Superintendent visits Redwood, Maddalena ELC on first day of school

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — Despite a challenging start to the day, public schools opened across West Orange on Sept. 6. Downpours, a power outage in the St. Cloud area, and an accident on Route 280 delayed school buses by about 20 minutes due to traffic congestion in those areas. Power was restored to the St. Cloud area for the opening of St. Cloud School to the relief of parents and teachers.

Superintendent Jeff Rutzky made a special stop to Redwood Elementary School to welcome interim Principal Heather Carr, who has also served as an assistant principal at Washington and interim director of human resources. Carr is taking over for Principal Bruce Arcurio, who accepted another position closer to home. A principal search is set to begin in January.

Also close to the hearts of the Redwood community was the recent passing on Sept. 4 of music teacher Joel Perry. Perry worked at Redwood for 22 years and was also a gifted guitarist and recording artist. Director of Guidance Cheryl Butler was onsite with counselors to help students and teachers with Perry’s passing.

The superintendent then headed to the Betty Maddalena Early Learning Center to see how the first day of school for the district’s earliest learners was going. Aside from some technological issues, students and teachers were already busily going about their day, playing, doing artwork, enjoying story time and reading.

“I love it,” Principal Connie Salimbeno of her new position, “and we’re having a great start to our first day.”

“This is a beautiful facility,” Rutzky noted as he visited each classroom to greet teachers and students.

Before heading to his next appointment, the superintendent took a moment to pose with happy pre-school students.  

“Have a great rest of your day,” he told students.

Photos Courtesy of WOSD

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