A New School Year Begins

The traditional senior sunrise this morning saw over 200 members of the Class of 2018 getting a headstart on their day.
The traditional senior sunrise this morning saw over 200 members of the Class of 2018 getting a headstart on their day.
Birchwood PE Teacher Russell Rufrano greets his returning students who seem ready for a great year.
Birchwood PE Teacher Russell Rufrano greets his returning students who seem ready for a great year.
An Oakwood Kindergartner brings Mom along for his first day of school.
An Oakwood Kindergartner brings Mom along for his first day of school.
Countrywood Assistant Principal Ms. Kellie Njenga greets her returning students.
Countrywood Assistant Principal Ms. Kellie Njenga greets her returning students.
At Maplewood, good friends share their summer adventurers.
At Maplewood, good friends share their summer adventurers.
Board of Education President Mr. Nicholas R. Ciappetta, (standing right) enjoys a few moments welcoming kindergarten students and their parents.
Board of Education President Mr. Nicholas R. Ciappetta, (standing right) enjoys a few moments welcoming kindergarten students and their parents.

Good morning and welcome back:

Each new school year brings change in a variety of forms—from new staff, to new students, to improved facilities and curriculum changes.  This year our Board of Education has also changed in two notable ways.  First, we welcome two new members – Andrew Bronson and Sidney Joyner.  We look forward to their contributions and expect that they will bring fresh ideas that will enhance the Board’s decision-making process.  Our Board leadership has also changed, with Laura Carey as Vice President and me as the President.  Despite these changes, you can expect that the Board of Education will continue to play its vital role in providing the resources that our 6,000-plus students need to thrive.

While the Board of Education manages the District’s financial condition and establishes overall policy, it is our beloved staff of over 1,000 that does the invaluable day-to-day work necessary to create the leaders of tomorrow.  Each of you should take enormous pride in the fact that the District just produced its strongest academic performance in over a decade.   As we have in the past, in late January we will recognize seven of our most outstanding teachers.  Additionally, for the first time, at a Spring meeting the Board will formally honor the members of the District’s non-instructional staff and the role that they also play in fostering academic success.  Of course, we will continue to shine a bright spotlight on our most treasured asset—our students.  Both in and out of the classroom, they give us hope that our next generation of leaders can solve our country’s most intractable problems, without rancor and with respect for opposing viewpoints.

So, on behalf of the entire Board of Education, I welcome you back and wish you a rewarding and productive school year.  I look forward to seeing you at a future Board of Education meeting, in the halls of your schools, or at an extracurricular event.

Nicholas R. Ciappetta, J.D.

President, Board of Education

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