I usually use my websites as a barometer for internet interest in my listings, and the websites have also served as an indicator for holidays, the economy, etc. For instance, I will see a drop in visitors (those people who seek out the listing either by location, price, or house size, and then explore the photos for further detail), every major Holiday or stock market decline. Since it has always proved to be factual, I always use that fact when meeting with a potential seller. Not only do I explain in detail how I can market and sell their home, I also inform them of the feedback they will receive, and use the graphs from one of my websites to demonstrate just that.
I now have another great barometer into the economy, and public sentiment. The top 25 students at New Rochelle High School, and the colleges they choose to attend! If you will look at my earlier bogs (“New Rochelle College Bound Students 2007 versus 2008″ and ” New Rochelle Class of 2009″) you will see – just as I did – that a year before the market really dropped, and there was a hint of anxiety in the air, that students were choosing less expensive schools, perhaps where they obtained higher scholarship awards. There were some that argued with me that since the Ivy League Schools have so much endowment money this was not so, but I feel and felt that there are many families and students who felt more comfortable in choosing a school that would cost less.
New Rochelle’s high school students have always excelled in my eye with exceptional programs. We are proud to have the Pave Program (Performing and Visual Arts Program). Pave students have a choice between PAVE I, PAVE II, PAVE III and PAVE IV where students can either choose a major or a split major in one or two of the arts (music, vocal, visual arts, theater or dance), and while there are different criteria for each program, the culmination is with the student obtaining 5 units of credit which fulfills the State Education Department requirement for a Fine Arts sequence.
The High School also boasts the on-site Museum of Arts and Culture, which is the only Regents-chartered museum in the State of New York. While featuring wonderful exhibits from the students, it also collaborates with other museums and cultural institutions offering outstanding, wonderful programs and exhibits for the entire City of New Rochelle and neighboring areas.
The students might not even have to be one of the top 25 in academia to rise to great achievements. This year, Dan Hoffmann, a graduating senior, was the Governor of the Northeast State of JSA (Junior State of America – The Junior Statesmen Foundation) for the 2009-2010 school year. Dan was his chapter’s president, the coordinator of the Westchester JSA Conference 2008-2009, and director of communications for the Northeast State JSA, 2008-2009. Dan was elected by the council of governors as its representative on the foundation’s board of trustees. He will be attending the University of Michigan.
My son, Brett, also graduated in June from the High School, and while he was 104 of the graduating class of 678 students, he had a GPA average of over 90 indicating that the graduating class is academically strong, bright, intelligent and accomplished young men and women. My gauge of the top 25 is not an indicator of the best schools for the best students but rather the schools these exceptional students chose to attend, and that there are many other exceptional students choosing exceptional schools also. Brett is attending Muhlenberg College to play baseball. He obtained an academic scholarship, and as a Captain of the High School Varsity Baseball Team was awarded the Board of Education Scholar Athlete Award in the sport of Baseball, the Principal’s Scholar Athlete Award in baseball, the N.R.H.S. Scholar Athlete of the Year Award , the N.R.H.S. Spring 2010 Most Valuable Athlete Award, and the Louis Lise Memorial Award given by the New Rochelle Little League to a Varsity Baseball Team Player who has shown outstanding dedication and improvement. He is also a member of the National Honor Society. My point? Can you imagine what the other students that I have not listed have accomplished and the schools they are currently attending? Another student is attending Edinburgh University in Scotland!
This 2010 year, the top 25 students chose the following colleges and universities:
•University of Virginia
•Washington University of St. Louis
•Carnegie Mellon University
•University of Chicago
•New York University
•University of Maryland
My thoughts this year? I saw a large trend towards State schools in the last few years, but with the ever increasing numbers of students going to those schools, I think that students are following their hearts and returning to the Ivy League schools, etc…. So I do not see this as a result of the economy improving – although home sales had improved (in part to the foreclosure sales and first-time home buyer credits) in the first 6 months of this year, but rather families and students alike wanting an excellent education as a result of the poor economy, and realizing that it doesn’t hurt to attend an Ivy League School. It is also wonderful to have exceptionally bright children and an award winning school district.
New Rochelle has wonderful, dedicated, caring teachers who give of themselves on a daily basis to help improve the lives, characters and scholastic achievements of its students.
New Rochelle is great!