December 2015/January 2016
Holiday Greetings to you and your family,
Piscataway’s lineup of winter choir and orchestral performances is an extraordinary exhibition of student talent and faculty expertise. I hope your schedule this month and next allows your family to attend one of these performances (click here for schedule).
As I listen to our students, whether they’re second or twelfth graders, I am reminded of one of my favorite artists, Josh Groban. On his Stages album, he writes:
“TO EVERY ARTS TEACHER IN THE COUNTRY (including mine): Inspiration is one thing but great mentorship can change lives. Thank you for giving me the push to succeed and for changing countless lives around the world through your initiative to help young people communicate through the arts. I stand with you every day.”
While Josh shares a special affection for his arts teachers, it occurs to me that the same statement can be made for teachers of all disciplines. Teachers who motivate young minds, teachers who guide students into discovering their talents and abilities, teachers who show patience and compassion - these are the people who will create the next generation of Josh Grobans, whatever their chosen field.
When my son was in eighth grade, former Governor Thomas Kean visited his school. Mr. Kean asked Devin what his favorite subject was, and Devin told him it was social studies. “Oh, that was my favorite subject too,” said the former Governor. “Being a social studies teacher was my first job and the one I enjoyed the most.” Imagine, of all his world experiences, being a teacher was the position that brought Mr. Kean a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
We are lucky in Piscataway to have an extraordinary pool of teachers, whose efforts are supported by secretaries and custodians, principals, bus drivers, and paraprofessionals. As we pause this season to enjoy time with our friends and families, let us also celebrate that our community is blessed with people who have chosen a life path that nurtures the talent of a future Josh Groban, President, Maya Angelou, Bill Gates, and yes, a new generation of teachers too.
Best wishes and blessings to all our families and staff for a happy and healthy New Year.
Teresa M. Rafferty
Superintendent of Schools