If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness,
They learn justice.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship,
They learn to find love in the world.This is an adaptation of a poem that is very dear to me by Dorothy Law Nolte. A version of it hung on my bedroom wall when I was a child growing up in Gloucester Township, still too young to understand its message. It remained there when I was a teenager and when I went off to Rutgers University to study photography and journalism. Its message was still powerful despite it becoming yellow and faded with age.
I began my career in New York City in magazine photography editing. Tragically, September 11th happened and changed the course of my life forever. My volunteer experiences in the months after the attacks led me to choose a life of service over a life of glamour and soon I found myself back at Rutgers studying psychology and earning my K-8 teacher certification. I remember setting up my 4th grade classroom as a newly hired teacher in Harrison Township and Nolte's poem was the very first thing I hung up on the wall. This time, however, not only did I understand this poem’s meaning, I made it my educational mission.
I adored teaching 4th grade and being an educational leader for 10 years before marrying my husband, Matt, who is also an educator in Washington Township where we live. We were blessed with two beautiful boys, Aidric and Nash. Nolte's poem took on an entirely new meaning as I navigated my way through the joys and challenges of being a new parent. Amidst the fantastic chaos of working and growing a new family, I returned back to school, this time to Rowan University, and obtained my Masters in School Administration while working as a K-3 math interventionist. In this position, I was able to practice my leadership skills and celebrate the exquisite art of teaching right alongside my colleagues.
Now, as the Director of Instruction, Achievement, and Student Activities at Berlin Community School my mission is to ensure that your children receive the best educational experiences possible during their time with us.
I feel like everything I've experienced in my personal life as well in my professional life has prepared me for the adventure I'm on in this wonderful school district and community. I look forward working with you and your children this school year and building life-enriching relationships with all of you in the years to come.
I promise that I, along with the entire BCS team, will see that your children live with tolerance, encouragement, praise, fairness, security, approval, acceptance, friendship, and love.
With Greatest Sincerity,
Mrs. Kristin Groark
Director of Instruction, Achievement & Student Activities