March School Highlights
Academy of Allied Health & Biomedical Sciences
- On March 1st, the Woodbridge Academy hosted its annual Talent Show. There were 20 acts featuring more than 45 performers, including dancers, musicians, singers, singer/songwriters, and poets/spoken word artists. More than 125 family members attended. A great time was had by all and the talent was amazing.
- Community Affairs officers from the Woodbridge Township Police Department spoke to Ms. Melanie Veilleux’s sociology classes on March 6 and 7 on community matters, bias crimes, and student rights in the community. Among the discussion points were how to get help if you feel harassed or intimidated, how to report an abuser, and how to communicate with a police officer if you are stopped in a car or in a group.
- Glenis Redmond, poet-in-residence at the State Theatre in New Brunswick and praise poetry road warrior, performed for the Woodbridge Academy ninth- and 10th-graders on March 7. She returned on March 8 and March 15 to lead writing workshops for the students. “Hearing her messages changed my life and will stick with me,” said one 10th grade student.
- In keeping with our focus on school wellness, stress reduction, and social-emotional learning, we licensed Angst, the Movie for the week of March 11-15. On Monday, the faculty viewed the movie after school and prepared for the student viewings. On Wednesday, Ms. Ferrier discussed the viewing guide and resources available with the documentary during our March faculty meeting. The students and teachers viewed the film in small groups on Thursday and Friday, and discussions were led primarily by health teacher Scott Modzelewski. Parents were invited to a screening on March 14 from 6 to 7:30. In general, the film served the purpose of opening up a discussion on anxiety, stress, and mental health disorders and allowed us to begin to tear down the stigma surrounding mental health in our school and community.
- The Career Choices Cafe was held on March 12. Students in the a.m. program wowed the staff with their abilities as greeters, hosts, servers, expediters, cooks, and dishwashers. Students prepared and served waffles with strawberries along with other treats. In the p.m., the menu included a Philly-style chicken sandwich and brownies. On March 28, the Career Choices teachers and Mr. Sullivan hosted a mini-open house for North Brunswick parents and students interested in the program.
- A Cultural Diversity assembly was presented by members of the Multicultural Club on March 21. Guest speaker Antoinette Clarke Forbes, Esq. spoke to the students about equality and social justice. Students from the club produced a video for the audience and also performed skits, spoken word, and speeches. In the end, a human barometer exhibit was done on the matter of privilege and inclusion.
- The Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community Wellness Grant fourth monthly wellness and stress relief day on March 22 again was a big success and offered students and staff a chance try activities to reduce stress and connect with each other. This month the 11th- and 12th-graders were treated to a motivational speech by Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs, four-time track competitor at the Games. She was humorous and informative, and the students were joyful that she was here. Meanwhile, the ninth- and 10th-graders chose between yoga, meditation and mindfulness, meditation and philosophy, coloring, creative writing, social media and image discussion, and music.
- Woodbridge Academy sent 59 students to the New Jersey State HOSA future health professionals’ conference and competition March 16-17. We are so proud of the efforts of all the students who represented our school at the conference. We received first-place honors in Creative Problem Solving, HOSA Bowl, Public Service Announcement, CPR, and Medical Math. We placed second in Health Career Photography and Researched Persuasive Speaking and Writing. We took the bronze for Medical Innovation Original Design, Medical Reading, and Researched Persuasive Speaking and Writing. We were awarded fourth place for Health Career Photography, Medical Reading and Biomedical Laboratory Science, and we took fifth place in Biomedical Debate, Health Career Display, Medical Innovation Existing Design, Medical Reading, Clinical Nursing, and Biomedical Laboratory Science. In all we had 32 students win or place in their events. The Woodbridge advisor is Dr. Wiamer, who conducted school competitions during January and February to select our state competitors.
- On March 23, 20 Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences students competed in the Model United Nations Conference at West Windsor-Plainfield High School under the direction of advisor Alex Stiles. Five of the 20 students received awards: Ashna Kelkar, Verbal Commendation for representing China on the Legal Committee; Harry Singh, Verbal Commendation for representing John F. Akers on the Bear Stearns Crisis Committee; Karanvir Singh, Honorable Mention on King Leonidas, King of Naxos; Pratham Bhatt, Honorable Mention for representing China on the United Nations Environmental Committee, and Sanjit Menon, Outstanding Delegate for representing China on the World Health Organization.
- College acceptances are rolling in at the Academy. We are so proud of our seniors, who are chasing admission in four-year, five-year, and seven-year programs. Among the highlights, senior Anisha Patel has been awarded a National Merit Scholarship and admission to Boston University’s seven-year program, senior Joshua Jacob has received a Presidential Scholarship (full ride) to Temple, and Anika Pruthi received an AXA Achievement Scholarship that not only is for her post-secondary education, but also provides a $1,000 grant to the school for professional development activities for next year.
- Senior Adam Ashor and Junior Chelsea Lopez were the Academy’s recipients of the Middlesex County School Boards and Middlesex County Outstanding Student Awards. They received their certificates at the March 26 banquet at Old Bridge High School.
- Ishika Kohli has been accepted into the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences’ Global STEM Alliance 1,000 Girls, 1,000 Futures mentoring program. Ishika will be working with a mentor assigned by the Academy on coursework emphasizing college readiness, leadership, communication, and critical thinking. Ishika will also network with a group of peers and STEM professionals on a virtual platform.
- The Academy was ranked No. 3 best public high school in Middlesex County and No. 45 best public high school in New Jersey by Niche.
- Women’s History Month was celebrated through pictures and quotes read in the morning announcements and placed around the school. In classes, the role of women in pioneering advancements in science, math, health science, and technology was discussed.
- Spirit Day was held on March 19h and the theme was Jersey Day. The seniors won the spirit points.
- Movie Night featuring the film Crazy Rich Asians was held on March 22. Movie night was a fundraiser and social activity sponsored by the Junior Class.
Academy for Science, Mathematics, & Engineering Technologies
- The Academy's Girl Up! Club went to the U.N. Global Engagement Summit March 22. Students participated in a day of dynamic and informative discussions on the most pressing issues facing the United Nations, uniting world leaders with our nation’s top grassroots change-makers, students.
- Academy Safety Ambassadors worked with first-graders at Lincoln and Franklin Elementary Schools in Edison. Our students taught the children about safety on stairs, safety in and around cars, and helmet safety. Safety Ambassadors work in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Trauma Center.
- Academy sophomores taking Spanish II Honors attended a performance titled “La Gringa” at Repertorio Español on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. "La Gringa” is an independent play in Spanish about a young woman who reconnects with her roots in Puerto Rico.
- On March 5, Shivam Syal, class of 2022, participated in the New Jersey Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Shivam started to search for a cure after his grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last year. His research expanded to other disorders like Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, PTSD, etc.
- Edison Academy students attended the 2019 Middlesex County Teens Arts Festival. The event was a recognition of our students and their talents! The festival offered a chance to see our students connect with peers from across county schools through master classes, workshops, feedback from artists and culture makers, and the chance for your students to be juried into the 2019 State Teen Arts Festival.
- Class of 2020 held a Gatsby Semi-Formal at West Hall, MCC. Great job juniors and Senor John Ocker.
- Aditya V. attended the ninth IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference. His group project on Open Software and Hardware Model for Blood Glucose Analysis was a continuation of his Governor’s STEM Scholar project that won the team the Researcher of the Year award.
- Members of the Academy Computer Science Club participated in the STEAM TANK Central Regional in Wall Township. Congrats to Mr. Paterno, Aditya V, Varsini D, Manas H, Thomas W, Mehraaj T, Yash P and Detective Epstein of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. STEAM TANK is cosponsored by the New Jersey School Boards Association and the U.S. Army. The FRAT Authentication Tool is used to authenticate street cameras so that recordings can be used to measure vehicle speed in the event of an accident. Prior to this invention, extracted data was inadmissible due to inconsistencies in frame rate.
- The Academy attended the FBLA State Finals in Atlantic City. The winners are: Programming and Coding, Jason Acheampong, fourth place; Agribusiness, Janice Seo, fifth place; Networking Concepts, Jason Li, second place; Personal Finance, Kevin Tang, second place; Management Decision Making, Nikhil Pampati, first Place; Entrepreneurship, Avaneen Pinnati and Sharanya Pogaku, first place; Business Calculations, Aditya Agashe, fourth place; Securities and Investments, Ria Vora, fifth place, Anish Rane, first place. Big thank you to Ms. DaSilva, Mr. Fernandez and Ms. Lane-Cruz for helping our students experience this event.
- Outstanding juniors and seniors in Middlesex County were honored at the 34th Annual Recognition Program. Congrats Academy senior Sanjna Shah and Academy junior Rocco Tropea. The program is sponsored by Middlesex County, School Boards Association and Association of School Administrators.
- Our friends from Concept Farm filmed our students today for an upcoming Middlesex County film campaign “Where Opportunity Meets Reality,” a continuation of “Where Education Meets Opportunity”. So proud of our students for how well they spoke about their projects and how incredibly they represented our school.
East Brunswick Campus
- Moschera’s Agriscience Technology students had 25 winning entries, with five first-place selections, at the 2019 New Jersey FFA State Horticulture Exposition. Bradley Douches, Erin Connelly, Zachary O’ Connor, Jashminder Singh, and Deanna DiVilio placed first in various categories, ranging from nursery plants to simple buds.
- Isaiah Gomez, a senior student in Mr. Libitz’s Digital Film program, had his film Wanted officially selected to the 2019 Count Basie Center Teen and College Film Festival. This is an amazing accomplishment as there are many submissions with limited selections.
- Students in Ms. Sobolewski’s Graphic Design program received notification via a video that their participation in this year’s Memory Project was well received from the refugee children in Myanmar.
- On March 20, Mr. Libitz and the Digital Film program along with the rest of the School of the Arts programs, screened the 2019 Black Maria Film Festival in the East Brunswick Campus auditorium. The films that become the centerpiece of the Black Maria Film Festival honor the vision of Thomas Edison, New Jersey inventor and creator of the motion picture. It was his New Jersey studio, the world’s first, which he called the “Black Maria.”
- Nidhi Patel, Maria Martinez, and Amanda Clark, students in Mr. Libitz’s Digital Film program, had their films officially selected into the 2019 Film Now Festival. Their films placed in the Top 3 in the Experimental and Narrative film categories.
- Nine short films from students in Mr. Libitz’s Digital Film program were officially selected into the Asbury Park 2019 Hang on to Your Shorts Film Festival.
- The East Brunswick Campus and new MakerSpace participated in this year’s New Jersey Makers Day as a publicized site on March 23.
- The East Brunswick Campus hosted the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) State Leadership Conference March 16-17.
East Brunswick School of Career Development
- On March 26, the School Boards Association hosted the Student Recognition Dinner at Old Bridge High School. Isabella DiMarco was the recipient of this year’s award for East Brunswick Career Development. Over the past four years of high school, Isabella has consistently proven to both students and teachers that she is one of the highest achieving and most ambitious students in the class. She has made High Honor Roll countless times and has made Honor Roll every marking period. Due to her academic successes, Isabella has earned the New Jersey Stars Scholarship after being ranked in the top 15 percent of her graduating class. Isabella will be pursuing a degree in early childhood education and will be attending Middlesex County College next fall on this scholarship.
- The DECA Club competed in the New Jersey State DECA Competition, which was held in Atlantic City March 4-6. Out of 41 competitors in Supermarket Careers, Cheyenne Spangler and Destiny Fazzino were both finalists. Destiny Fazzino, Health Services, was third in the State for Supermarket Careers. Cheyenne Spangler, Basic Business Technology, was sixth in the State for Supermarket Careers. As a result of their successful competition skills, Cheyenne Spangler and Paul Principe were invited to apply to Wakefern Industries for possible employment.
- Wiseman and the Building Services shop continue to work in the courtyard on their beautification. They expect to be done by June. With the weather cooperating as much as it has, Mr. Wiseman does not miss any chance to take his students outside to work. This project is within our Green Program of Study and has utilized materials that promote sustainability and have been repurposed from other areas in our school.
- Roth and the culinary students held their Chili Cookoff on March 8. The student results were as follows: first place, Adodinys Fernandez, Stephen Baldassarre; second place, Faith Maldonado, Ana Tavarez; third place, Michael Szkodny, Caleb Candia.
Perth Amboy Campus
- Culinary Arts juniors Vanessa Gomez, Arisleidy Vargas, Daniela Perez, Izabelle Acevedo and Hannah Cotayo led the first annual M.C.F.O.O.D.S. food drive. All homerooms competed against one another for the most food items collected. The winning homeroom was Computer Assisted Drafting and Design, with over 400 pounds collected. The entire school community came together for this event and collected 2,350 pounds of food overall.
- Juniors Daniela Perez, Vanessa Gomez, and Arisleidy Vargas won first place in a “Chopped” style competition. The competition was run by the executive chef of the Ritz Carlton Central Park in New York City, Daniel Ritacco. Students were given mystery items to prepare a meal in a limited-time competition. The judges included Ritacco and human resources manager and accountant Hector Acevedo. The winners were awarded a dinner for two at the five-star Ritz Carlton Hotel overlooking Central Park.
- The Perth Amboy Campus was honored to host a group from the County of Middlesex who were touring the various campuses of our district. They were treated to a lunch prepared by our Culinary Arts students.
- On March 1, Ms. Rose Carrillo, parent, presented to the Global Logistics/Supply Chain Management classes the career pathways within the logistics sector. Ms. Carrillo educated students on the distribution, transportation, warehousing, import/export logistics and customer issues that occur in the supply chain.
- On March 26, senior Marcela Patino and junior Alvin Gonzalez were honored at the Middlesex County Association of School Administrators program for “unsung heroes/heroines.”
- On March 12, Mrs. Ciesielski’s high school students and Ms. Ricciardi’s adult students in Cosmetology went on class trip to the International Beauty Show in New York City. Students were excited to attend classes and stage shows where they learned the latest trends in hair, barbering and esthetics from famous artists from all over the world.
- On March 11, the Safety Ambassadors visited Randolphville Elementary School and taught five first-grade classes about being safe. Our Safety Ambassadors visit each month and teach different lessons to the students that they can implement in their daily lives.
- On March 15, David Flood, motivational speaker, came to speak to the 10th- and 11th-grade classes on being kind, looking on the inside of themselves and being motivated. The students enjoyed the presentation and many waited afterwards to speak with David about how they related to his experience.
- On March 19, the Johnson and Johnson leadership group came to meet with the students involved. The students had the opportunity to create their own businesses and present as if they were on the show Shark Tank. It was a great lesson learned for all involved.