2018-2019 Welcome Back Letter from Director of Curriculum

August 30, 2018

Dear SHRSD Families,

We hope that you have had a restful summer and you and your children are looking forward to a wonderful 2018-2019 school year.  The summer months are busy ones within the district preparing for the new school year.  As we look ahead we have worked together to focus our attention on the following areas based on feedback from parents, staff members, students, Board of Education members, and administrators:

  1. Social Emotional Learning (SEL)/Mindfulness – the entire district attended professional development over the past two days learning new strategies to assist all members of our school community to be mindful.  We look forward to implementing and applying these strategies with students in our classrooms throughout the day and the school year.  We will also be offering a parent evening in October to share this initiative and hope you will be able to join us.
  2. Technological Resources – as we continue to utilize technology to enhance our teaching practices and communication with families and colleagues, we recognize there are a number of resources available throughout our district.  It is our goal to provide opportunities to share the various resources collaboratively throughout the district to build both consistency and awareness of these many tools.
  3. Differentiated Instruction – recognizing the various needs of learners in each classroom, we look to continue to explore new ways in which to differentiate instruction allowing each to find success.  The many technological resources available within the district as well as the mindfulness strategies will greatly assist in meeting this goal.
  4. School Safety and Security – the district is committed to continuing to review current practices and building structures in order to take any additional steps toward making our facilities safe and secure.  The placement of Class III Officers within the district are part of this initiative.  To date these positions have been filled at both West Amwell and the Middle/High schools.  The three Class III Officers are retired Police Officers and went through a competitive hiring process.  We look forward to each Class III Officer building relationships with students, faculty and families throughout the school year.

The first three of these district goals will guide professional development opportunities throughout the school year.  While continuing to progress as a district, we will again be collecting information from all stakeholders later in the school year and working to develop goals for the following year.  Our dedicated and professional staff members each play a crucial part in allowing us to meet our goals. 

This school year does bring some new faces as well as some change roles/buildings to our professional team of educators.  Please find below a list of updates regarding our SHRSD Faculty and Staff:

New and returning to SHRSD:

  • Peter Arthmire – Chemistry & Physics at the Middle/High School
  • Stephen Bartzak – Class III Officer shared between WAS and the Middle/High School
  • Tom Bill – Student Assistant Counselor (SAC) at the Middle/High School
  • Peter Braynor – returning 4th Grade Homeroom and Math/Science at LPS
  • David Davis - Class III Officer shared between WAS and the Middle/High School
  • Loretta Dienes – Paraprofessional at WAS
  • Leigh Hall – Special Education at the Middle/High School
  • Andrew Harris – Supervisor of Mathematics throughout the district
  • Dawn Hendricks – World Language (French) at the Middle/High School
  • Teri Hoyer – Paraprofessional at LPS
  • Alexa Kinney – 2nd Grade at LPS
  • Michelle Lee – School Psychologist throughout the district
  • Brett Lelie – Special Education at LPS
  • Rachel Locke – Special Education at WAS
  • Daniel McKeown – Class III Officer shared between WAS and the Middle/High School
  • Morgan Miller – Special Education at WAS
  • Bernadette Noll – English as a Second Language (ESL) at the Middle/High School
  • Janice Rafferty – World Language (Spanish) at LPS and WAS
  • Amanda Shiarappa – 5th Grade Homeroom and Math/Science at LPS
  • Gabe Stephens – Instrumental Music at the Middle/High School
  • Damia Tulloss – Paraprofessional at WAS
  • Chris Wisbeski – 1st Grade at LPS (beginning in October)
  • Emily Zengel – Paraprofessional at WAS

 New roles within SHRSD:

  • Cheryl Blankman – Director of Special Services throughout the district
  • Morgan Cesareo – 2nd Grade at WAS
  • Doug Hudak – 4th Grade Homeroom and ELA/Social Studies at LPS
  • Victoria Marley – Health & Physical Education at both LPS and WAS
  • Svitlana Nedoszytko – English as a Second Language (ESL) at both LPS and the Middle/High School
  • Kristine Nenna – Main Office Secretary at the Middle/High School
  • Allison Nething – Special Education at the Middle/High School
  • Kendra Pittore – Standards with Support/Instructional Support at LPS
  • Renee Romanowski – returning Special Education at LPS
  • Esperanza Weber – Paraprofessional at the Middle/High School

It is exciting to have so many changes throughout the district and to know that each new position and role has been fulfilled with such qualified professionals.  Working with the staff members over the summer to prepare for this school year it has been clear that each is looking forward to a wonderful school year. 

Communication between home and school is essential for our students’ success.  Therefore, we plan to keep the lines of communication open and encourage you to reach out should you have a question throughout the school year.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and start to the year on Tuesday, September 4th!


Geoff Hewitt

SHRSD Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction