Mt. Olive Online Publication February 5, 2020

Mt. Olive Online
Mt. Olive Online

Budd Lake Man Enters State Race To Fight For A Voice

By Cheryl Conway

Mt. Olive residents will have the opportunity to elect a local man for New Jersey General Assembly when they go to the polls next month.

Dan Soloman Smith of Budd Lake is running as a Democrat candidate for Legislative District 24 in the Nov. 5 election. With two seats up for grabs, Smith and his running mate Deana Lykins of the Morris County Democratic Committee, face off against incumbants F. Parker Space and Harold J. Wriths of the Regular Republican Organization.

As a resident of Mt. Olive for 14 years, Smith knows what the local issues are and can bring those concerns to the state level if elected to the N.J. State Assembly. As an attorney, small business owner, former judge, husband, father, and local taxpayer, Smith brings wisdom, skill, experience and new ideas in his first run for political office.

Learn more about Smith in his responses received during an interview with "Mt. Olive Online."   

When did you move to Mt. Olive? What brought you here? “I moved to Mt. Olive in 2004 with my family,” says Smith, 64. We moved here because we wanted a neighborhood with more green space to raise our daughter.” Married for 24 years to Francine, the couple has a 17-year old daughter, Emily.

Educational and Professional Background

Smith earned a bachelor’s in communications studies from the University of Detroit in 1976; his J.D. from Howard University School of Law in 1999; and master’s in law from Temple, Beasley School of Law.

“My [general law] practice is located in Orange, N.J. but my clients span the state of N.J.,” says Smith. “I specialize in litigation.”

As an attorney for 33 years, Smith says “I selected the legal profession to serve the community.”

Through his work as an attorney, Smith has represented small businesses, homeowners, public entities and private individuals, and has a solid command of the legislative process, as his background describes. “He has made local government more accountable by promoting policies that benefit more families, more students and more business owners.” 

Smith explains: “I created a First Source Program requiring developers to hire local residents and businesses to work on development projects in Orange. That same knowledge and experience is transferable to Mt. Olive and the entire LD24 District.

As a dedicated public servant, Smith served as a municipal court judge in Essex County for four years; library board attorney for Orange; and non-profit board trustee for Warren County College Foundation in which he helped raise funds to support educational programs. 

Do you have any other involvements in and out of Mt. Olive? I pay Mt. Olive property taxes,” says Smith. “I support the local businesses by hiring and patronizing them. Made donations to the local food pantry. Provides support to the local recreational football team.”

Outside of Mt. Olive, Smith has worked with the N.J. Orators’ organization for more than 20 years, working with children in grades 4-12, teaching public speaking skills.

“Public speaking is one of the biggest fear people have next to dying,” says Smith. “I wanted children to have the confidence to speak in front of any size audience and it’s proven that they do better in school as well."

For the orators’ group, “I served as a competition judge for the state competitions held in the fall and spring of each year,” he says. “Later when a chapter was established in Morris County, my wife and I served as lead coaches. This included teaching public speaking skills to children 7 to 18 years old, helping them select an oratory piece to practice and present at the statewide competitions. One of our  chapter members spoke at the annual Morris County Interfaith Martin Luther King Breakfast where Senator Cory Booker introduced him. The video can be found on YouTube.”

While serving as vice president of the Warren-Sussex Chapter of the NAACP from 2008 to 2012, he brought community leaders together for round-table discussions to promote local diversity. 

While a student in college, Smith became a founding member of the Morris County chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, through which he plays an active role in organizing an annual Community Health Day in Morristown. Alpha Phi Alpha “focuses on leadership building,” says Smith. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshalls were members.”

When did you decide to run for NJ General Assembly? Why are you running?

“I am running because I don’t feel the citizens of the 24th District have received the kind of effective representation in Trenton that they deserve,” says Smith. “The incumbents have been too often absent from Assembly sessions and too focused on partisan goals instead of what is best for the people who elected them. My platform is People Over Party and that is who I will represent: The People.”

What strengths do you bring if elected to this position?

“I have lived in this district for 16 years,” says Smith. “I know and understand the people and the challenges they face. I am also intimately familiar with the political process and what it takes to achieve real positive change.

“I’m a fighter and I will show up to the battle,” he says.

What issues concern you the most as a resident of Mt. Olive and N.J.?

“Economic development and improving infrastructure to support the kinds of enterprises we need to attract in our district to promote jobs and growth,” says Smith. “Public transportation improvements in certain parts of the district will enable our citizens to get to the “good” jobs.

“Cleaning up our environment and lakes in a long-term and sustainable way will improve quality of life and maintain small business success,” he adds.

“Getting taxes under control.”

Why should voters in LD 24 vote for Dan Smith?

“As a cancer survivor I know what it means to fight,” says Smith. “I will fight in Trenton for LD24 for: Improved public education by increased funding for public education; affordable higher education and vocational training programs in order to attract and retain young people, retirees, and business; more manageable property taxes.”

Any upcoming events to highlight or support your campaign?

Smith announced his endorsement received from Congressman Tom Malinowki.

There is also Breakfast Reception with special guest Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Tuesday, Oct. 8.

For more information about Democratic Candidates for NJ General Assembly District 24, Dan Smith and Deana Lykins, visit

Malinowski Endorses Lykins & Smith for N.J. State Assembly

On Oct. 4, Congressman Tom Malinowski (D-NJ 7th District) proudly endorsed Democratic Assembly candidates for Legislative District 24 Deana Lykins of Green Township and Dan Smith of Mt. Olive Township.

“Deana’s and Dan’s vast experience and passion will be an asset for the residents of the 24th district when they are elected to the Assembly,” Malinowski said. Lykins and Smith said they were honored to receive Malinowski’s endorsement, with Lykins noting that the first-term congressman is a strong leader in the House and a fierce advocate for his constituents.

“At the federal level, Congressman Malinowski works tirelessly and has prioritized legislation to protect our natural resources and the environment, make investments in infrastructure and transportation, and to restore the SALT tax deduction for New Jersey property owners,” said Lykins.

An attorney with 20 years of policy experience and mother of two school-aged children, Lykins worked for the N.J. Legislature, with a focus on small business needs and labor and consumer rights. She noted that she appreciates Malinowski’s ability to reject partisan divides and fights for all of his constituents, regardless of their political affiliation.

“And you can count on Dan and me to put people over party and work just as hard for the constituents in the 24th District to provide tax relief while returning our fair share of state funding to boost efforts to grow and develop sustainable agro-tourism, enviro-tourism, widespread high-speed internet infrastructure, and support small businesses,” she said.

A former municipal judge, Trustee for Warren County Community College, and small business owner as an attorney in private practice, Smith agrees with Malinowski on his support for restoring the SALT tax deduction, support for public education, and ending predatory higher education lending practices.

“Deana and I will be strong advocates for the constituents in the 24th District,” said Smith.

Like Malinowski, Smith noted that he and Lykins will work to provide more manageable property taxes and more funding for public education and affordable higher education and vocational training programs in order to attract and retain young people, families, retirees and businesses to northwestern N.J.

N.J. Legislative District 24 encompasses the Morris County municipality of Mt. Olive Twp.; the Sussex County municipalities of Andover Borough, Andover Twp., Branchville Borough, Byram Twp., Frankford Twp., Franklin Borough, Fredon Twp., Green Twp., Hamburg Borough, Hampton Twp., Hardyston Twp., Hopatcong Borough, Lafayette Twp., Montague Twp., Newton Town, Ogdensburg Borough, Sandyston Twp., Sparta Twp., Stanhope Borough, Stillwater Twp., Sussex Borough, Vernon Twp., Walpack Twp. and Wantage Twp.; and the Warren County municipalities of Allamuchy Twp., Belvidere Town, Blairstown Twp., Frelinghuysen Twp., Hardwick Twp., Hope Twp., Independence Twp., Knowlton Twp., Liberty Twp., Oxford Twp. and White Twp. 


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1:1 Initiative Allows All Students To Hit ‘Books’ 24/7

By Cheryl Conway

Throughout their school years, children have been taught to share as it is proper etiquette, but when it comes to having their own Chromebook, it is now one to one at Mt. Olive High School.

This school year, all 1,515 students at MOHS have been gifted a free Chromebook to use during the school year. Students are expected to bring their device to school every day and are encouraged to bring them home to complete homework, study, and research.

The new 1:1 Initiative provides all students the tools and resources for success in the classes, keeps up with technology and offers a matching platform such as using Google classroom.

“We are very excited about this initiative,” says MOHS Principal Kevin Stansberry. “The Mt. Olive School District has always been on the cutting edge. We’ve been recognized by the N.J. Department of Education as a future ready school. Using 21st century technology, we continue to build on those invaluable experiences.”  

Stansberry says one of the district’s goals has been to make sure all students are college ready. Providing Chromebooks gives students an advantage to being ready for that next stage in their education.

“All students, whatever pathway they choose, they are equipped to be successful,” Stansberry explains.

“We have a high-end product for our students,” says Stansberry. “They are very appreciative of the opportunity to have access of our systems; it’s been a very positive roll out.”

Dollars Worth Spending

The idea to purchase new Chromebooks for all students was brought to the Mt. Olive Twp. Board of Education during last year’s budget preparation, says Stansberry.

It was during that time frame when Stansberry was looking at the current Chromebooks that were being provided within the school classrooms and realized “the number that were end of life,” he explains. End of life, he explains, is when the device approaches its four- and five-year cycle.

“We have a five-year plan for technology,” explains Stansberry. Devices are “used very heavily 180 days a year; batteries start to go.” So they rotate them in and out every five years.

Stansberry wanted “access to the 21st century to enhance the learning process,” he explains, so why not allow students to bring the devices to and from school?

“We wanted to make sure technology was in the schools and outside the schools,” says Stansberry, so all students can “keep up with various tasks,” and provide “equal access to technology” to all students.

Dr. Robert Zywicki, superintendent of Mt. Olive School District, made the recommendation to the board at that time to purchase new Chromebooks.

The school board unanimously approved the purchase of 1,540 Hewlett Packard Chromebooks as part of their budget presentation last March. Although there are 1,515 students, extras were ordered in case new students moved to the district, he explains.

Total cost came to $186,000, says Zywicki, after the discounted price. Each Chromebook is valued at $230, he says.

Good news is there was “no increase in the technology budget,” says Zywicki, since it came from the end of life budget, and the technology budget was down from the previous year.

There was “no increase in the technology budget,” he says, and therefore, “did not increase taxes at all.”

Easy Roll Out

While most of the Chromebooks were picked up this summer before the school year began, some students are still picking theirs up, says Stansberry.

“Distribution was rather smooth,” says Stansberry. “We had five to six days to distribute.”

Students and their parents were required to sign a Mobile Use and Security Policy Student Release Form for their Chromebook.

Technological support for the Chromebooks is provided at the school through district personnel, says Stansberry. There has been some sensitivity with the touch pads, but no major issues with the devices so far, he says. 

“Students have been very responsible taking them home or bringing them every day,” says Stansberry.

According to the security policy release form, “families will be assessed a $50 fee for the first non-accidental repair and will be responsible for the full cost of the non-accidental repair for additional declarations of device negligence.”

Families will not be charged the fee if it breaks under the warranty, Zywicki explains. If there is no warranty, then the $50 fee will apply.

The “vast majority” of issues are “insured by Hewlett Packard,” says Zywicki.

The old Chromebooks have been repurposed throughout the district, school officials say.

With the 1:1 Initiative students take care of the Chromebooks, making sure they are charged, and brought to and from school with care, says Stansberry.

The “Hewlett Packard Chromebooks are very functional, very flexible, very powerful,” says Stansberry.

The computers are formatted to feature primarily Google Bundle, says Stansberry. The school has been using Google Suite for the past five or six years, he says, such as Google Classroom for assignments. Students can access their Chromebooks for links for resources and can turn in all their work digitally. 

“Teachers can use other applications,” he adds.

To make sure all teachers are trained, Zywicki did offer training during the school year last year as well as over the summer for level one and level two certification to help teachers throughout the district navigate through Google Suite inside and outside the classroom, says Stansberry.

The plan is to have students keep the Chromebooks for three or four years. So freshmen who received their Chromebooks this year may get new ones their senior year, he says. Students who leave the district and graduating seniors will have to return their Chromebooks, he adds.

Happy Students

Having their own Chromebook has been a positive experience so far.

Besides having something else to remember to bring to school in overstuffed backpacks, students are happy with their new devices.

Senior student Madison Whitlock of Budd Lake says she has had “No issues; the internet at school is extremely fast. The only issue that I have is that during the school day, being able to access some things that are school appropriate, some things are blocked, but that’s understandable; but some things, like the online text books, makes it difficult in school to access.”

She adds, “I love that it’s our ‘own.’ No germs of others, it’s yours. Your responsibility. You don’t have to open a Chromebook with keys missing or anything like that. It’s how you take care of it and how the school is putting trust in students, I think, is great.

“I use my Chromebook every day in school,” adds Whitlock. “I would say day to day at least five/six (not including lunch) blocks I use it. It comes in handy when I’m working on things in the most common used websites, the google classroom, docs, slides. It gives me the ability to turn to the internet assisting me on lessons and the teachers use those things and let us connect with what we are learning.

“It’s made my life easier by having, like I said before, something in my reach,” continues Whitlock. “Some kids who do not have computers at home and have had no way to check, you know like, homework or access notes without a computer, now they have the ability to do that.”

Ninth grader Zoe Rogan of Budd Lake says "I haven't had any problems with my Chromebook.  I like that we get to take it home and have our own individual one so other people don't accidentally mess something up on my account.

"I use my Chromebook every day, " says Rogan.  "it's made doing homework and schoolwork in general a lot easier, everything is all on the Chromebook."

Her brother, Cole Rogan, agrees.

“I have not had any problems with my Chromebook,” says Cole Rogan, a 10th grader. “I like how there is never a problem with it, it is very reliable. I also like that it holds charge for multiple days if not the whole week.

“I use my Chromebook every day for homework and class work,” he adds. “It has made my life easier because I can take neat notes and never lose them on the Chromebook.”

Eleventh grader Brianna Evans of Flanders says, "I haven't had any issues with my Chromebook I just don't like how we can't customize it to our own liking such as our wallpaper or make any of our own adjustments.

"I like that I now have a laptop that I can take home with me and use for homework because before it was such a problem to do work online without my own laptop," she says.

"I use my Chromebook every block at school and as soon as I get home because I also like to use it for Netflix and homework," she laughs.  "It's made my life easier when it comes to grades because now I have easy access to get my work done and now I don't procrastinate as much."

Tenth grader Haroon Mahmood says "they've worked pretty well; the only issue is it does not print.

"I like the battery and how it lasts for a long time plus it's pretty fast/new so it's in good condition," adds Mahmood, who uses it "every day at home and school.  I always have it so it's very convenient and I can get things done whenever I need to."





Scotland Shoots For Stars, 30+ Years Shines Brightly

By Cheryl Conway

After years of promoting kindness in the school and outside the community, Ann Moehrle Scotland stood on the opposite side this time as a recipient of kindness.

Scotland was recognized on Monday, Sept. 23, by the Mt. Olive Board of Education for her 30 years of service as a teacher in the district. She was among 39 recipients lauded at the last board meeting for 10, 20 and 30 years of employment in Mt. Olive.

While it is said that “it is better to give than receive,” on this occasion, Scotland was happy to be a taker of kindness.

“It was such a nice gesture by Dr. Zywicki and the Board of Education,” says Scotland, second grade teacher at Chester M. Stephens Elementary School in Budd Lake. “We all felt appreciated and celebrated for our effort(s). It was that pause moment…. Just taking time to reflect, remember and embrace all that we have contributed throughout the years. So many warm memories.”  

Scotland was one of four employees awarded for three decades of service. She and Karen LaValley, a physical education teacher at the Mt. Olive Middle School, along with two custodians Joseph Biasi and Thomas Dejong, received the Acrylic Shooting Star Award - " 30 YEARS"- "To Honor Your Service to Education" -"Your exceptional accomplishments and outstanding service enrich the lives of students... And inspire us all."

Thirteen were recognized for 20 years of service and received an Acrylic Crystal Iceberg:  "20 YEARS" "Thank you for the years you have dedicated to the service of the school, students and staff."

For 10 years of service, 22 employees received a Custom Designed Red Tumbler with Mt. Olive School District Crest.

Educator For 35 Years 

Working in education since 1984, Scotland has taught in the classroom for 33 years; she took two years off for maternity leave.

Married to Keith for 34 years, the couple raised two children, David and Samantha.

“David is married to Hannah and they are both teachers in Colorado,” Scotland says proudly. “Samantha is a speech language pathologist in Pennsylvania.”

Scotland, 57, knew at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up.

“I never considered any other profession,” says Scotland. “As a young child, I wanted to be in charge of my own classroom one day. As long as I can remember it was a goal of mine.”

She attended County College of Morris from 1980-1982, earning an associate’s degree in humanities/social science.

From there, she attended Glassboro State Teaching College (now Rowan), from 1982-1984 and became a certified elementary school teacher grades K-8.

Then in December of 1990, she earned her master’s in education from Seton Hall University.

“In most recent years I earned 30+ credits in an online program for professional development from the University of La Verne located in La Verne, Calif.,” she adds. 

Before coming to Mt. Olive, Scotland’s first job as an educator was in Sept. 1984 in Morris Plains.

“I taught an all-day kindergarten class at a school called Morris Plains Country Day School in Morris Plains, for two years, September 1984- June 1986,” says Scotland. “So my years as a teacher actually started in 1984. This will be my 35th year as a certified teacher/ 33 years in a classroom...due to my maternity leaves.” 

Career In MO Schools

“I was placed on staff in January of 1987,” says Scotland, teaching fourth grade at Mountain View Elementary School in Flanders until June 1990.

After going on maternity leave from Sept. 1990-June 1991, Scotland moved over to Sandshore Elementary School in Budd Lake as a first and second grade teacher. In March of 1993, she left for maternity leave but then came back to Sandshore, until June 2001. 

Since Sept. 2001, Scotland has been teaching first and second grade at CMS.

So looking back, Scotland has been an employee of Mt. Olive for 32 years, but teaching for 30 years since two years included maternity leave; “30 years of actual teaching was last January,” she explains.

“Currently, I am teaching 2nd grade at the Chester M. Stephens Elementary School,” says Scotland. “I am fortunate enough to collaborate with my colleague Mrs. Dawn Walsh as our subject matters are departmentalized. Between the two classes I teach 45 children under the umbrella of language arts: Reading, writing, foundations. I also teach social studies.”

As Things Change, Warmth Remains

When asked why she has stayed at Mt. Olive schools for so long, Scotland replies,

“This was the district that welcomed me in all those years ago and a warm welcome it was. Chester M. Stephens himself hired me and gave me a chance. From there I met brilliant educators and wonderful families. I grew as a teacher and a person. You don’t walk away from that kind of love and trust. You embrace it and cherish it for as long as you can.”

While there have been many enjoyable moments, Scotland says she has enjoyed the most: “The people, community, forming a voice of my own, and being able to serve others to the best of my ability. That’s what we all enjoy… having a purpose.” 

As a teacher in the Mt. Olive district for three decades, Scotland has seen a lot of changes over the years.

“Administration has changed several times in my journey,” says Scotland. “Each passionate towards creating a healthy, productive system that creates all types of opportunity for our students.

“Times and tools have changed and with that comes responsibility to utilize all that we can in order to connect with the world around us,” she says. “Methodologies have grown too.  Staying current is a responsibility that we all have in the world of education.

“Family units have fluctuated over the years and the common life-style of how we live,” she continues.

“The demands on the children have increased with time, this can be good and bad,” says Scotland. “We live in a fast pace world with high expectations… sometimes I think we need to slow down and celebrate the simplicities of life. There is a mindset that we are going to miss something if we don’t reach the top fast enough.”    

There have been some challenges along the way, Scotland admits, but that simply is expected in the role of a teacher.

“Each day a teacher is put to the test,” explains Scotland. “It’s not just a role, it is a responsibility that leaves imprints. The challenge is to leave an impression that will offer encouragement, care and wisdom.

“As I matured in this field, I have come to meet this complex role with the understanding that if I build trust, connections and offer lessons with passion, patience and sincerity… the methodology will be polished to its fullest potential. I know that sounds obvious, but in my younger years I put so much energy into the methodologies that the presentation didn’t always connect with my boys and girls. I forgot to put the “me” in it. People need people.

“Currently, I am personally challenged with all of the technology and to utilize it to its greatest effectiveness,” she adds. “So many possibilities but with balance. Screen time, people time… BOTH need to be in place.”     

Great Accomplishments/Favorite Memories

“It is my hope that somewhere in my career I have offered a reflection to a student that allowed he/she to believe in him/herself,” says Scotland. “That would be golden in my eyes. Children need people to believe in them so they won’t be afraid to reach for the stars. With a strong foundation, all things are possible.

“In addition, if my little voice was able to highlight kindness and the importance of using our skills/ knowledge for the greater good….well that too would give me long-lasting satisfaction,” adds Scotland.    

Her wonderful memories working in the district have been numerous.

“I have so many beautiful memories from over the years!” says Scotland. “Truly, countless! Amazing moments were never experienced alone… always had colleagues working alongside as we inspired each other.  Most of those moments turned knowledge into wisdom. Knowledge being what you know and wisdom… using that knowledge in a real fashion to create change/goodness.

“When you offer such lessons and share in them it is a steppingstone to the next endeavor,” says Scotland. “Some of the more recognized experiences would be the Kindness Tour, publishing a book, Love a Parent Night, Rainbow Connection outreaches and Take It Out Program,” Scotland highlights. “Each of those experiences have helped me to grow and brought great joy to myself and students. “With that said, I have memorable moments with specific students as he/she has learned to read, write, take chances and be the best that they can be,” adds Scotland. “To witness those private moments is a teacher gift like no other. My career path has been nothing but a blessing to me.”      

As every day is a new day, Scotland likes to bring her creative ideas to the classroom.

“Each day brings newness,” says Scotland. “In recent years, we are offering students more time to collaborate and have time for dialogue. It is a much-needed extension of their learning. It is fun to witness and listen as they solve problems together and support one another.”

She says “there are some upcoming experiences that we will be participating in, but we are still working out the details.” Readers should check out Twitter for day to day adventures at CMS.

“Our day to day “adventures” are posted all of the time @CMS4learning,” she notes.   

When asked about retirement plans, Scotland’s response: “Not yet. They say I will know when the right time is. Until then, I plan on embracing every moment of this career and all the people I am able to share it with. I am one lucky lady.”

She paraphrases a favorite Helen Keller quote: “My friends and family (students too) have made the story of my life.”

“Thirty plus years, I wouldn’t change a thing!” she concludes. 

Local Library News


Library Events Covered This Fall Like Leaves 

Live Your Best Life with Essential Oils-a workshop titled, Essential Oils 101 (Make & Take Diffuser Bracelet) is set for Saturday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Gathering Room.

Come join Perri O’Flynn for this fun essential oils project…the bracelet can be used as a diffuser “on the go;” to take your oils anywhere and use them for any situation. Also, learn the benefits of using essential oils in one's daily life. Limited to 12 adults. Registration requested.

Free Movie Night- Family favorite “Aladdin” will cover the screen at the MOPL on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at either 1 p.m.-3:15 p.m.; or 6 p.m.-8:15 p.m., in the Gathering Room. Rated PG 2019, fantasy/romance, 2 hr. 9 min. “Aladdin” is a 2019 American musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It is a life-action adaptation of Disney’s 1992 animated film of the same name, which is based on the eponymous tale from “1001 Arabian Nights.” Movie-style snacks provided!

Birds And Prey Up Close- The MOPL plans to host the Delaware Valley Raptors on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Gathering Room for its educational program “Close Encounters with Birds of Prey.” It will be bringing an American kestrel, red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, great-horned owl, saw-whet owl and an immature bald eagle. The program is for adults and children over 6 years old only. Registration requested.

You Don’t Have to Pay the Full Price for College- a “College Funding Seminar” is set for Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Gathering Room. This free seminar, presented by Alvin G. Newell, vice president of Solutions for College Funding, Inc., will discuss how parents of college-bound high school juniors and seniors can: Make sure to not over-value your home on financial forms; try not to save money in child’s name as it weighs more heavily than parent’s savings; don’t be afraid to negotiate with the college for a better financial aid package. Registration requested.

Come See the Real World Birthplaces of Gothic Horror- The MOPL plans to host “Strange Tales in Stone” on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Gathering Room. Join horror artist, Steve Gale and experience a unique blend of original artwork, Gothic literature, macabre history and European travel in this family-friendly presentation. Exhibition of his artwork will open on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Gathering Room to view for those unable to attend the presentation. Registration requested.

Interested in learning to speak Spanish? Join Dr. Paul Reilly for a 10 week class, which will emphasize spoken conversational Spanish in travel situations as a tourist.

Classes are set for Thursdays through Nov. 21, from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Career Room. If someone misses more than two classes, they will forfeit their space. Limited to 10 adults.

Registration required for all programs. Call 973-691-8686 Ext. 106 or go to to register.

Local and county news


MOHS Vice Principal Moves Over To Lead Middle School

 Mt. Olive Middle School welcomed its new principal this week.

James Kramer, a longtime Mt. Olive School District educator and vice principal at Mt. Olive High School, was appointed to the post by the board of education effective Tuesday, Oct. 1.

He replaces Matt Robinson, who held the position for one year. Robinson has been moved over to take on a new role as director of elementary education.

As an employee in the district for 22 years, Kramer taught social studies for two years at the middle school before transferring to the high school where he has spent the last two decades. Since 2005 he has served as MOHS vice principal.

“I’m excited to bring my own educational vision to Mt. Olive Middle School,” said Kramer. “I want to continue building a culture where kids and staff members love coming into the building. Every day we need to send the message to students that we as adults care about them and want them to excel.”

From 2000-2008, Kramer was the MOHS head football coach and led the team to its only state title in 2002.

Prior to joining the district, he taught at Morris Knolls High School in Rockaway and at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge.

“Jim is a proven educational leader who is down to earth and loves interacting with students and staff,” said Dr. Robert Zywicki, superintendent of schools. “His knowledge of the Mt. Olive High School curriculum will be a huge benefit in preparing middle school students to take advantage of the academic opportunities at the high school.”

A Flanders resident, Kramer is both a MOHS graduate and a parent of two MOHS students. Kramer holds two master’s degrees: One in educational leadership from New Jersey City University and one in teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He received his bachelor’s in economics/business finance from East Stroudsburg University in Pa.

Kramer's replacement at MOHS as vice principal has not yet been announced. Stay tuned.....


MOHS Boys Varsity Soccer Advances to Semi-finals. On Sunday, Oct. 6, Mt. Olive High School Boys Varsity Soccer team defeats Morris Hills High School in penalty kicks of the Morris County Soccer Tournament after the game ended in a 1 - 1 double overtime tie. MOHS boys varsity plans to play against Montville High School boys varsity soccer in the semi finals round on Sunday, October 13 at noon. The game will be played at Parsippany Hills High School, 20 Rita Drive, Morris Plains.

MOHS Boys Varsity Football Homecoming Game Held.

On Friday night, Oct. 4, Mt. Olive High School had its homecoming game and beat Randolph High School by a score of 15 - 13.  Congratulations Homecoming King and Queen 2019, seniors Bennett Tilves and Gigi Parisi.

High Holidays Are Here

Yom Kippur services are set for Tuesday, Oct. 8.

See the service schedule below for further details or visit or


Yom Kippur Night // October 8

Kol Nidrei: 6:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur Day // October 9

Morning Service: 9 a.m.
Yizkor Memorial Service: 11 p.m.
Children's Program: 11 a.m.
Mincha: 6 p.m.
Neila: 6:45 p.m.


Annual Roast Beef Dinner

Coming To Hackettstown Chapel

Join in on Saturday, Oct. 26, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church of Hackettstown’s Annual Roast Beef Dinner at its chapel in Hackettstown. 

Tickets are $16 for adults; $9 for children under 12 years old.  

Advanced ticket purchase is strongly recommended. For tickets, contact: Ellen Bergman at 908-637-6236 or Donna Erickson at (908) 637-6007. 

Fall In Love With Reading At Inaugural Book Festival

An area-wide book festival has been scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9, hosted by the Middle Valley Community Center in Long Valley.

Chairperson D.J. Murphy of Califon said the festival will feature at least 10 published authors representing a variety of genres including children’s books, mysteries, science fiction, military, romance, and humor, among others. Local libraries have also been invited to participate and provide displays in an effort to promote literacy. Admission to the festival is free.

Murphy is an award-winning screenplay writer and published author of a number of books written in several genres. His vice chair is long-time animal book author, Loren Spiotta-DiMare of Tewksbury. Spiotta-DiMare has had 20 books about her favorite subjects published for both adults and children. Devoted to promoting responsible pet ownership and highlighting the strength of the human/companion animal bond, she has several new titles in progress.

Murphy noted that the MVCC is also seeking additional sponsors for the event. To date, five local businesses have signed on to underwrite the festival. Financial support will be used toward preservation of the 225 year-old building, which most know it as the ‘yellow building’ on Rt. 513 in Middle Valley.

The MVCC is an all volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the practice of community neighborliness and involvement in civic efforts. The center has served a number of functions over its long history dating to the 1800’s, including a post office and mercantile center. It has been used for judicial, educational, religious, social and cultural activities for the past two centuries.

The MVCC’s location on the western edge of Morris County and the eastern edge of Hunterdon County has attracted attendance from a large number of residents to its current art, cultural and popular entertainment programs.

For questions about the Book Festival or to become a sponsor, contact Murphy at


join Mount OLIVE walkers

Step into shape with a new walking program, Mt. Olive Walkers- a new class on Fridays through the Mt. Olive Exercise program. Get Lean At Lunch is held at 1 p.m. Walk-Ins are welcome.

Free to members; $5 fee for non-members.

This new class will bring local residents together to walk with weights, core toning and stretch.

Email for more details and to sign up.

College News

Centenary Commemorates Domestic Violence Awareness Month


From left, Olivia Hunter (interpersonal violence counselor, SSVP), Victoria Manzi (first year leader), Brooke Castanzo (first year leader), Erin Snyder (program coordinator, SSVP) 

Activities are planned to educate and work to eradicate the abuse that touches the lives of three out of four Americans.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and Centenary University in Hackettstown is hosting a range of activities to support the nationwide movement to build awareness and end violence and sexual assault.

“We all need to learn more about domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault, to bring these issues out of the shadows,” said Erin Snyder, Survivor Support & Violence Prevention Program coordinator at Centenary. “We hope that students, staff, and faculty, along with members of the wider community, will participate in our activities and spread the word.”

Last fall, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant to Centenary to institute Cyclone Strong, an initiative to strengthen awareness, prevention, and on-campus services regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (SADVS). The grant helped Centenary emerge as a leader in SADVS support and education in the region through the funding of a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Team, as well as Snyder’s position to coordinate the University’s efforts.

The grant also supports educational programming, including the following events to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

· Paint It Purple Campaign/Purple Thursdays—Purple is the color that signifies domestic violence awareness. Events include: Sweet Treats (painting cupcakes with purple icing) on Oct. 10; and Put a Nail in It, on Oct. 17, which spreads the word through participants painting the nail of their left ring finger purple. All programs will be held outside The David and Carol Lackland Center and in the Centenary University cafeteria.

· Voices & Visions of Survivorship and Empowerment—Events highlighting artistic expression include the official launch of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Oct. 1; Purple Out Poetry on Oct. 21 in partnership with the Centenary Writing Collaboratory; A Pledge Art Mural throughout the week of Oct. 21; and an art opening/reception on Oct. 24 to display pieces created during the month.

A related event is the launch of the White Ribbon Campaign at Wrestle Offs, co-sponsored by the Survivor Support & Violence Prevention Program and the Centenary University wrestling team. The event is a renewal of student-athletes’ commitment to ending toxic masculinity and is part of a series of programs planned for November focusing on healthy masculinity.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was started in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a “Day of Unity” to connect those working to end abuse of women and children. The event was expanded to a full month in 1987, as awareness has grown that domestic violence affects millions, including women and men of every race, religion, culture and status, and includes a wide range of behaviors from verbal to physical violence.

Nearly three out of four Americans know someone personally who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.

If you need assistance or want to talk to someone about domestic violence, please contact the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Warren County’s Helpline at 908-453-4181.

CCM Recognized By Two Organizations as Educational & Business Leader


Pictured, from left, are CCM Trustee Vice Chair Thomas Pepe; Trustee Jeffrey Advokat; CCM President Anthony J. Iacono; CIANJ President Anthony Russo; CCM Vice President of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences Patrick Enright; CCM Director of Workforce Development Irena Kaler; and Associate Director Beth Rodgers. 

County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph was recently recognized by two key state business groups for its excellence in preparing students and employees to meet the needs of industry and for serving as an educational leader and valued business partner.

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the college was presented with an Industry Leader Best Practice Award by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ). This marked the second year in a row CCM received a CIANJ Best Practice Award. Once again, the award recognized CCM for the strength of its programs offered through its Center for Workforce Development and the construction of an Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center, slated to open in 2010.

A panel of judges, including Dale Caldwell, executive director of the Farleigh Dickinson University Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Robert Stramara, chief operating officer of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP); Dean Paranicas, CEO of the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey and CIANJ President Anthony Russo, reviewed the submissions and selected the most extraordinary ones to be honored at the conference.

CCM President Anthony J. Iacono served as the opening keynote speaker for the awards ceremony held at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville. During his remarks, Iacono said that the college’s success relies on the strength of its partnerships with business and industry and other organizations.

“As I like to say, CCM does great things every day, but we do even greater things with and because of our partners,” said Iacono.

Included among those partnerships is an online course the college is providing in conjunction with NJMEP to provide food safety training for employees in the food production and manufacturing industry. CCM also is the lead organization in a consortium, supported by a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, to develop apprenticeship models for the advanced manufacturing industry.

The second recognition was presented to Iacono by NJBIZ, which named him to its Education Power 50 list. One of the leading business publications in the state, NJBIZ in its September 23 issue praised Iacono for the college’s work to provide skilled professional for the manufacturing industry. In the article, Iacono noted, “Our work is to help others to do their work better.”

Centenary University Rises In Higher Education Rankings


Annual ratings from U.S. News & World Report and recognize Centenary for social mobility, online business program, and overall excellence

Centenary University in Hackettstown received high reviews from two well-known college ranking sources, achieving outstanding marks for social mobility, online business programs and overall excellence.

“This recognition reinforces Centenary’s excellent reputation, underscoring the things students value most about the university,” noted Amy D’Olivo, vice president for academic affairs. “With generous financial aid packages, as well as ample academic and career support, Centenary offers an educational experience that elevates the career goals of each and every student.”

In this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings, Centenary placed 34th among Top Performers on Social Mobility—Regional Universities North. New in 2020, this category recognizes schools that are successful in advancing the social mobility of economically challenged students through programs that support retention and, ultimately, lead to higher graduation rates. Centenary placed sixth among the 11 New Jersey universities ranked in this category.

Centenary also climbed 23 places in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges—Regional Universities North category, placing 119th overall and eighth in N.J.

In addition, Centenary is the only N.J. institution included in’s listing of the Best Online Business Degree Programs, spotlighting 50 online programs across the nation. The annual ranking recognizes universities for high quality business programs that are accessible and affordable. Centenary was cited for its flexible online and blended programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, including accounting and business administration degrees with concentrations in areas such as data analytics, management, and social media marketing.

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The university’s main campus is located in Hackettstown,, with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout N.J.


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