February School Highlights
Academy of Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences
For CTE month, students made morning announcements about the New Jersey Career Technical Education standards and practices. Facts about CTE, allied health and biomedical professions were shared with the student body. Student Council organized a Dress Like a Professional spirit day for students to dress for their future professions and the halls were filled with students in scrubs and lab coats.
On February 1st, 70 members of the Academy’s HOSA future health professional’s chapter, and advisor Dr. Christine Wiamer, traveled to the Cumberland County Technical Education Center for New Jersey Southern Regionals. They participated in CTE workshops, heard from a motivational speaker, and competed in many events. Over half of the competitors placed in the top eight in their events and earned the right to compete at the State Conference.
Students enrolled in one-semester Rutgers courses (Scientific Principles of Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology I, and Clinical Research) took their exams on February 5th. Every student passed.
On February 27th, the juniors were treated to performances and dialogues with violinist Suliman Tekalli. Each show was attended by 22-25 juniors and lasted for an hour. Tekalli is a Center of Musical Excellence Artist, who is an exciting and versatile soloist, chamber musician, and composer. He is originally from Orlando, Florida, and he attended the Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Yale School of Music, where he completed his Artist Diploma. He played a range of global pieces and music from Bach to blue grass. He spoke to the students about hard work, pursuing one’s dreams, handling competition, and developing and applying creativity in all walks of life.
Three seniors became semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Competition: Divya Konduru, Neel Panchwagh, and Akul Umamageswaran.
The Academy Science Bowl team participated in the Princeton Plasma Labs Science Bowl on February 22nd under the guidance of advisor Dr. Jennifer Frank. The team stood out from others because it had a representative from each grade level. At the Princeton Plasma Lab, the team’s performance raised the bar for Woodbridge Academy by making it to the final eight with four wins, including over Emaus, Watchung, Mountain Lake, and East Brunswick. This was the best showing for the school in the past several years.
On February 10th, two teams of students attended the Ethics Debate Competition at Stevens Institute of Technology. The team of sophomores and juniors took third place.
Our Model United Nations 11th and 12th grade team and advisor Mr. Alex Stiles attended a multi-day Global Citizens Conference in New York City. Each and every Woodbridge Academy delegate received an honorable mention for their skills and knowledge. In addition, the group received the Outstanding Medium Delegation award for their hard work and preparation. Three students were invited to speak to the entire conference at the Plenary Session. English teacher Leah Hoffman served as a chaperone.
Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies
Senior Sean (Shaochen) Wang won first place in the U.S. History Bee qualifying for the 2020 National Championships.
Princeton University Science Olympiad Invitational: 15 students competed, earning medals in four events; sixth place in Anatomy and Physiology, Danielle Cui and Aditya Shelke; second place in Circuits, Gil Shteyman and Jason Li; second place in Write It Do It, Serena Zeng and Jason Li, and fifth place in Designer Genes, Niranjan Deepak and Serena Zeng.
Shivam Syal won Best Delegate at the Model UN conference at North Brunswick High School. Shivam represented the delegation of China in the SOCHUM (Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Rights) Committee and won the Best Delegate award. Great job, Shivam.
2020 National Merit Scholar Finalists: Jason Li, Sharanya Pogaku and Avinash Kumar; 15,000 Finalists chosen out of 3.5 million entries.
Edison Academy staff participated in MakerSpace training with Mr. Todd Menadier from Rutgers University.
MCA Junior State of America at Winter Congress 2020 in D.C. Prerna K, Sanjana K, Sanjana B, Keya D and Aashritha K got their Financial Literacy passed in both the House and Senate. Parth H was also awarded a Best Speaker gavel.
During Engineering Week, engineers from Siemens USA in Plainsboro/Princeton spent a day presenting to our students. Anand Todakar: Iot and Cloud Computing, smart threat notification system demonstration. Abhishek Ramachandran: Over the Wire and In the Air, file forensics, passwords, and wifi hacking. Dr. Chariff Mahmoudi: Voice User Interfaces, driving innovation using Cloud and AI. Dr. Reed Williams: Additive Manufacturing, applications and design with background on 3D printer technology. Dr. Bruno Leao: Data Science, - Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning.
Safety Ambassadors taught first-graders at Franklin and Lincoln Elementary in Edison. They taught the students helmet safety, safety in and around cars, roads/traffic and safety on stairs. Safety Ambassadors program is facilitated by Robert Wood Johnson Trauma Center.
East Brunswick Campus
Jaxson Crigger, a senior in Music Performance and Technology, entered the New Jersey Shout Down Drugs Songwriting Contest and earned a finalist position representing Middlesex County. Jaxson will be performing this song at Two River Theatre on April 3rd for a chance to win the competition.
Alyssa Mendez and Maalaka Sharrief, seniors in Theatre, had their scripts selected and developed at the Newark Playwrights Festival at NJIT.
Samantha Oliveria, a senior in Multimedia, Art, and Design, has not only been accepted to every university or college she has applied thus far, but has also received significant scholarships from each and every one.
Out of a record number of submissions, six student films were named Official Selections at the 24th Derek Freese Youth Media Film Festival, with three winning awards: Best Fiction, “Drawings” by Jack Tolnes, Best Editing for “Humanoid” by Mason Dugasz and Audience Award for “Burn” by Sammy Horan and Marlayna O'Brien. These students are all in the Digital Film program.
Out of 200 submissions, four student films from students in the Digital Film program were named Official Selections to the sixth Artists Alike Film Festival sponsored by the New Jersey School Boards Association, Garden State Film Festival, the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission and Steven Van Zandt’s TeachRock initiative and Rock and Roll Forever Foundation: Best Experimental/Official Selection, Experimental, “Internally Inflamed” by Nidhi Patel (senior, Old Bridge) and Maria Martinez (senior, Carteret); first Runner-up Experimental/Official Selection, “Ambit of Hues” by Alexandra Mars (sophomore, North Brunswick) and Marlayna O'Brien (sophomore, Edison); Official Selection, Narrative, “Drawings” by Jack Tolnes (senior, Monroe Township); Official Selection, Narrative, “Humanoid” by Mason Dugasz (senior, Jamesburg).
Two students from the Digital Film program were named Official Selections to the 18th Garden State Film Festival for winning their category at the sixth Artists Alike Film Festival. The 18th Garden State Film Festival will be held in Asbury Park March 28-31. Best Experimental/Official Selection, Experimental, “Internally Inflamed” by Nidhi Patel (senior, Old Bridge) and Maria Martinez (senior, Carteret).
On February 4th, senior students in Machine Tool Technology, Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing, and Auto Technology took part in a PACE (Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education) Grant presentation to discuss post-secondary options.
On February 12th, the East Brunswick Campus hosted an Equity Day for district administrators and state personnel from the Council of County Vocational Schools and the state Career and Technical Education Department.
East Brunswick School of Career Development
On February 27th, East Brunswick Career Development and East Brunswick Tech hosted their annual Tech Expo. The winners for Career Development were as follows: first place: Basic Business Technology and Dry Cleaning with their Coat Drive presentation in participation with the South River Board of Health; second place: Culinary and Baking with their presentation of the McFoods food drive; third place: Health Services with their presentation of Healthy Alternatives to help students and staff make better choices in their eating.
Ms. Rastelli and the Culinary Arts students competed in the American Culinary Federations Winterfest at Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant. All the Culinary students worked hard on the presentations and on March 1st, the group received the Chef Choice Award.
The following seniors in Mr. Gent’s HVAC class have received their EPA 608, r410a, and OSHA 10 certifications: Christian Ambrose, Austin Briggs, Brian Koenig, Reilly McKenna, Patrick Medina, Jeremiah Nieves, Neil Piscopo, Yolangel Rodriguez. Four of the seniors are currently working in the HVAC field while on CVE for Edison Heating and Cooling and Dolan Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Electrical. Yolangel Rodriguez has been accepted to Berkeley College for the fall.
Perth Amboy Campus
Ray Catena car dealership sent representatives to our school to talk about their new apprentice program called NJCAR. The students sat through a presentation describing what the apprentice program was all about and the opportunities that exist. The students who are chosen to participate in this program will be paid and, if they successfully complete the apprenticeship, they will be offered employment.
A parent meeting was held on February 13th to discuss the academic levels of our students on a whole, specifically 9th and 10th grade students, and our goals to continually improve. We also had a guess speaker, Dr. Mercedes Valle, who spoke to the parents about managing safety and daily stresses.
Our school is collaborating with the City of Perth Amboy to donate needed items for earthquake relief in Puerto Rico. Many of our students have family members who were affected by this natural disaster.
Twenty-two Perth Amboy Tech students enrolled in a psychology class at Middlesex County College and will receive college credit upon completion of the course.
On February 13th, students hosted their first sit down a la cart faculty Valentine's Day lunch. Faculty made reservations and were served a four course meal that was prepared by our future culinarians. The dining room was set with linen and our finest china. The highlight of the dining experience came from the collaboration and efforts from supporting shops. Chef Grieco and her pastry students baked stunning kissing swan pate choux pastries for dessert. Ms. Baez and her Basic Business Technology class designed and printed the menus. Mr. Sadowski’s horticulture shop created beautiful flower centerpieces. The grand finale was Ms. Henry and her amazing talented students provided musical entertainment throughout the entire lunch.
Atlantic Tomorrow “Office Technology Today” is providing five chosen seniors from Computer Systems Technology, Computer Assisted Drafting and Design, and Graphic Design to provide an accelerated one-semester training course, meeting twice a week, in business industry equipment and technology. The goal of this partnership is to help the students reach a proficiency level that would qualify them to enter the workforce as an entry level business systems technician. The program will cover basic knowledge, hands-on experience, and web-based modules (from Konica Minolta Learning) of electromechanical equipment, 120-volt and 220-volt circuits, meter usage, and troubleshooting skills. We anticipate at least one student to be offered a paid position at the conclusion of their training and the remaining students will receive job placement assistance. Starting salaries usually exceed $30K.
On February 3rd Ms. Goldstein and the Safety Ambassador students attended Randolphville Elementary School. They presented safety procedures to the first-grade students. Topics included pedestrian safety, falls prevention, wheeled sports safety and safety in and around cars. The first-grade students appeared to enjoy and gain knowledge from the presentation.
Ms. Lucas’ Health Careers juniors are currently going to their clinical rotations two to three times a week at Roosevelt Care Center and Care One in East Brunswick. Students give hands-on care to patients in the nursing home in the subacute area. Care includes bathing, dressing, showering, toileting, feeding, and activities of daily living. Students are preparing for their skills test by the state on April 21st.