By Kenneth J. Knops, superintendent of the Clark Public School District
As the Superintendent of the Clark Public Schools, I wish to extend my gratitude and appreciation to our local members of the New Jersey Legislature for all the time and support they have lent our schools since the onset of the school year.
The Clark Schools were graced by a visit from Assemblyman Jerry Green on the first day of the school year, as the keynote speaker at the Superintendent’s Convocation. The Assemblyman delivered an emotional and well-received message of support to all educators in attendance, novice as well as veteran teachers. Assemblyman Green received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his well-received remarks from the packed auditorium.
In early October as a companion piece to the new state mandated Anti Bullying Bill of Rights implementation in our schools, our district implemented the Olweus Anti-Bullying Program in each of our four schools. Both 22nd Legislative District Assembly members, Assemblyman Green and Assemblywoman Linda Stender visited one of our elementary schools and participated in the kick-off assembly program, presenting to students and staff a strong message of team building and support.
This past month we were extremely fortunate to have four esteemed members of the New Jersey Legislature come into each of our four schools and present assembly programs through the Legislators Back to School Initiative.” The “Legislators Back to School Program is an outstanding program where students learn how a bill becomes a law, the value of a democracy, the spirit of compromise, and the democratic process. Each of these legislators facilitated outstanding presentations to their impressionable and captivated audiences, at our elementary, middle, and high school buildings. Assemblywoman Linda Stender presented to our fourth graders at Valley Road School, Senator Nick Scutari to the fifth grades at Frank K. Hehnly School, Assemblywoman Joan Voss facilitated the presentation to seventh graders at Carl H. Kumpf Middle School, and Senator Raymond Lesniak addressed the Junior Class at Arthur L. Johnson High School. Early next month we will be welcoming Senator Michael Doherty into District to present to District sixth graders.
Each one of our honorary guests delivered a developmentally appropriate assembly program to their assigned grade level to focused and engaged student audiences. Most importantly, each student left the presentation with a grasp of how a democracy runs and the crucial importance each citizen plays as a member of that democracy. It was a true delight for students to meet their esteemed legislators and gain a strong appreciation for what true guiding lights, role models, and mentors these individuals are.
My sincere appreciation to Senator Scutari, Senator Lesniak, Senator Doherty, Assemblyman Green, Assemblywoman Stender, and Assemblywoman Voss for giving so generously of their valuable time. In doing so, they have provided our impressionable pupils with a series of valuable learning experiences, and supported our dedicated staff by serving as valued partners in the instructional process and recognizing our teachers’ ongoing professional commitment and orientation to educating tomorrow’s citizens.
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