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ALUMNI NEWS: Joshua Houskeeper

Joshua Houskeeper, a 2019 graduate of the East Brunswick Magnet School with a career major in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration, is putting his knowledge and skills to work in the Marine Corps.

After service on a tank crew, Houskeeper is now a corporal and a refrigeration specialist. He visited his alma mater while in New Jersey to assist the Marines in recruiting efforts.

“We’re proud of all our graduates and appreciate them when they stay in touch,” said Magnet Schools Board of Education President Keith Jones II.

“We thank Josh for his service to the country and for carrying the banner of the Middlesex County Magnet Schools with such distinction.”

“The Magnet Schools have a lot of success stories, and Joshua’s is certainly one of them,” said Superintendent of Schools Jorge E. Diaz. “We’re very proud of him.”

“On the skills side, the one thing I got that most 17- or 18-year-olds don’t usually get was coaching and counseling. I realize now how important those life skills really are,” said Joshua.

“Joshua was an earnest student who made the most of his time in our school to become a strong leader,” said Thomas Leibering, East Brunswick Magnet School mathematics teacher.

Leibering said Houskeeper joined the school’s SkillsUSA chapter as a sophomore hesitantly after being talked into it by a classmate.

“Once he was in though, he started running and didn’t stop,” Leibering said. “He became chapter treasurer his junior year, running meetings, organizing fundraisers, and earning a silver in his shop contest as well as a bronze medal in state banner design when he volunteered to fill in for a competitor who could not make the presentation.

Houskeeper became a state SkillsUSA officer as a senior and traveled across the state as a representative of both the school and the SkillsUSA organization while also maintaining his position as chapter president and attending regular Marine recruitment events.

“He was such a quick study and understood the material so well that I hired him to work at my HVAC company, where he thrived and broadened his HVAC knowledge,” HVACR teacher Francis Wass said. “I knew from the start that Josh had the ability to excel on whatever path he chose in life.”

Houskeeper, who just re-enlisted for another four years in the Marines, is stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.