That's My Girl

This past Sunday, 2 kids from Hoboken were honored for their achievements in the 2011 Johns Hopkins Global Talent Search in a ceremony at Seton Hall University.

One of them was my daughter, LA (Little Avenger).

Do you mind if I brag?

LA onstage to get her High Honors Certificate

Specifically, the award was for achievement in the SCAT; the admission test for the Johns Hopkins Gifted and Talented Program which is sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth.  The test measures math and verbal reasoning skills at 2 grade levels above the student, testing them on materials they likely haven't  seen or been taught yet.  LA scored in the 93rd percentile, which means in 3rd grade she scored better than 93% of the normative 5th grade population.

Not too shabby.

That's my girl.  Brag brag brag brag....

I know, I know. I can't help myself.

I have the wonderful educators at Wallace public school to thank for assessing her abilities and giving her challenging work.  She's thrived there, academically and socially; she loves it.  

And those are the stories you never hear. No; the loudest voices come from outside of Hoboken to bash our public schools for partisan political gain (School Board control), and by doing so cast a shadow on the wonderful things happening in our public schools.

And on our kids.

When these partisan political operatives loudly deride our schools for the purpose of replacing specific School Board members, they diminish the good works of every educator and insult the achievement of every child.  Our children hear the battle cries of these partisans calling their school "failing" and "inadequate".  The bashing of public schools only serves to undermine our childrens'  belief in their school and in themselves, from partisans who don't live here, have no children currently in the schools, who only seek control of our School Board and do not know what's  happening in the schools other than attacking under-performing children. 

Yes, the schools must raise performance of many, but politicizing the matter by saying School Board members are the problem is childishly simplistic and offensive because it doesn't engage actual solutions to help our children.  And new substantive changes get ignored because they don't fit the operative's narrative of failure.

Substantive changes like increases from 2 to 9 periods of math, elimination of subject block scheduling, smart boards in nearly every classroom, the laptop program, HSPA and SAT prep classes, the continuation of Johns Hopkins Gifted and Talented Program and expansion to more grades... those are some. 

But again,  political operatives ignore the efforts underway to raise performance in favor of the narrative of failure.  They want you to believe our schools suck. They're standing  with the same people who tried to sink the HUMC sale to HoldCo. 

Are  you getting the picture?

So, how about meeting one of Hoboken's many talented public school educators- LA's teacher, Bess Mitsakos.

Mrs. Mitsakos received the International Technology Educators Association Program Excellence Award for elementary schools on February 22, 2008  and was honored on the floor of the House  of Representatives by 13th District Congressman Albio Sires on May 22, 2008:

Mrs. Mitsakos is one terrific, caring lady who thinks outside-the-box to incorporate learning into every experience inside and outside the classroom. The children adore her.  She's one of Hoboken's many fine public school teachers.

GA hopes members of the public support the progress of our schools and the efforts being made to lift children in need.  And not take the bashing of operatives as gospel.

In the end, these people encourage abandonment of our public schools which hurts this community and our schools.

Proud mom


  1. Da iawn! Very good LA.

  2. Congratulations to your daughter. Unfortunately, the decisions of Minutillo, Markle and co. have undermined the progress that so many teachers strive so diligently to achieve in their classrooms. If all is so wonderful - why does Irene's son go to the county high school?

  3. Congratulations LA!!

    Great work, Mrs. Mitsakos.

  4. Thanks, DD.

    Needless to say I disagree with your statement on Minutillo, Markle & Co. In fact, teachers I've chatted with on the topic are supporters.

    As for Irene, I don't comment on the children of public officials. You may know I have no love for Beth and Ricky Mason, but their kids are off-limits.

    Speaking from my own life experience, my eldest sister insisted on going to High School in upper Manhattan (Music & Art) although my parents had reservations about the long commute from Queens. After a lot of loud 'discussion' they finally differed to her wishes.

    I don't know that fifteen year-olds should be forced to make their parent's choices. I'm not there just yet. Chances are I'll let my daughter follow her heart. I know Irene is a huge advocate for our High School and I'll leave it at that.

  5. Congrats, LA!

    GA, agreed. High school is a very personal decision, like say moving to Secaucus.

    "Dewey", grow up. Save your pith for the Reporter.


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