New School Year Brings New Faces to Morris Hills!

Shreyas Agnihotri, Mehk Sethi, Natalie Johnson, Shefali Kumar, Shalaka Madge, Gaurav Sethi, Alexa Wyszkowski, and Adithya Vinod

Ms. Altman, an ESL teacher, says that so far, her experience at Morris Hills has been “wonderfully positive.” She says that “her supervisor, Mr. Melvin, always makes time for [her] and that her colleagues in the World Language department are supportive.” Specifically, Ms. Altman finds her experience here unique because of the resources she has. She has access to an iCoach, an open lab that provides one-on-one help with all things tech and any other teaching concerns. Ms. Altman often takes advantage of the workshops that iCoach offers during lunch blocks and after school to introduce new technologies to teachers that can improve the classroom environment. Overall, Ms. Altman looks forward to keep teaching at Morris Hills , where her “goal is to be a more effective teacher.”

Ms. Atencio, a new Spanish teacher, began her teaching career in January 2016. While she initially pursued a pre-medical track at William Paterson University, she soon discovered the joy of teaching people new languages during her transformative experience of volunteering at her church. She then became a customer service associate at Kmart, still keeping in mind her goal of becoming a teacher. In her spare time, Ms. Atencio participates in her church choir. She appreciates the welcoming atmosphere here at Morris Hills. She also loves the resources she has been provided with and admires the hardworking and goal-oriented student body.  

Spanish teacher, Sra. Cottis became a Spanish teacher because she loves traveling and learning new languages. Growing up in Brazil, Sra. Cottis primarily spoke Portuguese. There, she made it her mission to learn English, and when she came to the United States 25 years ago, she decided to learn another language and teach it. To do this, Sra. Cottis earned her Bachelor’s degree from Kean University. Currently, she is working on receiving a Master’s degree in Spanish Language and Culture from James Madison University and the University of Salamanca in Spain, where she spent her summer. Previously, Sra. Cottis taught Spanish in North Hunterdon, Manville, and Somerville. At Morris Hills, Sra. Cottis’ says she “loves how united the staff is” and “how all the departments support each other.”She loves how respectful and eager the students are to learn. Overall, she said, “Morris Hills feels like a family.” and she looks forward to continue teaching here.

Ms. Graf is a part-time guidance counselor here at Morris Hills. After completing her undergraduate studies in Music Education at Marywood University, she then received her graduate degree in School Counseling at Montclair State. Ms. Graf began her teaching career in 2008. She taught music for seven years in elementary schools in Jersey City before coming to Hills. She always loved music and enjoyed working with children, so she felt that teaching was a good fit for her. Her favorite part about Morris Hills is the people; she feels both the teachers and students are kind. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her family doing activities like hiking. Ms. Graf also likes to read and sew. In fact, Ms. Graf made her three-year-old daughter  an Ariel costume for Halloween.

Family and Consumer Science teacher, Ms. Godleski, attended East Carolina University and previously taught at North Arlington High School. At our school, she teaches Exploring Early Childhood, Food and Nutrition, and Intro to Education. Ms. Godleski became a teacher to make a positive difference in the lives of her students. In her free time she enjoys cooking, entertaining, and playing sports. Ms. Godleski extremely values the  welcoming, friendly, and passionate students and staff members here at Morris Hills.

Mr. Hartsuiker works in the music department at Morris Hills. He started teaching in 2000 in the Roxbury School District. He earned his bachelor’s degree from William Paterson University and his master’s degree from Messiah College. He decided to become a teacher because he loves working with kids and he loves music. Pursuing a career in music education is the ideal combination for Mr. Hartsuiker to pursue both his passions.  A fan of the NY Mets and the NY Giants, Mr. Hartsuiker enjoys following sports and spending time with his family. He appreciates how incredibly welcoming the students, faculty, administration, and parents have all been at Morris Hills.  

Mr. Higgins, a new history teacher at Morris Hills, brought the Anthropology class to our school. He received his Master of Arts Degree from Miskatonic University and previously taught in Hartford, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey. He teaches at both Morris Hills and Morris Knolls. As the Anthropology and Military History teacher, Mr. Higgins enjoys incorporating games like Risk and Stratego into his classes, working with students he has met through Ms. Bischer’s JSA, and spending time with colleagues. In his free time, he hikes, bicycles, snowboards, watches movies, and reads.  

Ms. Melendez teaches English at Morris Hills. She completed her undergraduate studies in English from Fairleigh Dickinson University and then did her MAT in Secondary Education at William Paterson University. Before coming here, Ms. Melendez taught at Lenape Valley Regional High School and Byram Township Intermediate school. A graduate of Morris Hills, Ms. Melendez has always loved the school’s community-nature. She feels that this sense of camaraderie has not changed since she graduated. Ms. Melendez became a teacher because one of her teachers at Copeland Middle School instilled in her a love of learning. She now teaches English 10 Honors and English 11 CPA at Morris Hills. In her spare time, Ms. Melendez likes to read and write, and she is currently writing a novel. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, including her Australian cattle dog, Bogart.

Ms. Nolfi, a graduate of William Paterson University, is an English teacher at Morris Hills. She teaches freshmen, juniors, and seniors. Although this is her first teaching job, Ms. Nolfi taught at Jefferson High School in order to complete her degree. She became a teacher because she wants to help her students become creative and critical thinkers while helping them realize their full potential. She loves literature and enjoys to share it with her students. In addition to literature, Ms. Nolfi is enthusiastic about baking and running. In fact, she takes part in many of the 5K races in her town. Her favorite thing about Morris Hills is its welcoming and supportive community.

Mr. Pelosi is a guidance counselor; after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, Labor Studies, and Employment Relations from Rutgers University, he received a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling at Montclair State University. Mr. Pelosi was previously a school counselor at Memorial Junior School in Hanover Township. In his free time, he coaches baseball, plays golf, goes to the movie theater, watches sports, and manages fantasy football squads. As someone who enjoys working with students, Mr. Pelosi loves helping students grow and assisting them with post-high school options. What he likes most about Morris Hills is the friendliness of the staff and students.

Ms. Sabatini is a business teacher who received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business in 1994 and her Master in Arts of Teaching in 2000 at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In 2014, she received her Master of Science in Athletic Training at Ramapo College. Ms. Sabatini teaches Intro to Computer Applications, Business Web Page Development, Multimedia, Gaming and Word Processing, and Internet Basics. Before teaching here, she taught at Westwood Regional High School. Ms. Sabatini enjoys spending time with her family. She said she truly appreciates the “awesome students and staff at Morris Hills.”

Mr. Trisler is an electricity teacher at Morris Hills. He attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and this is his first year teaching. He teaches at both Morris Hills and Morris Knolls. Mr. Trisler to decided to become a teacher when he was a student at Morris Knolls and took an independent study to student teach at Valley View Middle School. In his free time he plays in a band that performs in Denville and Rockaway. He also likes to go out with friends. What Mr. Trisler likes most about Morris Hills is that every teacher from every department is willing to help him reach success.

Ms. Vittorio is an English teacher at Morris Hills. After attending Muhlenberg College, she is now teaching full-time at our school. Ms. Vittorio is currently teaching freshmen and sophomores. In her free time she enjoys coaching, playing sports, and spending time with her family and friends. Ms. Vittorio became a teacher in hopes of leaving an impact on the future generation. She loves that everyone is very kind, supportive, and positive at our school.

Mr. Wanamaker, a new history teacher, is beginning his first year at Morris Hills but his sixth year teaching overall. Prior to his time here, Mr. Wanamaker was a middle school teacher in both Dover and West Orange. Before that, he majored in history with a minor in psychology as an undergraduate at Montclair State University. Mr. Wanamaker has also received certification to teach special education classes at Rutgers University. Mr. Wanamaker explained that teaching is a career that runs in his family. “A lot of my family members are teachers, police officers, and firefighters,” he explained. “So a job in a field that helps people just makes sense.” Mr. Wanamaker is enjoying his time at Morris Hills so far and finds the  staff as well as administrators to be friendly and very accessible. He’s excited to serve as a football, wrestling, and lacrosse coach in addition to teaching.