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University High School Graduation Will Celebrate Legacy of Learning


Posted 06/14/2011
Posted by Meagan Fazio

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The 70 graduating seniors at University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE) will extend a legacy of learning when they graduate from the high school located on the campus of the University of Hartford. The class of 2011 includes two sets of twins and four students who have had siblings graduate from UHSSE. The graduation ceremony takes place on Tuesday, June 14, at 5 p.m. in Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford campus, 200 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford, Conn.

Sixty-seven members of the class of 2011, known as the Delta Class because it is the school’s fourth graduating class, plan to continue their education. Three will join the military. Colleges and universities the graduates plan to attend include Rochester Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech, Johnson & Wales University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of Hartford, Virginia Wesleyan College, and Weber State University.

Graduating twins Nelson and Stephanie Palala of Hartford will move on to the University of Connecticut and the Air Force Reserve respectively. Giancarlos and Joshua Perez, also of Hartford, will attend Manchester Community College and Eastern Connecticut State University. Seniors Tyler Colbert, Melissa Flanagan, Jean Anewschka Robles and Nicholas Rojas have siblings that graduated between 2008 and 2010.

The University High School was founded on the "Early College" model, in which qualified students can take college courses and earn credits for college while still attending high school. Nineteen members of this year's graduating class earned college credits by taking University of Hartford classes.

This year’s senior class also includes two students, Jacob Doerfler and Chaitali Korgaonkar, whose research and writing has been accepted for publication in the online encyclopedia and database, African-American National Biography edited by Dr. Henry Louis Gates of Harvard University and published by Oxford University Press. The students, who were part of teacher Theresa Vara-Dannen’s American Studies class, researched the lives of relatively little known African-Americans from Connecticut who have impacted African-American history in this country. The book will bring their accomplishments to light. Doerfler and Korgaonkar’s research joins that of nine other UHSSE students whose research was accepted in the past two years.

The University High School of Science and Engineering opened on the University of Hartford campus in 2004, thus making the University the only private university in the nation to have two public magnet schools on its campus. (University Magnet School, a pre-K through grade 5 school, opened in 2001.) UHSSE has received significant recognition in its seven-year history. In May, math teacher Marilyn M. Jack-Ortique was named Hartford’s 2011 Teacher of the Year. In 2009, it was named the top performing school in the Hartford public schools district and one of the top 100 high schools in America by U.S. News & World Report. In 2008, UHSSE won a Magnet School of America award.