Thursday, December 23, 2010

6th Grade Choir -- Happy Holidays

Our 6th grade choir, under the direction of Ms. Theresa Savage, submitted a song for consideration in the recent BB101 school choir christmas competition.

The winners received a $5,000 award for their school’s music program, courtesy of your local Mercedes-Benz dealer and B101 and thanks to Peter Nero and the Philly Pops had the opportunity of a lifetime - performming live on stage at the Holiday Pops Show on Sunday, December 19th.

B101 thanked each school choir who entered this year’s competition. They indicated they were overwhelmed by all the wonderful songs received and look forward to another fantastic competition next year!

Though not selected as a finalist, we are proud of how nicely our students sound. Give a listen -- and enjoy.

6th Grade Choir Song

Happy Holidays to All.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Wednesdays

Woodbury High School Alumni Association Presents
A series of three programs designed to stimulate
the head, the heart, and the feet.
All programs will be educational in nature and follow with a
Q&A session following each presentation.

All programs begin at 7:00pm in the high school auditorium.
Admission is $10.00 per ticket, per presentation.

You may purchase tickets in advance by calling
856-853-0123, ext. 214,
or you may purchase your tickets at the door.
Cash or checks made payable to the
Woodbury High School Alumni Foundation
will be accepted.

All profits go to support the students of Woodbury High School.

10% Off Meal Check on the Evening of the Show with a Ticket or Stub
@ Charlie Brown’s, the Golden Palace, or Piazza di Scotto

January 12, 2011 – Series 1: The Head
Tony Campolo is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University. He is the founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education. He is an ordained Baptist Minister who has served churches across New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and has worked to create, nurture, and support programs for "children at risk" across North America. He has appeared on Larry King Live, Crossfire, Nightline, and CNN News, and is the author of thirty-eight books.

February 2, 2011 – Series 2: The Heart
The Gospel Messengers of South Jersey were established five years ago. They have performed throughout South Jersey, teaching the meanings of many spirituals before performing them. They are all members of the First Baptist Church of Jericho.

February 16, 2011 – Series 3: The Feet
The Peter A. Broomall String Band has marched up Broad Street since 1925. They perform throughout the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. Though originally formed in Philly, their home is now nearby in National Park.
For further information, please contact:
Frank Gwalthney
856-845-5531 -or-

Monday, December 20, 2010

Board of Education Meeting: Wednesday -- 7:00 p.m.

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held this Wednesday, December 22, at 7:00 p.m.

This board meeting is scheduled to be held in the Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium. Entrance to the building can be made through the lobby doors by the auditorium, across from the Cap Paine gymnasium.

The agenda for the board meeting will be posted on the district website later this morning. (agenda)

The special presentation for this month's meeting will be from the Jr.-Sr. High School.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Action Team Kick-Off Meeting

I want to thank those of you who have volunteered to be part of the work of the Action Teams as we complete our “periodic update” of the district’s Strategic Plan.

Thirty-four (34) individuals are scheduled to meet this evening to form the three Action Teams. This kick-off meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. in the Jr.-Sr. High School Auditorium.

There were twenty-six (26) other Woodbury school community members who already identified the areas of the Strategic Plan that required some additional attention by these Action Teams. The Planning Committee completed that earlier work back in September; a few of the Planning Committee members are joining the work of the Action Teams.

If you have a last minute desire to be part of this work, your time and input are still welcome. Please give my secretary, Mrs. Hoffman, a call (856-853-0123, ext. 214) or e-mail ( Or, if it is close to 6:00 p.m. and you can make the meeting, simply show up at the Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium.

The Strategic Plan is the guiding document for important decisions regarding program emphasis and funding priorities.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Spotlight on Ms. Kalbach

Kimberly Kalbach

Teacher of Health/Phys. Ed.

West End Memorial

• Name: Kimberly Kalbach

• College(s) and degrees(s): Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Drivers Education from Wesley College & currently attending Delaware Valley College for Master's in Educational Leadership

• Work experience: 2006-2007 10th Grade Health and PE at Camden High School; 2007-2010 K-6 Health and PE at Riverside Elementary and Middle

• Favorite books: Anything by Jodi Picolt

• Favorite television show: Law and Order

• Last movie I loved: Big Daddy or Shrek

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

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why: My Grandfather -- in order to learn more about my family's past.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: The Beach

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

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): Frogs

• Favorite sports team: The Phillies

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: Italy or Costa Rica

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: My art teacher always made everything a positive. There were no negatives in her classroom. She always pushed me to succeed and had an open mind about every student. She taught me that all students can be successful.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Bobby DiRugeris to Ohio State University

Grant Shivers, Athletic Director, sent this link to a recent Courier-Post newspaper article on Bobby DiRugeris. Bobby is headed to Ohio State to further his education and continue with his gymnastic pursuits. Congratulations to Bobby for all his success.

Courier-Post article.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Did You See?

This article ran in the Gloucester County Times last week regarding Woodbury City Public School's periodic update of our Strategic Plan :

Tuesday, November 30: Strategic Planning -- Call for Community Involvement

Teams are currently being formed. The first meeting of the Action Teams is scheduled for next Monday, December 13, at 6:00 p.m., in the Jr.-Sr. High School Auditorium.

Please contact my secretary, Stacy Hoffman, at 856-853-0123, ext. 214, or to inform us of your interest.

Thank you.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Spotlight on Mrs. Gaffney!

Laura Gaffney

Teacher of Elementary Vocal Music


• Name: Laura Gaffney

• College(s) and degrees(s): Villanova Univ. (Bachelor of Science: Finance) and Rutgers-Camden Univ. (Bachelor of Arts: Music)

• Work experience:St. Rose of Lima School, Haddon Heights (2 years)

• Favorite books
o fiction: 1001 Nights
o Nonfiction: Bible

• Favorite television show: Scrubs

• Last movie I loved: Life is Beautiful

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: Music K-8, vol.21

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why: my grandmother. I miss her.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: Avalon, NJ (the beach of course)

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to: dusting (hate it)

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): kitties of any sort

• Favorite sports team: PHILLIES!!!!!! (much to my Yankee fan Dad’s chagrin)

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: Hawaii (specifically Maui)

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: Mrs. Nathanson. She told me I was creative.

• Anything Else: My husband’s name is Douglas and he plays the guitar, my daughter’s name is Emily and she is a violinist and singer, and my son Andrew is a trombone player. We sometimes play together as a family and it is joyous.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Visitor from Bury, England

(This posting was provided by Dr. Adams, Principal of the Walnut Street School.)

The work on the Strategic Plan brought about a newly developed district mission statement with an added emphasis on students working in concert with the larger, global community. Some Walnut Street School students have put this goal into action by making a connection with their counterparts in Bury, England.

For the past year and a half, the Walnut Street Elementary School fourth and fifth grade students have had an ongoing “pen pal” program with a group of transatlantic friends across the pond. This email based exchange program is with a group of students at St. Bernadette’s Elementary School in Bury, England. The significance of this relationship is that the City of Woodbury was founded by Henry Wood, a Quaker from Bury, England, in 1682. His surname and his home town combine to make up the name of the city he founded – Woodbury, NJ.

On a recent school day, a resident of Bury, England, Melvin Magnall, visited the students of Walnut Street School. He shared with the Woodbury students projects, posters, and other artifacts developed by the students from Bury. He also explained to our students the history of a holiday celebrated in England on November 5th called Bonfire Day. The students in Woodbury then shared artifacts they had developed and gathered representing our November holiday, Thanksgiving.

Over the past year this project has enabled students from both sides of the Atlantic to learn about similarities and differences between our two countries and cultures. It has also taught our students the local history of the City of Woodbury.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

West End PTA Night at Scotto's

(The following is a messge from the West End PTA.)
Please join us for ~ West End School PTA’s Restaurant Night

YOU, along with your family and friends!

La Piazza de Scootto
(under new management)
40 S. Broad Street, Woodbury, 856-384-7700

Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

Eat In or Take Out, but be sure to bring this flyer or mention that you are there to support the West End PTA. A % of these sales will be donated to the PTA.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Challenge Day for Freshman: Wednesday, December 1

We are excited about the positive impact that the Responsive Classroom program in grades 3-5 and the Developmental Designs program ("Herd Huddles") in grades 6-8 are having on individual classrooms and the schools overall.

The high school effort to promote good citizenship and good will toward others is partly accomplished through the Challenge Day program for Woodbury freshman. Last year, the Class of 2013 experienced a very emotional day that helped forge stronger relationships among the various individuals who participated. Tomorrow, this year's freshman class, the Class of 2014, continues this new tradition.

You can find out more about the program by clicking on the link: Challenge Day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Fire

(This letter is being sent home with the Evergreen Avenue school children. The family who suffered this tragedy has children at both Evergreen and the Jr.-Sr. High School. Mrs. Breland is the principal of the Evegreen Avenue School.)

November 29, 2010

Dear Parents/Guardians:
We are reaching out to the Woodbury community to make a difference in the lives of one of our Woodbury families. Thanksgiving Day, one of our Woodbury families lost their home and all of their belongings to a fire. Fortunately, the family was not home at the time and no one was hurt. The fire destroyed everything and the family will need to completely start fresh.

As you might imagine, starting over can be very overwhelming, however, we are hoping that we might be able to help. We are joining efforts to raise funds for this family with three children in the Woodbury Public Schools.

Please consider making a financial donation in the form of cash, money order or gift cards to the family. No amount is too small, as it will be combined with everyone’s contribution. Please send your donations to the main office of the school in an envelope. We will distribute to the family.

We appreciate your thoughtfulness and consideration to help someone in need.

Yours Truly,

Mrs. Breland

Cyberbullying and Cyber Abuse

Christ Church, 62 Delaware Street, directly behind the Jr.-Sr. High School is inviting the Woodbury community to an evening program on Wednesday, December 8:

Crimes of the Internet
A Community Forum on Cyberbullying and Cyber Abuse
Wednesday, December 8
7:00 p.m.

The program will take place within the upper assembly room of the Parish House of Christ Church. Enter through the glass door on New Street. There is no charge for attendance.

Presenter: Sergeant Steven J. LaPorta
Unit Supervisor, High Tech Crimes Unit
Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences

When our Strategic Plan was adopted in June 2008, it included an expectation that all parents would attend an individual conference with their child's teacher(s). Given that expectation, we hope that you were/are able to attend the parent conferences that are being held this week.

If you miss the conferences, it is likely that you will receive a follow-up note from the building principal asking that you schedule a conference with the teacher (or teachers) -- or that you mark you calendar for our mid-year, February 23rd conferences.

These chances to meet with your child's teacher assist in developing the important connection between the home and the school. We appreciate the efforts that you make to attend and all that you do to support your child in his/her academic success.

Monday, November 22, 2010

West End Mileage Club

West End Memorial Elementary School is now in its fifth year implementing Mileage Club during lunch recess to promote healthy habits while providing an organized activity to reduce playground incidents. Members of the West End PTA volunteer their time twice a week during recess to organize and run this activity.

Here's How It Works
Students walk on the school playground twice each week. The Mileage Marker Cards are checked every time a child completes a lap or laps on the course. When recess ends, the students return their cards to their personal files. For each five laps a child walks, the child is rewarded with a Toe Token. All awards are designed to provide children with a sense of accomplishment, recognition and a source of positive image building. The children also learn responsibility, mathematics and record-keeping skills.

Children Sharpen Their Skills
By participating in the Feelin' Good Mileage Club, students discover that physical activity can be fun and rewarding. The children also enhance their scholastic skills! Feelin' Good Mileage Club schools find that:
• Students learn fractions (by counting laps).
• Students learn geography by plotting miles on a map and/or "walking" to a new destination.
• Participants learn about the environment and how to take care of it.
• Children learn how to set goals, work to achieve them and then evaluate their personal achievement.

Walking helps develop fitness while building muscles, burning calories, reducing stress and creating good lifelong habits. Educators who use the program say their students end the school year in better physical condition than before they began the Mileage Club. Best of all, we use walking to help make our playground almost hassle-free and a contributing part of the educational process. Besides promoting fitness, we also have a program that makes it easy to enhance learning readiness and self-esteem - two key elements in children's academic achievement.

Contributed by: Vincent Myers, West End Elementary School Principal

Friday, November 19, 2010

Spotlight on Ms. Brennan

Kelly Brennan

Teacher of Elementary Technology

West End

• Name: Kelly Brennan

• College(s) and degrees(s): University of the Arts, graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and a minor in Multimedia. Fairleigh Dickenson University, anticipated graduation August 2011 with a Masters of Arts in Teaching.

• Work experience: I worked at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging from 2006-2009 as a graphic designer and production coordinator. My responsibilities included coordinating print and communications projects; designing and coordinating production of agency newsletters, brochures, and flyers; and serving as the staff photographer for internal and external events. While working at PCA I realized that my technological talents and resources might be better utilized in a classroom setting, rather than simply sitting in a cubicle. I student taught in Mt. Laurel during the fall of 2009 and then worked as a long-term substitute in Gibbsboro School District as a Computer Teacher for grades pre-K through eight. While I was winding down the school year with Gibbsboro I came across a listing for an elementary technology teaching position with Woodbury, and let’s just say the rest is history…

• Favorite book -- fiction: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

• Favorite television show: The State

• Last movie I loved: Rabbit Proof Fence. I was required to watch this movie for one of my classes recently and I was intrigued by the storyline from start to finish.

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: Sun Kil Moon’s album, Ghosts of the Great Highway

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why: Dave Grohl. His ability to remain grounded and authentic while living in the spotlight for so many years intrigues me. I’m a fan of all of his musical endeavors, and I would love to "pick his brain" about the different experiences he has had during his career.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: My bedroom on a Saturday morning with my dog and three cats surrounding me.

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to: Traveling! I love to see and experience new places and it’s been entirely too long since my last vacation.

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): Since I’m unable to choose between cats and dogs, I will have to go with polar bears!

• Favorite sports team: Philadelphia Phillies

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: Any French Polynesian island

• Anything Else: I am an avid animal lover – I have three cats (Gwennie, Artie, and Tuna) and one greyhound (Fab). I volunteer as often as I can at a rescue organization in Pennsauken, NJ called Greyhound Angels Adoption.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Open Invitation to Join Strategic Plan Action Teams

(856) 853-0123, EXTENSION 230

November 2010

Dear Woodbury City Public Schools Community Member:

Our community developed a Strategic Plan during the 2007-08 school year which the Board of Education adopted in June 2008. (The full plan can be viewed on the district website.) During this third year of implementation, we are updating the plan to ensure that we are on track for success and to make adjustments needed in response to any changing dynamic impacting the district. We welcome you to add your voice to this process.

Over the summer, a planning committee of thirty individuals was formed. This group met in late September to identify areas of the plan that warranted more conversation. Now we are looking to form three teams; each will hold focused discussion sessions and make recommendations to modify the existing Strategic Plan.

Would you like to join one of the Action Teams?

Action Team I. This team will focus on six topics: homework completion programs, evening library hours, attendance recognition programs, preschool, technology in the classroom, and curriculum mapping/benchmarks.

Action Team II. This team will discuss character traits of responsible citizens: how to identify these traits, how to measure the success our students have demonstrating the traits, how healthy eating and exercise may connect to this topic, and how the various programs that the school currently employs or is looking to employ help achieve the goal of responsible citizenry.

Action Team III. This team will focus on how students can create meaningful personal learning plans with the help of faculty members.

We hope that one of the above Action Teams will interest you. Our kick-off meeting for these teams will be on Monday, December 13, at 6:00 p.m., in the Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium. After this initial gathering, each group will set its own meeting schedule; we anticipate that the work can be accomplished from December through February. Meetings are likely to occur every other week (or as needed).

To indicate your interest in participating, simply inform my secretary, Stacy Hoffman, at or 856-853-0123, ext. 214, by Friday, December 3, 2010.

Thank you for considering this request to serve our community.


Joseph Jones, III

Friday and Saturday Activites @ the Jr.-Sr. High School

Friday 11/19
7:00PM JHS Musical Sat 11/20 - Sun 11/21

Sat 11/20
1:00PM JHS Musical
1:00PM NJSIAA Group I Playoff Semi-final Football Game vs. Paulsboro High School (H)
7:00PM JHS Musical

There is a good bit of activity at the high school this weekend and fun for the whole family. Saturday afternoon there is a choice between watching the Junior High School musical, Alice in Wonderland, Jr., or attending the football game. Both activities are at 1:00 p.m.

Parking for these Saturday events may be difficult. If you are driving, you can use the newer county parking garage (free parking)at Hunter and Broad Street, directly across the street from the high school at the light.

Also, the musical will be held both Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Belated Halloween Pictures -- West End

Friday, October 29th, was a fun day at all the elementary schools. The pictures above were provided by West End. Fun memories for many -- "Mom, remember the time I was the McDonald's French Fries!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Board of Education Meeting -- Wednesday @ 7 p.m.

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held this Wednesday, November 17, at 7:00 p.m. This one is coming quickly on the heals of the last meeting. Typically, our meetings are the fourth Wednesday of each month, but due to next week's holiday schedule, we will be meeting a week earlier in November.

Another change is the location of the meeting. This board meetings is scheduled to be held in the Walnut Street School's All-purpose Room. During the course of the year, the Board of Education will hold a regular, monthly meeting at each of the three elementary schools. November is the month scheduled for Walnut Street School.

Finally, a third change is the start time of the meeting. The official start time is listed as 6:30 p.m. The board will open the meeting at this time and then go immediately into executive session to continue a discussion from the last meeting. Then, the plan is to return to the full, public meeting by the typical 7:00 p.m. time.

The agenda for the board meeting will be posted on the district website some time during the day today. (

At this November meeting, there will be a presentation by Walnut Street School, a report on the district's Strategic Plan update efforts, and a review of the district's completion of the NJDOE's Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) District Performance Review.

Friday, November 12, 2010

NJSIAA South Jersey Group I Football Playoffs: Saturday, 1 PM

The Woodbury Thundering Herd play Haddon Heights this Saturday in a first round playoff game at home. Game time is 1:00 P.M.

QuarterfinalsSemifinalsSectional Final
Nov. 13th, 1 p.m. - Woodbury
Preview | Box Score
(1) Woodbury---
(8) Haddon Heights---
Nov. 13th, 1 p.m. - Paulsboro
Preview | Box Score
(5) Schalick---
(4) Paulsboro---
Nov. 12th, 7 p.m. - Pennsville
Preview | Box Score
(3) Pennsville---
(6) Audubon---
Nov. 12th, 7 p.m. - Glassboro
Preview | Box Score
(7) Gloucester City---
(2) Glassboro---

Woodbury nabs Group I top seed

Sunday, November 07, 2010
By Scott Chappelear

Thanks to a surprising loss on Saturday, the defending NJSIAA South Jersey Group I champion will get a chance to repeat at the top seed.

The Glassboro High School football team was upset by Camden on Saturday, 9-7, giving Woodbury (7-1) the No. 1 seed by one point over the Bulldogs (6-2) according to unofficial power point standings computed by the Gloucester County Times following this weekend's action. The Thundering Herd downed Collingswood Friday night.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Woodury Football on Comcast

Mr. Jarrett, high school counselor, forwarded to me the following message. I am assuming that this means there was some fly-by video of a recent Woodbury football game. I do not get this Comcast feed, but you may:

The video of the Woodbury game can be viewed all this week on our new nonstop digital channel.

It's in our High School Sports Show program which airs every day, Monday thru Friday at 4:30pm on Comcast
channel 248, Fios 460 or over-the-air on 10.2.


Colin Macaulay
NBC10 Sports Producer

So -- for those of you tech savy enough to understand this message, there may be a chance today or tomorrow to view this clip!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

November Calendar

November is a "choppy" month for school. At Woodbury, we have combined staff development days with the election day and New Jersey Education Association convention days so that there is a full week off. It is hoped that this helps to consolidate some coverage issues at home.

This week continues with a calendar that is different from normal: Thursday, November 11, is Veterans' Day. School will be closed for this state holiday.

Also this week: Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School is the site for a Gloucester County Board of Health flu clinic. The clinic will be held TODAY, November 9th, from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. (New/gold cafeteria). Any Gloucester County resident is welcome to use the clinic to receive his/her flu shot for the year.

Then, in two weeks, we have parent conferences and the Thanksgiving holiday. . . Before you know it, we will be into December!

Monday, November 08, 2010

November Playoff Soccer

Both the boys and girls soccer teams played in the NJSIAA South Jersey playoffs last week.

The boys, ranked ninth, beat the eighth seeded Pennsville team on Monday and then fell to the top seeded Pitman team on Friday. Similarly, our girls team, seeded ninth, shut out eighth seeded Maple Shade for their first playoff victory in sixteen years. Then, they too played the top seeded team in their competition, Clayton, on Friday and lost.

Each team represented the school well all season and in the respective post-season runs in the playoffs. Congratulations to all.

First round stories in the Gloucester County Times:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spotlight on Mr. Datz

Steven Datz

Teacher of Mathematics

Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name: Steve Datz

• College(s) and degrees(s): 1) Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, Villanova University 2) Master of Arts, Secondary Education, Wilmington University

• Work experience: Civil engineering land development firms: 1) Taylor, Wiseman, and Taylor (Mount Laurel, NJ) 2) Stantec Consulting (Kennett Square, PA) 3) VanDemark & Lynch, Inc. (Wilmington, DE)

• Favorite books
o fiction: A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
o nonfiction: 1776 (David McCullough)

• Favorite television show: The Office

• Last movie I loved: The Blind Side

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: Dave Matthews Band (Under the Table and Dreaming)

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why: Abraham Lincoln, because he was one of the greatest presidents of all time, and I would love to hear what he had to say.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: North Carolina beaches

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

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): Dog

• Favorite sports team: Villanova basketball

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: Hawaii

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: My mom has been an elementary school (1st/2nd grade) teacher in Pennsville for 15 years.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Upcoming High School Sporting Events

  • Today -- Girls Field Hockey will play a first round NJSIAA Group I playoff game at Maple Shade (3:45 p.m.). Good luck girls.

  • Saturday -- Varsity Football (5-1) travel to Paulsboro (6-0) for an exciting Group I match-up. Game time is 11 a.m.

  • Next Week -- Our soccer teams will be in the NJSIAA playoffs; more information to follow.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What If You Passed By This Man?

Have you read about this? It seems that this dates back to 2007, but it was circulated to me in an e-mail just recently.

The story will likely give you pause -- as a parent and/or teacher, we know that the world is moving fast and part of our responsibility is to slow it down long enough for our children to be able to partake in all that life has to offer.


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After about 3 minutes:

A middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded.

There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . . How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?


  • Here's a YouTube clip of part of the performance:

  • FYI, he's playing the Bach Violin Partita Number 2 in D Minor.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Curriculum Standards

Just this past June, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and the State Board of Education finalized the update to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS)), now listed on the state's website as the New Jersey World Class Standards.

The NJDOE website has a significant amount of information about schooling in the state. Specifically, you can find detailed information about the NJCCCS on the site.

The newly adopted standards are to be phased in over the next couple of years at the school level. This year, Woodbury faculty members are examining our local "curriculum maps" to ensure that we have all the key components included so that our students are meeting (and exceeding!) the expectations set by the state through this curriculum standards initiative.

If you have specific curriculum questions, you can ask your child's teacher, the building principal or either of the two individuals specifically charged with curriculum oversight in the district:

  • Tonya Breland, Evergreen Avenue Principal and Curriculum & Instruction Supervisor PK-5 (853-0125, ext. 142 or at
  • Donna Cohen, Curriculum & Instruction Supervisor, 6-12 (853-0123, ext. 241 or at

Monday, October 25, 2010

Board of Education Meeting -- Wednesday @ 7 p.m.

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held this Wednesday, October 27, at 7:00 p.m.

This board meetings is scheduled to be held in the Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium. Entrance to the building can be made through the lobby doors by the auditorium, across from the Cap Paine gymnasium.

The agenda for the board meeting will be posted on the district website some time during the day today; stay tuned. (agenda)

At the October meeting, there will be a report on the New Jersey Department of Education Violence and Vandalism numbers from the 2009-10 school year. Also, an annual report on testing data focused on the 2009-10 will be reviewed with the Board of Education members.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oral History Project: African-American Community in Woodbury

This was sent out by the Woodbury Neighborhood Presevervation Program. If you or someone you know is interested in this project, please consider attending (or pass the information along to those who may be interested).

Please join us for the next workshop for

The African-American Community in Woodbury

Oral History Project


Saturday, October 23, 2010

11:00 AM


The Woodbury MEWS

122 Green Street, Woodbury

RSVP to Gloria Holmes at 845-1630

Please bring any photos or documents you have regarding life in Woodbury when you were young: sports teams, church choirs, school photos, homes and businesses in your neighborhoods, places you or your parents worked, etc.

And please bring your white binders.

Everyone is welcome to join us -

you don’t have to live in Woodbury to participate.

We are looking for the history of people & events from the past

and all information is important!

Lunch will be served at 12 noon.

There is a $5.00 per person fee for lunch,

which will be collected at the meeting.

Sponsored by the

Woodbury Neighborhood Preservation Program

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homecoming 2010

Woodbury High School's Homecoming football game will be played this weekend. Come out and enjoy the Saturday morning game. Woodbury currently enjoys a 4-1 record to start this season. Haddon Heights enters with a 3-2 record. It should be good contest and an enjoyable opportunity to catch up with old friends.

Students will hold their annual Homecoming Dance that evening in the school gymnasium.

Saturday 10/23
10:30 a.m.
vs. Haddon Heights

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hall of Fame Recap

Special thanks are extended to the Hall of Fame Committee for putting together a wonderful evening this past Saturday: Grant Shivers, Tony DeLucas, Ed Hughes, Frank Gwalthney, Megan Lucidi, Scott Henderson, and Calvin Ferguson.

Those of us in attendance at the Hall of Fame Induction Dinner were treated to a night of Woodbury High School memories and the reaffirmation that this school district is a unique, special place. Alumni with athletic talent spanning classes from 1925 through 1993, three coaches and three additional “distinguished” alumni constituted the group inducted.

A highlight of the evening were the warm remarks of the 1939 graduate, Mary Lockett Moody. She spoke about being an African American athlete at a time when that was not the norm for schools and how her coach insisted, even when other schools attempted to turn away the African American student athletes, that they were one team and that everyone played or no one played. Though she indicated her 90 year old body was not ready to climb the stadium steps as part of a practice routine, she did talk about how she continues to carry many of the lessons learned as a student at Woodbury with her throughout her life.

The current high school principal, Mrs. Dunham, will be reaching out to Ms. Moody to set up opportunities for her to connect with the students who walk the halls today. She has recently moved back to Woodbury after a number of years in the south.

Congratulations to all the new inductees and thank you for sharing such fond memories of your time at Woodbury High School.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Spotlight On Mr. Travis

John Travis

Teacher of Mathematics

Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name: John Travis

• College(s) and degrees(s): Princeton University, A.B. in Economics

• Work experience:
- Montgomery High School - Skillman, NJ
- Foundation Academy Charter School - Trenton, NJ

• Favorite books
o fiction: Lord of the Rings Series - JRR Tolkien; Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
o nonfiction: Savage Inequalities - Jonathan Kozol; Freakonomics - Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

• Favorite television show: House

• Last movie I loved: Inception (or Toy Story III)

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: Songs in the Key of Life - Stevie Wonder

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

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: Top of a mountain at sunset.

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to: Listening to/Analyzing the premier canonical works of classical music.

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): Tiger

• Favorite sports team: Philadelphia Phillies

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: Mediterranean Port City Tour (ending in Greece)

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: My 8th grade Math teacher, Mr. Neights inspired me to consider teaching. I had a C after the 1st marking period in his class, and he met with me and convinced me one day after school that with consistent work and effort I could find success. That day changed how I looked at school and also made me realize that teachers often have their largest victories outside of their 45 minutes of instruction.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sharing a Letter from a Graduate . . .

The following letter was recently received, and I thought it would be good to share the perespective of this Woodbury graduate after returning to the school for a recent reunion:
David & Denise Winter
Sarasota, Florida

Mrs. Denise Dunham, Principal
Woodbury Junior Senior High School
25 North Broad St.
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Dear Mrs. Dunham,

On Saturday, October 2, Woodbury High School hosted a tour for my class (1965) at “my old school”. Having not been back in 45 years and heard previous stories about the decline of small town America reflected in Woodbury, the decline of the downtown area and the reduction in size of the student body due to the building of an additional high school in the area, we really expected to be disappointed in the school.

That expectation could not have been further from the truth. As a 15 year principal of a Chicago elementary magnet public school married to a 15 year athletic director at a suburban high school with combined 68 years of experience in public education, the two of us know what it takes to run and maintain a public high school. The cleanliness of your building, the total absence of any sign of graffiti and obvious pride of your support staff is clearly reflected in your facility. We especially liked the educational resumes of teachers reflected on each room door as a model to which students can aspire. The condition of the auditorium is just one area where we noted the pride of the school reflected in the facilities offered to the students of Woodbury.

As much as the school building and facilities reflected well on the community, our tour was even better. Run by Athletic Director Grant Shivers, he could not be more positive and supportive of the school and community. He exudes pride in the entire school, not just the athletic program. His reflecting on academic achievement, performance of the fine arts programs and special education programs indicate on-going emphasis on the total education of the total child.

Please share our impressions with your staff, both educational and support. We are surely aware of the many challenges with which you are confronted. You need to know that the face you are presenting to the public makes me proud to be an alumnus of Woodbury High School as well as a veteran educator. Thank you for the good work you are doing.


Denise Frick Winter (Class of 1965)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hall of Fame Dinner -- This Saturday

Reminder: The Woodbury High School Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will be held this Saturday. This event happens on a three-year cycle and provides a wonderful opportunity to relive old school memories.

See this prior blog post for more detail on those being inducted.

It is not too late to pick up a ticket and enjoy a night with Woodbury friends.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Main Street Woodbury Presents . . .

Timed Tickets are now available at Edwards Hairstyling 14 S Broad St.

Any questions call Main Street 856-845-8655

Please share with family-friends!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Spotlight of Mrs. Carr

Mrs. Holly A. Carr

Teacher of Business

Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name:
Holly A Carr

• College(s) and degrees(s):
  • Stockton State University, BA Business Administration
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Rowan University, Standard Certificates to Teach in following areas: K-5 Elementary School, Middle School 5-8 Mathematics, High School Business - Both Accounting and Finance/Economics/Law

• Work experience:
Accounting Profession for 15 years
Teaching: 2 years
  • Woodlynne Elementary School, Woodlynne School District
  • Lewis Middle School, Gloucester Township School District

• Favorite books
o fiction: My Sisters Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
o nonfiction: The Way to Wealth, by Benjamin Franklin

• Favorite television show: Office

• Last movie I loved: The Notebook

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Nora Jones - anything

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
Benjamin Franklin - He was brilliant.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Bell Lake Park

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

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

• Favorite sports team:

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
Mrs. Tortu and Mrs. Albey. They were both very nice teachers, and each made you excited about the things you did in class.

• Anything Else:
I would like students to grow their knowledge and their self esteem in the classes I teach.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Monday, October 11 -- Columbus Day

Reminder -- no school this upcoming Monday.

That works well for Phillies fans. Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday night -- go Phillies!

And . . . for juniors who are just beginning to think about the college selection process, school holidays like these are a good time to visit nearby colleges. Visits to campuses while school is in session help give a full picture of the college experience. Columbus Day, November teacher convention, and Spring Break are all good times to plan college visitation days.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Senior Parent Night College Application Process 7PM

Mr. Murphy, our Director of Pupil Personnel Service will be hosting Woodbury Jr-Sr High School's annual College Application Process Night for parents of seniors tonight at 7:00 p.m. (Hopefully, the Phillies will have a nice, big, early lead!).

Our counseling department will review the college application process with you, how Woodbury Jr-Sr High School will assist in the process, and what you should be especially careful to attend to in order to ensure a smooth, successful effort.

This can be a stressful time for families, but the "Common Application" and on-line processing can help make this time be a bit more manageable. Learn about these features and understand the deadlines that colleges have when it comes to their acceptance procedures.

Finally -- though the title of the program indicates this is a night for parents of seniors, the program is open to anyone. Parents of juniors (or younger students) may want to come to the session to get a jump on the types of things that will be required down the line. The reality is that the application process for colleges can start as early as the summer before the senior year -- it isn't too early to get a sense for what will be expected of the student and his/her family.

Go Phillies!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Website Calendar for Specific School Activities

Last week, I reminded you that the district calendar listing the 180 school days, school holidays, and major events (back-to-school night, etc.) could be found on the district website.

Today, I want to point out that our district website also has a more detailed, interactive calendar found on the left side of the front page of the website. You can click on the month at the top of the small calendar (October) and find a listing of more detailed activities for the individual schools:

HS: SAT testing on 10/09
HS: Homecoming on 10/23
EV: School Pictures on 10/12
WA: Book Fair the week of 10/18
WE: Mileage Club every Wednesday and Friday

You can also click on a specific date in the calendar to see a daily view. Finally, you can choose only one of the schools so that the program filters out activities and just that school's happenings will display.

This is what the monthly view looks like (there is a color key/filter at the top of the page of the actual website):

1 9 Events
School Tools
25 book assembly 10:30 am
Mrs. Platt's class walking trip to Stewart Lake
Spirit Week
MAP Testing
Spirit Day - Fall Colors
Mileage Club
Treasure Tower
34 5 Events
Fire Prevention Week Begins
Book Fair Preview Day
MAP Testing
Pretzel Sale Begins
Choir - Gr. 4 3-3:30
5 9 Events
Book Fair Shopping Day 9 am - 1 pm
Book Fair Family Shopping Night 7 - 8:30 pm
HSPA Testing
MAP Testing
Fire Drill 2:15
Band Practice 5-6:00
PAC meeting 6p.
7p. PTA Meeting
6 10 Events
Book Fair Shopping Day
HSPA Testing
Senior Parent Night College Application Process 7PM
MAP Testing
Mileage Club
9:00 Fire Prevention Assembly
Fitness Club Gr. 2&3
5-5:45 Percussionist Rehearsal
7 7 Events
Book Fair Shopping Day
HSPA Testing
MAP Testing
Choir - Gr. 5 3-3:30
8 7 Events
Book Fair - last day for shopping
Fire Prevention Assembly 9 am & 12:30
Sophomore Class Ring Information Assembly
MAP Testing
Mileage Club
Treasure Tower
Pretzel Orders Due
9 1 Event
1011 1 Event
Columbus Day
12 7 Events
School Pictures - All grades group & individual
Class Ring Orders at lunch
Post Graduation Planning 3-7PM
MAP Testing
Band Practice 5-6:00
13 7 Events
Sophomore Ring Night 6-8pm
MAP Testing
Mileage Club
5-5:45 Percussionist Rehearsal
14 3 Events
Post Graduation Planning 3-7PM
Choir - Gr. 5 3-3:30
15 4 Events
JHS Dance 7PM
Mileage Club
Treasure Tower
Pretzel Delivery
1718 8 Events
School Violence Awareness Week Begins
Underclassmen Pictures
Homecoming Dance Ticket Sales
Choir - Gr. 4 3-3:30
9:00 Fire Drill
Fall Book Fair
School Violence Awareness Week
19 10 Events
PTO Meeting 7:00 pm
Underclassmen Pictures
PTSA Meeting 7PM
Homecoming Dance Ticket Sales
Band Practice 5-6:00
6:30-9p. Book Fair and Water Ice Social
Fall Book Fair
20 10 Events
Homecoming Dance Ticket Sales
AVID Parent Night
Mileage Club
Fall Book Fair
5-5:45 Percussionist Rehearsal
School Store
21 7 Events
Homecoming Dance Ticket Sales
NHS Induction 7PM
Choir - Gr. 5 3-3:30
Fall Book Fair
Terrific Kids
22 5 Events
Mileage Club
Treasure Tower
Fall Fun Friday
Fall Book Fair
23 1 Event
Homecoming Dance 7-11
2425 2 Events
Choir - Gr. 4 3-3:30
Red Ribbon Week
26 3 Events
Post Graduation Planning 3-7PM
Band Practice 5-6:00
27 5 Events
Birthday Table
Mileage Club
5-5:45 Percussionist Rehearsal
28 5 Events
Class Trip Mrs. DiRienzo & Mrs. Stankiewicz Creamy Acres
Preschool trip G&G Farms
Post Graduation Planning 3-7PM
Choir - Gr. 5 3-3:30
29 8 Events
Halloween Parade 1:45
JHS Costume Contest
Mileage Club
Treasure Tower
WEBSTER ASSEMBLY: 8:50 Gr. 3-5; 9:15 Gr. K-2
2:15 Halloween Parade