High School North placed second in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Science Bowl.##M:[more]## The 13th annual event had 32 teams from 20 area schools competing. Each team includes four students, a student alternate, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach.

High School North, Team A, second place winners include Yifei Chen, Joseph Prencipe, Peter Wu, Matt Orton, and Ankit Khambhati. Jim Looney is the team’s coach.

High School North, Team B members include Eric Chen, Alex Yang, James Wang, Kevin Marickaray, and Rahul Gole. Holly Crochetiere is the coach.

High School South, Team A members include James Yan, Brian De, Charu Dhavalikar, Jerrald Chen, and Mike Zhao. Sunila Sharma is the coach.

High School South, Team B members include Anshabh Sarda, Nikhil Jha, Josephine Li, Xueyao “Vicky” Liu, and Timothy Zhang. Meenakshi Bhattacharya is the coach.

The other top four winners include East Brunswick High School, first; Bergen County Academies, third; and High Technology High School, fourth.

Governor’s Teacher Award Recipients

West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District’s 2004-’05 Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award Honorees include Kathryn Doby, Dutch Neck Elementary School; Joyce Turner, Maurice Hawk Elementary School; Jeffrey Craft, Town Center Elementary School at Plainsboro; Ellen Wheeler, Wicoff Elementary School; Lynn Holman, Millstone River School; Joanne DeGoria, Village School; Dorothy Fullerton, Community Middle School; Kathryn O’Donnell, Thomas R. Grover Middle School; Rosemary Wright, High School North; and Donald Gilpin, High School South.

“One of the great things about working at High School South is that there are so many teachers who deserve such an award, and it’s exciting — and humbling — to be able to work with them every day,” says Gilpin.

The teacher recognition program was developed in 1985 to acknowledge teachers who exhibit outstanding performance. Beginning this school year, each school building with at least 10 teachers can nominate either one teacher or one educational services professional to be recognized at the county-wide event.

Young Naturalists

For the second year in a row, High School South ninth grade honors biology students entered and placed in the Young Naturalist Awards Competition sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Faculty members Kate Princiotta and Meenakshi Bhattacharya incorporated the competition into the fall curriculum of honors biology as one of two independent studies for the year. In the spring, students will design and carry out their own plant growth experiments.

Projects ranged from analyzing the biodiversity of nearby waterways to studying the frequency of eggs hatched by backyard chickens. Students followed a set of guidelines specified by the museum. Instead of the traditional science lab report, students were required to write an essay. They were judged not onlyl by the originality and focus of their work, but the quality of their writing as well.

Mrs. Princiotta’s students include finalists Micah Langer, “Investigating the Dynamics of Schooling Behavior;” Aparna Mukherjee, “Comparing the Diversity of Life Between Lake Water and Canal Water Using the Simpson Index of Biodiversity;” Eitan Paul, “Impact Study of Grovers Mill Pond and Dam Reconstruction on Big Bear Brook;” semi-finalists Marie Brooks, “Don’t Take Eggs for Granted;” Tanya Chanda, “Buds of Steel: What Environmental Factors Effect the Growth of Lemna Minor (Duckweed);” Daphne Ezer, “Impact of Drainage outflow on the Ecology of a Lake;” Jane E, “Growth of Wild Mushrooms;” Cynthia Hu, “The Effect of Gravel on Pond Life;” Matt Hasling, “Pond Scum: What is it and Why is it There?” David Ku, “Examining Suburban Wildlife;” Koren Kwag, “Saving Grovers Mill Pond;” and Jimmy Tanner, “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Dr. Bhattacharya’s students include semi-finalists Safaa Dam, “Identity of Trees;” Jared DiCicco-Bloom, “Earthworms and Water;” Jen Grosso, “The Plant Life of New Jersey and Its Soil;” Neha Gavai, “A Stranger in the Ecosystem of Plainsboro Preserve;” Michael Gilman, “Observing Grass Growth;” Carlo Ingato, “Does Temperature Affect Algae’s Growth?” Allison Kempf, “The Effect of Geographic Variables on the Adaptability of the New Jersey Pitch Pine Tree.”

Also Christine Lee, “Temperature of algae Growth;” Jimmy Kou, “Change of Leaf Colors in Different Types of Trees;” Anitha Reddy, “Fishy Phenomenon;” Pooja Raghavan, “Can Pandorina algae be Sustained with Tap Water?” Neerja Sundaresan, “The Secret of Green Acre;” Gayle Smart, “Decomposition: From Grass to Soil;” Alison Wu, “Mysteries in the Woods;” Nannan Yao, “The Unseen World of Mercer County Park;” and Catherine Zhou, “Development of Common Moss.”

Poetry Honors

Michael Liu, 11, won the “Instructor” magazine poetry contest. A fifth grade Village School student, this is his first published piece of poetry.

Selected from over 10,"000 entries sent in by students in grades four to eight from all over the country, Michael will have his poem, “Honor of My Ancestors,” featured on a centerfold poster included in the April edition of “Instructor.”

The issue also features an article on poetry, in which Michael’s teacher, Lois Huber, discussed the writing process, the importance of poetry, and how this is all part of the strong language arts curriculum in the school district.

Jump Rope for Heart

Susan Rover, Nancy Massair, and Michael Rosa, health and physical education teachers at Maurice Hawk School, organized Jump Rope for Heart at the school in February. Last year they raised over $4,"000.

Youth Leadership

Silpa Kovvali of West Windsor has returned from the National Youth Leadership Forum on Defense, Intelligence, and Diplomacy, from February 22 to 27 in Washington, D.C. She is a junior at High School North.

The curriculum is based on world events, allowing participants to learn from previous generations of leaders. Students examin how the United State plans for peace and prepares for crisis. For information see www.nylf.org.

People to People

Val Chan and Katie McKiernan of West Windsor will visit France, Italy, and Greece, as delegates of the People-to-People Student Ambassador Program for junior high school students. As part of their oversees experience they will have home visits with host families to learn about the ways people live and work in other cultures. Both Chan and McKiernan are Community Middle School eighth grade students.

Care Packages to Iraq

Irene Jones’s sixth grade students (Team 6A) at Community Middle School have continued to write letters and send cards to Captain Tre Del Pizzo. After writing and sending packages to soldiers in Iraq last year, Del Pizzo visited them. He has signed up for another tour and has asked the CMS students to write to him while he is away.

One Book NJ

Community Middle School eighth grade students will participate in the statewide reading initiative designed to encourage reading for all age groups. Karen Black, media specialist, and eighth grade teachers Debbie Baer, Stacey Friedman, Catherine McGuinness, and Lisa O’Shea have prepared a program for students, parents, and residents.

The program kicks off on March 16 when the students study “To Kill a Mockingbird;” the novel’s writer Harper Lee; the time period and vocabulary in the novel; race relations; and the geography of Alabama. The program culminates with a Thursday, April 14, screening of the film.