. ‘21
Princeton Alumni Award Nominees: Ari B. ’21, Margot J. ‘21
The Wellesley College Book Award: Gabriella D. ‘21
The Tulane Book Award: Noah B. ‘21
The George Washington University Book Award: Isaac T. ‘21
Beth Tfiloh Keter Shem Tov Award: Caleb G. ’21, Sara S. ’21, Yosef P. ’22, Maya T. ’22, Elez B. ’23, and Miri D. ‘23
Beth Tfiloh High School Principal’s Award: Jamie D. ’21, Samantha M. ’21, Lillian P. ’22, Phillip S. ’22, Paige G. ’23 and Zacky H. ‘23
Unsung Heroes Awards
The Student Government recognized members of the BT High School community who contribute to the school community without fanfare. Vice President Isaac T. ’20 described them as the ones who are “humble, who help others unselfishly, who don’t rely on recognition or fame, people who can only be categorized as unsung. These people do it simply because they care about others and this community.” They are BT’s Unsung Heroes.
Miri D. ‘23
We chose to give the unsung hero award to Miri because of her compassion towards her classmates and dedication to BT. This girl is truly friends with every one and is always willing to help with anything. She’s smart, kind, and funny but most importantly humble. Not only her classmates admire her kindheartedness, but her teachers do too. “Miri is a “go to” student during class discussions. I know that she is well prepared and willing to answer questions. Miri is also comfortable in leading class discussions. Well-liked and respected by her peers, Miri enhances the classroom environment with her smile and her knowledge.” This girl has never said anything bad about anyone else and she walks around school with a smile on her face.
Yonah L. ‘23
Yonah is one of the kindest, most selfless people in the grade. He is friendly to everyone, even if he doesn’t know them well. He is also responsible, and always willing to help his teachers and classmates. He takes the lead on group projects and is a positive role model to his peers. He is also funny and always there to cheer you up. Furthermore, he is a great friend, and makes people feel happy and comfortable when he’s around them. He’s also always there if someone needs to talk, no matter what it’s about.
Ryan B. ‘22
Ryan is someone anyone in the grade can count on. He’s always willing to lend a hand or listen to his classmates’ problems and he will always go out of his way to check up on his classmates. He won’t hesitate to approach someone sitting alone and cheer them up. He’s known to be kind, friendly, and reliable, and this person is someone everyone feels welcomed by. Thank you for adding so much to our grade!
Ellie Z. ‘22
Ellie constantly puts other people’s needs before her own. She will spend hours of her night helping anyone with their work, regardless of whether they are in her friend group, class or even grade. In addition, she talks to everyone and ensures they feel included. Her positive presence brightens her peers’ moods. Ellie is optimistic, kind, caring, and always has a smile on her face. She’s an incredible friend and a role model for us all.
Abigail H. ‘21
Abigail is super kind, generous, sincere, she is always is willing to help anyone in need. She deserves this award and recognition for all her hard work. A fellow student said that she is “always willing to help with school work, she’s easy to talk to and a good listener when you’re stressed she knows how to comfort you and hype you up, she’s super accepting of everyone and nonjudgmental.” One of our teachers said that she “is quietly one of the most thoughtful and kind people in the school. She is a loyal friend, a respectful student and someone who always puts in maximum effort no matter the circumstances.” Thank you for everything and keep up the good work!
Avi G. ‘21
Avi is one of the nicest, smartest, and funniest people! He never fails to brighten a room, whether it be with one of his jokes or his contagious smile. His commitment to his friends and loved ones never falters even when he has his own troubles. He has truly stepped up this year with boosting morale and creating a safe and calm space around him. In addition to being a ray of light in dark times he never turns down a friend in need of help regarding school work. Here’s a quote from one of his friends: “He’s always there when I need him and has helped me through countless problems, emotionally and academically.” One of his teachers stated, “He is an incredible friend and role model to so many in his class. He balances a difficult course load with multiple sports and extracurricular activities. But he always makes time for other people and would do anything for his friends.” Avi is the first person that comes to mind when you think of an unsung hero and it’s an honor to grant him the recognition he deserves.
Not only do we have incredible students who deserve this award, but we also have amazing faculty, whose devotion to this school and its students often goes un-applauded. We would like to honor two of our faculty members with the Unsung Hero award.
Mr. Mark Kaiser, BT Director of Facilities, Security, and Technology
While we appreciate all of our teachers and faculty, Mr. Kaiser individual truly portrays what it means to be an unsung hero. I think we could all agree that he plays a pivotal role in making BT run. So many times throughout my years in High School, we’ve seen him helping teachers, whether the tasks are difficult or the simplest thing, like turning the power button on or unplugging the computer. Regardless, his calm and patient demeanor helps solve frustrating, complicated, and even annoying everyday issues. Now more than ever, he has been so important for the whole BT community. Let’s be honest, not all of us are great with technology. This individual has helped make BT successful in online classes, guiding teachers and students alike.
Mr. Vince Bonina, BT High School STEM Center Coordinator
Mr. Bonina begins every class by asking each one of his students to share a funny
story, something interesting that is going on with their life, or just an emotion they feel. This is
just one example of the care and love he expresses to each of his students. His positivity
radiates into each class period and makes learning fun and engaging. But his passion forteaching doesn’t stop there. It’s important to recognize how this teacher went above and beyond for our community. In dealing with these unprecedented times, Mr. Bonina facilitated a group to make 3-D printed face shields. This person is beyond deserving of this award… so congratulations to Mr. Bonina!