Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

We welcome your submissions on school and district related events. Click here to submit stories and photos.

Monday June 6, 2016

In this issue:

  • NHD contestants off to Nationals and one to National Museum of American History
  • Math Olympiad results are in
  • Eastside Campus hosts annual Debate Tournament
  • Teen Health Fair marks quarter-century

Effective Academic Programs

Advancing with National History Day

National History Day winnersOn Saturday, May 7, 2016 students from around New Jersey competed at William Paterson University for the state-level National History Day (NHD) competition. Senior student, Jessie Cheramy of the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside (GOPA), became the sole Paterson qualifying project at the high school level with her exhibit titled: "Cultural Appropriation: Exploring the Westernization of African Hair." Jessie and her advisor Ms. Michelle Hamlett, a GOPA Social Studies teacher will be traveling to the Nationals.

On the elementary level, student Nadia Hoque of the Paterson School for the Gifted and Talented at School 28 has qualified for the Nationals with her Individual Junior Exhibit Board entitled: “Ernest Shackleton: The fabled Expeditions.” Nadia will be joining Jessie in College Park, Maryland on June 12 through June16.

Both were recognized for their accomplishments at the May Board of Education Meeting. It is especially important to note that Ms. Cheramy has subsequently registered to present her exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History on June 15 in Washington, DC! The 2016 National Museum of American History Exhibit Showcase is a prestigious follow-up to the National History Day Competition! 

Numbers Crunched!

Math OlympiadOver 200 grades 6-8 students from 24 different schools participated in the 2016 Math Olympiad which was held on Thursday May 19th at the New Roberto Clemente School. All teams participated in three rounds of competition which varied in difficulty level and time allotment. The highest ranking teams from each grade level competed in the “Task Round” which required teams to solve a conceptually based math problem. The winners from each grade level received gold, silver and bronze medals for first second and third place respectively. Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres and Deputy Mayor Pedro Rodriguez stressed the importance of mathematics in all aspects of life and provided “Mathematics Superhero” tee shirts to all participants. This year’s results were:
Grade 6: 1st Place – School 28,  2nd Place – Don Bosco Academy, 3rd Place – School 27
Grade 7: 1st Place – Norman S. Weir, 2nd Place – School 26, 3rd Place – Alexander Hamilton Academy
Grade 8: 1st Place – School 24, 2nd Place – School 28, 3rd Place – School 8

The Mathematics Department would like to thank Deputy Mayor Pedro Rodriguez for his continued support of this event. Congratulations to all the winners from each grade level!

National Spanish Examination Results

Continued Excellence

CAHTS Spanish studentsWorld language students from The School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism at Eastside (CAHTS) have attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2016 National Spanish Examinations. Students from CAHTS earned: 6 gold, 12 silver and 8 bronze medals along with 12 honorable mentions.  “Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious,” said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, “because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 160,000 students participating in 2016.” Students from CAHTS have a long history of high achievement on these exams and this year they not only obtained an excellent score among the nationals, but they also obtained outstanding scores among the state. Five students out of the 47 that took the exam were able to achieve either First, Second, or Third-place among the state results. These students were taught by the Spanish teachers, Ms. Pinatell, Ms.Fonseca and Ms.Pulgarín. The National Spanish Examinations are administered each year in grades 6 through 12, and are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

GOPA Students Also Shine on the National Spanish Examination

GOPA Spanish ExaminationThis is the fourth consecutive year that National Spanish Exam participants at the School of Government And Public Administration at Eastside (GOPA) have proven that hard work pays off.

Forty-eight students from Mrs. Ashe and Mrs. Chica’s classes took the National Spanish Examination to assess mastery of content and language. Thirty of the forty- eight students attained national recognition for excellence and mastery. A medal ceremony was conducted on May 11, 2016 for these students and their parents. GOPA students earned a total of 3 Gold Medals, 6 Silver, and 11 Bronze medals along with 10 students earning honorable mention.

The Robots Need to Build a Trophy Case!

As in previous years, the Robotics/College Prep Team from the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex has taken several awards at the recent State Robotics Competition held at Passaic County Community College. This year the technophiles laid claim to these accomplishments: 1st place in PowerPoint Presentation, 1st place in the Pharmacy Event, 3rd place in the Farming Event, and 1st place in School Spirit. The team’s results placed them in 2nd place overall!

Robotics Team
School 10 Career Day Davin Goulbourne

School 10 held its 9th Annual Career Day for grades 3-8 on which concluded College Week. With approximately 55 guests in attendance, students were exposed to an amazing array of professionals. 

Davin Goulbourne, a School of Education & Training at JFK (SET) junior, was accepted to the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program.  He was one of 38 students selected from more than 350 applicants who applied.  He was chosen for his academic accomplishments and journalistic potential.

RPHS Thespians Inducted

RPHS ThespiansA number of very talented Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS) acting students were officially inducted into the International Thespian Society, which recognizes the achievements of high school theater students. During the ceremony, each student was officially inducted into the society, and received a certificate of excellence. As members, students will now have access to a tremendous amount of resources to pursue careers in the theater arts. Some famous Thespian alumni include: Tom Hanks, Val Kilmer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Periodical Takes Notice

U.S. News and World Report magazine announced that the School of Government and Public Administration at the Eastside (GOPA) was designated as a “2016 Best High School” in the United States and District of Columbia. The “2016 Best High Schools” rankings awards the top 6,517 US public schools with gold, silver and bronze medals indicating their level of college readiness. The School of Government has earned a bronze medal. Schools are ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well students are prepared for college. It is important to note that the graduation rate for the class of 2015 in the School of Government was 85.9%!

All That Fun and First Place, Too!

PAGT at Science OlympiadThe Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented at School 28 recently participated in the North Jersey Elementary Science Olympiad competition. The Elementary Science Olympiad celebrates academic excellence by challenging 3rd-6th grade students at the North Jersey tournament in approximately 14 different “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) themed events.  After preparing for months, their hard work was rewarded with a 1st place trophy and numerous medals in events such as Bridge Building, Pentathlon, Paper Rocket, Egg Drop, and the Can Race.

New Web Developers

Students of the Computer Repair, Operations and Maintenance (C-ROM) course at the School of Architecture and Construction Trades at JFK (ACT) have been busy building websites as part of their course work. Their teacher, Mrs. Elsamra, impresses upon the students that they should use their creativity to make websites that represent things that they are passionate about. Each website is required to have a Home Page, About Me Page, How To Page, Step-by-Step Example Page, and a Resources Page. The students have produced some incredible sites through this Project Based Learning activity. During the course, the students are apprised of an expected 685,000 new tech jobs expected to hit the market by 2022. This is a real motivation them to get ahead of the curve by being exposed to the different elements of technology and web development.

Here are links to several websites completed by the following students: Japhon Cerat - http://upnorthusa.weebly.com; Jonathan Irribarren - http://jhunnidflashback.weebly.com; Jonathan Velez -http://worldtopicsarticles.weebly.com; Samiha Helal - http://samiiart.weebly.com; and Shaekwon Garcia-Hickman - http://kobebryantappreciation.weebly.com

Melding the Arts with Other Content Areas

School 12

School 12 teacher Mrs. Conyers recently welcomed Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania (YA) teaching artist Michelle Marigliano into her classroom.  Her students learned how to create a tableau related to their classroom text, Frindle, to bring a deeper understanding of the characters (and quite a bit of laughter).  Meanwhile, in Mrs. Kreitz's classroom, another group of third graders (along with Mrs. Kreitz and Mrs. Sklar) participated in a hands-on science lesson.  Ms. Marigliano cut a variety of fruits and vegetables to show the location of the seeds and then provided ink pads so that students could print collages of the produce, which are accompanied by original poems relating to the topic.

Cultivating our “Sprouts”

City Green and Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented teamed up to install a “Learning Garden” for School 28’s Kindergarteners. The Learning Garden will be a tool for journaling, math problems, and science. Kindergarten teachers will receive training on how to connect a hands-on garden to the curriculum by the NJ Agricultural Society. The excitement of the students as they watched the garden coming together was evident to all.

School 28 garden

Innovation and a Win

BTMF Innovation Day

Students from the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance at JFK (BTMF) participated in the 2016 Day of Innovation that was sponsored by William Paterson University and the National Park Service. Students were required to develop a business plan that aligned with a product they created as a team, chosen from the "Product in a Box" project. There were 6 teams that presented at the Paterson Museum and BTMF's “Solar Dog Palace Team” was selected as the winner.  Each student in the team will receive a Chrome Book computer tablet.

Rosa Parks’ Writers Dominated at Health Fair Contest

It was a big showing for Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS) students as they took most of the awards for their poems and essays at this year's Annual Teen Health fair, which focused on Teen Pregnancy. RPHS students included: Poetry category winners: 1st place - JaLeel Porcha, 2nd place - Vanessa Huaita, and 3rd place - Naiesha Smith. Essay category winners: 1st place - Mikaela Santos, 2nd place - Mara Reyes, and 3rd place - Ashley Diaz.

RPHS Teen Health Fair

Poetic Apparel at School 24

School 24 poetsApril is nationally recognized as Poetry Month. During this time, students trade in their prose for poems as a way of expressing themselves about their interests. Ms. Samantha Emery’s 7th grade students at School 24 did just that! Poetry is about self-expression, and instead of expressing themselves on paper; they expressed themselves by creating “Poe-tees,” or poems that are placed on T-shirts. Students took the time to research poems as well as create original poems to reflect their individuality and personality. The result: School 24 students are poets and now they know it!

The Lamberts’ Home Truly was Their Castle

Ninety School 24 students enjoyed a tour of Paterson's Lambert Castle, where they learned about the history of the silk industry in Paterson and the Lambert Family. They saw samples of silk as it progressed from raw fiber, to dyed thread, to ornate fabrics. The house was filled with interesting antiques, including one of the first telephones, and early keyboard instruments. During a scavenger hunt, students discovered interesting architectural details of the castle. Teachers accompanying students were: Nancy Horowitz, Connie Conway, Giovanni Siracusa, Danny DaSilva, Dan Anderson, and Melissa Maneri.

Lambert Castle visit

Their 23rd Pilgrimage to the Bard’s Masterwork

SET at Shakespeare performanceOn a beautiful spring day, School of Education and Training at JFK (SET) students traveled to the Pax Amicus Castle Theater in Budd Lake, NJ to see the classic Shakespeare play, "Romeo and Juliet". They were accompanied by Ms. Nancy Wymer, Ms. Cheryl Krapohl, Ms. Antoinette Price, Mrs. Jacqueline Jones, and Mr. Vincent Gurnari. Mr. Stan Barber, the director of the show and the manager of the theater commented that this was the 23rd year that students from John F. Kennedy High School have seen "Romeo & Juliet" at the Castle Theater! He said that he was so pleased that the Paterson students return year after year because they are among the most respectful, well-behaved, and engaging young people in the audience.  About 50 students attended the trip, which included the performance, a question & answer session with the actors and director of the play, and a stage combat demonstration by the actors who played Mercutio and Tybalt. After the events at the theater, students and chaperones enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant before returning to school.

The Great Debate

HS debateThe 2016 High School Debate Tournament represents the fifth year a district-wide Lincoln/Douglas style debate has been organized by School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) Vice-principal, Mr. Michael Ollo. This year, 10 high schools gathered on the morning of May 24th and paired-off in individual debate rooms. Teams faced one-another on the topic of societal assimilation of immigrant populations, with sides representing the “affirmative” and “negative” in the Lincoln/Douglas format. When the finalists took the stage in the Eastside auditorium, it was PANTHER Academy versus JFK’s School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF). Heated debate ensued for nearly one hour, and it was BTMF representing the affirmative that seized the debate crown. The entire final round is available to watch on the district streaming video channel.

A Capitol Venture

Don Bosco at Washington DCA diverse group of middle school students and teachers from Don Bosco Technology Academy (DBTA) recently ventured to the US Capitol in Washington, DC. For many of the children, this was there first time venturing outside their familiar surroundings of Paterson.  A particular benefit of this trip is that it afforded an opportunity for both mainstream and special needs students to interact both intellectually and socially.

The DBTA students eagerly anticipated their arrival to some of the nation's most iconic sites including the Smithsonian Institute where they learned about the rich history and meaningful contribution of various Americans.  Students also visited several of the memorials; they were especially amazed by the size and significance of the Martin Luther King “Stone of Hope.” The view of the Reflection Pool and surrounding monuments from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was a particular favorite of the students.

DBTA students will share their Washington DC experience during a culminating event on June 14, 2016 from 1:45 p.m. -  4:30 p.m. at the school. Parents, staff, and administrators are all welcome.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

All for Mom

Dale Mothers DayThe Dale Avenue Home School Community Liaison, Ms. Charlene Cromartie, worked closely with the Department of Family and Community Engagement to host the school’s annual Mother’s Day Literacy Workshop. The mothers who attended were treated to a special breakfast. There were presentations from Rev. Maggie Ocasio from The Great Harvest Church who encouraged the Mothers to promote literacy, and the importance of creating positive study habits. The Paterson Police held a discussion about being involved in the school and creating partnerships with teachers, administrators, and school security officers; all to help create a “village” that raises healthy children. Guidance counselor and Anti Bullying Specialist, Ms. Rumley, spoke about protecting students and the current HIB laws.  Lastly, the moms were treated to a special presentation of a flower bouquet to every mother from their child.

Annual Teen Health Fair Marks a Milestone

Teen Health fairThe Annual Teen Health fair which rotates each year between Eastside and JFK, has reached a major milestone in its history. This year, taking place at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex, marks 25 years since its inception by Eastside teachers Lorraine Michaels (retired), Licia Minor Williams (now at HARP Academy), Ms. Eileen Shafer (presently Deputy Superintendent). Ms. Illise Zimmerman of the Partnership for Maternal Child has also been an integral supporter of the program since its very early years. The Teen Health Fair, as we know it now, stems from curriculum developed by Ms. Shafer as a spin-off from the City-Wide Teen Awareness Teen Health FairDay. The health fair was established to satisfy the need of informing, empowering and encouraging teenagers to become knowledgeable of the community resources that were and are available to them in time of crisis.

Along with the ladies mentioned above, Director of Physical Education, Athletics and Health Services, Anna Adams has also been a perennial supporter of the event, keeping it on the district’s health curriculum and agenda to this very day.

The Teen Health Fair brings over 3,000 district students face-to-face with information and service providers directly related to their physical and mental well-being. This year was no exception, and our present cohort of teens learned all about where to seek out help with their health concerns, particularly in times of crisis.

School 24 Garden Donors Club

A group of fifth and eighth graders are shown here from School 24 along with their teachers, Mariu Comer, Anna Pellosie, and Nancy Horowitz. The kids cleared weeds and created a beautiful flower garden in the playground.

Over 700 cosmetics items were collected by the Young Donors Club at New Roberto Clemente School in just two weeks. All items were paired into individual gift bags for distribution at the Oasis Mother’s Day Celebration.

Rapper Inspires at School 9


The 7th and 8th grade students at School 9 had the pleasure of welcoming Darryl McDaniels of the legendary rap group, Run DMC. He talked about his journey from growing up in the inner city, to being bullied, to finding out that he was adopted and how he rose to the top of the music business. Darryl stressed the importance of homework assignments and using every opportunity presented by our teachers. He declared that classroom information can transform every single student into becoming the future entrepreneurs, scientists, doctors or business people in our country.  The School 9 students and teachers were so captivated by “DMC’s” inspirational speech you could hear a pin drop!  Guidance Counselor, Ms. Alfano organized this inspiring assembly.

Rosa Parks field day

The Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts held its annual field day in Paterson’s Eastside Park.

Red Nose Day in the Bronx

The Culinary Arts, Hospitality, and Tourism School at Eastside took their top 75 students to Yankee Stadium. While enjoying the game, staff and students celebrated "Red Nose Day." Through the power of entertainment and laughter, awareness and money is raised to help kids who need it most around the world.

CAHTS at Yankee SWtadium

Family and Community Engagement

Is There Anything She Doesn’t Do?

Cindy Munoz

Cindy Muñoz of School 24 was honored by the Youth Guidance Council of Paterson with a "Students That Have Made a Difference" award. Cindy is a straight A student, class valedictorian, and concert mistress in the School 24 Concert Band. Her work tutoring classmates, performing at Carnegie Hall with Sir James Galway, presenting daily announcements on the PA system, acting as MC at school events, and serving as an altar girl at church make Cindy a standout in her school and the community.

JFK Continues Arabic Festival Tradition

Arabic FestivalThe Arabic population at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex, under the guidance of Ms. Eman Hijjawi of the School of Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT), celebrated with their ninth annual Arabic Heritage Festival. The festival was celebrated in two parts: one on April 22nd for the JFK students and a second on April 27th  for the community. The program has been aligned to the World Language curriculum and provides students with the opportunity to express their cultural heritage via dance, educational video clips, a fashion show, and Arabic foods. The dances performed were iconic of Sudan, Egypt and Syria. The fashion show displayed clothing from various parts of the Arabic World (Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Jordan, Morroco, Saudi Arabia and more). Attendees also enjoyed various Arabic delicacies, Palestinian fashion accessories, and a display of Egyptian Antiques brought in by Mr. Baher Alsha’arawy.

Tenacious Immigrant Goes all the Way

PANTHER Academy alumnus Moorice Caparo’s story is one of an amazing journey from poverty-stricken Peru to the hallowed halls of Harvard University. As he is poised to begin his medical residence with that Ivy League institution, the soon-to-be Dr. Caparo has shared his story with The Record newspaper.

Two Causes, One Great School

NSW Red Nose DayNorman S. Weir School (NSW) students and staff proudly wore jeans in support of our veterans! The entire staff participated and donated $5.00 each for the opportunity.   All proceeds were donated to The G.I. Go Fund which is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides assistance to all military veterans, with a focus on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. This endeavor helps them find employment, access to housing, and secure their educational and health benefits.  NSW raised $500.00 for our Troops and had 100% participation.

NSW Students also wore their RED NOSES for the Red Nose Day campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty. This activity seeks to accomplish this by simply having fun and making people laugh.  $284.00 was raised for the cause.

Prsident Clinton

Mr. Mo Hindi, an instructional assistant from the Norman S. Weir School grabbed a rare photo op with former US President Bill Clinton. President Clinton appeared at a speaking engagement at Passaic County Community College.

ICE… Very Cool

On Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 6 pm, the Inner City Ensemble (ICE) will conduct an open-house in the Passaic County Community College Theater on the corner of Memorial Dr. and Ellison St. The dance program, led by Artistic Director, Nicholas Rodriguez, will feature students from School 2, the Don Bosco Technical Academy (DBTA), as well as participants from various Paterson high schools. The free in-school dance training and Saturday classes are being assisted by ICE youth senior member, Silver Gonzalez Matos.  The school residencies are being coordinated by ICE alumni, Tamara Rivera Lugo and Timothy Armour, as well as former ICE staff member, Patricia Rizzo, who is now the Mentor of Climate and Culture at DBTA, and Schools 3 and 18.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Distinguishing Features

New Roberto Clemente Middle School (NRC) teachers and William Paterson University (WPU) alumni Ms. Vancheri and Mr. Ocasio joined the school's WPU Professor in Residence, Dr. Golden, and WPU graduating senior and math teacher candidate Jean Mercedes at WPU's annual recognition dinner for Distinguished Clinical Interns. Mr. Mercedes worked with Ms. Vancheri for three semesters, and has been selected to attend a June 22nd finalists dinner. The New Jersey Distinguished Outstanding Student Teacher will be announced during that dinner.  Mr. Ocasio was awarded that distinction in 2010.​ Paul Odenwelder served as Mr. Mercedes' WPU supervisor at NRC.

Fellowship for a Fine Teacher

Congratulations to School 9 8th grade social studies teacher Ms. Mustafa. She is the recipient of a prestigious 2016 Monticello Teacher Institute Fellowship for teachers of American History. This wonderful professional development scholarship will give Ms. Mustafa and 15 other teachers from around the country the opportunity to research and study at the Monticello and Jefferson Library in Charlottesville, Virginia for one week this July. Ms. Mustafa's research topic will focus on religious freedoms as advocated by Thomas Jefferson.

Ms. Mustafa

Teachers with Broad Horizons

The Charles J. Riley School 9 community was excited to learn that two of its own teachers have been selected to participate in the William Paterson University (WPU) Leaders as Learners Partnership Program.  Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Khaddash were selected from several applicants to begin the two-year program beginning this summer. They will receive a Master of Education degree, a supervisory endorsement, and a New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility for principal upon successful completion of the program. This is the second year in a row that School 9 staff members have been selected to participate in the WPU partnership.  Mrs. Delano has just completed her first year of the program.

Upcoming Events

June 2 - June 20: High School Summer School Registration

1:00 p.m. - 3 p.m.at the JFK Educational Complex & Eastside3 Campus

June 10 - Jazz Reunion Concert at JFK (Presented by Rosa Parks)

7:00 p.m. at the JFK Bisio Auditorium - 61-127 Preakness Ave.

June 10 - Quiz Bowl

9:30 a.m. at International High School Auditorium- 200 Grand Street

June 15: Board of Education Regular Meeting

at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

5:30 p.m. Teacher of the Year Award Celebration   

6:30 p.m. Student Award Recognitions

7:00 p.m. Regular Meeting

June 22: Graduation Day for all high schools except Eastside academies

June 22: Special Meeting of the Board of Education

7:00 p.m. at the Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Ave.  

June 23: Graduation Day for Eastside academies

July 5 - Aug. 11: Summer School Program

July 11-29: Preschool Summer Enrichment Program

8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

“The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself.”
—  Washington Allston, painter and poet