The Western Wayne School District and the Carbondale Historical Society are pleased to present the Côr Dathlu Cwmtawe Male Choir from Wales And the Western Wayne Band in Concert
Monday October 29, 2018 7:00PM Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium 1970A Easton Turnpike Lake Ariel, PA Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
For advance tickets, see any member of the WWHS Band
Côr Dathlu Cwmtawe:
The Return Journey
Just like droves of fans wait to welcome celebrity guests to popular morning television programs like Good Morning America, every Monday morning, administrators, school board members, parents, and community members line up outside of all Western Wayne School District Buildings to welcome in students as they return after their weekend break.
The initiative is titled “Today’s a Great Day, to Have a Great Day…Can’t Hide That Wildcat PRIDE!” This idea came from Mrs. Mindy Maros, a parent in the district, whose purpose with the initiative is to promote a positive environment for students to come to school, and to get parents involved in the school community in a positive way.
“Last year I read an article about a school in Indiana that did a similar program. I thought the idea was great; small time commitment, another opportunity for parents to be involved and it’s simple to do. We aren’t asking anyone to teach algebra- just to help us create a fun, welcoming atmosphere on Monday mornings,” Maros explained.
She said it was a smooth process to get her ideas into action.
“I pitched the idea to Miss Faliskie and Mrs. Fiorella. They were enthusiastic and instrumental in the idea coming to fruition. From there, they took it to the Administration and we followed up with talking to parents at all the Open Houses this fall. All of our Great Days volunteers have been approved through our background clearances process. We had shirts made through Custom Cured in our community, picked some fun songs and we’re off to a great start! We’re thrilled to not only have parents helping, but community members, as well,” Maros said.
The kick-off for the Monday welcome program at Western Wayne School District began on Monday, Oct. 15 and will continue throughout the year.
The high school band even joined in on the fun for the first day to play some lively music to get students excited to start their weeks at the middle and high schools.
“We are happy to play for the students to help make them feel more enthusiastic about the start of the week,” Mrs. Elaine Ort, high school band director, said.
The second week of “Today’s a Great Day” was just as successful as the first with many administrators, school board members, parents, and community members lining the walkways to the schools in the district to welcome the students back. In the middle school, music was played throughout the loud speakers to help add to the positive energy created by the greetings given by the adults to the students.
Parent Bill McCormick, whose son is a high school student, joined in on the fun for the second week. He found out about the opportunity through emails the district sends to parents informing of them of different school events.
“I just wanted to come out and support the school,” McCormick said. “There are a lot of good kids here at Western Wayne and many good programs like this one.”
Fellow Western Wayne parent Nicole O’Donnell agrees with McCormick.
“I wanted to come and welcome students because I know some of them don’t have parents at home in the morning to greet them,” she explained.
Community members also attended to interact with students and spread positivity. Melvina Black is a retired teacher from New York City who learned about the initiative from Bernice Fiorella, president of the Western Wayne Board of Education.
Black is a master teacher who taught all subjects in grades Pre-K through sixth for 15 years before retiring from teaching. Her degree is called Common Branches.
“I think greeting the students gives them a sense of pride and makes them feel welcomed,” Black explained.
She has enjoyed welcoming Western Wayne students to school at the two opening weeks of the initiative and plans to continue participating in this tradition in the future. She has also agreed to be a tutor in the high school on some mornings and is excited to help Western Wayne students refine their academic skills.
Parent Sandi Beavers thinks it is wonderful that community members like Black want to take the time to greet and work with students in the district. Beavers has two sons that attend Western Wayne and is highly involved in multiple parent groups at the district including the Band Parent and Drama Parent organizations.
“I enjoy working to make Western Wayne the best possible place it can be to meet the needs of all students,” Beavers said. “The welcome initiative is just another way that I can help spread pride at Western Wayne.”
Maros is glad that parents like Beavers feel this way since this outcome was her intention with the program from the start.
“Our goal is that through this effort, our students will look forward to Mondays, feel encouraged and most of all that they will feel known and valued by their community. We also hope that our entire district will embrace this opportunity for personal connection in an era when digital connection is prominent. When we take the time to pour into our kids and help them feel valued, it’s time well spent. Mondays can be tough, but when you add fun music, a word of encouragement and a few high fives, we can change Mondays into Great Days,” Maros discussed.
All administrators, school board members, community members, parents, and, most importantly, students look forward to continuing the welcome tradition throughout the school year.
The Junior Wildcat Football Players and Cheerleaders will be recognized on Friday, October 19th, 2018 during the Varsity Football game against Dunmore.
Players and Cheerleaders should report to the stadium by 5:50 PM.
Players/Cheerleaders only , dressed in uniform will be admitted to the game free. The football players will be allowed to warm up with the varsity players before the game, join the team in locker room for Coach Wolff’s pre-game speech, will run through the tunnel with the team! The cheerleaders will cheer with the varsity cheerleaders! Should be a great night!
The Western Wayne Educational Foundation and the Pride committee put together a fun and pride-filled celebration during the week of Homecoming, September 24-28th. Students at all the Western Wayne schools participated in a week-long showing of spirit.
Students across the district showed pride and respect for their schools by participating in many activities such as spirit week dress -up days, a food drive, and attending the Homecoming Football game on Friday night.
Middle School Student Council President Kailey Tickner, 8th grade, felt proud to have helped with the middle school’s efforts in the food drive.
“The food drive showed team work,” Kailey explained. “It was great to all work together as a group for it.”
Also, high school athletes and band members visited the elementary school along with Westie the Wildcat to encourage young students to participate in the festivities and increase school pride. The Western Wayne Educational Foundation, teachers, and staff donated money to purchase all students in the school district rally towels to bring to sporting events. Each student, all 1,900 of our school district, now have a rally towel to display school spirit since we all “rally together”.
“It was wonderful to see how happy all of the students were to receive the towels,” Ms. Tara Donleavy, student council advisor, said.
In addition, all the schools participated in a friendly competition to fill the food banks within our school district. Community members were also asked to bring donations to the Homecoming Game.
Middle School Student Council Treasurer Natalia Borrelli, 6th grade, felt excited to include the community in the food drive effort.
“I like bringing in the community,” she explained. “It obviously shows we have a lot of pride.”
Middle School Student Council Secretary Lauren Dramisino, 6th grade, also thought it was awesome to include the community in the food drive. Her fellow student council officer vice president, Hunter Smith, 7th grade, as well, enjoyed all of the homecoming week activities, especially the food drive.
“The food drive shows what the whole school can do when we join together,” Hunter said.
The schools in the district brought in over 3,000 nonperishable food items to donate locally. The following food pantries benefited from the generosity of the students and staff: Assembly of God, Hamlin, St. Thomas More, Lake Ariel, and the Methodist Church in Waymart.
“The struggles I’m facing/ The chances I’m taking/ Sometimes might knock me down but/ No I’m not breaking/ I may not know it/ But these are the moments that/ I’m going to remember most,” are lyrics from the popular song “The Climb” that resonate with all Western Wayne faculty and staff and are especially meaningful to faculty new to the district for the 2018-19 school year. The song was played during a presentation on Pride in Differentiation on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at the opening day in-service for all district employees.
New teachers attended an additional new teacher induction day on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at the District Office. All 11 new faculty members are eager to assist all students with any struggle or challenge they will face throughout the school year and look forward to making the climb to success at Western Wayne with them on a daily basis.
The new teachers include: MaryBeth Booth, long-term substitute high school Spanish; Hannah Fornes, long-term substitute elementary music; Amanda Gruszewski, special education high school; Jessica Short, ELA and science middle school; Samantha Antosh, long-term substitute high school English; Joyce Covaleski, middle school chorus; Ashley Kromko, first grade; Helene Tscheschlog, high school biology; Steven Rovinsky, emotional support; Tara Morcom, elementary guidance counselor; and Melissa Cottone, elementary behavioral specialist.
The new Western Wayne staff members come from a variety of backgrounds yet all share the same passion for working with Wildcat students.
High School biology teacher Helene Tscheschlog comes to us most recently from East Stroudsburg Area High School North where she taught for the last 11 years. While at North, she earned her master’s degree in 2010 from Wilkes University and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware.
Tscheschlog enjoys teaching biology because of the many new innovations and technologies that enable her and her students to understand more about life.
“It’s exciting to see how scientists take things to the next level and how we are continuously expanding the reaches of the human brain,” Tscheschlog said. “I am excited to work with such great minds and good spirits at Western Wayne! There is a sense of pride that students exude throughout the school that is contagious.”
Fellow new high school faculty member Samantha Antosh, long-term substitute for high school English, also is very excited to share in the pride with her students this year.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Western Wayne community because everyone is so friendly and everything is about helping the students grow and learn,” Antosh explained. “I look forward to seeing what my students will accomplish this year.”
Antosh comes to Western Wayne most recently from a long-term substitute position at Valley View last school year in 7th grade English. She graduated from Marywood University in 2016 and has also been a substitute teacher at North Pocono School District and the Howard Gardner School. She is thrilled to bring her passion for teaching English to Western Wayne.
“My favorite part of teaching English is seeing the students connect with the texts that we read and seeing them overcome struggles in their writing,” she said.
Another new full-time employee is Jessica Short who teaches multiple subjects in the middle school. Short is no stranger to the district. She has been at Western Wayne since the 2016-17 school year when she did a long-term substitute position as a 7th grade language arts teacher. The following school year she did a long term position in 6th grade language arts. Now, for the present school year, Short has been hired full time to teach 6th grade science, 7th grade ELA, and 8th grade ELA.
Prior to working at Western Wayne, Short did long-term substituting at Mountain View in 7th and 2nd grades for two half year positions. Short holds certificates in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle School Math, Middle School ELA, and Pre-K through 12 ELA. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Wilkes University.
Short is excited to teach ELA full-time at Western Wayne. “I have always loved reading. Being able to share that love with my students every day is more amazing than words can describe,” Short explained. “I love seeing the light bulbs in their minds turn on when they make a connection.”
Coworker MaryBeth Booth, a long-term substitute for Spanish in the high school, also enjoys helping her students to make connections to her content area.
“I most enjoy empowering students with the ability to connect to other cultures through language,” Booth explained.
Booth previously worked at Wallenpaupack Area High School for 12 years and has also taught at Marywood University along with having studied in Ecuador and Spain on various occasions.
“I have spent several weeks working in orphanages in Venezuela and Colombia,” Booth said. “I have also travelled to Costa Rica and Mexico. I enjoy experiencing other cultures.”
Booth’s students feel eager to learn from an educator with such vast experiences similar to fellow Western Wayne Middle School music teacher Joyce Covaleski.
Covaleski explains that teaching is her “third and most beloved career choice” having worked previously as a Music Therapist and Registered Nurse.
Previously, Covaleski worked at LaSalle Academy in Jessup PA where she taught General Music PreK-8, 8th Grade Religion, and three choirs, and two bands.
“When I started at LaSalle, there was one combined choir for grades 3-8 in a school of over 500 students,” Covaleski explained. “I started the traditional band program from the ground up, finding the best rental agreement for our parents, and teaching students everything they needed to know to play and care for their instruments.”
Among many other accomplishments, Covaleski started a rock band group for advanced students at LaSalle that would even at times accompany students in their general music concerts. Covaleski also broke the choir up into different groups for different purposes. Her show choir group was called the Choir of St. Cecilia of LaSalle Academy and performed all over Lackawanna County.
“Last year, my choir performed twice at the Cathedral for Mass, which was a great honor,” she explained. “Also, I was selected to be the conductor for the Combined Choir for the Diocese’s 150th Anniversary Mass for the Holy Cross School System, a tremendous honor and highlight of my career.”
Covaleski feels very excited to share her vast experience in music education with the Western Wayne community.
“I am very excited about the new opportunities I will find at Western Wayne. I am excited to help our Middle School students build confidence and find their voices,” Covaleski said. “I am excited to show our Wildcat Pride by taking our choral groups out into the community for various performance opportunities. I am very excited to be part of a music program with a reputation for excellence, and I hope to contribute to that excellence.”
Elementary new hire Ashley Kromko, first grade teacher, can’t wait to spend the year contributing to the environment of Western Wayne excellence at the elementary level.
“I am so excited to be a part of the Western Wayne Community!” Kromko said. “I am a graduate of Western Wayne, so it’s very exciting and fun to teach and give back to the community that helped shape me into becoming an educator. I also have worked with wonderful colleagues throughout the years, which has made the district feel more like a second home.”
Kromko had yearly long-term substitute positions at Western Wayne in the past for grades 4, 2,1, and physical education. She is thrilled to now be a permanent member of the Wildcat community doing what she loves.
“My favorite part about teaching elementary students is how excited and eager they are to learn,” Kromko explained. “Nothing can beat starting your day with hugs or smiles at your door, for students who are happy to see you and be in school.”
Elementary co-worker Hannah Fornes, long-term substitute in elementary music, also is eager to share her talents with young Wildcat music students.
This is Fornes first teaching position after having recently graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in music education.
“My favorite part about teaching music is getting to share my passion for music with students and seeing them enjoy learning the concepts I teach them in class,” Fornes explained. “I am most excited about working in the Western Wayne community because growing up not too far from here, I always knew Western Wayne had a very solid background in supporting the arts in education and I am proud to now be a part of that legacy.”
Fellow educator Steven Rovinsky, emotional support teacher, feels just as passionate about his career as Fornes.
Rovinsky earned a degree in speech language pathology from Penn State University and a master’s in special education K-8 with elementary education certification K-4 from Marywood University.
“Over the past several years I have worked in a variety of educational environments at all grade levels,” Rovinsky explained. “I quickly developed a passion for helping students with severe emotional needs and behavioral problems succeed within the context of their classrooms. Special education in terms of a field is exciting from my perspective as I get to work closely and directly have an impact on that student’s growth. It is an honor to work at the Western Wayne School District and provide services for students in the community.”
Amanda Gruszewski, high school special education teacher, also feels honored to provide her services to students in the Western Wayne community.
Gruszewski graduated from Wilkes University with a degree in criminology and from Marywood University with a master’s in education. She worked in education for three years before her position at Western Wayne and feels like this will be her best year in the field yet.
“Everyone here is very welcoming, including the students, which makes each day a wonderful day to be here,” Gruszewski said.
Part of new hire Tara Morcom’s job is making sure her elementary students feel welcome on a daily basis through her position as an elementary guidance counselor.
Morcom received her B.S. in psychology with a counseling concentration from East Stroudsburg University in 2015. During her time at ESU, she interned with East Stroudsburg Area High School South’s Guidance Department. She also graduated from The University of Scranton in 2017 with her M.S. in school counseling.
During graduate school, she interned at Mid Valley Elementary Center and spent time working as a TSS for NHS in Carbondale. Immediately prior to gaining employment at Western Wayne, she worked as an elementary/ middle school counselor at East Stroudsburg Area School District.
“My favorite part about being an elementary counselor is seeing the smiles on students’ faces and witnessing their success. It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to positively impact a student’s life and play a role in his/ her life,” Morcom explained. “When you, as a counselor, see your students’ grow, apply skills you have worked with them to develop, and overcome obstacles, the feeling is indescribable.”
Coworker Melissa Cottone, elementary behavioral specialist, also loves helping students to gain the confidence they need to achieve successes in their lives.
Cottone has worked previously as a mental health professional and behavior analyst. She has worked with many children/ adolescents and their families in a variety of settings from working with families in their homes to intensive clinical settings to private practice. All of these experience has led her to the Western Wayne community.
“Working with students with special needs has been my passion,” Cottone explained. “Helping students grow behaviorally and emotionally is a very rewarding experience. I think what excites me most about being part of the Western Wayne community is that I get to work with a fantastic group of professionals. As individuals we can come up with good ideas, but those ideas can become great when working as a team.”
All of Western Wayne’s new hires look forward to continuing their team work throughout this school year as they work toward the common goal of helping each unique Western Wayne student thrive in the Wildcat community and beyond.
Western Wayne students can download the GradeBook App to view schedules and assignments. As well, they can connect their phones to retrieve their student email all by watching this simple tutorial.