Monday, February 20, 2017

High Tech Language Department Hosts Valentine’s Day Celebration

(North Bergen, NJ—February 14, 2017) Students from the French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, and German language classes at High Tech collaborated to decorate the resource center for Valentine's Day festivities, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

Each language class chose a specific area to set up activities, exhibits, and food stands. Between the empanadas in the Spanish Club corner to the sweet edibles at the Japanese Club's table, a variety of ethical specialties proved plentiful. 

“Everyone enjoyed the charming Valentine’s cards written by Italian students,” says Dr. Laje Gashi, Language Department Liaison and veteran French instructor, adding, “The French Club’s signature crêpes, as always, was a hit.”

Instead of traditional crêpes, however, students crafted pink crêpes in the spirit of Valentine's Day, and became the subject of High Tech students’ snapchat stories.  The French Club also sold brownies and small candy bags, each replete with a romantic French phrase on a handwritten card.

Every language booth attracted students by the throng throughout the day.

Friday, February 17, 2017

County Prep Students Visit Montclair State University

County Prep students visited Montclair State University on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.  The students started with a tour of the expansive campus including the library, classrooms, theater, and numerous state-of-the-art buildings. They also visited the Undergraduate Admissions Office in College Hall where they met with an admissions representative to discuss the various programs offered at the institution and the overall college application process. The visit concluded with a Q&A session.  The students were exposed to the college as a potential post-secondary option.

County Prep Students Shadow Veterinarians at Bayonne Veterinary Medical Center

On Tuesday, February 7, two County Prep students, Madison Pfleging and Cindy Ramos, attended a job shadowing event at Bayonne Veterinary Medical Center.  The students toured the facilities and interacted with the staff members to learn about possible career pathways in veterinary medicine.  They witnessed emergency medical care and three different surgical procedures as part of the Structured Learning Experience.  It was an invaluable opportunity that highlighted the challenges of working in an animal clinic.  Madison and Cindy aspire to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. 

A Free Verse Poem from an Explore 2000 Student

Ode to Winter Flounder

By Yazan Baghdady

You lie flat
On the seafloor
Waiting with your single eye
On the right side
Of your flattened head
Brown patterns run
Down your flanks
An inquisitive shrimp
Looks at the strange patch
You gulp it down
As you have ended the lives of thousands
Another shrimp is dangling in front of you
It shines with a strange light
You gulp it down
Searing pain down your throat
You are pulled up
You cannot resist
You cannot breathe
An enormous thing grabs you
An enormous thing slits your belly
You convulse
You are still
You are packaged, frozen
Arriving in a cavernous space
You see, hear, smell none of it
The life has left your body
You are sliced into fillets
Put into tiny Styrofoam containers
Labeled "Winter Flounder"
Fried and eaten
Mercilessly by humans
How could a creature of such noble beginnings come to such a lowly end?
Your relatives, from Labrador, Canada to Georgia
So many suffer the same fate
Your life, which could have been to 18 years
Ended so early
Each one of you could make 1.5 million more
But none of your young live
To venture out of the sandy shallows
And join you on the muddy seafloor
If only the humans waited
So you could grow to the full 25 inches, the full 8 pounds
It would be better for everyone
Even the greedy humans

Explore 2000 Middle School Student Visits Egypt

My trip to Egypt

by Yazan Baghdady

          We began our actual trip on Christmas, when we woke up in the Old Cataract hotel,. The hotel is located in Aswan, by the Nile. It has an amazing view of some ancient Egyptian ruins. The first thing we did after breakfast was to visit a Nubian village named Anakato, which we reached by boat. The village, which is built in the Nubian architectural style, with bright walls and domed buildings, is full of merchants peddling their wares, including knives with crocodile-skin sheaths (one of which I bought). Camels walk, trot, canter, and occasionally gallop through the village. We visited a place with crocodiles, named Malka House. We saw the larger crocodiles and held some of the smaller ones. After wandering through the village and buying some things at the souk, or market, we went on a camel ride to the hill for sandboarding, pretty much snowboarding on sand. We then left the village, to go back to the hotel. After lunch/dinner (Arabic countries eat lunch at 4:00 or later), we left on yet another boat to go see the temple at Philae.

          The next day we boarded our cruise from Aswan to Luxor. The ship, named the Minerva, was fairly big, and had a ‘pool’. Note the quotes around the word ‘pool’, as the pool was tiny, with most of the expanse being only a few inches deep and the rectangle that was left being 155 centimeters, though it was not large. Ending the rant about the pool, the other thing we did today was to visit the Philae temple again, this time in the daylight. It was much better, as we could see where we were going and the temple in all its grandeur. Next we visited the High Dam, which prevented the Nile’s flooding, created Lake Nasser (which is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world), and provided energy to most of Egypt. The dam was built in such a manner so that the stone will not break in the event of an earthquake. More than Philae can say, as it was ravaged by several earthquakes. Another interesting fact – all the crocodiles were stuck in Lake Nasser after the construction of the dam, and cannot return to the Nile.

         After returning to the ship, we ate dinner, though we had been warned not to eat the fresh fruit/veggies, swallow the shower water, and to brush our teeth with bottled water. Why? The ship gets its water from a store of water, which is not the cleanest water. The same water is used to wash fruits and vegetables, so many people fall sick on Nile cruises.

         The day after that, we visited Kom Ombo Temple, an old temple that was built during Ptolemaic times. The temple was dedicated to two gods, Sobek and Hathor. Some sections of the temple still have color, which makes them incredible to see. We also visited the crocodile museum, which showed the mummified crocodiles that were offered to Sobek, a crocodile god. Some mummified eggs were shown, and the crocodile skeletons were visible. Once we had left the mummies, we chanced upon a man with cobras. We asked to play with them, and he said yes. I held the record, with one cobra on my head, one in each hand, and one on the ground to play with. We returned to the boat and went to Edfu. It was pretty much a larger version of Philae, though some colors were visible, and it was built during the pharaonic, not Ptolemaic, period. Edfu was the third-largest monument in Egypt – excluding pyramids – the largest being Karnak, which we would visit when we arrived in Luxor the next day.

         In Luxor, the boat moored directly in front of Luxor Temple, so we had a great view of it. We woke up way too early in the morning to visit the Valley of the Kings. The first, and in my opinion most impressive, was that of Rameses VI. The tomb had retained most of its color, and we saw some paintings that were layered directly on the walls, without carving. Some areas of the ceiling were painted like the night sky. The second most memorable tomb was that of King Tutankhamun. It was smaller than I had expected, but his unwrapped body was on display and the paintings were intact. We visited some more tombs, but those were the most memorable, besides one so far underground that it took five minutes to reach the surface.

         We then left the tombs to visit Hatshepsut Temple. It was large and detailed, but mostly destroyed, as Thutmoses III had not wanted his aunt remembered as a ruler. After returning to the cruise for lunch, we went to Karnak. The model on display showed the true scale of the ruined temple. It was enormous, with a columned hall that had over a hundred pillars that ranged from 14-21 meters high, and as thick around as redwoods. We admired Karnak, then returned to the boat and therefore ended our trip.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

County Prep's Kyle Velazquez Wins 2nd Place in Musical Theatre Competition at Teacher's College, Columbia University

Mrs. Shields proudly announces that Theatre Arts Junior Kyle Velazquez won Second place in the Upper High School Musical Theatre Category IV, at Columbia University on February 5, 2017. This contest took place as part of the NATS- NYC Student Vocal Auditions at Teacher’s College, Columbia University in New York City.
Kyle sang “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” (Oklahoma), “Metaphor” (The Fantasticks) and “Lost in the Darkness” (Jekyll and Hyde -B’Way) under the direction of our Musical Director Ms. Valerie Gonzalez.
The adjudicators concurred on Kyle’s very expressive voice, good tonal quality and commitment to storytelling. They commended him for his excellent performance, which “kept the audience captivated throughout the various songs” and for his incredible acting throughout.
Kailyn Segovia also competed with the songs “Much More” (the Fantasticks), “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” (Evita) and the pop song “Out Here on my Own”.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

High Tech’s Mingyu Zhao Qualifies as a Finalist for the 2017 Competition for a National Merit® Scholarship

(Evanston, IL—February 6, 2017) High Tech High School senior Mingyu Zhao, a resident of Harrison, has met the qualifications as a finalist for the National Merit® Scholarship this year, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech.

Zhao received a Certificate of Merit from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). NMSC has recognized approximately 15,000 semifinalist who will continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships in 2017.

These 15,000 recognized as National Merit Program semifinalists represent the top scorers in each state. 7,500 students will be selected for these Merit Scholarship® awards.  Announcements of results will be forthcoming this spring.