For years, Rutherford High School’s art department has graduated exemplary students who have moved on to college and other places of higher education. With a full working darkroom, a pottery kiln, pottery wheels, and computer art equipment, RHS has one of the most well-equipped art departments in the state. The Rutherford High School music department is comprised of both vocal and instrumental courses that vary from classical to contemporary. Aside from the standard introductory levels, we also offer a variety of upper level and AP courses within the discipline.
Stephanie Castellano – RHS Art – Mrs. Castellano attended Montclair State University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts Education. She followed that with a graduate degree from Rutgers University, where she studied Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education and earned a certificate in Supervision. She began her career teaching Fine Arts in the Palisades Park school district, but has been a part of the Rutherford family for 11 years. Throughout the years, Mrs. Castellano has taught a variety of fine arts classes including Ceramics, Drawing and Design, Photography, AP Art History, Art by Computer Design, and Studio Art, and has proudly been the Art Club advisor for 11 years, and looks forward to continuing her expansion and love of the arts with all of her students!
Veronica Grillo – RHS Art – Mrs. Grillo attended Ramapo College of New Jersey where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts with a concentration in Drawing and Painting and a certificate for K-12 education in the arts. Prior to coming to Rutherford, her career began at Kittatinny Regional High School and then Don Bosco Prep, where she gained her first 5 years of experience and taught a wide variety of courses in the arts at the high school level. Students in her classes will get to create art using dry and wet media, photography and design, and even printmaking and alternate forms of 3D! Mrs. Grillo is also the advisor for the yearbook where she gets to share her passion for design in an extra-curricular setting.
Alexis Klubeck – UMS Art – Ms. Klubeck attended Ramapo College of New Jersey where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and a certificate for K-12 education in the arts. She began her teaching career at Union Middle School 3 years ago. Ms. Klubeck teaches 3 different fine arts classes: Drawing and Design, Three Dimensional Design, and Studio Art. Her classes allow students to explore various forms of art, including drawing, painting and sculpting. She is also the advisor of the Art Club. Ms. Klubeck is currently in the process of receiving her Master’s Degree from Ramapo College of NJ.
Patricia Blanchard – RHS Vocal Music – Mrs. Blanchard is starting her 10th year of teaching choir at Rutherford High School. She received her Bachelor’s of Music Education from Indiana University in both choral and instrumental music and a Master’s in Music Education from Montclair State University. In addition to Concert Choir, she also directs the RHS Select Choir and is the Musical Director for the school musical.
John Brigante – UMS Instrumental Music – Mr. Brigante is starting his 9th year of teaching music in Rutherford, his 7th year as the Union School Band Director and his 3rd year as the UMS Band Director. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts in Music Education from The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. In addition to Concert Band, he also directs the UMS Jazz Band, the UMS Pep Band and the UMS Parade Band. Mr. Brigante has also served as one of the Rutherford Summer Band instructors/co-directors for the last 4 years.
Michael Faugno – RHS Instrumental Music – Mr. Faugno is in his 7th year of teaching music in Rutherford. In prior years, he taught music to students ranging from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. He studied Music Education at Rutgers University and Montclair State University. Mr. Faugno also directs the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and the RHS Marching Band.
Tricia Lalla – UMS Vocal Music – Ms. Lalla attended the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, where she received her undergraduate degree in Music Education. Her professional development includes studying opera at The Juilliard School Evening Division Program under the direction of Maestro Vincent La Selva. In addition to Concert Choir, she directs the UMS Select Choir. Choral teaching opportunities beyond UMS include preparing children’s choirs for the Verismo Opera Company of NJ and the New York Grand Opera Company, as well as the conducting 2015 Region 1 Junior High School SSA Choir and the 2016 Morris County Junior High School Honors Choir.
For a description of each course offered in these departments, please visit the Rutherford High School Curriculum Guides.