Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hackensack High School: Creating a Culture of Character and Achievement

Hackensack High School is a learning community that fosters an appreciation for cultural diversity, intellectual growth, and individual diligence. We strive to prepare students to accept life's challenges by encouraging them to be open-minded, reflective, life-long learners who have integrity and respect for others. Hackensack High School, in partnership with home and community, will develop citizens who make a difference in their community. — Hackensack High School Mission Statement

On Tuesday, February 3, 2009, under the leadership of Principal Mark Porto of Hackensack High School in Bergen County, New Jersey, a school and community development initiative began with a presentation titled Creating a Culture of Character and Achievement: gang awareness and resistance, dealing with anger, resolving conflict, become a person of character to 525 freshman.

This project is the culmination of months of collaboration which included Assistant Principal Mark Johnson and School Resource Officer, Detective Kenneth Martin.


  • Why Are We Here?
    • What does it mean to be a student?
    • Do you have self-esteem?
    • Is your life stressful?
    • You can change the world
  • Contemporary Concerns
    • Head on Collision
    • Crisis of Leadership
    • Culture of Violence
    • Shattered Communities
    • Filling the Void
  • Creating a Culture of Character and Achievement
    • Gang awareness and resistance
    • Dealing with anger
    • Resolving conflict
    • Be a person of character
  • Honoring American Military
  • Conclusion

After the freshman program, 150 faculty and staff members gathered to hear their version of the presentation—an overview of the student content with two modules added:

  • helping students deal with anger
  • motivating the unmotivated student

It is commendable that Hackensack High School is dedicated to the task of positive behavior development, character education, gang awareness, academic enhancement and teacher development. As this initiative continues, Hackensack High School has the opportunity to not only effectively respond to current issues in American education but also serve as a model of excellence for other schools throughout the nation.

Having lived, worked and been involved in numerous community activities in Hackensack for a combined 20 years, I am very excited about conducting this dynamic program for Hackensack High School and honored that copies of Listen To Their Cries was distributed to all faculty and staff.


Hackensack High School Click here to visit site
Managing Anger Click here to visit site
Facts for Teens: Conflict Resolution Click here to visit site
Facts for Teens: Physical Fighting Among Teenagers Click here to visit site
KidsHealth Click here to visit site
National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center Click here to visit site
New Jersey's Online Gang Free Community Click here to visit site

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