Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Question

So, who is out there reading this blog? Have you found this new form of communication to be valuable . . . interesting . . . helpful?

Would you be willing to talk to a report from the Gloucester County Times who is planning to do a story about this blog?

He is looking to find a parent, a school employee, and a student (are there any students out there reading this blog?).

If you are a “regular” reader, and are willing to give the reporter a couple minutes of your time, please let me know ASAP – today! You can e-mail me at (There is a link on the right hand column of this screen.) Come on now . . . don’t be shy.

Thanks so much. And, have a good day.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Board of Education Meeting Tonight --- 7:00 p.m.

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education is scheduled for this evening at 7:00 p.m. The meeting is held in the Board Conference Room on the first floor of the high school building.

Our Teachers of the Year will be in attendance and formally recognized. Additionally, Board President, Frank Gwalthney, will provide an update from his recent participation in the Federal Relations Network Conference with the National School Boards Association. The board will also receive reports on the ongoing construction projects and the bids associated with the final HVAC work scheduled for Walnut Street School.

The agendas for all board meetings can be found on the school district's website:

Monday, February 26, 2007

Regular Opening

Well, we seemed to have dodged most of the storm.

It would be complicated to always be posting -- on websites, newscast, and other forms of communication – that schools are OPEN AS USUAL. That is why you will typically only see it noted when schools are either delayed or closed.

That doesn’t mean that people are not up early assessing the situation to make the call that we actually are ready to open on time. Today, our facilities director and custodial staff were in very early to check on the school grounds and begin any necessary clean-up work associated with the snow/sleet/ice mix from yesterday and overnight.

Additionally, I am at that same early hour to assess the situation, make any necessary calls to Woodbury personnel, and then participate in a countywide conference call with Gloucester County superintendents.

All of that to simply determine that will be opening as normal. So, we do NOT make any calls to KYW – or Channel 13, the phone chain does NOT get started for teachers and other school staff, and a special announcement is NOT placed on the website.

Nonetheless, since I am up, wide awake and needing to craft a Monday morning blog posting, I figured I would let anyone who is checking in at an early morning hour know – see you at school today – regular time!

Have a great week.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday Spotlight on Ms. Rizzi

Antoinette Rizzi

Math Teacher

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

Antoinette Rizzi

• College(s) and degrees(s):
BA – The American University, Washington, DC – 1984 – Mathematics & Political Science with minor in Economics
JD – The George Washington University National Law Center, Washington, D.C. - 1987

• Work experience:
Adjunct Faculty – Mathematics – The American University, Washington, D.C. – 23 years
Immigration Attorney – 19.5 years

• Favorite television show:
Monk, Criminal Minds, Deal or No Deal

• Last movie I loved:
Batman Begins

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Mama Mia

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
Santa Claus – to find out how he can do so much and be in so many places at one time on one night. I sure need to know how to do that myself!

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
The ocean at night

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Take a vacation

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

• Favorite sports team:

Philadelphia Eagles

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
My high school physics and calculus teacher made learning challenging and FUN. My kindergarten teacher inspired me to be a teacher from the first day of school when I went home, lined up my dollies, and began to show them what I had learned in school.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

100 Wins for Swim Coach Pegues

Woodbury Athletic Director, Grant Shivers, reported that our swim team coach, Joe Pegues, recorded his 100th career coaching victory on Jan 16th versus Haddon Heights. Coach Pegues started coaching at Woodbury HS during the 1989-1990 season.

Congratulations, Coach Pegues!

A nice article ran in the Gloucester County Times last week:
  • Gateway/Woodbury's Pegues Wins 100th
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    $162,560 Grant Awarded to Woodbury Public Schools

    I want to draw your attention to yesterday’s press release by the New Jersey Department of Education announcing the awarding of 55 grants across the state to school districts for the purpose of implement autism programs.

    Woodbury’s submission, one of 250 school districts who made application, was selected for funding!

    Congratulations to our district grant writer, Dr. Jeffrey Adams. Dr. Adams happens to also be our Supervisor of Special Services. Therefore, this opportunity is a double win for him in that the programming that will be impacted is directly under his supervision.

    The two links below provide more information –

    Local Gloucester County Times article:
  • GCT

  • New Jersey Department of Education website announcement:
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    Reminder -- Hall of Fame

    The Woodbury High School Hall of Fame Committee has announced that its 2007 induction ceremony is scheduled for February 24, at 6:00 p.m. at Nicolosi's Caterers. Sixteen new members will be inducted.

    Tickets can be purchased in the Athletic Office at Woodbury High School. For information, contact the athletic director, Grant Shivers, at 856-853-0123, ext. 253.

    Inductees will also be honored during half-time of the Woodbury-Gateway boys basketball game this Friday, February 23rd; game time is 7:00 p.m. The game will be held in the Cap Paine Memorial Gym.

    The inductees for 2007 are:

    Margaret Burnett '27
    Andrew Capaldi '38
    Heinz Hofers '38
    Bill Snyder '38
    Lindy Ingram '44
    John Holston '58
    Chuck Williamson '60
    William Brooks '63
    Bob Snodgrass '65
    Paul Brier '73
    John Harbold '73
    Stacy (King) Yeiter '85
    John Jacobs, Coach
    Al Mann, Coach
    Jim Boyd, Coach
    Howie O'Neil, Coach

    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Some Weekend NASA Reading

    Check out this link -- a few of our teachers have been involved with a NASA project discussed in one of the early blog entries:

  • NASA
  • Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    School CLOSED -- Thursday, February 15

    The Woodbury Public Schools will be CLOSED on Thursday, February 15, 2007, due to continued concern regarding icing conditions around the schools and throughout the city.

    The school properties continue to have significant areas of ice that will prove difficult to navigate safely. The temperature throughout the night and the magnitude of the work that still needs to be done to provide for safe passage will not allow for us to open Thursday.

    Additionally, as a walking district, the condition of many sidewalks throughout the city continues to be a concern.

    Reminder: The district is closed for Presidents’ Weekend on Friday (2/16) and Monday (2/19). We will reopen on Tuesday, February 20, 2007.

    These snow days will be made up at the end of the school year – two school days will be added to the June calendar.

    We hope all stay safe!

    NEW INFORMATION: School Closed Today

    We have changed our school opening status -- the Woodbury Public Schools will be CLOSED today, Wednesday, February 14, 2007, due to the poor road conditions and excessive icing around the schools.

    Have a safe day.

    (Our front page of the district’s website is being updated . . . the closing of the schools is the official word!)

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Student Recognition

    Terrific Kids at Evergreen School

    January 2007

    The "Terrific Kids" Program is run in conjunction with the Woodbury Kiwanis Club. This is a monthly program that runs throughout the school year. The following students were recognized in January at Evergreen:

    1st grade:
    GiaMarie DiCrosta
    Isabella White

    2nd grade:
    Tyaisia Smith
    Sean Aquino

    3rd grade:
    Kayla Washington
    Marcquasia Corbitt

    4th grade:
    Shalisa Aquino
    Brandon Christina

    5th grade:
    Samantha Aquino
    Branden Litle

    Additional Recognition:
    NaTanya Bryant
    Angel Vega

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    Teachers of the Year: 2006-07

    We are excited to announce that the following teachers have been selected as the New Jersey Governor’s Teacher of the Year Award recipients for the Woodbury Public Schools for the 2006-07 school year:

    Evergreen Avenue:

    Kathy Estep

    Walnut Street:
    Theresa Richman

    West End Memorial:
    Noelle Baskinger

    Junior High School:
    Robyn Sole

    Senior High School:
    David Snelling

    Each demonstrates hard work, dedication, and a professional spirit worthy of our recognition. The selection committee was pleased to be able to choose each as a representative of all the good teaching that takes place across the district.

    Woodbury is fortunate to have a truly dedicated faculty, and we are proud to have these teachers represent the excellence that we strive for in each classroom.

    Thanks to all who nominated teachers for consideration!

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    Friday Spotlight on Mr. Howey

    Daniel Howey

    Guidance Counselor

    Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

    Daniel Howey

    • College(s) and degrees(s):
    BA History/Secondary Education – Rowan University
    Master’s Degree – School Counseling – Wilmington College

    • Work experience:
    Sterling High School (Individual Education)
    Coached: JV/Varsity Basketball, Tennis

    • Favorite books
    o fiction: JAWS

    • Favorite television show:
    24, Rescue Me

    • Last movie I loved:
    I really like comedy.

    • Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
    Crimson, The Carter II

    • Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
    Pat Tillman. He was a perfect example of what athletes should be. He graduated college in 3 ½ years while playing football at ASU. Though he was considered undersized for the NFL, he was picked in the seventh round. He led Arizona in tackles. Then, he turned down a contract extension to enlist in the Army Rangers!

    • Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
    Tamarindo, Costa Rico

    • One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
    Wash my truck

    • Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
    Old English Bulldog

    • Favorite sports team:


    • Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
    Tavarua, Fiji

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    Senior Citizen Special -- Lunch & Show

    Do you know Woodbury senior citizens interested in a FREE lucheon and FREE show? Have them mark their calendars for --

    Saturday, March 3, 2007
    Woodbury High School Library
    11:30 a.m.
    WHS Drama Club's presentation of Footloose to immediately follow

    Please R.S.V.P. to Sharron Knauss at 853-0123, ext. 248.

    Only 50 seats are available -- call today!

    (Generously sponsored by the Woodbury Education Association.)

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Adventures of Lucky Book Showcases Walnut 2nd Grade Authors

    Take one extremely cute teddy bear. Add two educators who enjoy teaching writing. Mix well with 26 enthusiastic second graders and you have the recipe for an exciting elementary school publishing project.

    One day last Fall, Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor Alysa Cummings placed a stuffed animal in Suzanne Hill’s classroom. She had tied a tag around the teddy bear’s leg that read: “will you please take good care of me?” The students were quite curious about their classroom visitor; they quickly named the teddy bear Lucky. The project kicked off with a group writing activity focused on just describing the bear.

    The following week, Ms. Cummings came into the classroom with a digital photo of Lucky sitting at Mr. Gamble’s desk. “When you all went home from school the other day, it looks like Lucky decided to go on an adventure. He went down the hall to the principal’s office. What do you think happened while he was there?” The students began to write:

    Lucky saw the Walnut Street School lunch menus on Mr. Gamble’s desk. He changed Monday’s lunch to ice cream and nachos. After that he changed Tuesday’s lunch to candy corn and chocolate milk.

    The students’ suggestions translated into next chapters. In short order, Lucky popped up in the Walnut Street School library, the music room, the cafeteria and the playground. Ms. Cummings worked with Ms. Hill to combine individual student pieces into chapters describing each of Lucky’s adventures around Walnut Street School. The teachers found that chapter by chapter, the students needed less help expressing their ideas, until by the end, they could just look at a digital photograph of Lucky and begin telling a story.

    A copy of Lucky’s Adventures will be spiral bound and donated to the Walnut Street School library for other children to enjoy. For now, a bulletin board outside of Ms. Hill’s second grade classroom celebrates the students’ imagination and enthusiasm for writing. The writing project is moving to West End School this month and will showcase the adventures of a monkey named Bananas. By March, the project will be underway in Evergreen Avenue School as well.

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    Teen P.E.P Family Night Workshop

    Interested in communicating more effectively with teenagers?

    Attend our Teen P.E.P. Family Night Workshop
    Wednesday, February 7, 2007
    Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School Auditorium
    6:30 p.m.

    All are Welcome!

    Contact Mrs. Donna Locovara at 853-0123, ext. 336 with any questions.

    Teen P.E.P. stands for Teen Preventative Education Program. For more information check out:

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    Speed Stacking at West End Memorial School

    What is Speed Stacking?
    Stacking is an exciting individual and team sport where participants stack and un-stack twelve specially designed plastic cups in pre-determined sequences. Individually, stackers race against the clock for fastest or best times. Stackers may also compete on a relay team racing against another team in head-to-head competition.

    Why Speed Stacking?
    Stacking can be individualized, allowing each student to work towards success at his/her own level. It is also geared to include students of all ability levels, allowing every student to reach success.

    What Does Speed Stacking Reinforce?
    Stacking reinforces perseverance and practice as a way to improve personal bests; the value of teamwork; and the importance of never giving up. In stacking, we will teach “Fix your fumbles when they happen and NEVER give up!”

    General Information
    Speed Stacking will be held
    • at West End
    • every Monday
    • beginning February 5th
    • from 3:00-4:00
    This new club is for fourth and fifth graders; the principal, Mr. Myers, will guide the students through the fundamentals of Speed Stacking, individual time trials and team competitions. Mr. Myers remarked, "Who knows……when we become experts, we can even enter local tournaments!"

    Friday, February 02, 2007

    Friday Spotlight on Ms. Warden

    Liz Warden

    ESL Teacher

    Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

    Liz Warden

    • College(s) and degrees(s):
    Douglass College, English Education; Rider University, ESL Certificate

    • Work experience:
    12 years ESL

    • Favorite books
    o fiction: Owen Meaney
    o nonfiction: 1776

    • Favorite television show:
    The Sopranos

    • Last movie I loved:
    The Devil Wears Prada

    • Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
    Neil Young

    • Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
    Hillary Clinton. I’d like to know what inspires her energy and drive.

    • Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
    The ocean

    • One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
    Filling out insurance forms.

    • Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
    My dog, Bo

    • Favorite sports team:

    Not into sports.

    • Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
    Viet Nam

    • Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
    Caring on a personal level; excited about the subject matter; ability to make students feel the excitement and become involved.

    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    NAEP Testing

    Today, eighty-seven Woodbury 8th grade students are scheduled to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Testing. NAEP is given by the U.S. Department of Education and provides an assessment of what American students know and can do in key subject areas. It is the only ongoing nationally representative assessment that provides this valuable information.

    NAEP has been given in schools nationwide for more than thirty-five years. You may have taken the test yourself when you were in school. The results are published in a report called The Nation's Report Card. These results provide reliable student achievement information for educators, parents, and other citizens.

    The test will assess three subjects: reading, writing, and mathematics. Each child at the Woodbury test site will take the assessment for one of these subject areas.

    We are excited about this opportunity for Woodbury students to help demonstrate the achievement of American students overall!