Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Night Woodfest -- Woodbury School Performers

News from the City: Tonight Woodfest will feature two performance sites.

There will be a Coffeehouse Jam at the CHC Coffeehouse. If you like to play feel free to join in the free form jam session.

In front of Kemble Church they have Denise Dunham, Principal of the Jr.-Sr. High School, and her “Friends from Herd Country” -- including a number of Woodbury students and teachers -- singing a selection of tunes, from folk to classical.

Performances will run from 6:30-8:30.

Next week will feature Ludwig the Gypsy Fiddler with his violin, vocals and humor, singer/songwriter Linsey Snyder, and the Coffeehouse Jam.

Fun Times and Fundraisers

Yesterday, the Evergreen Avenue school community was out in force at an early evening kickball event. Student teams were formed in advance. The K-2 crowd started off the action with an exhibition game. Then, the older students played a round-robin tournament.

The winners took on a team of Evergreen teachers (including Principal Breland). Though the students were in the lead for most of the game, the faculty team had an explosive inning at the end that put the game out of reach.

The fun time was another event in a series of fundraisers the PTO has utilized to help fund the purchase and installation of new playground equipment. Special thanks are extended to 5th grade teacher, Mark Grundel, who was the inside organizer of the kickball fun. It was an “awesome” event!

West End
Today, it is the West End School communities turn. The traditional May Day carnival takes place from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Good weather is forecasted – Enjoy the festivities. The West End PTA puts on this annual fundraiser for the school community, and it proves to be a big hit each year.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Herman Parish - Author - visits Woodbury

Special thanks to Enrichment teacher Stephanie Foran who handled all of the arrangements to bring a real author to Woodbury this week. This assembly program is just one of many special schoolwide enrichment experiences that Mrs. Foran scheduled for elementary students during the 2007-08 school year.

On Tuesday of this week, Woodbury schools hosted Herman Parish, author of the more recent Amelia Bedelia stories.

Mr. Parish spoke at all three schools and visited with the children in kindergarten through third grade. It was fun to have a “big time” author in the schools!

Perhaps one Walnut student summed up the vividness of the day as only a young child can. Before the assembly began, the second grader walked right up to Mr. Parish with his eyes opened wide with excitement and exclaimed with pride, "I READ YOUR BOOKS!"

Some of the highlights from Mr. Parish's comments:

"In true Amelia Bedelia fashion, I backed into writing these books about the literal-minded housekeeper who children laugh at and love.

Amelia Bedelia was created by my aunt, Peggy Parish. Although she passed away in 1988, Peggy still received fan mail from children. They wondered when the next Amelia Bedelia book would be out. Then other children's authors wrote and volunteered to continue the series.

I felt uneasy about Amelia Bedelia leaving our family. As I was in the fourth grade when she first appeared, I had literally grown up with her. So I decided to try to write a new Amelia Bedelia adventure. My two sisters and my family were supportive and encouraged me.

I'd had experience in writing advertisements. I reread the Amelia Bedelia stories to figure our what made them funny. I realized that everyday life overflows with idiomatic expressions, literalisms and homophones. It's amazing more people don't get confused — besides Amelia Bedelia!

My first book, Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia, took me a year to think about and one night to write. I had been collecting ideas, homonyms, and expressions. Whenever I heard them, I jotted them down: on napkins in restaurants, on my newspaper while riding the bus, and on agenda sheets in business meetings.

I stockpiled these fragments in a folder until one Sunday night, with my family asleep, I decided that it was now or never. I sat down around ten o'clock and began to write. I was so focused on the story that I finished as the sun came up on Monday morning. Naturally, the story needed revision, but the essence was captured in that all-night writing spree.

I am fortunate that my editor, Susan Hirschman, and the illustrator, Lynn Sweat, had worked with Peggy on many Amelia Bedelia books That helped make the transition from Peggy's books to mine as seamless as possible.

I feel very lucky to be writing Amelia Bedelia books and continuing a family tradition. But the best reward was when a child wrote Peggy Parish a fan letter. It said that Good Driving Amelia Bedelia was the best book she had written. To me, that the highest compliment I could hope for."


* Amelia Bedelia and the Cat (April 2008)
* Amelia Bedelia's Masterpiece (2007)
* Amelia Bedelia Under Construction (2006)
* Amelia Bedelia, Rocket Scientist? (2005)
* Be My Valentine, Amelia Bedelia (2005)
* Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia (2004)
* Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School (2004)
* Amelia Bedelia and the Christmas List (2003)
* Amelia Bedelia, Bookworm (2003)
* Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia (2002)
* Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor (1999)
* Bravo, Amelia Bedelia! (1997)
* Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia (1995)

Additional comments from the author:

"Children love the literal humor of Amelia Bedelia. It's a fun way for them to explore homonyms and idiomatic expressions. They not only gain an appreciation for the richness of the English language, they wake up to fresh possibilities for expressing themselves. I try to build confidence in a child's ability as a writer. I want to create a sense that what they think and feel is worth recording and sharing."

"The children are fascinated with the little notebook I carry to jot down my ideas. It helps to instill in them a habit of observing and writing. Teachers tell me that my examples of editing encourage their students to review and rework their writing before they submit it. I believe that after my presentation, children have a greater respect for writing and recognize what it takes to achieve their potential as writers."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NHS and La Piazza di Scotto -- Thursday Night

Woodbury High School Chapter of the National Honor Society has asked to have the following information posted here on the blog about an upcoming fundraiser at

La Piazza di Scotto
40 S. Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Thursday, May 29, 2008
5pm to 10pm

Deliveries Eat-in Take outs


15% of total orders donated back to the WHS - NHS

Please mention that your order is to support the Woodbury High School National Honor Society Fundraiser

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Board of Education Meeting -- Wednesday, May 28th

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held tomorrow, May28th. The meeting is advertised to begin at 6:00 p.m., but the board will go into executive session for matters related to individual students and/or personnel.

It is anticipated that the board will reopen the meeting at 7:00 p.m. to conduct the remainder of the agenda.

The agenda for the board meeting will be posted today on the district website. (agenda)

There are two discussion items scheduled for this month's meeting:
  • Update on the Strategic Planning process
  • Update on the Quality Single Accountability Process

Note that the formal presentation of the new Strategic Plan is schedule for the June meeting. This update at this May meeting will simply be a brief report on the work toward completion of the plan.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Spotlight on Mr. Romano

John A. Romano, Jr.

Teacher of Physical Education & Health

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

John A. Romano, Jr.

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Rowan University – Health and Exercise Sciences

• Work experience:
Through college I worked at the Home Depot gaining a lot of experience in the field of home repairs. As far as teaching, this is my first job and so far it has been great!

• Favorite books
o Fiction: The DaVinci Code
o Nonfiction: Anything dealing with sports

• Favorite television show:
Sports, in general, but if I had to say a regular show, it would be The Simpson’s

• Last movie I loved:
Wedding Crashers

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Blink 182

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
I would like to have lunch with my grandfather, George Washington Barber, who passed away my senior year of high school. I would just love to be able to ask him for advice and see what he thinks of me after these past few years apart. I would also like to be able to listen to all of the stories he would have after meeting people in the afterlife.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Clean the inside of my car

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

• Favorite sports team:
Philadelphia Eagles

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
Italy, to visit where my ancestors came from.

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
Mr. Smith was a very goofy individual who made math of any kind my favorite subject of the day. Mr. Smith always helped students who needed extra support; he kept me after school for extra help, made math fun, and actually cared about his students outside of school.

• Other information:
I just got engaged to my girlfriend of five years in June, and we are getting married in June 2008. I have a Jack Russell Terrier named Toby and a cat named Harry. I bought a house in Pitman that is around 90 years old and needs a lot of work. My fiancé and I are doing just about everything ourselves.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Upcoming City of Woodbury Events

Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 26
Begins at 9 a.m., Hendrickson Park War Memorial

13th Annual Main Street Block Party
Sunday, June 1, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Advertised as Woodbury's "biggest party of the year."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Students Express Feelings about Holocaust in Quilt

I have written about this in the blog already, but I thought that you may be interested in seeing this Courier-Post story on the quilt. This was in yesterday's edition of the paper:

Article -- Courier Post (Mrs. Lario's English 100 Classes)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

At Riversharks Stadium in Camden

(This entry and video [a blog first] was submitted by Vince Myers, Principal of West End Memorial.)

As a cumulative reward for completing the 25 Book Club 327 students from West End Memorial were treated to the Camden River Sharks game on Thursday, May 15th.

This West End outing was joined by the Walnut Street students as a combined reward for 100 days of good behavior coupled with Book Club accomplishments. (The Evergreen Avenue students will be taking a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo.

With picture perfect weather, our fourth and fifth grade choir members began the festivities by singing the National Anthem on the field. Latrisha Robinson, a West End student, even caught a foul ball in the stands. In addition, Mr. Santarone, Walnut Physical Education teacher and former major league baseball player prospect, threw out the first pitch!

The students demonstrated wonderful behavior during the game and represented the Woodbury Public Schools well.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Forecast for May and June -- Learning

My son was asked by his grandparent this weekend --- “ how much longer, less than a month?” And he looked at his cell phone, confirmed the date, and happily reported that it was, in fact, less than a month until summer vacation.

One of the added, instructional benefits of the Woodbury geothermal HVAC system recently installed in three of the school buildings (and the complementary system at the Walnut Street School) is that the in-class program can continue without interference of those muggy, 90 degree + days that can occur during these closing weeks of school. Our students and teachers benefit in that school year instructional opportunities are actually extended by this system.

Walk the halls and, in many regards, May and June look like any other two months of the school year.

Some may have the end of June on their minds, but it will not be because of oppressive heat and humidity.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spotlight on Ms. Cadorette

Eliza A. Cadorette

Teacher of Grade 5 – West End School


Eliza A. Cadorette

• College(s) and degrees(s):
University of Nevada, Las Vegas – BS – Elementary Education
New Jersey City University – MA – Special Education

• Work experience:
2003-05 – Newark, NJ – Basic Skills Teacher – Grades K-8
2005-07 – Tenafly, NJ – 2nd and 5th teacher

• Favorite books
o Fiction: Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
o Nonfiction: Memoir: A Long Way Gone – MEMOIRS OF A BOY SOLDIER by Ishmael Beah – tells his experience as a child soldier from Sierra Leone. Truly inspirational!

• Favorite television show:
Top Chef and Lost

• Last movie I loved:
Little Miss Sunshine

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Live at Central Park (I was there!) - Dave Matthews Band

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
My father who passed in 2000. He always had a corny joke to tell and an adventure story to share.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
The Beach

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Writing a children’s book

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
My Welsh Terrier, Scruffy

• Favorite sports team:
To play basketball; to watch football – Go Giants!

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
Mr. DeVencenzio was my photography teacher in high school. He was a down-to-earth teacher/artist who encouraged me to think “outside the box”. He never limited my creativity and always believed in my talent.

• Other:
I love traveling the world. I have been to Australia, New Zealand and Costa Rica, just to name a few. Last year, I became friends with a school in Uganda through a pen pal program. With the help of my students and the community, we were able to raise over $4,000. This money went towards supplies, concrete flooring food, and tuition for students. I hope to visit my friends across the ocean in the summer of 2009.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Poetry

Mrs. Jess, third grade teacher at West End, wrote that she was happy to announce that twelve of her students were selected to have their poems published in A Celebration of Young Poets anthology.

This publication is run in conjunction with a national poetry contest for students up to grade 3. Mrs. Jess will receive a free copy of the anthology to keep in her classroom.

The following students were finalists in the contest:
  • Tim Brown
  • Dominiana Burnett
  • Mike Capps
  • Zackery Charsha
  • Rhianna Cliver
  • Najah Davis
  • Annie Hughes
  • Cheo King
  • Rebecca Martin
  • Michael Messado Moten
  • Maurice Royals
  • Alyssa White
Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Congratulations, Mr. Ford

Congratulations to Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School mathematics teacher Ari Ford.
He has been selected to participate in the 2008 Drexel University RET program. The search committee indicated that they were extremely impressed with his qualifications and potential.

The program will run for five weeks this summer. Mr. Ford will gain valuable experience in a research laboratory, meet other teachers from the region, build his own web site, learn successful grant writing techniques, and participate in other professional development activities.

In addition, he will work directly with a faculty research mentor on the Drexel campus.

For More Information on Drexel's RET program

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fun Poetry

Last month was National Poetry month and in we celebrated this across the district in many ways.

Last night, my second grader was reading some Shel Silverstein prior to going to bed. He read to me the following two that made him laugh:


If I could only see the scale,
I’m sure that it would state
That I’ve lost ounces . . . maybe pounds
Or even tons of weight.
“You’d better eat some pancakes –
You’re skinny as a rail.”
I’m sure that’s what the scale would say . . .
If I could see the scale.


Some dummy built this pencil wrong –
The eraser’s down here where the point belongs.
And the point’s at the top – so its no good to me.
Its amazing how stupid some people can be.

He was smiling as he read. That was a nice way to end the day.

I hope you have a great Tuesday. Enjoy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Walnut Street School Lockdown Update/Detail

This afternoon, Monday, May 12, there was an attempted robbery on Broad Street in the North end of the city. Police were involved and our School Resource Officer (SRO) notified us about the event.

The attention of the police was focused in the north portion of the city. It was decided for Walnut Street School to go into a “modified” lockdown – students stayed inside, shades were drawn. This all occurred during the last half-hour of the school day.

Though the police indicated that we could dismiss our students in our normal fashion, we decided to be extra cautious. Students were dismissed to an adult. Telephone calls were made to the parents/guardians of those children who did not have an adult there to pick them up.

Soon after normal dismissal, nearly all students had been dismissed with an adult to chaperone them home.

Jr.-Sr. High School Band Concert

This week it is the Jr.-Sr. High School’s turn for a concert. Tuesday night – 8 p.m. in the auditorium – our students will perform in their Spring Band Concert.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Strategic Plan Update

The thirty-member Planning Committee developing the new Strategic Plan for the Woodbury Public Schools meets Friday and Saturday of this week. Friday is an all day event – 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday is a full day as well – 8:00 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The group will hear from the five Action Team leaders about the work that has taken place since January. Nearly seventy individuals have worked in these five Action Teams to formulate the various plans that will help achieve the objectives of the broader Strategic Plan. That work has occurred on a weekly basis over the course of these last five months.

The Planning Committee will come to agreement on a final proposal that will then be presented to the full Board of Education for approval at the June board meeting. This strategic plan will be our guiding document for our work over the course of the next five years.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Elementary Band and Choir – Spring Concert

Our elementary band and choir students perform this evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium. Our music teachers Mrs. Savage and Mr. Park do a fantastic job with all our student musicians. It is sure to be an enjoyable performance!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Top 5

The top five academic senior students in all of the high schools across Gloucester County were recognized last evening at an awards program held at Auletto Caterers. For Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School, the following students were recognized:

  • Harrison Webb: Brandeis University, pre-med
  • William Jones: Rowan University, electrical engineering
  • Joann Saridakis: Cornell University, China/Asian Pacific Studies
  • Eric Ulmer: Bentley College, business
  • Lucille Gassner: Drexel University, engineering

Congratulations to all!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Michael Bain Recognized for Volunteer Service

(This entry was provided by the Woodbury High School counseling department.)

Micheal Bain, a Woodbury High School senior, has been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service award.

The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was presented by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. Michael participated in the Spirit Community Program this year as a representative of Woodbury High School.

Sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program recognizes young people across America for outstanding community service activities. More than 250,000 young people have been considered for these awards since the program began in 1995.

“The recipients of these awards vividly demonstrate that young people in America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” said Art Ryan, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial. “They truly deserve all of the praise and encouragement we can give them.”

“The young people recognized by the Spirit of Community Awards demonstrate an enormous capacity for giving and reaching out to those in need,” said Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. “NASSP is proud to honor them as they are wonderful examples of the high caliber of young people in our nation’s schools today.”

Friday, May 02, 2008

Spotlight on Ms. Patrizio

Natalie Patrizio

Teacher of Mathematics

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

· Name:
Natalie Patrizio

· College(s) and degrees(s):
Rowan University: BA Mathematics and BA Subject Matter Teaching

· Work experience:
Substitute Teacher, Retail Sales Manager of New York and Company for 6 years

· Favorite books
o Fiction: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
o Nonfiction: I do not really have a nonfiction favorite!

· Favorite television show:
Grey's Anatomy

· Last movie I loved:
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

· Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
I have a ton of burned CD's with lots of songs on them! I continually play them over and over again :0)

· Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
My Uncle Joe because I miss him dearly. He was the best person in the world! He would do anything for anyone and really means the world to me.

· Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Sitting on the beach with the ocean in front of me :)

· One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Getting the addresses for my wedding guest list.

· Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

· Favorite sports team:

· Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
Hawaii, but I am very scared of the flight!

· Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
This was my high school Calculus teacher.  She was absolutely amazing in everyway possible.  She was always there for her students whether it was before or after school and she always made time to really show she cared about us.  This teacher always was interested in our lives outside of school and she would tell us some funny stories about her life.  She always challenged us more than what we thought we could handle, but it really paid off in the long run.  I still talk to this teacher today and have told her over and over again she is the reason I went into the education profession.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


The New Jersey Department of Education released a memorandum last week that detailed the schedule of required state testing for 2008-09. The memo was seven pages long.

  • High School Proficiency Exam (HSPA) – grade 11
  • Special Review Assessment – grade 12
  • End of Course Exam: Biology – high school
  • End of Course Exam Pilot: Algebra I – high school
  • End of Course Exam Algebra II (a future test) – high school
  • Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (ASK)
  • ASK8
  • ASK7
  • ASK6
  • ASK5
  • ASK4
  • ASK3
  • Alternative Proficiency Assessment (APA) for select special needs students.

[NJDOE memorandum]

That is a lot of testing. Obviously, each requires a shift to the school instructional day, significant administrative work, and time to administer what are often multiple day assessments.

It is no wonder that you hear educators and parents worry about the amount of testing.

Most of the above tests factor into the national No Child Left Behind (NCLB) performance expectations that schools are required to meet.

In addition to the above tests that have been primarily used for regulatory purposes, Woodbury began to administer an additional tests to students in grades 3 through 8 (grade 2 was also piloted for a different, younger version of the test). These new tests are called MAP – Measures of Academic Progress.

The MAP tests are different from the state testing in that these tests are administered on the computer, they are adaptive to the individual student (questions are given based upon previous answers), and have results immediately available to teachers so that the tests results help guide classroom instruction.

We administered the MAP tests in the fall and then again in the spring. There is a MAP report that has been generated for each student, and we will be mailing these results home with an explanatory cover letter next week. You will be able to see your child’s performance in the areas tested, look for growth, and examine how the scores compare with a district average and a national norm.

As we continue to utilize the MAP testing, the individual student score report will generate longitudinal results that will show growth over multiple years. We are excited about the first year use of this testing program and believe that there will be even more positive impact in the years to come as we become even more accustomed to how to use the many different reports available that can help teachers make curricular choices and parents support learning at home.

Look for your MAP information in the mail next week.