Tragic, tragic story. Condolences to her family, teammates and friends. Please everyone, always be alert when running on the roads.
Paramus High School’s 2010 valedictorian struck and killed while jogging in Pennsylvania
SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2012 LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY JULY 15, 2012, 11:22 PM
BY JAY LEVIN
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Gabrielle Reuveni, the 2010 Paramus High School valedictorian fatally struck by a pickup truck while she was running in the Poconos over the weekend, was, in the words of her mother, “a bright star — the flame that lit everyone’s candle.”
Gabrielle Reuveni, 20, was a cross-country star and president of the National Honor Society at Paramus High School, and a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis.
“She lived life to the fullest,” said Jacqueline Reuveni, a former Paramus schools trustee. “Everyone she touched was the better because of it.”
Gabrielle Reuveni, 20, was out for her daily run early Saturday afternoon on Route 507 in Palmyra Township, Pa., near her family’s vacation home. The Pennsylvania State Police reported that a Chevrolet pickup driven by Philip Cise, 48, of Dover in Morris County crossed the white line delineating the shoulder and struck Reuveni. Police said she was running in the same direction the truck was traveling, but Jacqueline Reuveni said her daughter, an experienced runner, always ran on the shoulder against traffic. A witness reported that the vehicle was earlier swerving on the two-lane road.
Charges are pending the determination of the driver’s blood-alcohol level, the state police said.
Reuveni, a cross-country and track star and president of the National Honor Society at Paramus High School, was a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis and a member of its 2011 NCAA Division III-champion women’s cross country team. She was majoring in international studies, with a concentration in sustainability and a minor in Spanish.
She was planning to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship, her mother said.
“This was a kid who when she put her mind to something, she did it,” Jacqueline Reuveni said. “She wanted to excel in everything she did, and she gave 130 percent.”
For a second consecutive summer, Gabrielle Reuveni was working as an intern at the Sigma Group, an advertising agency in Oradell. She reported directly to the agency president, Shannon Morris.
“Gabby was an outstanding young person beyond her years,” Morris said. “Everyone was challenged by her because she was so great at such a young age. There wasn’t a time that I gave her a project that she didn’t do an A-plus job on it.”
Morris said Reuveni was working in an account management role in support of a range of creative projects, including campaigns for Pert Plus shampoo and Brut cologne.
“She was very smart and very likable,” Morris said. “We had talked about her coming back [after college].”
Among Reuveni’s many achievements at Paramus High was being named an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar.
“Gabby was a scholar in the truest sense of the word,” said Patricia Wilk, an English teacher who had Reuveni in various classes.
For Wilk’s class titled Documentary for Social Change, Reuveni created a documentary film about student cheating and its moral implications.
“The one thing you must say about Gabby is that she lived her life thoughtfully, she lived her life consciously, and she spent all of her energies well — intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual,” Wilk said.
Reuveni took up running when she was in the seventh grade and also played basketball at Paramus High.
“She totally believed in being healthy and started running for health reasons,” her mother said. “If she didn’t run, she felt it wasn’t a day.”
Gabrielle Reuveni, a lifelong Paramus resident, is survived by her parents, Michael and Jacqueline; an 18-year-old sister, Jessica; a 16-year-old brother, Zachary; and her paternal grandparents, Ofra and Abraham Reuveni of Reseda, Calif.
The funeral will be Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Paramus.