Cedar Mountain Saluting the Flag on the First Day of School

We had a great opening at the home of Vernon’s kindergarten and first-grade students. Under beautiful blue skies, faculty and staff began the day by greeting students as they came off their buses and lined up by their teacher. Above is a photo taken by Mrs. Docherty and Miss Winzer from our rooftop as Mrs. Battista’s first-grade class led our school in the flag salute and ringing our school bell to begin the new school year. This has become a very special annual tradition!

If you missed our Back to School Night program, watch the video below to listen to my welcoming comments. 

Please join us for the…

Cedar Mountain Fall Harvest Open House -Saturday, September 15th, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Come enjoy some refreshments, tour our building, explore our curriculum in demonstrations throughout various classrooms, experience the computer lab as your child would in computer class, visit our library and stop at stations from different community organizations. This program has been made available through a generous NJEA Pride grant organized by our Math Coach, Mrs. Nelson. We are very excited to collaborate with the VTEA and NJEA for this special activity.

September SCA meeting: Monday, September 10th, at 9:30 AND 6:30 pm in the cafeteria. Come meet other SCA parents and our new officers to learn how the SCA enhances every students’ experience and how you can get involved in your child’s school. Our meetings are held on the first Monday of every month at 9:30 AND 6:30 pm. Our SCA has planned many events for students and families this year. Please see the CM calendar for a full listing of events. 

 We will be having our Bus Safety Program– Wednesday, September 12th, led by our new School Counselor, Mr. Maurice. Thank you for reinforcing bus safety rules with your children. Every student must wear his or her seatbelt while the bus is in motion. 

School Picture Day– Wednesday, September 19th- fliers will be sent home shortly; there are multiple packages available for purchase.

Principal’s Forum: Please join me along with other building experts for my fall Principal’s Forum on Tuesday, September 25, at 6:30 pm. At the Principal’s Forum, you will hear about ways to stay involved in your child’s education as well as the academic programs at Cedar Mountain.

Spotlight on our new teachers…


Mrs. Dianne Chletsos- Computer Teacher

Mrs. Chletsos been teaching in Vernon for 22 years, recently joining us from Rolling Hills Primary School. In the past, she has taught second and third grade, math intervention, along with computers. Mrs. Chletsos has three little boys James, Christian, and Liam, who will also be starting Kindergarten at CM this year. Mrs. Chletsos enjoy spending time with her family in Vermont during the summer. She and her family love to go fishing, boating, and jet skiing. Mrs. Chletsos is looking forward to meeting all the new kindergarten and first-grade students this year.

Ms. Karen Kusma- Special Education Teacher

Ms. Kusma has lived in Vernon throughout her life, attending Vernon Schools. Ms. Kusma is an alumna of Immaculata University with a degree in both Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Ms. Kusma worked for the Vernon Township School District previously in the Walnut Ridge preschool program as a paraprofessional and a part-time teacher. Ms. Kusma enjoys hiking, reading books, cooking and spending time with family in her spare time. Ms. Kusma is very excited to be at Cedar Mountain and to begin the school year! She is looking forward to creating a classroom community where all students feel welcome, safe, and excited to learn!

Mrs. Nicole Hartman-First Grade Teacher

Mrs. Hartman is thrilled to be a first-grade teacher at Cedar Mountain!   While Mrs. Hartman is new to our school, she’s not new to teaching first grade…  in fact, first-grade is her favorite grade to teach!  When Mrs. Hartman is not at school, she loves to be outside.  Mrs. Hartman enjoys taking walks or going to the lake with her family. She also loves to dance and take Zumba classes on the weekends.   Mrs. Hartman is a reader, she almost always has a book with her.  What Mrs. Hartman is looking forward to the most is sharing her love of books and learning with her students! 

Mr. Brendan Maurice-School Counselor

Mr. Maurice lives in Hackettstown, NJ. Mr. Maurice attended Centenary University graduating with a Masters in School Counseling; he also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the same school. Mr. Maurice’s hobbies include traveling, photography, hiking, and art. As Cedar Mountain’s School Counselor, Mr. Maurice would like us to know how passionate he is about reading; that he has a silly personality that kindergarteners and first graders will enjoy, and that he really enjoys working with animals. Mr. Maurice has worked with a special therapy dog in a previous school. Mr. Maurice is looking forward to working with all of our students and seeing their smiling faces every day.

Mrs. Kristina Megnin-First Grade Teacher

Mrs. Megnin enjoys spending time with her husband, and her puppy named Gracie. Mrs. Megnin and her husband love to hike the Appalachian Trail, followed by ice cream at Dairy Swirl! In her free time, she loves to cook new foods and read great books! Fall is her favorite season! Mrs. Megnin like apple picking, seeing the leaves change colors, and watching the NY GIANTS on Sundays!  Mrs. Megnin grew up in Vernon and was a student in the Vernon Township Schools from kindergarten until senior year. Mrs. Megnin is SO excited to return to Vernon as a teacher!

Mrs. Sherry Polhemus-School Social Worker, CST

Mrs. Polhemus enjoys working in a school environment and loves being a Social Worker.   Mrs. Polhemus has worked with children and families for the past 17 years.   Her interests include cooking, reading, and enjoying the great outdoors.  Her favorite thing to do is spend time with friends and family.  Mrs. Polhemus is so excited to join the Cedar Mountain team!

Mrs. Jaclyn Schwarz-Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Schwarz is excited for her first year of teaching kindergarten at Cedar Mountain! When Mrs. Schwarz is not teaching, she enjoys going for walks and taking photos or going to a sporting event. Mrs. Schwarz loves to read books; this is her favorite part of the day! Mrs. Schwarz cannot wait to share her love of reading and teaching with her new students.

Miss Courtney Waleck-First Grade Teacher

Miss Waleck loves to spend most of her time outdoors. She enjoying taking care of her vegetable garden, hiking, traveling, and golfing. When Miss Waleck is at home, she loves to cook and try out new recipes. When she was growing up, she participated in dance lessons, enjoyed riding her scooter, and loved collecting lightning bugs in the summertime. 

First-Grade Baseline Assessment System (BAS)– At the end of the month, each student in first-grade is will be receiving a one-on-one reading assessment to determine his or her reading level and areas of strength and where a student may require additional support. The Baseline Assessment System is used in the classroom to level reading instruction and teach the student at his or her level. Our kindergarten students will receive their first Baseline Assessment System screening in January 2019. Thank you for continuing to read to and with your child on a daily basis. There will be many opportunities this year for you to learn ways that you can support literacy at home beginning with Reading Night on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018, at 6:00 pm, sponsored by Project Self-Sufficiency.

Please see the Cedar Mountain Digital Backpack for other important school information and the many forms that were distributed at Back to School Night.

This first day of school picture says it all…

Smiling Kindergarten Faces

Our year is off to a great start! I hope to see you at our school events…

Mrs. Gebhardt