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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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RUMSON: A PAGE-TURNER OUT OF HISTORY

pam-jenoffPress release from Congregation B’nai Israel

Novelist Pam Jenoff served as Vice Consul for the US State Department in Krakow, Poland and is an expert on Poland and the Holocaust.  On the morning of Sunday, February 28, Pam Jenoff speaks at Congregation B’nai Israel in Rumson about the role her State Department experiences played in shaping many of her novels.

Jenoff’s internationally best-selling debut novel The Kommandant’s Girl was based on actual events and was cited by Publisher’s weekly for its “luminous simplicity….”and hailed as “a breathtaking debut. “  This poignant Holocaust story – a suspenseful “page-turner” – is on the reading list of several area Book Clubs.  Jenoff’s talk will be followed by book sales and author signings.

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A WELLNESS FAIR FOR R-FH STAFFERS

Wellness FairPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

A “Wellness Fair” for staff members was held at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School on the afternoon of January 21. The first of its kind at R-FH, the event featured 50-minute “breakout sessions” with activities and information centered on physical and emotional well-being. A variety of health-related presentations were offered in the RFH gymnasium as well.

Wellness Committee Staff Members Frank Gripp, Lauren Grumbach, Anna Higgins, Andrew Hudson, Linda Nill, and Lauren Thieme organized the Fair for their colleagues, with the event made possible through the generosity of local health practitioners and businesses, as well as staff members who donated their time and shared their expertise.

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R-FH TEENS HEAR PROS OF LANGUAGE SKILLS

buckley sistito de bonte maitaPanelists Dekker Buckley, Amy Sestito, Claudia De Bonte, and Gianna Maita made a presentation on “World Language in Our Community” at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional on January 12th.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On January 12, a “standing-room only” crowd of students at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School were treated to an illuminating presentation by the school’s World Language Department.

Students who elected to attend during Study Hall Period were able to share in the insights of four special guest panelists, who spoke on the topic of “World Language in Our Community,” with an emphasis on the many benefits of studying world languages.

Serving as panelists were Dekker Buckley, who serves as Vice President-Director, Latin American Zone, for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies; Claudia De Bonte, a New Jersey-based attorney who worked in France for Polo Ralph Lauren/Poloco; Gianna Maita, an RFH Class of 2011 graduate with proficiency in French, Italian, Spanish, and Afrikaans, and Amy Sestito, co-founder of the groundbreaking and award-winning parenting magazine The Family Groove.

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RUMSON MUSICIANS EXCEL AT WINTER SHOW

Forrestdale band concertForrestdale School band director John Lebitsch conducts the Jazz Ensemble during the annual Winter Concert program in the school’s auditorium.

Press release from Rumson School District

The winter blues were kept at bay for one memorable night, as the Forrestdale School Winter Band Concert took place on the evening of January 14. Led by Forrestdale School Band Director John Lebitsch, the Advanced and Intermediate Bands and the Jazz Ensemble played to a packed house, and delighted the crowd.

The evening’s lineup featured Advanced Band performances of “Autumn Fanfare” (composed by Mekel Rogers) and “Train Heading West” (Timothy Broege). The Intermediate Band performed the Brian Balmages composition “Midnight Suite,” and the Combined Advanced and Intermediate Bands teamed up for a performance of the Tchaikovsky favorite “March from the Nutcracker.”

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RUMSON SCHOOLS JOIN IN HOUR OF CODE

Rumson Schools CodePress release from Rumson School District

Computers are everywhere, touching nearly every aspect of our lives — but surprisingly, fewer schools teach computer science now than were teaching it 10 years ago.

“Teaching kids to code is just as important as teaching them any other language,” stated Apple CEO Tim Cook on December 9th, 2015. “And the younger they start learning it, the better.”

This sentiment is echoed by the Rumson School District. Both Educational Technology teachers, Mark Panas of Deane-Porter (K-3) and Chris Macioch of Forrestdale (4-8) and their students have joined in on the largest education event in history: The Hour of Code.

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RUMSON HOSTS PARENTS’ PARCC SESSION

Rumson Laurie VolpeSupervisor of Curriculum, Instruction and Guidance Laurie Volpe addresses parents at Forrestdale School, during the Rumson School District’s presentation of “Understanding Your Child’s PARCC Scores.”

Press release from Rumson School District 

On the evening of January 11, the Rumson School District invited parents of borough students to a public presentation entitled “Understanding Your Child’s PARCC Scores.” Over 40 parents attended the Parent Academy presentation inside the All Purpose Room at Forrestdale School, co-hosted by Superintendent Dr. John Bormann and Laurie Volpe, Supervisor of Instruction, Curriculum, and Guidance.

This spring, and for the second consecutive year, the Borough of Rumson is preparing to administer Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing for all students in the public school system. Testing will take place from April 11 – 15 for students in grades four through eight, and from May 2-6 for third graders.

The 7 pm Parent Academy presentation provided district parents with timely information and perspective on the PARCC Assessment, which is aligned with Common Core Standards.

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RUMSON STUDENTS LEARN BASICS OF CPR

Kim CrowleyKim Crowley, RN of Meridian Health instructs eighth graders at Forrestdale School in the use of an Advanced External Defibrillator.

During their classes in Health and Physical Education on January 6-8, seventh and eighth grade students at Forrestdale School in Rumson learned critical lifesaving skills, courtesy of an initiative from Meridian Health.

Presented under the banner Create a Community of Lifesavers, the initiative allowed students to receive instruction in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) compression, as well as abdominal thrust methods for treating choking victims. The 40-minute sessions were presented and overseen by Meridian Health representatives Kim Crowley, Ashley Davis, Angela Norosavage, and CJ Sabosik.

The wheels were set in motion when the school’s Health teacher Heather de Laszlo, RN received a letter outlining the need for and availability of Creating a Community of Lifesavers. Made possible by a partnership between Meridian Health and the American Heart Association, the program is being offered at no cost to local schools.

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R-FH FOUNDATION HOSTS ‘APRES-SKI’ EVENT

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Foundation

The Rumson-Fair Haven High School Foundation, a non-profit organization of parents and faculty which supports educational programs at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, announced Saturday, January 30 as the date for its second annual winter fundraiser. Organized around an “Apres-Ski Party” theme, the fundraiser is scheduled for the hours of 7 to 10 p.m. at Knights of Columbus Red Bank Council 3187, 200 Fair Haven Road in Fair Haven.

“This event is a great way for parents to connect with other parents and meet the R-FH staff in a fun, relaxed setting while at the same time supporting some fabulous programs which will benefit our children, said R-FH Foundation president Kathryne Singleton. “ We are extremely proud of all the innovative, exciting projects we’ve supported over the years, and our donors make them possible!”

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RUMSON PARADE MARCHES ON IN 2016

Press release from Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee

Jack C HowleyThe Fourth Annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Sunday, March 13, 2016, beginning at 1 pm. The day will be complete with music, bag pipe bands, floats, marching bands from area high schools, Irish Step Dancers, classic cars, veteran groups, scouting organizations, non-profit organizations, schools, novelty acts, and area business and civic groups.

Mayor John Ekdahl and members of the borough council enthusiastically welcomed the announcement of this recently established local tradition, first organized in 2013. As she has since the event’s inception, JoAnn Pileggi of Fox 29 News Philadelphia will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and named as the 2016 Grand marshal is Jack C. Howley (pictured), president of Howley Financial Group, LLC and a founding board member and supporter of the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee.

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RUMSON GARDENERS SPREAD HOLLYDAY CHEER

Christmas_Greens_ChairsRumson Garden Club president Diane Guidone (center) is pictured with Christmas Greens co-chairs Liz Dusko (left) and Angela Bennink (right), during the club’s annual initiative to supply “Holly Day” cheer to hard-working area nonprofits.

Press release from Rumson Garden Club

For over 80 years, the Rumson Garden Club, a member club of Garden Club of America, has held its annual Christmas Green Workshop on the first Saturday in December; a project designed to spread holiday cheer and help local non-for-profits deck their halls.

Since its inception in 1930, the Workshop’s boughs of holly, boxwood, magnolia, pine and spruce have been clipped from members’ properties, and brought to Bingham Hall. There the members gather to create evergreen centerpieces, embellish wreaths, stuff candy into bags and to herald the start of the holiday season. The wreaths, table pieces and candy bags are then delivered to local care facilities, libraries, museums, community centers, and other not-for-profit establishments.

This year, the RGC helped spread “Holly Day” cheer to the following community organizations: Parker Family Clinic, Love Inc., Monmouth Historical Society, John Montgomery House, History House, King James Care Center, Meridian Health Care Center, Rumson Borough Hall, Oceanic Public Library, Lunch Break, St. Marks Keansburg Center for Community Renewal, and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Asbury Park and Red Bank.

“It’s my favorite RGC activity,” said 50-year member Nancy Dickson of the project that also serves as a great opportunity for several generations of participants to work side-by-side and share stories. “It’s so worthwhile, and a wonderful way for members to get together and give back to the community.”

In addition to their annual creation of dozens of  wreaths, dozens of centerpieces and hundreds of bags of candy,  this year the Christmas Greens volunteers created 100 small arrangements for the meal trays for Red Bank Area Meals on Wheels clients. Little is wasted, as left-over greens are ferried to the Oceanic Public Library to fill their window boxes with seasonal greenery.

Serving as co-chairs for the 2015 Workshop were Liz Dusko and Angela Bennink, who commented that  “There is so much creativity, talent, camaraderie and good spirits to go around…it’s great fun to be a part of Christmas Green Workshop and know that everything you do will bring a smile to someone’s face.”

RUMSON DADS, DAUGHTERS ARE THERE TO HELP

fatheranddaughtermissionLast month, Red Bank Regional freshman Mara Campolattaro and her father helped organize a humanitarian mission, during which a group of seven Rumson daughters and dads brought fresh water to an impoverished village in the Dominican Republic. (photos by Tim Orr)

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

For years, Mara Campolattaro of Rumson had asked her dad, eye surgeon Dr. Brian Campolattaro, to take her on one of his trips to Latin America, where he performed mission surgery as a pediatric ophthalmologist with the ILAC (Institute for Latin American Concern) organization. When Mara — a freshman at the Red Bank Regional High School Visual and Performing Arts Academy — turned 14, he acquiesced, inviting her on a humanitarian mission to the Dominican Republic.

The Campolattaros soon got inspired to invite six of Mara’s Rumson friends — Paige Borden, Caroline Healey, Hannah Horan, Annabel Morris, Maddie Orr and Olivia Turi, all freshmen at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School — as well as their dads. The girls named themselves and the mission “HereToHelp,” and with the assistance of the ILAC, the team set about identifying a village that was in need of their energies.

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RFH STUDENTS GET REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE

rfh peruRumson-Fair Haven juniors Mariah Parsons, Megan Volker, and Abby Drummond are pictured with new friends, during their volunteer stint at an orphanage in Peru.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Between October 31 and November 11, two groups of students and chaperones from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School took a closer look at the culture and languages of two far-off lands — by traveling to China and Peru, as part of World Language Immersion trips organized by RFH faculty member Michel Salazar.

Making the trip to Peru were 30 students and six chaperones – including Salazar, RFH Principal Dr. Tracy Handerhan, and World Language Teachers Christina Gauss, Daniella Goodarz, Seth Herman, and Yannell Maglione. The student contingent included sophomores Juliana Balaban-Kroll, Sebastian Buckley, Julia Handerhan, Brian Incremona Jr., Leo Maita, and Emma Singleton; juniors Abigail Drummond, Olivia Flippo, Julia Gagliano, Giavana Hanna, Mariah Parsons, Emily Ross, Jane Russo, Natalie Santos, Brittany Schmell, Paige Venancio, Isabella Vernon, Megan Volker, and Emily Weis; and seniors Emily Boak, Tess Chandler, Heather Culver, Kelly Danaher, Jordanna Drazin, Maren Gierlatowicz, Meghan O’Connor, Jenna Sandoli, Katherine Sustick, and Christina Tardiff.

RFH students traveling to China included sophomores Jessica Browne, Jenna Hawke, Nicholas Longo, Henry Manelski, Peter Maris, Camryn Pecyno, Lily Perrine, John Presti, Emma Singleton, and Christopher Steinhacker; juniors Katherine Amendola, Amanda Keighron, Julia Klem, Emily Oberlander, Avery Wall, and John Woods III; and seniors Sharon Brownstein, Colin Courchesne, Kevin Gallagher, Willis Manelski, Gabrielle Ramirez, and Isabelle Slavin. The 22 students were accompanied by four chaperones – RFH English Teacher Kathryn Borsuk, Superintendent Dr. Peter Righi, and World Language Teachers Rebecca Wang and Matthew Yang.

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RFH TEACHER GETS NEA GRANT FOR CUBA TRIP

gaussRumson-Fair Haven Regional Spanish teacher Christina Gauss (center) will be traveling to Cuba this January, as part of an education project funded by a grant from the NEA.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Christina Gauss, a faculty member at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, is the recipient a Learning and Leadership Grant from the National Education Association, that will allow her to travel to Cuba in January 2016.

The awarding of the $2,000 Grant to the RFH Spanish teacher was based on her proposal entitled “Cuba: One Year Later,” in reference to the time that has passed since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced their “normalization” plan. The grant will allow Gauss and fellow educators to participate in a Witness for Peace Delegation in Cuba, hosted by the People to People Organization.

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