Montclair High School seniors Tiana Watson and Rodnee Akee Gaines will be honored by the Montclair Branch NAACP on November 8 at the Wilshire Grand in West Orange, NJ.
Tom Reynolds, President of the Montclair NAACP states because “education is and will always be at the very top of the NAACP agenda, and among one of its five game changers, it is extremely important to salute those students who have worked hard to secure a bright and successful future. We believe that education is the key to success and the NAACP is committed to keeping its focus on academic achievement to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to excel.”
Tiana, who hails from a large family of educators and individuals in law enforcement, was taught that focus and hard work are the most critical elements to success and she attributes her passion to learning to her grandmother Audrey M. Watson. She has been an honor roll student since 1st Grade. Fast forward some years later, Tiana is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and she has met the more challenging coursework with great expectation, that is to excel! She describes Algebra and Physics as her favorite courses but she has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to the mostly high honors courses she has taken. In addition to her academic studies, Tiana is a member of the Breast Cancer Awareness Club which helps to promote the importance of breast cancer awareness and research for a cure and if there were not enough, she is a Basketball cheerleader! Tiana’s interests to name a few are Marine Biology, Veterinary Medicine, and Forensic Science. She has not decided on a college yet but plans are in place to visit Columbia University and the University of North Carolina soon. Beaming with joy and excitement are her parents Horace Watson and Constance Wilson.
Rodney Akee Gaines is one of three siblings born on the same day. Yes, he is triplet! He was born in Newark and raised in Jersey City, NJ. Rather modest in his description of himself, he states “I have never gotten straight A’s,” but he can certainly pat himself on the back when it comes to his GPA which is a soaring 4.05. He is a member of both the National Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars. He has also trained in five different martial arts and upon graduating from college, he plans to explore the possibility of a career in aviation or as professional stunt person.