Recent Linden High School graduates Piotr Zelazny and Muhsin Khan were honored on Tuesday, July 30, for attaining the prestigious International Baccalaureate diploma. 

honoree with parents, board member and acting superintendent

International Baccalaureate diploma winner Piotr Zelazny, second from right, being honored at the July 30 Board of Education meeting. From left are Vice President Katarzyna Kozak, father Krzysztof Boraczewski, mother Teresa Zelazny, and Acting Superintendent Denise Cleary.

The IB diploma is the pinnacle of achievement in the high school’s most rigorous course of study, offering those who achieve it up to a semester’s worth of college credits.

This year’s two winners are Muhsin Khan and Piotr Zelazny, who were also the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2019. Zelazny was recognized at the monthly meeting of the Board of Education. Khan was unable to attend.

“This is an incredibly demanding course load and Piotr and Muhsin deserve to be commended on this wonderful achievement,” said Acting Superintendent Denise Cleary. “They each have a great head-start on their studies in college because of the credits they have earned, as well as the experience they have gained in the program.”

Each was given a certificate of excellence and an engraved desk clock with a globe design, symbolizing the global reach of the IB program. Zelazny was joined at the meeting by IB teacher Anthony Fischetti.

teacher and student

Anthony Fischetti, Linden High School teacher who is taking over as the school's new International Baccalaureate coordinator, with graduate Piotr Zelazny.

Students in the IB program take two years of high-level classes in six subject areas. They must also complete a university-level Theory of Knowledge class; a Creativity, Activity and Service community service project; and an extended essay. To attain an IB diploma, a student must pass challenging assessments in all six subject areas, which are graded by IB instructors from around the world.

Several hundred students have benefited from the IB program over the 17 years it has been offered at LHS.

“Students who go through the IB program say they are better prepared than many of their classmates in college because of the hard work they have to put in over their final two years at Linden High School,” Cleary said.

Zelazny is attending Steven Institute of Technology in Hoboken and studying electrical engineering.

Khan will attend Rutgers University to study bioengineering with the goal of becoming an oral surgeon. He starts with 17 credits thanks to his IB diploma.