Woods Road School Paw Pride

September - 2017, Volume 5 Issue 1

Important Dates to Remember

  • September 7, 2017 - First Day of School for Students
  • September 18, 2017 - No Preschool Monday
  • September 18, 2017 - Picture Day (class schedules TBD)
  • September 18, 2017 - Back to School Night:
    - Kindergarten, TP, Grade 1, and Grade 2 (6:00pm - 8:00pm)
  • September 19, 2017 - Picture Day (class schedules TBD)
  • September 26, 2017 - Back to School Night:
    - Pre-K, Grade 3, and Grade 4 (6:00pm - 8:00pm)

Letter from Ms. Jodi L. Howe, Principal

Welcome to a new school year at Woods Road School. I cannot believe how quickly the summer has gone. Our teachers, support staff, office staff, and custodians have worked very hard throughout the summer to ensure that our building was ready and that our classrooms were organized, colorful, and welcoming for our students. WRSHA has also worked hard to plan many wonderful events for this school year. We appreciate their time and commitment. Each new school year brings with it a renewed sense of excitement and eagerness for learning! Children come prepared with their new school supplies and teachers are excited to greet another new group of eager learners. The teachers have many great activities and learning experiences planned for the students. We welcome all of the new faces to the Wildcat Family. I know I met many families at our Open House. As parents, you play a crucial role in your child’s life by reinforcing what is expected at school. Keep an open line of communication with your child’s teacher in order to best support the learning that is occurring during the school day. Given the opportunity, take some time each evening to review their homework, inquire about what they are learning that week, or just look at the work sent home from class and ask questions. You may get a response like the poem that is below! The teachers and I will be making a concerted effort to keep you informed throughout the school year about your child’s progress and school activities. I am looking forward to a fabulous school year!

When children come home at the end of the day

The question they’re asked as they scurry to play is

“Tell me what you did today?”

And the answer they give makes you sigh with dismay.

“Nothing, I did nothing today.”

Perhaps nothing means that I played with blocks,

Or counted to ten, or sorted some rocks.

Maybe I painted a picture of red and blue

Or heard a story of a mouse that flew.

Maybe I watched the gerbils eat today,

Or went outside on the swings to play.

Maybe today was the very first time

That my scissors followed a very straight line

Maybe I led a song from beginning to end,

Or played with a special brand new friend.

When you’re in school And your heart has wings,

“Nothing” can mean so many things~

Below are some books that you can read with your child:

 The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

 First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

 The Berenstain Bears— Trouble With Friends by Stan & Jan Berenstain

 Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

 Chopsticks by Krouse Rosenthal

Dismissal Procedures

If you are changing the dismissal procedure for your child, please be sure to send in a handwritten note to your child’s teacher. Please remember not to rely on sending an email with this important information, as the teacher may not have access to their computer or may be absent for the day. Substitutes do not have access to the teacher’s email accounts. The office closes daily at 2:45 p.m. in order to begin the dismissal process for all students. Thank you for your cooperation!

POS Lunch Program

New students will receive their POS card after school photos. Please remember in order to use this card, money must be deposited into their accounts. Please send a check payable to Hillsborough Township Board of Education in an envelope marked with your child’s name, teacher, and labeled “POS” account.

Nurse's Corner

Welcome back to all parents/caregivers and students! As we all get ready for a healthy

new 2017-18 school year, here is a family checklist for all to review that will ensure your child’s


  • Make sure required and recommended immunizations are up-to-date
  • Have completed physical examinations by your child’s healthcare provider submitted to the school nurse (if new or transferring Woods Road Elementary School)
  • Review hygiene tips to prevent the spread of infections
  • Establish a bedtime and wake-up time to ensure adequate and consistent sleep
  • Develop a routine for homework and after-school activities
  • Eat breakfast each day at home before school
  • Help make appropriate clothing choices, ie wear comfortable and safe shoes
  • Keep an open line of communication with your child to ensure that he/she remains safe at school. If a concern arises, ie bullying, contact the appropriate school officials immediately
  • Get involved! Sign up for the parent organization, school Wellness committee, and mark events such as back-to-school night and parent/teacher meetings on your calendar
  • Ask about the school or district’s wellness policy ie. how are nutrition, activity, stress and/or mental health concerns addressed
  • Know the specialized instructional support personnel available to your child including the school nurse (Mrs. Carroll, ext. 3350) and school counselor (Mrs. Guastella, ext. 3287)
  • Know your school’s policy regarding when to keep a sick child home
  • Additionally, if your child has a Health Concern:
  • Make your child’s health concern(s) known to the school and school nurse
  • Bring current, signed healthcare provider orders for treatments and all medications to be given at school. Bring the medication in the original pharmacy container (you can request that the pharmacist split the orders for home and school into 2 containers).
  • Remember that this needs to be updated annually!
  • Together with the school nurse and other appropriate school officials, develop an individualized healthcare plan or other education plan as needed, ie. 504 or IEP
  • Give permission for the school nurse to communicate with your family’s healthcare provider(s) as needed
  • Provide parent/caregiver contact information and update the school with any changes
  • Confirm the school’s disaster and/or emergency plan
  • Let the school know how important it is to have a full-time certified registered school nurse in the building all day, every day
  • Introduce yourself and your child to the school nurse. Your school nurse is Mrs. Carroll, ext. 3350

Looking forward to a Healthy 2017-2018!

School Counselor's Corner

by Mrs. Guastella

Back to School can be an exciting AND rough time for everyone! After spending

summer with family, the transition back can be tricky to get back into. Here are

some tips to ease any back to school anxiety and help with having a great start to the


  • Get a good night’s rest. Rest is important for everyone to feel their best.
  • Eat a good breakfast. Students who have full bellies can focus easier and longer than students who feel hungry.
  • Get to school on time. Students who feel rushed to get to school, start their day with anxiety, which can lead to frustration.
  • Write your child an encouraging note! Packing a short note in your child’s lunchbox or backpack can give them something to look forward to.
  • Ask your children about school. Encourage your children to talk about their day. Have them name a high point and low point of each day.

I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the school year!

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Wood Road School Welcomes The Following New Staff Members!


by Mrs. Gerri Guastella

My name is Mrs. Gerri Guastella and I am so excited to be welcomed as the new School Counselor for Woods Road Elementary. I am eager to embark on this new journey with the Woods Road community and get to know all of you. Prior to becoming a School Counselor, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology from Stockton University. After deciding to change career paths, I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Kean University and continued my education at Kean by completing my Master's in School Counseling. While working through graduate school, I worked at an Early Learning Center for children aged 6 weeks-Kindergarten. Upon finishing my Master's degree, I spent the next two years as a School Counselor at Hillside Intermediate School in Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District and now am fortunate to be joining Woods Road School! In my spare time, I love to spend time with my dog, Jack, stay active, travel and read. Some of my favorite authors include Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie, and J.K. Rowling. This was a very exciting summer, as I got married to my husband in a destination wedding in July and was also able to spend time down the shore with my husband and our families. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone within the Woods Road community. I am especially looking forward to classroom lessons with the children that will be insightful, engaging, and educational! I’d like every member of the Woods Road community to know that my door is always open and I am eager to better know the staff, children, and their families going forward.

Special Education

Megan Christie has been with the district since 1999. She graduated from The University of Scranton and earned her Master's Degree at The College of New Jersey. She began her teaching career teaching 5th grade, at Sunnymead School and then Auten Road Intermediate School. After earning her Master's Degree in Special Education, she taught a self-contained class at Amsterdam School. In her free time, Megan likes to spend time with her family, read, practice yoga, run, and cook. One of her favorite books growing up was Anne of Green Gables, by L.M Montgomery. Over the summer she spent a lot of time at the beach and also traveled to London to visit her brother and his family. Megan grew up in Hillsborough. She attended Woodfern Elementary School and graduated from HHS. She is excited to join the WRS team!

Special Education

Happy new school year! My name is Miss Edelman. I am so excited to be part of the Woods Road Elementary community. This is my first year teaching in the district, and I am thrilled to be here! I received my Bachelor's degree from Rutgers University. Prior to this year, I worked as a Kindergarten teacher at the Goddard School in Jackson, New Jersey. After teaching for a year, I went back to Monmouth University to complete a Master's program in Elementary Education K–6 with an endorsement in Teaching Students with Disabilities. While completing my Master's, I successfully carried out my student teaching requirement at Lafayette Mills School in Manalapan. I taught in both a third-grade inclusion classroom and in a third-grade special education classroom, and I enjoyed every moment of it. Even though it was a pretty busy summer for me, I did manage to find some time to attend Plays in the Park productions of Legally Blonde the Musical and Mary Poppins.

This summer, I worked in an extended school year program, where I worked with four other teachers in a first-grade classroom with students who had multiple disabilities. Watching them grow in such a short amount of time was extremely rewarding!

In my free time, I enjoy reading and going to the beach. I love reading poetry by Shel Silverstein, and novels by Jodi Picoult. My favorite children’s author is Patricia Polacco. I also enjoy traveling to the city to see a Broadway play!

I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year, and I can’t wait to meet everyone!


Miss Edelman

Special Education

Tara Furgiuele is excited to be returning to the classroom as a preschool teacher in the autism classroom. Tara attended Brooklyn College where she earned her BA in Early Childhood education. She then went on to receive her MS in Early Childhood Special Education and is currently pursuing her BCBA certification. Tara is a published author of a children’s book entitled “Albe’s Apple” and is currently working on its sequel “Albe’s Cousin Joey.” Tara was a pre-kindergarten teacher for two years with the New York City Board of Education, she then worked as a behavior consultant, and most recently, she has been providing early intervention services as an ABA therapist in her hometown of Staten Island, NY. In her free time, Tara enjoys spending time with her nine-year-old twins, Joseph and Jolie. Some of their favorite activities include hiking, bike riding, going to the beach, and playing board games. Tara’s favorite authors include Shel Silverstein, Jeffrey Archer, Nicolas Sparks, and Mitch Albom. This summer she spent time on Long Beach Island, and visiting family in Pittsburgh, PA. Tara is looking forward to returning to the classroom and getting to know the children and families of our youngest students in her preschool classroom.

Special Education

Hello! My name is Emma Meany (don’t worry, I am not mean!) and I am so excited to be a new teacher at Woods Road Elementary School. I am a Hillsborough native, went to school there, and played varsity field hockey for 3 years. I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Rutgers University. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in the spring of 2016 and received a Master's in Education with certifications in Special Education and Elementary Education in May 2017. In the fall of 2016, I completed my student teaching in Bridgewater-Raritan in a third-grade inclusion class. I had a great experience there and learned so many important things about being a teacher. I also have been working at a summer camp in Lawrenceville for the past five summers, where I get to spend nine weeks with fun-loving children between the ages of 4 and 8. In addition to working at camp, I also went to Wildwood, NJ for a week with my family. I absolutely love the beach and I have been going to Wildwood since I was a baby. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV, listening to music, and being with friends and family. My favorite author is Jojo Moyes, author of my favorite book “Me Before You." I am eager to start a new chapter in my life as a teacher at Woods Road! I am thrilled to work in Hillsborough and give back to the district and town that gave me so much. I can’t wait for the school year to begin!

Miss Meany

Developmental Kindergarten

Mrs. Denise Milan will be starting her 25th year of teaching in Hillsborough schools. She taught Preschool for 9 years at Woods Road school before switching to Developmental Kindergarten. Since teaching Kindergarten, she has been at both Amsterdam and Woods Road. In her spare time, she loves to go to the beach, watch movies, and spend time with her family and friends. She LOVES to read, especially books by Jodi Picoult or Nicholas Sparks. In the classroom, her favorite author is Mo Willems, and her favorite character is Winnie the Pooh. She is truly looking forward to rejoining the WRS team, and watching her students learn and grow this year!

Kindergarten AM/CAP

My name is Megan Todd and I will be teaching Kindergarten AM and CAP this year at Woods Road Elementary School. I graduated from The College of New Jersey where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Art/Art History. I taught Kindergarten in the Bridgewater School District last year. When I am not teaching, I enjoy traveling, reading, painting, and going to the beach. I enjoy listening to country music and I love to bake! My favorite children’s author is Laura Numeroff and my favorite book of hers is “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” This summer, I was teaching Summer School in Bridgewater. I also visited Charleston, South Carolina to see the total solar eclipse in August! This past weekend my great aunt celebrated her 100th birthday and I went to visit her and my extended family in Kentucky!

As the new Kindergarten AM and CAP teacher, I am looking forward to meeting my new students and new challenges! I am super excited and can’t wait to see everyone!


My name is Rachel Tomson and I am one of the new Kindergarten teachers at Woods Road School. Although I am new to the Hillsborough Township School District, I previously taught full day Kindergarten for six years. I have recently been home with my three daughters since the birth of my twins and am excited to be returning to teaching. I am particularly excited to be teaching in Hillsborough since I am a life-long resident of this wonderful town. In addition to my Master's of Arts in Teaching, with a specialization in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey, I have a post-master's certificate in Special Education from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Rider University. This summer my family and I spent time doing all of my favorite things: being together, spending time with our friends, playing tennis, going to yoga, relaxing by the pool and at the beach, sailing, bonding with our dogs and reading. One book I reread this summer was the Great Gatsby by my favorite author F. Scott Fitzgerald. I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year teaching Kindergarten here at Woods Road School! If you have any questions please feel free to ask me.

Transitional Primary


My name is Jennifer Hazall Lloyd, and I am the new TP teacher! I am not new to Hillsborough, though! I have lived in Hillsborough for fifteen years and during that time, I taught mostly in fourth and first grades at Amsterdam and Woods Road School. I stayed home last year to do some amazing things with my children, and I even got to foster a cat and newborn kittens! Now I am back and more excited than ever to be lucky enough to teach TP. A little about me...I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2002. I got my first teaching job at Sunnymead School, where my oldest son attended for five years. My youngest son is in second grade at Woods Road. I also have an amazing husband, three stepchildren, four chickens and three cats! In my free time, I like to read, spend time with my family, and I have just started running again to stay healthy. I believe in the philosophy that supports the TP program and I know we will have a fun, successful year!

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” -Dr. Seuss

First Grade - Long Term Substitute

Hello! My name is Erin O’Brien and I am so excited to be a new joining WRS as the leave replacement for Mrs. Wohlt while she takes time to enjoy her new baby. I received my Bachelor's from Rider University and I am currently attending TCNJ for my Master's in Education. During the last three years, I worked at Riverside School in Princeton in a variety of grade levels, most recently in Kindergarten.

In my free time, I love to go for walks, make craft projects I find on Pinterest, and cheer on my favorite sports team – GO PACKERS! This summer I worked at Rambling Pines summer camp, visited Nashville, and relaxed while reading Jodi Picoult’s new book. She is my favorite author!

Although the summer was fun, I am so excited to meet my students, get to know them and be able to learn together.

Third Grade

Mrs. Zieziula is a resident of Hillsborough Township. She is a graduate of both the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (undergraduate) and Kent State University (graduate). She did her student teaching in first grade at St. Ann's School in Raritan. Since then, she has been a K-4 tutor, instructional assistant, and substitute teacher. In her free time, she likes to relax and read a lot of books (especially her favorite author Dr. Seuss with her children), exercise, volunteer, and spend time with her seven-year-old son, Alex, six-year-old daughter Avery, and her husband, Mike. This past summer, she enjoyed going to the beach and pool with family and friends. Mrs. Zieziula looks forward to an exciting and rewarding 2017-2018 school year at Woods Road School!

Fourth Grade

Hello! My name is Ms. Katie Dallenbach, and I am beyond thrilled to be joining the 4th-grade team at Woods Road Elementary School. I first joined the Woods Road community last year as a long-term substitute for ESL and then continued as the long-term substitute in REACH from January through June. It is an incredible honor to part of a community of such excellent educators.

To give you a little background, I have lived most of my life in Flemington, New Jersey. After graduating from Hunterdon Central, I went on to attend Liberty University in Virginia. From there, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with B.A in Teaching English as a Second Language with a dual teaching certification in ESL and Elementary Education and a double minor in French and Linguistics. I completed my student teaching with the Flemington-Raritan School District at the intermediate and middle school level teaching 5th-8th grade ESL. My teaching experience since graduating has been diverse and eclectic, but it prepared me to be an effective classroom teacher. Since graduating, I have taught English at a Bilingual preschool, 6th grade French, elementary ESL and lastly REACH. I am confident my educational background, experience, and passion for teaching will provide your child with a positive atmosphere for learning and growth.

Besides being passionate about teaching and learning, I love spending time with my family and friends, hiking, exploring new places, reading, and most importantly drinking coffee. When I am not at school, I enjoy training at my Crossfit gym and volunteering at my church. This summer, I went on vacation with my family to Naples, Florida and enjoyed a lot of quality time on the beach. A few of my favorite things include any book written by Kate DiCamillo, the color purple, and dark chocolate. I look forward to having a wonderful year at Woods Road Elementary.

Speech-Language Pathologist

Hello Wildcats! My name is Erica Katz and I would like to introduce myself as the new Speech-Language Pathologist at WRS. I am so excited to become a part of this wonderful community!

I have recently completed my M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology at Seton Hall University. Prior, I received my B.S. in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Speech Language Pathology and disability studies at the University of Delaware. I have been fortunate to experience a wide variety of practice settings during my graduate school years. Delivering therapeutic services in the public schools, a private school for students with significant disabilities, as well as an inpatient hospital, gives me an especially unique perspective regarding the continuum of services provided by SLPs.

When I am not giving services to such wonderful students, I enjoy exercising, cooking, volunteering, dancing, and reading (Kurt Vonnegut has been my author of choice this summer!). My summer was filled with spending time with family and friends, and of course, my dog, lounging at the beach and visiting family in Florida. As the new Speech-Language Pathologist, I am looking forward to building strong relationships with my students as well as fellow staff members. I hope to collaborate with all members of our community to bring a new perspective and fresh ideas. It is my full purpose as a therapist to strive to exhibit, as well as instill in others, both kindness and the motivation to achieve their goals. I cannot wait to meet everybody and am looking forward to a fantastic year at WRS!

World Language - Spanish

by Rebecca Salazar

I am thrilled to join the faculty of Hillsborough Public Schools as a Spanish teacher at WRS and HES. My family is from Guatemala, where I lived until I was four years old. As a student at Williams College, I traveled to Guatemala, Spain, France, Germany, and Austria, then received my M.M. at Manhattan School of Music. Upon graduating, I worked in the educational departments of Orchestra of St. Luke’s and National Chorale in NYC to introduce classical music to children. I also worked for six years as a Spanish editor at Scholastic. By 2010, I had begun designing and teaching immersion Spanish in after school programs. After moving to Princeton, I joined the faculty of Notre Dame High School as a Spanish teacher. Last year, I taught Spanish at RiversideElementary School in Princeton, then at Timberlane Middle School in Hopewell. This summer, my family (husband and two boys,10 and 16) traveled to England, Wales and Ireland, where we learned the meaning of “craic!" In my free time, I love to play guitar and rummage through antique stores for old books and maps. My favorite books are biographies of Latin American historical figures. I am looking forward to sharing Latin American songs, folktales and arts and crafts with all my new students at WRS and HES.

Child Study Team Secretary

Welcome to Gerilyn McClaughry, the new Child Study Team Secretary for WRS and AMS, and also Tienet Administrator. Gerilyn has been with HTPS for 2 years as the CST secretary for HMS, HES and WFE. She lives in Somerville and has four children and one daughter-in- law. Gerilyn coaches swim team in her spare time, loves to read, especially biographies. She had a wonderful summer as evidenced by her tan!