Montvale Public Schools

Winter 2019: Volume VI Issue II

Superintendent's Message

Dear Montvale Families:

As we approach the 100th day of school, it is a good time to pause, reflect and look ahead to the rest of the school year. In thinking about the rest of the school year, I believe families and schools are becoming even more important for children to learn how to interact face-to-face, play together, and build relationships because of an increase in screen time. Research is suggesting that soft skills might be diminishing in a technology-driven world. In Montvale, we strive to strike a balance. We want our students to learn how to make good decisions when using technology. We want our students to understand the importance of communication and collaboration. We want students to have strong soft skills and realize that by being disconnected occasionally from their devices, they will become more connected as a school community.

Darren Petersen

Board of Education Members Sworn In!

The Rossig Family

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The DiFiore Family

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In January, the Montvale Board of Education swore in Mr. Scott Rossig and Mr. Ernie DiFiore. Both Mr. Rossig and Mr. DiFiore were re-elected to the Board in November. Mrs. Debra McGauley-Eichhorn is the new President of the Board and Mrs. Anita Bagdat is the new Vice President. Congratulations and thank you to all of our Board members for their ongoing service to the community of Montvale!


Memorial Elementary School

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Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Geralyn Westervelt

Number of Years Teaching/Librarian: I was a substitute teacher in Montvale for nine years. I have been the media specialist for eight years.

Favorite Book: I have to choose three. To Kill a Mockingbird (Adult), Fish in a Tree (Middle Grade), Three Bears in a Boat (Picture Book).

Favorite Movie: Dead Poets Society

Favorite Vacation: Long Beach Island

Hobbies: Reading, cooking, food shopping, entertaining, fitness, especially anything on the water. My latest passion is paddle boarding.

Favorite Type of Food: Italian

Your Favorite Teacher and Why: My 2nd grade teacher because she let me clap erasers and made me feel special. Also, my high school English teacher, Mrs. Casey because she instilled a love of reading in me with her enthusiasm and insight. She also made me feel successful as a writer.

Why Did I Become a Teacher/Librarian: From the time I was little, I have always loved books. My parents shared their appreciation for literature, art, and music with their children and I carried that passion to college, where I majored in literature. After having my own four children, I had a renewed interest in children's books. This led me to working in schools, getting my teaching certification and my library media specialist certification. It is my dream job.

Fieldstone Middle School

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Teacher of the Year: Mr. Victor Conti

Number of Years Teaching: 5

Favorite Book: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Favorite Movie: Rocky

Hobbies: My hobbies include playing the guitar and piano, watching and coaching sports, and traveling. Through my travels, I have visited the western United States (including Hawaii and Alaska), six European countries, and most recently, Brazil.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Favorite Type of Food: Italian, specifically chicken parmesan.

My Favorite Teacher and Why: My favorite teacher was my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Keyser. It was in the middle of fifth grade when my family and I moved to a new town. Of course, this meant leaving my old school and friends behind and starting over. Naturally, I was a little nervous about this change. But Mrs. Keyser, being the first teacher in my new school, did an incredible job at creating an inclusive environment within her classroom which allowed me to seamlessly acclimate to the new school and make new friends. Because of her patience and compassion, the challenges usually accompanied with being the “new kid” were less daunting. I am forever grateful for having Mrs. Keyser as a teacher.

Why Did I Become a Teacher: What ultimately led to my pursuit of a career in education was the opportunity to have a positive influence on children. Many jobs I had throughout high school required working with children. It was from these experiences when I first started to consider becoming an educator. The memories and relationships I have formed with students throughout my five years of teaching have validated my decision for becoming a teacher; it is a truly rewarding profession and I could not see myself doing anything else.

Social and Emotional Learning:

At our January 21, 2019 - Professional Development Day, staff spent a day focused on social and emotional learning (SEL). Social and emotional learning (SEL) refers to the process by which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to do the following: understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; and make responsible decisions (NJ Department of Education, 2019). Research supports that students in SEL programs are more successful inside and outside of school. In Montvale, we have a wonderful staff who care deeply about each child. The Professional Development Day provided an opportunity to learn from a brain specialist and to collaborate on what we do well with SEL and ways we can continue to grow in supporting students and colleagues with SEL. Below is an image of the SEL core competencies.
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Mark Your Calendar - TRIVIA NIGHT - March 2, 2019!

Trivia Night will be on March 2 at the Park Ridge Elks Club from 7 to 11 p.m. Please click HERE for ticket information. We hope you join us for a fun-filled evening! The Montvale PTO serves both Memorial Elementary and Fieldstone Middle Schools to provide social and educational school programs, services, and activities for our children.

2019-2020 School Calendar

Please click HERE to access the 2019-20 school calendar.The first day of school for students will be on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

MEF Proudly Presented - Harlem Wizards vs. Montvale Marvels!

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International Day

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Illustrator for "Toys Go Out" -- Paul O. Zelinsky

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Upcoming Dates:

February 15: Jump Rope for Heart (Memorial) & Hoops for Heart (Fieldstone)

February 18 & 19: Winter Break - No School

March 2: PTO Trivia Night 7 to 11 p.m. at Park Ridge Elks

March 11: BOE Work Session Meeting

March 13: Inter-district Choral Festival at Pascack Hills High School at 7:30 p.m

March 14: Montvale Educational Foundation (MEF) Meeting at Fieldstone at 7 p.m.

March 18: BOE Public Business Meeting

March 22: PTO Meeting at Memorial School

March 25: No School for Students (Professional Development Day for Staff)

Montvale Public Schools

Montvale Board of Education:

  • Mrs. Debra McGauley-Eichhorn, President
  • Mrs. Anita Bagdat, Vice President
  • Mr. Scott Rossig, Board Member
  • Mr. John Carvelli, Board Member
  • Mrs. Rachel Baskin, Board Member
  • Mr. Ernie DiFiore, Board Member
  • Mrs. Alisha Foley, Board Member