Sunday, February 18, 2018

February 16, 2018

Photo by Jacob Stone on Unsplash

This week our Country has been forced to face yet another tragedy. The senseless destruction of 17 lives – can bring even the strongest person to their knees. I do not know how to make sense of terror like that which struck the Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I feel there is only one action that any of us can take to honor the loss and sadness effecting that community – and that is to celebrate each other loudly and often.

Let this serve as a reminder that life is unpredictable…do not wait for tomorrow to apologize to a loved one or friend that you wronged today. Do not put off telling those that matter most to you how you feel about them. Do not take a second of this precious gift of life for granted. In moments like this I can’t help but reflect on those times where I fell into the rut routine of taking life for granted…sleep – wake – work – complain – repeat! It is so easy to think things like “ugh, I hate Mondays…or I can’t wait until the weekend”.

I am confident that each and every single one of the 17 victims would give anything to have one more Monday with those they cared about. So seize each second of every single day of your life for the amazing gift that it is. Treat your loved ones well.


"A big shout out to our Holly Heights Kindergarten team for making the 100th Day and Valentine's Day a special event for our students.  Students celebrated with super hero capes and pictures of themselves if they were 100 years old.  Thank you for making the day a memorable one for our students."
-Steve Saul, Principal

 "A HUGE thankyou to Cindy Tarpine and Kathy Parent who Completed the arduous task of Grow NJ Kids Rating application. They had to gather and aggregate the data as well as meet with the state representatives to secure this project. All the while still completing their daily responsibilities at CFC."
-JoAnn Burns, Principal

 "Erika Zeiters and Andrea Dixon were chosen to the play the famous Carnegie Hall in New York City through the Atlantic Pops. When asked how you get to play Carnegie, Erika said, "Practice, Practice, Practice."
-Spike Cook, Principal and Henry Hartman, Supervisor

"Lida Stroup's class at Lakeside was chosen to participate in a Moby Maz challenge. They improved significantly in Math and Language Arts. As a result of their hard work, Moby Max donated over $1,000.00 worth of prizes to the classroom."
-Spike Cook, Principal

"Ashley Renshaw took on the role of Health Service Coordinator this year in addition to her nursing responsibilities at Holly Heights.  I truly appreciate the time and effort Ashley puts into this position. She has been instrumental in assisting other nurses and students throughout the District with unique and often difficult situations. Her professionalism is evident in meetings and conferences with our school physicians and sometimes our attorneys.  I have come to rely on Ashley for her expertise and guidance in the area of health care.  I thank you, Ashley, for your continued willingness to research and investigate all concerns brought to your attention. If she does not have an answer, she finds one.  I'm sure this position sometimes feels like a thankless position.  Please know that your time and dedication to the District does not go unnoticed."
-Donna Meyers, Asst. Superintendent

"Congratulations x 1,000,000 to Peter Arsenault, CST case manager at Memorial High School, who was awarded his Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology yesterday!!!!! What a proud moment!!!"
-Nora Zielinski, Executive Director

 "Andrea Pfeiffer brings her therapy dog Maddie to the school twice a week!! The students love Maddie! Thanks so much Maddie for being a Bolt!!"
-Steve Matusz, Vice Principal

"Charlotte Richardson did a great job facilitating articulation among the elementary Autism and Multiple Disabilities teachers on the recent PD day.  The teachers involved gave a lot of positive feedback on their opportunity to work and learn together."
-Debbie Homan, Supervisor

"Shawn Jenkins & Gerald Bruman hosted a VEX Robotics Competition last Saturday at the Senior High with approximately 30 teams as a fundraiser for our Robotics team to be able to attend the State competition and hopefully advance to Nationals. It was a tremendous amount or work planning and preparing for such a huge event. It was their first time, yet everything ran smoothly!"

"Aaron Righter, Mary Talio, and Janet Ponzetti gave up their entire Saturday to help Gerald & Shawn with the Robotics Competition. Aaron assisted with initial size registration and Interview Judging. Janet assisted with initial size registration and Notebook evaluation, while her daughter assisted with Check-in. Mary assisted as the concessions clerk. A huge thank you for supporting our students in such a big way."
-Stacey Musey, Dept. Chair

"Kim O'Neill ran a Jump Rope for Heart event at Bacon Elementary today to help raise funds for heart disease research and education, while promoting physical activity. Thanks Kim!!"

"Kyle Drake and Monica Panichelli ran a Jump Rope for Heart event at Rieck Avenue today to help raise funds for heart disease research and education, while promoting physical activity. Thanks Kyle and Monica!!"
-Dave LaGamba, Supervisor

"Congratulations to Judy Tymkiw! Hard work and perseverance have paid off, as she has been selected to be a contestant on JEOPARDY's-The Teacher's Tournament! The show will air on national TV in early May. Best of Luck-Judy!"
-Maggie Colina, Supervisor

This week’s Phenomenal Friday is dedicated to the victims and the community of Parkland, Florida. On behalf of the entire Millville Public School Community, we offer our heartfelt condolences for comfort for the families and friends of the victims:

  • Alyssa Alhadeff, 14 years old – student
  • Scott Beigel, 35 years old – geography teacher, and saved lives during the shooting
  • Martin Duque Anguiano, 14 years old – student 
  • Nicholas Dworet, 17 years old – student 
  • Aaron Feis, 37 years old – assistant football coach, said to be running towards gunfire to help students
  • Jaime Guttenberg, 14 years old – student 
  • Chris Hixon, 49 years old – athletic director
  • Luke Hoyer, 15 years old – student 
  • Cara Loughran, 14 years old – student 
  • Gina Montalto, 14 years old – student 
  • Joaquin Oliver, 17 years old – student 
  • Alaina Petty, 14 years old – student 
  • Meadow Pollack, 18 years old – student 
  • Helena Ramsay, 17 years old – student 
  • Alex Schachter, 14 years old – student 
  • Carmen Schentrup, 16 years old – student 
  • Peter Wang, 15 years old – student 


Dr. G.

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

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)

Published by Dr. Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February 9, 2018

LMS's Lisa Oquendo organized a successful SOUPer Bowl! 
Hello all,

Happy Friday and Post-Superbowl Win for all of the Eagles fans. This weeks is Counselors Week, therefore I would like to thank and highlight their efforts on behalf of our students and families. We all know the power a kind word, a stern word from someone you trust, and simply an ear to listen when things are not going according to our plan can have in terms of making life better. That, in a very very short summary, is what Counselors do everyday for our students. By extension, they often become the guidepost for the families as well. Connecting the student and parent to resources when needed or by going great lengths when tragedy strikes one of our families. I can only imagine how difficult it is to take all of the confidential sorrows, worries, and anxieties of those in their care and then transition home to their own families who need them. It is truly a special person that is able to balance that. It is with that in mind that we thank you for all that you give to those around you.

*February 15th (Lakeside Cafeteria / doors open 6pm) STRATEGIC PLANNING culminating session. You are welcome to attend regardless of whether you attended any of the other meetings. Students are welcome….

"Mrs. Stoerrle is a three year old teacher in our preschool program. She has always been willing to take on a new adventure in learning in our building. She works very hard to make a connection with the parents. She organizes, attends and runs our Car Seat program. This involves an evening presentation with parents by the Sherriff's department and then scheduling and attending the evening when the car seats are installed. She also organizes and attends the Pet Show at the Child Family Center as well as getting donations for the SPCA. She works hard to get parental involvement in her classroom and attends most family events in our school throughout the year."
JoAnn Burns

"Margaret and Beth did an awesome job with the 8th grade science and social studies classes helping integrate critical reading and citing textual evidence into those courses. They researched lessons related to the courses and taught classes all day in the DMC of 50 students. Thank you!"
Bobby Barber

"Thanks to a great 7th grade Social Studies team who have worked above and beyond to complete curriculum, implement at mid-year, and do so with a take charge attitude and sense of humor. During one of their writing sessions you could find the team dressed in period character to get into the proper mind set. It is great to work with a team who finds solutions when the task can feel overwhelming."
Pat Wulk

"Lisa Oquendo did a great job with coordinating the Souper Bowl at Lakeside Middle School. We had over 75 staff members attend and raised over 150 dollars! This event was a huge opportunity for staff to share their culinary skills and for us to spend quality time together."
Spike Cook

"Chris and Eileen embody world class. They always have a positive attitude with everything that they do. I have heard them spend 20 minutes on the phone with a parent walking them step-by-step through the process to sign up for infinite campus. I have watched them call other departments to get information just so a parent doesn’t have to make another phone call. They easily manage and support everything the curriculum floor needs. Thank you Chris and Eileen for your customer service and your support of the district mission."
Pamm Moore

"Special thanks to Matt Sheppard, IT professional, for setting aside his morning schedule to provide expedited service to one of our severely autistic students who cannot live without his iPad.  Matt prepared a "swap" device for the student to use while his own iPad was updated.  Even so, the student's parent had to hold onto him to keep him from chasing Matt down the hall.  In less than an hour, the student's iPad was ready for him.  That's world-class service!"
Nora Zielinski

"Rieck Avenue School's fifth grade team were exceptional at helping our students get ready for the Millville Women's Club 2nd Annual Spelling Bee. We had more participants this year than last and students were really willing to step out of their comfort zone. This is due to the preparation and encouragement of our team. Judy Bonato organized the Bee for the Women's Club and because of her attention to detail, everything ran smoothly. We have three students moving on to the next Bee!"
Brian Robinson

'Silver Run's transition to a more inclusive teaching practice for our students is in its second year. The Third Grade team of Mrs. Kinsey and Mrs Barse are a testament to it's success as just this week I received feedback from a parent about the exceptional job the pair are doing with her son. Mrs. Kinsey and Mrs. Barse we are grateful for your hard work and dedication. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job!!"

"A big thank you to Steph, Cheryl, & Justin for going above and beyond in supporting our students. No matter the time of year, come rain, snow, or sunshine these individuals are seemingly always there to support our students and our school. Thank you for your help at our Pizza Bingo Night. You are very much appreciated and valued!"
Eric Reissek

"A big Holly Heights shout out to Andy Bingham. Andy has inspired his students with creative lessons in his 1st year as a teacher of Art. His students are currently assisting in taking apart old computers and turning them into beautiful works of Art. He also has embraced STEAM with his students and frequently incorporates additional subject content into his Art lessons."
Steve Saul

"I would like to celebrate all of our school counselors for school counselors week. Their kindness and dedication is amazing."
Stephanie DeRose

"A Bacon Bears shout-out to Nancy Gandy, Bacon's Teacher-of-the-Year. Nancy works hard to create engaging and creative lessons, and she embraces the view that all students can learn, period. Her positive approach to teaching is awesome. She believes in her students, and they know it – and that mindset is contagious. Thank you, Nancy!"
Mike Coyle

"I would like to send a special shout out to Aaron Righter for looking for new and innovative ways to inspire our students. He has started the online announcements at Memorial and is working with the students in computer programming with the Rasperry Pies! Great Job Aaron!"
Stephanie DeRose

"I would like to recognize Ms. Michele Horin who is a science teacher at the Senior High School. She works late to create the best lessons for her students and tries new things even when they are unfamiliar to her. Therefore, her lessons are interactive, challenging, and entertaining for her students. Ms. Horin makes herself available to her students both before and after school to provide tutoring or other resources based on her students' needs. Michele Horin is the epitome of dedication."
Kristin McManus

"A huge shout out to Dominic Carapelli for his professionalism and patience when dealing with all of the challenges we face with the new construction and planning. He is truly a member of the team at the Senior High and is valued in so many ways."
Stephanie DeRose

"This week I would like to recognize Bobby Barber Jr. I want to recognize the energy he is bringing to the District’s Math and Science Programs. Many of you may not recall his time as our high school math teacher where he took every students’ performance personally. He would push, mentor, push some more, stay after or have the students come in early, whatever it takes to make sure his students performed at their peak ability level. It is this same unwillingness to accept less than your best attitude he brings towards his two content areas. Yesterday, he invited me to see an elementary teacher in action who he felt was exceptional – his judgement was spot on. Keep up the outstanding work!"
Dr. Gentile

Have a great weekend!
Dr. G.

Published by Dr. Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Friday, February 2, 2018

February 2, 2018

Photo by tof Mayanoff on Unsplash
Hello all,

“E A G L E S – Eagles!” For many of us brought up to have two favorite football teams, the Bolts (of course) and the Birds, this weekend marks the culmination of a lot of mixed emotions. Round here, when someone asks who your favorite NFL team is you proudly say the Eagles (and you inwardly gear up to defend them if needed, especially in those years where they are struggling. Let’s be honest, there have been lots of those years. If you meet people outside of the area and the Birds are brought into the conversation, you are told about how bad the fans are…inevitably someone has to mention the time when Santa Claus was pelted by a stadium of snowballs (that Santa had it coming right?). Once every naysayer has their moment, the one thing they can’t take away from us is our passion, loyalty, and dedication.

While It is ok for a fellow fan to point out their shortcomings, Lord help anyone outside the family do it. I can’t help but think of our work family in a similar way. You may give your colleague a good ribbing from time to time, but let someone outside of Millville Family talk badly about one of us and they will regret it. It is the shared experiences day in and day out that build the bond among a community. For the Eagles Fan Family, it is the many close losses, the times where a field goal goes wide…etc…that make this moment on the largest stage in the NFL so sweet. It is also the day to day hard-work, dedication, and passion for our students that make us all so very protective of our District. The times where the Department of Education highlights our State Assessment scores for not quite measuring up that make me so defensive to any outsiders who want to criticize the MPS. It is because I know a student’s value is much – much more than a standardized test score in math or language arts; they are so very much more!

They are their dreams, their passions, and their innovative ideas…You cannot measure the value of a child easily. Moving forward, I want to start implementing practices that mirror the belief that standardized tests are only a piece of what we do. I want to give teachers and students the freedom to connect to their passions, time to innovate, create opportunities to make the World around them better for real people through Project Based Learning Experiences.

We need to start shifting what we do in school to better match the likely future our students will face, instead of the future we faced. We must help students think like entrepreneurs. So, how do we do that? Glad you asked… we look to those schools that are already doing it. For example, Don Wettrick a teacher in Noblesville, Indiana – his students are making big differences around the Globe. Interested in learning more check out for some amazing examples of what his students have accomplished. The first small step Don suggests is to incorporate the ‘rule of thirds’. First, are you (student) inspired by the project? Second, (teacher and student together) what skills/standard will be developed/learned if you pursue the project?

And third, who will the project serve other than yourself? Getting students and teachers to create projects and experiences that are tied to the standards but are also tied to the students’ passion are key. Too often we create great students who are great at being students. More specifically, they are great at stacking their GPA’s. They seek to ask the teacher, “ok, what is it you want me to know and do and how exactly do you want me to present that?” And when these same students are asked to think critically and creatively, or as an innovator or entrepreneur they are paralyzed. Some grow frustrated and say ‘just tell me what you want’. I would like to continue discussing this and ideas that can push us to rethink our current system with you.

For now, Go Birds!!!!

Shout Outs!

"Super shout out to super specials teachers Cindy Commander, Matt Slater, and Andrea Dixon for organizing our Super Bowl Pep Rally. We have our own cheer, dancers, acrobats, boom wackers, dog masks, pom-poms and doggie bone cookies, made by our cafeteria staff. Whether you are an Eagle’s fan or not, what a wonderful way to end the week!"
~ Arlene Jenkins

"Congratulations to Jason Kessler for earning his 100th career win as the Millville High School Girls Basketball Coach last Sunday night. Jason has done a great job developing the program over the last 10 years."
~ Dave LaGamba

"Sarah Fryling did an awesome job sharing how she utilizes guided math in her classroom.  She shared quick, easy to use tools and she offered to help other teachers they begin their implementation."
~ Pamm Moore

"Beth Benfer did an amazing job with the School Improvement Session for Lakeside teachers at the January Professional Development Day. She implemented a new strategy she learned at the Strategic Planning session to ensure everyone's voice was heard. In addition, she is going to follow up with this for any staff who missed the PD due to being at another workshop."
~ Spike Cook

"Kim Hallenbeck has worked tirelessly with staff to improve the Master Schedule each year. She has met with teachers and administrators to improve areas for next year. She is always seeking ways to do what is best for our students."
~ Spike Cook

"Matt Daniels has always been a proponent for the arts.  He continues that outside of school with teaching at the Barn Studio of Art and sitting on the Boards for the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts and the Barn Studio.  Thanks for all you do for our students in and out of the classroom!"
~ Henry Hartman

"Samantha Catlett has done a great job since coming to Bacon this year. She has seamlessly transitioned into her role as a 5th grade teacher, and she works well with her students to provide quality instruction.  She also collaborates well with her colleagues.  Sam was a Bear from day one!"
~ Mike Coyle

"Lisa Langlois does an amazing job as our receptionist.  She is the first face that students, parents and staff see when they enter the building and is always ready to provide assistance.  She does an outstanding job of making everyone feel welcome.  Thank you Lisa!"
~ Steve Saul

"Thank you, Derek Clarke, for your work on the Holly Ball. It was a great event! Also, Derek, thank you for always sharing a kind word or a affirmative thought. Your positive attitude is truly appreciated. Thank you!"
~ Bridget Borlak

"Congratulations to Lida Stroup and her class at Lakeside Middle School. Lida’s class has be selected to participate in an exciting and challenging program through MobyMax.  Her students are committed to putting in the required hours every week and tracking their success.  Lida demonstrates her commitment to the success of all students by offering her assistance to other teachers and advocating for students. Thank you for all that you do!"
~ Maris Lynn

"Thank you, Val Archetto and Raffael Craig, for your flexibility and willingness to do what is best for our students. When we had Resource Rooms that needed to be filled, you accepted the challenge without question. Your teamwork and positive attitude are greatly appreciated!"
~ Jessica Kauffman

Published by Dr. Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Sunday, January 28, 2018

January 26, 2018

Claudia McCarthy and Larry Malone (Chamber of Commerce)
Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to be the guest facilitator of today’s Phenomenal Friday.  Looking back over my career, there are many people who I could give a “Shout Out” to.  They influenced my career and personal life tremendously.  I chose education because it is a “purposeful” and “humbling” profession.  It is an incredible honor to be in education and to work with so many different people, all who dedicate their lives to empowering students.  This applies not only to the teacher but to everyone that makes our District a whole.

Unfortunately, our profession is not always looked upon with honor and the makeup of a classroom is often misunderstood.  Make no mistake, though, within every classroom is a staff member who has acted as a parent to a child, a role model, coach, advisor, mentor, fan, and/or friend.  I love running into my former students.  I hope that I have made a difference in their lives.  I know they made a difference in mine.  They taught me compassion, tolerance, understanding, acceptance, and unconditional love, as I’m sure many of your students have taught you.  Everyone who plays a part in the education of a child is to be thanked for enabling that child to follow his/her dreams.  May you continue to inspire!
 ~ Donna Meyers

“Shout Outs”

"Congratulations to Claudia McCarthy for being selected as the 2017 Citizen of the Year by the Millville Chamber of Commerce. She was chosen for her many years of dedication to the city of Millville and the Millville athletic community.  Recently Claudia was honored at a luncheon, where they spoke about her many years of coaching, her numerous successes and the countless lives she has positively affected. Congratulations once again to Claudia McCarthy. Well deserved!!"

"Congratulations to Christian Varga for being honored by the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association this past Monday night (January 22, 2018) for earning his 100th career win as the Millville Boys Soccer coach 2017 Fall Sports Season."
~Dave LaGamba

"Mrs.  Donna Makos is a teacher in our three year old program and works diligently and tirelessly with her three year old children on a daily basis.  She and her two coworkers, Mrs. Megan  Scherbekow and Mrs. Andery Peterson engage children to produce the most learning possible.  She collects data in GOLD, our assessment system, IEP data for select children and LEAP data for the autistic children in her classroom.  She is a fully LEAP certified teacher.  She also represents CFC on the diversity team and has turn-keyed all information to our staff.  She works equally hard to involve parents in their child's educational plan.  Her classroom is visited by teachers throughout the state as a model Creative Curriculum classroom.  Her smile and love of her children is obvious the minute you meet her!"
~JoAnn Burns

"Mrs. Horin just completed a project with her Anatomy & Physiology I classes where they created a full size poster to mimic a Movie Poster advertisement. In these posters, the students demonstrated how the nervous system (nervous tissues) interrelates with 3 other major systems (integumentary; skeletal; muscular) and tissues (epithelial; connective; muscular) in the human body. The students came up with very clever titles like "Anatomy Park", "The Anatomy League", "Nervous Wars", and the "Nervous Rangers" to depict the important "characters" of the nervous system. Ms. Horin is constantly creating interactive projects to demonstrate student mastery in creative ways. Great Job Michelle!:
~Stacey Musey

"A special thank you for Rob Desantis for devoting so much of his time and energy to our music programs and school functions.  His personality and dedication to our school is amazing!"
~Stephanie DeRose

"Thank you, Katherine Rossbach, for all that you do to help our students. From the idea of bringing a new elective to our department, to running the Student Council, to organizing the Holly Ball, to all the LGBTQ meetings and outreach that you offer to our students, I offer you a big "Thank you"!"
~ Bridget Borlak

"This past week Mr. DeSantis had one of his students accepted into the world renowned Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps.  Hundreds of students try out for the Corps each year and last year they won second place in the international Drum and Bugle competition.  According to Mr. DeSantis the Vanguard is playing in the “major leagues” of marching band.  Students from all over the world try out for the Santa Clara Vanguard.   Mr. DeSantis’s dedication to his students is highly respected and admired.  He spends countless hours at the school, his weekends at competitions, and is a positive role model on every level for his students.  Congrats Rob on Julia making the Vanguard!"
~ Steve Matusz

"Nurse Pruett does an exceptional job taking care of our Bacon Bears. She treats all cases and students with care and tact, and she has excellent and timely communication with parents regarding issues that arise.  Furthermore, she is organized and continually fills me in on situations I need to know.  Michele, thank you for professionalism and for your devotion to our students and school!"
~Mike Coyle

Published by Dr. Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Sunday, January 21, 2018

January 19, 2018

The stage set for Mr. Millville 
Come out tonight for a little entertainment as the Mr. Millville 2017-18 is scheduled for 7pm at Lakeside Auditorium (due to construction). Not to toot my own horn, but I made my debut on stage in the second Mr. Millville circa 1993. I was quite talented in those days (WINK WINK, sarcasm intended) as I wrote and acted in a comedy skit entitled “Baby Olympics”. Truthfully, it was a duet with a friend of mine. We both came to the same realization after we hastily agreed to be in the competition that neither one of us had any real talent. But it was a fundraiser after all and we weren’t quitters.

So under the master supervision and guidance of Mr. Joe Bollendorf, senior class advisor ’93, we teamed up. I do not think Mr. Bollendorf ever imagined it would lead to a picture of me in the newspaper wearing a diaper and riding a big wheel. Those were the good old days. The skit included a jello eating contest (where yours truly was victorious because I cheated by hiding handfuls of jello in my diaper). Second event was big wheel jousting, sadly I was defeated. The tie breaker event was a strength competition… I can’t share how it ended here but if curious feel free to ask me next time you see me. Best of luck to all of the students bravely participating in tonight’s contest.

Shout Out Section 

"I want recognize Mrs. Donna Meyers. Since joining the District Team she has worked to improve the various aspects of our Human Resources Department as well as been a great support for our school administrators when dealing with student discipline. Donna is called in only on the more difficult and stressful incidents. She works well with our vice-principals and principals to help our students learn from their mistakes. It goes without saying that sometimes parents and students are less than happy with the outcome. Mrs. Meyers is professional at all times and applies a firm, fair, and consistent approach when considering discipline hearings. Thank you Donna for being a team player and always working in the best interest of our students, staff, and community. * Also, congratulations on the birth of another grandchild, Hunter!"
~ David Gentile

"Evelyn Echevarria is a preschool four year old teacher.  She strongly believes in the family connection to educating and raising a child.  She conducts home visits and follow up visits where she helps  the parent/guardian set goals for success.  On the follow up visits they review those goals.  She teaches children life skills and prepares them for 21st century living.  Her studies are motivational and pertain to "real life" investigations.  She stresses the social-emotional learning and how it relates to every day life."
~ JoAnn Burns

 "Jimmy McCarthy's culinary classes have prepared food for a couple of events I was in charge of over the past month or so. Jimmy's students take great pride in their work. The food is always prepared just right, the presentation is always outstanding, and their professionalism is top notch. Jimmy has done a phenomenal job growing our culinary program over the past several years and continues to impress. Thanks, Jimmy."
~ Bobby Barber

"Kara Lunemann has worked hard to keep her class on track.  In what has been an interesting year to say the least, Kara has maintained a positive outlook, and despite the challenges, she continues to provide engaging, quality instruction for all her learners.  Kara has had to contend with some frustrating circumstances through no fault of her own, yet she's handled each one like a pro.  Great job, Kara.  Your students are lucky to have you."
~ Mike Coyle

"Camie Howard has been a wonderful addition to the Silver Run Family.  She works tirelessly to support our students, staff, and parents.  She shows compassion and understanding in the most trying of circumstances."
~ Eric Reissek

"Jennifer Salvati and Teale Carroll - Thank you for taking on the huge challenge to be the coaches for Lakeside’s inaugural First Lego Team who represented Millville Public Schools during competition. Your students’ project on the Automatic Rainwater Filtration System was awesome!!! It was quite obvious during my visit with your after school club that your students were using their critical thinking skills to design, build and test their robots. They were also developing their team-building and presentation skills for this competition. Congratulations and continue the good work!"
~ Joanne Colacurcio

"Jodi Richter is the first person many people encounter when they call or visit Rieck Avenue School. Her smile and cheerfulness make a great first impression for our families and guests. She is always willing to help out any staff member, and does so with a smile. On top of that, she keeps our finances straight and is terrific at taking care of our copiers. Thanks for all you do, Jodi."

"Jennifer Salvati and Teale Carroll led the Lego Robotics team at Lakeside into competition on Saturday at the Salem Comm College "Robot Rumble." The students, from all walks of school life, worked together to build a water filtering system and a programmable Lego robot. It was really impressive to watch these students work together in "coopetition." Teale and Jennifer's work and example showed through these students."
~ Brian Robinson

"Bonnie Martinez-Goertz is an outstanding team member that is doing great work that is behind the scenes but vitally important. She keeps us on track with Projects and make sure that It Equipment and Supplies are purchased and available when needed."
~ Dan Wright

"Special thanks to Pat Wulk for her dedication and commitment to the Millville Thunderbolt Academy. Her positive and get it done attitude helped us have over 90 percent of our students complete the PARCC assessment. She is a valuable asset to this district and brought a professional and positive attitude to our school every day.  Also thanks to Holly Capertina, Shawn Jenkins, Casey LaFerriere , and Beth Pirnik for their support in helping to test the students at Thunderbolt. I also want to thank Stephanie DeRose, Dave Vorndran and Kristen McManus for their support and help."
~ Harry Drew

"Patrecia Schwailik-Giunta has embraced the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) data by collecting, organizing, and identifying our lowest level readers within our general ed. and special ed. populations. Her Power Point presentation during Lakeside's Language Arts department meeting highlighted students that are reading below grade-level. Thank you for sharing the SRI data with the team!"
~ Maggie Colina

"Dominic Carapelli is the head custodian at the Senior High School where he has been such a valuable staff member. He always addresses concerns with a practical solution (or two) in mind. Whenever there is an unexpected issue, Dominic solves it in a calm yet expeditious manner. Dominic continues to be a pleasure to work with even though the renovation has added more stress and responsibilities to his day. Thank you!"
~ Kristin McManus

"Thank you, Lisa Glynn, for always being helpful to your colleagues. Whenever her fellow teachers have a question, Lisa is quick to offer an idea or assistance."
~ Bridget Borlak

 Have a great weekend!

Dr. G.

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

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)

Published by Dr. Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 12, 2018

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash
I trust everyone enjoyed the Holiday Break and welcomed in the New Year with friends and family. We are back into the routine, ‘knock on wood’, hopefully the weather will cooperate so we do not have to go further into late June for graduation. For many, the first snow day each year is a welcomed break. The snow is pretty to look at and if you have children of your own you get to watch them light up. Sledding, snowball fights and hot chocolate…by the second I find myself focused on clearing the driveway, walkway…I think about late June graduations – So hopefully, we are done with snow for the school year.

Quick bit of news as it relates to snow closing…the high school (9-12) will move their PD Day to the January 31, 2018 and CFC, Elementary, and Middle Schools will maintain the original date of January 29th, 2018 (as written on the District Calendar).

Please make plans to join us January 16th/ Tuesday for the second strategic planning night for "expectations for the future". Please plan to arrive anytime after 6pm as we will begin at 6:30 promptly. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Shout Out Section 

"Kevin Dick (district maintenance), Frank Lowers, Glenn Hunter, and Benjamin Pierce (Bacon custodians) went above and beyond on New Year’s Eve.  Frank called me to let me know that there was a broken pipe and water was pouring into Bacon School’s cafeteria.  I called Kevin at home. He was having guests over but left his own party to help Frank find the valves to stop the flood.   Kevin called me back.  They had gotten the water shut off but Frank had a huge mess to clean up.  I arrived at Bacon School about an hour later.   Frank, Glenn, and Ben were already there dragging wet rugs out of rooms, mopping up water, and cleaning up collapsed ceiling tiles.   They spent their New Year’s Eve getting Bacon School cleaned up and ready to open on Tuesday.   It’s nice to work with people who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done."
~ Ryan Cruzan, Facilities Manager

"Shout out to Vicky Allen and Courtney Fry for running a (successful!) fundraiser in December for our new Special Education scholarship. I appreciate the time and dedication they have to the program and our students.   They are back at it again this week planning our next fundraiser for January."
~ Jessica Kauffman

"A big Holly Heights shout out to both Pat Fredrick and Suzanne Sheppard for organizing our holiday giving tree.  They helped so many of our families with the support of our generous staff."
~ Steve Saul

"I wanted to take a moment to thank Justin Dodge for setting up the Administration Dashboard on Google. I was very impressed with the ease of the process and how quickly it can be updated. This makes our reporting process streamlined."

"Amy Gehringer bought Teddy Bears for her students prior the Winter Break. Kids who earned them were given the teddy bear and were able to get their picture taken in front of a gigantic bear."
~ Spike Cook

"Bridget Borlak works tirelessly to meet the needs of the English Department. She keeps the staff abreast of all state mandates and provides them with the necessary tools to meet those requirements. Bridget has been instrumental in the development of the Early College High School Pathway.  She is a valued and respected member of the department. Thank you for all that you do!"
~ Maggie Colina

"Special thanks to Lauren Daigle and Alicia Discepola for providing staff Tech Tuesday emails. Thank you for your new ideas and passion by providing staff not only these emails but also your hard work and dedication throughout the school year."
~ JoAnne Colacurcio

"Since I came to Bacon, Spike Cook has made himself available to me for questions and advice. He continues to check in with me from time to time, and he's gone beyond the extra mile in terms of support and encouragement.  Thanks, Spike. I appreciate it!"
~ Mike Coyle

"Shawn Jenkins and Holly Capertina - Thanks for your flexibility and passionate commitment during this round of PARCC testing.  We experienced snow days and delayed openings, but persevered through it all with a positive attitude."
~ Pat Wulk

"Congratulations to Julia Araujo and Karen Simmons received a grant from Lowe's "Toolbox for Education" grant program for their project, "Veggies for Veterans." This project combines STEM, healthy lifestyles and our adopted veterans."
~ Brian Robinson

"Gracias to Gloria Perez for making sure everything was ready at CFC for the bilingual program's annual Three Kings Day celebration.  She consistently advocates and does all she can for our Spanish-speaking students and their families."
~ Debbie Homan

"A great deal of thanks to the English department curriculum teams who always are at the ready to develop and revise the curricula to ensure that our students get the world-class education they deserve. Your expertise and dedication to our students is so appreciated. Keep the great ideas coming! Janet Todd, KT Fouhy, Katherine Rossbach, Erin Maines, Sue Zatzariny, Dana Siniavsky, Danielle Carroll, Tara Cotton and Lisa Maldonado."
~ Bridget Borlak

"This week, I want to recognize Mr. Kell, our school business administrator. He has the most difficult job of overseeing the District’s budget. He has to deal with me when I come in and say “I need money to support items like teacher mini-grants or other worthwhile expenditures for our students” although not originally in the budget. If it is good for kids I always try to find a way. But that really means I go to Bryce and say “find it”. Like whoever is in charge of your household budget, there are times where they would love to give everyone what they want. The truth is, if you ran a budget by giving everyone what the want you would quickly find yourself unable to provide what we need. I would like to thank Mr. Kell for providing funding for what we need and often finding opportunities to support the things we want too. Great job Bryce!"
~ Dr. David Gentile

Have an amazing 3-day weekend!


Dr. G.

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

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)

Published by Dr. Spike Cook, Millville, NJ

December 22, 2017

Photo by Andrew Walton on Unsplash
I want to wish everyone a very special Holiday/Winter Break. May your time be spent with the people you love! Please make time for yourself. Find time to energize by doing the things you enjoy – do something just for you. All too often you give of yourself to help make others happy. You have to make time to recharge your own battery.

Thank you for all you do to make our District amazing. There are so many wonderful staff members recognized this week. Let’s get right to it…

The message below is from Danielle Tombleson about a special project she and her class created. Thought you would enjoy hearing about it.

Hi Eric,
I wanted to invite you into my classroom tomorrow morning as we will be putting together care packages for the homeless! We began this ‘Homeless Care Project’ in the beginning of December by reading about a family who suffered (and prevailed) through homelessness. This hits home for a lot of my students as many of them have experienced homeless themselves. It inspired me to get my students TRULY involved during this holiday season.

As a class, we brainstormed a quite large and very thoughtful list of items that the homeless needed the most. They researched prices for each items and managed a budget to create a list of their top 10 items. I had all intentions of putting together a care package, but because my students were so interested in the project…I decided to start a GoFundMe page with a goal of $300. In two weeks time, we have raised $400 in donations as well as bags and bags of items from my friends and family! I am so overwhelmed with the support I received!

I hope you will come in and be a part of this special project!
~ Danielle

“Graham Gant has worked enthusiastically and successfully to promote and encourage the German program. His partnership with GAPP created opportunities for German students to experience life in the US, and this summer our students will travel abroad to experience German language and culture. Graham's passion for the program is palpable. His efforts are greatly appreciated. Danke schoen, Herr Gant!”

“Jason Harrington has been a great help to both our students and Mr. Gant. His help with the GAPP program has assisted in making this exchange program a real buzz for our students. Velen Danke, Jason!”
~ Bridget Borlak

 “A big thanks to Amy Spanbauer for making sure our families have what they need this time of year.  Amy has been working tirelessly to ensure a number of needs are met.  From coordinating with Cumberland County College to working closely with our teachers and gathering their donations, Amy has made sure our students and their families receive the gift cards and presents needed to make this time of year special.  Thank you, Amy!”

“Thanks to these phenomenal educators, Barbara Lore and Amanda Devita, for organizing the Trim a Tree event here at Bacon.  Many families joined us that night for an evening of treats and ornament making, and it was great seeing students spend time with their loved ones.  Many staff members helped out that night, and Barb and Amanda brought it all together and made it happen.  It was a warm, family-friendly, and fun night.  Thanks, ladies!”
~ Mike Coyle

“Special thanks to Megan Finney for all her hard work and dedication to the students and staff at Memorial and Senior High. Megan has made both of the school libraries a safe haven for all students with her warm, welcoming atmosphere.”

“Thank you to Jimmy McCarthy and his students for providing the delicious wraps and cookies for the STEM Day at Lakeside. The pride Jimmy takes in his work is truly inspiring and I am continually impressed by the food Jimmy and his students prepare for many of the events in the district.”
~ JoAnne Colacurcio

 “Thank you to Robby Williams, Cody Hand, and Tim Garrison  for taking on a last minute project to survey the entire eighth grade in two days.  It is great to work with a team who is ready to assist when needed.”
~ Pat Wulk

“Bobby Barber and Ryan Hudson organized a very successful STEM day for LMS 8th grade students. This event was attended by both parents and students and highlighted some of the awesome programs at the High School! Bobby and Ryan did a lot of work behind the scenes to make this event special! Go Junior Bolts!”
~ Spike Cook

“Lynn Tyszka has created special rooms at Holly Heights - one for K-2 and one for gr. 3-5 - where teachers can take their classes to improve their social skills in positive ways through play.  Sentence strips suggest positive ways to speak to friends.  Lynn spent a lot of time choosing what to put in the rooms and setting it all up.  Lynn, thank you for thinking about the whole child.”
~ Debbie Homan

“Cindy Ciocco and Diane  Cavagnaro are members of our Preschool Intervention and Referral team.  They  work with the children and assist the teachers by developing behavior and learning plans to determine if a referral is the best next earning step for the child's success.  They model and work directly with the implementation of the plan.  In addition to their daily schedule they took on the CFC Giving Tree this year. They coordinated the giving of gifts for at least 26 families from the Child Family Center.  This included contacting families, getting assistance from our staff and delivering the gifts.  They also coordinated the giving of additional gifts from a generous CFC family friend donation so that many more children received assistance at this special holiday time.”
~ JoAnn Burns

“A great big shout out to Dan Bertonazzi and Terry Tracey, School Psychologists for the elementary and secondary Child Study Team testing teams.  Even when the referrals and re-evaluations keep coming, they never give up.  Their can-do attitude and strong work ethic make them excellent team members and role models for all of us.”
~ Nora Zielinski

“We know that building positive relationships between a  teacher and a student opens the door to honest communication.  Melissa Sooy has built this relationship with her students based on honesty and trust. She meets with her students during her free time to help them with their studies, assists them in making the right decisions and counsels them at all times.  It’s no wonder that they return to see her long after they have left the middle school. These are true attributes of being a TEACHER.”
~ Maggie Colina

“Mebane Sherman from Senior High and Lynn Riley from Memorial for being amazing with scheduling coverages especially during PARCC testing.  They did all of this with a smile and always a positive attitude!!!! Thanks so much ! They rock!”
~ Stephanie DeRose

“I want to give a Holiday Shout Out to the Professional Development Specialists: Beth Benfer, Margaret Keefer, and Justin Dodge. They are creatively working to support our staff and help the District grow. If you haven’t done so already, go to their webpage and sign up to have them guest teach a lesson, or provide a training session of your interest. They have positive attitudes and a willingness to go the extra mile. Thank you PDS’s!”
~ David Gentile

Happy Holidays,

Warm regards-

Dr. G.

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

#MPSWC (MPS World Class)

Published by Dr. Spike Cook, Millville, NJ