The RunDown

The RunDown

Fourth and Final Hawk Day Features A Pair of Speakers

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9th and 10th graders listening to Timothy Shoemaker

The fourth and final River Dell High School Hawk Day occurred on Friday, April 19th. As part of this Hawk Day, students listened to guest speakers that talked about the theme of the day: Resilience.
Students followed a special schedule including 45-minute periods and an hour-long assembly. Freshmen and Sophomores sat in the auditorium, and their guest speaker was Mr. Timothy Shoemaker, while Juniors and Seniors were seated in the Upper gymnasium bleachers, and their guest speaker was Dr. Matthew Bellace.
This Hawk Day was pitched by assistant principal, Mrs. Correa, and set up by herself along with our Head of Guidance, Mrs. Kirkby. The event lasted around an hour and students resumed on with their D-Day schedule afterwards.
Last year, Mrs. Kirkby was a guidance counselor to many of River Dell’s students. This year, she is the head of all guidance counselors in the district. “I oversee the middle school guidance department and the high school guidance department. Most of that is making sure the students get help, whether it is mental health, social conflict, academic, or college, that’s what we are here for.”
Both speakers discussed the theme of this Hawk Day which is resilience. Mrs. Kirkby stated, “The speakers will be joining us to talk in their own ways about how to build resilience and how to manage stressful situations, overcome emotional difficulties, and generally improve their well-being.”
Mr. Giorgio, a student assistance counselor in his first year at River Dell, feels it’s important for students and staff to have Hawk Days. “I think Hawk Days are important because I think students need a break from time to time, much like adults and teachers and staff here do as well. I’m sure everyone here has heard of the phrases of mindfulness and wellness, and really what that is, is to make sure that you check in with yourself and you treat your mind the same way that you treat with your body. So, I feel that these Hawks are a good way for everyone to kind of exhale and kind of regroup for the upcoming week.”
Mr. Giorgio also stated the importance of students being able to be open about their feelings. “I think that the stigma is slowly dissipating, which is a great thing. I think that people are becoming a little more mindful and open to speaking to somebody about their mental help concerns. I think there has definitely been an increase in people being comfortable about reaching about for support when they need it which is great.”
Mr. Timothy Shoemaker, who spoke to 9th and 10th graders, exposed the secrets to raising resiliency in our lives. His program included essential lessons for stress management, emotional wellbeing, strength, and perseverance.
Dr. Matthew Bellace who dealt with the 11th and 12th graders. His dynamic presentation combined his signature style of stand-up comedy, audience interaction, and psychological research on building resilience in teens. His program included a discussion on stress management and seeking out an empathetic support network.
Junior, Bridget Babington, when asked about the 11th and 12th grade assembly with Dr. Matthew Bellace said, “It was funny and he was really interactive with the students”.
Sophomore, Edy Dumitru, attended the assembly with speaker Timothy Shoemaker said, “I enjoyed it and I thought that he executed it well”.
Hawk Day may be coming to a close for the school year, but it doesn’t mean the end of these events for future school years to come.

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