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Winter Highlights

Celebrating Black History: Randolph High School Black Student Union Visits the Apollo Theater

Randolph Township Schools recognized black history throughout the entire month of February with celebrations in every building and classroom. A variety of programs to help educate students about important figures and events throughout black history were planned. Randolph Middle School organized a gallery walk recognizing 30 African American authors, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs, scientists, and leaders. This was followed up with students writing about one of the important figures they studied and why their story resonated with them. At the elementary level, classrooms and buildings were exposed to many different opportunities which included making photo collages, creating presentations on black history, reading books such as “Our Children Can Soar” which is a celebration of important figures in the civil rights movement, whole school meetings featuring modern famous figures such as Kid President and the youngest Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman, the construction of murals, and the creation of a quilt that was made in honor of the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. At the high school, many classroom lessons were planned along with bulletin boards recognizing the contributions of various figures. As a special experience for Black History Month, the Randolph High School Black Student Union (BSU) visited the world-famous Apollo Theater to learn more about the Harlem Renaissance as well as the theater’s history creating a space for the growth of African American artists.

The Black Student Union was founded last year at Randolph High School and currently has over 70 student members. Led by school counselors Antonette Berkeley and Brianna Piccolo, the Black Student Union's mission is to promote a positive and productive representation of the Black community throughout the Randolph community. The organization encourages proactive leadership, scholarship, community outreach, and student empowerment while embracing black cultural heritage, unity, and the appreciation of diversity. The organization is open to all students at Randolph High School. “The Black Student Union is important for black students to feel both visible and heard. I often hear about students sharing that BSU makes them feel empowered and proud of their culture while creating a safe space for representation in Randolph. The organization is not just for black students, it’s for everyone to come together to be able to voice their ideas, concerns and share opportunities to create change in the Randolph school community. Through its ongoing work, the students get to be a part of building positive change as well as recommending different ways that black history can be infused into the classroom. Knowing that our students are being seen and are not less than anyone else is very validating for these students, and such an important part of celebrating black culture within our school community,” Ms. Berkeley said.

The Vice President of the Black Student Union, Junior Aydan Salim, believes that the organization has really helped to bridge the gap between black students as well as other diverse groups at Randolph High School. “I decided to become involved with BSU and to become Vice President to ensure that black students were getting enough representation. I am a very outspoken person, and I think it’s important that students get to have a voice in decisions that are being made in the school and in the community. BSU is a collaborative, team environment where there is no judgement, and we welcome everyone. We have representation from many different students from different ethnic backgrounds as well as other underrepresented groups such as the LGBTQ+ community. We all share our experiences to find common ground so we can find ways in which we can make a difference,” Aydan said. “We plan a variety of activities throughout the school year and one of my favorites was a Juneteenth BBQ which was fun because we got to enjoy food from our culture as well as celebrate black joy. In the future, we plan to have more activities outside of school as well as have more community outreach so we can continue to have our voices and experiences represented.”

The Apollo Theater is a commissioner and presenter; catalyst for new artists, audiences, and creative workforce; and partner in the projection of the African American narrative and its role in the development of American and global culture. The Apollo envisions a new American canon centered on contributions to the performing arts by artists of the African diaspora, in America and beyond. The theater, which is celebrating 89 years in Harlem, has played a major role in the emergence of jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, and soul — all quintessentially American music genres. Today, the Apollo remains a beacon for the arts in America and is now a non-profit multidisciplinary performing arts commissioner and presenter. Sophomore Yolanda Sabillion, who serves as BSU Activities Co-Coordinator, saw the experience as an opportunity to celebrate black excellence, learn more about the history of the Harlem Renaissance, and understand the significance of the Apollo Theater’s role in the advancement of black culture and people. “My activities partner Hans Petit Frere, who goes by Chris, and I talk about what we think is going to be both fun and educational for our community. We talked to other people in the club to get their opinions and relied on the feedback from our advisors. We decided to go to the Apollo because it is such an important part of black history that we had not been exposed to or known much about. The experience was a great combination of learning as well as having fun in a new place we had never had the opportunity to visit,” Yolanda said. “When we first walked into the theater, it was so surreal because it was so beautiful. We were all taking so many pictures. The theater also felt so large and grand which felt very exciting. There were so many seats. One of my favorite experiences was meeting Billy Mitchell who they call Mr. Apollo. He has worked at the Apollo for over 50 years and plays a vital role in helping to run the theater. He was great at showing us all of the historical parts of the theater and talking about its history. In addition to learning about the performers and music the theater offered black artists, we also talked about the history of Harlem and how segregated it was. The Apollo really became a place that brought so many people from all cultures together, and it was really inspiring to learn about the impact of its history over so many years. It was an honor that we got to be there.”

We look forward to the continued opportunities that the Black Student Union will get to experience as well as its advocacy at Randolph High School. Although February is Black History Month, black history is celebrated and infused year-round as part of the district’s curriculum. As Randolph Township Schools has always done, each school building will continue to develop a variety of programs to help educate students about important figures and events throughout black history.

Literary-Art Magazine Nationally Recognized

Randolph High School's Literary-Art Magazine received 1st Place in the American Scholastic Press Association Review. In addition, the National Council of Teachers of English gave the magazine, "Writings on the Wall," a Superior Rating in their Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) Program. Artwork included in the publication can be found below and the entire publication which includes over 30 poems can be accessed here:

Literary-Art Magazine

Girls Basketball State Sectional Champions

For the second time in four years, the Randolph High School Girls Basketball team won the NJSIAA North 2 Group 3 State Sectional Championship after defeating the Mendham Minutemen 53-43.

Congratulations Rams! Learn more about the victory and see additional game photos in the following article published by TapintoRandolph.


Photo Credit: Randolph High School Senior Leo Hernandez

Randolph Honors 2022 – 2023 Teacher of the Year Recipients

I joined district administrators, building leadership teams and students to recognize this school year’s Teacher of the Year recipients. Congratulations to the following educators who were selected as 2022 – 2023 Teachers of the Year:

RHS Health and Physical Education Teacher Will Nahan

RMS 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher Stephanie Gregory

Center Grove Elementary School Counselor Megan Sciara

Fernbrook Elementary 2nd Grade Teacher Reed McMurray

Ironia Elementary Art Teacher Heather Lade

Shongum Elementary 3rd Grade Teacher Lyn Fromme

Randolph Township Schools is grateful to have countless educators who go above and beyond for the students we have the privilege to serve every day. We are honored and grateful to be able to recognize six of these exemplary leaders who have and continue to do so much for our school community.

Congratulations to all of our 2022 – 2023 recipients on their well-deserved awards.

Randolph Middle School Selected as School to Watch

The National Forum for Advancing Excellence in the Middle Grades has re-designated Randolph Middle School on its New Jersey Schools to Watch list. Schools that are awarded this prestigious honor must meet rigorous criteria. Principal Kricheff along with Vice Principals Jackie Fik and Michael LoRicco truly went above and beyond with their team to receive this highly selective designation. This fall, members of the administrative team and a group of middle school teachers completed a lengthy application process, which was then followed by a thorough site visit. This tremendous accomplishment was awarded based upon a variety of factors. Randolph Middle School has been recognized for its commitment to academic excellence where all students are challenged to use their minds to reach their full potential. The middle school also provides an environment that is developmentally responsive to the unique challenges of early adolescence. Furthermore, the middle school fosters social equity by providing every student with high quality teachers, resources, learning opportunities and supports, as well as best practice organizational structures which establish norms and processes which support and sustain students' trajectory toward excellence.

Randolph Middle School will be formally recognized with its award at the 2023 National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, D.C. The middle school will also be acknowledged at the New Jersey Association for Middle Level Education (NJAMLE) Conference on March 15, 2023. As a nationally recognized School to Watch, Randolph Middle School will continue to promote all of the innovative and creative programs happening at the middle school with peer colleagues across the state. The middle school will also participate in collaborative efforts amongst other recognized schools through group meetings, serving on visitation teams, and opening its doors to other middle schools from throughout the state. The award and program is truly a collaborative effort where all schools statewide and nationwide work together to promote best practices which better serve the individual needs of middle school students.

“We are so honored to be recognized as one of 16 middle schools in New Jersey with the distinction of being designated as a School to Watch. I would like to credit our teachers, administrative team, students, and parents who continue to question and innovate in order to enhance the academic and social environment of RMS. I began this year by sharing my belief that RMS could serve as a role model for the rest of the world to see how people of different backgrounds with varying ideas and ideals can come together by listening to each other, respecting differences, and recognizing the incredible value there is in learning and growing. Being named a School to Watch validates that belief and provides us with an opportunity to share our story with other middle schools across the state and country,” Randolph Middle School Principal Dave Kricheff said.

Postgraduate Readiness

Randolph Education Association Donates $45,940

The Randolph Education Association (REA) represents members of Randolph Township Schools’ faculty and staff. In addition to providing exemplary teaching and learning for over 4,300 students in our learning community, the Randolph Education Association has a deep commitment to the continued advancement of both our schools and township. The organization and its members offer two different grant programs including PRIDE which supports community outreach as well as F.A.S.T. (Families and Schools Together Work for Children). This year, Co-Pride/F.A.S.T. Chairs Angela Cordova and Joe Bocchino announced that the REA will be granting contributions totaling $45,940 to support students, families, and organizations in Randolph Township and Morris County.

“In partnership with Randolph Schools, our Randolph Education Association is proud to offer support to our students and provide activities to build communities. We also partner with local and county organizations where we are proud to sponsor services that will contribute to the needs and healing essential to community wellness,” Miss Cordova and Mr. Bocchino said. “Randolph Township is all about team and community. We look forward to these near future endeavors and the needs that will be fulfilled. In the coming week, we will be excited to announce this gifting to our recipients.”

The grants will support a variety of initiatives which impact literacy, math, ESL, and wellness programs in Randolph Township Schools. Local organizations such as food pantries, animal shelters, and youth recreation programs will also be assisted.

The generosity of the Randolph Education Association is not surprising. Our educators go above and beyond inside and outside of the classroom every day. Individually and collectively, they move mountains to serve others. On behalf of the entire district, we are honored to have brilliant, world class educators whose hearts are as big as their minds. The work of our faculty and staff is nothing short of extraordinary, and these contributions will make a tremendous difference in both our schools and the greater community.

Fernbrook to Compete in Pre-College STEM Program at NJIT

Meet Sarge: Center Grove Elementary Therapy Dog

Sarge, a certified therapy dog, made a special visit to Center Grove Elementary for a lesson on fractions with Ms. Barrett's 4th grade students. Sarge will be visiting classrooms at Center Grove on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the school year.

Sarge is a friendly, gentle, well-trained, fox red British Labrador Retriever. He just turned two years old on January 4, 2023. He received his therapy dog certification in May 2022 from the Bright and the Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc., located in Morris Plains, New Jersey. He has since visited elementary school students, seniors in assisted living housing communities, medical offices, and local libraries. In addition, some of his local hang out spots are Lowes, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, Waterloo Village, and believe it or not, Bag O’Bagels. He even frequents Short Hills Mall on occasion! He is a friend to many, including Amazon drivers, UPS drivers, and mail delivery people, too! He loves children, and all people, and he is known for making everyone smile with his happy wags and gentle loving ways. He is a well-mannered, smart, fun and athletic dog, and he loves to swim, run, train, ride on the quad, and lead the way on the kayak.

Ironia Celebrates Global School Play Day

Global School Play Day is observed annually every first Wednesday of February to promote the importance of unstructured, regular play for children. The campaign was started by a group of six educators who realized that playtime for children was decreasing both at home and in school, leading to negative consequences for child development. Unstructured play promotes healthy development which includes critical thinking, self-regulation and problem-solving competencies. It also encourages children to build their self-confidence which is critical for creativity, innovation and academic achievement in the classroom. For the third year, all students at Ironia Elementary participated in Global School Play Day.

“When children play on their own, they make decisions about what to do and they learn ways to solve their own problems. Through play, children learn how to collaborate, assert themselves, and resolve differences. They learn to think critically, analyze various situations, and collaborate with peers. For our young learners, play is productive work,” Interim Ironia Principal and Director of Elementary Education Danielle Soldivieri said. “Teachers, through joining in and observing their students engaging in play, are also better able to understand the social-emotional needs of each student.”

Social Emotional Learning for a Cause

Shongum Elementary Kindergarten – 2nd grade students participated in a social emotional learning activity for the organization Color A Smile. Color a Smile is a nonprofit organization based in Morristown, New Jersey that distributes drawings to senior citizens, the military, and anyone in need of a smile. Every month, the organization mails thousands of drawings which has helped to put smiles on over 2 million faces since 1990. Students in Susan Miessler’s class were excited to share some of the pages they colored which will be sent to the non-profit organization for dissemination. Children and adults of all ages can volunteer their time to help. To learn more about Color a Smile, please visit their website in the link below:

Randolph Middle School Performs Magical Production of the Wizard of Oz

Robotics Rocks

STEM Exploration

Randolph High School students in Dr. Krista Seanor’s Honors Biology class began an introductory lesson studying the anatomy of leaves. The hands-on project was designed to study plant structures critical to photosynthesis. Using a compound microscope, the students were able to examine dissections of leaves which were then projected across monitors throughout the STEM lab. Each student had the opportunity to study the microscopic details of the leaf cuticle, upper epidermis, palisade mesophyll cells, spongy mesophyll cells, vascular budles, lower epidermis, chloroplasts, and stomata. The students then answered a series of questions about the function of photosynthesis, the transportation of nutrients, and the function of water retention in the leaves of plants.

Randolph Middle School Recess

Randolph Middle School 7th grade students were rewarded with recess after winning this year’s spirit week. The 40-minute activity included board and card games such as chess, checkers, uno, Risk and tabletop tennis. Several other spaces throughout the middle school accommodated multiple student preferences including kickball, volleyball, crafts, and a quiet space where students could read, draw, color or participate in another calming practice of their choice. The initiative was directly requested by students, and was a pilot for other possible social emotional grade level opportunities throughout the school year.

Alex Vega

Sybil Sánchez

Bella Dicristina

Randolph High School Teacher Chef Povinelli Featured on Food Network

In a first-time partnership, Food Network and the National Football League have teamed up to celebrate the best tailgate chefs from around the country in the six-episode primetime event "NFL Tailgate Takedown." Randolph High School's very own Chef Povinelli was featured in the pilot episode as a background actor where he participated in food tastings and interacted with the judges.

Randolph Township Police Officers Visit RHS For Volleyball Scrimmage

As a community building activity, officers from the Randolph Township Police Department visited Randolph High School during unit lunch for a volleyball scrimmage. Students were able to eat their lunch and watch from the stands as Randolph High School students Carter Kielbania, Thomas Martin, Ethan Gorman, Jacob Corsaro, Colin O'Meara and Aidan Fisher competed against Chief Harzula, Sgt. Edelman, Sgt. Rispoli, Det. Clark, Det. Brenckman, Det. Green, Ptl. Francica, Ptl. Emporellis, Ptl. Gocklin, Ptl. Tomkins, and Ptl DelRusso. The game was officiated by Head Boys Volleyball Coach Erik Novak and Cameron Johnson led the high school team as its student coach.

The Randolph Township Police Department won a tight first set 27-25, and the high school took the second set for the tie. It was an incredible event that everyone enjoyed. Thank you to the Randolph Township Police Department for coming to visit and connect with our students!

Holiday Concerts