December 2014 Message

December 2014

To the Piscataway Community:

“Another year over, and a new one just begun,” wrote John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their holiday song. This time of year brings most of us moments for reflection and resolve. The songwriters ask us “What have you done?” 

Let me tell you what you have done. You provide the students in New Jersey with the best education in this country. This, according to a recent study, based on 12 factors, including student dropout rate, pupil/teacher ratio, test scores, rates of bullying measures, and school safety measures (AASA Executive Briefing, December 22, 2014).

Yes, New Jersey ranked FIRST in the nation. Similar surveys sometimes list Massachusetts or Connecticut, but New Jersey is always in the top three.  

This is what I pause to think about and express my gratitude to you. All of us, including me, are always pushing the envelope, but without losing sight of our goals, let us take time during this season to celebrate too.

Celebrate that you – teachers, secretaries, aides, bus drivers, principals, custodians, all of you – work tirelessly in one of the few professions that has the power to change the course of children’s lives. Through your example of lifelong learning, your wisdom, your positive outlook, and your encouragement, you have the ability to open up opportunities for students like no one else can. That’s awesome. Hold your head high and be proud of yourself and your colleagues.

I thank you for choosing this journey with me. And, as you get a chance to relax and refresh, remember a few other words John Lennon wrote in that same song, “I hope you have fun.”

Best regards to you this season,

Teresa M. Rafferty