New Staff Spotlight
The River Edge School district welcomes new staff members in the 2021-2022 school year.
Ms. Kelsey Lapp - Cherry Hill 3rd Grade
Hello! My name is Kelsey Lapp and I am currently a Third Grade Teacher at Cherry Hill Elementary School. Last year I was a leave replacement teacher in 4th grade at Cherry Hill. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, with a Kindergarten to Sixth grade teaching certification, from Ramapo College of New Jersey. I also hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science, with a concentration in Community Mental Health. I've previously taught as a Teacher Assistant for 4 years at ECCS Daycare in Norwood, NJ. While obtaining my teaching degree, I substitute taught at Norwood Public School. I was very fortunate to have completed my student teaching at Cherry Hill Elementary School, in the third grade with Ms. Gant. I am so grateful to be continuing my teaching experience at Cherry Hill Elementary School. I am having a blast teaching my 4th grade students! My interests outside of school include going to the gym, running/hiking outside, practicing mindfulness, and trying new foods! I am so excited to continue my teaching career here in River Edge!
Mrs. Leeann Cameron - Mental Health Clinician (District)
I am excited to be joining the River Edge School District as the new Mental Health Clinician!
In my role, I will be of service to the students, families, and staff of the district by providing mental health services and support. The primary focus will be on building student's capacity for positive social and emotional well-being and academic success.
I work closely with the Pupil Assistance Counselors and Administrative team to coordinate, facilitate, and implement mental health support services individually, in groups, and classrooms.
I have been a Social Worker for 8+ years. I earned my Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Ramapo College and my Master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University. I have experience in working with individuals and families ranging from children to adults.
I enjoy utilizing, play, art, music, and movement based interventions and incorporating these strategies into the work that I do with individuals and groups.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my friends, family, and my cat, Mia. I like puzzles, games, music, and tv and movies that have a focus on suspense and mystery. I am interested in the intersection of art and its application to human growth, expression, processing, and wellness.
Mrs. Elizabeth Bovino - ESL Teacher Cherry Hill
Hello! My name is Elizabeth Bovino. I am the new ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher at Cherry Hill School. I am honored and excited to be a new member of the River Edge School community. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts degree in ESL and I hold New Jersey State Teaching Certifications in both areas of my degrees. I previously taught Elementary School students ESL for 14 years in another public school district in Bergen County and was a Master Teacher for graduate students earning their teaching degrees and certifications at a local university. After 14 years of teaching, I took some time away from teaching to raise my two children. My children are now both attending university and I am returning to my chosen profession of education with enthusiasm to guide, support, and instruct my students in successfully acquiring English language proficiency. When I am not in the classroom, I’m with my family travelling, visiting museums and other places of interest, enjoying the outdoors, exercising, cooking, and playing tennis. I look forward to serving the educational needs, aspirations, and expectations of the students in the River Edge School District!
Steven Luca - 1st Grade Cherry Hill
Hello! My name is Steven Luca and I am a new first grade teacher at Cherry Hill this year. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Marist College and am currently completing my Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Felician University. Although this is my first year as a first grade teacher I have worked at Cherry Hill for the last four years as a substitute and an aide in our Building Connections program. Last year I completed my student teaching in Ms. O’Reilly’s Kindergarten class. I grew up in River Edge and graduated from Cherry Hill in 2007. I also attended River Dell Middle and High School. Outside of school I enjoy watching football (go Giants!) and I love Marvel superheroes, especially Spider-Man. I am so excited to begin my teaching career at Cherry Hill!
Mrs. Claritza Rodriguez - Spanish Teacher (District)
Hola! My name is Claritza Rodriguez and I am the new world language/ Spanish teacher at both Roosevelt Elementary School and Cherry Hill Elementary. My family and I recently moved into the River Edge community and we love it here. Living here has been great for us and finding the opportunity to work in my new town as well has been amazing. I have spent a lot of time working in places that felt like home, now I have the privilege of doing that within my own hometown. I hold a Bachelor in Human Development and Education with a Minor in Latin American Studies. I completed my School administration masters abroad in Mexico, and recently completed my bilingual extension at Lehman College in NYC. I previously taught for 8 years as a literacy teacher at a middle school in district 9 in NYC. Prior to that I worked as an English teacher at an American school in Mexico and spent another 4 years as a Spanish teacher in
Omaha, Nebraska. Teaching is my passion, I love working with children and growing as an educator with them. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with the family. We love traveling, exploring new places and cuisine. I look forward to seeing you around and being part of such a special district.
Mrs. Lara Kane - PT Interventionist Cherry Hill
Hello! My name is Lara Kane and I am the new part time interventionist at Cherry Hill Elementary School. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from The University of Scranton. In addition, I am certified as a Reading Specialist and completed my Master's degree in Reading from New Jersey City University. For the past 15 years I served as a classroom teacher in Cliffside Park. I am excited to embark on a new journey as an interventionist here in River Edge. I live in Bergen County with my husband and three children. When I am not working, I love to travel, garden, play sports, watch movies and ski. I am looking forward to a great school year!
Mr. Jason Funabashi - 3rd Grade Teacher
Hello, everyone! My name is Jason Funabashi and I cannot begin to express how thrilled I am for the privilege to teach my third grade class at Roosevelt School. Last year I was a leave replacement teacher at Cherry Hill in the fourth grade. Following my bachelors, I took a job in a publishing company, writing for magazines and maintaining their websites. Though I enjoyed the setting, my true passion has always been for child. A few years of substituting, tutoring, and a rigorous teaching program at Ramapo College later, I am proud to hold my New Jersey certification in Elementary and Secondary education with a focus in Language Arts! Outside of the classroom, I am a lover of books and film, as well as a huge cooking buff (really, if you'd ever like me to chew your ear off for 10 minutes, ask me what I had for dinner and how I made it), but I consider myself an aspiring writer above all else. I hope to one day be published as a young adult novelist!
Ms. Marisa Schussler - 4th Grade Roosevelt
Hi everyone! My name is Marisa Schussler, and I am the new fourth grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School. For the past five years, I have been a third grade teacher in Garfield where I wrote curriculum, delivered professional development presentations, acted as grade chair, and worked closely with my team to create exciting lessons for our students. I received my Bachelors degree in Psychology from Ramapo College with a K-6 teaching certification. I also hold a Masters degree in Elementary Education. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, doing jigsaw puzzles, and creating gifts for my friends and family with my Cricut. I am looking forward to being involved in the school and am excited for what this year will bring.
Kristen Karavitis - 3rd Grade Cherry Hill
Hello! My name is Kristen Karavitis and I am the new 3rd grade teacher at Cherry Hill Elementary School. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from New Jersey City University & Master of Curriculum Supervision from The University of Phoenix. I previously taught kindergarten for 10 years In Jersey City school district. I live in Bergen County with my husband, 2 young children who are in 4th grade and Pre-K. My interests outside of school are spending time with my family and being outdoors. You can I am so excited to continue my career here in River Edge!
Mrs. Denise Beck - Cherry Hill 6th Grade
My name is Denise Beck. I grew up in River Edge and attended Cherry Hill School, and then River Dell Middle and High Schools. I began my position as a sixth grade teacher in CHS in April, relieving Ms. Patrocinio. Prior to working at CHS, I worked for ten years in the South Orange-Maplewood district as both a fourth and fifth grade teacher. Prior to that, I worked in Leonia part time as a K-2 Math Enrichment teacher. I have three adult children, a daughter who attended F.I.T in Manhattan, a daughter who attended University of Vermont and works as a social worker, and a son who currently attends University of Maine. I attended Ithaca College for my undergraduate degree in Speech Communication. I worked in Human Resources and Finance until I had my children, whom I stayed home with for eleven years. I then attended Saint Peter's University for my teaching certification, Master's in Education, and Middle School Math certification. I love spending time with my kids, I walk A LOT and ride my bike. I love dogs (and hope to have another within the year), reading, learning, traveling, and much more! I am delighted and honored to return to CHS as a teacher!
Mrs. Kellie McClain - School Psychologist (District)
Hello! My name is Kellie McClain and I am the new school psychologist and a part of the Child Study Team at The New Bridge Center. I will be working with students and teachers at both Cherry Hill Elementary and Roosevelt Elementary. I have received my dual major bachelor's degree from Rutgers University, and my Master's and Doctoral degrees in school psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. I have previously worked as a school psychologist at Irvington Public Schools, with internship work in Glen Rock Public Schools, and consultation with social emotional learning programs in Jersey City Middle Schools. I live in Passaic County with my fiance, cat, and dog. In my free time I enjoy cooking, jogging, and visiting local farms and parks with my niece. I look forward to working with everyone at River Edge and getting to know my students and colleagues!
Mrs. Carrie Bryer - Special Education Roosevelt
My name is Carrie Bryer and I am the new 3rd and 4th grade resource room teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School. I hold a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degree in Technology Based Teacher Education from Lehigh University. I also have a Master’s Degree in Special Education and I am Orton Gillingham certified from Fairleigh Dickinson University. I spent the past 11 years as a special education teacher in North Caldwell. I live in Bergen County with my husband Dan and my two energetic daughters, Rebecca (6) and Juliana (4). Rebecca is in 1st grade and enjoys swimming and Juliana is in Preschool and enjoys art classes. My interests outside of teaching include spending time at the beach in North Wildwood, going to Rutgers football games, doing puzzles, and family movie nights. This summer I’m going to compete in my first sprint triathlon so I will be spending lots of time in the pool and on my bike. I am so excited to continue my teaching career in River Edge and become part of the River Edge community!
New Staff Training - September 2021
Book Fair - September 2021
Students at Roosevelt Elementary and New Bridge Center enjoyed picking out books IN PERSON at the Book Fair hosted by the PTO! It was so nice to be able to bring students to the fair to browse, shop, and make purchases.
Kindergarten Celebrates Johnny Appleseed Day!
Students at Cherry Hill and Roosevelt Elementary School had a fun day of learning on Friday, September 24th celebrating Johnny Appleseed Day. Students honored the man who made apple (and pear) trees grow heavy with the bounty of their fruit across most of this country. Students learned of Johnny's upbringing, legendary wit, wisdom, and enduring story.
Students participated in a BMX bike assembly to discuss respect, anti-bullying, bike safety, and making good choices. A big thank you to the PTO for bringing this program to River Edge!
Special Area Spotlight - Music
Mr. Urban taught these 4th grade students to play rhythms using the drums. Students volunteered in groups of five to read and play rhythms for their classmates.
4th Grade classes at Cherry Hill enjoyed playing the song, "Skin and Bones" on the Orff instruments in October. Students reviewed xylophone technique, how to set up the instruments in a pentatonic scale, and improvised music for a skeleton dance.
6th Grade classes at Cherry Hill are learning to play chords and melodies on the ukuleles. The ukuleles were purchased by the PTO and the 6th graders are excited to play them!
Newly Elected Student Council Members
You Can't Hide That River Edge Pride!