HOWELL – It was a full house at the most recent Board of Education meeting held at Howell Middle School North. Students, staff, and families piled into the gymnasium for a series of student awards and moments of recognition for recent retirees from the district.
The Board first recognized the hard work of students from Howell’s Newbury School in the Genius Hour program by showing off their presentations. The program, started by teacher Kelly Gilligan, is facilitated by Dr. Quinn and Mr. Gredder.
“This came right along with our G&T program,” said Quinn.
On May 17, the school hosted a Genius Hour Unconference for the students to “celebrate their findings” and share their research project with their peers.
“It was a student driven day,” said Gredder.
At the meeting, third grader Dari presented her PowerPoint presentation on Famous Artists and a group of fifth graders presented their brainchild, Second Chance Toys, which is a toy drive that collected 163 plastic toys in two weeks.
Each student received a certificate of recognition.
Also recognized was Ramtown fifth grader Sara Hanily, congratulated on her win at the Monmouth Vicinage’s Law Day Art Contest on May 8.
Tuesday, June 12 was Student Government day in Howell Township. Seventh grade student essay winners were chosen to participate in Student Government Day by taking on the duty of the Howell Township Council at the June 12 meeting.
These students were selected from their essays themed “If I were mayor, these are the things I would do to boost student civic engagement to get students involved in government and public service.”
The Board also recognized these students with certificates.
Next up was Isabella Marcinkiewicz from Howell Middle School North and Jaden Coward from Middle School South, congratulated for winning the Howell/Farmingdale Lions Club Raymond Schmitt Community Service Award.
Also from Middle School North and South were the Student Team Achievers, recognized for their team efforts in sports. These winners were chosen from teams with hundreds of kids. The overall student achievers were Jonna Crocker and Chloe Berwick. The finalists: Sophia Jernigan, Ryan Walsh, Riley Stein, Kimberly Perlik and Alyssa Jones.
The students were not the only award recipients of the evening. Ramtown computer teacher Stephen Rao was also honored for winning the Schoology NEXT Digital Citizen Challenge. Rao was chosen from over 1,000 education professionals.
Schoology is the district’s learning management system. The Schoology Digital Citizen Challenge was meant to crowdsource digital citizen resources from the educational community.
“Stephen submitted an entire digital citizenship course…it was designed for elementary students and includes presentations, games, extra resources, and an achievement badge for completion,” said Claire Engle, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation.
Rao will be presenting his program at the upcoming Schoology annual conference.
The Board also took time to honor each of the recent retirees in the district, including:
- Alma Giddings, 29 years with the district
- Maureen Heid, 16 years with the district
- Mary Rizzo, 26 years with the district
- Cynthia Davern, 25 years with the district
Each retiree is given a brick by which the district can remember and honor them by that will be placed in the school garden.