LINDEN, NJ - Three recent Linden High School graduates were honored on Tuesday for attaining the prestigious International Baccalaureate diploma. The IB diploma is the pinnacle of achievement in the high school’s most rigorous course of study, offering those who achieve it up to a semester’s worth of college credits.
This year’s three awardees are Christopher Morales, Bermuda Pierre, and Kristeen Piloto.
“They are amazing scholars,” Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi said at the Board of Education meeting where the three were honored. “These students are absolutely the best of the best of what is great about Linden. I am so proud of them.”
Each student was given a certificate of excellence and an engraved desk clock with a globe design, symbolizing the global reach of the IB program. They were also joined at the meeting by IB coordinator Bernadette Bottino, and IB teachers Allison Massa and Kate Lynn Walker.
Students in the IB program take two years of high-level classes in six subject areas. They must also complete a university-level Theory of Knowledge class; a Creativity, Activity, and Service community service project; and an extended essay. To attain an IB diploma, a student must pass challenging assessments in all six subject areas, which are graded by IB instructors from around the world.
“The IB program is the most rigorous and challenging high school program in the world,” Robertozzi said. “The program is known and respected throughout the world and offers the best preparation for university and for life. The best compliment I can pay to our IB program is that when students come back to visit, they always say that they were prepared for college more so than many of their fellow students.”
All three of this year’s IB diploma winners plan to attend Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
Morales and Piloto said they will major in health sciences and plan to become doctors. Pierre, who was cadet executive officer of the LHS Navy Junior ROTC, will be going to Rutgers on a full U.S. Navy ROTC scholarship to study biomedical engineering and will join the Navy upon graduation.
Several hundred students have benefited from the IB program over the 16 years it has been offered at LHS. Four other students in the Class of 2018 missed gaining an IB diploma by one point and will be given another chance to pass the assessment.
“There are 33,000 school districts in this country, and there are only about 830 districts that offer
this program,” said Board of Education Vice President Theresa Villani. “I am very proud that we
have this program.”