Friday, September 30, 2016

High Tech Teacher Brian Mooney Publishes First Book

(North Bergen, NJ—September 29, 2016) Brian Mooney, a language arts teacher at High Tech High School, has published his first book on hip hop instruction in the classroom, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

Released by Peter Lang International Academic Publishing, Mooney’s new book, Breakbeat Pedagogy: Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls, which includes a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Emdin of Teachers College, Columbia University, features Mooney’s ethnographic research on hip hop’s positive impact on students’ construction of identity through writing in hip hop and spoken word performance art spaces.  Including anecdotes gleaned from Mooney’s experience as the facilitator of “Word Up,” High Tech’s hip hop and spoken word poetry events, Mooney’s book encourages hip hop performance spaces in public schools as a viable component to a traditional liberal arts education. 

Breakbeat Pedagogy: Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls also includes the original work of High Tech alumni and can be purchased at Amazon (, Barnes & Noble, or other book dealers.

Breakbeat Pedagogy: Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls has been called the first in the next wave of hip hop pedagogy and scholarship.  To launch the book, which went on sale on September 1st, Mooney will be speaking and signing books at WORD Bookstore in Jersey City on Thursday, October 13th. 

High Tech Engineering Tech Students Participate in JA Job Shadow at Goya Foods

(Secaucus, NJ—September 23, 2016) Students majoring in Engineering Tech at High Tech and their instructors received a rare opportunity to tour Goya Foods’ newly retooled manufacturing plant as part of Junior Achievement of New Jersey’s Job Shadow program, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

Sergio Gamarra and Harry Peles, who teach engineering technology classes, and Gregory Simon, supervisor of the Digital Design and Fabrication Academy (D/FAB), joined the Engineering Tech majors on a tour hosted by Anthony Figueroa of Goya Foods’ public relations department. They witnessed automated manufacturing equipment that produces 600 boxes of pre-packaged rice each minute and learned about quality control, logistics, and Goya’s global distribution methods.  After the plant tour, the High Tech Engineering Tech students and teachers traveled to Goya Foods’ corporate headquarters, where executives discussed work and the goings-on at GOYA.

Goya, the largest Hispanic-owned food manufacturer in the U.S., produces four million cases of goods like beans, rice, and flour at the plant.  Originally, the plant had housed the company's headquarters before it moved in June 2014 to nearby Jersey City.  Originally founded in 1936 by Don Prudencio Unanue Ortiz, who immigrated to New York City, Goya Foods started out by selling imported Spanish olives and olive oil, but now posts annual sales of almost $1.5 billion.

Junior Achievement (JA) Job Shadow offers students an opportunity to visit a professional work environment, where they gain insights into the requirements needed for earning a position.  JA programs always correlate to state educational standards and to Common Core State Standards.

High Tech’s Engineering Tech major, a blend of metal fabrication and advanced manufacturing or "Mechatronics," provides student with the chance to apply engineering research principles as they design and construct solutions.  This student learning experience (SLE) permits students to take a look at a state-of-the-art automated advanced manufacturing facility in the tristate area. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

County Prep Theatre Arts Junior Kyle Velazquez Attends the ITheatrics Summer Theatre Program

County Prep Theatre Arts Junior Kyle Velazquez participated in the ITheatrics Summer Theatre Program this summer. This company is known for making the high school, middle school and elementary school editions of big Broadway musicals. Acceptance into the program was already a big honor for Kyle, who loved everything about it, from stepping off the bus into New York City and walking on Broadway to the rehearsal studio to actually working on the show.

The program he was a part of was a week and a half long workshop that consisted of the directors teaching the music, casting the actors and choreographing a show that was already on Broadway and would soon become a school version. The cast would put on the show as sort of a test show, which then the directors and the CEO would consider for a school edition. Kyle found this was an intense working experience, trying to put a show together in such a short time, learning the music and choreography, and practicing the acting as well. Kyle especially liked being surrounded by others who share the same passion as he does, which he found was really comforting. Overall the experience changed his view of how to work towards his goals of being on Broadway and he would definitely participate in the program again.

High Tech Shines at Poster Session Organized by North Jersey Section of American Chemical Society

(South Orange, NJ—September 26, 2016) Five High Tech High School students, along with Dr. Dmitri Lavlinski, attended a poster session at Seton Hall University, organized by the North Jersey Section of the American Chemical Society, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech.

These students, members of the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED summer research program, each received $2,500, while gaining valuable hands-on experience on the frontlines in research labs.

High Tech High School junior Anna Rezk of Bayonne, working under Dr. Woo Lee at Stevens Institute of Technology, had produced “Cell Adhesion Mediated Drug Resistance of Patient Multiple Myeloma Cells Cultured Ex Vivo,” which earned her First Place at the poster session. Over the summer, Rezk practiced her presentation in two underclassmen classes, receiving very welcomed responses.

Also earning First Place for their posters, Tanushri Shah and Jeel Shah, both juniors from North Bergen, studied “The Effect of Cellular Radiation on the Behavior of Apis mellifera,” which the pair based on observations of High Tech’s own beehives.  They found that this type of radiation results in disruption of the communication between bees, causing no honey production, a lack of self-defense, and adverse effects on reproduction.

Another Project SEED junior, Shelina Chotrani of Secaucus, worked with research mentor Dr. Christian Traba at St. Peters University.  Chotrani’s poster reflected her experiments on “The Effect of Low-power Argon Plasma Exposure on Staphylococcus aureus Biofilms.” Meanwhile, High Tech High School senior and Guttenberg resident Hady Chahine, under the tutelage of Dr. Wendy Wang, performed research at Stevens Institute of Technology on “Regeneration of Skin Cells Using Biomedic Fibers.”  Both Chotrani and Chahine earned Third Place at the poster session.

The American Chemical Society’s Project SEED summer research program allows those students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to experience the intriguing, highly dedicated routines of a chemist.  Students entering their junior or senior year in high school work alongside scientist-mentors on special research projects in industrial, academic, and federal laboratories, where the students can discover chemistry firsthand as a career path as their graduation approaches. 

High Tech High School Holds Another Successful Open House

(North Bergen, NJ—September 25, 2016) High Tech High School held its annual Open House event, and as usual, it proved a resounding success, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

Nearly 3,000 visitors came to the North Hudson Center to mingle with administrators, staff, students, and teachers, who answered their questions and showed them around the facility.

Monday, September 26, 2016

County Prep High School Alum, Jersey City Native Sets Record at Paralympic Olympics

JERSEY CITY, NJ -- A Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST) County Prep High School Class of 2012 alum and Jersey City native, Raymond Martin, won a gold medal and set a new record during the 1500m T52 race in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

 “It's such a pleasure to see this young man represent Hudson County and the Hudson County Schools of Technology in such a positive manner on the world stage,” said Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise. “We are all very proud of him.”

 Martin set the Paralympic Record in the 1500m race with a time of 3:40:63. He also competed in the 400m race taking the top medal of gold, and winning the silver medal in the 100m race.

 “Raymond is a really special person,” said HCST Superintendent of Schools Frank J. Gargiulo. “He serves as an inspiration to our current students and alumni at the Hudson County Schools of Technology, demonstrating that hard work and dedication truly do pay off.”

 He previously competed in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, winning Gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m races. Raymond holds the World Record in the T52 classification in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m races. He is also the first man to win five individual word titles at a single International Paralympics Committee (IPC) competition.

 “There was no doubt in our minds that Raymond was going to succeed and make a difference,” said County Prep High School Principal Barbara Mendolla. “We at County Prep High School are all very proud of him; he has always been disciplined and ambitious, even as a student.”
 The HCST Foundation originally awarded Martin a scholarship so he could attend the trials for the 2012 London Paralympics.

 “The records and accomplishments that Raymond has achieved is no surprise to the HCST family,” said HCST Foundation Executive Director Linda J. Quentzel. “We always believed in his abilities and determination, and knew we were making a wise investment in our student in helping him get to the 2012 Paralympics.”

 Martin is entering his senior year at the University of Illinois, majoring in Kinesiology and pursuing a career as a Physician’s Assistant.

 “I have been working with the Special Olympics for over 30 years, and am elated over Raymond’s accomplishments,” said HCST Board President Craig Guy. “He is one of our many students and alumni that are change makers in the world, and we are proud to have played a small part in preparing them for their careers.”

Thursday, September 15, 2016

County Prep Junior Cindy Ramos Wins at HOSA International Leadership Conference

County Prep Junior Cindy Ramos placed first in the category of "Interviewing Skills" this past June at the HOSA International Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN. Congratulations, Cindy.