Meet Mrs. Cathy Danahy
New Superintendent of River Edge Public Schools!
New Superintendent of River Edge Public Schools!
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
A. I began my teaching career in 1998 in the Bronx as a NYC public school teacher where I taught Kindergarten and 2nd grade. After 4 years of both living and teaching in the Bronx, I moved to River Edge and was lucky enough to get hired by my home district. I taught 1st and 2nd grades at both Roosevelt and Cherry Hill Schools. I was hired as the first Instructional Coach in River Edge in 2009. After working for 10 years in River Edge, I became the Elementary and Middle School Literacy Coach in Allendale. In 2015 I was hired by Allendale for my first administrative job as the Supervisor of Curriculum which later became the Director of Curriculum. I have a BA in Sociology and an MA in Elementary Education from Fordham University, and an MA in Educational Leadership from Fairleigh Dickinson University. I received my Chief School Administrator Certificate from the NJEXCEL Foundation for Educational Administration program.
Q. What made you choose education as a career?
A. I was the child who played school in my room where I was the teacher and my dolls were my students. I have always loved to learn new things and spent many summers in college babysitting and working in child care programs. However, when I graduated college I took a job in the business world and I immediately knew I was in the wrong place. I left that environment after 2 years and went back to school to earn my Masters in Elementary Teaching and it was exactly where I was meant to be. Teaching is hard work but it is so rewarding and children make me laugh and smile. Any time I have a tough day, I know I can go into any classroom and I will instantly feel joy. Schools are special places to spend your days! I am so grateful this is my career.
Q. What appealed to you about returning to the River Edge School district?
A. I not only worked in River Edge but I raised my two daughters here. I know River Edge to be the best community in Bergen County. The friends we made over the years and the small town feel where neighbors look out for each other is mirrored in the schools. Roosevelt, Cherry Hill and New Bridge Center are warm, welcoming places where children are supported and excel academically, socially and emotionally. I am not sure if I actually came back to River Edge. I think River Edge called me back home.
Q. Tell us something interesting about yourself?
A. I have worked in 3 schools where one of my colleagues was a sibling or parent of a celebrity. I met all three celebrities while working in those schools.
December's Power Word - Generosity!
In December, members of the PTO and the Student Council dropped off your donations at Eva's Village in Paterson . Our student council president, vice president, a student representative and the PTO leadership handed over the items. Our students had an opportunity to see how their acts of generosity impact the lives of others who are less fortunate . We can all give a helping hand!
Holiday Musical Concerts
Cherry Hill and Roosevelt schools held in person winter musical concerts in late December. Parents were treated to live holiday music in both schools while students in younger grades "zoomed" in to watch the live performance. Mrs. Dent, Mr. Urban and Ms. Cuadra did an amazing job leading the band, chorus and small musical groups. What a holiday treat!
Online Learning with Greg Tang!
Kindergarten students participated in a virtual math lesson with math guru, Greg Tang. Greg discussed equal parts of a whole, different types of lines (horizontal & vertical), addition and subtraction strategies and ended the lesson with story problems. What a math packed lesson!
Special Area Spotlight - Physical Education
6th graders spent the last four weeks learning Floor Hockey fundamentals. Classes were able to learn the importance of stick safety and comprehend the skills of stick handling, passing, shooting and game play. Pictured below are Connor Gastman, Adam Ibrahim abd Amy Park from Mrs. Proda's class.
4th graders were participating in a February Fitness Challenge. Students could compete in four fitness challenges that tested student's muscular strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular endurance. The four tests that were scored for each grade level were- The Pacer Test, Wall Sit Hold, Tire Flip and Medicine Ball Toss.
5th and 6th grade Cherry Hill students worked together to build Hula Huts. In these lessons students learn to use teamwork, to collaborate, strategize, and integrate STEAM connections. We also have recently done a Winter Olympics unit where students participated in station activities that connect to real Olympic events. Over the course of two weeks, coinciding with the Winter Olympics students participated in 12 different activities. We also projected the Olympics on the big screen in the gym during all classes during those two weeks, in order to expose students to the actual events. This week we did Read Across America stations. Each station had a connection to a book. The books were at each station for the students to read in between turns for the activity.
Read Across America February 28th - March 4th
The week of March 2 is National Read Across America week. Students at Cherry Hill, Roosevelt and New Bridge Center were excited about reading and dressing up for each day of the week! This special week occurs each year and our students celebrated by dressing up for their future careers, wearing colorful clothing, dressing with clothes from their heritage and school spirit clothing! On National Read Across America Day, students, teachers, parents, and community members around the nation come together to read books and celebrate the joy of reading!
Liberty Science Center
Kindergarteners are learning about forces, motion, and friction by designing and constructing vehicles in science class with staff members from the Liberty Science Center! Students learned that cars move easily on smooth surfaces.
Odyssey of the Mind
The Odyssey of the Mind team, under the direction of Ms. Ashley Denn, competed in a regional tournament that took place on February 26th. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program. Teams of 5-7 children work together at length to solve a predefined long-term problem and present their creative solutions at a regional, state, national, and world level. It allows students to work with others and provides the opportunity to learn creative problem-solving, brainstorming, and teamwork.
6th grade students spent the last several weeks inventing a product or a service, designing it in detail, and creating all of the marketing connected to it. This project is a culmination of their Social Studies Unit on America’s Economy, and demonstrates knowledge of sixth grade Economic Development standards and concepts, including technological innovations, economic tools, and the free market economy. Parents were given the opportunity to be a "Shark" and evaluated the groups to choose the Top 4 in the grade. Mr. Henzel, Ms. Danahy, Ms. Marco, Mr. Werner, and Ms. Moran were the "Sharks" for the Top 4 groups. Alyssa Andriano was the winner with her design of Pocket Pants! Congratulations!
Author Visit - Sarah Weeks
The wonderful PTOs at Cherry Hill and Roosevelt School invited Sarah Weeks to visit our students on March 14th and 15th. She has written more than sixty books for young readers including the best selling novels, Pie, Save Me a Seat, and So B. It. Sarah encouraged students to write stories using ideas from their everyday lives. For example, she wrote Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash after seeing a colorful clothesline drying in the sun while driving her two sons to camp one morning. She hopped out of the car to snap a picture for inspiration. You never know where story ideas will pop up!
All I Want to do is Dance!
Third graders are getting their groove on with a visit from Mayo Performing Arts! Mr. Moody's class danced to Best Song Ever by One Direction representing music from today. Mr. Funabashi's class danced to the 1960s Mashed Potato by Dee Dee Sharp and Mrs. Campbell's class danced the 1980s away with Dancing on the Ceiling by Lionel Richie. What fun!!!