Fort Lee’s interim superintendent of schools says students in the school district have been coping with the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. in the days since the deadly shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in part by paying tribute to the victims.
In a holiday message to members of the Fort Lee school community posted on the Fort Lee Public School District’s website, Interim Superintendent of Schools Sharon Amato said she has also heard “many excellent suggestions” on how school officials can improve security. She said she would take those suggestions into consideration moving forward.
“The tragedy in [Newtown] has shaken us to the core; but it has also helped us come together as a community,” Amato wrote. “Tributes to the children who lost their lives have helped us to cope with this senseless tragedy.”
Amato added that working together as a school community and making “small changes” could make a “big difference.”
“I would like to commend the Fort Lee Police Department for their presence in and around our schools over the past days, and our principals, guidance counselors, parents and staff for all that they have done to ensure the well-being of our children,” Amato said in the statement wishing everyone in the community happy holidays.
As students and staff prepare for early dismissal Friday and winter recess through New Year’s Day, Amato also touched on her brief tenure as interim superintendent; the Fort Lee Board of Education last month appointed her to the post until Jan. 2, 2013 during Superintendent Steven Engravalle’s roughly two-month leave of absence.
“It has been my please to serve the school district as Interim Superintendent of Schools over the last few months,” she said. “My role has been challenging, but also the most rewarding experience of my career.”
Amato’s complete holiday message can be found here.