CHS Alumni, Ethan Wukowitz has been busy since his 2017 CHS graduation. During that time, he has earned three welding certifications while working two part-time jobs. And somewhere in there, he found time to continue to pursue his love of music and learned to play both the piano and guitar. And on top of that, he also graduated Bergen Community College this May with certifications in Guest Services (American Hotel and Lodging Institute) and Food Handling (National Restaurant Association).
During Ethan’s time at CHS, his work ethic and drive were evident in everything he did whether it was leading our basketball team or earning honor roll. We were proud of him then and we are even more proud of him now! And did we mention that he is currently enrolled as an undergraduate at PCCC and working on his Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Music Technology? Congrats to Ethan on all of his impressive accomplishments!
In 2010, Dan Firestone graduated Craig Middle School and wrote in his 8th-grade yearbook under his class picture, “One day I will be going for my MSW at Rutgers University”.
In 2014, Dan was a graduating senior at Craig High and sent to his teachers a text that said – I GOT IN –three well-chosen words that conveyed his acceptance into his first college of choice, Marist College (www.marist.edu/) located in Poughkeepsie, NY where he would go on to study at the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences to focus on Social Work and Psychology.
Fast forward six years and one BA later, Dan sent his CHS teachers another text just this week. This time it says – I GOT IT –three well-chosen words that conveyed the fulfillment of his prediction from Middle School that he would graduate from Rutgers with a master’s degree in social work which he did this past May as a member of the Rutgers University Class of 2020. Way to go Dan!
Even in this crazy time, we find reasons to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our Craig High community. CHS Class of 2016 member, Kyle Shea graduated CHS back in 2016. He was an honor roll member all four years, he was an inaugural member and high roller on the CHS Bowling Team, he created his own comic book blog and had followers, and he never broke school dress code once! But his greatest accomplishment to date was his recent graduation from Misericordia College!
Misericordia University is a private university located on a 123-acre campus in northeast Pennsylvania (Dallas, PA). It has 2500 enrolled students and a 10:1 teacher: student ratio, 37-degree programs in three Academic Colleges: College of Arts and Science, College of Health Science and Education, and College of Business. Kyle earned his BA in History. In his time at Misericordia, he interned at the Luzerne County Historical Society, was a member of the History Club, and a volunteer at the Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge. Congratulations to Kyle. We are so proud of you!
Steven Rodriguez, CHS Class of 2017
Enrolled at Mitchell College, New London, CT
Current Major, Human Development
Mitchell College Cross Country Team
Inducted into the Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society (international honor society for students with disabilities)
Camille Incao, CHS Class of 2017
Graduated Christine Valmy International School of Esthetics and Cosmetology
Majored in Cosmetology
Attended CCM Major Fine Arts
Currently Apprenticing at Anthony Garubo Salon in Maplewood
Ryan Coates, CHS Class of 2017
Attending Mitchell College
Majoring in Communications
Secretary of the Mitchell Competitive Gaming Club (largest club on campus). Also, member of Mitchell Film Club
Member of the National Society of Leadership and Success
Cameron Maresca, CHS Class of 2017
Lesley University, Cambridge MA (Threshold Program)
Studying Business and Food Services
Internship at local restaurants which has turned into a paying job
Member of Circle of Friends Club
Mihir Jacinto, CHS Class of 2018
Attending Pace University, NYC
Majoring Information technology
Member of the Pace Computing Society (serves as club secretary)
Volunteers as a Pace U Mentor for college freshmen and helps them adjust to college life.
Completed a Summer Internship with JP Morgan and Chase
Mark Zarnick, CHS Class of 2019
Attending CCM (Community College of Morris)
Majoring in Psychology
Currently working part-time at the YMCA as a swim instructor
Head of School, Tad Jacks reached out to Alyssa Sorrenti, who attended Craig through the 8th grade, to talk about her experience as a student at Craig. Alyssa, being a recent student at Craig acknowledges the positive influences of the teachers on her life. The teachers mentioned in this article are faculty in 2018-19. Alyssa is attending the County College of Morris and will be attending Montclair State University. Thank you, Alyssa for sharing your thoughts about The Craig School!
What is one skill that you learned at the Craig School that you have taken to your current school?
I learned many skills at the Craig School, but organization is at the top of the list. My teachers at Craig gave me the tools I needed to be better organized. These included graphic organizers, color-coded binders and folders for each subject and planning out my assignments. To this day in college, I use graphic organizers to prepare for writing papers and doing homework assignments. I use a color-coded system for all of my college classes. I also write down all assignments in my planner, so that when it’s time to do homework, I know exactly what needs to be done without getting overwhelmed.
Why was your time at Craig so beneficial?
I came to the Craig School at the start of 4th grade as a very frustrated 9 year old, who could barely read. Even simple sight words were difficult for me and I was so embarrassed in front of my classmates, who were reading very well. My parents took me to a Pediatric Neuropsychologist, who determined that I had severe dyslexia. She said that there are three types of dyslexia and I had all three. She told my parents that I fell into the category of “possibly never learning to read” and suggested that I transfer to a special school for dyslexics. Prior to coming to Craig, the teachers at my old school used the Orton Gillingham program to teach me to read. When I got to Craig, my teachers realized that Orton alone didn’t work and that I needed a program individualized just for me. So, my reading teacher, Mrs. Wallace, worked one on one with me, using a combination of Lindamood-Bell along with Orton Gillingham. After only a few months at Craig, the progress I made in reading was more than what I had learned in four years at my public school. I remember feeling so happy that I was actually learning how to read, and I loved being at Craig with other kids like me. Beyond learning how to read, Craig was beneficial to me in many other ways. I learned to have a high self-esteem, to be confident and to be an advocate for myself.
What Teachers made your experience at the Craig School a positive one and why?
All of the Teachers at Craig are amazing and had a positive influence on me. They all deeply care about each and every student and want to see us succeed. Having said that, two of my role models are Mrs. Wallace and Mrs. Reese. These two teachers saved my live and I truly wouldn’t be where I am today without their guidance. Simply put, Mrs. Wallace taught me how to read and Mrs. Reese taught me how to write. Their loving and nurturing ways taught me to never give up. I consider all of the teachers at Craig to be like family, and to this day, I still keep in touch with many of them
Can you give us a brief history of your schooling after you left Craig?
After graduating from Craig, I attended Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes. Fortunately, the Special Ed teachers at Ramapo were excellent and I was able to use the techniques I learned at Craig to be successful. I am currently attending County College of Morris and after receiving my Associates Degree, I plan on furthering my education at Montclair State University. I am studying Psychology and Sign Language and would love to be able to work with deaf people.
When you talk to people in your family or friends, what three words or phrases come to mind when you think about the Craig School?
When I think of the Craig School, the three words that come to my mind are caring, persistence and family.
Craig has instilled several important and useful skills that I still use to this day. The ability to construct a well-written essay is by far the most important. Being able to organize one's thoughts and at the same time interest people in your topic has been a crucial part of my post-graduation life. To obtain the Fulbright grant, I had to write a paper on why I should be selected. Without those skills Craig had taught me, I strongly believe I wouldn't be where I am today. Whatever field you end up going into, you will need to write reports. Since graduating, I have written several reports for my school here in Malaysia and for MACEE. Proving once again how vital this skill is and how Craig has successfully prepared me for the world.
Since arriving in my placement in Bachok, Kelantan I have been able to experience so much. Such as different foods, culture, environment, and sports. Kelantan is known for putting sugar into all their foods, even fish and chicken. Of course, they also have very spicy foods here which have time and time again knocked me and my colleagues out of our seats. The culture is vastly different from the US, the area I am stationed in is highly Muslim and Islamic, so we have to dress accordingly and follow the rules of their culture. Such as no cross-gender touching, and covering certain parts of the body. My first day there, we heard a mans voice over the loudspeaker at a nearby mosque. In areas such as this they have the call to prayer which happens at certain times during the day. Each class is started with a prayer and ends with a prayer. The environment itself is very hot and dry, which still takes some getting used to. Finally sports, SMK Long Yunus is very well known for their athletics. They are huge in Hand Ball, Badminton, and Soccer. I have had the pleasure of being able to help coach their men's soccer team. I have also been able to join the teacher team and play every Tuesday. This experience so far has been incredible and I wouldn't give it up for anything.