Observations, Comments and Occasional Reflections

List of 20 news stories.

  • August 16, 2019

    Dear Parents,
     
    Given the warm, humid weather of the last few weeks, it is hard to believe that the summer is almost over! I do hope that you had an enjoyable and restful time this summer, as well as ample opportunities to reconnect with friends and family.
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  • June 2, 2019: Commencement

    Honored guests, trustees, colleagues, parents, grandparents, family members, friends and members of the Class of 2019, it is my privilege to open this Commencement.

    Once again, we gather to celebrate the achievements of a senior class at GSB and an extraordinary year. Indeed, the weeks since Convocation in September have been nothing short of amazing. Of course, I am referring to the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series last October and the New England Patriots collecting another Super Bowl trophy in February. And now the Boston Bruins are in the Stanley Cup finals; yes, it has been a truly special year… at least for me. I know… I better enjoy it while it lasts!
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  • May 29, 2019

    With Commencement soon upon us and the end of the academic year less than a week away, the time has come to begin thinking about the summer and all that comes with it. For many, it brings the opportunity to escape to the shore or some other place for rest and recreation. For me, a big part of the change in daily schedule is the newfound time to read without interruptions.
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  • April 17, 2019

    Dear Friends,

    I am pleased to share the news with you that Meredith Marks has been appointed Interim Director of Institutional Advancement, effective July 1, 2019. The search for this position was a lengthy one and Meredith emerged as the best choice from a strong pool of candidates.

    The coming months will be busy as we work to complete the campaign and prepare for Jim's transition.

    Please join me in congratulating Meredith on her new responsibilities.
    Read More
  • December 17, 2018

    Dear Friends,

    It is with deep sorrow that I write to share the news with you that one of our teachers, Marilyn Dori, passed away this afternoon. Marilyn was one of Gill St. Bernard’s best, having taught and served as a dean for almost 20 years at the school. During this time, she touched the lives of countless students, alumni, parents and teachers.
    Read More
  • November 20, 2018

    Dear Friends,

    The period of time from the start of classes in early September through the Thanksgiving holiday represents the longest part of the academic year without an extended break. Indeed, the month of November can often bring special challenges, and last week’s surprise snowstorm provided us with a particularly messy one!
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  • October 29, 2018

    The following remarks were made in the Upper School assembly this morning. Because of their nature and importance to the school community, they comprise today’s post.
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  • October 9, 2018

    Needless to say, the repaving of Old Chester Road and St. Bernard’s Road caused lengthy delays this morning and a great deal of frustration for our school community.
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  • October 5, 2018

    The academic year has now moved into the month of October, yet the weather continues to feel more like late summer. The warmer temperatures that are now occurring more frequently in September (and April) have caused us to extend the time that students are allowed to wear shorts. Yes, the school does have a dress code, although in recent years it has become more gender neutral and relaxed.
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  • September 5, 2018: Convocation

    Mrs. Udoff, members of the Board of Trustees, colleagues, parents, students and members of the Class of 2019; it is my privilege to speak to you today as a part of Convocation. This ceremony marks the official beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year at Gill St. Bernard’s, which will end in June at Commencement. It also gives us the opportunity to formally acknowledge and recognize the seniors, as well as new members of our Board of Trustees.
    Read More
  • June 3, 2018: Commencement

    Honored guests, members of the Board of Trustees, colleagues, parents, grandparents, family, friends and members of the Class of 2018, it is my privilege to open this Commencement.

    We are here today to once again celebrate what is the most important event of the academic year. Commencement signals the formal completion of the secondary school experience for these young men and women, as well as their transition from students at, to alumni of, Gill St. Bernard’s. Every senior has followed his or her own unique path to earn the diploma; we hold each one up before the community today in recognition of this achievement.
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  • February 20, 2018

    Dear Parents,

    This past week brought the awful news of yet another shooting at a school in our nation. Once again, senseless violence has occurred in a place where everyone should feel safe. We may feel various levels of shock, disbelief and anger that this has happened. Sadly, when I reviewed my past blog posts and letters on this topic, I discovered that I have written more than six times on the matter since the tragedy at Sandy Hook in 2012. This, in and of itself, begs the question of what will it take to stop such events?
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  • January 31, 2018

    The calendar is now shifting to February and for the news media the focus for a very brief moment shifts to a large rodent. This year marks the 132nd anniversary of a uniquely American institution, Groundhog Day. Many remember that when Punxsutawney Phil "sees" his shadow on that day, six more weeks of winter are supposed to follow. Based on an old Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, it is of questionable value as a long range weather forecasting tool. However, it did serve as the background story for one of my favorite movies, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.
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  • January 12, 2018

    Many years ago a colleague introduced me to a very special poem by Wendell Berry. The occasion was the day after September 11, 2001, a moment when our nation and the world had been shaken to the very core by events still difficult to comprehend.
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  • January 3, 2018

    The new year has begun at Gill St. Bernard's and despite the painfully cold temperatures, we are back in session. Unfortunately, a looming "bombogenesis" has raised questions about whether or not we will have classes tomorrow. Forecasting the weather has never been particularly easy and although technology has improved our success rate in recent years, there have been a number of times when the experts get it wrong. For that reason, we almost always wait until we make a final decision about opening, closing or having a delay.
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  • November 21, 2017

    Dear Friends,

    There are some stretches in the academic calendar that are more challenging than others—January to the start of spring break in March comes to mind—yet the weeks from September to the Thanksgiving holiday are actually a longer period of time without days off.  In particular, the month of November can be especially draining. In the midst of these final weeks there have been plays and musicals (The Beaux’ Stratagem and Seussical), our major fundraiser of the year (Casino Night and Auction), an admissions open house and the many traditional end of season athletic dinners, among other events. None of these could have happened without the support of our students, teachers and parents.
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  • October 29, 2017

    It is with great sadness that share the news that a longtime member of our faculty, Mrs. Brett Mershon, has passed away after a brief illness. During her years at Gill, Brett worked with countless students, parents and was a mentor to many of her peers.
    A service celebrating Brett's life will be held on November 18 in the campus chapel at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Brett's name to the National Kidney Foundation.
    Read More
  • October 24, 2017

    As you may be aware, a subcontractor working on campus yesterday in the old theater fell and was injured. Emergency services personnel determined that the most efficient way to transport the individual to the hospital was via medevac helicopter as our campus is well suited for this use. In fact, we have practiced for such an event on an annual basis as part of our emergency response plan.
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  • October 2, 2017

    Once again, a terrible tragedy has occurred in our country. The senseless murder of dozens of people and serious injury to hundreds more in Las Vegas is just unfathomable.
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  • September 6, 2017: Convocation

    Mrs. Udoff, members of the Board of Trustees, colleagues, parents, students and members of the Class of 2018, it is my privilege to speak to you today as part of Convocation. This ceremony officially begins the 2017-2018 academic year at Gill St. Bernard’s, which will end in June at Commencement. It also gives us the opportunity to formally recognize the seniors, two new trustees and consider the months ahead.
    Read More
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Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.