Eight recent Linden High School graduates who received the International Baccalaureate Diploma were honored by the Board of Education at their Aug. 26 meeting. It’s the most recipients at LHS in more than a decade. Attending the meeting were recipients Melissa Menzel and Jordyn Loftus, shown with board members Samuel De La Cruz Jr., Patrick Gargano, Malaysia Thomas, Dr. Marlene Berghammer, and Jennifer Flemming, IB Coordinator Anthony Fischetti, board member Sheenaider Guillaume, Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton, and LHS Principal Yelena Horré.
Eight recent Linden High School graduates have been awarded the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma, reaching the pinnacle of academic success for a high school senior and accumulating up to a semester’s worth of credits before they enter college.
It is the greatest number of students to achieve the IB Diploma at LHS in more than a decade.
The diploma recipients were recognized at the Aug. 26 Board of Education meeting by Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton. They are Karina Acosta, Nahuel Delias, Jordyn Loftus, Melissa Menzel, Nicole Monzon, Jacky Ren, Mahmoud Shehata and Daniela Valverde.
“Congratulations to all of our IB Diploma recipients,” Dr. Hazelton said. “Through their hard work and dedication, these students have taken advantage of a great opportunity that is afforded to all Linden High School juniors and seniors to get a head-start of their college career. The fact that this is the largest number of recipients in over a decade is a testament to the continued success and vitality of the International Baccalaureate program.”
Anthony Fischetti, coordinator of the IB program at LHS, said this year’s group epitomizes the district motto of “Excellence in Education.”
“Every year we have wonderful students from all sorts of backgrounds and many given talents who enter our diploma program as juniors with the hopes of completing the program as seniors and attaining an IB diploma,” he said. “It’s a great feat. Not all students are up to that task, and it’s always a celebration when they can accomplish that.”
The IB program is the most rigorous course of study offered at Linden High School, where it just celebrated it 20th year as a free, open-enrollment course for juniors and seniors. Students start the IB Diploma Program as juniors, taking two years of IB courses in math, English, science, history, world languages, and art. They must pass assessments at the end of their senior year in each of these areas, in addition to completing an extended essay and community service project, to achieve the diploma.
Aside from college credits, IB students are more prepared for higher education than many of their peers because of the subject matter and study habits they learn in the program, including a college-style course on the Theory of Knowledge.
Making the accomplishment even greater this year, the students faced a multitude of additional challenges in completing much of their course load virtually over the two years they were in the program.
“Given the volatility and complexity of this academic year, I cannot express how proud I am of the work that the students had to endure, given that most of these past two years in the IB program were virtual,” said Fischetti, who also teaches IB Italian.
The student receive a great amount of support as they go through the vigorous but rewarding IB program.
“I also cannot say enough about the hard work and dedication on behalf of the teachers who had to pivot to a new learning environment for the most challenging courses that we offer,” Fischetti said. “And last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to all the administrators who provided constant support and flexibility throughout these past two years.”