Celebrating Black History: Randolph High School Black Student Union Visits the Apollo Theater
Literary-Art Magazine Nationally Recognized
Girls Basketball State Sectional Champions
Randolph Honors 2022 – 2023 Teacher of the Year Recipients
Randolph Middle School Selected as School to Watch
Randolph Transition Program Job Sampling
Randolph business JT's Confections, located at 1206 Sussex Turnpike, is a small gourmet, confections company with a philanthropic mission. Using family recipes, the company makes amazing caramels, chocolate covered caramels, roasted pecan caramel clusters, old fashioned English Butter Toffee, various barks, and chocolate covered Oreos and pretzels. Proud Owner, John Tompkins, started the company after 23 years working on Wall Street. Since 2016, the company has been donating 100% of its profits to charity and for the past four years has been a valued partner of the Randolph Transition Program providing vocational opportunities for students. Our students helped JT's Confections prepare for Valentine’s Day by packing boxes and related activities. We are so grateful that community partners like JT’s Confections continue to play a critical role in the development of essential life skills such as job sampling. These opportunities give each student the tools to gain awareness and experience, so they are better able to participate in the adult world with an appropriate action plan.
To learn more about JT's Confections, please visit their website in the link below:
School Counselors Help Students Dream Big
Randolph Township Schools has highly trained school counselors who are dedicated to the academic, social and emotional growth of all students. In each building and at all levels, our school counselors work closely as a member of the academic team. Each has the unique ability to affect student growth and excellence by developing an academic self-concept for every child, enhancing feelings of competence and confidence as learners, teaching and reinforcing academic and personal motivation, enriching communication skills and character values, developing partnerships with families, students and staff, and demonstrating active and consistent support of every student. At all levels, our school counselors embrace the relationships they develop with their students and families.
National School Counseling Week was celebrated during the month of February. Presented by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), National School Counseling Week highlights the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and the tremendous impact they have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. This year’s theme is “Helping Students Dream Big.” Every student deserves a school counselor to help with academic achievement strategies, managing emotions, applying interpersonal skills, and planning for postsecondary options. Our school counselors at all levels are truly helping all of our students to “dream big.”
For college and career planning, Randolph High School counselors offer individual and group post-secondary planning meetings to all Juniors beginning in January of each year. The goal is to prepare students for their next steps after Randolph well before the start of their senior year. Students are able to discuss a variety of options in these meetings which includes exploration of college, career, military and other post-graduate pathways. The small group sessions where students are organized based on a specific area of interest are most beneficial, as it allows both students and counselors to discuss a certain pathway in more extensive detail. Our students are well prepared for whatever path they choose because our counselors proactively ensure each student has everything they need to make a well informed decision about their future.
“Junior year is a very pivotal year where students start to learn what they want to do after high school. Regardless of whether the student has made a decision about what path they may want to pursue, these sessions give students the opportunity to start thinking about that next chapter. Whether its college, a trade school, the military, or direct career entrance; it’s essential that every student has a clear plan of action that will help them as they are navigating this journey,” Randolph High School Counselor Cheyenne Finocchiaro said. “We try to make all of the information as accessible as possible so every student can take the knowledge they have learned and run with it. From there, we continue to serve as an advocate and point person throughout the process so every individual receives the support they need. We are constantly meeting with students, and it’s very humbling to be able to be a part of the next phase of their lives.”
Randolph High School Junior Hunter Kasper recently met with Ms. Finocchiaro about his goals to attend UCLA and major in Computer Science. “These sessions really have helped me as I am looking at starting to apply for colleges because I really don’t know what I am doing. There is so much involved with the whole process, and the counseling sessions really help to streamline that information so I can put together a plan. I want to be on track to go to UCLA or another college I’d like to go to, and by having these sessions I feel better prepared to achieve those goals. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I feel more confidence knowing that I have people I can go to with questions if and when I need to,” Hunter said.
We are grateful for our school counselors who are essential to the continued support and development of our students. Thank you for all that you have and continue to do!
Randolph Education Association Donates $45,940
Fernbrook to Compete in Pre-College STEM Program at NJIT
About the Program
The Green Team Club at Fernbrook Elementary was selected to participate in a Pre-College STEM Challenge at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The club of 4th and 5th grade students have been given 7 weeks to use technology to address an environmental concern in their school community. The Green Team Club students decided to study noise pollution. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “noise pollution adversely affects the lives of millions of people and studies have shown that there are direct links between noise and health.” The team members decided to conduct an experiment that could reduce noise in the 4th and 5th grade hallway when students return from recess. Using a Micro:bit, an easily programmable pocket-sized computer, the students were able to collect data on noise in the hallway to come up with hypotheses for how they might be able to reduce noise. After completing the remainder of their project, the students will give three presentations to the Randolph Environmental Landmark Committee, the whole school at Fernbrook, and at NJIT on March 24th where their work will be evaluated against 30 other elementary schools in New Jersey.
The students have engineering notebooks where they are collecting data, writing observations, and answering questions throughout their process. According to the research that the students have already conducted, the students determined that structures needed to be built to absorb noise in the hallway. Using blankets, towels, t-shirts, tablecloths, etc., the students constructed decorative panels which will be used in the hallway to absorb some of the sound. They will then use the Micro:bit processor to collect data on the decibel levels in the hallway after the installation of their newly constructed panels.
“This project is highly engaging because it is a compilation of everything that the students have already learned in the classroom which can now be applied in a hands-on way. The excitement that the students have had when they see that they are able to apply things they have learned in class, such as finding the range or identifying the mode in their data, has been wonderful to see in action. The whole process of them thinking through a real-life situation makes it so enriching for them, and they are using so many valuable skills such as math, science, engineering, coding, etc. to do something that is both enjoyable and fun. Seeing the students also work in collaborative groups to define problems and come up with solutions also adds to the social emotional aspect of this project. Each student has a voice with the ability to be both a leader and a collaborator on a team,” Basic Skills Teacher Jenise Janulis said.
In addition to utilizing the Micro:bit processor to collect data, they were asked to design and print one 3D printed object that is a critical component in the design. Using Tinkercad, an online web application for 3D design, electronics, and coding, student Keosha Mehta created the 3D prototype with the software which was then brought to life using the 3D printer at Fernbrook. Not only was the piece she created functional, it was also creative and included personal touches such as a frog on top of the constructed object which holds the Micro:bit processor. “When I made the design, I made a slot for the battery. I then also wanted another piece for the Micro:bit with a hole connecting the two together. Once you plug the Micro:bit into the battery, it collects the sound from it and then you can see the data. Last year, I used Tinkercad in library which is how I learned how to use it to create the model. It was a lot of fun and I liked making this design,” Keosha said.
We are so excited to see the finished results of the Green Team Club’s project.
Congratulations Green Team and good luck with all three of your presentations. Thank you to our teachers Jenise Janulis and Viviana Serna for organizing, supporting and mentoring our students.
Meet Sarge: Center Grove Elementary Therapy Dog
Ironia Celebrates Global School Play Day
Social Emotional Learning for a Cause
RHS Wrestling Coach Inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame
Retired Randolph High School Coach and beloved Health and Physical Education teacher Mike Suk was inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Prior to beginning his career as a Coach, he had an illustrious personal career as both an elite high school and collegiate athlete. As a student at Somerville High School, he earned 8 varsity letters in Football, Wrestling, and Track; captaining all three teams. At Somerville he earned the Sam Yohn Award as the Outstanding Male Athlete his senior year. He then took his athletic talent and leadership skills to Glassboro State (now Rowan University) and earned 7 varsity letters in Football and Wrestling, captaining both teams. Coach Suk had a superb college Wrestling career with a record of 70 wins, 24 losses, 3 ties and 40 pins. He was a two-time Conference Champion and an Eastern Regional Champion. In 1984, he placed 3rd in the NCAA Division III Championship at Heavyweight and earned All American Status. He was awarded the Albert White Award for Best Male Athlete at Glassboro, and in 1998 he was inducted into the Glassboro Hall of Fame.
“As a student at Somerville High School, taking roll call in physical education class was a lot of fun. I knew that I wanted to become a physical education teacher, and I enjoyed coming to school knowing what I wanted to do. I joined my teammate Keith and our Coach Jim Fleming in the morning to work out extra before school started. I wanted to challenge myself to be the best I could be. This helped me really prepare for college and instilled in me a stronger sense of work ethic. Having the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level in both football and wrestling is something I really appreciated. The relationships that were made and having the opportunity to compete in both sports are memories that I will always cherish.” Coach Suk said. “I had an outstanding coach named Fred Bradley who was my workout partner every day. He really challenged me unlike how I had ever been challenged before which really helped me grow as an athlete. He taught me the fundamentals of wrestling and was truly one of my greatest mentors in the sport. When I started my career as a health and physical education teacher, I knew I also wanted to coach because I wanted to mentor and support student athletes beyond the regular school day.”
Coach Suk began his teaching and coaching career at his Alma Mater where he was the head coach of the Somerville High School Wrestling program from 1985 – 1995. At Somerville, Coach Suk led the Pioneers to 6 County Championships, 6 District Championships, 4 Conference Championships and 2 State Sectional Championships. He also coached numerous individual champions and his teams were ranked in the Top 20 in the state of New Jersey his last six years at Somerville. In 1990, Coach Suk was voted District, Regional, Area, and Central Jersey Officials Chapter Coach of the Year. As a result of his outstanding athletic talent during his high school and college careers, as well as the positive coaching impact and collection of accolades he achieved; Coach Suk was inducted into the Somerville Hall of Fame in 1999.
“During my first year as a head coach, I had the opportunity to come back and coach where I went to school. I got to take over for my old coach Dave Kinney who had been at Somerville High School for a number of years which was a real honor because he was a storied coach. Our goal as a team was to wrestle the best competition and work towards becoming the top 10 in the state. In my 4th year at Somerville, one of my fondest memories is when we beat the Hunterdon County schools. Hunterdon Central, Voorhees, and North Hunterdon were among the top schools in the state and it was the first year we won the Mid-State Conference. That championship had not been won by anyone outside of those three big wrestling programs. Everything started coming together that year. We continued getting teams ranked in the top 10 on our schedule and our student athletes bought into the ideology that these programs were no different than we were. Helping to motivate those students to believe in themselves is why we succeeded, and with all of my athletes I wanted each and every wrestler to have faith that anything they could do was possible,” Coach Suk said. “During the group 2 finals, we had wrestled Jefferson who was #1 in the state and nation. We were top 5, and we lost the group final. A few years after that loss, I wanted the opportunity to come to a school like Randolph who had more student athletes. I was looking for another challenge and although leaving was hard, I felt like it was for the best. My last year in Somerville we had beaten Randolph 32-29 in Randolph. When I went to Randolph the next year, I had to face my old Somerville team which was against my old coach. It was surreal to go back to the gym I had literally grown up in against my old coach in a new program. We ended up defeating Somerville which for me felt like the beginning of the next chapter leading the Rams.”
Beginning in 1995, Coach Suk led the Randolph High School Wrestling program for 27 years to extraordinary success. Over the course of several decades, Randolph Wrestling teams were ranked numerous times in either the Top 10 or Top 20 in the state of New Jersey. The Rams, under his leadership, garnered 6 Conference Championships, 7 County Championships, 8 District Championships, and 4 State Sectional Championships. Coach Suk now holds the most wins in Randolph Wrestling history compiling an impressive 360 victories during his tenure.
“In this room, the young men that wrestled worked very hard. All of the credit goes to them and my assistants as well as the recreation coaches that worked with the wrestlers prior to high school. We kept a lot of our athletes here in Randolph which was really important, and the work ethic that took place here was very special. These kids had a belief that they could overcome any obstacle or competition which came from working on being in the best shape possible while having the right mentality. The opponents at times may have been better than them, but by the end of the match we could wear other teams down while remaining fresh and still performing at a high level. We were fortunate to have so many great student athletes, fantastic student coaches, a strong community, supportive families, and a booster club that understood the vision we were trying to make in Randolph. We wanted to create a family atmosphere, so having everyone on the same page was important for us to consistently strive to reach that #1 spot,” Coach Suk said. “Wrestling is a combination of an individual and a team sport which is so unique. It’s a very blue-collar sport where you pick up your lunch pail and go to work every day. If you don’t go to work every day and work overtime, you are not going to reap the rewards that you want to. That mentality is something we pushed at practices every day. I look back on our wrestlers now and see them as fathers and in important positions because they had the perseverance to overcome the difficulties that they experienced as a student athlete. That’s what this sport does. It teaches students that if they work hard, just like in life, they can become better husbands, co-workers, and parents. Those traits are what matter most and what we wanted to always instill in our kids. There are days where you are going to get beat. You are going to go out there and give it everything you have and still come up short. But ultimately how you respond matters. Teaching those life skills was always bigger and more important than the sport, and it’s something I am very proud we were able to achieve in Randolph.”
In addition to leading high performing teams, Coach Suk also developed elite athletes capable of reaching the highest levels of individual athletic achievement. Randolph was fortunate to have 38 County Champions, 69 District Champions, 16 Region Champions, and 22 places in States. Coach Suk also mentored and trained 3 New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) State Champions. Alumnus Ali Hakim was the first recipient as a heavyweight in 2000, followed by Patrick Dattalo in 2001 and 2002 at the 103 pound weight class. Dattalo was also named Outstanding Wrestler at Boardwalk Hall in 2002. Personally, Coach Suk was named District Coach of the Year on several occasions, and also served as the National Wrestling Coaches Association Region 1 Treasurer for many years. Coach Suk’s combined 471 wins from Somerville High School and Randolph High School ranks 9th All Time in New Jersey state history.
“We had many successful athletes and teams in Randolph because the pursuit of a championship wasn’t the end all be all. Our goal was to elevate each individual that entered this room to be the best they could be and look past where they thought they could go. While some earned championships, others qualified or overcame personal obstacles where they achieved greatness that they never thought they could achieve. I had a young man who had 75 losses in his career and I remember him rising above that and making it to states. That’s the kind of story we wanted for all of our student athletes. It didn’t matter if you were the best on the team or last, your personal goal is to become the best you can be,” Coach Suk said. “When you achieve something you didn’t think you could do, that carries on with you. We have had so many alumni who have been successful in their communities, who have served our country in the military, and are making a difference in the world. You can look at all of the wins we have had and we can be very proud of that. However, above and beyond that, the bigger picture is that these individuals are now succeeding in life. That’s more important.”
Coach Suk credits much of his success to his parents, Marge and Mike Sr., who made a lasting impression on him growing up. His parents instilled in him values and morals including a sense of pride, work ethic, and the importance of being a leader. He is the proud father of three children Michael, Adrianna, and Christian who he raised to have the same traits that were passed on to him, as well as a devoted husband to his wife Sharon. During his 36 years of coaching, his student athletes were also considered to be members of his extended family. In addition to instilling each wrestler with a solid foundation of technical skill and training, Coach Suk also sought to empower his teams to develop a personal sense of character, determination, and passion for the wrestling culture itself. His mantra and philosophy was and continues to be to “always do what’s right, love your family, have a strong Faith, and have the belief, work ethic, and perseverance to achieve your dreams.”
“My time in Randolph will be something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Having the opportunity to work with these athletes was one of the greatest joys I will ever have. I’ll always remember what happened in this room every day. These kids always gave their best, and they also pushed me to also want to be my best. I hope that I can be remembered as an individual who treated each person that I taught and coached like I would treat my own children. I hope that somehow and in some way, I was able to make a difference in their lives. All I ever really wanted to do was make other people better,” Coach Suk said. “I am really proud of the head coach here in Randolph now, Brian Picillo, who was my assistant coach for 9 years. To see him take over the program was something that was very special to me because he’s carrying on the tradition of doing the right thing by the kids. I know that I am being interviewed and featured because of the Hall of Fame award. However, I feel strongly that this is a shared achievement. When I found out I was going to receive it, I wanted anyone who wanted to attend the ceremony to come so I could share it with them. This award isn’t mine alone, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the communities I represented, our athletes, and my colleagues. Being a coach is one of the greatest honors of my life, but the success that culminated over the past 36 years was and is because I had so many amazing people around me.”
The relationships Coach Suk formed with coaches, school leaders, families, the community and his athletes have left an indelible impression in Randolph that will never be forgotten. Congratulations Coach Suk on your outstanding achievements during your exceptional career as well as your well-deserved induction into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Randolph Middle School Performs Magical Production of the Wizard of Oz
RHS Robotics Ranked 1st and 2nd in New Jersey
There were many positive benefits from the community’s support of the 2018 referendum. One of the outcomes of the community’s generous support was the renovation of all science classrooms as well as a STEM lab at the high school. These enhancements have continued Randolph Township Schools’ expansion of STEM programs which have continued to grow in both size and popularity. Our renowned educators, in combination with world class resources and facilities, have provided students with the opportunities they need to excel nationally and internationally. Engineering, Computer Science and Robotics programs are just a few of the thriving STEM based disciplines which have benefitted from continuous investment in teaching and learning.
Randolph High School’s Robotics team currently competes in the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC). Each year the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation releases new challenges for multiple grade levels in partnership with Vex which are available for middle and high school students. During the 2021 – 2022 school year, Randolph High School Robotics had two teams who competed regularly in competitions. With growing interest and popularity rising, Robotics now has three teams which compete throughout the year.
At competitions, there are several ways for students to display their robotics knowledge and abilities which includes online virtual skills competitions, onsite competitions, and onsite skills competitions. Online virtual skills and programming has been Randolph’s greatest strength, with 2 of our students excelling to the highest levels of achievement in the field. Sophomore Myra Bagga is currently ranked 1st in New Jersey and 58th in the world as a robotics programmer which places her in the top 13% internationally. Junior John Hu is also a robotics programmer and is ranked 2nd in New Jersey and 77th in the world which place him in the top 17% internationally. The programming, online virtual skills competition mirrors each year’s physical challenge. Students, like Myra and John, from any registered team are tasked with writing programs to compete in a game with the goal of scoring as many points as possible within 1-minute.
For in-person competitions, Robotics will often compete head-to-head with anywhere from 30-60 other teams depending on the venue. While the focus of these competitions is the head-to-head, driver-controlled qualifying and elimination rounds (2-minute matches), teams can also gain points by running robots on the skills fields. These 1-minute runs are either fully autonomous programming skills or driver skills.
At Sparta in January, 57 teams were registered. All three Randolph High School Robotics teams ranked in the top half of all competitors. As the largest competition in the state this year, this was a tremendous accomplishment for the program overall. These teams were led by students Aaron Tamayo, Myra Bagga, Jonah Davidson, Richard Torrente, Victor Torres, Riley Brown, and Leah Weinstock. Each student participated in various roles. At Millburn this past Saturday, 37 teams competed. Randolph also had an impressive showing with teams advancing into the semi-final rounds.
Randolph High School Robotics continues to thrive thanks to teachers Tim McElroy, Robert Redmon and Matt Horner who continue to create programs inside and outside of the classroom which support computer science, engineering, robotics, game design, and other disciplines. Randolph Township Schools is incredibly proud of all that our students have and continue to achieve and look forward to the continued expansion of Robotics in Randolph.
Randolph Middle School Attends Technology Day
Randolph Middle School teachers Nick Lavender and Derek Skoldberg took students to Technology Day hosted by Long Valley Middle School this morning. The students participated in a variety of STEM related activities which included constructing catapults to launch miniature pumpkins, programming EVR robots to identify certain colors and pick up blocks with a mechanical arm, and competing in drone racing challenges. The students were separated into groups where they were paired with other middle schoolers from other districts. The event was not only an immersive experience in STEM, but an opportunity for connections to be made with other students interested in technology throughout Morris County.
Astronomy Students Study Wavelengths of Light
Astronomy is a semester elective course designed for high school students interested in studying the universe and its functions. Astronomy studies all aspects of the known universe, an observational science that has transformed over the ages as new models, ideas, and instruments are introduced. The course emphasizes the physical processes at work in the universe and the methods we use to learn about the universe. In addition to studying our solar system, students study electromagnetic radiation and cosmology where they measure and analyze light to gather more information about the current and future state of the universe. Students also study stars, the formation of planets, stellar evolution and death, black holes, supernovae, and historical research on space such as recent explorations/missions that have explored many areas of the universe.
A spectroscope is a device designed to measure different wavelengths of light. Students recently built their own pocket-sized spectroscopes from materials such as construction paper, tape and a music CD to examine different types of light sources including natural sunlight, mercury vapor lamps, and light bulbs. As an inquiry-based project, students were challenged to ask questions and take ownership of the lesson by building their own spectroscope devices. During their observations, students were able to study the different light present in an incandescent, fluorescent or gas bulb where they could notice and clearly identify differences. After completing the project, students were then tasked with using the information they learned to quantify their research using electron orbitals from their chemistry courses to study the differences between gases which informed what information can be learned when studying distant stars. From the individual wavelengths of light, students can see what elements are present such as oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, helium, etc. As the students then study the atmosphere of different planets, they can then ask themselves critical questions such as whether a planet has life sustaining properties such as oxygen. In addition, by just looking at the light and the light signatures, students are also able to study the composition of stars which include their temperature, age, distance, etc. Light becomes the central focal point of study because if students don’t understand the different properties of light, they can’t understand Astronomy.
The work students completed was in line with what astronomers and chemists study as they seek to better understand our universe. According to the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, studying spectral lines helps to reveal important information about the light they are examining’s source. “Many chemicals, especially gases, emit narrow lines of particular colors of light. Every element has its own spectral fingerprint, and their spectral lines can be used to identify them. The composition of stars, nebulae, the Sun, and the atmospheres of other planets are all studied by measuring the precise colors of light they produce, reflect, or absorb.”
In much simpler terms, studying light wavelengths helps us to better understand our world and the universe surrounding us. “This course helps students identify patterns and discover the connections between other disciplines. Astronomy does a really nice job connecting the chemistry of atomic structure as well as the physics of other solar systems and galaxies. It creates patterns that are interesting and hopefully meaningful, so students aren’t asking themselves why it’s important, as an example, to understand the chemistry of protons and electrons. These types of lessons, like the one we just completed with spectroscopes, bring these concepts to life so students can see the concepts they are learning in action in a way that hopefully sparks interest and passion for further study in the sciences,” Astronomy Teacher Andrew Palmer said.
Randolph Middle School Recess
RHS Senior Discusses Future Law School Aspirations
Randolph High School Senior Alex Vega was recently accepted into Cornell University where he intends to study Applied Economics and Management. As a dedicated student with strong analytical skills, a newly discovered passion for Finance, and a desire to become a corporate attorney; Alex hopes to use his unique, undergraduate pathway as an opportunity to develop a diverse breadth of experience before enrolling in law school.
Over the summer, Alex attended Harvard University’s prestigious Pre-Law Summer Program to gain more insight on what his future as an attorney could look like. In addition to learning about the United States court system and legal concepts, Alex participated in a mock trial as a defense attorney where he successfully defended his case on behalf of his “client.” This experience helped expand his understanding of different concentrations he would eventually like to pursue. “Every day of the program had different activities such as lectures on various topics from one of Harvard’s professors or more interactive opportunities such as preparing for a mock trial. When preparing for mock trial specifically, the goal was to learn how to formulate a compelling case for your side to be successful. Many of the projects were completed in small groups, so I had the opportunity to connect and work with many different people. From participating in all of these experiences, it confirmed to myself that I was interested in the law and that this was a path I would enjoy pursuing,” Alex said. “It also helped provide insight on what I wanted to pursue specifically. While I enjoy the content of studying law, I didn’t really like participating in the mock trials. Delivering an argument as a lawyer in court doesn’t feel like something I would enjoy, but I learned and recognize that there are other ways for me to be a lawyer outside of the court room by working behind the scenes.”
Alex, as an Applied Economics and Management major, has been very intentional about how he selected his path. While most students interested in pursuing a career as an attorney opt to enter a pre-law program as an undergraduate, Alex felt that there could be better opportunity for his personal and professional growth by pursuing a different path. “I knew I didn’t want to take a traditional path to law school. I want my experience at Cornell to give me knowledge on other concentrations that can help me as an attorney. If I went in with a pre-law pathway, I feel like it would be rather limiting whereas this approach will give me something unique to add as a lawyer. During the fall at RHS, I learned that the concentration I wanted to focus on the most was business. By pairing business and law, this can give me a different pathway where I don’t always have to be in court and instead pursue the aspects of law that I find interesting,” Alex said. “Unlike other ivy league schools, Cornell will allow me to study multiple concentrations within my major. My plan is to study finance and accounting in relation to Applied Economics and Management so I can really get a sense of how to operate a successful business. I think this experience will be critical for becoming an effective attorney so I can properly advise my future client or clients in an authentic way.”
In addition to law, Alex is tremendously passionate about studying history. In his college essay, he wrote: “History is more than just dates and timelines for events that happened in the past. History is a story, just like any other plot to a movie or book, that includes characters, conflicts, problem-solving, and development in all aspects. In the story of the American Revolution, for example, George Washington and his amateur, army of Patriots must defeat what many colonists saw as their arch nemesis, the British. If it weren’t for Washington utilizing more effective warfare techniques and the determination of Patriot soldiers at the Battle of Saratoga (which convinced France to join the war on the side of the Americans), they would have never been able to defeat the world’s strongest power at the time. This story is one that sounds like many others, in which a rivalry between multiple parties leads to those parties' devising strategies and taking actions to take down the other, eventually bringing the story to its closing when the results of those actions come full circle. However, there is a key difference between the story of the American Revolution/other historical events and the stories that we read or hear regularly. The stories of history have real life implications, meaning that they shape the world around us. This is what makes history so fascinating. Every time I read a chapter in my textbook or watched a history documentary on YouTube, I was captivated by the fact that I was listening to one of the most meaningful stories I could possibly be listening to. A story that could reveal the way real people changed the world we live in, that could give us more insight into our surroundings, and one that most importantly, could serve to inspire me, as history reassures me that I can take actions that have long-lasting implications while also reminding me that they could define the way I’m looked at by others not just in the present, but in the future far after I am gone.”
Diving deeper into his essay, we asked Alex what the future holds for him at Cornell, what he believes is important in life and finally how the world can become a better place. “I am really looking forward to my independence and having the opportunity to focus on my drive and passion for being the best I can be. When I face new circumstances throughout life, I want to be prepared to adjust and I think that a large part of being able to do that is through a strong work ethic. In elementary school, I didn’t really care for academics which meant that I didn’t really apply myself. When I got to middle school, that all shifted for me because I realized that I could be better if I pushed myself and that mentality has carried through into high school, Alex said. “From what I have experienced, I think one of the biggest issues our society faces is one’s ability to learn how to apply themselves to whatever it is they are doing. I haven’t been affected by the implications of the real world as a student, but I do have friends and see others in society who have so much to give but don’t recognize their own potential. You can be very smart, but if you aren’t willing to utilize your talent to the fullest, it’s a lost opportunity. I feel like every student and person had endless potential. When we bring out the best in ourselves, everyone succeeds. As I reflect on my own life, I think that the reason why I have been able to develop this mindset is by really understanding and pursuing what I enjoy. I have liked the classes I have taken as well as the content I have studied. I have chosen opportunities that bring me enjoyment, as opposed to just going with the flow and not being very intentional. Whether you’re a student in high school or you’re a person in the real world, when you pursue interests your truly passionate about: It shows you who you are. When you know who you are, you are able to realize your potential, seize it and run with it. This is what I hope to keep doing as I move on to my next chapter.”
RHS Teacher to Speak at International Conference
Sybil Sánchez will be representing Randolph High School as well as the AATSP American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Chapter of New Jersey at the 105th AATSP Annual Conference in Salamanca, Spain. Ms. Sánchez will be presenting a workshop on June 26-29 at the Universidad de Salamanca. Her workshop entitled "Contemporary Literature, Music and Films" will share tools for educators to improve the knowledge of lexical varieties in Spanish while stimulating critical thinking. She currently uses these tools in her classroom every day at Randolph High School. The insight she will share will be an invaluable resource to educators from around the world.
In addition to her service as President of the New Jersey Chapter of AATSP, Ms. Sánchez is also on the National AATSP Board of Directors as a Secondary (9-12th) Representative. She also has been a consistent advocate for Latino students by attending and organizing events at the Alliance for Latino Empowerment. Ms. Sánchez has been teaching Spanish at Randolph High School since 2012. In addition to teaching the Spanish language, her courses cover a range of diverse areas including culture, film, and Hispanic literature as well as Spanish for Native and Heritage Speakers. During her time in Randolph, she has created and implemented the AP Spanish Literature & Culture course and she pioneered bringing the National Spanish Honor Society to RHS which has increased students’ participation in the National Spanish Exam as well as providing opportunities for students to complete community service.
RHS Senior's Interior Design Option II Project
Randolph High School Junior Bella Dicristina is part of the Option II program where students can complete self-directed projects in a career area they are interested in pursuing. Bella became interested in Interior Design at a young age and hopes to attend the New York School of Interior Design when she graduates from high school next year. For her interior design project, she decided she wanted to give back to her teachers who have made such a tremendous difference in her life. She will be redesigning an underutilized space at the high school into a lounge for faculty and staff to enjoy.
“I have always been a creative person. When I was thinking about what I may want to do in the future, I was interested in careers in Psychology or Education. While there are ways to be creative in those careers, since I was around 7, I have always watched Fixer Upper with my mom. From watching the show, I fell in love with Joanna Gaines and the incredible work she is able to do. The show motivated me to take the Interior Design course offered here at the high school last year, which inspired me to want to pursue this as a career for the rest of my life. I just fell in love with it,” Bella said. “I want to redesign this space into a place for teachers to come and just relax. They have to deal with us all day and as students we can be a lot. I want them to have a space that they can truly enjoy. This will be an exciting project, and I look forward to giving them a place that hopefully feels like a second home.”
Bella intends to survey teachers and faculty as part of her planning process. She will also be creating her very own branded Instagram page where she will be documenting her journey throughout the remainder of the year. We look forward to featuring Bella’s finished room later this spring once the project is complete.
Randolph High School Teacher Chef Povinelli Featured on Food Network
Randolph Township Police Officers Visit RHS For Volleyball Scrimmage
As a community building activity, officers from the Randolph Township Police Department visited Randolph High School during unit lunch for a volleyball scrimmage. Students were able to eat their lunch and watch from the stands as Randolph High School students Carter Kielbania, Thomas Martin, Ethan Gorman, Jacob Corsaro, Colin O'Meara and Aidan Fisher competed against Chief Harzula, Sgt. Edelman, Sgt. Rispoli, Det. Clark, Det. Brenckman, Det. Green, Ptl. Francica, Ptl. Emporellis, Ptl. Gocklin, Ptl. Tomkins, and Ptl DelRusso. The game was officiated by Head Boys Volleyball Coach Erik Novak and Cameron Johnson led the high school team as its student coach.
The Randolph Township Police Department won a tight first set 27-25, and the high school took the second set for the tie. It was an incredible event that everyone enjoyed. Thank you to the Randolph Township Police Department for coming to visit and connect with our students!