Welcome Back to our RES Families

A Back to School Newsletter 2022-2023

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Dear Parents,

Whether you are new or returning to Riverside Elementary School, the faculty and staff join me in inviting you to our school! The staff and I look forward to working with you to achieve our shared goal of helping your child achieve his/her potential in a setting that is respectful, motivating and challenging. We are proud of our past traditions and successes and are looking forward to creating additional ones this school year.

Scott Shumway, Principal

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When & Where to Go.....

Riverside Elementary School doors open at 8:10 a.m..and school lets out at 2:33 p.m.. Our half day dismissal is 12:30 for Kindergarten through 5th grades, the preschool half day schedule is 8:10-10 for our a.m. program and 10:40-12:30 for the p.m. program. September 6th, our first day, is a half day!

Drop Off and Pick Up Locations:

PreK- The prek “blacktop" near the corner of Payne and Grant Streets

K- Entrances are near the playground, in the back of the school (Grant Street)

1st- Entrance next to the cafeteria (Between the middle and elementary schools)

2nd- Side door to the cafeteria

3rd- Front entrance on Washington St.

4th- Front entrance on Washington St.

5th- Pathway / sidewalk to the right of the front entrance

Meet Our New Staff

● Deborah Allen – PT Preschool Aide

Ms. Allen comes to us from the healthcare business world and is excited to learn new skills in the field of education. Her philosophy is to impart the gifts of inquisitiveness, enthusiasm and creativity for life’s adventures. She is compassionate, artistic and detail oriented.

● Taylor Arket-York – Special Education Teacher (MD)

Mrs. Arket-York is “excited to return to her alma mater to build relationships with students and staff at RES” and to “learn from the teachers who taught me when I was younger.” She comes to us with experience teaching a high needs population. Her philosophy is that “while the students are at school they should feel happy, like they are in a safe place and driven to learn.” She is a motivated, passionate team player.

● Laura Bruzek-ES/MS Guidance Counselor

Ms. Bruzek comes to us with experience as a teacher and a counselor in a private school. Her kindness is contagious and uplifting. She is excited to get to know our students this year, host small discussion groups, and teach character education lessons in our classrooms.

● Vicki Coletti – PT Basic Skills Aide

Ms. Coletti brings with her valuable experience from her time as a Preschool teacher at Goddard. She is excited to be “part of something important and to have a positive impact here at RES.” She aims to use her optimism and creativity In working with students to impart a sense of confidence in them.

● Lexie Conard – PT Basic Skills Aide

Ms. Conard comes to us with experience substitute teaching in a neighboring town. She is excited to work and learn from our experienced staff. Her driving philosophy when working with children is to have them build confidence within themselves. Caring, hardworking and patient, we welcome her back to her alma mater!

● Gretchen Donoflio – Nurse Clerk

Mrs. Donoflio is taking on a new position at RES. As our first Nurse Clerk ever, she is excited to help share her ideas about how we can run our Nurse’s office and to work in an office where kids feel welcomed and loved. Caring, responsible and trustworthy; with her nursing background as an LPN, Mrs. Donofolio will be a multifaceted asset to the office.

● Andrea Dunlap - Nurse

Riverside Elementary is getting a new nurse. Welcome Mrs. Dunlap! This dynamic professional is excited to focus on inspiring and encouraging our students. She hopes that all of the children of RES will learn that she is there to support their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Ms. Dunlap is compassionate, motivated and proud to be a cheerleader/ supporter of the students.

● Donna Lee Healy – ESL Teacher

Mrs. Healy is an experienced ESL teacher and former private school administrator with years of experience. She is excited to join our ESL team here at Riverside and to serve the students of this town. She is kind, patient and intelligent. Mrs. Healy “hopes that students know that she cares about them and wants them to understand that their education is an investment that will change their future!”

● Doris Hudson – PT Preschool Aide

Mrs. Hudson comes to us with experience in customer service and as an operations group leader in the private sector. She is excited about “gaining a new positive aspect in her life… and being able to help others”. She is kind, gentle and understanding and “hopes to encourage students to not give up and develop and we can do this attitude.”

● Anastasia Lindenman - K Teacher (previously a Preschool aide)

Mrs. Lindenman has been a long term substitute in 2nd grade last year and was a preschool aide in our district. She is excited to learn new things and “grow from/with her colleagues as she navigates her first full year of teaching.” She is flexible, caring and motivated. Her goal is for “all of her students to feel safe, loved and appreciated while having fun and learning new things.”

● Kari Parsons - Ambulatory Aide

Mrs. Parsons is excited to join us and fulfill her childhood dream of having a job in education. She hopes to use her new role to help make our students feel loved, valued and unique. Those who know Kari refer to her as passionate, caring and supportive.

● Linda Rho - PT Basic Skills Aide

Ms. Rho has spent years in education as a teacher in other districts and says that she is looking forward to learning from everyone and contributing to the RES team. She hopes to make improvements in the lives of the students as she seeks to be an adult that they can learn from and trust. Three words used to describe her are kind, helpful and eclectic!

● Libbey Riddle-Herzog – PT Basic Skills Aide

Joining us with many years of experience teaching first and second grade, Mrs. Riddle is excited to work with students in small groups and collaborate with the teachers to best support student growth and learning. Patient, Supportive and dedicated, she hopes to “provide a safe, engaging and rigorous learning environment utilizing differentiated instruction to meet the needs of our students.”

● Ruff, Erika - Special Education Teacher

Mrs. Ruff is joining us with 5 years of teaching experience as a special ed teacher in another district. This dependable, creative and enthusiastic new staff member is looking forward to “all of the exciting community and school events at Riverside.” She aims to inspire students to perform to the best of their abilities. Through her lessons, she “hopes students are able to value their strengths and apply them to all content areas during the school day and throughout their lives.”

● Laura Sadowski – 5 th Grade Teacher

A veteran teacher of Kindergarten, third, fourth and fifth grade for almost 10 years, Mrs. Sadowski is excited to get to know and work with the RES community. She is kind, compassionate and flexible. Her goal as a teacher is to “guide students to find and work up to their potential in a classroom where they feel safe, comfortable and love to learn.”

● Michelle Shinn – PT Preschool Aide

Mrs. Shinn has been working at RES for years as our recess aide and as a crossing guard. We are excited to welcome her into the classroom. She is kind, reliable and full of wisdom to share. Our preschool students are lucky to get to learn from her in this new role.

● Rebecca Sisley – PT Basic Skills Aide

Mrs. Sisley is a parent in the community, local pastor and youth program coordinator. Compassionate, passionate and energetic; she wants to make a difference in the lives of our students by supporting them in building a love of learning. She believes that “Kids learn through play!”, so we should “let them be silly, use voices and get excited to keep them engaged.”

● Kelly Starke – Special Education Teacher

A former Riverside student, Ms. Starke is excited to continue to learn from the teachers that she had here… but from the perspective of a colleague! Ms. Starke has experience as an everyday building sub in another district. She seeks to inspire the confidence in learners to not be embarrassed to ask for help. Determined, cheerful and charismatic, she will certainly keep her students engaged.

● Azekel Toppin – PT Basic Skills Aide

Joining us with experience as a teacher assistant at a daycare and coach, we are happy to welcome Mr. Toppin. Kind, caring and hardworking, Mr. Toppin will make an excellent role model for our students.

● Carletta Walker-Owens – PT Basic Skills Aide

Mrs. Walker-Owens comes to us with experience as a substitute teacher and as a contract specialist with a background in business management. She is excited to be in the classrooms daily at RES. She is reliable, dependable and helpful to those around her. Her goal in the classroom is to guide the students to complete work with their very best effort and to help them lead a “happy life.”

  • Judith Sotos- recess/ cafeteria aide

Ms. Sotos is energetic and excited to join us. We are sure that she will help make our cafeteria and playground a safe and wonderful place to be.

  • Amanda Cranmer - recess/ cafeteria aide

Mrs. Cranmer is creative, giving and driven. She has experience working with children as a youth leader and special needs ministry director. Her warm and nurturing demeanor will be a wonderful addition to our cafeteria crew!

Schedule Information for the summer and first week of school

August 8- The Genesis Parent Portal is open- please update info and check off on required forms

August 22- Genesis Parent Portal will show your child's placement (teacher name) for the 22-23 school year.

September 6- First day of school. Early dismissal 12:30

September 7- Full days of school begin (2:33 dismissal)


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Important Events

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Back to School Night

Tuesday, Sep. 13th, 6:30pm

112 East Washington Street

Riverside, NJ

Due to space limitations, this event is for Parents ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT BRING STUDENTS OR OTHER CHILDREN. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about your child’s teacher and classroom procedures

Check us out on Facebook!

News from the School and Family Association

Meetings are held in the elementary media center at 6:30 on the second Thursday of the month. We honor our Radiant Rams at the meetings and plan exciting events for our students.

Meeting dates:





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