Monday, February 28, 2011

Jr.-Sr. High School PTSA Fundraiser

(This is from the PTSA: Parent, Teacher, Student Association)

Do You Have a Resolution?
Be the 1st Biggest Loser of 2011!!

Contact: Or Call Joan Hammer (Broad St. Nutrition)@609-314-5545

Support WOODBURY Jr-Sr HS PTSA Fundraiser
Begins: Thursday, March 3, 2011
Time: 6:15 PM –7:15 PM
Location: Broad Street Nutrition
55 S Broad St., Woodbury, NJ 08096
$39 FOR 12 WEEKS
(PTSA will receive $10 per participant & $25 awarded to Top 3 Biggest Losers)

Nutrition Lessons, Personal Coaching, Weekly Prizes
Lose 10, 20 or even 30+ Pounds!
Challenge Winners WIN CASH!!

Be one of the first 25 people to register by Monday, March 1st
and be submitted for a drawing to WIN!!
Your Weight Loss Challenge Fee FREE!
Return by Tuesday, March 1st to PTSA Mailbox (High School Main Office)


Email: with any questions or concerns

Name: ____________________________________________________________________

Phone: _____________________________ Email: _______________________________
Make Checks Payable to: Joan Hammer

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spotlight on Mrs. Jessica Nowak

Mrs. Jessica Nowak

Teacher of Business

Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name:
Jessica S. Nowak

• College(s) and degrees(s):
BA in Communication, Emerson College, Boston,
MA; Masters in Business Administration, University of Phoenix, Distance Learning

• Work experience:
My background includes everything from professional theater to medical editing to financial communication.

• Favorite book:
East of Eden, John Steinbeck

• Favorite television show:
I am currently crazy for The New Adventures of Old Christine.

• Last movie I loved:
A Serious Man – Joel and Ethan Coen (drama)
Run, Fat Boy, Run (comedy)

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s recording of Porgy and Bess

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
My Bed

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
Pygmy Marmosets…cute!

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mr. Gwalthney Goes to Washington

(The following comes from the New Jersey School Board's weekly publication, School Board Notes. Frank Gwlathney, Woodbury City Board of Education President, was one of those who participated in the conference.)

The 2011 Federal Relations Network Conference – the National School Boards Association’s grassroots advocacy network at the federal level – was held in Washington, D.C. from Feb. 6-8.

NJSBA governmental relations staff attended FRN with approximately 20 local board of education members from New Jersey.

The national issues discussed at the conference included:

•Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) /No Child Left Behind (NCLB)reauthorization
•School board governance
•Education funding
•Becoming a resource to new and returning members of Congress
•Taking your advocacy skills to the next level
•Urging Congress to support initiatives for 21st century learning and skills
•Learning to be a face for school districts on Capitol Hill

Julie Groeninger, an aide for Sen. Frank Lautenberg, sitting at the head of the table, speaks with (from left to right) Diane Holzberg, a member of the Demarest Board of Education; Richard Snyder, board member from Ramsey; and Beth Politi from the Pascack Valley Regional Board of Education. In the background is Frank Gwalthney of the Woodbury Board of Education (left), and Michael Vrancik, NJSBA’s director of Governmental Relations

At right, Martha Wilson, a school board member from Camden, and her husband, New Jersey Assemblyman Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson from Camden County, speak with a legislative aide in U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews’ office. At left is Frank Gwalthney of the Woodbury Board of Education, and Wayne Marek of the Morris Plains school board.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Luncheon & Musical for our Senior Citizens

A special note from the Woodbury Education Association:

Attention Woodbury Senior Citizens!
Please join us for
Woodbury High School’s
matinee production of

“Thoroughly Modern Millie”

Be our guest at a FREE luncheon prior to the play
compliments of the Woodbury Education Association
Date: Saturday, March 19th
Time: Luncheon begins at 11:00 a.m.
Play begins at 1:00 p.m.
Place: Woodbury High School Blue Cafeteria
(Free tickets to the show provided by the Woodbury High School Drama Club will be provided at the luncheon).

AT 853-0125 X248 (limited seating available)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Good to Debate: College at 18 years old?

My blog has been getting the short end of my attention recently. So, let me spice things up a bit with this entry. I came across this on my home e-mail, "Yahoo" page. The topic caught my interest.

Obviously, we in the public K-12 school arena are in the business of readying all of our students to have the option to go to college upon graduation. The question that this individual raises is whether college is the right choice.

I am not convinced of the complete argument that would cause one to forgo college entirely. For most of us, there is much to be gained by attending an institution of "higher learning."

I do think the concept of taking a year or two to do some of the things referenced here and then making a decision about college is interesting. I say that because I believe there is a real benefit to taking college courses with some additional, real life experiences to draw upon. The entire college experience for an individual could benefit from that sequence.

Take a look at the article from the internet that was posted on the Yahoo site (copied below). Also, I have activated a link here so that you can go to the site to view a brief interview with the gentleman making the argument for life experiences over college.

So -- thoughts?

James Altucher's 8 Alternatives to College
Posted Feb 08, 2011 08:00am EST by Aaron Task

It's been nearly a year since Formula Capital's James Altucher discussed his theory on why sending your kids to college is a bad idea. The segment proved to be one of Tech Ticker's most popular...and controversial of 2010. (See: Rethinking College as Student-Loan Burdens Rise)

More recently, a report based on the book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses found that after two years of college, 45% of students learned little to nothing. After four years, 36% of students learned almost nothing. (See: Brain Drain: Most College Students Learn Next to Nothing, New Study Says.)

Meanwhile, the cost of college keeps rising -- 20 times the rate of inflation and much faster than say healthcare costs -- and student loan debt keeps growing. As of mid-2010, U.S. student loan debt totaled $850 billion vs. $828 billion for credit card debt, according to the Federal Reserve.

So with more people coming around to the idea that maybe Altucher is onto something (vs. being on something), the money manager and author is back with a follow-up: The 8 Alternatives to College:

-- Start a business.
-- Work for a charity.
-- Travel the world.
-- Create art.
-- Master a sport.
-- Master a game.
-- Write a book.
-- Make people laugh.

"Whenever I suggest 'don't send your kids to college' a lot of very smart people invariably come back with the response, ‘well what else should they do?'," Altucher writes on his blog. "So I figure I will help people out by coming up with a list and try to handle the criticisms that will certainly arise even before they arise. I can do this because I have a college degree. So I've learned how to think and engage in repartee with other intelligent people."

In the accompanying video, Altucher "repartees" with Henry and me about his alternatives to college and addresses the most powerful thing working on behalf of higher education: The huge gap in employment between those with and without college degrees.

Aaron Task is the host of Tech Ticker. You can follow him on Twitter at @atask or email him at

Monday, February 14, 2011

Congratulations -- 2011 Teachers of the Year

We are excited to announce the following selections for
The New Jersey Governor’s 2011
Teacher of the Year Award
for the Woodbury City Public Schools

Evergreen Avenue
Christine Abdalla

Walnut Street
Robby Richardson

West End Memorial
Debra Aversa

Junior High School
Ellen Firth

Senior High School
Cheryl Federline

Each demonstrates hard work, dedication, and a professional spirit worthy of our recognition.
Woodbury is fortunate to have a truly dedicated faculty. The selection committee felt that
these teachers provide strong example of all the good teaching that takes place across the district.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Spotlight on Mr. Seligman

Mr. Jonathan Seligman

Teacher of Mathematics

Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name:
Jonathan Seligman

• College(s) and degrees(s):
University of Maryland B.A. Government and Politics
Rutgers School of Law - Juris Doctorate
Rowan University - Masters of Science in Teaching

• Work experience:
Teacher Carusi Middle School Cherry Hill 2008-2010
Practicing Attorney 2003-2008

• Favorite books
o fiction: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and 1984 by George Orwell
o nonfiction: Game Change by Mark Halpern

• Favorite television show:
How I Met Your Mother

• Last movie I loved:

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Ten by Pearl Jam

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
My father because I miss seeing him and I miss his wisdom and has ability to remain level headed.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
When I drove cross-country after college I stayed in Kentucky for a night. I spent three hours on a bay watching the sunset, I never forgot how the world reset at that moment and I felt so peaceful.

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Calling friends and making plans.

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
Duck-They bake in the sun all day, hang out with their friends and go swimming. It’s a sweet life.

• Favorite sports team:

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
30 Baseball Stadiums in 28 Days

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
Mr. Gray in 5th Grade. He always cared and looked for the good in everything and everyone. He taught me that positive thinking led to achievement and accomplishment.

• ANYTHING ELSE?. . . I feel like I accomplish more in a day teaching than most people do in a year. I love the everyday give and take. I really consider myself lucky to have such a fun job.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

A Sweet Taste from Home

(This blog entry was written by Amanda Colella Gallenthin, 9th grader)

On January 21st, 2011 four students set out to make a difference and not just because their grade depended on it. Justine Gartner, Maria Weber, Tyrah Brown, and Sarah Novalsky, a small group who came together as a result Challenge Day,organized a care package drive for Woodbury resident Charles Boyle and his fellow troops stationed at Camp Moreell in Kuwait.

“A Sweet Taste from Home” care package drive collected calling cards, Tastykakes and chewing gum for the troops.

Justin and Tyrah created a power point trivia game about Kuwait and the military for a presentaton to Woodbury 5th graders. Maria and Sarah did a read aloud with the theme “Helping Others,” along with a writing activity called “When I was a Helping Hand.”

The group reflected upon how they inspired their younger peers recalling: “Not only did we bring smiles and laughter to the young students but we had fun returning to a time, not so long ago, when we were once sitting in the tiny chairs in Mrs. Stanek’s class at West End with tennis balls attached to the legs.”

“Putting this project together was challenging yet fun. I enjoyed learning about Kuwait and our current situation overseas. I hope after we talked with the 5th grade students they will donate items to our drive” Justine Gartner expressed.

The Freshman group is in the process of organizing the items donated to the drive and will be sending the packages soon. “This wasn’t like a job at all. It was something that people could be involved in and feel good.” Maria Weber said.

So don’t forget to thank the students who have made a difference among our community, give credit where credit is due. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Wintry Mix

This has been a real wintry mix of a winter season. Today seems as if it has not produced the snow/ice that the weather predictors forecasted. So -- like most of the schools in South Jersey at this time -- we will look to get a regular day of school in for this Tuesday.

Obviously, we will keep an eye on the weather and what is projected for this evening to make decisions regarding after school events, etc. Any changes will be posted on the district website.

To date, we have missed two days of school due to weather. Those days get made up during the Spring Break. That means we are now in session Thursday, April 28th, and Friday, April 29th. The district calendar is updated on the website: district calendar.