The North Brunswick Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services and the North Brunswick Recreation Advisory Committee presented a series of awards to recognize the achievements of community members.
During the Feb. 7 Township Council meeting, Young Adult Peer Advocate Awards were presented to two North Brunswick Township High School (NBTHS) seniors, and Youth Advocate Awards were presented to two figures involved with the township’s sports programs.
David Kuchler was presented with the Youth Advocate Award for 2021.
Kuchler was born in East Brunswick but moved to North Brunswick in 1991.
Kuchler began volunteering for the North Brunswick sports programs in 2002 when his children started playing soccer and he became their coach.
After years of being a coach, he joined the North Brunswick Soccer Club. During his tenure with the club, he held numerous positions of assistant coach and head coach in the North Brunswick Recreational Soccer League. He was elected board director of Division 7 and he was the vice president of the recreational league in 2004.
Kuchler was a volunteer coach and a member of the North Brunswick Baseball & Softball Association when his children played baseball and softball in 2008. He received Coach of the Year in 2011. He was the organization’s player agent and joined the Executive Board in 2017 as the vice president of baseball before retiring from the organization in October 2021.
Kuchler was also a coach for the township’s recreational basketball league in 2015.
He is the senior director of site control for Endo Pharmaceuticals in Cranbury, and has been with the company for 35 years.
Kuchler is also a singer/songwriter/musician. He has been playing guitar since high school and played with several rock bands until a few years ago when he started recording his own music. His first album was independently released. He is currently working on his second album.
He would sing for Our Lady of Peace Church during Mass on occasion and was often asked to sing the national anthem during baseball tournaments held at North Brunswick Community Park.
“It’s been a long, interesting and fun time,” Kuchler said after receiving the award, saying he “learned from the best” in the late Carlo DiLalla, Rodney Reinson and Dave Rosenberg.
“I appreciate everything the town’s done for us,” he added, noting Bob Bongiovi from the Parks Department, and Director Lou Ann Benson.
Rosario (Raz) Tucci was also selected for the Youth Advocate Award 2021.
Tucci was born in Boston but moved to North Brunswick in 1994.
Tucci began volunteering for North Brunswick sports programs in 2004 as a recreational soccer coach for his children. He was a coach for both recreation and travel soccer from 2004-15. He was the director of fundraising for five years (2010-15) and twice was awarded Coach of the Year. In addition, he was named Volunteer of the Year for three consecutive years.
Tucci volunteered for the North Brunswick Baseball and Softball Association from 2004-10 as well. He received Volunteer of the Year during that time.
He was a coach for both recreation and travel basketball from 2005-13.
He also volunteered his time from 2009-11 as an assistant coach for the North Brunswick Indians Pop Warner.
He currently volunteers his time for the North Brunswick Youth Sports Festival. He has been instrumental in the organization of the event since 2007 and became a committee member in 2011.
Tucci has been a member of the Adams Athletic and Social Club since 2017.
He has worked for Beacon Building Products in South Bound Brook as a sales consultant for 17 years.
“This award means a lot to me. I really enjoyed working with all the children for the last 19 years. I just hope that I had some kind of positive impact in their life,” Tucci said after receiving the award.
The Young Adult Peer Advocate Award, in recognition of distinguished examples of strong character, leadership abilities and being a positive role model to peers, was presented to Emily Camlet, a senior at NBTHS.
With a GPA of 4.4903, Emily has a challenging course load consisting of honors and Advanced Placement courses, placing her in the Top 5% of her graduating Class of 2022. She has maintained high honor roll every marking period for four years.
She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Italian Club and the Italian Honor Society.
Emily has earned academic excellence awards in Italian and was inducted into Luigi Pirandello Chapter of the Societa Onoraria Italica in 2019.
She is an honors member of the NBTHS Choir, the highest NBTHS vocal class.
She is class vice president, which she has held since the eighth grade.
Emily is a member of the NBTHS Varsity Girls Soccer Team, earning team honors as well as winning the Greater Middlesex Conference White Division in 2019. In addition, Emily has played at the competitive level with the Jersey Knights Soccer Club since 2015. She also volunteers for the North Brunswick Township Soccer Club Buddy Ball Program, teaching special needs children beginner soccer skills.
She has perfected her skills in ballet, pointe, contemporary and jazz styles dancing for the School of the Arts Dance Education Center since 2008.
Emily participates in community activities as a member of the North Brunswick Township Municipal Alliance Leadership Conference. Her role is to mentor young students on making healthy lifestyle decisions.
Emily is the Colgate Brand Ambassador 2018, promoting the importance of oral hygiene to local elementary schools.
In addition to all her activities, Emily has worked for Bownet, providing soccer instruction to players in live tournaments.
Emily plans to further her education, as well as play soccer, at Drew University this fall.
NBTHS Principal Michael Kneller said Emily was nominated by her guidance counselor, Jennifer Quiwa-Sowinski, who said Emily is passionate and goal driven, enjoys learning and working with others, and is eager to learn and build new skills.
Kneller said Emily is not afraid to communicate directly with him on behalf of her fellow students.
“I just hope that even though you are moving on to bigger and great things that North Brunswick will always be your home,” Kneller said.
Superintendent of Schools Janet Ciarrocca added, “Emily, your resume is impressive and it is wonderful to be honored for supporting your peers and for supporting your community.”
Emily responded by saying, “Your kind words really mean so much. This nomination, this award – you don’t work towards it, you try to do everything you can to just be a good person, and my goal is to spread kindness by helping everybody and doing what I’m doing.”
Amani Shah, a senior at NBTHS with a GPA of 4.54, was also recognized as a Young Adult Peer Advocate.
Amani has taken several honors classes, 10 Advanced Placement courses and is among the Top 5% of her graduating Class of 2022.
Amani is a member of the National Honor Society and a 2020 STEAM Tank Competition finalist, in addition to a member of the STEM Program (science, technology, engineering, math).
She earned Academia Excellence in World Language – Spanish.
Amani received honor status at the Rutgers University MiniMed Program, an opportunity for students to take electives and seminars who wish to pursue a career in medicine or the healthcare field.
Amani is a four-year member of the Key Club and the PUSH Program where she educates young students on the prevention of alcohol and drug use.
Amani is vice president of the Human Rights Coalition and a delegate of the Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship.
She is a member of the Environmental Club.
Amani is treasurer for the Care To Walk Club, which raises awareness about the steps to reduce breast and ovarian cancer.
Amani is also a student athlete, playing for the varsity golf team for four years.
Outside of school, Amani volunteers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and Rehab Center.
Amani participated in the MyGoal Autism Program in support of individuals and families affected by autism.
She is an SWAB4USA ambassador, a group of high school students bringing awareness to blood cancers who encourage people to register for Be The Match.
Amani plans to further her education in the field of biology.
“This is an impressive resume and obviously you are a passionate individual who loves to support the community and is out there supporting human rights, diversity, also being active and helping yourself and others by being involved in all these different causes,” Ciarrocca said.
Kneller said Amani was nominated by Guidance Counselor Monica Anderson. Anderson said Amani is self-motivated, independent and diligent as a student. She has pursued a rigorous course load over her high school career. And, she has the distinction of being one of about 20 students who are part of the first cohort of graduating students from the school’s new STEM Academy.
She has also represented the school at the state level at the STEAM Tank competition.
“I think that you’re off to a great start,” Kneller said.
Amani replied, “There’s so many people in the North Brunswick community that do so much so really I’m so honored that you guys considered me and gave me this award.”
She said she has had an amazing time growing up in North Brunswick.