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posted: Tue, Oct 18th, 2016

Welcome new faculty members - part 2

Mount Olive Middle School welcomed several new faculty members this year who are brand new to the district. Here's a look at three of them:

Krista Fetherman (language arts) comes to MOMS from a parochial school where she taught middle school language arts for three years.

"I bring a sincere passion for teaching and learning to the classroom," said Ms. Fetherman. "I am continually in search of knowledge and new information, and I want my students to develop that same life-long thirst for knowledge." 

Her 102-year-old-grandmother always encourages her to live life to the fullest and Ms. Fetherman embraces that advice. When she's not in class you can find her traveling, hiking, and exploring caves. She also likes to try out new recipes from different cultures and collects fossils, unique rocks, and shark teeth.

The Disney aficionado (she's been to Disney World more than a dozen times!) grew up in Wharton and is married with three children.

She received her bachelor's degree in education from Felician University where she also minored in English.


Joanna Scarangello (music) found her career path by combining her love of music with the inspiration from her mother, a middle school English teacher.

"I always loved going to visit my mom at school and help her set up her classroom," said Ms. Scarangello. "And music was always a passion of mine from a young age, so being a music teacher brought together two great loves. In music, it's important for the teacher to not only be an accomplished performer but to have a passion for the art of teaching as well."

Ms. Scarangello, a soloist and chorister with local opera and professional choral organizations, spent the past eight years at Briarcliff Middle School in the Mountain Lakes School District. There she taught general music as well as the school's choirs.

She's married and has her hands full as the mom of two young boys, Luke who is 2 and Reid who is just 7 months. A native of Hackettstown, Ms. Scarangello is in the process of moving with her family to a new home there this month.

Ms. Scarangello holds a bachelor's in music education from Lycoming College, where she majored in voice and minored in piano, and earned a master's in music education from Montclair State University. 


Kristen Windish (science) obviously made a good impression. She spent much of last year right here at MOMS, filling in as a long-term leave replacement in the science department. She's now an official part of the full-time school faculty.

"I'm so excited and appreciative to have been asked back to teach at MOMS this year," she said.

Ms. Windish completed her student teaching a mile or so away at Tinc Road and also worked in the Mount Arlington School District where she grew up and currently resides.

"I became an educator because I've always wanted to help others," she said. "It's an amazing feeling when you see the 'light bulb' go on in a student at the moment when they understand a new concept. It's so gratifying to knowing that I helped that child better understand the world."

Ms. Windish holds a bachelor's from William Paterson University where she studied elementary education and special education. When she's not at work she enjoys playing with her dogs – Callie, Bentley, and Buddy – at the Dog Park at Turkey Brook. She's also an avid hockey fan and likes to attend as many New Jersey Devils games as she can each season.

Making a difference in the world

Alainie Costas with some new friends in West Africa

Alainie Costas, a Massachusetts nurse, recently showed MOMS students the rewards of volunteerism and the true impact that people can have on others. 

Ms. Costas spent an entire school day speaking to students via Skype about her experiences volunteering on Mercy Ships – hospital ships that provide free medical care to developing countries. On three separate tours lasting several months each, she treated patients in the West African countries of Benin, Togo, and Sierra Leon. Ms. Costas described in detail what life is like in these poverty-stricken nations and her service on the medical teams that provided orthopedic, reconstructive, and general surgeries.

MOMS library media specialist David Eisenberg, a friend of Ms. Costas, arranged the presentations and created a sample lesson plan for teachers to use. All seventh grade science classes attended, as well as G&T and character education classes. At the end of the presentations, students asked questions about Ms. Costas' work, the types of medical care provided on the ships, and about the living conditions of the countries she visited. 

"The discussions provided students with the opportunity to see what a difference they themselves could make in the world with the right education," said Mr. Eisenberg. "So much good can done in the world if people bring their skills and passions to those who need it most."

Parts of the presentations tugged on the heart strings, both for students and staff. Particularly affecting were the before and after photographs of patients treated for facial and bodily abnormalities such as club feet, tumors, and cleft lips and palates. The patients, many of whom had suffered from their conditions for decades, saw their lives radically transformed as a result of their procedures.

"I just thought it was amazing for her to volunteer so much of her time and do this and change lives," said eighth-grader Hailey Carlo. "She's a real life hero."

Ms. Costas' presentations and photographs also provided a window into the Third World. Since many of those treated by Mercy Ships are children, the MOMS students saw just how much their lives differ from the children in much of Africa. 

"It was hard seeing kids growing up in such poverty and without medical care and all the things we have," Hailey said. "It make you aware of how luck you are. I'm safe, I have clothes, I have a great home... All these things we take for granted these kids dream of." 

According to the Mercy Ships website, the organization has helped 2.5 million people in nearly 600 ports of call.

Ms. Costas most recently spent six months volunteering as a nursing instructor for a new nursing school located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India.

On a day to be evaluated for possible treatment, hundreds of people travel to the ports of call of the hospital ships

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Mount Olive Middle School
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