The cliches “navigating unchartered waters” and “the new normal” have taken on very realistic meanings in this year of challenge and turmoil. The fears of the Coronavirus, the closing of schools, the difficulty of people receiving the vaccines, the uncertainties about the vaccine and the inability to predict what is in store for our future has left our children, parents, teachers, staff and the entire community with so many questions and so much stress.
The very positive part of all this uncertainty has been the sailors who have taken the helm to navigate us through the unchartered waters and to guide us into this realm of “the new normal.”
These sailors of that ship: the bus drivers, custodians, secretaries, cafeteria workers, support staff and teachers, have led us into the light and have landed us safely onto shore.
Bus drivers delivered meals every day, custodians continually cleaned and sanitized our buildings and teachers showed up every day, both in their buildings and via the Internet.
They provided our kids with learning opportunities like never before. These teachers provided a smile for those students who needed warmth; they provided a shoulder for comfort when students needed it.
Behind their masks of happiness and support, our teachers hid their own anxiety so that our students did not become any more anxious.
Our teachers are the captains who have sailed with our children and have safely harbored them.
Our custodians and bus drivers are the sailors who helped navigate the ship.
Without our support staff, cafeteria workers and secretaries, this ship could not have been maintained.
Their selfless work throughout the chaos kept the ship on course. We have all heard of unsung heroes.
Our West Milford bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, secretaries, support staff and teachers will always be our unsung heroes, for they are the truly compassionate, kind and understanding individuals who placed our children and community above themselves for the safety and education of all.
The nine members of the West Milford Board Education salute all these stakeholders and thank them for all they have done and continue to do for our children. We ask that the community share in our recognition of our captains, sailors and unsung heroes.
Members of the West Milford Board of Education:
Lynda Van Dyk, Board President
Teresa Dwyer, Board Vice President
Michael Conklin, Board Trustee
David Ofshinsky, Board Trustee
Raymond Guarino, Board Trustee
Kate Romeo, Board Trustee
Debbie O’Brien, Board Trustee
Cortney Stephenson, Board Trustee
Jaycen Stillman, Board Trustee