Petway Elementary School held its final "Pride Day" of the school year on Tuesday, concluding the year on a grand scale by celebrating the school's recent designation as a National School of Character, one of 88 schools across the country to receive the designation. This is the second time Petway has received this high national distinction, following their first award in 2014.
The celebration, held in the school’s gymnasium, featured a wide variety of special guests who spoke to the gathered crowd of students, staff members, and parents on what makes Petway deserving of this award.
The event was kicked off by principal Jennifer Frederico, who welcomed the guests. Assistant principal Jackie Mongelluzzo served as emcee of the ceremony. Performing the National Anthem was Petway alumnus Heather Raguckas, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and Petway Cheer, led by the school’s character ambassadors. Speakers during the ceremony included Superintendent Dr. Mary Gruccio, student speakers Sereniti Padilla and Dominic Mercado, Vineland Councilman Ron Franceschini, Petway alumnus Anthony Tramontana, and Mona Noyes, who gave the NSOC Address. Frederico was presented with a Congressional Proclamation on behalf of Congressman Jeff Van Drew, given by CeCe Dougherty, Director of Public Relations for the US House of Representatives. There were also musical performances by the Petway Prodigies and kindergarten classes, who led the school in a rendition of “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” The character ambassadors closed out the ceremony by reciting the Petway Pledge and Song. Also recognized during the ceremony were the students and staff member of the month, each of whom embodied one of the ten character traits.
Following the ceremony, students and staff – along with several parents – proudly participated in the “Patriots on Parade” march around the school. Students displayed brightly-designed posters and signs declaring their pride in the school, along with the ways they follow the Pathway to Patriot Pride.
Petway’s character education program is fundamental to all aspects of Petway school. The program operates with a distinct set of core values known as the “Pathway to Patriot Pride.” The Pathway focuses on 10 character traits to improve students’ social-emotional and academic competencies. The Pathway is a way of thinking and acting that allows individuals to feel accepted, valued, and safe. The philosophy of Petway is to help students learn how to be their best selves and to do their best work while making school a place where they feel comfortable and able to succeed. Pathway activities vary from school-wide PRIDE days and mentoring programs to service learning activities and community outreach.
Character.org will honor Petway Elementary School along with other recipients at the 2019 National Forum on October 24-27, 2019 in Washington DC. Petway’s Principal, Jennifer Frederico, Assistant Principal, Jaclyn Mongelluzzo, and Social Worker, Leslie Smith, will be presenting at both the State and National Character Conferences this year. They were invited to present on the topics of Strengthening Character through a Trauma-Informed Lens and Creating a Gender Inclusive School Environment.
VPS Broadcasting recorded the entire event which is now available on our YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32KYFcPmRrs
For a gallery of still images, click on the following link:http://bit.ly/2XCPl0Y