Welcome to Woodmont Elementary School 2015-2016
Main Office Staff
Dominic D. Esposito- Principal “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, what is essential is invisible to the eye” I EXCITEDLY begin my third year as Woodmont’s principal. I served as an assistant principal in Montague, NJ and Ogdensburg, NJ prior to coming to Woodmont. I taught sixth grade mathematics for ten years at Rahway Middle School. I earned a B.A. from Villanova University, a J.D. from New York Law School, and an M.A. in Educational Administration from Kean University. Our family resides in Netcong, NJ. Diane is a real estate agent and our daughter, Julia, begins fifth grade this September. My educational philosophy for elementary school is- the elementary school experience should be fun! Yes, children should be exposed to rigorous learning and high quality instruction but for the best educators these are a given. What many educators forget is that children learn best in environments where they feel nurtured. They will not take risks if they do not feel there is a mattress under them to soften the blow that comes when trying and failing. It is our job to foster supporting environments and engage students in creative, fun situations. How many of us reflect on our early years and think “Mr or Mrs. ______ delivered high quality instruction.” , don’t we in fact remember with fondness those teachers who made learning fun? Such is my mission; such is our goal at Woodmont. What I enjoy most about being Woodmont’s principal is daily engagement with concerned stakeholders. There is nothing more gratifying than being involved in initiatives which generate positive change for our school community. It is a privilege and joy to collaborate with so many dedicated and creative individuals. Anyone who has been at Woodmont for the past two years can affirm our results.
I am a collector and lover of superhero, Star Trek and Star Wars memorabilia. I like to devote my free time to my family, the movies, binge watching shows on Netflix, attending any type of musical or theatrical performance and the company of good books.
Jill Arslanian-Full Time Secretary Welcome to Woodmont School I am starting my 8th year at Woodmont this September in the Main Office. I have been working in schools, both public and elite private, from elementary to college age level, since 1995. I also worked in special events & alumni relations. I worked at a sports marketing company after graduating business school until they relocated. I went to community college, Felician College, and a college accredited business school. I love working in education. I love seeing the children, their smiles, hearing the laughter, and being there to help. I have received some very kind notes from students thanking me for what I do and for helping them. Those notes or a student coming in the office to say hello really reinforces that even the little things outside of the classroom are noticed, are appreciated, and are so important. On a personal note, family is most important. We have historical roots in my town, so I love “home sweet home.” My family had a company that worked with record companies, so I grew up with a love for music. My favorite band is the Winery Dogs, who I’ve been very lucky to spend time with at their music camps, as well as other amazing musicians. I grew up around racehorses too and am involved with NJ horsemen. I love football and am a Dallas Cowboys fan. I love traveling. I’ve also been involved with autism organizations and have co-chaired events.
Joanne Utkewicz- Part Time Secretary Welcome new families! I have been working in the main office at Woodmont for 15 years now. However, my ties to the school started much earlier than that. My children, who are grown now, used to run through the halls of Woodmont just like your children will be this year. When my children were at Woodmont, I fell in love with the pleasant and nurturing environment that the school provided for my kids. I desired to contribute to that environment in order to continue it for future students. Elementary school is a time of growth. Having our children begin their educational journey in a caring atmosphere such as Woodmont makes all the difference in introducing them to the world of learning. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, playing with my dog, Rosie, travelling and photography. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about Woodmont School - feel free to stop by the office and say hello. I will always greet you with a smile!
Kindergarten "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life Learn some and think some And draw and paint and sing and dance And play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, Watch out for traffic, Hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder.
Jennifer Kelly-Homeroom Teacher I began my teaching career in 1996. I have taught at Woodmont since 1999. I received a B.S. in elementary education from Green Mountain College in Vermont. I earned my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Long Island University. I enjoy traveling and going to Yankee games! I love teaching at Woodmont!
Candace Santiago- Homeroom Teacher “Develop a passion for learning, if you do, you will never cease to grow.” This is something I try to instill every day in the youngest of learners here at Woodmont. I love watching my Kindergartners grow, mature and develop a love of learning, as I do. I am a graduate of Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I am the proud mother of twin teenage girls who keep me very busy. In my free time, I like to read, cook with my twins and garden. I love teaching at Woodmont!!!
Danielle Stoveken- Homeroom Teacher Welcome to Woodmont! My name is Danielle Stoveken and I am a Kindergarten Teacher. I have been a teacher at Woodmont School for many years. I have taught first and second grade, and now kindergarten. I absolutely love teaching. I love getting to see the students grow and change so much in one year. Knowing that I am responsible for some part of it is truly gratifying and the reason why I went into teaching. Every year I get excited knowing that I will have new experiences and memories to keep forever. When I am not teaching, I love being with my family. I have 2 boys, ages 2 and 5. My 5 year old is starting kindergarten this year. My 2 year old is fearless. They love spending time outside or just being together. Have a great year!
Lindsay Barello- KG Aide (Kelly) I joined Woodmont School three months ago. I recently moved to New Jersey from Baltimore, Maryland and served in their school system for over eight years. During my time there I was in several different positions ranging from an inclusion helper, special needs bus attendant, and clerical and technical support. My favorite times were those spent working in the classroom with children and I am thrilled to be back in that role at Woodmont.
When I am not at work, my husband and I like to explore the area. We have enjoyed living close to the beach and city, fabulous restaurants and all the other things NJ has to offer us so far. I also love to read and spend time outside with my pup.
Lisa Florey- KG Aide (Santiago) "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go."-Dr. Seuss I have worked in an office environment for many years, but it wasn’t until I became part of Woodmont, that I never realized how delighted I am to be surrounded by such wonderful and bright children. It is very rewarding to be able to guide and support the students with a team of brilliant teachers. I am a resident of Rockaway Township and I have three lovely daughters, including a set of twins. Most of my time is spent with my family. In my spare time I enjoy reading a good book, baking, and long walks with my dog.
Karen Juliano, KG Aide (Stoveken) My name is Karen Juliano, AKA Mrs J. I work in Kindergarten as a classroom aide. I have my MBA as well as my Elementary Teaching Certification. I was born in New York and began my career in corporate life. I worked in New York’s financial district for over ten years. After I married, I moved to New Jersey and soon after relocated to a corporate position in N.J. After years of working in a business setting I
decided to pursue my dream of a teaching career and I received my teaching certification when my twin sons were young. I had the opportunity to work in an elementary school for several years as a Primary Literacy Support teacher. Prior to coming to Woodmont School I took time off from teaching and enjoyed volunteering here where my sons attended. Shortly after I began substituting in district and was hired as a lunch/recess aide. When the opportunity came to work as a Kindergarten Aide I was extremely pleased to be offered the position. I love working with the young children and seeing them learn and grow so much throughout their school years. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, and friends. I am honored to be working with the wonderful students, staff, and families of the Woodmont community.
Kim Zemaneck- Paraprofessional (K-St) "It takes a big heart to shape little minds." I have had the pleasure of working at Woodmont Elementary School for 8 years as a paraprofessional. During this time I have worked with many different grade levels which allowed me the opportunity to work with many wonderful teachers. I've enjoyed being around all of the different teaching styles and have been able to grow professionally from it. I really enjoy working in a school environment and helping children reach their fullest potential. I have a degree in Computer Science from William Paterson University. When not at work I enjoy spending time with my husband and two daughters. I also enjoy reading, shopping and going to the beach.
First Grade “A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.”
Lauren Boninfante-Homeroom Teacher I have had the honor of teaching at Woodmont since 2004. I began as the Spanish teacher. When I was an undergraduate at Gettysburg College I was an Elementary Education and Spanish Major. This allowed me to become certified to teach in the classroom at the K-5 level, and to also teach Spanish at the K-12 level. I then went on to receive my Masters in Counseling after realizing that a child's emotional and social development were just as important as his/her academic development. In addition to becoming certified as a School Counselor, I passed the National Counselor Examination in order to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). I have found this to be a very nice addition to my education since it has equipped me with many useful tools that I can incorporate into the classroom as I help my students to achieve their fullest potential academically, socially, and emotionally. I love teaching and being able to do this at Woodmont has been a blessing!
Debra Jarvie- Homeroom Teacher The day I told my dad I wanted to be a teacher, he had only one thing to say: “if this is what you really want, you need to be THAT TEACHER”. I strive every day to be the teacher who makes every child feel they are a star and can do anything. I communicate often and honestly with every parent. In my classroom, each child feels valued and supported. When the light goes on for a child, no one is more delighted than I am. Ongoing informal assessment keeps my focus on student growth. If you are passing by in the hallway, you may see a myriad of activities happening at the same time. Although our room is most often on the quiet side, you will hear chatter, laughter and quiet discussion. My vivid colored classroom is a diverse mix of specific direct instruction and inquiry based tasks. We have books of all kinds, collaborative groups and technology. Children work at desks, on the carpet, at tables, in rockers and even at a standing desk. Our family resides in Montville. My husband of many years and I have two magnificent children, a beautiful daughter who had made elementary special education her life’s mission and a son in middle school who is an avid baseball player. I find a calming peace at the ocean, love reading and lighthouses. We enjoy music and spending time together. Woodmont is my home; I am honored to be a member of the Woodmont Family for many years.
Gregg Milite- Homeroom Teacher After graduating in 1997 from William Paterson, and serving three years as an Account Representative for a Financial Recruiting Firm in New York City, Gregg Milite decided he was not achieving the career fulfillment he longed for. Leaving the recruiting profession altogether in 2004 to pursue a dual Elementary Education Teaching License, and Masters Degree from Montclair State University, Mr. Milite can honestly say it was one of the best decisions he has ever made. Since earning his degrees, Mr. Milite spent time in Bergen County as a maternity leave replacement in the K-5 Gifted & Talented Program. However, it wasn’t until he landed a permanent role in 2008 as Montville’s first male Kindergarten teacher that he realized what his favorite role thus far was to be; working with the little ones! September 2009 would bring about a bit of change as Mr. Milite embarked on his role of 2nd grade teacher, still in district, although here at Woodmont. After calling 2nd grade his home for three outstandingly successful years, Mr. Milite then took on the challenge of moving down one grade, and starting in 2012-2013 taught first. Enjoying every bit as much as his first year in the district, Mr. Milite hopes to bring his energy, enthusiasm, and sheer love for the profession into any and all classrooms he’s part.
Lindsay Johnson-Teacher (Split Resource Room) I am pleased to say that I have been a part of the Woodmont School for the last 5 years! Ever since I was a little girl playing school in my basement, I knew that I had a passion for teaching. I followed through with my dream and graduated from Salisbury University and also continued on to receive my masters from William Paterson University. After beginning my teaching career I saw what a reward it was to watch students blossom into readers. I then continued on to become fully certified in the Wilson Reading Program. I am also an advisor for Footprints and the Mentoring program here at Woodmont. I believe that all students have a gift and as a teacher it is my job to help them use their gift! When I am not teaching I love to spend time with my family and friends, go to the beach and attend kickboxing classes. I am so grateful to be a part of the Woodmont community!!!
Rose Issa-Paraprofessional (1M) "Children are a gift." I have the reward of watching children blossom from a caterpillar into a butterfly. I have joyfully been around the hallways of Woodmont for 10 years. A graduate of Berkeley College and achieving the dean's list, has enabled me to assist students to their full potential. I began working for the Montville Board of Education as
a lunch aide. Then, I had the privilege to become a class room aide in kindergarten and will cherish the memories. I am honored to be a paraprofessional for Woodmont School. I am a charismatic individual who enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially my two beautiful daughters Deanna and Christina. We love to cook and bake Italian dishes. I enjoy the simplicity of life and appreciate everyday as a gift. ~Blessings to our Woodmont family~
Norma Murawski- Paraprofessional (1B) I am proud to say that I am a graduate of Woodmont Elementary School and the Montville Public School System. Upon graduating high school, I decided to further my education at C.W. Post, Long Island University, where I majored in Science. After a year there, I decided to transfer to William Paterson University and follow my true passion, teaching. I started teaching in Lincoln Park School, eventually finding my way back to Woodmont, where I have now been working for three years. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my husband Steve and my dog, Bailey. We all love being active and spending time outdoors - the beach, watersports, and hiking. I look forward to sharing my passion for education, with the students of Woodmont Elementary School.
Shaina Stevens- Resource Room/ Inclusion Teacher From a young age, I knew the educational field was my calling. Starting at a daycare center when I was 16 years old, I loved working with children, seeing them grow and learn through the years. I wanted to start my career as soon as possible! Graduating from Montclair State University in 2009 I couldn’t wait to get into the classroom. My dream came true that fall where I was hired as a 3rd grade teacher at Woodmont. It was an amazing experience that keeps getting better! I returned to Montclair State for a Master’s degree in special education, which I received in 2014. When I am not in the classroom I enjoy being outside, especially down the shore! I have an amazing family and we love rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cherylyn Torrisi- Homeroom Teacher “Not only do teachers support dreams, help children bloom, and inspire, but they do all this from the heart.” Before becoming a teacher, I've had the privilege of working in corporate American for five years. I graduated from Marist College with and undergraduate degree in Business. After working in the healthcare industry, I decided to pursue a
career in education. I earned a Master's Degree in Elementary Education with a certificate in special education from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Growing up in Montville, I am a product of the Montville School System. Since 1997, I am proud to say I teach in Woodmont Elementary School. I've enjoyed teaching fourth grade for 13 years and I am super excited to currently be teaching second grade. Outside of school I love spending time with my husband Doug, son Ryan, and daughter Sophia. Shopping, a day at the spa, and exercising are some of my favorite things to do.
Marie Tsukamoto- Homeroom Teacher My name is Mrs. Tsukamoto. Most of my students have always called me Mrs. T for short. I have been teaching for ten years. I have taught third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, and sixth grade, but I have always had a special space in my heart for second grade, and this year I have been given this wonderful opportunity at Woodmont School. I have a reading specialist Masters degree from Rider University and an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. I have two beautiful children. My son, Alexander, is three years old and my daughter, Amelia, is almost one year old. I have two crazy dogs too. These two parts of my life will enable me to share many fun-filled stories to lighten your day. I love teaching children who are willing to take chances and stretch their understandings to grow both emotionally and mentally as a learner. The most important thing is to learn from our mistakes. And without mistakes very little learning can take place. So please come to school ready to learn and trust me enough to take chances, make mistakes, and grow. Learning is FUN-da-mental. And, I will do my best to make your learning experiences both fun and worthy of your attention.
Carolyn Wyks- Homeroom Teacher I am inspired by the Walt Disney quote “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” I have been a part of the Woodmont family since 1993. I received my education at William Paterson University. I have an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and Sociology, and went on to receive my Masters in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities. I taught First Grade for 17 years and began teaching Second Grade in 2010. I have also worked on Montville’s Child Study Team as a Learning Consultant over the years. This past spring, I was a recipient of the WDHA Teacher Who Rocks award. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, especially my husband, Joe and son, Nicholas. I love to travel. I share my passion for travel with the students in my class. I am also the co-director of Woodmont’s Geography Club with Ms. Beatty. Disney is my favorite travel destination. With my love of all things Disney, I treasure the opportunity to show young people the magic that can be found in our learning adventures together.
Roksana Perveen- Paraprofessional (2W) Hi I am Roksana Perveen, working at Woodmont School as a para-professional for the last twelve years. I think it's a privilege working with children with special needs, helping them in their learning and watching them grow step by step. After completing my Bachelor's degree from Bangladesh, I started working in school. After I moved to the USA with my husband, I continued working in a pre-school, prior to joining Woodmont School. I am blessed with three children. My older son is a mechanical engineer working at Novartis, my daughter is a business graduate working at Colgate and my youngest son will start 11th grade this September. I am happy to be a part of Woodmont school.
Maria Aiello- Inclusion Teacher “Fair isn’t everyone getting the same thing. Fair is everyone getting what they need in order to be successful.” I have been teaching since 1995! I graduated from The College of Saint Elizabeth with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s in Psychology. I also have my Special Education Certificate. I received my Masters Degree in Reading from Montclair State University. I have my Reading Specialist Certificate as well. I live in Montville with my husband Rob and our three sons; Marco, Jake and Luke. I love spending time with my family and friends. I look forward to coming to work each day because I love what I am doing. Teaching is my true passion!
Nancy Brun-Resource Room Teacher “Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning. "
My mother was a teacher and some of my fondest childhood memories are of her taking me to her classroom and watching her teach. After graduating from Rowan University I was offered a job in Human Resources and remained in the business field for ten years, but something was always missing: passion. After my son was born, I returned to graduate school at night to obtain my Masters in Special Education. Having a brother with a disability has shown me both the obstacles and triumphs special needs students face in their educational journey. I truly believe all children can and will learn. Becoming a teacher has been my greatest triumph. I have finally found that missing passion. My job now is to pass a piece of that on to each of my students. I am a Montville resident and also a product of the Montville school system. I have a six year old son who is entering first grade. He is my pride and joy. When I'm not teaching, most of my time is spent enjoying him. In my free time, you can find me in the kitchen trying new recipes, on my deck reading a good book, or in the yoga studio breaking a sweat. I am truly blessed to be a part of the Woodmont community and proud to call this my second home.
Lisa Lazzara- Homeroom Teacher I call my students "My Kids" because in our year together they aren't just kids on my class list, they become part of my heat! My name is Lisa Lazzara and I have been teaching in the Montville School District for the past 18 years. My first three years were spent teaching special education at Lazar Middle School. While at Woodmont, I have taught third, fourth, and fifth grade. I have a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, and two Masters Degrees in Special Education and Administration/Supervision. I live in Roxbury Township and am the proud mother of 12 year old twins; Samantha and Christopher and our yellow lab, Luke. They keep me very busy! I am
happiest when spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy watching my son and daughter's sporting events, taking Luke for a walk, country music and shopping. I am looking forward to another great school year!
Dean Marra- Homeroom Teacher When I was sixteen and working at Burger King making the most delicious Whopper Sandwich you ever tasted it dawned on me “Someday I want to be a teacher.” Well, today I am a teacher and I love it!” I have been teacher for eighteen years. When I started in Montville Township, I taught fourth grade at Valley View School. I then became the Gifted and Talented Program teacher and served in that role for two years. I realized I wanted to go back into the classroom and see the same cute faces each day. That brought me to Woodmont. Each day we create the most magical experiences by having fun and challenging our growing minds. On most days, I learn more than the students. As I worked at Burger King, I also learned to play music. I’m so thankful to my parents for making my home full of music. Today, I play drums and piano and love that as much as I love teaching. Who knows, the next time you’re at your favorite restaurant you might look up and see me jamming on the drums or piano. I also love to travel! I have been to Austria, Copenhagen, Denmark, France, Greece and Italy to name just a few. I loved Austria the most because I loved walking in the steps of Mozart. The most important thing about me is that I’m a father. I have two wonderful kids-Julia and Dante. I will just say that I love them because if I start writing about them, then this bio will be even longer.
Winnie Wess-Homeroom Teacher "The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book."
This is what I learned growing up and it inspired me to become a teacher. Coming from a large family and losing our mother at a young age, I was always helping a sibling with their schoolwork. While working with each sibling, I saw that we all learned differently, and yet, reached the same destination. I fulfilled my dream of becoming a teacher and attended Seton Hall University to receive a degree in Elementary Education. Later, I earned a degree in Educational Administration and used it to establish the Internet network in our schools. I always tell the students that we all have something to teach each other and to learn from each other, not only from books, but from life!
Donna Bruno- Paraprofessional (3-M) This summer will be my fifteenth year working at Woodmont School. I moved to Montville with my husband, Jim and two children Jamie and Matt, in 1991. Both of my children went to Woodmont and I will always have fond memories of how welcoming the Woodmont community was to us. The Woodmont spirit was also shown to me when I joined the staff as a paraprofessional in 2000. I love what I do and am looking forward to another great school year
Margaret Beatty- Inclusion Teacher I have been teaching at Woodmont since 2004. Woodmont is a wonderful community and I am proud to be a part of it! Where has the time gone? I hold a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary and Special Education from Seton Hall University. I also hold a Master of Education in Learning Disabilities and Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant certification from William Paterson University. Additionally, I hold New Jersey Supervisor certification and Principal Certification from Montclair State University. (Can you tell I love to learn myself?) I am the fourth grade inclusion teacher and have a long standing team teaching relationship with Mrs. Janis, together we have taught both third and fourth grades. When I am not in my fourth grade classroom, you will find me working as the co-advisor of Woodmont’s Geography Club with Mrs. Wyks and Woodmont’s Footprints Club with Miss Johnson and Mrs. Dubreuil. Outside of the classroom and being with my students, I enjoy reading, going to the movies (with popcorn and candy to munch on), shopping, and traveling (the beach and Walt Disney World are my absolute favorites).
Laura Catalano-Homeroom Teacher I have been happy to call Woodmont my home for the past twelve years of my teaching career. During this time, I have watched our students grow academically, socially, and emotionally with great pride. My expectations for each and every student I teach are very much like my expectations for my own children. I never want them to settle for anything less than they can be. I am blessed with two daughters of my own who make me proud each and every day. When teachers make personal connections with their students, praise their efforts, and celebrate their talents, great things happen. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to motivate and excite my students about their learning and impact their future success. Prior to teaching in an educational setting, I worked as a training and development manager in private industry. I am a graduate of Seton Hall University and was awarded my Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey. I treasure my time with family and friends, enjoy traveling, cooking, reading, and exercising outdoors.
Tina Janis- Homeroom Teacher Being a family means you are part of something wonderful… and I have been a proud member of the Woodmont family since 2004! I have been blessed to continue my journey in education with such a wonderful community of students, families and colleagues.
In order to be closer to my extended family, I moved to New Jersey from Rochester, New York where I taught first grade for four years. I am a graduate of SUNY Geneseo with degrees in Elementary and Special Education. I also hold a Masters of Education degree from The College of New Jersey in Instructional Leadership. Here at Woodmont, I reside in room 15 as a fourth grade teacher where I have a long standing team teaching relationship with Ms. Maggie Beatty. In our classroom, we build upon the love and respect of family as well, knowing that this connectedness brings about success. You will also find me co-advising the Woodmont Student Council with Mrs. Stoveken. I now live with my own little family in Oak Ridge with my husband John and three sons- Johnny, Jake, and Jason. My boys keep me on my toes and have taught me what family truly means- We live hard, laugh often and love much.
Pat Pallay-Paraprofessional (4J/B) "A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart” My professional teaching journey has been filled with many fond memories and rewarding moments. I attended William Paterson University, and received my Bachelor of Arts degree with a duel certification in special education and elementary education. I have been in the educational field for ten plus years, working as a special education teacher and paraprofessional. My passion has been working in the special needs community and touching the lives of children that truly shine each and every day. Being a highly adaptable and versatile educator I have enjoyed the opportunity to teach a diverse group of children with special needs and abilities. I took several years off to raise my two wonderful daughters, and then reentered the educational field as a paraprofessional. This will be my third year at Woodmont School, and I look forward to another year working with an exceptional group of educators! When I'm not in school, I enjoy traveling with my family, exercising & reading
Rosemary Bell- Homeroom Teacher “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”-Goethe I was once interviewed by a fourth grader for our school newspaper. The student asked me a most thought provoking question: “Why did you become a teacher?” The answer then, as now, is this: I love to learn, and I feel privileged to be a part of a learning community. My desire to be a lifelong learner guides me as I continue to grow as a teacher. I believe I am in a powerful position than can either inspire children to be enthusiastic lifelong learners themselves, or quell their natural curiosity and lead them to dread each school day. What makes me feel best about teaching does not pertain immediately to instruction or assessment. Rather, character development of my pre-adolescents is foremost in my mind as I start each new year. I believe it is imperative to create a classroom environment where students demonstrate kindness and consideration toward others every day. I greet each student on the first day of school with a handshake and a warm smile. I make sure my sense of humor is apparent, and never fail to stress the importance of kindness in my classroom, on the playground, and in all social situations throughout the school day. I hold a Master’s degree with a concentration in elementary reading, in addition to certifications in special education, art, and social studies. I enjoy teaching the “big kids” in fifth grade and look forward to rejoining the faculty and staff at Woodmont School.
Victoria Carlucci- Inclusion Teacher This is my eighth year teaching in the Montville Township Public School District. During the school year, I am a Special Education teacher for 5th grade team. Working with children has been a passion of mine and I look forward to teaching them and learning from them every day. As a teacher, it is not only my job to teach my students, but also I must learn from each student. Each student is unique in their own way. Every day is a new challenge and I must always be ready to face that challenge. As a teacher, if I have made a difference in someone’s life by opening an educational experience to them and improved their learning experience, I am achieving my career goal.
Melissa Epstein- Inclusion Teacher What are you passionate about? As a Montville graduate, I spent years with teachers who not only taught me the curriculum, but they also helped me find my passion: teaching and the love of learning. As I begin my sixth year teaching at Woodmont, I will continue to guide my students to stay passionate about learning, helping others, and reaching their fullest potential. As a fifth grade teacher this year, I am excited to help my students find their passion as they continue their journey from Woodmont to Lazar. Many of you may know me as Miss Suserman, but I got married over the summer. Now I'm Mrs. Epstein. My husband is a middle school gym teacher in
Irvington and coaches lacrosse in Livingston. We recently moved to Lincoln Park and have enjoyed doing a lot of updates on our new home together. In my free time I enjoy shopping, reading, and spending time with my family and friends. I'm looking forward to another great year at Woodmont School.
Stacey Maciorski-Homeroom Teacher “If you love them, they will learn.” Sounds pretty simple, right? I thought of this idea some years ago while attending a class on brain research and learning which mentioned that if a child’s basic emotional needs were not met, learning could not occur. At the time, I was also toying with the notion of writing a book. I decided that the above quote just might be the perfect title! The more I pondered it, the more strongly I felt about caring for children first before delivering any kind of instruction. I can honestly say that my teaching philosophy is grounded in the primary idea of strong student support. In fact, nurturing throughout the day is basic to my existence. From the first greeting question at the door such as “If you had an hour to yourself, would you rather read or write?” to the farewells I give to the bussers I dismiss outside the school, genuine, kind communication is the key. My first teaching job in Montville began in 1990, at Valley View School, where I taught fourth grade for two years. For the next six years I called second grade my home in the pre-wall Hilldale era. In 1998, I left to have a family. It’s amazing to me at times to say I have a 16 year old daughter! Where did the time go? I did return to Montville as a basic skills teacher who focused mostly on math in October of 2005. During my time there, the district’s math supervisor had observed our class, and felt I was the right candidate to come to Woodmont and fill the vacancy of their present fifth grade math teacher. I have been at Woodmont ever since January of 2007. I am very glad to be here! For the first few years I was the math teacher in our departmentalization rotation. Then came the year we had four sections of students, so I moved into writing instruction and have been there happily ever since. Poetry is one of my favorite types of writing to teach. Incorporating figurative language and poetic elements such as rhyme, rhythm, and repetition, is a lot fun for many children. I will continue to be fifth grade’s writing teacher this year.
In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, reading, taking walks, and going to the beach. Nothing compares to strolling the shoreline in my barefeet with the cool sea water touching my toes. We have two cats at home, Roxy and Sunny. Mr. Maciorski is a solar site operator and we power most of our home electrical needs with a solar panel array on our roof. As much as I care for your children, I am a strong supporter of our earth as well. At the moment I spend my time with my daughter at dance competitions some weekends. Dance has been a part of our lives for thirteen years now. When my daughter heads off to college in a few years, I will have a bit more time to myself. So perhaps sometime in the future, while you are in your local library or Barnes and Noble, you just might see my first published book, If you love them, they will Learn!
Brian Quinn- Homeroom Teacher As I enter my 8th year of teaching here at Woodmont, I've come to appreciate how lucky I am. This is truly the toughest job I have ever loved!! Teaching is a second profession for me, but it should have been my first. After many years in the "nonteaching" world, I finally decided to follow my gut and pursue a dream of teaching. I went back to school and eventually graduated from Montclair State University with a Master of Arts degree in Teaching and immediately began working throughout the Montville school district. Fortunately, an opportunity opened up here in Pine Brook and I became a fourth grade teacher. And from that point, it has been a magical ride!! Being a resident of the town, I always felt I had a strong vested interest in the success of my students here at the 'Mont. My wife and I moved here 12 years ago and know first- hand what a wonderful town Montville is to raise our three children. I now have two kids at Lazar middle school and one at William Mason. Like many of my students parents, I participate in community activities such as coaching my kids sports teams and serving as a Scout leader. I also like to keep my Weekend Warrior status active by playing softball, volleyball and most of all skiing. The Quinn family loves to hit the slopes!! Being an elementary aged student is the best. It’s been said that more famous scientist have been motivated to do great things because of an elementary
teacher. Many of us can look back at their elementary years as some of their favorite days in school. Perhaps there was a teacher back then that helped to motivate you to pursue your dreams. It would be an honor if someday a student came back to tell me that I was able to cultivate their life's passion when they were in my classroom. There could be no bigger complement for me, or any teacher.
Eddy Pimienta- Paraprofessional (5B/5M) I am a graduate of Montclair State University with a B.S. in Business Administration. Upon graduating, I worked for Prudential as a Supervisor in the National Account Operations Department. When my daughter started kindergarten, I decided to pursue a career in teaching. I thought it would be a good fit for me since I enjoyed working with children; but most importantly, I wanted to be closer to my daughter and her schedule. I started working for the Montville School District as a substitute at Hilldale while pursuing my teaching certification through the Alternate Route Program. I was recommended for a permanent job at Woodmont as an Instructional Aide. I have enjoyed working at Woodmont and being a part of the Woodmont Family ever since. The staff members are a pleasure to work with and being able to assist students in the learning process makes it all worth it.
Special Subject Areas
Briana Orefice- Art I am excited to begin my first full school year teaching art here in Montville! Art has always been the best way for me to express my ideas and feeling. Teaching has allowed me to share my knowledge and skills as well as continue my own learning. As an elementary student I have fond memories of creating collages and learning how to make prints. Middle school art class was a safe place to explore and experiment with materials to make art that was truly my own. Throughout high school I had the guidance and support of teachers who encouraged me to continue my own art education. I did just that by attending Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. I received my BFA in General Fine Arts and MAT in Art Education. While in college I learned that art is Holistic practice that activates one’s Mind, Body and Spirit. I try to embrace that in my own classroom. Professionally I have worked as paraprofessional at the Pre-k and High School levels. Before coming to Montville I taught for 4 years in an Elementary-Middle School in Paterson, NJ. Through my own education and teaching experience I have come to believe that art is for EVERYONE. While some possess a natural gift to draw, paint or sculpt. ALL people can enjoy art. By looking at art, discussing art and coming up with new ideas anyone can experience and learn from art. As the arts have no boundaries, it is not for one age, race or gender.
Nicole Portnoff- Keyboarding/STEM As I begin my 15th year as a teacher in the Montville Township school district, I look back on my career in Montville with many fond memories. After graduating Montville Township High School, I attended Drew University in Madison, NJ, where I obtained my degree in Biopsychology and Elementary Education. Soon after, I began teaching in Montville as a Kindergarten teacher at William Mason School where I later moved on to teach 3rd grade. During this time, I received my Masters in Educational Technology from Nova Southeastern University. Recently I began teaching keyboarding and computer applications to grades 3-5 in all five elementary schools in Montville. This year I am excited to expand my teaching experience by incorporating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) classes for grades 4 and 5 in all five elementary schools in Montville, into my schedule. Aside from my job as an educator, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, practicing yoga, and reading. I am looking forward to a wonderful new year of teaching and learning with the students in Montville
Toni Ann Raj- Media After working in the fashion industry for 3 years I decided to follow my heart and go back to school to obtain my Masters in Education. I was raised in a family of educators so teaching was always around me. My foundation as a teacher started with my mother, who is one of my biggest cheerleaders and mentor. Her caring attitude and general approach to her career is inspiring. I began my teaching career in Newark working at First Avenue School. My time teaching in Newark was rewarding and I truly enjoyed the time I spent with the students, staff and community of FAS. In 2009, I decided it was time for me to make a change in my career and that is when I accepted the position as Elementary Media Specialist in Montville Township. I didn’t expect that this change in my career would also spark a change in my personal life as well. I was fortunate to meet my incredible and supportive husband, Mike, when I started teaching at Cedar Hill Elementary School. Montville holds a special place in both of our hearts, considering this is where we met and since we both work in the district, our lives revolve around this wonderful community. Mike and I were married in 2011 and have a 2 year old son, Logan, with another baby on the way. Woodmont’s slogan is: “Your Journey to Success Begins Here”. I truly believe that the students’ journey begins with a strong educational foundation, a foundation that can be built by the dedicated professionals at Woodmont School. As students begin their educational career in Kindergarten, it is always thrilling to see the excitement and anticipation on their faces. Knowing that I have an impact in helping to shape our students is extremely satisfying and rewarding. One of my roles as a Media Specialist is assist in fostering, encouraging and promoting the life-long love of reading. A task of the Media Specialist is to make appropriate recommendations for reading selections to the teachers, parents and students. This requires that I get to know each student, their likes and dislikes with regard to interests, hobbies and activities that will get them hooked on reading and want to come back for more. I love it when a child or parent contacts me and tells me that the book I helped to select was a big hit at home. In order to stay current with educationally relevant material, I completed the requirements, through Google, to become the first Google Certified Educator in Montville Township schools. With that certification, I have been able to teach grades 2-
5 about the Google Apps for Education. In my opinion, I believe, the students truly enjoy coming to media class. At times, I believe that students do not even realize that they are “learning”, however, I am always teaching life lessons or new applications to them. We talk about their digital footprints and how media impacts their lives. If these lessons are conveyed to them now it will have a positive impact on them in the future. Infusing technology into my lessons as often as possible has always been a priority to me and I enjoy relaying this passion to the greater community by hosting professional development opportunities for my colleagues and parent workshops.
Kelly Roesler- Physical Education "Each child comes to school with a dream, do we help them realize it or destroy it?" James Anderson. When I was in middle school I had a physical education teacher who played a significant role in my life and helped me realize that I can dream bigger. He is partly responsible for why I became a physical education teacher and my dad is the other reason. After graduating from West Virginia University, I got my first teaching job at Elizabeth High School and since then I have taught at the middle school level and for the last seven years have been in Montville teaching at the elementary level. I have also been a coach both at the middle and high school level for basketball and track and field. I completed my Master’s degree in supervision and administration from Montclair University. My husband, Arthur and I were so blessed last year when we welcomed our first child, Brayden into our family last year. He is such a joy and we enjoy spending all our free time playing, laughing and teaching him new things. Other things that I love to do is to go running and compete in road races, go for a walk with my son and our dog, Maverick, spend time with family and friends and you can find me hanging at the lake in the summer. I am proud to be part of the Woodmont family and look forward to coming to work each day.
Claire Rutkowitz- General Music Hello!! My name is Mrs. Claire M. Rutkowitz. A violinist from the age of 8, I have always had a tremendously strong bond with everything that is music. I was a violin performance major in college and graduated with a Bachelor of Music. After a few years of playing with various orchestras and ensembles, I went back to school to complete a Post Baccalaureate in Music Education. Starting in 2002 in Montville School District, I was the K-3 vocal music teacher and grade strings teacher at Woodmont School. In 2005, I transitioned from vocal music to being strictly in the field of instrumental music, more specifically, the orchestra teacher for the elementary schools in Montville Township. Over the past several years, I have earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Education in Leadership, along with both supervisor and principal certifications. Throughout this process, I have continued to make music an integral part of children’s lives with Woodmont School playing a significant role. When the opportunity to come back as the full time music teacher at Woodmont presented itself, I was drawn to it. This is my home away from home, with a fantastic community! 3rd
Karen Stephens- Art "Creativity takes Courage." - Henri Matisse This will be my 24th year teaching art at the elementary level in Montville Township. I've always taught at either Cedar Hill and/or Hilldale Schools. This will be my first time at Woodmont School and I'll be here on Wednesdays. I have a B.A. in Art Education, M.A. in Fine Arts, and an additional 30 credits in Practical Classroom and Education courses. I've been married to my husband, Gary, for almost 19 years and we have a beautiful and amazing daughter named, Bailey. I can't believe she's starting high school this year! I consider myself very lucky to have a career doing what I love to do. I have a true passion for teaching art to children and sharing the joy of being creative with my students. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of my new students and the staff here at Woodmont School!
Beth Friedman Nieskens-ESL As Madeline Hunter once said, “kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Hi! My name is Beth Friedman-Nieskens and I began teaching English as a Second Language at the elementary and middle school levels in 1993! I have also had the pleasure of working as a school guidance counselor for a number of years prior to starting my family. I graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Health Services and then received a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Second Language and Elementary Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University. I also have a second Master’s degree in Counseling from Montclair State University. In addition, I have my School Counselor, School Social Worker, and Director of Student Personnel Services certifications. I live in Montville with my husband and two sons, Greg and Ryan. When I am not watching my boys play baseball or basketball, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, and shopping! My experiences as a guidance counselor and as an ESL teacher working with diverse populations have enabled me to gain a broad understanding of children and I look forward to beginning my third year here in Montville!
Adrienne Scognamiglio- Band Welcome to band! I am a graduate of William Paterson University and completed my student teaching at our very own Lazar Middle School! This is my tenth year in Montville Township as both the Woodmont School Band Director and Lazar Middle School Assistant Band Director and Flute Choir Director. I started playing flute in the 4th grade and my passion for music has continually grown. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my love for music passed on to our students and watching them grow as musicians and team players. I am the proud parent of three children, one is a sound engineer, one is pursuing nursing and my youngest just started Rutgers University and would like to be a chiropractor. I enjoy spending as much time with them as possible. In my free time I like to go to concerts, read, camp, go to the beach and ride horses.
Caitlin Payne- Orchestra I am excited to be joining the faculty at Woodmont School this year! I will be teaching 4th and 5th grade Orchestra! I have a Bachelor of Music Degree with emphasis in Instrumental Music Education from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. I also have a Master of Music Degree with emphasis in Instrumental Music Education from William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. I am a lifelong fan of music! When I was 5, I began to play the violin and began to learn how to play the viola during my middle school years. In addition to the violin and viola, I play percussion instruments and many stringed folk instruments, including the banjo, mandolin, and ukulele. I believe that music is a basic human behavior and that it is an essential part of every student’s education. I am excited to begin the year at Woodmont Elementary School and share my love of music to our students!
Basic Skills Instruction
Danielle Cabana-BSI Teacher “Teachers Who Love Teaching, Teach Children To Love Learning.” There is no mistaking the importance of education. This belief is what drives me as I fulfill my responsibilities as a teacher. I have been teaching since 1995. I graduated from William Paterson with a BA in Education and went on to earn my MA in Education from Seton Hall University. I started my career teaching second grade in Mount Olive Township. I took a few years off to devote time to my own growing family. I have three fabulous children who definitely keep me busy. In 2009, I returned to teaching at Woodmont School. I am a Basic Skills Instructor, teaching reading across several grade levels. I am trained to approach reading in two ways – specific phonics instruction and comprehension. I also work as part of the math teams in second, fourth and fifth grades. Closely collaborating with my two wonderful BSI team mates, Mrs. Olivieri and Mrs. Mancuso, helps me to become a more effective, creative educator. It is so rewarding to see that struggling student have an “Aha moment”. Woodmont is a wonderful place to teach, and I love coming to work every day and being with the students and faculty. When I am not teaching, I enjoying watching my children at their sporting events, spending time skiing or at the beach or just relaxing with my family.
Jane Mancuso BSI Teacher "Good teaching comes not from behind the desk but from behind the heart." - Elizabeth Andrew Growing up in a family of educators, I quickly learned that an excellent education makes a difference in a child's life. This begins with the teacher. Children must feel safe, loved, and challenged upon entering kindergarten and every grade thereafter. They need to know that their teachers believe in their success. This is my job for each student that I teach. Every day I am guided by the notion of how I would want my own children treated by their teachers. I knew as early as second grade that I wanted to be an educator and being one is truly my passion. I began teaching in the third grade and then took time off to start a family. While I was taking care of my four boys, I tutored and became trained in OrtonGillingham. After all of my boys were in school, I started substituting and knew I wanted to be back in the classroom. In September of 2014, I joined Woodmont School as a basic skills teacher. I am grateful to be working with such a wonderful staff, children, and parents. When I am not teaching, I enjoy watching my sons at their sporting events and spending a lot of time at the Jersey shore with my family.
Pattiann Olivieri- BSI Teacher I am a Basic Skills Instructor here at Woodmont. Many of my students struggle with reading or math, so I make it my goal to help them overcome their obstacles so that they can be their best and love learning. I have been a teacher since 1995. I graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in English. I then earned my PostBaccalaureate Elementary Education degree from William Paterson University. After working as a Title 1 teacher in third and fourth grades in Newark for several years, I began teaching third grade at Woodmont in 1999. When I returned from my first maternity leave (I have two awesome daughters), I became a Basic Skills Instructor at Woodmont School. Over the years, I have taught in just about every grade. I work closely with my amazing team, the two other Basic Skills Instructors on staff, Mrs. Cabana and Mrs. Mancuso. I feel tremendously fortunate to be part of a trio that is always learning and growing and working at our shared goal of remediating deficits. As for myself, I am dedicated to helping students achieve grade level objectives. I truly cannot think of a better way to spend my work life. And, I can’t think of a better place to teach. Woodmont is the best!
Student Support Services
Olesya Dubreuil-Speech For 8 years, Olesya Dubreuil has worked with children to improve their speech and language, serving as a Speech-Language Pathologist in Montville Township Schools. She spent her first two years working between three schools, grades K-8. Currently, Olesya is a full-time Speech-Language Pathologist at Woodmont Elementary School. Olesya’s passion for helping others along with her interest for working with children as a Speech-Language Pathologist has been displayed through the progress made by working with many children in the Woodmont community. Olesya has experience in the following areas: autism, auditory processing, attention weaknesses, neurological disorders, expressive and receptive language delays, language and learning disabilities, articulation, voice, fluency, phonological disorders and limited social skills. She is a co-advisor of the Woodmont Mentors and Footprints along with Mr. Stech, Mrs. Beatty and Ms. Johnson. She received her Bachelor of Science degree at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Olesya earned her Master of Science degree at William Paterson University in Communication Disorders. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association as well as the New Jersey license for Speech-Language Pathology. Olesya and her husband, Jonathan, welcomed the birth of their first son, Jackson, a year ago. They absolutely love spending time with him as they watch him grow before their eyes each day. Olesya enjoys spending time with her family, getting together with friends, vacationing, visiting the beach, shopping and dining out.
Jenna Lipton- Reading Specialist Growing up, I attended the same school where my mother (fondly known as “Mrs. Read” by her students) was a first grade teacher. Later, she became a Reading Specialist and I have literally followed in her footsteps. My mother’s passion for instilling a love of reading in her students inspired me to go into the education field and study English Education at New York University. I then received my Master’s degree as a Literacy Specialist from the City College of New York in conjunction with the New York City Teaching Opportunity Program Fellowship, a federally funded program that places teachers in high need subject areas and schools. I began my teaching career as a 6th and 7th grade English Language Arts teacher in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. I then transferred to the Salk School of Science in lower Manhattan where I taught 6th grade for eight years. I also served as a literacy coach and department chairperson. Salk, a specialized school with a strong focus on science education, is consistently rated one of the top middle schools in New York City. After teaching for many years, I wanted to see things from a different perspective so I attended the Summer Principals Academy at Teachers College, Columbia University where I received my second Master’s degree and principal’s certification. In 2013, my family moved to New Jersey and I was lucky to begin my job as a Reading Specialist at Woodmont. I love spending time with my husband and my two adorable sons (who, of course, love books!).
Janice Shingledecker- School Nurse I have been a Registered Nurse for the last thirty two years. I graduated with a BSN from Molley College in New York. The beginning of my career was spent working on different floors at New- York Presbyterian. These included the med-surgical floors, medical-surgical intensive care units, burn unit and the emergency room.I loved all these experiences. In New Jersey I have worked in various nursing homes and hospitals. I also have been a legal nurse consultant. Eleven years ago, I became certified at Caldwell College to be a school nurse and teach health. I have worked in every school in our district and at Woodmont for eleven years. Last year, I decided to go back to Ramapo and get my Masters degree in Nursing Education. I am half way through!! At Woodmont, I know that the only way a child learns is if their physical and emotional needs have been met. Everyday, my goal to help achieve this for every child at Woodmont. Each child is special and deserves to become their own personal best. My hope for them is to leave Woodmont loving who they are. To be respectful, kind and helpful to one another is a "Woodmont Nurses Motto," I would like all children to follow throughout life. I am married, with two grown children and a labradoodle named Yankee. I have three brothers and a sister and many nieces and nephews. My parents are living on Long Island and it’s always fun to go back and visit. I like to read, go to the movies and watch sports! Enjoying family and friends is my favorite pastime.
Douglas Stech- Guidance Counselor My name is Doug Stech, and I am excited and proud to be entering my ninth year as Woodmont’s school counselor! I love my work, which includes providing a broad range of support to our students, staff and families. My work includes teaching classroom character education and social and emotional development lessons in each classroom throughout the school year, working with our character education committee to provide school assemblies and other entertaining activities throughout the year, coleading our peer mentoring program, conducting small lunch-time friendship building groups, working with classroom teachers to support students facing specific concerns, and many other tasks. I believe in the often-quoted sentiment in education that “students don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care!” When I’m not at Woodmont I enjoy spending time with my wife, Belle, as well as many other family and friends. My favorite hobbies are traveling, exercising, reading, watching movies and finding opportunities to learn more that will help me develop into the best educator and Woodmont staff member I can be.
Joel Acosta- Daytime Custodian Mr. Joel starts his first year as our daytime custodian. Prior to this year he worked with Mr. Rhonnie on the evening shift. He is excited to spend more time with the children, parents and teachers.
Anne Cramer- Lunch Aide I've lived in Montville for the past 28 years. Six years ago I retired from working in the pharmaceutical industry and in September 2009 began working at Woodmont as a lunch/recess aide. It has been very enjoyable and especially satisfying to see the children mature from Kindergartners to 5th. graders. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, especially my four granddaughters, ranging in ages from 5 to 14 years.
Floretta Melograno- Lunch Aide I lived in Bloomfield all my life. I worked in the corporate field for many years. When I retired I moved to Montville Township. I knew I wanted a part time job preferably working with children. I was thrilled when I got the job a Woodmont Elementary School as a Lunch/Recess Aide. I have been at Woodmont Elementary School going on 6 years. Also, I worked for the M.E.D.L.C. after school program in all the elementary schools in Montville. I enjoy working with children. I have three children and five grandchildren and I enjoy every moment I have with them.
Important Information Main Office # and Phone Extensions School Number- (973) 331-7100 Main Office/Principal- ext. 1800 Guidance- ext. School Nurse- ext. Fax Number-
Calling in an absenceIf your child will be absent, then please call the school nurse ext. and leave a detailed message with your name, child’s name, grade date and reason for absence by 8:10 A.M. If you do not report your child absent, then the school nurse will contact you.
Tardy Students Children are marked tardy, if they arrive after 8:10 A.M. Woodmont has staff at the main door until 8:20 A.M. If you arrive before 8:20 A.M., your child may proceed unescorted into the school. However, if you arrive after 8:20 A.M., then you must sign your child into the main office.
HOMEWORK Homework is designed to foster: • Independent extension of work begun in the classroom. • Improvement of skills, which require practice. • Acquiring of depth and breadth in reading. • Satisfaction that comes with mastery. • Stimulation of interest. • Exploration and discovery. Students are expected to have homework finished and submitted on time, on a daily basis. Students who fail to complete their homework by the assigned date, may be sent to the Quiet Room to complete their homework. Parents will be
contacted if a student continuously fails to submit assignments or submits incomplete work. A continuous pattern indicates a need for further action and parents will be involved in remediating the problem. It is the parent's responsibility to ensure their child completes all homework. The amount of time to be spent on homework is determined by a number of factors. Some assignments are short-term while others are of a long-term nature. The ability, industry and work habits of each student are considerations. If you have concerns or questions about your child's homework, please contact his/her teacher. If your child is absent, you may request the day’s assignments be sent home with a sibling or be sent to the main office and retrieved.
Safety and Security Woodmont Elementary School practices a multitude of safety and security drills during the year to prepare students and staff for multiple scenarios. These drills include emergency lock downs, fire drills, outside evacuations, and inside safety drills. Two safety drills are conducted monthly, one of which is always a fire drill.
Student Arrival/Dismissal Arrival Arrival to school begins at 7:55 A.M. Children should not be dropped off or walk to school off before that time. Children who arrive before 7:55 A.M. remain unsupervised. If you need to drop your child off before 7:55 A.M, then please take advantage of MEDLC services provided by the district. If you drop you child off, please wait in your car in the carpool line. When you are in front of the building, a safety patrol member of staff member will help you with drop off of your child. Please do not get out of your vehicle and make sure your child exits curbside (to the right).
Dismissal Dismissal time is 2:45 P.M. Parents have a choice on how they wish their child to be dismissed. If your child walks home, you may choose to meet them down the hill behind Woodmont near the firehouse , or you may choose to meet them up the hill across from Woodmont road. If you decide to pick up your student via the carpool line please remember to stay in line (no going around other cars). If the carpool line backs up to Woodmont road, then please go around the block and
attempt to get in line again rather than stay on Woodmont Road and block traffic for other motorists. Dismissal begins with MEDLC and walkers. Students attending MEDLC will report to the Multipurpose room. Students walking home will report to the upper hallway to get in line. They will be escorted out of the building by staff at 2:43 P.M. and will reach the top of the street at 2:45 P.M. Students taking the bus home will be called to their bus upon their arrival. When it is confirmed that all bus students have boarded, the buses will be dismissed. Carpool students will be dismissed at 2:45. Students are to wait in the front of the building under staff supervision. Students will be informed when their ride has arrived. If your manner of dismissal changes, then a note needs to be sent to the main office via your child’s homeroom teacher. Children need to hand in all notes promptly to the homeroom teacher upon arrival. Calling in to make changes is strongly discouraged although phone permission may be granted in emergencies. DO NOT leave a voice message concerning transportation changes as it may not be heard in time. Parents must pick up children at the designated time. If a child is not retrieved by 2:55 P.M., then they will be sent to MEDLC and the parent may be charged for supervision services. Children must take all of their homework, books, and belongings with them at dismissal, as they will not be allowed to return to their classrooms unless they receive the principal’s permission.
Requesting Early Dismissal A parent’s request for early dismissal must be in writing and given to the homeroom teacher by the child in the morning. Parents/Guardians are required to sign into the building and sign out their child, providing proper identification at the Main Office. All children will be called to meet the parent at the Main Office. Parents are not allowed to go to a classroom to get the student or the student’s belongings. Students are not permitted to leave the school before the end of the school day except in the presence of his/her parent or legal guardian, or an agent of the parent/guardian who has written authorization.
M.E.D.L.C Montville Township Public Schools provide before and after care via the Montville Extended Day Learning Center. Normal morning hours are 7:00 A.M. until the opening of school. Normal evening hours are 2:45 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. In the event of a delayed opening, morning hours are 9:00 A.M. until the opening of school. If the district is closed due to inclement weather, MEDLC will operate only out of Hilldale school and will begin at 9 A.M.
EARLY DISMISSAL/EMERGENCY CLOSINGS/DELAYED OPENINGS Woodmont Elementary School will have several early dismissals during the school year. Please make note of them in your personal calendars. Students will be dismissed at 12:40 P.M. Students will eat lunch but will not have recess. Hot lunch is not served on early dismissal days. If you are unable to pick up your child until your normal time, then MEDLC services are available until 6 P.M. If the Superintendent decides to close school early due to inclement weather or another emergency, you will be notified via the emergency closing service. Students will be dismissed at 12:10 P.M. Students do not eat lunch on emergency closings. If you are unable to pick up your child until your normal time, then MEDLC services are available until 6 P.M. Inclement weather may cause delayed openings. On a delayed opening day, school will begin at 10:10 A.M. Students may arrive between 9:55 A.M and 10:10 A.M. Hot lunch will be served if it is scheduled for that day.
Parking at Woodmont When visiting Woodmont, please park in the Visitors parking spaces. They are marked visitors and are the spaces on the furthest right of the parking lot closest to the fields. Numbered spaces are reserved for faculty and staff. Please do not park in an empty numbered space; it may belong to a staff member who travels between buildings.
Visitors entering the building All visitors, including parents/guardians, will be asked to identify themselves and their purpose before being admitted by the office staff. Visitors will be asked to
sign-in to the main office and obtain a visitor pass on the front counter. The visitor pass must be clearly visible while in the building.
LUNCHROOM PROCEDURES Students will go to the lunchroom with their class. Each student is expected to be responsible for his/her behavior by following Paw’s Promises. The cafeteria practices open seating with the exception of kindergarten. Classes are dismissed as a group for recess, and after that to their homeroom teachers. Neither food nor drinks are allowed out of the lunchroom. Toys, cards and other inappropriate items may not be taken to the playground. QUIET ROOM is available to students who require an opportunity to complete homework or make up a test. Students eat their lunch, complete their assignment, and return to the cafeteria for recess. The quiet room teacher will assist them with their assignments. Students who choose not to follow Monty’s High Five during Quiet Room will be moved to the supervised lunch detention room for the duration of the lunch period. They forfeit the opportunity to complete their assignment and the parent will be contacted. LUNCH DETENTION may be given to students who do not follow Paws’ Promises. Detention students will report to the quiet room and eat their lunch silently. Detention students will not be allowed to return to the cafeteria for recess. RECESS will be approximately thirty minutes. Weather permitting; students will be outdoors for recess in designated areas. It is the parent’s responsibility to have children come to school with clothing that is appropriate for the season. Students dressed inappropriately for outdoor recess will not be allowed to go outside and will remain indoors under the supervision of a teacher or administrator.
LUNCHROOM OPTIONS Hot Lunch Our PTA sponsors a hot lunch program three days a week. These lunches are provided by a variety of local vendors. Parents may order hot lunch for their students via the PTA website.
Chips Tuesdays The fifth grade sells chips every Tuesday. Funds raised support our fifth grade end of the year activities. Chips are fifty cents a bag.
Ice Cream Wednesdays The PTA sells ice cream every Wednesday. The funds raised support our PTA General Fund. Ice cream is one dollar.
Bagel Snack The PTA supports a monthly bagel snack. Students may order a bagel with either butter, cream cheese or plain. Bagel snack for the year are ordered in September. *PLEASE NOTE WOODMONT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS NOT A NUT FREE SCHOOL, HOWEVER WOODMONT ENFORCES NUT FREE TABLES IN THE CAFETERIA AND NUT FREE HOMEROOMS. PLEASE CONTACT THE SCHOOL NURSE WITH ANY CONCERNS.*
SCHOOL PICTURES Our PTA coordinates school pictures in October. Please complete the materials and return them to school. Parents who wish to have Re-takes will have the option later in the school year.
SCHOOL SUPPLY LIST School supply lists may be found on the teacher’s websites. Please go to www.montville.net, drop down Woodmont School, click the Resources tab (for Parents), and you will find the supply list for your child’s grade.
SCHOOL CLUBS Woodmont Elementary School sponsors multiple extracurricular activities throughout the school year. These activities are conducted during the lunch/recess period. Students may participate in the following activities: Chess Club, Art Club, Journalism club, Math 24 (A math game), Geography Club, Safety Patrol (Open to fifth grade student s only) and Student Council (open to fourth and fifth grade students).
BACKPACKS Students are encouraged to bring backpacks to school. They will be stored in the classroom close tor cubby. Students with “wheelie” backpacks may find them difficult to navigate up and down the stairs.
SCHOOL CLOSING AND DELAYS When inclement weather occurs, the Montville Township School District uses an automated phone system to contact parents/guardians. Please update the school with any changes to your telephone contact numbers. School closing information can be found on the school website at www.montville.net. In addition, information can be found on the following TV stations: WCBS Channel 2, WNBC channel 4; FOX 5; WABC channel 7 and Channel 12.
PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES Occur twice a year (November and March/April). Parents/guardians are encouraged to discuss their child's progress with teachers. Date and time must be arranged with the teacher directly. At Back-To-School night in September, parents may sign up for requested time slots for November parent-teacher conferences.
TRANSFERS Please contact the Main Office to obtain transfer paperwork when moving or transferring to another district.
REPORT CARDS Report cards are posted online through the parent portal on Genesis.
VOLUNTEERING FOR THE PTA Woodmont Elementary School is fortunate to have an active and dedicated PTA, however, it can always use more volunteers. Volunteering for a school activity is a tremendous help to the school. Parents may volunteer for numerous activities (serving hot lunch, ice cream and chip sales, class parents, Book Fair, media center, school committees). Please see the PTA home page on the Woodmont elementary School website (www.montville.net) to submit information. Please participate in PTA fundraisers. All monies raised support school activities (i.e. Field trips, Cultural arts Assemblies, end of the Year Fun Fair)
WOODMONT PARENTS FACEBOOK PAGE Woodmont parents support their own Facebook page. Please log onto Facebook and sign up for the page. You will receive periodic updates and will receive answers to many questions throughout the school year.