Director's Monthly Memo

  • “I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life's blueprint. Number one in your life's blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don't allow anybody to make you feel that you're nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.”
    The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., What is Your Life’s Blueprint?

     

    Oratorical Competition Contestants

     

    January Message

    The coming of the new year provides us with an opportunity to think about where we've been and an opportunity to plan where we're going. With this in mind, I’d like to use January’s message to celebrate some of our recent accomplishments and to share with you some of our plans for the coming month.

     

    December is typically a busy month and this one was no exception. While our students were thoroughly engaged in their studies, they were also busy preparing for and participating in winter sports, holiday concerts and, thanks to Bayonne’s active social, fraternal, and Veterans organizations, a never-ending variety of contests that offered our students opportunities to reflect on meaningful topics such as safety and America. Moreover, these contests stimulate our students’ competitive desires and provide them with authentic experiences such as public speaking. And thanks to effective teachers as well as talented and hard-working children, our students perform very well. In fact, sophomore, Tasha Gupta, will represent Bayonne High School at the American Legion’s Oratorical Competition in Rochelle Park this February. We also wish good luck to our students who are currently competing for a spot at this summer’s New Jersey Scholars Program at the Lawrenceville School. It is truly amazing what feats our students are capable of performing.

     

    While competitions are important, the classroom is where things really happen so here’s a snapshot. In December, BHS sophomores made presentations that completed their unit of study on the United States Constitution while Social Studies students in Bailey Community School used Google Expeditions goggles to take a virtual trip to the White House to see its Holiday decorations. Not to be left out, our youngest learners at Horace Mann became Classroom Historians. In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, some of them even learned about the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii.

     

    January will be equally busy with students working on National History Day projects while schools like Midtown, Nicholas Oresko and Philip G. Vroom will have an opportunity to experience virtual reality with Google Expeditions. At BHS, students in our sophomore Honors program will compete in the state-wide We the People Constitution Competition at Rutgers University on January 23. Additionally, on January 2, teachers will spend the day participating in professional development workshops with organizations such as the world renowned Gilder Lehrman Institute and the DBQ Project.

     

    All of our teachers and students will also, of course, celebrate the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this month. With Dr. King and his legacy in mind, I close this month’s message by encouraging our students to plan their road ahead by watching this video of his speech, What Is Your Life’s Blueprint, http://www.thekinglegacy.org/news/2015/05/what-is-your-lifes-blueprint. (Many thanks to BHS Dean, Mrs. Westpy, for sharing this with me.)

     

    Dan Ward

    Director of Social Studies