Thursday, August 25, 2016

CHS RANKING JUMPS TO 64TH STATEWIDE IN NJ MONTHLY SURVEY

Columbia High School has been ranked 64th best high school in the state in the new top 100 public high schools selected by New Jersey Monthly.

That is an increase from the 96th ranking CHS received in the last survey in 2014.

The list, in the upcoming September issue, ranks high schools based on student-teacher ratio, AP classes, AP testing, arts classes, graduation rate and percentage of students attending four-year colleges.

See the information HERE.

YEAH, MORE VALLEY STREET ROAD CLOSURES TODAY

From Maplewood Police:

EXPECT ROAD CLOSURES IN THE VALLEY ST. AREA TODAY.
CHECK TWP. WEBSITE FOR DETAILS. PLAN ALTERNATE ROUTE

WHERE ARE THE CHS GRADS GOING TO COLLEGE THIS FALL?

Columbia High School graduates from the Class of 2016 are attending 161 different colleges and universities this fall, from Adelphi to Yale and from New Jersey to California to London. 

The annual list of college-bound students finds a wide variety of schools being entered by CHS grads, with most students being the only person from their class to attend a certain university.

See the full list HERE.

It includes seven students attending Ivy League colleges, with others going to the likes of Duke University, Colgate University, California Polytechnic, Fordham University, and Syracuse University.

The college with the most 2016 CHS graduates is Union County College at 20, followed closely by Rutgers University with 19. Other top choices are Essex County College at 17, William Paterson with 11, New York University with nine and Kean University at eight.

Seven Cougar grads chose to stay close to home at Seton Hall University, while 11 are going to William Paterson University, six are attending Montclair State University, and five are at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.   

Eight students are attending schools focused on the performing arts, with another eight attending colleges related to art or fashion.

SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNOUNCES NEW ADMINISTRATIVE APPOINTMENTS

From the School District:

Board of Education Approves Appointment of Four New SOMSD Administrators

Administrators, L to R, Pamela Murray, Bridgett Green, Dara Gronau & James Manno
At their August 22nd meeting, the SOMSD Board of Education approved the appointment of 4 new administrators:

Principal of Maplewood Middle School:  Mrs. Dara GronauMrs. Gronau received her MA in Administration & Supervision from Montclair State University, NJ and her BA in Psychology from Vanderbilt University, TN. Dara recently served as district supervisor of ELA and Media in Ridgewood Public Schools and served as High School Principal at West Side HS in Newark, NJ. She is also a graduate and track star from Columbia High School.  Prior to her appointment as principal in Newark, Dara served as the high school assistant principal at West Side HS in Newark, Resident Principal in the New Leaders for New Schools program and teacher for Teach for America.  Mrs. Gronau will begin on August 24th.

Upon her appointment, Mrs. Gronau said “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning home. The last time I was in the room, the relay team was being recognized, so I feel that I have come full circle.  I look forward to working with Maplewood Middle School – I understand that it is a wonderful staff that is strong, experienced, and ready to do great things.  I can’t wait to work with staff, parents, and especially students.”

Supervisor of Fine Arts K-12:  Mr. James MannoMr. Manno received his MA in Administration & Supervision from St. Peters College, NJ and his BA in Music from Ithaca College, NY. Most recently, Mr. Manno served as Vice Principal of Performing Arts & Television at Arts High School in Newark, NJ. Prior to his appointment as Vice Principal in Newark, James served as Department Chairperson of Performing Arts & Television at Arts High School in Newark, NJ. Mr. Manno also served as the Summer School Principal at the Summer Arts Program. Mr. Manno’s work as school leader and background in program development speaks to his strengths to cultivate relationships and lead instructional programs. Mr. Manno is projected to start on October 22nd.


Supervisor of Special Services: Ms. Bridgett GreenMs. Green received her MA in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy, her BS in Elementary Education and her BA in Communication from Seton Hall University, NJ. Most recently, Bridgett served as a trainer for the East Orange Department of Special Education Services, and was the LRE District Specialist. She also is currently the NJIT pre-college program instructor for Grade 6 students. Prior to her appointment as the trainer for the East Orange Department of Special Services, Bridgett served as elementary school teacher of English/language arts in East Orange, NJ. In addition to the above, Ms. Green also served as the site supervisor/principal for the East Orange Summer Extended School Year Program. Ms. Green’s work as school leader and background in teacher training/LRE speaks to her strengths to cultivate relationships and lead instructional programs. Ms. Green is projected to start on October 22nd.


Supervisor of Youth Development & Pupil Services:  Dr. Pamela MurrayDr. Murray received her doctorates in administration & leadership studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a MS in Education, Development and Strategies from the University of Wilkes and a BS from the University of Scranton. Dr. Murray served as a High School Principal at Abington Heights School in Clarks Summit, PA and also served as Assistant Principal overseeing the day to day operations of 15 academic departments and student affairs. Dr. Murray also served as a science teacher prior to her promotion to administration. Dr. Murray’s work as school leader and background in leadership speaks to her strengths to cultivate relationships with students, staff and families to ensure that all students’ educational and social needs are met.  Dr. Murray will start on August 22nd.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WHO SHOULD BE APPOINTED TO THE TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE? TAKE OUR SURVEY

The Maplewood Democratic Committee has chosen three nominees to replace TC member Marlon Brownlee, who resigned earlier this month.

Those three -- Ian Grodman, Amy Jo Curran, and Garnet Hall -- will now be considered by the Township Committee, which must vote to chose one at its next meeting on Sept. 6. 

That person will serve out the remainder of Brownlee's term, which ends on Dec. 31, 2016. 

Let us know which one they should choose. Take our free, anonymous survey HERE.

We will provide results on Friday, Sept. 2.

TODAY'S VALLEY STREET ROAD CLOSURE

From Maplewood Police today:

Valley St will be closed from Baker St to Millburn Ave. Expect delays in the area, plan an alternate route

MOUNTAINSIDE RESTAURANT OWNER TAKING OVER HIGHLAND PLACE SITE

A Mountainside restaurateur is renovating the former Highland Place restaurant and plans to re-open it in November with space for entertainment and an outdoor eating area.

Bernie Gonclaves, owner of Publick House in Mountainside, said he is doing the internal construction and plans to bring the location back to business after a two-year shutdown.

Bernie Gonclave
"We are shooting for November, although that is incredibly ambitious of us," Gonclaves told Maplewoodian.com. "We just completed the (internal) demo(lition) and are working with the architects and Township for construction."

He confirmed that he plans to lease the space from building owner Masoud Kian, who has been seeking to sell the related liquor license and rent out the location, but has had difficulty during the past year.

At that Township Commitee meeting, on June 23, the TC voted to reject a liquor license renewal request from Kian, who owns the property at 5 Highland Pl. and has also owned the liquor license that he purchased last year from the restaurant's former owner, Chris Farrow.

Gonclave is already renovating the former Highland Place site
Farrow initially lost the license after failing to pay taxes, which prompted him to shutdown the restaurant in August 2014. The license was to have been auctioned off by the state, but the auction was cancelled after Kian and Farrow indicated a deal to have it transferred.

Kian said at the time he wanted to lease the space to someone who would run the business and utilize the liquor license. But his attorney, Nelson Montiero, told the TC in June he had been unable to do so. That is when the governing body voted to deny the renewal. 

Inside Gonclave's Publick House in Mountainside
But both Kian and Montiero were back last month asking for a reconsideration and stating that they were in talks with someone to lease the space and utilize the license.

That turned out to be Gonclave, a 41-year-old restaurant veteran who said he first started as a bar owner in Elizabeth at 22.

He said the new eatery will be similar to Publick House, which he opened in 2009, with "modern American food with Spanish influences. We are all about people really enjoying their time in a building that is comfortable." 

Gonclave hopes to have live entertainment in the bar area and in the back as well as a party room, adding that he had not decided on a new name for the site.

Township officials said no formal application to transfer the liquor license has been made, but Gonclave said that will occur soon.

SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT ON NEW MMS PRINCIPAL

From Superintendent John Ramos:

August 23, 2016

Dear Maplewood Middle School Families:


I am thrilled to announce that, last night, the Board of Education approved the appointment of Mrs. Dara Gronau as the new Principal of Maplewood Middle School. 
Mrs. Gronau comes to SOMSD with a wealth of experience as an instructional leader. Mrs. Gronau received her MA in Administration & Supervision from Montclair State University, NJ and her BA in Psychology from Vanderbilt University, TN. Mrs. Gronau recently served as district supervisor of ELA and Media in Ridgewood Public Schools and served as High School Principal at West Side HS in Newark, NJ. Prior to her appointment as principal in Newark, Mrs. Gronau served as the high school assistant principal at West Side HS in Newark, Resident Principal in the New Leaders for New Schools program and teacher for Teach for America.  Mrs. Gronau will begin on August 24th.
As a graduate of and former track star at Columbia High School, Mrs. Gronau is very familiar with our community. 
Many thanks to the staff and parents who served on the search committees, and attended the Meet and Greet last week to help us identify the best candidate to lead Maplewood Middle School. 
I hope you will join me in welcoming Mrs. Gronau this fall.
Sincerely, John J. Ramos Dr. John J. Ramos, Sr. Superintendent