Education

Press Releases

Dolan Named Union County Superintendent of the Year

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Margaret Dolan, Superintendent of the Westfield Public Schools, has been named Union County Superintendent of the Year.  This distinction is given to a select group of superintendents in New Jersey by the county school administrator associations.

An educator for 35 years, Dr. Dolan was appointed Superintendent in 2007, having served in Westfield in previous administrative roles as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Program; Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources; and Principal of Franklin School. 

Dr. Dolan oversees 10 schools serving the town’s 6,300 students – the largest Westfield enrollment in 35 years.

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A strong supporter of technology, Dr. Dolan has directed several recent initiatives, including a new wireless network in all schools and a faster internet connection, hundreds of new devices for student use, increased training of teachers and staff, and the addition of new positions, including Master Technology teachers.  Recently one of these teachers was named a "20 to Watch" Leader in Advancing Education Technology by the National School Boards Association.

Leading a five-year Strategic Plan for the district, the Westfield Superintendent of Schools placed the incorporation of 21st century skills as a major goal to strengthen student engagement, global connections and multiple perspectives.  As part of this effort, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives have been expanded – including a new course in Robotics – as well as the successful pilot of Mandarin Chinese, which Dr. Dolan had advocated for several years.  This summer, the district launched its first STEM Camp to resounding response by the community.

Dr. Dolan continues to encourage conservation – which has saved the district more than $2 million in utility costs -- and works closely with the 9-member Board of Education to demonstrate fiscal responsibility to taxpayers and compliance to the ever growing number of state mandates for public schools.

State recognitions this year included praise from the Commissioner of Education for the many noteworthy student achievements in Westfield and to the staff for the important role they play in nurturing great students. In addition, the Commissioner and the State Board President recognized at a ceremony in Trenton the Westfield High School Community Service Club for its volunteer efforts throughout the state.  The NJ Governor’s Award in Arts Education was presented to two Westfield High School seniors, and both the boys and girls swim teams captured state championships.

As a former teacher and principal, Dr. Dolan is fully aware of the importance of a safe, friendly, and effective school environment.  She has developed an excellent rapport with town officials, police and fire departments, and has made safety implementations an important part of the district budget. With schools averaging 73 years in age, repairs and replacements are regular occurrences.  To make roof replacements and repairs possible, she reached out to the public who supported a bond referendum in December 2012 for this project.

With safety and health of students a priority, Dr. Dolan fully endorsed the opening of a fitness center at Westfield High School in 2012, a portion of which was made possible by community funding.

A lifelong advocate for the arts, Dr. Dolan, who herself is a musician, recognized 28 Westfield secondary students who were accepted to the 2013 Central Jersey Music Educators Association Region II Ensembles or Eastern Region Ensembles.  These students auditioned with hundreds of other student singers and musicians. Throughout the year, she ensures that the public feels welcomed to art shows, plays, and concerts, including special performances for senior citizens.

Dr. Dolan regularly communicates with the community through releases to the media, announcements on the district’s website, the online publication of Synopsis (her summary of Board meetings), and the availability of Board meetings on TV and the Web. Dr. Dolan also communicates directly to parents through e-mails and holds two meetings a month with PTO representatives of all 10 schools.  A few years ago, she directed the revamping of the district website, and in 2014 a new and improved website is anticipated.  The latest communication feature endorsed by Dr. Dolan is a Twitter feed, which has been operational since November 2012.

The Westfield Superintendent takes the hiring and cultivating of district staff very seriously.  Once teachers are hired, they attend a two-year New Teacher Institute, a unique program in which a team of teachers with 1 to 8 years of experience in the classroom provide regularly scheduled group support for their newer colleagues.  The program has been cited by the County for its innovation and was also featured in School Leader magazine, published by the New Jersey School Boards Association.

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Jade Isle to Stay Open One More Week

February 18, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — The sudden announcement that the venerable Jade Isle restaurant (158 Terrill Road in Scotch Plains) would close on Sunday evening caught many of its fans by surprise. As a result, longtime customers flocked to the eatery this weekend for one last meal. 

Not wanting to disappoint those who wanted to stop in a final time, owner Jack Lee has postponed ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events

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Mon, February 19, 11:00 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

President's Day Jump

Giving Back Health & Wellness

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Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice

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Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Earn Scholarship Finalist Standing

February 17, 2018

The National Merit Scholarship Program has determined which of the 16,000 semifinalists named in September 2017 have met all requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the competition. All Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2018.

Wardlaw+Hartridge seniors Jennifer Guo and Suraj Chandran of Edison received their Finalist certificates from Susan ...

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

February 15, 2018

February 7, 2018 10:25 p.m.

Officers Natale and Gill arrested Brian Mueller, age 55, of Westfield, NJ for driving while intoxicated pursuant to an accident investigation in the area of Mountain Avenue by Colonial Avenue. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released to a sober adult.

 

February 9, 2018 2:21 a.m.

Selena G. Palacios, age 22, of Westfield, NJ was ...

How Tax Reform Impacts You

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brings a host of changes to tax returns for 2018. Highlighted are just a few of the new rules that may impact many of our clients. Please reach out to us to find out if and how your personal situation is impacted.

For Business:

·       A flat 21% corporate tax rate for C corporations replaces the 15% - 35% graduate rate ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?

 

 

And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

Westfield Public Schools Celebrate High School and Intermediate Music Honors

Westfield High School sophomore Brooke Walden auditioned and was selected to the New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble and Orchestra for a second straight year.  Brooke was the top scoring piccolo player and ranked third on the flute.  She will perform in February with the Wind Ensemble and in November with the Orchestra.

Walden also was among 12 WHS musicians to perform in January with ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

6 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford & Mountainside

Six homes sold last week, 2/4/2018-2/11/18, in Westfield, Scotch  Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford.*

Sale Price   TOWN                  ADDRESS                  ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

Cat Found in Westfield

UPDATE: Reunited with family!

ORIGINAL POST: Cat found in Golf Edge area of Westfield. Call 908-913-0509.

Doing Well While Doing Good

The new tax law is predicted to reduce significantly the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions.  That has some concerned about charitable giving. There are ways for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions to give to charity and still receive some tax benefits.

Give from your IRA. Those aged 70-1/2 or older, who must take required minimum distributions from retirement accounts, can ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...

Obituaries

Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
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Nutley Schools Closed Friday Following Security Threat

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ — The Nutley Police Department is currently investigating a video posted to Instagram that suggested a possible threat to schools. Dr. Julie Glazer, Nutley Superintendent of Schools, made the decision late Thursday night to close Nutley schools on Friday as a safety precaution. 

The Nutley Police Department reports they have spoken to the individual ...