Education

Piscataway Schools: Volunteer Recognition Night Pays Tribute to the ‘Stars of the Show’

Students from Children's Corner Preschool perform a selection of songs at the Volunteer Recognition Night Credits: Kenneth Simmons
From Grandview Elementary School (L to R): Mrs. Pieper; Kindergarten Teacher Deb Jordon; Principal William Baskerville; Mrs. Gadson Credits: Kenneth Simmons
Piscataway High School dance students perform 'A Representation of the Metaphysics of Dance and Writing as a Unified Art Form'. Credits: Kenneth Simmons
Conackamack Middle School students perform a scene from their production of Peter Pan musical Credits: Kenneth Simmons
Teresa Rafferty, Superintendent of Schools Credits: Kenneth Simmons
Bill Irwin, Piscataway School Board President and volunteer Little League coach Credits: Kenneth Simmons

PISCATAWAY, NJ - At the district's annual Volunteer Recognition Night, principals from each school and members of the Board of Education joined Superintendent Teresa Rafferty with a tribute to the members of the Piscataway community who donate their time helping the district’s 10 schools operate, calling them the ‘Stars of the Show’.

"Know that your presence makes a difference in your children's lives," Rafferty said as she thanked parent volunteers for manning thousands of hours chaperoning field trips, field days, theater, sports, in the classrooms, and with the band. "Those are the moments you know you made a difference in their lives."

Monday’s tribute, held in the high school’s Performing Arts Center included musical performances by the Children’s Corner Preschool, a dance routine from PHS Dance students, and a scene from Conackamack’s production of their Peter Pan musical, which used volunteers to help coordinate.

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"Later in life students will say, 'I remember you from our (school's) plant sale or book fair," Raffferty told the crowd as she also expressed her appreciation for the teachers and administrators who volunteer a lot of their time outside of school hours to further enrich the students’ educational experiences.

"By your actions you show there is no higher call than service to the community," said School Board President, Bill Irwin who also is a volunteer coach with the Piscataway Little League where his son plays for the Athletics. He greeted the auditorium dressed in his team uniform, as he had just left game duty moments before the evening began.

Irwin said his parents showed him what volunteering was about when he was growing up so he wanted to pass on that legacy to his own children who look to him for guidance.

On behalf of the school district, Rafferty thanked members of various community groups including the Kohl's Volunteers who help with PTO events and fundraisers in each school, and the Senior Reading Buddies who volunteer their time reading with elementary aged students.

Members of the Board of Education presented each volunteer whose names were called with a tote bag printed with the district's You, I, We Inspire themed logo as a token of the district’s appreciation for their support.

As a final tribute to those who volunteered in the schools during the 2016-2017 school year, students with PWay-TV aired a multi-media presentation of photos taken during the school year, showing numerous volunteers in action as they worked with school events and fundraisers or provided academic support for the students.

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