Aspiring anchorwoman expects to fulfill dreams

Stress of doing well on SAT balanced by support from family, friends

BY SUE M. MORGAN Staff Writer

Staff Writer

JEFF GRANIT staff Cory Johnston (center) shares a laugh with classmates Alyssa Ciameriello and Brent Vader during journalism class at Old Bridge High School’s west campus.JEFF GRANIT staff Cory Johnston (center) shares a laugh with classmates Alyssa Ciameriello and Brent Vader during journalism class at Old Bridge High School’s west campus. For one teen who hopes to be the next Katie Couric, getting into the college of her choice means clearing the hurdle of those pesky college entrance exams.

Nonetheless, Old Bridge High School senior Cory Johnston presses on in her pursuit of an acceptance letter from Boston University.

Cory, 17, is so determined to meet the university’s acceptance criteria, particularly its required scores for the SAT, that she has sat for the grueling examination three times since May. Each time, the prospective broadcast journalism major has raised her cumulative score by about 20 points, thanks in part to a tutor and studying with other college-bound peers.

“I’m much better in the verbal [section] than I am in the math,” said Cory, who currently ranks in the top 10 percent of the high school’s expected graduating class of 736 students.

In preparation for her future career, Cory is enrolled in journalism, publication design and honors English classes. She is the features editor of Knight Life, OBHS’s student newspaper, and a member of the yearbook staff.

Her other classes include honors marine science, pre-calculus, peer leadership and a course focusing on the history of the Holocaust.

In October, Cory was inducted into the school’s National Honor Society. A member of the French Club, she also previously earned acceptance into the French Honor Society. Her other extracurricular activities include the Senior Class Council and the Ski Club.

Outside of school, Cory volunteers at Raritan Bay Medical Center’s Old Bridge division. Plus, she works about eight hours weekly at Children’s Dental Care in the township.

Yet it is those SATs that have the otherwise happy-go-lucky teen concerned that she will not be at Boston University (BU) next year. She is hoping her most recent cumulative score of 1150 will meet the university’s benchmark.

“It all comes down to that test,” Cory said with a sigh. “You work so hard for your grades, and then it all comes down to the SAT.”

Initially, Cory applied to Florida’s University of Miami soon after achieving 1100 points on the SAT last spring. When the college’s admissions representatives subsequently interviewed her, they advised her to retake the test for a higher score.

“They told me that if I improved about another 20 points, I’d have a better chance of getting in,” Cory recalled.

Cory admits she does not “test well.” Regardless, she dreams of one day hosting the “Today” show or working as a high-profile anchorwoman.

“I want to be like Katie Couric,” she said.

Not one to pin all her hopes on one school, Cory has applied altogether to 13 colleges. Northeastern University, also in Boston; Rhode Island University; Rutgers University in New Brunswick; Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University; and New York University, all prestigious schools, round out Cory’s list of top choices.

Most high school seniors only submit applications to about half that many colleges, noted Lori Luicci, Cory’s journalism teacher.

Class rank: top 10%

SAT: 1150


School newspaper- features

editor, yearbook, National Honor Society, French Club, French Honor Society, Senior Class Council, Ski Club

Volunteer job:

Raritan Bay Medical Center


Children’s Dental Care

Colleges applying to:

Boston University, Mass.

Northeastern University, Mass.

Rhode Island University

Rutgers University

Quinnipiac University, Conn.

New York University