This is…Teacher Jeopardy!

by Jeff

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Millions of Americans turn on their TV’s to watch the hit trivia show Jeopardy every night. On Thursday, February 28, over 100 people packed into the RFH auditorium to watch Teacher Jeopardy, which was hosted by the Social Justice Club. The whole event was the brain child of Ms. Burke, head of the club and Jeopardy enthusiast.

A preliminary set of Jeopardy questions were sent out via email for all teachers willing to compete in the event. Teachers were sorted by department, and the two highest department averages were selected to partake in the competition. The three highest scores from the winning departments represented their departments in the actual event.

The participants from the history department were Mr. Beatty, Mr. Emmich, and Ms. Lerner. The participants from the science department were Ms. Foster, Mr. Pennetti, and the legendary Mr. Margolis. In addition to the two winning departments, an “All-star” team of teachers was assembled, comprised of Ms. Flecca, Ms. Hansen, and Ms. Flanagan. After this collection of talent came together, the competition was ready to commence.

The Social Justice Club divided up into different committees and worked tirelessly to prepare for this event. Ms. Burke and some students formed a question committee to write the actual questions the teachers would be asked during the competition, while other members of the club focused on advertising and concessions.

The competition was a hit among both students and teachers. Mr. Wilson and Ms. Okeson served as the hosts for the event, and they certainly did not disappoint. They kept the audience laughing while the contestants answered a slew of difficult questions. There was a diverse array of categories, such as photography, classical music (which seemed to stump most teachers), 2000 Census data, and superheroes.

The “Final Jeopardy” category was “Greek Gods and Goddesses.” The question asked which Ancient Greek deity was depicted on many early Olympic gold medals. Think the answer is Athena? Well sadly, you, as well as the rest of the teachers, are incorrect. The correct answer was Nike, the goddess of victory.

Despite losing the Final Jeopardy question, the history department was able to maintain their early lead and hold on to become the victors of the first annual Teacher Jeopardy competition. However, the real winner was Pratham, an organization that promotes literacy in impoverished areas of India. The event raised over $570 to help their cause. On top of all this, many RFH students had a great time.

“I thought it was a lot of fun! It was interesting to see RFH’s intelligent teachers compete in Jeopardy style play,” said senior Andrew Faett.

“Exhilarating… A gut-busting, fun-filled event for the whole family,” said senior Julia Imperatore, “It was one of the most spectacular, exciting evenings in all my four years at RFH. I hope to see many more events like this.”

Overall, Teacher Jeopardy was an enormous success. However, the Social Justice Club is looking for ways to make it even better next year. Club member Elizabeth Bricker says that there will hopefully be a student team involved next year. Additionally, the club might consider adding categories that apply to RFH, such as teacher backgrounds. An example of this would be “this teacher was born in the year ______” or “this teacher graduated from ______.” The sky is the limit for this great new fundraiser.

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Close to Home: Social Justice Club

by Caleigh Farragher

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Every day children our age, and oftentimes younger, wake up to nothing. They do not have enough food to eat, clean clothes to wear, or in some cases a school to go to.  While this may paint a bleak picture, it is unfortunately all too familiar for many in communities across the country.  Many people think that the less fortunate only exist in faraway third world countries.  However, it is prevalent everywhere, even within Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Two Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School students, Abby Cooner (junior) and Gianna Maita (senior) have realized the poverty and troubles in our area, and want to expose it and put a stop to it.  Cooner and Maita started the Social Justice Club here at RFH to raise awareness and encourage students to do their part to combat various pressing issues in the area.

Social Justice is needed everywhere; perhaps even your own backyard...

Co-advised by Ms. Burke, Mr. Beatty, and Mrs. Deremiah, the Social Justice club has lofty goals that they work hard to achieve.  Twice each month, this club meets and devotes its time to the discussion of a certain community issue.  First they discuss the topic, and then at a subsequent meeting will create a plan of action.  Their plan is then put into action at community and global levels.   Some of the topics that have been discussed and will be discussed are; hunger, poverty, woman’s rights, free trade, and environmental issues.

The club is recently posted red stop signs throughout the school that display facts about poverty in the area.   Coined the STOP campaign (Social Justice Takes On Poverty), Cooner and Maita wish to promote this type of community awareness because many students at RFH do not realize how lucky they are, or that these issues hit closer to home than they think.

“We want students to not only be aware of the magnitude of the poverty, but also to see that it affects people right by us,” Cooner commented.

The club began as an idea derived from Cooner and Maita’s camping experience at Justiceworx.  Maita first attended this summer camp and had a life-changing experience at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.  She said that after this work she “really wanted to start something.”  Gianna decided to return to Justiceworx, and brought Cooner along with her.   Maita warned Cooner that after having an experience like this that she would want to do something, too.

“Rumson and Fair Haven are sort of anomalies in New Jersey; not all high schoolers are quite as lucky as we are, with a good education in a safe environment. Not all of them even have enough food or a place to live, never mind any education at all. We want to make sure that the rest of RFH is as aware of that as we are,” commented Maita.

Cooner and Maita also hope that this club will affect its members in the long run.  Gianna said, “When members of Social Justice Club grow up and become people with college educations or jobs to support their families or both, they will still be aware of what they discussed in Social Justice Club.”

These two students and the club hope to positively impact people’s lives and make a difference; don’t you?

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