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Leonia Student Presents Syrian Refugee Photography Exhibition in Washington DC

On December 2, 2016, Leonia High School Senior Sinem Oguz presented her photo exhibit, On the Border: Syrian Women and Children, during a discussion panel at NYU’s satellite campus in Washington DC. The collection features images from the Syrian Refugee camp in Akcakale, Turkey and focuses on resilience of childhood innocence in the face of ongoing conflict.

As a young woman of Turkish descent, Sinem has remained acutely aware of the Syrian Civil War’s impact back home. Last year, Turkey’s National Disaster Response Program (AFAD) approved Sinem’s request for access to specific refugee sites. On the Border chronicles Sinem’s experiences in Akcakale and provides a human connection to a conflict half a world away. Sinem’s visit included a helicopter tour of the entire camp and visits with a number of families in the camp.
The NYU panel is the fourth time Sinem’s exhibition has been showcased since 2015. Sinem has expressed immense joy in being able to use her hobby to make a difference. Sinem is currently enrolled in the Leonia Academy of Science and is considering a future in Doctors Without Borders to combine her prospective career in medicine with her passion for activism.


Important Message

Please take note that the scheduled Board of Education meeting for Tuesday, March 14th,
has been moved to Thursday, March 16th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Anna C. Scott school cafeteria.  
This meeting will include the scheduled public hearing on the financing of
the LHS expansion project.

Greetings Parents and Community Members:

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas....” As I write this message of glad tidings, the air temperature has a wind chill of 11 degrees and I think I saw a flurry of snow earlier in the day. It must mean that the holidays and winter solstice are near.

On behalf of the Leonia Board of Education, our faculty, administrators, staff and students, I wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a New Year filled with good health and much happiness.

Thank you for your partnership with the Leonia Schools. Together, we provide every child with an opportunity to grow in content academics, art and music, wellness and personal growth.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season, and a New Year filled with much joy.

Joanne Megargee


Message from the Superintendent

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and the Leonia and Edgewater Community:

The words are simple and come from the heart – thank you, thank you, thank you!

Your support this week, when one of our students needed you the most, was outstanding and so wonderfully typical of what it means to live and work in Leonia and Edgewater. We, as a school community, could not be more fortunate to call you friend and supporter.

Thank you so much for the phone calls and emails, for the “how do I help?”, and “what do you need?”

Most of all, thank you for making our school community part of your family.

Best wishes,
Joanne Megargee


The Principal, Edward A. Bertolini, of Leonia High School announced today that Naomi Cruz, Casey Kammerman, Michelle Y. Kang, Julian S. Pecht, Nithya Selvaraj, Xiangyue Wang and Toby Yun have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to these scholastically talented seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC.  “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation.  We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Welcome Back President Ilves!

Estonian president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, visits Leonia Middle School.
President Ilves graduated Valedictorian - Class of 1972 at the original LHS,
which is now Leonia Middle School.  

Welcome Back!

August, 2016

Greetings Parents, Guardians, Students and Community Members:

On behalf of the Board of Education, our Administrators, Faculty and Staff, I welcome you to the 2016-2017 school year.  May your child have much success in their new grade level and may you find a true partnership with the Leonia Public Schools.  We look forward to welcoming you on those first few days and hope that you will stop in to say hello, as well. 

For your read, The Bergen County Association of School Administrators has published a welcome letter that I thought would be of interest.  Enjoy the helpful hints for a successful school year.  Most of all………welcome back!

Joanne Megargee, Superintendent


August 2016

The Bergen County Association of School Administrators, comprised of school superintendents and other central office personnel, looks forward to welcoming Bergen County’s 162,000 students back to our schools for another year of learning and growth. We delight in our work with your children and families, and with excitement and enthusiasm pass along the following guidance as we stand on the cusp of another school year.

  • A New Year is a Fresh Year

Entering the next grade level offers your child the opportunity to have a fresh start. Use this wisely. Before the school year begins, speak with your child about the successes and struggles of last year, and how this year can be used to make steady and upward improvement. Perhaps a change in study patterns, attending extra help, or more support at home is necessary.

  • First Things First

Bergen County’s schools offer many exciting opportunities and activities for their students, and while there is strong social/emotional growth that takes place during school, it is important to remember that our schools are primarily academic institutions. It is essential that you help to support the academic growth of your child by consistently and clearly expecting them to dedicate time to their studies. There is no greater thing that you can do to help prepare your child for their future.

  • Hard Work Above All

There is simply no replacement for hard work. Emphasize to your child that time dedicated to their studies, attention to school work, and effort will be the deciding factor between success and failure.

  • An Involved Child is a Successful Student

Research shows that the most highly engaged, successful and satisfied students are those that play a role in the life of the school beyond their classroom studies. Encourage your child to join school clubs or sports teams, volunteer, and be a part of the life of their school. You can set this example by joining your school’s Home & School Organization, attending school functions, and showing your child what positive and helpful participation looks like.

  • Strive for Balance

Help your child find the appropriate middle ground between taking their studies seriously enough, but not so much that there is a negative impact on their health and wellness. There have been increasing reports of students experiencing high levels of stress due to seemingly unending deadlines and expectations. Using time wisely, not taking on too much outside of school, and finding time to relax are all essential. Keep an eye on your child, and continue to strive for that middle ground.

  • You Set the Greatest Example

As important and vital schools and teachers are in the life of your child, remember that you are your child’s first and most influential teacher. Your words, attitude and actions set your child’s tone and attitude, and it is essential that you support your child’s school experience. Set an example by working closely with teachers, be involved in the life of the school, and continue to remind your child that a strong education is the best ‘insurance policy’ that one can have in an unpredictable world.

We look forward to a great 2016 - 2017 school year, and wish our students, families, and communities all the best.

The Bergen County Association of School Administrators

District News!

The Leonia Board of Education is happy to welcome Mrs. Christine Davis, newly endorsed Vice Principal of LMS.  Ms. Davis comes to Leonia with experience as the Interim Assistant Principal of the Eric Smith School in Ramsey and as a teacher-leader in the area of science in that district.  Mrs. Davis began July 1 and will be available all summer for LMS students, parents and staff to meet.  Please stop in and welcome Mrs. Christine Davis to our district.

New to the Board Office, but not new to the Leonia School District, Mr. Gregory Van Nest has joined Central Office as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, filling the position of retiree Michele Simon.  Mr. Van Nest had served as the 6-12 English/Language Arts Instructional Supervisor for two years.  Michele Simon retired June 30th after nearly 18 years of service to the District.  We welcome Greg Van Nest to Central Office and wish Michele Simon our best wishes.

Good News!


It is with pleasure that we announce that the Leonia Board of Education endorsed the recommendation of the Superintendent and her Committee, and named David Saco as Principal of Leonia Middle School.  Congratulations to David and best wishes are sent for a continued successful career with the Leonia Public Schools.