Curriculum Corner

Robbinsville's Quarterly Curriculum Newsletter

Let's Celebrate!

Dear Robbinsville Community,

As Valentine's Day often reminds us to demonstrate appreciation or gratitude for others, I'd like to use this newsletter to "show the love" and celebrate a few of our dedicated staff members. Each year students, parents, community members, and/or colleagues nominate educators and educator service professionals (i.e. Instructional Assistants, secretaries, bus drivers, custodians, and food service staff) to represent Robbinsville for the Department of Education's Educator/Educational Service Professional of the Year program. While we're only highlighting five educators/service professionals in this newsletter (a special thanks to our administrative team for helping provide such thoughtful blurbs!), we appreciate all of our staff members for their service and support of student well-being. Thank you for all that you do!

On a different note, you'll see two "Save the Dates" at the bottom of this email. The first is our Robbinsville Night Off on Wednesday, February 27th. There will be no homework, sports, or activities on this date. Local restaurants will also be offering discounts for family dinners and other community organizations will be hosting fun-filled events. More information will be sent out soon!

The second date is for our Mercer County Call to Action Campaign, a series of talks that address mental health in our community. On Thursday, April 24th at 7pm, we're proud to host Julie Lythcott-Haims, former Stanford University dean and author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. This event is co-sponsored by the Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) and other Mercer County school districts. We would love to have our Robbinsville community come to hear her speak about how to foster our children's resiliency, self-direction, and emotional well-being. Our entire administrative team has read this book and it's one that we constantly reference with our own children. We hope to see you there!

Kimberly Tew, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

2019 Educator and Educational Service Professional of the Year

Sharon School Educator of the Year-Kristin Aquilino

Kristin Aquilino is a dedicated and energetic K-4 STEAM/Computer Teacher and Media Specialist at Sharon Elementary School with sixteen years of experience in the teaching profession. Serving up to 200 students each school day, Kristin fosters a inquiry and problem-solving laboratory where students collaborate with their peers to lead learning and discover new connections. When you speak with Kristin about her instructional practice, her passion for learning, unwavering commitment to reach all learners, and desire to attend to the socio-emotional and academic learning needs of her students is evident.

Authentic learning and performance assessments abound in Kristin’s classroom where students engage in opportunities to solve real-world problems. Her wealth of knowledge and exploratory learning in digital and media literacy, coding, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has enabled her to integrate the Robbinsville Ready Skills into the existing curriculum to promote a growth mindset among her students. This past May she earned a certificate for Master Teacher of Teaching Tolerance and Prejudice Reduction from Kean University. In the recent past, she volunteered time to the Special Olympics and has coached running and soccer teams. She is proud parent of three children and is happy to call Robbinsville her home.

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PRMS Educational Service Professional of the Year: Shelly Voss

Shelly is a kind and dedicated instructional aide who currently works with some of our students who have autism. Before her current role at Pond, Shelly served as a lunch aide at Sharon Elementary School. She wanted to spend even more time with students and recently transitioned into becoming an Instructional Aide.

When working with students, she takes initiative and is able to quickly respond to her their needs. She also actively collaborates with the teachers she works with on a daily basis and offers a fresh perspective to any obstacle she encounters. She has become an integral part of our "Knight and Day" coffee cafe and looks forward to coming to work each day. She is a joyful presence who infuses positivity in the classroom as well as the rest of the school. It is evident that she loves her job and the students she gets to work with each day!

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PRMS Educator of the Year: Karen DeRossett

Karen DeRossett is the Pond Road Middle School Teacher of the Year. She has been a physical education/health teacher at PRMS for 19 years. Mrs. DeRossett has such a fabulous, positive presence. She is always looking for the best in people and her positive nature is contagious. She makes everyone (students and adults alike) feel important and valued. She does so with an unassuming nature and winning smile that puts everyone she encounters in a positive mindset.

Mrs. DeRossett also practices what she preaches. She always stresses the value of physical fitness and good nutrition. During her health class, she hosts a healthy eating party. Students bring in healthy snacks as a way to demonstrate the relative ease of fostering good eating habits. In addition, during her daily hall duty, she walks (at a pace most people would consider jogging) as she utilizes dumbbells to maintain and increase her overall strength and wellness.

She has been a coach at the middle school and high school level for multiple sports. Currently, she is the advisor for Play Unified, a club that fosters positive relationships and is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Congratulations to Mrs. DeRossett!

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RHS Educational Service Professional of the Year: Gregg Lerner

Gregg started out in the Robbinsville School District as a part-time instructional aide in 2011, working at Pond Road Middle School, where he advocated for special-needs students. He moved to the high school in 2017, continuing his work as an instructional aide on a part-time basis. He has served in Extended School Year program the past two summers and became a full-time instructional aide in the high school's SOAR program this year.

Gregg also worked as a sportswriter for The Star-Ledger/ for 22 years, from 1990 to 2011, before accepting a position with Cablevision's MSG Varsity, a multi-media platform. He continued covering high-school sports throughout the Tri-State as both a writer, on-air talent and video producer until January of 2018. He currently is a part-time contributor for the Shore Sports Network. His compelling content has earned him the distinguished honor of being named New Jersey Sportswriter of the Year in 2011, 2018, and 2019 by the National Sports Media Association and his dedication to our students amazes us everyday.

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RHS Educator of the Year: Angel Dolina

Angel Dolina is the RHS Educator of the Year. She has taught at RHS for ten years in our history department, though for the past few years she has taken on instructing our Psychology classes and has created a phenomenal program. She acts as an instructional leader; presenting at a national conference with our superintendent, Dr. Kathie Foster, organizing guest speakers on topics such as the Holocaust and war veterans, and acting as a turnkey teacher trainer for the high school's Positive Education Initiative (PEI), Genesis Portal, Danielson Teacher Evaluation Instrument, and our Robbinsville Ready Skills.

She has also served as a class advisor for the past ten years, fundraising over $10,000 for senior activities and helping to organize events such as Senior Prom, the Senior BBQ, Senior Trip, the Powderpuff Football Game, and Senior Night. She is an integral part of the RHS community for both students and staff. Congratulations to Ms. Dolina!

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Stay Tuned: Robbinsville Night Off Wednesday, February 27th

There will be no homework, student activities, or sports on this date. Please enjoy time with your family, whether it's at your favorite local eatery or in the comfort of your own home!

Save the Date for our Mercer County Call to Action Presentation: How to Raise an Adult

Wednesday, April 24th, 7-9pm

Robbinsville High School Auditorium (park in the back of the school)

As part of the Mercer County Superintendent's Call to Action Campaign and in partnership with the Traumatic Loss Coalition, please join us for an evening with Julie Lythcott-Haims, former Stanford University dean and author of the bestselling book How to Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. She will discuss concrete strategies to increase children's resiliency as well as how we can improve their emotional well-being. Copies of the book will also be available to purchase.
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