On Thursday, December 21, Mr. Bill Bruno, from the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) visited Nutley High School and lead a discussion with all winter athletes, coaches, the NHS administration and Athletic Director, Mr. Joe Piro. Topics included leadership, character and making smart choices.
Mr. Bruno said that the purpose of his visits with high schools throughout the state is to have, “proactive involvement with our high school athletes. We are getting out to the schools and having this kind of conversation and dialogue.”
When issues or challenges arise, Mr. Bruno told the student athletes that that’s when you find out who your true leaders are. “We need good leaders today,” Mr. Bruno said. “Leadership means you have to make tough decisions. Some people don’t want to make tough choices. They think ‘let somebody else do it instead.’”
The conversation continued as NHS athletes were asked to describe their leadership style. “I’m a democratic leader,” said Ellie Mc Creesh, winter track captain. “I try to raise my team up when they struggle and we make decisions together.”
Mr. Bruno discussed a number of topics with students including sexual harassment, hazing, disability complaints, sports injuries and other legal issues, which the State of New Jersey will not tolerate in high school or collegiate athletics.
Students were encouraged to participate and ask questions to Mr. Bruno. When asked how to overcome mistakes or poor decisions, he said, “None of us will go undefeated in any way of life. We are all going to make mistakes along the way. Correct these mistakes, move on and become better along the way.”
“Always lead by example,” Mr. Piro said, in closing. “You can build 100 bridges and no one will call you an architect, but get involved in one unfortunate incident and that will forever identify you.”