CRANFORD, NJ - Superintendent’s Report
Meeting of June 27, 2016

The Cranford Rotary Club recognized the following senior scholarship winners at their June 16, 2016 meeting:  Rotary Scholarship Award--Caroline Eimer, Isabella Speer, Todd Sweeney, and Jillian Walther;  Cranford InterAct Club Scholarship--Bridget Ruby; and Cranford High School Leadership Award--William Budries.

Cranford High School is very proud to announce that there were 1068 acceptances to colleges and universities:

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Adams State University 1; The University of Alabama 2; University of Alaska Fairbanks 1; Albright College 2; Alderson-Broaddus College 1; Allegheny College 2; Alvernia University 1; American University 5; Arcadia University 5; Arizona State University 1; The University of Arizona 1; Auburn University 2; Barry University 1; Baylor University 2; Becker College 1; Beloit College 1; Bentley University 2; Berklee College of Music 1; Binghamton University 3; Bloomfield College 1; Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 4; Boston College 1; Boston University 9; Brandeis University 1; Brookdale Community College 1; Bucknell University 2; Caldwell University 1; Case Western Reserve University 2; The Catholic University of America 6; Centenary College 2; Champlain College 3; Chapman University 1; College of Charleston 4; Chestnut Hill College 1; University of Chicago 1; Christopher Newport University 1; Clark University 1; Clarkson University 1; Clemson University 5; Coastal Carolina University 3; University of Colorado at Boulder 2; Colorado State University 1; University of Connecticut 7; Dartmouth College 1; University of Dayton 2; Delaware Valley University 1; University of Delaware 21; Denison University 1; University of Denver 2; DeSales University 6; DeVry University 1; Dickinson College 3; Dominican College 1; Doshisha University 1; Drew University 4; Drexel University 7; Duke University 1; Duquesne University 1; Earlham College 1; East Carolina University 5; East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania 5; Eckerd College 1; Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 1; Elizabethtown College 1; Elmira College 1; Elon University 3; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 1; Emerson College 4; Emory University 2; The Evergreen State College 2; Fairfield University 7; Fairleigh Dickinson University 15; Fairmont State University 1; Farmingdale State College 1; Felician University 1; University of Florida 1; Fordham University 26; Franklin Pierce University 1;George Mason University 4; The George Washington University 4; Gettysburg College 4; Gordon College 1; Goucher College 1; Hampshire College 1; University of Hartford 7; Hartwick College 2; Haverford College 1; High Point University 2; Hobart and William Smith Colleges 1; Hofstra University 2; College of the Holy Cross 1; Immaculata University 1; Indiana University at Bloomington 1; Indiana University of Pennsylvania 1; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis 1; The Institute of Culinary Education 1; Iona College 8; Ithaca College 6; James Madison University 25; Juniata College 1 Kalamazoo College 1; Kean University 20; University of Kentucky 1; King's College 4; Kutztown University of Pennsylvania 8; La Salle University 4; Lafayette College 2; Landmark College 1; Lasell College 4; Le Moyne College 4; Lehigh University 3; Lewis & Clark College 2; Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania 1; University of Louisville 1; Loyola University Chicago 1; Loyola University 11 Lycoming College 1; University of Maine 5; Manhattan College 5; Marist College 10; Maryland Institute College of Art 1; University of Maryland 12;Marymount Manhattan College 5; Marymount University 1; Marywood University 2; University of Massachusetts, Amherst 8; University of Massachusetts  Boston 2; University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth 2; Mercy College 1; Merrimack College 2; Miami University,Oxford 1; University of Miami 7; Michigan State University 7; University of Michigan 2; Middlesex County College 2; Millersville University of Pennsylvania 1; University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 1; Misericordia University 1; University of Mississippi 2; Molloy College 1; Monmouth University 16; Montclair State University 30; Moravian College 1; Mount Saint Mary College 2; Mount St. Mary's University 2; Muhlenberg College 5; New England College 1; University of New Hampshire at Durham 1; University of New Haven 11; New Jersey City University 1; New Jersey Institute of Technology 9; The College of New Jersey 21; New York Institute of Technology 1; New York University 4; The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1; University of North Carolina at Wilmington 2; North Carolina State University 1; Northeastern University 3; Northwestern University 2; Occidental College 1; Ohio Wesleyan University 1; University of Oklahoma 1; Old Dominion University 1; Pace University, New York City 14; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 1; Pennsylvania College of Technology 1; Pennsylvania State University - All Campuses 25; University of Pennsylvania 1; Philadelphia University 4; University of Pittsburgh 14; Pratt Institute 2; Providence College 6; Purchase College State University of New York 2; Purdue University 2; Quinnipiac University 24; Ramapo College of New Jersey 14; University of Redlands 1; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1; University of Rhode  Island 6; University of Richmond 2; Rider University 15; Roanoke College 5; Rochester Institute of Technology 4; Roger Williams University 6; Rowan University 23; Rutgers University – Camden 2; Rutgers University-New Brunswick 39; Rutgers University –Newark 2; Sacred Heart University 11; Saint Joseph's University 19; Saint Michael's College 1; Saint Peter's University 1; The College of Saint Rose 3; Salisbury University 1; San Diego State University 1; University of San Diego 1; Savannah College of Art and Design 1; School of the Art Institute of Chicago 1; School of Visual Arts 2; The University of Scranton 21; Seton Hall University 26; Siena College 6; Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania 1; University of South Carolina 11; University of South Florida, Tampa 2; Southern Connecticut State University 1; University of Southern Maine 1; Springfield College 1; St. Bonaventure University 1; St. John's University - Queens Campus 3; St. Lawrence University 1; State University of New York at Albany 1; State University of New York at New Paltz 2; Stevens Institute of Technology 2; Stockton University 10; Stonehill College 1; Stony Brook University 3; Suffolk University 5; SUNY College at Cortland 1; SUNY College at Geneseo 1; Susquehanna University 6; Syracuse University 9; The University of Tampa 7; Temple University 9; University of Tennessee, Knoxville 1; Texas Christian University 1; Texas State University 1; The New School - All Divisions 2; The Ohio State University 3; Towson University 7; Tufts University 1; Union College 2; Union County College 13; Unity College 1; Universal Technical Institute 1; University at Buffalo The State University of New York 1; University of Connecticut School of Nursing 1; University of Valley Forge 1; Urbana University 1; Ursinus College 4; Utica College 1 University of Vermont 6; Villanova University 7; Virginia Tech 4; University of Virginia 1; Wagner College 4; Wake Forest University 1; Washington and Lee University 1; Washington College 2; Washington State University 1; Weber State University 1; Wentworth Institute of Technology 2; Wesleyan University 1; West Chester University of Pennsylvania 4; West Virginia University 4; Western Connecticut State University 1; Western New England University 2; Westfield State University 1; Westminster Choir College of Rider University 1; Widener University 3; Wilkes University 1; College of William and Mary 3; William Paterson University of New Jersey 7; Williams College 1; The College of Wooster 1; Yale University 1; York College of Pennsylvania 2



The Cranford Rotary Club awarded the Vincent Sarnowski Educator Award to Brian Niemsyk, social studies teacher and head teacher of CAMP.  Mr. Niemsyk’s award included a donation to the charity of his choice and Kathy Willis of Cranford Family Care accepted the donation.



Brookside Place School - “For this final month of the school year, I would like to highlight the efforts of Brookside Place School nurse Paula O’Hara. She is a tremendous asset to our school community. In addition to providing excellent care to our students and staff, she extends herself into the area of health education.  Here is a closer look at her efforts throughout the school year,” explained Principal Michael Klimko.

 3rd Annual Fitness Fun Walk:  On Wednesday, June 1, Brooksiders participated in a Fitness Fun Walk during their school day.  The students walked for a mile around the back field with their classmates.  While walking, they learned healthy facts and performed fitness challenges. This event was a coordinated effort between Ms. O’Hara, the BPS Student Council and their advisor Nancy Collins.

 Mindfulness:  On Fridays since March, Ms. O’Hara has coordinated mindfulness events for staff members during lunchtime.  She worked with BPS parent and yoga instructor Gina Pachkowski to provide a time and space to work on awareness and acceptance.  In a work environment that involves so many moving parts, personalities and requirements, this type of centering practice has proved very helpful.

Atlantic Healthy Schools: Ms. O’Hara works with Atlantic Healthy Schools to present two programs.  Tar Wars raised awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco use for BPS fourth and fifth graders. This began the important journey of substance abuse education for BPS students.  In addition, Atlantic Healthy Schools worked with students in grades one, two and three on nutrition education.

Healthy Kids Club: BPS third and fourth graders in Healthy Kids Club worked with Ms. O’Hara after school on important health topics.   Highlights included guest speakers from Cranford police and fire.  In addition, students made their own soap as part of a lesson on proper hygiene.  There was also nutrition and yoga programming.

Wellness Wednesday: Making healthy choices is a concept Ms. O’Hara believes should be introduced as an element of lifelong learning.  To that end, she coordinates helpful tips as part of the morning announcements on Wednesdays.  Topics covered included sun protection, tick prevention, and dental health.   During the month of February, Heart Healthy Month, her tips focused on this important issue.

“All of these efforts are in addition to Ms. O’Hara’s considerable responsibilities, which range from managing all student health records to caring for students on a daily basis. Ms. O’Hara also visits BPS classrooms to discuss topics like sun safety and nutrition. She is a wonderful school resource who offers a warm and caring personality combined with a wealth of professional experience,” continued Mr. Klimko.


Hillside Avenue School - Hillside Avenue School Third Grader is Headed to the White House!America’s next top chef may well be Gianna Malecki, a talented 8-year-old student in Lori Talbot’s third grade class at Hillside Avenue School. Gianna just WON Michelle Obama’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge for the state of NJ (for her “Salmon Paradise” recipe), and she will be flown to Washington, D.C. next month for a special Kids’ State Dinner!!

More than 1,200 students around the country and U.S. territories entered the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, but only one from each state and territory was selected, based on their original recipe creations.

Gianna and her mom will be flown to D.C. on July 13, 2016 for an overnight trip where the winners get treated like royalty, with tours of the Smithsonian, gifts, and a fancy Kids’ State Dinner featuring the winning kids’ recipes. Here’s hoping Gianna’s Salmon Paradise makes it to the table! In addition, Channel 7 News reporter Michelle Charlesworth covered this story from a human interest standpoint early last week.


With the support and generosity of the Cranford Police Department Juvenile Bureau and the Cranford Municipal Alliance, the sixth grade Project ALERT Pizza Party was held at Hillside Avenue School. Municipal Alliance Chairman Bill Ilaria spoke to the students about the "21 means 21" campaign. Thanks to the Hillside PTA who assisted with serving pizza. 

Bloomingdale Avenue School - Bloomingdale Avenue School has spent the past several weeks celebrating the accomplishments of their students.  The celebrations included: Grade 2 Chorus Concert, School Wide Back Yard Bash, OAS Orientation, Kindergarten Celebrations, and Grade 2 Story Theater.   “Our students, staff and families have worked hard these past ten months.  It was exciting to celebrate these achievements together as a BAS Family and we are looking forward to a great 2016-2017 school year. HAVE A WONDERFUL SUMMER!” stated Lourdes Murphy, principal.


Livingston Avenue School - Third Annual Achievement Picnic - LAS students have been working diligently to reach the goals they have set for themselves earlier in the school year....  and to celebrate that hard work, the LAS community along with the PTA and Filipe Luis, principal, decided to again celebrate this event with a family picnic on June 15, 2016 at 5:30.

 In honor of Barbara Murphy’s final class dress up day at Livingston Avenue School, the entire LAS community was invited to dress up on Thursday, June 16.   Throughout her years at LAS, Ms. Murphy has encouraged her students to dress up one day a week. This was a great tribute to Ms. Murphy who is retiring after 45 years of teaching.

“Thank you to the Livingston Avenue School PTA and the Cranford Board of Education for all that they have done and continue to do to support our students and programs throughout the 2015-2016 school year.  We truly appreciate all of your efforts and time!” noted Principal Luis.


Walnut Avenue School - Kindergarten Stepping Up:  Approximately 75 kindergarten students “stepped up” to first grade at the annual Stepping Up Celebration on June 9.  Students treated attending parents and grandparents with songs and a multi-media presentation celebrating this educational milestone.

Grade 2 Orientation:  All second graders walked to Livingston Avenue during the morning hours of June 10 for their annual Orientation Program.  Students met with LAS Principal Filipe Luis, who welcomed students and discussed some of LAS’ club offerings.  Students also had an opportunity to meet with the LAS grade 3 team and briefly interacted with current grade 3 students at LAS.  As part of the program, Mr. Luis also found time to meet with WAS grade 2 parents to discuss the transition to grade 3 and answer any questions.

Grade Level Year End Parties:  The PTA continued their tradition of hosting year end celebrations for both first and second grade students on June 13 and 14.  Celebrations included refreshments, games, music and a bounce house.


Garden Party:  The WAS community celebrated the end of the third trimester theme of “Save the Planet” on June 20 with the annual Garden Party.  On this day, all students and parents were invited to gather in the school gardens to share salads made from fresh lettuce and herbs grown in the school garden.


Orange Avenue School - OAS eighth graders had a safe, enjoyable, and successful trip to Boston. A wonderful time was had by all as students experienced the Boston Freedom Trail, a dinner cruise, Quincy Market, a Boston city tour, Fenway Park, The Boston Museum of Science, and a Duck Boat Tour. This year was a continuation of a long tradition of venturing to Boston for the 8th grade trip.

 Under the leadership of OAS teacher Angel Eimer, the OAS community was proud and excited to hold an assembly on June 21. The focus of the event was to present Charity: Water with a $10,000 donation in front of the entire middle school. OAS has been working towards the goal of raising $10,000 for the past three years. This campaign started with the current eighth grade class, and it was exciting to have them be a part of the donation process before they graduated on June 22, 2016. The representative spoke about the significance of a $10,000 donation and exactly what the money is going towards. They showed pictures of past projects and all that is involved with the process of building a well, explaining how Charity:Water  keeps in touch and sends updates throughout the process so students could see the community and the project in its stages.  OAS recognizes World Water Day every year with their sixth graders. They attend workshops, listen to speakers and learn about the water crisis that is affecting the world. “We even have them carry jerry cans to try to put in perspective how hard it is to access water in some communities. To raise the funds we hosted 2 OAS vs. HAS staff volleyball games as well as bake sales and a very successful Drop Everything and Count activity with the middle school,” expressed Marc Edery, principal. .

On June 10, OAS Elementary Field Day took place. The excellent weather along with the assistance of the parents and PTA helped to make this a memorable event. Students rotated through many fun stations as they engaged in friendly competition. The culminating event was Assistant Principal Kevin Deacon and Principal Marc Edery taking "their turn" in the dunk tank! Both administrators were dunked several times by the students. "It's all in good fun. Showing the kids that we are good sports and will do something like this for their enjoyment reinforces what the students already know - that we are "real people" who should always be seen as fun and approachable at all times. At OAS we work hard and enjoy having fun!" remarked Principal Edery.

Under the leadership of OAS art teacher Samantha Berk, the Art Service Club created a hallway mural outside the middle school art room.  "The students have such great talent. It's a wonderful thing to be able to have them use the hallway corridor as a canvas. They have the opportunity to display their artistic talent and are also beautifying the school at the same time," remarked Ms. Berk.


Lincoln School:

Cranford Achievement Program - Caitlin Murach’s  CAP music students put the final touches on their "Sounds of Change" songwriting project. “Students completed the project and handed in outstanding work! CAP and CAMP applied music students worked very hard on music for the graduation ceremony. Our performers were placed into small bands and performed songs like, "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons, "See You Again" by Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa, "7 Years" by Lukas Graham, and "We Are Here" by Alicia Keys,” explained Ms. Murach.

LEAP students finished the end of their orchestral unit, and worked on projects such as composing animal theme songs on xylophone and having their peers guess which animal their compositions reflect. This challenges students to listen to musical clues that the student composers have put in the songs as hints to their classmates. Upper elementary students completed garageband assignments on IPADs, where they were challenged to create a "21st century orchestra" made entirely of digital instruments.

Gerry Salzarulo’s earth science students finished their study on the environment.  Lessons on the environment included:  natural resources, earth’s energy sources, conservation, pollution and the water cycle.  Special events included a lesson in electric cars, composting and how to clean animals victimized by oil spills.

Liz McKeon’s students ended the year by learning a series of literary terms. Ms. McKeon’s wrote twenty literary terms on the board, such as antagonist, foreshadowing, conflict and epilogue. Students wrote down each word and the definitions. “As they were doing this, we said the words out loud together and gave examples from the literary works we read this year. Each student was then assigned his/her own literary term. This is where the fun began. Students designed a poster on a sheet of paper. The poster had the term at the top with its definition below. The middle of the paper had a visual representation–picture or symbol–that represents the term. The bottom of the paper had a written example from a piece of literature familiar to the class. Once students finished their posters we began “studying.” Every 45 seconds students passed their paper to the next designated person. Each student had 45 seconds to study each literary terms poster. Once the term made it around the room, we stopped. Students cleared their desks and we took a quiz to see how many they could remember. The point was to help students study the new vocabulary visually” explained Ms. McKeon.


Cranford Achievement Middle Program - Brian Niemsyk’s middle school social studies continued their study of ancient civilizations.  The year culminated with students learning about ancient Chinese philosophies including the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.  His teachings were compared to the ancient philosophy of Legalism.  Students had the opportunity to complete further research of the different philosophies online.  Information was then listed and discussed in class.  Finally, students compared each philosophy to governments in the world today and considered advantages and concerns each may offer society.

Students in Cindy Keyasko’s computer classes completed a slideshow about their popular brand logos and slogans called “Testing Your Brand Knowledge.”   This was a lengthy slide presentation with custom animation created in a way to create a “game.”  The students animated their presentation with a layout that would first show the brand logo, then the slogan and finally the brand name.  The students then watched each presentation and tried to guess the brand based on the logo and slogan.  In addition, students worked on improving their typing skills with nitro-type and

 Lincoln Elementary Achievement Program - Kathy Wright’s students continued their reading of both fiction and nonfiction, working on summarizing and character analysis. Students also wrote summer acrostic poems and wrote about their favorite part of the school year, illustrating their work with a picture.  These pictures were used to make a hallway display with Diana Niemsyk’s class.

In math, the students reviewed concepts taught this year including fractions, decimals, whole number addition and subtraction, two and three digit multiplication and division.

In science, the students continued working with Diana Niemsyk’s class to learn about plants.  They grew seeds and conducted an experiment to show how stems bring water to the plant.  They put celery in water that had food coloring in it.  The students made predictions about what they thought would happen and analyzed the results several days later.  In social studies, the students complete their state reports.  They began learning about product maps and drew and analyzed product maps of the United States.              

As Jessica Waters’ students prepared for the end of the year, they “brushed up” on a few of the skills learned early on.  They decided to revisit the calendar and review all the information they can gather from it.  The students are benefitting from the repetition.

In math, the students are beginning to introduce multiplication using arrays.  The kids are excited to experiment using paper clips and cubes.


Cranford High School - Achievements in 2015/2016 (From Principal’s Corner, CHS Website)

New Jersey Monthly: Cranford High School remains one of the “Top High Schools in New Jersey,” ranked #49 in the state.

Washington Post: CHS ranked #499 in a nationwide analysis of public high schools and ranked CHS #7 in New Jersey, improving from #567 and #8 respectively.

S.A.T.: Cranford High School once again surpassed the state and national average with an average score of 1605 which combines Critical Reading (532), Math (544) and Writing (529).                                 


Advanced Placement: 898 advanced placement tests in twenty-four disciplines were taken by CHS students this past year, an increase of 1.5% from last year. 75% of these students scored a “3” or higher.                                                                        

New Jersey Scholar: One CHS student attended the New Jersey Scholar’s Program this past summer.

Music: Seventeen students were accepted into NJ All-State Choruses; ten students were selected to perform in the ACDA All-National Honor Choir. One CHS All-State Chorus member received the Governor’s Award for Choral Music.

Dance: Student work performed at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. Academy students traveled to the Regional High School Dance Festival in Norfolk, VA, participating in five days of master classes, workshops, lectures and performances with a special dance college fair and scholarship audition. Students performed at the Loree Theatre at Mason Gross at Rutgers University. Student work selected for the Teen Arts Gala at the UC Performing Arts Center. Students hosted the NJ dance company 10 Hairy Legs for a master class, performance and talk back. Academy students premiered a piece with Concert Choir at the NJ Holocaust Night of Remembrance.

Theater: CHS received five nominations and three honorable mentions for its production of Seussical in the 2015 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards program. Eight award nominations were received for our production of Moon Over Buffalo Along with winning Best Production of a Comedy and Best Actor in a Comedy by the Montclair Theatre Night Awards Program. Six Academy students received awards at the STANJ competition including a First Place for Comedy Monologue and First Place for Dramatic Pairs. Two students received the Governor’s Award in Arts Education for their STANJ awards.


Visual Arts: Two students had their work shown at the prestigious juried high school art exhibition Fresh Perspectives at the Morris Museum. Two students had their work shown at the Congressional Art Show. One student received first prize in the collage category, one student received second prize in the scratch board category at the Annual duCret School of Art High School Student Art Show. Ten students had their artwork exhibited at a student art show at Gallery U in Westfield. Four students had their work chosen for exhibit at the Union County Teen Arts Touring Exhibit. One student had their work chosen to become a pin for the Art Educators of NJ Youth Art Month.


Applied Technology: Engineering students participated in the Union County Bridge Building competition at UCC and the Panasonic Robotics Competition at NJIT; woodworking students raised over $1000 to purchase Toys for Tots by creating and selling cutting boards; automotive students kept teachers on the road by completing car repairs as part of their coursework.


Athletics: Four Conference Championships, one District Championship, two County Championships, two State Sectional Championships, two Union County Scholar Athletes, and one New Jersey State Scholar Athlete.


Business: Three Accounting students won awards from the CPA Society; one from the Big Four Accounting Firm and two from the NJCPA. Cranford High School boasts one of the largest and most successful DECA organizations. In January 2015, 132 students attended the DECA regional competition at Kean College. Of those students, 44 were eligible to compete at the NJ State Career Development Conference in Cherry Hill, NJ in March. CHS had 14 State finalists, four of whom placed in the top 3 of their events, which qualified them to attend the International DECA Leadership Conference in Orlando, FL. In Orlando these students would compete in marketing and business-related events against more than 15,000 students from all 50 states, as well as Germany, Canada, and several other countries.


Social Studies: CHS had two students in the top 25 finalists of the 2014 Mahatma Gandhi Art & Writing Contest, winning 1st place in the Art contest and Honorable Mention in the Writing contest. Students were presented with their awards at Princeton University. Students participating on the CHS Mock Trial team made it to the Union County semifinals. The Cranford High School Model U. N. Club participated in the 4th Annual YMCA Model United National Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The CHS delegation of 113 students participated in the conference with approximately 1,700 students representing over 30 schools throughout the New Jersey area. The Cranford High School delegation was awarded Premier Delegation for its adherence to all program rules and exemplary preparation and performance of its students. Students were recognized for Outstanding Country, Premier Country, Outstanding Country Research Paper, Outstanding Brief, Premier Delegate, Outstanding Youth Secretariat, and one student was elected to Chair the Press Team for the 2016 conference. Additionally, three students were invited to attend the annual YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs.


Science: CHS will host this year’s first Science League Competition on January 14, 2016, when students will compete in 7 different subject areas. Students earned college credit for passing Rutgers Courses taught at CHS in the areas of Medical Terminology, Dynamics of Health Care, Dynamics of Nutrition, and Emergency and Clinical. AP Environmental Students participated in a Sustainability Exercise with the Senior Citizens advisory Committee. Science Academy students presented to the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee detailing their experiences and interests in healthcare, engineering and environmental science. Honors Biology and Science Academy students visited the STEM program at KEAN where they spent the day touring the facilities and participating in a Murder Mystery lab-based forensic science activity. Meeting of June 13.