This time of year normally brings excitement and joy to our community. However, it was the mission of the Somers Point school family members to make sure their impact on our students was felt far and wide. The staffulty ensured that lots of joy was felt throughout their buildings that permeated to their students and their families.

They showed their love for our families by helping them ensure all our students have a wonderful Christmas. They worked in conjunction with our own District Elves to ensure all our families are supported. This year, the district was especially thankful to the Saint Vincent DePaul Society for its generosity to help our District Elves achieve their gift goal. In addition to the district initiatives, our staffulty donated to the Wyatt Hopkins Toy Drive project through the Somers Point Police Department as well. The generosity of the Somers Point school family is an amazing thing to see.

At Jordan Road school, students and staffulty experienced their first-holiday hoopla. The spirit days were the mastermind of the Jordan Road Renaissance Team to share the holiday spirit. During this Spirit Week, the staffulty created Festivus, where they could buy raffle tickets for their peers to win a variety of donated prizes. All of the Festivus earnings go to the Jordan Road Renaissance Climate and Culture Program. On Thursday, the holiday week energy hit an amazing level with the Holiday Hoopla celebration, where hallways were decorated based upon the holiday TV shows and movies for a fierce competition between the staffulty and student groups that displayed astonishing teamwork. Jordan Road ended its holiday week with a holiday pep rally, during which the Educational Services Professional of the Year, Joyce Klemic, and Governor's Teacher of the Year, Philip Pallitto, were announced.

Dawes Avenue Elementary School had a moose on the loose led by the Renaissance Team. The "moose trainers" delivered the moose along with a kindness book for different classes each day to discuss. The trainers also hosted a thank you breakfast for the Dawes staffulty, which included a gracious donation by the Windjammer of breakfast sandwiches. Their celebration week ended with a visit from Santa. Not only did every student get to tell Santa what they wanted for the holidays, but he also presented the Educational Professional of the Year and Governor's Teacher of the Year titles to Susanne Staiano and Sue Fischer.

New York Avenue Preschool Center celebrated with pajamas and gingerbread houses, where the parents were invited to celebrate with their children to share in the excitement. The last day was capped off with the announcement of the Educational Services Professional of the Year, Maria Fernandez-Mora.

In addition to all of the fun mentioned above, the Jordan Road Band and VIP Chorus shared their holiday spirit by performing for all of the students of the district throughout the week, along with an evening presentation for families. Dawes Avenue Elementary was awarded an innovation grant by AtlantiCare over the last week before the winter break.

The Somers Point School District would like to send a special thank you to Operation Warm, which graciously added the district to the winter coat initiative started with the Atlantic City school district. In the first full week of January, the district will receive 100 brand-new winter coats for our students who need them. We cannot thank enough our alumna Amy Vanrell for including us in this initiative. We are forever grateful!

To all of our neighbors, we wish you a happy holiday season full of joy, love and relaxation. We are looking forward to an incredible 2020.

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