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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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Secaucus High School Mathematics Honor Society, Mu Alpha Beta, Wins First Place at Seton Hall Mathematics Competition on November 19th

Members of the Secaucus High School Mathematics Honor Society, Mu Alpha Beta, participated in the Seton Hall Mathematics Competition on Saturday November 19, 2016. The math team came in first place out of a total of 31 public high schools who participated in the event. Among the schools participating were Northern Highlands Regional, Livingston, Millburn ,and the Bergen County Tech High Schools. The team consists of teacher Pavlina Zavorotnyaya, Nader Alkhabbaz, Myron Yang, Cheng Zhong, Kevin Gee, David Perez, Ankit Patel, Akash Rana, Sambhav Jadeep, Nisha Patel, Hong Ngyen and teacher Aomar Elassa. Ken Zhong won first place in individual round while Kevin Gee was awarded second place. Congratulations to these Secaucus High School students and staff members, we are most proud of their impressive accomplishment!
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Three District Staff Members Presented Workshops at the New Jersey Education Association Convention in Atlantic City

Three Secaucus School District Educators were selected to present workshops at the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) annual convention in Atlantic City on November 9-10th. The NJEA Convention is the largest gathering of educators throughout the State, and the selection of three of our educators is an honor we as a District are extremely proud of. The educators and the workshops they presented were Dr. John Ennis of Secaucus High School who spoke on "Advanced Placement Physics," Mrs. Pavlina Zavorotnyaya of Secaucus High School who presented on "Advanced Placement Calculus the PMI Way," and Elementary Supervisor Dr. Danielle Garzon who addressed "Art History and Global Contexts K-12."

In the photograph above, Elementary Supervisor Dr. Garzon poses for a photograph prior to her workshop with her co-presenters.
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Minnesota Twins Pitcher Pat Light Honored at the November Board of Education Showcase of Success

Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Light was recognized at the Board of Education's November Showcase of Success for visiting Clarendon School, reading to the second graders, and facilitating a discussion on setting and reaching goals. A plaque presented to Mr. Light read as follows " The Secaucus Board of Education proudly presents this certificate of commendation to Pat Light. For giving so generously of his time and talents to serve as a mentor, role model, and guiding light to our impressionable students through delivering a message of encouragement, belief in oneself, and the value of hard work and dedication.
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Speaker of the General Assembly Vincent Prieto Visits Clarendon School and Addresses First and Fourth Grade Students as Part of the Fourth Grade Mock Presidential Election

The first and fourth grade students at Clarendon School had the privilege to meet and engage in a question and answer session with the Speaker of the General Assembly, Mr. Vincent Prieto. They discussed the upcoming election and the process of how laws are made. The Speaker's message on the value of hard work and the ability to become anything you dream of was an inspiration to all.

The fourth graders were so excited to show their knowledge of the voting process. They conducted Clarendon's 4th Grade Mock Presidential Election. During their study of the election process, students went campaigning to inform future voters about the candidates. All of the students were able to cast a vote. The fourth grade students worked at the polling station and monitored the vote count online. They were excited to hand out ballots and "I voted" stickers to all the registered voters. This was an amazing experience for all students!

In the photograph above, Speaker Prieto poses for a picture with Clarendon School Students after his well received presentation.
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Minnesota Twins Pitcher Pat Light Visits With Clarendon School Second Graders

Major League Baseball Pitcher, Pat Light, of the Minnesota Twins visited Clarendon School in Secaucus to read a motivational story to all Second Grade students. He discussed the importance of hard work, determination and belief that you can achieve any goals you set for yourself. At the conclusion of the presentation, second grade students had a question and answer session with the professional athlete. During that session, students learned more about Light’s life outside of baseball and what it takes to reach his level of professionalism. Pat Light's visit was coordinated by Clarendon School Second Grade Teacher Ashley Herrmann.

Pictured above are Pat Light, along with Interim Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops,, Principal of Clarendon School, Steve Viggiani, Elementary Supervisor Dr. Garzon, along with Second Grade Teachers Ashley Herrmann, Anna Mongiello, Josephine Amato-Lewis, Diorchinie Ortiz, Paraprofessional Sarah Dragone, and their students.
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Secaucus Elementary Supervisor Dr. Danielle Garzon Presents at State-Wide "Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers" Conference in Princeton

On Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th New Jersey teachers and teacher leaders gathered together to share ideas and solutions for strengthening the teaching profession. Sponsored by the Gates Foundation, NJEA and NNSTOY (National Network of State Teachers of the Year), a special conference was designed to support new teachers. The event took place at the Chauncey Conference Center in Princeton, New Jersey. The purpose of the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) conference was to bring experienced teachers together with teachers new to the profession to share ideas about the important work they do. Teachers had an opportunity to share their ideas and knowledge in a supportive, collaborative setting. The 2015-2016 Hudson County New Jersey Governor’s Educator of the Year, Secaucus Elementary Supervisor, Danielle Savino-Garzon was selected to present at the event. Her session focused on improving mentor skills and strengthening teacher leadership skills to elevate the teaching profession.

In the picture above, Supervisor of Elementary Education, Danielle Garzon poses for a picture at the conference with New Jersey Teacher of the year colleagues.
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Students Hear Moving Presentation from Mark Barden, Father of Sandy Hook Victim Daniel Barden

Mark Barden, Father of Daniel Barden, a victim of the senseless Sandy Hook shooting; addressed a packed Performing Arts Center comprised of Freshmen, Sophomore and Juniors. Mr. Barden shared the mission he has dedicated the rest of his life to: working to prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child. Mark Barden shared research-based programs and practices developed through the Sandy Hook Promise to help protect children from gun violence in homes, schools and communities. Among these include Say Something, Safety Assessment and Intervention, Start with Hello, and Keep It Safe and Secure.

In the photograph above, Mark Barden poses for a picture before his well-received presentation with Board of Education Member Joan Cali and members of the Secaucus Middle School faculty.
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