Excellence (Friday 4/30/2021) – The School that raises the most money will be presented with an award to display in their school for a job well done!
Thank you for taking part in our Virtual Walk Down Memory Lane.
SRFEE strives to be the Pillars of Support for the South River School District and we can not achieve our goals without YOUR help.
Educational (Thursday 4/29/2021) – Scholarship & Grant recipient highlights.
April 16, 2021 – Virtual Weather Assembly
Shout Out from John Marshall
2019 Grant Recipients
Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Program
Beginning in April 2019 – July 2019, Ms. Robin from Kaye-Lynn Dance Studio in East Brunswick visited our Special Education Preschool Students 4 times to provide dance and gross motor movement instruction to our students. Ms. Robin is certified in the Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Program, which certifies dance educators to provide dance instruction to students with Special Needs.
This was a wonderful opportunity to not only expose our students to dance and movement classes, but also provide them with an opportunity to enjoy new leisure skills while building appropriate social skills.
Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to enhance our Preschool Special Education Program through your generous support.
Kore Kids Wobble Chair
2017-2018 Mini Grant Recipients
Escape Room Kit
During the 2017-18 school year, I applied for an SRFEE mini-grant in the hopes of getting an escape room kit that would enable me to create dynamic lessons for students to practice a multitude of skills in a variety of content areas. The kit included the materials necessary (assorted locking mechanisms, decoders, etc.) as well as access to an online platform that offered the lessons and hints for the escape room. The lessons were, indeed, dynamic, and were very much enjoyed by all who participated. I have attached a short video of my former students “escaping” at the end of a lesson.Patricia Crowdell, ELA Teacher, South River Middle School
I would like to thank SRFEE for their continued efforts to foster excellence in our community and schools.
2016 Mini Grant Recipients
While students and staff presently have access to laptops, it wasn’t that way in 2016. However, at that time I had the opportunity to apply for a mini-grant to purchase a laptop to utilize in my classroom. After being awarded the grant, having the laptop in the classroom was extremely beneficial. My students were able to learn basic computer skills. They were able to search for jobs and explore different types of job applications. Having this laptop early on was a great asset to have in the classroom and I am extremely grateful to have been awarded the mini-grant from SRFEE.Jenai Damatta, High School Life Skills Class
I along with Cassie Juba and Christine Kilduff received a mini grant to take our special education students on a field trip. Our students are in a self contained classroom setting and benefit from hands-on experiences. We decided to take them to the Turtle Back Zoo. The students were able to experience the zoo, for many the first time to see and touch the animals. Some of the students are now in high school and still talk about the experience. Thank you SRFEE for making this experience possible for us. You are very much appreciated.Diane Rondesko, South River Special Education Teacher
Raising (Tuesday 4/27/2021) – our fundraising goal is to raise (a minimum) of $5.00 per student in our School District.
2018 – Past Fun with the Harlem Wizards
Nancy Roque-Soares is a Teacher for South River Middle School. She has been an Educator since 1999 teaching the subject of Spanish. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish. Mrs. Roque-Soares has been a lifetime resident of South River, born to Portuguese parents, with her first language being Portuguese. She always saw the difficulties others had when faced with language barriers. She identified with those who struggled and this was why she decided to become a teacher.
As a daughter, sister, wife and mother, Nancy has always had a passion to help others. Beginning with her dedication to her students as a full-time teacher, Mrs. Roque-Soares extends her unending support to her students’ parents as well. Her outreach to her students’ families displays her commitment to the community, as she also leads the Women’s Ministry at the CDA Church in South River. In addition, her volunteer efforts include being a translator for the church’s services.
Amongst all of her endeavors, Nancy is a devoted mother to her 15-year-old son, Eric. While she enjoys all of her many other roles, being a Soccer Mom is one that she enjoys the most! As a teacher, a volunteer and a strong advocate for her community, Mrs. Roques-Soares dedicates her life to helping others. All throughout, she is there for her family, as she lovingly cares for her parents, in the same ways they love and support her.
Within family, church, and community, Nancy Roque-Soares is an Educator of Excellence. She is a teacher that knows that education is not limited to the classroom and she teaches from the heart. When it comes to Mrs. Roque-Soares, there are no language barriers with her smile.
To quote Flora Lewis, “Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things but learning another way to think about things”. For those who have ever experienced the challenge to understand and not be understood, Nancy Roque-Soares will be there for you, while inspiring the bravery to overcome.
Audrey Taylor began her illustrious career right here in her beloved hometown of South River as a student-athlete and phenomenal Basketball player. Her name is etched in SRHS history on a banner in the Gymnasium honoring those players with 1,000+ career points. This distinction, her all-around talent, and her grades would later earn her a full scholarship and further accolades at Monmouth University where she would double major in Communications and Information Technology and earn her Bachelor of Arts degree. Audrey utilized her degree to become a Web Manager for multiple projects in Corporate America for the past 11 years. She is currently is a freelance web designer for ISOP. However, the opportunity to share her time, talent and extensive Basketball experience was something she wanted to pursue. The first place she went was to her alma mater, South River High School. Unfortunately, the schedule conflicted with her employment. She would then go on to become Head Coach at Franklin High School for the past 9 seasons and the rest is literally….history.
Coach Taylor created a standard at Franklin HS “to be tough, defend, and play with your heart, with passion.” Audrey herself is a passionate advocate of giving back to her South River community. She has worked in conjunction with the South River Board of Education to provide backpacks and school supplies to free and reduced-lunch students. She also offers an annual no-cost basic-skills training session and organizes the well-known annual event – Ballin’ in the Park during the month of July.
Audrey mentors aspiring youth via the Passion 4Youth, Inc. which is a 501-c3 educational and athletic program she founded and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Seeing the widening gap between the privileged and those in need, Coach Taylor provides top-notch skill development at an affordable cost to those that would otherwise have to settle for much less or no formalized training. It is the foundation on which her T.R.U.E Skills Academy is built upon. Basketball players at the Middle and High School levels get an opportunity to learn from one of the best and are encouraged to aspire to BE the best! They also learn to give back by teaching the younger students in the program. A training session with Coach Audrey is a complete workout for your mind, body, and soul. She pours her passion for life, the game, the kids and for giving back, into each session. Mentor, Motivate, Confidence, Communication, Encouragement, Positivity are just some of the terms you associate with her. You can throw in Tough, Hard-Work, Rules, Expectations and it’s still a good day that always ends with “Good Job” and that bright smile!
Head Coach Audrey Taylor’s Accomplishments:
- 2019 USA Today All-USA Coach of the Year
- 2019 Ranked #12 Nationally (USA Today-Super 25)
- 2017 & 2019 Ranked #1 State of NJ
- 2019 Undefeated Season 34-0
- 2017 & 2019 NJISAA Tournament of Champion State Champions
- 2x Somerset County Champions (Back 2 Back) 2017 & 2019
- 4x Group 4 State Champions 2015-2019
- 4x Group 4 Sectional Champions 2014 -2019
- 2017 NJ.com (Star-Ledger) Coach of the Year
- 2017 USA Today Coach of the Year
- 2014 & 2017 Franklin High School Coach of the Year
- 2014 & 2017 Courier News Basketball Coach of the Year (Somerset County)
- 2016 & 2017 Skyland Conference Coach of the Year
Kevin J. Nielsen
Kevin J. Nielsen is the second of five children born to Carl and Patricia Nielsen. Kevin is a graduate of the South River High School Class of 1980 and has resided and or worked in South River his entire life.
Kevin and his wife Sandra have been married for 12 years and together have four boys, Brandon Pacheco, Mark Pacheco and our twins, Karl and Thomas Nielsen. All who are products of the South River School District
Kevin began his work with the Borough of South River as a utility meter reader in November of 1985. He expanded that service to the South River Police Department in August of 1989 after passing the Chiefs of Police entrance exam in the Spring/Summer of 1989.
Officer Nielsen was a graduate of the 51st Basic Police Training Class at Middlesex County College in January 1990. He was also a member of the Forty-Ninth Graduating class of The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Command and Leadership Academy. Formerly known as The West Point Command and Leadership Academy. After 13 years as an officer on the SRPD – he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on July 1, 2013, and was assigned to the Patrol Division of the South River Police Department where he remained until his retirement on June 30, 2019.
During his tenure with the SRPD, Sergeant Nielsen was assigned many different divisions: Traffic Safety Division, Detective Bureau & Patrol Division.
While assigned to the Traffic Safety Division, he was trained by Northwestern University Traffic Institute to investigate motor vehicle accidents. Kevin is certified in Motor Accident Investigation I and II. He was also trained by the University of North Florida Institute of Police Technology and Management, in the field of Inspection and Investigation of Commercial Vehicle Crashes.
While assigned to the Detective Bureau, he worked with the Middlesex County Narcotics Task Force from June of 1999 until July of 2000. There he worked with other jurisdictions to apprehend individuals making street-level buys of narcotics throughout the county. He also worked with officers from the Federal government, state police and other Counties on the “Club Drug Scene.”
Throughout his Law Enforcement Career, he has received numerous Letter of Commendation.
One of the many defining moments of his career while on patrol in July of 2004. He was the arresting officer of four (4) individuals who were members of the “Lakatosz Crime Family.” These members victimized an elderly resident of the borough. Sergeant Nielsen’s love and respect for his parents and the elderly in general, fueled his resolve even more to solve this particular case.
Kevin has worked within the community by supporting the Boy Scouts of America, and the New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
He is also a third-degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 3001.
Kevin found another way in which to serve his community. In April of 2010, he was elected to his First Term as a member of the South River Board of Education. This past November, he was re-elected to his Fourth Term and looks forward to continuing to serve his home town of South River.
Ms. Sylvia Zircher has been working with children and families for just over 20 years. She began her career as a social worker at Catholic Charities providing counseling and services for families in need. Shortly after she taught in Piscataway for nine years while raising her son and earning her Masters Degree In Educational Administration. Upon graduation, Ms. Zircher became the Assistant Principal at Ethel McKnight School in East Windsor and after one year was promoted to the Principal position. Ms. Zircher treasured her time as Principal of the McKnight School for the next six years before becoming the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Acting Superintendent in Hamilton School District while pursuing her doctoral degree.
While chatting with a colleague she heard about the vacancy for Superintendent in South River Public Schools. Ms. Zircher has always lived in Middlesex County, but wasn’t familiar with the community. After asking around she realized she knew several people from South River, knew people who had family in South River, or who had grown up in South River. They all shared the same sentiments. South River is a tight knit community of hard working people who share pride in its history, traditions, and accomplishments. After a year and a half as Superintendent of Schools in South River, Ms. Zircher is proud to share these same sentiments, and has genuinely enjoyed and appreciated being welcomed into the community. She feels that thanks to a great student body, parents and volunteers, our board, staff, and administrative team, the district faces a great future ahead!
Sgt. Edwin J. Yorek started his career in Law Enforcement in 2000 as a Special I Police Officer in Seaside Park New Jersey. In 2002 he graduated the 78th Class of Ocean County Police Academy with his full Police Training Commission Certificate and began working as a Special II Police Officer with Seaside Park Police Department. In June 2002 he began his career with the South River Police Department where he has served proudly for 17 years. In January of 2013 he was assigned to the agency’s Special Operations Division where his main responsibilities were Community Policing. In June of 2015 he was assigned additional responsibilities as the Traffic Safety Officer, which is within the Special Operations Division. In October of 2015 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and temporarily reassigned to the Patrol Division where he served for approximately 1 year supervising a patrol squad.
Sgt. Yorek has successfully completed numerous different training schools and seminars within his 17 year law enforcement career ranging from, but not limited to; Advanced Patrol Techniques, Defensive Tactics Instruction, Motor Vehicle Crash Investigation, Domestic Violence Investigation, Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Intermediate & Advanced Community Policing Methods, Method of Instruction, Field Training Officer Certification, and D.A.R.E. / L.E.A.D. School Drug Resistance Education Certifications. Sgt. Yorek has also successfully graduated from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police 52nd Command & Leadership Academy.
During his 5 years within the agency’s Community Policing and Traffic Safety Division Sgt. Yorek has been responsible for and implemented programs such as; Annual South River Police Department Public Safety Day & Bicycle Rodeos, South River Police Department Annual Basketball Free-throw Tournaments, Annual SRPD Junior Police Academies, 5th, 7th, & 9th Grade L.E.A.D. Drug Abuse & Resistance Education programs, South River High School 11th & 12th grade DWI/DUI Safety Awareness programs, Child Passenger Safety Seat Education, and Special Event Coordination. Sgt. Yorek has pioneered programs to educate the youth of South River such as the “Sober-Ride Police Taxi”, KDCOP 5th through 12th grade anti-bullying seminars, KDCOP anti-bullying “Parent Awareness” seminars, and Marc Mero’s exclusive “Champion of Choices” leadership seminars for the South River Middle School & High School.
Sgt. Yorek currently remains assigned to the agency’s Special Operations Division where he looks forward to continuing a rewarding career serving the residents of South River and working as a team with his fellow officers within the South River Police Department.
Tracey Bussell is a graduate of New York University, Stern School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. She worked in publishing for over twenty years as a Licensing Director. Throughout her publishing career, she worked with publishers and editors from around the world before she began her career as a teacher.
She now shares her education and past working experiences with her students.
Tracey Bussell has been a Business Teacher at South River High School for the past three years as her second career. What she loves most about being a teacher is that every day she helps her students explore and learn about the different opportunities and career choices the business world has to offer them. She also loves showing her students the business and financial literacy concepts that will enable them to make informed financial decisions in their personal lives.
As the advisor of the TV 36 club, Tracy volunteered to videotape the SRFEE Harlem Wizards Fundraiser last year to help. She also worked with her students to edit the video (using equipment supplied by an SRFEE grant) and helped advertise for this year’s Harlem Wizards Fundraiser.
When she was made aware the SRFEE Student Ambassadors were in search of an Advisor there was no hesitation in her response. She was happy to help what she considers a great organization. In addition, it was such as good group of young adults, who happened to be former or present students in her classes. She looks forward to continuing her second career both as a teacher and an advisor at South River High School.