Chris Herren assemblies leave positive impact on Lenape district

The reaction by students at Shawnee and Seneca high schools was no different than the that of the students from Lenape, according to Superintendent Carol Birnbohm.

The Lenape Regional High School District completed its Chris Herren assemblies on Dec. 5, with Shawnee and Seneca hosting him in the first week of December.

Birnbohm spoke about the incredibly positive reaction students from the district had to Herren’s assemblies.

The board prepared a packet with reaction and photos from students who were moved by Herren’s speech. She said many students took to Twitter following the assemblies with their reaction and want to further get involved with Herren’s movement.

“There’s a photo of a wall in one of the schools with purple squares,” Birnbohm said. “Those are all students who pledged their allegiance to Project Purple (Herren’s initiative against substance abuse).”

The assemblies didn’t just touch students, according to Birnbohm, but it touched Herren as well. He used a story that was shared by another student in the district at his final presentations at Seneca.

Birnbohm said that yet another student took a message outside of the drug and alcohol theme and said Herren also spoke about not judging others and treating everyone fairly, tying in with the district’s Defy the Issue message.

In other news:

• Five Lenape High School students have been selected to take part in the All South Jersey Chorus. Juniors Samantha Adams, Rebecca Mannino, Olivia Price, Cassandra Shields and senior Lauren Schutz were given this honor.
• A pair of policies were approved on second reading by the board regarding teacher evaluations and evaluations for tenured teachers. Birnbohm said the policies simply clean up some of the language and don’t involve any tangible changes.
• The board reviewed and approved the district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the 2012–13 fiscal year at its meeting last week.
The report, which was prepared by Kevin Frenia of Holman Frenia Allison, revealed that all is in order with the district’s finances, as has been the case in past years.
“Our surplus is under the limit,” Business Administrator James Hager said.
The school district’s fund balance decreased from the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year. The district began that year with a balance of $11,268,155 in July 2012 and finished the year with $10,255,594 in June 2013.
• The Board of Education will hold its reorganization meeting on Jan. 7 at
7:30 p.m. at the district’s building in Shamong.