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Principal's Message

Marilyn Bright


Principal's Bio


It is with great enthusiasm that I introduce myself as the Principal of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School (DDE).  My name is Marilyn Cosme Bright and I have been an educator for 20 years.  I have been with the Berlin Township school district for over 14 years, first as Principal of the John K. Kennedy Elementary and currently as the Principal of the middle school. Working at the elementary and now the middle school in the same district has given me the unique opportunity of getting to know my students’ families well and establishing long-standing partnerships in their children’s education. Watching the students grow and mature gives me pride in knowing that I have had a role in their development. 

Prior to Berlin Township Schools I taught students with special needs and remedial reading.  I earned both my master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Rowan University.  My New Jersey educator certifications include Principal, Supervisor, Certificate of Eligibility for School Leader (Superintendent of Schools), Teacher of the Handicapped, Reading Teacher, and Elementary Teacher.


Principal's Corner

Welcome to Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School and to a new school year! My name is Marilyn Cosme Bright and on behalf of the staff, I can tell you that we are pleased to have all of our students in school once again.  


The major disruption to our school and our personal lives has been a significant challenge for all of us.  While we desire for “getting back to normal” we must fully recognize that returning to school and normalizing school as it is structured today, does not happen at the flick of a switch.  When our students returned to school last week, we noticed many had gotten so much taller, others changed their hairstyles or just showed signs of physical development and maturity.  That is what we observed.  However, it is the things that we could not see as our students entered the school building last week, their stories from the past 18 months, that we are trying to know and understand so that we can personally connect individually with each student and get to know our new students.  


As the staff and I were preparing for the reopening of school for the past few weeks, I found myself returning over and over again to one central theme… a single word that kept coming to my mind.  That word is, RESTORE or RESTORATION.  By definition restore means to recondition, rehabilitate, redevelop, refit and reequip.  And, that is essentially where we are putting our efforts this school year, especially during the first few weeks or first months of school.  We all know the function of school as a place for academics.  That is an understood norm and expectation.  But, before we can expect our students to respond to and reach our learning standards and objectives we know that our students have a hierarchy of needs that include physiological basic needs such as food, water and shelter.  They also have the need for feeling physically and emotionally safe, a sense of love and belonging.  Students need good self-esteem to have the confidence to face challenges.  And, at the highest level of student needs, students need to have self-actualization to realize their full potential and creativity.  


Through our advisory classes, which happen during the first period of each school day right after homeroom, students have and will continue to build community with the members of their advisory class.  Community is a group of people.  Community does not necessarily refer to a place.  Within their advisory community students are using restorative practices to rebuild old relationships and to make new connections.  Restorative practices is an inclusive approach to building and when necessary repairing relationships among students and for their benefit.  This requires us to build trust and create a safe space for our students to respect one another, accept responsibility for their actions and to restore harmed relationships.  We are putting our energy into working WITH students everyday.  


I invite you to join us in this effort by opening the dialogue between home and school.  Please connect with us in a positive and proactive manner and give us the insight we need to provide the best educational experience and setting for your child.  We cannot do this work alone.  Along with your support, I want to share that DDE Middle School is in the second year of a multi-year partnership with Rutgers University and the School Climate Transformation Project.  In spring 2022, through an anonymous survey, we hope to get feedback from you on our school climate so that we can make decisions that are based on real-time data from the perspective of our students, families and staff - our school community.  You’ll receive more information about this in the coming months.  The feedback that you provide will help us gain insight into your perspective about DDE Middle School and help us create systems and procedures to enhance DDE’s school climate.  I am going to thank you now for your help and commitment in working with your children. 


Note: I would like to take a moment to clarify remote learning this year.  Remote learning is an option for students who are forced to quarantine due to a positive COVID test or because they are identified as a close contact.  Remote learning is not an option for routine absences from school.  If your child is eligible for remote learning the school will contact you with specific dates and a schedule for remote learning.

Please continue to use OnCourse Connect to stay current on your child's academic progress and to monitor your child's attendance and discipline record.  Also, please make sure to stay connected to your child's teachers through email.  We look forward to working with you this year to provide the best educational experience for your child.