Convocation Kicks Off New School Year

Convocation Kicks Off New School Year
Posted on 09/02/2022

The Montclair Public Schools held its annual Convocation virtually on Thursday, Sept. 1 to welcome staff to the 2022-23 school year. Watch full video of Convocation.

Dr. Kalisha Morgan, Assistant Superintendent for Equity, Curriculum and Instruction opened the presentation stressing the important of self-care and challenging all staff to “set a personal and professional goal for the year.”

Superintendent Jonathan Ponds echoed Dr. Morgan’s sentiment about self-care and setting goals. He also reminded staff to remember that “as educators, we are the one who make sure children won’t feel afraid when they come to school and if they’re nervous. We are the ones that comfort them, and give them the knowledge to do well. Every person in this district that touches a child or a colleague is a blessing. It’s not going to be easy, but you are the ones who make a difference.”

Following Ponds, Board President Latifah Jannah praised staff for their “unwavering commitment to your best and to the best for our students and families as we continue to build and sustain an inclusive and equitable environment as well as work with families to support the needs of all students to attain academic achievement and social-emotional wellbeing.”

President of the Montclair Education Association Catherine Kondreck reminded teachers “You are exactly what our students need now more than ever. We are the consistency that our district offers our students.”

Eileen Gilbert, President of the Montclair Principals’ Association, told attendees, “Each year brings us a fresh start. We have faced many challenges these last few years but we have persevered. We carry with us lessons learned but we need to remember that some continue to face challenges from the pandemic. Today is our fresh start and hopefully we are mindful of the incredible impact we have on society through all the children’s lives we touch each year.”

Lastly, keynote speaker Jonathan Koppell, President of Montclair State University shared some inspirational thoughts. “It’s an unsettling time and you are all on the front lines. You’ve seen the challenges of students and families. I want to express my recognition and appreciation for that role that you play,” he said. “But this moment of challenge is an opportunity that all of us in the education space have to embrace. Maybe there’s a different way to teach and engage students that open windows that were previously shut. It’s our obligation to embrace this opportunity to be a model for the students.”
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