Field days and graduations are over. May rains replenished the soil, 2019 Memorial Day pasted, and summer is blooming. As we yearn for lazy, hazy days, exemplary school events are in my thoughts.
In April, I attended the Forum of Famous Faces, Author Edition. It was presented at the middle school auditorium by the Advanced Eighth Grade Reading Class under the direction of Marybeth Skerjanec. The evening included performances by 20 students who researched famous authors. The curtain opened, and students dressed as their chosen author sat or stood in character on the stage. One by one, without using notes, each spoke as if they were the author. The students learned and shared the author’s personality, families, hardships, and how to write their signatures. Props, such as a saddle, period clothes and hats, needle and thread, limping with a cane, and voice accents were incorporated. The quality and fine-tuned detail were captivating, informative, and impressive. Each student performed with class, style, and biographical content.
The Sterling High School Prom was also in April. Student standards and parent involvement touched me. I’m not sure where the credit goes for the beautifully decorated Wally Post Gym, or the well organized red-carpet entrance announcing each student’s arrival, but I sensed a group effort by dedicated staff, responsible students, and involved families.
In May, I attended middle and high school graduations. The seventh grade and high school bands conducted by Risa Lamorie were outstanding. I don’t know when students begin playing instruments, but their performance demonstrated expectations of practice and excellence. The same was true of the high school choir directed by Annette Lambrecht. It refreshed my spirit to see music education valued with quality teachers and active student participation.
Entering Wally Post for high school graduation, students dressed in formal attire greeted us with eye-contact, smiles, and quality six-page programs. Included were scholarships and top grade point averages (GPA). Thirty-two out of 124 graduates earned a GPA of 3.33 or higher. Four had a perfect 4.00 or higher. Twenty-four seniors received NJC Hope Scholarships, and 88 earned at least one scholarship to a two or four-year college or university. Seven seniors received athletic scholarships, and one student was nominated and admitted to the United States Air Force Academy. Two seniors created powerpoint presentations for guests in the full gymnasium. One highlighted her classmates by comparing childhood and senior pictures, and the other videoed students answering, “What was your favorite high school memory?”
In summary, I believe we could and should brag about our school system. With few resources plus depleted positive support or recognition, RE-1 helps produce many quality products—our kids. The events I attended did not happen because someone waved a magic wand. They were the result of planning, hard work, and dedication.
Be generous with, “Thank you, good work, and well done!”
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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