King Philip Students Earn Liberal Arts and STEM Graduation Distinctions

King Philip Regional School District
Paul Zinni, Superintendent
18 King Street
Norfolk, MA 02056

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 17, 2019

Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-428-3299
Email: [email protected]

King Philip Students Earn Liberal Arts and STEM Graduation Distinctions

WRENTHAM — Superintendent Paul Zinni is pleased to announce that 11 seniors at King Philip Regional High School have earned Graduation Distinctions in liberal arts and in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

King Philip High School’s two Graduation Distinction programs were launched in 2016 in an effort to provide students the opportunity to work on long-term projects of their choosing and conduct research in either the liberal arts or in STEM. The projects are required to have a community service component, and students in the program must also present their work and findings to teachers and administrators for review.

Achievement of each distinction will be noted on the students’ school transcripts, and a liberal arts or STEM Graduation Distinctions program description will be included in the school profile that is sent to colleges.

Students that earned the liberal arts distinction completed a specific program of classes throughout their high school careers including four years of English, two years of U.S. history, world history, and five credits in a liberal arts elective such as world language or art.

To earn the STEM distinction, students were required to take four years of science and mathematics classes, as well as five additional elective credits in science.

Both distinctions required students to develop a project under the guidance of an adviser that reflected the “real world” applications available through the liberal arts or STEM. Students worked on their projects for a year or more.

On Friday, May 10, students presented their projects to a faculty panel.

“These 11 students have worked incredibly hard not only in the classroom, but outside of school to apply these concepts in real life contexts,” Superintendent Zinni said. “They have fully earned these distinctions, and have completed a comprehensive course of study over their high school careers in these fields.”

Students that earned the liberal arts distinction include Jessie Kornfeld, of Norfolk; Jimmy Dumont, of Plainville; Ethan Ball, of Norfolk; and Max Armour, of Norfolk.

Kornfeld used graphic design experience she had gained from an internship to generate publicity for an art department fundraiser for her project. Dumont wrote an article that was published in the town pages of a local newspaper about the efficacy of service dogs. Ball developed a computer game and tested it on gamers. Armour gave out brochures about opioid addiction and awareness at a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) walk.

Students that earned the STEM distinction include Ally Wood, of Norfolk; Caroline Robertson, of Norfolk; George ElMassih, of Wrentham; Justin Willson, of Wrentham; Olivia Atkins, of Norfolk; Maria Fabiano, of Wrentham; and Nikita Murli, of Plainville.

Wood gave a presentation at the Norfolk Grange about colony collapse disorder in bees. Robertson gave a lesson to King Philip health classes about cell phone addiction. ElMassih taught a computer coding class to middle school students. Willson conducted an experiment to test the efficacy of engineered materials on reducing zebra mussel attachment to pipes, and his research is also going to be published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators. Atkins presented research from her Rhode Island summer fellowship. Fabiano worked to increase awareness about physical therapy. Murli gave a lesson to King Philip health classes about the overuse of antibiotic medicines.

“Congratulations to each of these students for earning these remarkable distinctions and creating such thoughtful, well-researched projects,” said King Philip High School Principal Lisa Mobley. “These distinctions encourage students to take their studies one step further by making a real-life impact, and each of them found a way to share their findings in a meaningful way.”