The staff and leadership here at Pluckemin Church is comprised of men and women who love, care and pray for every single person in the church. If you have any questions for any of our staff, feel free to reach out and email them or call our church office to speak with them. You can contact the church office 908-658-3346 or office.ppch.org
I grew up in Morristown NJ, the fifth of five children – which no doubt honed both my adaptability and my sense of humor! Choirs, bell choirs, and youth groups made church an extension of my family. From baptism until ordination, I was a member of one Presbyterian Church.Oberlin College formed both my sensibility and my spirituality. Believe it or not, I attended worship regularly and was active in the First Church in Oberlin. My love of music made those years joyous as well -- as I was able to sing in the Oberlin College Choir, as well as the church choir.
Cathie Ruiterman has been a member of Pluckemin Presbyterian Church since 2007. She was in search of a welcoming and thriving church, and one where her two children would feel at home. Cathie is very excited to now be part of the staff where she is able to serve the church community. In her spare time, Cathie enjoys reading, DIY projects, and exercising with her dog and family. She is also very involved in Toastmasters.
Noel Sell is the Director of Music/Organist at Pluckemin Presbyterian Church. Mr. Sell is a cum laude graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University where he performed under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Robert Shaw, Seji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Antol Dorati, William Steinberg, and Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. In addition, Mr. Sell also sang with the famous Westminster Choir as soloist in the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Charleston , South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy. He has studied organ with Robert Carwithen and Eugene Roan and voice with Suzanne Pratt and Frauke Haasemann.
Formerly, he was the choral director at Franklin Middle School of the Franklin Township Public Schools in Somerset, New Jersey. There he conducted the F.M.S. Chorus and the Gifted and Talented Choir. Under his direction, the choirs continually received outstanding ratings for their performances and garnered a reputation as being among the finest middle school choirs in the eastern United States. Mr. Sell has been chosen to have his biography profile published in the 2005 Marquis Who's Who in America.
Noel and Valerie have been co-directors of music at Pluckemin for over 25 years.
Valerie Sell is the Associate Director of Music at Pluckemin Presbyterian Church. Valerie is a cum laude graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University receiving a BA degree in Music Education. Valerie performed as a member of the famous Westminster Choir for two years traveling to the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Charleston, South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy. She is also a graduate of the College of New Jersey with a MA in Voice Performance. She has studied voice with Suzanne Pratt and Marshall Heinbaugh.
Mrs. Sell has extensive teaching experience in levels kindergarten through grade eight in the public schools of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She presently teaches vocal music Kindergarten through fourth grade at the Hillsborough Elementary School in Hillsborough, New Jersey.
Marcia Waage McBurney is the Director of the Carillons Handbell Choir. Mrs. McBurney is a graduate of Bucknell Univeristy where she studied and performed under the direction of Dr. William A. Payn. Mrs. McBurney has performed for conductors such as Cynthia Dobrinski, Hart Morris, Kevin McChesney, Betty Garee, William Griffin, Donald Allured and many more. She has traveled to Europe twice to participate in handbell tours that performed in 6 different countries. She has also participated in over two dozen Area and National Festivals during her 26 years of ringing and directing handbells.
In September of 1992, Mrs. McBurney began directing the Carillons. Recently, she has performed with The Raritan Ringers, an advanced adult choir, in Somerville, NJ.
Mrs. Elizabeth 'Bel' Gwiazdowski (Mrs. G. to the children) became the Director for the Preschool in 2015. She has worked in the field of early childhood education for over 27 years, most recently as the Director of the Four Seasons childcare center in Hillsborough. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and has New Jersey Teacher Certification. She also serves as Treasurer for the NJEAEYC and the Somerset County Director’s Association. In her spare time she enjoys reading mysteries, trying out new recipes and spending time with her 6 year old grandson.