Chester Superintendent's Newsletter

From Dr. Christina Van Woert, Superintendent of Schools

December 2019

PTO Fundraiser Harlem Wizards Game

The Chester PTO brought the Harlem Wizards to Black River Middle School on Nov. 16th for a fun filled and fast paced afternoon and evening full of laughter. Our gratitude goes out to all of our PTO members and the Executive Board, especially Lucy Giannattascio and Jennifer Amin who chaired this exciting event. We also want to thank our Chester teachers, administrators, police officers and parents who helped make the event possible by showing off their spectacular basketball skills.

There were two games and each sold out quickly. We wanted to express our gratitude to all of those parents, teachers, administrators and parents who played in the games: Sue Connelly, Alexis Carle, Barry Sergeant, Amal Azzara, Anthony DaCunza, Francesca Ragonese, Trish Pohan, Brad Currie, Andrew White, Melissa Fair, Jeanette Krone, Samantha Barbella, Chris Lowry, Donna Lowry, Sam Strum, Laura Garrison, Grace Watt, Mike Macias, Arnel Villalobos, Matt Bruhn, Matt Bohn, Dave Profito, Matt Capuzzi, David O'Connell, Ken Christensen, Thad Miller, James Guy, David Stern, Brian Gill, Lou Capone and Brian Lowry. We could not have done it without you. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate and support the children of Chester!

Bragg School 5th Graders Travel AROUND THE WORLD

Around the World Day at Bragg School featured dancing, music and informative presentations on a variety of cultures and countries across the globe. Our fifth grade students were engaged throughout the day learning about many of their own cultural heritages and those of their classmates. This year the program was championed and administered by the Chester PTO in concert with Principal Stanton. Our gratitude goes to them all for providing our students with this unique and inviting educational opportunity.

BRMS Youth Council Supports Nourish NJ

The BRMS Youth Council participated in several meetings for Nourish NJ. They first took part in a hunger walk. There were about 35 BRMS students in attendance and they raised over $800. Second, there was a Saturday on which they served lunch at a soup kitchen. The third event was helping out at the Farmer’s Market. The students will continue using their leadership skills to come up with projects to support the mission of Nourish NJ.

Veteran's Day Celebration at Black River Middle School

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Pictured above are the many honored guests and Veterans who celebrated with our sixth grade team of teachers and students on Veteran's Day this year. We are truly grateful to our Veterans for visiting and showing our students what honor and dedication to service looks like. We are also thankful for the efforts Mr. White, Ms. McPhearson and Mr. McQueeney put into making this special day possible. The Veterans in attendance represented all branches of our military and service as far back as World War II.

Our keynote speaker this year was LtCol Richard Bordonaro USMC (Ret.) who served for twenty years in the Marine Corps. LtCol Bordonaro highlighted for students the importance of serving others in many different ways and called on our students to find a way to serve others in their lives. He was an inspiration to us all and we were truly grateful for his service to our country and to the children of Chester.

Also in attendance were Chester Borough Mayor Janet Hoven, Chester Township Mayor Marcia Asdal and Police Chief Tom Williver to speak with our students about the ways that they also serve. We are truly thankful beyond measure for the time they all took to speak with our students. There are important lessons in life you simply cannot learn in a book.

Come Join the Chester School District 2019 Technology Committee

Following the results of our Strategic Plan, the Chester School District will be forming a district committee this year chaired by Dr. Christina Van Woert and Mr. Mike Dougherty, Director of Technology, to research, write and implement a new district wide Technology Plan. We welcome parent, faculty and community input. If you are interested in being a member of this committee, please email Mrs. Sophia Beaudin at Our first meeting will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 11th at 9:30 AM at the Chester Board of Education offices.

Chester PTO and the Educational Foundation of the Chesters

The Chester PTO and the Educational Foundation of the Chesters remain two of the most essential elements of the Chester School District for their continued support of our students and faculty. In essence, so many of our most engaging enrichment activities and many of our foundational programs come directly from their support. This includes athletic and club stipends for our teachers, cultural arts programs, school supplies and materials. This year alone, the Educational Foundation of the Chesters will be funding our Kinetics Club at Dickerson School, our Chess Club at Bragg School and our Science League at BRMS. The PTO will be funding our Dickerson School clubs - Technology Club, Arts and Crafts Club for 1st graders, Art Club for 2nd graders, Fitness Club and Chess Club; at Bragg School - Technology Club, Art Club, Robotics Club, Kan Jam and Volleyball Club; and at BRMS - Drama Club, STEM Club, Student Government, Technology Club and Volleyball Club.

I urge you to support and join both of these worthwhile organizations. We are so grateful for their funding and for the many opportunities they provide our students, such as those listed above. More information about joining the PTO and the Educational Foundation can be found on our homepage under the Parents tab.