March Students of the Month

Misty Skupienski

Misty Skupienski is a talented senior in the PCTI School of Education and Human Services and holds an impressive 4.2 GPA! She is positioned to graduate in the top 8% of her class and plans on taking her passion for teaching and learning to extraordinary heights in college and beyond.

Misty resides in Bloomingdale and chose to attend PCTI because of its excellent opportunity to get a head start on pursuing a career in education. "I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in 3rd grade. I knew PCTI was the best place to get me started on that path," she commented.

After graduation, Misty intends on earning a degree in Special Education, specializing in Early Childhood (Preschool-3rd Grade). She recognizes her career choice is not based on salary, but on an inherent desire to serve a population that is often misunderstood. "Growing up, I remember curiously watching teachers and peers interact with students with special needs. I realized then that I aspired to be a teacher who helped all students, regardless of their abilities or differences, feel welcomed and accepted," Misty said.

Outside of the classroom, Misty's extracurriculars also reflect her love for teaching. As a SkillsUSA participant, she competed in Early Childhood Education and won first place at the state level. She also volunteered at HeadStart on campus, where she was able to gain a firsthand grasp on how young children learn.

Additionally, Misty has been actively involved in the PCTVS instrumental music offerings. She has played the baritone and trombone in Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Concert Band, earning her membership in the Tri-M Honor Society.

When reflecting on her time at PCTVS, Misty is thankful for her time in the School of Education. “The program helped me to own my creativity and grow my passion for teaching. Because of it, I am confident that I will be able to help special education students to not feel alone and to know their own value," she said.

Congratulations and best of luck, Misty! Your warm-hearted nature and dedication are sure to take you far in your chosen career!

Highlights

  • Ranks in the top 8% of her class
  • Volunteers with HeadStart
  • Member of SkillsUSA, Jazz Band, Marching Band, Concert Band
  • Honors: Tri-M Music Honor Society
  • Goal: Earn a degree in Special Education and become a teacher

Jia Xuan Zhang

Jia Xuan Zhang, a Senior in the Academy of Finance, envisions himself with a future career as a financial analyst for one of the Big Four accounting firms, after earning a degree in Finance. With an astounding 4.3 GPA, a co-op experience with Columbia Bank, and an acceptance to Rutgers Business School already under his belt, this March Student of the Month is well on his way to achieving his dreams!

The Paterson native has always been intrigued by banking and finance, and four years of studies in the Academy of Finance have strengthened his passion for the field. "On a professional level, I hope to help big corporations achieve their commercial goals. On a personal level, I hope to find a way to help my community," said Jia.

In addition to his all-around academic success, Jia has made time for extracurricular activities to round out his PCTVS experience. As a member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), he competed in regional and state competitions. Through the History Club, he raised money for charities, and he organized programs to create awareness about inclusivity and diversity as a member of ERASE. Additionally, he served as a Student Ambassador, helping freshman acclimate to PCTVS.

When reflecting on the many valuable learning opportunities he has embraced at PCTVS, Jia is certain that his co-op with Columbia Bank has been the most rewarding. "Working with Columbia has been life-changing. Not only do I learn new banking skills every day, but I learn new life skills," he commented. "I am so grateful to be gaining real life experience in the field and to be getting a firsthand view of balancing work and academics."

Jia believes strongly that his high school classes have encouraged him to perform to the best of his abilities. His advice to students who are in the early years at PCTVS is to "challenge yourself and to be passionate about what you want in life in order to make the most of your time here."

Congratulations, Jia, for your outstanding success in the Academy of Finance and for being chosen as the Student of the Month for March!

Highlights

  • Ranks in the top 5% of his class
  • Extracurriculars: FBLA, ERASE, National History Club, Student Ambassadors, Boys Volleyball
  • Honors: World Language Honor Society, Circle of Success, Boys State
  • Goal: Earn a degree in Finance and pursue a career as a financial analyst at a Big 4 accounting firm