Friday, January 20, 2017

County Prep Boy’s Intramural Basketball Team Snags a Win

The County Prep Boy’s Intramural Basketball team defeated their counterparts from High Tech in the first of several matchups during the 2016-2017. The final score was 49-25 in favor of County Prep. Leading the way for County Prep were Xavier Roman, William Lebron, Hasham Kahlon, Christian Williams, and Mario Vergara. The game was closely contested for the first several minutes until County Prep ultimately pulled away. Students from both schools came out to support their classmates and respective schools. The game was played competitively, with an emphasis on teamwork and sportsmanship. This event was a great way for our students to expend some of the competitive fire that they have. Both schools performed admirably and are eager to return to the court soon. Many thanks go to High Tech for hosting the event. In addition, a big thank you must go out to the principals of both institutions, Ms. Mendolla (County Prep) and Dr. Giammarella (High Tech) for helping make this event a reality. Lastly, thanks to Mr. Gargiulo and Dr. Sirangelo for supporting this endeavor. We look forward to seeing our students on the court again soon.

Thank You to HCST Schools

On February 22, 2016 County Prep Science teacher, Tim O’Donnell and his five-year-old daughter Bridget were killed in a tragic car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike Hudson County Extension. Immediately following this event, there was a tremendous and very generous outpouring of donations from County Prep High School, High Tech High School and Explorer 2000 staff, students, and their families. As a result, a 529 College Savings Plan with Franklin Templeton was opened for Allessandra O’Donnell in the amount of $11,590.00. Tim would occasionally joke about not retiring until he had enough money saved for college. It is with his wishes in mind that the account was opened. On behalf of County Prep High School, we want to thank everyone who helped to bring this to fruition. Mr. O’ Donnell and Bridie were very much loved and are greatly missed. As Tim and Bridie’s one year anniversary approaches, it is with sadness but also some comfort that we thank everyone for their generosity and thoughtfulness in helping to pave the way for Allessandra O’Donnell’s future education and success.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

HTHS Environmental Science Students Get Down and Dirty in Jersey City’s Washington Park

October 14, 2016 (North Bergen, N.J.) – Students in the Environmental Science Academy at High Tech High School spent a day working the gardens of Jersey City’s Washington Park, thanks to a grant funded by the HCST Foundation, announced Linda J. Quentzel, Executive Director.

Instructors Samantha Dorio, William Goold, Shelly Witham and Cathy Yuhas chaperoned twenty-six students, ranging in grade from freshman to senior, on the structured learning experience at Washington Park. Students and teachers, along with members of the Washington Park Association community and local law enforcement agents from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department, worked side by side. Together, they pulled weeds, trimmed shrubs, edged lawns and planted trees throughout the park’s Learning Garden. Much of the work, which also included mulch spreading and bulb planting, was to prepare the garden for winter.

The event was aided by Washington Park Association advisor Nick Caballero who explains, “The event brought students together with law enforcement as well as the diverse Washington Park community. Our gardens thrive with the help of students and community, including those members of the North District precinct and Hudson County Sheriff's Department.”

President of the HCST Foundation Mr. Daniel Gans commends the event: “The Washington Park community is vibrant and essential, and we are happy to help connect our students to a local environmental community.”

Frank J. Gargiulo, HCST District Superintendent, said, “I’m proud to see the variety of community members coming together for this project. We have our Environmental Science Academy students working alongside police officers in an unexpected but vital setting. This is truly a community effort.”

Executive Director Linda J. Quentzel adds, “This event helped make a lasting connection between the HCST Foundation, High Tech students, and the Washington Park Association. It is a connection we are proud to be a part of, and that we hope will continue to benefit both our learners and the community at large.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

First S.T.E.A.M. Vocational Middle School

Explore 2000 prides itself on being New Jersey's first S.T.E.A.M. vocational middle school, to which the students embody in their hands-on learning environment, which has produced some impressive projects.  Explore 2000 delves into three thematic units per year, one in each respective trimester.  In their first trimester for the 2016-2017 school year, “Oceans” were explored in many creative ways, as facilitators provided students with essential questions to guide the learning process while leaving room for student driven learning to occur.  The infusion of technology within the curriculum allows students to attain technical skills and knowledge, the application of which, in conjunction with the rigorous curriculum, has resulted in some of the most technology rich projects to date at the middle school level.  The students have access to an array of modern technologies such as the Stratasys 3D Printer and the Adobe CADD Software Suite, Vex Robotics kits supported by the Project Lead the Way curriculum, Hi-Definition digital recording cameras and movie making software, Hi-Definition audio recording and editing software, a Canon 36” banner printer, 85” Samsung Smart Boards, the one-to-one laptop initiative, and iPads just to name a few.

Some of the student projects that were a result of the aforementioned technologies was the water filtration system designed by Henrik using TinkerCad, and 3D printed with the Stratasys printer.  Henrik stated the following, “My experience with TinkerCAD is that it is a good beginner CAD designer with a surprising amount of features for free. My personal experience is nothing but good. To make my models I usually use geometric shapes and holes for simple models, and for more complicated models, I source part files from  Thingiverse is a maker community that allows makers to share files for laser engravers, CNC mills, and 3D printers. TinkerCAD allows you to create files for all of those things.  The interface is super simple and with a few tutorials, most can pick up the skills very easily.”

Forgoing traditional building materials, students choose to 3D print sea creatures to include in their Showcase.  The realism of the objects brought to life the work that the students did, and provided a way for students to demonstrate the observations and connections they formed from the many field experiences related to the Oceans unit.


The banner printer has been used extensively to promote student activities throughout the school year, however the pupils began to use the printer in creative ways to reinforce their presentations and projects.  One such use was the creation of a life size “Wheel of Jeopardy” game board, presented to the guests of the first trimester showcase.  The contestants were immersed with the thrilling categories and mind-boggling questions.

For the annual Science fair, we saw in almost every experiment some form of technology utilized to solve the unanswered questions of the young minds.  Roxy employed the use of the robotics program to demonstrate how a robotic arm would function when grasping objects.  This required building and programming skills, of which she demonstrated advanced proficiency, a sure representation of her successful experiment.  To complement, her peers choose to further their understanding of how a 3D printed prosthesis would function.  The students in this group designed a model which they created using materials found around the home, and 3D printed a hand that required assembly and was capable of grasping objects as well.

Lastly, the craze of hoverboards were still on the minds of some of Explore 2000 students so they decided to build and code their own.  “Lithium Ion batteries have a sensor in it that gets damaged easily, and when this happens the fires occur.  We wanted to find an alternative to the previous generation hoverboards with our Science experiment,” stated Patrick.

Friday, January 13, 2017

High Tech High School Musical Theatre Presents STORY TO SONG: A MUSICAL REVUE

(North Bergen, NJ--January 12, 2017High Tech High School Musical Theatre announces its January production, Story to Song: A Musical Revue.  The show will be performed on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, January 25th and 26th,  at 7 p.m. in the Jay Todd Black Box Theater at the North Hudson Center, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.   

Story to Song: A Musical Revue explores the world of musical theatre, whose roots can be found in works of literature, from American novels like The Color Purple  and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West to French classics like Le Fantôme de l'Opéra (The Phantom of the Opera) and Les Misérables.

Under the direction of John Zisa, Story to Song: A Musical Revue features the works of close to twenty different musicals in this production.  Performed by the Musical Theatre majors, this revue expresses the true combined power of literature and musical theatre on the world around us.      

Tickets for Story to Song: A Musical Revue can be purchased online at

County Prep Celebrates Winter Spirit Week

County Prep High School’s Annual Winter Spirit Week took place from Monday, December 12th, 2016 to Friday, December 16th, 2016. Spirit days are a great way to shake up the monotony of the school year.

The first day was dedicated to Pajama Day because what better way to come to school on cheerless Mondays? The following day was Twin Tuesday (classic!) in which pairs or groups of students creatively matched with each other. On Wednesday, individuals dressed up as their favorite celebrity or fictional character. County Prep celebrated their holiday spirit on Thursday,  which was dedicated to Ugly Sweater Day. The last and final day was also the second annual Battle of the Classes, in which each class wore their specific color to represent their class in the competition!

Although it is a lot of fun, coming up with creative ideas can be quite a challenge; however, students and staff celebrated Hurricane pride by successfully participating in this year’s winter school spirit week!

County Prep Hosts Second Annual Battle of the Classes

County Prep High School’s second annual Battle of the Classes (BOTC) took place on Friday, December 16th, 2016. It was in correlation with Spirit Week; on this day, specifically, each grade wore their class color to represent and cheer on their class. This year’s theme was Avatar and the four elements: Earth (Freshmen-green), Wind (Sophomores-pink), Water (Juniors-blue), and Fire (Seniors-red). Throughout 3 competitive events and a dance battle, each class fought against each other to ultimately win the grand trophy. The Freshmen triumphed and scored the most points in each criteria! Trailing behind were Juniors in 4th place, Seniors in 3rd, and Sophomores in 4th.

We would like to express our gratitude to senior coordinators Kishan Patel, Patricia Ramirez, and Joseph Mamaril, who have extensively planned and collaborated with Student Council advisors (Mr. J. Carey, Ms. Torres, and Mr. T. Carey), class advisors, and other staff members to make this event another success. Thank you to everyone who came out to participate, help, and watch this event and congrats to the Freshmen Class of 2020 for their victory!