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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

UC TEAMS graduates its first high school seniors

Plainfield's Union County TEAMS Charter School, housed at Shiloh Baptist Church, will graduate its first high school senior class tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.

Here is a press release from the school on the event --

Union County Technology Engineering Architecture Mathematics and Science (UC TEAMS) Charter School will celebrate its inaugural high school graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 6pm at Shiloh Baptist Church, 515-517 West 4th St., Plainfield, NJ.  The eighteen members of the school’s first senior class will be joined by their families, their teachers, and community members as they receive their diplomas.  The ceremony will feature an address by keynote speaker Leslie Anderson, Executive Director of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority.  Ms. Anderson, a Plainfield resident, is the first African American woman to head an independent financing authority in the state of New Jersey.  Class of 2013 valedictorian Chinedom Ehiobuche and salutatorian Danielle Tucker will also share their remarks.  Special awards and honors to be presented include the Community Service Award, Leadership Award, Union County College Bridge Program Award, and “Beating the Odds” Award.

The graduation ceremony will be the culminating event in a series of milestone activities for the seniors.  Earlier in June the students completed an exit interview and portfolio presentation before a 10-member panel.  On the morning of their graduation, the members of the Class of 2013 will take their final walk through the hallways of the school.  As they pass by each classroom and office, they will be cheered by their fellow students and the school staff.

UC TEAMS Executive Director Sheila Thorpe spoke fondly of the seniors:  “This first graduating class is 'One of a Kind' in that they have done what few others have  by accumulating college credits while completing  high school coursework  at the same time.  This experience has stretched their imaginations, their dreams and challenged their abilities.   While not an easy path, they have endured and through this refining process, it ultimately has taught them courage in the face of fear.  No matter where they go or what they decide to do, they will have the experience of knowing they can.”
       
After graduation the seniors will be pursuing many different fields, such as biological science, business, communications, fine arts, graphic design, pre-medical, and social work.  They will be moving on to a variety of different schools, including Rutgers University, Cheney University, North Carolina A&T University, Middlesex County College, Union County College, Sanford Brown Institute, and Vaughan College of Aeronautics and Technology.

In fulfilling their requirements for graduation, the seniors at UC TEAMS completed a course curriculum that highlights the use of technology and emphasizes community service.  Students participated in job shadowing programs at Best Buy and Deloitte and Touche.  They volunteered their time tutoring elementary school students in financial literacy with the Junior Achievement program, and they have participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk , as well as several food drives and blood drives.  Additionally, through the Bridge Program of Union County College, these high school seniors earned college course credits before graduating high school.

Members of the UC TEAMS chapter of the National Honors Society will be assisting as marshals at the graduation.  The Middle School Chorus will perform musical selections during the ceremony.  Scholarships will be presented by UCTEAMS’ partners in education:  Shiloh Baptist Church and Reverend Gerald Lamont Thomas, PhD., Turner Construction, Inc., and SHEELD, Inc.  These scholarships will be awarded to students who have excelled in academics and are entering the fields of math, science, and graphic design.

For additional information on the UC TEAMS Charter School’s Inaugural High School Graduation, contact Ms. Joi R. Bethea at (908) 754-9043.

About UC TEAMS Charter School:
The Union County TEAMS Charter School for Technology, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Science is a small learning community where all students achieve high academic standards by using the built environment as a learning laboratory. Students will gain the tools and confidence necessary for successful high school experiences, post-secondary education, and the world of work; will interact with professionals in the construction community, and will manifest by their experiential learning, “We Are Community Builders".
Congratulations to the graduating seniors and to the staff and families who had the vision of a successful small school preparing Plainfield youngsters for the challenges of citizenship in the 21st century.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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