September School Highlights
Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences
The following Academy seniors have advanced as National Merit Semi-Finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program:
These students scored in the top 1% of the 1.6 million juniors who took the PSAT in 2015 and are continuing in the process for consideration to receive a National Merit Scholarship.
The following Academy seniors were recognized as Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program:
Saifol-Islam Ahmed Atul Bhattiprolu
Mehul Jain Sejal Lakhani
Siddharth Lingala Siddharth Marwala
Helen Nguyen Aman Patel
Janvi Patel Kush Patel
Shivam Patel Anusha Patil
Megh Shah Vraj Shah
These students scored in the top 5% of the 1.6 million juniors who took the PSAT in 2015.
Freshman Student Orientation was held August 29th and September 1st. The Class of 2020 had a chance to meet some of their teachers and experience what the Academy is like as they prepared to begin their high school career. Additionally, seniors worked with them to develop a “big brother/sister” so our newest students would have an additional person to turn to when in need of answers. The mentors have continued to communicate with their freshman buddies throughout the first marking period to help them with the transition to the Academy.
The Career Choices program held an open house/welcome day for incoming eighth grade students on August 25th. Students and parents met Mr. Sullivan and were pro-vided with tours and program information by former Career Choices students. Sixty-five incoming students attended and were excited to begin the school year.
Woodbridge Academy hosted a college night on September 28th in which fifteen colleges and universities attended. Our students and their families had a chance to discover the possibilities that are available. Colleges in attendance were: Penn State University; Stevens Institute of Technology; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Duke University; Seton Hall University; Drexel University; Drew University; Stony Brook University; University of the Sciences in Philadelphia; Rutgers University; Middlesex County College; Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences; The College of New Jersey; Liberty University and Lehigh University.
Senior Vraj Shah spent his summer conducting scientific research at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark. Vraj worked with Dr. Ferraris on research concerning Psicose and why this natural sugar has no calories. This research was conducted through the Partners in Science Program at Liberty Science Center.
The freshman students enrolled in Ms. Wilhelmy’s Principles of Biomedical Sciences began the year at a mock crime scene in the guidance office. “Anna Garcia” had died the night before and the students, working in teams, began their investigation into what caused Anna’s death. Students will evaluate the various clues discovered at the crime scene and will attempt to determine the cause of Anna’s death using knowledge acquired from the Project Lead the Way Curriculum during the current semester.
Mr. Joel Feldman of EndDD presented to the Academy about the dangers and effects of distracted driving on September 22nd. Mr. Feldman spoke to the students about the dangers and effects of distracted driving. He brought along members of the Woodbridge Police Department to reinforce his points and concluded by asking students to pledge not to drive distractedly or allow someone else to.
The Woodbridge Township Police Department reviewed school security procedures with the campus staff on September 29th. Staff were presented with the proper protocols for active shooter, bomb threats, lockdowns, building evacuations and shelter-in-place situations.
The Academy held Back to School Night on September 28th. Parents and guardians came to see and hear about the learning that will be occurring this year and to help their children be successful students for the upcoming year. Over four hundred parents and guardians attended this event.
The Career Choices Program welcomed forty-two parents during Parent's Night. Faculty provided wonderful presentations about their curricula and classroom learning experiences. Parents expressed their excitement with their child participating in the Career Choices Program.
Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies
Constitution Day was celebrated on September 19th. Several students from the sophomore class presented the Constitution Proclamation to the entire student body.
U.S. History II classes at the Edison Academy observed Constitution Day on September 19th with a “scavenger hunt” of the Constitution. Students were paired-up and given a copy of the Constitution and 25 questions. Students worked together to discuss and answer the questions.
The entire student body and staff took part in a memorial service for Officer Richard Rodri-guez on September 12th. Officer Rodriguez was a graduate of our Perth Amboy Campus who was tragically killed in the September 11th terror attack on the World Trade Center. Officer Rodriguez’s sister and niece were in attendance.
Dr. Michael Ricketts and Anjali Gupta participated in the Waksman Student Scholars Prog-ram this summer at Rutgers University. Anjali characterized and published four unique DNA sequences in the NCBI database.
The following seniors are 2017 National Merit Scholarshio Semi Finalists: Rohan Agarwal, Akshat Gokhale, Nirmal Prakash, Kushagr Singh and Anthony Wang.
The following seniors have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Program: Stephanie Almeida, Swapnanil Deb, Collin Draper, Arthur Dzieniszewski, Nikhil Jain, Emma Jaques, Rohan Marwaha, Rishi Masand, Aaron Maskarenas, Meghna Mehta, Amrut Nadgir, Rishika Padnani, Noah Paladino, Vraj Patel, Neehar Peri, Avneet Randhawa, Ajaita Saini, Rohan Shah, Abhinav Singh, Abinaya Sivakumar and Sagar Vemuri.
Edison Academy made daily morning announcements during September focusing on contri-butions made by Hispanic Americans in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month. Spanish I students made AREPAS (Colombian cornbread) one day in class to experience traditional Hispanic food.
During the month of September representatives from the following schools visited the Academy: University of Southern California, UC Berkeley and University of Illinois.
Junior Khushi Gandhi was chosen to be an INSPIRE Leader for Girl Up this past summer. She attended the 2016 Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. and met with state representatives and assistants to NJ Senators to ask for their support for legislation that provides education for refugee girls.
Khushi Gandhi was also selected to be an attendee at the International Young Leaders Assembly Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York City. She discussed future goals for her generation and plans to approach sustainable development goals. Khushi was the only high schooler accepted to the program.
This month two teams of students represented the Edison Academy at the SpaceApps Hackathon at the eBay Building in New York City. One team created a smart hat named “Lux Deluxe” that tracked a person’s time spent outside. They won 1st place in the Scriptr Category and won $500. The other team created “DigitalDistance” using a phone’s acceler-ometer to calculate the distance traveled. They won Best Sensory Hack and received a free consultation with Clerky. They also won 2nd place in the Scriptr category and $200.
Electrical/Computer Engineering junior Abhishek Harihan attended the ACLU Summer Insti-tute this summer at Georgetown University. He attended several seminars conducted by ACLU executives. Some of the most inspiring topics were: immigration reform, Islamo-phobia, LGBT rights, abortion rights and mass incarceration.
Civil/Mechanical Engineering senior Abinaya Sivakumar was one of five high school students selected to attend TC Disrupt Startup Alley in San Francisco. This event gave Abinaya the opportunity to further her education in STEM and meet some of the trend setters in the technology industry. She met various VIPs including NBA basketball player Stephen Curry.
East Brunswick Campus
The History Department conducted various lessons about our U.S. Constitution in celebra- tion of Constitution Day. Activities included: class debates on key Constitution issues, a Constitution scavenger hunt, and interactive presentations by students about the Consti-tution.
September 28th was Parent’s Night at the East Brunswick Campus. Approximately 600 people attended the event. Mr. Bicsko and Mr. Feldman commenced the evening by having a college scholarship presentation. It was very well received by the audience. The teachers spent vital time with the parents discussing their expectations, course of study and goals for their children. The event was a huge success.
Ms. Carcamo-Zeidman and Ms. Vega conducted multiple activities to celebrate Spanish Heritage Month. Some of the activities included infusing history into Spanish lessons, reading the morning announcements in Spanish and also embracing the Spanish culture through activities in and out of the classroom. The Spanish Department will also fund-raise to assist underdeveloped schools in Central America.
Small groups of freshman students from Ms. Bowen’s history class interviewed several faculty members who were willing to share their 9/11 experiences and personal stories. The students worked with their groups to create questions that would assist in their mini-interviews. Students presented the interview results with classmates during subsequent class meetings. This activity was especially important due to the fact that most members of the incoming freshmen class were not alive on 9/11/2001. The learning activity provided an opportunity to gain an understanding of that day through multiple perspectives.
The Tigers Cross Country Team took home 7 medals at the New Jersey Technical Athletic Council’s Cross Country Meet. The boys placed 8th overall and the girls placed 5th overall. We are very excited and proud of their accomplishments.
East Brunswick School of Career Development
Senior Connor Small participated in Boys State during the summer. Boys State is a summer leadership and citizenship program sponsored by The American Legion. Connor was nomi-nated and sponsored by his local American Legion post. According to the organization, "At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments. Operated by students elected to various offices, Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs."
Students from the East Brunswick SkillsUSA chapter have been spending Saturdays working Rutgers concessions for the football games as a fundraiser. The students and advisors are responsible for running all aspects of the concession stand, including inventory, prep, and sales for all seven of the home games in return for a portion of the income the concession stand earns. Chapter president Chachi Velez says “it’s a great environment because there is team building involved. We also enjoy it because we’re volunteering, helping out, and being a team as one.” SkillsUSA is a national CTSO organization that is built upon the framework of encouraging students to develop personal, workplace, and technical skills in order to prepare them for success when they enter the workforce. This fundraising opportunity requires the members to work on their teamwork skills as they work together to ensure the concession stand runs smoothly. They also work on their communication skills by providing customer service and explaining the SkillsUSA organization to curious customers. All twenty-three returning SkillsUSA members are volunteering their time. Faculty advisors, Ms. Sarah Rubin and Mr. Tom Leibering, have been impressed by the professionalism and initiative shown by the students so far. In just three weeks, the group has earned over $1,200 that will go towards sending the students to the SkillsUSA State Championships in April.
The school day began with a moment of silence on September 12th in honor of those who lost their lives during the 9/11/2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines flight 93. Several teachers centered their lessons on the tragic events of that day as follows:
Ms. Hughes’ history class discussed how families moved forward after such a tragedy and watched a video presentation on the making of the 9/11 memorial in New York City.
Dr. Menell’s history classes took a virtual tour of the 9/11 memorial using class- room technology. Students also viewed and discussed stories of survivors and victim’s families.
Mr. Crea’s environmental science class tied in the environmental issues (both short and long term) caused from the fires, collapse, debris, recovery, etc. of that day.
Mr. Levine’s English classes read an excerpt from a NY Times article written the day after the attacks on 9/12/2001. They stopped after every paragraph or so and quickly recapped what was read. This was a good lesson because of how much it informed the students about 9/11. Most of these students were very young or had not been born as of that date.
Perth Amboy Campus
Perth Amboy Campus had an excellent turnout for Back to School Night with more than 150 parents in attendance. Our new “Round Table” shop teacher discussion was a hit with parents as they were able to visit with all of the shop teachers that their students will cycle through during the first marking level.
The school hosted an “End Distracted Driving” assembly for all 11th and 12th grade students in an effort to bring awareness to the devastating effects of distracted driving. The featured speaker was Joel Feldman, whose daughter was hit and killed by a distracted driver while crossing the street. The talk had a dramatic impact on our students, many of whom are licensed drivers or will be driving in the near future.
All Perth Amboy Campus students have completed yearly anti-bullying and substance abuse training. Student Assistance Coordinator Ms. Bridget Hill went to every class to talk about the campus anti-bullying policy and our efforts to engage students in the fight against bully-ing as well as educating our students on the dangers of substance abuse and our Board of Education policy pertaining to substance abuse.
Perth Amboy Campus students decorated the hallways with positive messages in honor of Respect Week. There are numerous displays of student work around the building highlight-ing Respect Week and what respect means to them and to others.
History students participated in several activities for Constitution Day on September 17th. Mr. Stout’s students participated in a “Constitution Scavenger Hunt” to further their know-ledge and understanding of the United States Constitution. Students in Mr. Paprota’s classes watched a video about the Bill of Rights and had to answer in-depth questions about the video.
The Perth Amboy Campus Spanish class students will be exploring various “Rights of Passage” in the Hispanic culture through an interactive project that involves planning a celebration for La Quinceañera, which a celebration of moving into adulthood. Students will also complete questionnaires about Hispanic heritage and culture.
Piscataway Campus/Piscataway School of Career Development
Computer applications for business, graphic arts, and computer systems technology classes are off to a great start this year. Ms. Laurie McBrinn and Ms. Melissa Couden-Rapolla from Berkley College spoke to the shop classes on September 22nd about the "Digital Shift" and "Canvas to Career." Various career and technology skills were discussed to assist the stu-dents in entering the job market in their field of study. The presentation concluded with a question and answer session. It was a great presentation which kept the students engaged and excited.
Mrs. Ricciardi’s adult cosmetology students went to their first of many seminars throughout the year at Greggs Beauty Supply and Training Center. This seminar discussed the business end of the beauty industry to reinforce the concept that cosmetology is more than just beauty.
The Piscataway culinary arts shop competed in the annual “Champion of the Grill” at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta NJ. Kallista Peterson, Trinity Thomas, Janet Martinez, and Peter Kirshoff put on another wonderful display of culinary excellence competing in three major categories: meat, healthy grilling, and grilled desserts. The competition was intense and the team was defeated by a narrow margin. The team held their heads high and is looking forward to competing next year.
Automotive technology and collision repair technology students experienced the automotive market this month at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. Students learned about the various automakers at the show. The objective was to educate students in the different opportuni-ties offered in the automotive industry through the observation of the latest technology displayed at the show.
The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) is a voluntary, employee resource group at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. The Women’s Leadership Initiative is committed to the development, advancement, and retention of female leaders. The volunteers work with our students to foster leadership skills and goal planning once a month. Twenty-nine students were in attendance on September 27th during the first meeting.
Piscataway Campus Safety Ambassadors attended the Safety Summit at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital on September 28th. The Ambassadors were trained on topics including: fall prevention, safety in and around cars, bike and pedestrian safety, and motor vehicle safety. The training will prepare the ambassadors to present lessons in February to first grade classes.
Ms. Roger’s health technology students visited the Mutter Museum and Ramapo College on September 29th. The Mütter Museum has an extensive archive of past and permanent exhibitions. The museum helps the students understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body and to appreciate the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ramapo College has the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence and provided our students with a tour of the campus as well as the college acceptance requirements.