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Blue ribbon-winning Maspeth High School looks back on eight years since its foundation

Founding Principal Khurshid Abdul Mutakabbir celebrated eight years in building Maspeth High School into a widely recognized institution.
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Maspeth High School Principal Khurshid Abdul Mutakabbir looked back on eight years since the school was founded with a small class of ninth-graders, which has over the years earned a national Blue Ribbon Award for excellence in education and ranks as one of New York’s best high schools.

The school is just one of eight New York City schools to receive the award in 2018 and among 349 across the country.

“On this day, eight years ago, the Department of Education approved my proposal and nine months later we opened our doors to 270 ninth graders,”Abdul Mutakabbir said.

During its first year, Maspeth High School was based out of the Queens Metropolitan High School campus in Forest Hills; it later relocated to its own building at 54-40 74th St. in its namesake neighborhood, close to Elmhurst Park.

With approximately 1,200 students, Maspeth High School serves a diverse crowd with 64 percent minority enrollments and with 52 percent female students, according to U.S. News & World Report.

MHS upholds a high standard of education with about 60 teachers and a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio, according U.S. News & World, which places at No. 1,012 in the country for education.

But MHS put leaders across the borough on edge in the beginning when fears over the incubation period at QMHS lasting longer than a year were stoked by the lack of available space for a new school.

Parents and pols alike criticized the city Panel for Education Policy, but elected officials breathed a sigh of relief when the Maspeth campus opened in 2013.

“It’s hard to find property to even site schools,” City Councilman Leroy Comrie told TimesLedger in 2013. “This is one of the most overcrowded parts of Queens and we need to build even more high schools in this area.”

Abdul Mutakabbir was praised by then-City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan for being able to establish the new within the span of a school year as expected.

MHS serves students living in District 24.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@schnepsmedia.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Posted 12:00 am, January 10, 2019
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