Mt. Olive Online Publication November 15, 2020
Mt. Olive Online Publication November 15, 2020
It has been more than six months since Mt. Olive students in grades six through 12 have been allowed back into their classrooms, and looks like the doors will be reopening later this month to welcome their return.
Mt. Olive Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Zywicki included the information in his most recent blog shared to the school community on Thursday, Oct. 8. The blog can be found at https://drzywickimotsd.blogspot.com/2020/10/october-8-2020-update.html.
Be sure to scroll down on his blog and read the details about the cohorts and grades that are scheduled to report on different dates. Parents with multiple children may want to get out their calendars and mark down the specifics because as of the looks of things family members will be reporting on different days at the beginning of “operation return to schools.”
“After lots of work we are able to return early in grades six through 12,” Zywicki states during a special announcement on the Mt. Olive School District Facebook page on Thursday, Oct. 8. He says the district is three weeks ahead of its original plan which would have opened the schools to these students at the end of the first marking period or first trimester.
“We’ve been dealing with staffing issues,” he explains. Some teachers may still be virtual when the schools do open for in-person learning but he “anticipates more staff to be returning” eventually.
Zywicki’s blog states “Students in grades 6-12 whose families selected in-person instruction will return to in-person instruction according to the following schedule:”
On Monday, Oct. 19, students in grades 6, 11 and 12 in Cohort B which includes students with last names that begin with letters K through Z will report to school. They will attend in-person-learning all week through Oct. 23.
The following week, on Monday Oct. 26, students in grades 6, 11 and 12 in Cohort A which includes students with last names that begin with the letter “A” up until letter “K” will report to school for that week through Oct. 30.
Then on Monday, Nov. 2, students in grades 7,8,9,10 in Cohort A will attend in person school.
Tuesday, Nov. 3, is election day so all students will attend school virtually that day as per executive order by the N.J. governor.
“Everyone is virtual that day.”
On Thursday, Nov. 4, students in grades 7, 8, 9 and 10 in Cohort B will attend school in person.
On Monday, Nov. 9, all students in grades 6 through 12 in Cohort A will attend school in person through Nov. 13.
On the following week, Nov. 16 through 20, students in grades 6-12 in Cohort B will attend in person.
When the students are not reporting for in-person learning, they will be attending school virtually.
Option To Switch To In-Person
Before school began in September, parents had the option to choose in-person learning or full remote, which has been designated as Cohort C.
Zywicki is allowing parents to change their minds by a certain deadline.
Students in grades 9 through 12 who would like to switch from remote learning to in-person can do so by Monday, Nov. 16.
The same goes to the younger grades.
Students in grades pre-K through 8 can switch from remote Cohort C to in-person learning. Classes would begin Dec. 7 and parents must notify the change by the deadline of Nov. 4.
“The request process to change cohorts will be forthcoming from building principals next week,” Zywicki notes on his blog.
Zywicki also announced that all the district’s school buildings are now equipped with MERV 13 filters as opposed to the MERV 12. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value filter is noted for catching 90% of particles for best air quality.
In another step toward normalcy, Zywicki has announced that in-person on campus student activities and clubs will resume on Tuesday Oct. 27, at Mt. Olive High School and Mt. Olive Middle School.
More info. to come during Parent University on Sunday, Oct. 11, at 5 p.m. on Facebook Live.
While she keeps the seat warm for the next candidate elected to serve a three-year term on the Mt. Olive Board of Education, Jen Aquino will make the students her priority and use the next few months as a learning experience.
Aquino of Hackettstown was sworn in during a special BOE meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29, to fill a vacated seat on the school board. She replaces Dr. Asunta Beardsley, BOE member whose term was expiring this year; she resigned on Sept. 1 and vacated her seat on Sept. 15 since she was moving outside the district to Allamuchy.
As the first applicant nominated for the position, Aquino received six nods of approval from BOE members. The other two candidates included: Former BOE Member Brian Schaechter, who is rerunning for the BOE this November; and longtime resident and mother of six Jeannie O’Neill.
A resident for 13 years, Aquino is happy to be selected.
“I was and still am elated for being selected to Mt. Olive’s Board of Education,” says Aquino. “I don’t take this role lightly and know there will be a lot of work ahead, but I do love a challenge.”
Not estranged from education, Aquino works currently as a teacher evaluator in the Morris School District.
“I bring my educational training and professional experience, enthusiasm and communication skills to this Board of Education,” she says. “I look forward to working with each one of them.
“Previously, I’ve been a teacher, supervisor and principal,” says Aquino, who is also a mother of a fourth grader in the district.
“I feel the time is right now that my daughter is a little older, and it allows me to contribute to my community while collaborating with the other board members to bring the best Mt. Olive has to offer,” says Aquino.
Similar to a student who has an internship before deciding on a career, Aquino gets to see firsthand what it takes to be a BOE member.
“I have always had interest, but this will allow me to better understand the role of a board member and decide if we are a good fit!” says Aquino.
Since Aquino has filled in a BOE seat that would have been vacated at the end of this year, she will hold the seat for three months, until the Jan. 2021 reorganization meeting.
She will be replaced by one of the seven candidates running in the next month’s General Election vying for three, three-year terms on the BOE.
During her time on the BOE, Aquino does have some goals in mind.
“My goals will always be to keep our students a priority and help in any way I can,” says Aquino.
Her main concern: “I would like to get all of our students back to school in a safe environment.”
When asked what she likes most about Mt. Olive School District, Aquino says: “That’s easy…I love the people that work there.”
One of her district involvements is SHSP (Sandshore Home and School Partnership).
“It’s our version of PTA,” she explains. “I am also a member of Sandshore’s School Safety and Climate Team.
“I am honored to fill this role and a proud parent of this district,” concludes Aquino.
BOE Interviews Candidates
Each board member asked the three applicants the same question at the special BOE meeting.
Picked randomly, Schaechter went first, followed by Aquino and then O’Neill.
Following the interviews, the public was invited to comment, but there were none from those in attendance, which was limited to 25 due to N.J.’s executive orders. The meeting was livestreamed for others to watch.
The BOE then went into confidential/closed session to discuss the candidates’ qualifications. When they returned, BOE members nominated two of the three candidates. The first applicant to receive five votes wins the seat.
BOE Member Dr. Antoine Gayles was the first to nominate a candidate, nominating Aquino for the spot. BOE member Anthony Strillaci followed by nominating Schaechter.
Aquino received six votes of approval by the BOE members with Strillaci voting no. Since she only needed five votes, she won the seat before the BOE could even vote for Schaechter.
BOE President Anthony Giordano did not comment as to the reasoning why the BOE selected Aquino. He did say that Schaechter is running in November and suggested to O’Neill to “put your hat in the ring in the next coming cycles.”
BOE Member Liz Ouimet specifies during the meeting her reasoning in selecting Aquino: “Considering all the qualification of every candidate,” she says she chose Aquino.
These are the questions BOE members asked during the interviews with some of the applicant’s comments.
BOE Member William Robinson asks: “What kind of commitment, and time and energy do you think a board member needs to devote to be an effective board of education member?
Schaechter responds: “It’s easy for me to answer that one because I was a board member for six years. It’s not a one-hour week job. It’s almost full time; commitment is great. There’s committee work; board of education meeting. It is quite extensive. This is not an easy job at all.”
Responds Aquino: “I think it’s all the time. You are going to get phone calls. email; people reaching out when you are not in a meeting. I imagine it will be quite a bit of time that you need to give to the school board and I’m prepared to do that.”
Ouimet’s question: “How would you handle a concern or complaint about the district that was brought to your attention by a parent, community member, teacher, administrator or other special interest group?”
Responds Aquino: “I don’t know what the protocol is. I need to be schooled and read what the rules are.”
Schaechter says he would go the board president and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Zywicki with any issues.
Gayles asks: “What kind of relationship should a board of education have with its community, with its parents, and families?”
O’neill says it is important to have an “open relationship,” be in touch and out in the community.”
Strillaci questions: “What do you feel are the three most important responsibilities of a board member?”
Schaechter says a BOE member should be a good listener, fair and a good setter of policy, “and you need to have a level head.”
Responds Aquino: “You need to take your job serious; you need to be a team player.”
Answers O’Neill: To decide on the immediate concerns are of the district, communicate with staff and families and to make sure everyone’s needs are met.
BOE Member John Kehmna asks: “If you can change one thing in our district what would it be and why?”
Schaechter, who serves on the Mt. Olive Planning Board, says that while he is pleased with Zywicki’s increased communication with the community, he would provide more of an understanding “with the public exactly how our tax dollars are being spent.”
Stumped by that questions, Aquino responds “I had nothing short of a spectacular experience at Sandshore. There’s nothing I can think of at the moment.”
O’Neill, who has had children in the district since 1999, says she would make sure the district provided more “deaf accessibility,” such as Parent University. Anything that is livestream is difficult.
“For someone who’s deaf like me,” she says she needs to “Wait for someone to translate it.” She suggests more closed caption options.
In the last two questions, Giordano asks: “What involvement have you had with BOE and the district;” and newest BOE Member Nolan Stephens requests the candidates to “Please describe your volunteer activities current and past?”
"We're spreading the word to make Antoine Gayles lucky #7 on November 3rd." This is a paid advertisement by Antoine Gayles. Picture posted with permission.
Check out this great video
Smoking banned on all fields, 57 acres up for grabs and vehicle charging stations going in at Turkey Brook are some of the new things happening in the township.
The Mt. Olive Township Council covered a lot of ground in its last council meeting held via Zoom Tuesday night, Sept. 29. In just 30 minutes the officials finalized some decisions that make the township even a finer place to live.
In its second reading of Ordinance #19-2020, the council unanimously agreed to abolish smoking on all recreational fields, including parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities as controlled and supervised open space.
There were no public comments in opposition to this amended ordinance.
Land For Sale
The council also authorized the sale by public auction of Block 301, Lot 4, 3100 Continental Drive in Mt. Olive.
“The land is 57 acres of vacant woodland, no prior use,” explains Mt. Olive Township Business Administrator Andrew Tatarenko. The property “was originally part of the BASF site.
“This property was last auctioned off in 2017, however the transaction fell through late in 2019,” explains Tatarenko. “We’ve had some interested parties inquire about the land and felt it was a good time to put the property back out for bid.”
The property is 57.5 acres and is designated as an FTZ4 zone.
Tatarenko says the property can be used in many different ways but “It’s up to the purchaser of the property” to decide.
He did verify that there has been some interest by a purchaser of this property which will be sold for $3.5 million, with monies going to the township.
Tatarenko says “it has not been decided yet,” how the township plans to spend this money.
The auction for this property is set for Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m.
“There is some work that needs to be down with the DEP to resolve a deed restriction which will take some time and then it’s up to the developer to utilize the property,” says Tatarenko. “It depends what the plan is but it will most likely require Planning Board/Zoning Board approval.”
The FTZ-4 zone permits a range of uses including general industrial, commercial and planned unit residential development (PURD) on tracts of 50 acres or more at a gross density of 6 units per acre.
Some items on that list include office buildings, research laboratories, utilities, lumberyards, airports, motels and hotels, warehouses, storage areas, automotive and truck sales, laundromats, professional and medical offices, veterinary clinics, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, bands, health clubs, theaters, bowling alleys, gymnasiums, tennis courts, pools, medical centers, mortuaries, clubs, lodges, houses or worship, antennas for wireless telecommunication services, single-family detached dwellings, townhouses and apartments.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
The council passed a resolution at the last meeting authorizing a three year contract to Greenspot JC, LLC, of Jersey City, for the installation and operation of electric vehicle charging stations at Turkey Brook Park in Budd Lake.
The council received the lone bid from this vendor on Aug. 26 for $23,500, with an annual operation, maintenance and repair cost of $6,340.
“The vendor will absorb all the cost to design, install, operate and maintain the units in exchange for keeping the revenue generated from the stations,” says Tatarenko.
The approximate cost to the users will be $2 per hour to charge their vehicle, he says.
A total of eight charging stations will be installed throughout the park, with four units near the soccer fields and four units near the baseball fields.
Tatarenko says the units should be installed by the end of the year.
“Anyone visiting the park can use the stations,” he says.
Tatarenko says there are no other charging vehicle charging stations provided on public property in Mt. Olive. He also does not know the number of electric vehicles owned and operated by local residents.
With more people investing in electric vehicles, Turkey Brook will be the place to be in town to recharge.
“The State of N.J. has established goals and incentives to increase the use of plug-in vehicles and its infrastructure,” says Tatarenko. “The mayor and council have made a push for sustainable energy projects. Offering this service will support the use and incentives the switch to electric vehicles.”
Virtual students who have been craving their favorite school pizza or chicken nuggets can satisfy their pallet by picking up lunch daily at the Mt. Olive Middle School.
All students in the Mt. Olive School District, whether attending school virtually or in-person, are invited for free meals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through December. Provided by Sodexo, the program is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is offered to all school districts in the U.S.
Since the pandemic in March, the Mt. Olive School District “made the choice to continue” to participate in providing these free meals to all students, explains Mt. Olive Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Zywicki. A popular offering to many, Zywicki says the district has been providing about 900 meals per day to students in all grades within the school district.
“There’s a need in our community that no kid is going hungry,” explains Zywicki. Since March 16, when the school shut down, the district has been providing free meals to its students. “People who are taking it, are coming and need it,” he says.
Students who are attending school virtually may not have access to lunch if parents are working so this is a viable option to make sure students are getting their nutrition.
In September, 13,673 meals were served to students in the Mt. Olive School District with 5,000 meals served in school and 8,500 for remote students with meals picked up at Mt. Olive Middle School.
All Mt. Olive Twp. students attending school remotely are eligible for free breakfast and lunch. Meals can be picked up at MOMS every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Pick up Monday for Monday and Tuesday meals; Wednesday, for Wednesday and Thursday meals; and Friday for Friday’s meal.
Lunches include fruit, vegetable, grain, protein and diary; milk selection of 1%, fat free white, fat free chocolate. Included in every lunch is half cup of fruit and vegetable, milk, appropriate condiment packets, cutlery kit with napkin and straw. The menu also includes an available all week option such as a chef salad, turkey sandwich, Italian sub, pretzel box, pizza box, bagel, chicken Caesar salad.
Some popular choices include pizza, chicken nuggets, chicken patty sandwich, grilled cheese, macaroni-n-cheese, nachos, mozzarella sticks. Vegetarian and diet options are also available.
For more information, visit mtoliveeats on Instagram. It is recommended to pre-order in person meals. The monthly menu, can also be found at https://motsd.sodexomyway.com/%20%20
The First Presbyterian Church Of Hackettstown’s Annual Roast Beef Dinner is still on this year. Join in on Saturday, October 24, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Take out orders only will be offered.
Price is $15 for adult-size meals. Contact Donna Erickson @ (908) 637-6007
In less than two months, voters will get to select three candidates to fill three seats on the Mt. Olive Township School Board of Education.
There are seven candidates vying for a three-year term on the BOE. Running for reelection are BOE Members Dr. Antoine Gayles and John Petrie, whose three-year terms expire this year. BOE member Dr. Asunta Beardsley is not seeking reelection as she is relocating outside the district.
The other candidates running in the November election include: Christopher Zeier, Richard Vanatta, Brian Schaechter, Colleen Suflay and Rhonda Cohen. Former BOE members Schaechter and Cohen are running with Suflay on the same ticket with the slogan “Schools in Motion.”
As a public service, the Mount Olive Democrats asked the community to
suggest questions to be asked of each of the seven candidates running
for the three positions being voted on this year.
“One goal of our organization is to share information with our community regarding important issues,” explains Irene Sergonis of Budd Lake, a committee member of Mt. Olive Democrats who recently ran for Mt. Olive Twp. Council.
“We received individual responses from Dr. Antoine Gayles, John Petrie
and Christopher Zeier. Brian Schaechter, Colleen Suflay and Rhonda Cohen
responded together. Richard Vanatta did not respond.”
To learn more about these candidates and responses to some concerning questions see the link https://mountolivedemocrats.org/posts/board-of-education-candidate-responses/
Things may be different this year but the bratwurst will be hot, the beers cold and the music polka worthy at Mt. Olive’s 2nd annual Oktoberfest set for Saturday Oct. 10, rain date is Oct. 11, at Turkey Brook Park in Budd Lake.
Two sessions will be held this year to help with social distancing: Noon to 3 p.m.; and 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Walk-ins will be available if the 500-person limit is not reached.
The event is being sponsored by Dorsey & Semrau & John Johnson Automotive Group.
Great food from Michele's Bistro, Knockout Funnel Cake, Kasha's German Imbiss, Rita's Of Flanders and new this year Totally Nutz (fresh roasted nuts ) and Lily Rose Bakery (Guinness chocolate cupcakes with Baileys butter cream frosting ) are sure to get you in a festive mood. Jersey Girl Brewery will be serving all fall favorite -Prost!
The lineup of vendors is sure to have something for everyone - Cutco Cutlery, Mount Olive Democrats, Flanders Martial Art, Songbird Jewels, Donna Does Nails, Little G Design, Lula Roe, Country Mouse Design, Sons of Liberty Survival Outfitters LLC, Orchids Permanent Studio Scentsy, Mom Run Candle Co., Flipping Birds Jewelry Co., Angela Azure, Scheer Beauty Life, Limelife By Alcone and Zyia Activewear.
Axe Throwing is back by popular demand along with the chicken sling shot, connect 4, stump & corn hole. Don't forget the pony rides for the kids for an additional fee, and a hayride has been added this year!
Thanks to Rockefeller Group & Toll Brothers, MountainXpress will be back to entertain with its Authentic German sounds. German hats will be for sale for $5 to help get the crowd in a festive mood!
Mask are required, bring own chairs; no tables nor chairs will be available due to COVID protocol. ID's required to purchase alcohol.
Pre-registration is highly recommended, so no one is disappointed at the gate! Cost is $5 for ages 18+; 17 and under are free.
Data recently released by the College Board shows that more Mt. Olive High School students are taking and passing advanced placement exams than ever before. A record 764 AP exams were completed by students in 2020, a participation rate that is 81% higher than it was just five years ago in 2016. Only 85 AP exams were administered in 2004.
In 2020, 142 students were also named AP Scholars for taking and passing more than one AP exam. In 2019, there were 115 students honored.
This surge in AP participation reflects a concerted effort by the board of education, superintendent and high school administration to encourage students to challenge themselves with more difficult coursework. More AP courses were added to meet student interest, bringing the total to nearly 30, and additional college-level courses are being offered through local universities.
“I am so proud of the accomplishment of our students and AP teachers,” said Mt. Olive Superintendent Dr. Robert Zywicki. “Kevin Stansberry, the former principal and current district director of secondary schools, deserves special recognition. Growing the AP program has been his passion project for more than a decade.”
In January 2019, the Mt. Olive Board of Education approved Zywicki’s recommendation for an AP incentive program to encourage more students to enroll in AP courses and complete exams. For students who paid the College Board fee for one AP exam, the district paid the registration fees for all additional exams. The incentive program helped overcome any cost barriers that were dissuading students from pursuing higher-level courses. The College Board charge for most exams is about $95 but some can cost as much as $142.
The data from 2020 also shows that more students from diverse demographics participated in AP exams and courses. This has long been a district and school goal. In 2019 and 2020, Mt. Olive was named to the AP Honor Roll by the College Board – a distinction that recognizes the district’s efforts in increasing the number of students from underrepresented demographics who take AP courses while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students passing the exam.
“AP means All People,” says Zywicki during his Parent University on Sept. 21. He adds during the BOE meeting later that evening, “142 is a record.”
That is “great news” on the AP exams, says BOE member Liz Ouimet at the last BOE meeting. She gave a shoutout to Stansberry for initiating the AP incentive program and the C&T (Curriculum and Technology) Committee for bringing it forth.
It’s great program,” says Ouimet.
Board Member Dr. Antoine Gayles questions at the last BOE meeting the disproportionality of the students taking the AP Course and test. He specifically wants to know what is working for one subgroup that could be used for the other subgroups.
He says 11 % to 12 % of the student population that are taking and passing the AP exams are Asian.
“There is a question of disproportionality,” says Gayles. “Was there a deep dive? What is leading to their success?”
Gayles suggests surveys of parents and students to see what those factors are. Primary issue could be the cost issue of talking the AP exams.
Zywicki says he plans to bring that clarity to the next meeting.
This article was provided by the Mt. Olive School District and Cheryl Conway added comments/quotes taken from BOE meetings.
Library Board To Meet In Person
The Mt. Olive Public Library's Board of Trustees' meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 13, has been re-scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, at 6:30 p.m. in its Gathering Room.
It is an open session. Everyone attending is required to wear a mask and social distance.
Library Offers October Fun
There are a lot of fun programs happening in October for kids at the Mt. Olive Public Library.
Oct. 13-17 is Pick up for Tie Dye Face Masks.
Reserve a own Halloween Tie Dye kit for at home fun. Kits include the number of masks ordered, pipettes and orange, green and purple powder dye.
October 20 at 7 p.m. - Family Scope Night (Rain Date: Oct. 21)
Friends from Pearl Observatory are back with a fun and safe night of observing the Orionids Meteor Shower, Saturn and Jupiter. All eyepieces are wiped before the next participant looks in the Scope. Masks required!
October 28 at 7 p.m. - Monica's Book Banter and Tea Time
Starting in October, join Miss Monica for a brand new tween and teen book club. Help decide the first book everyone reads and vote on Facebook.
October 31 at 11 a.m. - Spooktacular Library Fun
Dress up in costume, pick up first treats of the day and enjoy a spooky storytime with Miss Janice. Masks required and please bring blankets to sit on.
Library Goes Virtual For Kids
Virtual Storytime: Do your kids miss Storytime and coming to the library? Tune in Monday through Friday to see all of the Children's Room Librarians reading stories on Facebook and Instagram.
Library Open For Curbside Pickup
The Mt. Olive Public Library is open for curbside pickup.
Requests can only be made via phone call or email.
There is a limit of six items for adults and eight for kids and young adults.
Patrons will be called once their items are available for pickup.
Bags will be placed outside of the library, marked with the last four digits of the patrons card number
Due to COVID-19, patrons may not enter library.
No books will be left outside the building after curbside hours.
Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Thursday: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Closed on Sunday.
For questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org; call 973-691-8686 ext.106.
County College of Morris students Priscilla Ponzano and Juan Osorio who perform in the one-act play La basura about finding love while taking out the garbage.
CCM Offers Extensive Zoom Programs
Professors, students and staff at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph have created a virtual Hispanic Heritage Arts Series, featuring dance, poetry reading, musical performances, a play and more, in celebration of the rich cultural traditions and linguistic diversity of Morris County.
Consisting of five videos, the series is located at http://bit.ly/HispanicHeritageCCM/. Featured are:
Acoustic Guitar Duo
Professors Carol Hamersma and Victor Keremedjiev playing traditional music from South America and Spain in front of the college’s Music Technology Center.
Mariachi Mi Serenata
Featuring Carlos Orozco, Alfredo Urbano, Eduardo Iquira, and Alejandro Correales.
Featuring William Gomez, a local resident who performs dramatic readings of Hispanic poems as well as one of his own. He is introduced by Julian Gomes, director of Ideal Cultural.
A play about two people who discover love as they take out the garbage, written by Argentina's Alfredo Zemma and performed by CCM students Juan Osorio and
Priscilla Ponzano. Professor James Hart, chair of the Department of Languages and ESL, provides an introduction both in Spanish and English.
Professors Carol Hamersma and Victor Keremedjiev playing traditional music from South America and Spain in front of the Music Technology Center at County College of Morris.
Latin Music Styles
Jose Bevia, an internally respected and award-winning musician and professor of music at CCM, talks in Spanish about different Latin music styles and plays several pieces.
CCM’s Departments of Music, Performing Arts and Music Technologies, Art and Design, Languages and ESL, Campus Life and Special Events, along with the Educational Opportunity Fund, developed the series in collaboration with Morris Arts and The Dover Initiative. The Dover Initiative consists of CCM administrators and business and community leaders focused on advancing opportunities for community residents and economic development.
For more information about CCM’s music, arts, performing arts and cultural programs, visit www.ccm.edu.
Centenary Lecture Focuses On COVID-19 Pandemic
Global health leader Dr. Craig Spencer plans to present “COVID-19: Reflections on the acute crisis and long-term impacts” on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. as part of Centenary University’s Gates-Ferry Distinguished Visiting Lecture series. The event will be held virtually due to the pandemic.
Spencer is assistant professor of medicine and population and family health at the Columbia University Medical Center. In addition, he serves as director, global health emergency medicine, at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Doctors Without Borders.
During his medical career, Spencer has engaged with some of the most notable disease outbreaks in recent years. He worked on the front lines fighting COVID-19 in his home hospital in New York City and was an emergency medical worker in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. In addition, Spencer has confronted the Ebola virus in West Africa.
A link to this free lecture, which is open to the public, will be published https://www.centenaryuniversity.edu/events/event/gates-ferry-lecture-2020/
New Military Scholarship Offered At Centenary
A new endowed scholarship recently established at Centenary University in Hackettstown by former CDR John S. Jenkins, Jr., JAGC, USN will assist active duty or retired service personnel and children of military families to afford a college education.
Named in honor of his late mother, the Marilyn Lewis Jenkins ’51 Endowed Scholarship was seeded with a generous $25,000 contribution by Jenkins and has been supplemented with several additional gifts.
A member of the Centenary University Class of 1951 and longtime Navy wife, Marilyn Jenkins was married to the late RADM John S. Jenkins, JAGC, USN (Ret.), an attorney and the U.S. Navy’s senior legal officer. As the wife of a senior officer, she was a member of the Navy JAG Officers Wives Club who took a lead role in ensuring that Naval wives and families felt fully supported. She passed away on June 18 and was laid to rest with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.
Marilyn Jenkins grew up in Mount Zion, Pa., the daughter of a peach farmer who was also a mail carrier in the rural community. She met her husband, the son of a boilermaker, during high school, but the pair waited almost a decade to marry in 1958, after he joined the U.S. Navy.
“My mom was the first generation in her family to attend college and held a work-study job in the college cafeteria to afford an education,” explained Jenkins. “My father went on to a 28-year career in the military, including 15 years assigned to the Pentagon. He was a two-star admiral and the Navy’s senior legal officer.”
Initially working in the insurance industry while her husband launched his military career and attended George Washington University Law School at night, Marilyn Jenkins soon became involved with the Navy JAG Officers Wives Club. As her husband advanced in rank, she took a lead role in ensuring that Naval wives and families felt fully supported.
Jenkins followed in his father’s footsteps, forging careers in the Navy—“I was a JAG, just like my dad”—and as an attorney. When his father died in 2015, Jenkins and his mother established a scholarship and an endowed chair at George Washington University Law School to recognize his father’s distinguished service. Five years later when his mom passed away, Jenkins wanted to honor her in a similar way, with an endowed scholarship at Centenary University.
Noting that Marilyn Jenkins kept in touch with Centenary classmates throughout her life, Jenkins said, “My mother was modest, so she may have been a little embarrassed by the scholarship. But she would also be honored to have our family continue to support military and veterans causes. Education took my parents out of their small Pennsylvania farming and industrial town to achieve so much. Now, I feel it’s important to provide the same educational opportunities to veterans and active duty service members and their families.”
Submitted by Diane Lang, positive living expert, life coach, speaker.
For some people, their passion/purpose comes to them. Some even knew what they wanted to be when they grew up as a child. I always envied those people. For the rest of us, we keep asking the question: What do I want to do when I grow up? For others, you started with your purpose/passion and somewhere along the way, you lost interest and the question comes up again: What do I want to do when I grow up?
It's one of the most popular questions I hear from my clients and also one of the most frustrating. If you find yourself stuck or desiring a change in career, here are eight tips to help you find your purpose/passion.
1. What causes you pain? For many of us, what brings up the most pain and discomfort also brings us our purpose. For example: If you have an injury/illness, that might lead you into helping others with a similar situation.
2. What causes you to feel envy? Social media has some negatives but let's put that negative to use. When you are scrolling through your social media feed, what brings up the emotion of envy or jealousy for you? Instead of judging yourself for feeling that way, ask what it's trying to teach you. What's missing/lacking in your life? Does someone going back to get their degree or a certificate bring sparks of envy? Does someone opening up their own business bring the pangs of jealousy? Use this emotion/information to make changes going forward.
3. Ask yourself the following spiritual questions: Does the work you do make you feel you're contributing to society/making the world a better place? Does your career match your value system? Does it create a sense of flow? Does it give your life meaning?
4. Re-evaluate your career. At some point your career might have matched your values, gave your life meaning and flow but no longer does. We are always changing and growing so what worked for you 5 or 10 years ago might no longer work. That's ok, just check in and see how you feel and make changes accordingly.
5. Childhood- think back to childhood dreams, what did you want to do when you grew up? Sometimes, we are driven off path by life circumstances, society or parents encouragement or the pursuit of external goals such as money, fame, status and power. As we get older, we actually feel more satisfied with accomplishing internal goals.
6. Fear - for many of us, we know our true calling but fear has stopped us. If this is the case, it's time to deal with the fear. Fear can paralyze us, the best way through is to acknowledge the fear but move forward anyway with small baby steps. It doesn't mean quitting your job and running after your dream tomorrow. It does mean, acknowledging your dream, writing down your goals and setting action steps to move forward.
7.Know the "Why" behind your dream/goal. Why do you want it? When we know why the motivation comes much easier.
8. What are your strengths? gifts? abilities? These are clues. If you don't know what they are, take a personality test which will help you uncover your strengths and abilities.
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