Tiamera Ellen

Tiamera Ellen intuitively knew her calling in life before even entering the halls of PCTI. This animated Passaic native spent much of her time creating mock book covers with a free version of Photoshop. Well, she certainly picked the right place to be. Tiamera found the perfect home as a member the Graphic Arts program of the School of Communication Arts.

This organized Bulldog is one half of the Co-op team for the Communications Department. Tiamera’s keen eye for design has greatly contributed to the success of numerous projects. With a GPA of 4.24 and ranking in the top three percent of the Class of 2017, she’s certainly on top of her game! Through taking AP and honors courses, she’s accumulated a potential twenty-seven college credits to be used towards her academic future!

Her career area is not the only place where she shines. Tiamera is the acting President for both the Class of 2017 and the Book Club. Not only was she selected for the National Honor Society, but she’s also the Corresponding Secretary. Additionally, Tiamera is a member of PCTI’s chapter of LMTI - where she has participated in the Father English Community Center Toy Drive. She’s even the Layout Editor in Chief of the Yearbook club and was selected for New Jersey Girls State. Yet another fantastic accomplishment for which Tiamera should be recognized is receiving the bronze medal for the SkillsUSA T-Shirt design contest (junior year).

None of these fantastic accomplishments account for Tiamera’s life outside of school. Her passion for the arts truly knows no bounds. She explains, “I spend a lot of time working on my own business - Tellen Designs. The company deals mainly with shirt designs and specializes in working with charities and their events.”

When asked what has profoundly affected her growth while in high school, Tiamera references LMTI. “I learned how to be a leader. Acting as a Youth Advisory Counselor for the LMTI Leadership Camp changed who I was.” She continues to volunteer with the organization and does the same with Jersey Cares.

After high school, Tiamera will go on to pursue her love for the arts. She plans on receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Photography. Her greatest aspiration is to become a Freelance Graphic Designer, own her own business, and work closely with charitable organizations.

Tiamera is a true leader whose dedication to her craft and others will ensure a successful future. Congratulations to this talented young woman!


  • Ranks in the top 3% of her class
  • President of the Class of 2017 & the Book Club
  • Selected for NHS, serves as the Corresponding Secretary
  • Editor in Chief of the Yearbook club, selected for NJ Girls State, PCTI LMTI chapter member
  • Runs own business of “Tellen Designs,” Co-op for PCTI’s Communications department
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic design and a minor in Photography, become a Freelance Graphic Designer

View the PDF

Qian Zhang

Qian Zhang is a dynamic young woman from Paterson who whole-heartily believes in the transformative power of education. Just how does she pursue her passion for boundless learning? Why, by taking advantage of every presented opportunity, of course! This Bulldog has big dreams and she’s determined to do everything possible to attain them.

As a member of the Academy of Finance, Qian always saw herself following a business path. Not enamored by the prospect of living life in a cubicle, Qian has decided to fine tune her future pursuits. “What I love about finance is that numbers make sense. I enjoy planning too, but I want to combine that with a social aspect.” It’s for this reason that she has decided to venture into the field of Hotel and Tourism Management.

Qian has already made connections with her dream school of NYU and has sat in on a college course. Her drive and accomplishments are unparalleled. She ranks in the top two percent of the Class of 2017 with a GPA of 4.38. By enrolling in numerous honors and AP courses, Qian has accumulated a potential eighteen credits towards her future education.

While attending PCTI, she was selected as a member of Foundation for Success, Circle of Success, Gifted & Talented, the National Honor Society, and New Jersey Girls State. As the team captain of the Consumer Bowl team, she led her peers to become county champions! Qian is also involved in Book Club and the Future Business Leaders of America. As far as volunteering efforts go, she has been a part of the March of Dimes, the Paterson Boys & Girls club staff, and has donated her time as a PCTI Saturday Tour Guide and an Open House representative. Qian even works twelve hours a week as part of PCTI’s Columbia Bank branch!

Qian’s impeccable time management skills have ensured she can tackle many goals simultaneously. She’s begun the task of instituting her own ‘Pencils of Promise’ program, an organization which aims to build schools in developing countries.

“My goal is to eventually set up schools in Laos and Kenya,” Qian adds.

She looks forward to attending NYU, but will also apply to Boston and Syracuse University. Qian explains that she looks forward to expanding her horizons by pursuing a degree in Hotel and Tourism Management, with a minor in Marketing & Revenue Management.

There’s no doubt Qian will make others feel at home when she eventually manages her own hotel. Congratulations & best of luck to this gifted young woman!


  • Ranked in the top 2% of his class
  • Selected for Freshmen Foundation for Success, Circle of Success, Gifted & Talented, NHS, & New Jersey Girls State
  • Co-op for PCTI’s branch of Columbia Bank
  • Member of Book Club & FBLA
  • Volunteers for March of Dimes, the Paterson Boys & Girls Club, as a PCTI Saturday Tour Guide, and at Open House events
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with a degree in Hotel & Tourism Management, a minor in Marketing & Revenue Management; become the manager of her own hotel

View the PDF

Congratulations to Sarah Shannon (Girls Cross Country) and Felix Melo (Boys Soccer) on being named September’s Athletes of the Month!

Sarah Shannon is a four-year varsity starter who:

As a senior, has had a tremendous season as the leader of the Girls Cross Country team. Sarah is easily the top runner of the Lady Bulldogs and has been so for quite some time. She’s earned nine varsity letters in Cross Country, Winter Track, and Spring Track. This fall in Cross Country, Sarah finished in fourth place at the prestigious Brett Taylor Invitational, second place in the Season Opener Invitational meet, and first place overall in the Girls NJTAC Tech Tournament Championship meet, leading the Girls Cross Country team to a NJTAC Vo-Tech Team Championship! Sarah has also taken first place in eight BNC divisional meets and has powered the Lady Bulldogs to a 4-1 divisional record, with a 6-2 overall record in the very competitive Big North Conference. She has been awarded the #1 seed in the Big North Championship meet which will run during the second week of October. Coach Weinpel describes Sarah Shannon as the “heart and soul” of our Lady Bulldogs track program and a clear leader of our Cross Country squad.

Felix Melo is a four-year varsity starter who:

Has had a tremendous senior season as the leader of the Boys Soccer team. As a senior Captain of the squad, Felix – from his stout defensive position — has lead the Bulldogs to an 8-2 start in the 2016 Campaign. The team, having posted key victories over the Mustangs of Clifton High School (2-1 in Overtime) and the Ironmen of Don Bosco (1-0), has earned the respect of Passaic County and has been awarded the #1 overall seed in the PCCA Boys Soccer Tournament. As the overall leader and a clear defensive standout, Felix has captained the team to post five shutouts in the month of September. In addition to his defensive prowess, he is a key component to the team’s designed set pieces and has managed to muster offense for the Bulldogs by netting two very important goals this season. Felix will be sure to continue the team’s efforts into the county and state post season.

Pooja Nahar

Pooja Nahar is a driven young woman from Clifton who is pursuing education as part of PCTI’s Academy of Medical Arts program. Her interest in the sciences allowed her to discover a passion that is both intellectually stimulating and helps others. This active Bulldog is all about getting things done.

Pooja is wildly active in her educational pursuits. She ranks 7th in the Class of 2017 with a GPA of 4.45, which is no doubt credited to her outstanding grades in the academic realm. In this year’s first marking period alone, Pooja elected to take three AP courses! She will graduate with a potential thirty-six college credits towards her college career. As part of the Academy of Medical Arts, Pooja is a licensed CNA and is both First Aid and Basic Life Support certified. She is currently working towards her EMT certification.

She is involved in the Sound Chasers, Gifted and Talented, HOSA, and the Yearbook Club – of which she is the Editor. Pooja is also a student representative for the Class of 2017 and was selected for the National Honor Society. Outside of school, she served as the Vice President of Passaic County’s 4-H Teen Crusaders and the Youth Leader of the EduCare Charity.

Pooja credits her extensive community involvement to PCTI. “I’ve learned to take advantage of every opportunity,” she said. Such motivation for self-betterment is evident in Pooja’s application and acceptance into two prestigious summer programs: the NJ Governor’s School in the Sciences and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program (HOPP). Experience with the latter has kindled her interest in the Oncology field.

It’s no surprise that after graduation, Pooja seeks to further her education and become a doctor. She’s got everything planned out. “I aim to enter directly into a medical program in my dream school of Brown University. Their Program in Liberal Medical Education runs for eight years and combines undergraduate education with professional studies in medicine.”

When asked if she has any advice for her fellow classmates, Pooja replied, “Don’t be afraid of choosing a program you’re not sure you’ll like. There’s benefits to having new experiences!”

Congratulations to this positive young woman on all her outstanding accomplishments.


  • Ranked in the top 1% of her class
  • Licensed CNA, First Aid & Basic Life Support certified
  • Selected for NJ Governor’s School in the Sciences & Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s HOPP programs
  • Vice President of Passaic County 4-H Crusaders, Editor of Yearbook Club, Youth Leader of the EduCare Charity
  • Member of Sound Chasers, Gifted & Talented, HOSA, & NHS
  • Goal: Graduate from a university that combines a bachelors/ medical degree program; become a doctor

View the PDF

Christopher Valencia

Christopher Valencia is a Clifton native who found his home as a member of the School of Engineering. What urged him to choose this particular path? “I’ve always loved math and science. Creating things defines who I am.” It’s no surprise that at the age of four, this Bulldog built his own computer. The intrigue of learning how things work – by taking them apart and putting them together – sparked an interest in STEM programs, particularly the engineering field. Christopher recounts how he assembles the motivation required to succeed. “The more something challenges me, the more I want to be successful at it.” Christopher adds that he has high expectations for himself due to all the opportunities that are open to him. “As an only child of an immigrant family, I’m encouraged to really go after my hopes and dreams.”

He’s doing a fantastic job so far. Christopher ranks 5th in the Class of 2017 with a 4.5 GPA. His ambition knows no bounds. Christopher has taken honor courses every year during his high school career and has earned a potential thirty-eight credits to be used towards a college degree. He has been declared an AP Scholar with Distinction, a title earned by achieving a score of 4 or higher on his AP exams. He’s also received the Honor Cadet award for having the highest GPA in all of PCTI’s NJROTC for three years in a row.

Christopher is the Vice President of PCTI’s SkillsUSA, an NJROTC Officer, and is a member of the Boys Varsity Volleyball team, Gifted and Talented, and the History Club. He was even selected for National Honor Society and serves as the acting Vice President. Outside of PCTI, he’s involved in ensuring the community is a better place for all. Christopher’s passion for education knows no bounds.

To this end, he created the Peer-Tutoring initiative with the help of the NJCDC – a non-profit Paterson organization. The program had twenty participants during last winter alone. “I really enjoy helping people better themselves,” he added. “It drives me to do more.” Christopher went on to elaborate that combining his passion for engineering, problem- solving, and an interest in anatomy will have him pursuing further education in Biomedical Engineering. “I look forward to learning about stem cell research, biomechanical prosthesis, and more.”

One thing’s for certain, Christopher will go on to impact the lives of many. This self-starter truly believes he can make a difference in the world. His powerful drive and passion will ensure that he does!


  • Ranked in the top 1% of his class
  • Earned AP Scholar with Distinction title
  • Received PCTI’s NJROTC Honor Cadet Award
  • Vice President of SkillsUSA, NJROTC Officer, member of Boys Varsity Volleyball, Gifted and Talented, NHS, & the History Club
  • Created Peer-Tutoring Initiative for Paterson youth
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering, pursue a master’s degree

View the PDF