The Happy Kid Project

An All-American Relay Team (4:18 mins.)

Season 4, Episode 10: Published April 12, 2024

Oak Knoll's 4x400 relay racers recently concluded what has become the winningest winter track season in Oak Knoll history. School and individual records were shattered right and left, and the relay team ended the Nike national meet by racing among the best in the country and being selected as All-American Athletes. (4:18 mins)
The Black Scholars Club at Oak Knoll (5:51 mins)

Season 4, Episode 9: Published April 3, 2024

For this edition of the Happy Kid Project, we thought we’d introduce you to some of the members of the Black Scholars Club at Oak Knoll who recently helped the DEIJ Department organize a special assembly on African American Alumna in the Arts. The club was established at Oak Knoll well over a quarter of a century ago, and these current members tell us a little about what they think the club adds to the Oak Knoll community, and they share their thoughts on what the special assembly meant to them. (5:51 mins)
Reflection Days: An Oak Knoll Tradition (5:06 mins)

Season 4, Episode 8: Published March 1, 2024

We take a moment to share a longstanding tradition at Oak Knoll. Each year, a special day is designated for each grade level in the Upper School to get away from campus, slow down, and take stock of where they are as students and members of the larger community. Michele Van-Kalsbeck, Director of Campus Ministry, tells us why. (5:06 mins)
Alumnae in the Arts Highlighted in Special Black History Month Assembly (39 mins)

Season 4, Episode 7: Published February 23, 2024

On Thursday, February 22, the Black Scholars Club at Oak Knoll welcomed Upper School students to a special assembly celebrating African Americans and the Arts. From literature to performance, African Americans’ creativity has shaped culture, inspired generations, and enriched our lives. This special assembly presented an esteemed panel of alumnae who spoke about their journey, experiences, achievements, and the ongoing importance of diversity and representation in the arts. (39 mins)
This Is Our House: Oak Knoll Launches Historic House System (4:48)

Season 4, Episode 6: Published December 13, 2023

During the first weeks of the 2023-2024 school year, Oak Knoll unveiled and launched a new “house system, — which sets a historical precedent and will give students a joyous tradition for playful competition and familial pride for generations to come. In the short podcast, Assistant Athletic Director Melissa White explains the idea's origin and how the houses were chosen. You can also read about the new house system in this news article. (4:48 min)
Chasing Excellence And Finding Balance (5:15 Mins)

Season 4, Episode 5: Published November 30, 2023

In addition to academics, Oak Knoll has always placed a high value on social-emotional health. Zoe Harmaty '25 took it upon herself to add to available resources and instigated a brand new speaker series at Oak Knoll called “Chasing Excellence.” We like to say that Oak Knoll students live by faith, learn by doing, and lead by example. Harmaty is certainly an example of this. She’s a student with a passion and a purpose, and she’s proving that education is about being in community, and being in community is about caring for those around you. (5:15 mins)
Halloween Is a Wrap. No What Do We Do With All Those Wrappers? (5:17)

Season 4, Episode 4: Published November 10, 2023

According to the National Retail Federation's seasonal trends report, one hundred sixty million Americans bought candy this past Halloween, spending 2.6 million dollars over Halloween on candy alone. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and the candy-consuming giant Easter on the horizon, this country is producing hundreds of millions of tons of candy wrappers that are likely ending up in landfills. Thanks to a seventh grader at Oak Knoll with a bright idea and the partnership of the student-run Green Team at Oak Knoll, those wrappers are heading in a different direction. (5:17 mins)
Oak Knoll's Club Culture (7:05)

Season 4, Episode 3: Published October 5, 2023

Oak Knoll has an extremely robust offering of student-run clubs. With over 60 in the Upper School and dozens more in the Lower school, students with a particular passion they wish to share have the opportunity to propose their club, and if approved, rally other students to join them in that mission. In this short podcast we pop in on a recent Upper School Club Fair — where students promote their club offerings to their classmates. (7:05 mins)
Over 30 Centuries on a Bike (6:34)

Season 4, Episode 2: Published September 29, 2023

For an endurance bike rider, a "century" is the term for a 100 mile ride. Imagine performing over 30 centuries in six weeks! That's what Track and Field Coach Mickey Cassu undertook over the summer when he rode from coast to coast across the United States. Listen to Coach Cassu narrating his exciting trip in this short podcast. (6:34 mins)
Meet the Newbies(5:49)

Season 4, Episode 1: Published September 8, 2023

Welcome back to a whole new season of the Happy Kid Project. Throughout the upcoming school year, we hope to bring you a variety of student voices so you can hear in there own words how Oak Knoll is a school that cultivates people with purpose. But seeing as school only just began, we thought we’d use this episode to introduce you to some wonderful adults that are just joining the community. We couldn’t get to them all, but here are just a few of our new faculty and staff as we came together the week before school began to get to know each other and the school during orientation and in-service days. You will find a complete list of new faculty and staff, along with their credentials, here.
Building Momentum: Oak Knoll Track & Field Makes Its Presence Known (5:12)

Season 3, Episode 13: Published May 11, 2023

In the Spring of 2023, our 4x800 track and field relay team was proactively invited to compete in the historic Penn Relays — the country’s oldest and largest track and field competition. The invitation was an historic moment and further affirmation for our fleet-footed athletes. Whether it is cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter, or track and field in the Spring, Oak Knoll is making its presence known. In this short podcast (5:12 mins), Coach Mickey Cassu and our Senior Team Captains share thoughts on why our teams are doing so well.
Oak Knoll Presents Powerhouse Women in Sports Panel (5:49)

Season 3, Episode 12: Published April 12, 2023

On Thursday night, April 20th at 7:00 pm a truly newsworthy event will take place in the Tisdall Hall gymnasium at Oak Knoll. In this short podcast, Kelly Childs, 7-year Oak Knoll Athletic Director, former Assistant Commissioner at the Big East Conference, and former Athletic Director for Marketing at Seton Hall University, tells us about the upcoming powerhouse women in sports panel entitled “Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX at Oak Knoll.” Register here.
Dance the Night Away

Season 3, Episode 11: Published March 28, 2023

Join us on Friday, April 21st at 7:00 pm in the Mother Mary Campion Performing Arts Center where multiple creative arts disciplines will converge for our annual Dance Concert. Listen to this short podcast as Creative Arts Teacher Carlee Bennett describes what's in store! Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Call 900-522-8150 or email
A Vision for Community Impact

Season 3, Episode 10: Published March 1, 2023

During a recent three-day Community Impact Symposium in Washington DC, four Oak Knoll High School students gathered with students from across the country to share ideas on how they could make more positive and systemic changes in their school and local communities. The goal was to work in teams to identify various approaches taken to local, state, and national levels and work with their schoolmates to draft a vision statement and action strategy to take back home to Oak Knoll.
James and the Giant Peach Spotlights Creative Arts at Oak Knoll

Season 3, Episode 9: Published February 22, 2023

With the addition of two new full-time faculty in the Upper School, the Creative Arts Department at Oak Knoll is spreading it’s wings. Music teacher Teresa Gotanco and Theater Teacher Lisa Bodollo joined the team for the 2022-2023 school year and they are collaborating with an ensemble of students to stage a particularly challenging musical, James and the Giant Peach. Here is Teresa Gotanco with some highlights including a sneak peak at the performance.
MLK Jr. — A Rhetorical Analysis

Season 3, Episode 8: Published February 15, 2023

Rhetoric. For many it sounds like a negative word. And yes, rhetoric can be used to persuade people to do very bad things. But on the flip side, Mr. Ben Oxford’s 11th grade AP Literature and Composition students are learning that rhetoric can often be deployed in very good and nuanced ways to bring about positive change. Though Mr. Oxford applies rhetorical analysis to many of his students projects, during Black History Month, he is asking his students to break down some famous works by Martin Luther King Jr.
Physics First: Why Oak Knoll Students Learn Physics in 9th Grade

Season 3, Episode 7: Published January 18, 2023

It seems that school's have been teaching the sciences in a certain order dating back to the launching of Sputnik and the cold war period, but Oak Knoll has decided to re-order that sequence in a way that makes more sense for students of today.
The Christmas Spirit: An Audio Postcard

Season 3, Episode 6: Published December 22, 2022

For this, our last podcast of the calendar year, we take you on an auditory tour through the month of December at Oak Knoll. Share in the Christmas spirit and enjoy this fun collage of activities – from decking the halls to icing gingerbread houses, from trees engineered out of books to pre-kindergarten singalongs. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Cracking the Code: Computer Science Education Week at Oak Knoll

Season 3, Episode 5: Published December 12, 2022

Audio postcards from Oak Knoll's Lower School as our youngest learners celebrate Computer Science Education Week. Gain an audio glimpse into our PK-6 classrooms as students delve into the world of coding, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
How Oak Knoll's Writing Center Cultivates Student Leadership

Season 3, Episode 4: Published November 30, 2022

Oak Knoll's Writing Center provides a unique opportunity for middle and high school students to take on leadership roles while supporting their peers. Hear how the Writing Center increases student confidence, leadership skills, and academic excellence in a safe and supportive space.
Being in Community With Others - Service Day

Season 3, Episode 3: Published November 16, 2022

Hear how Oak Knoll instills a sense of service in students, connecting their own experiences and the needs of the wider world. We sit down with Michele Van Kalsbeck, Oak Knoll's Director of Campus Ministry and Theology Teacher, about our annual day of service. During this episode, she talks about using this day as an essential jumping-off point to remind students that being in service is a mindset that should be ever-present rather than an activity performed for others.
29th Annual Oak Knoll Royal Boutique

Season 3, Episode 1: Published October 24, 2022

Oak Knoll invites members of the community to join us on campus for the 29th Annual Royal Boutique on November 3-5, 2022. More than 35 vendors from around the country participate, including homegoods, jewelry, holiday decor and gifts, and more.
Volunteering and Giving Back

Season 2, Episode 6: Published September 9, 2022

Oak Knoll welcomed Richard Uniacke, President of Bridges Outreach, to talk about how students can get involved in the fight to end homelessness, stand out and give back in a meaningful way, and support the organization's overall mission by participating in the upcoming Streets 2 Homes 5K event.
Getting Involved at OKS

Season 2, Episode 5: Published August 11, 2022

We chat with rising senior Zahra Jones '23 ahead of the 2022-23 school year about the many ways students can get involved at Oak Knoll.
Mental Health and Athletics

Season 2, Episode 4: Published May 18, 2022

A special Mental Health Awareness Month episode featuring a recent presentation on student-athletes and the pressures associated with competing in competitive sports. Featuring: Dr. Kelly Childs, Oak Knoll School Athletic Director; Dr. Melissa Maskery, Oak Knoll’s Athletic Trainer; Christine Mahoney, Oak Knoll's Upper School Counselor; and Dr. Ashley M. Zultanky, a Certified School Psychologist and clinical psychology postdoctoral Fellow at Behavior Therapy Associates.
The Importance of Black History Month

Season 2, Episode 3: Published February 15, 2022

Melissa Miller, Oak Knoll’s Director of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Justice sits down with Desiree Mitchell ’23, Oak Knoll junior and leader of the Black Scholars Club, discussing the importance of February’s Black History Month and celebrating Black history all year-round.
The Science of SEL

Season 2, Episode 2: Published January 19, 2022

Regina Cherill, Oak Knoll's Lower School Science Teacher for grades 4-6, talks about the importance of weaving social and emotional learning into the science and math curriculum.
Building Confidence in Middle School Girls

Season 2, Episode 1: Published September 26, 2021

After unveiling the school's new confidence-building signature program, EmpowHER, this fall, we caught up with Upper School Division Head Kathryn McGroarty to discuss the confidence gap in middle school girls and how Oak Knoll empowers its young students.


The Happy Kid Project — the official podcast for Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child,  a private Catholic PK-12 school in Summit, New Jersey — will offer parents and caregivers helpful tips and vital, timely information necessary to raise happy and healthy kids

Remote Learning Day
Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Due to the weather forecast and winter storm warning, Oak Knoll School’s campus will be closed on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, and will operate on a virtual learning schedule.

Upper School runs from 8:10 to 12:30. Students should check their email from Mrs. McGroarty for more information.

Lower School students in PreK to grade 2 brought home materials from teachers for optional review and enrichment and may also log in to Clever to access all learning apps. Teachers of students in grades 3-6 will post snow day assignments on the Homework grid on Clever by noon.

All after-school activities have been canceled.