Crystal's Corner

April 29, 2016


Thursday night I attended the National Honor Society (NHS) Induction Ceremony in the LHS Commons. (The auditorium is temporarily closed for air conditioning installation. Various events are relocated for the duration...should provide for a cool setting for June/end-of-year events.) The NHS ceremony is always a nice event. View program.

Our students excel in and outside of school. This week we received news about a variety of students' achievements in their personal athletic pursuits. Sometimes we hear via a guidance counselor, a principal, and/or a parent. Frequently, when we share news of one such accomplishment, we'll hear from other parents about same. Although it's sometimes piecemeal, we enjoy showcasing our students' many talents. Below is info that also was shared in the past couple QuickNews.

Kerstyn Johnson, LMS 7th grader, recently competed in the USA Gymnastics NJ State Championships. She walked away as the Level 6 Balance Beam State Champion!

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Turns out we have multiple students who recently earned a spot on the NJ State Olympic Development Program (ODP) Soccer Team. Since 1977, the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program has helped identify potential national team youth players through an organized series of trials which began at the district or local level, then progress through the state, region and finally, the national level. The program also serves as a means of development as the players identified are brought together for training and prepared for interstate, inter-regional and international competitions.
Talk about caring, kindness and good character! The LHS Cardinals Boys and Girls Track teams presented the Robbinsville Ravens with a banner to support and encourage them in the midst of the recent tragedy, the passing of Robbinsville Superintendent Steve Mayer.
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Hot off the press...err, make that email! Girls track team coach Tim Collins reports our team is competing today at the prestigious Penn Relays (University of Pennsylvania) hosting thousands of competitors. Our 4x100 team placed 1st in their heat and our 4x400 team placed 2nd. Their times were the best times of Mercer County teams!

In photo: Dominique Peters, Mijah Collier, Cynthia Currie, Kelsey Holt & Sataya Gordon

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Reflecting why we were once again named one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation, we had numerous Lawrence Intermediate School (LIS) students selected to perform in the Central Jersey Music Educators Association (CJMEA) one-day Honors Orchestra Festival at East Brunswick High School and the CJMEA one-day Honors Band Festival at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Old Bridge.

Allison Kershner, LIS band and orchestra director, nominated students based on their performances in the LIS Orchestra or Band and CJMEA selected festival participants from the nominees.

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CJMEA Honors Orchestra Participants

Violin: Adithi Ponakampalli, Samantha Gunton, Elizabeth Claros, Richa Narahari, Chaiyo Kosinski, Vidya Vedula, Prajna Karmaker

Viola: Emily Gormley, Elias Johnson

Cello: Maggie Gronenthal, Olivia Drake, Maria Vittadello, Ethan Wang, Crystal Yuen

Double Bass: Laura-Simone Martin

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CJMEA Honors Band Participants

Flute: Catie Lillja, Dhruv Indelicato

Clarinet: Binet Sinha

Alto Sax: Kate McCann

Tenor Sax: Rahul Nair

Trumpet: Arnav Aggarwal

Trombone: Benjamin Lilly, Sean Mills

Baritone: Arya Baskaran

Tuba: Manasvi Rani, Sara Kuwar

Percussion: Noah Lehrfeld, Liam Thompson

And the drama continues.... No, it's good drama! LHS juniors Cassie Coyle and Rachel Rivera in the LHS Theater IV class recently performed at the Bucks County Playhouse 48th Annual Theater Competition against three other high schools.

LHS students performed two dramas: The Empty Chair and Selfie. Rachel won the Outstanding Student Direction Award for Selfie and Cassie received Outstanding Acting Awards for both Selfie and The Empty Chair.

L to R below: Cassie Coyle and Rachel Rivera

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A peek into LTPS...
We don't have details yet about the big DECA win in Nashville, just things we gleaned from tweets. The team returned yesterday and advisor Diane Schneck will send us feedback in a few days. Typically, students compete in groups of 2 or 3 in a multitude of categories. It appears two of our students took 1st place internationally in their category.


This week found me:

  • meeting with LIS administrators and a parent;
  • reviewing with other administrators applications for the Director of Student Services position;
  • working on the strategic plan;
  • visiting an LES third grade classroom to learn about diabetes from a student;
  • observing two administrators, separately;
  • attending the BOE meeting; and yes, once again...

Jeff from Comegno's office and I attended a PERC hearing on Tuesday about the Unfair Labor Practice claim. The hearing consumed the entire morning. Fortunately we reached an agreement and once it's typed, both sides hopefully will sign.


Lawrence Middle School (LMS) received word this week that they received a 2016 National Promising Practice Award by The award is for the day of service in which LMS students and staff participated on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day on which schools were closed. LMS invited the community in for computer and technical assistance to seniors and other community members. Additionally students ran technology classes and participants worked together on a variety of service projects.

Lawrence Township has applied for a Safe Routes to Schools grant with a funding request of over $200,000. A representative of the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association assisted in some of the township's data collection. View here a 2014 report prepared by the Greater Mercer TMA.


Tom related today that the bids for turf, including lights, came in favorably, I imagine this will be discussed in Finance and we'll hear more about it at a later time.

Tom and I received notification, which was shared with Kevin, that the Mercer County Interim Executive Superintendent approved the completion of my Merit Goal 4.

Click on the "Corner Meeting Table" link below to view upcoming meetings.


Just a reminder that I have given every BOE member "view only" access to the Google folders that were once only visible by the Personnel committee. I will update these documents as needed. Please use the links below to access them w/your Google accounts and/or the accounts you use to access other committee agenda information. You can access this information at any time that is convenient for you. Please let me know if you cannot access the information.

Click on the link below:

Goal 1: Strategic Plan

Goal 2: Evaluation Systems

Goal 3: NWEA Reading

Goal 4: Instructional Rounds

Goal 5: Community Participation

Below is the schedule the Personnel Committee agreed on with regard to my evaluation procedures:

Superintendent Evaluation Protocols

  • July 17, 2015: Merit Goals submitted to ECS

  • August 20, 2015: Merit Goals approved by ECS - letter in Supt Eval Folder

  • Nov 3, 2015: 1st Evaluation & Merit Goal Update w/Personnel Committee

  • Feb 3, 2016: 2nd Evaluation & Merit Goal Update w/Personnel Committee - postponed

  • Mar. 2, 2016: 2nd Evaluation & Merit Goal Update w/Personnel Committee

  • May 4, 2016: 3rd Evaluation & Merit Goal Update w/Personnel Committee

  • May 5, 2016: Supt to complete electronic submission

  • May 25, 2016: BOE meeting w/o Supt to finalize report

  • June XX, 2016: Supt to receive written report

  • June 22, 2016: Full BOE meeting w/Supt to discuss report

  • June 30, 2016: Submit to County Office BOE resolution for merit bonus - NJDOE

  • July 15, 2016: BOE pays merit bonus for prior year - NJDOE