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High School Welcomes 21 New Teachers

With school opening Thursday, new staff members ready to greet students.

Editor's note: As families gear up for Thursday's first day of the new school year, we'll be catching up on what's new in Warren schools this year. Each day, we'll feature a listing of changes at each of the schools (the 5 Things You Need to Know), as well as information about new policies and curriculum changes, and a daily video on what some students and parent think are unusual school supply requests.

As Watchung Hills Regional High School begins its 55th year, 21 new teachers will be among the staff and faculty members greeting the 2,097 students enrolled for the first day of the 2011-2012 school year.

The newcomers, who represent new teachers and replacements for teachers-on-leave, completed a new teacher orientation on Aug. 30 and 31, which enabled them to become acquainted with school policies, procedures and protocol They were to be introduced to their fellow staff members when the entire faculty met for its first in-service staff development day on Sept. 6.

The incoming faculty members are:

  • David Vitale, Michele Alphe (World Language Department);
  • Heather Guirguis, Heather Briggs , Carolyn Cottrill (Science);
  • Kyla Mendes, Sabrina Levy (Phys Ed/Health):
  • Michelle Ravettina, Angela Di Iorio (Arts/Choral Music);
  • Joseph Laganas, Karen Grossman (Special Services /Instructional Aides);
  • Jonathan Bedi (Special Services);
  • Caitlin Flannelly, Larissa Merritt (Math);
  • Gwendolyn Blake ( Student Assistance Counselor);
  • Cara Yuknis, Jessica Oller, Scott Phillips, Derrick Jones (Social Studies);
  • Matt Jacobsen (English);
  • Doug Eaton (Theatre).


The entire faculty will assemble for staff development programs and in-service training on Tuesfday and Wednesday. School will for the freshman class Wednesday, when they will board school buses for their own abbreviated “first day of high school,” and become acquainted with their schedules and teachers.

Sept. 8th will be the first full day of school for the entire student body. Students will once again follow the “rotating drop” system of class scheduling. School begins at 7:30 a.m. and there are four 56-minute periods before the common lunch period, and four 56-minute periods after lunch daily. One period each day is dropped and the others rotate. The common 44-minute lunch period may be used for club activities, appointments or science labs.

Back to School events are scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 6 (Back to School Night), and 7:30 a.m. Oct. 7 (Back to School Day); the double event is provided to enable parents to select the time more convenient for their schedules.

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