JUST A SAMPLING OF SOME COMMUNITY BUILDING HERE AT RHS ~ a great send off to the holiday season combined with our choir and musicians spreading cheer throughout the halls.  BEST WISHES FOR A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY AND HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2018


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Warm Wishes

I recently asked an accomplished writer to review my blog and give me some constructive feedback as I am always looking for ways to enhance the content.  The very first comment I received was that it needed to be more personal.  So, what better time to get personal than at the holidays with some personal memories.

Reflecting on this particular holiday season brings to mind not so much my own memories from childhood but more the memories I have of my boys ~ which I am sure are likely similar to many of the parents reading this.  The first Christmas morning with my 10 month old son was spent in an apartment and I think my biggest wish was to get him to sleep through the night (which by the way didn’t happen until after the one year mark!).  Of course, being the first grandchild on the Gallo side, there were all kinds of presents with the wrapping paper being the biggest hit. The day was spent driving around to the relatives to show him off.  We were able to move to a home and the second Christmas we were so excited to put up and decorate a real Christmas tree.  That night we were up with an incredibly sick child which was puzzling because we were so protective of him I was positive a germ couldn’t have gotten within a 100 yards of him.  We discovered that he was allergic to the Christmas tree and had to take it down.   Funny how that protectiveness disappears with son #2 ~ I think we actually stopped at the Shop Rite on the way home from the hospital a day after he was born.

When I think back on all those Christmas seasons gone by I remember always wondering if we got enough presents, the right presents, were they going to be happy, excited, and yes, would the turkey be dry yet again.  But as the boys grew, I began to realize that those worries were nothing compared to wondering if they would make friends, would they like school, would they learn to read, were they going to be athletes, musicians, electricians, writers, doctors etc,. were they going to college and which one, would they get a good job and have health insurance, would they…and the list goes on.

I’ve since come to learn that all that really matters is that they are happy and healthy, and that they know that I love and support them, that I will be their mother forever and always, and that they will always have a home wherever I am.

My wish for all of you is that you have some time to spend sharing your heart with those who will share theirs with you.  Let them know just how special they are not because of anything they have done but simply because of who they are.

Now for a little personal FUN…


HS updates

Approximately 50 students and staff members volunteered an evening in November to share HS highlights with our Board of Education.  Among those represented were our transition students,  Future Business Leaders of America, Team Harmony, the HS running club, our Forensics club and student athletes doing community service. They were joined by a host of staff members who are voluntarily participating in projects to enhance one aspect of the high school they are most passionate about. Examples include mentoring projects, career coffee houses, instant college decision days, working with disadvantaged preschool children as well as counselors sharing relevant lessons through health classes.  Cornell Thomas was our special guest who shared some of the awesome work he is doing with our student ficus groups- the power of positivity.   While these examples represent only a small sample of high school life- what shined bright through out the evening was the true heart and soul of the high school. I could not be more impressed with the accomplishments of both staff and students!

With gratitude

Another Thanksgiving ~ it seems impossible that another year is quickly coming to a close.  In the words of JKF,  “as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

It is true that focusing on what I have to be grateful for instantly diminishes the importance or significance of things that just don’t matter.  I’m sure that we can each reflect on the time since last Thanksgiving and find moments that were seemingly impossible to deal with as well as times that were simply amazing.  I know that last Thanksgiving I had no idea that I would be without my Dad this year and I do hope that he knew just how much he was loved and I will be forever thankful for all the times I did have to share with him.  That experience has also reinforced the importance of family and true friends ~ people you can always count on to have your back.

My wish for all of you on this Thanksgiving holiday is best said in the words of Lou Holtz ~ I wish you all…

Something to do

Someone to love

Something to hope for and

Something to believe in.

Best wishes for a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!  210 days until summer!



I am certainly one who can empathize with the ups and downs of parenting and as parents, we try to do everything we can to ensure that we’ve shared the right amount of information to hopefully guarantee, at the very least,  happy and healthy adults ~ no easy task.

In light of that, I hope that you will allow me to share some information on vaping and other items presented to our faculty by the prosecutor’s office just recently.  There are numerous websites that an internet search will produce (also search juul)  and I encourage you to investigate several of them to get an idea of where the experts are with regard to the potential dangers.  The ones I have previewed offer a wide range of information so please be sure to consider all perspectives.   I have included the link from the national center on addiction which seemed to share the most up to date information.

Please become familiar with what these devices look like and note that the age to purchase various tobacco items and e cigarettes will shortly be 21

It is also important to note that if a student is found with any type of vaping device (e cigarette)  either commercially bought or hand made  and/or is found to be using such a device on our school campus or at a school sponsored event, our policy constitutes consequences up to and including the need for a rule out screening.  We will be working with staff to share this information with our student body.

Aside from the conventional use of an e-cigarette or vape is the technique of “dripping”   The definition of dripping is one of a more labor intense method requiring dropping the oil directly on to the coils of the device.  Vaping will not likely emit the type of smoke typical of a cigarette making it possible to “vape” without being noticed.

The early dismissal day (November 6th) included a staff development program on current trends in substance issues among teens.  During this meeting conducted by members of our Morris County Prosecutors Office,  information was shared with the staff including the potential for THC oil to be used in a vape which some believe is a safer way to use marijuana ~  completely unsubstantiated.   Additional information shared by the prosecutor’s office with regard to marijuana use included “dabbing” which I also encourage you to investigate.  It is another way of extracting THC oil into a wax type substance before vaporizing and inhaling through a “dab ring.” The effects can be up to 60 times more potent using this method.    Information on edible marijuana includes a warning that the effects may take up to 30 minutes to be felt causing the user to ingest dangerous amounts trying to attain the desired effect.

I realize there is so much out there that our children may be exposed to.  We will continue to update our health education to include current risks of substance abuse and please stay tuned for additional programs for parents.  The most recent one provided by our town Municipal Alliance Committee (October 11, 2017) on the opiate epidemic was quite good.  Should you have any immediate questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call as we are anxious to partner with you.




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Two of the original instructional coaches ~ Lena and Adriana~ allowed me to join them in a presentation of the instructional coaching model that has been developed at RHS.  We were accepted to present at the annual conference for administrators in NJ and were excited to share our story.

This growth model of instructional coaching has had a significant impact on the enhancement of strategies used in our classrooms.  One of the benefits of presenting will hopefully be the creation of a larger network of teachers and administrators interested in either creating a program or collaborating with existing programs.

I truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with two outstanding RHS educators and to share the story we created at RHS with colleagues statewide.

Our proposal was also accepted by ASCD at their national conference in Boston in March!