PHOTO: Left to right, Emma Werth of Sea Bright, Colin Swain of Rumson and Evelyn Pierce of Oceanport address the audience of family and friends.

RUMSON, NJ – Friday, June 8th was a big day in the lives of twenty-eight Kindergarten students at Holy Cross School. At Kindergarten graduation, they showed off all they learned this year. After reciting their daily prayers and the Pledge of Alligiance, they sang songs, several in Spanish, and took turns at the microphone speaking to the audience of family and friends. Now they are ready for First Grade! The teachers who guide them through this transition reflect on the importance of these years in children’s lives and the joy they receive from teaching them.

Mrs. Rosemary Bell shares, “I love teaching Kindergarten, because it is such an amazing year in a child's development.  The growth a child has from September to June is wonderful.  You can see how the child learns: letters have sounds which make up words; suddenly the light bulb goes off and the child is reading!  Our curriculum enables the child to learn the skills that will foster life-long learning through Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.  We focus on the development of the whole child by also having Religion, Art, Music, Spanish and Gym, enabling each child to learn the skills to flourish academically, socially and spiritually. It is a joy working at Holy Cross, especially in Kindergarten where I am able to help the child develop a strong foundation for life.”

Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Beverly McDonald explains, “Holy Cross School gives students the very best start in life. We have very strong academics and are a Blue Ribbon school, but it is the the spiritual and religious aspects of our curriculum that make it truly comprehensive. Our students are well-rounded and independent, because we give them the tools they need to succeed as individuals, inlcuding a formal and challenging academic curriculum, the latest technological resources, creative self-assessment strategies, and most importantly love and understanding through prayer and the teachings of Jesus. What we give is priceless.”

Miss Melissa Enna states, “I have been a Holy Cross First Grade teacher since 2001, and I am always so thrilled at the end of each year to see the academic and spiritual growth of each of my students. I love teaching and forming beginning students, and I try to instill in them every day a love of learning and a love of God.” In First Grade, students will put their Integrated Language Arts to further practice with daily manuscript writing. Miss Enna shared that she gives her students choices for use of their free time each day. This year, her class has independently committed that free time to writing books in addition to their daily writing assignments. They work together in groups, come up with stories and illustrations and make books every day. What better validation could a teacher receive?

PHOTO: Michael Trafficante of Rumson and Julianne Spiropolous of Fair Haven offer the opening prayer at Kindergarten graduation.

Mrs. Robin Arnheiter also teaches First Grade and is in her twenty-sixth year of teaching and her eleventh year at Holy Cross School. She shares, “First grade is a magical year. I am always amazed at the tremendous progress and growth the children make throughout the year. I love how lively, engaging and inquisitive their little minds can be. My philosophy is to instill a love of learning in each and every child while watching them become independent readers and writers. Our math program allows for many hands-on and interactive lessons. Our students are encouraged to develop their God-given talents.”

Mrs. McDonald concludes, “In a world of constant changes and outside pressures, our children are exposed to new challenges and things that are difficult for them to understand. At our school, we can turn to God, Jesus, prayer, community and faith.”

Holy Cross School, a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in Rumson, is now enrolling for the 2018-19 school year. For more information, visit www.holycrossschoolrumson.org or call 732-842-0348.