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Secaucus School District Educational Service Providers of the Year For 2016-2017

The Secaucus School District is pleased to announce the Educational Service Providers of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year. Educational Service Providers are selected by panels in each of the various schools. The Educational Service Provider recipients for 2016-2017 are: School Nurse Barbara Biven representing Clarendon School, School Nurse Joyce Corcoran from Huber Street School, and Guidance Counselor Helen Bacigalupo representing Secaucus High School. On behalf of the school community, we extend our congratulations to each of these Educational service Providers of the Year and express our gratitude for the outstanding job they do day in and day out in support of our students.

Pictured above top row are District Supervisors Amanda Trombetta, Christine Candela, Dr. Daniela Riser, and Dr. Danielle Garzon. Bottom row, seated are John Gerbasio, Board of Education President; Educational Service Providers of the Year Barbara Biven, Joyce Corcoran, and Helen Bacigalupo, and Secaucus Education Association President Nancy Lynch.
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2016-2017 Secaucus School District Teachers of the Year

The Secaucus School District is pleased to announce the Teachers of the Years for each school for the 2016-2017 school year. Teachers of the Year are selected by panels in each of their respective schools. The selection panels are comprised of administration and staff at each building. Each panel carefully evaluates State of New Jersey Department of Education Criteria for Teachers of the Year and reviews the qualifications of each nominated teacher. The Teacher of the Year recipients for 2016-2017 are: Mrs. Maleesa Lamatina representing Clarendon School, Mrs. Cindy Viera from Huber Street School, Ms. Toni Ann Palmisano from Secaucus Middle School, and Mrs. Allison Urbanovich representing Secaucus High School. On behalf of the school community, we extend our congratulations to each of these Teachers of the Year and express our gratitude for the outstanding job they do day in and day out.

Pictured above top row are Secaucus Middle School Principal Rob Valente, Secaucus High School Principal Dr. Bob Berckes, Clarendon School Principal Steve Viggiani, Huber Street School Principal Linda Wilhelm and Board of Education President John Gerbasio. Bottom row, seated are Teachers of the Year Ms. Toni Ann Palmisano, Mrs. Allison Urbanovich, Mrs. Maleesa Lamatina, Mrs. Cindy Viera, and Secaucus Education Association President Ms. Nancy Lynch.
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Secaucus High School Students Talk S.T.E.M.

This past week students from Dr. Ennis’s AP Physics I class visited Mrs. Demone’s Algebra I Honors course to talk about their experiences in the Secaucus High School S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy. “This special presentation was the idea of our freshman S.T.E.M. Academy students at Secaucus High School,” explained math supervisor Amanda Trombetta. “The students wanted to be able to talk to their peers in a classroom setting to share their personal stories about the program and why they decided to apply.”
The S.T.E.M. Academy was originally established in 2003. It is recognized for being inspiring, challenging, and for providing invaluable opportunities to motivated students to explore their interest in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering. This is a demanding four-year program and admission is highly competitive. Selection is based on performance in previous mathematics and science classes, teacher recommendations and a personal essay.
Students enrolled in the S.T.E.M. Academy follow a rigorous course sequence that satisfies all district graduation requirements with an emphasis on STEM and Advanced Placement courses in mathematics and science. Additionally, students have the opportunity to meet college students and professionals in the fields of science and engineering and tour relevant schools and facilities. “Our S.T.E.M. academy students are getting accepted into many prestigious colleges,” said the science supervisor Dr. Daniela Riser. “Last week’s presentation was a great way for our eighth grade students to learn about what potential opportunities exist for them at Secaucus High School especially in the S.T.E.M Academy.” This year some of the college acceptances of the senior S.T.E.M. Academy students include Ivy League schools such as Dartmouth and Cornell.

In the photograph above, freshman S.T.E.M. Academy students from Secaucus High School speak to eighth graders at Secaucus Middle School about their experiences in the program. Pictured left to right are Ethan Nguyen, Harris Spahic, Alyssa Jaipersaud, Mohammed Al Obaidi, Hiya Bhavsar, Madeleine Hanley, Anushka Advani, and Olivia Fox.
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‘Toying’ Around with Graphic Designs!

Mrs. Carrie DiOrio, Art Teacher at Secaucus High School, had two guest speakers come speak to her Computer Graphics and Photography classes this past week. Tom DiFazio and Brian Davis were the school guests who spoke to the students about the process of designing new toys. Tom and Brian both work in the design industry and volunteered to speak to our students. Mr. DiFazio summarized the steps of how he began as a toy designer and how he became successful in the field. He showed students exactly what is involved in making a toy design ‘come to life’. The student’s favorite part of this presentation was actually seeing some of their creations (toys). Mr. Davis, who works with Mr. DiFazio for Fisher-Price, explained the process involved in toy creation and demonstrated the functionality of one of their new toys. Students mentioned that they didn’t realize how much time and dedication it took to create one toy. They were also surprised to learn that there are multiple teams of people in different fields of work involved to design and produce a single toy. Behind all the toys you see on the store shelves are masterminds such as Mr. DeFazio and Mr. Davis. Hopefully, Secaucus High School gets the chance to hear from these talented designers again in the New Year and they can come to visit again!

In the photograph above, Ms. DiOrio poses with her Graphics Design class and her guest speakers, Fisher Price toy designers, Tom DiFazio and Brian Davis. Pictured from left to right are: Ms. DiOrio, Rachel Sanzari, Lindsay Reynolds Mendez, Mr. Tom DiFazio, Alyssa Rivera, Wayne Flaig, Akshay Patel, Mr. Brian Davis, Nur Abouzid, Ericsson Khoo, Kevin Ge, Sakuntha Welagedara, Jaden Gonzalez, and Kyle Duda
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Secaucus Middle and High School Physical Education Teacher Mr. David Segro Selected to Present at State-Wide NJAPERD Conference

The New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Conference takes place on an annual basis. Physical education teachers from around the state gather together to share ideas, cutting-edge practices, and to collaborate with each other to help improve fitness throughout New Jersey. This coming February, Secaucus High School/Middle School physical education teacher, David Segro will be presenting at the conference in Long Branch on the topic of "Integrating Dance Into The Physical Education Curriculum." Mr. Segro's passion for dance was sparked at Montclair State University, where, as a student, he took his first dance classes. Since his graduation, David has been taking private classes to continue his learning. He has taken his passion and turned it into a project. Mr. Segro is writing curriculum for Salsa classes for our students to take. He will be integrating dance into physical education classes as a pilot program for our High School and Middle School students. This pilot program will be a first-of-its-kind for our school system. The students will begin their lessons as a lead-in to Prom Season. The classes will promote physical fitness, coordination, and socialization. In the photograph above, Mr. Segro is congratulated on his accomplishment of being selected to be a presenter by Board of Education President John Gerbasio and Secaucus Middle School Principal Rob Valente.
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Secaucus High School Concert Chorus and Concert Band Spread Holiday Cheer at Winter Holiday Concert

Secaucus High School’s annual Winter Holiday Concert was a huge success as the student musicians regularly received thunderous applause from the delighted audience packed in the Performing Arts Center. The Concert Chorus performed a total of seven songs, while the Concert Band presented a set of six songs.

The evening started in typical holiday fashion at Secaucus High School, with Principal Dr. Bob Berckes setting the mood with the displaying of snippets of videos including “White Christmas” and President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 Holiday Message. The concert kicked off with a beautiful delivery of “Carol of the Bells” performed by the chorus under the direction of Ilias Siafakas, and followed this with six additional songs including an acapella version of “Lean on Me” performed by Nick Duchusin, Joe Lacap, Chase melendez, and Nick Helecki.

After the viewing of a hilarious clip from “National Lampoon Christmas Vacation” featuring Clark Griswold, the Concert Band kicked off their performance with a beautiful edition of “America the Beautiful.” This was followed by a spirited version of “Sleigh Ride.” The concert program concluded with a rousing version of “In the Christmas Mood.”

Principal Dr. Berckes concluded the memorable concert with a spirited reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” followed by a clip of an early 1950’s Christmas episode of “I Love Lucy.”

In the photograph above, Middle School Band Director Sean Sonnet offers his congratulations to Secaucus High School Concert Chorus Director Ilias Siafakas and Concert Band Director Rob Fornier at the conclusion of the Secaucus High School 2016 Winter Holiday Concert.
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Secaucus High School Hosts "School For the Holidays" Celebration for Town Seniors

Secaucus High School hosted a “School for the Holidays” Celebration for District Seniors in the Performing Arts Center earlier this week. Seniors were treated to a breakfast in the Upper Lobby of the Performing Arts Center followed by a holiday assembly program in the theater.

Entertaining the seniors were the Secaucus High School Concert Chorus under the direction of Mr. Ilias Siafakas and the Secaucus High School Concert Band under the direction of Mr. Rob Fornier. Sprinkled in between were videos depicting snippets from “White Christmas,” “I Love Lucy,” a Christmas Greeting from President Reagan in 1981 and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by Secaucus High School Principal Dr. Bob Berckes.

In the photograph above, Secaucus High School Concert Chorus Members Nick Halecki, Joseph LaCap, Chase Melendez, and Nick Ducusin perform an acapella version of the song “Lean on Me.”
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Secaucus Middle School Social Studies teacher Amanda Jones used the television show “Survivor” as an inspiration for her 8th grade World History class. “Survivor’s” latest season focuses on competitions between Generation X versus Millennials and in this series, the audience becomes aware of the cultural differences between each group of people. During this unit, Ms. Jones had her students explore the concept of a generation and the factors that shape one’s generation. “

Ms. Jones’ students had the opportunity to interview members of our Secaucus Board of Education as well as Interim Superintendent Mr. Kenneth Knops, to gain insight into what shaped each of their generations. After having done extensive research on the Baby Boomers through Millennials, the students prepared their own sets of interview questions and held a round table discussion. In turn, the Secaucus Board of Education members as well as the Superintendent had the opportunity to ask our students what they feel has shaped the lives of young adults today. All the participants were able to make cultural comparisons and connections, despite having grown up in different eras, to create a more meaningful connection to the lesson.

At the conclusion of this lesson, the students compiled a list of results based on the interview questions. Each group was then able to compare and contrast each generation, discuss if there were any disparities within age groups, and research events they had never learned about or experienced. The students were fascinated to learn about historical events of our past and gain a deeper understanding of the lives of previous generations.

In the photograph above, classroom guest Board of Education Member Lou Giele participates in a round table discussion on the topic of cultural comparisons with Secaucus Middle School students. Conversing with Mr. Giele are students Zain Kahn, Rene Rivas, and Matthew Deleo.
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