Wardlaw-Hartridge Junior State of America Chapter Attends Northeast Fall Conference

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EDISON – Members of the Junior State of America (JSA) at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in North Edison attended the Northeast Fall Conference on Nov. 20 and 21 at the Sheraton in Parsippany. The theme was “Energizing America: Capturing the Winds of Change.”

The Wardlaw-Hartridge JSA chapter was formed in 1984. It is the longest running independent school chapter in New Jersey to join the state chapter since its inception.


Members of the club include: Ayan Ahmed and Liban Ahmed of Scotch Plains, Billy Buchbinder of Scotch Plains, Jordan Del Sol of Elizabeth, Catherine Iszard of Edison, Samantha Lamparello of Watchung, Daniel Marques of Elizabeth, Divya Mehta of Edison, David Monte of Scotch Plains, Neelam Patel of Edison, Vraj Patel of Piscataway, Yousaf Razvi of North Brunswick, Ali Reza of Carteret, Nidhi Sharma of Edison, Benjamin Stoddard of North Plainfield, and Alexander Wang of Somerville.

The students debated several intriguing topics, including:

  • Should the United States cease involvement in the Middle East peace process?
  • Should college tuition be capped at $50,000 per year?
  • Will China inevitably replace the United States as the “policeman of the world?”
  • Will the Tea Party’s momentum last until 2012 or is the movement short-lived?
  • Have professional sports had an undue impact on American society?
  • Does the United States’ dependency on oil benefit the global economy?

Daniel Marques, Wardlaw-Hartridge JSA Chapter President, said, “The convention focused on the aftermath of the elections that took place on November 2nd and the road ahead. Everyone participated, they asked great questions and some delegates even debated subsequent on a few federal topics. The chapter hopefully got a good taste of what we expect to see further in the year and now we must prepare for the Winter Congress 2010 at Washington, D.C.”

He added, “The Wardlaw-Hartridge chapter of JSA is off to a great start this year. I am thrilled for the upcoming year of heated debates, chapter dinners, activism, Regionals and Mini-Conventions. That’s the great thing about JSA: there’s a wide range of things to do and people to meet. Everyone can find their niche. We look forward to a great year full of debating and memorable experiences.”

Gerard R. Gonnella, JSA Advisor, Associate Director of Admission and Financial Aid and 1989 Wardlaw-Hartridge graduate, said, “I am always impressed with the level of maturity and knowledge base Wardlaw-Hartridge students have. It is evident at these all-school gatherings how our students standout as true leaders among their peers and the impact they make at these conventions.”

ENGAGED IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS…Wardlaw-Hartridge Junior State of America members attending the Northeast Fall Conference are pictured above. Front row: Alexander Wang, Ali Reza, Daniel Marques, Samantha Lamparello, Neelam Patel, Nidhi Sharma, and Divya Mehta. Back row: Liban Ahmed, Vraj Patel, Billy Buchbinder, Jordan Del Sol, Yousaf Razvi, David Monte, Catherine Iszard, Benjamin Stoddard and Anisa Ahmed. Photo by courtesy of Gerard R. Gonnella of Toms River

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