Former Governor Was Panelist At Elizabeth AP Symposium

Former NJ Gov. Jim Florio was a guest panelist at an AP Symposium for Elizabeth High School students on Saturday, March 23. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Public Schools)

Former NJ Gov. Jim Florio was a guest panelist at an AP Symposium for Elizabeth High School students on Saturday, March 23. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Public Schools)

ELIZABETH – Over 100 Elizabeth High School students had the opportunity to participate in a unique college experience through an AP (Advanced Placement) Symposium on Saturday morning, March 23.

Elizabeth High School, one of six smaller schools created when the original Elizabeth High School was divided in 2009, was ranked No. 6 among New Jersey high schools by US News and World Report in 2012 due in part to the high number of students enrolled in rigorous college level or AP courses.Over the last ten years the number of AP exams taken by students of the Elizabeth Public Schools has increased a dramatic 806% from 120 AP exams in 2001 to 967 AP exams in 2011.

The AP Symposium was designed to provide Elizabeth High School students with an intellectual college experience with current or former university professors. The symposium began with a panel discussion on a current educational issue. College level lectures on various topics from Oceanography to Economics were presented by university professors.

In addition, there was a “black hole session.” The black hole session is a college lecture intentionally aimed above the level of the audience’s experience in an effort to stretch student understanding. Architect William Miller, III, spoke to students about his recent commission to reengineer and restore the Goethals Bridge.

Former New Jersey Governor James Florio served as a special guest panelist and speaker at the symposium. The theme for the panel discussion was: “What is the essence of honor and to what extent is honor relevant today?”

Elizabeth High School’s Principal Michael Cummings said, “The visiting professors were gracious, interesting, and engaging. Governor Florio’s presence elevated the level of interest and dialogue. It was a true college experience for the many Elizabeth high school students who chose to attend the Saturday symposium.”

Board of Education President Tony Monteiro commented, “We are thrilled to be able to offer events such as this AP Symposium to our high school students who are very capable of adding to a rigorous college level academic discussion. We are very proud of their willingness to always strive to achieve at the highest levels.”

Other guest lecturers and panelists who volunteered to be a part of this event included: Dr. Francis Hilton, PhD, Professor of Economics at Rutgers University, who spoke about the economic determinants of environmental recovery; Frank Pasquale, JD, M, Professor of Law at Seton Hall University Law School, who addressed the topic of big data and the law; Dr. James R. Miller, PhD, Professor of Oceanography at Rutgers University, who spoke about global warming; and Dr. Raymond Viglione, PhD, Professor of Mathematics at Kean University, who discussed the aesthetics of geometry.

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