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When life gives you lemons...

First-graders recently performed “Lemonade,” a musical about making the best of life’s ups and downs.  

The show tells the tale of beloved fairy tale characters dealing with problems and the ways they learn to cope. Chicken Little, the Three Little Pigs, Humpty Dumpty, the Cat with a Fiddle, Little Bo Peep, and Little Boy Blue and a host of others learn from Mother Goose that life is about making the best of things.

“It has a great of message of staying positive when things don’t go as planned,” said Jillian LaReddola, music teacher. “And the kids love portraying the classic nursery rhyme characters.”

“Lemonade” featured five songs in a variety of musical styles and ran for approximately 20 minutes. Each first grade class had its own scene and every student had a couple lines of dialogue.

About 80 students participated in the show. They began practicing in March.


Seafood surgery

Could you receive more expert knowledge about internal and external anatomical structures than from two medical doctors? Sure, the patients had a few more extremities than they’re accustomed to, but the parts were essentially the same. Many of them. Not the gills. Or tentacles.

In a hands-on lab in the school cafeteria, Dr. Suvid Chaudhari and Dr. Anuja Chaudhari demonstrated the dissection of a squid for the entire fourth grade. The doctors, father and mother of a student in teacher Joy Spevak’s class, read out loud the directions of each step and performed it under an LCD projector so that the entire room could watch. The students then repeated the procedure on their own.

“They were both so wonderful with the kids,” said Mrs. Spevak said of the doctors. “After every step, they went around making sure all the students were on the right track.” 

The fourth-graders, who were wearing gloves and goggles, worked in groups of four. Using forceps, scissors, and magnifying glasses, they cut and examined the gills, tentacles, eyes, egg sacks, and beaks of the squid. Most of the students had never done a dissection before and found the experience fascinating. 

“I really like animals so it was cool to learn about their parts,” said fourth-grader Sebastian Ostrove. “I want to be a vet someday. This is something I know I’ll have to go through.”

Also on hand to assist was Megan Schneider who is studying to be a physician’s assistant. Ms. Schneider is the sister of teacher Wendy Schneider. 

The last science module in fourth grade is devoted to internal and external plant and animal structures. As part of the unit, students study how those structures are used to aid growth, reproduction, and survival.


Wildlife comes to Tinc Road

Kindergartners recently made some four-legged friends – and a no-legged one. Dominic Rizzo, owner of Rizzo’s Wildlife World, visited Tinc Road and brought with him a variety of different animals including a turtle, snake, baby alligator, gecko, and skink (type of lizard). He described their habitats, foods, and behaviors in his presentation. The students also had an opportunity to hold and touch several of them (the alligator not included).

“All kids love animals so they were wide-eyed seeing them up close,” said teacher Brittany Van Houten. “We read a number of stories with animals as characters and this was a chance for them to see the real life versions.” 

The kindergartners are wrapping up their end-of-the-year research projects and one of the topics they could choose was animal homes, so the visit was the perfect opportunity to get hear details from an animal expert.


Murals add vibrance to Tinc Road

Tinc Road’s center hallway is bursting with color thanks to the murals recently painted on both walls along the corridor’s entire length. Formally dedicated on May 23, the sprawling artwork features unique scenes of the community, learning, and popular Tinc Road activities. It’s the perfect accent to an interior building renovation completed in time for the opening of this school year that saw the installation of new lights, flooring, and furniture. 

Caren Frost Olmsted, a Basking Ridge-based artist, designed the murals and coordinated the three week-long production process. A committee comprised of parent Kari Cooke, art teacher Jenn Fernandez, fifth grade teacher Mary Hund, and Principal Scott Lipson whittled down ideas from parents and students to come up with the mural concepts and themes. Tableaus of farmland, the Mount Olive Public Library, the annual variety show, and the front of the school are some of the portrayed scenes. 

During week one, Ms. Olmsted and parent volunteers prepped the walls and outlined the art. In the second week, students in grades K-5 painted in 45-minute sessions under Ms. Olmsted’s supervision. In the third week, Ms. Olmsted and parents completed touch-ups.

The mural was made possible through a grant from the Education Association of Mount Olive.

To see more of the finished mural, go to https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1em0ze5eh5AwbgaugrWyn30dTNxsnOi1V?usp=sharing

Caren Frost Olmsted at work


Kathy Diefes speaks at the ceremony to honor Danielle Frederickson

Remembering Danielle 

Close up of bench engraving
Close up of the dedication on the buddy bench

Friends, family, and former colleagues of Danielle Frederickson joined in a ceremony to remember the longtime Tinc Road instructional supervisor and dedicate a buddy bench to her. Mrs. Frederickson passed away in February 2017 after a long illness. 

Teachers Samantha Darnesto, Kathy Diefes, and Stephanie Tarnowski spoke to the audience about their memories of Mrs. Frederickson as a teacher, administrator, and friend. They heralded her kindness, sense of humor, love for her family, and her tireless support for students and colleagues.

“When I was hired at Tinc in 1991 as a third grade teacher, I was beyond blessed to work alongside Danielle,” said Mrs. Tarnowski, a Mount Olive Middle School teacher who spent much of her career at Tinc Road. “My very first day here, I sat in Danielle’s classroom and observed her as she taught. Her love for her students and passion for her career were inspiring.”

First grade teacher Samantha Miller was unable to attend the dedication ceremony. Her remembrances, however, were shared with the audience.

“Having a bench with the purpose of encouraging kindness and friendship truly fits Danielle perfectly,” wrote Mrs. Miller in a speech delivered by Mrs. Tarnowski. “She exemplified kindness and demonstrated friendship better than I’ve ever seen. She truly meant so much to so many.

“People often remark on the ‘Tinc Road Family.’ It is my belief that Danielle anchored us to be that family, to lift and support each other in good times and bad as we have always done and will continue to do for years to come. Danielle was the pillar of strength physically and emotionally. I know that everyone here has countless Danielle stories of ways she guided you and touched your heart. I hope you continue to share your Danielle stories and keep them tucked in a special place in your heart. To know her was to love her.” 

Mrs. Diefes also spoke about the personal impact that Mrs. Frederickson made on colleagues and the building. 

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness,” she said. “Danielle’s smile touched every single person she met. We miss her presence in our daily lives and in our school, and know she would be thrilled to have a buddy bench dedicated in her honor.”

The buddy bench, made of recycled materials, was installed in the playground area earlier in the year. “Kindness is like a smile, contagious,” is emblazoned on it. 

“On behalf of everyone involved in making the buddy bench a reality here in Danielle’s name, I’d like to thank Scott Lipson for all his support,” said Mrs. Miller. “He understood how important it was for us to see Danielle be remembered in a special way.”

Sandshore Elementary School

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118 Cloverhill Drive
Flanders, NJ 07836
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Chester M. Stephens Elementary School

Chester M. Stephens Elementary School
99 Sunset Drive
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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Tinc Road School

Tinc Road School
24 Tinc Road
Flanders, NJ 07836
973-927-2203

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Mt. Olive Middle School

Mt. Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
973-691-4006

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Mt. Olive High School

Mt. Olive High School
18 Corey Road
Flanders, NJ 07836
973-927-2208

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