Sisters Brianna and Hailey Hawxhurst were honored at the Secaucus Board of Education’s Showcase of Success on September 21st, in honor of them donating their hair to cancer patients through the Pantene Beautiful Lengths charity program.
Both Preschooler Hailey and her big sister, Eighth Grader Brianna, donated 10 inches of their hair so that wigs might be able to be made from their hair for cancer patients. This is the second time that Brianna has made the donation of her hair.
While introducing the sisters, Interim Superintendent Kenneth Knops praised the young ladies for their altruism, compassion, and empathy. Brianna then came to the microphone and shared a heartfelt message, reinforcing her belief and commitment to the cause of donating her hair to cancer patients, as part of her desire to help those less fortunate. At the conclusion of her poignant remarks, all in attendance at the Board of Education Meeting gave her a rousing standing ovation.
Afterwards Hailey and Briana were presented with Certifications of Appreciation by Secaucus Board of Education President Jack McStowe.
Photograph: In the photograph above, Showcase of Success Honorees Hailey and Brianna Hawxhurst pose for a picture with their parents, Lieutenant Austin Hawxhurst and Mrs. Amy Hawxhurst; Board of Education President Jack McStowe, Secaucus Middle School Principal Rob Valente, and Clarendon School Principal Steve Viggiani after being honored at the Board of Education’s Showcase of Success.
Secaucus Middle School Social Studies Teacher Amanda Wargocki, Art Teacher Melissa Heintjes, and Secaucus High School Art Teacher Doug DePice were honored at the Showcase of Success of the September 21st Board of Education Meeting. The three faculty members had created, developed, and presented a creative cross-curricular unit of study as a means of teaching students about 9/11.
The program, titled “The Survivor Tree That Tells Stories: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning About 9/11,” was developed by the three educators over the course of the 2016-2017 academic year. Their thought process was that there was a need existed to take new approaches to teaching today’s impressionable students about 9/11 to insure that historic day was more relevant when instructing about national and global citizenship, patriotism, and mankind’s social responsibility to one another. Due to the fact that the day of infamy occurred prior to the birth of many of today’s students, youngsters are disconnected from the experience of that attack. “The Survivor Tree That Tells Stories: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning About 9/11” is designed to emotionally connect the learner.
This past May the three teachers were selected to present their program at The New Jersey Council of the Social Studies Spring Conference in Rutgers University to an audience of Social Studies Teachers throughout the State.
In the photograph above, program developers Doug DePice, Melissa Heintjes, and Amanda Wargocki pose with Board of Education President Jack McStowe and Secaucus Middle School Principal Rob Valente after being honored at the Board of Education’s Showcase of Success.
At the Board of Education Meeting of September 21st, the Secaucus Board approved the hiring of Mr. Raymond Dorso as the Interim Director of Special Services. Mr. Dorso will be replacing former Director Susan Smahl, who is retiring as of September 30th.
Mr. Dorso received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Stockton College and a Masters Degree from Rutgers University in Social Work. He subsequently earned certifications as a School Social Worker, a Supervisor, and a Principal. Mr. Dorso spent the first six years of his career working in the role of a Child Study Team School Social Worker, and later worked in the capacity of Child Study Team Supervisor. From here he worked as the Supervisor of Asbury Park Alternative Middle School and after this as Supervisor of Alternative Education with the South Brunswick School District.
Mr. Dorso was appointed the Director of Special Services of the New Milford School District in July of 2009. During his time as the Director in New Milford, he brought numerous innovations into the Special Services Department, most notably the researched-based program “Inner-Bridge Crossing” to serve students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Mr. Dorso also served in the capacity of Director of Special Services in both the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District and the Lakewood Township Public Schools.
In the photograph, Mr. Raymond Dorso is welcomed to the Secaucus School District by Huber Street School Principal Linda Wilhelm, Secaucus High School Prinicpal Dr. Robert Berckes, Clarendon School Principal Steve Viggiani, Secaucus Middle School Principal Robert Valente, and Director of Curriculum Dr. Daniela Riser.