In a recent meeting of the Mahwah School Board that burgeoned with a blend of performance celebration and important school updates, Superintendent Dr. Michael DeTuro stood at the forefront spotlighting the exceptional start to the new academic year, topped with the remarkable performance by the school marching band echoing the energizing theme – “whatever it takes.”
Dr. DeTuro narrated how in a display of commitment, the marching band, led by Mr. Bittner, conjured a performance set to the Imagine Dragons’ song “Whatever It Takes” in just a few days, bringing the school motto to life. A video showcasing the students’ efforts was broadcast, culminating in Dr. DeTuro handing certificates of appreciation to two 12th-grade drum majors and celebrating a “special birthday.”
After recognizing the budding talents and the education through music, Dr. DeTuro pivoted to an update on the school teams encouraging the community to cast their votes for the football team and a soccer player both nominated for accolades on northjersey.com. Adding a touch of humor, he floated the idea of a “new sports corner” for future meetings to share such updates.
The board discussed fostering “awareness and character” through various preventive programs like social media awareness training and violence awareness week.
A detailed review followed on the progress and prospective plans grounded on community objectives conceptualized three years ago. The comprehensive report touched upon harnessing actionable data for improving instruction, adopting the New Jersey Tiered System of Supports (NJTSS) to foster a deeper understanding of student abilities. Dr. Matthew Park underlined the ongoing efforts to foster community relations through partnerships and internships with external organizations, despite admitted challenges in streamlining communication.
Efforts for maintaining high-standard facilities were confirmed to be underway with bi-annual progress reports scheduled for January and June. The meeting turned a spotlight on Andrew Koh and Tina Skidiri, school staff members celebrated for their contributions in STEM education and securing a HeartZones Inc recognition, respectively, shedding light on the remarkable initiatives steered by the faculty.
Prema C. Moorthy later discussed upcoming goals emphasizing negotiations for successor agreements and revisiting transportation issues through an ad hoc committee, mirroring the proactive approach adopted by the board to meet various educational milestones with a community-centered vision.
While embracing the spirit of collaboration, community events were not left behind with Benjamin A. Kezmarsky representing Trista Daveniero, sharing details about the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, back-to-school nights, and the ongoing collaboration with Access for All to bolster parent awareness and engagement.
The meeting drew towards a discourse on the high school lunch arrangements, following concerns raised by a public attendee, John Pheasen. Board members clarified the various facets of the unified lunch period, emphasizing the advantages it offers in fostering student independence and facilitating extracurricular activities, all while ensuring sufficient time and spaces for all students to eat. The board encouraged community members with concerns to reach out for further clarifications.