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Popular West Orange Summer Enrichment Provides Exceptional Programs for Grades 2-8 Students

WEST ORANGE, NJ – A record number of 503 students in grades 2-8 enjoyed three weeks of exceptional academic and fine arts classes during the annual West Orange Summer Enrichment program, held at West Orange High School from June 27-July 22.

The program is run by Supervisor of Fine Arts Lou Quagliato, St. Cloud music teacher Scott Tomlin, WOHS nurse Dr. Denise Makri-Werzen, and paraprofessionals Max Jean-Baptiste and Kenson Felix. The remaining staff of 26 teach the courses, along with high school volunteers to assist.

Courses are offered in Preparatory (Grades 2-3) and Secondary (4-8) divisions in a wide array of Art, Music, Theater, Dance, Science, Math, Coding, and even ESL classes. To see a full list of course offerings, go HERE.

Tomlin, who was in charge for his seventh year of Enrichment and has taught in-district since 1995, was pleased with how the program went.

“Enrichment has been around for many years,” he began, “probably going back to the 1980s. We added Coding and a Book Club course this year, and saw our largest attendance ever with 503 students.”

“The program is very popular,” he continued. “It provides real-world applications for students.”

Dr. Werzen, who helps with all medical and related administrative issues, was busily applying band aids and contacting parents.

“We’re very well-organized this year,” she noted, “and the parents are very happy.”

Jean-Baptiste handles busing and transportation for the ESL students. He is tri-lingual and speaks English, Haitian Creole, and Spanish. He, along with Felix, work as backups in the Nursing Office, where the Enrichment Program runs from.

“More than half the parents with ESL students don’t speak any English at all,” he stated. “The younger the children are when starting in the district, the easier it is for them to learn a new language.”

Enrichment students filled the halls and classrooms of West Orange High School, and enjoyed every minute of it. Art students were working on pottery, paintings, and crafts; music for general and advanced classes were in full force; computer and science and technology-driven classes were designing projects and working on slideshows. In the auditorium, the preparatory division students were performing dance routines for an enthusiastic audience of parents and students.

“We use our high school volunteers to help students with directions for the first week,” noted Tomlin, “but after that they know where they’re going and get there without a problem.”

With 19 days of programming, the last week of Enrichment is used to showcase what students have learned and exhibition performances are held in the auditorium for music, dance, and theater students. Each division prepares a slideshow as well. On the last day, the faculty performs for parents and students, wrapping up another successful year.

“Summer enrichment is a vital program for our district and all of us working together makes it a success,” Dr. Werzen concluded.

See photos from Enrichment HERE.


Scott Tomlin, Max Jean-Baptiste, Dr. Denise Makri-Werzen, and Kenson Felix.


ESL students.


Computer class.


Science and Technology.


Mixed media class.




Intermediate band with Ryan Krewer.


Preparatory dance.


Preparatory dance.









Cynthia Cumming
July 27, 2022