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last updated: Mon, Jun 30th, 2014

Meet the new CMS principal

Kevin Moore, new CMS principal

Kevin Moore, former vice principal of Mount Olive Middle School, is the new CMS principal. He replaces Gayle Dierks who retired in June after 13 years of service to the district.

"I'm excited to bring my vision and experience to the students and staff of CMS," Mr. Moore said. “Every single person that I speak with raves about the CMS staff as being talented and caring educators. I’m looking forward to working with them and making my own contributions to the school. My educational philosophy is built on empowering teachers, respecting all members of the school community including students, and providing a support structure that allows students to reach their potentials." 

Mr. Moore has been with Mount Olive as middle school vice principal for three years. Prior to joining the district, he was an admissions counselor at County College of Morris; he previously taught social studies at Bayley-Ellard High School in Madison, New Jersey then served as the school’s athletic director.

For the past four years, Mr. Moore coached Mount Olive High School’s boys basketball team and led the squad to consecutive county championships (2013 and 2014). Soon after his appointment as CMS principal, he stepped down from his coaching duties to concentrate all his time and energy on his new role.

“Coaching was a wonderful experience,” said Mr. Moore. “We had a great run with some exciting, emotional wins. I’ll certainly miss the guys. We were such a family. I’d bring [now 10-year-old son] little Kevin to practices and games, and the players loved him. They were like big brothers.”

Mr. Moore holds a bachelor’s in political science from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia; a master’s in educational leadership from Seton Hall; and is currently in Seton Hall’s educational leadership doctoral program.

“Kevin Moore will be a top-notch principal and I’m excited that we have him to fill the shoes of a retiring principal who has brought so much to Mount Olive,” said Dr. Larrie Reynolds, superintendent of schools. “Kevin is affable, hardworking, and energetic, and brings to CMS his natural love of learning. He’s a charismatic leader and gives 100 percent to everything that he does.”

Mr. Moore is married with three children and lives in Long Valley. He is a technology aficionado, Ironman triathlete, and avid reader in his spare time, and enjoys following the Notre Dame football team and the Dallas Cowboys.

Angelina Manjarres discusses her research project with first grade teacher Serenity Daley

Exploring the world

First-graders at CMS won’t be taking a class trip to Australia any time soon – or South American, Asia, or any other continent for that matter. But if they did, they know what they would see when they arrived. 

The students recently completed a research project about the continents that combined language arts, social studies, and technology. The final product: a research brochure done by each student on one particular continent that describes such things as the land mass’s weather, sports, holidays, animals, food, and major landmarks.

The project began with a problem: Choose a continent (except Antarctica) and convince your teacher that your class should travel there by creating a compelling informational report that includes photographs and illustrations.

Each student first read an overview of the continents before the precise topic for study was chosen. 

“Most of the students in my class based their continent choices on the most interesting indigenous animals that live there,” said Serenity Daley, first grade teacher.  “A few children were interested in a certain continent because a family member had lived there or traveled there.” 

One of the most important components of the project was the research. Students used graphic organizers that taught them how to thoughtfully and effectively take notes and then structure the research for the final report. Each report was required to have at least one print and one Internet resource.

The students used desktops, laptops and tablets throughout the project. In addition to becoming familiar with finding reliable information on student-friendly websites, the students also learned basic computer skills such as inserting graphics from the Internet into Microsoft Word and then printing them out.

Students presented their final reports to their peers, which gave them the chance to practice their speaking and listening skills.

“This culminating writing activity allowed students to apply the various writing skills they've been learning and practicing all year into a project that showcases their hard work and progress,” Ms. Daley said.  “The integration of technology also gave students the opportunity to work on skills that will be so important for them later on in school and in life.”

Gianna Villanueva, top, works on a laptop; Jadelyn Anderson, middle, shares a laugh with first grade teacher Serenity Daley; Angelina Manjarres, above, hard at work researching a continent

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Chester M. Stephens Elementary School
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