Three Linden Schools Selected as Apple Distinguished Schools

(above) Kim Marie Kefalas working with students at School No. 10. Kefalas is technology teacher at School No. 8 and School No. 10 in Linden, which have been chosen as Apple Distinguished Schools.

Linden Schools No. 6, No. 8, & No. 10 Selected as Apple Distinguished Schools

Submitted by Gary Miller

Three Linden elementary schools have gained recognition as Apple Distinguished Schools for their continuous innovation in teaching with technology.

School No. 6, School No. 8 and School No. 10 have been recognized as centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching and school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

“We’re very excited to hear that three of our elementary schools have been recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools,” said Interim Superintendent Denise Cleary. “Our district partners with Apple to make sure all of our students have the tools they need to prepare for tomorrow, and this recognition for School No. 6, School No. 8, and School No. 10 highlights the results of that districtwide effort.”

“This is certainly a tremendous accomplishment for our school community,” said School No. 10 Principal David Walker. “Everything we do is for the benefit of our amazing students. Our teachers are committed to bringing their very best each day, to delivering high-quality instruction, and to integrating technology in the classroom in bold and dynamic ways. It is great to be recognized for the innovative work that we do as a school.”

School No. 8 Principal Michelle Rodriguez said she is incredibly proud to have been chosen once again as an Apple Distinguished School.

“Through this recognition, the school is celebrated for being a leader in innovation and technology coupled with quality instruction and student engagement,” she said. “This speaks volumes of our school climate and commitment to the betterment of the system and student success.”

School No. 6 Principal William Mastriano credited the school staff as well as the students’ strong desire to learn.

“It is a great honor to be recognized as a school that continues to move forward with technology, engagement and instruction,” he said. “It says a lot about the relationships between our teachers and students. Our School No. 6 learning community really worked together throughout this entire process. Students and teachers began with the end in mind and really showcased how our students take control of their own learning through the use of technology.”

The three-year distinction for the three schools runs through 2022. This is the second time School No. 6 and School No. 8 have been chosen as Apple Distinguished Schools, having also been selected in 2017.

Linden’s Technology One-to-One initiative is key to the success of students at all the Linden Public Schools, and School No. 6, School No. 8 and School No. 10 are models of that success. Each student is provided with an iPad tablet, and technology is infused into the curriculum in math, language arts, social studies, and science. The district’s elementary technology curriculum was expanded in the 2018-19 school year make it a standalone class for all students in Pre-K through Grade 5.

School No. 6 and School No. 8 are each home to about 340 students, and School No. 10 is home to 260 students, all covering Pre-K through Grade 5.

The technology teacher at School No. 8 and School No. 10 is Kim Marie Kefalas.

“I could not be more proud of that fact that both of the schools I work at are recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools,” Kefalas said. “This could not be possible without the dedicated vision of administration and the willingness of staff to constantly learn new things and enhance their instructional techniques. The students are the ones who benefit most. With the power of technology at their fingertips, they are becoming creators, innovators, and problem solvers, which are skills that are needed for 21st century learning.”

Also on the Apple Leadership Teams are Daria Vala, Angela Paternostro, and Heather Astalos at School No. 8; Linda Burt-Moquete, Karen Lapinski, Tara Ravkin, Laura Venezio, and Margaret Zucosky at School No. 10; and Kim Morek, Irene Feliciano, Maria Grillo, Linda Castaldo, Rachel Carson, and Melissa Higgins at School No. 6.

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