Class of 2013: Raising the Bar

Kris Kozlowski, Graphic by Kristopher Kozlowski

Certainly, many talented, creative, and  intelligent students have graduated Hawthorne High School. However, as a class, there have not been any as intellectually competitive as the class of 2013.

The seniors have one asset in particular to separate them from past classes. Aside from excelling on the field in sports, the senior class has excelled in the classroom.  According to Michael Galluccio, HHS testing coordinator, the class of 2013 had a higher percentage of students scoring Advanced Proficient in math and language arts on the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) than the previous two graduating classes.

The numbers do not lie; in Language Arts, the class of 2013 had 13.7 percent of students score Advanced Proficient compared to 6.8 percent in 2012 and 8.2 percent in 2011. On the Math section of the HSPA, the amount of students who scored advanced proficient in 2013, 26.6 percent, was more than double that of last year at 10.6 percent, and almost 10 percent  higher than 2011 at 17.1 percent. Even Galluccio stated, “What is really jumping out to me regarding the HSPA scores [of the class of 2013] is the percentage scoring Advanced Proficient in mathematics.”

With a high percentage of Advanced Proficient scorers, the senior class is very competitive in the classroom. Students have been known to frequently visit their guidance counselor seeking GPAs and class ranks even before junior year. Galluccio went on to say “probably the top 30 [of this year’s class] would be in the top 20 of last year’s class, which is unusual.”

Even the race for valedictorian is still up in the air with students being so close in GPAs. Mathew Fenkart, the current salutatorian, said when asked about being atop the senior class, “The top five are so close to each other in terms of GPA; it’s very competitive. It’s tough to maintain my rank and tougher to move up.”

It is easy to see how the class of 2013 is unique academically compared to previous classes. With all these senior smarts, the class of 2013 could go down in history as one of the most competitive to graduate Hawthorne High School.