Monday, April 1, 2013
Two local girls win this weekend.
Aliea Nalbani and Olivia Elliott, students at Jefferson School, competed against students from Maplewood, South Orange and Summit in this weekend's Robotics Spring Fling at South Orange Middle School to win one of the two main competitions. The girls were part of a team from Robot Revolution, a program founded by local parents Darin Czukoski and Chris Marbaix's to teach elementary and middle school students how to create and program real robots, using the Lego Mindstorms robot. The school launched only this past September with 18 students. By the winter session, the number of students swelled to 42. Locally, classes take place at Sparkhouse Kids in South Orange Village. (There are also classes at Mondo in Summit and Doodlebugz in Madison…
South Orange Village President Alex Torpey Declares May 5, 2013 "Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure" Day
South Orange Village President Alex Torpey Thursday night declared May 5, 2013 “Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure Day” in South Orange. Torpey urged all residents to come out and support the Race and the fight against breast cancer. Jennifer Griola of West Orange, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen North Jersey, accepted the Official Proclamation on behalf of the organization. Governor Chris and Mary Pat Christie are honorary chairs of the event. The 6th Annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure, which will feature a 5K Chip/Timed Race, a 5k Walk, a 1.5 mile Fun Walk, and a 50-yard Kids’ Dash will be held at the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange on Sunday, May 5th. For more …
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Over 130 students are participating in the classic performance.
South Orange Middle School (SOMS) students will be performing "Guys and Dolls" this weekend. The classic show has a plot in which two gamblers, Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson, make a bet that causes romantic problems between them and their loves, Sarah Brown and Adelaide. It is directed by Elizabeth Harris, who also teaches chorus at SOMS. "I really enjoy the experience, and I think the kids are doing an outstanding job," said Donald Tighe, the musical director of the performance and band teacher at the school. "It's a lot of work, but it's really fun," commented Ben Blais, a 7th grader who plays Rusty Charlie, one of the main gamblers in the performance. "We rehearsed until 9 p.m. once." The musical will be performed on Friday, March …
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Braff was welcomed back to his middle school
Zach Braff joined the South Orange Middle School Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Braff was welcomed to his alma mater by current students, staff, and faculty, including teachers who knew him as a teen. Speaking to the student body in the Stirling Hall auditorium, Braff described himself as "paralyzingly shy" as a young teen. Nonetheless, recalled Braff, he auditioned again and again for acting roles. "If you work hard," said Braff, "and don't allow anyone else to outwork you, the sky's the limit." Braff, who attended Marshall, Jefferson, SOMS and graduated from Columbia High School, is the youngest of four siblings raised in South Orange. Braff is an actor, screenwriter, producer, comedian, and director. was nominated for an Emmy Award and …
Saturday, October 6, 2012
A Columbia High School student reporter describes the three upcoming student plays
The following was written by Abigail Baker: Given that the South Orange - Maplewood community is abundant in seasoned artists and practiced professionals, it is of little wonder that the district’s public schools reflect young, unique talent in an extensive array of mediums. Indeed, in the particularly active facet of theatre, Maplewood Middle School, South Orange Middle School, and Columbia High School each rehearse and perform a musical every year. These full-scale productions are dually an educational and artistic experience for the students as well as a staple of the school and district community. South Orange Middle School’s musical is the classic Guys and Dolls, a timeless story of love and personal growth. The plot premise is a …
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The library's popular puzzle table welcomes donations
South Orange Middle School students are happily spending spare moments putting the world back together. Librarian Elissa Malespina reports that the kids are at work on a puzzle map of the world. The puzzle table is Malespina's innovation this fall and it's a hit. "Any donations would be great," says Malespina. "Kids have really taken to it." To donate used or new puzzles, contact Malespina at: firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off puzzles at South Orange Middle School.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Donaldson hearing for Steven Cohen was held Wednesday
South Orange Middle School teacher Steven Cohen learned that he will not return to the district in September. He was notified on Saturday that the Board of Education chose to uphold the decision not to rehire that was made in May by Principal Joseph Uglialoro. Kathleen McCort, who also taught eighth grade Social Studies at SOMS, was similarly notified that she wouldn't be rehired. Her Donaldson hearing, held in June, saw the same result. Neither teacher was retained by the district. A replacement for Cohen was approved by vote at the Monday Board of Education meeting. McCort's replacement comes from within the school, but from another discipline. That announcement was made in June. Patch will update this story.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Steven Cohen's supporters took the floor again at Monday's meeting
South Orange Middle School Social Studies teacher Steven Cohen faces the Board of Education on Wednesday, for a private Donaldson hearing. Cohen hopes to retain his job; he was not rehired for a fourth year. News that Cohen had not been rehired spread quickly among students and parents, leading to numerous protests and appearances before the Board of Education. On Monday, students and their parents returned to the Board to cite specific examples of how Cohen ran classes. A Maplewood student described an exercise when she and classmates mimicked the work of Italian fresco artists. She further recalled writing Homeric-style epics. "Mr. Cohen made history realistic and relevant," she said. "He always pushed us." Another former student …
Friday, July 13, 2012
Steven Cohen's hearing is July 18
South Orange Middle School teacher Steven Cohen has a Donaldson hearing scheduled for Wednesday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Board of Education meeting. Cohen's is the second Donaldson hearing this summer for SOMS teachers; fellow eighth grade Social Studies teacher Kathleen McCort also had a Donaldson hearing. In her case, the Board of Education upheld the decision not to rehire and tenure made in the spring by principal Joseph Uglialoro. It is not known if Cohen's hearing will be public or private. A key point of the hearing law is that results must be made known to the teachers, in writing, within three days. According to a district handout, The Board is not required to take a vote at the conclusion of the hearing. Should the Board …
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Kathleen McCort, eighth grade teacher at SOMS, was notified today
Kathleen McCort, one of the two eighth grade teachers who pursued a Donaldson hearing, will leave the district. McCort informed Patch today that she learned that the Board of Education decided not to take action, which means her contract was not renewed. Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.