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Ocean City to Host Countywide School Security Summit on Jan. 31

first_imgOcean City High School By Donald WittkowskiVisitors to Ocean City’s public schools simply can’t walk through the doors and have unfettered access to the buildings.Before they are allowed in, they must ring a doorbell at the front entrance and then pass through a contained area, where they are met by school staff.Jacqueline A. McAlister, president of the Cape May County School Boards Association, said this is just one example of how Ocean City’s schools have heightened security in the wake of mass shootings and other acts of violence at schools nationwide.McAlister believes schools throughout Cape May County should join forces to explore other ways to improve student safety. She announced that the Cape May County School Boards Association will convene a security summit at Ocean City High School on Jan. 31 to focus on the issue.“Our premier concern, our primary concern, is the safety of our children above everything else,” McAlister said.McAlister works full time as director of adult education at the Cape May County Technical School. On Wednesday night, she was named vice president of the Ocean City Board of Education, giving her another leadership role in the public schools system.McAlister made it clear at the Board of Education meeting that student safety will be one of her top priorities. She repeated that theme during an interview Thursday while discussing plans for the security summit.“It’s so prescient and important,” she said of school security.McAlister plans to invite Board of Education members from school districts across the county to the summit, which will be held at Ocean City High School from 6 to 9 p.m. Superintendents and other top-level school officials from local towns, the county and the state are also expected to attend. One of the highlights will be a panel discussion featuring security experts and school officials.“I hope we can share ideas about things we’ve implemented,” McAlister said of security innovations in place at schools throughout the county.Rich McHale, head of security for the Cape May County Technical School, has been invited to speak. McHale, a retired Middle Township police officer, formerly worked for a Department of Defense contractor that advised security forces and the military in war-torn Afghanistan, McAlister said.“He really is an expert in world security,” she said.McAlister said she is not yet sure whether the public will be able to attend the summit, although it will be open to representatives of the Parent Teacher Association. Details still must be discussed with the New Jersey School Boards Association. At the very least, the public will be represented by their local school board and PTA members, McAlister said.McAlister stressed that school shootings nationwide underscore the absolute importance of having stepped-up security. She noted that Ocean City has not had any major security scares, but added, “There’s always a question of what we can do better.”Even relatively simple and commonsense security measures, such as the procedure for admitting visitors to Ocean City’s schools, have improved student safety, she explained.“There’s always a layer of defense between students and visitors,” she said.last_img read more

Give feedback that’s meaningful

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr My first awareness of “feedback” was listening in the garage to the noise created by my brother on his guitar. When I complained of the hideous screeches and racket he was making he just claimed it was the “feedback” not his lack of musical talent that sounded so unpleasant. The next time I came across the term I was at a school party having a nice time and a popular mean girl came up to me and asked me “can I give you some feedback?” I responded that she could, even though I wasn’t too sure what it meant, and she proceeded to inform me “I would never wear that” and walked off.It doesn’t seem logical, but from that shaky start, I have come to adore feedback in both its positive and negative forms. When given correctly, there is no better tool for genuine improvement. According to the online version of the Oxford Dictionary at feedback is defined as “Information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task etc. which is used as a basis for improvement.” In the workplace, feedback is a common commodity that is used to highlight either what you do well or what you should improve on. It’s a key part of growth and, when given correctly and with good intentions, it can be extremely valuable for improvement. continue reading »last_img read more

Injuries create chances for underclassmen to shine

first_imgTeams in any sport would agree the one thing they could do without is the plague of injuries. That plague may be one answer to explain the struggles of the Wisconsin women’s hockey team.Injury woes resurfaced for the Badgers in their frustrating series split with St. Cloud State this past weekend.Senior forward Kyla Sanders was sidelined for both games, while sophomore forward Brooke Ammerman was briefly sidelined during the series’ first game.Despite the issues the Badgers have been experiencing in that regard, the rest of the roster has answered the call as best they can when a teammate has been absent.Injuries have not been the only reason for the season-long roster shuffling. Sophomore forward Carolyn Prevost missed the series against North Dakota two weeks ago as she was playing for Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team in Germany.She was joined by junior Mallory Deluce who missed the North Dakota series as well as the following series against Minnesota-Duluth.Interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser has cited the constant roster rearranging as the cause for some of the struggles the team has experienced all season, such as taking full advantage of scoring opportunities, which the team had trouble doing Saturday.“I think part of it is because all year we haven’t had consistent lines because, if you noticed today, we had one person [Sanders] out to start, another person [Ammerman] left after the second period, all forwards,” she said. “We’re just riddled with injuries and it’s hard to develop chemistry with your lines when it’s ever-changing.”The most easily recognizable result from all of the roster movements is junior Geena Prough, who plays forward as well as defender for Wisconsin. She registered a goal in Saturday’s win and showed her versatility by playing in multiple spots.“She’s played center, she’s played wing, she’s played defense, she’s at the point on the power play, she’s on penalty kill,” DeKeyser said of Prough. “She’s been a great asset to our program.”DeKeyser also acknowledged that even though players like Prough have filled in spots comfortably, players missing from the ice have at times made the team stretch itself a little too thin.Nevertheless, several younger Badgers also have stepped up in light of the roster adjustments.The Badgers have struggled to put rebounds in the back of the net, but those concerns turned out to be a non-issue in Friday’s 5-3 win, in which Prevost put back three goals for a hat trick.“I’ve been on the other side where you do all the work and then the other player just puts it in the open net,” Prevost said. “Pretty much what happened was my right wingers were making amazing plays and then the goalie was coming out with a big save and then I just happened to be in the right spot.”Offensive involvement overall is widely influenced by underclassmen as well. Two of the three goals and all five assists were tallied by underclassmen in Saturday’s 4-3 loss.Although St. Cloud’s high-scoring forwards got the best of Wisconsin in Saturday’s game, DeKeyser noted that freshman defender Saige Pacholok, who also added two assists in Saturday’s game, has upped her play as well.“Saige did a great job of getting in the right position to break down the two-on-one or just getting in front of the passes and blocking those passing lanes, so I give her credit,” DeKeyser said. “She has some great bounces going her way and I think that’s a function of just working hard out there.”The Badgers have eight games remaining in the final season to smooth things out for a playoff run. Should the injuries persist, Prough believes compensation will be found among the eager and primed younger players.“We have a lot of young girls and they’ve been thrown in the fire early and they’ve embraced that with open arms,” Prough said. “They’re just ready to work hard and play hard — and it’s really helping us.”last_img read more

Tipp Hurlers focused on overcoming neighbours Clare

first_imgThe Premier County play Clare in the last eight of the competition on Sunday.Tipp set up the clash with the Banner by beating Cork on the last day of the regular season.Michael Ryan is pleased that the blooding of new players didn’t come at the expense of making progress in the league. Tipp FM’s live coverage of the match in Cusack Park, Ennis begins at 3.35 on Sunday and will be brought to you in association with Jamie Lawlor Crash Repairs.last_img