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November 2019
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Jennifer Crusco
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jcrusco@holyangels.org

Newsweek Recognizes Holy Angels as Top STEM High School

Demarest, NJ: On National STEM Day (November 8), the Academy of the Holy Angels will officially be recognized as one of Newsweek’s Top STEM High Schools.

This is the second time this year that Holy Angels has been honored for providing students with a rigorous STREAM curriculum that integrates science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and mathematics. Over the summer, AHA received the Catholic School Executive Leadership Award in recognition of the Academy’s superior STREAM program and the active participation of the students.

“We are honored by the recognition,” AHA Principal Jean Miller said of the announcement from Newsweek Global Editor-in-Chief Nancy Cooper. “It has been a long time in the making as we've been supporting our female students in the STEM fields for years. We have committed to creating relevant STREAM curriculum that is engaging and rigorous. We use the acronym STREAM because we believe that art and religion (think creativity and ethics) are essential elements of a fully articulated STEM program. We strive to provide STEM career field experiences so students are better informed and prepared for choosing a major and for successfully completing their college coursework.

“We believe it is time to close the gender gap in science and tech fields, and we hope to graduate students who are strong female leaders with an informed moral compass.”

In her message announcing AHA’s honor, Cooper explained that her publication partnered with STEM.org to rank America’s Best STEM High Schools.

“We found schools in every region of the country that offer skilled teachers who keep up with developments in these fields and who create dynamic learning environments to engage their students,” Cooper wrote. “As I'm sure you agree, America is a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators, and our economic vitality and national security depend on our children being fluent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM skills that only specialists have today will be expected of virtually everyone in the American workforce tomorrow.

“Your students are natural STEM students. We need to make sure that their innate drive, curiosity, and creativity aren’t lost along the way. And the best STEM schools are helping to ensure that America’s future in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is in good hands.”

Newsweek will publish the names of the Top 500 STEM High Schools in a November 8-15 double issue. On November 8, the magazine will post the rankings of the Top 5,000 STEM High Schools on Newsweek.com.

- AHA offers academic courses and extracurricular opportunities that allow students to benefit from an integrated STREAM education.

- Holy Angels students construct robots and test them in multi-school competitions. In addition, members of Angels Enable have created functional prosthetic hands using one of the Academy’s 3-D printers.

-Three engineering students recently exhibited their work at the National Catholic Educational Association’s STREAM 3.0 conference. The Angels’ projects included a chair constructed from cardboard, an LED light show, a robot, and 3-D printed desktop organizers.

- AHA students have been invited to participate in highly selective programs, including the Yale Young Global Scholars Program -- Frontiers in Science and Technology held at Yale University, and the Governor’s School in the Sciences, a residential summer program held at Drew University.

- Every year, AHA’s student artists and writers earn numerous awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. In addition to the many Angels who earned Key Awards at the regional level of this year’s competition, two AHA artists earned national medals.

- The Academy’s performing artists are recognized throughout the nation. The AHA Varsity Dance Team has won four consecutive national titles in small varsity hip-hop, and the Academy’s theater program regularly draws multiple awards and nominations. An AHA student won a 2019 Metro Award for her supporting role in the spring musical.

- Angels are inducted into national honor societies that welcome students who demonstrate achievements in STREAM. Those organizations include Mu Alpha Theta (math), Tri-M (music), the National Science Honor Society, Thespian Honor Society, and the National Art Honor Society.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

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