History — Past and Present
September 1968: Birches School opened. The school housed two classes of grades K-6 and eleven sections of 7th graders. In 1968, Mrs. Zycinsky, past principal, taught 5th grade. Mr. Tom Flemming, past superintendent, taught Art, and Mrs. Maciunas, media specialist, was a 7th grade student.
September 1988: Last year Birches housed grades K-6. Birches was bulging with 731 students.
September 1989: Birches housed students in grades 1-5. Sixth graders went to OVMS and Kindergartners went to ECC.
October 1995: Passing of 49.7M bond referendum that included an addition to Birches School.
September 1997: Completion of new addition and renovations.
September 1998: 30th anniversary of Birches School."Celebrating Thirty Years of Excellence"
2004-2005: Governor’s School of Excellence Award
1968-1974: Michael Tamaska
1974-1975: Joseph Indriso
1975-1976: Vince Cavalea
1976-1979: Joseph Indriso
1979-1981: Faith Divasek
1981-1984: Vince Cavalea
1984-1989: Margaret Zycinsky
1989-1994: Winifred Powel
1994-2007: Margaret Zycinsky
2007-present: Annette Miller
Birches, Wedgwood and Whitman Schools Earn Governor’s School of Excellence Award!
Three Washington Township Elementary Schools are recipients of the 2004-2005 Governor’s School of Excellence Awards from the New Jersey Department of Education. Birches School was one of twenty two schools statewide cited for their “significant improvements in academic achievement as measured by state test scores in language arts and mathematics,” using 2001-2002 as a baseline. Professional development, test scores and technology helped Birches School qualify for the award. The school’s literacy rate has gone from 46 to 94 percent proficiency in the past five years.
The Governor’s School of Excellence is a highly coveted award that validates all of the worthwhile programming and exceptional achievement that sets schools apart. In addition to acknowledging academic achievement, the Governor’s Award recognizes schools for advances relating to growth in literacy, parental involvement, community partnerships, the use of instructional technology, improved learning for special needs and/or specialized populations and professional development. Birches School applied and competed for the award. The school will use the $25, 000 awarded to enhance student achievement and support continuous school improvement.
“The Governor’s School of Excellence Awards program celebrates schools that are steadfast in improving and providing the very best for their students,” Education Commissioner William L. Librera said. “While we have myriad schools throughout the state who demonstrate success on a daily basis, this important program celebrates the steps some schools have taken to improve, and the hope that they will be at the forefront of education in the future.”