WEST ORANGE, NJ - For the first time, the West Orange High School Science National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta - National Mathematics Honor Society held a joint induction ceremony on June 9. Thirty-seven students were inducted into the Science Honor Society; 20 into the Math Honor Society; and five into both. Thirty-three seniors received their graduation cords in science, math or a combination.
Science teacher Ronald Brandt welcomed family and friends and expressed enthusiasm and support for the large number of females at the high school that excelled in math and science. Some of the top graduating students, including Valedictorian Susannah Crowell and Salutatorian Emily Adelsohn, will be pursuing science-based majors at their respective colleges.
Brandt and Sonia Laureni are the Faculty Advisors for the Science National Honor Society, and Christina Gonzalez is the Faculty Advisor for the Mu Alpha Theta - Mathematics Honor Society. Stephanie Suriano is the Director of Science for the district, and Frank Ianucci, who will be leaving at the end of the school year, is the Mathematics supervisor.
Guest speaker, Ms. Sasha Koff, an engineer, provided inductees with some interesting statistics and words of support. Only 16% of high school students qualifying for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based honor societies; only 50% of those students will pursue STEM-related degrees; only 18% will complete a STEM-related BA; only 14% of engineers are women; only 6% are Hispanic and Black; only 14% will pursue a Master's in STEM-related degrees.
Koff, who has enjoyed a successful engineering career, encouraged the students to work hard and take advantage of opportunities beyond academics while in college.