Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Sunday, September 5, 2010

All District staff kick-off the new school year.

I attended the all-staff Convocation last Thursday at BF Middle School. (BOE members Charlie Reilly, Sheila Brogan and Bob Hutton also attended.) The morning began with coffee and such in the cafeteria, and it was nice to see all the teachers and other staff greeting each other after a summer apart. Then everybody headed to the auditorium. The theme of the day was "Moving Forward." BOE Vice President Bob Hutton gave a nice speech, wherein he noted that his youngest son and his son's RHS-graduate friends all completed college in four years and were gainfully employed or pursuing law school, med school, etc. I was happy to hear no mention of upcoming budget troubles, contract negotiations, etc., which I think would be out of place on this day of anticipation and enthusiasm. (Bob spoke because BOE president Michele Lenhard was away helping her son move in to college for his sophomore year.) Bob also led the room in a rousing rendition of America the Beautiful. Ridgewood Education Association President Maria Cannon spoke, too. Normally her convocation speeches are very warm and a little emotional and teacher-y, with enthusiasm for the coming year. This time, though, she focused almost entirely on Governor Christie and his "demonizing" of teachers. Hmmm. Not exactly "moving forward," but... Finally, Superintendent Dr. Fishbein gave a nice speech where he talked about his oldest son leaving for college last weekend...more than a few teachers came up later to tell him he made them cry.

My favorite part of Convocation is the student presentations. We had musical performances (violin and percussion), a dance performance and the Second Annual Ridgewood Convocation Feud, sort of like Family Feud, where the topics are Ridgewood school trivia, presented by some New Players kids.

Convocation also included the presentation of the 2010 Lloyd W. Ashby Award, which has been awarded every year since 1967. This year's recipient is Jane Blakely, who recently retired as Supervisor of Social Studies.

No matter what rumors your kids try to tell you (there is no ceiling collapse), every Ridgewood school will start this Tuesday, September 7.

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