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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains Fanwood Thursday, May 28, 1998 Page 5

Tips for Teens and Parents For Safe Prom, Graduation

As the prom and graduation approaches for Westfield High School seniors, the Westfield Municipal Alliance/ PANDA is encouraging student safety by distributing Prom Notes through local florists and tuxedo shops.

The Junior/ Senior Prom is being held tomorrow, Friday, May 29, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick.

The participating establishments will help to put the Prom Note message, written by members of the REACH program at WHS, into corsages, boutonnieres and tuxedoes which go out to juniors and seniors.

The message expresses the hope that everyone "has a wonderful time" and reminds students "Please Don't Drink and Drive."

On Thursday, June 18, graduation night, seniors are invited to an all night substance- free party featuring an array of activities at the Richochet Health and Racquet Club from 10 p. m. to 6 a. m.

BASH '98, Westfield's Project Graduation, is cosponsored by the Optimist Club of Westfield, the Westfield High School ParentTeacher Organization, and the Westfield Recreation Commission.

Anyone interested in volunteering or donating a gift may call Don Pray at (908) 232- 9584.

The Westfield Municipal Alliance has also offered the following tips for parents for pre- and postprom and graduation parties, as well as parties in general:

If the Party is in Your Home:

Greet all guests at the door and beware of guests who arrive more than half an hour late.

Guests should be by invitation only. Do not allow party crashers to stay.

Do not allow kids to come and go. They may leave to drink and then want to return.

Do not allow open containers of sodas or other beverages to be brought into the home. Provide all refreshments.

Be visible at the party.

Call parents of anyone under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

If Your Child is Going to a Party at a Friend's Home:

Call the host parents to verify that an adult will be present and that the party will be substance free.

Don't pressure kids to attend parties they do not want to go to they may have good reasons for not wanting to go.

Talk to your child when he or she comes home.

If you know of a party where alcohol is being served or where chaperones are not present, report it to the Westfield police. You can remain anonymous.

In New Jersey, parents can be sued for injury to a minor whom they have allowed to consume alcohol, and for destruction which the minor causes.

Also, adults who allow alcohol to be served to anyone under the legal drinking age (except blood relatives) may be subject to arrest and prosecution.

Alice Ferguson Is Selected As Winner of Currie Award

Scotch Plains- Fanwood third grade teacher Alice Ferguson has been named the 1998 winner of the district's Joan Vagelos Currie Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The award was announced at an evening reception in honor of the award winner and the 22 other teacher nominees from across the district.

The Currie Award, which is given annually to an outstanding elementary or middle school teacher, was established in memory of Joan Vagelos Currie, an elementary and middle school teacher in the Scotch PlainsFanwood public schools for 16 years.

The award was endowed by Mrs. Currie's brother, Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, and is given annually by her family.

Announcement of Mrs. Ferguson's selection was made by Dr. Helen Barnes, Mrs. Currie's sister and Chairwoman of the selection committee.

Nominations can be made by parents, staff members, Board of Education members, and members of the community. The detailed nominations are judged anonymously by the committee.

Mrs. Ferguson graduated from Michigan State University and taught at Washington School in Rutherford for two years before starting her family.

She and her husband live locally and her two children are graduates of the Scotch Plains- Fanwood public

schools. Mrs. Ferguson returned to teaching in 1982 as a half- time compensatory education teacher at Evergreen Elementary School, and in 1985 she began teaching the gifted and talented program there. From 1986 until the present, Mrs. Ferguson has taught at Elementary School One.

Mrs. Ferguson was nominated by several parents who cited her ability to deal with each child individually, to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses, and to set high expectations for her students, according to school district spokeswoman Kathleen L. Meyer.

As the Currie Award recipient, Mrs. Ferguson received a check for $1,000 and the right to direct the expenditure of a matching grant from the Scotch Plains- Fanwood Board of Education for programs or materials in her classroom or school.

Mrs. Ferguson recently summed up her teaching philosophy by telling parents at "Back to School" Night, "I don't teach math. I don't teach science. I don't teach reading or social studies. I teach children."

Other teachers nominated this year for their professional excellence were Laura Agnostak, Susan Buccola, James Canterbury, Dr. Mary Donovan, Joseph Filep, Elizabeth Gasiorowski, George Hilger, Bernadette Hoyer, Phyllis Karvetsky, Roberta Kieffer, Carol Lesniewski, Virginia Mitchell, Michele Mottley, Nancy Noppenberger, Vicki Price- Pennino, Susan Rosander, Susan Santichen, Kathleen Sjonell, Carol Smith, Merrie Snow, Charlene Spencer- Hall, and Dolores Staiano- Petri.

Herbal Seminar Slated At Township Library

The Scotch Plains Public Library, 1927 Bartle Avenue, will offer a free herbal seminar on Tuesday, June 2, from 7: 30 to 9 p. m.

The seminar will focus on dealing with weight loss, eating properly for the summer, protecting skin from the sun and related health problems through the use of healing herbs and nutrients.

Herbalist Susan Kemp will be the guest speaker. For directions, please call the library at (908) 322- 5007.

Westfield BOE Approves Re- appointments of Staff

The Westfield Board of Education has approved the re- appointments of fulltime and part- time school staff members for the 1998- 1999 academic year.

The full- time and part- time positions include 404 faculty members, 30 administrators and department heads, 35 paraprofessionals, 54 secretaries and 50 custodians/ maintenance staff members.

This list does not include new hires, whose names will be announced prior to the school year, according to school district spokeswoman Lorre Korecky.

Of the 404 faculty members, 83 are non- tenured teachers and six are returning from leaves of absence. There are also nine non- tenured administrators and 53 non- tenured secretaries.

Custodians, maintenance staff members and paraprofessionals do not fall under the tenure law.

Administrators, teachers and secretaries attain tenure after having worked in Westfield for three years and one day, and after having received positive evaluations, the district spokeswoman explained.

"Each year, staffing decisions are based on projected student needs (including

the number of elementary students and the number and courses selected by secondary students), on financial resources, on staff evaluations and on state laws regarding tenure and seniority," commented Board of Education President Darielle M. Walsh.

"We are fortunate in Westfield to attract and keep competent, dedicated staff members," she added.

Commuter Commission To Convene on June 4

The Raritan Valley Line Commuter Commission (RVLCC) will hold its monthly meeting next Thursday, June 4, at 7: 30 p. m. in the Administrator's Conference Room at the Westfield Municipal Building, 425 East Broad Street.

The RVLCC was formed to identify and address problems with the train commute along the Raritan Valley Line. Any interested commuter is invited to attend and participate in this meeting.

Alice Ferguson
Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood