The Eagle Eye Alumni Newsletter
Vol. 8 - Fall/Winter 2021
WELCOME TO THE 8TH EDITION OF THE EAGLE EYE!
Egg Harbor Township Schools launched the Alumni Association for a few reasons:
- To find out what roads you chose to follow;
- To see where you are now in your careers and your lives, and what interesting steps you took along the way to get where you are today;
- To gauge your feelings on how Egg Harbor Township Schools prepared you for your journey.
We also want to know what you think we can do better NOW to prepare current students for their future!
MEET DARRYL PRATT, CLASS OF 2010
“Focusing on becoming the best version of myself, and showing the people close to me that there is no box or ceiling. The only limitations that exist are the ones we put on ourselves”
~ Darryl Pratt II
If you look up the word ‘multipotentiality’ you may just see a picture of Darryl A. Pratt II. Possessing a strong intellect with artistic curiosity, Darryl isn't afraid to pursue multiple professional fields simultaneously. In other words, this man can comfortably wear many hats, all at the same time.
Recently described by a former high school classmate as a “marketing extraordinaire, college adjunct professor, and expert brand developer,” Darryl Pratt is – without a doubt -- a mover and a shaker.
A 2010 EHTHS alum, Darryl was extraordinary both in the classroom and in athletic competitions. The two-sport athlete (football and wrestling) earned Cape Atlantic League and Press of Atlantic City first-team honors in football as a high school student, leading to a football career at Rowan University and an NJ Atlantic Conference team championship in 2013.
At just 29 years old, Darryl boasts an extensive resume that is packed with more career moves and advancement than most people experience in a lifetime. Where most resumes follow a strict timeline pattern, Darryl’s bio overlaps and intersects with precision like shingles on a roof.
He received both his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing and his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Rowan University, where he traded in his football helmet for professorship as a Business Marketing Adjunct in 2017.
An experienced marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working with Fortune 500 companies, law firms, and businesses across various industries to achieve their marketing and overall business goals, Darryl founded DRTR Agency in 2019, a full-service digital marketing agency that links brands with global social media influencers, entertainers, content creators, and athletes for strategic marketing campaigns. His agency boasts a roster of clients including Lyft, PUMA, and entertainment and lifestyle brands such as Veli Brand, BreakOut Music, and Wise Guy Apparel. In the same year, the Philadelphia resident co-founded Wise Academy -- a company dedicated to creating quality extracurricular courses for K-8th grades. Wise Academy has worked with Mastery and KIPP charter schools.
The entrepreneur didn’t stop there. He also recently landed the position of Director of Engagement Strategy for FCBCure, a full-service healthcare agency dedicated to healthcare advertising and promotion.
Between 2019 – 2021, Darryl served as Senior Manager for Social Media Strategy at Cognizant, one of the world's leading Fortune 500 professional services companies that transforms clients' business, operating, and technology models for the digital era. In that position, he developed social media strategies for clients, led the data analysis and optimization of social media efforts, and assisted client engagement teams in implementing social media for life sciences brands. From 2015 – 2020, Darryl worked for pep LLC where he served as Marketing Account Supervisor and Account Executive for clients including the Campbell Soup Company and Johnson & Johnson.
Q & A with Darryl
How did EHTHS prepare you for your career? “EHT was a big diverse high school allowing me to build relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and economic levels”
Fond memories of EHT High School? “Playing sports and winning games always stands out. I took Media 1 and 2 as electives. I’ll always remember hosting Eagle News and making skits with Scott Platt”
Favorite EHTHS teachers/coaches/mentors? “Mike Caiazza, my wrestling coach, pushed mental toughness for sports and life. Ryan “Smitty” Smith and Ryan Platt were my coaches from freshman to senior year and it was a great ride. They watched me grow up but it’s been cool to watch them start families and make moves in their careers. Coach Carmichael taught me a lot about defense and pushed me to wrestle which made me a much better football player. Coach Morrison and Blaze were my position coaches. They looked beyond size and helped me become a First Team All-Conference player. “Ms. Reinhardt made English fun and I’m still using those lessons to this day, and Mr. Truman was a great teacher, he taught math but always gave us life lessons, and that is something I have added to my teaching style”
Married/Engaged/Children? “Not married or engaged, no kids”
Pets? “Nala, a German Shepherd puppy”
Other interests? “Travel, investing/trading, real estate, content creation”
How do you like to spend any off-time? “In the gym, with family/friends, hanging out watching sports or thrillers”
What does the future hold for you? “Focusing on becoming the best version of myself, and showing the people close to me that there is no box or ceiling. The only limitations that exist are the ones we put on ourselves”
The History of Egg Harbor Township Schools: A Documentary
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE SCHOOLS?
CAPE ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPS
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE! EHT STEM CURRICULUM WILL SOON BE HITTING THE ROAD!
The brainchild of K-12 Science Supervisor Rodney Velardi, the STEM bus project will provide an ideal opportunity for EHTHS students to share with others what they are learning in the classroom. Once complete, the unique and interactive STEM Bus will be delivering hands-on curriculum in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to spark the STEM interest of younger district students and community members as well.
The project will be a team effort. Automotive class students will help retrofit the bus internally and externally into a STEM classroom and lab space; the transportation and facilities personnel will assist with the installation of mechanical and electrical components; and the Information Technology department will oversee the installation of audio, visual, and computer network systems. A solar component will be added to create and store energy, and a local car detailing company will 'wrap' the bus with the district's logo and project name.
"I wanted to create a STEM bus that allows us to bring science activities and concepts to the community. Our hope is that we will be able to have meaningful interactions between our high school students, elementary students, and community partners in a fun, interactive, and immersive environment that we can easily bring to school and community events. We want to engage with members of our community so the students can showcase what they have learned in the classroom," Velardi said.
Congratulations to Mr. Velardi and the entire EHTHS Science Department for their innovative idea that will reduce waste by repurposing, reusing, recycling, and revitalizing an old school bus into a mobile learning lab that will reduce barriers by bringing the lessons to the students.
For more information on Sustainable Jersey for Schools, visit: https://www.sustainablejerseyschools.com/
PRE-APPRENTICESHIPS COMING TO EHTHS!
Funded through a generous $300,000 grant from the NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development Office of Apprenticeship, Egg Harbor Township High School will partner with Registered Apprenticeship Sponsors Atlantic Cape Community College (ACCC), Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA), Atlantic County Workforce Development Board (ACWDB), and New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) to prepare Egg Harbor Township youth for expanded career pathway opportunities in the Manufacturing, Wastewater, and Healthcare industries. The program will set students on the fast track to career success through on-the-job, paid training while still in high school, and earned advanced credentials.
The primary purpose of the PACE Program is to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in Registered Apprenticeship programs. These pre-apprenticeship programs have a documented partnership with at least one Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor and together, they expand the participant's career pathway opportunities with industry-based training coupled with classroom instruction. The PACE program at EHTHS is intended to help drive economic development through skills and educational attainment and create pathways to better-paying careers and advanced credentials for students.
YOU CAN BE A PART OF THE EHT STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE!
ADDRESSING THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
"The most important thing in communication is to hear what ISN'T being said"
- Peter Drucker
An elephant in the room. Every workplace has at least one. The uncomfortable but obvious, complicated conversation that hasn't happened yet -- but needs to. Covered in thick skin, allowed to graze openly throughout the offices, but without a voice to communicate, the elephant goes along unheard and unaddressed.
Egg Harbor Township School District leaders took the first step in giving the elephant a voice when they convened administrators, principals and VPs, supervisors, directors, and coordinators in August for two days of professional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training. Why? To learn how to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where every employee and every student feels safe, important, valued, and validated.
Thought-provoking in nature, some of the questions posed by the presenters were downright squirm-worthy and done purposely to engage the multi-cultural group in courageous conversations that were long overdue. Topics of white privilege, impartiality, and unconscious bias were not easy subjects to tackle but were necessary in order to create positive change going forward.
Amid the discussions, district personnel were required numerous times to break up into smaller groups. On day 1, those groups were asked to draw maps of Egg Harbor Township. Almost all of the maps pointed out the economically diverse areas of the Township, the main thoroughfares that surround the schools, and the anchor stores and businesses, and depicted the schools as the hub of the community, around what all else revolves. The presenters then challenged the education professionals to assign the same exercise to students when school starts in the fall to see what poignant conclusions can be drawn from the student maps, what areas of the Township they find noteworthy and important, and how closely their drawings relate -- or don't -- to the adult's drawings.
On day 2, the large group was again required to separate themselves into smaller units based on a variety of preferences including their favorite music genre, their spirituality/religion, race, economic status as children, and even their favorite food. It was an eye-opening exercise where new things were learned about each other; unconscious biases were discovered, squashed, or left unchanged; and stories that are typically kept to oneself for fear of being judged were shared. At the end of each day, attendees were asked to speak their truth about the day's events and identify what they learned and what they hope to see for the district going forward -- and not just say what they thought others wanted to hear.
Bravo to the District Administrators for taking this very important first step toward ensuring the initiatives of this Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training aligns with the District's new Strategic Plan and drive change across the school campuses and the Egg Harbor Township community.
Diversity - Often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, Diversity also includes mission-relevant experiences, education attainment, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, marital status, languages spoken, and physical appearance.
Equity refers to fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
Inclusive environments are places in which any individual or group feels welcomed, respected, supported, valued, and able to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming culture embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people, and fosters a diversity of thought, ideas, perspectives, and values.
According to Code For America, it's not enough to just talk about the promise of a workplace "built on equity, respect, dignity, and freedom, everyone has to have a hand in creating and measuring it, work toward more equitable outcomes for everyone, and prioritize an overall vision for what it means to be a truly equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization -- where everyone can bring their whole selves to work [and school] and feel a sense of shared belonging."
Alums: Does your workplace have policies in place that address the elephant in the room?
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT EHT SCHOOLS?
Follow the Community Partnership for Egg Harbor Township Schools, Inc. at https://www.facebook.com/communitypartnershipEHT/ and the Egg Harbor Township Education Foundation at https://www.facebook.com/EHTEducationFoundation/ to learn about upcoming events they are planning that benefit student scholarships, teacher mini-grants, capital projects, extra-curricular activities, instructional technology, and academic enhancement.
To donate to the Community Partnership for EHT Schools, Inc. visit:
To make a donation to the EHT Education Foundation visit: https://www.eggharbortownshipeducationfoundation.org/
TO NOMINATE A FORMER EHTHS STANDOUT ATHLETE FOR THE ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME. For more information contact EHTHS Athletic Director Michael Pellegrino via email to: email@example.com or by calling (609) 653-0100 x1662.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN AN UPCOMING EDITION OF THE EAGLE EYE?
SHARE YOUR STORY!
Maybe you chose a traditional academic path, or perhaps you took the road less traveled and blazed your own trail. Regardless of how you got to where you are today, we are grateful to you for putting Egg Harbor Township School District on the map, making a difference in the world, and for helping us become better educators. In each edition, we hope to share your stories, inspire opportunities for you to reconnect with us, and invite you to participate in exciting things happening in the Egg Harbor Township School District.
PLEASE SEND EMAIL INQUIRIES TO: firstname.lastname@example.org