St. Francis Prep students earn recognition in art and science competition

Courtesy of St. Francis Prep Music Department

St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows has been fortunate this year with multiple students and academic departments earning both local and national recognition, as it continues to keep students engaged and focused on their studies amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

Two senior students — Fiorella Delgado and Brian Herrera — were honored within their categories at the virtual Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) held April 15-17.

The competition is a tri-service — U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force — sponsored STEM competition which promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement. 

Of the 12 seniors selected to participate in the competition, five students were then selected to compete as semi-finalists at JSHS. Delgado had won first place for the behavioral sciences category and advanced to the final round for the region. Herrera was awarded third place for his project in the engineering category. 

“We’re so proud of all of our seniors in the Science Research Program at St. Francis Prep. Every year, students continue to impress with their innovation and passion and this year has only continued that trend,” said Casey Clark, director of the Science Research Program. “Their work has been focused on some of the most pressing issues we face as a society and demonstrates their connectedness and concern.” 

The entire senior class also competed in the New York City Science and Engineering Fair. One student, Sabrina Chen, was selected to return to compete in the finals. Unfortunately, the finals round has been indefinitely postponed due to the current coronavirus pandemic. 

Meanwhile, students from the St. Francis Prep Art Department were announced as winners once again in the National Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards — the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. 

The Gold Keys winners are Joshua Balina, Xuanchen Zhu (Kyle), Shulin Song and Nicholas Nestola. 

The Silver Keys winners and honorable mentions include Isabella Agate, Ashley Adamkiewicz, Jomarie Almeus, Joshua Balina, Keying Lai, Christina Fernandez, Bryan Herrera, Xuanchen Zhu (Kyle) and Taryn Liello.

“The art teachers at SFP are so proud of their talented students. The students spent months preparing artwork to submit to the competition,” said Jeanne Buccino, chair of the art department. “Each year it is a true honor to be part of such a wonderful event.”

For a second year in a row, the St. Francis Prep Music Department has been recognized with a National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) Support Music Merit Award for its commitment to music education. 

“We were chosen for this award because the music program at St. Francis Prep is both a quality program and also a very extensive program,” said Robert Corbino, chair of the school’s music department. 

St. Francis Prep’s music program supports 11 performing ensembles as well as courses in music theory, orchestration, music technology and music history, according to Roberto Corbino, chair of the music department. The program contains courses for the beginning level student as well as the more advanced student. Its music theory II course is also an AP course. 

The music faculty consists of individuals who are very experienced in their field, but more importantly they are very caring individuals,” Corbino said. “The best part of the music program and the school as a community are the students. They are truly exceptional.”

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