Category Archives: Schools Scene

Find out what’s going on in the RFH Regional High School and Rumson and Fair Haven school districts.

Looking Back at Fair Haven Schools’ Celebration of Dr. Seuss

The following is an edited press release from the Fair Haven School District:

Even a cranky Grinch would have been smiling at the Fair Haven School District’s birthday celebration for beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

The extravaganza at Sickles School kicked off on March 2 – Suess’ birthday and Read Across America Day — with what was dubbed a Birthday Celebration assembly.

Continue reading Looking Back at Fair Haven Schools’ Celebration of Dr. Seuss

Facts Behind the RFH Boys Basketball SCT Win

The following information was culled from a press release issued by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

News spread very quickly when the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Boys Basketball team made history with its first Shore Conference Tournament (SCT) victory, toppling Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) with a 50-24 score.

Since the Feb. 27 banner game, though, more milestones have been hit.

RFH point guard Brendan Barry has been named Player of the Year and Varsity Head Coach Chris Champeau has been named Coach of the Year by the Shore Coaches Association, according to a press release from RFH.

Here are some other facts about the game that you may or may not know:

Continue reading Facts Behind the RFH Boys Basketball SCT Win

Internet Safety Explored at Rumson Schools

The following is an edited press release from the Rumson School District:

The Rumson School District recently presented a parent “coffee chat” on the subject of Internet Safety and Cyber Bullying.

The event Feb. 23 event was organized by Forrestdale School Guidance Counselor and Anti-Bullying Specialist Jenn Crow, and hosted by local parent and internet safety expert Tyna Kilbourne.

Continue reading Internet Safety Explored at Rumson Schools

Delayed R-FH Area School Openings

All three school districts in the Rumson-Fair Haven area will be operating Friday on a staggered delayed opening schedule.

Fair Haven School District — Knollwood and Sickles schools

• Superintendent Nelson Ribon has announced that the delayed openings of the Fair Haven schools will follow the Plan B schedule, which is a two-and-a-half hour delay to prep “both campuses for students and staff.”

And, “AM Pre-K and Kindergarten both begin at 10:30; PM Kindergarten begins at 1:00, followed by PM Pre-K at 1:10. No lunches will be served,” according to the district website.

Rumson School District — Forrestdale and Deane Porter

• There will be a 90 minute delayed opening of the schools.

*Pre-school a.m. session will be open from 10:10 a.m. to noon

* K-8 will operate on a 10:10 am to 3:05 p.m. schedule

There will also be no 1 p.m. dismissal, as previously scheduled for parent/teacher conferences. They will be rescheduled, according to the website.

Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School

• The high school will open on 90-minute delayed schedule.

* Staff sign in is at 9a.m.

* The warning bell will sound at  at 9:10am.

* Period 1 starts at 9:15 a.m.

“Buses will be running this morning on a 90 minute delayed schedule,” the website says.

RFH Students, Staff Pursue Sources of Strength

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s (RFH) peer leaders and staffers recently tapped into Sources of Strength training resources to enhance their knowledge of suicide, violence and substance abuse.

Approximately 80 RFH students who are members of the RFH Peer Leaders organization along with 16 faculty members trained in what is dubbed Sources of Strength, or SOS, on Feb. 18.

“Helping students learn how to access their Sources of Strength during life’s challenging moments will help them to build resiliency and improve wellness throughout their lifetimes,” RFH Student Assistance Counselor Suzanne Fico, who helped organize and participated in the training,” said.

Sources of Strength (SOS), according to the organization’s website, “leads in the field of suicide prevention by respecting differences among individuals, communities, and cultures and by drawing out stories of strength and healing.”

The group’s mission, according to the site is “to provide the highest quality prevention for suicide, violence, and substance abuse. This is accomplished by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults in the school community.”

“We approach prevention in a different way,” Barnabas Health’s Turning the Tides Program Manager and event facilitator Rachel Alvarez said in her introduction to the group at the February training session. “Research has shown that programs like this one work best when people like you — here in this gym right now — learn how to use your own strengths to send positive messages of hope, help, and strength to your peers.”

Jamie Juliano, RFH Child Study Team member and co-advisor to the Peer Leaders, helped organize the event and participated in the SOS training. She described it as a fun experience that appeared to have a powerful impact on all involved.

“It was encouraging to see the students developing creative ideas to spread hope, help, and strength messages to their fellow classmates,” said Juliano. “As one of the adult advisors, I hope to continue helping these students turn their ideas into action so that our whole community can feel the effects of Sources of Strength.”

The group took part of a number of exercises, and learned how to break down communication barriers — or what SOS refers to as codes of silence — to help bring about positive change and also increase the likelihood of peer leaders encouraging their fellow students to seek help when they need it.

“The SOS training makes you think about things in a different way,” RFH sophomore and Peer Leader Ben Pelino said.

RFH Chess Club Makes History

The following is a press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH)Chess Club achieved a record-breaking finish at the Shore High School Chess League Championship Tournament on Feb. 25.

RFH placed fourth out of 36 teams in the tournament at the Monmouth Mall for the best finish in school history.

Chess Club Advisor and RFH Math teacher Kevin Pfister describes sophomore Nicholas “Nick” Alescio as the club’s “Top Dawg.”

“Nick is the highest-rated player on our team, and his work ethic both inside and outside of school is remarkable,” said Pfister. “Last year, Nick was our ‘fifth board’ — and after one year of hard work and determination, he has landed himself as our ‘number one board’.”

“I am very excited to see Nick continue to grow as a chess player and as a student over the next two years.”

According to Pfister, the Chess Club provides an opportunity for RFH students to participate in friendly matches against their peers. As a Varsity Club, RFH competes each week against other schools in the Shore High School Chess League, with the top teams vying for a championship.

In addition to their historic finish at the Championship Tournament, the RFH Chess Club achieved a 2014/15 Regular Season record of 6-2. This was the best finish since 2007/08 and it earned the club a Second Place berth in the Fischer Division.

The club’s Playoff record was 2-2.

Members of the 2014/15 Chess Club are: Danny Alegria (Varsity Squad), Nick Alescio (Varsity Squad), Charlie Barnes (Varsity Squad), Jacob Black, Lizzie Boyce-Blanchard, Maggie Boyce-Blanchard, Justin Daluise, Theo de Quillacq (Varsity Squad), Jack Felice, Tristan Kilper, Peter Maris, Teddy Montalbano (Varsity Squad), Arnold Muralt, Logan O’Connell, Connor Placer, Cole Stevens (Varsity Squad), Alex Thomson, Alex Werner, Eli Weitzner, and Doug Young (Varsity Squad).

‘Lunch with a Loved One’ at Deane Porter

The following is a press release from the Rumson School District:

Students in Kindergarten through third grade at Deane Porter School in Rumson enjoyed “Lunch with a Loved One” on Feb. 16.

The students invited a special person of their choice to the luncheon celebration, a long-standing tradition at Deane Porter. The school’s entry-way, gymnasium and cafeteria were festooned with pink, white, and red hearts in keeping with a Valentine’s Day theme.

“The Parent-Teacher Organization works their magic every year to create special memories for all involved, and no detail is missed,” Deane Porter Principal Shari Feeney said. “Lunch with a Loved One lets both the students and the special guests know that they are loved and cared for, and the smiles and laughter from lunch last the whole day.”

Ace RFH Archer on ‘Dream Team’

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) sophomore Avery Pagano shot for a dream and it came true.

The teen archer is one of 30 who has been chosen to be part of the Junior Dream Team (JDT) which comprises the most promising junior and cadet Olympic-style archers in the county, according to a release from RFH.

Pagano has been shooting competitively for a few years.

The JDT program was developed to “fast-track” archers between the ages of 12 and 18 who show early potential and bring them together for training camps, coaching, and competition, the release said. “Athletes are selected based on a number of criteria, including their participation and performance in the annual Team Selection Camp, and will experience training camps at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Continue reading Ace RFH Archer on ‘Dream Team’

Knollwood Teacher Back in the Classroom

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven School District’s sixth grade Spanish teacher Basil Henning is officially off administrative leave and headed back to the classroom.

Without mentioning his name or discussing why Henning was placed on leave from his job at Knollwood School, effective Feb. 15, Superintendent Nelson Ribon addressed the capacity crowd at the onset of Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting with the news.

“While the situation continues to be investigated, we are satisfied up to this point that a resolution is on tonight’s agenda to end this administrative leave,” Ribon said at the beginning of his superintendent’s report.

Concerning the decision to place this “staff member” on leave, Ribon said that “based on the information obtained up to that point in reference to the rights of that employee and the health and safety of the children, appropriate action was taken on one of our staff members, which was to place that person on administrative leave.”

Ribon thanked parents for their numerous correspondences as well as “patience and understanding to allow the process to run its course” in the 10 days Henning was on leave.

While Ribon did not mention Henning’s name, nor did audience members, it was included in a *correspondence that was sent out to parents on the Sunday evening of Feb. 15 when the leave decision was made.

The 10 days of correspondences he mentioned coincide with Henning’s leave — starting on Feb. 15 and ending after the resolution passed to end the leave at the Feb. 25 board meeting. More specific information will be shared in the future when and if it can be; but, right now, “because this is a personnel matter, we cannot discuss at this meeting or in public.”

Rumson parent Andrea Clurfeld spoke in the stead of several people there seeking more information about the leave. She asked that the board speak to procedure only and if the passing of the specific resolution on the matter to end the administrative leave meant that this teacher would be back in the classroom immediately.

“Yes,” Ribon and board members answered.

And just to clarify, Ribon said, “This was administrative leave, with salary and benefits (intact) … This was not a suspension. That is entirely different.”

Henning’s salary was listed in the April 18, 2013 Fair Haven Board of Education agenda as $49,787. Hired for the  2011-12 school year, Henning was one of 18 non-tenured staff members offered tenure for the 2013-14 year, the agenda item said.

*The letter sent out to parents on Feb. 15 read as follows:

On Sunday, February 15, 2015, Ribon, Nelson < RibonN@fairhavenbe.org> wrote:

Dear Parents & Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that Mr. Basil Henning, a Knollwood School staff member, has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately. We are taking the proper steps to ensure that appropriate coverage is put into place.

Since this is a personnel matter, information regarding this cannot be discussed or shared with the public by our administration or BOE members, nor will it be a part of the public portion of our upcoming Board of Education meeting. If and when it is legally permissible and appropriate, information would be disseminated.

Thank you for your time.

Nelson Ribon

‘Young Frankenstein’ Coming to RFH

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

Young Frankenstein is coming to the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) stage.

The Tower Players will present the what was officially known as The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein on March 20, 21, and 22. Based on the classic 1974 comedy film, the stage version features music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan.

Young Frankenstein tells the story of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (played by Laurence Morales), a professor at a medical school who leaves behind his fiancée Elizabeth (Eli Rallo) and travels to Transylvania to claim the estate of his grandfather – the creator of the famous Frankenstein monster.

After years spent rejecting his family name, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein is visited by the ghosts of his ancestors who convince him to stay and repeat his grandfather’s experiments.

The castle’s current residents — Frau Blucher (Julia Mosby), Igor (Bailie Stypa), and Inga (Jen Andreacchi) — do their best to help Frederick bring his own monster (Michael Shaw) to life. Then the comedy ensues.

The RFH production features a cast of 42 students in singing, dancing and acting roles.

It is directed by RFH English teacher Suzanne Sweeney, who tailored the script for the high school-age actors and audience. Kasi Ann Sweeney is assistant director, and RFH Tower Players alum Patricia McCarron is the production’s choreographer along with Valerie Herman of Forrestdale School.

Costumes and props are under the direction of Carole Malik. RFH Social Studies teacher Matthew Leddin is overseeing the tech crew of 40 students. The set construction is being supplemented with contributions from the students in RFH Industrial Technology teacher Dino Pagano’s Stagecraft class.

The pit orchestra, comprised of RFH students as well as professional musicians, will be conducted by Music Director Vincent Mottern who is acting as coach for vocal performances as well.

Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase at the café in the RFH gymnasium during intermissions and after each performance. Also offered for sale in the café will be CDs featuring music performed by RFH student-musicians.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $6 for students and seniors. Admission is free for RFH students with SGA cards.

To purchase tickets online, visit www.rumsonfairhaven.org and click on Young Frankenstein under Featured News.

For more information about purchasing tickets, please contact Play Production Coordinator Stefania Flecca at sflecca@rumsonfairhaven.org.

The box office will be open for ticket purchases an hour before each performance. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday matinee will be at 1:00 p.m., in the RFH Auditorium.

Knollwood Fifth Grader a Spelling Champ

Can you spell champion?

Knollwood School fifth grader Addie Cope probably can. The 10-year-old Fair Haven resident has just been declared the winner of the school’s second annual spelling bee, according to a Fair Haven School District press release.

Cope won the final round and title on Feb. 2 by spelling the word jocularity correctly, the release said.

The win qualified her to go on to participate in the 31st annual Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune Spelldown to be held at Monmouth University in West Long Branch on March 16 and 17.

Spelldown will feature 8- through 14-year-olds declared champions at their school levels in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties. The winner will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

“We are so proud of Addie and all of the students who participated in the grade level spelling bees at Knollwood,” Knollwood School Principal Kevin Davis said in the release. “We wish Addie the best of luck at the Spelldown and we hope to see her at the National Spelling Bee.”

Preliminary spelling bees were held in all Knollwood grades (fourth through eighth) to determine grade-level participants prior to the school-wide event.

Competing along with Addie in the Knollwood School Spelling Bee were: fourth grader Annie Kersten, sixth grader Abby Tuorto, seventh grader Aaron Bernstein and eighth grader Bridgette Simpson.

History Made: Details on the Big RFH Swim Team Win

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Boys Swim Team has captured the program’s first Group C Central championship.

The third-seeded RFH Bulldogs bested number one seed Lawrence High School with a score of 95-75 to claim the historic win on Feb. 12.

Continue reading History Made: Details on the Big RFH Swim Team Win