In Millburn, we are proud to celebrate the diversity of all of our students and families throughout the school year. One program that embodies this philosophy is the Wax Museum presented in our elementary schools. As you may know, the intent of a Wax Museum is to celebrate the accomplishments of influential individuals throughout history, and students take pride in honoring their subject by learning about them, and presenting their findings in an authentic way. This week, the way in which one of these historical figures was represented has drawn some concern. While no offense was intended, we recognize that some may have taken it that way.
 
Please be assured that across the district we will ensure that guidelines for programs such as these are culturally respectful. This is a teachable moment. We appreciate your sensitivity and attention to this matter.
 
Retirees

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At Monday night’s Board of Ed meeting we celebrated and said farewell to the 2016-2017 class of retirees.  This group of 24 of our esteemed colleagues, representing 458 years of service to Millburn Schools, is beginning the next chapter in their lives.  As is our tradition, the retirees received a framed rendering of their school, signed by colleagues.  The former MMS Guidance Counselor, John Rogers, was there to joyfully welcome them into the fraternity of Millburn Retired Educators.  I want to say thank you for your dedication and service to the students, staff and parents of Millburn. 
 
Congratulations go to: Linda Ariel, MMS, Social Worker; Linda Bowden, Glenwood, Kindergarten Teacher;Michael Cahill, MMS, Principal; Nina Cartelli, Hartshorn, Special Education; Kathryn CassaLarosa, MMS, English; John Childs, MMS, Physical Education; Michele Circelli, MMS, Custodian; Fredda Conlon, Deerfield, Social Worker; Patricia Corlett, MHS, Social Worker; Calvin Cummings, MMS, Custodian (in memoriam); Catherine Doty, MMS, Language Arts; Mary Galligan, MMS, Special Education; Melvin Go, District, Maintenance; Theresa Gonnella, MMS, Assistant Principal; Grace Johnson, Glenwood, Music; Matthew Laurent, MHS, Custodian; Nancy Leahy, South Mountain, Speech; Geraldine Miller, Glenwood, Kindergarten Teacher; Pamela Palmieri, MMS, Nurse; Anna Pasquarelli, Deerfield, Secretary; Elizabeth Villas, Deerfield, Media Specialist; Honi Wasserman, Wyoming, Media Specialist; Margaret Weakley, MMS, Science; Denise Worthington, MMS, Guidance Counselor.
  
Education Foundation Grants

I also want to thank the Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills who recently announced their donation of $155,585 that will fund grants requested by our teachers, staff and parents.  Thanks to all community members who support the amazing work of these dedicated volunteers, whose fundraising efforts provide so much to our schools and students. This support is invaluable in providing programs, equipment, and innovations in our classrooms that enhance teaching and learning in ways that the district would not afford under our yearly budget.  The Foundations received application requests amounting to $400,000.00 for the 2016-17 Grant Season. 
 
You can help them fulfill those wishes next year by becoming a member, attending their events, and volunteering. Take a look at their website https://www.edfoundationmillburnshorthills.org for a complete list of this years grants and recipients, and to find out how you can help.


 
Down the Block

Another township service organization is being recognized this month by the Township Committee.  June has been proclaimed as “Down the Block Month.” Down the Block is a non-profit corporation created and run by a group of Millburn/Short Hills residents whose mission is to provide short-term assistance to those of our Township neighbors facing unexpected financial setbacks. Since its founding in 2009, Down the Block has provided over $390,000 in financial assistance to needy residents.  Thanks to all community members who have donated to this community pillar that helps our own.  Mark your calendar for the DTB Family Fun Hike on Sunday, June 25th in the South Mountain Reservation. During this guided tour, families will learn the history of and surprises about this nature preserve right in our backyard. Down the Block is also being honored with the Millburn 4th of July Committee’s Patriot Award this year! 
 
Go Millers!

Best of luck tomorrow as (some of) our Millers compete in the last two athletic events of the year.  Matt Grossman, is the #1 seed in the state for the 3200m race in the Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington High School in Columbus NJ (around 6:30 p.m. if you are heading down that way). All are invited to cheer on the Millers Baseball team in the Baseball Group 4 State Championship Game vs. Hunterdon Central at 2 p.m. at Toms River North High School.

(UPDATE: Millburn Baseball beat Hunterdon Central for the Group 4 State Championship.)