Academy of Excellence students host “Count the Calories” breakfast

student taking orders at breakfast

The Academy of Excellence recently hosted a special “Count the Calories Breakfast” to give students a chance to integrate science lessons into a real-life work experience and to bring guests from around the district together to socialize.

Many of the guests were district administrators and secretaries, who were honored for Administrative Professionals Day.

The event on April 29 was organized by the alternative high school’s science teacher, Abdelmonem Zeidan, who said the goal was to enhance the students’ social, emotional, and communicational skills through a school-wide activity.

“The event related many scientific and math concepts to real-life experiences,” he said. “Many students showed greater leadership roles than what we really expected from them. Some of them took the lead to reflect and solve problems; others exhibited great skills in socialization and communication.”


The breakfast had been held twice before, but not since the COVID-19 pandemic. Zeidan was supported by Alternative School Director Kcyronne Zahir, Director of Special Education Dr. Marie Stefanick, and AOE staff. The food was donated by the Linden Education Association.

The menu featured eggs, bacons, sausage, pancakes, fruit salad, orange and apple juice, and coffee.

Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton was among the guests.

“I was very impressed by the professionalism of all the students, the friendly atmosphere, and the delicious food,” Dr. Hazelton said. “It is important that the students get work experience to see the real-world impact of their lessons. They took what they had learned and acted as team to put together this wonderful event.”

The students took on various roles in their dining room, acting as greeters, hosts, servers, and cooks. They took guests’ orders, prepared the food in the kitchen, and delivered it to them in the dining room, which was set up for two seatings with tablecloths and floral centerpieces.

“I think the event was a great success because of the happiness and sense of accomplishment students expressed during and after the event,” Zeidan said. “I received many comments from guests and staff that indicated how well-organized and successful the event was.”

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District Anti-Bullying Coordinator – Ryan Devaney / 908-486-2800 ext. 8036
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