Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Wednesday Program -- This Monday!

NEW DATE (Original Program postponed due to weather):
MONDAY, JANUARY 31 – 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.

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

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.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Woodbury Junior Senior High School Celebrates…..

A day on... not a day off!

(This blog post was prepared by Ms. Stalter-Allen.)

On Monday January 17th, over 125 Woodbury students, parents, faculty, staff and community members joined together with America in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy by celebrating a day on – not a day off.

Beginning with breakfast and a short music program that featured our very own Mrs. Denise Dunham and Mr. Justin Tompkins, our assembly answered Dr. King’s famous question “What are you doing for others?” Afterwards - armed with arts and crafts, mops and scrub brushes, and culinary supplies – Woodbury Junior Senior High School’s finest went out among the neighborhood and turned Dr. King’s powerful words into action.

Many of our students chose to stay on site at the high school to perform housekeeping chores. Mrs. Nikki Roberts, Ms. Eliza Cadorette and Mrs. Theresa Slusser were among the many that supervised our young volunteers as they polished banisters, cleaned trophy displays and scrubbed stairwells. The Maintenance Department joined this enormous undertaking by organizing an endless amount of supplies and materials to keep everyone working hard.

Mrs. Kylie Pringle is a new member of the Woodbury Jr. Sr. High faculty, but jumped right into the effort and chaperoned students at the Woodbury Mews. Over 30 students spent the afternoon visiting the residents and spent time doing arts and crafts, playing games and giving manicures. “But mostly”, reported Mr. Ed Murphy, our Director of Pupil Personnel Services, “they spent time in good conversation and sharing stories about their lives and families.”

Mrs. Ivy Pinkney-Davis, also new to our staff, lead a group of 8th graders to the Bethlehem Baptist Church where students were able to clean and organize various parts of the church and offices. The Seventh Day Adventist and Central Baptist Churches were also hosts to this great effort. Mr. Joe Pegues, a high school teacher, and his crew partnered with the Woodbury Cooperative Ministries and organized packages and supplies for the Food Bank. Mr. Al Kilpatrick, a Junior High teacher, with his son A.J., chopped vegetables and prepared other ingredients with a culinary crew at the Central Baptist Church – where the Miller family cooks soup that will go to feed the homeless in Camden.

At the day’s end, over 125 people proudly served their school and community. On that next Tuesday morning, the Woodbury High School was “buzzing” about the fun and value that came from the prior day’s events. Many students have asked about committing their time on a more regular basis. Some are interested in other opportunities within their community and a few have asked about starting an after-school Service Learning Club.

With only 357 days until the 2012 Day of Service – students and staff at Woodbury Junior Senior High School are already planning to expand this awesome event.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Spotlight On Ms. DiBenedetto

Devon DiBenedetto

Teacher of Elementary Technology


• Name: Devon DiBenedetto

• College(s) and degrees(s): Rowan University BA Elementary Education BA Geography

• Work experience: Instructional Assistant - 1st grade at Walnut Street Elementary. Kindergarten Interim -Walnut Street Elementary.

• Favorite books: Accident

• Favorite television show: Grey's Anatomy

• Last movie I loved: Pride and Glory

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: The Beach

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to: Take my dogs to the dog park.

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): Monkey

• Favorite sports team: Philadelphia Phillies

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: Ireland

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: I will never forget my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Zellers. She was, and still is, an amazing teacher who inspired me to continue my education to become an elementary school teacher. Mrs. Zellers was a very kind, caring, and patient teacher who always made all of her students feel successful.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

West End Art Show

On Thursday, January 13th, the West End PTA sponsored the West End Art Show. The PTA collaborated with our elementary art teacher, Miss Friedman, to produce a wonderful evening of multiple exhibits. All students had work on display in the following areas:

• Mosaics
• Starry Night Interpretations
• Chinese Landscape
• Color Shape Painting
• Thumb Print Tree
• Abstract Sculptures
• Collages

It was amazing to see such wonderful art work displayed in one setting. All in attendance were in awe over the high quality of work. Once through the exhibit, families were treated to cheese & crackers along with sparkling cider. First grader Kelsey Lay won a basket raffle which included over $50 of art supplies. We look forward to making this an annual event.
Contributed By: Vincent Myers, Principal of West End Memorial School

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sixers Black History Month Essay Contest

From the 76ers' website:

In honor of Black History Month, the Sixers want to know...

Who has been a strong African American role model to your child and what impact has he/she had on your child's life?

If your child is between 7-15 years old, the Sixers are inviting you to participate in the Black History Month Essay Contest. You could win a trip to Memphis, TN to see the Sixers take on the Memphis Grizzlies!

In addition to the game, you will be able to take a tour of the renowned National Civil Rights Museum and see first hand where monumental moments in history took place.

To win this exciting experience, the Sixers want you to submit a 250 word essay written by your child, telling us who has been a strong African American role model to your child and what impact that person has had on your child's life.

Contest begins on Monday, January 17 and ends on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.

Three winners will be selected to travel to Memphis, TN on February 15, 2011 - February 16, 2011.

More information at the Sixers' website.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MLK Day of Service

There was a nice story and pictures in the Philadelphia Inquirer on MLK day that included reference to the Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High Schools students involvement in activities here in Woodbury. This was our third annual event. Congratulations to all our young people who took time out of their day off to honor the memory of Dr. King.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Let it Snow

This "snow event" concept is becoming less of a novelty around these parts. These last two winters have been very active.

We have been fortunate this winter to have missed the last couple snow days in that we were not in session -- holiday/weekends. At least, as superintendent, I consider that fortunate.

For this year, we will be doing things a bit differently:

1. Our staff will be notified about a snow day using our new Global Connect calling system. That means we have abandoned the old "snow chain" calling tree. Everyone should be getting his/her telephone call instantaneously as soon as the initial call is placed.

2. We will be using that same Global Connect system to call out to our families to inform them of the snow day. This is a new capability for us this year as a result of the upgraded phone calling program. Our schools have been using Global Connect to get messages about programs, etc. out to the homes in certain circumstances already; this snow call will work the same way -- except that it will be a very early telephone call!

3. As a back-up to all of the above, we will still be posting any closing information on the district website and on the local television stations (ABC, NBC, and CBS). Each of those television stations also maintains a website with school closing information.

That should cover us. I believe that I have reported in this blog in the past how the Gloucester County school superintendents participate in a conference call on mornings where weather is a concern. This call takes place at 4:45 a.m. I also will use information that I receive from connecting with the local police and our district's facilities coordinator (responsible for snow removal!) to help assess the situation.

Finally, any snow day that causes us to miss school this 2010-11 school year will be made up at the end of the Spring Break. The first day that we miss will mean the Friday of Spring Break becomes a school day, the second day means that the Thursday of Spring Break becomes a school day, etc. This is pattern is true for the first four days of snow. Let's hope that we do not have more than four snow days this year!

In actuality, I typically do not make a call about having school until the morning of the weather event because the meteorologists have proven in the past that they can be very wrong with their forecasts. So, I will be watching -- like many of you -- and keeping an eye on this forecast as the day unfolds.

There are a number of school related events that may be impacted by the weather today and tomorrow in addition to the regular school program. You will find updates on that information -- sports, Family Nights, etc. -- posted on the front page of district's website as these decisions are finalized.

I think that's it! I guess you can see why it is enjoyable for me to watch it snow on a Sunday morning or a day over a long winter break.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Spotlight on Mrs. Darmo

Joann Darmo

Teacher of Elementary Enrichment


• Name: Joann Darmo

• College(s) and degrees(s): Brandywine College: Associate Degree;
Western Governors University: B.A. Education K-5

• Work experience: Instructional Assistant: Walnut School Grades 2/3 & 4/5
Substitute Teacher: Mt Laurel Schools

• Favorite books
o fiction: I just read Mockingjay from the Hunger Games Trilogy and I loved it.
o nonfiction: I enjoy to read National Geographic each month.

• Favorite television show: Modern Family

• Last movie I loved: Slumdog Millionaire

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: I love all different types of music, so I would say I wear out my shuffle button on the iPod.

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why: My father, he died right after I got married and hasn't been here to see me start my family, have a career I love, and my antique VW Bug convertible which he would love! He was a great moral compass for me, and I would treasure any time I could have with him -- even if it was just lunch.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: I love the mountains.

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to: It's always last on the list because I despise doing it -- cleaning my house.

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): My beagle, Max

• Favorite sports team: Any team my daughters play on and, of course, the EAGLES!

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: Hawaii or Europe

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: It's sad that I don’t remember her name, but I look back now and I wouldn't have received my teaching degree without her. I was taking a class at TCNJ at the beginning of my journey to get my teaching certificate. I was quite overwhelmed, being the oldest in the class and a mom with three little children. She noticed this, called me at home and talked to me about why I wanted to be a teacher, the life experiences I had, and the qualities she saw in me that would enable me to someday be a great teacher. That short phone call was the catalyst I needed to keep going. I thank her from the bottom of my heart -- because she cared. I remember that everyday and try to make some connection to my students to show them that I care about them and their education.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Holiday Happenings

In connection with our holiday break, a couple school items are worth highlighting:

1. Girls Basketball

Our girls varsity team is off to a strong start for this 2010-11 season. Over the break, they won the holiday tournament held at Buena High School. The picture is from my cell phone and fuzzy -- but they were very happy! Congratulations.

Also, during the tournament, Dominique Sellers scored her 1,000th career varsity point for the girls team. She was named the tournament MVP.

2. Evergreen at Woodbury Mews

As part of Woodbury’s Strategic Plan, one of the goals of the school district is to reach out to the local community. Prior to the break, Evergreen students from Mrs. Stankiewicz and Mrs. DiRienzo class and Mrs. Mills,the school nurse, visited the Woodbury Mews Memory Care Center.

The students and staff made holiday door hangers to spread holiday cheer to the residents. Songs were sung by all, and students visited and talked to residents. Lamont Kee, pictured here, is giving a resident a gift from the class. The students have been invited back by the community director to spend more time with the residents.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Happy New Year

This year has started with a bit of a bang for me and -- as a result -- I have missed some early opportunities for blog entries for 2011. Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had an enjoyable break. We are back and ready to continue our efforts for high quality school experiences for all students.

My calendar had me visiting with the elementary principals during the early part of this week. It is always exciting to see the strong, foundational work that takes place at these grade levels. This has been a wonderful start to a new calendar year.

One idea that Tonya Breland, our Evergreen Principal and district Supervisor for Curriculum and Instruction PK-5, is promoting for the new year is the goal of increasing the opportunities for students to read and our overall expectation for independent reading. Her message has been one that she has shared with her teachers and with me personally.

In an effort to support this reading emphasis, I thought it would be a good idea to put the call out for any books in good condition that may be in your homes collecting dust. If your children have moved past a certain reading stage and you have books to donate, we would welcome these at any of our schools.

You can drop off the donations to the main offices of the school of your child attends (or, if you are reading this as a community member interested in helping, you can get the books to Mrs. Breland at the Evergreen School and she will get them out to all of the schools across the district). At the elementary level, we are looking to expand in each room the available books so that there are rich, exciting classroom libraries available to all students. Your donation (and the donations of any friends or neighbors?!?) would be most welcomed.

Thanks -- and Happy New Year. I guess one of our school district resolutions is to read more! Interesting, because that is the same thing that I resolved to do better with for 2011. We are all so busy, I set my goal to be a realistic "book a month" for enjoyment.

Good luck with any personal resolution you are working to accomplish.