By Cheryl Conway
Hundreds of students, staff and parents are being included in the bigger picture of turning Tinc Rd. School into a more colorful place for learning.
A giant mural is being painted down the middle hallways at the elementary school that reflects the theme “Learning From Yesterday To Prepare Us For The Future.” Sketching began in April and the completed mural is aimed for next week, just in time for its May 23 unveiling during the school art show and fourth and fifth grade choral concert, says Scott Lipson, Tinc Rd. School principal.
The transformation of the plain blue and white walls into realistic pictures highlighting landmarks in Mt. Olive and happenings at Tinc is refreshing.
“It’s so colorful, so beautiful,” says Lipson. “So far it’s been an amazing experience, to see the kids’ faces after they paint something. Everyone’s so enlightened by this.”
Funds for the mural came through a teacher’s grant- The NJEA Pride Grant, which promotes community building and community in the schools, explains Lipson. He had submitted his application for the grant in November 2018, receiving approval right before Thanksgiving.
The idea for the school mural project was initiated last year when the students at Tinc participated in a mosaic, which involved putting pieces together for a wall.
“That community activity brought the entire school in,” says Lipson. He wanted a similar experience but this time creating a mural.
A committee was formed and involved a parent, art teacher, artist and another teacher. The community, parents and students were then surveyed to brainstorm ideas for the mural.
Lipson brought in Caren Olmsted, a muralist that he had worked with previously at another school district. Olmsted, who is involved with the Morris Arts for Education organization, has been creating murals throughout New Jersey for the past 10 years, says Lipson, with Tinc being about her 64th school mural.
During the week of April 22, parent volunteers came into Tinc to help Olmsted sketch the background for the mural.
Then during the week of May 1, every class at Tinc had a 45-minute mini lesson with Olmsted to understand “why they are doing it and how it will last,” says Lipson. They were then assigned a session each day to work on the mural.
“She sketched out the entire mural,” says Lipson. “She assigns certain groups and classes and components; you are doing the grass, you are doing the sunflowers…and each student will put hand-prints in the grass.”
Participants included all 455 students in grades K-fifth, parent volunteers and about 50 staff members including teachers, aids, administrators and nurse. This past Monday, after school, staff night was held inviting all staff to help paint and touch up the mural.
Two Mt. Olive police officers even stopped in during school hours on May 1 to help out with painting the mural.
The 100 ft. long mural is located right in the middle hallways of Tinc School. Lined on both sides of the hallway, each side measures about 50 ft., says Lipson.
One side of the hallway features landmarks of Mt. Olive such as Stephens Farm, Budd Lake, Turkey Brook Park and public library to help the student learn about the history of the town.
“This whole area was filled with dairy farms,” says Lipson, so cows and dairy farms and a field of sunflowers are highlighted.
The other side of the hallway displays Tinc Rd. School with bubbles describing noted events and locations such as the school variety show, playground, buddy bench, map of N.J.
“One side our town, who we are and the past; other side our school,” and what students are doing now, what they did in the past and what they will do in the future, explains Lipson.
A permanent paint was used to leave a lasting impression on the walls and all who helped create it.
Overall purpose of the mural project is “to help brighten the kids’ day,” says Lipson. “It’s beautiful, it’s colorful. Every student now has a hand-print.” When the time comes for students to leave Tinc Rd. School, “they are going to have a lasting legacy to being part of this building.”
Just as important, “That they did it together having a community feel,” adds Lipson.
“It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s wonderful,” says Lipson. “Seeing how much is done in a week and a half, it’s amazing. She [Olmsted] has such an amazing vision, as an artist always thinking and planning for something new.
This past summer, Tinc had undergone several school-wide renovations, says Lipson.
Some permanent walls were put up; bathrooms were updated and renovated; all of the kids’ furniture from desks to chairs have been replaced with new; black ceiling tiles in the hallways were removed and replaced with colored circle tiles.
“It’s all very colorful and bright,” says Lipson.
By Cheryl Conway
Kindness in Mt. Olive is like those gray fuzzy puff ball flowers people blow to watch the seeds fly away.
The Chester M. Stephen’s Kindness Tour is the dandelion in this instance, and every year, when it ends it turns into that gray puffy ball; its seeds are all the students who get blown into the community creating a garden of dandelions, spreading kindness everywhere.
Mt. Olive High School freshman Allie Corsey is one such seed who took her lesson on kindness, shared it with her family and continued to spread the message. Every year, since she attended the CMS Kindness Tour in 2012, the Corseys have been adorning their lawn on Sunset Drive in Budd Lake with kindness signs and have encouraged the neighbors on their street to do the same.
This year, CMS decided to award $100 to recognize the best sign supporting its April 5th tour and selected the Corsey family as the recipient. The winner was announced just last week.
CMS second grade teachers contributed $50 toward the award and Mt. Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum matched that amount with an additional $50.
With so many great signs, selecting the favorite was the challenge.
“We tried to consider as many signs as would could throughout the community,” says Ann M. Scotland, CMS second grade teacher and tour organizer. “I have no doubt that we missed a few but in the end we hope that the message of kindness was voiced and felt; because of that... we are all winners.”
Held every year for the past 11 years, the CMS Kindness Tour involves the second grade students, teachers and aides who board school busses and make stops along the way to brighten the day for elders at a nursing home, bring food donations and help stock shelves at a local food pantry, decorate bags for homeless and mail postcards to U.S. military men and women.
In support of this tour, many local residents and businesses adorn their properties with signs that display inspirational messages for the tourists to view during their travel.
“The second grade teachers chatted about a few that stood out, but we kept coming back to what an inspiration Sunset Drive was and is every single year,” says Scotland.
“We chose to honor the Corsey family because they put their signs out year after year,” explains Scotland. “In addition, they add to the collection with whatever our afternoon theme is. There wasn't just one sign that stood out; they all captured your eyes and in turn your heart as you drove down the road! There is one right after the other up and down the street. The neighbors all join in too. It truly is a vision that embraces you like a warm hug... powerful! ~ Although Kermit is my personal favorite.”
Some people blow at those dried dandelions and make a wish.
Scotland’s wish, for kindness to spread, has surely been the case after 11 years of organizing the CMS Kindness Tour.
“Kindness isn't meant for one day... please keep this lesson going,” says Scotland. “We can do this.”
Recognizing the best sign was just another way of extending that kindness.
“The signs help to get the community involved in this very important lesson,” says Scotland. “We all have ownership in this theme of kindness. Why not celebrate it together. It offers the student a visual that shows how many people are invested in changing the world with one kind act at a time. The boys and girls live in a beautiful town... it helps to highlight the goodness that surrounds them.”
Like the beautiful sight of those dry seeds flowing in the air, kindness carries that same affect.
The mayor caught wind of that dandelion seed and decided to contribute with his kind act of donating to the best sign award.
“One of the things I like best is to participate in school related programs and activities,” says Greenbaum. “I really felt that the lesson being taught was something I wanted to be involved with.”
Animals will reap the awards from this seed.
As part of the award, the sign winner was asked to contribute the money to a charity of their choice.
“We have always had a soft spot for animals in need, so we chose St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center,” says Julie Corsey, mother of the sign making family happy to have been chosen.
“We were honored, but as I told Mrs. Scotland, we have kept up the tradition all these years as we just truly believe in the message,” says Corsey, whose family has been making signs for the past eight years.
“Back when Allie was in second grade, the second grade teachers had the kids make signs for their lawns for the day of the kindness tour,” explains Corsey. “I reached out to friends whose kids were also in second grade at CMS and asked if they wanted to make an extra to line up along Sunset Drive for the kids to see as they left on the tour. Our neighbors, who we are so blessed to have, all jumped at the idea. We still have some of the original signs, but over the years with the weather we have lost most.
“Each year our family buys and decorates two plastic signs with the current year’s theme to try and keep up with the signs that get damaged by the weather,” says Corsey. Most of the original signs were paper.”
They decorate both sides of the signs “so the kids can see them coming and going,” says Corsey. “We cover the signs with tape or plastic to try and protect them from the weather. We are running low on signs and my neighbors love to have them in their yards so if anyone would like to make a sign to donate to the collection for next year's tour, we'd love to have them. They can give them to Mrs. Scotland and she can get them to me for next year.”
Their love of drawing and the message of kindness draw in this family every spring.
“Both Allie and my husband love to draw,” says Corsey. “I did not get that gene, so the signs I usually make are things printed off the internet where the signs Allie and my husband have made through the years are drawn by hand.”
The act of taking the time to create a sign to support a school tradition, clearly speaks “louder than words.”
Concludes Corsey, “We love the message that the Kindness Tour shares, as do our neighbors on Sunset Drive. They are just as excited to see the signs go up as the kids.”
Make exercise a part of that daily routine, especially when school is out and think about joining Mt. Olive Exercise Program. Join now and take advantage of this summer special for all local teachers, staff and personnel of the Mt. Olive School district.
All employees of the Mt. Olive Schools are invited to sign up for a three month special (June-August) for $145; just sign up by May 18 and get the rest of the month for free. Classes are held at the Mt. Olive Senior Center and offer a variety of cardio classes, toning, Pilates, yoga and Zumba.
Also next week, starting May 12, buy one get one free classes are being offered. So take two classes for $10.
For more information, call Laura Hars at 973-903-0453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle school and high school students, ages 13 to 18, can visit the library on Sundays, May 12-June 2, at 1 p.m. for Coding With Chris! A four-week course, learn how to take coding to the next level by creating programmatic images and animations, practicing design, testing and iteration.
Library Features Italian Movie Night
Join in at the Mt. Olive Public Library Gathering Room on Thursday, May 16, from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. for Italian Movie Night 11, featuring the movie “Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca” presented by Domenico Tancredi.
Set in Rome at the time of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy, Tosca is the tragic story of tempestuous opera singer Floria Tosca, who fights to save her lover Mario Cavaradossi from the sadistic police Chief Baron Scarpia. It is one of the world’s most loved operas! Italian and English subtitles will be provided.
Registration requested; call 973-691-8686 Ext. 106 or go to www.mopl.org to register.
A Fairy and Pirate Festival is set for Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Turkey Brook Park for activities along with the Recreation Department.
Interested in volunteering at the library this summer? Attend a mandatory informational meeting Monday,May 20 at 7 p.m.
Flowers are sprouting everywhere this time of year and so too are poppy’s with many more to bloom at the Interfaith Poppy Project next month.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is hosting the event at 154 Mountain Rd., Flanders, on Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., along with support by the All Veterans Alliance. Lunch will be provided.
“We will be making poppies for the NJ Gold Star Mothers,” explains Charlie Uhrmann, founder of the All Veterans Memorial (AVM) at Turkey Brook Park, 30 Flanders Rd., Budd Lake.
“Come join the fellow women of your community as we put our hands to work sculpting clay poppies for mothers of war hero’s this Memorial Day,” as stated on the event flyer.
Also coming up next month are the following events sponsored by the AVM in preparation for Memorial Day.
AVM Spring Clean Up is set for Saturday, May 4, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the AVM.
Memorial Remembrance Day Ceremony is set for Monday, May 27, 10:30 a.m., at the AVM Ceremonial Grounds.
“The Memorial Remembrance Day Ceremony has become one of New Jersey’s most memorable and cherished places to be, and this year will be no different,” says Uhrmann.
“This will be an especially emotional observance as two families will be setting their fallen warrior’s service pavers in remembrance of their honorable service.”
Clip Coupons for SANDY'S WINE & SPIRITS
A Community Awareness Night is set to be presented by the Mt. Olive High School Class of 2019 on Tuesday, May 21, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at MOHS The goal of the evening is to bring the community together by having students connect with local resource providers to spread awareness regarding health and wellness topics.
Admission is free and the event is open to all students, parents and community members.
Two County College of Morris (CCM) freshmen won top prizes at the 16th Annual New Jersey Undergraduate Mathematics Competition (NJUMC) recently held at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg.
A total of 84 participants from two- and four-year colleges across the state competed individually and as teams. Sofiia Shvaiko, of Livingston, won the highest-ranking individual score overall and the highest-ranking female score. Her teammate, Gabriel Lukijaniuk, of Hackettstown, won third place in the individual competition. Together, they won first place for the highest-ranking team from a two-year institution.
Shvaiko is an international student from Kharkiv, Ukraine and has competed in several math competitions in Eastern Europe. Still, the computer science major was not certain she could win the top spot in the NJUMC. “My family was proud of me that I proved my knowledge outside of my country and had the skill to compete,” she says. When she graduates from CCM, she hopes to complete her bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University and become a software developer.
“Winning at the competition was strange,” Lukijaniuk says. “I wasn’t sure how I compared to other people who majored in math and had the same passion and studying habits as me. So I was actually quite surprised when I had found that I placed that high.”
Like his teammate, he prepared for the competition by going to the NJUMC website and taking tests from past competitions. He says the tips and techniques he learned from his math classes at CCM gave him an edge. He hopes to complete his bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University. His ideal job would be a combination of math professor and math researcher.
“Our thanks go out to the entire mathematics faculty for supporting these students throughout their academic journey, as well as to Don Phelps, director of Campus Life, and the Math Club for funding the competition,” says Associate Professor Kelly Fitzpatrick, advisor to the team. “These wins are truly impressive results.”
Following the competition, students enjoyed the day viewing poster presentations, listening to student talks and hearing from major companies about job opportunities for math majors in actuarial science, analytics and data science.
Photo: Alexa Wyszkowski, of Rockaway, is presented with the Board of Trustees Service Award by Trustee Chair Paul R. Licitra at CCM’s 50th Annual Campus Life Appreciation Dinner Dance.
Two Budd Lake Students Recognized At CCM For Performing Arts
More than 20 students at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph were recently recognized by the college for their success and contributions to the campus.
The students were presented with awards at the 50th Annual Campus Life Appreciation Dinner Dance. Since 1969, CCM’s Office of Campus Life has recognized outstanding students who have been involved in clubs, organizations and performing arts productions. This year’s recognition event took place at the Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph.
“These students have worked hard and contributed significantly to the life of the college,” noted Don Phelps, director of Campus Life. “This is our way of providing them with some well-deserved recognition and thanking them for their efforts.”
Awards presented at the event were:
· Board of Trustees Service Award: Alexa Wyszkowski, of Rockaway
· Dean Douglas A. Patton Student Life Award: Joaquin Mould, of Randolph
· Outstanding First-Year Student Leader Award: Corey Anding, of Newark
· Dr. Sherman H. Masten Scholar/Leader Awards: Emma Mendoza, of Boonton; Joaquin Mould, of Randolph
· George Dragonetti Distinguished Leader Awards: Henry Agyei, of Cedar Knolls; Angela Galviz-Cuellar, of Dover; Amelia Medici, of Succasunna; Emma Mendoza, of Boonton; Joaquin Mould, of Randolph; Natalie Otero Lopez, of Morristown; Raven Resch, of Long Valley; Alexa Wyszkowski, of Rockaway
Performing Arts Awards:
· Performance Arts Musical Theatre: Matthew Delavan, of Madison; Corrie Down , of West Milford; Anna Hill, of Dover; Vanessa Jimenez, of Budd Lake
· Performing Arts Technical: Kelly Kavanaug, of Rockaway; Christopher Zelley, of Randolph
· Performing Arts Alumni: Christopher Bosch, of Kinnelon; Kelly Miller, of Dover
· Performing Arts Challenger: Mykaela Pocquat, of Budd Lake; Rachel Wilson, of Randolph
· Performing Arts Dance Outstanding Achievement in Performance and Choreography: Sabrina Olivieri, of Long Valley; Courtney Crerand, of Lake Hiawatha
· Performing Arts Drama: Finnian Burns, of Chatham; Nicole Rodgers, of Pompton Plains
· Dr. Judith Raulf Award: Danielle Cappuzzo, of Succasunna
· Donald Yaw Award: Carlos Angel, of Byram Township
Thanks to our sponsors Bright Horizons Family Solutions & Flanders Pediatrics Dentistry Turkey Brook Park will be turning it into a magical wonderland of games, rides and activities for the 10th year. Set for Saturday, May 18, celebrations will abound as fairies and pirates enter Turkey Brook Park! Festivities include face painting, pony rides, bounce houses, games, 40+ vendors, dancing, fairy hair and more. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume as flowers, wings, sparkles, eye patches and swords shall be plentiful!
The fair festivities will get under way at 10 a.m. and continue into the midafternoon sun ending at 2 p.m. Admission is free. Don’t miss performances by Theater Dance, Dance expression & more beginning at 10:30 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.
Michele’s Bistro will have food for purchase. Philly Pretzel of Hackettstown will be onsite with specialty Fairy & Pirate pretzels. Marty’s Ice cream will have frozen delights for all. Thank you to the following sponsors & vendors: ACRE Windows and Doors, Autosport Chevrolet, Bath Fitter Hackettstown, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Cait's Paints, Circle lanes, Donna Does Nails, Dorsey & Semrau, Dotdotsmile Danielle, EGLOBUS Inc., Flanders Martial Art, Flanders Pediatric Dentistry, Fun Pony Parties, Girly Girl Bandz and bows, Keller Williams, Kidz Play Inc.,Marty's Ice Cream, Mary Kay, Michele's Bistro, Mt. Olive Public Library, New York Life Insurance Company, Norwex, Origami Owl , Paparazzi Jewelry, Philly Pretzel of Hackettstown, Play Well/matthew, ReMax Heritage Properties, Renewal By Anderson, Revive Studios, Revive Studios, Scentsy, Slattery School of Irish Dance, Sound Impressions LLC, Starfish Aquatic Club, Stitching Sprinkles LLC, Talullahs Treasure, Theater Dance Center, Toll Brothers, Touch the Moon Studio, United Presbyterian Church of Flanders, Usborne Books & More, Village Green, Linda Yianolatos (Author), Young Living Essential Oils
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Experienced journalist since 1990, living in Flanders for 21 years and covering Mt. Olive Township for the past 10 years.
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