Ridgewood Public Schools: New RPS Teachers

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09/30/2021

This year, the district welcomed thirty new educators to the New Teacher Induction Program. During the four years on the path to tenure, the district’s goal is to provide sufficient support to develop excellent teachers who will engage in the best interests of our students while becoming teacher-leaders who will move forward. the mission of the district. and view.

I am delighted to be starting my 17th year of teaching Latin at Ridgewood. I was previously at Voorhees High School but the Ridgewood language program has such a strong reputation that I was happy to join the team here. Latin has always been a place where I have felt a sense of belonging, and I can’t wait to pass it on to a new group of students. In addition to teaching, I participate in the National Latin Exam, the American Classical League and I am preparing for an M.Ed. in learning design and technology.

Justine Capolongo, RISe Special Education Teacher, Benjamin Franklin Middle School
This is my sixth year of teaching and I am delighted to start my journey with the RISe program at BF. Education being a fulfilling career, I became an educator in honor of my late grandfather who encouraged patience and compassion. When I’m not at school I’m usually by the lake or hiking with my two dogs, Lenny and Hank.
I am delighted to be starting my 17th year of teaching Latin at Ridgewood. I was previously at Voorhees High School but the Ridgewood language program has such a strong reputation that I was happy to join the team here. Latin has always been a place where I have felt a sense of belonging, and I can’t wait to pass it on to a new group of students. In addition to teaching, I participate in the National Latin Exam, the American Classical League and I am preparing for an M.Ed. in learning design and technology.

Justine Capolongo, RISe Special Education Teacher, Benjamin Franklin Middle School

Natalie Cardillo, Music Teacher, Ridgewood High School My name is Mrs. Cardillo and I am the new director of the Ridgewood High School choir! I moved to the Baltimore, Maryland area, and I’m so happy to be back in class and hearing so many voices sing together again. When I was in high school I had a fabulous choir teacher named Mr. Ehrlich who helped me find my passion for teaching and studying music. I hope to help my students develop an appreciation for music throughout their lives and continue to make music professionally or just for fun. The RHS Music Department can’t wait to perform for you this year!

Christa Darakjy, science teacher, Ridgewood High School

My name is Christa Darakjy (pronounced duh-rock-G) and I teach biology in 9th grade. In my free time I like to read, run and travel. As a longtime resident of Bergen County, I am very happy to join the Ridgewood team!


Erica Hoff, Education Specialist, Orchard Elementary School
Christina Jannone, Health and Physical Education Teacher, Ridgewood High School

Laura Vargo, LDT-C, Ridgewood High School
I am originally from Bergen County and attended the College of New Jersey for my undergraduate degree and obtained my Masters in Educational Guidance from Montclair State University. I have worked as a school counselor and have been helping students with the university application process for over six years. In my spare time I like to watch sports (go Yankees!), Walk my dogs and cook. I also like to travel and learn new skills; I recently started playing tennis and had a great time at the US Open last summer. I am passionate about my role as a school counselor because my goal is to promote a supportive environment where students feel confident and connected to their school community.
Vanessa Veenstra, first grade teacher, Orchard Elementary School
My name is Vanessa Veenstra and I am delighted to be a part of the RPS community. I had the opportunity to replace maternity leave at Orchard School in the past, and I knew I was in a special school and in a special community. When I saw that I would have the opportunity to come back to Orchard, I knew I was going to join a school community where everyone was so supportive and welcoming. I’m so excited to be starting as a first grade teacher at Orchard, and can’t wait to see all the ways I can grow as a teacher at Ridgewood Public Schools!
William Veres, STEPSS Coach, Special Programs, RPS
My name is Mr. Veres. One of my passions in life besides my family and being in the great outdoors is my career in special education. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. There have been teachers in my family, and I have always respected the field. I always knew that I would have a career as a teacher, but I never knew that the path of my life would take me into the field of special education. Very little brings me the joy that I feel when I see students overcome the difficulties they have and are able to generalize and apply the skills learned in all aspects of their lives.
Rae Wine, LDT-C, Somerville Elementary School
My name is Rae Wine and I am a PERL (Program for Emotional Regulation Learning) teacher in Somerville. I became a special education teacher almost seven years ago to help students of all abilities empower themselves as learners in their own way. I couldn’t be more excited to join the Ridgewood community as I’ve heard it is the best of the best! I can’t wait to learn more and more about this wonderful community and how it works together to support each other!


This press release was produced by Ridgewood Public Schools. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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