SUMMIT, NJ - More than 40 new Summit Public Schools staff members -- including teachers, guidance counselors and Child Study Team members -- recently came together for Summit Educator Training (S.E.T.), an event comprised of three days of training followed by one day of building-based preparation.

The S.E.T. schedule is planned around different themes such as Community & Communications, Innovative Teaching, and Professional Responsibilities. 

This year, Lincoln-Hubbard Elementary School Principal Matt Carlin led a bus tour, complete with music and trivia, so new staff could visit the nine Summit school locations and learn about the Hilltopper community. The group also visited the Summit YMCA and other local destinations such as City Hall, where they met with Mayor Nora Radest and Summit Chief of Police Robert Weck.

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After returning to the District offices, instructional facilitators Jackie Arturi and Randy Wallock spoke about the ethnic and socio-economic diversity found in the schools. New teachers learned ways to appeal to different subsets of students in relevant and engaging ways. The afternoon included presentations on Technology by Doug Orr and the technology team, as well as on the Summit Educational Foundation (SEF) by SEF member Sue Thatch.

'Innovative Teaching' was the theme of the second day, where the focus was on expectations and initiatives in the classroom. Jennifer McCann and Tanya Lopez talked about building relationships and being a champion for all children. They also spoke on the District's teacher evaluation model and created opportunities for hands-on learning and interaction. 'Teaching for Understanding' was presented by Cheryl Moretz, Carlin, and Pam Southard;, and included classroom management techniques, instructional strategies, and a focus on the importance of providing essential questions to direct learning.

Special Education Director Doreen Babis, and Special Education Supervisors, Angela Seavy, Christine Lijoi, and Nicole Allen hosted an afternoon session on the topic of Special Education in Summit. They shared information about their department and the types of supports available for special education students in each school. They reviewed the special education process, and discussed progress monitoring and data-based decision making. To conclude the day, Susan Permahos, Susan Tamhankar, and Ann-Marie Aymer visited staff to talk about the Summit Free Public Library, focusing on the Library's support and resources.

On Day 3, Professional Responsibilities was the theme. Along with Summit Police Lieutenant Rick Proctor, Stacy Grimaldi introduced ALICE security drills to the new hires. ALICE is an options-based security protocol that allows staff to determine the best way to respond to an active threat in the school. Donna Gallo and John Ciferni presented a workshop called 'Peppering Policy into Practice' to ensure that new staff became aware of policy pertinent to the District. Concluding the workshops, Lauren Banker and Janice Tierney joined Caitlin Crimmins, Staci Kaplan, and Matt Santos, to share professional practices in the area of literacy.

"S.E.T. is a great opportunity for our new staff to gain the foundation they need to have a successful school year and develop relationships with colleagues and administrators," said McCann.

New teachers and staff joining the Summit Public Schools for the 2019-20 school year include:

Jefferson Primary Center

Delane Bickelhaupt, Heather Hans, Jill Legg. Catherine Lenahan. Colleen Manion and Jennifer Schedlbauer

Wilson Primary Center

Marcelino Brand, Chantal DuBrey, Rachel Petrella and Beverly Verdi.

Franklin Elementary School (FES)

Julia Ciccarelli

Brayton Elementary School (BES)

Kevin Russoniello


Kayla Ryder and Anne Terkovich

Jefferson Elementary School (JES)

Vanessa Abrantes, Bianca Brucato, Laura Kuruc, Laura Lieberman and Brooke Trayer


Lauren Mortenson

JES / Jefferson Primary Center

Natalie Petrides

Lincoln-Hubbard Elementary School

Nicole Higgins

Washington Elementary School

Mackenzie Kiesel, Jessica Prisco, Thomas Savage and Kristen Staub

Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School

Joseph Cannuscio, Melissa Daly, Amanda Christie, Chloe Genakos, Sasha Hicks, Laura Muller, Alicia Muncey, Iris Nunez, Rebecca Pomeroy and Dale Yelner

Summit High School

Roland Bussiere, Oscar Carballo, Stephanie Goncalves, Brittany Hulmes, David Jimerson, Chiara Levy, Matthew Lisiecki, Jack Maranhao, Carrie Odgers Lax, Caitlin Reilly and Elisabeth Sato

District Office

Robert Gardella, Greg Montgomery and Dort Murat