HTEA Celebrates Mardi Gras with Hamilton’s 55+ Community

On February 10, HTEA hosted a fantastic night of bright colors, music, food, and dancing for Hamiltonians 55 and older. However, the event also highlighted key issues within the district, such as the need to restore accountability and transparency at Board of Education meetings through video recordings, and the dedication of school employees to the children of Hamilton Township. Too many of our residents are left in the dark and kept unaware of district policy-making.

Letts Party decorations brought the magic of Bourbon Street to Hamilton, while a great selection of music from DJ John Rossi from TN Tertainment kept the beat. A wide variety of delicious food was served by NJ Weddings and Events throughout the night, while Celebrations Photo Booth Lounge and James Ditmars created memories for guests to take home!

Thank you very much, to Fred & Pete’s Delicatessen, Golden Dawn Diner, Donut Time Cafe, Joey’s Pizza of Hamilton, Anthony’s Pizza Palace, and Starbucks for their generous donations. We greatly appreciate the guidance and support of the NJEA, especially Deb Cornavaca, Linda Calehuff, and our Uniserv rep, Deb DiColo. Finally, thank you to all of our attendees for their donations and event co-host Robb Letts of Letts Party. Your generous giving to the HTEA scholarship fund and support of education keep Hamilton going strong!



HTEA Celebrates its 12th Little Free Library!

HTEA unveiled its 12th Little Free Library at Sunnybrae Elementary School, with artwork based on the beloved story of James and the Giant Peach. Thank you to the students, teachers, and staff who bring their passion for art and literature to the district!



A Year of Fantastic FAST Events!

Looking back upon the school year, we can confidently say that 2016-2017 was a fantastic year of successful FAST Events!

Thank you to all of our amazing members, who worked hard to make their inspirations to bring our families and schools together a reality.

Frozen Enchantment Dance

On February 18, HTEA PRIDE held an evening of music, dancing, food, and prizes in appreciation of Hamilton Township’s 55+ community for their continued support of public education.


Lalor Lion’s “Literacy for All”

On January 24, Lalor Elementary school held a Families and Schools Together (FAST) event, inviting K-5 students and their families to promote an interest in literacy. Students and their families came out for a dinner, then rotated around classrooms, engaging in “Classroom Breakout Literacy” Workshops, which utilized books designed to promote both reading and writing skills. Students were able to take books home, along with book bags and other materials to encourage them to continue learning and practicing outside the classroom with their families.

Thank you to all the members who made the event possible: Justin Gala, Sabrina Casale, Jill Matthews, Beth Waller, Anne-Marie Ricigliano, Harry Kenworthy, Kiera McKee, Angel Arce, Jill Hale, Mary Gladysiewicz, Denise Stirone, Tammy Rodriguez, Jen Kotch, Ben Green, Nancy McManimon, Cynthia Lindsay, Jenine Porter-Celestin, Dariel Marius, Nicole Galipo, Michelle Maruca, and Melanie Coate.

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December FAST Events

From December 6-8, our educators completed a marathon three consecutive nights of Families and Schools Together (FAST) events at Klockner, Greenwood, and Kuser Elementary Schools. NJEA’s stated goal of the FAST program is “to encourage families to be involved in their children’s education, to enhance their academic progress, and to feel welcome in public schools”. Participating schools prepare at least two events during the year in order to better reinforce family education and sustained involvement.

Klockner and Kuser both held a “Family Game Night and Homework Help Training,” where parents and children enjoyed a meal while participating in a homework strategies workshop. After the dinner, families were invited to join together to play various board games, practicing important social-emotional skills such as turn-taking, good sportsmanship, and following rules. Additional, in-depth training was also offered to parents and guardians as students played.

Greenwood held a “How to Help Your Child with Homework Night,” with students engaging in activities, while parents and guardians attended an in-depth workshop on homework strategies.

On December 21, Wilson Elementary held a Home and School Connection event for grades K-1 entitled “Reading is SNOW Much Fun”. Families enjoyed a breakfast together while participating in reading activities to develop effective strategies.

All schools provided multilingual presentations and materials to ensure all families could be reached.

The Hamilton Township Education Association is proud of its teachers’ initiatives, hard work, and dedication. Watch this space for more great events throughout the year! Thank you to all of the teachers, support staff, and organizers who made these fantastic nights possible. Special thanks to organizing teachers Jennifer Buddie, John Malloy, Casey McCann, and Florencia Norton. Thank you to New Jersey Weddings and Events for catering. Finally, a big thanks to Mr. Acquah for helping provide event pictures!

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“Steinert Slam 2016” FIRST LEGO® League Tournament

On November 19th, the Steinert High School Robotics Team (Team 2180 – Zero Gravity), under the guidance of Team Advisor David Kohler, hosted the the annual “Steinert Slam”, an interscholastic robotics competition sponsored by the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organization and the LEGO® Corporation.

FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) is an international program for 9 to 14 year-old children created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO® Group in 1998 based on their common belief that fun and learning go hand-in-hand, and that an inspired mind can accomplish anything. Children work alongside adult mentors to design, build, and program robots to complete missions based on real-world challenges. After eight intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments.

The regional tournament featured teams from local and nearby schools, competing for the opportunity to advance to the FLL New Jersey and National Championship Tournaments.  Over 500 people attended the event as participants or spectators, as the students competed in a spirited yet friendly competition.

Congratulations to David Kohler, longtime organizer Dawn Papale, volunteers, and special guest judges for a fantastic event!

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The 2016 Official Lalor Lion Election

On November 3rd, Lalor Elementary School, under the direction of 2nd Grade Teacher and Lalor Lion Election Committee Chair Ms. Dariel B. Marius, held their 2016 Official Lalor Lion Election in order to educate students and community members about the election process. Following a drawing contest, three Lalor Lions were selected as candidates.

The goals of the event, and previous activities leading up to it, were to: (1) empower and inspire our students and families to be active participants in 2016 Presidential Election, and politics on EVERY level thereafter, and (2) elect our official Lion Mascot to be featured on all school paraphernalia and official letterhead.  The members of the Lalor Community- students, families, staff, and community members- were encouraged to come out and vote.

Parent Jessical Neel remarked, “Lalor elementary has some of the most dedicated staff in Hamilton Township. Thank you for everything you do for our children.”

Students presented their persuasive essays, Mr. Zaher brought down the house with a patriotic medley, and community leaders from across New Jersey, including Hamilton Township Council President Ileana Schirmer, the Honorable Judge Harold George, Campaign Director Dwaine Williamson, Princeton Municipal Advisory Committee Member Leah Williamson, Puerto Rican Civic Association, Ecuadorian Civic Association, Hamilton Democrats, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and Herbalife espoused the vital importance of voting to children and adults alike. Educational representatives included Director of Elementary Education Jay Morris, Cameraman Mike Delia, Social Studies Supervisor Erick Shio, as well as Board of Education members Christopher Scales, Pamela Kelly, and Susan Ferrara. A special thank you to Larry A. Mungin CPA and Associations, LLC. for donating cookies!

Thank you to the educators at Lalor Elementary School for an amazing community event!

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Meet & Greet with the BOE Candidates

On October 19th, HTEA hosted an opportunity for members and the public to hear from the Board of Education candidates and ask some questions of their own. We hope we have provided an informative and fair evening in which Board Candidates and the public alike could express their opinions.

The five of six candidates who agreed to the community event were asked about their qualifications, budgeting, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the role of Educational Support Professionals, the threat of privatization, taping and broadcasting meetings, athletics and fine arts, bullying, diversity and inclusion, and the elimination of Elementary-level Spanish courses.

For those who attended, please help get the word out and share your impressions of the candidates!

A special Thank You to HTPTA President Jennifer DiNatale, MCPTA President Nancy Rudolph Myers, NJEA GR Director Fran Pfeffer, NJEA Field Rep Alex DeVicaris, Assemblyman Dan Benson, Congressional Candidate Lorna Phillipson, NJ Weddings and Events for catering, and the Nottingham Ballroom for the venue.

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HTEA Endorses Marie Blistan for NJEA President

HTEA is proud to endorse Marie Blistan for NJEA President, Sean Spiller for Vice President and Steve Beatty for Secretary-Treasurer!




PRIDE Hosts the Aug. 31 International Overdose Awareness Day Talk

The HTEA joined with local overdose and addiction prevention organizations, law enforcement, administrators, politicians, recovering addicts, and other community stakeholders at the Nottingham Ballroom to discuss the importance of full-community involvement in combating the disease of addiction.

Attendees were also given the opportunity to attend a workshop on how to properly administer potentially lifesaving Naloxone in the event of an overdose.

Thank you to The Overdose Prevention Awareness Corporation (TOPAC), City of Angels, Recovery Advocates of America, and others for their work on this vital cause. Additional thank yous to New Jersey Weddings and Events for catering and the Nottingham Ballroom for the venue.

Donations during a Dress-Down Day to benefit TOPAC will also be held across the schools.

PRIDE Hosts the HTEA Family Picnic!

This August 26th, at the German American Club, PRIDE hosted a picnic in appreciation and recognition of our Custodians, Field Maintenance, Facilities, and Warehouse employees. Members and their families gathered for a day of great music, food, games, and raffles – with special guests from the NJEA. Thanks to our members for their hard work! A special thanks to the Polish Nannies, Q Bros Ice Cream, the HTSSA, and the German-American Society of Trenton for the venue and food.

The Polish Nannies brought the house down with great music throughout the entire picnic!

The Q Bros Ice Cream truck arrived to beat the Summer heat!

Bringing Little Free Libraries to Our Schools

During the Spring of 2016, PRIDE collected and funded the refurbishing of three newspaper stands from The Trentonian, transforming them into “Little Free Libraries” at Langtree, Mercerville, and Wilson Elementary Schools. The aim of the project was to let students take a book and leave a book at any time, in order to promote literacy through the joy of reading. Donated books are continuously added, but the first covered multicultural experiences, math, and science. Dedication ceremonies at schools were held to honor two beloved teachers: Joyce Palumbo and Ken McCaffrey.

Thanks to The Trentonian for providing the newspaper stands; Michael Friedman for refurbishing them; art teachers Krista Kandebo, Sherry Mahon, Kimberly Cannizzaro, and all their students for their beautiful decorations; and a heartfelt thank you to the families of Joyce Palumbo and Ken McCaffrey.

Wilson Elementary's Little Free Library, decorated by Sherry Mahon

Mercerville Elementary's Library, decorated by Kim Cannizzaro and her art class


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