35 School Street • Ramsey, NJ 07446
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June 2016 upDATER

This month's upDATER is the text of my Moving Up Address to the fifth graders. I wish you all a wonderful summer.
Dear Graduating Fifth Graders,

As I write this letter to you, I immediately think back to your first official trip to Dater School in June of 2013.  If you remember, you came over on a bus from either Tisdale or Hubbard with your third grade homeroom and teacher.  What I remember most about that day is the way that each and every one of your third grade teachers spoke about you as a group.  "You're going to LOVE them!" said one.  Another said sadly, "I don't want to let them go.  They are a special group." And how right they all were.

So after two years of getting to know you, I have come to realize and appreciate that you are all special kids with amazing talents and bright futures.  However, the thing that stands out to me is that you are a great "team."   You are more than the sum of your parts.  As that one third grade teacher said, "You are a special group." How right she was.

In these two years at Dater, which have gone way too fast, you have proven to me and all of your teachers what a special group you are.    I could make a long list of all of the remarkable things you have done while at Dater.  But what I think is more impressive is the way you carried yourselves day in and day out.  You have truly embodied our school motto of "Work Hard and Be Kinder than Necessary."  It is the hard work that you put into your studies, the kindness you have shown each other throughout your days here, and the respect that you have given to and earned from all of your teachers.  As you leave Dater, remember that it is your simple, daily actions that will define you as individuals and as a group.  The big events are fun, special, and important.  But it is the way you conduct yourself on a random day in February that says more about you.  As we always remind you, "your character is what you are when nobody is watching."

While I am not looking forward to you leaving Dater, I am looking forward to the mark that you will continue to make on the Ramsey school system.  You are going to be a group that makes a lasting impact - and remember - that will be based on what you do day in and day out.  I am certain that in seven years you will be standing at your graduation from Ramsey High School and multiple speakers will be showering you with praise about what a special group you are.  And they will be right.  Just like those third grade teachers were.

I congratulate you all on completing your elementary school education, and I wish you all the best of everything  as you move forward.  

Your principal always,
Andrew Matteo