Friday, February 29, 2008

Spotlight on Ms. Edmond

Tara Edmond

Teacher of Grade 6

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

Tara Edmond

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Rowan University – Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts: Specialization in Math/Science. Teacher of Reading Certification.

• Work experience:
1 Year as a Preschool Head Teacher at The Goddard School

• Favorite books
o Fiction: Next by Michael Crichton and anything by John Grisham
o Nonfiction: Teacher Man by Frank McCourt

• Favorite television show:

• Last movie I loved:
Ocean’s Thirteen

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
I don’t really listen to CD’s, but I love listening to country music radio.

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
Albert Einstein -- to be in the company of someone who provided us with so much would be mind-boggling.

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

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Start house shopping

• 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 first grade teacher who made me feel like a part of the class when I entered school two weeks late. She could tell that I was shy and knew the right way to handle the problem. She introduced me to friends that I still had years later. Her class was fun and I still remember many activities we did.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Open Mic at the HS (continued)

(This entry was provided by Mrs. Dunham, Jr.-Sr. High School Principal)

Many musicians, including myself, are challenged to embrace new forms/styles of music. My resolve is always the same: In the past, musicians struggled with the blues when it was introduced to the world, then Bessie Smith came along; jazz created quite a stir, then Duke Ellington showed the world that the form had real value.

Rap was the hardest to embrace! Its evolution throughout the years has totally diminished its promise of social merit; then Vaughn Coyle, Class of 2008, created lyrics and a melodic “hook” that caused me, and Antoinette Rizzi, high school math teacher, to take pause, listen, and realize that rap – shared in the right context – still has a place in the world of music.

“Imma Be OK” – was written by Vaughn and performed during our celebration of Black History Month during our “Open Mic” events during the lunch hour. Mrs. Rizzi was so moved by the lyrics that she presented the lyrics in a memorable frame to Vaughn on Tuesday, February 26, 2008.

Vaughn, Mrs. Rizzi, and countless others, who were ready to dismiss the art of rapping, are all ‘going to be OK’ thanks to the talent of Vaughn.

IMMA BE OKAY [By Vaughn Coyle]

MLK he had a dream
To this day, he changed the scene
See this man, he had a plan
To change the work, make it fair
Martin Luther King, had a dream
To make it equal, everybody succeeds
King lived and died for his dream
Now we celebrate his life and his dream

Man no matter what’s said imma be okay
Cuz I’ll lead ya to my dream like I’m mlk
Everybody feel me, cuz I’m speakin the truth
It don’t matter if ya black, white, purple, or blue
Cuz see I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee
Cuz I talk it like I walk it like my name was ali
I think about mlk, he made it easy for me
And rosa parks too, she refused to give up her seat
Malcolm x spread the word that would bring us together
And make society and the whole world so much better
What would you say to em, if they was all livin
I would say thank you for the sacrifices you’ve given


I sit and think about what could life be like
All the pain, all the torture, from slavery life
And den I sit and think, where would I be
I couldn’t imagine livin life and not be free
I have a dream of bein rich like jay-z
Slash rapper slash business man, maybe
I look up to 50 cent, tupac, biggie, and jay
Cuz my dream is to be in dey position one day
Everybody feelin me if dey follow my lead
If dey can make it, I can make it, I can follow my dream
Only god can tell the direction that I’m soon to be headin
One thing I’ll remember is to keep love present


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Winter Blues

I think today is one of the first days in what seems like a long time where all four of my own kids will be in school. Winter illness – colds, flu, stomach issues, etc. – have taken their toll. I hope all is well with you and your family. We are anxiously looking forward to spring.

By the way – spring sports officially start next Friday – first Friday in March. Now, maybe that is the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been a relatively easy winter weather-wise, but it is always nice to move from winter to spring.

FINALLY – the building principals are letting staff and students know that we will be following our snow make-up provision as outlined on the school calendars. That means that last Friday’s closing due to weather will be made up on Wednesday, March 19.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

School Board Elections

I want to thank our incumbent board members Lynn Jennings Dennen, Diane Hill and Jerry Lonabaugh for volunteering their time and service to the Woodbury Public Schools once again. Each has filed to run for a new three-year seat on the school board.

Elections take place Tuesday, April 15, 2008. (That should be an easy date to remember!)

Mark your calendars. At that same time, a vote on the school budget will also be conducted. More information on the 2008-09 budget will be provided in the weeks ahead.

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's a Busy Week

Tuesday – 2/26/08
NJSIAA Boys Basketball vs. Burlington City
@ Woodbury High School

Wednesday – 2/27/08
Board of Education Meeting: Teachers of the Year; Report on the 2008 National School Boards Association's Legislative Conference; Introduction of the 2008-09 Budget
Board Conference Room

Thursday – 2/28/08 7:00 p.m.
Friday – 2/29/08 7:00 p.m.
Saturday – 3/1/08 1:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

High School Theater Club Presents:
Into the Woods
High School Auditorium

Friday, February 22, 2008

School Closed

These mornings are never fun for a school superintendent. It seems like, if we were able to get in today, we would be okay -- with a changeover to rain. Unfortunately, it is the commute in to school that is so uncertain -- the snow is heaviest now, and the weather forecasters predict that it will continue that way for a while, with a change over to sleet/ice.

With the number of our students who walk to school and cross multiple intersections, it seems to be more prudent to simply close. Therefore -- as you see from the heading of this blog entry and back on the main page of the website -- the Woodbury Public Schools are closed today. What made the decision a bit easier was that just about every other school in the county is closing.

Interesting, I just received my telephone call that the scheduled meeting for all county superintendents at the New Jersey Department of Education County Office is on for this morning. Now, my commute in to this meeting will be the real barometer regarding the quality of this decision to close.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Black History Month @ Jr.-Sr. High School

( Javon Jackson, Tremont Skipper and Ahmir Whaley pose for the camera before their Open Mic performance.)

(Tangeleke Rothmiller shares original poetry with an audience of 6th graders during their lunch period.)

(Larry Ebron presents a Langston Hughes poem.)

(Mrs. Dunham ‘tickles the ivories’ for singers Darnell Donahue and Juwan Daniels.)

Woodbury Jr Sr High School continued their celebration of Black History Month with the first Open Mic event ever, held during three different lunch periods in the Old Cafeteria on February 13th and then, again, yesterday in a final lunch period.

Nine students presented poems and songs with Mrs. Dunham supplying accompaniment on the piano.

Congratulations to these students for their fine performances:

Richard Smith

Tangeleke Rothmiller

Larry Ebron

Darnell Donahue

Juwan Daniels

Bria Skipper

Vaughn Coyle

Tremont Skipper

Ahmir Whaley

(This blog entry was submitted by Ms. Alysa Cummings, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Special Announcement: Teachers of the Year

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 2007-08 school year:

Evergreen Avenue: Shin-Yin Estes

Walnut Street: Doug Park

West End Memorial: Shawn Jess

Junior High School: Yael Emenecker

Senior High School: Colleen Fitzgerald

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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spotlight on Mr. Kilpatrick

Albert Kilpatrick

Social Studies/AVID Teacher

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

Albert Kilpatrick

• College(s) and degrees(s):
University of Maryland at College Park: BA History

• Work experience:
Nearly 15 years of professional experience in healthcare communications/medical publishing and pharmaceutical consulting. Recently employed as a substitute teacher and instructional assistant at Woodbury.

• Favorite books
o fiction: The Stand by Stephen King
o nonfiction: In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors by Doug Stanton

• Favorite television show:

• Last movie I loved:
Saving Private Ryan

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Liquid Tension Experiment I & II

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
My mother, Nancy. She passed away 14 years ago. We’d have quite a bit of catching up to do.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Trout Lake in Hermon, New York

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Clean-reorganize the garage

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

• Favorite sports team:
Maryland Terrapins Men’s Basketball

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
Egypt – the pyramids

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
My high school civics teacher, Mr. Robert Lindinger. He taught me to look deeper and question why.

• Other:
Married 14 years to my lovely wife Jennifer. We have two children: Sarah (12) and AJ (9). We also have a doberman pinscher named Cole.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Boys Basketball -- NJSIAA Group I Playoffs

Mark your calendar for the first round of the playoffs. The Woodbury Boys Basketball team will host Burlington City Tuesday, February 26.

The game will start at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets will be sold at the door. These are always exciting games -- well worth the price of admission.

Good luck to Coach Bowe and all the players!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Woodbury Blood Drive -- Next Friday

Woodbury High School & Community Drive

Friday, February 22nd

8 – 2 High School / 3 – 7:30 Community




sponsor code 12522

  • Make Appointment

  • Monday, February 11, 2008

    Physics Trip

    Photo caption:
    Nobel Prize winner Dr. William Phillips presents to students during the 13th Annual Kaczmarczik Lecture at Drexel University.

    On Thursday, February 7th a group of 14 Woodbury students from AP Physics and Honors Chemistry classes took a trip to Drexel University for the 13th Annual Kaczmarczik Lecture. There they were joined with nearly 700 other high school physics students from Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for what turned out to be a very informative, captivating day, full of many connections to the classroom.

    Imagine sitting in a chemistry class wondering how scientists can determine the mass of something as miniscule as a molecule and then actually having the rare opportunity to see a research scientist do it utilizing a mass spectrometer. Or, watching a biophysicist take Newton’s second Law and manipulate it utilizing state of the industry computer animation, to predict the behavior of protein molecules.

    These were just a few of the special learning experiences that Woodbury students were exposed to during their day at Drexel’s research laboratories where they spoke directly to some of the nation’s leading researchers.

    After touring the research laboratories, students gathered in the main auditorium to listen to Dr.William D. Phillips a 1997 Nobel Prize recipient describe his quest to bring matter to “absolute zero” (-273 Celsius). Dr. Phillips and his team managed to cool matter to within 1 billionth of a degree from absolute zero -- earning them the Nobel Prize in 1997. Dr. Phillips geared his presentation for a high school audience including many captivating demonstrations and animations.

    In all, the Kaczmarczik open house and lecture proved to bridge the distance between the classroom and modern real world physics. It was the kind of experience that gets students excited about science.

    (Posting submitted by Ms. Cummings, Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction.)

    Friday, February 08, 2008

    Spotlight on Mrs. Foran

    Stephanie Foran

    Teacher of Enrichment

    Elementary Schools

    Stephanie Foran

    • College(s) and degrees(s):
    o B.S. in Elementary Education, with a concentration in English, and M.A. in Education from The University of Connecticut (UConn), where I took classes with professors from the renowned National Research Center on the Gifted & Talented
    o Took a graduate level counselor education course at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
    o Am currently pursuing my English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement Certificate at Rowan University.

    • Work experience:
    o Have taught English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults for the past six years (at community college & through community education programs)
    o Served as a ESL Campus Manager at Burlington County College
    o Taught English to Italian high school students at Rider University's Study Tours Program
    o Taught GED and Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes
    o Taught after-school Spanish Enrichment classes for children
    o Taught Grade 4 summer school
    o Created my own ESL private tutoring business, teaching a total of over 100 children and adults over a two-year period
    o Served as a Project Facilitator at an adult education agency

    • Favorite books
    o Fiction: The Secret Life of Bees, Tuck Everlasting, Bridge to Terabithia

    o Nonfiction: Reason for Hope, Everyday Sacred & Stretching Lessons, The Faith Club and books by Sark.
    I also love the poetry of William Wordsworth and am a collector and lover of quotes.

    • Favorite television show:
    Reruns of Roseanne

    • Last movie I loved:
    Matilda - I had seen it before, but I enjoyed it again recently.

    • Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
    Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

    Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
    My best friend, Kate (whom I met in kindergarten!), an environmental educator living in Wyoming at the moment, because I don't get to see her often and because she is the kindest, most thoughtful, and most adventurous person I know.

    • Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
    Amish Country (the non-touristy parts)

    • One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
    Keeping my house as neat as I’d like it to be (there are too many more exciting things to do!)

    • Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

    • Favorite sports team:
    The underdog

    • Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
    Ireland & Italy or Hawaii, or any place that is new and exciting with the company of my husband, the best travel buddy in the world!

    • Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
    I feel truly lucky to say that the majority of my teachers were all wonderful and made a lasting impression on me, and I loved school from the very start, so I knew I wanted to be a teacher at a young age. However, two particular teachers stand out in my mind as being especially inspirational to me--my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Cynthia Field, and my sophomore year high school English teacher, Miss Phyllis Muldoon. Both of these teachers challenged and encouraged me, fed my appetite for reading and writing, caused me to examine my own beliefs and reflect on important issues in life, and were passionate about what they taught. I hope to do the same for my own students.

    MY APPROACH TO TEACHING: I view each child as a unique individual and think it is very important to get to know students as people in addition to pupils in order to teach them well.

    CLOSING THOUGHT: “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” –Carl Gustav Jung

    Thursday, February 07, 2008

    Reduced Pricing -- Microsoft, Adobe and Computer Supplies

    For anyone who did not read through to the end of yesterday's post, I wanted to highlight the following:

    We also have greatly reduced pricing available to students and staff for Microsoft and Adobe products at


  • Also -- Woodbury teachers should check with our technology coordinator, Ian Gordon, for more specific Microsoft Office opportunities.

    Wednesday, February 06, 2008

    Technology Software Ideas

    From our business teacher, Jill Rossi:

    Are you familiar with the free software available at ?

  • OpenOffice

  • This software is identical to Microsoft Office – Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Access and more. There is a movement for FREE and legal software downloads on the net. Many of my students say that they do not have Microsoft Office at home on their own computers. I share this website with them and advise them to speak to their parents before they download anything.

    The Applications are easy to use and, most important, they are free and legal. The toolbars are almost identical to those in Microsoft.

    I thought this might be worth sharing with our student body somehow – maybe the blog? The faculty may not be aware of this tool; they could share it with their students, especially when they assign a project to them. If our students cannot afford the Microsoft Office suite, this is available for free and will help them complete school projects and assignments.

    I’m unaware of any “negatives” of this software. Mr. Gordon may be able to shed some light on anything he knows about it. I downloaded and installed it on a computer a few months ago and that person has been using it daily without any problems.

    Check out the site….below is the conversion of the components in OpenOffice to the appropriate Microsoft product:

    Writer = Word
    Impress = PowerPoint
    Calc = Excel
    Base = Access


    From our Technology Coordinator, Ian Gordon:

    Last time I used OpenOffice (a few years back) it was not quite as good as described above. I have not seen it recently, but I have heard of many people now using it without any problems.

    Google Apps is another option for those with internet connectivity.

    Some people are not comfortable with free – open source software, for whatever reason. We also have greatly reduced pricing available to students and staff for Microsoft and Adobe products at .

  • Tuesday, February 05, 2008

    Service Projects at Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

    Steve Ireland collects paper for the class’s paper recycling project with the help of teacher Thilana Chandler and Byron Long.

    (This entry was submitted by Ms. Alysa Cummings, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction.)

    For teacher Thilana Chandler’s special education class at Woodbury Junior-Senior High, school means much more than the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Her ten students, ranging in age from 15 to 18 years old, are also learning how good it feels to ‘give back’ through a variety of service projects.

    Once a month, the students visit Woodbury’s Central Baptist Church and work with JoAnne Miller to prepare lunches, snacks and hot soup to feed the homeless in Camden. Each of these scheduled service visits lasts for about three hours’ time. After helping out in the kitchen, they work to get the food packaged and ready for delivery as well.

    The students are also excited about their paper recycling project conducted right in the school building. Once or twice a week, the students move from classroom to classroom with a large bin on wheels, gathering up scrap paper for recycling.

    Mrs. Chandler’s self-contained special education class also travels to West End Elementary School on a regular basis to read to Mrs. Gassner’s kindergarten and first grade aged special needs students. Mrs. Chandler is pleased with how all of these service projects are going. “For most of my students, it’s the first time they’ve every thought about helping others in this way,” she said.

    Monday, February 04, 2008

    Chinese New Year 4705

    This year’s celebration of the Chinese New Year will take place tomorrow night, February 5, 2008. The Evergreen Avenue Elementary School will use the Jr.-Sr. High School Auditorium for the program. The event will start at 6:30 p.m.; this is a celebration of the world language study that takes place at Evergreen.

    Students at Evergreen will present what they have learned in Mandarin, Chinese folk dance and songs.

    This year is “The Year of the Mouse.”