VTHS Message February 2020

From Your Vernon Township High School Administrative Team

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Welcome to February

Welcome to the second half of the school year!

As we begin a new month, we continue to be inspired by the talented young men and women who attend Vernon Township High School. It is an honor working side-by-side with our teachers to ensure that each of our students receives a quality educational experience while attending VTHS. Thanks to the cooperation and hard work of our students, their families, in addition to the faculty and staff members of VTHS, we experienced an exceptional Midterm Week. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and assistance.

One parent/guardian recently shared the following about our faculty and staff members, "They are so supportive, respectful and willing to work...It is so reassuring to know that your faculty truly cares about their students' success inside and outside of the classroom." A statement such as this one affirms what we see each day at VTHS and we are very appreciative when a parent/guardian takes the time to share such a sentiment.

Thank you for allowing us to share in your child's educational journey.

If there is anything we can do to assist you as we move forward, please do not hesitate to ask.

With Sincere Thanks,

Pauline F. Anderson, Nicholas M. Demsak and Jacquelyn M. Van Orden

Social Emotional Learning

At Vernon Township High School, we will continue to focus on the New Jersey Social and Emotional Learning Competencies and Sub-Competencies during the 2019-2020 school year.

According to Brene Brown, "Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect."

We work diligently to ensure that every student feel like that they belong here at VTHS.

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Highlights from January 2020

VTHS Female STEM Students Attend Conference

During January, a group of girls from Vernon Township High were invited to attend Women In Stem Career Day at Sussex County Community College along with their science teachers Hollyce Schoepp and Stella Foco; they were also accompanied by math teacher, Samantha Kabe.

They joined over 200 other females for a full-day immersion into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Attendees got the opportunity to rotate through four different hands-on engineering activities led by engineer mentors from Johnson & Johnson, Thorlabs and Picatinny Arsenal. The goal was to expose the girls to STEM fields, build confidence in their abilities to participate in STEM, and introduce them to relatable and accessible STEM role models. This event was an attempt to close the gender gap in technology success for women in tech by raising awareness of their importance and value in STEM based careers.

Attendees from VTHS were: Victoria Annunziata, Audrey Baldwin, Emily Black, Sabrina Bucknam, Crystina Kievit, Leanna Mentone, Katelyn Montalvo, Molly Ryan, Katrina Todd, Lauren Waschek, Danica Williams, Kailee Seely, Leigh Rose Hart, Morgan Mulvaney, Katelyn Thienel, Madison Whitehead, Bri Van Orden, Maggie Previglian, Megan Herlein, Elizabeth Magella, and Amanda Weston.

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RB Respiratory Pathogens Study at Vernon Township High School

AP Biology Students from Vernon Township High School will be working with Reckitt Benckiser LLC Manufacturers, whose brands include Lysol and Mucinex, to do a study of respiratory pathogens this cold and flu season!

After filling out an application and writing an essay, the following students, Charlie Gieger, Laura Landon, Wesley Sanders, Vjosa Ukella, and Brianna Van Orden were selected by Microbiologist, Kelly Whitehead to participate in a study that has been designed for the purpose of scientific exploration, discovery, and education.

Over the course of several weeks the students will be taking samples of high touch traffic areas such as handrails, door handles, and desks and testing for the presence of viral genetic material. Students will then be able to examine and analyze their data for further research.

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Engineering Design Development (EDD) Update

The EDD Engineering Design Development Problem/Justification Pitch Presentations were recently held in the VTHS library. Over the next few months, these students will be working on their prototypes/testing stages. The groups' next (prototype) presentations will be held in late March.

Mr. Jon Bruno has also shared some upcoming Spring Engineering events and competitions:

February 1st- preliminary round of the Delbarton Robotic Invitational Competition (In lieu of the Pansonic Competition which is taking a hiatus this year).

February 6th - Scheduled Tenafly HS STEM Girls Competition

Late March/ early April - EDD 2 of 3 Prototype Presentations

April 24 - Delbarton Robotic Invitational Competition Finals

May 2nd- TSA State Competition- at TCNJ

Early June- EDD -Engineering night and awards. Final Presentation

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DECA Northwestern New Jersey District Competition

On January 8, 2020, 103 Vernon DECA members traveled to Ramapo College for the annual Northwestern New Jersey District Competition. In total, 25 schools competed in 30 different events in categories related to Entrepreneurship, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Management and Hospitality & Tourism.

While we are proud of all of the students for our students’ hard work and competitive efforts, we would like to make special note of the 27 students whose outstanding performances earned them an opportunity to compete at the State Career Development Conference in March. Below each student's name is the title of their event and the place earned:

Matthew Haedo

Accounting Applications

12th Place

Jade Lazar

Automotive Services Marketing

6th Place

Tyler Struble

Business Services Marketing

10th Place

Brooklyn Rubenacker

Business Services Marketing

13th Place

William Douglas

Financial Consulting Event

7th Place

Palmer Papson

Food Marketing

11th Place

Baylee Bosma

Hospitality & Tourism Professional Selling

4th Place

Julia Stellingwerf

Human Resources Management

11th Place

Nathan Fitch

Principles of Business Management & Administration

6th Place

Abigail Talt

Principles of Business Management & Administration

8th Place

Tristen Hakala

Principles of Business Management & Administration

11th Place

Sidney Sparta

Principles of Hospitality & Tourism

5th Place

Alexandra MacPherson

Principles of Hospitality & Tourism

10th Place

Emma Blaine

Professional Selling

6th Place

Vjosa Ukella

Professional Selling

12th Place

Jacob McCormick

Quick Serve Restaurant Management

6th Place

Ray Villafuerte

Restaurant & Food Service Management

5th Place

Benjamin Dupont

Retail Merchandising

9th Place

Arianna DiMartino & Madyson Potts

Travel & Tourism Team Decision Making

7th Place

Special recognition goes to the following students who earned trophies for Vernon

by finishing in the Top 3:

Becka Terzakis

Business Services Marketing

3rd Place

Hailey Minter

Human Resources Management

2nd Place

Breanne Kastner

Principles of Hospitality & Tourism

2nd Place

Patrick Cahill

Principles of Hospitality & Tourism

3rd Place

Finally, Vernon DECA students won two District Championships.

Our “gold medalists” are:

Larissa Trongone

Hospitality & Tourism Professional Selling

1st Place

David DeGeeter & Sebastian Grau

Hospitality Services Team Decision Making

1st Place

2020 Northern New Jersey Region Band and Orchestra

Congratulations to the following students who successfully auditioned and were accepted to the 2020 Northern New Jersey Region Band and Orchestra, which performed on Saturday, January 11, 2020.

Wesley Sanders - Tuba - 1st Chair Wind Ensemble

Anmarie Kaczor - Trombone - Symphonic Band and Orchestra

Leigh Rose Hart - French Horn - Symphonic Band
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NJAB Senior High School Symphonic Band

Mia Obrotka - Trombone

Leigh Rose Hart - French Horn

Jarred Matthes - Conductor and VTHS Alumni Class of ’00

Max Taylor - VTHS Director of Bands, NJAB ’20 Symphonic Band Manager

Caly Simone - French Horn

Angelina Koppel - French Horn

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All State Band

Congratulations to VTHS Sophomore band student Wesley Sanders on successfully auditioning and being accepted to the 2020 NJ All State Wind Ensemble!

Prior to to his All State Band audition, Wesley successfully auditioned and was accepted in the Region I Wind Ensemble which qualified him to audition for All State Band.

He then competed and auditioned against students from the entire state for acceptance into the New Jersey All State Band.

He placed 2nd overall on Tuba within the state of NJ!

The New Jersey All State Band Concert will take place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Sunday, February 23 at 3:00pm. Tickets can be purchased through the Box Office of NJPAC.

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Poetry Out Loud - 2020

Leanna Mentone, a freshman, won the 10th Annual Poetry Out Loud Competition at VTHS last month with her recitation of John Keats classic "La Belle Dame Sans." Amanda Soler won second place won second place with her recitation of "Discrimination" by Kevin Rexroth. Allura Insetta, won third place with "I, Too" by Langston Hughes.

Honorable Mentions were awarded to Sidney Sparta, Alex Keating, Hannah Kolonloski, James Loggie and Ethan Lubeck.

Leanna Mentone will represent Vernon Township High School at the Regional Competition at MAYO Performing Arts Center in Morristown.

Congratulations to all of our contestants!

Key Club Continues to Give Back!

On Wednesday night, January 15, 2020, Key Club members assisted Mrs. DeSenzo to provide entertainment for the children of parents attending the VTSD Tech Night. Chromebooks, a lesson on internet safety, games, crafts, dancing, and snacks were provided to the participants, who ranged in age from primary to middle school.

VTHS Theater Students Have a Special Homegrown Broadway Master Class

Devin Ilaw, at right, who has appeared as Thuy in the 2017 Broadway production of “Miss Saigon,” spent the afternoon with Vernon Township High School’s thespians running a Master Class to prepare them for their upcoming competition and Spring Musical.

Ilaw is a Vernon Alum Class of 2003, so the class felt a special bond with him. His most memorable role was as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

(Back row, l to r, Kelsie Shinall, Vanessa Cefaloni, and Caylie Tymon; front row: Rylee Smaldone, Cole Benkendorf, Julia Stellingwerf, and Nate Fitch)

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Some Highlights from the Athletic Department

Senior Chris Ruiz broke the Indoor Track school record in the 600m at the Armory in New York City!

Senior Kyle Hayes and sophomore Martina Brich are picking up right where they left off on the slopes last season. Both have earned first place finishes in all of their races so far this season. Kyle is the returning overall state champion and Martina was the top medalist at the NJAC Championships.

Girls and Boys swimming both earned team victories over Hackettstown.

The bowling team had one of their best showings to date at the HWS County Tournament placing 7th overall.

The Varsity Wrestling Team is off to one of its best starts. Senior John Alvarez led the way, placing 4th at the HWS Tournament.

Be sure to catch some of our winter athletic events before the season ends!

Strudel, the Therapy Dog

Strudel, a certified therapy dog, came to visit with students during their lunch period on January 15, 2020. He will be returning to VTHS on February 12, 2020.

February's Calendar Highlights

Wednesday, February 5 -- Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction - 2:30 - 4:00 pm - Auditorium

Thursday, February 6 -- SCA Meeting 9:15 - 10:15 am - Conference Room B

Friday, February 7 -- SCA Bingo - 6:30 - 10:30 pm - Cafeteria

Monday, February 10 -- "Share The Keys" Presentation - 6:30 - 8:00 pm -Auditorium *

Tuesday, February 11 -- Thespian Induction -6:30 pm - Auditorium

Wednesday, February 12 -- Coalition Meeting - 9:00 - 10:00 am Conference Room B

Thursday, February 13 -- BOE Work Session 7:00 - 9:00 pm - Lounsberry Hollow

Friday, February 14 -- Valentine's Day

Monday, February 17 -- District Closed - President’s Day

Thursday, February 20 -- Board of Education Public Meeting -7:00 - 9:00 pm Lounsberry Hollow Middle School

Friday, February 21 -- Choir Pops Concert - 6:00 - 10:00 pm - Cafeteria

Saturday, February 22 -- VTHS OPEN HOUSE - 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Friday, February 28 - Saturday, 2/29 -- Class of 2020 “Super-Night” (Lock-In) Fundraiser**

(Friday - 6:00 pm - Saturday - 6:00 am) Proceeds to be donated to local fire departments

A Few Items of Interest

* Share the Keys Update

In conjunction with the Vernon Township Police Department and the Vernon Township Board of Education, we are proud to continue our new Safe Driving Initiative for the 2019-2020 school year.

An additional "Share the Keys" presentation will be held on Monday, February 10 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm for all student drivers who did not attend one of the three presentations offered during the summer and early fall. (This presentation is also being offered as an opportunity for students who anticipate driving to school and parking on campus next year to get a head start on this parking requirement.) Please take a moment to register for the program if you plan to be in attendance with your child by opening the Share the Keys Registration Form below.

This will be the final opportunity to attend a Share the Keys presentation for the current school year. Once each student driver and a parent/guardian have attended a presentation, they will receive a certificate, which must be presented when applying for a VTHS parking pass.

Student safety is of our utmost concern and informing students and families on safe driving tips can promote safety whether on or off campus.We believe that attending this program with your child will help instill a sense of importance and responsibility that comes with sitting behind the wheel, whether driving to campus or anywhere else.

We look forward to seeing many of you on Monday, February 10th!

** THE CLASS of 2020 IS ON FIRE!!

The Class of 2020 wants to make a gift to the local community and has set a date to hold a “Super Night” Friday, February 28 into Saturday, February 29, to raise money for the local fire departments as a “Thank you” before they take off for the wider world outside Vernon.

They will be collecting donations from friends and family to spend a long night of games, competitions, food and fun. They will be selling fire-engine-red t-shirts to add to the gift they will donate to the four fire departments.

Look for an e-mail soon with the t-shirt design and ordering information.

Seniors are inviting the juniors to add to the competitive nature of the events.

In Preparation for the Graduation for the Class of 2020...

...please be sure to watch for correspondence about ordering caps and gowns for this big event within the next few weeks!

We would like to ask for your assistance...

Connect for Community

"Connect for Community" is a program started by a small group of volunteers to help supplement donations to our local food pantries. Each year, this group appeals to our schools to make donations of items that are not covered by food stamps, but yet are everyday necessities.

Students from Vernon Township High School are asked to donate any of the following items:

  • comb or brush
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • boxed tissues
  • bar soap
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • dishwashing liquid
  • wrapped rolls of toilet paper
  • paper towels

If it would be easier for you, simply send your child to school with $1.00 and we will make a cash donation to this wonderful organization!

Please note that we will be accepting donations through Friday, February 14th.

Thank you for your anticipated generosity and cooperation!

Ladies Night Out Dinner and Tricky Tray Information

This year the Vernon Township Executive School and Community Association (ESCA) will hold its annual Ladies Night Out & Tricky Tray on Friday, March 20, 2020, at Minerals Resort in Vernon, NJ.

They anticipate over 300 attendees and could use your help.

Please download the flyer below and assist ESCA with this worthwhile effort!

Thank you.

Musical Display Advertisement Flyer for "My Favorite Year"

Please share the flyer below with anyone who might be interested in taking out an ad for the Spring Musical's Playbill! Thank you for your help and support!

The Zufall Dental Van is Coming to VTHS!

Mark your calendars! The Zufall Health Dental Van will be visiting VTHS on May 15th!

This is the perfect opportunity to have your child visit a dental health professional before the close of the school year.

Additional information and applications will be made available soon. Registration must take place on or before May 1st.

In closing...

Thank you for allowing us to work with you and your child during the 2019-2020 school year.

If we may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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