Monday, October 15, 2018

October 12, 2018

This "eagle" is working on keeping the geese away
Hello all,

I hope you have had a great week and are ready for the weekend. Many of us have been wishing for the weather to cool off and Mother Nature came through. Enjoy the cooler weather, before you know it, we will be complaining it is too cold out.

I started reading an interesting book this week entitled “Out of Curiosity; Restoring the Power of Hungry Minds for Better Schools, Workplaces, and Lives” by a great mind in education and friend of mine, Bryan Goodwin. Bryan is president and CEO of McRel International. McRel, as you know, has been at the forefront of educational research. They specialize in focusing on where the magic of a great teacher and the science of learning come together.

In his latest book, Chapter One begins with a simple question: “What is this funny little thing called curiosity?” This begins the analysis of what it means to be curious. He looks at the various ways our curiosity can be sparked and suggests that being purposeful we can become curious people. Is there a difference in saying I feel curious vs. saying I am curious? Bryan goes on to answer that question clearly. Anyone and everyone can feel curious once in awhile…but curious people who adopt curiosity as a character trait are typically linked to better academic performance, stronger relationships, job performance, and overall satisfaction in life.

As young children, I would be willing to bet that we all would be described as curious children. If you have been in a recent Pre-school or primary classroom lately you know exactly what I am talking about. “Why is the grass green? Why does the moon disappear? Where did the dinosaurs go?” and so on… no matter how many times you answer their little questions they will come back with another. The entire world is a wonder to us when we are young. Sadly, that natural state of curiosity does not stay a predominant trait in many adults. Instead, some simply get comfortable in the routine of their daily life. They accept things as they are and are in no hurry to wonder about how things could be better. They simply want to know exactly what is the minimum needed for me to meet a satisfactory rating. It would be easy to blame those who do not shine with curiosity. Instead, Bryan and the researchers at McRel were curious about why so many people lose their curiosity trait in their teenage years and never get it back. In this book, I hope to learn more about this. I am curious too. As a father of two soon to be teenagers, I want to know what I can do to help them keep their curiosity about the world thriving. As an educator, I want to understand this phenomenon better so we can focus classroom efforts to support our students’ curiosity. In addition, I hope to learn about how to help those staff members who see professional development as a chore rather than an opportunity to be curious about improvement.

What are you curious about? Are you a curious person or one of those who lost it during their teenage years? Would you be willing to try and rekindle that side of you if you knew how?

SHOUT-OUTS!

"After battling flocks of geese on our athletic fields for years, Troy Polhamus and Bill Parker may have found a solution.  If you've seen strange looking bald eagles on our fields, you can thank Troy and Bill.  They built them and have been refining the design for a few weeks.  So far, the geese seem to be fooled."
~Ryan Cruzan, Facilities Manager

"Becky Henry, Tom Fien, Sandy Lokuta, Jackie Votta, Rita Pettit, and Kelly Gandy for hosting the AVID National Demonstration Coaching team to visit their classes and highlight the amazing contributions of the Lakeside Lightning students!"

"Thank you to Mr. Larry (aka Commander In Chief) for always going above and beyond as a nighttime custodian, substitute security guard and host to evening visitors at LMS!"
~Spike Cook, Principal

"A big thanks to Katie Baralus and Jen Panas for working so well with our students.  Their time, insights, and abilities have helped us a great deal, and it's great having them here!"
~Mike Coyle, Principal

"Thank you to Mr. Ronnie Feliciano. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty to mentor a few of our male students. They are in awe of you!!"
~Arlene Jenkins, Principal

"Amy Whilden, Val Phillips, and Mihajlo Protic have done a great job of putting together the key parts of our new Algebra 1 curriculum this year. This course will continue to be a graduation requirement and the curriculum they are writing is going to put our students in the best position to be successful they have even been. Thanks!"
~Bobby Barber, Supervisor

"Thank you to Nina Crain, Kelly Blough, Jen Morrow, SueAnn Irwin, and Debbie Broe the first grade team at Silver Run.  This group of teachers has welcomed the RtI staff at the school into their classrooms as we begin to implement a push-in model at this grade level.  Their flexibility and openness to change is what drives this team.  All students are now benefiting from the extra support within the classroom setting.  Thanks again for your support!"
~Pat Wulk, Supervisor

"Shout out to the self contained team at Lakeside for meeting weekly to help improve the design of the BD program and the education we provide our students - Melissa Kuhlen, Megan Protze, Audrey Muller, Melissa Castor, and School Admin."
~Steve Matusz, Exec. Dir. Special Services

"A big shout out to our 4th Grade Team of  Laura Kane, Maria Vai, Marcia DeFelice, and Sarah Fryling.  They have worked collaboratively to create a positive social-emotional learning experience for all 4th grade students.  They had a fun assembly to kick off their project that placed the students in 4 houses with the themes of integrity, courage, strength, and respect.  Students had a great time and will be working throughout the year as part of a team towards goals set by the teachers."
~Steve Saul, Principal

"A big shout out to Lori Kinsey, Stephanie Upham, Barbara Todd, Sue Derella, Joanne Mills, Erin Barse, Terry Russo, Mindy Fralick, Kathy Drastal, and Becky Morris for setting up our 1st staff get together of the year.  These social gatherings serve as great opportunities for staff to enjoy each other’s company and enable us to grow stronger as a staff. “
~Eric Reissek, Principal

"A BIG Shout Out to Maria Stoerrle for organizing and scheduling the car seat workshop for our parents.  She provided two certified car seat specialists, child care and snacks  and everyone who attended will receive a free car seat professionally installed."
~JoAnn Burns, Principal

Have a Great Weekend!!!
Dr. G.


Dr. David N. Gentile
Superintendent of Schools
“Lead Learner”
@drgentile_mps (Twitter)
856-327-6001

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)
#greatdaytobeabolt

Published by Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Friday, October 12, 2018

October 5, 2018

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
The Phenomenal Friday is dedicated to highlighting the contributions of the Millville Public School employees.

Shout-outs!!!

"Nilsa Acosta and John Bunting for assisting with the 8th grade students as we do not currently have a Guidance Counselor. Your hard work does not go unnoticed."

"Scott Godfrey, Ryan Hudson and Ish Jimenez for covering the ACI for two periods every B day."
~ Spike Cook, Principal Lakeside Middle School “Home of the Junior Bolts"

"Thanks to Tori Smith who bailed us out of a jam this week!"
~Henry Hartman, Supervisor Fine & Performing Arts

"Kudos to Margaret Keefer, and Beth Benfer for their hard work during the October 3rd in-service! Your professionalism inspires all of us as we continue to grow as professionals."
~Maggie Colina, Supervisor of Language Arts Literacy

"A big shout out to Margaret Keefer and Beth Benfer for the massive amount of work and planning that went into the Oct 3rd in-service.  Thank you both!   Speaking as someone who helped run a session for the puppet making, the presentation was clear and the info pretty much taught itself.  And speaking of that, I'd like to give a shout out to Bob Trivellini for being a great co-teacher in yesterday's session and for everything else he does for the district.  We are lucky to have him!"
~Mike Coyle, Principal Bacon School Bears

"A big shout out to Jess Kauffman for helping organize and implement our new Community Based Instruction Curriculum with our new community partners. A little quiet shout out to baby too."
~Steve Matusz, Director Special Education

"A special thanks goes out to Allison Buono who created the design for our new school store. The school store which is now on a cart looks absolutely amazing! And a big thank you to Jamie Tomlin and her husband Sean for printing and applying the Artwork to our cart."

"Two high fives goes out to Nicole Portik and Julie Stewart for their outstanding job presenting at the October 3rd In-Service Day."

"A big shout out to Christina McCarron, of Sheppard Bus Company. Love the books on the bus initiative! And because anyone who is willing to dress up and greet their students in a Shark Costume deserves a shout!" 
-Eric Reissek, Principal Silver Run Sharks

"I want to first thank Laura Shepherd and the entire registration/transportation department. Their daily efforts may largely fall below the radar or appear to go unnoticed. However, they are the often the first impression makers for new families coming to Millville for the first time. Other times, they are the ones who help our families who are in transition from one address to the next. They do an excellent job. We appreciate all that you do!"

"Next, I want to give recognition to Margaret Keefer and Beth Benfer for all the support they provide for the district."

"In addition, I had the opportunity to see the STEM mobile lab in action recently! Gerald Bruman (alternating with Shawn Jenkins) are doing an outstanding job introducing our elementary 5th graders to the concepts of engineering. Bobby Barber was the creator of the lab on wheels, and the two instructors selected are running with it. Great job!!!!

Lastly, I want to thank Bob Trivellini (Brian Robinson, Stephanie DeRose, Gerald Bruman) for their recent pursuit of grant funding for two projects. We were invited by OceanFirst Bank (sponsors of the grants) to attend a dinner (almost 2 hour drive). We waited eagerly while 25 – ten thousand dollar grants were awarded to other schools. The disappointment was obvious on all of the Millville staff members’ faces in attendance, but I know Mr. Trivellini felt it the most. Seems like an odd shout-out perhaps to draw attention to us not receiving grant funding…but it is not. This is not a loss or failure…it is merely part of the grind. Mr. Trivellini has helped secure countless grants over the years. It is fun to celebrate those but for me, it is here in this recent experience that I feel encouraged. I know that the next opportunity that presents itself, Bob will do everything he can, over and above, beyond what is requested for the application, to make sure our names are called next time. In baseball, if you can get 3 hits for every 7 strikeouts you will likely be eligible for the Hall of Fame. So keep at it, find the grant opportunities and take your ‘at-bat’. Keep swinging for the fences Bob."
- David Gentile, Superintendent

Final Shout-out this week:
"The Power Of A Shared Experience”, Click on the link below to relive some of the fun from October 3, 2018. We received over 200 pictures so we couldn’t get them all in. Please send us the pictures of your students trying this activity. Thank you again and here is a special video ‘shout-out’ for all the presenters and participants. Thank you to all who with an open-mind allowed yourself to get caught up in the moment. There are lots of smiling faces in the video montage, perhaps we were able to capture yours….
~ Margaret Keefer, Beth Benfer: PD Superheros

Have an amazing 3 Day Weekend!

Regards,
Dr. G.

Dr. David N. Gentile
Superintendent of Schools
“Lead Learner”
@drgentile_mps (Twitter)
856-327-6001

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)
#greatdaytobeabolt

Published by Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Friday, September 28, 2018

September 28, 2018

Photo by Manasvita S on Unsplash
Hello all,

Good afternoon, and happy Friday to you! It is official, September is a wrap. For many of us, each new school year marks a fresh start. I am full of optimism, hope, and a belief in this year will be better (different) than the ones before. It may be a personal or profession goal, I often start each school year with a couple of goals in mind. This year for example, I decided that I would do a better job of ‘unplugging’ from work when home on my personal time. Many of you have likely gotten one of my  2 am emails about something I felt was super important while normal people were sleeping (not talking about snow calls either). But I began to realize that unless you work the night shift 2 am should be for sleep not thinking about work.

I  took  pride in responding to work related calls, emails or text messages quickly. To do so, however, required me to have my phone readily available at all times. I cringe when I think of the number of times over the years my children excitedly exclaimed, “Dad look!” in order to show me a handstand or some other amazing accomplishment of the kid world. I cringe because far too often in the past, my response was (while looking at my phone distracted), “ok, great job, just please give daddy a minute" – or "I will be right there" (only I never actually got there).

Nothing to be done about the past, but the future is undetermined. So this year, I made plans to change my behavior in order to be able to be more present for my family during my personal time. The plan was that when I come home from work or on weekends, I would put the phone on vibrate or do not disturb and leave the device in my nightstand drawer. Then I would be free to engage my family members about their day. So, with September complete, it is a great time to reflect on how I am doing with my goal…

I would love to tell you I changed 100% and that I have been able to stick to my plan of placing the phone in a drawer when I get home. Sadly, that would not be completely honest. While I have not been able to fully meet the goal, I was able to make several meaningful changes to my routine that have been noticed and appreciated by my family. I learned after only a couple of nights of trying this that putting the phone in a drawer to completely ignore it for several hours was not going to work. Reason #1 is simply this job requires that I am accessible because issues in the District refuse to just happen during work hours. So the first occasion that I picked up the phone to check in and saw that I had 12 missed calls, my text message mailbox was full, and/or there were about 10 emails outlining some issue that needed my immediate attention. Reason #2 it simply didn’t work because I found myself distracted by worrying that I was missing something. I realized I had become a bit dependent on having my phone handy. This was just as disruptive to family time as my constantly having my phone around.

Like all goals, you may need to modify the approach in order to find success. So instead of putting the phone away and completely silent I began putting the phone down in the kitchen (or whatever room we may be congregating). By doing so I knew I didn’t need to worry because if someone really needed to reach me I would hear the phone go off multiple times in a row. A buzz here or there could be responded to later…if the phone was, as my kids put it, “blowing up” then I would respond. In addition, I found that I was becoming able to be without it for periods of time without worrying. it could be something is as simple as all of us taking the dogs for a walk, going for a bike ride, or eating a meal together. Putting my phone down has become much easier and the quality time with my family improved. Now that I am being a better role model, it is much easier to get my kids to unplug as well.  Now that they are 9 (going on 19) and my son to turn 13 this month, getting them to interact has become a bit more challenging. Where before it was always, “hey Dad, look) it is becoming more like, “ ….(silence while listening to headphones) or "eh nothing” when I ask what they did in school. But I am not giving up easily, I keep pestering them, even if it means I yell to them, “Hey Kids, look!” while I try (poorly) a handstand or something equally silly in order to get them to at least say, “Dad, you are so corny”.

How are your goals going? Never to late to amend them or create them for this year…

SHOUT OUTS!!!

"A BIG Shout Out to Chris Barlas for her continued support and leadership to improve their practice with our staff.  She has embraced the PLC model and encouraged staff to set SMART Goals that will improve instruction, climate, communication and parent engagement and participation at CFC.  She also is the backbone to our special education program and leads support in keeping us a fully inclusive preschool.  She is an advocate for our children and their parents even in times when it becomes a difficult discussion."
~JoAnn Burns, Principal

"Shout outs and thank you to Kristina Messina, Linda Polhamus, and the Mt. Pleasant staff for supporting our Camp Happy Hollow Family Night last Friday. It was a wonderful evening of fun, food, and togetherness. A special thank you to the MEA "One School, One Book" program and our guest of honor, Humphrey Hamster!"
~Arlene Jenkins, Principal

"Shout out to the 6th grade Math and the 7th and 8th grade Science Departments for combining together for Back To School Night 2018. This was a new approach that we tried this year to show the parents how each grade level and department collaborates for the students."
~Spike Cook, Principal

"Shout out and thank you to the staff in Millville for their support and encouragement during the transition process. I have enjoyed seeing the students and classrooms and look forward to meeting more of the staff as the school year progresses!"
~Vanessa Strassner, Supervisor

"I'd like to send a huge shout out to Sasha Earl who is a new 2nd grade teacher at Mount Pleasant. I was able to watch her for a little bit during a Eureka Math lesson and was really impressed. Her students were right on point with procedures, expectations, and content. She was able to fit the lesson to her style and it really worked for her kids. That class looked nothing like there was a first year teacher in there. Great job, Sasha!"
~Bobby Barber, Supervisor

"Thanks to Margaret Keefer, Brittany Straczynski, Angie Finch and Tim Bermudez on preparing for the upcoming in-service."
~Henry Hartman, Supervisor

"A big Holly Heights shout out to Bob Cirocco.  Bob has done so much for the students and staff of Holly Heights as well as the entire district.  It has always been reassuring to know that Bob is just a phone call away and ready to assist in a crisis with his highly skilled approach with children.  We wish Bob all of the best in retirement."
~Steve Saul, Principal

"Shout out to Bobby Barber on the mobile STEM lab trailer.  The students were engaged and had a blast building the robotic cars.  Thank you for the time and effort you invested to see this idea become a reality.  To go along with this, a big thanks to Shawn Jenkins and Gerald Bruman for working so well with our students.  Thank you all!"

"Shout out and good luck to Bob Cirocco. Bob has been a great asset to the district, and his help with difficult situations has been invaluable.  We’ll miss him, and we wish him all the best!"
~Mike Coyle, Principal

"Shout out to Melinda Fralick, Jenn Dragotta, Kathy Drastal, and Stephanie Upham who make up the RtI team at Silver Run.  I had the opportunity to work extensively with the team this week and their thoughtfulness, dedication, and passion for the students at Silver Run is what drives their work.  We couldn't help our students succeed without this integral part of the Silver Family.  Thank you."
~Pat Wulk, Supervisor

"A Big Shout Out to our unsung heroes, staff and parent volunteers who work our concession stands; Patti Mackie, Karen McCafferty, Bob Domico, Lori Carapelli, Kathy Parent, Carol Ann Ciccio, Bethany Kavanagh, Stacey Musey, and Parents. Thank you for all your hard work!!!"
~Maggie Colina, Supervisor

"Shout out to Gloria Perez for taking on the Service Desk since she started a little over 6 months ago. She is always providing a friendly voice to our customers and helping to keep everything tech running."
~Dan Wright, Chief Information Officer

"Big thanks to Harry Longini and Michele Lobaito for helping me prepare materials for long term substitutes. Having these teachers share their materials, projects and lessons has been extremely helpful to maintain the rigor in our high school classrooms."
~Jessica Kauffman, Dept. Chair

Have a great weekend!!!

Regards,
Dr. G.
Dr. David N. Gentile
Superintendent of Schools
“Lead Learner”
@drgentile_mps (Twitter)
856-327-6001

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)
#greatdaytobeabolt

Published by Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Sunday, September 23, 2018

September 21, 2018

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash
The Phenomenal Friday blog is dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of the Millville Public School Employees! 

"I want to extend my heartfelt thanks and give a big shout out to everyone who helped at Bacon last week while I was out.  Pat Wulk and Bobby Barber covered the staff meeting, Dr. Moore made herself available here during the school day, Kim Berry and Amy Scull handled some student issues and kept me in the loop during those few days, and our awesome staff stepped up and didn't miss a beat.  Thank you all!"
-Mike Coyle, Principal

"A special shout out to Dominick Carapelli for putting out fires every day to assure that our school and staff are supported.  You are truly a valuable member to our team and we could not embark on this journey without you."

"To all of my teachers who have helped with new teachers or assisted with unfilled positions.  Thank you .  Your kindness , support and professionalism does not go unnoticed.  You rock!   
-Stephanie DeRose, Principal

"Thank you to Beth Benfer for presenting Focused Note-taking to the LMS staff!"  

"Thank you to Kelli Adams and Patty DePasquale for processing the 6th grade immunizations."    
-Spike Cook, Principal

"Our most sincere appreciation and thank you to: Maria Conigliaro, Jessica Hults, Kelly Irelan, and Andery Peterson.  These classroom instructional aides took on the responsibility of getting a preschool classroom ready for the opening of school.  They effectively dealt with all of the paperwork, tears and fears from parents and children that happen at this young age."  
-JoAnn Burns, Principal

"After careful data analysis on AP Lit & Comp exam scores, 82% of our test-takers passed the exam compared to 47.4% nationally. Congratulations, to Tara Cotton for all her hard work, as well as, all the students' previous high school English teachers. Way to go Millville English Department!" 
-Maggie Colina, Supervisor

"I would like to thank Brian Robinson, Steve Saul, and Mike Coyle for allowing me the time to sit with their K-2 staff for an hour each this week. The transition to a new math program is not easy and I really appreciate the time to sit with the teachers who are living it every day to hear what's going well, what's difficult to implement, and just to let them vent their frustrations if necessary. I have learned a lot from these meetings that I wouldn't be able to get otherwise. Thanks for allowing us the time to chat."         
-Bobby Barber, Supervisor

"Dr. Pete Arsenault has been a tremendous resource for our new self-contained BD program at MSHS. Pete‘s enthusiasm and dedication to making sure the program has a solid foundation is appreciated by all.  Pete is constantly looking at ways to improve the education and lives of our students."   
-Steve Matusz, Exec. Director Special Services

"I would like to personally thank Henry Hartman for dropping everything to help me find a last minute location for my Data Presentation to the History and English Departments this week.  The band room worked perfectly.  We had enough space for the entire group and appreciated the air conditioning!  Thanks again."
-Pat Wulk, Supervisor

"Thank you to Bob Trivellini, Henry Hartman and the grant writing team at Rieck Avenue School. In a short period of time, a grant application for arts integration and STEM was able to be written and submitted. Thank you, especially to Bob for crafting and submitting the grant. We couldn't have done it without these tremendous efforts." 
-Brian Robinson, Principal

"Thank you to Kristin O'Donnell for assisting the new self-contained high school teachers on a daily basis and taking the time to run a Realtime training after school." 

"Thank you to Mebane Sherman and Lynn Riley for working their substitute magic on a daily basis."
-Jessica Kauffman, Dept. Chair

Thank you to Ryan Malone. Ryan created a set of new reports for nurses to make their daily life a little easier. Also, a big thank you to Kelly Hughey for working with Ryan to get these reports in a form useful to the nurses.

"Thank you to Karen Kappre for providing excellent service to our customers. She is always positive, pleasant and is a good role model for the technicians that she manages.
-Dan Wright, Chief Information Officer

A big thank you to the Silver Run Staff for not only creating a warm welcoming for our new members, but for taking the time to support their transition as well.  To our New Staff Members, Welcome to our family!"

"I would like to thank the HR Department for their tireless work in getting positions posted and employees recommended for hire."
-Eric Reissek, Principal
  
"I enjoyed a powerful experience observing some of our dedicated speech pathologists in action yesterday! I visited both Child Family Center and Rieck Avenue. This shout-out is for you! Courtney Frolic, Megan Fawley, Kelly McAvoy working to help give our students the gift of communication! Keep up the great work." 
- David Gentile, Superintendent
                            

Have a great weekend,
Regards,
Dr. G.

Dr. David N. Gentile
Superintendent of Schools
“Lead Learner”
@drgentile_mps (Twitter)
856-327-6001

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)
#greatdaytobeabolt

Published by Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Saturday, September 15, 2018

September 14, 2018

Matt Sheppard from the IT Department 
Hello all,

This week was action packed! The school year is getting into its full rhythm. Monday night, the Millville Board of Education received the District Strategic Plan. Final presentation formatting to share with everyone is almost complete. Various committees met to oversee the deployment and progress of District goals. One such committee met, Millville Police Department Representatives and District Staff, to continue planning how to further standardize the ALICE Training by empowering the students with the tools of ALICE.


In addition, PLC’s (Professional Learning Communities) are forming across the District. Setting norms and establishing each group’s purpose. I enjoyed meeting with the District vice-principals this week. This was the first official meeting with just the VP’s where I was able to spend time learning with our District VP’s. The productive first meeting gave me the opportunity to hear first hand the areas they are excited about, the success stories across the schools, as well as those items keeping them (and you) up at night. For example, one major item that we discussed included following through to deliver a method (or possibly multiple) to alert staff who travel when a building is under lock-down.

Upon first glance, this item may appear easy to solve – but as we learned, there doesn’t appear to be an easy solution that is both economically feasible and free from causing a ripple effect that creates unintended consequences. Example, we discussed simply cutting off swipe card access during a lock-down. At first this seemed like a simple – inexpensive solution. The challenges include the emergency responders (MPD for example) have swipe card access to our buildings so they gain easy access. If we stop allowing swipe card use during lock-downs that keeps the emergency responders out as well. We began researching the technology to determine if ‘groups’ of users could be isolated to permit some access while keeping unsuspecting traveling staff out. But then an additional consideration was raised that even if isolating staff vs. police is possible, if in their attempt to flee danger a staff member left one wing of a building but needed to gain access to another area’s swipe access for safety to avoid danger they would be locked out. This highlights the challenge. Virtually every potential solution to address an issue with safety leads to multiple hypothetical scenarios that must be considered as well. That said, we are determined to find a solution.

SHOUT OUTS!

Very Special Parent Shout!

“We are writing this letter to inform you that there is an outstanding teacher at Holly Heights who has really stood out to us and should be recognized. If Millville or HH has a teacher of the year award, we would highly recommend Megan Rhubart be considered.” The parents go on to share their personal experience with Megan as their child’s teacher. Very touching and sincere letter of appreciation. It is my pleasure to pass this along on behalf of Jack and Tracy Ramos."

"Shout - out to Matt Sheppard for covering Holly Heights while Rob Smith was out on extended leave with the birth of his daughter Averie. Matt also volunteered to helped reduce the ticket count at Lakeside; all while handling his own work load in Infrastructure Services and at Silver Run."
~Dan Wright, Chief Information Officer

"Shout out to Sandra Padro for her help and going above and beyond to ensure a smooth transition for our Spanish 1 students that are awaiting a permanent teacher. These students are not hers but she has extended a helping hand to 3 extra classes so they do not fall behind.  "Sometimes it's the little things that go unnoticed, not this time."
~Steve Platt, Vice Principal

"Shout out to Brian Robinson, Steve Saul, and Mike Coyle for scheduling time this week to start the data discussion with their staff's.  This time was valuable to not only share our PARCC data, but allowing the staff time to bond in common purpose and journey.  The conversations at all three schools were insightful, thoughtful, and respectful.  Thanks again for your support."
~Pat Wulk, Supervisor

"A HUGE shout out to Melissa Sorrantino and her summer crew Cindy, Connie, Jeffery, Joe, Leo, Nelson, Pam and Rick.  They worked short staffed and under difficult conditions.  We had a larger summer program than ever.  This is a HUGE school to get ready for the fall.  Also a HUGE Shout out to our secretarial staff Clara Beatty, Patty Parker and Kathie Russo for registering all of our new threes and getting our Bigger than ever Wrap Around ready!   You are the BEST!"
~JoAnn Burns, Principal

"Thank you so much to Sandy Lokuta and Jackie Votta for assisting with the materials for Lakeside Middle School's First 3 Days. They utilized AVID strategies to help teachers and students connect to each other and our procedures!"

"A huge thank you to Joyce Hardy for coordinating Wawa coffee and treats for our opening day at Lakeside Middle School. We enjoyed it!"
~Spike Cook, Principal

"Vanessa Strassner, K-12 Supervisor of Special Education, has made it to every school to speak with school administration and staff to see what she can do to help with  their curriculum and instruction.  Her experience and expertise is an asset to our students and our staff.  She has visited classrooms, observed students, provided suggestions on interventions, and provided a survey to all special education staff to see how we can make strides to achieve our goals."
~Steve Matusz, Exec. Director Special Services

"We would like to give a SHOUT OUT to Mike Coyle!  Mike leads by example every day.  His morning announcements set the tone for the rest of the day.  They are always upbeat and end  with a “Joke of the Day”, which the staff and students enjoy!  He is always kind and most of all he’s always fair.  Whether he is filling in as a substitute or whatever task needs to be covered that day, he is always willing to step in.  He has more than earned the respect of his staff, parents and students." 
~RM Bacon School

"Hear ye, hear ye, you already know they are amazing but I am going to shout them out anyway, “Margaret Keefer and Beth Benfer” continue to strengthen their role’s impact on the district’s professional development. In addition, they stepped up to assist with putting the final touches on the District Strategic Plan. Great job to both!"

"I could recognize this next person every week, Vicky Charlesworth is a critical member of the District’s continued success. She does so many things that go unnoticed that keep this organization on track. I don’t know what I would do without her."
~ Dr. G.

Dr. David N. Gentile
Superintendent of Schools
“Lead Learner”
@drgentile_mps (Twitter)
856-327-6001

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)
#greatdaytobeabolt

Published by Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Phenomenal Friday - First Week of School

Source: Oak Creek - Franklin Joint School District
Here are the Shout Outs for the amazing work of the Millville Public School Employees for the week of September 4-7, 2018!

SHOUT-OUTS!!!

"I want to recognize all of the front office staff members who are often the first person who represents our district. You provide the first impression and often set the tone for how people perceive our schools. I am proud to say you are friendly, well informed, and willing to help a visitor find what they are looking for. At times, this person is not a front office worker but simply the first person a visitor sees. Like yesterday when a visitor made their way accidentally to Beth Benfer. Although a PD Specialist, her sign above the door reads “Student Services”. A visitor/parent needed help and asked for it. Beth just went ahead and helped solve the issue for her. So for Beth, and everyone else who provides the first impression/or front office who welcome the public in, KUDOS!!!! Great job. You sometimes are the first to encounter the Hulk’s fury too. You manage to stay calm under pressure. Great work."
~ David Gentile, Superintendent

"A big shout out to Laurie Polof for organizing the Birthday Book Project here at Bacon. Every student will receive a book for their birthday, and that’s awesome. Thanks, Laurie!"
~Mike Coyle, Principal

"Shout out to Janette Herbert for going above and beyond in her role as Manager of Enterprise Information Systems. Most of what Janette does is behind the scenes, but is vitally important to keeping things like Infinite Campus running."

"Shout out to Sandy Grennon for deploying over 700 Chromebooks at Lakeside this summer. Sandy consistently goes above and beyond to keep Lakeside running smooth!"
~Dan Wright, Chief Information Technology Officer

 "A big shout out to Donna Wheeler and Melissa Green.  Donna and Melissa organized a welcome back activity for our staff that allowed everyone to share a favorite summer photo and share their experience.  It was a great way to welcome new staff and model an activity that can be done in the classroom."
~Steve Saul, Principal

"Thank you to Scott Godfrey, Wayne Parr and Pam Steelman for working with the Cumberland County Prosecutors Office on a recent incident."

"Thank you to Cindy Schwegel and Jackie Elwell for transforming our Atrium! It looks amazing thank you for your hard work!"

"Thank you to our secretarial and custodial staff for ensuring that LMS was ready for opening day!"
~Spike Cook, Principal

"Special thanks to the World Languages department, namely Lisa Glynn, Graham Gant, Sandra Padro, and Katy Thompson for always helping one another and ready to lend any newcomers a helping hand. Your kindness and collegiality are truly appreciated and exemplifies the notion that we are indeed all in this together."
~Bridget Borlak, Department Chair

"Thank you to Julia Araujo, Jessica Flaherty, Brittany Straczinski, Angie Finch and Tim Bermudez for presenting what they learned at Princeton University this summer about arts-infused teaching! We learned a lot and had fun doing it."

"Thank you Alex Lively-Durham and Maggie Colina for helping get our grade 1 & 2 bilingual class ready for to start the year off right!"
~Brian Robinson, Principal

Have an outstanding weekend!
Regards,
Dr. G

Dr. David N. Gentile
Superintendent of Schools
“Lead Learner”
@drgentile_mps (Twitter)
856-327-6001

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)
#greatdaytobeabolt

Published by Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Monday, September 3, 2018

Phenomenal Friday: New School Year Kickoff Edition

Hello all,

By all, I mean staff who have worked this summer, staff that work 10 months, staff just joining the family (Welcome Again), part-time staff and everyone in-between. I think that covers it. So here we go, the start of a new School Year - 2018–2019 begins Tuesday. People respond differently to this news…for some it means the end of summer, the end of ‘fun’ (as my own children sometimes say), no more late nights during the week or sleeping late, for others it is simply that time and no big deal one way or the other, for the lucky few who can see everyday as the amazing gift that it is – EXCITEMENT for the possibilities a New School Year bring, new friends to make, new content to learn or help others learn, a chance to be better than you were before. I am looking forward to the start of this new year. While I will miss the summertime, I am ready.

There is a great deal of excitement and activity over the summer months to share. When those who have been off return, I am certain you will hear all about it here is a bit of the summer 2018. Renovations for the new high school are more than underway – they are ramped up. When you have the chance to take a look for yourself just try to keep the goal-line in sight. Keep imagining the final outcome and recognize that the construction is temporary. Like Coach Surace would often say, “Pain is temporary – Pride is forever”…and that is applicable to this project. Students going through the MSHS during this construction will need to be understanding, they will need to understand that they will forever be remembered as the class or classes that attended during the ‘pain phase’ and how important it was for some to go through this construction so that Millville could have a high school facility that was updated and able to house generations of Bolts to come as they go after their dreams. Staff members as well will need to be flexible and work with the end in mind. Construction is messy…and creating something better usually comes at a cost – I am confident our staff will be role models as this project unfolds. The custodial crew at MSHS (and throughout the District) have been preparing all summer for the new year.

This summer, we replaced 200 teacher laptops. In addition, we added 400 Chromebooks at Lakeside which will bring the entire District to nearly 1:1 status for devices to students. The exception being grades 9-12 have classroom carts that need to be shared until future plans can address that. Kudos to the IT Department as they keep meeting the increased demand and load without additional staff – simply doing more with less is something we all are familiar with and IT has exemplified that this summer.

Lakeside also is enjoying the benefits of additional lighting for their parking lot. This much needed addition was completed this summer. Maintenance upgrades and improvement throughout the District such as: replaced older exterior doors, replaced aging plumbing fixtures (urinals), new roofing over weight room  and D-hall at senior high, the purchase of new surveillance equipment – camera system for Lakeside…the first of security upgrades to follow. Along the theme of school security, the administrative staff members were trained in ALICE response protocols. Participation in the training had an impact on me. I would go so far as to say all who participated felt similarly. Speaking just from my experience, the simulation and drills by our local volunteers were excellent in creating as close to a real-life experience as possible. I have personally been in countless security practice drills, observed dozens of other school districts protocols, but participation in this ALICE training made it abundantly clear I wasn’t prepared. The speed in which your safety can be threatened and what that speed does to your ability to act & think was eye-opening.

SHOUT-OUTS!

Holly
"I would like to give a shout out to our Holly Heights custodial staff for doing a great job of getting our building ready for the start of the school year.  It is obvious how much pride they take in their work and how nice they want everything to look for the return of students and teachers."
~Steve Saul

Bacon School
"A big thanks to Frank, Glenn, Ben, and Jacob for getting the building ready to go.  Also, shout out to Dina Klaudi and Laurie Polof in the office for all their work to prepare for the upcoming year.  Thank you all!  It's going to be a great year!"
~Mike Coyle

Math/Science
"Nina Crain, Hollie Smith, and Beth Benfer were turnkey trainers for our K-2 staff to get familiar with our new Eureka Math program this summer. Not only did these outstanding staff members give up time from their summer to sit through 2 full-day training sessions in New York, but they came in to prep and present to their peers despite never having taught the program themselves. They did an absolutely AMAZING job presenting and thanks to their work, an additional 24 staff members have been exposed to the program before school starts."
Thanks!
~Bobby Barber Jr.

Special Education Summit
"Thanks to the 40 teachers, paras, administrators, and child student team members who attended this year's collaborative meeting to continue our mission of learning and incorporating bet practices into our classroom curriculum."
~Steve Matusz

Human Resource
"I would like to thank everyone who served on Interview Committees this summer.  Your efforts and dedication in selecting the most highly-qualified candidates to serve our students was reflected in your recommendations.  We are excited to welcome 38 new staff members to our Millville Family thus far!  We wish them and everyone a successful year!  I'd also like to thank my Human Resources' team.  You ladies did an outstanding job in assisting our new hires with paperwork and all of the other pertinent information to get everyone ready for the new school year.  As Taylor Swift put it, "This is a new year. A new beginning!"  Here's hoping your beginning ends up GREAT!"
Donna Meyers

Superintendent’s Office
"I had the pleasure of meeting 18 of the 22 new staff members during their New Staff Orientation. Once again, I find myself humbled and proud to be part of this family as the quality of new hires is impressive. Learning a bit about each of their stories and diverse backgrounds was very encouraging. I am confident each will add to our collective capacity for greatness. Despite the fact that several of our new family members grew up in neighboring Vineland, each expressed how they will no longer wear anything but the Orange & Blue (especially on game days, that is if they want to stay in the family ;) I am just joking obviously! It is awesome to see that we have a variety of new staff that come to us with prior experiences in education, while others from prior careers – alternative route – and for some this is their very first opportunity to showcase all they are yet to do.

I am confident that all of our existing staff members will welcome the new members with open arms. One theme was consistent from each of the 18 new Bolts I met; each expressed that everyone they have met so far in Millville has been kind, welcoming, and genuine. Everyone please join me with a sincere welcome and open invitation to the new family members: Nicola Tasoff, Courtney Fralick, Dominick Pontari, Samuel (Sammy) Corda, Sasha Earl, Brian (Kyle) Blackburn, Amy Gandy, Danielle Ferrari-Quenzel, Megan Catell-Protze, Rachel Migliaccio, Holly Ruscica, Mallori Higbee, Brandie Cesari (who has traveled far and wide, places like Kuwait; ask her about her exciting story), Kristin Fasolino, Kristen Trusty, Kelly Bertnozzi, Elisabeth Mamourian-Corona, Cassandra (long A Casey) Clifford, Gabrielle Calabrese, Timothy (very very very distant – eh actually no relationship to Mike) Trout, Katie McCarthy, and last but not least Dana Mauro!"

WELCOME to ALL New Members of #mpswc
Dr. G


*One Last Shout-out: Special recognition to all working overtime this weekend in order to prepare MSHS for an opening day to be proud of! Head Custodian Dominic Caravelle and the custodial/maintenance crews are working in cooperation with outside construction companies.  Your efforts are recognized and appreciated!

Have a great weekend!

Regards,
Dr. G.

Dr. David N. Gentile
Superintendent of Schools
“Lead Learner”
@drgentile_mps (Twitter)
856-327-6001

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)
#greatdaytobeabolt


Published by Spike Cook, Millville, NJ