December 2017

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.”

~Terri Marshall

As I write this month’s Monthly Message, I would be remiss if I did not take the time to acknowledge all of the outstanding community members who assisted us during our recent fire at the high school. Thanks to the prompt response of custodians, teachers, coaches, students, administrators, police officers and firefighters, the fire was contained to one classroom. No one was hurt, only one day of instruction was lost, and the building’s air quality was deemed acceptable for occupancy by Tuesday, December 5th. I am genuinely indebted to so many for their professionalism and hard work!


And now, some additional news from VTHS:


This year’s “What’s Your Anti-Drug?” contest published two entries from Vernon Township High School. Although it was originally incorrectly labeled, Julia Kotkin entered the “My Anti-Drug is Traveling” poster on page 3 and Celeste Levy entered the “Reading is Magical, and far more addictive than Drugs” poster on page 4. Congratulations, Julia and Celeste! Both posters can be seen using the following link:

I would like to congratulate the following students who have been accepted into County Choir this year: Mark Bosma, James Boss, Elisabetta Bracer, David Iarkowski, Sienna Munafo, Ryan Spadafina and Valentine Travaille. We are very proud of this talented choir members!

Congratulations to  Brianne Paragh, who was randomly selected as the winner of a digital camera in a drawing that included all students who had purchased a 2018 VTHS Yearbook prior to Thursday, November 2nd. Congratulations, Brianne!

The Fall Theater Production of “Noises Off!”was remarkable! The cast had the audience in stitches throughout the performance. I would like to thank Mrs. Lindsay McAloney for directing this production and Mr. Mike DeVore and his students for building the amazing set. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Spring Musical, which will be performed on March 22nd, 23rd and 24th!

The newest VTHS National Honor Society members were inducted on November 21st during a very moving ceremony It was a true honor to watch some of our most gifted students receive such a well-deserved honor. I would like to sincerely thank Mrs. Kathy Weyant, our NHS advisor and her committee for working so hard during the selection process.



Thank you

On Wednesday, November 22nd, students from the band, theater and cheerleaders visited Glen Meadow Middle School to show our eighth graders about all of the great things that await them when they attend Vernon Township High School. Many thanks to everyone who worked hard to make this a memorable event!

The Executive SCA would like to thank you for all of your donations for this year’s Ladies Night Out. Thanks to your support, this organization continues to be able to assist our graduating seniors with scholarships.

A sincere thank you to all parents/guardians who supported the Vernon Coalition’s semi-annual PRIDE Student Survey by consenting to give their child the opportunity to participate. The high school had a record-breaking 483 students who completed the survey to provide feedback on the overall school and community climate.

The process of selecting New Jersey Department of Education 2017-2018Governor’s Educator of the Year for VTHS is well underway. I would like to thank everyone who completed a nomination form and entered one of our fine educators into the selection process. We will be announcing our school-level recipients next month.


Some Clarifying Information

A committee of teachers, supervisors and I have been discussing our Mid-Term Schedule for the current school year. Although there has been some concern expressed about the students having to take three exams in one day, I can assure you that this is not the case. (During mid-terms, VTHS will be operating on an early dismissal schedule, but the exact schedule has not yet been determined.) Currently, the end of the second marking period is scheduled for Monday, January 29th, so exams will be scheduled “around” this date, depending upon any school closures for inclement weather. More details will be available in the January edition of the Monthly Message.


Letters for the Activities Removal List (ARL) are currently being processed. Following a review of students’ attendance, grades, conduct and outstanding obligations, some students will be placed on this list and will receive a letter from their assistant principal. (References to the ARL can be found throughout the Student-Parent/Guardian Handbook.) Students will receive a letter if they fall into one or more of the following categories: 2 or more failing grades, 5 absences in the marking period, a 4th administrative intervention or one serious disciplinary situation, and/or outstanding obligations such as missing books, unpaid bills or uniforms that have not been returned at the end of the season. If your child receives an ARL letter and you have questions, please contact the assistant principal. Thank you for assisting us with this important endeavor.

Some Upcoming Events

Be sure to catch our upcoming Choral Winter Concert on Friday, December 8th and our Instrumental Winter Concert on Friday, December 15th! Check the website for details!

PEER Tutoring is now open to 6th , 7th, 8th and 9th graders; it’s available this month on Saturday, December 9th and Saturday, December 16th from 8:30-10:30 am. Please email Ms. LeDuc at to register your child.

The Center for Prevention does so many wonderful things for our community! Please be sure to register for the Above the Influence (ATI) Holiday Game Night being held at the PAL Building on Saturday, December 9th from 6:00-8:00 pm. Contact Conor Brennan at or call 973-764-4276 for further information!

On Wednesday, December 20th the students will attend a virtual “Above the Fray” assembly. That evening, our parents/guardians will have the opportunity to “attend” a virtual parent/guardian presentation at 7:00 pm (EST) from the comfort of their own homes! Please visit for information about this important topic of keeping your children safe while they are online.

Congratulations to our Meistersingers who have been invited to perform at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, December 21st before the Christmas Spectacular! What a wonderful honor!

The Vernon Township School District will be implementing an Early Dismissal Schedule on Friday, December 22nd; the high school will dismiss at 11:20 am on that day.

School will be closed on until Tuesday, January 2nd. Be sure to take some time to rest, relax and reflect on all of your blessings during this holiday season.

Some news from our Athletic Director, Mr. Bill Foley

With the Fall season now complete, 5 out of 7 teams competed in the State Tournament. While we did not see any teams reach the second round, our Field Hockey and Girls Soccer performed very well down the stretch and we look forward to many players returning for next year’s season.

Winter try-outs for wrestling, and girls and boys basketball are now complete. All winter sports are now in full-swing with Winter Track and Skiing starting full practices. Swimming, Bowling and Ice Hockey have been practicing since early November. The Varsity Ice Hockey team opened the season with a 6-4 win over West Morris Central at Skylands and then lost to State ranked(#7) Saint Peters Prep 6-3. The boys and girls swim teams just opened their season against Pope John at Blair Academy and the Bowling teams played first match against Jefferson at Sparta.

Best of luck to all of our student athletes! You make us very proud!

A look ahead…

Mr. Joseph Piccirillo has organized an opportunity for our students to participate in a 3-day job shadow opportunity at NWAC–right here in Vernon! Since we were able to secure a grant for this opportunity, the entire cost will be only $25 per student, which includes equipment rentals and food! It is open to all VTHS students and will be held on Saturday, January 13th, Saturday, January 20th and Saturday, January 27th. Please have your child visit the main office at VTHS for a flyer and permission form.


Thank you for all you do for your children as they attend Vernon Township High School.