Queens high schools educate many remarkable students

By Bob Harris

All the Queens high schools educate, encourage and nurture their students. Here are just a few things different schools accomplished this past school year.

Francis Lewis High School has its Patriot Battalion JROTC program. Led by retired 1st Sgt. Richard Gogarty, the program is the largest of its kind. The drill team wins all kinds of trophies all over the country. Their graduates go on to West Point and colleges.

The John Adams HS Key Club is a community service organization associated with the local Ozone Park Kiwanis club. The new Key Club president is Glenda Mancilla. Graduate Sabrina Hussain won a $17,000 Ronald MacDonald House Charities scholarship for her academic achievement and community activities.

The Jackson Heights Lexington School for the Deaf cheerleaders reclaimed the championship at the Eastern School for the Deaf Athletics Association Division I Tournament.

Students from Benjamin Cardozo HS took second place in the regional round of the New York state Science Olympiad competition. They went on to participate in the state finals in Buffalo.

Frank Sinatra HS students showed their artistic skills at their Summer Arts Institute four-week intensive study activities. The students compete with each other. It is supported by singer Tony Bennett and his wife, who helped found the school.

John Bowne HS has an active and productive agricultural program. The school competed at the FAA State Convention in Agriculture Sales and Marketing, with its team ranking first in the state. The team then went on to the nationals, where the school won the Bronze Medal. Senior Bennett Perez ranked sixth in the nation out of 132 competitors.

Thomas Edison Technical HS SkillsUSA students participated in a Run for the Wild at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The Wildlife Conservation Society sponsored the run as a way to raise awareness and funds to save endangered turtles across the globe.

Edison’s student volunteers helped distribute breakfast and drinks to participants. Amir Abraham and Raj Daniel took second place in the Greater New York Automotive Dealer Association State Finals Competition. They performed tasks from precision measurements to diagnosis of prepared engine problems.

Newcomers HS student Guy Kalenga was one of 200 students who received the city Department of Education’s Chancellor’s Remarkable Achievement Award. He came here five years ago from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where his father, a bank director, was murdered during a civil war.

Forest Hills HS was honored by the Schools Fight Hunger program. The school has held an annual food drive since 1999. This year it collected 646 pounds of food. President Barak Obama has chosen 1972 Forest Hills graduate Jack Lew as his chief of staff.

Grover Cleveland HS has been chosen by the National Foundation of Information Technology to be part of a program sponsored by the tech giant Lenovo that teaches students how to develop mobile applications.

The Franklin K. Lane HS Junior Air Force ROTC program, which serves 150 students, will be retained next year. The program was in danger of elimination when Lane was scheduled to be restructured into four schools, but one of the schools agreed to sponsor the program and all will split the costs.

GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: While the city has achieved lower crime rates and does well with the pickup of garbage and recycling, it is not maintaining our quality of life.

The city plants trees but does not fix sidewalks, which are broken due to tree roots. The city also does not trim the trees, so some have limbs which are face-high. The city lets weeds grow high at the base of trees on center malls and around signs and fire plugs, so the city has a dilapidated look in many neighborhoods.

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