Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer Blog Break

Thanks for being part of this blog effort! At times, posting each day of the school year was a challenge, but I enjoyed the fact that a segment of the school community was able to connect to some additional information that they may not have otherwise known.

The blog counter shows the following for the year:

Total Visitors: 7,095
Total Hits: 13,165

I am going to take a break. I do not anticipate any regular summer posts – but I do plan to return to the blog as we get closer to the new school year.

Enjoy your summer.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thank You, Teachers

One of our teachers, Dan O'Leary, had his child accompany him to school this spring on the annual “Take Your Child to Work” day. His son, a second grader, enjoyed his day and wrote a short essay about his experiences. The school principal at his son’s school saw it and published it on the front page of the school newsletter.

Today, I was a 6th, 7th, 8th and high school teacher at Woodbury School where my dad teaches. It felt nice leading and helping all the kids. I got to experience how teachers work and feel every day.

It felt different being a teacher than a student. Being a teacher felt good to help kids learn. It also can feel frustrating when the kids don’t listen, misbehave, or don’t do their work.

I learned how teachers prepare for a lesson and how hard they work with their kids. I really liked teaching reading because we read Dracula and all the kids were very interested and excited about it. I did not like math because it was a bit boring and a kid did not behave.

I liked being a teacher it was fun and hard work. I think a teacher is one of the most important jobs in the world because you are teaching kids how to grow up. Teachers are like moms and dads away from home.

On this last day of teaching for the 2006-07 school year, I would like to thank all of our teachers for working so hard each day to make the learning experience meaningful for our students.

I wish everyone a safe, enjoyable summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spotlight on Mr. Gamble

John W. Gamble


Walnut Street School

(Note: Mr. Gamble is retiring at the end of this school year after thirty-one years as an administrator in the Woodbury Public School system. We thank him and wish him well!)

John W. Gamble

• College(s) and degrees(s):
West Chester University -- B.A. – Political Science
West Chester University – Masters Degree in Educational Administration
Temple University Principal Certification

• Work experience:
High School Teacher of Social Studies and English
Coached basketball, baseball and soccer
Principal – Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School, West End School, Walnut Street School

• Favorite books
o fiction: Anything by James Patterson
o nonfiction: When Pride Still Mattered – David Maraniss

• Favorite television show:
Antiques Roadshow; ESPN; Two and one-half Men

• Last movie I loved:
Any movie I see with my granddaughter

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with:
My dad who passed away years ago in his mid-fifties. He was a sensitive, caring person who taught me to value people and simple things in life. He also was the only person who was glad and supportive of my decision to forego a career in law to become a teacher and coach.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Any place on the water.

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
September at the beach; “finish” my basement

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
Dogs, cats, horses, deer – I love animals

• Favorite sports team:

Eagles, Phillies, Penn State, and the “Herd”

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
The moon – or at least a beach, a book, a beverage, and my wife

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
An individual who really cared about all students, both as students and as people. One who enjoyed teaching and the subject, and was always enthusiastic and energetic. This teacher worked hard and was always prepared for class, inspiring students to do the same. This person saw the positive in each student and set high expectations for all of us.

• Any other last words/message?
When I first came to Woodbury, I knew no one. Thirty-one years later, I leave here with a strong love and respect for this school district and the many students whom I have had; the town/community; and the wonderful staff with whom I’ve worked. I am thankful for having had the opportunity to work here and will cherish the memories forever.

Wednesday, June 20, 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.

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

An addendum to the agenda will be provided at the meeting; it will include action items on some summer facility upgrade projects – classroom renovation and athletic trainer’s room relocation. Bids for the work were just recently received.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Spotlight on Mrs. Carey

Frances G. Carey


Evergreen Avenue School

(Note: Mrs. Carey is retiring at the end of this school year after ten years as the principal of Evergreen Avenue School. We thank her and wish her well!)

Frances G. Carey

• Last movie I loved:
Amazing Grace

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Playlists devised by my sons for my I-pod - Music from Vivaldi to The Beatles – love it all!

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
My family. We have such great conversations, and my sons have such a great sense of humor that we cry with laughter. They are great company and so positive in their outlook on life.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
The Beach

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

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
A stuffed one

• Favorite sports team:

The team my kids were on … otherwise watching others play sports is not part of my life.

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
Mrs. Goukas in 4th grade. She brought her son and husband to school for “show ‘n tell”. They were both basketball pro’s … and so tall. Even with her very full life, Mrs. Goukas made each one of us feel valued, and she truly convinced us that our education was our ticket to a better life. She held high standards but we knew she cared about us and wanted the best for us.

Last Week

Jr. – Sr. High School
The last week of school has arrived. In the Jr. - Sr. High School, today is the last full-day of classes. Today, final exams start for the seniors. Exams begin for everyone else tomorrow. Tuesday through Friday will be early dismissal days for the Jr.-Sr. High School.

More information regarding exams and graduation can be found on the district’s website:

  • Jr.-Sr. High School

  • Elementary Schools
    The elementary schools will have regular days of school today and tomorrow. These schools close the school year with three early dismissal days – Wednesday through Friday.

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Get Real

    I said I was done with this computer fun and learning initiative, but my own kids keep showing me sites that are exciting . . . I guess this could simply go on forever. Here is a cute “game” that asks you some questions about life goals and then you need to make decisions that have a financial impact. The objective is to meet your life goals (including a financial savings goal) by the end of one year.

    This was shown to my by my own seventh grader, but my little first grader had fun being the one making the decisions. He caught on soon – that you simply cannot continue to buy everything in life that you want!

  • Moneyville

  • (Click on the “Get Real” option)

    Note (– for those of you inside the school’s filter system!): I will check with our technology department, but there is a “micromedia flash player” requirement. I am not sure that this site is one that can simply be unblocked at school; the flash player requirement may cause a problem. Hopefully it can be worked out.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Line Rider

    Okay -- one last entry on fun, educational items on the computer. This one is all about creativity and problem solving. The following is copied from another site:

    The irresistible webtoy Line Rider has returned, now in a delicious "beta 2" flavor! The update fixes a few rough spots in the interface and adds some much-needed tools to the mix. Those of you already hooked on Line Rider will appreciate how much easier it is to create a masterpiece with the new additions, and first-time players will see just what all the fuss is about.

    Line Rider was originally created by Bostjan Cadez (aka FSK) as a project for an illustration class. Since its release in September 2006, so many people have become captivated by its simple, creative charm. All you do is draw lines for a character on a sled to slide down. There's no scoring, no set objectives, and no levels to complete. Just start playing and see where your imagination takes you!

    A few of the notable additions to the second beta are as follows:

    Pen - It's your basic tool for creating floors and ceilings. Hold shift while starting a new line to switch between the two.

    Line - Create straight lines with ease.

    Swatches - Three line-types are available to use, each represented by a colored swatch. Blue lines are normal floors/ceilings, but red lines will give your rider a speed boost. Green lines are for decoration and have no affect on where the rider goes.

    Eraser - Wipe out whole sections or tiny portions of your masterpiece.

    Magnifying Glass - Zoom in to fine-tune your creation or zoom out to take in the view.

    Flag - Lets you save the rider's current speed and position. The next time you click "play", the rider will take off from there.

    And the good news doesn't stop there. The California-based software company inXile Entertainment has obtained the publishing rights to Line Rider. The company plans to release versions of the game on both the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii in the spring of 2007. Each version will feature the same captivating drawing concept but with a few new bonuses.

    If you haven't tried Line Rider, it's definitely time to discover what the fuss is all about. Tens of thousands of people are expressing their creativity with this fun webtoy, so give it a try and see what strange things you can create.

  • Line Rider
  • Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Do You Know the 50 States?

    So . . . we were experimenting on some of the educational sites that are listed on the woodburysch.com site. My first grader was enjoying some of the math games. Then, my seventh grader showed us this site:

  • 50 State Game

  • How well do you know the fifty states? If you have ten minutes . . . give it a try. See how you do.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Woodbury Kids Festival

    Continuing with the theme of good activities for the upcoming summer, Woodbury Kids Festival will take place on the Saturday after school is out this year – Saturday, June 23.

    Woodbury Kids Festival - All Events are Free!

    Daytime multi-cultural and interactive events for kids 12 years and under, at various locations starting at 11am. You can pick up a schedule at the Woodbury Public Library at 33 Delaware St.

    At the library, don’t miss a Beaded Art Craft program at 11:30 am at the library and then Mr. Malcolm performing at 1 pm.

    A nighttime stage performance for kids 2 to 7 years wil be held at the Kemble Methodist Church, 19 S. Broad St. Doors open at 5:45pm. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.

    The Woodbury Neighborhood Preservation Program, the Friends of the Woodbury Public Library and the Friends of the Woodbury Kids Festival sponsor the event. For more information, call (856) 845-1300 ext. 129.

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Summer Computer Fun

    A new link has been added to the front page of our school district website: "Learning Is Not Only For School Time."

    Check it out at www.woodburysch.com.

    You will find fun, educational websites that can be visited by your child during the upcoming summer to keep his/her skills sharp. The sites are clustered by grade level.


    Friday, June 08, 2007

    Lemonade Days 2007

    This weekend is Lemonade Days 2007 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

  • Alex's Lemonade Stand

  • I know of at least one stand that will be open for business. Stop by the West End Memorial School after school today – Friday, June 8.

    Mrs. Norris’ 1st Grade class will be running an Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

    Enjoy – it is suppose to be hot outside today. Lemonade will taste good – and it is for a good cause!

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    New Jersey Department of Education

    The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) maintains a website that provides good information. It is not always the easiest to navigate, but often you will be able to find answers to questions that you may have about statewide issues associated with public schooling.

    The link to the site is off to the side on this blog page. I have also copied it here in this entry. Take a look. The NJDOE website has links that are dedicated to various interest groups: Parents, Educators, Students, and Partners. Also, clicking around on other sections, you may find additional items of interest.

  • Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    In the News

    The Gloucester County Time has an on-line version that allows you to check the main stories included in the newspaper. It is a site that is part of my daily routine.

    Recently, I noticed that they have added a blog of their own – South Jersey Life. Over the course of the past few weeks, Woodbury students have already been spotlighted. Today, there are entries for each of our elementary schools in association with the Kiwanis program – Terrific Kids.

    Take a look. If you click on the link below, you will be taken to the site for the Gloucester County Times. Find the heading for "South Jersey Life" and click directly on those words.

    Scroll down and you will find the three entries -- Walnut, Evegreen, and West End -- each with its own picture!

    Congratulations to all the students recognized.

  • Gloucester County Times On-line
  • Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Junior High School 8th Annual Career Day

    Last Friday, June 1, the Woodbury Junior High School sponsored its 8th Annual Career Day. During the morning hours, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students moved through three sessions that introduced them to possible career ideas. Then, all students met in the auditorium for a motivational presentation from keynote speaker, Naim Muslim, Executive Director for Foundations 2000, Inc.

    Our guest speakers on the various careers were treated to a catered luncheon at the conclusion of the program sponsored by US Foods, Inc.

    Special thanks are extended to our Junior High School counselor, Marge Pertuit, for her coordinating efforts. Additionally, we thank all of the guest speakers:

    Jim Kelly & Nick Danze: Forensics Investigators
    Dean DiPietro: Detective – FBI
    Brian Turner: Detective – FBI
    Donald Sanderson: Owner – Sanderson’s Florist
    Phil Blackman: Self Employed – aviator and musician
    Dr. Michael Anthony: Veterinarian – Greenfield’s Veterinarian Association
    Scott Foody: Orthopedics of Woodbury
    Melody Arno: Sports Trainer – WHS
    Kenny Avent: Sports – WHS
    Chris Mentzer: Chef – US Foods, Inc.
    Adam Taylor: Lawyer
    Rhonda Thompson: Real Estate Agent
    Morgan Meehan: Woodbury Police Department
    Stephano Biello: Self employed – masonry
    Dianna Barber: Self employed – scientist
    Rhonda Holmstrom: Nurse
    Thomas Estill: NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr (distance learning experience)
    Todd German: Omega Institute – medical career
    Jerry Lonabaugh: Lawyer
    Renee Carter: Stylist
    Steve Morris: Education -- WHS
    Laraine Knauss: Food Sciences, Corp.
    Deneen Long-White: Health Care
    Rachel Long: Health Care
    George Saridakis: President – Seaburst Farms

    If anyone reading this blog is interested in being a presenter at next year’s event, simply contact Ms. Pertuit at mpertuit@woodburysch.com.

    Monday, June 04, 2007

    State Champions -- Girls Track

    It was an exciting weekend for the Woodbury High School track programs. Congratulations to all the coaches and athletes. The girls team finished with a State Group I Championship and the boys came within one point of doing the same!

    There was a lot of publicity over the weekend. Take a look:


  • Gloucester County Times

  • Courier-Post

  • Courier-Post

  • Boys:

  • Courier-Post

  • Gloucester County Times

  • Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Friday, June 01, 2007

    Did I Say Busy?

    Yesterday, all of our 5th grade students took a trip to the Jr.-Sr. High School to “Shadow” the current 6th graders. This day was an effort to help answer questions and provide the students with a chance to get a feel for the new building that they will attend next year.

    The day included lunch, classroom visits, tours, and a question & answer session. Additionally, the 5th and 6th graders were treated to a sneak preview of the play Dorothy Meets Alice or the Wizard of Wonderland in the newly refurbished auditorium. The play was performed by the Jr.-Sr. High School Drama Club students.

    Though it was a busy, hectic day for the host students, teachers, and administrators, it seemed that the goal of providing an introduction for our 5th graders to what can be expected for next year was accomplished. All seemed to enjoy and value the day.

    Today -- it is a Career Day event for the Junior High School! I will provide some more detail next week.

    Enjoy the weekend. Remember, Woodbury Block Party is this Sunday from noon until 5 p.m.