Monday, December 10, 2012
Students and staff are making a difference.
This is the first in a multi-part series about the Westfield School District coming to the aid of Superstorm Sandy victims. Check back with Patch throughout the week to learn more about how students and staff are making a difference in Westfield and beyond. The following letter, written Thursday, Dec. 6, comes from Westfield High School Earth Science teacher Sara Soriente: "On the day before Thanksgiving, I spoke to my students about Hurricane Sandy. I had been down to my family's shore house the weekend before and was shocked to see first-hand the devastation that tore apart the shore. I wanted to tie in the Earth Science teachable moment with an opportunity to "do good." In speaking with my students, I showed them a video clip of the …
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
A group of Westfield High School students and teachers finished constructing walls and support columns on the third floor of a school.
At the end of July, 24 Westfield High School students and teachers traveled to the Dominican Republic for a 10-day work trip to help those in need. Since 2007, the school's Project ’79 program has been involved with Foundation for Peace in the construction of a school/community center, water purification system, and clinic in the very poor district of La Javilla de la Cruz Grande, just north of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Sara Soriente, WHS Earth Science teacher and junior varsity volleyball coach, was one of several teachers who accompanied the students, who spanned all high school grade levels. It was Soriente's third time traveling to the DR to help the community that she said has become like family. "They are so very …
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Students and teachers spent 19 days conducting environmental research and learning local culture.
It couldn’t have been any different than Westfield, but they had the time of their lives. That’s the common theme from teachers and students from Westfield High School who went on this summer’s 19-day field trip to South Africa and Mozambique to conduct environmental research. From walking with wild animals to scuba diving to visiting African villages, the trip brought many outside their comfort zone and into a new world. “I’ve been having trouble defining it in words,” WHS physics teacher Josh Garodnick said of the trip. “It was the trip of a lifetime. It was absolutely amazing.” Garodnick and WHS earth science teacher Sara Soriente led the 11 students to Kruger National Park in South Africa and to the Mozambique coast to research the …
Monday, August 1, 2011
Students and teachers arrived back in United States on Sunday.
The Westfield High School students and teachers conducting research in Africa successfully returned to the United States on Sunday. "I am happy to report that all 11 students and both chaperones are home in one piece," WHS earth science teacher Sara Soriente said in a statement Sunday evening. Soriente and WHS physics teachers Josh Garodnick led the students to South Africa and Mozambique for over two weeks conducting environmental research with the Operation Wallecia group. During the time spent in South Africa, the group researched the impact of wildlife and controlled burns on the bush. While in Mozambique, the group scuba dived with sharks and researched coral reefs. During the trip, the group also intereacted with students from around…
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Group to arrive at Kennedy Sunday morning.
The Westfield High School students and teachers studying in Africa are returing to the United States on Sunday morning. The group left South Africa Friday morning bound for London. Following a short layover at Heathrow Airport, the group boarded a flight back to New York. The 11 students, two teacher group has spent two weeks conducting environmental research in South Africa and Mozambique. Led by WHS science teachers Sara Soriente and Josh Garodnick, the group started off at Kruger National Park in South Africa, where they spent a week researching the impact of animals and controlled burns in the bush. While at Kruger, the group also heard lectures on the local environment and had the chance to meet other students from around the world. …
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Student group continues African adventure.
The African adventure continues with the WHS group reaching Mozambique and starting on the swimming with sharks portion of the trip. The 11 student and two teacher group reached Mozambique over the weekend, following a long bus ride from Kruger National Park in South Africa and an evening in a youth hostel on the border of the two countries. The group – led by WHS science teachers Sara Soriente and Josh Garodnick - is spending over two weeks in Africa conducting environmental research with the Operation Wallecia program. After reaching Mozambique, the group immediately made their way into a dive off the coast, following a lunch of egg and bacon sandwiches. Students have reported being impressed by the beach, which they have written home to…
Friday, July 22, 2011
Group ready to start second half of African adventure.
The Westfield High School students and teachers on an African adventure are on the move. The group finished up their environmental research in South Africa’s Kruger National Park Friday morning and hit the road for Mozambique. The group will finish up their trip working on underwater reef ecology research in the African nation. According to an email update sent around Thursday evening, the group has been experiencing a variety of adventures since arriving in South Africa on July 15. Earlier this week the group performed a series of skits on animals and Thursday night they made a presentation on their research into the impact of animals and controlled burns on the bush. On Wednesday, while the group was out conducting research, their Jeep …
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Group waiting to change planes to head to South Africa.
The delegation of 11 Westfield High School students and two teachers headed to Africa to conduct environmental research has reached London. WHS earth science teacher Sara Soriente reports that the group reached London's Heathrow Airport around 6 a.m. New Jersey time on Thursday morning for an eight-hour layover. The group is waiting to board a flight bound for Johannesburg, South Africa. Once in South Africa, the group will take ground transportation to Kruger National Park, in the country's northeastern region near the borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The group is scheduled to leave London around 2 p.m. New Jersey time on Thursday. Soriente is leading the group with WHS physics teacher Josh Garodnick. The group consists of a mix of …
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Group leaves for South Africa Wednesday.
A group of Westfield High School students and teachers are leaving on a jet plane Wednesday afternoon and they know when they’ll be back again. The group of 11 students and two science teachers are leaving on the long awaited Operation Wallacia trip to South Africa and Mozambique to conduct environmental research, along with scuba diving with sharks and sleeping in the wilderness. Led by earth science teacher Sara Soriente and physics teacher Josh Garodnick, the group returns to the United States on July 31. “It is a once a lifetime experience for them to be there,” Soriente said of the trip. “They can do real environmental research, that’s something most university students don’t get to do.” Soriente said the group will spend the first …
Friday, June 17, 2011
Students raise funds for summer trip.
Last week, the Westfield High School principal and teachers were getting a pie in the face to raise money and now it was time to clean-up....cars at least. On Monday, students attending this summer's Operation Wallacia trip to Africa raised funds for the trip by washing cars behind the high school after school. The trip, organized by WHS teachers Sara Soriente and Josh Garodnick, will have students conducting environmental research and learning more about Africa. One of the highlights of the trip will have the students scuba diving with sharks. The WHS gymnastics team will be hosting a car wash on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind the high school to raise funds. Check out photos of the event.