WRNJ interviewed Dr. Frank Fischel, Mountain View principal, about the school's recent honor as one of the top 10 schools in the country in First In Math.
Below are two clips from that interview, courtesy of WRNJ.
Music in the air
This spring, Mountain View students filled the air with music.
Students participated in three special events over the past several weeks, highlighted by the show choir’s performance at the Music in the Parks Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The choir earned a “superior” rating – the highest rating the festival awards and the first “superior” rating in show choir history. The students performed two songs that they selected: the uplifting “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and “Home” by Phillip Phillips, an American Idol winner.
The show choir was judged on categories such as vocal quality, intonation, choreography, rhythm, and professionalism.
After performing, the students spent the afternoon at Dorney Park before returning for the festival awards where they learned of their achievement.
“They were amazed, they were thrilled,” said music teacher Laura Rutan. “We scored higher than the middle schools and some high schools that were there.”
The members of the show choir, all fourth- and fifth-graders, select their own music every year. For the spring concert, the students performed two additionl songs: “Let It Be” by The Beatles and “Celebration” by KC & The Sunshine Band.
“They have an incredible wealth of knowledge of music,” said Ms. Rutan. “It’s not just popular music from their generation. A lot of these kids take dance lessons or private music lessons and are exposed to so many different genres. Plus, they hear what their parents listen to and take it all in. They’re a special bunch of kids.”
Ms. Rutan directed many of the same students in the fifth grade musical, “Pirates 2: The Hidden Treasure.” The production is a sequel to “Pirates” which Ms. Rutan directed here at Mountain View six years ago. “Pirates 2” follows a group of treasure-seeking buccaneers who find themselves stranded on a deserted island and come to realize through the course of their musical adventures that their real treasure is friendship and family.
The musical was presented on June 3.
Singing and dancing took a backseat to rhythm a few days later when guest percussionist Josh Robinson made a return visit on June 8-11. His presentation was part of the Language of Music, a four-day artist in residence program from Young Audiences of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Flanders PTA once again, the program allowed students to explore the world of drumming. Using four simple words, students created various rhythms which they said, clapped, created movement individually and with a partner, and played on drums
The students, with the help of art teacher Laura Murdoch, also were taught how to make a drum using a five gallon bucket, packing tape, and duct tape. They designed their drums to show their own styles and creativity.
This was the third year that Mr. Robinson has been to Mountain View.
Taped to a wall for a good cause
Rob Greene recently found himself in a pretty sticky situation. Mountain View’s school psychologist was taped to a wall in the gym for charity. The physics-defying fundraiser made more than $1,000 to benefit the Elle Foundation, a local organization that grants wishes to seriously-ill children.
Mountain View students received strips of plastic tape (for $1 each) that they then personally affixed to Mr. Greene.
Physical education teachers Mike Schwartz and Mike Guli ran the event, with foundation founders Laurie and Dean Richmond there for support and encouragement.
“I think the kids learned the personal rewards of donating to charity and specifically donating to a charity that helps other kids,” said Mr. Schwartz. “It was a fun way to support such an important and worthwhile cause.”
This is the fourth year in which Mountain View has raised money for the foundation, which was named after the Richmonds’ daughter who lost a five-year battle with a rare form of brain cancer in 2008.
About 40 rolls of tape were used to suspend Mr. Greene, who decorated the wall for about an hour and a half.