Montvale Public Schools

Winter 2017: Volume IV Issue II

Superintendent's Message

Dear Montvale Families:

Winter Greetings! It has been an unusual winter so far with temperatures warmer than average for this time of year. Time will tell how the remainder of old man winter plays out. With the start of each new year, I have my own tradition of starting it out with a new book. This January, I am reading the best-selling book, Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success, by Angela Duckworth. Duckworth focuses on the importance of effort, not giving up and pursuing your passions. She suggests that, “...interests are not discovered through introspection. Instead, interests are triggered by interactions with the outside world. The process of interest discovery can be messy, serendipitous, and inefficient. This is because you can't really predict with certainty what will capture your attention and what won't...Without experimenting, you can't figure out which interests will stick, and which won't.” In 2017, I encourage you to continue to be present with your children and to support them as they explore various interests. Learning is not always easy, but through GRIT, students will persevere and feel good about their success!

Best regards,


******* NEW BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBER ******* Mrs. Alisha Foley

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Last Wednesday, the Montvale Board of Education swore in a new Board member, Mrs. Alisha Foley. Mrs. Foley has two children in the school district and is very excited to serve as a Board member in Montvale (pictured above Mrs. Alisha Foley, Mr. James Foley, Hannah Foley and James Foley). In addition, Mrs. Anita Bagdat was re-elected to another term on the Board. Mr. Scott Rossig was re-elected as President of the Board and Mrs. Debra McGauley-Eichhorn as Vice President. “The best way to assure a prosperous and bright future for our state is to provide a top-notch public education for our students. Board of Education members are crucial to the governance of our schools, and their work has contributed to making the state’s schools among the most respected in the country.” January is “School Board Recognition Month.” 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. Laura Simpson

Number of Years Teaching: 12 years in total (6 years in Montvale)

Favorite Book: Adult Book -- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Children's Book -- Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Favorite Movie: "Life is Beautiful"

Hobbies: Reading, Broadway shows, rollerblading

Favorite Type of Food: Seafood

My Favorite Teacher and Why: My Second Grade Teacher, Mrs. Audrey Paley. Mrs. Paley had a real bathtub in her classroom. She filled the bathtub with pillows, and each day she picked two children to sit and read in the bathtub during our quiet reading time. What a treat!

Why Did I Become a Teacher? Teaching is my calling. It fits my energetic nature. I cannot think of any job as important to society as teaching. I have always loved to give my students the best start in life. I love watching the light bulb come on when a new skill or idea "clicks" for them. As my students conquer skills, no matter how small, the progress they make is gratifying.

Fieldstone Middle School

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Teacher of the Year: Mr. Sean K. Boyle

Number of Years Teaching: 20

Favorite Book: Descent-a story of incredible determination, a refusal to never give up.

Favorite Movie: TIE: “The Natural” and “Meet the Parents”

Hobbies: Exercising, bonding with friends, reading, competing, rooting for my nephews, and reflecting.

Favorite Type of Food: DEAD TIE: Grilled chicken and pancakes.

My Favorite Teacher and Why: My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Nencetti, was the first educator I ever had who clearly cared about her students’ happiness, interests, and success. She possessed an amazing balance of being fun but also a disciplinarian when necessary. Every student loved her and felt very special saying, “Mrs. Nencetti is my teacher.” Thirteen years later as I pursued my Master’s Degree in Teaching through Fordham University, I had the privilege to return to Mrs. Nencetti to observe her magic in the classroom. It was a tremendous, tearful, unforgettable reunion.

Why Did I Become a Teacher? Two parts:

(1) When I was growing up, my parents, high school English teachers, told entertaining stories at dinner each night. Just by sitting and listening to their nightly stories, I was gradually being molded into a teacher, kind of like an OSMOTIC situation.

(2) I liked being a student in Rockland County, but I didn’t like that I had very few male teachers. I always wished that I had an energetic male teacher who loved learning and sports and music (so many language arts connections can be made to sports and music!) and cared about the success of his students. Each day that I walk into FMS, I strive to be the teacher that I wished I had.
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The Harlem Wizards are coming back for a rematch against the Montvale Marvels!

Come cheer for your favorite teachers and faculty on Saturday, January 28 at 6:30p.m. at Pascack Valley High School!!


Student Artwork Recognized

Congratulations to two Montvale students whose artwork is featured in the 2017 Bergen County Election calendar! Posters created by Navdeep Bhalla and Gabriella M. Vespe were selected as honorable mentions in last year's "My County" poster contest.

Mark Your Calendar - "The Gift of Failure"

On Tuesday, January 31st at 7:00 pm, the school districts of Montvale, Emerson, Hillsdale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Woodcliff Lake, and Pascack Valley Regional High School will be hosting a parent-education presentation by nationally acclaimed author Jessica Lahey. Jessica Lahey is the author of "The Gift of Failure." In her book, Lahey writes about how many parents see themselves as totally responsible for their children’s well-being. Parents are not giving their children the chance to experience failure—or the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems. Lahey writes about how over parenting has the potential to ruin a child’s confidence and undermine their education. Lahey lays out a blueprint with targeted advice for handling homework, report cards, social dynamics, and sports. Most importantly, she sets forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children’s failures. Please see below for details:

Pascack Valley Regional High School

200 Piermont Avenue

Hillsdale, NJ 07642

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Click HERE to view flyer.

A Special Thank You to the PTO, MAL & MEF!

Over the winter break, four new water fountain/bottle filling stations were installed at Memorial. Thank you to the Montvale PTO and the Montvale Athletic League (MAL) for funding this project. The students at Memorial are jubilant about using the new fountains!

Thank you to the MEF for approving a grant for Swivl Robots. The Swivl Robot is an easy to use electronic device that will capture video using a tablet or smartphone. The Swivl Robot will provide both students and staff opportunities to create, share, and reflect individually and in small groups about their presentations.

Kindergarten Registration

Memorial Elementary School has begun kindergarten registration for next school year. This is the time to register any student that is eligible for kindergarten for September 2017. Children must be five years old on or before October 1st. All registration forms are located on the Memorial School website at Kindergarten registration will conclude on Friday, February 3, 2017.

Montvale Public Schools

Montvale Board of Education:

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