Education

Sparta High School Graduation Ceremony for Class of 2018 - Part I

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Sparta High School Valedictorian Alexandra Poret Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018
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Sparta High School Graduation 2018
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SPARTA, NJ — A bit of drizzle did not dampen the excitement of the students, family and friends at Cassels Field on Friday night for the Sparta High School 2018 graduation ceremony.

A light rain was falling as the seniors, led by faculty, entered the field to Pomp and Circumstance played by Sparta High School wind ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Deborah Gianuzzi.

Student conductor Victoria Prol led the Honors Choir in the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. Senior Class President Erin Scott welcomed everyone, sharing a litany of statistics of the successes of the senior class. She spoked of the record 13 student athletes signing to continue their athletic career on college campuses and approximately $4 million in scholarship money, congratulating her fellow graduates.

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Salutatorian Audrey Biss began her speech lamenting she had never taken a public speaking class. She began with a sky diving analogy as it related to graduation, “with all of the preparation that prepares you for jumping into real life.” As the speech progressed she shifted to her realization that it was less like “parachuting down but rocketing upward. Where will we end up I don’t know, it is too bright to know.”

Valedictorian Alexandra Poret posed the question, “why do we procrastinate?” She spoke of ways we try to combat it by “setting short goals and way too many iPhone alarms,” “attempt to shovel consequences onto others.” She talked about the psychological rationale of an avoidance response. Poret concluded “just because something’s always been done that way doesn’t’ mean it has to continue that way.”

The senior class and executive class officers crowded onto the stage to give the class gift. Jamie Rennie said their experience of serving on student council taught them “about commitment and hard work and responsibility.”  

Principal Janet Ferraro accepted the class gift of water bottle filling stations, “to allow us to minimize the use of plastic water bottles.”

Ferraro presented the class Citizenship and Scholarship awards. Steven Sullivan was awarded the Citizenship award for “his leadership.” Paige Smith was awarded the Scholar award for being “intellectually curious and dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge.”

Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi spoke to the seniors. “It’s a beginning and an end.” He spoke of important people that have prepared them for career and family, “this is a great time of gratitude.” He asked grandparents in the audience to raise their hands acknowledging the special bond they have with the seniors.

Rossi gave a cautionary tale telling the students “your generation may decide if our democracy survives,” speaking of “extreme divisiveness” and the question of whether the “glove we live on will crumble from a catastrophic war.”

Turning positive he told the students he thought they will “bring people together,” but said just “having the courage of their convictions” was not enough. “Hitler had the courage of his convictions. You have to examine your convictions… Very little worthwhile happens without pain.”

He continued, telling the graduates, “know your Sparta family is about inclusion; rich or poor, black or white, gay or straight, love conquers hate…It is not the skill it is the will…The road to success is always under construction. You will make a living by what you get but make a life by giving what you can.”

Quoting “the Wizard of Oz, I cannot give you a brain but I can give you a diploma.” He quipped they would not be able to receive their diploma until the school year was completed. 

When the ceremony was completed the students held up the empty folio they had been handed as they crossed the stage.

Sparta Board of Education President Kelly McEvoy addressed the gathering continuing Rossi’s comments about the school year not having yet been completed.

She likened the past 12 years to a roller coaster with “some highs and lows.” She expressed the desire that they “develop the ability to be still and wait and watch because in stillness sometimes the solution can be found.”

She spoke about Thomas Edison and his work ethic, having seen a plaque about him on a recent trip to the local mine and museum. “He understood the power of stillness,” McEvoy said.  “In that it could be said he was learning all the time.  See crossroads as opportunities to embrace stillness.”

The students were called by name to the stage to receive their diploma folio and a handshake.

After the honors choir sang the Alma Mater under the direction of student Erin Vreeland, Ferraro gave farewell remarks.  She said, “Grit isn’t just something that happens.  I believe evidence of this was displayed in the first ever Senior Walk.” 

Ferraro asked the students serving in the military to stand; Hannah Newbold — Marines, Russell Eberding -West Point, Marines, Jack Williamson — Army at Cedarville University and Luke Schmitzer Army.

“The challenge is just as important as the question,” Ferraro said, quoting Carol S. Dweck  “’Why waste time proving how great you are when you could be getting better?  Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.’”

Ferraro told the students the most valuable character trait is kindness. “It takes courage and skill to continuously be kind,” she said. “Remember when people were kind to you. Kindness makes you happier which leads to greater success. Carry out random acts of kindness. Take a few monuments every day just to be kind.”

Student conductor Benjamin Dottinger led the band in the recessional piece, “Alleluia! Laudamus Te.”

Photos by Jennifer Dericks and student Mikayla Bivona

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July 9, 2018

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Chemist Congratulates Sparta High School Chem Olympians

Congratulation to the ladies from Sparta High School who finished first and second in the Chemistry Olympics.

I am very pleased to see women succeeding in chemistry.

Martin Feil,

Newton, NJ
Retired Chemist and Chemistry Teacher

Upcoming Events

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Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness

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Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

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Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

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Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

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Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon

Northern NJ Libertarian Party Monthly Meeting

Government

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Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

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Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

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Sat, July 28, 2:00 PM

Montville Animal Shelter, Montville

Summer Adoption Event at the Montville Animal ...

Home & Garden Other

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

US Junior Amateur: Chinn Earns Medalist and Top-seed honors, Misses Rain Delay, after Second Day of Stroke Play

July 18, 2018

Tuesday’s Second Round Scores, playoff participants (8 for 3 spots)

Wednesday’s Round of 64 matchups

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Va., continued his stellar play Tuesday morning and missed an afternoon four plus hour rain delay on arguably Baltusrol Golf Club’s toughest layout, the Lower Course.

After shooting a five under 66 on the Upper Course Monday, ...

You DO NOT Need 20% Down to Buy Your Home NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what’s required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show the main reason non-homeowners do not own their own homes is because they believe that they cannot afford them.

This brings us to ...

Get Rid of Your E-Waste This Saturday in Sussex County

Team Nest Builder knows it’s easy for e-waste---tv sets, printers, laptops, etc.--to pile up. Here’s your opportunity to rid yourself of it in Sussex County! It’s the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority E-Waste Collection Event! The scoop:

DATE:

Saturday, July 21st

TIME:

7 am - 2 pm

LIMIT:

Up to 5 Units per vehicle at no charge.  Scale charges for ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

 

Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion Recognized with 2018 New Good Neighbor Award by the NJBIA

July 19, 2018

Morristown, NJ–Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion in Rockaway, New Jersey was recognized with the 2018 New Good Neighbor Award by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association on Tuesday.

The New Good Neighbor Award recognizes the companies, architects, builders and financial entities whose redevelopment projects have benefited their communities ...