In the New Jersey Mathematics League Completions, Secaucus Middle School's eighth graders finished second in Hudson County, with Alexandra Archetti tying for third as the best scoring eighth grader in the county. Out of a possible top score of 40, Archetti received a 31, followed by Dale Addeo, who scored 30 on that test.
Secaucus seventh graders finished fourth among all competing schools in Hudson County. Jaime Lew tied for fourth as the best scoring seventh grade student in the county. Lew scored 29 followed by Peter Hoffman with 25.
Archetti led Secaucus Middle School in scoring in last November's American Mathematics Competition, with other high scores from the school including Gina Miele, Rica Mondadori, Kevin Rodrigo, Dale Addeo, Jessica Just, Annette Salina, Kenny Mc Celvey, Jessica Corcoran, Joseph Verducci and Mitchell West.
Archetti, Mondadori, Addeo, Salina and Hetal Patel competed in Fairleigh Dickinson University's annual Mathcounts Competition in February. Secaucus Middle School placed 11th out of the 20 schools participating from Hudson and Bergen counties.
Addeo led eighth graders in this year's Continental Math League competitions, a series of five mathematics competitions. Behind Addeo were Miele and Mondadori. Eric Kilroy led the school's seventh graders, followed by Rodrigo and Lew. In recognition of these accomplishments, the Junior Math Club and the Junior National Honor Society have scheduled a trip to the Franklin Institute Science Museum in late April.
On March 16, members of the Junior Math Club sponsored the Celebration of "Pi Day," traditionally celebrated on or close to Albert Einstein's birthday. Although only eighth graders participated in the event in the past, this year Secaucus Middle School included its seventh grade club members.
Fred Ponti, principal of Secaucus Middle School, called this "only the beginning."
"As a new principal, I see what has been done and see things as going up from here," he said. "This tells me we have a nice future, and the credit has to go to the terrific staff of people here. They are very sensitive to the needs of the students."
Ponti attributed the success to the block-schedule the school provides for mathematics and the Junior Math Club, which provides students with additional support.
Ponti also credited Anna Marie Picariello, who - in addition to teaching eighth grade math, Algebra I Honors and seventh and eighth Grade Technology cycles - serves as advisor to the Junior Math Club.
"Mrs. Picariello has worked on various strategies for helping students," Ponti said.
"My goal is to prepare the students in my math classes for the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA) and for their ninth grade high school math course," Picariello said in her school biography. "I hope to make their mathematical experiences enjoyable and meaningful."
Ponti said Picariello has encouraged students in the Junior Math Club to enter various contests throughout the area. "These scores are the result of her encouragement," Ponti said.