Congratulations Joanne Megargee - BCASA's Superintendent of the Year!
Superintendent's Speech to the Leonia High School’s Class of 2017!
Good Evening to all and especially to our students, Leonia High School’s Class of 2017!
We are joined tonight by your family and friends, your teachers and administrators, your coaches and your mentors – all who congratulate you on this milestone. You have completed the requirement of public education and are ready to walk through that portal of college, of the military, of the work-force, or for one or two of you - that gap-year. In all those next steps, this family of support will still be asking and expecting much of you.
You are the Leonia High School Class of 2017, a class of academic and athletic achievement, a class that values outstanding community service, and as such, we will expect that you will remain true to yourself, true to those values that you have expounded, and carry those ideals that you fought so hard to achieve, into what drives you to succeed.
This family has provided you your base. With love and support and education, this partnership has helped you build the groundwork for your passion, for your career, and for your achievements. You are the generation with the potential to change the world for our children and for your children. You are the generation that could end hunger, eradicate disease, and finally break down those barriers that exist in economics, in gender and in race. There is much work to be done and you must be the delegation of change.
Where to start for it might seem a little overwhelming? Let me remind you of some of the essentials that you need to remember as you look to leave your name on the world:
- Remember, we are always your “home” – a place where we have seen you on your good days and maybe, you’re not so good days. We are here to help, to listen, to guide, and to push you over those rocky steps that, I promise you, will come along. Be prepared to triumph and to sometimes fail – both are strengths, because it is how you celebrate those triumphs, or how you battle back from those failures that form the basis of your character. You will always be a Leonia student, so whether you win a Nobel Peace Prize, an Oscar, or a well-deserved promotion, we will tell the world that you were ours, and while, like in any good home, there is a time for you to move out. It helps to know, we will always have your back, you are always welcome to come home and sit a spell.
- Remember, your parents did know it all. You may not see it now, but I promise you, at some point, you will sound like your parents, you will utter phrases that they use, and eventually you will tell the same stories that they tell. It will be their ultimate “thank-you” and acknowledgment that they did their job well. So I tell you tonight, don’t wait too long to say thank you to them. They have sacrificed and struggled to provide you with the foundation for success – you should acknowledge that sooner rather than later. Time is short, and life moves quickly, – take a moment tonight to thank them.
- Remember to choose your friends wisely and your life’s work even more carefully. Find a career that you have a passion for and will enjoy every day. Broaden your circle with friends you can be proud of, and find a mission that you can support. Your friendship, your thinking and your time is valuable; do not settle for less in yourself, in your dreams, or in others.
- Remember, there is much to learn outside of your comfort zone. When laboring through biology, or finance, or fashion design, choose to take a class out of your major. Try an art history class, a woman’s study class, music, anthropology – how about philosophy. Learn about the British Invasion – it has to do with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, or why Charles Dickens wrote a Christmas Carol, or maybe, learn a new language. It is important to be well Author Daniel H. Pink tells us, “The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, story-tellers – creative and holistic “right-brain” thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t”. So I ask you, when was the last time you played Jeopardy?
- Finally, for good balance of character, remember to sing every day, even if you can’t carry a tune or you don’t know the words. It is good exercise; it is a de-stressor and it makes others smile. Dance, if it helps your song, dance for no reason at all. Forbes Magazine tells us that one of the top skills employers say they seek from job applicants is the ability to communicate with people inside and outside an organization. Music and dance are wonderful bridges across cultures and across generations, and opens the door to conversation and understanding.
You are leaving us tonight. It is bittersweet for this family. We have watched some of you grow since kindergarten, others for only a short time. However long you have been with us, we are so proud of the adults you have become. Be successful, be happy and most of all, remember Leonia High School with fondness – Go Lions!
School Board Elections
Three seats are available for election to the Leonia Board of Education for January 2018. Voting takes place at the general election in November.
Interested parties should complete a petition and submit it to the County Clerk’s Office at One Bergen County Plaza in Hackensack, NJ. Petitions can be obtained from the Bergen County Clerk’s website: http://www.bergencountyclerk.org/. Scroll down to Elections and Voting. Scroll down to Petitions for School Board Elections. Petitions must be submitted by July 31, 2017 for the November elections.
Wondering what a School Board member does?
School Board members partner with the school administration and staff to help meet the needs of students while representing the concerns of the community. School Board members help set policy, goals, and strategic planning. School Board members attend monthly meetings, and guide financial and educational thinking. School Board members approve all major decisions concerning the school district.
Congratulations Sportsmanship Recipients!
Congratulations to seniors Sophia Vazquez and Alexander Shimizu who represented Leonia High School as this years NJIC Sportsmanship Award recipients. Sophia and Alexander attended a luncheon today at the Chart House in Weehawken where their accomplishments were acknowledged.
Congratulations to Senior Hannah Chen who represented Leonia as this years NJSIAA Scholar Athlete. Hannah recently attended a luncheon at the Pines Manor in Edison where her accomplishments were acknowledged.
Congratulations Shivani Aggarwal!
Award of Excellence
Eric Gugick, Leonia and Nicole Castaldo and Julie Maiorino of Edgewater receive
the American Legion Educator Team Award of Excellence.
A message from the Superintendent
Dear Parents and Guardians:
There has been much chatter in our middle school about a Netflix series titled, “13 Reasons Why”, so much chatter that we thought we would provide you a quick summary and some talking points. Mr. Saco alerted parents yesterday and similarly, information was distributed by ACS and LHS administration to staff. Please read Mr. Saco’s letter below. We encourage you to reach out to the middle school or to administrators and counselors at ACS and LHS if you have concerns. If your child is viewing this series or chatting with friends about this series, it is a perfect opportunity for a family chat.
Good Afternoon LMS Parent Community,
I am writing to you today with some information about a current Netflix series called 13 Reasons Why. The series is based on the novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and is meant to be a cautionary tale that explores a troubled teen’s motivations for committing suicide. The series, which is available for streaming now, is produced by the popular singer/actress Selena Gomez, and is very much on the radar of our students. The website Common Sense Media describes 13 Reasons Why as a series that “does not shy away from mature issues, as Hannah’s suicide is shown in great detail, as is more than one graphic rape scene involving a teenager. There’s teen drinking, voyeurism (a boy circulates a picture of a girl in a compromising position after a sexual encounter), and lots of swearing. While this challenging story could help parents start conversations with teens about issues like bullying, isolation, and depression, the way the series addresses these issues is complex and may be confusing for impressionable viewers.” You may read more at www.commonsensemedia.org.
As you may know, Netflix allows streaming of its content across multiple devices including your television, tablets, laptops, and cell phones. If you child’s personal device is connected to your Netflix account, they would be able to access this, and other shows on demand. Netflix offers parental control options that allow you to block content based on its rating. You can find information on how to set Netflix parental controls by going to https://help.netflix.com/en/node/264.
Please know that LMS takes your children’s emotional health and wellbeing as seriously as their academic growth. Should you have any questions about how to talk with your child about topics such as depression, bullying, relationships, or suicide, do not hesitate to call our school counselors Mrs. Feldman and Mrs. Whalen, our school social worker Mrs. Salmon, Mrs. Davis, or me. We can be reached during school hours by calling 201-302-5200, and then dialing the following extensions:
Mr. Saco – ext. 3200
Mrs. Davis – ext. 3201
Mrs. Whalen – ext. 3204
Mrs. Feldman – ext. 3205
Mrs. Salmon – ext. 3218
If your child hasn’t watched this series, you may want to preview it in advance. If they have watched all or some of the show, this may be an opportunity to have a discussion with them about their reaction to its content and message. Again, if you would like information about resources that could help guide your discussions with your child; please do not hesitate to contact us.
Celebrating Teachers of the Year!
BOE meeting @ Anna C. Scott School cafeteria – 7:00 p.m.Leonia Board of Education