• Jeff Eben

Somerset Middle School, Modesto


I met an extraordinarily well behaved group of middle schoolers on the 9th of October. From my home in Fresno, it was an easy day trip, but I did a few different things with them and left impressed with their team. I did 2 assemblies and found their assembly norms very effective. Their behavior was respectful, and we had some fun. Next, I spent an hour talking to about 50 leadership students who told me about their hopes for their school. I hope that through students, we can learn that the things they want in school are similar to the adults. More importantly, I want young people to understand that they have the power to make important changes in their school. I would love to go back for another hour, but the seed was planted and their teachers will help them continue to lead.

I will remember this day for a reunion I got to share with a former student. A teacher at the school was responsible for making the visit happen and introduced me on the stage. Sonja Kivley Borelli teaches Math at Somerset and, many years ago, was a sixth grader in my class at Fort Washington Elementary School. It was only my second year of teaching and I was an infant in the profession. We had fun, though, and I was really touched that she remembered me. Was also happy to see she had grown up, finished her education and got a job. I didn't damage her too badly!!!


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