Eric Meyerowitz walked the halls of Northport High School for what he thought would be the last time back in 2006 as the class valedictorian. When he tossed his cap in the air signifying the end of his high school career, little did he know that he would return 13 years later to deliver the keynote address at Superintendent’s Conference Day on Sept 3.
Mr. Meyerowitz, now a clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, reflected on his high school experience and thanked the district’s teachers for shaping him into the person he is today.
“It’s really incredible for me to be back here today,” he said.
In his address, he discussed the crucial role that teachers play in the formation of citizenship in their students and the importance of fostering student and teacher relationships.
He often referred to the final verse of the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance: “With liberty and justice for all.” He explained that freedom and universal equality is the foundation of our society and stressed that those ideals are taught in classrooms every day.
“Citizenship must be taught,” he said. “It must be modeled.”
Mr. Meyerowitz discussed the five traits of active citizenship: self-worth, learning to value differences, critical and independent thinking, strong work ethic and community service.
Speaking to the teachers in the audience, he said, “Do not underestimate the impact you have on your students.”
Following Mr. Meyerowitz’s speech, elementary school teachers had an opportunity to meet with their department heads to review curriculum, instruction and assessment procedures for the upcoming school year.
Additionally, district-wide staff could choose to attend one of several sessions, including Narcan training, provided by Cohen Children’s Medical Center, or workshops on best practices for teaching assistants to foster independence and positive communication.
Teachers will return to their respective schools on Sept. 4 to attend a faculty meeting and prepare their classrooms for the first day of school on Sept. 5.