HUNTERDON COUNTY Polytech Places Four Students in Top 20 at Rutgers Veterinary Science Competition

Polytech’s Animal Science program was represented well by four students who all placed in the top 20 at the FFA’s Rutgers Veterinary Science Career Development Event. (CDE)

Hannah McCray, Pete Mount, Olivia Miller, and Marisa Gasalberti placed 1st, 3rd, 16th, and 19th, respectively, and also finished 3rd as a team at the statewide competition organized by the FFA. The students spent the day at Rutgers completing the five different aspects of the Veterinary Science CDE—a 50 question written test, hands on tasks, an essay on declawing, a math portion, and identification problems.

“I’m very proud of the students for their outstanding performance and the manner in which they represented the program,” said Ms. Romanczak, Animal Science instructor at Polytech. “They worked hard to prepare for the competition, and even overcame some unforeseen circumstances at the last minute to put forth a great effort.”

One student who was originally supposed to participate in the competition was unable to, and Olivia Miller volunteered to compete in her place. “Olivia not only enabled the rest of the students to compete as a team, but she also had a very good individual performance,” said Ms. Romanczak.

Polytech’s students also finished fourth in the HO Sampson portion of the competition, which is scored using only hands-on and practicum results. Of the four competitors, three will be graduating and moving on to college at the end of the year. Pete and Marisa will be attending Raritan Valley Community College, and Olivia will be studying at University of Delaware. Hannah, who finished 1st in the CDE and, along with Pete, bested students from full-time institutions and the top STEM schools throughout New Jersey, will be returning to Polytech next year as an Animal Science II student.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The organization also gives out millions of dollars in scholarships each year to students looking to continue their education in fields related to agriculture. The 2015-16 school year marks the second year Polytech has competed in the event and the second year that the school’s chapter has been re-chartered. For more information on Polytech’s Animal Science program, visit