2012 in Schools
Celebrate the start of 2013 by looking back at the biggest school stories of 2012.
Cheers could be heard all around the blackjack, craps, Texas hold ‘em tables and the roulette wheel at the 7th Annual Casino Royale in the Senior Citizens Center last winter, which raked in $39.5K for the New Providence School District. More than 200 local residents went "all in" for the high-stakes action, which was organized by the New Providence Education Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2004 that raises money for the district each year through Casino Royale, direct solicitation of households in town, and a variety of other events.
Students at Salt Brook Elementary School received a special treat when former NY Liberty players Sue Wicks and Kym Hampton, the NY Liberty Mascot Maddie and other representatives from the WNBA organization visited their school this month to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Title IX and National Girls & Women in Sports Day. Title IX, which came into effect in 1972, required schools and colleges that received federal funding to provide equal opportunities for girls and boys.
Residents enjoyed a boot-stomping, swash-buckling good time last March at the New Providence High School Theater Production of Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert’s The Pirates of Penzance in the NPHS Auditorium.
The New Providence School District had eight new teachers walking through the district after the Board of Education approved the first round of hiring to replace retirees and to fill in new positions in May. Conor Barry, one of the graduating seniors and the board's student representative, was awarded for a project he did with sixth grader Patrick Trezza. Trezza met with Barry to raise autism awareness in the district.
Along with Barry and Trezza, the district awarded 10 other students for their accomplishments in state-wide competitions.
Last May, the New Providence Board of Education announced that freshmen, sophomores and juniors at New Providence High School will each receive an iPad in February 2013, with the entire high school receiving the tablets in the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year. The upgrade is part of a push toward curriculum reform, which began in 2007 and encouraged technology in the classrooms, said Superintendent of Schools David Miceli. The iPads will be given to each freshman as they enter the high school, and will be their personal tablet for their time in the school through a lease program with Apple. This way, the school will constantly have the most updated technology as iPads are updated, Miceli said.
Every high school in America dreams of the opportunity to produce a championship team in at least one of its sports, and New Providence High School is not exception. At the New Providence Board of Education meeting Thursday night, Superintendent David Miceli announced that the high school had moved beyond the dream phase into reality, winning the 9th Annual Group I ShopRite Cup Championship.
Ten Union County football players were selected to participate in the 2012 New Jersey North-South All-Star game including athletes from Governor Livingston, New Providence, Scotch Plains and 2011 sectional champion Cranford.
New Providence High School moved up the ranks this year when the school was named the number one public high school in the state by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. NPHS, home of the Pioneers, was previously ranked #26 in 2006, #17 in 2008 and #5 in 2010. NJ Monthly Magazine’s 2012 rankings of the top public high school will be featured in the September issue, which hits newsstands on Aug. 28.
It was Superintendent of Schools David Miceli's Oscar moment. But instead of a tuxedo, he was wearing an Under Armour polo. And instead of a full auditorium, he was in front of only a handful of people. But still, Miceli went through his list of "thank-you's," noting how New Providence's recent ranking of No. 1 Public High School in the state by New Jersey Monthly Magazine was a product of the community and everyone's tireless effort committed to education. Thanking everyone from administrators to custodians at the Board of Education's meeting Thursday night, Miceli said the ranking reflects the school's commitment to new and updated curriculum, meant to give students a well-rounded education.
About one year ago, Allen W. Roberts Elementary School Principal Gina Hansen, Vice Principle John Richter and Media Specialist Brandee Conover approached Superintendent David Miceli with a vision for the AWR Media Center and asked, “do you think we can go for it?” That vision did come together in a true community fashion with involvement from members of the New Providence Board of Education, New Providence Education Foundation, AWR PTA, the Spring Fling Fundraiser Committee, AWR Parents, Library volunteers and the AWR Class of 2012.
The 144 members of the New Providence High School Marching Band placed first in both the USBands New Jersey State Championship and the USBands Nationals Championship over the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11. After a tumultuous week created by Superstorm Sandy, the band persevered and worked together to produce a weekend of memorable performances.
The horrific shooting that claimed the lives of 20 elementary school children and six adults in Connecticut on Friday continues to affect communities near and far, including New Providence. On Monday, Dec. 17, New Providence School District administrators and faculty monitored students carefully while reassuring parents of the districts’ safety procedures.
Governor Livingston High School’s Highlander Marching Band won the Group 1 Open Class Tournament of Bands (TOB) Atlantic Coast Championships in Hershey, PA on Sunday, Nov. 4. Despite the hurricane damage and local power outages, the band made it to the championship with the assistance of township and county officials, school staff and administration as well as many parent volunteers.
The six PTOs that serve the Berkeley Heights Public Schools funded a combined total of $236,000 in enhancements during the 2011-2012 school year, including more than $10,000 in teacher grants, more than $53,000 in enrichment programs and assemblies for students and $114,000 in equipment gifts to the schools.