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Voices from the 2013 high school search: Albert Cardone

He’s only 12 and won’t be going to high school until 2015, but Albert Cardone III was at last week’s fair in Staten Island in hopes of getting a head start on his search for the right school. He’s a pianist who wants to study not only music but eventually engineering.

His mother, Ann Maglio Cardone, said she brought him a year early to the high school fair so he can be better prepared for next year’s search. “It’s like a life-changing decision,” Maglio Cardone said. “This is going to make or break what he does vocationally and it’s hard, you have to really know what you want to do.”

One factor in the family’s considerations is that Staten Island, along with Queens, are the only boroughs that currently offer any “zoned” schools guaranteeing enrollment for local students. (The Department of Education has proposed eliminating zones for even those high schools.)

Albert is zoned for Curtis High School, which he likes because it offers the rigorous International Baccalaureate program. But he thinks Staten Island Technical High School, a specialized high school that he would have to test into, might have a stronger program for someone like him who wants to be an engineer. Albert said he is also looking at Susan E. Wagner High School because it’s an arts high school and has a great band.

“There are three different schools that I want and one school doesn’t have all three things that I want, so it’s hard to make a decision,” said Albert, who current attends I.S. 27.

Kayle Schnell is a student at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

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