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The Central Jersey Consortium for Excellence and Equity (CJCEE) held its eighth workshop, “Voices of our Diverse Student Leaders: Identifying Promising Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap,” at Monmouth University’s Rebecca Stafford Student Center on June 5. Dr. Tina Paone, chair of the School of Education’s Educational Leadership, School Counseling, and Special Education department and associate professor of counseling, coordinated the event in which 88 middle and high school students from local school districts participated. These districts included Asbury Park, Eatontown, Hazlet Township, Keansburg, Keyport, Long Branch, Matawan-Aberdeen Regional, Middletown Township, Red Bank Charter School, and Red Bank Regional High School.

The day started with an introduction by Dr. Paone and Dean of the School of Education Lynn Romeo. The middle and high school students were split into three groups and moved between breakout sessions throughout the day. They were chaperoned by district teachers and administrators, who also participated. School of Education graduate students in the School Counseling and Student Affairs and College Counseling programs facilitated activities that centered on culture and diversity awareness, the idea of privilege, and how to combat prejudice in everyday life. At the conclusion of the day, Dr. Paone wrapped up what was discussed, and the students were awarded with certificates for their participation.

Heather Schwarz, director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Testing for Hazlet Township Public Schools, commented: “The events planned for the Consortium were well received by both the students and the teachers of Hazlet. Our students spent much of the bus ride home talking about all the great experiences they had and the new friends they made.”

Dr. Paone noted that “bringing together diverse student leaders from around New Jersey was a wonderful experience for students.”

For more information on the Central Jersey Consortium for Excellence and Equity, please contact the School of Education Dean’s Office or (732) 571-7518.