I am writing this letter to express my deepest appreciation to a group of young people and their parents that recently reminded me of why I love my job as a teacher and why I feel so very blessed to be teaching in a town such as Secaucus. I have the privilege of being the Junior State of America (JSA) chapter advisor at Secaucus High School (if you’d like additional information about the JSA organization, please visit the official JSA website at www.jsa.org).
Recently, our chapter traveled to the annual two day event known as Spring State. This year, our chapter had a candidate in the race, Aarushi Kumar, who was running for NJR Mayor. This letter isn’t about her campaign nor the outcome of the election, but about the type of students that make up the Secaucus High School chapter of JSA and the parents that support them.
Throughout Aarushi’s campaign year, the members of the SHS chapter assisted her. At Spring State, those same students campaigned up to the final vote, meeting with students from other schools and presenting Aarushi’s platform. These students didn’t do these things because I told them to. They didn’t do it because they felt obligated to help her. They did all of this because they believed in her platform, and they believed that she would be a great asset to the JSA organization.
In the end, Aarushi lost the election. That is where the true character of not only Aarushi became evident, but also the other members that had traveled to Spring State with her. These young men and women carried themselves with dignity and good “sportsmanship.” They turned their energy toward other candidates from other schools that were running for office.
Witnessing all of this was inspiring and reminded me of how wonderful our students at Secaucus truly are and how great our school district really is. When we arrived back at the high school on Sunday, parents and students of JSA members, even those that were unable to attend Spring State, were waiting for us with balloons and banners expressing support for Aarushi and for the chapter as a whole.
It truly was one of the most touching things I have seen as a teacher and advisor. I would like to thank each and every one of the members of the JSA and the parents that support them. Each of you truly are a testimony of what is positive about our school district and the youth of America. To each of the parents, I cannot begin to express my gratitude to each of you for allowing me the privilege of being their advisor and entrusting me to travel with your sons and daughters to these JSA events. Your love and support for these young men and women is refreshing. I can honestly say, that each one of these students and parents have taught me as much as I hope I have taught them.