Thursday, September 30, 2010

Underwood Memorial Hospital Collaboration

Yesterday, I was joined by two other representatives from our school district (Ed Muprhy, Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Kathy Stalter-Allen, Option II Coordinator) at a meeting with three members of the Underwood Memorial Hospital team. This encounter was one that I was able to coordinate along with John Graham, Chief Operating Officer for the hospital. Mr. Graham was also a participant.

We were able to exchange ideas for collaboration between our two organizations -- especially ways that the hospital could provide meaningful experiences that our students could incorporate into our Option II program or our new Service Learning graduation requirement that starts with this year's freshman class.

We look forward to working more closely with the hospital and finalizing some of these opportunities so that we can capitalize on the wealth of experiences that this large organization can provide our students.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

College Planning Information

The following information has been announced to our students via the daily, morning announcements.

These can also be found on the PowerSchool program that parents can log on to in order to check a child's academic performance, attendance, etc. There is a section, once logged on, that can be checked: Daily Bulletin.

College Visits Attention Seniors - The following schools will be visiting Woodbury High School: Drew University on Friday, Sept. 24th at 10:15 am Penn Co. Tech on Monday, Sept. 27th at 9:00 am West Virginia Wesleyan on Monday, Sept. 27th at 10:00 am Ramapo college on Tuesday, Sept. 28th at 11:30 am Monmouth University on Thursday, Sept. 30th at 11:30 am. Please see Mrs. Rivera in the Counseling office to sign up. You must be signed up on day prior to the college visit.

ATTENTION SENIORS; College Fair Attention Seniors: The Southern New Jersey College Fair will be held at River Winds on Thursday, October 28, 2010. If you would like to attend the College Fair, please see Mrs. Rivera in the Counseling Office to sign up and get a permission slip. All permission slips must be returned to the Counseling Office by Monday, October 18, 2010.

Monday, September 27, 2010

School Calendars for the 2010-11 School Year

Under the heading of "District Information" at the top of the main page for the district's website,, you will find a selection available for "District Calendar."

If you have misplaced the hardcopy of the calendar, you can find versions of both the Jr.-Sr. High School calendar and the Elementary calendar here. (There is a "toggle" option to switch between the two calendars at the top of the page once you select to go to the calendar.)

The two versions are very similar, but differ slightly with respect to the conferences at the end of the first marking period.

We have only one day off in October, with no other special events of note on this district version of the monthly calendar. Do you know what day we are off in October?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hall of Fame Induction: 2010


The following people will be inducted into the Woodbury Hall of Fame on October 16, 2010. The Induction ceremony will take place at Auletto’s Caterer’s in Almonesson at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased in the Athletic Office at Woodbury HS. Please call Woodbury Athletic Director Grant Shivers with questions at 856-853-0123, ex 253.


Edna Lackey, Class of ‘25
o Field Hockey, Tennis, Basketball and Track Athlete
o Temple Field Hockey and Basketball and Volleyball athlete at Temple
o Coached Field Hockey and Basketball at Temple

Mary Moody, Class of ‘39
o Field Hockey player at WHS
o Led team to three SJ titles for Coach Bess Taylor
o SJ Field Hockey Assoc. Distinguished Service Award 1984

John Jones, Class of ‘39
o State Champion in High Jump
o Lettered in track at Alabama State University
o Won High Jump Title at Penn Relays
o Long time coach of Track and Field at Alabama State University

Herb Baptiste, Class of ‘43
o Undefeated wrestler in 1942 and 1943
o First ever two time state wrestling champion in NJ

Terry Jacobs, Class of ‘75
o 10 letter winner at WHS in Field Hockey, Basketball and Softball
o All Colonial Conference in Field Hockey, Basketball and Softball
o Lettered in Field Hockey and Softball at Glassboro State College

Bob Thomas, Class of ‘57
o Outstanding wrestler in 1955-1957
o Two time SJ wrestling Champion and Two time 3rd place finisher in the State
o Helped start several wrestling programs in NJ and PA

Al Szolack, Class of 68
o All-Conference and All County in Basketball
o Played at Atlantic Community College and Glassboro State
o Played with Washington Generals against the Globetrotters
o Successful Drug and Alcohol Counselor

Jim Wright, Class of ‘62
o Successful Cross Country, Wrestling and Tennis athlete
o 3rd in State wrestling Championships in 1962
o Wrestled at Brigham Young University
o High profile career as FBI Investigator

Chuck Lamson, Class of ‘74
o Lettered in Basketball and Baseball at WHS
o Drafted by Texas Rangers in 1977
o General Manager and President of the Tulsa Drillers Minor League Baseball Team

Vicki Moore, Class of ‘93
o 12 Varsity letters in Field Hockey, Basketball and Softball
o All State in Softball and Hockey
o University of Pennsylvania Graduate 1997
o All-Ivy Softball player in 1997


Oscar Fraley, Class of
o Sports writer for UPI for 25 years
o Co-author of “The Untouchables”
o Authored 31 books, including “Hoffa, The Real Story”

Scott Kintzing, Class of ‘70
o 1974 Gettysburg
o 2006 Gettysburg Distinguished Alumni Award
o Distinguished Career as NJ Banker
o Committed Community Volunteer

Herb Neilo, Class of 1948
o Founder and 55 year coach of Westville Midget Football
o Founding member of Touchdown Club of SJ

Sherrie Hodges, Class of ‘80
o Chief of Obstetrics at Lady of Lourdes Hospital


Thom Hurst
o Baseball Coach 1978-1990
o Coached football and basketball

Jim Combs
o Football Coach
o 47-20-3 at Woodbury

Bob Kann
o Softball Coach 1979-1988
o State Softball Championship 1983

Ed Malaska
o Softball Coach 1989-1994
o South Jersey Champions in 1991 and 1992
o Long time Basketball assistant coach
See Gloucter County Times article: Bob Shryock: 'Untouchables' author to be inducted into Hall of Fame

Thursday, September 23, 2010

National Library Card Sign-up Month

The following message is from Ms. Sharron Knauss, Wooodbury City Schools District Library Media Specialist:

September is National-Library Card Sign-up Month, and local libraries across the country are relaying to parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

Celebrated throughout the month of September, National Library Card Sign-up Month encourages people to check out what is new at their library by signing up for a library card. Libraries today offer more than just books-- they have videos, CDs, computers, Internet access and more. Libraries also are dynamic community centers with librarians on hand to help.

Library cards are free of charge-- simply go to the Woodbury City Public Library on Delaware Street and fill out an application.

Have a great school year!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The district was informed this week that we will be receiving an infusion of $395,372 as part of the federal government's "Education Jobs" stabilization legislation. This is good news. The Board of Education will discuss how this money will be spent. The guidelines provide that school districts can spread out the expenditure over the course of this school year and next school year.

Areas of greatest need will be the focus. This determination will be made by examining student performance measures at the individual schools/grades and the recent history of achieving the federal government's annual measure of "Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)."

Again -- good news. We will be able to support students better as we work to have them meet with success on all fronts.

[More information regarding the program and how it will be administered in New Jersey]

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Girls Tennis

The Girls Tennis team came in first place at the GCT Girls Tennis Tournament. The team finished in first place and was led by both first singles player, Maddie Graziani, and second singles player, Isabella Schoning. The two met in the finals; Maddie won this tournament for the second straight year!

For the full story, see the GCT article on the team's victory. Congratulations, girls!

Monday, September 20, 2010

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

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held this Wednesday, September 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. Most board meetings are held in this location, though there will be three different months this school year when the board meets at one of the three elementary schools. A listing of the board meeting dates and locations is on our district website.

The agendas for the board meetings are also posted on the district website. (agenda)

The special presentation for this month's meeting is the introduction of our new faculty members for the 2010-11 school year.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spotlight on Ms. McLeod

Samantha McLeod

Teacher of Music

Elementary Schools K-5

Name: Samantha McLeod

College(s) and degrees(s): 2010 Graduate of Rowan University with a BM in Music and a BA in Education.

Work experience: Working in the Woodbury City Public Schools is my first job as a music teacher!

Favorite books

o fiction: To Kill a Mockingbird, but there are so many more.
o nonfiction: Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks

Favorite television show: Lost and Grey’s Anatomy

Last movie I loved: The Cove

Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: Well… since I’m a music teacher, this is a tough one, but I’ll go with Michael Buble’s self titled album.

Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why: Aaron Copland, the composer, because his music is so passionate and intricate.

Visiting this place makes me peaceful: Ucles, Spain, where I spent a summer teaching English to Spanish summer campers. I lived in a monastery surrounded by rolling hills and sunflowers.

One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to: Putting wheels on my laundry basket

Favorite animal (domestic or wild): Flamingos

Favorite sports team: Philadelphia Phillies

Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: Easter Island

Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: My elementary band director, Mike Marano, was the most wonderful role model for teaching. I remember being so excited for my flute lessons, and I would practice every day because I wanted to learn more and more. I hope that I can inspire students to achieve great things like he did for me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Periodic Update of the Strategic Plan

A thirty-person committee met back in 2007 to begin the work of developing a new five-year Strategic Plan for Woodbury City Public Schools. That team consisted of a diverse group that included students, parents, community members, teachers, support staff, board members, and school administrators. Their work ultimately resulted in the crafting of district beliefs, a district mission and overall objectives thought to be in the best interest of all our students. From the discussions, five specific strategies and associated action plans were outlined to ensure we achieve our district’s goals.

This year, the district will spend time reviewing and updating our Strategic Plan. This plan guides many of the larger projects that impact the schools in the district. The thirty-person planning committee has already been reconstituted and is scheduled to meet later this month for a two-day session. Then, it is expected that there will be more work to be done by others in the school community to follow-up on any new ideas that are recommended for inclusion into the existing plan.

I welcome any interest that you may have in becoming involved in this "second phase" of development during this periodic update of the plan. If you have a desire to get involved in this process, please contact my secretary, Mrs. Hoffman, at 856-853-0123 (ext. 214) or at We are beginning to compile of list of those interested and will reach out a bit later this fall to begin this phase of the work.

For more information on the Strategic Plan:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall Sports Are In Action

This post is a reminder that, on the district website, there is an easy link to the website "" You simply go to the "ATHLETICS" tab on the bar across the top of the home page and select "SCHEDULES."

On the "" site, you will see a five-day snapshot of what is happening in the world of Woodbury athletics. You can also request a full schedule for specific teams.

Finally, you can use the system to transfer data directly into your computer's calendar -- that way, for example, you can have the entire soccer season downloaded.

Below is an example of the five-day look (The screen for the blog cuts off a good bit of this table; the full table is displayed when you go to the actual site.).

Good luck to Tennis and Field Hockey today in their respective competitions!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jr.-Sr. High School -- Update on a Concern

Last week, were were presented with a difficult matter in the form of a Philadelphia news station's choice to run a story on bulllying. The focus was the Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School and the information seemingly came from a single source. It is very difficult for the school to comment on individual matters, but we want to assure our school community that we take these matters very seriously. Our faculty and administration work hard to establish strong relationships with students and to provide a safe, structured environment for all students. There are definite expectations for all students that are outlined in our student conduct code, and this code is upheld.

Below is a copy of a letter that Mrs. Dunham, the high school principal, sent by mail to each family in the Jr.-Sr. High School in an effort to provide some limited explanation from the school's perspective. This should be arriving in homes today or tomorrow; this electronic version is an advanced copy for blog readers. As she indicates, our doors are always open. If you would like a tour of our building during any school hour, simply stop by the main office and we will arrange it for you.

Letter from Mrs. Dunham, Jr.-Sr. High School Principal:

Dear Community Members,

On Thursday evening of last week -- just before midnight – WCAU-TV 10 News in Philadelphia ran a story about a student of Woodbury with claims that she was bullied and afraid to attend our school. It is unfortunate that this news agency chose to run a story received from a single source with apparently no fact checking on their part. There were a number of false statements included in the story leaving an overall impression that does not correspond with the true facts.

Though I cannot be more specific with respect to the details of this incident, let me assure you that we have a building that develops strong character in our students in a positive setting. The New Jersey Department of Education will visit our school to investigate the allegations. We do not expect the investigation to disrupt the academic routine; we do expect those investigating to find students who are content, focused, safe, and engaged in learning – learning that will ensure they will be prepared for college.

We welcome anyone into our building at any time during the school day and after school to witness our daily routine that ends, for many children, long after the last bell rings. Simply stop by the main office and ask for me; I will be glad to arrange for a tour.

• If you arrive as our Junior High School day begins (at 7:40 a.m. each morning) you will see 20+ classrooms serving nearly 300 adolescents from every corner of our town bond with morning greeting activities that have the purpose of setting a positive climate for learning each day. We call this Developmental Designs activity “Herd Huddles.”

• Town Hall meetings are held every Friday morning for Junior and Senior High School students where we take time to address students in specific grade levels with important news and celebrate academic and co-curricular achievements.

• Even though the school year has just begun, some students have already identified their own “special places” during the lunch period; they share lunch with teachers and students with whom they have already established positive and productive relationships in small groups in various classrooms around the building.

• Our after-school WORKPLACE program is staffed with four tutors and a Lead Teacher on Mondays through Thursdays. This is a place where students are encouraged to come to study, receive assistance in homework, or hone their testing skills for those high stakes assessments in the spring.

• Targeted professional development occurs annually so that our faculty members are prepared to appropriately address any concerns associated with harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

• Despite severe budget cuts, we offer nearly 20 sports and/or co-curricular activities for Junior High School students and over 40 sports and/or activities at the Senior High School level from which students can choose to contribute their talents and gifts to our school community.

Our faculty and staff are “second to none”; we value every parent; we honor every child who enters our doors each day.

We do investigate all incidents of bullying, intimidation, and/or harassment. We have a student conduct code that we work hard to uphold. Students are held accountable and discipline consequences are administered in accordance to that code. Additionally, we spend considerable time working with students who find themselves in trouble and with their families to help support a positive change so that everyone can find school to be a productive environment. Please do not hesitate to contact me or either of the assistant principals if you ever have a concern.

This school opening was one of the smoothest openings in many years. It was unfortunate that our first days of school were disrupted by an inaccurate and one-sided account of a situation -- tainting the good work that is going on in our school.

We will continue to do what is right by students – every student – and look forward to a very positive 2010-11 school year.


Denise Dunham,

Contact Information:
Denise Duham, Jr-Sr High School Principal, 853-0123, ext. 212
Jason Vivadelli, Sr High School Assistant Principal, 853-0123, ext. 209
Thomas Braddock, Jr High School Assistant Principal, 853-0123, ext. 200

For more information, you can view the board’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying policy (Policy Number 5512.01) on the district’s website:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back-to-School Nights

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: This Thursday, September 16th

JR-SR HIGH SCHOOL: Next Thursday, September 23rd

We hope to see everyone out. These evenings present a good opportunity to establish an early connection with your child's teacher(s). Please mark your calendar.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spotlight on . . .

On Fridays during the early part of the school year, our new faculty members are "spotlighted" with special blog entries. For the 2010-11 school year, these posts should start within a week or two.

Now that the blog has been up and running for a while, there are a number of these spotlights arvhived for faculty members who began working with the Woodbury City Public Schools over the course of the last few years. You can use the "search" feature at the top of the blog site to find a teacher's entry and discover out a bit more about his/her background.

Stay tuned for this year's spotlight entries.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

U R College Bound --> You Are College Bound

Our teachers in all grades were in over the summer planning for the new school year and preparing rooms for students. Often, this involves setting up various bulletin boards around the room to work in functional ways -- homework announcements, etc. -- or as motivational tools.

Here is one bulletin board in high school English teacher Beth Luthke's classroom. Throughout the room she has an "on the road" theme. This particular bulletin board reminds our students that we want them all to be "college bound." The high school program looks to put all students in a position to make a decision as a senior to choose to go to college.

The message: "You Are College Bound" -- but the board shows the original message as "U R College Bound" and corrects the U --> You and R --> Are. Cute.

As part of the high school's Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, many teachers are also displaying images from their own college experiences -- a type of "college shrine." To the right of this bulletin board, Ms. Luthke has items that note her degrees from the University of Delaware and the College of New Jersey.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Good First Day -- A Good Year

Energy and excitement are always evident the first day. Staying focused and determined throughout the school year is the key to increased academic success.

Please take some time this week and this weekend to discuss with your child what he or she can do to meet with success. Here are four good ideas that come from the website:

In addition to brains and books, there is another thing your children need to succeed in school: you, the parent. Parents play a large role in ensuring a child's academic success, according to the U.S. Department of Education. This means helping your child perform at her best, both physically and mentally. By emphasizing healthy choices and good study habits, you can help your child succeed in school.

Good Health and Energy

Caring for your child's physical needs is an important aspect of student success. This means making sure your child gets plenty of rest each night and eats healthy snacks and meals. A healthy lifestyle will give him the energy he needs to perform. Plenty of whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables will give your child a good start, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Exercise also is vital, so your child will maintain a healthy weight.

Communicate With Teachers

Part of a parent's student-success strategy should include creating open lines of communication between you and your child's teachers. Communicating regularly with teachers has been shown to help children succeed, according to the University of Illinois Extension. This does not mean you have to call your child's teacher every night. However, it does mean you should join parent-teacher organizations and attend any regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences. If you do have a question or want feedback, respect the teacher's personal time at home. Contact the teacher during school hours, and request that she call you back at a convenient time.

Set Up a Study Zone

Studying is accomplished best in a place where there's peace and quiet. This allows your child to focus on her studies, according to the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. Find a comfortable place where she can sit and study. Minimize distractions, such as the television or loud music. Check on your child regularly to ensure she does not need assistance. While concentration is important, encourage her to take a short break if her studying exceeds 45 minutes or an hour.

Read with Your Child

You can teach your child to be a good student by fostering a love of reading and making learning fun. If your child is younger, curl up with him in a comfortable chair and read some favorite books together. As your child gets older and reads on his own, ask him about what he is reading and what he likes about the book, suggests the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune. Encourage him to keep reading by making trips to the library a fun and special event.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

2010-11: Welcome Back

Hello everyone. We are excited to start the new school year. Our faculty and staff were in for two days last week getting ready. Now, it is time for the students to join us!

The Jones house has three kids waiting for the start of their school year -- all with varying degrees of readiness. But -- I believe that each is ready. Two are in high school and one is finishing his last year in the middle school. Our oldest is off to his freshman year in college and already headed into week three. Time marches on.

The weather looks good -- a bit warm for Tuesday and Wednesday but no rain. No rain is good, especially for a walking district.

The blog will provide some updates on the upcoming school year over the course of the next few days. I hope to do a better job with the posts; last year got away from me a bit. So, this is the first post for the blog as it enters its fifth school year! Tune in and keep up with what is happening around the schools.

Again, welcome back.