School Staff Making Final Preparations

Verona, Cedar Grove prepare for first day of classes with new staff, new principal at North End School.


Verona and Cedar Grove students won’t be the only ones going through growing pains this fall when school returns.

Both districts will feature new administrators and especially new teachers when school opens shortly.

The most notable Cedar Grove change was the retirement of North End Elementary School principal Dr. Lawrence Neugebauer.

Cedar Grove Superintendent Dr. Gene Polles named Traci Dyer as his replacement, describing Dyer in a letter to parents as “extremely knowledgeable and experienced in elementary education” and welcoming Dyer as “an integral member of the administrative team here in Cedar Grove.”

In his letter, Polles praised Dyer as someone who has held educational positions as an Early Childhood and Elementary Education Teacher, a Special Education Teacher, Elementary Assistant Principal and Elementary Principal since 2006.

Dyer said she is “looking forward to serving the North End School community” and said she hopes to bring her commitment and excitement to the school, as well as “the experiences I have had during my past 20 years as an educator.”

She said she looks forward to have been given the opportunity and a successful school year.

"All the new hires for Cedar Grove will enhance our district based upon their individual backgrounds and experiences in education as well as from the business sector," said Polles.

In Verona, there will be several changes when school doors open for the new school year.

On Aug. 30, the district held a new teacher orientation for all new hires, where officials discussed topics such as the district's strategic plans and what it means to be an effective teacher.

“One of the greatest assets of new teachers is that they bring a new perspective to the district,” said Director of Curriculum Liz Jewett. “This is a very diverse group with a wide array of talents.”

“I've done my student teaching and have been subbing for the Verona School District,” said Vocal and General Music teacher Vincent Peri, who will teach at both the Laning and Forest Avenue schools.

Peri praised the district, saying, “Everyone is super supportive and every school has a family atmosphere. I look forward to building a rapport with students, working with them and seeing their educational growth.”

“It's (teaching in the district) my honor,” said Jenny Qin, Mandarin teacher at the Cedar Grove Memorial Middle School. “It's a very good district, one of the top in New Jersey. I feel very warm and it's like a lovely family.”

New hires include:

  • Kara Passage, special education at F.N. Brown.
  • Gillian Aldworth, speech at Forest Avenue.
  • Melissa Wallerstein, social studies at Verona High School.
  • Mitch Roshong, business at Verona High School.
  • Corisa Walker, media at F.N. Brown and Brookdale Avenue Schools.
  • Mirja Paula, spanish at H.B. Whitehorn.
  • Deb Aldiero, nurse at H.B. Whitehorn.
  • Joy Cleveland, speech/language Specialist at Forest Avenue.
  • Jessica Calvo, Spanish at Verona High School.
  • Lauren Besante, district behaviorist.
  • Katelyn Finley, math at H.B. Whitehorn.
  • Paul Moschella, sixth-grade at H.B. Whitehorn.
  • Larry Siegal, gifted and talented for kindergarten through grade 4.
  • Cindy Costanza as district technology manager.


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