Monday, April 30, 2007

Model United Nations Conference

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia's Model UN Conference is held in the end of April at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. Mrs. Federline, advisor to the WHS Model UN team, writes the following:

I wanted to share some positive news regarding our participation in the Philadelphia World Affairs Council Model UN program. Two of our proposed resolutions were accepted yesterday as final resolutions for consideration and debate for this Monday’s official simulation. The authors were Kennon McMahon, representing New Zealand on the issue of AIDS orphans, and Eric Ulmer, representing Colombia on the issue of eradication of illicit drug crops.

As one of only three schools in South Jersey who participate in one of the nation’s oldest, and the region’s largest, Model UN programs, it is an honor to have our resolutions accepted. Forty area schools, with teams as large as fifteen students, submitted multiple resolutions for consideration by the entire group. It indicates that ours were well written, thoughtful and provocative.

Go Team Woodbury!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Spotlight on Ms. Paolillo

Laurie Paolillo

Special Education Teacher

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

(Note: Ms. Paolillo is retiring at the end of this school year after thirty-one years as a Woodbury educator. We thank her and wish her well!)

Laurie Paolillo

• College(s) and degrees(s):
BA – Glassboro State College – Teacher of the Handicapped

• Work experience:
My first job ever was at Strawbridges in Echelon. I substituted for a year after college and then came to Woodbury in 1976. I have 15 years of volunteer experience in Wildlife Rehabilitation, too.

• Favorite books
o fiction: The Sphinx by Robin Cook. I love mystery/adventure stories and this one made me remember my own trip to Egypt in 1979. I have re-read it many times.
o nonfiction: The Bible,

• Favorite television show:
NCIS (Mark Harmon is so easy on the eyes!)

• Last movie I loved:
Finding Nemo

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Wow, there are just too many. That’s records, tapes, cassettes, and CDs that are worn out!

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
I would love to have lunch with Jesus. All the questions I have would make it a long lunch!

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
The woods, anytime!

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Organize my home. It’s a never ending battle.

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
The always wonderful DOG!

• Favorite sports team:

The Yankees, of course!

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
My two older cousins were/are Montessori teachers in New York and I would visit their school and work with the kids. They were very encouraging and felt I was a natural teacher.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Summer 2007 Job Opportunity

Do you know a Woodbury teenager interested in working at the schools this summer? Pass along this information. . .

Student Painters (10)

Up to 20 hours per week for 6 weeks

July 9, 2007 through August 17, 2007

$7.15 per hour

Clerical Aide in Board Office

Must be a current sophmore, junior, or senior

Up to 20 hours per week for 8 weeks

Summer 2007

$8.00 per hour

For either of the above positions, please provide a letter of interest to Mrs. Downey in the High School Counseling Office no later than May 11, 2007.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

National Poetry Month at Woodbury Public Schools

April is National Poetry Month. Here are just a few of the exciting ways that Woodbury Public School students are celebrating:

• High School English students are participating in a Billy Collins Poetry Contest. The winning entry will honor the former U.S. Poet Laureate’s award winning form, style and unique writer’s voice.

• Elementary students are reading a poem a day from a children’s poetry anthology created by Alysa Cummings, PreK-12 Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor.

Photo (left to right):
Walnut Street School students Kristy-Anna Towles and Trey Wilson decorate the Fourth Grade ‘Poet Tree’ with original Diamante poems they wrote as part of National Poetry Month.

Tuesday, April 24, 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.

This evening is the reorganization meeting of the Board of Education. As a result, this month's meeting is a bit more involved than normal. A couple of highlights of tonight's meeting:

* Principal Myers and students from the West End Memorial School will be in attendance to present an update highlighting activity in their building.

* Our new board members will be officially sworn into office.

* A resolution to award the contract for the HVAC work at the Walnut Street School is on the agenda! The architect for the project will be on hand to provide an overview at the beginning of the meeting.

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

Monday, April 23, 2007

Web Success

Pictured: (left to right) Tim Repas, Mrs. Denise Dunham, Robert Burgess. The students pose with their principal, holding their certificates from the webpage competition.

On Wednesday March 14th, Robert Burgess and Tim Repas, accompanied by their instructor, James Krauss, went to the Newark campus of New Jersey Institute of Technology to participate in the Second Annual High School Web Design Competition.

High school students from all over the State came together to compete in two categories of Web Design. The first category involved a website design that had to be created the day before the competition. The second category involved teams receipt of a poorly designed website; each team was given two and a half hours to improve or redesign three or four pages of the site.

The assessment criteria was as follows:

1. Web site usability (40%) – Addressing the following:

Does the site:
a. Speak the user’s language
b. Show consistency
c. Minimize the user’s memory load
d. Appear flexible and efficient
e. Use chunking
f. Use progressive level of detail
g. Have navigation feedback

2. Aesthetic and minimalist design (30%)

3. Technical Competency Level (30%)

Woodbury’s team of Rob and Tim (smallest school involved – and only one team competing) used PHP and JavaScript, along with clean, bright, easy to navigate design to place sixth out of sixty-four teams!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New School Song: West End Memorial

Mr. Myers, principal of the West End Memorial School, announced that the school held a contest to write a new school song. The winning entry, selected by the students, was submitted by first grader Erin Siciliano. All of the students have been learning this new song with the help of our music teachers, Mr. Park and Mrs. Savage.

“We Love West End School”

Lyrics by Erin Siciliano, March 2007

(Sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells”)

West End School, West End School,

We love West End School.

The teachers and the students

Are very, very cool!

West End School, West End School,

We strive to do our best.

From math to spelling, art and music,

We never, never rest.

Dashing off to school,

We wear our blue and gold.

We look very sharp.

At least, that’s what we’re told.

We are Terrific Kids

And Webster Winners, too,

But most importantly of all,

We show respect to you.

West End School, West End School,

We love West End School.

The teachers and the students

Are very, very cool!

West End School, West End School,

We strive to do our best.

From math to spelling, art and music,

We never, never rest.

Election Results

I am pleased to report that our school budget was passed by a vote of 354 to 226. I want to thank all in the school community who participated in this important election. The show of support for the planned program for the 2007-08 school year will allow us to move forward -- full-speed! We look to continue the good work that is taking place in all our schools.

Additionally, yesterday’s voters selected the following individuals to three year terms on the Board of Education:

Kim Hughes
Steven Abbott
William Toole

Congratulations, gentlemen!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Vote Today

Board Election and Budget Vote

Polling places are open today -- 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Thank you!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tuesday, April 17 -- Budget Vote

This is a simple post -- tomorrow the election for school board and the vote on the school budget take place. Please participate. Polls are open from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Thank you.


If you are interested in a longer blog posting, you can check out my April contribution to LeaderTalk:

LeaderTalk (see "10,065 and MWBA")

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Spotlight on Mrs. Dunham

Denise Dunham


Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

Denise Dunham

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Westminster Choir College – BM;
Rowan University – MA – Educational Administration

• Work experience:
Music Teacher – Morgan Village, Camden, NJ
Assistant Principal – Northern Burlington County Regional High School – Columbus, NJ
Principal – Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School – Columbus, NJ

• Favorite books
o fiction: any Toni Morrison novel!
o nonfiction: Teaching What Matters Most , (the last pedagogy focused book I read!) by Shirley Brice Heath

• Favorite television show:
Cold Case

• Last movie I loved:
The Return of Superman

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Stevie Wonder’s Best Hits

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
My daughter, Shai. The conversation and laughter is always upbeat and positive.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Charlottesville, VA

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Refinishing the picnic bench

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
Magda – my miniature dachshund

• Favorite sports team:

Whoever is in good graces with my hubby

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
Any isolated island with a cook and a maid

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
Mrs. Wilkinson, Mrs. Darden, Mr. Gay, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Hanson, Mr. Harris and Mrs. PE Cook.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Congratulations, Ms. Firth

Ellen Firth is a Woodbury Junior High School language arts teacher. Last year, she taught basic skills at the Evergreen Elementary School.

This year, Ms. Firth was honored to be included in a book that was just published last month – Scholarly Resources for Children and Childhood Studies: A Research Guide and Annotated Bibliography by Vibiana Bowman. Ms. Firth had an essay that she wrote as a college student included in the book as a “sample paper.”

At the end of the book, biographies of the various contributors to each chapter are included. Ms. Firth’s biography recognizes her as a teacher in our school system.

We are proud of her inclusion in this scholarly work. She sets a fine example for her students.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gloucester Alert System Test

We will conduct a test of the Woodbury Public Schools' Gloucester Alert System. If you have signed up, you will receive the type of message that you requested – either text, e-mail or both. We plan to send a message out tomorrow.

You can go back to the blog posting on March 2 for more information. Sign up today so that you can be part of the test.

Also – post a comment here tomorrow with a reaction to the alert test. We hope that the test is impressive and that it gets you talking to friends about the system so that even more families sign up!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Welcome Back

Welcome back, everyone. In my family, it is a bit of a rough day. My oldest son and I are off to school while the remaining three kids (and their mom) enjoy the balance of this week as part of their spring break. So, we have an extra tough assignment getting back into the routine today, but they all have been pretty good about not “rubbing it in” -- at least not too much!

Actually, due to the fact that the weather was so cold this spring break, it didn’t seem to be the kind that caused you to start thinking about those summer days. Hopefully, this will also help keep our students focused on their academics.


Tuesday, April 10: Meet the Candidates @ West End (7 :00 p.m.)
Wednesday, April 11: Evergreen PTO Mtg
Thursday, April 12: Walnut HSA Mtg and West End PTA Mtg

AND . . . next TUESDAY, APRIL 17: School Elections & Budget Vote (2-9 p.m.)

Have a good week.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Meet the Candidates – Tuesday, April 10th

In keeping with the practice I have established this year, my next post will likely be on our next school day – Tuesday, April 10. Looking ahead to that date, I see that it is the Meet the Candidates Night.

There are five individuals running for three seats on the Board of Education. As you may know, the Woodbury Board of Education consists of nine community members. Each year, three seats are up for election.

The Meet the Candidates Night will provide you a nice chance to get to know what each candidate is thinking about his potential role and impact on the Board.

The event is hosted by one of the school parent groups each year. This year’s event is at West End Memorial School – 7:00 p.m. – April 10th.

Information such as “What is a Board Member” and “Board Member Code of Ethics” is posted on our district website. You will find that and more information about the Board under the “Board of Education” tab.

Enjoy the Spring Break – maybe I will see you at the Phillies game tomorrow afternoon!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Peer Mentors Connect at West End

Alysa Cummings, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, reports on the following:

What do West End kindergarten and first grade students have in common with high school students? More than you might think, actually…

That’s what special education teachers Maria Gassner, Dawn Ensign and speech therapist Karen Capozzi are discovering as they administer a peer mentoring program this spring.

Twice a month, from March through June, members of a new high school special needs class are getting on a bus to travel to West End School to interact with younger students in a special West End classroom.

The students’ first session together involved the teenagers pairing up with a designated younger student to make introductions and play games together. To celebrate the season, the second time the peer mentors connected, the focus was on creating a pencil holder in the shape of a lamb.

The teachers believe the encounters between the two groups of special education students are positively impacting the students’ social skills as well as their self-esteem.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Short Week

I suspect that if you are a blog reader, you probably are well informed regarding school matters. Nevertheless, just so we are all on the same page, we have a couple of short school weeks these next two.

This week, we are in session for three full days – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Next week, school starts back up again on Tuesday.

Also, I should point out that the Board of Education approved next school year’s calendar (2007-08) at its meeting last Tuesday. A copy will be going home with all students this week.

Enjoy the break.