In our roles as Board of Education president and interim superintendent of the Secaucus school district, we wish to take this opportunity to thank General Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto for providing our fourth grade students with such a memorable, cherished, and valuable learning field trip experience during their visit to the New Jersey Statehouse this past week. The study of New Jersey is a staple in the fourth grade social studies curriculum, and a visit to the statehouse is an excellent application and first-hand learning experience of the legislative branch of government. What made our particular field trip so enriching and kept our impressionable fourth graders so focused and engaged was Assembly Speaker Prieto giving so generously of his time and talents to invite our fourth graders into the General Assembly, allow them to sit in the seats of legislators, providing them with a comprehensive talk about the general role of the Assembly and his particular role as Assembly Speaker, and fielding a wide variety of questions from our impressionable students. The Speaker served as a valued resource in providing our students an in-depth view of the New Jersey Legislature. Students were walked through how the voting process occurs, the need for legislators to negotiate and compromise through the legislative process, how a bill becomes a law, and, most importantly, the need to always do one’s best and follow one’s dreams.
Needless to say, with this hands-on, primary source learning experience, our students found the day to be enriching, delightful, and especially meaningful. On behalf of the students, staff, and parents of the Secaucus School District we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Assembly Speaker Prieto for giving so unselfishly of his time to provide our students with such a valuable learning experience. To our impressionable 9 and 10-year-old pupils the Speaker served as a mentor, guiding light, and role model who illuminated the value of government in a democracy as well as an altruistic orientation towards serving one’s constituency.
President Secaucus Board of Education
Kenneth J. Knops