Wednesday, November 28, 2007

North Bergen School Administrators: Enthusiastic, Energized, and Empowered

Many Yankee fans rejoiced when, in a stunning turnaround, Alex Rodriguez was re-signed by their cherished team. His whopping contract, worth a potential $305 million, has been deemed a good business deal for the Yankees by some analysts. The economic impact of
A-Rod to the Yankees over the 10 years of the contract has been estimated at $450 million.

So what does this have to do with the North Bergen School administrators? Is it only a geographic significance to this community nestled a stone’s throw, although a long one, from Yankee Stadium just across the picturesque Hudson River?

I believe it speaks to the bigger picture of America’s priorities when it comes to the support of our teachers and school administrators. What return-on-investment is more important to the future of our nation than the education of our youth? The role of the leaders of our schools and the positive impact to society of the students entrusted to their care should be what grabs the headlines.

On November 28, 2007, through the leadership of Superintendent of Schools Robert J. Dandorph, I was privileged to speak at the North Bergen School District’s administrator development day. From the outset, I was impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of those in attendance. Schools represented included:

  • North Bergen High School
  • Franklin School
  • Horace Mann School
  • Lincoln School
  • McKinley School
  • Robert Fulton School
  • Robert Fulton School Annex

My task for the day was to encourage and empower the administrators in their vital role in the mission of the school district which includes:

The constant to all factions in our school system is the result for which we all aim: a student with intellectual tools for success in the world; with economic skills suitable to his/her place in the labor market; with social attitudes and values congenial to life as an individual and community member.
The morning presentation, entitled Transforming Our Schools: The Hearts and Bricks of School Security, looked at the current concerns of a crisis of leadership as well as a culture of violence. These unfortunate trends in American society are like two trains traveling full-speed about to collide with one another. The only effective emergency brake is character and vigilance.

This presentation, which included a lively interchange, focused on:

  • Shattered Communities (Broken Families and the Gang Culture)
  • Filling the Void Through Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • American Youth Concerns on Safety and Security
  • Principles of Diversity
  • Understanding Our Roles to Cultivate Cultures of Preparedness and Character
  • Making a Difference by Touching Hearts and Transforming Schools and Communities

The afternoon presentation, MySpace and Internet Security Concerns for Educators, provided an overview of the internet and online communities as sources for observing the pulse of their students, schools and communities. Again, enlightening interaction among participants added to the value of the session.

The North Bergen School District is in good hands. The dedicated administrators that I met have the welfare of their students at the heart of their mission.

If the hope of America lies in its schools and communities, then the role of the educator is paramount. We must do all we can to support our schools in the important mission of preparing the future citizens and leaders of our nation.


Freedom Writers: The Transforming Power of a Teacher Click here to visit site
The Essence of Teaching: Character, Conviction and Courage Click here to visit site
Diversity Alert: Hangman's Noose a Symbol of Bigotry Click here to visit site
Virginia Tech Tragedy: A Crisis of Leadership Click here to visit site
A Lesson for Educators: Little Rascals in Bored of Education Click here to visit site
A-Rod's dollars make sense for Yankees
Yahoo! Sports
Click here to visit site

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