2000-06-17 / Columnists

The Week at

The Rock
by Stuart L. Astor

June 10 marked Far Rockaway High School’s first student forum, a Saturday event conducted by and for students, giving them the opportunity to focus upon and suggest improvements for various school activities. After a welcome speech by Allisia Daley and a keynote speech by Teena Barnett, those present attended three student-led workshops: the first on student empowerment and school spirit, the second on prejudice and racism, and the third on the relationship between teachers and students. Recommendations derived from these workshops will be presented to the faculty cabinet for discussion as well as possible implementation.

Consultants from St. John’s University, who spoke at and participated in the workshops, were extremely impressed with both our students and the whole event. The forum was followed by a very successful dance conducted by a DJ in the FRHS cafeteria. This dance was the first such activity at the school in over four years.


Jeane-Paule Christie, valedictorian for the FRHS Class of 2000, plans to attend St. John’s University in September. St. John’s has awarded her grants and scholarships totaling $13,416 per year along with an academic achievement award of $5000. Other schools and institutions have followed suit: the New York State Department of Education has made a grant to Jeane-Paule for academic excellence in the amount of $1500 per year, and New York City has offered to provide a Chancellor’s Scholarship of $1,450 per year as well as a Chancellor’s Recognition Award of $300 annually. Jeane-Paule might also choose to accept the Queens College Madoff Scholarship in the annual amount of $3500, or similar scholarships from Hofstra ($17,368) or Stony Brook ($9010). All in all—and multiplied by four undergraduate years—this fine student has been offered more than 105,000 richly deserved dollars. Jean-Paule’s photo appeared in last Sunday’s Newsday with the valedictorians from other Queens high schools. She plans to attend medical school and specialize in cardiology.


Senior Veronica Ortiz has been awarded a prestigious scholarship for "demonstrating leadership, humanitarianism and academic excellence throughout a high school education," by PREA, the Puerto Rican Educators Association. The exact amount of the scholarship will not be announced publicly until the Awards Ceremony at Lehman College in the Bronx on Friday evening, June 16, but such awards are generally financially significant.


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