West Essex Middle School Seventh Graders Honor Heroes

  Left to right, WEMS Assistant Principal Lisa Tamburri, Physical Education teacher Michele Riker, Hero Day Speaker Col. John McLean, physical education teachers Bettina Mianulli, Barbara Bruchac and Greg Ruggiero. The physical education teachers organized the assemble, which is part of the middle school health curriculum. Credits: Allison Freeman
Madelin Morales of Fairfield with mom and heroine Millie Morales. Credits: Allison Freeman
Alex Burrowes of Fairfield with hero and grandfather Ted Pajewski of Jefferson. Credits: Allison Freeman
Alexa Pontoriero honored father and hero Frank Pontoriero. Credits: Allison Freeman
Nicole Riccio of Fairfield with her father and hero Michael Riccio. Credits: Allison Freeman

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - West Essex Middle School seventh graders honored their heroes at a special Hero Assembly on Feb. 20. Students read essays about their heroes including family members, friends, athletes and police officers. Some students talked about their community service while others discussed heroic traits. Colonel John McLean, a West Essex graduate and military hero, spoke to students about his experiences serving in Iraq. Col. McLean also told students and West Essex staff that they are all heroes and thanked them for inviting him to speak.

The event is part of the seventh grade health curriculum. Students participate in community service projects, learn heroic character traits and write essays about their heroes ranging from parents to law enforcement personnel to athletes. The program culminates with Hero Day where student's heroes are invited to an assembly where a few students read their essays, some discuss heroic traits and others talk about their community service experiences. Afterwards. heroes attending the day attend a bagel breakfast with the seventh graders.

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