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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, February 11, 1999 Page 7

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Adult School Provides 60 Years of Enrichment,

Variety and Education By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD — For over 60 years, the Westfield Adult School has provided students with the opportunity to become knowledgeable about everything from cake decorating to horseback trail riding; stained glass to yoga; financial investing to therapeutic massage; and photography to foot reflexology.

As a non-profit, independent, private and voluntary organization, the school has drawn approximately 60 percent of its instructors and the vast majority of its students from Westfield.

The roots of the school date back to 1937, when members of the Womens Club of Westfield and a group of 37 concerned citizens rallied together to develop an institution that would provide personally enriching and educational programs.

The very first pupils from the adult school convened at Roosevelt Intermediate School to partake in approximately 29 different courses. However, since 1973, students have poured into the classrooms of the Westfield High School for instruction. Currently, 79 different classes are offered.

The school was originally named The Westfield School of Adult Education, but acquired its current name after World War II.

According to the Director and Registrar of the Westfield Adult School, Carol Phelan, when the driver’s education program was cut at Westfield High School, the adult school generously opened its doors to furnish high school students with that course offering, Driver Training.

Ms. Phelan reported that there is now more competition between other adult schools and organizations which offer similar workshops and trips than ever before.

“It becomes very difficult to remain competitive,” she stated.

While adding that the school tries to keep course prices competitive, Ms. Phelan said, “Because of our variety, that helps us.”

She maintained that the adult school tries to offer course topics that are particularly time sensitive and up-to-date. Courses such as Introduction to Computers, Introduction to the Internet, and Introduction to Microsoft Word 6.0 have been offered to educate interested students with the training that keeps up with

the current times. However, Ms. Phelan revealed that the school strives to continue to present “the old stand-bys” such as Social Dancing, Beginning Golf, and Landscaping.

The school also offers students a bit of adventure travel –including the art museums and mansions in Princeton, the Portuguese restaurants and cultural centers in Newark and the history and luxury of the Vanderbilt Mansion in New York.

However, students need not leave their desks to travel in their minds to exotic places. Students may trade airline fare and lodging fees for small course fees, to explore the history of England’s countrysides, the palaces of the Orient, the treasures of Tuscany, and the cities of Scandinavia.

Electrifying Broadway musicals are always on tap at the Westfield Adult School. The spring semester, which will begin on Monday, March 1, will offer outings to Cabaret, Annie Get Your Gun, Fosse: A Celebration in Song and Dance, and On the Town to name a few.

All Westfield Adult School courses are held primarily on Monday nights at Westfield High School. Students convene for nine meeting nights per semester. The school offers two semesters of course offerings per year.

Currently, the school serves about 800 to 1,000 students per semester.

Ms. Phelan told The Westfield Leader that the school is continually seeking new ideas for seminars as well as new instructors.

She added that the school’s teachers “enjoy imparting their knowledge to others.” She concluded that Westfield has a wealth of citizens who are knowledgeable and talented and strive to offer those skills to others.

Gladys W. Gleason, who served as the first Registrar of the Westfield Adult School, revealed that since her employment she believes the enrichment programs and workshops have been valuable.

“They have quite a varied program,” she noted. “I think adding the day trips have been quite advanced.”

While pointing to the school’s relevance in the community, Margaret Cimei, who has served on the school’s Board of Trustees for over three years, stated that the board will now focus on expanding course offerings, as well as times and places where courses may be offered.

VALENTINES DAY SUNDAY FEB. 14th

Open Sunday Valentine’s Day 10am to 4pm

407 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains Park Middle School Offers

Fond Farewell to Mr. Janusz HONORED PRINCIPAL…The students and faculty of Park Middle School in

Scotch Plains held a school-wide surprise party January 27 for retiring Principal Chester Janusz. Students wrote poems, letters, parodies and scripts in his honor. The Principal was also presented with “Silly Awards,” such as an award for a free lunch in the school cafeteria. Calvarina Okarter is pictured presenting Mr. Janusz with one “Silly Award” — a Lifetime Bus Pass to ride any Scotch PlainsFanwood school bus.

SCOTCH PLAINS — On January 27, the students and faculty of Park Middle School in Scotch Plains held a school-wide surprise party for retiring Principal Chester Janusz.

Mr. Janusz, who served as Principal at Park Middle School for 25 years, and previously was a guidance counselor, retired on January 29. His position is being filled by Rocco Collucci.

The idea of the surprise party originated in October, amidst the sadness felt over disagreements between the teachers union and the Board of Education regarding a new contract. With the holidays also approaching, the teachers felt that a little cheer was needed.

All 500 Park Middle School students were involved in the surprise assembly. Many wrote poems, letters, parodies and scripts in Mr. Janusz’s honor.

Approximately 350 students performed by singing, acting, dancing, playing in the band, reciting poems, stepping, and good-naturedly clowning around during the hour-and-ahalf production.

School secretaries sang a memo to their boss entitled “Whose Gonna Love You When You’re Gone Away?” Numerous performers cited how much Mr. Janusz will be missed.

The production was described by seventh-grade English teacher Gail B. Williams as the culmination of every ideal the retiring Principal had

set for Park Middle School. A frequently recited “Januszism” was, “Your school is as good as you all make it,” according to Mrs. Williams.

The student body sang their final wishes to Mr. Janusz — “May you always walk in sunshine, and may your wildest dreams come true.”

Symphony Orchestra Slates Annual Fundraising Gala

AUCTION CONTRIBUTION…Ellen Ramer, right, of Martin Jewelers in Cranford has supported the Westfield Symphony Orchestra’s 1999 Gala fundraiser, “Fly Me to the Moon,” by donating a watch for the auction. Symphony board member and Gala Chairwoman Jane Kelly accepted the Tudor by Rolex ladies’ watch.

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual fundraising Gala, “Fly Me to the Moon,” on Saturday, February 27, at 7 p.m. at the Hilton at Short Hills.

The evening will feature live and silent auctions and a 50/50 cash raffle. Local businesses and corporations have donated various items for the auction.

Guests will be invited to bid on such items as Broadway show tickets, a deluxe weekend at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan, dinners at area restaurants, tickets to sporting events, a private tour of the

Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a Tudor by Rolex watch, donated by Rolex and Martin Jewelers of Cranford.

Jon Bramnick of Westfield will return as the Gala’s auctioneer for the third year.

The evening will also feature Bandleader John Amoroso, from M & H Music and Entertainment, who performed with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He will perform his own version of “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Ticket prices to attend the Gala start at $150 per person.

For more information, please call (908) 232-9400.

BCW/BPW Announces Monthly Dinner Event

WESTFIELD — The Berkeley Heights/Clark/Westfield Business and Professional Women (BCW/BPW) monthly dinner meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 16, at The Kenilworth Inn, Kenilworth.

Networking will be held at 6:30 p.m. Dinner and the evening program will begin at 7 p.m. Non-members are welcome to attend.

This month’s meeting will be an auction to benefit the BCW/BPW Scholarship Fund.

BCW/BPW offers scholarships for high school students as well as training for re-entry into the job market. For more information on scholarships, please call Phyllis at (908) 654-4410.

BCW/BPW is part of BPW/NJ and BPW/USA. Membership in the organization offers professional growth, individual development, personal empowerment and legislative awareness.

Advance registration for the dinner meeting is required. Cost of the dinner is $20 per person. For reservations and information, please call Janine at (908) 687-5239.

Art Association to Host Guest Landscape Artist

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Art Association will welcome guest artist Marsha Heller of Leonia to its meeting on Sunday, February 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Westfield Community Room at the Municipal Building.

Ms. Heller will demonstrate landscape painting in acrylics with the palette knife technique.

The artist, who is also a professional oboist, enjoys taking photographs while on tour around the world with music organizations, then reinterpreting the landscapes in paint in her studio.

Ms. Heller studied at Oberlin, Salzburg and with oboist and painter

Harold Gomberg in New York. She learned techniques of graphic design at the School of Visual Arts, and also took a painting class at New York University.

She is represented by several area galleries, among them the Surroundings Gallery in Westfield. Ms. Heller also recently won awards in the Watchung Art Center Group Show and “Salute to Women in the Arts.”

The upcoming meeting of the Westfield Art Association is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (908) 232-7058.

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