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Junior Brian Katat Accepted into NJ Governor's School in the Sciences


Valley Echo Banner Raima Islam '21
13 May 2019


Brian Katat '20 with Ms. Jennifer Shue and Mr. Bill Pantale; photo credit: Raima Islam '21 On April 5th, Brian Katat ’20 was notified that he had been accepted into the New Jersey Governor’s School in the Sciences. New Jersey Governor’s School is a tuition-free summer program created in 1983 for students interested in entering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers in the future.

As a student, Katat is most noted for his excellence in academics and involvement in sports and clubs. Not only has he made Superintendent’s Commended List every marking period since freshman year, but he is currently ranked as first in the junior class. Katat participates in Winter Track and Boys’ Volleyball, but he plays club soccer in the Spring too. He is an active member of the following clubs: Engineering, Physics, Culinary, French, Interact, Literary, Academic Team, Math League, Environmental, and Future Health Professionals.

The scholar heard about the program through PV’s Guidance Office. Science teachers recommended juniors for the program and Katat’s name was recommended many times. The Guidance Department chose Brian to apply and so he did. The New Jersey Governor’s School in the Sciences program is a three-week residential program from July 14th through August 3rd, held at Drew University in Madison, NJ. The Governor’s School of Engineering & Technology at Rutgers is the other program offered by the Governor’s School of New Jersey.Brian Katat '20 visiting Princeton University; photo courtesy of Katat

Despite the extremely competitive selection process, Katat was admitted into the program. “I absolutely
did not expect to get in. I was also told that the Governor’s School program has been getting smaller over the years and about how a small number of students from each county are accepted,” stated Katat. “Accordingly, I had really low expectations, and saw it as just applying and hoping for the best. When Ms. Shue forwarded me the email about my acceptance, I think I responded with ‘Omg I can’t believe I got in!’ “

Katat is PV’s first student in years to be accepted into the prestigious program. The last student accepted was Matthew Reda ‘12 in 2011. There used to be a variety of Governor Schools, such as the Governor’s School for Health Sciences and the Governor’s School for Mathematics. However, the program has been limited to only the New Jersey Governor’s School in the Sciences and the School of Engineering & Technology.

Mr. Bill Pantale, Governor’s School Coordinator, notes how exceptional Brian’s achievement is. “His qualifications were exceptional; he’s a great student. But because of the limited number of seats available, it’s always a surprise,” noted Pantale. Brian Katat at 2018's NorJAC competition; photo credit: Ms. Kathleen Menake “This is considered to be an incredibly selective process and so it’s a surprise. A great surprise.”

Katat looks forward to getting a hands-on experience in the engineering field over the summer. “Although it’s a really long program, I’m excited to finally get a grasp of what an engineer really does, outside of a traditional school atmosphere,” stated Katat. “There’s also tons of field trips and events at the program that I get to go to, so I’m stoked about that too. I think it’ll be a really productive and fun way to spend some of my summer.