I From the HSA Co-Presidents

From the HSA Co-Presidents
t’s November and as always, there are so many
wonderful things happening at CHS!
On November 13th we are pleased to host the
Faculty/Staff brunch. It is one of the ways we
thank our teachers and staff at CHS for their hard
work and dedication to our students. All of the
delicious food is donated by our CHS families .
The event is coordinated by our co-chairs: Eve
Peterson and Carla Ross . Please contact them, if
you haven’t already, to contribute in some way to
this wonderful event.
A Publication of the
Columbia High School
Home and School
Another important event is the Financial Aid
Night on November 12th at 7pm. This program
is put on by our Guidance Department and is a
must for families planning for college.
Every fall we look forward to watching our
talented students perform in the Parnassian
Production which is held over two weekends and
should not be missed! This year's production is
The Book of Days by Lanford Wilson The play
will be performed on November 14, 15, 21 and 22
at 8 p.m. and at Sunday, Nov. 16, matinee at 2 pm.
A great opportunity to see the Robotics Club in
action is coming up this month as well. The
Robo-CATastrophe competition will be held on
November 16 starting at 10 AM in the main gym.
The competition is what is called a Qualifier
under the structure of the US FIRST organization,
the international robotics organization. CHS
Robotics club operates in the US FIRST division
called “FIRST Tech Challenge” or FTC for short
in New Jersey, which has over 100 teams. The
event will run all day with over 36 teams. Tell
your neighbors and younger kids to stop by as
well. It’s a great chance to see the robots in action!
On November 19, we will welcome our incoming
9th grade families (Class of 2019) for 9th Grade
Preview Night. If you know of a current 8th
grader, either at the middle schools or in private
school, please make sure that they know about this
event. This evening for rising 9th graders promises
to be very informative.
If you have not done so, please join the HSA by
going to our website and filling out a form. You
can pay the $22 membership fee on line through
PayPal or printout the form and send in a check
made out to CHS HSA. Have your student bring
it to the main office at school or mail it to Columbia High School, 17 Parker Avenue, Maplewood,
NJ 07040 attention: CHS HSA. The membership
fee is our only fundraiser and it enables us to help
fund improvements to the school through
beautification, a Principal’s fund, the all school
musical (Ragtime this year!), Midnight Madness
and much more.
In addition, HSA members are invited to attend
our monthly board meetings .
We would love for members to attend and find
out more about the CHS Home-School
Association! Please do not hesitate to contact your
grade representativesnor either of us if you have
any questions or concerns.
Nancy O’Connell
[email protected]
Lisa Nolet
[email protected]
Interview with new Art teacher Lisa Conrad
ED: Where did you grow up and what is your educational background?
LC: I was born in New Brunswick and grew up in various towns in Central
New Jersey. I finally moved out of Central Jersey in my mid twenties when I
decided to live in Philadelphia, Now I reside in Newark. I hold my Masters of
Art in Art Education.
ED: You are an artist yourself. Can you describe your art form and when you
first decided you wanted to be an artist?
Lisa Conrad
LC: I decided to be an artist in the first grade. My teacher asked me what I
wanted to be when I grew up, and I said artist! My family joked at this and said
I would be poor my whole life.
When I make art, I love experimenting with different mediums and materials. I
create in layers, and never throw any of my "bad art" out because I can always
cut it up and re-create it into something new! I love using clay, making my own
paper, and doing anything involving printmaking, including screenprinting,
etching, and relief.
ED: What did you do before you taught at CHS?
LC: Before coming to Columbia HS, I opened my own printmaking studio in
downtown Newark. We are a cooperative space where artists of all levels can
come and use our equipment and facilities in our shop to make art. One of my
favorite programs that we offer at the Newark Print Shop is our weekly open
studio every Wednesday, where we open our doors to the public and invite anyone to come in and make fine art prints.
ED: What year students do you teach? What has the experience of teaching at
Columbia HS been like so far?
LC: I teach Art I, which mostly consists of 9th graders, but is open to all grade
levels at the high school. So far, I love teaching at Columbia! The students are
great here.
ED: What does a typical art class consist of?
LC: Typically, we use a lot of the class time creating art and working on our
projects. We also look at art, talk about art, critique art, and then of course
make more art!
ED: What is the most important thing about art
that you hope to impart to your students?
LC: I hope to impart to my students that art is for
everyone. There are so many different ways to make
art and such a varied array of art in the world to
look at and be inspired by, that really, art is for
everyone. One of my former students at Marshall
Elementary said it best when she said: "If our world
abandoned art the world would die because the
world is art."
Freshman News
Freshman families, by now you should be receiving all CHS HSA
communications. If you know of anyone who is not, please tell
them to send their email address to columbiaclass
[email protected] so they can be added to the list.
Jackie Lahey [email protected]
Mary Brown [email protected]
Sophomore News
Junior News
Greetings Sophomore parents,
It was great to see so many of you at Back to School Night and Sophomore
Night over the last few weeks. I hope you all feel more
comfortable and informed about what the school
year has in store. I know we do! Don't hesitate to contact your child's guidance
counselor with any questions or concerns.
November is a brief and busy month.
Here are a few dates to remember:
e hope everyone found Junior Parent's Night informative and useful as you and your child begin to think
about life after high school. If you missed the evening, the
presentation is posted in the Junior Parents section of the
HSA Web site.
Thank you for your support of the Homecoming Dance on
October 25th. The day was a huge success! Your contributions of time, food and money helped to provide a
welcoming environment as our Juniors and Seniors danced
the evening away.
-End of the first marking period - November 5th (please remember to check
Powerschool for grading or attendance discrepancies prior to that date so changes can be
made, if necessary)
-School is closed November 4th for Staff Development
-School is closed November 6th and 7th for NJEA
-Parnassian Performance dates are November 16th, 21st and 22nd
-Robotics Competition is on November 15th and 16th
-Fall Band Concert is November 20th
-School is closed half day on November 26th and full days on the 27th and
Please remember to check the HSA and CHS school website for other details and updates on school events and news.
As we move toward the end of the first marking period, we
encourage parents and students to regularly review the PowerSchool Portal for information on student's performance,
attendance and fines owed. If there are issues,
please contact your child's teacher or guidance counselor to discuss.
Reminder that a Financial Aid Seminar is scheduled for Wednesday,
November 12th at 7pm in the Auditorium. This is a good opportunity to
learn about funding your child's college
In preparation for Senior Year....we ask that you
please support the Class of 2016 Midnight Madness/Project
Graduation by sending in this year's $25.00 contribution
(total fee $100 per student). You can find information on
Midnight Madness by visiting the HSA Web site.
We hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
Best regards,
Kate and Maureen
Enjoy the Teacher Convention days. This is a great time
to discuss and explore post-secondary options with your
Kate Smith-Cooper [email protected]
Maureen Davenport [email protected]
Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Hyacinth Miller and Gladiz Ricci
[email protected]
Your Senior should have had their Senior portraits taken
by Lors Photography. If they have not, or if you wish to
scheduler re-takes, please call them at (908) 964-0847
and schedule a session at their nearby studio in Union.
•The Guidance Department held Senior Night in October. It was a very helpful session, full of information you
need to help your Senior apply to college and vocational
programs. All of the information presented can be found
on the Guidance Department website. The Columbia
High School Guidance Department website is here:
www.somsd.k12.nj.us. Go to the site, then click on
Schools- School Sites and select Columbia High School.
You can find the Guidance website under the “Departments” heading.
•Make sure you use Naviance to stay on top of the college admission process:
http://connection.naviance.com/columbia. This websitec
ontains very useful tools for college planning. Your child’s
grades, test scores and class rank will be entered on his or
her account. Students can develop a post high school
plan, enter their own notes on schools and explore college choices based on current information shown through
scattergrams. If your student doesn't have a password and
ID, have them contact his or her guidance counselor.
•Numerous colleges and post secondary programs are visiting CHS every week. Be sure your senior gets a pass
from the guidance department to stop by a visiting
school's table and meet their representatives.
•Midnight Madness registration, permission slips and
payments are now being accepted. No CHS graduate will
be denied participation due to financial hardship. Please
reach out to Janet Crane at [email protected] or
Carla Ross at [email protected] with questions.
As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any
Regina Schaefer [email protected]
Blair Majtyka
[email protected]
Midnight Madness
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.
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
For any payment and balance questions, please contact
our Midnight Madness/Project Graduation Treasurer,
Maggie Wierzbicki (201) 563-3807 [email protected]
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]
Columbia High School Scholarship Fund News
In June, CHSSF broke a record when we awarded 104 scholarships to CHS
students and alumni totaling $136,900! A lovely reception was held for the
scholarship recipients and their families.
We also want to thank everyone who made our annual cocktail reception a
big success. All of the money raised during this September event will go directly toward scholarships. A special thank you to our sponsors (Leah
Gomberg of Sweet Life by Design and Chris and Donna Dickson of Coldwell
Banker Residential Brokerage). Another thank you to our generous caterer,
S&P To Taste, for the delicious food.
It’s not too late to donate using the red flyer that was sent home in the CHS
school envelope in September. Or you can donate by visiting our brand new
website: www.chssf.org
Cecelia Cancellaro
Corresponding Secretary
[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
November 2014