Cappies Scholarship Recipient Ryan Kaufman Shines On & Off Stage
We could not have imagined a more outstanding student to receive the 2023 Casey Feldman Foundation Greater Philadelphia Cappies Scholarship* than Ryan Kaufman of Bordentown Regional High School (BRHS). Ryan received this award at the Cappies Awards Gala, which is a ceremony similar to the Tony Awards, honoring the best of Philadelphia area high school theatre and writing.
Ryan is an extraordinary young man whose accomplishments in all fields are nothing less than astounding. According to his high principal, Robert Walder, “Ryan has left his mark all over our building and our programs. His academic performance has been stellar and his extracurricular involvement has been off the charts. More importantly, his integrity and commitment to excellence are beyond reproach.”
An Elite Student Who is Also Kind and Caring
With a 98.2 grade point average while taking five AP courses and numerous honors classes, Ryan is ranked fifth in his graduating class. He has a perfect attendance record over four years, and was named 2023 Senior of the Year by the Burlington County Principals and Supervisors Association.
His honors English teacher, Melissa Pinder stated that, “In every teacher’s career they encounter a student who stands out among the rest. One who exhibits respect, academic curiosity, genuine passion for the arts and most of all pride and dedication to their School. This student for me is Ryan Kaufman. He is in a category of the elite top I % of students whom I have taught over the past 22 years. I was given the gift to have Ryan in English I I Honors and it only took one day to see him shine.”
Not only a strong student in the arts, Ryan is also gifted in STEM and will be attending the University of Central Florida in the fall to study Industrial Engineering. His Advanced Placement calculus teacher, Beth Bokop stated, “Ryan is easily in the top one percent of overall outstanding students that I have taught in my twenty-two years of teaching.”
More importantly, “Ryan is truly kind,” said Stacie Morano, Director of the BRHS Theater. “He treats everyone he meets with the same caring attitude and respect. He genuinely wants to help everyone in any way he can and this quality comes shining through in in his every action and every word. He always puts others first.”
Theater, Theater, Theater
Ryan has had a full theater schedule throughout high school where he has worn multiple hats. The most obvious is acting, in which he has played some twelve parts. He most recently performed as Wayne in Puffs and Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also played the Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which was nominated for nine Cappies this year. “On stage, Ryan often steals the show and his enthusiastic approach to everything is contagious,” said Walder.
Ryan also earned the position of Lead Critic for the Bordentown Cappies Cr1tics Team, where he traveled to local high school shows in the area, reviewed their productions, and produced published reviews.
At the 2023 New Jersey State Thespian Festival, Ryan Kaufman and his scene partner, Olivia McGlone achieved a nearly perfect score, earning Superior Medals in the Acting Duet category. They were the first Bordentown Regional High School students to ever be chosen for the honor. Their scene was selected to be one of only four out of over 600 performances to be featured in the Closing Ceremony Showcase.
The same pair, Ryan and Olivia, also received BRHS’ first ever Cappies’ nomination for Outstanding Marketing and Publicity for their creative efforts advertising the BRHS 2023 musical.
Ryan has also held the position of Theater Arts Technical Assistant For the Bordentown Performing Arts Center and Assistant Stage Manager for the Bordentown Summer Theater Program where he also volunteers as an usher. In addition, he is the current Public Relations Officer for the Bordentown Theater Club and has been an “extremely active” member of Bordentown Regional High School’s International Thespian Society Troupe 6803.
Eagle Scout, Leader, Varsity Golf and More
Ryan is also an accomplished Eagle Scout, having participated in the Scouts organization for 12 years. He is now the highest ranking Senior Patrol Leader, running the entire troop for the year. He formerly was the Historian, Scribe and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He is also the Ceremonies Chair for his lodge in the Scouting’s National Honor Society, The Order of the Arrow, where he prepares the ceremonies team for the induction of new members.
Ryan was class president at BRHS from 2019 to 2020. For the past three years he has been the class historian as well as active in the Key Club where he served as president this year. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, Math Club and Interact Club. Fittingly, he was also involved with the Don’t Text & Drive Club during his junior year.
Ryan as been on the Varsity Golf team since his junior year.
Hundreds of Hours of Volunteer Work
As if this all isn’t enough, Ryan has also somehow managed to volunteer hundreds of hours over the past six years with various community organizations, including Soles4Souls, Knights of Columbus, Christ Church, Blessing Bag Brigade and Bordentown Elks. Ryan has spent his after school hours tutoring other students, collecting, prepping, and delivering food to those in need, helping to clean up church cemeteries, working on conservation projects, collecting and distributing basic necessities, running sock and book drives, and assisting his fellow scouts with their Eagle projects.
As president of his high school’s Key Club his senior year, Ryan led a book drive that collected 936 books for Better World Books. As the public relations officer for the Bordentown Theater Club, he collected 1,678 pounds of food donations by running the 2022 BRHS Trick Or Treat So Kids Can Eat Food Drive.
Ryan’s volunteer and hard work will clearly continue into the future. According to Ryan, “I hope to be a part of, and hopefully one day, lead groups and projects that make a difference in the community to make it better and more inclusive for everyone. I hope to make a positive name for myself as someone who always does the right thing and works hard to achieve any goal that I set my mind to.”
We at the Casey Feldman Foundation couldn’t agree more with Principal Walder’s statement, “There is no doubt that Ryan will reach unbelievable heights.” Of course, we also feel that he has already done so.
*The Foundation began awarding a Cappies scholarship in 2011, two years after Casey was tragically killed by a distracted driver. Casey was heavily involved in high school theater and became Springfield High School’s (SHS) first lead critic in 2005 with reviews published in The Philadelphia Inquirer and as well as in local papers. She was nominated for a Cappie for best actress at the 2006 Gala for her role as Gwendolyn Pigeon in SHS’s production of The Odd Couple. Casey accepted the Cappie that year on behalf of the entire Odd Couple cast, which won the Cappie for best play. In 2010, Casey was awarded an Honorary Cappie at the Awards Gala that was accepted by her parents on her behalf.