In The Schools

Montville Township High School Media Center Marvels

1bde51ad62f2d4f4ccbc_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_048.JPG
Dr. Karen Cortellino, center in white, Dr. Matthew Kayne, center, and Douglas Sanford cut the ribbon for the new MTHS media center. Credits: Melissa Benno
fbef5f0c167c476f2190_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_001.JPG
The new Montville Township High School Media Center Credits: Melissa Benno
5d283b198918684ea30c_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_002.JPG
The new Montville Township High School Media Center Credits: Melissa Benno
6a283631503cb63fef1b_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_004.JPG
Douglas Sanford, left, and media specialist Jennifer Keneally, third from right, pose with student tour guides and Information Technology Services Manager Austin Thomsen (far right) Credits: Melissa Benno
bdbd52ba65be4f20c215_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_007.JPG
Douglas Sanford, left, media specialist Jennifer Keneally, Information Technology Services Manager Austin Thomsen Credits: Melissa Benno
d005b2bf615a8258a38d_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_009.JPG
Superintendent Dr. René Rovtar speaks at the opening of the new Montville Township High School media center Credits: Melissa Benno
e870b5a164272b527255_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_015.JPG
Dr. Matthew Kayne, President of the Montville Township Board of Education, speaks at the opening of the new MTHS media center
f5979f029dd79456f2ae_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_020.JPG
Douglas Sanford, Principal of Montville Township High School, speaks at the opening of the new MTHS media center Credits: Melissa Benno
3875b4b19b9f6a23f345_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_051.JPG
A plaque dedicating the new Montville Township High School Media Center Credits: Melissa Benno
bf2ffc40a27c5bfce391_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_053.JPG
Greg Costeas and Chancellor Mazzo of the Take a Chance band play at the opening of the MTHS media center Credits: Melissa Benno
0b4b5c8ea0e03fbb3211_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_059.JPG
Robin Lemmerz sings "Corner of the Sky" at the opening of the MTHS media center Credits: Melissa Benno
2b85273f7d45b2d31673_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_069.JPG
Jack Motherway plays with the Take A Chance band at the opening of the MTHS media center Credits: Melissa Benno
01fad00f75ea70845eaf_aaa_media_ctr_and_BOE_146.JPG
The Montville Township High School student string quartet performed at the ribbon cutting of the new high school Media Center Credits: Melissa Benno
ff9cabda56f5550eeddd_aaa_media_ctr_levy.JPG
Rachel Levy sings at the opening of the MTHS media center Credits: Melissa Benno
1bde51ad62f2d4f4ccbc_aaa_Media_ctr_and_BOE_048.JPG

MONTVILLE, NJ – Families, students and administrators gathered at the Montville Township High School on Jan. 19 for the unveiling of the newly renovated MTHS media center. The four-year process culminated in a new facility that Montville Township Board of Education President Dr. Matthew Kayne called, “a technological showcase that will better help our students to prepare for their future.”

The media center had not received any major renovations since its construction 45 years ago.

“In those days,” said Kayne, “the library was a book warehouse with a few phones and a copy machine.  The world of technology has come a long way. With so many technological advancements, technology’s impact on education continues to be defined over time. Few districts can boast that they have the innovative instructional programs that we now provide in Montville Township.  This media center helps raise the educational bar further.”

Sign Up for E-News

Kayne thanked former superintendent of schools Dr. Paul Fried, who attended the ceremony, for his “vision and guidance.”

Kayne also thanked the Media Center Action Committee for its work in planning the center. Composed of educators, Board of Ed members, Montville Township Public Library personnel, parents and students, the MCAC toured other high schools’ media centers and researched all the possible innovations that could be built into the center. MTHS Principal Douglas Sanford stated a year and a half was spent researching.

Sanford said a former Board of Education member told him to “dream big, which opened the doors to put any idea on the table. Not every idea made it to the final project, but we came up with a fantastic space that’s a wonderful renovation for this high school.”

“This is a beautiful space, and it’ll be fantastic for years to come. But that only makes up ten percent of it. What’s going to make it super-special is our fantastic media specialist Jennifer Keneally,” Sanford said.

Sanford said that Keneally became media specialist two years ago, but even before the renovation, was attracting students to the media center by making the most of the facility despite its limitations. He called her a great asset to the school.  “In my opinion, her ability to generate renewed excitement about the media center contributed to the anticipation and enthusiasm for the renovation,” he told TAP into Montville.

Sanford said key features of the new facility include flexibility, and a design that not only fits the needs of current students, but also the “students of tomorrow.” Natural light was also desired, as well as freshness and “user-defined spaces, to accommodate the individual.”

Board Member Dr. Karen Cortellino also thanked Fried, stating, “his wisdom and thoughtfulness guided us through some complicated moments.”

Cortellino thanked PTC Co-President Andrea Orris and former PTC Co-President Kim Passaretti for “recognizing the dire shape our media center was in.”

Cortellino said that Orris and Passeretti didn’t just recognize the issue but took action, fundraising and asking the Board of Ed to earmark the donation to the media center. Cortellino stated that former Board Member Jackie Ritschel urged a far more substantial renovation than even the generous donation of $10,000 could buy. Cortellino stated Ritschel convinced the Board to set aside money to do the project “in the right way.”

Orris thanked the students on the MCAC for “forming the idea of what would benefit them.” She said the new media center will “help staff become even better by providing them with the resources they need to help our kids become critical thinkers.”

President of the Student Activities Council and Student Representative to the Board of Education Tasneem Amer stated the best part of being on the MCAC as a student, was being able to speak their opinions directly to the media specialists and the designers. She called the media center renovation “remarkable.”

To see a compilation video of the unveiling ceremony, watch:

 
Features

Changes to the facility include reorganization of the space to include a classroom with a glass wall. The wall can be opened or closed to form a classroom space, as desired.

“The center was designed to accommodate noisier activities, like discussions, and quieter areas, and they won’t disturb each other,” Sanford told TAP into Montville.

Five TVs are suspended above the “active study” area in the front of the center. Students can use an application on their phone called “Tunity” and listen to any TV. The furniture in the active study area is designed to be reconfigurable.

The book and resource collection has been changed to align with Common Core Standards and be “more representative of classroom needs and student interest,” according to Sanford.

The facility includes an art gallery to showcase student artwork, and two areas with enough seating for an entire class, computer monitors, and ceiling-mounted speakers. Three small “collaborative rooms” can be used for a college interview or small faculty meetings, and the technology in these rooms allows those in the room to project their work onto monitors in each room.

“This is like a car show – you see the car but until you drive it, you can’t appreciate it. I wish we could show everybody the capabilities of each feature in the center,” Sanford said. The teachers will have a demonstration of the features on Feb. 15, which is a staff in-service day in the district, he said.

Reaction

Attendees’ reaction was very positive.

“It looks fantastic, I love the couches,” said MTHS senior Brandon Wong.

Junior Alec Grossman said, “It looks like a college facility – it’s so spacious.”

Alec's grandfather, Mort Grossman said, “It looks so different than in the 1970s when I saw it. It’s so bright now!”

Montville resident and Montville Township Public Library employee Amy Resnikoff said, “It’s mind-blowing how it turned out from what it used to look like. I was on the committee, and when we visited Mountain Lakes High School’s recent renovation, our jaws dropped. But this is one hundred times better than that!”

Newly named Montville Township Public Library Assistant Director Rachel Pekar said, “I like the movable furniture.”

Fried stated, “I think the facility is beautiful and incredibly functional. It gives Montville students a great opportunity for learning, now and in the future.”

Montville Township Historical Society President Kathy Fisher stated, “It’s beautiful. I’m sure it will be helpful for the students.”

Putting the Ceremony Together

Student representatives acted as “tour guides” for the event, spotlighting the features of the center. Students from the music department sang and performed music in the lobby outside the center, including a string quartet, the Take A Chance band, Robin Lemmerz, Rachel Levy and Emily Michalak.

To see a compilation video of these students’ performances, watch:

 

Students from Fran Hersch’s video production class created videos that were playing on the televisions suspended from the center’s ceiling. Ed Coscia created a sports video, Gabby Weiner a construction timeline video, and Katie Kamper an activities video.

The Montville Township High School administration would like to thank the following organizations for their donations for the ceremony:

900° Pizza

Baked Squares

Blush Florist

Encore Catering

Pomptonian

Rails

Red Barn

The MTHS PTC

The Media Center Action Committee members were:

Dr. Karen Cortellino, Charles Grau, Ann Kaplan, Jennifer Keneally, Allan Kleiman, Michele Lourenco, Susan Marinello, Richard Medwin, Michael O’Brien, Andrea Orris, Kim Passaretti, Amy Resnikoff, Dr. René Rovtar, Douglas Sanford, Karin Skaletsky, Kaitlin Sullivan, James Tevis, Austin Thomsen, Steven Toth, Michele Turnbull, Andrewa Wallace, Andrea Woodring, Aleassandra Yanofsky, Dr. Paul Fried, Steven Kapsalakis, Jackie Ritschel, Jennifer Rubino and Trisha Soucy.

The media center was a product of the work of the following contributors:

SSP Architectural Group, Inc.

Vanas Construction Co., Inc.

Soyka-Smith Design Studios

Tele-Measurements, Inc.

American Library and School Services, Inc.

Library Interiors, Inc.

GCA Services Group, Inc.

MTPS maintenance dept.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7da5c9e35ba507a41961_franco

Fri, April 20, 9:00 AM

Anthony Francos Pizza, Lincoln Park

Lax Franco Fundraiser (Last Day to Sign up)

Food & Drink Giving Back Sports

Carousel_image_731db9e3e271373f9a07_library_winter__2018_tapinto_montville4

Mon, April 23, 3:30 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Paper Airplane Challenge

Education

Carousel_image_a1e0d610d1aa73fa1837_0eb64679-6d22-4fd0-8df2-5afc1b4ad4b6

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club Monthly Meeting

Government

Calling For The Resignation of Councilwoman June Witty

April 12, 2018

Dear Editor,

This week, Montville Township Republican Committeewoman, June Witty, posted a chart depicting a swastika that compared Democrats to Nazis on her personal Facebook page. This post by Committeewoman Witty was not only insensitive to township residents registered as Democrats but, more importantly, this post is rooted in hate and vitriol toward the Jewish Community. Anti-Semitism is ...

Morristown Community Invited to the 2018 Youth Protection Symposium Opioid Awareness to Protect Our Teens

April 20, 2018

CEDAR KNOLLS, NJ -  According to the taskforce facing addiction in the State of New Jersey, addiction to opioids affects people of all genders, races and adults of all ages. In 2015, more than 33,000 people in the United States died as result of opioid overdose, stated the agency.

The Youth Protection Committee of Patriots’ Path Council has partnered with the Morris County ...

Master Plan Kick-off Meeting to Be Held

April 8, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Township Committee, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Adjustment will have a special “Master Plan Kick-off Meeting” at the municipal building on Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The Master Plan is the document that has been “designed to guide the future development of the community, in a manner consistent with sound planning criteria and the ...

Short Evacuation Occurs at MTHS

April 17, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – A short evacuation occurred at Montville Township High School on April 17.

After the regular 2:10 p.m. dismissal, a fire alarm sounded but an announcement was made naming it a false alarm, according to a student who was in the building for an extracurricular activity.

The alarm again went off at 2:18 p.m. and the student said an announcement was made that the building ...

More Than Just Kindness for Roxbury Student Adored by Tragically Killed Boy

April 17, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – She lost her 10-year-old son three years ago in a boating accident on Lake Hopatcong, but Laurie D’Amico is sure her beloved Christopher speaks to her all the time. It’s subtle but firm, she says; messages that come as sparks of recollection, inspiration or intuition.

One of those unexpected inklings led Laura and her husband Chris to a jewelry ...

Lifehouse, Andy Grammer, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited to Perform for 2018 NJ Balloon Festival

April 9, 2018

READINGTON, NJ – Balloons may be the main attraction at the annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, but music also takes center stage here.

The festival will be held July 27 through July 29 at Solberg Airport and this year’s main music attractions have been announced.

On Friday evening, Andy Grammer will perform. His debut album featured the platinum singles ...

Morristown Community Invited to the 2018 Youth Protection Symposium Opioid Awareness to Protect Our Teens

April 20, 2018

CEDAR KNOLLS, NJ -  According to the taskforce facing addiction in the State of New Jersey, addiction to opioids affects people of all genders, races and adults of all ages. In 2015, more than 33,000 people in the United States died as result of opioid overdose, stated the agency.

The Youth Protection Committee of Patriots’ Path Council has partnered with the Morris County ...

Columns

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, April 21 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 22 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
172 Pine Brook Road, Montville
10 ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 open houses for this weekend:

Saturday, April 14 from 1 - 4 p.m.

1.  Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 15 from 1 - 4 p.m.

1.  42 Horseneck Road, Montville

2.  Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two ...

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 The Crossing open houses this weekend:

Saturday, April 7 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 8 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
42 Horseneck Road, ...

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 The Crossing open houses this weekend:

Saturday, March 31 from 1 - 4 p.m.  

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
1 Kirsten Court, Towaco
42 Horseneck Road, Montville

Saturday, March 31 from 1 - 3 p.m.

12 Pond View, Montville

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Pet Corner