Good evening Brentwood, it is my distinct honor to address each of you at the beginning of what I am certain is going to be one of the finest school years ever. The reason I am so certain we are going to have an outstanding year is because We Are a School District on The Move!
One of the reasons I am so excited about this upcoming school year is because we continued to do work on the exterior of the buildings to not only beautify the buildings but also to bring them up to 21st century standards. We have nearly completed one of the largest Solar installation projects on the East Coast and very shortly all our schools will be running on solar power. We are also big believers in curb appeal, and you will notice the new parking lots, cement curbs and sidewalks in many of our schools and they go nicely with the playgrounds or sensory playgrounds that have been built in each of our elementary schools which complement the American Ninja Courses installed in each of the Middle Schools and Freshman Center. And this Spring, we will be breaking ground on a turf field complex that will be a source of pride to this wonderful and deserving community. We will soon move to the interior of the schools and begin renovating science labs, cafeterias, auditoriums, and libraries. In fact, we just renovated the Ross Library, built a Business Room and Dance studio as well as a Cosmetology Room here at the High School which will give our high school kids an array of choices as they begin the school year with a nine-period school day. We Are A School District On The Move!
Although the modernization of the district is wonderful, what is going to benefit our students the most is what is going on inside the schools and classrooms and we added to that in a significant way this summer. From UPK (Universal Prekindergarten) to high school we have done tremendous work to bolster the academic outcomes for every student and every learning style. Many teachers spent the summer writing curriculum to meet the new standards as well as the new course offerings on the secondary level. We have a Technology Plan with obtainable benchmarks and combine that with the eleven new Library Media Specialists hired this year our kids will have the necessary digital fluency and computer science skills to be tremendously successful at the secondary level, college and as they go off and pursue careers. We also added two Academic Technology Facilitators and Communication Aides in every school to support teachers and students. Administrators and teachers worked this summer to develop a Multi-Tiered-System of Support that will identify struggling students early and provide them with academic and behavioral interventions. In the Middle Schools we have two Response to Intervention Specialists along with a Teacher Coach which I am certain will increase student outcomes. We Are a School District on The Move!
I would be remiss if I did not spend a few minutes to thank and recognize some incredibly special people. I am so excited to be working with this Board of Education. They are kind, caring and extremely enthusiastic about improving every aspect of the district so our teachers and staff have the necessary tools to ensure successful outcomes for every student. I have learned over the past two months the Board President, Ms. Eileen Felix, along with the Vice Presidents and Trustees are intense and ardent advocates for the employees and students of this great district. I also would like to thank and recognize the best Cabinet a Superintendent could hope for, Stacy O’Connor, Ann Palmer, Rhonda Young and Wanda Ortiz. I am convinced they spend every waking moment thinking of ways to improve their respective areas. I also want to thank the Brentwood Principals and Supervisors Organization led by Dr. Jackson for their unparalleled leadership abilities, they are a huge part of why we are successful! Thanks also to the Brentwood Teachers Association shepherded by Kevin Coyne. Recently teacher unions have received some bad press, but I can honestly say without hesitation the BTA’s primary concern is about the kids in their care. Thanks also to 237 and Scott Dimperio and Ben Carenza for keeping our schools and grounds clean and beautiful. Thanks also to our Teacher Assistants and Monitors represented by Carmen Oyola for their assistance in the classrooms and shared areas. We all owe a debt of gratitude to our School Nurses, under Jessica Wood, Susan Simpson and Consuelo Cannon who closely cared for us during a very trying time. And finally, we must recognize the people who keep our schools running smoothly, the clerical association led by Brianne Talley. We Are a School District On The Move!
I do have a challenge for each of you here today, if we are truly going to be a district on the move, each of us must do his or her part. I am going to mention some athletes who were or continue to be exceptional in their sports, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Aaron Judge or each of you think of a Doctor you know who has given you outstanding care, or a painter who has come to your home and spent hours preparing the rooms before he or she paints or a carpenter who carefully read your blue prints before finishing your kitchen or bath. You see each of them spent countless hours preparing before actually doing the job. You may say but each of them had a special talent or gift and you would be right, but you see I believe everyone in this room has also been given a special talent and each of you have been given a unique gift, and that gift is to mold, to model for, to care for, and to teach our kids. So you see my challenge is this, like the best athlete, the best doctor, the best carpenter or painter each of us has the ability to be the best educator this year and I am so looking forward to being part of a year that I am convinced is going to be one of the best ever.
It is my sincere wish that each of you have a joyful and fulfilling school year and have a great opening day tomorrow!
Superintendent of Schools