Pictured are Tess Strittmatter (left) and Keegan Sokorai (right). Photo provided
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Tabernacle, NJ – For the third consecutive summer, student leaders from Seneca High School were showcased at the New Jersey Department of Education’s annual Statewide Equity Conference.
This year’s conference was entitled “Critical Conversations For a More Equitable Future.”
Seneca Seniors and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Peer Trainers Tess Strittmatter and Keegan Sokorai virtually presented “Confronting Biases through Critical Conversations,” where participants reflected on and shared their own journeys through a six-word memoir, engaged in an activity about biases and identified steps they can take to foster equity in their own contexts.
“We are proud of the work our ADL Peer Trainers do to promote an inclusive school community at Seneca High School and wanted to give them an opportunity to engage with educators from across the state,” said Seneca Assistant Principal David Knecht, who assisted the peer trainers in preparing their presentation for the conference. “Empowering our ADL Peer Trainers to present at the statewide conference not only builds their leadership skills, but it gives them the opportunity to promote equity outside the school community.”
Seneca’s ADL Peer Trainers have also participated in the two previous NJDOE Equity Conferences.
Last summer, Class of 2021 graduates Sabrina Capoli, Tyler Chaudhary, Alyssa Giannini, Shane Lovett, and Heilee Mota presented at the 2020 NJDOE Statewide Conference, Equity in Action.
Sabrina presented “Act for Anti-Defamation League,” where she shared her experiences as a Seneca ADL Peer Trainer. Tyler, Alyssa, Shane, and Heilee worked with Assistant Principal David Knecht to present a workshop called “Creating Equity Through Student Trainers: Examining Prejudice and Combatting Biases,” where they gave an overview of Seneca’s Peer Training Program and engaged participants in anti-bias activities.
In the summer of 2019, Seneca Assistant Principal Karen O’Neil and four Seneca students facilitated an anti-bias workshop at the first NJDOE Statewide Conference, Equity for All.
The Lenape Regional High School District’s four high schools – Lenape, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Seneca – as well as the Sequoia Alternative Program, educate approximately 6,850 students from eight communities in Burlington County.
The communities served include Evesham, Medford, Medford Lakes, Mount Laurel, Shamong, Southampton, Tabernacle, and Woodland.
The Lenape Regional District is among the highest-achieving districts in the state, with an average graduation rate of 97.4% and an average combined SAT score of 1139.
A leader in progressive education, the LRHSD’s mission is to develop physically and emotionally healthy students who excel in an ever-changing world.