Dear Parents and Guardians:

December is the season for remembering…for this blog post, I will be featuring some very talented students and teachers alike. Enjoy reading about some of the accomplishments of those at Glen Meadow. I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

Meet the Youngest Eagle Scout in New Jersey: Congratulations to 8th-grader Paul Mele who recently earned the Boy Scout rank of Eagle Scout. During the summer of 2019, Paul handmade several benches for the parks of Vernon. During Paul’s speech that he gave, Paul spoke about the importance of giving back to the community; his project demonstrates his leadership and commitment to our community. We are very proud of Paul!

Meet the Actresses and Actors who performed in theaters in our local community theaters:  As many of you know, Vernon has a positive reputation for having an outstanding music, fine, and performing arts program. So many of the students in our arts programs perform outside of our school district. Below is a sampling of some very talented middle schoolers performing at the Newton Theater, the Cornerstone Theater in Sussex, and the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center in Warwick, NY.

Meet Juliette Fornino who plays Clara in “The Nutcracker” at Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center

Meet Caterina Dorsey and Joey Delaney who were in the ensemble in the production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Cornerstone Theater

Meet Alyssa Doughty and Liam Kelter who were in the production of Elf, Jr. at The Newton Theater. Alyssa played the part of Jovie and Liam played the part of Charlie


November Physical Education Students of the Month:

Congratulations to…

6th grade: Angel Zapata and Dylan Seidner

7th grade: Sophia Avila and Matt Bauman

8th grade: Skyler Hammer and Luke Zabriskie

These students represent the spirit of sportsmanship and giving it their all in Physical Education class. They serve as role models for their peers.


6th Grade:

Dylan Seidner

Dylan is a dancer and has been for 7 years already. She loves almost all sorts of dance (she prefers to skip tap) and you can see her talented moves at “Simply Dance”, the studio owned by her Mom. Dance obviously runs in her family. When she’s not dancing, she is an amazing person to have as a friend (quite a few girls have reported that to me!) and she loves to hang out and cuddle with her 2 mixed breed dogs. 

Angel Zapata

Angel is an all-around athlete and student who loves to run and swim competitively as well as enjoying art and his social studies classes. As competitive as he might seem, he still remains kind to his fellow students, and always plays by the rules. 

7th Grade:

Sophia Avila

Sophia comes to class every day ready to work with a great attitude and the initiative to help others. Her participation is exceptional and always gives her best. She is wonderful to have in class.

Matt Bauman 

Matt is an amazing athlete that demonstrates excellent effort, cooperation, and sportsmanship. He is always prepared, on time, and willing to learn. He makes class fun and enjoyable.

8th Grade:

Skyler Hammer 

Skyler makes every effort to be a well rounded and conscientious student who is always exceeding our expectations. She is a person her peers look to as an example and makes having her in class a wonderful experience for all. 

Luke Zabriskie 

Luke is an excellent athlete who demonstrates the qualities of a team player. Luke makes everyone feel included and does an incredible job making his actions speak louder than words by the way he displays kindness to everyone.

VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest: Glen Meadow submitted over 100 essays to the annual VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest, this year writing on the topic, “What Makes America Great?”. Congratulations to Olivia Cilli, 6th grader, who won at the Sussex and Warren County District Level and Julia Paton, 7th grader, who won for the Local Level. Olivia and Julia will be honored at the December 19th Board of Education meeting.




December “Scope” Magazine Writing Contest: Mrs. Basso and Mrs. Zaremba’s students have been working on developing “hooks” to grab their readers’ attention and citing textual evidence from a variety of sources to support their ideas about a thirteen-year-old girl named Jordan who has a limb difference.  The “Scope” Magazine contest requirement has students focusing on Jordan’s mission.  Students must use text evidence to show how she is accomplishing her desire to help others embrace their own differences and feel comfortable interacting with people with limb differences. Here are a few exceptional entries of this contest. Please click the links below to read each essay.

Devon’s essay

Paige’s essay

Gia’s essay

Jordan’s essay

Students to Make a Presentation at the next Board of Education Meeting: At the next Public Board of Education meeting, on Thursday, December 19, at 7:00 pm, students Ty Mountain, Marissa DeVelez, and Michael Evanick will be reading their Patriot’s Pen essays to the Board of Education. Their poems were also sent to the VFW for local and state judging. In addition, five of Mrs. Ragone’s 8th grade Language Arts students, Emily Minteer, Erin McDonough, Morgan Gandy, Duke Staley, and Erin Collins will be reading the poem they wrote as their interpretation of the poem “Concord Hymn” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In addition, Mrs. Mitchell’s Language Arts students will be speaking about the novels they are writing using the site – which stands for National November Writing Month. We’ll see Shane Dunbar, Luka Savytskyy, Katherine Wood, Sean Allen-Poole, Caitlyn Jensen, and Elizabeth Peek speak about their stories.

Candy-Cane-O-Grams: The Glen Meadow National Junior Honor Society members sold Candy-Cane-O-Grams this month for students to send a holiday message to a friend, teacher, or support staff. The proceeds of the Candy-Cane-O-Grams went to the Giving Tree program.  

Congratulations to the Glen Meadow Teacher of the Year and Educational Support Professional of the Year!

Teacher of the Year…Mrs. Renee Kepfinger: Mrs. Kepfinger is an exceptionally skilled and dedicated professional who inspires students to learn; demonstrates leadership and innovation; and has the respect of parents, administrators, and colleagues. Renee’s drive to meet students’ individual needs and inspire them to self-advocate is exceptional. She patiently reteaches and flexibly shifts pedagogical methods in the midst of a lesson with students’ growth areas in mind.

Educational Support Professional: Ms. Terri Yost: Ms. Yost engenders a love of reading with all of her students; Ms. Yost is extremely well-read! Ask her about an author, series, or genre and she has read it.  She helps all students build new knowledge by inquiring, thinking critically, identifying problems, and developing strategies for solving problems.  She facilitates student learning, interpretation, and development of new understandings in their world. It is awe-inspiring watching her day-to-day with our hundreds of students and how she gets to know the nuances of each student and his or her literacy preferences. Ms. Yost demonstrates an understanding of and commitment to inclusiveness and respect for diversity in our learning community.

Congratulations to Mr. Kieran Killeen for being selected as the NJ Herald Field Hockey Coach of the Year! Mr. Killeen, along with his Assistant Coach, Mrs. Laurie Studley, led Vernon to an eight-win, 1st division title in 25 years! Mr. Killeen teaches his athletes life lessons on and off the field. He is a model coach that promotes playing hard and strategic but also the importance of demonstrating great sportsmanship. Mr. Killeen is also an extraordinary Physical Education teacher that models “The Glen Meadow Way” for all students…Respect Yourself and Others, Take Responsibility for Your Actions, and Reach Your 100%.

Meet the Glen Meadow Teachers who were selected by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (5th Congressional District) as a New Jersey Hometown Hero.  Hometown Heroes are people recognized for their outstanding contributions to the 5th Congressional District. These Glen Meadow teachers exemplify the shared Jersey Values that make North Jersey such a special place to live and work. The Fifth District Hometown Heroes Awards are presented to neighbors, business leaders, first responders, teachers, children, seniors, and community leaders to recognize their commitment to bettering the lives of other Jersey residents and families.  Here is a link to the full NJ Herald article. Congratulations to the teachers below who were recognized on Monday, December 16th:


Mrs. Schmidt

Mr. Oakes

Ms. Grimaldi

Mrs. Lopez

Ms. Yost

Mrs. Amato

Mrs. Vaszlavik

2019-2020 Yearbook online order form is open: If you would like your child to purchase a 19-20 yearbook, please click this link to place your order. The cost of the yearbook is $30.00. You can customize your child’s yearbook for an additional fee (student name, etc).

Tech-Free Tuesdays and Thursdays at Glen Meadow: Recently, I have put in a tech-free initiative to take place every Tuesday in lunch and once-a-month on Thursdays that students NOT use their laptop. Please talk to you child about this, take some time to have a conversation about screen time and how minimizing screen time can be a good thing. We are hoping that during these tech-free times students can practice working on very important soft skills such as

making eye contact and having conversations with other humans!! On these days, we are hoping to promote balance! Learning when to use tech and when not to use tech is a skill itself!

The IT Department will also be unveiling their upcoming Parent TechCamp coming up on the evening of Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 6:30 pm, at Vernon Township High School.  Any parent of a child with a cell phone is encouraged to attend! Here is the link to the program with additional details.

Here is a synopsis of the program:

“Join us for an informational night to hear about the dangers and pitfalls of the digital world your child lives in and leave with the knowledge and parental tools to keep your child safe! Vernon Township School District is hosting this event to partner with parents to help keep our children safe. Our special guest speaker, Detective Tom Laird from the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, will share what every parent needs to know about cyberbullying, sexting, and the law. Then some of Vernon’s own tech specialists will share some Internet Safety best practices as well! We have even arranged a program for your K-5 children with our Key Club from the High School so parents can attend the TechCamp while their children learn about Internet Safety with fun activities!”

Coming in January: The SCA is bringing the program called “Screenagers” to Glen Meadow on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 (snow date, January 22), at 6:30 pm. Check out the Screenagers link to learn more about this program. This program is an award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, and academics. The film offers solutions on how we can help our kids navigate the digital world. This is a must-see for all parents. Students will watch the program during the day, parents and guardians are welcome to the evening program.

AP Corner from Mrs. MacDougall…

Weekly Goals Recap: In December, students heard messages about “New Year’s resolutions in December”.  These included waiting for teachers to dismiss students after the bell rings, using proper language when talking with friends in the hallway, lunchroom, and recess, and the importance of listening to announcements from faculty and staff in the cafeteria and during homeroom.  Reminders to leave backpacks, including string-bags in lockers was also announced.  

What’s New in 2020: During the New Year we will continue to focus on goals towards all students following The Glen Meadow Way and Reaching Your 100%Students, faculty, and staff will focus on the 3 Ps: Prepared-Productive-Positive.  Each week, an aspect of these goal words will be highlighted during morning announcements.  Having materials for class, how to positively interact in the hallway during passing times, and appropriate dress will be a few areas that will be included in this initiative.   Be sure to ask your student what the goal is for each week.  

Glen Meadow Behavior Committee: Faculty and staff at Glen Meadow believe life-long learning also includes behavior.   This committee will be looking at current practices and procedures and ways to streamline how we do things related to student behavior and expectations at Glen Meadow.   In 2020, we will be revamping hallway passes and rules and procedures related to best use of the in-school suspension room.   

 As always, thank you for your support of these initiatives that will help everyone at Glen Meadow reach their 100%.  Best wishes for a happy holiday season and wonderful year ahead in 2020! 

And Finally…some upcoming events…

Winter Concert for the Orchestra and Choir: Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 6:30, in the Glen Meadow auditorium SNOW DATE WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON!

SCA Meeting: Wednesday, December 18, 2019, at 9:30 am

Early Dismissal Day: Wednesday, December 20, 2019

School Resumes: Thursday, January 2, 2020

School Closed: Monday, January 20, 2020

Marking Period 2 Ends: Thursday, January 23, 2020

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

Rosemary Gebhardt