Director's Monthly Memo

  • "Well-behaved women seldom make history."

    - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


    BYC Luncheon


    March Message

    I can't believe February is almost over. As always, it was a busy month for the Social Studies Department. For example, we had the pleasure of celebrating Black History Month in a multitude of ways. Most notably, however, the Social Studies Department joined with the Bayonne Public Library to host a screening of the documentary, A Fair Game: Surviving a 1960 Georgia Lynching. This searing indictment of Jim Crow era America tells the story of the near  murder of Navy veteran and Bayonne resident, James Fair, and the efforts of his mother and residents of Bayonne and beyond to save him from the clutches of a racist legal system. Additionally, students in Mr. Woods’s African-American History class and Sixth and Seventh Graders were involved in the City of Bayonne & the Bayonne Youth Center’s Black History Month Contest. Mr. Woods’s students worked with the Director of the Youth Center, Angelique Bell, to design the prompts for the contest. They are pictured above with Ms. Bell at the Center’s Annual Luncheon honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ms. Bell recognized our students for their contributions to the success of the contest.   


    On a different but related note, Mr. Wexler’s Model UN Club continues to amaze. Veteran members will be at the National High School Model UN in NYC this weekend while those who are new to Model UN will be at the St. Peter’s University Model UN Conference. All of this activity comes on the heels of Model UN’s recent trip to the prestigious North American Invitational Model UN Conference in Georgetown University. My sincere thanks to Mr. Wexler Ms. Toomey, Dr. Bransfield and Ms. Fitzhenry for making all of this possible. Go Bees!


    March promises to be equally busy with all schools celebrating Bayonne150, the sesquicentennial anniversary of Bayonne’s incorporation as a city. Please help us to celebrate the history, heritage and peoples of Bayonne by asking In fact, the Department will continue its work with the Gilder Lehrman Institute on March 18 when they host Professor Bob Brigham who will lecture on the Vietnam War. Trainers from the DBQ Project will also be in Bayonne to work with Grade 4 teachers. Teachers in Grade 7&8 are really lucky since they will be visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art to participate in a workshop on Medieval European art.


    We will of course also celebrate Women's History Month. While there will be an endless variety of activities taking place in teachers’ classrooms, Dr. Brigham will focus a portion of his workshop on the roles of women during the War and I am sure our female juniors will again participate in the City’s celebration of International Women's Day.


    Given that it is Women's History Month, it should also be noted that as the result of the efforts of women reformers in the 1890s we can now enjoy the natural beauty of the New Jersey Palisades for posterity. To learn more about Women's History Month,  visit




    March also brings us National Anthem Day. Written by Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812, The Star Spangled Banner became our national anthem on March 3, 1931. This March 3, show your pride and patriotism by proudly displaying the American flag and by singing the National Anthem.


    Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention that in 1991 Congress declared March Irish-American Heritage Month. By the way, did you know that at least nine of the signatories on the Declaration of Independence were of Irish descent? Have a great month!


    Dan Ward

    Director of Social Studies