No. 2 Vol. 10
Allamuchy Woman Making A Difference In Zambia
By Maryanne ChristianoMistretta ith a little more than half way through the 27month Peace Corps commitment, Amanda Lee Westpy from Allamuchy is having an experience of a lifetime. The 23-year-old who has been away since June 2015 is currently serving in Zambia, Africa in the educational program teaching English and computers to two classes of eighth graders – with 90 students in each class. Bemba is the language of the region, in which
Amanda has learned during her three-month training before becoming an official Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV). Other training was to become part of the community and learn the culture. To get around, Amanda travels by bicycle, so bicycle safety is one of the things she needed to know. She also lives without electricity and other modern conveniences she was used to in the states. Living in a hut, she has just the basics. She has to get her water – 100 yards away. According to her mom, Joan Westpy of Allamuchy, the passion for African cul-
ture started when her daughter was four or five years old and liked cheetahs and wrote a book called “A Cheetah’s Tale” – a book about the eyes of a cheetah, which was self-published. The love of cheetahs evolved to loving the culture. When Amanda was 17 she went to Ghana with Global Leadership Adventure (GLA). And then at 18 she went back by herself. Westpy said, “We had a tough time when she was only 18 [traveling to Ghana alone] but we didn’t want to hold her back. It was always wanting more and broadening her horizons and help be the change. That’s her way of giving back.” Amanda is loving her mission as she lives independently, though she hosts a family that is just 100 yards away. “They house four to six kids,” said Westpy. “She’s gotten close to them and bonded with them. She’s gotten great bonds with other Peace
Corp volunteers.” However, Amanda is not without trials as 27 months away is a long time. “It’s a normal challenge,” said Westpy. “But she wants to stick it out.” Missing life events in the United States with family and friends is hard for Amanda. “Things are happening
ROBERT A. RUSSELL, P.C. Attorney at Law • Personal Injury • Criminal Defense • Family Law 699 Washington Street, Suite 201
Hackettstown, NJ 07840 Phone: 908-852-9260
and she’s not there to be part of it,” said Westpy. “But she wouldn’t trade the Peace Corps experience for anything.” Having a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Art Institute of Boston, now Leslie College of Art and Design, Amanda has incorporated art lessons and painting throughout her stay. With 12 months to go, Amanda has grown to be a leader in her community. Westpy is unsure of what Amanda plans to do when she returns. “It’s a good question,” she said. “She loves teaching with kids. I think she still has a passion for art. I don’t know if she’d want to be an art teacher or a private
studio teacher. She talked a lot about Peace Corps. She’s doing so much working with kids and computers in English.” Amanda had also started a program for girls aged 18 to 25 called Girls Leading Our World (GLOW). She teaches girls to be empowered through classes including self-esteem, career, and HIV education. Westpy is able to communicate with Amanda every day through Facebook and What’s App. “We text a lot,” she said. “It’s free, so that’s great. I chatted with her this morning. Verizon has a great program. We can call her at a good price under the family plan. That helps me and her.”
Page 2, October 2016, Tell Them You Saw It In The Hackettstown News â€˘ Like us on facebook www.facebook.com/mypaperonline
Hackettstown Schools Off To Strong Start This Year
By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta he school year is in full swing for the Hackettstown district.
Superintendent of Schools David C. Mango says that the district will continue forward with its commitment of its success of all students, preparing for an array of positive educational experiences for the coming 2016-2017 school year. The district embarked on the completion of several construction enhancement projects. Willow Grove School received a new roof while Hatchery Hill School had a compete electrical upgrade and conversion of space for classroom and program modification. In addition, the district security initiatives moved forward with the vestibule installation at both Willow Grove and Hatchery Hill schools, which will further assist building security as it is also one of the final elements to the districtâ€™s strategic plan. According to Mango, they are also going to repave the parking lot, update the bathrooms, and place HVAC units in the auditorium. â€œThat would be a good way to create revenue for renting the auditorium on weekends,â€? said Mango. There are also plans for complete renovation of the high school media center. The best part about all these projects, is that all monies are available according to Mango.
â€œThe upgrade of the high school is money we already have,â€? he said. In addition to facility upgrades, the district had created new two-year district goals per building. The goals and progress made at achieving these goals will be presented at Back to School Night and updated at Principal Forums. Times and locations for Principal Forums can be checked at district and school websites. At Willow Grove School, S.T.E.M. programs have been enhanced, offering opportunities to explore, create, design, collaborate, and fail in a safe environment to develop their skills in creativity, problem-solving, perseverance and cooperation. This year, students at the middle school will be required to wear student IDs in order to promote security as well as to facilitate lunch lines and other logistical matters. This procedure will build upon the high schoolâ€™s initiative of student IDs and will help prepare students for this next step in their education. Looking ahead, Mango also shared plans for 2017 and 2018. He said, â€œOur two directors of Special Education, and Cur-
riculum and Instruction, are looking at a two-year goal to create a twilight program.â€? A twilight program is a high school program where students, for whatever reason, cannot attend school during the traditional school day. On a flex schedule a student can earn credits for a high school diploma â€“ not a GED. â€œIf we can, weâ€™d be the only school in the country that has this program,â€? said Mango. Mango looks forward to partnering with all constituents of the school communities in achieving district goals while embarking on the upcoming journey of the 2016-2017 school year. â€œThereâ€™s a lot happening; itâ€™s all good stuff.â€? For more information visit: http://hackettstown.org/.
Kidâ€™s Junction Childrenâ€™s Consignment www.ShopKidsJunction.com 101-105 Grand Ave. Hackettstown 908.852.8999 Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm Sat. 10am-5pm Call for Sun. hours
!(" %%$%!( /F F !NY !C C ES S OR Y WI T H .EW !C T I VAT I ONS #ER T AI N 2EST R I CT I ONS !PPL Y !CT I VAT I ON UPGR ADE F EE L I NE 5P T O ) -0/24!.4 #/.35-%2 ) .&/2-!4) /. 3UBJ ECT T O 6:7 !GMT S