Schoenly School Kindergarteners Are Ready For First Grade

Schoenly School Principal Nancy Torchiano addresses students and parents at the Kindergarten Moving-Up Ceremony on June 7. Credits: Dawn Miller
Kindergarten teacher, Stacey Vespoli got a chuckle from the audience when she asked her students if they remembered how scared she was on the first day of school. Credits: Dawn Miller
Credits: Dawn Miller

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Robert Fulghum's famous poem says that everything you need to learn in life actually gets mastered in kindergarten. While that may sound strange, there's is a grain of truth in there. After all, kindergarten is where youngsters learn to share, be fair, clean up, wash hands before eating and of course remember to flush the toilet.

Spotswood's Schoenly School sent five classes of kindergarteners up the educational ladder to first grade on Wednesday, June 7. There were so many youngsters that in order to coordinate the festivities, the moving-up ceremony needed to be separated into two segments. Stacey Vespoli and Barbara Silvers had the first ceremony while Brooke Weidlich, Debra Generelli and Mrs. Lawrence graduated second. Lawrence took over Janice Cooper's class in the fall when the longtime teacher took a leave of absence.

When Schoenly School Principal Nancy Torchiano stood at the podium, she reminded parents that kindergarten is a German word that means children's garden.

Sign Up for E-News

"Today, we are going to celebrate our garden that has bloomed and is ready to move on to first grade," Torchiano said in her opening remarks.

When Vespoli took the podium next, the longtime early childhood educator first thanked the parents and support staff before addressing the rest of her remarks to her 21 students. At times, the kindergarten teacher fought back tears.

"I have the best job in the world, Vespoli said. "Because I get to spend all these days with you, but it's also the saddest job because after 180 days, I need to send you off. My advice to you is simple; work hard, be happy and know that you can do anything."

And yes they can, while the learning is of course, not finished. The foundation for the rest of their education really is learned in kindergarten.

As each kindergartener shook hands with Interim Superintendent Dr. Anthony Vaz, Spotswood Board of Education member Dolce Branco-Rivera and their principal, they seemed much more mature then that nervous first day of school way back in September. As parents scrambled for photos, each child proudly stood by Torchiano for the milestone picture that would soon find its way on Facebook or Instagram.

As those June days of school fly by, Fulghum's final stanza of his famous poem"All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten" hangs in the air:

"Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


North Brunswick Man Charged with Supplying Fentanyl that Led to Fatal Overdose

June 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - A Trenton man has been charged with providing the drugs that resulted in the fatal overdose of a Middlesex County man.

Eric Laster, 21, was arrested Thursday and charged with a single count of “strict lability for drug induced death,” Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey in a statement he released jointly with North Brunswick police director Kenneth ...

Somerville Elks Epitomize Patriotism and Respect for the American Flag

June 15, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ - They are perhaps the most patriotic Americans you’ll find in any community.

See for yourself on Friday, June 15, when the Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 hosts a Flag Day Festival and Country/Western music concert on the lawn surrounding the historic Somerset County Courthouse on East Main Street from 5-8:30 p.m.

Look for a guy wearing a shirt emblazoned with the American ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Girl Scout Seeks Donations of Craft Items Tomorrow

June 7, 2018

Hi, EB Community, 

I am Alexandra Gonzalez. I am currently a Junior at EBHS. I am as well a Girl Scout and working on my Gold Award. I am in search of donations and would like to inform you on the issue my project will address, how you can help, and why this is important. 

The project I am working on will be impacting the Special education students in East Brunswick Public ...

Rutgers Equine Science Center Annual Summer Showcase Scheduled for July 11

June 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The Equine Science Center at Rutgers University is hosting its annual "Summer Showcase" from 10 am to noon  on Wednesday, July 11 at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory on College Farm Road on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick. The Summer Showcase, similar to an open house, is a FREE event that is open to the public and perfect for any and ...

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

June 13, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...