The Close of a Busy School Year

Posted on by Michele Russo, Poetry Program Coordinator

Spotswood High School Students with Dodge Poet Emari DiGiorgio. Photo Credit: Lauren Rutten
Students from North Star Academy in Newark listen to a reading. Photo Credit: Lauren Rutten

This spring was a flurry of activity for the Dodge Poetry Program.  Between the Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain program for teachers, the Poetry in the Schools program, and preparation for the 2014 Festival, we have been buzzing from one thing to the next.  Today, we want to take a moment to thank the teachers and faculty who are instrumental in making our High School programs a success. These teachers do a great deal of legwork so that their students have the opportunity to connect with poets and poetry.  This extra responsibility includes fundraising, scheduling, providing hospitality, securing audiovisual equipment, inviting local media, and much more.  We are so grateful for their efforts and for their enduring commitment to poetry.  If you’re interested in hosting a Dodge Poetry event during the 2014-2015 school year, please contact us at

We also want to thank the Dodge Poets whose talent, energy, openness and compassion inspire students to read and listen more deeply, and to discover their own connection to poetry. You can get to know more about each of our Dodge Poets through the Dodge Poet Spotlight blog series.

This school year, our poets met with over 4,000 New Jersey students. We could not have done it without the following individuals:

Academy for Urban Leadership Charter High School, Perth Amboy
Sarah Caddle, English Teacher
Dodge Poet:  Michael Cirelli

Central Regional High School, Bayville
Kim Lytle, English Teacher
Dr. Mueller, English Department Chair
Dodge Poet:  Robert Carnevale

Cherry Hill High School East
Skye Silverstein & Alicia DeMarco, English Teachers
Dodge Poet:  JC Todd

Cherry Hill High School West
Derrick Owings, English Teacher
Dodge Poet:  JC Todd

Cinnaminson High School
Amy O’Hearn, English Teacher
Dodge Poet: Peter Murphy

Colonia High School
Luisa Athanasakos, ESL Teacher
Dodge Poet:  Gretna Wilkinson

Communications High School, Belmar
Jaime Vander Velde, English Teacher
Dodge Poet: BJ Ward

Cumberland Regional High School, Bridgeton
Bob Evans, English Teacher
Dodge Poets: Christine E. Salvatore, JC Todd, Gretna Wilkinson
Special Guest Poet: Charlie Bondhus
Featured Poet:  Kurtis Lamkin

East Brunswick High School
Megan Manetta, English Department Chair
Dodge Poets: Robert Carnevale, Stephanie Cawley, Emari DiGiorgio, Therese Halscheid, Khalil Murrell, Gregory Pardlo, BJ Ward, Gretna Wilkinson

Holmdel High School
Margaret McDonald, English Teacher
Dodge Poets:  Maria Gillan, Peter Murphy, Gregory Pardlo, BJ Ward

Lakewood High School
Rosemary Towle, Literacy Coach
Dodge Poet:  Gretna Wilkinson

Lyndhurst High School
Lisa Klein, English Teacher
Dodge Poet:  Cat Doty

Millville Senior High School
Kathleen Galarza, Librarian
Dodge Poet:  Peter Murphy

North Star College Preparatory High School, Newark
Mike Taubman, English Department Chair
Michael Mann, Head of School
Dodge Poets: Grisel Acosta, Robert Carnevale, Martin Farawell (substitute), Vincent Toro, Gretna Wilkinson

Science Park High School, Newark
Karen Gaylord, Community Engagement Specialist
Dodge Poet:  Vincent Toro

Seneca High School, Tabernacle
John Bowden, English Department Supervisor
Beth Strittmatter, English Teacher
Dodge Poets:  Stephanie Cawley, Charles Johnson, Peter Murphy, Christine E. Salvatore, JC Todd

School of Architecture and Construction Trades at JFK High School, Paterson
Gina DiRienzi, English Teacher
Dodge Poet: Gretna Wilkinson

Southern Regional High School, Manahawkin
Darlene Parks, Teacher/Supervisor of English, Art, Business, Family & Consumer Sciences
Jean Piscopo, English Teacher
Dodge Poet:  Crystal Bacon

Spotswood High School
Maureen McVeigh-Berzok, Supervisor of World Languages
Dodge Poets: John McDermott, Bridget Talone, BJ Ward

University High School, Newark
Donna Grape, English Teacher
Dodge Poet:  Vincent Toro

Voorhees High School, Glen Gardner
Terry Leyland, English Teacher
Richard Broan, English Supervisor
Dodge Poets: Emari DiGiorgio, Michael Cirelli, Lois Harrod, Charles Johnson, Christine E. Salvatore, Joe Weil

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