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VTHS Presents: Shrek The Musical

Click Here To Purchase Tickets



17-18 Preschool and Kindergarten Registration Open Now

Registration for Preschool and Kindergarten for next school year (17-18) is open now!


The Great Reading Games


LHMS students are participating in the Great Reading Games sponsored by Learning Ally.  Congratulations to the 5th and 6th grade top readers so far:  (front row left to right) Jacqueline Patereck, Nina Borges, Colton Cornell and (back row left to right) Eric Fattorusso, Amelia Houdershieldt, Thomas Murray, Trevor Veloce, Dane Walker, Graham Reed.

100th Day Greetings from Walnut Ridge!

Greetings from the Little School with a Big Heart!

We celebrated the 100th day of school in Walnut Ridge on Friday, February 10, 2017.  Fun was had by all! Here are some pictures of the celebrations throughout the school!

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Introducing our February First-Grade Students of the Month!

Our February First-Grade Students of the Month

Our February First-Grade Students of the Month






Madison: Madison’s nickname is Maddie, her brother, Marc, sister, Samantha, and her parents call her by this name. Madison’s favorite sport is soccer and her favorite food is watermelon. Her favorite singer is Justin Bieber and her favorite book is Winnie the Pooh. Madison’s favorite subject in school is math. Something that Madison wants her teacher, Mrs. Rogers, to know is that she loves to learn new things. When Madison is not in school, she likes to play with her new puppies! This comes with a lot of responsibility and Madison is getting very good at taking care of her new pets. It is not a surprise that Madison wants to become a veterinarian when she grows ups.



Karina: Karina’s nickname is “Gagus”, this is what her parents and her sisters Alexis and Karoline call her. Karina enjoys skiing and eating Polish food. Karina’s favorite book is Sleepy Dog. Her favorite show is Henry Danger. Karina loves art class taught by Mrs. Docherty; it is her favorite subject in school. Something that everyone should know about Karina is that she is a very kind person. During her free time, Karina likes to watch videos on her iPad and on TV. Karina is really good at drawing. Karina hopes to become a teacher when she grows up.



Annelise: Annelise has a unique nickname; it’s “Bubba”! This is what her parents and brothers Austin and Lucas call her at home. Annelise’s favorite sport is football and she loves eating chili. Annelise likes the music of Lady Ga Ga. Annelise’s favorite book is A Big Guy Took My Ball. Annelise likes to watch the TV show “Amazing World of Gumball”. Annelise loves math; this is her favorite subject in school. Something you should know about Annelise is that she is really good at doing gymnastics and she is a Girl Scout, too. When Annelise has some free time, she likes to play on her Nintendo. When Annelise grows up, she hopes to become a veterinarian.



Shea: Shea’s nickname is “Shea-Shea”… this is what her parent and siblings Ellie and Jack call her at home. Shea likes to play basketball and eat pizza. Shea loves listening to the music of Taylor. Shea’s favorite book is The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name. Her favorite TV show is “Sponge Bob”. Shea’s favorite class in school is computers with Mrs. Kellish. Something that makes Shea very special is that she has her own website and blog!! This is a first for a Student of the Month. When Shea is not in school, she likes to play with her brother and sister. Shea is very good at listening; this is what makes her such a special girl. When Shea grows up, she wants to become a teacher like Mrs. Novak.



Adriana: Adriana’s nickname is “Bella”; this is her middle name. Adriana has one brother, Aiden, and one sister, Nataliya. Adriana loves to play soccer and eating mashed potatoes. Adriana’s favorite book is The Three Little Daisies. Her favorite TV show is “My Little Pony”. Adriana’s favorite subject in school is math. Something that Adriana wants her teacher, Mrs. Barone, to know is that she thinks she is the best teacher! Adriana is really good at coloring. When Adriana is not in school, she loves to play and go on trips with her family. When she grows up, it is no surprise that Adriana wants to be a traveler.



August: August’s nickname is Augie; this is what his parents, brother, Miles, and his friends call him. August’s favorite sport is basketball. August enjoys eating salmon, this is one of his favorite foods (this is a first for a student of the month). August’s favorite singer is Louis Armstrong and his favorite book is The Giving Tree. When August has some free time, he likes to watch “Wildcrats” on TV. One of August’s favorite subjects in school is Fundations, his phonics class. Something that you should know about August is that he likes to write multiplication tables, he knows them up to 10 x 10…wow!! When August is not in school, he likes to play games such as Monopoly and Battleship; those are just some of his favorites. August is really good at reading “Stink” books; those are his favorites to read. When August grows up, he wants to become a builder and an architect (like his mom).



Liliana: Liliana’s nickname is “LuLu”; it’s what her parents and sister, Sophia call her. Liliana’s favorite sport is softball. Liliana’s favorite food is made by her “Nona”- it’s spaghetti and meatballs! Liliana enjoys the music of Lady Ga Ga. Her favorite book is Walter the Farting Dog. Liliana loves the TV show, “Alvin and the Chipmunks”.  Liliana’s favorite subject is school is math; she is very good in this subject! Something that Liliana wants her teacher, Mrs. Battista, to know is that she loves her! When Liliana is not in school, she enjoys her time with her grandmother (probably to have her spaghetti and meatballs!) and she likes to play with her toys. When Liliana grows up, she hopes to become a teacher.



Dominic: Dominic has one younger sister named Amelia. Dominic’s favorite sport is basketball and his favorite food is chicken nuggets. Dominic likes the music from Kids Bop. Dominic likes the Fly Guy series. Dominic likes to watch “Teen Titans Go” on TV. Dominic likes his library and math class the best in school. Something you should know about Dominic is that he likes Star Wars and Pokémon. When Dominic is not in school, he likes to play video games and have movie night with his family. When Dominic grows up, he hopes to become a paleontologist!



Ethan: Ethan’s nickname given to him by is very big family is “Ethanator”. His parents, siblings Michael, Andrew, Alexander, and Olivia call him this this name. Ethan loves to play baseball. His favorite food is chicken and his favorite singer is Elvis Presley! Ethan likes to read the book Night Animals. Ethan’s favorite subject in school is math, like many other February Students of the Month. Ethan likes to watch “Sponge Bob Square Pants on TV”. Ethan loves to play outside; he also enjoys playing his X-Box and play with his brothers and cousins. Ethan is really good at playing soccer and being a well-behaved person. When Ethan grows up, he wants to become a scientist.



Sean: Sean’s nickname is “Peanut”! It’s what his mom and grandparents call him. Sean loves playing soccer, but he is really good at wrestling. Sean’s favorite food is spaghetti. His favorite singer is Skillet. Sean’s favorite book in the library is Green Eggs and Ham. Sean’s favorite TV show is “WWE”. Sean likes to watch animal shows, he likes cats and birds, and he already knows that 5 x 5 is 25 (he should talk to August)! When Sean is not in school, he likes to play video games. When Sean grows up, he wants to work in a pizza parlor.

Coming up soon…

Family Math Night: Get ready for our second night of mathematics fun! We will be hosting the second Family Math Night of the school year on Wednesday,  February 15th from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Click here to register!

February 27th – March 3rd is Love of Reading Week:  If you are interested in purchasing a Dr. Seuss Book please turn in your money and book selection no later than February 15th.  Purchasing information, as well as the “Keep on Reading” song, can be found at: vtsd.com/wrlibrary.

Click here for the Love of Reading Week Calendar!

Click here for the Fill the Hat activity!

Beyond the Classroom: The Importance of Reading Aloud to Our Childrenplease take a moment to read this informational article on the importance of reading to your child, no matter what age! In the words of Meghan Cox Gurdon, in her Wall Street Journal article “The Great Gift of Reading Aloud,” says that in the not so distant past, reading aloud was the way children fell in love with stories. Enticing storytellers would captivate their listeners as unfolding sentences offered gifts to their imaginations. The child who learned to love stories by hearing them would be a child who would willingly gravitate toward more sophisticated literature on his own. This statement nicely encapsulates the premise of this article. Thank you for taking a moment to read it.

Please note: Our Kindergarten and Preschool Registration for the 2017-2018  is opening soon!  You can find the link on the Walnut Ridge site as well as the main page of the VTSD website. If you happen to have friends or neighbors with young children, please direct them to this link. Kindergarten and Preschool registration will take place at WRPS on Tuesday, March 14th from 4:30-8:00 pm, Thursday, March 16th from4:30-8:00 pm, and Saturday, March 18th from 9:30 am-1:00 pm,  in the all-purpose room.

March SCA Meeting: will be held on Monday, March 6, 2017, at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm, in the all-purpose room. This month, the Center for Prevention and Counseling will be presenting important information to parents of young children. In addition, Mrs. VanVugh will be speaking with all SCA members about our upcoming Senior Citizens Dinner Theater that will be taking place on Wednesday, March 22. All building SCAs will be assisting at this event. Thank you for offering to donate your time to make this dinner theater special for our senior citizens of Vernon!

CPR class is being offered for all Walnut Ridge parents by the Glenwood-Pochuck Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Saturday, March 4, 2017, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The cost of the training that includes all materials and a certification card is $25.00. Please click here for the flier. Walnut Ridge would like to thank instructors Mr. George Arnot and Mrs. Tammy Benanti for bringing this program to Walnut Ridge parents. 

Our Family Movie Night: will be taking place on Friday, March 10, at 6:30 pm, where we will be showing “Space Buddies”! Please complete the form that was sent home with your child so we will an accurate count of attendees.  

In case you missed it here is our Buddy Bench Movie!

Hallway Highlights!

Walking through the halls of our little school this month there was a tremendous amount of learning taking place! Below are some pictures of different activities that were happening in our classrooms throughout the month!


Mrs. Roger’s Class is having a read aloud on dental health!


Mrs. Gebhardt talking with Mrs. Huche’s class about Literacy in the Media Center.


Mrs. Stefkovich’s class is learning about two digit numbers with ten frames!

Our First-Grade January Students of the Month

Nabil: Nabil’s nickname that his brother, Saleh, and sister, Layla, call him is “Beel”- it’s the ending sound of his name! Nabil loves to wrestle. His favorite food is pizza. Nabil loves the group Queen, especially the song “We Will Rock You”. Nabil loves superheroes; his favorite book is Batman. Nabil’s favorite show is “Steven Universe”. He loves Mrs. Kellish’s computer class; it’s his favorite subject in school. Something that you should know about Nabil is that he is a great helper! Nabil also has the greatest smile and is always so excited to come to school. When Nabil has some free time, he likes to play with his dog. Nabil is really good at coloring. Someday, Nabil hopes to become a builder.

Cayden: Cayden has one brother named Noah. Cayden loves baseball and eating chicken nuggets. Cayden loves reading any Pete the Cat books. He enjoys watching “Scooby Doo” on TV. Cayden’s favorite subject in school is math. Cayden is a very kind student with a warm heart. Cayden wants his teacher, Mrs. Rogers, to know that he really loves being in her class, really likes his classmates, and tries very hard at everything he does. When Cayden is not in school, he likes to wrestle and play baseball. Something Cayden is really good at is being nice to others; it’s a special quality of his. When Cayden grows up, he hopes to the meet the President of the United States.


Nicholas: Nicholas likes to play soccer. His favorite food is pizza with pepperoni and sausage on it. His favorite groups are U2 and Ariana Grande. Nicholas’ favorite book is Green Eggs and Ham. Like so many first-graders, Nicholas loves to watch “Henry Danger” on TV. Nicholas’ favorite subjects in school are reading and writing. Nicholas wants Mrs. Novak to know that he loves being in her class. When Nicholas is not in school, he is a very busy boy, he likes to read, play on his PS4, play laser tag, draw and go to the movies. Nicholas has so many interests and is really good at so many things; he loves art, math and creating things with Legos. When Nicholas grows up, he hopes to become a Veterinarian.


Maddox: Maddox’s nickname, given to him by his parents and brother Trey, is Max. Maddox’s favorite subject is soccer, a popular sport for January’s Students of the Month! Maddox likes soup, it’s his favorite food. Maddox likes the music of Justin Timberlake. Maddox’s favorite book is The Monster at the End of the Book. When Maddox has some free time, he likes to watch “Sponge Bob”. His favorite subject in school is math class; he wants his teacher, Miss White, to know just how much he loves it! When Maddox is not in school, he likes to play with his brother Trey. Maddox is a very kind person, he is really good a sharing with others. When Maddox grows up he hopes to become a dentist.


Hailee: Hailee’s siblings Katy, Danny and Scott call her “Hails”. Hailee’s favorite sport is cheerleading. She loves chicken; it’s her favorite food. Hailee loves listening to Taylor Swift songs. Her favorite TV show is “Full House”. Hailee’s favorite subject is math. Something Haliee wants her teacher, Mrs. Battista, to know is that she really likes school. Hailee likes to play with her American Girl dolls when she is not in school. Hailee likes drawing pictures. Hailee’s goal is to be a teacher when she grows up.


Lilliana: Lilliana’s nickname is Rose. Her sister is Gabby. Lilliana’s favorite sport is soccer. Lilliana loves eating pasta; it’s her most favorite food. Lilliana enjoys listening to the music of Taylor Swift. She enjoys reading Harry Potter books. Lilliana’s favorite TV show is “Kicking It”. Lilliana reports that Mrs. Kellish teaches her favorite subject, computer class. Lilliana loves school so much that when she is home she plays school with her sister Gabby. Lillian is really good at reading; it’s no wonder why she is reading Harry Potter books! When Lilliana grows up, she hopes to become an art teacher like Mrs. Docherty.

Noelle: Noelle’s brother is Noah. Her favorite subject is soccer. Noelle could eat spaghetti all day long, it’s her favorite food. Her favorite singer is Florida Georgia Line. Noelle’s favorite book is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Noelle likes to watch “Henry Danger” on TV. Noelle’s favorite subject is reading and library/media center class with Mr. Joseph. Something that Noelle would like her teacher, Mrs. Giangrande, is that she loves animals and school. When Noelle is not in school, she likes to play on her Kindle. Noelle is really good at being kind to others. When she grows up, Noelle wants to be a Veterinarian.


Tyler: Tyler’s nickname is “Ty”; his parents and brother, Tommy, have given this name to him. Tyler loves to play basketball and eat pizza; these are two of his favorite things. Tyler loves to listen to the music of Justin Timberlake. Tyler’s favorite book is Ten Apples Up on Top. Tyler watches “Sponge Bob” on TV, it’s his favorite show. Tyler’s favorite subject in school is art taught by Mrs. Docherty. Something that Tyler wants his teacher, Mrs. Barone, to know is that he is a good listener and he loves school. When Tyler is not in school, Tyler likes to hang out and play with his family. Tyler is really good at art and someday hopes to become an artist.


Callie: Callie’s siblings are Jordan, Tyler and Dylan. Callie loves playing soccer, like so many of January Students of the Month. Her favorite food is steak. Callie’s favorite singer is Closer. Her favorite book is If Animals Kissed Good Night. Callie likes to watch “Teen Titans” on TV, another favorite show of first-graders. Callie’s favorite class is with Mrs. Docherty, art class! Something that Callie wants her teacher, Miss Miebach to know is that she tries her best and she loves her! Callie is a busy girl when she’s not in school, she plays on a soccer team, jumps on her trampoline and loves laying in her bean bag chair. Callie is really good at drawing. Callie wants to be a soccer player and a Veterinarian when she grows up.


As a reminder, Check out the new Vernon School District App…add it to your device to have VTSD information at your fingertips. The app will have stay connected to all schools in our district. You will get notification of important school and district events, including delayed openings, early dismissals, and emergency school closing right on your phone.

It is an honor to have a parent partnership with you regarding your child’s education….

Rosemary Gebhardt

Town Hall Video

The following video is Mr. DiBenedetto’s presentation and Q&A to the community from Tuesday, February 7th at Lounsberry Hollow concerning the proposed reconfiguration of schools.


School Gardens

Sustainable NJ Grant
(Pictured above from left to right: Donna Drewes, Co-Director Sustainable Jersey, Steve Kepnes, Business Administrator, Jeanette Emmerich, Teacher, Dan Osenni, Science Supervisor, Sean Spiller, Secretary-Treasurer NJEA, Thomas Hardy, Organizing Specialist NJEA)

School Gardens: Pollinators and Garden to Table- Science for Life students will design, plant and maintain a pollination garden to increase pollinators to the school garden which they also maintain. Both gardens will be used by the Biology and Environmental Science classes. Produce from the school garden will be used by the students as they prepare meals for students, faculty and staff. Extra produce will be donated to the local food pantry. Grant awarded by the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program, funded by the New Jersey Education Association


Live Stream: Girls Basketball

Catch the girls Varsity team as they take on High Point Regional!


Former Vernon Grad Shares Success Story With Students

20170118_084804(Pictured: Vernon Township High School students and Visual Arts teacher Doug Miller greet Apple CFO Len Rinaldi into their classroom for a virtual FaceTime session to discuss the importance of education for career success.)

Vernon students are learning to think big and to dream even bigger.

On Wednesday, January 18, Vernon Township High School alumnus Len Rinaldi virtually stepped inside a familiar classroom to offer industry insight and career advice to Vernon’s high school students. Beyond his wise words and thoughtful reflections, however, came an even greater realization to the students that afforded a most meaningful perspective: dreams are, in fact, attainable. The exponential ascent of Rinaldi’s professional career, from small town student to Chief Financial Officer of Apple, proves that even modest beginnings can lead to future successes.

From a large, widescreen monitor elevated just inches from the ceiling, Rinaldi’s smile beamed down onto the high school CTE students, as he gazed upon the iMac-filled classroom from the desk of his London office. Vernon faculty members coordinated a FaceTime session with Rinaldi in order to transmit his presence onto the screen for a live, real-time conversation with their computer science, engineering, graphic design and photography classes. Students, teachers and administrators listened in awe as Rinaldi relayed experiences and answered questions related to the impressive trajectory of his career. “He is a proven professional,” observed Assistant Superintendent of Vernon Schools Dr. Charles McKay, “who is incredibly driven and creative, and yet has retained a humble persona that really resonates with our students.” Despite the prestige of his role and the privilege of his success, Rinaldi spoke with a personable and genuine charisma that comforted the students enough to speak up and feel at ease. No one would have ever guessed that Len Rinaldi, this down-to-earth, easy-going “Vernon guy,” has served as the Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Western European Sales at Apple, Inc.

Born in New York City and then having grown up in northern New Jersey, Rinaldi fondly remembers Vernon as the hometown of his childhood. During Wednesday’s FaceTime session, he vividly recalled the small town feel and personality of the Vernon community complete with nostalgic memories of Taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwiches from the local, ever-popular, bagel shops. His memories of the township and the schools have carried with him throughout the years and—to the students’ amusement—still ring true, today.

Rinaldi graduated from Vernon Township High School in the mid-eighties and then continued his education to pursue his baccalaureate degree, followed by an MBA in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University. “Having an MBA opened a lot of doors for me, later in my career,” he reflected. “Ten years down the road, it was a big reason why I got the job at Apple.” Above all else, Rinaldi believes that education can further career opportunities and lead to new, exciting prospects. Prior to his success at Apple, Rinaldi worked for other telecommunications companies, including Lucent Technologies, where he first attained the title of Chief Financial Officer. With strong affirmation that education has served as his golden ticket to big business success, Rinaldi encouraged the Vernon students to “continue to learn, even beyond just formal education.” He assured them that an educational investment pays its dividends in future success.

Having worked alongside the late Steve Jobs and now in close partnership with Tim Cooke, to whom he simply refers as just “Tim,” Rinaldi has unquestionably worked up to the top branch of the Apple tree. His long-term success assures Vernon students that no dream should ever be considered unachievable or too far from reach. As evidenced by his example, the seemingly impossible can become possible.

Although Rinaldi did not disclose any of Apple’s next plans or endeavors, but rather upheld his company’s strict code of confidentiality, he did make projections about the emerging field of logistics and its growing importance within the sales and marketing industries. Following Amazon’s quick-footed steps, Apple is now employing logistics in direct response to the modern customer’s desire and expectation for immediate distribution of goods and services. Although Amazon has now drastically minimized the time gap between point-of-sale and product delivery to a mere two hours, Apple is not a company to be outdone. As Rinaldi cautiously warns his listeners, “Never bet against Apple.”

Vernon’s administration, keenly aware of the ever-changing job landscape, updates its curriculums and course catalogs with each new school year to incorporate more progressive programs that are designed to promote student success. From core academic disciplines to various elective offerings in the technology, arts, allied health and business fields, Vernon Township High School particularly strives to prepare its graduates for the dynamic professional world that lies ahead. VTHS faculty members Doug Miller and Aaron Kiedes teach courses that not only utilize state-of-the-art technology and industry-grade materials within the classroom, but also blend certain projects across curriculums to offer students unique technical experiences. Currently, Miller’s graphic design class and Kiedes’ engineering class are collaborating their shared skills and areas of expertise, so that students can design and create their own apps from the ground up. This collaborative process closely replicates the partnership of Apple’s own computer programming and design staff members. Miller noted that the hometown connection made between Len Rinaldi and his students “drives home a vision of success that starts in a seat, in a classroom, at Vernon Township High School.” He added, “Rinaldi reinforced the idea that students can create their own luck by working hard.”

An exemplar of the proven rewards that hard work and dedication can engender, Rinaldi demonstrates that great success is accessible for Vernon graduates like himself. Echoing the words of Vernon’s faculty members, Rinaldi advised students to become lifelong learners and repeatedly urged them “to get as much education as you possibly can.” Profitable careers develop from invested intellect and unyielding self-motivation that refuses to give in or give up. To succeed, one must think big, “think different,” and the fruits of your labor will pay off…you might even find yourself an Apple.

Proposed Grade Reconfiguration

Re-configuration of Grades for VTSD Meeting

Date: February 7, 2017

Time: 7pm


On Thursday, January 19th 2017 the Superintendent of VTSD, Art DiBenedetto, presented his vision for the reconfiguration of schools to the public. See the following presentation for more information.

Thinking Out of the Row from Matt Shea


Tech Museum Tuesday Night

2016-12-14 13.58.08The VTHS Tech Club presents our Technology Museum. Bring your family Tuesday, January 24th from 5-8pm at the VTHS lower library!

There are interactive displays – play an Atari and Genesis! See technology dating back to 1935 including phones, 8 Track Tapes, computers, cameras, gaming consoles and more!

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