Thank you Henry administrative professionals
In April, we typically celebrate Administrative Professional Day with gifts and an amazing team lunch where we sing and give out special prizes. Unfortunately, with COVID-19, we were not able to celebrate them. I would like to say thank you to the following leaders at our school for their support and help throughout our school year:
Admin. Asst. John Ortler – Calendar writer, rental organizer, timekeeper, with a work ethic that never quits, who is the quarterback of our Henry team.
Admin. Aide Lorrie Harper – Principal secretary and support, volunteer coordinator, and teacher support.
School Clerk 1 Nancy Passmore – The true mother of PHHS who helps every teacher and visiting teacher, answers phones, work with coaches, and is the most positive employee I know.
School Typist Nita Brown – assisting with library books and attendance.
School Clerk 1 Carlos Luna – Bilingual support to our attendance office, transportation support, and a great voice to talk to when you need help at Henry.
School Clerk 2 Chris Genung – Attendance leader, registration support, always ready with a kind word to help you manage a crazy contract.
Health Tech Aide Vicki Tully – A friendly face in the nurse’s office ready to help especially this year when we had many fevers flying through the office.
Site Tech Angie Figueroa – Keeper of records, master schedule designer, and support to teachers when inputting grades.
Financial Secretary Lucia Pineda – Everyone needs a Lucia in their life because when the auditor comes, we look wonderful, thank to her ability to sell tickets, give refunds, purchase supplies, and help us with our finances.
Library Tech Patricia Saenz – Rookie to our team but mighty in the library, ready to help us transform it back to a place for students to be together when we’re done with this COVID-19 disaster.
Media Tech Jim Spradlin – Responsible for every computer on campus, passwords, the servers, and all the things we truly need to work at Henry right now.
Registrar Vera Li – She is the secret sauce when it comes to getting into college, always ready with a transcript and able to get it where it needs to be in a rush.
School Clerk 2 Sub. Claudia Hernandez – Ready to help us even when we’re not in school to recognize our seniors with an Award’s celebration.
Henry student selected as finalist in DNA essay contest
Patrick Henry High School is pleased to report that Emerson Utgaard’s (Class of 2022) essay was selected as a finalist for the American Society of Human Genetics’ (ASHG) 2020 DNA Day Essay Contest.
Only 2% of submitted essays were selected as finalist. Emerson’s essay was judged among applicants from all over the world and her essay placed her as an Honorable Mention certificate winner.
This contest is open to students in grades 9-12 worldwide and asks students to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. Essays are expected to be well-reasoned arguments that indicate a deep understanding of scientific concepts related to the essay question. ASHG members evaluate the essays through three rounds of scoring.
ASHG received essays from about 850 students from 39 U.S. states and 28 non-U.S. countries, who explored ancestry testing and cultural heritage. Nearly 300 ASHG members evaluated the results for accuracy, creativity, and writing. Since 2006, ASHG has led the contest annually and seeks to spark excitement and learning among the next generation of genetics professionals and foster greater genetic literacy among the general public.
This year, students were asked to research types of information they could learn about their genetic ancestry through three types of genetic testing — Y chromosome testing, mitochondrial DNA testing, and autosomal DNA testing. Students were then asked to compare and contrast this genetic ancestry information with their cultural heritage.
“With genealogy websites such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe becoming increasingly popular each year, we were interested in bringing science students’ attention to the promise and some of the potential complexities raised by these tests, including how the information you learn may conflict with the information you know, especially as it relates to your family traditions and culture,” said Joseph Shen, MD, PhD, an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco–Fresno campus and a member of ASHG’s Public Education and Awareness Committee. “The goal of the question was to get students to understand ancestry tests in a more scientific way, by researching the three types, and in a personal way, by analyzing how the information may impact a consumer.”
National DNA Day, celebrated annually on April 25, commemorates the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure in 1953 and the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, two key milestones in genetics.
ASHG will award monetary prizes to winning students as well as grants for genetics laboratory equipment to eligible teachers. The first place winner, Anisha Parsan (from Clements High School), received a $1,000 prize.
Honorable mentions were awarded to 11 students, each of whom will receive a $100 monetary prize, and PHHS is proud to have Emerson be eligible for this recognition and award. Her AP Biology teacher, Mr. Andy Mangahis, was very proud of her participation and recognition as well. He stated, “As students learn about genetic testing and DNA sequencing they begin to understand how these concepts may have a direct effect on themselves or a loved one. I’m so excited for Emerson’s current and future accomplishments.”
PHHS takes first in EDCO Recycling Challenge
Congratulations to Patrick Henry High School for beings named the first place winner in the high school category of the 2019-20 EDCO Recycling Challenge. PHHS waste reduction and increased recycling resulted in a 40.86% waste diversion rate, garnering Henry the top District honor and a $1,250 prize award. This is the third year in a row that Henry has placed in first place with the closest high school (UC High School) being at a 30.85% waste diversion rate.
The goal of the Recycling Challenge is to reduce waste and increase recycling in our schools to facilitate compliance with state law requiring school districts to divert 75% of our waste from landfill disposal by 2020. Winners were determined based on overall waste diversion (i.e. waste vs. recycling service), bin fullness and weight surveys, and level of recycling education and outreach programs implemented on campus through March 20, 2020. Results were also based per capita student enrollment.
It’s nice during the month of April to appreciate the work our students and staff have done in terms of recycling each year. Kudos go out to Lara Dickens and the Environmental Club; to our amazing NJROTC team headed up by Mr. Ron Flaherty; and finally to our committed custodial team headed up by Plant Operation Supervisor Cathy Murphy. This team has won first place the last three years in a row and keeps the setting the bar higher and higher for other schools to try to meet!
— Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.