South Orangetown Central School District

Congratulations to eighth-grader Cade C., South Orangetown Middle School’s New York Jets Upstander of the Week! Cade’s teachers say that he stands out for his willingness to help others and for coming to school every day with a smile and positive attitude. He is a hard worker who stands up for what is right.

“It’s cool knowing that I’m doing the right thing and being a good role model,” Cade said, after being congratulated by Interim Principal Dr. Chad Corey, Interim Assistant Principal Joe Onativia and technology teacher Kerry Beckmann. When asked if there was a role model he looked up to, Cade responded, “My dad.”

In addition to school-wide recognition over the public announcement system, Cade received a Jets Tackle Bullying t-shirt and three tickets and a parking pass for the October 21 Jets vs. Vikings game.

Administrators and faculty with SOMS Week 4 Upstander Cade C.

What does it mean to be a SOMS Upstander?
For the second consecutive year, South Orangetown Middle School is participating in the New York Jets Upstander of the Week Program, a collaboration with STOMP Out Bullying, to highlight students across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut who create a positive school culture.

“We are fortunate to participate in the New York Jets Upstander of the Week program, which not only aligns with but enhances our character education program,” said SOMS Interim Principal Dr. Chad Corey. “Through initiatives like this, we hope to continue developing a school culture in which students are respectful and responsible.”

The SOMS effort has been spearheaded by technology teacher Kerry Beckmann, who has attended the annual New York Jets Tackle Bullying Educator’s Symposium for the past two years.

”When I heard about the New York Jets Upstander program, I was immediately interested because bullying impacts so many students,” said Beckmann. “Statistics indicate that at least one in four students will experience bullying during a school year, and 43 percent of students experience cyberbullying during their lifetime. This program is great because it helps to recognize students who take a stand against bullying and celebrates their initiative as ‘Upstanders.’ It makes it ‘cool’ to do the right thing and encourages other students to take a stand.”

Upstander candidates are nominated by their teachers for taking a stand against bullying, reaching out to students who may be socially isolated, and/or promoting a school culture that honors diversity. All grade levels at SOMS participate.

For each of the first sixteen weeks of school, one SOMS Upstander is identified and then announced weekly on the building’s website and Twitter feed. The SOMS Upstander of the Week receives a t-shirt, three tickets to a home New York Jets game and a parking pass. In addition, each week, one lucky Upstander from the tri-state area is highlighted across the New York Jets social media platforms and on the video boards during home games.