December 2017 Message

December 2017

This message was inspired by a letter to the editor of the Home News Tribune   on December 12, 2017.

Dear Friends and Families,

The 95-year-old mother of a friend remarked that she cannot remember a time in our country that was so unsettling. This is a woman who was raised during the Depression, lived through World War II, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the college protests and Vietnam War of the Sixties. She witnessed 9/11. 

So what is it about the present that causes her to be weary of the news? Granted, today’s headlines are not the stuff that builds optimism. 

But, if we look deeper and past the newscasts, we do find hope and a reason to believe that young people will assure that future generations in our country are on safe, moral ground. I see this every day in Piscataway Schools. Despite media coverage, I see children who take for granted that people of all cultures and backgrounds will live and work harmoniously. I see children who fight poverty with generosity.

I see children who challenge ignorance with intelligence and compassion. I see children who practice courtesy and gratitude towards others. I see children who have the courage to speak up rather than be bystanders of shabby behavior. Many of their stories were highlighted in our December Superintendent’s Report that can be found on this Web site.  

To be sure, we face obstacles but the majority of our students are supported by their hard-working families, their teachers, and many other staff members who, by good example, inspire them to have faith in themselves, their classmates, and our community. 

So my response to the 95-year-old mom is to try and look past the news and closer to each of our communities where good people are still doing good things, where local heroes amaze us with their strength and resilience, be they teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, or students in Piscataway. I am confident that, when all is said and done, and national leaders have come and gone, the United States will still be a fair and compassionate citizen of this complex world. History has taught us that.   

As we celebrate the joys of this holiday season which, ironically, occurs in the darkest month, remember that dawn always follows the night. My best to you and your loved ones.   



Teresa M.  Rafferty