MTPS Pride Newsletter
Holiday Express Holds Concert for District Students
Holiday Expressed ushered in the holiday season for hundreds of District students and staff members on Nov. 19 with a 90-minute concert of festive classics and soulful Rock N’ Roll.

The local nonprofit organization, which delivers music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those in need during the holidays, transformed the High School South gymnasium into a holiday dance hall.

The event was made even more merry and bright by the appearance of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Grinch who loves Christmas, and the big man himself, Santa Claus, all of whom posed for photos with students and joined giant conga lines that wound around the room in rhythm with the swinging tunes.

This year, from Nov. 4 through Christmas Eve, Holiday Express has 100 performances scheduled in various communities in and outside of Monmouth County. To learn more about Holiday Express, or to volunteer your time, please  visit the organization’s website .
Thorne Middle School Launches District Fundraiser for Wreaths Across America
Thorne Middle School is asking the community to join students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 8:30 a.m. for a special Wreaths Across America ceremony, an event that continues the school’s mission of honoring our fallen U.S. military servicemen and women, as well as our military veterans.

That morning, local residents are invited to line Murphy Rd. and greet the convoy. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Battle of the Bulge Memorial in front of the school. The ceremony will continue inside the building with a tribute to veterans, including veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. Wreaths will be presented to Gold Star Families.

PLEASE REGISTER:  Local veterans and Gold Star Families who wish to attend the Dec. 11 event are asked to register by calling the school’s main office at 732-787-1220. All Gold Star Families who register will receive an ornamental wreath.

DISTRICT FUNDRAISER:  Wreaths Across America is a national nonprofit organization that relies on donations, and Thorne Middle School would like to make a donation on behalf of the entire District. If every staff member and student brought in $1, our donation could pay for wreaths to be put on the graves of hundreds of fallen heroes. Jars will be available in the main office of each school for staff, students, and community members to make donations. Larger donations can be sent to Thorne Middle School’s main office. Checks can be made out to “Wreaths Across America.”

For more information please visit the District website .
High School Students Honored for Academic Achievements
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, District administrators, the Board of Education, and Superintendent of Schools, William O. George III, Ed. D., recognized Jada Tulloch and Jonathan Rasnitsyn of High School North, and Kelsey O'Keefe, Christopher Roder, and Jack Schaeffer of High School South as 2020 National Merit Program Commended Scholars.

Those students were also included in the group of 73 District high school students that were honored for achieving recognition on one or more advanced placement exams. These exams concluded courses that offer college-level curricula to our students.

If you missed the recognition ceremony, view it in full here .
High School North Student Government Announces Salute to Service Veterans Project
The High School North Student Government Association has launched its Salute to Service Veterans Project, an effort to honor all community members that have served our county in all any of the five military branches.

After the information gathering process is completed, the next stage of the project is to create a display honoring our soldiers that have been killed in action. The goal is to develop a design that can be replicated and showcased in each of our 17 District schools.

The group is seeking help to compile names and information about our active service members and veterans. Those wishing to share information can email Mr. Jonathan Scala at .
Student-Athletes Shine on National Signing Day
On Nov. 13, student-athletes from High School North and South signed their national letters of intent to further their academic and athletic careers at colleges and universities across the country.

At High School North, Olivia Cerbo (Field Hockey/Lacrosse - St. Thomas Aquinas College), Tyler Klinsky (Wrestling - Rider University), Natalie Heim (Swimming - Seton Hall University), and Darien Rinn (Soccer - University of South Carolina Aiken) each signed their letters.

At High School South, Anthony Esposito (Baseball - Fairleigh Dickinson University), Morgan Fuerbacher (Swimming - Loyola University), Julianna Green (Softball - Berry University), Victoria Ireland (Swimming - University of North Carolina), Emma Keogh (Acro-tumbling - University of Oregon), Chris Lotito (Baseball - Seton Hall University), Caroline McGann (Swimming - Bucknell University), Abigail Malek (Rowing - Bucknell University), Stephanie Mayerhofer (Basketball - Bryan University), Shane Murphy (Lacrosse - Caldwell University), and Kayla Richardson (Basketball - LaSalle University), each signed their letters.
MTPS Community Calendar
On Wednesday, Dec. 4th the District will host an information session about the multitude of High School Pathways, Academies, and Academic Opportunities. Both students and parents are encouraged to attend the 6:30 p.m. event at High School North.

Important Dates

Please join the High School North girls basketball and softball programs on Saturday, Jan. 25th, 2020 for their Slam Dunk Autism event, a day of games that will raise funds in support of special education programs.

To view a full list of your school's events please visit the calendar on your school's website.

High school athletics schedules can be viewed at

Middle school athletics schedules can be viewed at

Blessing Bag Brigade
to Host Thanksgiving Dinner

Blessing Bag Brigade, a Middletown-based non-profit organization dedicated to showing compassion and humanitarianism toward the homeless, will host its second annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 29th at the Robert D. Wilson Memorial Community Center in Atlantic Highlands.

The dinner begins at 5 p.m. and cooked food donations can be delivered from 3 to 4 p.m.

For volunteer opportunities or to donate food please contact Kevin Garrison at 347-938-0054, or email

For more information please visit .
Interested in Substitute Teaching?
If you are interested in a flexible employment option that fits your lifestyle, a substitute teaching position may fit well with your lifestyle.

If you would like to learn please connect with Middletown Township Public Schools District Manager Deanna Scanlon at
New Scholarships to Honor High School North Teachers
The High School North Guidance Department is reaching out to alumni and community members for their support of new scholarship fund that will honor the legacies of former educators Mr. Rick Unterstein and Mrs. Poroshat Shakoor.

Both lost their lives earlier this year.
Untertstein passed passed away suddenly on July 18, 2019, while on vacation in Maine with his wife. He taught Environmental Science and AP Biology for many years, and was passionate about the environment, evidenced by his work with the 7 Lakes Alliance organization. His students adored him for his quick wit and patience. He leaves behind his wife, two beautiful daughters and their husbands, two amazing grandchildren, and countless friends.

Shakoor passed away on October 19, 2019 after a long battle with lung cancer. She taught Mathematics, primarily honors Pre-Calculus and AP Probability & Statistics for many years. She had a great sense of humor, excellent fashion sense, and demanded the best of her students every day. Many students credit her with their success in Mathematics courses in college. She leaves behind her loving husband and two children.

High School North staff members are creating scholarships in the names of both Unterstein and Shakoor to aid students that will study science and mathematics in college. If you would like to contribute to the memory of these revered educators, please make out a check to "MHSN Guidance Scholarships" and designate which teacher (or both teachers) you would like to support in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to MHSN Guidance at 63 Tindall Road, Middletown, NJ, 07748.
Dr. George's Corner - An Important Message
About the Strategic Planning Process
Earlier this week Superintendent of Schools, Dr. William O. George III, Ed. D., issued a letter to the school community concerning the District's Strategic Planning process.

Please view the letter in full by following the link . For more information about the Strategic Planning process please
New Board of Education Meeting Video Now Available
A If you were unable to attend the Nov. 20 Board of Education Meeting at high School North, you can now watch the video in full by clicking the button to the right.

Previous Board of Education meeting videos are also available in the video archive .

New Parent Information Committee Meeting Video

Also available is the video for the latest Parent Information Committee meeting held Tuesday, Nov. 12. You can view it by clicking the button to the right.

Learn more about the Parent Information Committee, and view the upcoming meeting schedule by visiting
New Survey Data Presented at Strategic Planning Forum #2
During the District's Nov. 13th Strategic Planning Forum #2 at High School South, Schoolhouse Strategies presented new data trends from the approximately 2,700 stakeholder surveys submitted before the Oct. 30th deadline.

To watch the forum in full please view the video to the right. To review the survey data please visit the District website .

The final Strategic Planning Public Forum will be held Wednesday, Dec. 11 at High School North from 7-9 p.m.
High Schools Make Donations to Korntey Rose Foundation
Earlier this week the student government associations of High School North and South presented the Kortney Rose Foundation with donation checks totaling more than $3,000.

In 2006, Kristen Gillette lost her daughter Kortney to a brain tumor. In the ensuing months, Gillette was moved to found the Kortney Rose Foundation , a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for pediatric cancer research. To date the group has raised more than $2.3 million, a total that includes fundraising contributions from Middletown Township Public Schools.

District students helped the foundation raise $10,312 last year, and Gillette hopes that total can be surpassed with this year’s “Kortney’s Cash for the Cure” event.

Fundraising materials for the month-long effort arrived in our schools Oct. 15. The deadline to donate is Nov. 15. For more information about “Kortney’s Cash for the Cure” please reach out to the front office of your home school. To learn more about the Kortney Rose Foundation, or to donate, please visit the organization website .
Help Preserve Middletown's Most Notable Newspaper
The Middletown Township Historical Society (MTHS) is seeking volunteers to help preserve editions of The Courier, a newspaper published from 1955 through 2009.

The Middletown Township Public Library has bound collections of The Courier, but MTHS has noticed the deterioration of these collections and hopes to preserve them digitally for future generations to enjoy.

Volunteers interested in joining the effort can email Pam Curchin at .

For more information about MTHS, including a schedule of their upcoming educational events, please visit the  organization's website .
Inaugural Articulation Day Used to Tackle
Challenges and Share Successes
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, educators and administrators from across Middletown Township Public Schools participated in the District's first Articulation Day.

The District-wide professional learning initiative allowed time for our teachers to gather after school hours with colleagues of the same grade levels and subject matters to have open discussions about overcoming challenges faced in their classrooms, as well as actionable tactics that have proven to enhance the educational experiences of our students.

Jessica Shaw-Alfone, the District Director of Staff Development and Special Projects, said her focus remains on offering educators professional learning opportunities that promote choice and collaboration with peers.

"What I hear most from educators is the lack of time they have in their schedules to connect with colleagues and talk about what's taking place in their classrooms," said Shaw-Alfone. "By sharing our challenges, our concerns, and most importantly what's working in our classrooms, this is how we can grow as a District and better prepare our students for the future."

Articulation Day was yet another progressive professional learning opportunity for District personnel, following the launch of last week's MTPS EdCamp at High School South. The EdCamp model is based upon ad hoc community participation, in which attendees choose topics they would like to discuss, and lead others in the conversation, prompting contributions and anecdotes from attendees. Learn more about the MTPS EdCamp by viewing this video .
The Middletown Township Public Library (MTPL) will host Wreaths Across America in its lobby on Saturday, Nov. 16th and Saturday, Nov. 23rd.

Residents are encouraged to visit with the Wreaths Across America representatives to learn more about the organization and how to sponsor a wreath.

You can also register to volunteer on Saturday, Dec. 14th to help lay wreaths on the graves of local veterans at Fair View Cemetery on Rt. 35.

For more information about Wreaths Across America please visit the organization's website .
Math Educators to Present at National Conference in April
Middletown math educators Dr. John Kerrigan and Dr. Kara Teehan will co-present at a national math conference in Chicago this coming April. 

Their presentation will focus on the design and implementation of active learning classrooms in District middle and high schools.
Kerrigan, the District Director of K-12 Mathematics, and Teehan, a mathematics educator at High School North, are passionate about progressive learning environments, as well as the promotion of access and equity for K-12 students in those settings.

In addition to their District positions, Kerrigan is a professor at Rutgers University in both the math and education departments, while Teehan is a professor at Monmouth University and Stockton University. 

At the spring conference they will discuss instructional techniques and strategies for active learning that engage students in algebra, calculus, precalculus, and college mathematics. This is the second year in a row that Kerrigan and Teehan were accepted to present at this prestigious national conference for the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.

For more information about active learning classrooms please visit the District website .
Leonardo Announces Bedtime Mystery Readers Series
Every Monday around 7:30pm, students and families from across the District can log on to the Leonardo Elementary School website to discover a new mystery reader that will read a bedtime story.

The bedtime story will remain available for the entire week until a new mystery reader and story is revealed!

Leonardo Principal Peter Smith kicked off the series and his reading of "The Thank You Book" is still available on the school's website . Be sure to tune in for the next story time.
Stocker Honored for $1 Million Safe Routes to School Grant
On Oct. 29, River Plaza Elementary School PTA leader Marguerite Stocker was honored at the annual EZride Recognition Luncheon for efforts that helped secure a $1 million New Jersey Safe Routes to School grant. The funding will be used to make improvements along Hubbard Avenue, a main walking and biking route for students and families that attend the primary school.

Stocker was accompanied at the luncheon by Superintendent of Schools William O. George III, Ed. D., Middletown Township Business Administrator Anthony Mercantante, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, Middletown Township Mayor Tony Perry and River Plaza Elementary School Principal David Whitman, all of whom contributed to this collaborative initiative. Continue reading about the grant on the District website .

NOVEMBER LUNCH MENUES: The District has published the monthly food menus for November on our website. Please view them on the Food Services page .

GIFTED AND TALENTED: The District has started mailing information about the Gifted and Talented Program. For more information about mailing dates and program start dates please visit the District website .
Dr. George Meets Students to Learn from Experts
In October, Superintendent of Schools, William O. George, III, Ed. D., hosted round table forums with students from High School North and South. The ideas presented ranged from curriculum and policy changes to school culture and facility upgrades.

Notes from the forums were taken and the ideas will be discussed further at future meetings of faculty and administrative team members.

For more see the video to the left.
District Honored at 2019 NJSBA Workshop
Educators across the District are engaging students in personalized learning opportunities that build the skills necessary to one day flourish during college studies, a trade school education or in a rapidly evolving global work environment.

The District was recognized for this forward-thinking approach on Sept. 16th during a ceremony at the 2019 New Jersey School Boards Association Workshop in Atlantic City. Read more at the District website.
A University Model in
Active Learning Classrooms
The District has adapted the university "Active Learning Classroom" model from Rutgers University, and designed and implemented five new rooms in our middle schools and high schools. Research shows that active learning, when compared to individualistic learning, improves academic achievement, the quality of interpersonal interactions between peers, and a student's self-esteem. Learn more on the
District Working to Develop
Global Citizenship Education
District Supervisor of Social Studies and Technology, Wendy Morales, is emphasizing the concept of global citizenship education during the 2019-20 school year. As technology continues to transform higher education and workplace environments the importance of global competency for our students is rapidly increasing. To learn more about the District's global citizenship education efforts please continue reading.
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