In September several local newspapers printed a story about educators who were honored by the Siemens Foundation for motivating their students to do well in math and science. Honored were Rose Bruy of PS 4 in Fresh Meadows, Belie Schonzeit of Hillcrest HS in Jamaica and Elizabeth Koos of PS 242 in Flushing.On Dec. 30, The New York Times honored "Teachers Who Make a Difference" because they inspired and supported students who received a Times college scholarship. Queens teachers were Evelyn Loveras of Thomas A. Edison Vocational & Technical HS, Myra Picard of Francis Lewis HS and Joseph A. Thorsen from Grover Cleveland HS.A December 2007 issue of U.S. News & World Report listed six Queens high schools as some of the nation's best for academic excellence out of nearly 1,600 top schools. The TimesLedger wrote a story about these achieving high schools. Townsend Harris HS was among the top 100 schools in the nation. Then there were Long Island City's Academy of American Studies, Aviation Career and Technical HS in Long Island City, Gateway to Health Science High School in Jamaica, the Queens High School of Science at York College and Thomas A. Edison Vocational & Technical HS in Jamaica.All these, and others not mentioned, should be honored for excellence, but one has to remember that these schools are specialized schools that carefully select the students they accept. Of course, their students will do well, since students who might do poorly are excluded. Don't get me wrong, our society must carefully nurture our brightest students because their achievements are necessary for the development and growth of our city and nation.I learned years ago that North Carolina has created a special high school for their brightest students so they can be nurtured. We must do the same in New York City without denigrating the local high schools where these bright students might have studied. Understand that the neighborhood high schools had to lose some of their best students to our "best" high schools to make them high-achieving schools.Aviation HS recently hosted a Lego robotics tournament where teams from 24 Queens junior and senior high schools built robots designed to carry out specific duties, which included the saving of energy. This competition has been sponsored by the nonprofit FIRST organization for the past 10 years. It makes learning science fun.The Campus Magnet Complex in Cambria Heights hosted their first full homecoming event since Andrew Jackson HS became four magnet high schools. The Humanities HS Band and Dance team performed and the Campus Magnet football teams won their senior and junior games in front of a large community crowd. Social-studies teacher Tricia Moulton in the Business HS received the Gold Star Teacher's Award for helping 75 percent of her classes to pass the WISE Financial Literacy Certification Test. Basketball coach Chuck Granby was honored for his 39 years of coaching the Bulldogs first at Andrew Jackson and now at Campus Magnet. He has won more than 640 games.Jamaica HS just had its annual cardboard boat race in the school's pool. Thirteen student teams and one alumni team built boats out of cardboard then raced them in the pool. It is an applied physics lesson and a school-spirit builder. Interestingly, my wife and daughters attended Jamaica HS and I was PTA president there, but I never heard of this activity. Sounds like fun.Francis Lewis HS students Rebecca Long, James Leung and Shabitri Dasgupta were top winners of the Siemens Foundation science contest. They had spent a week last summer at Williams College in Massachusetts doing research on bones and fossils to determine why western Egypt transformed from a teeming temperate climate to desolate desert. The school's Junior ROTC, led by Sgt. Richard Gogarty, again won this year's annual competitio
©2008 Community News Group
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