Three AEA Students Accepted Into Top Colleges to Study Science

     The calendar may say it’s early in 2017, but three exceptional students already know where they will be come September.

     The class Valedictorian, I. Ortega, has been accepted to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study physics. Two other star students, G. Pena and J. Martinez, have been accepted to Columbia University in New York, a member of the Ivy League.

     All three students are enrolled in the Academy for Enrichment and Advancement (AEA) at the high school.

     “These students have worked incredibly hard and have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort in their studies and in extracurricular activities,” says Nadia Makar, District Supervisor of the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) program at AEA. “I am confident they will continue to be successful in their academic careers and beyond.”

     I. Ortega has a 4.68 Grade Point Average (GPA) and is an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar who has also won numerous awards and prizes for his research work. He is also a member of numerous academic honors programs, including the National Honor Society, as well as being a National Merit Scholar and a National Hispanic Scholar. A well-rounded student, Mr. Ortega is a standout member of the Swim Team, works as a lifeguard at several area pools in the summer and is an accomplished musician who plays several instruments.
     G. Pena is an honor student with a 4.4 GPA who will study civil engineering at Columbia. She also has won several awards and prizes for her research in chemistry, and was a participant in engineering-related programs at Columbia, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Farleigh Dickinson University (FDU). Ms. Pena is also a well-rounded student who has twice won first place in the Hudson County Mock Trial competition, as well as receiving the President Education Award for Outstanding Achievement.
     J. Martinez has been accepted to Columbia to study chemical engineering, and he will graduate with a 4.5 GPA. He has done extensive laboratory research at Columbia for which he received several prizes and medals, including a First Place Award at the Regional American Chemical Society North Jersey Section. Like his two co-students, he hasn’t limited himself to just one area. He has been Captain of the Cross Country & Track Team since 2014 and he was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player.'
     “On behalf of the entire Board of Education, I want to congratulate these three students for their achievements and we know they will make us all proud. I also want to congratulate Nadia Makar, who year after year continues to nurture and guide outstanding students who are also outstanding members of our community,” says Superintendent of Schools Silvia Abbato.