Chester Superintendent's Newsletter

From Dr. Christina Van Woert, Superintendent of Schools

September 2019

Welcome Back to School

Welcome Back to School! We were so pleased to see the many smiling faces of our students return to school on Aug. 26th. Over the summer months, we had the opportunity to plan, to research, to be creative in joining our common energy and ideas around how we can continue to provide your children with the very best educational programs possible. We recognize that each of our students has only one chance to be a first grader, or a fifth grader etc., and we want to ensure that each year is their best year ever!

Our Chester Board of Education has focused on three areas for our 2019-2020 Board Goals: (1) Implementing new curricula and programs in social and emotional learning and civics education; (2) researching and writing a new five year facilities plans with special emphasis on the exteriors of our buildings and our grounds; and (3) writing a three to five year financial forecast for the district's future.

These goals will set the pathway for us to follow as we seek to help your children grow ever more independent as learners and as productive citizens who are healthy and well balanced and ready to take on the challenges set before them. We look forward to watching all of our children continue to soar as they achieve their goals and greatness!

The Chester School District Announces 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

Big picture

Congratulations to our 2019 Newly Tenured Faculty and Staff Members!

At our opening day professional development meeting on Aug. 23rd, we celebrated the following faculty and staff members throughout the district who have earned their own well deserved tenure. Pictured above are Sue Beringer, Special Education, BRMS; Tara Bagnole, Preschool, Dickerson; Gretchen Capan, Spanish, Bragg; Jerry Castro, Technology Coach, Bragg; Maritza Ciottariello, Spanish, BRMS; Kathryn Corcoran, Preschool, Dickerson; Allie Johnson, Gr. 3, Bragg; Robin Matelsky, STEM/GT, Dickerson; Sean McQueeney, Social Studies, BRMS; Kelly Tompkins, STEM, Bragg; Lisa Campbell, School Secretary, Bragg; Taryn Mansolino, Language Arts, BRMS; and Brad Currie, our Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Big picture

Our Teachers Are SUPERHEROES

Also at our district-wide opening day session, we celebrated the fact that our teachers are truly superheroes for all the magical and magnificent progress they help our students make in school! Pictured above are Vivian Norman, LDT-C/CST; Kathy Vespignani, Choral Teacher, BRMS; Maryrose Walsh, Gr. 4, Bragg; Jerry Castro, Technology Coach, Bragg; Haiping Wang, Mandarin Chinese, BRMS; Rebecca Gambuti, Gr. 1, Dickerson; and Nicole Healy, Literacy Specialist, Dickerson School. Keep soaring!

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.