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Burlington Township School District Board of Education meeting highlights talented students

Public meeting featured a preview performance from the upcoming spring musical, “Anything Goes”

The cast of Burlington Township High School’s upcoming production of the musical “Anything Goes”, perform a number from the play during the school district’s most recent board of education meeting.

By Stephen Finn

The Sun

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It was a packed house at the Burlington Township School District Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Parents crowded into the high school’s cafeteria for a series of presentations, speeches, performances and awards highlighting the talented student body.

The meeting began with high school senior Sabrina Abbruzzese leading the flag salute and presenting a patriotic reading. Her speech focused on the role education plays in people’s lives.

“When I was first asked to write a speech about education, I had no idea where to start. So I did what most people do in this day and age and I asked Google, ‘what’s the definition of education?’ and when I came across the definition, I realized that education is more than just learning how to add in math class or read in English,” said Abbruzzese.

She stressed the importance of people continuing to learn and educate themselves long after their formal education comes to an end.

“Learning goes beyond the classroom, and as individuals we make the choice to gain and seek knowledge. As we explore for new information, we develop as individuals,” said Abbruzzese.

Her speech ended with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Following Abbruzzese’s speech, attendees were treated to a preview of the BTHS Theater Department’s upcoming musical production, “Anything Goes,” under the direction of theater teacher Joe Farina.

“This is a musical from 1934 by Cole Porter. It’s a story that takes place on a cruise ship going from New York to London. It was written in the middle of the Great Depression so the idea was really to lift everyone’s spirits. It’s just crazy comedy, really fast-paced” said Farina. “It’s one of the best scores ever written for musical theater.”

The night’s preview performance was of the title musical number, “Anything Goes.” The cast pulled off an impressive display of song and dance featuring some flashy tap dance work.

“Some of them are tapping for the first time,” said Farina.

Last year, the high school performed “Rent,” which deals with some heavy subject matters like the AIDS crisis. With “Anything Goes,” Farina sought a show with a lighter tone.

“I hope people can just come and have a good time,” said Farina.

Performances of “Anything Goes” are scheduled for March 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. and March 24 at 2 p.m. in the high school’s performing arts center. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults and free for seniors with a gold card. Online tickets are available at bthstheater.org.

After announcing the Pride Students of the Month, Director of Human Resources and Public Relations Coordinator Liz Scott recognized two young students for their exceptional performance at the annual Youth Achievers Committee Science Fair.

“Our school district is very proud of the various community partnerships that we have developed. One of our partners, the Youth Achievers Committee, continues to support our students in the area of science,” said Scott. “Burlington Township is very proud of the scientific accomplishments of our students.”

Sisters Marissa and Caroline Almonte both took home first-place prizes at the science fair in December.

Seventh-grader Marissa’s winning project was entitled, “Does runoff on pavement sealants used on roads, parking lots and playgrounds induce tumorigenesis in planarian?”

Her sister Caroline, a sophomore, won for her project “Effect of artificial light.”

The two girls are headed for the Regional Coriell Science Fair next where they both placed first for their projects last year.

“Congratulations to both of you and keep the falcon flying high in science,” said Scott.

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