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Newtown High School Athletic Director Matt Memoli welcomed all student athletes taking part in winter sports this semester to a special assembly and presentation on Tuesday, December 13. The event was an introduction to the winter season, and a special guest offered a presentation on social media use.
The assembly was offered following the end of the school day.
Students gathered in the main gymnasium. Mr Memoli, who was officially named as the NHS athletic director in November, addressed the students ahead of the presentation. Looking at the bleacher filled with students, some of whom would take part in team practices and games later in the day, Mr Memoli said he saw faces of students he has known for years, some since they were in eighth grade at Newtown Middle School.
Seeing so many recognizable faces, Mr Memoli said, makes him want to put together the best athletic program possible.
A successful season, he said, “Starts in school and it starts with you.” Mr Memoli then shared policies and consequences with the students if they do not follow the policies.
Later as an introduction to the assembly’s presentation, Mr Memoli told the students that Tom Pincince, who is a public speaker and is also an assistant athletic director at Central Connecticut State University, offers “the best social media presentation that I have seen.”
Mr Pincince said in his “The Power of Social Media” presentation he would not tell the students to not use social media, but rather to be careful with how they use it. The father of three girls said he began looking at how to better use social media while trying to be more informed for his daughters.
He began his presentation by advising the students to know each person they allow to follow them on social media, rather than allowing strangers to follow their posts. Other topics Mr Pincince covered in his presentation included using photo apps; illegal sharing of inappropriate photos; how information shared on any device can never really be deleted; cyberbullying; and taking a moment to calm down before posting an emotional response to sports games or other things in life.
Mr Pincince also shared examples of how social media has gotten student athletes in trouble in the past and ways to avoid those situations.