auction PTA School Seth Boyden News

Another Incredible Seth Boyden Auction!

Woodland decorated for 2020 seth boyden auction
Photo by Patricia Sanchez.

The Seth Boyden Beer Garden auction, presented by Adamson Ramsey Homes, was a huge success! This is a massive collaborative effort, and it takes our entire Seth Boyden community to make it happen. 

We owe a special thanks this year to Lauren and John Byers for leading the charge, and to Kelly Sanders, Anna Herbst, Kerstin Diehn and all of the auction committee members who worked so hard for many months to put this event together. 

The food from Bradford’s Barr was delicious; the cheese table from Maplewood Wheelhouse was a huge hit; the craft brews from Four City Brewing and SOMA Brewing were on point; the decor by Patricia Sanchez was perfect; Nate Diana’s craftsmanship was on display with the stunning photo arbor; DJ Jen Jones Grieci did an amazing job as always; our bartenders were slinging drinks all night; and an army of volunteers sold tickets, ran credit cards, set up and took down decorations, and generally pulled together to make it an epic and successful night for our school. 

Newsletter PTA School Seth Boyden News

Recess Knitting Returns! 

Thanks to PTA funding, we’re delighted to announce that students in grades 2-5 will have the opportunity to learn knitting during recess. Ms. Florence Gold—community member, avid knitter, and Beyond the Bell knitting instructor—will be working with interested students two days a week over a ten-week period. 

PTA School Seth Boyden News Two-Towns Turkey Trot

Turkey Trot 2019

turkey trot staff photo

Despite the 30-degree temperatures, we had more than 200 runners, walkers and trotters for our annual Turkey Trot on Saturday. Including all of the kids who did the fun run, we had a record number of participants! We owe a huge thanks to our race sponsors: Adamson Ramsey Homes, Artificial Greens & Lawns, CKO Kickboxing Maplewood, The Fox & Falcon and the South Orange PBA.

This year’s race honored our late friend and Seth Boyden educator Joann Montilus, who lost her battle with breast cancer four years ago. Our teachers helped raise more than $600 in memory of Joann for Mary’s Place by the Sea, a respite home for women who are receiving treatment for cancer. Joann loved spending time there.

Thanks to Maureen Davenport for organizing the event and to all of our volunteers and participants who made the event possible.

PTA School Seth Boyden News

Annual PTA Memberships

pta logoWe strongly encourage all parents to join our PTA every year. Your dues are crucial to our PTA’s success, and now joining is easier than ever. Just go to, choose the $10 “Individual” option, and follow the steps to sign up!

You can also download this membership form and send it, along with your payment, in your child’s backpack in an envelope marked “PTA Membership.”

Contact us with membership questions at [email protected]

PTA School Seth Boyden News

Looking for Library Volunteers

The library is ready for the new school year, and we are looking for parent volunteers to help the students check out books and put them back, which means Mrs. Poutre has more time to work with the students.

If you have even 20 minutes per week to volunteer, it will make a big difference in books being available for our students.

Please fill out this form with your availability and Marianne Lloyd will get in touch. There are hours available after school as well as when students come to the classroom.


Fundraising PTA School Seth Boyden News

Ice Cream Social Is Friday Night!

We need volunteers to make the night a success. Sign up for a fun and easy shift!


ice cream social flyer

PTA Seth Boyden News

2019-20 Calendar

See our calendar page for the latest!



PTA Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

First Day Packet Stuffing!

The first day of school is almost here and, before the big day, the PTA needs your help to assemble the first day packets from 9:30-12 on Wednesday, Sept. 4. These packets contain all of the documents that the kids will bring home with them on the first day of school.

To get this done we need all hands on deck! Come for 2 hours or 15 minutes… every little bit helps! It’s a good chance to get the inside scoop on the year ahead and a great time to catch up with other Seth Boyden families.

Coffee will be provided and your kids are welcome to come and play on the playground. The PTA hopes to see you there! Sign Up

PTA School Seth Boyden News

2019-20 School Supply Lists

Here’s what you’ll need for the first day of school. If you do your shopping on Amazon, remember to start at so that your purchases will benefit the Seth Boyden PTA.

PTA School Seth Boyden News

PTA Executive Board 2019-20

Next year’s PTA executive board members are listed below. Thanks to these four parents for stepping up to take on these important roles for our school:

  • President – Elizabeth Leonard Evangelista
  • Vice President – Denise Anderson
  • Secretary – Stacy Merriweather Fontil
  • Treasurer – Jane Buchanan
Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA School

Tuohy Wins National Award for Early Environmental Education

Maggie Tuohy wins Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Fund for Early Environmental Education
Maggie Tuohy receiving the award on Monday. Laura Gilkey, far right, led the nomination process, and Principal Shannon Glander, left, and Vice Principal Sheila Murphy, second from right, wrote letters on her behalf as part of the application.

Maggie Tuohy, who has worked tirelessly for years to instill a love of nature in Seth Boyden students and has been instrumental in the development of our school’s garden and Outdoor Learning Center, was recognized with a prestigious national award for early environmental education on Monday.

Seth Boyden alumni parent Laura Gilkey spearheaded Maggie’s nomination for the Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award, which is given to only a few people in the entire country each year. Principal Shannon Glander, Vice Principal Sheila Murphy, and former PTA Vice President Alison Poe also wrote letters on Maggie’s behalf and were on hand when she was surprised with the award. (The application was kept secret from Maggie in accordance with the rules.)

Join us in congratulating Maggie on this well-deserved accolade!

Events PTA School Seth Boyden News

Art and Music Show on Monday, May 6

We are having a combined art and music show at Seth Boyden on Monday, May 6. The art show will start at 6pm, and we hope you can come to see the amazing artwork our kids have been making all year.

The 5th grade orchestra and band and the 4th and 5th grade choruses will be performing in the auditorium starting at 7pm. Performers should wear a white shirt, black pants/capris/leggings/skirt, and black shoes. Ties are optional, and short sleeves are highly recommended.

Orchestra members should report to the library at 6:30pm, and band members should report to the library at 6:45. Chorus members who are not in band or orchestra should be in the auditorium at 6:30.

Please feel free to contact the music teachers with any questions: Ms. Bloch, Band ([email protected]), Mrs. Hershfield, Orchestra ([email protected]), and Ms. Van Doornik, Chorus ( [email protected]).


Events Fundraising PTA Seth Boyden News

Get Your Tickets to the Old School Hip Hop Party

This is always one of our most fun nights of the year. Get your tickets today!

Old School Hip Hop Party

PTA Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers Needed for Spring Events

Updated March 31, 2019

The PTA is looking for volunteers to manage the following events. These will not happen unless someone steps up, so please consider volunteering! The appreciation luncheons for teachers and lunch aides are particularly important!

  • Memorial Day Parade, May 27
  • Lunch Aide Appreciation Luncheon, May 3* – Important!
  • Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, May 8* — Important!
  • NJ Jackals baseball game meet-up
  • Snacks for Kindergarten Celebration of Learning and Growing, June 14, usually provided and staffed by first-grade families
  • Snacks for Fifth-Grade Moving-Up Ceremony, June 19
PTA School Seth Boyden News

Best Wishes in the Seth Boyden Yearbook!

Directions for submitting Best Wishes for this year’s yearbook are below. You can download the form here.

best wishes flyer

Events PTA School Seth Boyden News

Zapato Brothers Talk Avocados with Seth Boyden Students

zapato brothers
Rolando Zapato, left, and his brother Humberto.

Rolando Zapato, the head custodian at Seth Boyden, and his brother Humberto visited classrooms last week to share information about their family avocado farm in Colombia.

Their presentation included information about avocado farming and  childhood stories, and the students even got to taste guacamole. We are so fortunate to have Rolando’s expertise, kind heart and wealth of information at our school, and we look forward to hearing more from him.

Children's Arboretum Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News

Seth Boyden Wins New Jersey PTA Environmental Awareness Award

Seth Boyden will be honored later this month at the 2019 NJPTA Leadership Convention for our amazing Outdoor Learning Center and Children’s Arboretum. The years of hard work that our community has put into these amazing natural features at our school have earned us this year’s New Jersey PTA Environmental Awareness Award.


PTA PTA Meeting Minutes School Seth Boyden News

Seth Boyden PTA General Meeting Minutes, Feb. 11, 2019

Seth Boyden PTA General Meeting

Monday, February 11, 2019

Seth Boyden Library

Discussion about 5th Grade Musical

How do we get kids excited about the musical? Hold an assembly/rally with Kelly Heinz and the 5th graders. [Follow-up: Rally held 2/22.]

Minutes approved from January’s meeting

Assistant Principal Ms. Murphy’s Update:

Ms. VanDoornik invites the school to attend concert in Livingston that she is performing in.

Homework Club will be starting using Title I funds

5th grade musical packets going home on Friday

Ukulele and African drumming class for 3rd graders. Ms. VanDoornik will be helping.

Black History Month Celebration will be until 8PM

Request has been made to find out dates for NJSLA (new PARCC)

PTA has granted money for revival of Boyden Buzz. Parent Kristen O’Connor has volunteered to edit it. 2 teachers may help as well, if their PTA teacher grant proposal for it is approved.

Eye Exam bus – 50 people needed for them to come to SB. It would be from 117 during and after school day, March 19. PTA volunteer help is needed.

Restorative Practices Workshop was good.  Theme of Restorative Practices:  Healing the community after bullying or other incident.

Parenting Center Committee Report from Katherine Gebremedhin:

District has chosen the Controlled Choice model for integrating the elementary schools.

A consultant was hired to work with district- Principals, Superintendent, Ann Bodnar and Elizabeth Aaron.

Karen Weiland (Parenting Center Director) is chairing this committee of parents- 4 representatives per school, as well as for special education and preschool. Not much can be discussed by the goal is for parents to inform.

Committee is looking for more zoned parents. They are open to having more than 4 reps and  volunteers will not have to attend every meeting, so the more there are the better. – Ways to get out word: flyer (also translated to Haitian Creole) to pass out at pickup and aftercare. Also via class captains. [Follow-up: Parenting Center Liaison Katherine Gebremedhin reports that SB now has 5 zoned and 2 opt-in families representing the school, as well as 2 other opt-in SB parents in different roles on the committee.]

International (now Global) Potluck Update from Katherine Gebremedhin:

Proposal: Date change to Friday, May 5th to make it easier for families to attend.  [Follow-up:  Proper parties consulted and date changed.]

Flyer will be sent home for families to fill out what they will bring. Sign-up genius will be available too.

Doesn’t have to just be a food dish. It could be facts shared, games or other items representing a country, culture, tradition, or part of the country.

Name is changed to Global Celebration Potluck.

Hoping to have some kind of performance- either have someone come in, or have kids perform. Idea to have the African drumming class perform.

PTA VP Alison Poe’s Report

Upcoming events:

Roller skating party- Tuesday, March 26th (half day). Optional fee of $10. Volunteers needed

Hip Hop Party- April 27th

Communications system changes for district buses:

GPS on busses

Buses in communication with Principals and Principals will communicate to parents. Parents will not have direct communication with buses.

2019-2020 PTA Board

Trying to generate interest in new families to volunteer for positions.

2-3 VPs next year may be considered, but would have to be voted on by quorum at PTA general meeting.  Attendee asked if 2 presidents would be possible; Alison indicated that the bylaws didn’t seem to allow for it, but promised to follow up.  [Follow-up:  President Olivia Yearns confirmed that it’s not possible to rewrite the bylaws to add another president.]

Get the word out

Assemblies board position?

Some board members have indicated that they’re willing to stay on next year, e.g. Charlie Hanger in Communications (but a new Communications person will be needed for the following year, 2020-21)

Teacher Liaison Role is needed – current longtime Teacher Liaisons both have children graduating, will pass the baton for 2019-20

Open Forum

Question asked about substitute shortage- are specials teachers covering classes? Answer from teacher- yes.  Substitute shortage is district-wide, and at least partly the result of poor pay.

Does Title I go away with controlled choice? Answer from others- it will potentially be same amount of funding but spread across district.

PTA School Seth Boyden News Variety Show

Photos From the 2019 Variety Show

Variety Show 2019

Events PTA School Seth Boyden News

Jazz Concert for Black History Month

jazz concertSeth Boyden students and teachers had the privilege of hearing some great jazz during two assemblies on Thursday that featured a quintet from the Bufford School of Music in West Orange.

Drummer Greg Bufford led the band in playing different types of jazz for the audience, and talked to students about the music’s origins in Africa, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad,  Brazil, and the U.S.

The wonderful musicians (Belden Bullock on upright bass, David Braham on piano, Doris Spears on vocals, and Lance Bryant on saxophone) had kids and teachers dancing in their seats with their renditions of songs like Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train,” Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child,” and Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” along with examples of various types of jazz and rhythms from all over the world.

Mr. Bufford had students come up and play some beats with the band, got teachers and students to do the limbo, and ended each hour answering students’ questions about jazz, the musicians, and their instruments.  It was a fantastic addition to the school’s celebration of Black History Month; don’t be surprised if your SB student now wants to learn to play or sing jazz!

(Thanks to Susanna Einstein for the write-up and photos!)