A Monthly Message from VTHS

February 2018


“February is the border between winter and spring.”

~Terri Guillemets


Welcome to February!


We have much to celebrate at Vernon Township High School:


Congratulations to Matthew Charuka, who plays the bass clarinet, and Ryan Shinall, who plays the trombone; those young men auditioned and were accepted into the 2018 Region 1-All Northern New Jersey Symphonic Band. We are very proud of these two fine band students!


During the weekend of January 16th, the VTHS Theatre students competed at Montclair University in the Speech and Theatre Arts of NJ (STANJ) competition against 27 other NJ schools–a total of 800 students!

Ethan Metz won the Senior Scholarship, beating out all other NJ seniors who performed!

Ethan Metz and Frank Incarnato placed top ten for their Improvisation and placed 4th for their Comedic Scene.


During the weekend of January 13th and 14th, the VTHS Thespian Troupe traveled to Robbinsville High School to compete in the New Jersey State Thespian Festival. The troupe brought home 18 medals and a 1st place trophy! The following students earned Superior:

Superior- Monologue- Rhett Presti

Superior- Monologue- Kaitlyn Kawko

Superior- Tech Theatre Rigging- Hannah Mitchell

Superior- Contrasting Monologue- Ethan Metz

Superior- Musical Solo- Ryan Spadafina

Superior- Musical Solo- Mike Tlatelpa

Superior- Musical Solo- Grace Logue

Superior- Musical Solo- Alex Bisanzio

Superior- Duet Scene- Ethan Metz and Frank Incarnato

Superior- Musical Duet- Mike Tlatelpa and Hailey Minter

Superior -Tech Theatre Quick Change- Kristen Flaherty

1st place- Technical Olympics – Kristen Flaherty, Zoe Heath, Katelyn MacLean,                                                                                              Hannah Mitchell and Olivia Monahan

We would like to offer our most sincere congratulations to all of these talented students and our thanks to our gifted and hardworking Performing Arts Theater Director, Mrs. Lindsay McAloney!


Vernon Township High School held its eighth annual Poetry Out Loud competition on Friday, January 12th; the event was beautifully coordinated by Mrs. Kathy Weyant. A new winner, freshman Reyna Whitty, recited The Layers by Stanley Kunitz. Sidney Sparta, a sophomore, earned second place and Zoe Heath, one of our seniors, earned third place. Miss Whitty will compete in the Regional Poetry Out Loud competition in the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown in February. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Wayne Bardowell, Blake Harrsch, Hannah Kolonoski, Alyssa Kozdron, Ethan Metz, Michael Miranda, Val Sheehan, Caly Simeone and Sam Yanchuck.


Congratulations to the Vernon Vikings Varsity hockey team who won their second straight Sussex Cup! Be sure check out the Vernon Township High School Athletic Calendar and take some time during 2018 to cheer on all of our teams and support our amazing athletes!


On Saturday, January 27th, seventeen VTHS students participated in the HOSA Future Health Professionals Northern Regional Conference at Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne. There were over 650 students competing in Health Science, Health Professions, and Leadership events. Our students competed in 9 different categories under Health Science and Leadership. Three of our students placed in the top eight for their event and were recognized on stage at the awards ceremony:

Prepared Speaking – Julia Kotkin – 5th place

Prepared Speaking – Hannah Locasio – 8th place

Medical Law & Ethics – Will Jurewicz – 6th place

Miss Kotkin also qualified to go on to the state competition in March! In addition to the competitive events at Regionals, there are other events held only at the state conference for which some of our students are preparing, so we will also have a Vernon contingent at the state competition. These students and their advisor will be using their combined experience to prepare for the state competition and to strategize and plan for next year.

According to Mrs. Ann Kuplin, our HOSA Advisor, our students looked very professional and presented themselves admirably. They were certainly a credit to VTHS and we are all extremely proud of each of them!


The Pre-K students from Walnut Ridge spent some time at the high school in January to participate in CTE projects aligned to their Tools of the Mind curriculum. This was an amazing event as we witnessed the oldest students from the Vernon Township School District working with our youngest students. Everyone was very impressed with our CTE students and I was very proud to witness such an impressive collaborative effort.


VTHS graduate Megan Kleeshulte, a biological anthropologist, discussed the real-world  practice of Forensics with Mr. Kelsey Falkowski’s Criminal Justice class, Mrs. Anna Kuplin’s Forensics class and Mr. Jim Shenise’s Pharmacy Tech classes. Ms. Kleeshulte is currently a graduate student at the University of Tennessee. It was an amazing presentation, which presented an in-depth look into a most interesting field of study.


Congratulations to the members of VTHS DECA–Derek Bogdewicz, Devon Johnson and Shayna Lazar–who teamed up with the Science National Honor Society to sell reusable water bottles. They reached their goal of selling 100 bottles and have been able to purchase a new filtered water system that was recently installed in the cafeteria. If you would like to support their efforts, please purchase a refillable Vernon BPA-free water bottle for $10 and help them install another filtered water system! Thank you for your support.


A new initiative developed by Sodexo provided some of our culinary students with the opportunity to serve  Asian food to the faculty, staff and students of VTHS during January. Our students gained some “real life” culinary experiences and we are looking forward to enjoying some delicious Italian cuisine on February 21st!


Many thanks to everyone who supported the Key Club’s Spirit Week during January. It allowed them to assist a number of different organizations and reach out into the community and make a difference in the lives of others.


A look ahead…


Due to the snow day on Friday, February 2nd, VTHS students will complete their mid-terms on Monday, February 5th. On Monday, the students will complete their mid-terms for period 4 during the first testing session.  Time for make-up exams will be provided during the second testing session as necessary. Students who are not involved in make-up testing sessions will participate in a PEP Rally organized by Ms. LeDuc, Mr. Dominick LoPresti and the Student Council members. (Ms. Lindsay LeDuc became the adviser for Student Council upon Mrs. Belli’s retirement, but I would also like to recognize Mr. LoPresti’s efforts to work with the group during Mrs. Belli’s extended absence. He did an exceptional job and we appreciate his cooperative spirit!)


VTHS students ONLY will dismiss at 11:20 am on Monday (2.5.18). Sodexo will be providing food for breakfast before the exams and again after the first testing session. Please be reminded that students must remain in school for 4 hours to be considered present for the day; if they arrive late or leave early they will be marked absent due to the shortened days. Thank you for your cooperation as we implement this new procedure.



Vernon Township High School will host its annual Eighth Grade Parent/Guardian Night at 6:30 pm on Monday, February 5th.  All parents and guardians of our present 8th grade students are invited to attend this informative evening, which will provide them with a plethora of information about their children’s educational experience at the high school. Please help us to spread this word to those parents and guardians. Thank you!


On Tuesday, February 6th, award winning author of The Last True Love Story and co-author of All American Boys, Brendan Kiely will be visiting VTHS. The day will be filled with opportunities to meet and converse with the author, and/or participate in workshops on the writing process, creative writing, or thematic writing. We would like to thank Mr. Stephen Denn (our librarian), Mr. Nick Demsak (Supervisor of Social Studies and World Language) and Mrs. Karen Stoeckel (Supervisor of Language Arts) for coordinating this effort for our students.


On Wednesday, February 7th, the Spring Sports’ Meeting will be held for all aspiring athletes and their coaches at 2:00 pm in the gym. Following that large group meeting, student athletes will have the opportunity to meet with their coaches in smaller groups.


Also on Wednesday, February 7th, some of our musicians will be inducted into Chapter 1480 of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. The ceremony will be held at 2:30 pm in the VTHS Auditorium. (The snow date for the event is Thursday, February 8th.)


The Thespian Honor Society Induction will be held on Tuesday, February 13th in the auditorium, beginning at 5:00 pm.


ImPACT testing for spring sports will be held for any freshman or junior who did not play a fall or winter sport this year on the following days:

Tuesday, February 13th – boys’ lacrosse, softball and tennis

Wednesday, February 14th – girls’ lacrosse and boys’ volleyball

Thursday, February 15th – track and field, golf and baseball

Testing will begin promptly at 2:00 pm on the abovementioned dates. Students should report to the PARCC Testing Room (#123/132) and should bring earbuds with them for the testing.


Some upcoming Friday night activities to help you beat “cabin fever” include:


VTHS SCA Bingo Night on Friday, February 9th, beginning at 6:30 pm

VTHS Choral Broadway Night, Friday, February 16th, beginning at 7:00 pm

VTHS POPS Concert, Friday, February 23rd, beginning at 7:30 pm


The high school is now in the Third Marking Period for the 2017-2018 school year. All available mid-term grades will be uploaded shortly. Please be sure to check the Parent Portal often and contact your child’s teacher and/or school counselor with specific questions as necessary.


Your child’s teachers are currently working on making their recommendations about your child’s class placements for the upcoming year. In addition, a school counselor visited every Social Studies class over the past few weeks to assist students as they make decisions about choosing the appropriate classes for the 2018-2019 school year.  Please call or email your child’s school counselor if you need assistance and/or clarification.


There will be no school on Monday, February 19th to commemorate Presidents’ Day. Enjoy the long weekend!

As we move closer to Prom season, please take a moment to review the flyer from Project Self-Sufficiency announcing their FREE “Sister-to-Sister” Prom Shop. It will be available in the VTHS Digital Backpack.

Please be sure to contact the school directly if you have any questions and/or concerns as we proceed with the 2017-2018 school year. We will be happy to assist you.


Thank you for your continued cooperation,


Pauline F. Anderson


Pauline F. Anderson