Tag Archives: Francis Lewis High School

Fresh Meadows tennis pro competing for US Open spot


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy USTA Middle States


A Fresh Meadows tennis player is closing in on a spot in the US Open later this year, but she’ll have to fight her way in.

Jennifer Elie, 27, won the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Middle States sectional national playoffs tournament on June 24, which slots her in as a wild card in the US Open qualifying tournament held a week prior to the national Grand Slam in August. Should Elie win that draw, she’ll advance to the US Open.

Elie, who played for Francis Lewis High School, has been a consistent player on the USTA Pro Circuit and in International Tennis Federation (ITF) events. She won two ITF singles titles in 2012 in Caracas, Venezuela, and has also won four USTA Pro Circuit and ITF-level doubles events.

Elie, who peaked at No. 286 in the world in April 2013, has a win over current world No. 18 Sloane Stephens at a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Kentucky in 2011.

 

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Sports Star: Robyn Francis, junior guard, Francis Lewis HS girls basketball team


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Name: Robyn Francis
School: Francis Lewis
Grade: Junior
Sport: Basketball
position: Guard

 

Robyn is a junior guard on the Francis Lewis High School girls basketball team. Francis scored 8.9 points, grabbed 6.9 rebounds and added 4.4 assists per game this season for the Lady Patriots, and contributed to the team’s recent PSAL Division AA city championship title. Francis is also part of the school’s outdoor track team. In her spare time Francis volunteers to mentor young basketball players around ages 7 to 10 in a local league. She oversees practices and helps with drills.

Off the court and track, Francis maintains a 92 percent average, and has applied to be a member of Arista, the National Honor Society. Her favorite subject is math and she would like to study accounting in college. Although she is not completely sure yet where she will continue her education, St. John’s University in Jamaica is at the top of her list. Francis is also hoping to join the women’s basketball team at St. John’s.

Why is it important to do well both academically and athletically?
“It’s hard, but it’s also worth it. If I can get a half basketball scholarship and a half academic scholarship, that would be great. I want to go to go college for free, and I want to focus on my education.”

Why do you want to major in accounting?
“Because I’m good at math, and I want to do math as a career. Accounting involves math, and it’s a good paying job.”

Why do you like teaching young children to play basketball?
“Since I have a great talent in basketball, I want to share that with others. Also, when I stop playing, I want to see the younger generation playing at a higher level of basketball than me.”

Why would St. John’s University be a good fit for you?
“I think St. John’s is convenient because it’s close to home, it has accounting and I like how the girls [basketball team]plays.”

 

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Francis Lewis HS girls basketball team wins championship


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

A magical season for the Francis Lewis Lady Patriots girls’ basketball team culminated with a fairy tale ending, as the team won its first PSAL Division AA championship.

For 15 consecutive years Murry Bergtraum High School won the city title, but Lewis knocked off the Manhattan team in a semifinal last week.

Then the Lady Patriots outlasted perennial powerhouse South Shore Lady Vikings in the city championship game on Saturday, March 8, and won 65-58.

“It’s a pretty great feeling knowing that we made it this far,” Lewis sophomore guard Sierra Green said. “This was our goal at the beginning of the year. And we succeeded.”

The team’s win and superb season was by and large a result of the efforts of Green. She led the Lady Patriots with a game-high 21 points, and was the recipient of the league’s MVP award.

By halftime Lewis led 27-18, and Green scored more than half of the team’s points with 14.

“Sierra is just one of those other girls. I always say she has no conscious,” Lady Patriots head coach Stephen Tsai said. “We could have no offense and she makes something happen.”

But the guard was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and the Lady Vikings, which had a 55-38 advantage on the boards, turned rebounds into scoring opportunities.

South Shore executed a late second half run, eventually cutting the lead to 51-47.

Lady Patriots junior guard Chi La Bady heated up in the second half. She scored 11 of her 19 points to help Lewis push back against the Lady Vikings’ charge.

“My teammates did step up,” Green said, “so I didn’t have to rush, not rush, I didn’t have to go that hard as I did earlier in the game.”

 

 

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Francis Lewis HS tops Aussies on the court


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Australia came to Queens to play basketball, only to be blasted off the court by the Francis Lewis boys’ varsity team.

Melbourne’s Club Kilsyth Cobras arrived stateside Thursday and played the Francis Lewis High School Patriots (PSAL 5-1) Friday afternoon.

“It’s a good cultural experience for both teams,” said Gerard Ciarleglio, Francis Lewis’ head coach. “For them to come half way across the planet, the boys were excited. They [were] looking forward to representing New York.”

The Cobras raised $22,000 to make the trip, said coach Darren King. After playing Francis Lewis, they head to Charlotte and then to Los Angeles for games. In Melbourne, sports are played outside of school and the Cobra players train and play primarily on weekends.

When the noon game started on Friday, it was about 4 a.m. back home for the Aussies, King said.

Sophomore Jaheam Cornwall, the Patriots’ 15-year-old starting point guard, led both his team and the scoreboard, ending the game with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds – the first triple-double Francis Lewis has seen in about three years, Ciarleglio said.

Cornwall achieved his goal of “being aggressive” right out the gate, faking and driving hard to the basket, making lay-up after lay-up throughout the game.

Guard Ashton Rosa seemed to be the always-open man, both hitting from the perimeter and going to the basket. He racked up 17 points and seven rebounds.

Despite the Cobras’ fast transition and quick offense, they were unable to see through the majority of their shots. The Patriots nearly tripled the international visitors’ score through all four quarters.

Francis Lewis maintained a good defense and grabbed rebounds from the Cobras’ failed shots. Center Quentin Williams followed Cornwall in rebounds, ending with 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Following the 84-30 victory, Ciarleglio said he wants his team to “keep playing hard,” and particularly work on executing offensive plays, passing and boxing out.

For the Cobras, the next move was getting some rest.

“They need some sleep,” King said.

 

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Sports Star: Jaheam Cornwall, point guard, Francis Lewis HS basketball team


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Name: Jaheam Cornwall

School: Francis Lewis High School

Grade: Sophomore

Sport: Basketball

Position: Point Guard

As a sophomore Jaheam Cornwall is leading the Francis Lewis Patriots (4-1 PSAL Queens-A West) with 20 points per game as of Wednesday, December 18. He is also leading the PSAL Queens-A West conference with 100 points in five games. In Francis Lewis’ latest game against Aviation High School on December 17, Cornwall scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Why do you play basketball?

“I started playing basketball at 8 years old. It started off as something fun and then I saw how good I could be and I just pushed myself harder and harder every day. My brother and my mom have supported me fully.”

What do you aspire to do?

“I want to go to college. I’ll be the first one to go to college in my family. That’ll be the best thing for [my mom], to see her son go to college.”

Which colleges are you thinking about attending?  

“Iona College, Fordham University, St. Francis College and The University of Texas.”

What are your hobbies?

“Go to the movies with friends. Go to the park and shoot around.”

What other career would you do besides basketball? 

Firefighter. They have like a good job. They help save people.”

 

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Queens educators win for excellence in teaching science, math


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics

Seven of the city’s top science and math teachers, including three from Queens, know the formula for success in the classroom.

They accepted Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics this week for using creative methods to inspire students to make the grade and pursue careers in their field.

For Thomas Sangiorgi, a Regents chemistry teacher at Townsend Harris High School, this means being a human target.

The 46-year-old educator lets his students throw plastic foam balls at him in order to demonstrate the collision theory. The only way to score a point is to hit him in the head with one.

“You need the right amount of energy and the right amount of aim,” said Sangiorgi, a teacher of 19 years. “The students love the idea of throwing a ball at a teacher.”

The imaginative demonstration is one of many that have made Sangiorgi a living legend at the Flushing school, Sloan officials said.

Other lessons include shooting balled up socks in the air through a makeshift acetylene cannon to show an organic chemistry reaction.

“The louder it is, the more applause I get. It’s pretty nifty,” he said. “And at that point, I’ve got their attention. They want to know what they just saw.”

Yunseon Esther Kim of Francis Lewis High School and Dorina Cheregi of Newcomers High School were also awarded this year.

Kim, an integrated algebra teacher, was lauded for her eight years of “patience, perseverance and gift for lucid mathematical explanation,” according to Sloan officials.

“Ms. Kim is someone who puts in every ounce of her being toward helping kids,” said Francis Lewis

High School Principal David Marmor. “She stays late. She tutors on her free time. She’s a fantastic math teacher. She’s had phenomenal success.”

Kim has also helped two-thirds of her second-year algebra students pass their Regents exams after they failed their first year, Marmor and Sloan officials said.

Cheregi, a Romanian immigrant, has dedicated more than 17 years to teaching basic and advanced math to new immigrant teens. She is credited for her honors students’ 92 percent pass rate on the AP Calculus test, according to award officials.

“To have that role model in the school is really wonderful,” said Newcomers Principal Orlando Sarmiento. “It gives the kids a very concrete example of excellence and how to use education to be successful in the United States.”

The seven winners in the city, chosen by a panel of distinguished science and math educators, are being honored in a ceremony Wednesday by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit organization, and Fund for the City of New York.

Each teacher received $5,000 and another $2,500 for their school’s science and math programs. This is the program’s fifth year.

Other winners were Charlene Chan of the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, Eloise Thompson of DeWitt Clinton High School, Elisabeth Jaffe of Baruch College Campus High School and Eleanor Terry of the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology.

 

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Furloughs cancel forum for future cadets


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo by Neil Ruiz

Queens high school students looking to serve their country will have to make do without a planned information forum that could have been critical to their military future.

Recruiters from five of the nation’s top military academies were set to meet the borough’s prospective cadets until the government shutdown trickled down and caused its cancellation.

The Forest Hills forum organized by Congressmember Grace Meng was expected to draw at least 100 people, according to Meng’s office. It was called off since most academy representatives were likely furloughed from the shutdown.

A spokesperson for Meng said the event could not be rescheduled even if the shutdown ends soon due to time restraints.

“Canceling this important forum for our local students is extremely disappointing,” Meng said. “It illustrates how our Congressional district continues to feel the effects of the GOP shutdown.”

The event gave students a chance to get key information all at once, including requirements and procedures for applying, from representatives from the prestigious institutions.

Applicants are also short on time and have until November 1 to apply for their required congressional nominations — a competitive process in New York.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy all mandate a nod for appointment from a U.S. representative.

Congressmembers or senators then have until January 31 to review and interview applicants before sending their choices to the academies.

“For the sake of our constituents and the rest of the country,” Meng said, “I once again urge House Republicans to immediately reopen the government.”

The federal stalemate, at least, is not delaying squared-away cadets at Francis Lewis High School, which has one of the country’s largest junior battalions.

The six seniors interested in attending West Point have already submitted their applications and congressional nomination requests, according to Senior Army Instructor retired Lt. Col. Al Lahood.

The school’s JROTC program has sent more than 20 cadets to West Point since 2003, officials said. Five alumni graduated from the prestigious military academy last year.

Five Queens teens from other high schools have also been accepted to the Air Force Academy since last year.

 

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Family, friends remember Flushing 20-year-old killed in motorcycle crash


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Facebook

Hundreds gathered in spite of wind and rain to honor a 20-year-old Flushing man killed in a motorcycle crash last week.

“This was one of my best friends,” said Niaz Aziz. “He was like a brother to me.”

Kiyanoush Asif died June 12 when he crashed his 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle into an oncoming 2011 Honda Accord. The car was making a left turn at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Murray Street, police said.

Asif accelerated and struck its rear passenger side door at around 5:30 p.m., cops said. He was pronounced dead at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. The other driver remained at the scene and no criminality is suspected, police said.

The death ­— caused by blunt trauma to the head, torso and extremities — was ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Nearly 200 friends remembered Asif at a June 13 vigil outside Francis Lewis High School, where he graduated in 2011.

Blustering winds and rain in 60 degree weather did not stop them from meeting that night to pay their respects.

“He was a really smart kid, loved by everybody,” said Danny Salik, 20. “He was always smiling, always happy. There was nothing bad about this guy.”

Asif was a rising junior studying biology at Hunter College. He had volunteered at Flushing Hospital, friends and family said, and was an Army Junior ROTC cadet at Francis Lewis. He also had a passion for rapping.

“He was not my grandchild. He was my heart,” said Asif’s grandmother, Talat Noori. “God gave us a rose, but he was just for us to have temporarily. We still say thank you for every second, every minute of it.”

Monika Friend said many former classmates came to share tales of her cousin, who kept his personal life private.

One told the family Asif had once spent three periods in high school consoling an upset stranger.

“We felt proud of him,” said Friend, 31. “That was our boy.”

Asif bought his motorcycle about two weeks ago, though his parents begged him not to, his family and friends said.

“He was strong and brave and humble,” said Aziz, 20. “He was one of the realest people I knew.”

Aziz, a close friend for more than 12 years, said he got a cryptic call from the hospital through Asif’s cell phone on the day of the crash.

“They said they couldn’t tell me what was wrong but needed me to go there,” he recalled. “They said he wasn’t feeling well.”

He soon found out the news through Asif’s family.

“I lost a part of me,” he said, adding that he returns to the site of the crash often.

“These are the hardest days of my life,” Aziz continued. “We’re still over here hurting. I can’t even think straight. I can’t believe it.”

 

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Francis Lewis JROTC program sends two more students to West Point


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The country’s largest Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program will send two more cadets to West Point.

Aaron Lin, 19, and Brian Nepogoda, 17, have been accepted to the U.S. Military Academy.

The JROTC program at their high school, Francis Lewis, has sent more than 20 cadets to West Point since 2003. Five of Francis Lewis’ JROTC alumni graduated from the prestigious military academy last year.

“I really, honestly can’t even describe my feelings. It’s an extreme honor,” Lin said. “It was my goal since I was a little kid. I’ve always wanted to be a soldier. It’s my highest personal achievement.”

Lin, a former cadet captain from Flushing, recently completed a one year preparatory program at Marion Military Institute after graduating from high school.

He said his “extreme patriotism” for his country and his Chinese-American pride pushed him to start a life of service.

“Since I’m here, I might as well fight for everyone who lives here,” he said. “I want to show that Chinese-Americans are not any less than anyone else. We’re just as strong. We can become great officers and leaders. I wanted to make my family proud.”

Nepogoda, a senior from Bellerose, said he was inspired to continue in the footsteps of his veteran grandfathers.

“They used to tell me stories about their service, stories about honor and how they were heroes. That really inspired me,” he said.

Nepogoda, a cadet first sergeant, is currently third in charge of a company of 200 students. He was also part of a Francis Lewis team that won first place in a recent Fort Dix competition that tested their mental and physical abilities.

“He gives 200 percent,” said coach and retired Master Sgt. Peter Rompf. “I’m proud. They were both good role models for the team.”

The pair leaves for six weeks of basic training in July before they begin their academic year. They will spend five years in active duty and four years in the reserves after graduating in 2017.

“I’ve wanted to go to West Point since about eighth grade,” Nepogoda said. “When I got accepted, I just couldn’t help but think how weird it is how quickly dreams can come true.”

 

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Francis Lewis High School drill team wins nationals


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Patriot Pride

A Queens drill team left high and dry in September has taken back the national title.

Francis Lewis High School’s unarmed team earned an almost perfect score May 6 at the 31st annual National High School Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida.

“It brings tears to my eyes thinking back to how hard they worked,” said their coach, retired Sgt. 1st Class Helen Batts. “Their dedication, loyalty and hard work—they poured their hearts into it.”

The annual competition drew more than 50 schools nationwide. Francis Lewis last sat at the top in 2009.

But with six outgoing senior spots to fill, the team took a blow in the fall when four seasoned drillers left and new members began to drop like flies.

“The team was actually suffering,” Batts said. “In September, I did not see a very productive future for them.”

Leaders put their hopes into a batch of bright-eyed rookies. Four freshmen had less than six months to learn and perfect multiple routines and memorize page after page of military facts.

“I looked at them and saw their strength,” Batts recalled. “I said, ‘You are the four.’ They said to me, ‘We’ll be ready next year.’ I said, ‘No, ma’am. You’re going to bring it this year.’ It just took off from there.”

The freshmen found themselves part of a historical victory. A Francis Lewis team had never before landed a national title with that many new members, Batts said.

Co-captain Jasmine Fung said she was fearful at first, but put her effort into training the freshmen.

“We pushed them the hardest, up until the point where they started crying,” she said. “But they really pulled it off. I’m so proud of them.”

Freshman competitor Christi Mahilum said the four fledglings were skyrocketed to a higher standard.
“We were about to give up somewhere in the middle,” said Mahilum, 15. “But it was worth it.”

News of the triumph came as a shock to the now reigning champs, who placed sixth—their lowest rank in years—at a competition in Kentucky last month.

“It was a wake-up call for us to get into shape,” said Fung, 17. “It was like, ‘Hey. It’s time to get your act together.’”
The team regularly clocked 26 hours of practice in a week, including six hours on Saturday. They forced themselves to come in one hour before school each day, Fung said.

Their hunger for a top trophy was satisfied. The Patriot Pride took home the gold by six points.

“I think that the freshmen didn’t pull it off alone,” said freshman Ashley Chan. “But it feels good to be recognized because we were the underdogs of the team.”

Mahilum, now an experienced driller, said she’s excited to finally take a breath—until next season.

“It feels really good to have helped the team get to where we are now,” she said.

 

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Middle Village wrestler William “Spartan” Ferrara hopes to slam the competition


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of William “Spartan” Ferrara

Wrestler William “Spartan” Ferrara never thought he would have a chance to slam down in a ring in his neighborhood.

So the Middle Village resident immediately agreed to join former stars and entertain local fans on June 9, when independent wrestling organization Showcase Championship Wrestling (SCW) comes to St. Margaret’s Catholic School – in walking distance from his home.

“That’s the best of both worlds,” he said. “Not only do I love to entertain, but to give back to my community all in the same event, it feels great.”

Ferrara, a junior studying nutrition and fitness at Queens College, started wrestling over six years ago.

He was influenced by the high-flying, muscle-bound figures that appeared on television screens in households around the country every week on programs such as “WWE” and “Monday night RAW.”

“As a kid I was into superheroes, and wrestlers are like people who are larger than life,” Ferrara said.

Ferrara wrestled for Francis Lewis High School and not long after, in 2006, he began training to be a professional. Now he travels all over the East Coast wrestling for leagues such as National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) Fusion in Virginia and NWA Costal in New Jersey.

Last year while training at Team Taz Dojo, founded by former grappling superstar Peter “Tazz” Senerchia, he befriended the creator of SCW, James Smith.

Smith founded the independent wrestling league to bring shows to schools, youth camps, churches and other organizations, helping to raise money for the groups and entertain fans with quality wrestlers.

“A lot of people who have been to independent wrestling shows see a lot of garbage out there,” Smith said. “[SCW] gives us one chance to show you that it’s not the same and erase that black eye that somebody might have left.”

After discussing the league’s second appearance in Queens with St. Margaret’s principal, Dr. Philip Franco, Smith called Ferrara and other wrestlers, including former superstars for major organizations like Braden Walker and Stevie Richards.

“Every time I get a chance to wrestle in front of fans who pay their money to see me wrestle, I give my best,” former ECW, WWE and TNA wrestler Stevie Richards said. Richards agreed to wrestle at St. Margaret’s saying, “I think we’re good-will ambassadors. Wrestling puts smiles on people’s faces.”

The upcoming show will feature several matches and some will follow story themes reminiscent of the WWE.

Richards will take part in a “First Time Ever” match facing Marty Jannetty, a former WWF grappler, whom Richards has trained with but never stepped in the ring against.

Fans that arrive early before the show will have a chance to meet the wrestlers and get autographs.

Ferrara, who aims to be a star for a major organization in the future, says right now he’s just happy to excite fans from his neighborhood and help the church where he received Communion.

“I was one of those kids who grew up in this community and lived up to my dreams,” he said. “And if I can do anything to help them I would be more than happy.”

Heejun Han receives standing ovation from judges on ‘American Idol’


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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A week after the American Idol judges were on Heejun Han’s back for not taking the competition seriously, the Flushing-native had them on their feet with his rendition of “A Song For You.”

The top 9 Idols performed songs from their personal musical icons with Han choosing the Donny Hathaway classic.

The song, which was a complete departure from last week’s jokey performance, displayed the Queens crooner’s capabilities and earned a standing ovation from the judges.

“Hee-man you did it, you turned it around,” Steven Tyler said.

Last week’s playful performance was a result of Han not knowing how well he can sing, the Aerosmith frontman said.

CLICK HERE TO SEE HEEJUN HAN IN HIGH SCHOOL

“That is the most beautiful tone,” said Jennifer Lopez. “When you connect and you really sing to us, you move people.”

Veteran judge Randy Jackson was just glad to have the old Han back.

“Finally the Heejun that we selected came back to us tonight,” Jackson said. “Welcome back.”

After the show Han tweeted that “A Song For You” was for his fans.

“Thank you all so much. What a life,” wrote Han. “It was [a] song for you guys.”

Tonight on Idol the viewer votes will reveal who will be sent home and who will advance to the show’s top 8 at 8 p.m. on Fox 5.

 

Francis Lewis supports its ‘Idol’ Heejun Han


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Heejun Han's Yearbook Photo From His Years At Francis Lewis High

Heejun Han can count on his alma mater to keep him in the running in one of the biggest singing competitions in the nation.

The 22-year-old “American Idol” contestant from Flushing survived to advance to the show’s top nine last week, although not without landing in the bottom three for the first time this season.

Now, it’s up to Francis Lewis High School — where Han graduated in 2007 — to secure his seat to the end.

“There’s a lot of energy inside the school. We want him to win because he’s one of us,” said junior Nina Pierre.

An electronic display board outside the Fresh Meadows school reads “Congratulations To Heejun Han. Class of 2007. American Idol Finalist!” And every day — during second and ninth period — Pierre said the school gets on the loudspeaker to announce Han’s progress.

“We make sure to tell everyone to watch and vote and make him the next American Idol,” said Principal Musa Ali Shama. “We’re all very excited about this whole thing. It’s a great community item to share. A student from our school is on ‘American Idol.’ We’re really having fun with it.”

Alumnus Vincenzo Fiorito said he and Han were teammates on the school’s varsity soccer team — and they often shared a bench together.

“We both sucked at soccer, but he was a funny kid,” Fiorito said.

Although the superstar now sings weekly for an audience of millions, school officials said he was not involved in musical programs, and he never took part in a school play.

Richard Hyman, a music teacher at Francis Lewis and head of the school’s chorus and choir teams, said Han took one college-level music theory course with him, but it involved no vocal performances.

“I had no idea he could sing,” Fiorito said.

Han told the Courier last week that he only auditioned for the show as a means to propagate his organization — a group called Milal that assists special needs children. He told judges during his audition that he had never received professional vocal training, and that singing was only a mere hobby.

“That makes me feel more confident about my singing because if he could do it, I could do it too,” Pierre said.

Other students at the school said they were feeling the Heejun Han hysteria.

“It’s pretty cool that someone from our school could actually be representing us on such a big thing like ‘American Idol.’ It really shows Francis Lewis off,” said junior Naib Chowdhury, who said he casts a vote for Han each week. “Hopefully, he gets to the top. He can count on my vote.”

Han has now advanced as far as last year’s Queens contestant, Pia Toscano.

The top nine will perform again on Wednesday, March 28 at 8 p.m. on Fox 5.

Check back with www.queenscourier.com to see if he made it to next round.

 

– With additional reporting by Billy Rennison and Alexa Altman

Queens high school wins international moot court competition in the Netherlands


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

001

One Francis Lewis High School student’s recent debate accomplishment is far from “moot.”

Pei Ran Zhang, a 17-year-old senior at Francis Lewis, was part of the New York City all-star law team that finished in first place at the International Moot Court Competition at Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands – where the International Court of Justice hears cases.

Zhang, who came to the United States a mere five years ago, delivered the opening and closing statements for her team in their final round showdown against the squad from Caracas, Venezuela.

The city’s team, which competed against students from across the world, also had the pleasure of meeting the mayor of The Hague as well as judges and prosecutors from the International Court.

“It was an honor to go to Europe to be a part of this competition,” Zhang said. “The first day I was so nervous – I was nervous until I got the podium, and then it came naturally. But it was great to win.”