West Essex News January 26, 2012

West Essex News

West Essex News                  January 26, 2012


Hello everyone! I hope that everyone had a good week.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Attention Parents. Please note that the Progress ran an inaccurate article two weeks ago regarding the change in our District Calendar. We will have a half-day TUESDAY February 21st with 12:17 p.m. dismissal, the day following President’s Day. We do not have school on Monday, February 20th.


Beginning this week, we are going to send out the West Essex News on Thursdays. :> That means submissions must be sent in earlier…by Tuesday at 3 p.m. please. Any questions, newsletter submissions, please e-mail them to me at afreeman@westex.org. You may also call me extension 101.


If you are on Facebook and have not become a fan of our West Essex Regional Schools page, do it today! There is a lot going on in our wonderful District. Be sure to keep informed.


Are you making regular visits to the School District website? Keep up-to-date with everything going on at West Essex. Check out the photo galleries featuring pictures of West Essex students. Please note that Andrew Rubinich took the photos of Middle School Spirit Week. Thanks for sharing Andrew!


West Essex Regional Board of Education


The West Essex Regional Board of Education will hold a Regular meeting on Monday, January 30th at 7:30 p.m. A topic of discussion will be moving the annual School Elections to November.


Important Dates:

  • January 27:      High School Midterm Exams, Early Dismissal for ALL students.
  • February 3:      Genesis Portal Open for second marking period grades.

                       Deadline for Eighth Grade Field Trip Payments.

                       Seventh Grade Hero Day Assembly 

  • February 6:      Skylr the Hypnotist
  • February 10:    Middle School Pep Rally

                       Deadline for AP Exam Registration

  • February 15:     WEFE Meeting
  • February 20:     All Schools Closed, President’s Day.
  • February 21:     Half-Day, Early Dismissal
  • March 3 & 4:     West Essex SAT Boot Camp
  • March 17:          First Educational Technology Symposium at West Essex 


District News:


Mark your calendars for the First Educational Technology Symposium at West Essex March 17, 2012! This special free event has been designed to educate K-12 teachers, administrators, media specialists, school boards and interested community members on the innovative use of technology in education. It will feature keynote addresses by leaders in the field including New Milford High School Principal Eric Sheninger, who will speak on educational leadership in this ever-changing digital world. Lisa Thumann, a Google Certified teacher and trainer and Director of Innovative Learning Technology at the School for Global Education and Innovation at Kean University, will also address how students, educators and administrators are using digital tools to communicate, collaborate and create in New Jersey classrooms. For information, contact Raquel Williams at rwilliam@westex.org. Registration will be open tomorrow at noon at www.westex.org/wetech.


IMPORTANT AP EXAM ANNOUNCEMENT:  Beginning Wednesday January 25, 2012, Registration Forms for all May AP Exams will be available in the High School Guidance office.  This year, the fee for each AP test is $87.00the Only form of payment that will be accepted will be checks made out to west essex high school. All registration forms and payments must be brought back to the Guidance department by February 2, 2012. It is required that every student taking an AP course must take the AP Exam to receive the AP designation on their transcript, as written in our West Essex Program of Studies. Any questions or concerns, please see your guidance counselor.


West Essex Middle School Seventh Graders will celebrate Hero Day February 2nd at 8:30 a.m. in the Middle School Auditorium. The students select a hero, someone in his or her life who demonstrates the character traits studied in class, as part of the Seventh Grade Character Education Curriculum. Holocaust survivor Mike Bornstein will be the featured speaker for the event.


The West Essex High School Guidance Department is planning a Career Day at the high school April 18th from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and is looking for presenters. Parents or community members who would like to talk to the students about their professions should contact Linda Grancagnolo at lgrancag@westex.org.


West Essex High School Principal Gary Suda issued a revised special message about Midterm Exams.


Juniors can learn to Outsmart the SAT at Catalyst’s SAT Boot Camp at West Essex High School Saturday March 3rd and Sunday March 4th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Many students do not have time for weekly prep classes and it takes a long time to get your mock scores. In just one week, students will learn every strategy they need for the test. The course also costs $100 for the entire weekend, which includes course and prep materials. (The course only costs $100 since the School District is paying part of the fee for each student to encourage greater participation and help students increase their test scores.) To register, call (800) 235-0056.


Two eighth grade social studies classes (Mrs. McCarthy’s and Mr. Ferrara’s classes) participated in a Skyping Workshop today with Kenneth Davis, a New York Times bestselling officer who has written “Don’t Know Much About History/Don’t Know Much About Geography.” The workshop focuses on the upcoming Presidential Race and how our country elects a president.


Parents of eighth graders attending the Field trip to Washington D.C. March 29 and 30 must make the second and final payment ($170) for the trip by February 3rd. Medical forms are also due and are available on the website. Students going on the trip will attend an informational meeting during the first week of March to learn about trip rules, the itinerary and instructions for hotel rooming.


The West Essex High School Writing Center is now open from 2:40 to 3:40 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for students seeking help with English or Social Studies papers, SAT writing, essays and poems. Students should sign up in the library by 1 p.m. each day to reserve their time with faculty tutors. The Writing Center is located in Room 502, just outside the library. For information, contact English Supervisor Anna Morse at amorse@westex.org.

The deadline to purchase a personalized High School Yearbook has passed, but students can still order a yearbook without personalization by January 31, 2012 at midnight. The yearbooks may be purchased online at www.Jostensyearbooks.com. There is a list of those who have purchased a yearbook outside room 706 in the high school. For information, visit yearbook information.


Middle School Yearbooks are also available for purchase. Order now to make sure that your child receives one. Yearbooks are $45 and can be ordered on our website at click here.


Seniors will have the opportunity to participate in the Senior Service Project which should run from approximately May 22 to June 12.  To participate, students must meet certain eligibility requirements. For information, read the letter on the website at Senior Service Letter.


Skylr The Hypnotist will return for a student council performance Monday, February 6th at 7 p.m. in the High School Auditorium. Tickets are $10 at the door.


Student Achievements:


Members of the West Essex High School National Art Honor Society have created 35 beautiful portraits of less fortunate orphaned children in Sierra Leone, a West African nation plagued by civil war from 1991-2002.  The portraits are now on display inside the main entrance of the high school.

West Essex Art Honor Society Advisor Eileen Dormer said this is the seventh consecutive year that the society has participated in the International Memory Portrait Project and created portraits of children who have been orphaned by war, famine, disease or disaster. The portraits will be delivered personally to the children, along with a letter and photo from the student artist. Our students will later receive photos of the children with their portraits. For many orphans, the portrait becomes a treasured belonging, reminding them they are not forgotten. In the past, honor society students have drawn portraits of children in war-torn Uganda and AIDS-ridden Honduras and Myanmur (Burma.) The International Memory Project requires a minimum of $15 per portrait to cover costs, which is funded through the Dress in Denim program at West Essex.


West Essex High School’s Team Estonia participated in Zero Robotics Finals at MIT on January 22 and 23 at the MIT campus. The MIT Zero Robotics Competition is an International Competition sponsored by MIT and primarily involving software coding. The team competed in an alliance with teams from Stuyvesant High School in New York and West Lafayette High School in Indiana and placed among the top five nationally. “The experience was unbelievable for the team,” said Stephen Olsen, a mathematics teacher and club advisor. “The actual competition took place on the ISS with a live feed to MIT and Amsterdam (European competitors.). It was truly a great event and wonderful experience for our future engineers from West Essex.”


The Roseland Borough Council recognized the West Essex Marching Knights for their successful season at its Council meeting January 24th  and named January 24, 2012 “West Essex Marching Knights Day.”


The 2011 Roundtable, the West Essex High School literary magazine, was recently ranked "Superior" by the National Council of Teachers of English. This is in addition to the magazine's earlier "Silver" ranking from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Students who contributed to the 2011 magazine include Ryan Towey (who was co-editor in chief last year with 2011 graduate Carly Schlecker) and Rebecca Cestari (2012 current coeditor with Ryan Towey), Jacqlene Boening, Christine Laible, Madison Mastroberte, Alejandro Alvarez, Juliana Devito, Alexa Farnese, Daniel Hargrove, Sarah Jacobson, Sarah Pasternak, Danielle Perelman and Alejandra Torres. Lynn Bailey is the advisor. Other art and English teachers also assisted. Other 2011 graduates who worked on the magazine include senior editor Stephen Walter, Francesco Damiano, Meghan Gambichler and Christiana Mecca.


The West Essex Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) recently competed against a number of schools in a regional FBLA event. The following West Essex High School students were named winners in the North Central Region event and will move on to compete at the State level against winners from throughout New Jersey: Jillian Crooks for Computer Applications; David Inga for Database Design and Applications; Taylor Steinberg for Introduction to Technology Concepts; Meredith James, Shannon Bertscha and Sabrina Saccente, all for Management Decision Making.


West Essex DECA members competed in the DECA Regional Conference with four taking home awards. The winners are: Athena Marousis, 3rd place for Principles of Finance; Alexa Alhout, 5th place for Principles of Business Management, and Jillian Crooks and Hannah Ritter, 10th place for Business Law and Ethics. Each student competed in one of 25 events, took a written test and role played a situation with a judge. The top seven students will continue competition at the state conference in February at Cherry Hill. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.


Fourteen West Essex High School students competed in the Regional Science Olympiad at NJIT in Newark. Twenty teams from area schools competed in the event. Duo David Inga and David Shields won honors for sixth place in Optics and Thermodynamics events in which they made an ingenious insulating device. Honorable mention also goes to Dominique Ruszala and Anthony Rossi in the Sounds of Music Event (which required building two instruments), Will Qawasmi and Jerry Groome for an Astronomy event and David Inga and Ralph Iannonne in the Helicopter event. Other Science Olympiad team members include: Devon Gardner, Alisha Lewis, Dan Hardgrove, Joseph Chuzhin, Jason Nathan and Joe Toumanious. The team advisors are Wendy Fink and Taciana Barros.



Staff News:


High School Special Education teacher Robyn Paglia will take the 2012 Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics New Jersey February 25th at the Aztec Ocean Resort in Seaside Heights. If you would like to make a donation, you can give checks made payable to Special Olympics New Jersey to Paglia or for information or to make a credit card donation, visit www.NJPolarPlunge.org and click on “Sponsor Plunger.”


Substitute teacher Deanna Hagel of Fairfield, a West Essex graduate and accomplished West Essex athlete, was honored Tuesday as the Montclair State University Woman Athlete of the Year at the 20th annual Girls & Women in Sports Awards luncheon held by the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women at Seton Hall University. Hagel was one of several hundred college and student athletes honored at the event and presented remarks on behalf of the collegiate athletes at the program. Hagel, who finished her field hockey career in 2010, ranked as one of the NJAC’s top scorers during her senior season at Montclair State University.



PTO News:

West Essex PTO Membership forms will be mailed out to families in the near future. Each family is encouraged to make a $35 donation to the organization. In the past, the money has been used to purchase a mascot costume, a new speaker system for the stadium, equipment for the fitness center and contributions for the beautification committee’s efforts. The PTO also supplies refreshments for special events including class breakfasts, teacher in-service days and funds special teacher projects. The PTO is also looking for volunteers to help with these events. If you would like to volunteer, contact Jenifer at jpetrocca@optonline.net


WEFE News:


The West Essex Foundation for Education will have its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, February 15th at 7:30 p.m. at the High School Cafeteria. The Foundation will host a Cut-a-thon March 27th from 3-7 p.m. at Panico Salon, 763 Bloomfield Ave., West Caldwell. All haircuts will cost $25 and ALL proceeds will go to WEFE. Parents or students interested in volunteering should e-mail rorilisa@aol.com. Mark your calendars for the WEFE 5K "Trotting For Technology" Run/Walk for the morning of May 19th. Interested volunteers should contact iharamis@aol.com or christinegrasso61@fairfieldnj.org.


West Essex Volunteers:


The West Essex Middle School Builder’s Club raised $95 for the Animal Angels Foundation, a non-profit organization, which improves the condition of farm livestock and all animals. The club held a bake sale on January 18th.


Community News:


Dr. Steven Tobias, in-house psychologist at the Banyan School and Director of the Center for Child and Family Development, will speak about “The Assessment and Treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” Monday, February 13th at 8 a.m. at the Banyan School Media Center, 12 Hollywood Ave., Fairfield. For questions, call Linda McCabe at (973) 439-1919 ext. 114 or email LMcCabe@BanyanSchool.com.


Parents of boys ages 11 and under interested in playing for The Fairfield Spring U-11 Boys Soccer Team should contact Coach Jim Dontas jdrox1@msn.com or Dave Calabrese at cee1988cee@yahoo.com. Team Trainer Martyn Rushmore was voted the 2011 Star-Ledger Summit High School Coach of the Year.


The Fairfield Home School Association is seeking donations for its May 10, 2012 Tricky Tray at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover. All proceeds go to the Fairfield HSA. If you would like to make a donation, e-mail Kelly Hricko at kellyhricko@yahoo.com.


Special Note:

We are asking parents to fill out a new Student Publicity Authorization form posted under general forms on the website and send them in to school with your child.  This is different than the original form you filled out in September. The form will allow your child’s photograph or name be used in a press release for the District website and the local media. Please take a few minutes to fill it out now.  Click here for the form:  Publicity Authorization Form.


If you do not receive the West Essex News and would like to have it e-mailed to you, please e-mail afreeman@westex.org.




Enjoy your weekend!


Take care,





Allison Freeman

Manager of Communications and Community Outreach

West Essex Regional School District

West Greenbrook Road

North Caldwell, NJ 07006

(973) 228-1200 ext. 101




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