Diana Deonate is a young woman from Paterson who has always been fascinated with solving puzzles in the literal and figurative sense. “I used to do lot of those in youth, but I would never look at the picture on the box. It was figuring things out on my own that I really enjoyed.”
It’s no surprise that this young woman’s penchant for abstract thinking has carried through to her educational pursuits. As a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Diana aims to use her problem solving capabilities to help the wrongfully accused, by embracing a career as a lawyer.
She’s well on her way to achieving her dream. Diana currently holds a position with Batista Law Office in Clifton. Through PCTI’s STC program, she works twenty hours a week. The job has allowed Diana to use her bilingual talents to communicate effectively with clients. “Working under a lawyer and municipal judge gave me a real taste of the legal system,” she says. “It’s like my third home, with PCTI being my second.”
Amidst a packed schedule, Diana is also involved in numerous activities, including Mock Trial, ERASE, and Book Club. She is a Certified Dispatcher and is CPR Certified. Additionally, Diana has been selected for the World Language Honor Society.
It comes as no surprise that this Bulldog ranks in the top four percent of her class with a GPA of 4.19. She also has the potential to graduate with fifteen college credits.
Diana has worked hard to achieve her dreams. She’s already earned full rides to Fairleigh Dickinson University, Felician College, and William Paterson University. She’s also been accepted to Seton Hall and Rutgers University.
Whatever university she chooses, Diana’s goal is the same; she will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and will eventually attend Law School.
When asked what direction her life will take after all that education, Diana says, “I enjoy Criminal Law so maybe I’ll become a Prosecutor.”
While Diana is direct in her academic pursuits, she is equally clear on what she values. In short, it’s finding out the truth. “Ever since coming to PCTI, I’ve realized that you need to personally do the research to reach your own conclusions. It’s important to think for yourself and question everything.”
This particular quality will serve her well in her career endeavors. Congratulations Diana, a young woman who knows the value of hard work!
View the PDF
Grace Khezam is a resident of Totowa who transferred to Passaic County Technical Institute as a sophomore. Her reason? “I wasn’t being as challenged as much I wanted to be in high school. PCTI offered more opportunities for me to excel and grow.”
As a member of the Academy of Information Technology, Grace believes that becoming proficient in tasks such as web design and coding will help her secure a successful future. “Right now, I can get a job making websites,” she says.
Grace is involved in numerous school activities, including Concert Band, Marching Band, LEAP, and the Environmental Club. She was also selected for the Tri-M Music Honor Society and serves as the Co-Vice President of the Class of 2017. With a GPA of 3.94, Grace ranks in the top ten percent of her class and has earned Principal’s Honor Roll status. She has the potential to graduate with seventeen college credits.
Outside of PCTI, she is a gymnast, has worked as a life guard (and is CPR certified), and has volunteered with organizations that include St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, the Special Olympics, at her local public library, and in Marching Band parades. Within the past year, she’s accumulated more than sixty service hours in an area she’s truly passionate about: Dentistry.
As a volunteer at Dental2000, Grace shadows dentists and hygienists, sterilizes instruments, and communicates effectively with patients. “I’ve always been interested in biology and the medical arts, so getting this opportunity allowed me to gain experience in a career I want to pursue.”
It was Grace’s proactive approach - of going after what she wants in life - that allowed her to discover her passion.
As far as life after graduation is concerned, Grace has already been accepted into Pennsylvania State University, Pace University, Temple University, Arcadia University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She will pursue her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and will later attend dental school.
When asked how she’s grown from her time as a sophomore to a senior, Grace had this to say, “I’ve been working on building my character and really going after what I want.” This ambitious quality ensures that Grace actively seeks out opportunities in every area of her life.
One thing’s for certain, Grace has grown exponentially in her three years at PCTI. Congratulations and best of luck in the future!
View the PDF
Congratulations to Jennine LaCorte, Educational Specialist of the Year, and Mark Vogel, Educator of the Year!
Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) has announced their Educators of the Year for 2017. The honor goes to Mark Vogel, Educator of the Year, and Jennine LaCorte, Educational Specialist of the Year.
Mark Vogel is an exemplary History Instructor who has been with PCTI since 2009. He consistently seeks greatness every day, hoping to inspire his students by teaching history as a story. This deep personalization of such an important school subject, coupled with his penchant for stirring the imagination and intellect of his students, has earned him the admiration and gratitude of many. Additionally, Mark is a devoted GED Instructor at the Passaic County Jail. “I firmly believe these inmates deserve the same compassion, kindness, and patience as my students,” he says. Mark has also published more than fifty history essays, as well as three dozen feature articles for magazines and newspapers.
On the educational front, Mark has earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Delaware, his Master of Science in Journalism from Boston University, and will soon be receiving his Master of Arts in American History from Adams State University. While at PCTI, Mark was the recipient of two consecutive “Highly Effective” ratings and aims to add another to the list this year. His dynamic instructional style, as well as his passion both in and outside of the classroom, is recognized by all.
Jennine LaCorte’s main goal in life is to help people. Through graduate school internships, she realized her affinity for working with teenagers and became a member of Bulldog family in 1999. Her unrivaled passion for fostering a connection with students, as well as her ability to aid in navigating through life’s difficulties, has left lasting impressions on all of those she’s mentored.
For seven years, she served as the Transition Coordinator of PCTI’s Child Study Team and was previously a Social Worker at the Passaic County Juvenile Detention Center. While there, Jennine designed and implemented two successful programs – the Young Father’s Training program and a Criminal Division Waiver Support group. Today, she provides an unparalleled support system for students and families as the Student Assistance Coordinator/Crisis Counselor. Her caring demeanor allows her to truly thrive at PCTI. “I’m able to really help some kids,” she says, “which is all I ever really wanted to do.”
Jennine graduated from Rutgers University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. In 1996, she earned her Master of Social Work. She recently received her Student Assistance Counselor certification from Montclair State University.
Carly Spinnler is a second-year varsity letter winner who:
Christian Przybyla is a second-year varsity letter winner and a senior captain who:
Gabriela Juniewicz is a young woman from North Haledon who is determined to push her educational limits. As a member of the Academy of Medical Arts, she is CPR and CNA certified and is currently working towards her EMT certification.
Gabriela is an involved Bulldog who is known for participating in numerous service initiatives, clubs & activities, as well as honors and AP courses. This includes being a youth group member, a religious education instructor, working at a catholic camp, as well as participating in PCTI’s HOSA, Gifted & Talented, the Astronomy Club, Book Club, Varsity Tennis and Varsity Golf. Gabriela was also selected for Foundation for Success, Girls State, the Youth Advisory Council, National Honor Society, and World Language Honor Society. She has achieved Principal’s Honor Roll throughout her time in high school. It comes as no surprise that Gabriela ranks 4th in her class with a GPA of 4.53. She even has the potential to graduate with thirty-five college credits!
When asked where her career interest lies, Gabriela beams. “I’ve always loved Biology. Learning about the human body - what it’s capable of and how to treat it - is what I’m passionate about.”
She goes on to explain her desire to enter the medical field stems from her experiences in middle school. Today, she enjoys every facet of her education, from labs, to hands on projects, and lectures.
Gabriela will pursue double majors in Biology and Anthropology. She has already been accepted into Rutgers, Seton Hall, Fordham, Villa Nova, and Manhattan University, and has applied to Yale, Columbia, and NYU. After receiving an undergraduate degree, Gabriela intends to receive her Masters in Physician Assisting.
This hardworking young woman is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others. She’s also had a lot practice in perfecting her work-life balance.
“I aim to have a life, not just a job, while remaining open to all the world has to offer.”
There may even be some traveling in Gabriela’s future. Her interest in biology extends to Medical Anthropology. “It would be great if I get the opportunity to study abroad,” she adds.
When asked what lessons she’ll take with her after graduation, Gabriela explains, “All the opportunities I’ve had at PCTI allowed me to find myself. I know who I am. My participation in the clubs and activities in high school allowed me to develop and grow.”
Congratulations, Gabriela! Your thirst for knowledge and desire to heal the world will ensure a successful future!
View the PDF
Jakub Zarski is a Clifton local whose long fascination with Legos evolved into a prospective career. “I’ve always been interested in building model planes,” Jakub offers. In fact, the reason he chose to attend PCTI is due to the School of Engineering Technology - of which he is a member. It’s the thrill of design and product completion that drives Jakub to pursue a future career in Aeronautical Engineering.
He’s already taking advantage of all the educational experiences PCTI has to offer. Jakub is a member of Gifted & Talented and the Engineering Club. He was also selected for Boys State, Circle of Success, and will be participating in the SkillsUSA competition this year.
Jakub’s academic savvy has secured him a spot on the Principal’s Honor Roll during his entire high school career. Enrollment in high level courses, with fantastic grades to match, has ensured Jakub is ranked in the top two percent of the Class of 2017 with a GPA of 4.38! He also has the potential to graduate with twenty-four college credits.
Outside of PCTI, Jakub enjoys playing soccer and even works as a referee with EDP for youth competitive games.
Future prospects for this bright young man include attending a university to receive a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He has already been accepted into fifteen colleges, a few of which include: FDU, NJIT, Bradley University, Liberty University, Michigan Technological University, the University of Dayton (with scholarship) and many more.
Aside from pursuing educational endeavors in a traditional institution, Jakub has thoughts of creating his own startup. “The aerospace industry needs capital, so my goal would be to focus on contracting and design. Ultimately I want to create environmental solutions.”
Jakub has also expressed an interest to work with the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk. “He’s a visionary on the right track in the industry,” he adds.
When asked about his experience at Passaic County Technical Institute, Jakub explains that attending the career and technical high school was a no brainer.
“I always knew that I wanted to study engineering. Coming here allowed me to be receptive to learning and to gain more knowledge about my future career.”
Jakub’s strong work ethic and logical approach to life will surely pave the path to success, especially in the field of engineering. Congratulations to this studious young man!
View the PDF
Congratulations to Demetrius Pagan, Hamzeh Sheika, Ashley Gayle, and Mikayla Magna, PCTI’s February Athletes of the Month!
Demetrius Pagan and Hamzeh Sheika are four-year varsity letter winners and senior team captains who:
Ashley Gayle and Mikayla Magna, both senior Co-captains who: