Friday, October 7, 2011

New Staff at Waldwick High School - Suzanne Manning (ESL)

Suzanne Manning - ESL


I asked each new staff member to answer a few questions about themselves.  


Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and graduated from Fair Lawn High School and then William Paterson University. I then received my Master's degree in Gender and International Studies at Towson University. After working for an anti-domestic violence agency in NYC and then two years of teaching in the Peace Corps in Moldova, I decided I wanted to go into teaching as a career.

What made you choose Education as a career?
I chose education because after teaching for two years in a village in Moldova in the Peace Corps, I realized how rewarding teaching was for me. I loved seeing students make progress and feeling that I had been a part of that process.

What appealed to you about Waldwick High School?
I liked that Waldwick was a small community where people knew each other and cared about each other. While substituting in Waldwick, I got to know some of the staff and students. I really appreciated the caring and supportive people I met, and liked the academic environment in Waldwick.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I speak Romanian and Moldavian (a dialect of Romanian),which I learned to speak proficiently (and teach in) during my time in Moldova with the Peace Corps.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Staff at Waldwick High School - Christine Cook (Art)

I asked each new staff member to answer a few questions about themselves.  



Christine Cook - Art Teacher
(This year Ms. Cook will only be teaching one class in the high school, but her addition to the department  has already been very beneficial)

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Totowa and went to Passaic Valley High School.  Throughout my high school career, I played volleyball and softball.  After high school I attended Ramapo College of New Jersey, where I majored in Visual Arts and Art Education.

What made you choose Education as a career?
I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but I was unsure of whether I wanted to teach art or math.  I couldn't make up my mind until my senior year in high school.  My art teacher, at the time, inspired me, like I want to inspire others, to love art.  That was the moment I knew that I wanted to become an art teacher.

What appealed to you about Waldwick High School?
I was interested in Waldwick High School because it has such a nice school environment.  Everyone is so welcoming and has great school spirit.  It's the type of school that any teacher would be grateful to work in.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
One of my favorite things to do every year is go camping with my family.  I love roughing it in the outdoors and escaping from all the technology.

New Staff at Waldwick High School - Gayla Brewer (Secretary)

I asked each new staff member to answer a few questions about themselves.  

Gayla Brewer – Secretary for Mr. Clancy

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Spent more than 20 years in Corporate Communications for numerous Fortune 500 Companies.  The last twelve years were dedicated to free-lance writing, raising three kids and community volunteering, including establishing an education foundation in the Park Ridge school district and supporting the basketball program at a local private high school.

What made you choose Education as a career?
I love kids, and I love sports.  Supporting the WHS Athletic Director seemed like a perfect fit.

What appealed to you about Waldwick High School?
Great vibe.  The two guys who interviewed me seemed focused, professional, high energy, positive and direct.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I am a die-hard Springsteen fan and have been to about 100 shows all over the country.  Hoping to publish a book someday titled, "Good Fan, Bad Mother: Confessions of a Bruce Addict."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Staff at Waldwick High School - Melissa Kahn (Special Services)

I asked each new staff member to answer a few questions about themselves.  



Melissa Kahn - Special Services
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Haworth, NJ about 25 minutes from Waldwick. My family consists of my father who is a CPA, my mother who does book keeping, my sister who is a publicist in entertainment, and my brother-in-law who is a lawyer. I went to Northern Valley Demarest High School, Muhlenberg College for my undergraduate degree in History, and Felician College for my Masters Degree in Education.

After I graduated from Muhlenberg, I went to work at the Alpine Learning Group for 6 years. I learned to teach individuals with Autism using the principles of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis).

What made you choose Education as a career?
Believe it or not, I have always wanted to be a teacher.  Ever since I was in Kindergarten, I dreamed of being a teacher. Until I graduated college, I always thought I wanted to be a general education teacher. However, I came to see the light of the special education realm, and have made it my life's goal to teach students with special needs.

What appealed to you about Waldwick High School?
Waldwick High School appealed to me for a number of reasons. One thing I really like about WHS is that it is a small school. Class sizes are going to be manageable and the faculty gets to know all the students and other staff members.  WHS also appealed to me because of the initiation to start a self-contained special education program, where life skills are a major focus.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I play dodgeball with some coworkers in the middle school.

New Staff at Waldwick High School - Christina McCann (Language Arts)

I asked each new staff member to answer a few questions about themselves.  

Christina McCann – Language Arts



Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Wallington during my elementary and middle school years and then moved to New Milford   where I attended New Milford High School. I played softball, volleyball, basketball, soccer and ran cross  country. I was also Sports Editor in the school newspaper.  I went to Ramapo College where I majored in Literature and minored in Psychology.  I taught at Fort Lee High School for two years. And I teach students from Newark and Paterson in an Upward Bound Program over the summer.

What made you choose Education as a career?
When I was in High School I had two teachers, Mrs. DePoto and Mr. Shaw, who always told me they thought I should be an English teacher. I enjoyed reading and the educational environment. I thrived from the discussion and intellectual stimulation of the class. Keeping their advice in the back of my mind, I decided to major in Literature and get my teaching certification. My sophomore year I was accepted into a Peer  Facilitation program for my Psychology field work where I would be teaching a Freshmen Seminar class at Ramapo College. I absolutely loved it and was positive that I had chosen the correct profession. I still  keep in touch with my old teachers and thank them often for directing me to a career that I love.

What appealed to you about Waldwick High School?
I was drawn to Waldwick's small community and views of technology in the classroom. Waldwick High School is a small community, filled with kind, caring and educated people. From the moment I stepped into the building, people were welcoming me and offering encouragement. The entire staff is sincerely dedicated to the well being and education of the students. In a new day and age of technology, Waldwick adapts and embraces the new possibilities with open arms and an open mind by incorporating SMART technology and utilizing electronic resources.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
Some interesting things about myself are that I ride a Honda CBR 600RR motorcycle and play softball and volleyball.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Facebook Page @ WHS

To all the Facebook users out there, Waldwick High School now has its own Facebook Page.    The Page will be another communication tool that I will utilize to keep everyone up to date on events and information going on at WHS.


To follow the Official Waldwick High School Facebook Page just click on the Like button.   Not sure what the Like button does?  Here is a quick explanation:
Liking a Page means you are connecting to that Page. When you connect to a Page, it will appear in your profile (timeline) and you will appear on the Page as a person who likes that Page. The Page will also be able to post content into your News Feed. 
Spread the word to your Friends, Family, Alumni, etc.

Keep in mind this Facebook Page is an extension of the high school and all comments should be kept appropriate.   

Kevin Carroll

New Staff at Waldwick High School - Ali Terzini (World Languages)

I asked each new staff member to answer a few questions about themselves.  

Ali Terzini – World Languages (Spanish)

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Ramsey NJ, went to high school there and then attended the University of Delaware.

What made you choose Education as a career?
I had an amazing Spanish teacher in high school who motivated me to stick with the language and take it for all four years of high school. Originally I was a communications major at UD and only took one Spanish class for credit, but realized halfway through that I did not want to stop taking Spanish courses,  and that I  spent most of my time tutoring and helping my friends in Spanish.

What appealed to you about Waldwick High School?
I loved the idea that it was a close knit school. I like that it has a great reputation for respectful and eager to learn students.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
When I was younger, I used to audition for shows on Broadway and was in a few local shows. I loved (and still love) acting and singing and being on stage. I feel that as a teacher we need to be actors and be extra animated to motivate our students.

New Staff at Waldwick High School - Paola Olivo (Physical Education & Health)

I asked each new staff member to answer a few questions about themselves.  


Paola Olivo - Physical Education & Health
(Mrs. Olivo was with us part of last year but this year joins us on a full-time basis.  She has been a great addition to the PE/HE Department)

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Verona, NJ where I graduated from Verona High School.  As a high school Senior, I committed to Fairleigh Dickinson University where I was a softball player for two seasons.  In 2002 I transferred to Montclair State University in order to pursue my education as a teacher of Physical Education and Health.  Aside from attending my classes, I also took on the role of Assistant Varsity Softball Coach to the Montville Mustangs as well as the Verona Girls Freshman Basketball team.    
What made you choose Education as a career?
My high school Physical Education teacher and basketball coach inspired my decision to become a teacher.  She is a person who I admire and continue to look up to because of her welcoming nature, positive attitude and dedication to her students and career.
Sports have always been a big part of my life and I wanted to be in a position where I could share my enthusiasm.   It is important to me to educate my students on how to live a healthy and active life.
What appealed to you about Waldwick High School?
Growing up in Essex County, I rarely ventured to Bergen County so I was originally unfamiliar with its communities.   Upon my arrival to Waldwick, I found it to be a place of work that I could call home.  It is a community very similar to where I grew up which was very comforting.  The students are absolutely wonderful, the parents are supportive, and I could not ask for a better staff to work with.  I genuinely look forward to coming to work on a daily basis and I am honored to be a part of the Waldwick community and the educational experience it has to offer.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?

My hobbies consist of playing softball on the weekends, spending time with my family, friends, husband Tommy, and our dog, Nero.  
Favorite movie: Shag  and Hairspray (original)
Favorite Author:  James Patterson

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Staff at Waldwick High School - Michael Pepe (Chemistry)

As I mentioned in a previous post I get some great ideas from other administrators around the world.  My next few posts will highlight the eight new staff members here at Waldwick High School.  I got this idea from Patrick Larkin who is the Principal of Burlington High School in Massachusetts.  

I asked each new staff member to answer a few questions about themselves.

Michael Pepe - Chemistry

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Rockland County, New York.  I attended Clarkstown South High School in West Nyack, NY.  I went on to Binghamton University where I graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry.  I stayed at Binghamton for graduate school and received both an M.A. in Chemistry and an M.A.T in Adolescent Science Education.

What made you choose Education as a career?
In college during the summer I worked at a camp for disabled children where most of the activity directors were teachers.  My positive experiences working with them along with my experience interacting with the campers drew me towards the profession of teaching.

What appealed to you about Waldwick High School?
Waldwick's commitment to integrating technology into the classroom and its commitment to educating its student body in the use of this technology.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I enjoy going to the beach and playing lacrosse.


Welcome to the Waldwick High School Principal's Blog

The Waldwick High School Principal’s Blog is something I wanted to start two years ago but never took the big step until today.  I have been following other principals/educational leaders from around the world, who have their own blog or use other types of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc) to highlight their schools, share ideas and build their own PLN (Personal Learning Network).       

I have two main goals for this blog. 
1St - It will be another communication tool to help keep our students, parents, community members and alumni informed about events, activities and achievements going on at Waldwick High School. 

2nd - Create a blog that shares ideas, connects with other educators and gives me the opportunity to highlight some of the great teachers and educational programs at Waldwick High School.

As a Principal I have tried to model and expose my staff to as many Web 2.0 tools as I can over the past four years.  I have talked with them about incorporating 21st Century Skills into their lessons, and discussed the importance of keeping our students engaged and the learning relevant.  As a staff we have embraced cell phones, created our own youtube channel, used Facebook and Twitter within the classroom, and many other projects/presentations that were not going on in the past.  My staff has welcomed the opportunities presented to them, and I believe we have a lot to share (and still learn).  

I am looking forward to this new adventure.