The Civic Scene: Boro pupils proved themselves academically and volunteering

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Our Queens high schools did many great things over the past academic year. Here are some of those activities.

John Bowne High School has a great agriculture program. A farm behind the school raises vegetables and has miniature horses and goats, chickens and rabbits. Students brush the animals, feed them and clean their enclosures.

Jamaica HS has an annual cardboard boat regatta. Students apply science, art and their competitiveness to make boats out of cardboard and duct tape. The students race them across the school pool.

The Long Island City HS Global Kids program held a fund-raiser for Darfur with a talent show. The program makes students aware of the world around them by using hands-on projects to develop them academically and as leaders.

Grover Cleveland HS in Ridgewood hosted the 2010 New York City Regional Science Olympiad. The school has a diverse population with many foreign-born students who require help to learn English and graduate.

Students in Jamaica’s Thomas A. Edison Career & Technical HS chapter of Glamor Gals go to the Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center three or four times a month to paint residents’ nails.

Bayside HS students take part in many activities. They raised more than $5,000 for Haiti relief; student Michael So ranked second in a city chess tournament; art students Becky Wong, Anna Park and Christina Shin have been presented scholarships by the School Art League; the school won the 10th-annual Queens College Math Competition; junior Alan Zeng won first place in the overall 11th-grade category in the seventh-annual York College Science and Math Exposition; and the boys’ swim team won the Queens PSAL Championship.

Hillcrest HS students attended the 2010 Health Occupations Students of America state convention in Syracuse, N.Y., where five students won awards. Senior Marvin Pierre-Louis was a page in the U.S. House of Representatives in the spring term after being sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica). The president of the student government was Natalia Dominquez, a member of the school’s Public Service and Law Institute, who came from the Dominican Republic.

Martin Van Buren HS in Queens Village started a robotics team. It improved to 21st place in the 2010 New York Regional Competition of the US First Robotics Competition at the Javitz Center in Manhattan. Teacher David Johnson coached his students while Dareen Cunningham’s class made the costumes and coffin to perform the funeral procession of a king of Sudan. This black kingdom conquered Egypt and controlled it for 100 years.

The Campus Magnet Complex consists of four small magnet high schools in the old Andrew Jackson HS building. The Mathematics, Science Research & Technology HS student council president is Rameshwari Narain, who is also the Arista president.

Senior Trevor Watson in the Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship HS took a course at the New York State Advanced Technology Training Information Networking facility in downtown Jamaica and won a laptop and a check for $400. The Future Business Leaders of America school chapter won 11 awards at the FBLA Spring District Meeting in the JHS 231 in Springfield Gardens.

The Humanities and the Arts HS has suffered from gun violence. A freshman, Kevin Miller Jr., coming home from school was killed in the crossfire between teens. The school planted a tree in his memory on its front lawn.

The Law, Government & Community Service Magnet HS students participated in mock trial and moot court competitions. Students collected coats for charity, money to fight leukemia and raised money for Haiti relief.

This year, the Vallone scholarship program awarded 23 high school seniors scholarships in memory of Judge Charles Vallone, with members of the Astoria Civic Association board interviewing the winning students. The program was founded in 1928.

Another scholarship winner was Svetlana Musheyeva of Forest Hills HS who is a native of Uzbekistan. Her family came here to escape persecution. In her senior year at Forest Hills HS, she worked hard to convince students to contribute money and donate blood to the American Red Cross and was awarded a $3,000 scholarship for her dedication and hard work.

GOOD NEWS OF THE WEEK: These are a few of the activities, programs and accomplishments that have taken place in some of our Queens high schools this past academic year.

BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: It is too bad more newspapers did not write about these and other good things about our schools.

Updated 6:14 pm, October 10, 2011
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