NY Times’ Friedman on San Jose’s Lynbrook High—and Hope

Nationally syndicated New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said that it was the most inspiring evening that he has had in Washington DC for 20 years.  Friedman had attended the awards dinner for the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search.  “It left me thinking, if we can get a few things right—immigration, education standards, bandwidth, fiscal policy—maybe we’ll be OK.”
Friedman’s column contained two stories that reflected well on San Jose.  Namrata Anand from the Harker School in San Jose “patiently explained to me her research, which used spectral analysis and other data to expose information about the chemical enrichment history of the Andromeda Galaxy…I did not understand a word she said.”

Friedman also wrote about a conversation he had with Amanda Alonzo, a biology teacher at Lynbrook High School in San Jose who had taught two of the Intel finalists. 

“When I asked her the secret, she said it was the resources provided by her school, extremely ‘supportive parents,’ and a grant from Intel that let her spend part of each day inspiring and preparing students to enter the contest.”  Friedman added that Ms. Alonzo told him that San Jose real estate agents have actually taken out advertisements in newspapers in China and India to tell future immigrants to buy a home in the Lynbrook School district because it produced “two Intel science winners.”

Just last month, it was announced that the students at Cupertino High School had won a national contest sponsored by Dell Computer for their efforts to transform a school in Kenya (The “Kenya Dream” Campaign).  Then, we have a New York Times columnist celebrating the achievements of high school kids from San Jose schools.  What’s going on around here?  Must be something in the water.

Additional note:  The names of the two “stars” from Lynbrook High are David Lui and Raman Nelekanti.

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