T From the HSA Co-Presidents

From the HSA Co-Presidents
he school year is off to a great start…classes are
full steam ahead, sports teams and clubs are up
and running.
Freshman Parent night is at the end of October
this year on the 29th. If you are a freshman parent
please be sure to join the HSA and get your email
address to our Freshman Parent reps, Jackie Lahey
([email protected]) and Mary Brown
([email protected]), so you are kept up-todate with what is going on at Columbia High
School! We do no fundraising and rely on your
HSA membership fee for funding many activities
and events at CHS. This is the only time we call
on you to donate.
October holds many other events as well…the
PSAT’s for 10th and 11th graders, CHS spirit
week and Homecoming October 25th!
Nancy O’Connell
[email protected]
Lisa Nolet
[email protected]
A Publication of the
Columbia High School
Home and School
Senior Parent night was well attended. You guys
made it! Lots of great information was shared
about the college admittance process, as well as
graduation and all that leads up to it. If you were
not able to attend you would like to receive emails
from your Senior Reps please contact Blair Majtyka [email protected] or Regina Schaefer
[email protected] and they will include
you in the monthly email blasts.
It was wonderful seeing so many familiar faces at
Back to School night on October 1. It was a great
evening getting to meet teachers and administrators. You can now sympathize with your children
who run from one floor to another each day!
Thanks so much to everyone who has already
signed up for HSA membership…and if you have
not done so yet, there is still time! Just go to our
website: www.columbiahsa.org and you can sign
up and pay online. Membership forms were also
distributed in the manila packet sent home the
first day of school if you prefer to sign up by mail.
We look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming
Freshman, Sophomore and Junior Parent Nights
in October. We really encourage ALL parents and
guardians to attend these Parent Nights since each
year has its own set of special circumstances and
fter spending years working in government and telecommunications, Allan
Tumolilo began a second career in teaching in the fall of 2006, when he
started teaching physics at Columbia High School. He’s widely-known in the
school and community for his successful stewardship of the award-winning Robotics Team.
Recently, “Mr. T.,” as Allan is known, has started a three year program of
independent science research at CHS. We talked to him about it the other day.
Allan Tumolilo
ED: What is the science research class? How did you come up with the idea?
Mr. T: When Alan Levin [head of Science Department] was physics teacher, he
would from time to time find really sharp kids who would want to do independent study, and he would find local university or corporate labs where they could
do that. After I started, I got together with Mr. Levin in 2010 and recruited five
or six kids together to do some independent environmental work, highly unstructured, so we were looking for a more structured program. As it turned out Dr.
Scott Stornetta, who teaches Algebra, was also looking into this. So we all took a
trip to Livingston High School in October last year, along with [then Assistant
Principal] Elizabeth Aaron and we spent the day learning about the excellent program they have there. We structured our program almost identically to Livingston
ED: How does it work?
Mr. T: It’s a three year effort, limited to 20-25 students. We have 25 in our sophomore class now, our first year doing this. Not all are in advanced honors math or
physics but they tend to be—80 percent are in level 5 math or physics. But we
also have students who have suffered from various afflictions themselves, or know
someone who has, and come into the class serious about researching those illnesses, helping to find a cure. Life experience is a fantastic motivator.
During the first year of the course, the class reads a lot of scientific papers, beginning with articles in Scientific American and moving on to some really advanced
papers. The students then pick a topic and begin to research. Over the course of
the next three years, they will do a number of in-class presentations on their topics. They can spend time in research labs in the area at places like Rutgers, NJIT,
Stevens, Montclair State. Each year is focused on producing a series of papers,
going deeper and deeper into their subjects. They present, the class asks questions.
In senior year, each student will present papers to one or all of the three major science competitions: InTel, Google, and the Siemens Foundation. As well as the
New Jersey State science fair.
ED: Do you think all the students will go on to careers in science?
Mr. T: Some of them will—they’ll find an area that is open to growth that is of interest to them. There are some fantastic opportunities out there. Robotics is one
area where software, coding, and hardware engineering may be able to intersect
with biology to help people who have been paralyzed, for instance. But the kids
are also learning to think on their feet, answer questions, probe deeply into their
fields, really understand source documents. All of which is going to be a great
help no matter what they do. Success is completing a paper and feeling they’ve actually learned something and made a contribution.
Freshman News
Hi Freshman Parents...hope everyone has had a good introduction to Columbia
High School and your kids are excited about all there is to offer.
Just a head's up/reminder of a few key dates coming up: October 1st: Back to
School Night, (and the kids have a 4 hour day)- October 29th: Freshman Parent
Night. If you know of people who are not getting the HSA newsletter, please
ask them to send an email to [email protected]
And feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
Jackie Lahey [email protected]
Mary Brown [email protected]
Sophomore News
Junior News
Hello Sophomore parents,
We hope the first few weeks of school have gone smoothly for your student
(and you!).
With the fall comes the beginning of many exciting things at Columbia. Fall sports are well
underway. Even if your child does not
participate in a sport, please encourage
them to come and support the teams.
It’s really fun to come out and do your
part by cheering on your friends. And
don't forget marching band and color
guard. They are truly awesome to watch!
Clubs are all beginning now as well and
there is truly something for everyone. You can
find the list of clubs on the school website. Have a
look with your student and find something that interests them, so they can
get involved at school. Also, watch the website for information on the new
Cougar learning Lab. This will be a collaboration space for teachers and students that will be available for extra help in all subjects.
Here are some important dates to get on your calendar:
Sophomore Night - October 15th
PSAT for 10th and 11th grades - October 15th
Screening of Miss Representation (a must see for everyone!)
October 22nd
October 25th - Homecoming
Check the main calendar regularly for other important dates.
elcome to Junior year at CHS! We are HALF WAY
We are excited to be your grade reps again for this pivotal
year. If you have not been receiving our emails please send us
your email address so you can be kept up to date with important CHS and Junior class information.
Here are the first few important dates to put on your
PSAT: October 15 (in school)
Homecoming: October 25
We will be looking for Junior parent volunteers
to contribute food and beverages for
Homecoming so watch for opportunities
to help!
It’s going to be a busy and fun year!
Also remember to get acquainted
with PowerSchool to keep track of student's grades, absences, lateness and any
fines owed.
Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.
Also, don't forget to start donating to your child's Midnight Madness Fund.
The next 3 years are going to fly by and you will be glad you did! You can do
it right on the HSA website an it only takes a minute. While you are there,
take a minute to join the HSA. Your membership dollars go a long way to
help fund all the things the HSA does for the school and our children.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
See you all at Back to School Night,
Best regards,
Kate and Maureen
Kate Smith-Cooper [email protected]
Maureen Davenport [email protected]
Hyacinth Miller and Gladiz Ricci
[email protected]
enior Parent’s Night was Wednesday September 17th.
It was an informative evening filled with important
information pertinent to the seniors. If you were unable
to attend Senior night, the handouts can be viewed and
downloaded on the CHS guidance website. The handouts contain useful information about the college
application process, deadlines, financial aid and much
more. If your child has not done so, he/she should complete the BRAG sheet which can also be found on the
CHS guidance website or on Naviance. If you
have any questions about the college process it is suggested that you contact your child’s guidance counselor.
The Homecoming Dance is Saturday, October 25th.
Seniors are given the opportunity to buy tickets before
the other grades, therefore encourage your child to purchase tickets early so that they do not miss a great event.
If your child has not taken the SAT’s or ACT’s but is
planning to do so, registration information can be found
on www.collegeboard.org.
If you are not receiving emails from the Senior Parent
representatives, please send us your email address so that
we can add you to the email list. Also, feel free to reach
out with any questions or concerns.
Your Midnight Madness committee continues to plan for a fun-filled and exciting
graduation night event! Senior parents can help
us by doing the following:
1. Make a payment and complete the forms - to
register and give permission for your student to
attend the Midnight Madness event on graduation night. You may also use the form to give
donations and choose the t-shirt size for your
student. We have also posted the form for 9th,
10th and 11th graders. Please start paying for a
younger sibling and encourage your friends to
2. Participate in the fundraising activities. Midnight Madness/Project Graduation is an
expensive event. We only charge $100 per student but the evening costs much more. We
fundraise to make up the difference. Can
drives will begin soon, as well as the spring activities of flocking, bows and signs. Please stay
tuned and be on the look out for additional information.
3. Volunteer to assist with check-in that evening. Unfortunately, senior parents will not be allowed to
attend the actual event but you will be able volunteer
for check-in. Please help us to recruit parents of underclassman who would be interested in chaperoning
this all-night event.
Regina Schaefer [email protected]
Blair Majtyka [email protected]
Midnight Madness
Thank you in advance for your help!
Janet Crane (973) 275-1499
[email protected]
Carla Ross (973) 327-4394
[email protected]
2015 Midnight Madness/Project Graduation Co-Chairs
Columbia High School in the News
In addition to the classes that take place at Columbia
High School every day, our school is home to a
mind-boggling array of events and activities, and we
want your news. Students, teachers, club leaders,
coaches, parents, administrators -- if you have a great
school-related photo, a lead for a story, or if you just
simply want your school-related event promoted,
please contact us by emailing Deidra McLaughlin at
[email protected]
Also, all new and returning parents who have Facebook
accounts are invited to "like" the "Columbia High
School Home and School Association" page. It's an easy
way to keep up-to-date with school-related news and
events, and to share feedback with other parents and
members of the CHS community.
The CHS Home and School Association (HSA) does not
fundraise. We depend entirely on membership dues to
fund programs that support many grade level and schoolwide activities throughout the year, including:
CHS website, CHS e-newsletter, CHS HSA directory,
FREE e-directory to HSA members, Grade level Parent
Nights, CHS Scholarship Fund, Joseph Potts Foundation
Scholarship for CHS students, Senior Recognition
Night , Homecoming, Indoor and Outdoor Beautification of CHS , Faculty Breakfast and Brunch Hospitality,
Midnight Madness and Achieve Foundation
You can now become a member of the CHS HSA on line
at www.columbiahsa.org Otherwise please complete the
membership form and make your $22 check (no cash
please!) payable to CHS/HSA. Include your e-mail address
to receive an electronic copy of the HSA parent/student
Mail to: HSA MEMBERSHIP, Columbia High School
HSA, 17 Parker Ave., Maplewood, NJ 07040 or drop off
the form in main office. Any questions, contact Bonnie
Czukoski at 973-202-6131or [email protected] .
Volunteers Needed!!
Want To Stay Connected At CHS???
This is great way to see what happens throughout the year.
The envelope your student receives the first day of school
will contain the Membership/Volunteer Sheet.
Please take a minute and complete this very important
form, and return it to CHS via your child or mail it BY
Our parent volunteer efforts support so many wonderful
events for our children;
• Indoor & Outdoor Beautification
• Library Volunteers
• Achieve Tutors
• Faculty Teas & Brunch
• Homecoming Dance
• Senior Night
• Midnight Madness
is one of the many communication
tools implemented by the district to achieve the district goal of
improving communication between parents and teachers. The goal
of forging a stronger partnership and increased participation
among parents, faculty and administration in managing and monitoring student academic performance is of utmost importance!
This portal will give you access to your student’s attendance,
progress reports, teacher information and so much more!
Those parents/guardians new to CHS will soon receive a document that contains your password that will allow you to access the
system. Returning parents will use the same password. If you do
not receive your login information within the next month, please
contact Terry Woolard, Supervisor of Educational Media and
Technology, at 973-762-5600, ext. 1143.
Please plan to get involved. This is what makes CHS a
great place!
Any questions, feel free to contact me!
Lori Mirabal VP of Volunteers [email protected]
"Miss Representation"
e HSA in collaboration with the Parenting Center will be
presenting a screening of the film "Miss Representation" by film
maker Jennifer Siebel. is compelling and thought provoking film
looks at how girls and women are sexualized in social media. e
film will be viewed on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7:00 pm at
either the Columbia High School cafeteria or the auditorium depending on the number of attendees. In addition to the screening a
selected panel of students, led by Women's Issues advocate Dr. Karen
Rezach will conduct a question and answer session. is is an
important event for parents and high school students who care about
making society a safe and more equitable place for all. If you have
questions or wish to rsvp please contact Lori Mirabal at
[email protected]
CHS HSA Board 2014-2015
Nancy O’Connell
Lisa Nolet
Lori Mirabal
Bonnie Czukoski
Mandee Goldner
Cecelia Cancellaro
Laura Reichgut
Deidra McLaughlin
Sheila Oliver
Jackie Lahey
Mary Brown
Maureen Davenport
Kate Smith-Cooper
Hyacinth Miller
Gladiz Ricci
Regina Schaefer
Blair Majtyka
Laurie Pham
Co-President (Outgoing)
Co-President (Incoming)
Vice President-Volunteers
Vice President-Membership
Corresponding Secretary
Recording Secretary
Public Relations
Special Education Liaison
Freshman Rep
Freshman Rep
Sophomore Rep
Sophomore Rep
Junior Rep
Junior Rep.
Senior Rep.
Senior Rep.
Faculty Rep.
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Joe Cummins
Mary Jo DeFranco
Lori Mirabal
Amy Forman
Janet Crane
Carla Ross
Margaret Wierzbicki
Leah Gomberg
Patty O’Connell
Susan King
Helen Kensinger
Brenda Ehlers
Stephanie Carmel
Jim LoStuto
Eve Peterson
Carla Ross
Jessie Wendt
Jill Hammarberg
Mandee Goldner
Rivka Nelson
Newsletter Editor
Newsletter Design
Midnight Madness Co-chair
Midnight Madness Co-chair
Midnight Madness-Treasurer
Indoor Beautification
Indoor Beautification
Outdoor Beautification
Outdoor Beautification
New Parent Coordinator
New Parent Coordinator
Faculty Brunch
Faculty Brunch
Faculty Tea
Faculty Tea
8th Grade Preview
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
HSA NEWS is a publication of the Columbia High
School Home and School Association,
17 Parker Avenue,
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Editor: Joe Cummins
Design: Mary Jo DeFranco
Newsletter Submissions:
Send articles to Joe Cummins
[email protected]
Submissions are due by the 15th of each month.
Community Flyer List for
All flyers containing detailed information
on the topics below can be found on
the district website:
www.somsd.k12.nj.us or
Click on
Community Digital Backpack
October 2014