SPARTA, NJ – Sparta High School is sending two students to Governor’s School this summer. Kelly Zukowski will be participating in the Science School. While students will be attending the three-week program virtually, the science school is associated with Drew University.
This is the first time Sparta High School has been represented in both schools in the same year, Guidance Director Danille Colte said.
Zukowski is a member of the rigorous STEM Academy at Sparta High School, in the biomedical branch.
“My favorite classes are any that are science of math related,” Zukowski said.
“Kelly is an extremely hard-working student whose enthusiasm is a pleasure to witness,” Biochemistry teacher Lisa Cummins said. “She consistently goes above and beyond in our Biomedical STEM class. It is wonderful to hear that she has been accepted - truly well deserved.”
As a junior she is enrolled in three science classes; Honors Medical Interventions, AP Chemistry and AP Environmental, which “made me all the more curious and happy,” she said.
Chemistry teacher Angela Trzcinski wrote Zukowski’s letter of recommendation for the program. She said, “It comes as no surprise to me that Kelly was chosen to attend the Governor’s School in the Sciences. She is a hardworking student who loves science. She does an excellent job when working on experiments in the laboratory and works extremely well with other students in the class. Congratulations to Kelly on such a great accomplishment and I can’t wait to hear about her experience at Governor’s School.
Zukowski is as busy after school as she is in the classroom. She participates in a variety of activities including Rowing Club, Drone Club, Strings Club and Student Council. She teaches the Catholic religion to third grade students on Sundays, she said.
The STEM student has already homed in on a likely course of study in college.
“Ever since I was young, I knew that I wanted to be a surgeon when I grew up. As a toddler, I would pretend that I was a doctor and my stuffed animals or little brother were my patients.,” Zukowski said. “Therefore, I will probably major in biology in college.”
Guidance Counselor Jenna Valleau said, “Kelly is an incredibly driven young woman who has a keen curiosity for science. She is challenging herself this year by taking AP Environmental Science in addition to her challenging STEM classes. Science is not her singular focus however, as she has demonstrated excellence in the Humanities as well, most notably German. Kelly is a student who truly wants to use her abilities to help others. I am thrilled that Kelly has earned the opportunity to collaborate with likeminded students at Governor's School this summer.”
Zukowski is a member five Honor Societies: National, German, Mathematics, English and Science. She is also in a leadership position in the Women in Science society.
Because of the shutdown, she has had more time to “hang out with my family members.”
The program's mission is for students to learn a sense of ethical, social and civil responsibility. The courses are to be taught by college faculty, promoting a sense of community among those who attend. Zukowski will be working with professors and professionals along with other students from around the state. According to the organization the student will be "immersed in intense college-level research."
“We are so proud of Kelly,” Sparta High School Principal Ronnie Spring said. “Her admission into the prestigious Governor's School is a testament to her hard work and dedication along with the dedication of her amazing teacher.”
“I can’t wait to be a part of the Governor School, to educate myself and expand my mind,” she said.