Tuesday, March 31, 2009

West End Wild for the Wings

(This entry was submitted by West End Memorial Principal, Mr. Myers.)

As part of a school-wide fundraiser, about 40 students and adults from West End Memorial were in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 28th to see the Philadelphia Wings lacrosse team defeat the Colorado Mammoth.

Enthusiasm was evident on the faces of all in attendance. The level of excitement was raised a few notches when the students were surprised right before halftime with a trip down to the field level. The students were greeted by the Wings mascot, Mad Dog, and were escorted onto the field.

As the players returned for the second half, our West End students were a part of the “High Five Tunnel” and greeted all of the Wings players back to the field. One of the students was even able to take home a game ball!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Public Hearing on the Budget and Voting Information

A special meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held on Wednesday, April 1, at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the auditorium of the Jr.-Sr. High School.

The purpose of this meeting is to hold the Public Hearing on the 2009-10 school budget.

to school staff: There is a 3:30 p.m. meeting on this same date in the auditorium for all who are interested in hearing a preview of the information that will be part of the public hearing on the school budget. This time will allow for staff specific questions regarding the budget.)


Tuesday registration deadline for BOE vote

The League of Women Voters is reminding state residents that the deadline to register to vote or to submit a change of address for School Elections is Tuesday.

Registration forms are available on the League of Women Voters of New Jersey's Web site, www.lwvnj.org.

The deadline to apply by mail for an absentee ballot is April 14. School Elections will be held April 21.

Voter registration forms must be postmarked before or on Tuesday or walked into the county Superintendent of Elections (Commissioner of Registration) office before they close on that day. Voter registration forms can also be found at your local DMV as well as many post offices and libraries. If you have any problems obtaining a voter registration form, locating your county's appropriate election office, or need additional assistance, you can reach the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at (800) 792-VOTE.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spotlight on Mr. Days

Mr. Braheme Days

Teacher of Business

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name:

Braheme Days

• College(s) and degrees(s):

Richard Stockton College of NJ, Bachelor of Science (Business Management)

• Work experience:

Teacher, Detective, EMT, Personal Trainer

• Favorite book:

A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

• Favorite television show:

Law & Order

• Last movie I loved:

Men of Honor

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

Jason Mraz

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:

Martin Luther King Jr. -- so I could ask him about his perseverance

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:


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


• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):


• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:


• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:

Mr. Parisette, my 6th grade teacher: he was just a cool guy and seemed to really care about my success.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Congratulations, Ms. Friedman

Dr. Adams, Principal of the Walnut Street School, passed along information about our elementary art teacher, Gina Friedman. He wrote to inform me that a paper Ms. Friedman completed in conjunction with her graduate school work on school leadership and the arts was accepted to be part of the 2009 International Conference of Arts in Society.

Ms. Friedman will fly to Venice to be one of the speakers at the conference this July. The 2009 Conference will be held in Venice, Italy, 29-31 July 2009, in conjunction with the Venice Biennale.

According to the website for the conference, "the 2009 Arts Conference will address a range of critically important issues and themes relating to the arts in society. Plenary speakers will include leading thinkers and practitioners in the arts, as well as paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by researchers and practitioners in all fields of artistic engagement."

The following is how Ms. Friedman’s paper/session is listed on the website:

Art Education and the Role of School Leadership in a Diverse Society
Gina F. Friedman

Educators today face a myriad of challenges and changes as they strive to address the needs of increasingly diverse, ethno-racial communities (Hollinger, 2000). Within these challenges arises an opportunity for the development of a new paradigm for school leadership: one that has much to learn from the arts.

This paper asks many questions, and posits some possible solutions. How can the arts in public schools have a wider influence, helping to close the Achievement Gap? How do we, as artists, educators, and school leaders help to bridge the socio-economic divide in the K-12 American public school system (Payne, 2001) in order to pave the way for the type of change that can address our needs from a global perspective? What role can educational leaders play in raising the status of the arts in their local communities? (Fullan, 2001)

Some underlying issues will be identified, and the parallels between artists and leaders will be explored. (Gardner, 1999) Implications for school superintendents, principals and policy makers will be addressed, specifying what they can do to reduce the inequity of arts access between wealthy and poor school districts.

2009 International Conference of Arts in Society

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Wednesday Smile

This was sent to my wife by e-mail yesterday. It is just a fun video clip. I know that a number of you check this blog from school and youtube may be block by our system. So, you will have to come back later from your home account and check this out.

Have a great day!

T-Mobile launched their new commercial "Life's for sharing" by T-Mobile ...

Friday Jan 16, 2009.

It was shot at Liverpool station in London, using 400 dancers and 10 hidden cameras. No one, but the station employees and dancers knew what was going on...

Kind of makes you wish you were there...

T-Mobile commercial clip

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Literacy in Action

(Ms. Jones' 6th grade class received a surprise delivery last week. She provided this entry about the event.)

The sixth graders in Ms. Jones’s literacy class received a very special delivery this week! Last month, each student had written a letter of gratitude to Sgt. Earl Watkins, father of sixth-grader Nee’Asia Watkins. Sgt. Watkins of the U.S. Army recently left Woodbury for special training in Oklahoma to prepare for deployment to Iraq later this year.

He was so thankful to receive these well-wishes from home that he took time out of his busy training schedule to write a special postcard to each sixth-grader from whom he had received a letter. The students were excited to receive their personalized military postcards and were even more excited to see the special gift that Sgt. Watkins and his troops had included - a beautiful 3’ x 5’ American flag signed by the men and women serving along with Sgt. Watkins.

Ms. Jones and her students will hang the flag in a special place of honor in their classroom so that it may remind them each day of the dedication and courage of our troops. It also serves as a reminder that we have many local heroes right here in Woodbury sacrificing time with their families to help keep our country safe.

This flag is truly a one-of-a-kind gift that will be treasured for years to come. Thank you to Sgt. Watkins, Nee’Asia, her family, and the troops for their help in this project!

Monday, March 23, 2009

GCC Scholarship Information

High School Counselor, Dan Howey, forwarded this information about an updated Gloucester County College website. The site details scholarship opportunities of interest to both current and former Woodbury students.

The deadline for most of the scholoraships is April 13th.

Here’s the link: http://www.gccnj.edu/student_services/financial_aid/scholarships.cfm .

Contact the Woodbury Senior High counselors, Mr. Howey or Mrs. Davis, for more information or help.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spotlight on Mr. Braddock

Mr. Thomas Braddock

Assistant Principal

Woodbury Jr. High School

• Name:
Thomas A. Braddock

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Saint Joseph's University BA, International Relations
Gwynedd-Mercy College MS, Educational Administration

• Work experience:
2001-2009 Rancocas Valley Regional High School, Mount Holly, NJ - Teacher and Director of Human Relations

1999-2001 NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science, Arlington, VA - Program Development Specialist

• Favorite books:

o fiction: The Harry Potter Series
o nonfiction: The one I am working on, World Peace Starts at School

• Favorite television show:
Everybody Loves Raymond

• Last movie I loved:

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Free to Worship, Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff and the Lakewood Church Choir & Orchestra

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
My grandmother. She was one of my best friends and a very wise woman. I miss my conversations with her.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: The eternal flame room at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. I used to meditate and read in there for hours at a time.

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Finish my book.

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
The bald eagle

• Favorite sports team:
All Philadelphia teams (Eagles, Flyers, Phillies and Sixers)

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
A summer cruise around the world with stops in Ireland, France, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Greece, Lebanon (my wife's birthplace), Israel, Egypt, India, Australia, China, Japan, Pacific Islands, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
George Corcoran is the reason I decided to become an educator. I do not remember every last detail of what he taught me and my classmates in his Psychology course at Rancocas Valley Regional High School. What I do remember is how he made me feel. Every day I walked into his room excited for class. Mr. Corcoran always made learning fun and engaging. He shared stories with the class that were full of character. He taught us life lessons you could not find within the pages of our book. He always went the extra mile to help me to succeed. Mr. Corcoran pushed me to realize my potential and he continues to do so to this day. I entered this profession hoping that I could impact the lives of children the same way George Corcoran has impacted my own.

• My favorite educational quote:

“Kids don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ms. Cadorette’s class have been Phanatics about Reading

(This entry was submitted by West End Principal, Vince Myers.)

Ms. Cadorette, 5th grade teacher at West End Memorial Elementary, reported the following: In September, our class enrolled into the Philadelphia Phillies literacy program, where students are required to read at least fifteen minutes per day. Fifth graders at West End are required to read twenty minutes per day in the beginning of the year and thirty minutes per day by January. In December, our class tallied our minutes for a chance to win a visit from the Philadelphia Phillies Phanatic. We were shocked at the total of minutes -- over 50,000! As a class we decided to set a goal to reach 100,000 minutes by June.

On Friday March 13th Ms. Cadorette’s students’ hard work was rewarded by a visit from the Phanatic. The students were shocked as the special visit was kept secret. The students of West End enjoyed the Phanatic dancing about the all purpose room followed by a reenactment of the short story Casey at the Bat read by Mr. Myers. The visit ended with a sing along of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” accompanied by music teacher, Mrs. Savage, on piano.

Ms. Cadorette reports that the program has been a great motivational tool for her students. "I am proud of the dedication and teamwork our class has exhibited. Whether it is a student swapping a book with a friend or the anticipation of a new series coming out, it’s such a pleasure to be part of the enthusiasm for children’s literature."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Last Basketball Post

Congratulations to Mark DiRugeris. He has been named to the first team all South Jersey. Our athletic director, Grant Shivers, reports that, “This is indeed an honor for Mark and our school.” He will be recognized for this selection at an end of season banquet held in early April.

In addition – for those basketball junkies looking to see some of the top area talent – Mark has been invited to play in two all-star games:

  • Most of South Jersey's top senior boys' basketball talent will be on display for the 32d annual Albert J. Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey All-Star Game. This year's game is 3 p.m. March 28 at Eastern. Philly.com

  • Also, a host of players from traditional South Jersey schools (an area consisting of the seven southern-most counties in the state) will represent the South in the annual North-South boys basketball all-star game on Sunday, March 22. The game is set for a noon tipoff at the Ritacco Center in Toms River. Courier-Post

Again – congratulations to Mark, all the varsity players and the coaches for an exciting year. Here is one last newspaper story that ran yesterday in the Gloucester County Times reflecting on the excitement of the South Jersey Group I Sectional Championship.

GCT -- Bob Shryock

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries

(This information was passed along by a Woodbury resident, and I was asked to share it.)

The Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries here in the city started the Food Pantry about ten years ago. Its present location is on the corner of S. Barber Street and Evergreen Avenue.

The group indicates that their needs have grown immensely, especially in these increasingly difficult economic times. Currently, they are participating in a matching funds challenge, sponsored by a gentleman in Rhode Island, Alan Feinstein. Mr. Feinstein is offering a $1 million dollar matching challenge to hunger fighting organizations nationwide.

For each dollar donated or food item given during March and April, Mr. Feinstein will match the gift proportionally among all agencies that participate. The minimum he will give is $250 and the most $40,000!

The Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries is looking to use this as an opportunity to increase their ability to help those less fortunate. Anything that you are able to contribute would be welcomed.

You can give to your local Woodbury church, drop off your donation at the Food Bank (located in the Seventh Day Adventist Church) or mail it to GWCM at 124 N. Broad St., Woodbury, NJ 08096.

Feinstein Foundation

Monday, March 16, 2009

Board of Education Meeting, Wednesday, March 18 @ 7:00 p.m.

We needed to move the regular March meeting of the Board of Education up a week so that we could formally approve the 2009-10 school budget for submission to the New Jersey Department of Education Gloucester County Office. A state deadline for that submission requires that we hold our meeting this week.

Therefore, the meeting that was originally scheduled for next Wednesday has been moved to this Wednesday, March 18, at 7:00 p.m. in the Jr.-Sr. High School Auditorium.

The following will take place during the Presentation/Discussion portion of the evening's agenda: introduction of the 2009 Teachers of the Year, update on the district's Strategic Plan ; and an introduction of the 2009-010 budget.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spotlight on Mrs. Downham

Mrs. Downham

Teacher of Business

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name: Marguerite Downham

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Rutgers University: B.A., Business Administration
Rowan University: M.A. Student Personnel Services

• Work experience:

Taught Business Education, Typing, Medical Office Procedures, Legal and Medical Office Admin., Marketing, Accounting. Also taught English Basic Skills at Camden County College for 3 years.

• Favorite books:
o fiction: Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek
o nonfiction: A Short History of Nearly Everything

• Favorite television show:

The Colbert Report

• Last movie I loved:

Everything is Illuminated

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

Joni Mitchell's Hits

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:

Charles Darwin -- he made me love science

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:

The Breakwater at Rockland Maine

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

finish writing my book on Saving Saddler's Woods

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):


• Favorite sports team:

Philadelphia Flyers

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

Florence, Italy

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:

Dr. Charles Coleman who taught Personnel Management at Rutgers University and was a Musical Theater actor and mimic.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ticket Update

Our athletic director, Grant Shivers, anticipates that he will have tickets to sell to the general public this afternoon. He will be selling them at 1:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Cap Paine Gymnasium. We believe, at this time, that there may be up to 100 tickets available.

Also -- tickets will be on sale at the game (depending on availability of seating).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We Have Tickets -- Basketball Playoff Game Thursday

We were able to get our share of tickets to sell in-house tomorrow. If the recent past is an indication, we may be out of tickets before we have a chance to sell any to the general public.

We will be making the tickets available to the in-house school community during the morning hours. There will be two student fan buses and limited, additional tickets available for other students. The students have been provided permission slips for the buses and these sales will start at 7:30 a.m. in the lobby by the auditorium.

If any tickets remain here at Woodbury, they will be made available to the general public at 1:00 p.m. These will be sold out of the Cap Paine Gymnasium lobby.

Word from Asbury Park is that they will NOT have a large following attending the game -- maybe 100 to 200. That means there should be tickets remaining for sale at the door. Obviously, there are no guarantees!

South Jersey Group I Boys Basketball Champions

Congratulations to the Boys Basketball team and Coach Avent -- South Jersey Group I Champions.

GCT story



That was fun!

The next game is a meeting between the South Jersey Group I Champions, Woodbury, and the Central Jersey Group I Champions, Asbury Park. The game is scheduled for Thursday, March 12, at 4 p.m. at a neutral site -- Robbinsville High School, Mercer County. (I know -- not a great time. The start time is set by NJSIAA and the schools involved do not have any control over that matter!)

Tickets will be on sale only at the door (again, an issue that is not a Woodbury decision).

I will post more information once we have it -- when will the tickets go on sale, how many can you buy, how big is the gym (actually -- that one we know -- a lot like Kingsway's size, about 900 to a 1000).

Mr. Shivers will be coordinating fan buses for students (at this time, we believe that we will be able to run two buses to Robinsville). More information will be provided to the students during the day today.

That's it for now!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Basketball Story -- With an Academic Twist

Submitted by Ms. Emenecker, Team Leader for Grade 8)

The Jr. High thought this was blog worthy!

The 76ers were running a program (outlined below) called 76ers Shoot for Success 3.0 Program. With Mrs. Dunham’s permission, our academic coach for AVID, Donna Cohen, registered our school and then it was up to the students to do their best.

At the end of the third quarter Mr. Sheppard (Team Leader Grade 7), Ms. Jones (Team Leader Grade 6) and Ms. Emenecker counted the number of students who earned a 3.0 GPA or higher and reported that number to the 76ers. The 76ers then sent the school a certificate and a voucher for each of those students. The voucher was for one free ticket plus additional tickets for family and friends (no limit) at $10 a piece (a $30 face value).

The team leaders are thrilled to report the following:

8th grade – 66 students earned a free ticket (3.0 GPA or higher),
7th grade – 87 students earned a free ticket (3.0 GPA or higher), and
6th grade – 75 students earned a free ticket (3.0 GPA or higher).

A motivational bulletin board was on display in one of the Junior High hallways. After the grades came in the 7th and 8th grade teachers cut out little basketballs and wrote the name of each student who earned a 3.0 or higher GPA on one. These were added to the board.

This picture is of one 8th grade homeroom after they received their certificates.

Monday, March 09, 2009

75 years ago -- Basketball and Woodbury High School History

The fun part about a school with as much history as Woodbury is that sometimes the past will intermingle with the present in ways that make things interesting.

The boys basketball team will play tomorrow night in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group I Sectional Finals. The game is schedule for 7 p.m. at Kingsway Regional High School and the team plays Salem.

If you look at the banners in the Cap Paine Gymnasium, you will see that the only time Woodbury has won a South Jersey Group I championship in boys basketball was 1934 -- seventy-five years ago. Back then, there was no Cap Paine gymnasium; they were playing games in the "old" (blue) cafeteria. The wall between the cafeteria and the auditorium folded open and revealed bleachers for spectators to watch the action.

And -- this is where history overlaps with the present. I met a gentleman at the Woodbury vs. Salem game on February 14th of this year; he was attending with a friend. They travel all over South Jersey watching sporting events of all kinds. During the basketball season, these two watch a lot of high school basketball. As it turns out, this man was a Woodbury High School graduate -- Class of 1933! Mr. Claude Kennard remembers the 1934 team, and he will be there tomorrow night at Kingsway to cheer on the 2009 team.

Now -- that's exciting.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Spotlight on Mrs. Birkhead

Rose Birkhead

Teacher of Special Education

Evergreen Avenue School

• Name:

Rose Birkhead

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Undergraduate - St. Joseph's University - Elementary/Special Education
Graduate - Gwynedd Mercy College Master's In Reading

Work experience:

Central Bucks School District 2002 - 2008 (Doylestown, PA) I had a variety of roles…Computer teacher, math teacher, case manager for Special Education students, and reading specialist

• Favorite books:

My favorites are always changing…The following are my favorite books that I have read in 2008 o Fiction: I love the Harry Potter Books I've read them all at least twice! My favorites in the series are The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Deathly Hallows; and The Pact by Jodi Picoult; nonfiction -- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

• Favorite television show:


• Last movie I loved:

I do not watch movies on a regular basis. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Sound of Music.

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

Coldplay - Viva La Vida

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:

I'd really like to have lunch with J.K. Rowling. I believe she has rejuvenated a genuine love of reading in children as well as adults. Also, I would love to learn about her life before Harry Potter and how she created such an amazing story.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:

The most peaceful place I visit is the Pocono Mountains. A short visit goes a long way for my inner soul.

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

I think the regular chore that I put off the most is my wash. I'd rather cook or clean than do the wash!

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

My favorite animal to visit at the zoo is the polar bears! I love to watch them swim.

• Favorite sports team:

The Philadelphia Phillies

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

A month long trip to Ireland

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:

I had many teachers who inspired me to become a teacher, but the one who stood out was Mrs. Doyle, my fifth grade teacher. Mrs. Doyle had a great sense of humor, and taught me the harder you work the more you will achieve.

• Anything Else:

I was married on December 28, 2007, to my husband, Kevin.
My family is ever growing! I have four brothers, three sister-in-laws, three nieces, and two nieces/nephews on the way!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Special Announcement: 2008-09 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 2008-09 school year:

Evergreen Avenue: Jill Platt -- Special Education Teacher

Walnut Street: Chrissy Pierce -- 4th Grade Teacher

West End Memorial: Andrea Brown -- Kindergarten Teacher

Junior High School: Chris Sheppard -- Social Studies Teacher

Senior High School: Maria Lario -- English/AVID Teacher

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.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Random Wednesday Thought

This snow has made for a crazy week. Being in the house due to the weather caused for some extra attention to a new phenomenon here at the Joneses -- Cosco!

All the items around the house now are beginning to become much larger -- the size of the ketchup, the giant jar of whole cashews, the many tubes of toothpaste, the overflowing container of lettuce, the huge bag of apples, . . .

You get the idea. We live about a 1/4 mile away from an ACME and, as a result, it has been like a local WAWA/Heritages to us. For the last seventeen years that we have lived here, we have been very regular (almost daily, at times!) visitors to that store.

Now -- the economic times have finally driven us to the wholesale food stores. And, everywhere I turn the size of an item reminds me of the switch that is in progress.

My wife went into ACME the other day and a number of people commented on how they have not seen her in the store recently. Sorry ACME, we do feel a bit like traitors.

Change is never easy!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tuesday, March 3

FYI: Regular start time today.

Woodbury Boys Basketball

And let’s not forget about Boys Basketball…Go Herd! The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Playoffs begin this week.

The coach and team will need to take one game at a time, but here is a list of all possible dates to a state championship. The only important date is the next one for the team which is this Thursday -- it's a must win situation.

(Here is a link to the NJSIAA website where a bracket will show you all the competition for the SJ Group I playoff scene.)

The team must win each game to advance according to this schedule.

Game 1: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 (Bye)

Game 2: Thursday, March 5, 2009 @ Home – Start Time 7:00pm

(vs. winner of the Paulsboro/Wildwood game)


Game 3: Saturday, March 7, 2009 @ Home – Start Time 4:00pm

South Jersey Group I Finals: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 – Kingsway Regional and 7 p.m.

State Semifinals: Thursday, March 12, 2009 – Place and Time TBA

State Finals: Sunday, March 15, 2009 @ Rutgers University – Start Time TBA