The Crusader Today (CT below) recently caught up with Edward J. Bucior Jr., who is ALJ’s freshly minted VP. Mr. Bucior is originally from Old Bridge, but currently lives in Monroe Township (Middlesex County). He received his Bachelors from Kean University in history education, and his masters from Ohio University. The blog was finally able to get Mr. Bucior to sit down for ten minutes for a Q & A about who he is and his vision for ALJ.
CT: What is your past professional experience?
Mr. B: After graduating from Kean University, I obtained my first teaching position back at Old Bridge High School where I had graduated just four years earlier. While at Old Bridge, I taught Social Studies, including U.S. I, U.S. II, and AP Government. I also coached multiple sports such as football, bowling, lacrosse, and volleyball. On the side of my teaching and coaching, I served on the Intervention and Referral Services, Cooperative Teaching, and Athletic Leadership Committees.
CT: What does your typical day look like?
Mr. B: This is my first year at ALJ, so my daily schedule can very easily change. Typical routine, however, has been, roll out of bed around 4:45-5:00am, hit the road by 5:45. I arrive usually around 6:15-6:30. From there I am checking my daily tasks, answering emails, doing a tour of the building, and just making sure we have everything in place for a smooth opening. Once the day officially starts, I am greeting the seniors as they walk into the cafeteria. So far, I don’t think I have spent more than 30 minutes in my office throughout the opening of school. I am always on the move and it is a goal of mine to make sure that I am a visible presence in the building. Usually there are some meetings throughout the day. After school, I try to go check out some of the practices or games. I want the kids to know that I support them and to show them that I understand the amount of time they are putting in.
CT: What is your favorite part of your job?
Mr. B: My favorite part is interacting with the students. In-between periods, I am always in the hallways, forcing kids to smile or give me a high-five. When it comes to the school culture, the students are the engine that drives us. If they are positive and support each other, our culture will only continue to grow in a more positive direction.
CT: What are your expectations in this role?
Mr. B: I expect the students to support each other and I really want the school spirit to get better. I really believe it’s the small things that add up to make a school a special place. When the students support each other by going to different events, joining clubs, and just are friendly in general, the school will naturally thrive.
CT: Do you recall any special stories from when you were a teacher?
Mr. B: I had a student that was very big into the ROTC, but when I asked the class on the first day of school what their goals were, she didn’t mention applying to any of the military academies. When I asked why, she simply said that, “She didn’t think that she was good enough”. The next day, I decided to teach my class a formula that they could use. It comes from Urban Meyer. “E + R = O” Events + Response = Outcome. I taught them that events are going to happen to them and that they are out of their control. Response, however, is completely under their control. And how they choose to respond to their events will ultimately change the outcome. I showed the student what was needed to apply to the Air Force Academy and asked, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Long story short- She applied and was accepted, full scholarship to the Air Force Academy. So for our students here- Don’t sell yourself short. E + R = O!
CT: When CT asked a student recently if she had an opinion about you. She said "You mean the new defense against the dark arts teacher?" If you know Harry Potter, they had a new one every year, just like ALJ has had three VPs in three years. What do you think about that?
Mr. B: That's funny, but they are all villains! lol. I'm a good guy! I also plan on being around much longer.
What are your hobbies/things you do for fun/while not at work?
Mr. B: I am a very big family guy. My wife and I try to plan out events and mini-adventures with our two young boys. I also have four nieces and nephews and they are constantly at my house playing. I wouldn’t have it any other way!