Crystal's Corner

May 29, 2015

How did we get to this time of year already?!?


We received this wonderful news this morning:

The NJ National History Day (NHD) coordinator notified Priscilla Taylor, gifted and talented specialist and NHD mentor, that the Junior Group Exhibit of LMS 8th graders Izabella Mus, Toby Webster and Gabe Gutierrez (L to R in below photo) was chosen to represent the state of New Jersey at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. on June 17 during the day and also during the "Night at the Museum" reception that night. Their exhibit is entitled "Jacqueline Cochran and the WASP: Leading Women out of their Domestic Lifestyles and into the Air."

These students are three of the five LMS students who advanced from state NHD competition at William Paterson U. on May 2 to the week-long national competition at the University of Maryland beginning June 14.

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Yesterday was the Middle School's Career Day. Charlie McCain from buildings and grounds, Steven Prentiss and Tom Eldridge were three of the local presenters.

Mostly sophomores and a few juniors and seniors attended one of two iHamlet assemblies yesterday. iHamlet is an adaptation by Robin Malan, a South African playwright, and puts onstage one actor speaking the words of only one character, Hamlet, from Shakespeare's play. LTEF funded the artist-in-residence program intended to enhance the study of Shakespearean literature and drama for English and theater students. The actor who played Hamlet is Melissa Dunphy (photo below) from The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre. Get a glimpse of her dramatic interpretation via link below. Video is dark but I think you can get a feel for the wonderful performance. Also linked below is a flyer from the theatre company giving more info about the adaptation and Melissa Dunphy.

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The work(s) of ten LHS students was selected for publication in Aspirations, a literary journal published by Mercer County Community College. The publication is for the works of Mercer County area high school students. LHS senior Linda Luo in AP Studio Art had three pieces selected including the cover art (photo below). Other published LHS students are Madalyn Brummel, Klara Bieniasz, Caroline Bohra, Liam Lavelle, Nadine Mayrena, Jack Pagliante, Kinsey Ratzman, Casey Ryu, and Sebastian Vargas.
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LIS special education rising 7th graders transitioning to LMS took a field trip to LMS to learn about their new school. (photos below) An LTEF grant provided the bus and cardinal items.


I received a letter of commendation from the director of the NJ Dept of Law and Public Safety Division on Civil Rights for three of our staff members. The letter expressed gratitude for the work of Jon Dauber, Stefanie Tziarri and Nicole Walter in organizing a lively and informative group of LHS students on short notice to help the department with "an important project under development." The director went on to relate:

"My agency recognizes that as teenagers across the state are preparing to venture into the workforce for the first time, they will be leaving a protective educational climate and entering a professional environment that is not always so nurturing. We are developing a State-wide outreach initiative designed to help teenagers understand that they have the right to work in a workplace free from discrimination based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. We also want them to be aware of what actions they can take when faced with employment discrimination. Understanding anti-discrimination laws may also prevent this emerging workforce from interacting with co-workers or customers in a way that could get them fired and/or their employers sued."

Today was the wonderful ETS-hosted luncheon for the Governor's Teacher/Educational Services Professional Recognition Program. Linked below is a document relating this year's recipients.


The Decision and Design Team met May 19 after having given their pros and cons of five proposals presented by the architects at the previous meeting. The team decided they would like a hybrid of a couple plans. Alyson is asking the architects to provide estimates for the suggested hybrids.

Tonight is the Lawrence High prom at Belle Voir Manor @Pen Ryn in Bensalem, PA. As in years past, prom day included the senior breakfast and drunk driving outcome/consequence demonstration. I put this item under the Corner's Community section as our local police and fire fighters repeatedly are so helpful and engaged with helping to send a realistic, visual message to our students. We're appreciative of the relationship we have with our community's emergency responders and of their ongoing support.

Lana received a congratulatory email from the New Jersey School Public Relations Association (NJSPRA) stating "Your district will be honored as a WINNER of the 2015 NJSPRA School Communication Awards at an upcoming meeting on June 5, 2015 at Rowan University." Two entries were allowed and Lana submitted The Link newsletter and our website. I'll keep you posted about which is recognized.


The Business Office conducted payroll verification today at each school and in the Tech Center. Every three years we must require all employees to submit a photo ID before they can get their paycheck.


Interviews, interviews, interviews...lots of them these past few days. On Memorial Day I reviewed applications for the LES principal position. Yesterday I led second-round interviews for seven positions and I'll recommend six people for appointments. Cindy Westhead conducted the first round of interviews for the LIS assistant principal position on May 27 and I'll conduct the second round soon. Tom led the first round for director of facilities yesterday.

Since the last Corner, I:

  • met with a COA member,
  • led a COA meeting, and
  • met with Erin about elementary staffing.
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