Education

Columbia Middle School Graduates Eighth Grade Class

71f8a93bd2222cf42605_Photo_Jun_18__5_21_18_PM.jpg
b21df4d426f3d4856f4c_Photo_Jun_18__4_47_34_PM.jpg
ecfc92b74c9609cba0f4_Photo_Jun_18__4_44_51_PM.jpg
f9fb543ad4702cbe3305_Photo_Jun_18__4_47_05_PM.jpg
01981e46b0c7ad467270_Photo_Jun_18__5_00_37_PM.jpg
1f0475df94bfb026b542_Photo_Jun_18__5_57_55_PM.jpg
b29ece938885d958fd74_Photo_Jun_18__5_56_39_PM.jpg
c7f0ba9930cf8de27e11_Photo_Jun_18__5_53_58_PM.jpg
649f1423d3b45c7ac204_Photo_Jun_18__5_52_48_PM.jpg
6761d6879a9612842fd5_Photo_Jun_18__5_50_38_PM.jpg
43efacbcff49324433a4_Photo_Jun_18__5_45_52_PM.jpg
6b225d55da39460f1d21_Photo_Jun_18__5_44_26_PM.jpg
10e82dd9fd21fd5a38c3_Photo_Jun_18__5_44_16_PM.jpg
3c96805b346db4ac52bf_Photo_Jun_18__5_43_19_PM.jpg
66f4194bff560fc5fbdc_Photo_Jun_18__5_41_58_PM.jpg
5c19625a0a0238a09954_Photo_Jun_18__5_36_01_PM.jpg
96d56d9034a9457b4b56_Photo_Jun_18__5_34_45_PM.jpg
c5a52fdaffc5c9f9493e_Photo_Jun_18__5_34_26_PM.jpg
d3c4f53d34d077a5b70c_Photo_Jun_18__5_33_49_PM.jpg
e77e74b7084c76c9ed5d_Photo_Jun_18__5_30_16_PM.jpg
a3f91d9f2d1a46e5dc19_Photo_Jun_18__5_30_12_PM.jpg
41598205ec961d56ecf3_Photo_Jun_18__5_30_06_PM.jpg
91670e1f49ad839aaa19_Photo_Jun_18__5_24_30_PM.jpg
cf69a7fa61d3388e0456_Photo_Jun_18__5_21_23_PM.jpg
b1dfafb9e6ad2c62360c_Photo_Jun_18__5_16_47_PM.jpg
944683761c62b9e9a6dd_Photo_Jun_18__5_16_44_PM.jpg
e279c7c0bc6f47f11e1d_Photo_Jun_18__5_15_21_PM.jpg
56f2c3e90c681b905027_Photo_Jun_18__5_15_11_PM.jpg
a911fa4b7ccafbe80439_Photo_Jun_18__5_10_00_PM.jpg
7da02b47d82d52e754c2_Photo_Jun_18__5_04_51_PM.jpg
06862bf525ef74f79b2d_Photo_Jun_18__5_04_02_PM.jpg
c8af6c4c17956588b403_Photo_Jun_18__5_03_06_PM.jpg
def67087b15c7cdf8462_Photo_Jun_18__5_03_03_PM.jpg
46352b71a6a18ec73055_Photo_Jun_18__5_02_16_PM.jpg
0101eb78d71c0118656d_Photo_Jun_18__5_56_19_PM.jpg
d5bb32f85b2fb65e179f_Photo_Jun_18__5_01_55_PM.jpg
6bbcf566711fafbbe7a8_Photo_Jun_18__5_58_28_PM.jpg
102afd76a117c059f139_Photo_Jun_18__5_01_46_PM.jpg
d35149c69424eefc74b4_Photo_Jun_18__5_01_29_PM.jpg
12e94d572741b8203b66_Photo_Jun_18__5_58_41_PM.jpg
18f10c88a120e9b255bd_Photo_Jun_18__5_57_49_PM.jpg
669a0a8f538d8ab7212c_Photo_Jun_18__4_46_33_PM.jpg
2b1730d071011a75b30d_Photo_Jun_18__6_12_14_PM.jpg
2a6c6cee6523635341e0_Photo_Jun_18__6_11_38_PM__1_.jpg
fd884c892be20aea218c_Photo_Jun_18__6_10_38_PM__1_.jpg
71f8a93bd2222cf42605_Photo_Jun_18__5_21_18_PM.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Columbia Middle School eighth grade promotion ceremony took place inside at the Ken Stiefel Theatre Monday evening due to the severe heat.

The tropical sound of the Columbia Steel Pan Ensemble kept the air festive as the 156 graduating eighth grade students entered the auditorium for the processional march onto the stage.

Principal Frank Geiger spoke of how the "enough" movement will define this generation. He talked about how the students decided to join the national movement and staged a walk out of classes in order to share a moment of solidarity with the people of Parkland, FL. "More than 200 students left class and proceeded to the gym and listened quietly while a dozen students spoke for 17 minutes about school safety, kindness and promising a better future. It was quite a scene and they owned it," Geiger said. The setting included a slide show with an introductory slide that said "#enough."

Sign Up for E-News

He told the students and audience filled with parents, grandparents and siblings, "You have learned -- enough war, enough poverty, enough inequality, enough hate, enough bullying -- and even after declaring in fairly bold language -- enough school violence -- it continues. So, the question goes to you today, eighth grade -- how do you define enough. And when faced with the choice of allowing something to happen or not happen, how will you decide what is exactly enough. It won't be easy," said Geiger. -- "Think about the people that are here with you today -- from these people will come your influences, goals, your aspirations and unfortunately the pressure you and your friends will need to overcome at times. Students, your teachers know you are ready enough --- we hope you are prepared enough for the challenges." -- His hope for the graduating students is to have more than enough of the good things in life. 

He called out a few of the students including Sam Lugo who spoke to her peer group of how to make the school safer by people being more empathetic and mindful of each other. She said, if we can learn to respect others, we can keep these devastating events from happening again. Geiger told her he hopes she continues to spread her positive messages wherever life takes her. He congratulated the students and wished them "all the good things the world has to offer." 

Roshni Datta provided the Welcome Address and gave a retrospect of her time at Columbia Middle School -- with a smile on her face, she said she has grown and changed in many ways in her three years at Columbia. She said her journey was full of twists and turns -- from the scary halls as a sixth grader, to the turbulence she felt in seventh grade due to the increased work load to the growing stress of work in eighth grade -- "but it was worth it," said Roshni. "Eighth grade was the most enjoyable year of middle school -- this year I have developed hopes for my future, and a plan on what to do next. I now have a path to follow, as I am sure all of the students sitting beside me have as well."  She reminded everyone in the room that they have a sky full of endless possibilities, never forget your dreams and never stop believing. Always remind yourself that you have the power to do the impossible and never ever forget you have the power to dream, she said.

Reagan Hopek gave the Class Address giving her class advise to believe in their self and abilities -- gold is in the future, she said. "If you don't prepare to succeed, when the opportunity comes, you won't be ready. -- This is applicable to the future for all of us. If we prepare well, then we will get to go to a college of our choice. Work hard and focus on what can happen." Adding, "We have grown physically, emotionally and academically. We are ready to take all the opportunities we have prepared for."

Video: Columbia Middle School Steel Pan Ensemble, Chorus and Guitar Club

Superintendent Judith Rattner challenged the students to be the finest representatives of Columbia Middle School ever -- she challenged them to pursue their dreams; to do one thing at a time; always choose to do the right thing; not to be discouraged by a failure; always find meaning in what you do and enjoy life on a daily basis; always be kind; laugh often; don't waste time by living someone else's life; be excellent; continue to find friends that you can truly treasure; create special memories everyday; and most importantly, she challenged the students to truly recognize the important people in their life. -- "Choose to remember the good times you have in common with fellow classmates -- build on the foundation of respect and affection you have shared in the three years you have all been together," said Rattner.  -- "When you think back on your days at Columbia you remember them as the best of your life, yet know the best is yet to come. My wish for you is that you meet my challenge and become the finest graduates of Columbia Middle School." 

Before handing out the diplomas, Board of Education President Doug Reinstein said, "May today's middle school graduation be just one small step in your educational journey and let your high school experience take you on a path of your choosing wherever that path may be. We wish you the best of luck in high school and congratulations."

Robert Nixon, Principal of Gov.Livingston, welcomed the class of 2022 to "Highlander land." He said, "We are proud of our program at Gov. Livingston and we sincerely hope it will inspire you to be the best you can be. We look forward to seeing you up on The Hill."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

'Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too'

July 21, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Step Up and Build a Stronger Union County

July 22, 2018

Union County residents who are seeking a meaningful, high-impact way to volunteer in their community can sign up as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties.

The organization is currently seeking volunteer mentors for its best-known program, Community Based Mentoring. The program involves individual mentoring with a local child or teen, age 6 to 18, with a ...

Shakespeare in the Park(ing Lot)

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The Shrewd Mechanicals from the New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre will perform Shakespeare Gumbo in the parking lot of Berkeley Heights Public Library, 110 Roosevelt Ave.,  on Friday, July 27, at 7:00 pm. 

Bring lawn chairs.  Change of location will be announced in case of inclement weather.

Local people with disabilities measure success and shortcomings of Americans with Disabilities Act

Local people with disabilities this month are lauding progress made since enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 28 years ago, but also point to the remaining distance between where they stand today and equal access to all sectors of the community.

Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals based on ...

Mayors Push for Law Permitting Driver's License for Immigrants

July 22, 2018

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Five mayors from northern and central New Jersey today called for passage of a state law permitting immigrants to get driver's licenses even if they are undocumented, saying it boosts public safety as well as the economy.

"This is important for every resident for a better life and a better life for the state of New Jersey," said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 25, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Arts & Entertainment

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...