Monday, June 26, 2017

High Tech Attends The Merchant of Venice at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey

(Madison, NJ—June 1, 2017) the HCST Foundation treated 120 High Tech juniors to a live performance of the Bard’s The Merchant of Venice at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High school.

Students in Kerri Ann Murphy’s European Literature courses had just finished reading the play and wanted to experience the Bard’s play in a live setting.  The Merchant of Venice, one of Shakespeare’s problem plays, provokes audiences to reflect upon timeless themes relevant to young people’s lives, such as gender roles and expectations and conflicts between loyalty to ourselves versus loyalty to our friends, parents and romantic partners.  Most importantly, the play shines a light on anti-Semitism and racial prejudice, and raises questions about how we treat outsiders, questions particularly relevant to teenagers.

The play’s setting has been transformed into the early 20th century.  Students reflected on this production’s interpretation of the Christian characters’ treatment of Shylock and other Jewish characters in the play, and they thought critically about Venice’s anti-Semitic society, which places a high value on monetary contracts that shapes Shylock’s villainy.

“I was incredibly proud of my students and impressed with their level of engagement with the play, their ability to pick up on and respond to its humor and the depth of their questions during the talkback session,” says Murphy, a veteran Language Arts instructor. 

Students pondered the actors’ interpretations of many of the complex relationship dynamics in the play, and how the cast and director approached the challenge of presenting the anti-Semitism in the play to a modern audience.  

“I’m grateful to the foundation for understanding the educational value of this trip and for making this experience possible for such a large number of students,” adds Murphy.

Friday, June 23, 2017

High Tech Receives Certificate of Recognition for Its Performance in Shakespeare: NJ

(Madison, NJ—April 27, 2017) Judges at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey have awarded High Tech High School a Certificate of Recognition for its participation in the theater’s annual festival, Shakespeare: NJ, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High school.

Students in Kerri Ann Murphy’s Shakespeare course also received commendations for interpreting one of the Bard’s most complex plays, Measure for Measure, and cleverly conveying the emotional depth and complexity inherent in this Jacobean comedy.  Considered a “problem play” due to its dark elements, Measure for Measure examines the theme of merciful justice while exploring the fine line between vice and virtue.

High Tech junior Amirah Johnson of Jersey City received an Excellence in Acting certificate for her moving performance of the play’s heroine, Isabella.  For his comedic portrayal of Lucio, Secaucus resident Sebastian Martinez earned the Silly Sinner certificate.  Last but not least, in a last-minute turn as the Provost, Tige Anderson of Hoboken received recognized as the 11th Hour Hero.  For depicting Angelo’s internal conflict, West New York resident Ambar Grullon earned a Lascivious Logic certificate.

“When performing Shakespeare, I’m able to link his timeless plays to adolescence,” says Grullon, who participated in last year’s festival as well, “and which adolescence hasn’t felt like an outcast?”

The HCST Foundation, once more, provided a generous grant to make High Tech’s participation in this year’s Shakespeare: NJ possible.

Sponsored in part by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, Shakespeare: NJ brings together high school and elementary students from all over the Garden State to celebrate the Bard’s work.  The festival encourages students to explore the richness of Shakespeare’s language through performance.  Not a competition, the festival simply gathers students together to delight in each other’s Shakespearean performances.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

County Prep teacher Michael Grele Chosen as Cisco Instructor for 2017 NBA Draft Cisco Network Academy “Dream Team”

Top students from the United States and Canada are named to the “Dream Team” – and given the chance to gain real-world experience setting up massive networks at high-profile events like the NBA Draft. Dream Team members gain hands-on experience working under the direction of professional networking engineers. Students are nominated to the Dream Team by their Networking Academy instructors. This Dream Team included two students and one instructor and assisted the NBA IT staff in different areas. Prior to the event, they set up wireless access points, switches and internet telephones in the conference center and nearby hotels. Then they provided help desk support and network troubleshooting during the event.
“This is a wonderful professional experience” said Mr. Grele, “The Dream Team gives a company's employees an opportunity to mentor students and offer valuable learning opportunities. I am proud to have been selected to be the instructor for this project and work alongside engineers giving the students a chance to learn the behind-the-scenes workings for the event”.
County Prep’s Cisco Networking Academy develops the skills students need to thrive in a digital economy and prepares students for entry-level IT jobs, with extensive online learning resources as well as state of the art lab equipment for a hands-on practical learning experience.

Jeremy Lewan of High Tech High School Has Weather Camp Video Diary Featured on Weather Channel

(Atlanta, GA—June 10, 2017) Bayonne resident Jeremy Lewan, a junior at High Tech High School, had his Weather Camp Video Diary featured on a weekend episode of America’s Morning Headquarters (AMHQ) on the Weather Channel, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High school.

Lewan, recipient of an HCST Foundation grant of $1,000, had attended Penn State’s Advanced Weather Camp last summer, where he made a video of his meteorological-media experience.

AMHQ meteorologists Reynolds Wolf and Kelly Cass interviewed Bill Syrett, manager of Penn State’s Advanced Weather Camp.  They asked Syrett questions about various aspects of the camp.  Throughout his interview, clips of Lewan’s video diary aired.

The video of the interview can be viewed at the following link:

At Weather Camp, Lewan had received hands-on training in meteorological science, including forecasting, creating a TV weathercast, reading and analyzing weather charts, launching a weather balloon, and even simulating a hurricane.  Lewan and his peers at the Advanced Weather Camp also learned scientific methods while exploring various aspects of the atmosphere, as well as analyzing surface weather maps.

County Prep Dance Awards and Year In Review

The County Prep Dance Program celebrated the end of the 2016-2017 school year with recognition from the arts and dance education community.

Senior Tamir Rios was one of 5 dancers in the State of NJ to be given the Governor's Award in Dance Arts.  Tamir performed alongside other remarkable teen artists in the state Gala at the Trenton War Memorial on May 24th.  County Prep Dance Instructor had this to say, "Tamir's exceptional talent and commitment to this art form have brought attention and admiration to our program.  I am grateful to have had the chance to work with such a skilled young dancer, and am so proud of Tamir's growth and accomplishments over his 4 years here."  Tamir will begin his major in dance at Montclair State University this fall.

After winning Top Honors at the Hudson County Teen Arts Festival in March, the senior dance class accepted the invitation to the State Teen Arts Festival on May 31.  The group of 6 performed 'And That's Within', which included live percussion accompaniment performed by the dancers themselves.  This work was created collaboratively with international drummer Ravish Momin.

Read about the dance program's full year of activities here: Dance Year in Review

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ms. Torres' County Prep Students Visit Explore 2000

County Prep students enrolled in Ms. Torres' Education Workplace Experience course visited Explore 2000 on Wednesday, May 24th to deliver student-created lesson plans on SPACE.  Ms. Torres and her students worked diligently on these lessons in preparation for this "student teaching" experience.  County Prep students received a warm welcome from the staff and students at Explore 2000.  The day was filled with student engagement activities and numerous opportunities for our students to "test drive" a career in education.  A special thank-you is extended to Ms. Amy Lin-Rodriguez, Ms. Vincenza Tripodi for coordinating the event, and all the staff members at Explore 2000.

County Prep Students Shadow Teachers at Local Learning Center

County Prep students enrolled in Ms. Bello's Early Childhood/Social Development courses visited Kiddie Academy and Starting Points Early Learning Center on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.   The students shadowed teachers at Kiddie Academy to get a glimpse of the day-to-day operations of a day care center.  According to the students, this SLE was totally "awesome."  In addition, the students immersed themselves in a professional Child Development Associate (CDA) class at Starting Points to explore this as a potential career pathway.  The two events will help the students make post-secondary career decisions and complemented classroom instruction.