Friday, October 30, 2015

Our Innovation Ambassadors Rocked NJSBA

"Meaningful student involvement is the process of engaging students as partners in every facet of school change for the purpose strengthening their commitment to education, community & democracy." Adam Fletcher

Earlier this week, the annual New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) convention took place in Atlantic City, NJ. It's a convention where education professionals and vendors hold workshops focusing on improving schools through multiple avenues, such as: policies, board of education PD, legislation updates, department of education employees discussing high stakes testing, and so much more. It's a convention where Board of Education members, their guest, superintendents, and other school officials attend. It's a convention where educational minds come to discuss what's best for their communities, schools, and students. 

Yet, there was something different this year compared to previous years. 

A HUGE Thanks to John Henry, a NJSBA STEM & Sustainable Schools Specialist, we (Northfield Community Middle School) were invited to share all of the innovations that our school is currently undertaking this year. The invitation was sent two weeks prior to the convention, which left us little time to prep. Yet, we were beyond honored by the invitation, and certainly wanted to demonstrate all that our students and staff were doing. After a short discussion with Interim Superintendent, Bob Garguilo, and Digital Shop Teacher, Kevin Jarrett, we decided that we needed to bring something that stood out from everything else. Something that TRULY REPRESENTED what school is about and what it should be. 


We selected ten students, as well as four teachers. Oh, did I mention that it was 8 girls and 2 boys! Yes, girls leading the way with our innovative projects and STEAM!

We set up a meeting for the students and their passion/energy helped to propel us forward. Through a Google Doc, Slides, and a portable whiteboard, our storyboard came to life.  

Student Created and Student Voice!

Student designed and written- Leave behind  brochure

Our students and staff rose to levels of excellence that I still cannot honestly describe.  They talked to everyone and anyone willing to listen about our school.  They scoured the convention center floor with robots and drones, handing out our brochures along the way. They spoke with immense pride and enthusiasm about our school. Some would even say there was a glow to them, that simply hypnotized each person that spoke with them.  They demonstrated their abilities as young leaders and models of our "Life Ready" manifesto. They represented themselves, their parents, their school, and their community with such dignity. They seized the moment, and never looked back! 

Day 1 Team

Day 2 Team

Bring Students and Staff = Crowd will come!

Sharing our story with pride

Getting "Bob" the drone ready before the start of Day 1

Non Stop Pride!

Mr. Jarrett, Mrs. Terista, Mrs. Kennedy, and the rest of the team before the "rush"

Let me tell you about our school!


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