The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools had 15 individual winners, and an East Brunswick Campus team won the floral design championship, at the New Jersey State FFA Horticultural Exposition.
East Brunswick Tech horticulture students took eight first-place awards and Piscataway School of Career Development students won seven firsts in the competition, held March 13-14 at Mercer County Community College. The State FFA is one of the agricultural education initiatives of the state Department of Agriculture.
There were 803 entries in more than 90 categories in the individual Horticultural Expo competitions, and 70 students competed in the Floral Design Career Development Expo.
The winning floral design team was composed of East Brunswick juniors Allie Gomez of Old Bridge, and Matthew Manning of South River, and seniors Sophia Baselice of Old Bridge and Hector Pena of Carteret. The students had to design and execute two arrangements within a half-hour time limit, including pricing their work.
“I’m very pleased,” said East Brunswick horticulture instructor Lisa Ann Moschera. “I know they have the skills – it’s a matter of application and timing.”
The Piscataway team, composed of seniors Becky Rooney of New Brunswick, Alana Kegel of Carteret and Denise Huscha of Sayreville, and freshman Jose Cabrera of New Brunswick, finished seventh of 19 teams.
Taking first-place awards were:
Horticulture Division: East Brunswick students James Laurie, a freshman from East Brunswick (newly started bonsai plants) and Kayla Colon, a senior from Old Bridge (African violets).
Fresh Arrangement Division: Piscataway students Becky Rooney (FFA Celebration), Alana Kegel (FFA Theme), Denise Huscha (Secretary’s Day), Alexis Speller, a junior from Edison (Thank You), Becky Rooney (Going Green), Carley Weller, a sophomore from Edison (With Sympathy), Jesus Sanchez, a senior from Roselle (Thinking of You) and East Brunswick student Sophia Baselice (Simple Buds).
Permanent Arrangement Division: East Brunswick students Matthew Manning (FFA Celebration), Kelly Troche, a senior from Perth Amboy (With Sympathy and Mardi Gras), Allie Gomez (Leprechaun Festival), and Vicky Franco (Nosegay).
East Brunswick Tech Principal Jeffrey Bicsko said he was proud of the team that won the floral design championship and all 36 medal winners from the school.
“The level of professionalism and attention to detail these students exhibit is testament to the education they receive from Mrs. Moschera,” he added.
The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation, is celebrating its centennial during the 2014-2015 school year. It has seven schools on five campuses, in East Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge.
Contact: Jeffrey Bicsko, principal, (732) 254-8700