Stafford Leader

School News: Motivational Speaker, Fundraisers and More

Dec 14, 2018

Craig Dietz, who was born without limbs but, among other accomplishments, swam across the Chesapeake Bay, brought his inspirational story to Southern Regional Middle School students on Nov. 21.

Dietz, a licensed attorney, also learned how to hunt, ski, as well as partaking in an 8-mile swim in South Africa.

Students left his presentation with the realization that they hadn’t even begun to tap their own potential, and that they should never permit anyone to define them. 

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Southern Regional English teacher Katie Baker was the program chair for the national convention event for the Conference on English Leadership (CEL) in Houston, Texas. 

CEL is a constituent group of the National Council of Teachers of English that fosters a collaborative professional community dedicated to building the leadership capacity of literacy education. As program chair, Baker was responsible for scheduling the entire conference, selecting and soliciting the keynote speaker, and organizing over 50 breakout sessions.

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Southern Regional School District students donated 2,145 pairs of brand-new pairs of socks to four different shelters in a Socktober fundraiser this October.

Through the fundraiser, students learn that socks are the most needed, but least donated article of clothing in homeless shelters.

The four shelters were St. Francis, Harbor House, Family Promise and the Lacey Food Bank. 

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Southern students attended the FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference and were successful on the competitive side of the events. Ten students from the middle school and 12 students from the high school received medals. 

While at this event, the students participated in a statewide community service initiative to supply food to the Middlesex County Food Bank, and Hurricane Michael relief to Florida (through the sales of cupcakes).

SRHS junior Chelsea Olendar facilitated the meeting of 690 students along with the rest of the State Executive Committee.  SRHS freshman Brenae Ervin facilitated a round table workshop in FCCLA’s Leadership Bootcamp.

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Southern Regional Latin students were among area high school attendees at Latin Day, a Stockton University event developed by Katherine Panagakos, assistant professor of Classics. Her students help run the program.   

“We have the games, and a quiz bowl and prizes,” Panagakos said. “I’ve already had a student ask me for more information about Stockton.”

Stockton senior David Bicknell walked high school students including some from SRHS through basic military strategy using huge cardboard shields.

“I’d like them to understand the discipline and teamwork it took to fight,” Bicknell said. “War then was much more close contact, face to face, usually with swords. You had to trust those you were with.”

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Team Family Dental in Manahawkin is currently exhibiting 12 pieces of artwork created by Southern art students. This is part of an ongoing project, as new pieces will be rotated in approximately every six weeks. 

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William Smith, a social studies teacher at the middle school, was recently recognized as a finalist for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. This past summer, Smith was also named the Ocean County Teacher of the Year.

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SRMS students recently collected 104.1 pounds of candy for the troops.









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