West Orange Superintendent Pays Special Visits on First Day of School

Superintendent Jeff Rutzky (center) with Principal Connie Salimbeno (to his left), teachers and students. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Redwood Interim Principal Heather Carr, PTA President Patricia Gomes, and Superintendent Jeff Rutzky. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Story time at the Betty Maddalena Early Learning Center. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Students arrive at Redwood. Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Despite a challenging start to the day, public schools opened across West Orange on Sept. 6.

Downpours, a power outage in the St. Cloud area, and an accident on Route 280 delayed school buses that day by about 20 minutes due to traffic congestion in those areas. Power was restored to the St. Cloud area for the opening of St. Cloud School to the relief of parents and teachers.

Superintendent Jeffrey Rutzky made a special stop to Redwood Elementary School to welcome Interim Principal Heather Carr, who has also served as an Assistant Principal at Washington and Interim Director of Human Resources.

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Carr is taking over for Principal Bruce Arcurio, who accepted another position closer to home. A principal search is set to begin in January.

Also close to the hearts of the Redwood community was the recent passing on Sept. 4 of music teacher Joel Perry. Perry worked at Redwood for 22 years and was also a gifted guitarist and recording artist. Director of Guidance Cheryl Butler was onsite with counselors to help students and teachers with Perry’s passing.

The superintendent then headed to the Betty Maddalena Early Learning Center to see how the first day of school for the district’s earliest learners was going. Aside from some technological issues, students and teachers were already busily going about their day—playing, doing artwork, enjoying story time and reading.

“I love it,” said Salimbeno of her new position as principal, "and we're having a great start to our first day."

“This is a beautiful facility,” said Rutzky, as he visited each classroom to greet teachers and students.

Before heading to his next appointment, the superintendent took a moment to pose with happy pre-school students.

“Have a great rest of your day,” he said.

See all the photos of the superintendent’s visit to Redwood and the Betty Maddalena Early Learning Center here.

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