December 2012 Archives

Evelyn Fuertes Offers Healthy Ideas for Holiday Celebrations

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MM asked our resident health guru Evelyn Fuertes of From Sprouts to Supper in town to help us figure out a healthier way of celebrating the holidays. Here is her expert advice:

The holidays can be stressful for many people for different reasons. Some people have events, including work functions to attend and the pressures to entertain. However, many have lost loved ones or will be alone for the holidays and many more will not be able to celebrate the holidays due to the loss of a home or a job. I would like to encourage everyone to keep them all in our hearts during this holiday season, no matter how stressed we think we are.

1. When planning holiday menus, how do you make sure you provide healthy alternatives to the usual sugar-laden concoctions we think of as comfort food!

Health alternatives can be quite good, think of fresh fruit, dark chocolate and nuts. All heart healthy and quite yummy. One treat that I like to make includes sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, dates, raisins and cinnamon pulsed in a food processor and then rolled into a ball. I like to roll them in a dusting of cacao (chocolate) powder or a nice spiced tea that has been ground fine. If you are looking for low fat you can't go wrong with frozen fruit. I love to make "ice cream" with a frozen banana, frozen blueberries and strawberries.

2. What are the healthiest foods that you can make part of a hearty holiday buffet?

Oh boy there are so many! Side dishes can really make the meal zing. I like a quinoa or millet pilaf. One of my new favorites, roasted kabocha squash adds color and tastes great. Baked sweet potatoes or any other roasted root vegetables are always delicious. Steamed vegetables like broccoli or kale can add some beautiful color as long as they are not overcooked. Adzuki beans and navy beans are packed with nutrients and taste great as spreads. I also would recommend that if you are trying to make the meals healthy reduce the fat and salt that you cook with and add it after the meal is ready, or better yet, let each person add what they want. I like to make a tahini dressing and let people drizzle that over their meal to add a bit of flavor and fat.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church Schedule for the Holidays

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         Sunday, December 16, 10 am.
         Sunday, December 23, 4pm
         Music of the Renaissance and Baroque.  
         Monday, December 24, 4pm.  
         For families who just can't DO a later, longer service  
        Monday, December 24, 8 & 11pm.
        Tuesday, December 25, 10 am.
St. Luke's is at the corner of Rte. 217 and Oak Avenue in Metuchen.

Santa Travels with Fire Department This Week in Metuchen

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A Merry Message from the Metuchen Fire Chief, Rob Donnan: 
The Fire Department will be escorting Santa around town this week. Tell people if they hear sirens and chipmunks singing Christmas tunes that he is probably in your neighborhood.

Unfortunately there is no guarantee when or if he will be in any particular part of town so to cover all the bases, he will stop by the parking lot of the Senior Center on Saturday night at 7pm for a short visit.

Please tell family, neighbors and friends to visit the MFD website at for information concerning Santa and his visit to Metuchen.

Our members enjoy this long tradition almost as much as the kids do but it's impossible to be everywhere for everyone. Hopefully the visit to the Senior Center will give children that missed him in their neighborhood a chance to see him one last time before his long night of work on Christmas Eve.

Breaking the Chain Completes One School -- School 2 on the Way

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Breaking the Chain Through Education, a non-profit initiative run by Metuchen High teacher Evan Robbins, has built a school in Awate Tornu, Ghana. In return for building the school, the village released 19 trafficked children. "We were having difficulty placing teachers in the village because it was a 5k walk each way. We have now completed fundraising to build teacher housing for four teachers," Robbins announced on Facebook. They received a $20,000 donation to complete the fundraising for the teachers' quarters. This completes the fundraising for Awate Tornu and they are now looking forward to working on our second village. A trip to Ghana is in the works for the winter.

To make a donation to their ongoing efforts, please click here:

Breaking the Chain explains their mission as follows:

We are an organization that aims to help eradicate child slave trafficking through the building of schools in impoverished regions in Ghana. By establishing schools in destitute villages, we provide local fisherman and their children with educational opportunities and alternative ways of earning their living; in exchange the trafficked children they employ are set free and returned to life with their families

As I was posting a notice on Facebook with the addresses of the first responders in Newtown, CT, to whom people were being asked to send thanks and for whom the BIL is collecting items on Saturday, I realized that charity starts at home and we should NOT forget the wonderful men and women who serve us tirelessly here in Metuchen all year round -- and that includes our VOLUNTEER fire department, police department and the Emergency Medical Services. Here are their addresses -- feel free to make a donation or send a card to them to let them know that we are thankful and well aware of all the good they do. They exhibited caring support throughout Sandy and her aftermath and deserve a big round of thanks from the community for their work!
Here are the contacts -- Send a card today! Happy Holidays to all!

Metuchen Fire Department
500 Main Street
Metuchen, NJ 08840

Metuchen Police Department
500 Main Street
Metuchen, NJ 08840

Metuchen EMS
The Metuchen Safety Council
P.O. Box 8
Metuchen, New Jersey 08840

Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey in conjunction with Build with Purpose has installed the first Little Free Library in Central New Jersey on Main Street in Metuchen right in front of the Metuchen Nonprofit Center. The idea is that passersby can take or donate a book, promoting literacy, of course, but also the idea of community. The first free library was implemented in 2009 and 2500 have followed. Interested community "librarians" can order a pre-assembled "library" from the website to install where they wish or build their own with free plans at

The philosophy behind the Little Free Library "to promote literacy and the love of reading" fits nicely with LVNJ's mission, "promoting greater communication and action on the literacy needs of New Jersey."  The hope is that neighbors will embrace this idea and feel encouraged to read while also getting to know their neighbors at LVNJ and Build with Purpose.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak at my final Council meeting. As you all know, I did not seek re-election to Metuchen Borough Council. This decision was not a political one nor a reflection of any action taken by the Council.  Instead, it just feels like my time to go.  I have been fortunate enough to serve these past three years with Mayor Vahalla and my fellow Council members. While the faces may have changed a few times, the desire to do the best job possible was ever present. It feels good to be told that I will be missed and I suspect that is mostly because people like to see what I am wearing or what hair style I am sporting at any given time. Nevertheless, as my mother always told me, " It is best to leave a party while you are still having fun!"

On a more serious note, I want to take this chance to thank Metuchen for the support and kindness you have shown me and my family.  In almost every encounter, people have been gracious and warm and I have many more friends now than I had before. I have had a front row seat to celebrations and losses, ribbon cuttings and parades.  I witnessed the Congressional Medal of Honor being awarded and the expansion of our cultural and artistic community.  I have seen businesses thrive and some unfortunately fail. I have awarded Girl Scout badges and watched Emergency Management literally save our lives multiple times.  I have been honored to witness the events of so many Metuchen residents up close and personally.


Can't come on Saturday to include your message? The Newtown Post Office has created a postal box for people to send care packages, condolences and letters: 
Messages of Condolence for Newtown
P.O. Box 3700
Newtown, Connecticut 06470
nut.jpg(photo courtesy of Ms. Doreen's Fabulous Feet School of Dance)

Ms. Doreen's Fabulous Feet dance school presents its highly-acclaimed Nutcracker Suite on January 5, 2013 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. Tickets for the 1:30 and 6 PM shows go on sale Saturday December 15th from 10AM to 1 PM at the studio at 16 Jersey Avenue. 

The show is a highlight of the season and a great way to entertain family and friends as the holiday winds to a close.

For further information on Ms. Doreen's fantastic take on the everlasting classic ballet, check out her website at

AND, just in case you were wondering, here's a little history about the holiday tradition the show has become since its inception:

The Nutcracker

 (RussianЩелкунчик, Балет-феерияShchelkunchikFrenchCasse-Noisette, Ballet-Féerie), is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted fromE.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". It was given its première at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Sunday, 18 December 1892, on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky's opera, Iolanta.[1]

Although the original production was not a success, the twenty-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. However, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late 1960s and is now performed by countless ballet companies, primarily during the Christmas season, especially in the U.S.[2] Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions, in particular the pieces featured in the suite.[3]

Thumbnail image for Junebuggraphic.jpegLinda LaStella has made it official: she will be stepping down as the Chairperson of the Junebug ArtFest. In order for Junebug to continue, it will need a strong and supportive chairperson who will work with the Chamber to make those four Fridays in June the exciting and colorful events that we've come to love.

Linda said that "ArtFest is really an opportunity to 'be creative in a large way'...To Chair the Junebug opens possibilities for people who do not see themselves creating with words or paint or clay, but who can take ideas, collaborate with many others and CREATE something very new . . . creativity that attempts to serve not only artists of every sort, but all the visitors and store owners in the town...lots of divergent people!" She stressed that "it is a great way to serve the community."

Although everyone involved agrees that Linda was a strong leader with a vision that truly came to life, she thinks that too much of the same leadership can stall a I see the event: "it really needs an infusion of fresh vision.  I personally am a real proponent of be wholly dedicated to whatever I am involved with...but for a specified, limited time.  For an event, an organization to thrive, I do not believe it is healthy or growthful for the same person to continue to lead it.  If it is to move forward, new vision, new approaches must be had."

She appreciated the opportunity to create such a much-enjoyed event: "For me personally, I am so thrilled to have had the response to the ArtFest that I did...and the support and work of an amazing group of people...but I cannot do it again.  It did take a tremendous amount of energy...and now I am deep into developing and directing the new Nails in the Wall, the Gallery at St. Luke's and working to get our NOW FOUR permanent galleries collaborating and advertising's very exciting!" LaStella added, "
It has been a pleasure to coordinate last year's event with all of you and I know 2013 will be a fantastic year! I want to thank Duffy Dillinger so much for the gift of her Junebug to the community and of course, Marty Jessen for allowing us use of his land to gaze at the friendly bug every day when we pull into work here at the Chamber."

The choir of St Luke's Episcopal Church will present A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday morning , December 16 at 10 am.   It will include traditional English, French and German carols, as well as music of Johann Sebastian Bach and Johannes Brahms.

This venerable Anglican holiday tradition began at King's College, Cambridge on Christmas Eve of 1918.  The service was first broadcast by the BBC in 1928, and millions worldwide tune in to hear it live every year.  

St. Luke's Choir is under the direction of Karl Watson, who was educated at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music and at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he was a student of renowned organist Marcel Dupre.

Joey D's on Restaurant Stakeout on Food Network TONIGHT

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stakeout.jpgFrom Joey D's Facebook page:

A message to all of our customers:
We understand some of you may be concerned with the fact that we were filmed by Food Network. Food Network visited Joey D's to film "Restaurant Stakeout", we aren't going to spoil the episode for you but we can assure you that they found nothing wrong with our food safety practices. Restaurant Stakeout is a show that focuses primarily on the way the staff is behaving and how that is impacting the customer experience. Food Network features shows, such as "Restaurant Impossible" and "Health Inspectors" that focus on failing restaurants and poor sanitary conditions and we can assure you that we are both successful and follow stringent food safety policies.
Serving our customers safe and delicious food are our top priorities and we would never sacrifice the safety of our customers to save a few dollars. We were all impacted by hurricane sandy in New Jersey. At Joey D's we did have to discard all perishables as even with power, we were closed for far too long to save anything (fresh produce, poultry, dough, etc.) 
Since announcing the upcoming episode of Restaurant Stakeout we have seen quite a bit of buzz on facebook, we hope that everyone whom has seen the announcement will have a chance to read this message.
Thanks for being a part of Joey D's, we look forward to serving you.
If you have any questions or concerns we are all human, please email us directly ( we promise to write back, if you prefer a phone call, email us your name and phone number and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

You may have noticed the nifty ATV that led the Fire Department in the Winter Parade this year. Perhaps your scout troop visited the firehouse and got to sit on it and check it out in person. That's what I did yesterday when I had a chance to speak with dedicated volunteer Fire Chief Rob Donnan and get a look at the holiday-ready Multi-Purpose Rescue Vehicle, otherwise known as Unit 9.

This ATV can reach people and places where larger fire engines cannot. They can carry enough equipment to keep free the arms of firefighters rushing into dangerous circumstances. They can move injured patients to safety and drive over and around downed trees and power lines with an ease that is not common in the larger rescue vehicles we associate with the normal procedures of firefighting. Its front wench can pull 3500 pounds, enough to raise this vehicle from a hole or wet earth as well as pull another vehicle out of harm's way.

In 2005, during the Van for Jonathan fundraisers that the fire department ran, a large golf cart was used at an event to move both people and items through the crowds. It occurred to Donnan that this vehicle could help the department in exciting new ways and he set out on a quest to find the money to buy one.

The vehicle is registered to and insured with the Borough officially but all funds for the project were raised by private donations. "Extremely generous donations," Donnan added. In May of this year, Cross Country Cycles held a Customer Appreciation Day and Fund Raiser for the Metuchen Fire Department.  Firefighters and their family members assisted at the event where most people first got their first look at Unit 9.  Many private residents and businesses gave the department the funds to buy the ATV. Cross Country gave them the vehicle at cost.

Neve Shalom Events: Concert and Chili Cook-offs on December 16th

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Congregation Neve Shalom, 250 Grove Ave., Metuchen presents Sam Glaser IN CONCERT! A Chanukah celebration featuring recording artist Sam Glaser and co-starring our own kids! Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 9:40am. For more information contact Hazzan Levin 732-548-2238 ext. 14 or

Neve Shalom 's Men 's Club Presents it 's 1st annual Chili cook off. Come taste the 5 varieties of different chilis, both meat and vegetarian.  The cook-off takes place at Congregation Neve Shalom at  250 Grove Avenue, Metuchen on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 5:00pm. Only $8.00 per adult person, children 6-13 are $4.00 each and under 5 requires no charge.  Please contact Matt at 908-422-0227 or to make a reservation. 



Free Fencing at the Metuchen Library December 27th

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On Thursday December 27, 2012 at 1 PM, a FREE " Introduction to Fencing" class will be offered to Metuchen residents in grades 6-12 at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue.  The 1.5 hour workshop includes demonstrations, floor exercises, and an introduction to the equipment, weapons and rules of the sport. . The program is hands-on; participants should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing and sneakers.  Registration is required; space is limited.  Write with name, grade and phone number. The class is taught by coaches from a local fencing school, and it is paid for by the Friends of the Metuchen Library.

Metuchen New Year's Plans Begin and End with a Bang

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fireworks.jpgThe Borough of Metuchen is pleased to announce its plans for New Year's Eve.  Thanks to the generosity of Metuchen Savings Bank, a proud member of the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce, the Borough will once again light up the sky with a New Year's Eve Fireworks Extravaganza set to go off at midnight in the Pearl Street Parking lot on Monday, December 31.

Support Metuchen Chamber businesses this holiday season. Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificates make great holiday gifts!  They are available in many denominations and are easy to purchase, easy to wrap, and are never returned.  There is no fee to purchase gift certificates, they don't lose value, and they never expire.

Metuchen Savings Bank is pleased to sponsor this event as a way of saying thank you for your support. We extend our best wishes to all for a healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year. The Metuchen Savings Bank family invites friends and neighbors to join them as they count down to the start of 2013, watch the ball drop, and light up the sky with a beautiful display. For more information call the Chamber office at 732-548-2964.

Buy-A-Brick to Support High School Athletics For the Holidays

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If you are looking for a unique and lasting gift this holiday season, the Metuchen High School Booster Club's "Buy-A-Brick" campaign has the perfect idea for you - an engraved brick in the Bulldog's Courtyard adjacent to MHS Stadium and surrounding the Bulldog statue. Become part of Metuchen High School history and commemorate a graduation year, academic or athletic achievement, or your favorite teacher or coach. Your 6" X 9" brick can feature your name, the name of loved ones, your company's name or a special message.

Your engraved brick will show generations of Metuchen student-athletes and fans that you are a proud part of Bulldogs' history. By purchasing a brick, you will also be supporting the Metuchen High School athletics program this year and for years to come. The MHS Booster Club is sponsoring the "Buy-A-Brick" campaign, and all funds raised by the Booster Club go into supporting the athletics program.

To order your engraved brick for the upcoming holiday season, or for more information, go to: or contact the Booster Club at (Please note that only the 6" X 9" brick, for $125, is available at this time).

The Thirteen Chamber Choir returns to St. Luke's December 23rd

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The Thirteen chamber choir returns to St. Luke's on Sunday afternoon, December 23rd at 4pm.  Under the direction of Matthew Robertson, The Thirteen specialize in music of the Renaissance and Baroque.  This, the second of their four-concert season, will include music of Josquin, Elder, Britten and more.  A festive holiday reception will follow the concert.  

Tickets are $20, with a special senior/student ticket at $10.  Reserve your ticket by calling 732-548-4308 or by emailing   

Rutgers' Eric LeGrand to Speak at MLK Breakfast January 20th

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The Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce, YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge, & South Amboy, New Hope Baptist Church, and Second Baptist Church have joined together to offer an opportunity for the community to unite in a "Weekend of Celebration" to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The annual interfaith community celebration will begin on Sunday, January 20th, at 3:30 pm, at New Hope Baptist Church located at 45 Hampton Street in Metuchen. The service will include choir selections, youth recitations, remarks and reflections from local clergy and other special guests. A free will offering will be collected to benefit the MLK High School Senior Scholarship Program. Light refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the program. For more information about Sunday's event, contact New Hope Baptist Church at 732-549-8941.

The weekend celebration will wrap up on Monday, January 21st, at the 6th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast to be held at the Pines Manor, 2085 Route 27 in Edison. We are proud to announce that this year's special guest is former Rutgers Football player and author, Eric LeGrand who will participate in a moderated Q&A with the audience. 

Bake Sale This Weekend at St. Francis Supports MHS Band Trip

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Metuchen's Build with Purpose Creates Elderly Care Facility

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Check out this link for a great article on Metuchen's Build with Purpose, a non-profit group that specializes in building in areas where commercial developers do not -- this elderly care facility is just one example of their great work. Thanks to Brian Keenan, President of Build with Purpose, who sent in this notice.
Friday & Saturday @ 7:30
Starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William Macy 
Written and directed by Ben Lewin, with a piercing depth of humanity and no small amount of humor." Running time 95m Rated R

Tickets On Sale For...THE WIZARD OF OZ
Presented by our Stars On Stage Students Live On Stage!
December 14 @ 7:30 Saturday December 15 @ 11am & 7:30, Sunday December 16 @ 2pm 
THE WIZARD OF OZ. includes all the popular songs from the film. Over The Rainbow, Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead), If I Only Had A Brain, If I Only Had A Heart, If I Only Had The Nerve , We're Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road), The Jitterbug, and The Merry Old Land of name a few. Tickets Are Now On Sale @ or by calling 732.548.5600 

"Respect" postponed to Spring...
We've decided to move the NJ Premiere of "Respect, A Musical Journey of Woman"  to the spring since many are still hurting from the effects of hurricane Sandy including The Forum Theatre. The production will open at the end of April through May. Tickets will be on sale starting Monday December 10. Reserved seats are $32 and $28 for groups of 10 or more. Please call 732.548.5600 if you would like to order tickets for your group. Individual tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the box office.
From "Someone to Watch Over Me" to "I Will Survive." It's the journey of women, told through Top-40 music in the new musical production RESPECT: A Musical Journey of Women. From the "I Will Follow Him", "These Boots are Made for Walking," "What's Love Got to Do with it," to the strength of woman in "Hero." Combining excerpts of 60 songs with women's own stories about finding dreams, lost love, relationship issues, entering the workforce, gaining independence, and more, this show is "exhilarating!" It's more than just a story worth telling, it's a must-see and must-hear.
Thanks for your support and understanding! 

Neve Shalom Adult Education Committee and the Gilbert and Claudie Hayat Speaker Series presents Rabbi Esther Reed of Rutgers University Hillel speaking about Jewish Issues on College Campuses, Saturday, December 22, 2012 at the 9:30am service. Discussion will continue at the Kiddush Lunch. 250 Grove Ave., Metuchen - For more information, Contact Hazzan Levin - or 732-548-2238 ext. 14.

Metuchen Students Help out a Highlands Preschool Post-Sandy

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From the Superintendent's Office:

First-year, grade one teacher, Candace Ehmann, from Metuchen's Campbell School brought donations of goods and toys to Ms. Kathy Kirk, a teacher at the preschool in Highlands.  Ms. Ehmann commented on how Ms. Kirk "told me how terrible it is there at this time."  Ehmann added, "She even said some kids are asking how Santa will know where they are if they don't have a home."  Metuchen Superintendent, Vince Caputo, said he was thrilled that Ms. Ehmann had spearheaded this effort at Campbell School.  Ms. Ehmann was extremely proud of the students at Campbell and said, "I am so thankful that we were able to help this school  on their road to recovery!"


In the first picture, Lily Almeida, student council president, poses with Ms. Ehmann.  In the second, Ms. Ehmann's first grade class also displayed their homemade cards and posters for the preschoolers "sending them warm wishes". Congratulations on a job well done!

Do you have a Verizon phone you can donate to someone?

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Council member Dorothy Rasmusssen requested a donation of a Verizon phone. If someone has one to donate or works at Verizon and can donate one, it will be going to someone in South River in dire need of a phone. Dorothy will take care of their plan but she needs the hardware. Please respond to if you have a phone to spare and would like to donate it to a storm victim. Thanks!

Board of Education Celebrates Top Scorers on 2012 Tests

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The Board of Education called together students who performed perfectly on the Spring 2012 NJASK tests administered at Edgar School.

Students who earned top scaled score of 300 on Spring 2012 NJASK were:

Grade 7 - LAL

Shivani Pandey.

Grade 6 - Math

Arnav Agrawal, Kassia Antin, Jake Berger, Rachel Chiusano, Nina Chung, Kerri Farrell, Madeline Fenner, Divij Gupta, Saahas Hari, Justin Huang, Ankit Kumar, Reilly Lepak, Ian Li, Brooke Margolin, Serena McKiernan, Keith Miller, Noelle Motyka, Ada Nelson, Daniel Petto, Juliana Pirro, Katherine Rizzuto, Seth Rubenfield, Ashima Sharma, Denis Smirnov, Jason Whitmore.

Grade 7 - Math

Victoria Czohanski, Melanie Davis, Collin Draper, Vincent Jennings, Patrick Lee, Karen Li, , Shivani Pandey, Anton Popov, Nirmal Prakash, Siri Uppuluri, Siya Zhang.


Grade 8 - Math

Alison Bansil, Aidan Benderly, Kieran Brenneman, Peter Chen, Joseph Conroy, Wenjuan Du, Peter Gibson, Murtaza Ismail, Ethan Knecht, Kevin La, Damian Makosa, Donanl McCarthy, Dhruv Mehta, Anil Patel, Emily Rehorn, Ayushi Sangol, Arjit (Ayush) Sood, Carl Sun, Rachel Suss, Romeo Tiu, Feng Fan "Gary" Xian.


Grade 8 - Science

Alison Bansil, Thomas Davis, Dhruv Mehta, Donald McCarthy, Anisha Patel, Rachel Suss, Romeo Tiu.


Students who received High Honors on the 2012 administration of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth SAT Program were honored:

Grade 5  Alanna Redwood.


Grade 7  Collin Draper, Patrick Lee, Nirmal Prakash, Keaton Weidmaier, Siya Zhang.




From Preschool of Rock: Building on the momentum of their 2012 Parents' Choice® winning album, Dance Party, Preschool of Rock charts new kids' music territory - defining life as rhythm - with the December 4 release of their third studio CD, Everything Makes a Sound (Preschool of Rock Records, $12.99, for ages birth - 8, run time 33 minutes).

Everything Makes a Sound, features singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Napolitano who, as a second-generation drummer, lives and breathes rhythm. Michael, founder of the popular New Jersey-based Preschool of Rock music classes, is well aware that rhythm, an intrinsic aspect of childhood from patty cake to jumping rope, provides the motor for individual development and a framework for social connections with other kids. Even the "cool down" songs on this album have an undulating, rhythmic pulse.  The alt country/blues "A Little Breath In" is all about breathing, the most basic rhythmic activity in life. (Click on the ad to the right for his latest class schedule as well, so your budding musical genius can learn from this impassioned musician.)

Michael Napolitano grew up in a home filled with music making. Surrounded by all things musical, Michael found it easy to teach himself to play more than ten instruments.  He reminisces, "I just soaked it up, like a sponge.  My brothers and I were lucky enough to be able to watch our dad in rehearsal with the different bands he played in. These were my biggest influences."

Michael's dad, Tony Napolitano, had several top 10 hits as drummer with the '50s doo-wop group, The Ideals.  This band toured with Fabian, Frankie Avalon, and Joey Dee and the Starlighters, opened for Count Basie in Jersey City, and played the Jerry Lewis Telethon.  Tony later joined the sensational doo-wop band Chang Lee & The Zani-Acts & The Yum-Yum Girls, performing alongside a young Joe Pesci, who sang first tenor.

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