Page 1

News September 2012

The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

Inside 2 New Student Orientation 2 Positive Changes on Campus this Summer 3 Several Buildings Renovated to Accommodate Growing Number of Staff and Students 4 Recognizing our Retirees 4 Fresh New Faces at GSB 6 Four Students Attend American Conference on Diversity Leadership Conference 6 Student Earns National Television Spot in State Farm Commercial 7 GSB Senior Plays Part in Local Theater Production 7 Conquering the World Wide Web 8 2012 “ShopRite Cup” Award 9 Dates to Remember

BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

THE BEGINNING of a new calendar year brings with it the opportunity for reflection and consideration of the year about to begin. This often leads to resolutions for change and the chance for a fresh start. Everything is possible, as the past is soon to be in our “rearview mirror.” However, for those of us in academia, the first day of school provides our students, teachers and families with similar opportunities. This “New Year” spirit is quite palpable at Gill St. Bernard’s. It began to build on August 20th with the start of preseason practices. A few days later saw the arrival of our new faculty and staff. By the time the rest of the faculty and staff returned to campus for their opening meetings, the sense of excitement was felt by all. The signs of various physical improvements to the campus are everywhere. Construction continues on the addition to Founders Hall and the project is slated for completion in October. It will provide additional dining space, allow the further renovation of our serving area and enhance the quality of student life. The first floor will add a new art studio and gallery space. The renovation of the Perch House is almost complete and is the home of our new Communications Department. Over 8,000 square feet of brick walkways replaced deteriorated asphalt paths, further adding to the collegiate look of the campus. In other areas, we also have much to celebrate. At our many student and parent orientations last week, we announced the launch of the new GSB website and KnightSite. This major upgrade offers all of our families the opportunity to be better informed about the latest events at the school, as well as other information including schedules, assignments, and other resources. The newly established Communications Department is now coordinating our efforts both internally and

Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934

externally in this important area. Finally, the GSB International Student Program was announced. This initiative has added six new Chinese students to the GSB community. It will provide significant opportunities for the life of our school both in terms of diversity and cultural awareness. Similar to traditional New Year’s resolutions, the goals we establish at the onset of the academic year require a strong commitment and hard work in order for us to achieve them. In addition to several others, one of my goals is to “spread the word” about the many achievements of Gill St. Bernard’s. Though our school is small, it has accomplished great things. I look forward to sharing more with you about events and other exciting news over the course of the school year, and I hope to see everyone on campus in the coming days and weeks.

Welcome back.

Sid Rowell 1.

The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

WELCOME BACK! New Student Orientations UPPER SCHOOL ORIENTATION from left: Trevor Kaminski ’13, Robert Anderson ’13, Ryan Lapre’ ’13, Theophilus Timothy ’13 and C.J. Blasi ’13

GILL ST. BERNARD’S KICKED OFF ITS 113TH SCHOOL YEAR by hosting numerous orientations between August 24 and August 30. Whether catering to the needs and questions of new students and faculty members, or up-and-coming fifth graders and freshmen, this year’s orientations were full of optimism as everyone prepared for the 2012-13 school year.

Headmaster at Gill St. Bernard’s Sid Rowell told incoming Middle School students and parents gathered in the Chapel on Wednesday, that even as he begins his 12th year as headmaster at GSB, “I can honestly say that when I woke up this morning, I was already thinking of all the ways our school can get even better.”

’20 also hopes to learn the ropes of Middle School from his older sibling Matthew ’16. A father of five boys, Mark Taylor claims he could not be more proud that Michael has chosen to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, who joined GSB just last year. “We love the environment — the nurturing and support that’s given,” said Mr. Taylor.

MIDDLE SCHOOL ORIENTATION from left: Ronna McNamara with her daughter Lila ’20

With 110 new students attending GSB this school year, the number of possibilities for growth in athletics, the arts, academics, and more are endless. For incoming sophomore, Daniel Brownstein ’15, choosing GSB guaranteed he would receive the personalized attention that is not always offered in the public school sector. Brownstein, who comes to GSB from Hunterdon Central Regional High School, says he was most intrigued by the school’s academically sound curriculum, small class sizes and overall beautiful campus. There to ease the transition to GSB for incoming Upper School students like Brownstein were new student mentors Trevor Kaminski ’13, Robert Anderson ’13, Ryan Lapre’ ’13, Theophilus Timothy ’13 and C.J. Blasi ’13. Aside from giving their new student mentees a campus tour during orientation on Wednesday, mentors also hold additional responsibilities throughout the school year. “We’ll periodically meet with our mentees to make sure the transition is going smoothly and that they’re keeping up with the changes that occur when joining a new school,” said Lapre’. In addition to receiving guidance from his homeroom teacher, Ms. Scudder, one incoming fifth grade student Michael Taylor Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934


The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

September 2012


Positive Changes on Campus this Summer The 2011-12 school year proved one of monumental achievements campus wide. In an effort to build on the elite college placement, profound performing arts and athletic success, and community service opportunities had last year, returning faculty and staff members at GSB were hard at work this summer instituting several positive changes that will help position Gill St. Bernard’s at the forefront of independent schools in New Jersey. Such positive changes include the introduction of new faces to campus this fall, developments in technology across all divisions, and various improvements to the grounds at GSB. Aside from welcoming 15 new faculty and staff members (see page 4) — three of which will make up Gill St. Bernard’s newly formed communications team — GSB will also introduce 110 new scholars, athletes and artists to its campus this upcoming school year. Not only does 2012-13 signify the largest-ever freshman class to hit the Upper School at GSB, but it also marks the first year that the school will host six Chinese exchange students as well. (Look for more in our upcoming GSB Magazine.) As the number of students attending GSB grows, the school continues to offer its students a 21st century education to prepare them for college and beyond. New technological advancements to look for on campus this school year include the institution of iPads in all kindergarten classes, the installment of additional SmartBoards in numerous classrooms and the introduction of a GSB Library card catalog that is now available to students while on and off campus. In addition, with help from various departments, the school has also recently updated its GSB website as well as launched Twitter and Facebook pages (see page 7). Through the use of GSB’s wireless program, students and faculty can now access the school’s new website from a number of this summer’s updated locations. Some grounds projects completed between June and August included the repaving of the Henshaw House and Conover parking lots, the extensive re-landscaping of the Cox Lower School and tennis court area, the aerating and reseeding of GSB’s athletic fields, and the addition of more than 8,000 square feet of beautiful brick pathways. Also nearing completion is a two-story addition to Founders Hall (see article right).

Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934

Construction Update

PERCH HOUSE Newly renovated to accommodate Communications and Marketing team

Due to the steady growth of GSB in recent years, several improvements have been made to accommodate the student and faculty staff population. Two major construction projects completed, or nearly completed, this summer include the renovation of GSB’s 106-year-old Perch House and a two-story addition to Founders Hall. A building constructed in 1906, Perch House was originally built to accommodate the St. Bernard’s School’s (SBS) second principal and head of school Anna Gwilt. While later years in the history of the school saw the occupancy of additional faculty members in Perch House, the establishment was used as a summer camp office before undergoing its unique transformation into GSB’s new Communications and Marketing headquarters this July. The newly renovated facility will now house three members from GSB’s new communications team: Director of Communications and Marketing Allyson Daly, New Media Specialist Michael LaBrie and Communications Specialist Megan Zakrzewski. Another update, projected for completion in October, is also taking place on the school’s 103-year-old Founders Hall. A facility built to make room for a growing number of students at the St. Bernard’s School in 1909, Founders Hall originally consisted of schoolrooms and a printing office on the ground floor, a playroom and lavatories in the basement, and a dormitory on the third floor. Aside from adding a Chapel and more dormitory space to Founders Hall in 1915, GSB’s most recent 2,400 square foot, two-story addition to the building this 2012 will not only expand the school’s second-floor dining room, but also add an art studio and gallery space on the first floor. Additional interior changes to buildings on campus include the creation of a Safety Office in the Cox Lower School as well.


The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

Fresh Faces at Gill St. Bernard’s ALLYSON DALY


Director of Communications & Marketing

US Science teacher

Daly brings to GSB more than 13 years of communications experience with such employers as Bayer Healthcare, GE and Nokia. Daly holds a B.A. and M.B.A. in communications from the University of New Haven.

Gill St. Bernard’s welcomes Kochis all the way from Plaquemine, La., where she taught science at St. John High School. Kochis earned a B.S. from Villanova University and a M.Ed. at the University of Notre Dame.

MICHAEL LABRIE New Media Specialist

DIANA FIORE MS/US Spanish teacher Fiore joins Gill from the Mount Olive School District. She holds a M.A. in education leadership from the College of Saint Elizabeth and a M.A. in communications and information studies from Rutgers University.

LaBrie joins GSB from Prevent Child Abuse - New Jersey (PCANJ) where he was Manager of Communications and Web Technology since 2008. He holds a B.A. in information technology and informatics from Rutgers University.

MELISSA LEWIS MS/US French teacher

BETH HANSEN Transportation Coordinator Aside from working at the Hi-Hills Day Camp for the past nine years, Hansen also has previous experience with the Randolph Township Board of Education. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Lewis comes to GSB with more than five years experience teaching French to Middle and Upper School students at both Black River Middle School in Chester, N.J. and Voorhees High School. Lewis obtained a B.S. in secondary education with a specialization in French from the University of Rhode Island. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in French language and literature at Montclair State University.

MICHAEL LIDDY Associate Director of Development

SARAH ISUSI MS/US Art teacher Isusi comes to GSB as former Chair of the Fine Arts Department at a charter school in West Chester, Penn., where she also taught Middle and Upper School students. She holds a M.A. in fine arts and painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a M.A. in teaching from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934

Prior to joining Gill, Liddy was director of institutional advancement at Marylawn of the Oranges Academy, director of the Annual Fund at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School and director of development at Seton Hall Preparatory School. He earned a B.A. from Providence College.


The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

September 2012



MS Language Arts teacher

LS Reading Specialist Prior to joining GSB, Nisky served as a second grade teacher at Union Township High School in Hampton, N.J. She received a M.A. in teaching from Marygrove College.

Previous work experience had by Tuohy includes teaching both third and fifth grade students as well as fifth grade language arts enrichment in the Franklin Lakes School District. Tuohy earned a B.A. in psychology, with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience, from Rutgers University and a M.A. in elementary education from The College of New Jersey.

LINDA PARK US ESL teacher & International Students Coordinator

CHANELLE WALKER Park comes to GSB from Democracy Prep Charter High School in Harlem, N.Y., where she recently worked as a Korean language teacher. Prior to that, Park also served as an ESL teacher at YWCA in Queens and as a Korean language instructor at the Berlitz Language Center. She earned a B.A. in communications and theater at SUNY, as well as a Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute.

Alumni Director Before joining GSB, Walker was events coordinator at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center Foundation in Paterson, N.J. Walker has a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an a M.A. from the University of the Arts.

MEGAN ZAKRZEWSKI Communications Specialist

CANDACE PRYOR BROWN US History teacher Pryor Brown served as Chair of the Humanities and Dean of Faculty at the Hoboken Charter School before joining GSB this school year. She holds a M.A. in Early Modern European History from Indiana University and an ABD from CUNY, the Graduate Center in American and African American History.

Zakrzewski comes to Gill St. Bernard’s from the Ranney School in Tinton Falls, where she most recently worked as Associate Communications Editor and Athletic Communications Specialist. She holds a B.A. in journalism from Rider University.

Saying Farewell Congratulations to the following retirees with 10+ years of service.

MEREDITH SWENSON US Administrative Assistant A former Legal Assistant and Office Manager at The Legato Law Firm in Bridgewater, N.J., Swenson comes to Gill St. Bernard’s with a B.A. in English from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Penn.

Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934



46 years of service • Lower/Middle School Librarian • 5th grade teacher • Assistant to the Upper School Director

25 years of service • Director of Publications



14 years of service • Lower School reading teacher

27 years of service • Head of the Science Department • Middle/Upper School science teacher

12 years of service • Middle/Upper School Spanish teacher




25 years of service • Upper School French, Spanish and Latin teacher

12 years of service • Business Office receptionist • Upper School administrative assistant


BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

Fulfilling the GSB Mission...One Student at a Time student-made action plans have utilized various techniques to spread the message — from workshops to different speakers to group discussions at Gill St. Bernard’s — this year’s ‘Lead for Diversity’ participants developed a plan entitled ‘Operation H.E.R.O.,’” said Tierney.

Four Students Attend American Conference on Diversity Leadership Conference For many students summer vacation entails traveling to culturally exotic destinations across the globe. For four Upper School GSB students, Dingmans Ferry, Penn. was able to provide this same culturally enlightening experience. Sponsored by the American Conference on Diversity, the conference known as “Lead for Diversity” has had a monumental impact on the lives of students at GSB for more than five years.  “Lead for Diversity” is a program open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors from public, private and independent high schools throughout New Jersey, who display an interest in diversity and intergroup relations, as well as possess characteristics of motivation and leadership. GSB’s Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Amy Mai Hope Tierney, now in her seventh year fulfilling this position at the school,

selected students — Jonathan Sonnenberg ’15, Jack Lowe ’15, Ryan McCluskey ’14 and Katie Bednarsky ’14 — to join approximately 50 students from 14 participating schools across the state for a week of carefully structured interactive workshops, small group discussions and experimental learning activities. Topics ranging from race and class to gender and religion helped students acquire the peer leadership, conflict resolution and human relations skills necessary for success in a diverse world. “I now feel better prepared to deal with the challenges I may encounter in the real world, as well as during the remainder of my time here at GSB,” said McCluskey, a sophomore. Before returning to their home towns, each student delegation was also required to develop an action plan, aimed at reducing prejudice and promoting inclusion on one’s very own campus. “While previous

Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934

“Operation H.E.R.O.” or “Helping Everyone Respect Others” will focus on appreciation and respect. The group is excited to reveal more to the student body in September. “I cannot wait to share what I have learned with the entire Upper School community, in an effort to reestablish the notion that we are not four grades, but rather one school, one community and one family,” said McCluskey, who added that his experiences with “Lead for Diversity” were ones he will cherish for the remainder of his life.  This same appreciation for the lessons learned through “Lead for Diversity” can be found in alumna Nicole Wisler ’09 who, since attending the conference three short years ago, now works as a counselor for the American Conference on Diversity. “That experience has shaped who I am as a person today,” said Wisler. Upper School students interested in becoming student delegates for GSB at next year’s conference can begin the application process with Ms. Tierney in January, 2013.

A NOTE from the EDITOR In the Summer 2012 edition of The GSB NEWS, Taylor Rooks ’14 was inadvertently left off the list of Upper School students acknowledged for earning Honor Roll during the second semester of the 2011-12 school year.


The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

September 2012

Conquering the World Wide Web IN AN EFFORT TO ENHANCE COMMUNICATION with families, faculty members, students and GSB alumni, the school recently launched a new website and KnightSite with the web solution company WhippleHill Communications, Inc., which caters to more than 400 independent school customers nationwide. “This major upgrade offers all of our families the opportunity to be better informed,” said Headmaster Sid Rowell. Through the new website, Gill St. Bernard’s can share class schedules, homework assignments and messages on a secure site. In addition, parents can now receive valuable athletic notifications containing such information as changed practice times, canceled games and directions to events.

GSB Senior Plays a Part in Local Theater Production Congratulations to Alexis Molnar ’13, who appeared in the world premiere of a new comedy entitled “Harbor” at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut on Tuesday, August 28. The first non-musical performance produced by Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin, “Harbor” is a modern piece of theater that touches on the compromises one must make not only in his or her love life, but also for family. Featured in Sag Harbor, Long Island, N.Y., the comedy depicts a longtime couple, Kevin (played by Tony Award nominee Bobby Steggert) and Ted (played by Emmy Award nominee Paul Anthony Stewart), whose lives are disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Kevin’s sister, Donna (Kate Nowlin), and her 15-year-old daughter Lottie (portrayed by Alexis Molnar). Like a ship crashing into a safe harbor, Donna soon upends the “perfect life” companions Ted and Kevin have created. For more information or to purchase tickets to the show which will continue at the Playhouse until Saturday, September 15, please visit

For those parents constantly on the go, the new website also offers a mobile app, bringing news, assignments, media galleries and more right to one’s phone. “The app includes the same login credentials as the full website, providing the same rich experience in a compact and optimized way,” said GSB’s New Media Specialist Michael LaBrie. The first step among several aimed at broadening Gill St. Bernard’s online presence, the school also launched official Facebook and Twitter sites this summer. Through the use of social media, GSB can now provide content to the public in a timely manner — with the simple click of a mouse. “The need for organizations to establish an online presence has become increasingly important, as first impressions are often formed based on what others see on the web,” said LaBrie.

Like. Comment . 2 hours ago via mobile

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Student Earns National Television Spot in State Farm Commercial Senior Trevor Kaminski had much to “celebrate” this summer when he was selected to appear in the State Farm Insurance Company’s “Celebrate My Drive” television campaign. Trevor (pictured bottom left) can be spotted as a dancer in three separate commercials — two of which have already been broadcast, and one of which is expected to hit the networks soon. Videos from the campaign can be viewed by searching “Celebrate My Drive” on Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934


The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

BAL BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

GSB Athletes Move Full Steam Ahead into New School Year 2012 “ShopRite Cup” Award Lifts Spirits on the Playing Field With a new school year about to begi begin, the future shines brightly for the Gill St. Bernard’s Knights, who have spent th their summer months diligently preparing for yet another successful year in athletics athletics. After capturing the NJSIAA “ShopRi “ShopRite Cup” last spring — an award presente presented annually to a school within each of the th six state classifications that achieves success at a state and sectional level throughout the three seasons — a renewed drive is evident in all athletes as they prepare for their return to the fieelds, courts, and track this upcoming schoo school year. “The 2011-12 school year was oone Gill of unprecedented athletic success at G St. Bernard’s and our student-athletes are momentum already training to keep that moment Dave going,” said Director of Athletics Dav Pasquale. deWolfe Along with new coaches Dave deWol (assistant), (head coach) and Amy Ulto (assistant champion runners from last year’s state champio running cross country team trained at a runnin camp in Glen Spey, N.Y. this summer. summer soccer In addition, this year’s varsity girls soc team — after reaching the sectional aand three Prep B semifinals last fall — spent thr days developing its skills through an Woodloch overnight soccer camp at the Woodlo Sports Complex in Hawley, Penn. Its counterpart, the varsity boys soccer team, which earned a sectional title in November 2011, spent a good part of league its vacation playing in a summer leagu “While at Soccer Centers in Somerset. “Whil it is difficult to predict in August, we will anticipate that all of our fall teams wi who be very competitive,” said Pasquale, w

shared his excitement for the fastapproaching season. With several returning members and new players to its roster, the varsity girls tennis team is also eager, as it strives to once again dominate the Raritan Division of the Skyland Conference. This same enthusiasm can be seen across all sports seasons as student-athletes representing winter and spring teams were hard at work shortly after the 2011-12 school year ended. The boys and girls varsity basketball teams took part in several team camps and showcase tournaments throughout the summer, in hopes of earning sectional, county and conference crowns for their second consecutive year. The varsity baseball team also participated in a summer program — all in an effort to advance to the Prep B finals for the third straight season. GSB is also looking to make significant changes to two athletic programs. Ice hockey will not only move from junior varsity to the varsity level this winter (Gill St. Bernard’s has already been accepted into the Haas/Charette Division of the Morris County League), but the Athletic Department is hoping to expand the scope of its spring lacrosse program as well, moving it from a club program to a program with increased competition. “As Upper School enrollment continues to grow, so too does the amount of athletic opportunities available to all students,” added Pasquale. Please visit to view a full list of athletic schedules and events.


Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934


The Monthly Newsletter for Gill St. Bernard’s School

BALANCE MATTERS: Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

September 2012

Dates to Remember Friday, September 7 Headmaster’s Reception for new parents VARSITY BASEBALL Anthony Mea ’12

Wednesday, September 12 Parents’ Association Breakfast Tuesday, September 18 Early Childhood Back to School Night

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY from left: Alexandra Benoit ’14, Madeline Quinn ’15 and Emily Quinn ’13

Wednesday, September 19 Upper School Back to School Night Thursday, September 20 Lower School Back to School Night Monday, September 24 GSB Golf Classic Thursday, September 27 Middle School Back to School Night Saturday, September 29 Homecoming/ Family Day


Gill St. Bernard’s School • St. Bernard’s Road • Gladstone, NJ 07934

To view more school events, or information on the above, please see GSB’s online calendar. 9.

GILL ST. BERNARD’S SCHOOL St. Bernard’s Road P.O. Box 604 Gladstone, NJ 07934 908-234-1611

GSB News: September 2012  

GSB News (September 2012): the official monthly newsletter of Gill St. Bernard's School

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you