Dear Parents and Guardians,

Introducing our May First-Grade Students of the Month


First Grade May Students of the Month


Lucas: Lucas’ nickname is Lu; this is what his parents and sister, Lillian, call him. Lucas’ favorite sport is hockey and his favorite food is Mexican food. Lucas likes to listen to the music of Sixx: A.M. Lucas’ favorite book is Captain Underpants. Lucas likes the show “Loud House”. Lucas enjoys math; it’s his favorite subject in school. Lucas enjoys spending his free time playing hockey or playing “hallway hockey”. Lucas is really good at making people happy and laugh. Someday, Lucas wants to become a hockey player.

Danica: Danica is a new student at Walnut Ridge; her nickname is “Danny Jo”. Danica has a big family; she has two sisters and one brother named Anthony, Alanna, and Hailey. Her favorite food is tacos. Danica likes to listen to the music of Taylor Swift.  Danica likes to watch “Maggie and Bianca Fashion Friends” on TV. Danica’s favorite book is Unicorn and the Witch. Danica’s favorite subject in school is science. When Danica is not in school, she likes to play on her trampoline in her backyard. When Danica grows up, she dreams of becoming a singer.

Joseph: Joseph’s nickname is “Smiley”…as soon as you see Joseph; you’d instantly know how he got that name! Joseph has one sister named Samantha. Joseph’s favorite sport is karate; he’s really good at this sport. His favorite food is tacos. Joseph enjoys all Pete the Cat books; they are his favorites. Joseph’s favorite subject in school is computers and math. Joseph likes to watch various shows that he finds on YouTube. Joseph wants everyone to know that he loves school!! When Joseph is not in school, he likes to play video games, watch TV and “hang out” with his sister. When Joseph grows up, he wants to make YouTube videos.

Zachary: Zachary’s nickname is Zach. Zachary has two siblings, Dylan and Skyler. Zachary’s favorite sport is basketball. He loves to eat donuts; these are his favorite food! Zachary likes to listen to the music of Bruno Mars. His favorite book is Mo Willems’ book Elephant and Piggy. Zachary’s favorite TV show is “Crashletes”. Zachary is very good at math; it’s his best subject at school. Something that everyone should know about Zachary is that he is a very kind person (who has a great smile!). When Zachary is not in school, he enjoys riding his bike. Zachary is really good at playing soccer. Someday, Zachary hopes to become a firefighter.

Cameron: Cameron’s nickname is “Cam Dog”! It’s what his parents and brother Hunter and sister Isabel call him at home. Cameron is really good at playing soccer, it’s his favorite sport. If Cameron could pick one food he would eat all the time it would be stuffed peppers! Cameron likes to listen to the music of Justin Timberlake. His favorite book is Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop. Cameron watches “Troll Hunters” when he has some free time. His best subject in school is math and he wants his teacher, Mrs. Barone, to know he just loves this subject. When Cameron is not in school, he enjoys spending time with his family at the park. Cameron is a great reader. Cameron’s goal is to become a science teacher.

Heather: Heather has one sister named Amanda. Heather’s favorite sport is gymnastics. Her favorite food is pizza. Her favorite singer is Justin Sartorius. She loves the book Green Eggs and Ham. During her free time, Heather likes to watch “Thundermans” on TV. Her favorite subject is math. Something she wants her teacher, Mrs. Hyche, know is that she loves her math lessons and she will really miss her next year. When Heather is at home, she likes to jump on her trampoline and play with her sister, Amanda. Amanda hopes to be an engineer when she grows up, it must because of her love of math!

Payton: Payton’s nickname is “Shuggy”; this is what her parents, siblings, Aden and Shay, call her at home. Payton’s favorite sport is cheerleading; she is also a good runner.  Payton loves eating pizza! Her favorite singer is Charlie Puth. Payton loves Dr. Seuss books, her favorite is The Cat in the Hat. Payton has beautiful penmanship! When Payton is at home, she likes to watch “Liv and Maddie” on TV. Payton’s favorite subject is math. Something that Payton wants everyone to know about her is that she is very athletic. During her free time, Payton likes to play on her trampoline. When Payton grows up, she hopes to become a teacher like Mrs. Rogers.

Rory: Rory’s nickname is “Ror”; it’s what her mom, dad, and sister, Rylee, call her at home. Rory likes to play any sport with a ball. Rory’s favorite food is everything! Rory’s favorite song is “Shut up and dance with me”. Her favorite books is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Rory enjoys every subject in school; they are all her favorites. Rory loves school very much. When Rory is at home she likes to play school, use her iPad, play outside, and color, too. Rory is really good in her Fundations class and especially enjoys reading words with digraphs in them (like sh, and ch). When Rory grows up, she hopes to be tall!

Chace: Chace’s nickname is “Chacey-Face”, this is what his family calls him at home. Chace has one sister named Livia. Chace loves to play football; it’s his favorite sport. Chace’s favorite food is pizza and his favorite TV show is “Henry Danger”. Chace loves books on the topic of the Army. Chace is really good at solving math problems, this is also his favorite subject. Chace likes to cook with his mom. Chace is really good at building things with Legos. When Chace grows up, he hopes to become a police officer.


Maypole Dance: Here is a photo of one of our first-grade classes dancing the Maypole Dance. Traditionally, the Maypole Dance is danced to celebrate the season of spring.

Mr. Piontkowski has expertly organized our annual Fun Day that will take place as follows (rain dates if needed May 18th and May 19th):

First Grade: Tuesday, May 16th

Kindergarten: Wednesday, May 17th 

Preschool: Thursday, May 25th

To help make this day extra special, the SCA has purchased Fun Day t-shirts for all students, faculty, and staff; we thank the SCA for their generosity! Please carefully read all information that was sent home regarding this day to ensure that your child is properly dressed so he or she may fully enjoy the day. Thank you, Mr. Piontkowski, for organizing a fun-filled day for our students! We also thank our SCA volunteers who will be assisting at the game stations.

Artstanding III will take place on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, at 5:30 pm, at Lounsberry Hollow Middle School. This is a district-wide event that will have a large sampling of fine and performing arts on display throughout the Lounsberry campus. You will see artwork, music, theatrics, technology, and robotics, just to name a few, on display. Mrs. Docherty has collected multiple pieces of student artwork to showcase at this event. Mr. Moschella will be leading students in using djembe drums and Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Kellish will be demonstrating some of the coding activities our students participate in the Media Center and computer class. This is a wonderful family event. 

Kindergarten Patriotic Sing-Along– will take place on Tuesday, May 30. 2017, at 10:10 am. All kindergarten parents are welcome to attend. Please bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on the back lawn of Walnut Ridge Primary School and enjoy the patriotic performance.

Our Kindergarten Field Trip to the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ, will be held on May 23, 25, and 26, 2017. Our kindergarten students will spend the day at stations authentically created to increase their understanding and knowledge about farms. The program, designed by former primary school teachers who are also members of farm families, is fun and educational. All of the stations and activities take place under pavilions, so we are protected from any inclement weather. Our parent volunteers will assist at one of the stations. Stations are hands-on, and include activities such as planting seeds, helping make scarecrows, sorting vegetables, etc. Parents who are volunteering should arrive directly at the Sussex County Fairgrounds on the day of the trip at 9:30 AM, in their own vehicles. As a reminder, siblings will not be able to attend with parent volunteers. This is another program sponsored by the generosity of the SCA, where the cost of transportation has been defrayed. Information on this trip has been sent home with your child.

SCA Meeting– Our next SCA meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 5, at both 9:30 am AND 7:00 pm. We welcome and encourage all parents to attend our SCA meetings, especially our incoming preschool and kindergarten parents; our SCA provides so many wonderful programs and special activities to all of our students. At this meeting, I will be recapping and highlighting the year and introducing our new 2017-2018 SCA officers who are as follows:

President: Mrs. Trisha Furman-Leve

Vice President: Ms. Missy Babcock

Recording Secretary: Mrs. Colleen Wehnert

Cooresponding Secretary: Mrs. Shana Tisi

Treasurer: Mrs. Janessa Bases

Hospitality Chair: Mrs. Linda Allen-Poole

Thank you to our outgoing SCA officers:

President: Mrs. Trisha Furman-Leve

Vice President: Ms. Missy Babcock

Recording Secretary: Mrs. Colleen Wehnert

Cooresponding Secretary: Ms. Missy Babcock

Treasurer: Mr. Bill Miller

We thank you for your dedicated service to all Walnut Ridge children!


The SCA will be sponsoring a Mother-Son Night on Saturday, May 27, 2017, at 5:00 pm, at the Skylands Stadium in Augusta, NJ, Route 565, to see a Miners Game and a fireworks show…please access the sign-up form here.

Second Grade Orientation at Rolling Hills Primary School will take place on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at 4:00 pm. Your first-grade child will be receiving an informational flier regarding this event.

A Scholastic Buy One-Get One Free Spring/Summer Book Fair will be held the week of June 12, 2017, in our Media Center.   Evening hours will take place on Tuesday, June 13 and Thursday, June 15, from 5:00 -7:00 pm.You child will browse and create a wish list. Students do not need to bring money to school. A great selection of summer books will be available. Look for Mr. Joseph’s and Mrs. Gebhardt’s favorite picks at the sale.

Hallway Highlights

Mr. Lehrer brought in a lungfish to our library to share with Mrs. Rogers’ class. Mr. Lehrer has named him “Lenny the Lungfish”! Lungfish only live in Africa, South America, and Australia. They are also called the salamanderfish because of their appearance. If you look closely, you will see thin legs that can help the fish “walk”. Lungfish have the ability to breathe air. Students were amazed at this sea creature!


Mrs. Sweeney and her student teacher, Miss Preston, recently conducted science lessons on how plants grow and what is needed for plant growth. Below are pictures of students handling earthworms. Students learned that Worms help to increase the amount of air and water that gets into the soil. They break down organic matter, like leaves and grass into things that plants can use. Earthworms are like free farm help! Students created a “What I Know, What I Want to Learn, and What I Learned” flower (known as a KWL chart)

Mrs. Hyche’s students had to build a “structure taller than an ink stamper”.  Mrs. Hyche’s students discovered that they need a wide base to support our creations.

Mrs. Battista hosted a Mother’s Day Tea in her classroom where students shared poetry, sang, had snacks and honored their mothers. Here is a picture of the portraits each student made for his or her mom. As the mothers left Walnut Ridge their hearts were filled with happiness. I hope all of our mothers, grandmothers, and mother figures had a wonderful Mother’s Day.



As always, let’s keep working together to make sure your child…our students… stay focused, achieve their very best, and stay on the path of excellence as we enter into the final weeks of school!


Rosemary Gebhardt