Excellence in the Everett Public Schools: Betania Zelalem Receives National Recognition

Special to the Independent

Everett High School senior Betania Zelalem has received a National NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC). The award, powered by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), recognizes 9th-12th grade women, genderqueer, or non-binary students for their computing-related achievements and interests, as part of an effort to encourage a diverse range of students to choose careers in technology.

Four hundred award recipients were selected from high schools across 43 states and all U.S. overseas military bases for their outstanding aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education.

All recipients receive recognition and prizes; induction into the AiC Community of more than 22,000 women, genderqueer, or non-binary technologists; access to resources, scholarships, and internship opportunities; and more.

Betania — or Betty, as she is known to her family and friends — is a standout student and President of the Computer Science Honors Society. She speaks three languages and is a member of the National Honor Society and an EHS Student Ambassador. An accomplished coder, Betty plans on studying computer science/artificial intelligence and linguistics and hopes to attain bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Her top college choice is Carnegie Mellon University. Among her courses this year is Mr. Neil Plotnick’s cybersecurity class.

“Fostering our students’ interest and passion for technology is critically important, as is our commitment to creating more diversity among the STEM fields,” said Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani. “We are extremely proud of Betania for receiving this prestigious award, and we are honored to have Everett High School associated with the National Center for Women & Information Technology.”

NCWIT is the farthest-reaching network of change leaders focused on advancing innovation by correcting underrepresentation in computing. NCWIT convenes, equips, and unites nearly 1,500 change leader organizations nationwide to increase the influential and meaningful participation of girls and women — at the intersections of race/ethnicity, class, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and other historically marginalized identities — in the field of computing, particularly in terms of innovation and development.

Investing in Our Students

Free Minecraft and Video Game Design Class

The Everett Public Schools is offering a free course on Minecraft and Video Game Design through its partnership with Empow Studios. The eight-session program will be held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. between April 9th and June 11th. It is open to all Everett High School students.

Participants will learn fun technologies by engaging in the engineering design process and completing projects in Minecraft and the Flowlab Video Game Design system. They will develop new skills and build relationships through collaboration.

Empow Studios is an award-winning provider of STEM programming. It supports not only active participation and developing technology literacy but also social collaboration, self-actualization, and creativity.

Interested students can access the sign-up form on the homepage of EPS website or by contacting Chief Equity Officer Cory McCarthy.

Theatre of Dreams

EHS Advances in Metg Competition

In the latest achievement by its blossoming drama program, Everett High School (EHS) has advanced to the final round of the 2022 METG Theatre Festival after a stirring performance of the play, “Still Life with Iris.”

EHS was among the schools to earn a spot at the Regional Round after scoring a qualifying score in the preliminaries, held earlier this month at Marshfield High School. Led by Artistic Director Evan DeMarzo, the EHS Theatre Company will be back on stage on Saturday, April 2nd at Duxbury High School for one of seven regional festivals hosted by the METG (Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild).

“I know I speak for the entire district in extending our best wishes to these talented, committed, and creative students,” said Superintendent Priya Tahiliani. “I have had the pleasure of seeing this production, and I am thrilled that our students will be able to share it with a wider audience and their peers around the state.”

“Still Life with Iris” centers on a little girl’s search for the simplest of things: home. Iris lives with her mom in the land of Nocturno — a magical place in which the workers make, by night, all of the things we see in the world by day.

EHS received numerous group and individual awards following its performance at Marshfield High School:

Excellence in Acting: Jasmine Vertilus, for the role of Iris

Excellence in Acting: Nilabhro Pal, for the role of Mozart

Excellence in Acting: David Foster, for the role of Grotto Good

Excellence in Acting: Gianna Rodriguez-Sanchez, role of Gretta Good

Excellence in Sound Design: Darian Ventura

Excellence in Set Design.

Excellence in Costume Design

The Massachusetts High School Drama Festival is a competitive program that showcases one-act plays produced by member high schools. Student excellence in acting and technical design is recognized at each level. Due to COVID-19, the METG made changes to its 2022 schedule. It hosted the Preliminary Round the weekend of March 19th and 20th, followed by this weekend’s regionals. Fourteen schools will be crowned winners, but the METG is not hosting a State Final this year.

Saturday’s performance is open to the public. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Duxbury High School. Everett is scheduled to take the stage at 2:30 p.m.

Next Stop: EHS! 8th Grade Information Night

The Everett High School Guidance Department will host an Information Night for parents and guardians of EPS eighth graders on Monday, April 11th at 6:00 p.m.

If you have an eighth grader who is planning to attend Everett High in 2022-2023, be sure to attend this special event. Members of the guidance team will be on hand to answer your questions and provide information about our academic and extracurricular activities. Multilingual family liaisons will be available to assist families.

Please email 9th grade guidance counselors, Ms. Andrade at [email protected] or Ms. Kacvinsky at [email protected] if you have any questions.

EHS looks forward to seeing you on April 11th.

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