LIVINGSTON, NJ – Those present at Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) meetings this fall were treated to some highlights of what the LBOE works so hard for—to begin with, ensuring there are multiple avenues through which Livingston students can shine and express themselves.   

At the start of both the Sept. 28 and Oct. 11 meetings, student high achievers in the areas of commitment to community and academic excellence were on hand to receive proper accolades and to share their special contributions.

Fifth graders Alexa Kay (Collins Elementary School) and Sam Braverman (Mt. Pleasant Elementary School) received the distinction of being some of the top fundraisers for New York City’s annual Walk4Hearing event held at the end of September, raising approximately $6000 in funds.

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The girls, both of whom live with hearing loss, have been friends since pre-school. They have been manning a profitable lemonade stand that’s come to be known as a September town staple.

The LOBE congratulated them for their continued commitment to this fundraising initiative, for elevating awareness and for helping to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss on behalf of the nation’s leading organization for people living with it and the walk’s sponsor—Hearing Loss Association of America.

In the area of academic achievement, 11 Livingston High School (LHS) seniors were named as 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists. Principal Mark Stern asked Alice Huang, Andrew Huang, Lisa Peng, Matthew Quan, Yana Sang, Priansh Shah, Annie Song, Tina Wu, Kevin Xiang, Mitchell Yang, and Tiffany Yu to stand and receive recognition for this accomplishment. 

Each September, the pool of 1.6 million applicants is narrowed down to 50,000 high scorers on an exam measuring excellence in reading, writing and language and math. Of these, 16,000 are selected as semifinalists in September with 15,000 being selected as finalists in February. 

Scholarship awards will ultimately be made to approximately 7,500 finalists from March through June. 

An empowering presentation by Harrison Elementary School 3rd, 4th and 5th graders entitled “The Power of Yet,” also entertained the crowd at the Oct. 11 meeting. The concept of The Power of Yet was described as both self-motivating and encouraging others to achieve what may seem impossible with the confidence that all things are achievable with determination.

Students took turns detailing the seemingly insurmountable challenges faced by some notable historical figures who went on to become super achievers in entertainment, literature and the arts, sports, commerce, science, and politics. By tapping into their inner superhero and harnessing the Power of Yet, these figures were revealed by teacher “superheros” to be Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Beethoven, Simone Biles, Build-a-Bear creator Maxine Clark, Albert Einstein, and Abraham Lincoln. 

Students, under the direction of Coleen Caulfield, Kristy Mullen, John Magbanua, and Michele Matten, closed with a song and dance performance entitled “The Power of Yet.”