Dear Cedar Mountain Families…

Congratulations to Cedar Mountain’s Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional of the Year…

Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Horn

This year we congratulate Mrs. Horn, kindergarten teacher and Mrs. Nelson, Math Coach as our Teachers of the Year. Both teachers exemplify excellence in education and serve as exceptionally skilled and dedicated teachers. Mrs. Horn and Mrs. Nelson demonstrate leadership and innovation in our school. Mrs. Horn and Mrs. Nelson have the respect and admiration of students, faculty, staff, and parents. We are so proud to honor both deserving teachers!

It is amazing to realize that we are already in the month of December! Here are some highlights of activities that have taken place or are upcoming at “The Mountain”….

Trimester One report cards will be issued Friday, December 14. Thank you for signing the envelope of your child’s report card. If you have questions regarding the rubric grades (a scale of 1-4) your child has earned, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher. 

On Wednesday, December 19, our students will be treated to a Winter Concert by the Glen Meadow Middle School band, choir, and orchestra. Please sign the permission slip that was sent home last week. We will walk across the field at approximately 9:40, we will return to the building at approximately 11:15. We thank Glen Meadow Middle School for inviting us to this very special event!


Mrs.O’Keefe reads her favorite winter storybook called A Snowman Named Just Bob to classes this month. Here she is with Mrs. Megnin’s class. Students enjoy the stuffed animal versions of “Bob” from the storybook! This is a magical story with illustrations that capture the wonder of a first, unexpected snowfall–and the joy of friendship. 


Mrs. O’Keefe Reading to Mrs. Megnin’s Class

Students in Mrs. Barone’s class are practicing critical computer skills using Typing Agent while writing Wish Lists to Santa. Through the Macy’s annual Make a Wish campaign students are writing a note with a wish, a note with a personal wish, a note telling Santa how they celebrate the holidays, or telling Santa how someone or something makes their holiday magical.  Here is a link if you would like your child to do this at home.

Mrs. Megnin’s students practice their “close read” skills as they read sentences about positional words they are learning in math class. Students must place the Gingerbread Man in his correct spot based on the directions in each sentence.


Introducing Cedar Mountain’s December First-Grade Students of the Month…


Meet: Ayla                                Nickname: Jiggles


Sport:     Basketball                   Food:   Pizza

Book:     Please, Mr. Panda

TV Show: “Tip and Oh”            School Subject: Math and Gym with Miss Gonnelli

Name of Brother: Matteo

Ayla’s teacher, Mrs. Wilson, should know that she loves to help around the house and make people feel better when they are sick!

When Ayla is not in school, she likes to go to her grandparents’ house, ride her bike, and play with her brother, Matteo.

Ayla is really good at cooking with her grandmother and mother.

When Ayla grows up, she wants to build robots.


Meet: Ellie                                 Nickname: Bells


Sport:     Hip Hop                      Food:   Clams

Singer: Luke Bryan

Book:     The Little Girl who Lost Her Name

TV Show: “Descendants”          School Subject: Reading

Name of Sister and Brother: Shea and Jack

Ellie’s teacher, Mrs. Rogers, should know that she loves books!

When Ellie is not in school, she likes to play on her iPad.

Ellie is really good at school.

When Ellie grows up, she wants to be a singer.


Meet: Logan                              Nickname: Lolo


Sport:     Baseball                       Food:   Chicken

Book:     On My Very First School Day I Met…

TV Show: “Amazing World of Gumball”        

School Subject: Math

Name of Brothers and Sisters: Gabby, Alex, and Jordan

Logan’s teacher, Mrs. Giangrande, should know that he really works hard.

When Logan is not in school, he likes to play video games and play outside.

Logan is really good at building Legos.

When Logan grows up, he wants to live in Florida.


Meet: Joseph                  Nickname: Joey


Sport:     Soccer                         Food:   Pizza

Singer: Weezer                           Book:  Dragons Love Tacos

TV Show: “Sponge Bob”          School Subject: Gym with Miss Gonnelli

Name of Brother: Ian (his identical twin)

Joseph’s teacher, Mrs. Talerico and Mrs. Ollert, should know that he loves his classwork, but he loves recess the most!

When Joseph is not in school, he likes to watch TV, play football, play soccer, and play Mario Kout 8.

Joseph is really good at mini-golf and swimming.

When Joseph grows up, he wants to be a police officer and a pizza man.


Meet: Marc                    


Sport:     Soccer                         Food:   Tacos

Singer: Ross Ellis                       Book:  Pete the Cat’s Loose Tooth

TV Show: “Bunk’d”                  School Subject: Math

Name of Brother: Mason

Marc’s teacher, Mrs. Vanadia, should know that he likes to learn!

When Marc is not in school, he likes to play with trucks, ride his bike and scooter, and go to work with his dad.

Marc is really good at school.

When Marc grows up, he wants to be a fireman.


Meet: Cassandra                        Nickname: Cassy


Sport:     Softball                       Food:   Hot Dogs

Singer: Bruno Mars                    Book:  Paw Patrol

Movie: “Lion King”                  School Subject: Science and Gym with Miss Gonnelli

Name of Sister and Brother: Mackenzie (her twin) and Kyler

Cassy’s teacher, Mrs. Hartman, should know that she loves animals, playing sports, and riding her two-wheeler.

When Cassy is not in school, she likes to play with her sister and friends, read, color and paint, be outside and walk her dogs.

Cassy is really good at art, playing sports, riding her bike and scooter.

When Cassy grows up, she wants to be a firefighter like her mommy and daddy and be an architect so she can make buildings.


Meet: Cole                               


Sport:     Football                       Food:   Sandwiches

Singer/Song: AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”

Book:     Dinosaurs

Movie: “Juassic World”             School Subject: Math

Name of Sisters: Peyton (his twin sister) and Makenlee

Cole’s teacher, Mrs. Talerico and Mrs. Ollert, should know that he loves baseball, football, and is excited to try golf;  he likes basketball, “side by siding”, and skiing. Cole really wants to try dirt biking! Phew…what an athlete!

When Cole is not in school, he likes to play sports, video games, play laser tag, go swimming, go “side by siding”, and art.

Cole is really good at laser trap and laser tag.

When Cole grows up, he wants to be an innovator.


Meet: Ava                                 Nickname: “Valellope vonSchweetz”


Sport:     Gymnastics                 Food:   Cherries

Singer: Jojo Siwa                       Book:  The Day the Crayons Came Home

TV Show: “Teen Titans Go!”    School Subject: Math

Name of Brother: Logan

Ava’s teacher, Mrs. Megnin, should know that she really likes how funny she is; Mrs. Megnin is Ava’s favorite teacher!

When Ava is not in school, she likes to paint, draw, and dance.

Ava is really good at math.

When Ava grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian.


Meet: Molly                              Nickname: Cakes


Sport:     Gymnastics                 Food:   Mac and Cheese

Singer: Katy Perry                     Book:  Elf on the Shelf

TV Show: “Descendants”          School Subject: Art with Mrs. Docherty

Name of Sisters: Lyla, Sadie, and Heidi

Molly’s teacher, Mrs. Barone, should know that she loves doing word searches, reading books, drawing pictures, and having dance parties.

When Molly is not in school, she likes to go tubing on her pontoon boat, play on her trampoline, ride her bike, and play with her friends.

Molly is really good at riding bikes.

When Molly grows up, she wants to be a teacher.


Meet: Gabriella                         Nickname: Gabby


Sport:     Gymnastics                 Food:   Pizza

Singer: Taylor Swift                  Book:  Meet the Pikmi Pops

TV Show: “Super Monsters”     School Subject: Music with Mr. Moschella

Name of Brothers: Lucas and Ryder

Gabriella’s teacher, Mrs. Novak, should know that she is really nice.

When Gabriella is not in school, she likes to play.

Gabriella is really good at doing cartwheels and splits.

When Gabriella grows up, she wants to be a teacher.



Meet: Kailey                             Nickname: “KK”


Sport:     Soccer                         Food:   Pizza

Singer: Jimmy Buffett               Book:  Pigeon Wants a Puppy

Movie: “Rapunzel”                    School Subject: Science

Name of Soon-to-Be-Brother: William (Billy, Jr.)…due very soon!

Kailey’s teacher, Mrs. Battista, should know that she loves to come to school, participating in class, and helping her classmates.

When Kailey is not in school, she likes to go to dance class, play sports, play with her toys, read Pigeon books, and watch football with her daddy.

Kailey is really good at helping others.

When Kailey grows up, she wants to be a teacher.


Meet: Gabriel                            Nickname: Gabe


Sport:     Soccer                         Food:   Spaghetti and Meatballs

Singer: Jack Hartman                Book:  Fly Guy’s Ninja Christmas

TV Show: “Minions”                 School Subject: Reading

Name of Brother and sister: Michael (his identical twin), Natalia, Claudia

Gabriel’s teacher, Mrs. Start, should know that he works hard and does his very best in school.

When Gabriel is not in school, he likes to play with his brother, Michael, and sisters Natalia and Claudia, and have story time with his mother.

Gabriel is really good at math.

When Gabriel grows up, he wants to be an art teacher.

Peppermint the Elf Visits Mrs. Zinni and Miss LaBar’s Class! 

Mrs. Zinni and Miss LaBar’s class has been visited by an elf called Peppermint. Peppermint encourages students to do good deeds and acts of kindness. Students are learning the importance of the ways they can think of others in simple ways. Here are some things that the elf named Peppermint asked the students to do:

Alana: “He asked us to make hug coupons for our family”

Noah:  “He asked us to play with someone new at recess.”

Zaniyah: “ He asked us to sit by someone new during lunch.”

Rocky: “He asked us to sharpen pencils and share them with another class”

Adrianna: “He asked us to deliver candy canes to people who help us.”

Haley: “ He asked us to give people a compliment”

Michael: “He asked us to cards to our special teachers.”

Troy:  “ He asked us to share bookmarks and pencils with another class.”

Introducing Miss Christine Malloy

Miss Malloy

Miss Malloy will be covering for Mrs. Giangrande for the next few months. Miss Malloy has recently completed her student teaching with Mrs. Talerico and Mrs.Ollert and will be graduating very soon from William Paterson University with a certification in Elementary and Special Education. Miss Malloy has been on the Dean’s list multiple semesters during her undergraduate years. Miss Malloy has a lot of experience through her practicums in the field of Early Childhood. What brought Miss Malloy into this field was spending a lot of time with her younger cousin with special needs.  She began to volunteer for the local “Challenger League.” Miss Malloy worked with her cousin and other students with special needs in different sports throughout the year.  This led Miss Malloy to become a Job Coach within a transition program at a local high school. Miss Malloy found that helping and watching each student develop personal success is so rewarding! We welcome Miss Malloy to Cedar Mountain!

Our kindergarten and first graders are certainly growing readers at Cedar Mountain. Avid, excited, motivated readers to be exact…

In our kindergarten classrooms, readers have been learning how to make text-to-self-connections and text-to-text connections as they read and listen to stories. This strategy of making connections helps readers to better understand how a character feels in a story and why they react or don’t react a certain way to situations that arise.

In our first grade classrooms, readers have been learning to notice their thoughts in a deeper way as they read. We use the mantra “Reading is Thinking” on a daily basis.  Students have focused on making connections, noticing when we learn something new and asking questions when something is confusing or not clear.  We’ve talked about listening to our inner voice as it says things like “Wow, I never knew that fact!” or “This reminds me of when…” and “I wonder how…” Students have been taught the technique to visualization to help “see” a story in our mind. When readers use these strategies and notice their thinking, their comprehension deepens.

Cedar Mountain Primary School art students will be engaged in creating artwork with a winter theme.  Kindergarten students are creating their own unique mittens.  Learning a stitchery technique (the whip-stitch) on tag board mittens that the students designed and cut provide an introduction to fiber arts. Next, sampling another type of fiber art, kindergarten students will learn to weave with paper strips.  They will learn to rule lines at even intervals as they make the warp into which the colored strips will be woven.   First-grade students will learn how to create “anatomically correct” (six-sided) paper snowflakes; each one will be as unique and special as the child who makes it.  Look for our mittens on our tree in the main lobby. Next, first graders will learn about brushstrokes and painting techniques (including splatter painting) as they work with tempera paint to create real or imaginary snow creatures. Later in the winter, first-grade students will use dry pastels to create a snowscape that is reminiscent of the mountain view from the front of our school, learning about background, foreground, and perspective.  Then they will learn about birds that are seen in our area in winter as they practice their representational drawing skills on the birds that they choose to be in the foreground of their scenes. I will be displaying students’ artwork on a wall in my office that will be the focal point when people walk in. 

Our next SCA meeting will take place on Monday, January 7, at 9:45 am. At January’s meeting, Mr. Brendan Maurice, School Counselor, will go over his program at our meeting.  Here are our upcoming SCA activities:

Holiday Shoppe: Monday-Wednesday, December 10th-12th Your child can shop for small items for every family member. A flier and an envelope to place your child’s money were sent home.

Cookies with Santa: Tuesday, December 18th at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm- SchoolCraft will be with us to take pictures with Santa. Here is a link to the flier

Outdoor Recess: As a reminder, our students will go outside for recess as long as the temperature stays about 25 degrees. Please make sure your child wears a warm coat, hat, and gloves daily in preparation for playing outside. We try as often as possible in the winter months to have our students go outside for physical activity.

As we settle into the winter months, I would like to remind you to update your personal information in our Genesis database. It is important for you to be informed of emergency school closings, early dismissals or delayed openings. If you did not receive a call, text or email from last month’s test of SchoolMessenger, this means you are not signed up for this program. Please call the main office at 973-764-2890, if you need assistance creating an account for School Messenger. You can also find our school closings, delayed openings, and early dismissals on the main page of the VTSD site.

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!

It is an honor to work with your children…wishing you a wonderful holiday season!


Rosemary Gebhardt