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RED BANK: DISTRICT KEEPS PRESSURE ON PLAN

jared rumage 082814Red Bank Superintendent Jared Rumage, above, said PARCC test results show that students gain skills as they progress through the middle school. Below, charter school Principal Meredith Pennotti at the forum her school hosted Tuesday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

meredith pennotti 020216Twists in the proposed Red Bank Charter School expansion saga in recent days have prompted the borough school district to dial up its attack on the plan.

District Superintendent Jared Rumage said a change in the timeline of the plan’s proposed rollout “amplifies [the] disconnect” between the charter school and the community.

In addition, academic test data released this week shows that district eighth-graders are not only competitive with those at the charter school, but outscored them, he said.

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RFH GRID STARS CHOOSE COLLEGES

Three members of the state champion Rumson-Fair Haven Regional football team made their college commitments official at a signing-day event in Rumson Wednesday. Shore Sports Zone was there to speak with the players.

RBR TRIO SIGNS FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL

After a coaching change at Syracuse University, Red Bank Regional standout receiver Sadiq Palmer reassessed his offers to play college football. He was one of three members of the Buc team that had its best season in a generation to sign for college play on Wednesday. Shore Sports Zone was there to talk to the scholar-athletes about their futures.

RUMSON 7TH GRADER WINS SPELLING BEE

Rumson spelling beeSeventh-grader Josie Schneider (center) celebrates victory with her mother Andrea Huber, and Forrestdale School Spelling Bee Emcee Keith Laviola.

Press release from Rumson School District 

On January 26, seventh-grader Josie Schneider claimed the first place finish at the annual Forrestdale School Spelling Bee. Josie attained victory with the correct spelling of her Championship word, “sedimentary.”

Fifth-grader Charlie Patton was first runner-up in the competition, entering the championship round with his correct spelling of the word “antonym.” In all, 27 students in grades four through eight, all of whom had prevailed in their individual classroom spelling bees, participated in the schoolwide event.

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RUMSON HONORS ‘TEACHERS OF THE YEAR’

Rumson teachersPress release from Rumson School District 

Prior to the start of its January 27 meeting, the Rumson Board of Education on January 27 honored  Bridget Albrizio and Brittaney Flynn (pictured above) as Teachers of the Year. Albrizio is a second grade teacher at Deane Porter School, and Flynn teaches at Forrestdale Middle School.

Board of Education President Colleen O’Connor spoke about the honorees, emphasizing their dedication and proven leadership as well as their love of teaching and impact on their students.

“Bridget strives for and succeeds in consistently teaching at the highest level of excellence,” O’Connor said of Albrizio, adding that Flynn is “a proven leader” who “has gone above and beyond countless times.”

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RED BANK: A LITTLE BOOK-LABELING PARTY

leighton lib 110915 2leighton lib 110915 1Kate Triggiano, who had a custom-built “little library” built and installed outside her Red Bank home for neighborhood kids last October, plans a book labeling party Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.

The aim of the event, to be held at Kitch Organic restaurant at 75 Leighton Avenue, is to apply labels to dozens of books donated to the library’s wish list on Amazon, Triggiano said. Participants are asked to bring scissors; kids are welcome if  they’re old enough to help.

Why label? “Because we respect the kids and trust them,” said Triggiano. “Because they cost nice people money. And because we don’t want someone taking them and selling them.”

Dubbed the Little Library on Leighton, the mahogany receptacle, built by custom woodworker David Halbout of Middletown, is in front of Triggiano’s home at 22 Leighton, and features children’s and young-adult literature.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: A LAST CALL FOR ‘REASON’

Lives of Reason TRTC 1-16 063 Lives of Reason, by Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel, directed by Jonathan Fox at Two River Theatre Company 1/7/16 Costume Design: Karen Perry Lighting Design: Gina Scherr Set Design: Charlie Corcoran © T Charles Erickson Photography tcepix@comcast.net

Ilona (Mairin Lee) is the center of attention, as the Two River Theater original LIVES OF REASON (above) enters its final round of performances…while Monmouth U’s Frank P. Fury (below) inaugurates a new series of Conversation + Play events at Two River. (Top photo by T. Charles Erickson)

FuryAlthough its authors — longtime Monmouth University English professor Robert Rechnitz, and veteran Dean/ History prof Kenneth Stunkel — have waved away any direct connection to their former place of employment or co-workers, the unmistakable flavor of a life spent in academia permeates Lives of Reason, the original ensemble drama that represents the maiden collaboration for its two octogenarian playwrights.

Even as Lives enters into the final eight performances (today through Sunday, February 7) of its limited engagement at Two River Theater, the venue re-establishes that Monmouth U connection with the help of the organization known as The Navesink, whose TEDxNavesink events used the Bridge Avenue arts center for its sold-out 2014 session (and who since relocated to, you guessed it, the Monmouth campus). Thursday, February 4 marks the first in a three-part series of Conversation + Play “salons” that pair an 8 pm performance of Two River’s current mainstage production with a special pre-show lecture — in this case the young MU faculty member and literature specialist Frank P. Fury, Ph.D.

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1ST PLACE SPELL FOR FAIR HAVEN 5TH GRADER

Knollwood spellerKnollwood School fifth-grader Jacob Brown, claimed first place in the school’s Annual Spelling Bee on January 26,  with his correct spelling of the word “nonplus.” The ten year old son of Melanie and Jason Brown competed against grade-level spelling champs Aaron Bernstein (8th grade), Alex Fratto (7th grade), PJ Rawlins (6th grade), and Sammi Samuels (4th grade). Next up for Jacob is county-level competition in the Regional Spelldown, held March 14 at Monmouth University. 

RED BANK: CHARTER TRIES SILENCE WITH PR

rbcs 020216 6Charter school Principal Meredith Pennotti with a school cofounder, Michael Stasi, center, and trustee Roger Foss, in blue tie. Below, charter school parent and middle school employee Diana Archila addresses the crowd as charter school spokesman Kevin King looks on. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

archila king rbcs 020216After what’s been called “a PR disaster” involving its proposed plan to double enrollment, the Red Bank Charter School shifted into corporate communications mode Tuesday night.

Over the course of a two-hour forum that drew a fired-up, overflow crowd in its new STEM lab on Monmouth Street, school officials, with one exception, refused to answer questions, rebut criticisms or even state positions on their own proposal plan, instead sitting silently and letting critics have their say.

And for reporters, school officials deferred all questions to a polished corporate spokesman who stayed rigorously on-message.

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RUMSON: BATCHLER CUT AS FOOTBALL COACH

Bryan Batchler 120715 1Former Rumson-Fair Haven Regional head football coach Bryan Batchler led the team to its third straight state sectional football championship in December. (Image courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02

Six weeks after he was put on leave for undisclosed reasons, Bryan Batchler is expected to be replaced as head football coach at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, redbankgreen has learned.

Batchler, who led the Bulldogs to their third consecutive state sectional title with a win over Red Bank Regional on December 5, was placed on leave by Superintendent Pete Righi just nine days later. Righi has repeatedly declined to say what prompted the suspension or provide any details about the situation, citing the confidentiality of a personnel matter.

Now, however, the school needs to find a coach for the upcoming season, Righi said in a prepared statement Tuesday.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL SLATES FORUM

135 MONMOUTH 121515 1

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School plans to hold an open forum and press conference on its controversial expansion plan Tuesday at 7 p.m., the school announced Sunday.

“The press conference will provide clarity on a recent application amendment, after which the forum will be opened for community comment,” according to a press release.

The event will be held at 135 Monmouth Street, above, a building in which the school recently leased space for a STEM lab and to accommodate the expansion, if approved by the New Jersey Department of Education. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LINCROFT: BCC HOSTS MINORITY CONFERENCE

Fidel MMI conference BCCBrookdale Community College faculty member Fidel Wilson speaks at the 2015 Minority Male Initiative workshop. Registration is now open for this year’s conference, which returns to campus for its second annual edition on Friday, February 19.

Press release from Bookdale Community College

“Each year, more and more males of color are enrolling in college with the goal of earning a degree and starting a rewarding career,” said Fidel Wilson, assistant professor at Brookdale Community College. “But gaps still remain, both in the classroom and in the workforce.”

On Friday, February 19,  BCC and the Monmouth/Ocean County Pan Hellenic Council will host the second annual “Minority Male Initiative” conference on the college’s Lincroft campus.

Hosted inside the Warner Student Life Center building, the free conference, titled “Finding a Career That Suits You,” will offer career-oriented workshops designed specifically for local high school seniors and current Brookdale students. It is co-sponsored by Meridian Health and Brookdale’s Educational Opportunity Fund program. The conference is open to local high school seniors and Brookdale students, and unique scholarship opportunities are available for eligible attendees.

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RED BANK: PANEL BLASTS ‘SEGREGATION’

rbcs 121515 3The 17-year-old charter school has said a weighted lottery that takes racial and economic factors into account would be used in the expansion. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The panel charged with a hurry-up examination of the proposed Red Bank Charter School expansion teed up the institution for segregation in its report, unveiled at a borough council meeting Wednesday night.

“According to New Jersey Department of Education enrollment data, Red Bank Borough is home to the most segregated school district in the state of New Jersey, with deep disparity” in racial makeup, primary language skills and economic backgrounds, the report said.

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