Thursday, March 23, 2017

Harvard Summer School Program for High School Students Accepts High Tech’s Alonzo Cortez

(Cambridge, MA—March 22, 2017) Bayonne resident Alonzo Cortez, a sophomore at High Tech’s D|FAB Academy, will attend the Harvard Summer School Program for High School Students, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech.

This program, designed to prepare high school students academically and socially for a successful college experience, provides Cortez with the chance to attend a college-oriented class of his choice for three hours a day for seven weeks.  Also, he will participate in college readiness workshops and team-building events. During the evenings, Cortez has the opportunity to attend social activities as well.

“I’m excited to meet people from all over the globe,” says Cortez, who plans to test-drive majors, gain valuable knowledge and skills, and explore Boston proper, one of America’s most vibrant and historic cities. “I’m hopeful that I’ll leave the Harvard Summer program more capable of thinking critically and communicating confidently.”

The Harvard Summer School Program features the following: college courses (over 200), which students like Cortez will attend alongside current college students, other high school students, and professionals from around the world; credit Cortez and others can transfer to a college in the future; the choice to live on campus, commute, or study online; and the freedom to schedule his days.

Students may enroll in one or two courses.  Outside of classes, Cortez and others can attend workshops, take trips to nearby colleges, and unwind through activities like intramural sports and musical pursuits.  Students find a healthy balance of organized events and free time, allowing him or her the independence reminiscent of colleges.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

High Tech’s AP Biology Students Attend Undergraduate Research Symposium

By Kevleen Plaha and Sahil Patel, High Tech High School

(Jersey City, NJ—March 6, 2017) For the third year in a row, AP Biology students from Dr. Nina Lavlinskaia’s courses at High Tech High School spent time at Governors Hall in Liberty Science Center for the Independent College Fund of New Jersey’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

Students in Dr. Lavlinskaia’s AP Biology courses had the opportunity to speak with college presenters and evaluate their research.  Shelly Witham, veteran Earth and Environmental Science teacher, Dr. Dimitri Lavlinski, veteran Chemistry instuctor, and the indefatigable Joan Marie Bellotti, veteran English teacher and Language Arts liaison, also chaperoned the students at the symposium. 

Mrs. Witham and Dr. Lavlinski doubled as presentation judges as well.

After a brief introduction by the President and CEO of the Independent College Fund of New Jersey, John B. Wilson, and speeches by pioneers in the STEM field, students observed and judged the college students who showcased their works.  Third Place went to Monmouth University’s Sarah Falotico for her project, “Engineering of an immunogenic pre-Trans-splicing RNA (iPTR) to Block Growth and Express a Glioblastoma Specific Epitope.”  Gianna C. Klucker from Caldwell University took Second Place for “Creation of a Novel Deodorant Using Essential Oils.”  Finally, the top prize went to Deborah J. Balthazar and Amanda L. Surujnauth, both from Caldwell University, too, for their joint project, “What Is on Your Toothbrush?  Are You Brushing with Fecal Matter?  An Assessment of Toothbrush Microbial Contamination from Toilet Aerosols and Suggestions for Storage and Decontamination.”

Through the participation in the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ), which represents fourteen sovereign academic institutions in the Garden State, enhances STEM majors’ engagements in STEM areas, maintains student retention in undergrad STEM programs, and attempts to enhance the overall academic experiences of students enrolled at its member colleges.  Each year, ICFNJ invites the participation of an area high school, allowing high school students preparing to make a college decisions the opportunity to interact with undergraduates and witness the dynamic level of research being done on our state’s independent college campuses.  Once more, ICFNJ invited High Tech High School to participate in the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

High Tech Dance Majors Participate in Regional High School Dance Festival in Norfolk, VA

(Norfolk, VA—March 20, 2017) The High Tech junior and senior dance majors returned from a five-day trip to the Regional High School Dance Festival, where they participated in three days of intense workshops and auditions for both college and summer study scholarships, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

Senior Kayla Alvarez and Junior Melina Soriano, both Bayonne residents, performed “Esplanade,” one of pioneering modern dance choreographer Paul Taylor's signature pieces from 1975, with the Paul Taylor Teen Ensemble.  Also, Alvarez, senior Idaliz Cristian of North Bergen, and juniors Marlowe McGee and Elyssa Cueto, also from North Bergen, performed  "Kairos," choreographed by High Tech alumnus Raechelle Manalo.

Many High Tech dancers received summer intensive and post-secondary scholarships as a result of their auditions: 

Cueto for Hope College, Ohio University, University of the Arts, Bates Dance Festival, James Madison University, Long Island University, and Relativity School of Commercial Dance

McGee for to Rowan University, Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, West Virginia University, New World School of the Arts, Miami, Ohio University, University of the Arts, Joffrey Ballet School, Long Island University, and Brenau University

Olivia Ruiz of Guttenberg for Long Island University, Ohio State, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and University of the Arts

Soriano for University of the Arts

“The dancers had a great time meeting and dancing with other high school students from all over the country,” says veteran High Tech dance instructor Trista DeFilippis.  “This was an experience they will soon not forget, and I’m very proud of these dancers and of the work we present at High Tech.”

Letters About Literature Recognizes Four High Tech Students

(Piscataway, NJ—March 12, 2017) Out of almost 2,000 letters submitted from New Jersey in the 2016-2017 Letters About Literature contest, High Tech High School received notice that four of its students had been recognized at the 2017 Letters About Literature Award Ceremony at Rutgers University’s Livingston College Student Center, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

In the Level III category covering 9-12 graders, Hoboken resident Rebecca Klein-Cohen earned Second Place for her letter to Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of the widely-popular musical Hamilton: An American Musical

Also in that category, the following High Tech students earned Distinguished Honors: Gabriel Goya of Bayonne, who wrote a letter addressed to David Lubar, author of Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, and North Bergen residents Julissa Laignelet and Isabella Rodriguez, who wrote to Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why, and Lauren Oliver, the author of Before I Fall, respectively.

These High Tech students will be honored, along with others, at a statewide reception at the Livingston College Student Center of Rutgers University on May 17th.

Judges for Letters About Literature include authors, publishers, librarians and educators. The first two rounds of reading occurs at the Library of Congress, which determines which letters advance to state-level judging. First place state winners only advance for national judging.

Letters About Literature, a reading/writing contest for students in grades 4-12, recognizes students who read a book, poem, or speech and compose letters to the authors, whether living or dead, on how the authors’ works affect them personally. Judges review letters on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature every year.

Friday, March 17, 2017

High Tech’s Newly Renamed Environmental Club Produces Infomercial about Club’s Manifesto

(North Bergen, NJ—March 15, 2017) The High Tech Environmental Club, formerly known as the PHAT (Protecting Habitats, Animals, and Trees) Club, recently produced an infomercial in which club members explain the Environmental Club and its activities, past, present, and future, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech.

The infomercial features President Darrian Beam of Jersey City, Vice President Jeremy Lewan of Bayonne, and Secretary Shelina Chotrani of Secaucus.

“The [Environmental] Club aims to protect the Earth, a home we share with countless other plants and animals," notes Lewan, in the infomerical that he helped to produce.

The Environmental Club meets once or twice a month, whereby members present the latest news regarding the problems our Earth faces and what teenagers can do to help alleviate them.  Such issues as our carbon footprint, climate change, waste reduction, and preserving biodiversity may prove daunting, but the Environmental Club believes that, through teamwork, members can help tackle any environmental issue.

Besides disseminating information on the Earth’s present status, the Environmental Club plans and directs fundraisers and other activities to raise money for organizations that benefit the welfare of the planet, such as the National Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Sierra Club.  The club also has an Earth Day celebration in the works to inform the school about ecological conditions.

The club also gets close and personal with nature by participating in beach cleanups, tree and garden planting, and embarking on hikes in Ramapo Mountain State Forest.   The club always welcomes new members, and one may peruse the infomercial at the following link:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

County Prep Students in the Graphic Technology Vocation Win 3rd Place in Annual Contest

Each year, The Arc of New Jersey hosts a Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month outreach event at the State House in Trenton. On Monday, March 6 2017, County Prep students of the Graphic Technology Vocation participated in the annual contest and won 3rd place. The theme of this year’s event and design contest was “Developmental Disabilities Awareness: It Matters to Me.” Students in grades 3 - 12 were invited to design a bulletin board that incorporated the theme of this year’s campaign and illustrated the students’ acceptance of all people. The County Prep group created a bulletin board on which they decided to draw a big brain made of puzzle pieces. In each piece there is a drawing of a child doing different activities regardless of the disability. 

The students that participated in the contest visited the Statehouse in Trenton where they received their award certificate and their work was displayed. They had the opportunity to tour the Statehouse, visiting areas such as the Governor's press conference room, the Assembly Chamber and the Senate Chamber.

Congratulations to the winners: Isabelle Leverock, Sanchit Anand, Casidy Collazo, Hamza Gseir, Adrian Restrepo, Daniela Noguera, and Banni Anand. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Nail-Biting Finale to 2017 Hudson County Academic Bowl Ends in a Tie for High Tech and Secaucus High School

(Secaucus, NJ—March 8, 2017) In a wild finish to the 2017 Hudson County Academic Bowl, both High Tech High School and Secaucus High School shared in the glory of winning the championship title in this season’s quiz bowl competition, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech.

The High Tech Senior Quiz Bowl team, captained by Ryan Miller of Kearny, found team members Rakeeb Alam and Akash Ram of Bayonne and Kearny residents Jonathan Brooks and Kevin Shi tying Secaucus High School 210-210 after a controversial vote over an Academic Bowl rule.

“The Secaucus team claimed this rule never gets enforced,” says Miller.  “The advisors also said that one teammate wanted to help the captain out with pronouncing a word.”

According to the rules, each team designates a captain, who serves as the primary spokesperson for the team, prior to each match.  However, on the Secaucus High School team, a non-captain answered a ten-point question.  The questionable answer, based on the rules, didn’t figure into the calculation of the tournament until the final score, which had originally been 210-200 in favor of High Tech due to the sanction.  At the end of the championship, one of the Secaucus High School advisors objected to High Tech’s win.  So, based on a democratic vote, which favored Secaucus High School 3-2, the teams agreed to a tie.  No one suffered the agony of defeat this time around.

“We had three strong teams this year,” says a deferential William Kennon, Quiz Bowl advisor and veteran visual arts teacher at High Tech.  “High Tech should be very proud of the quality of our student population.”