Friday, December 20, 2013

Congratulations to Karen Jagolinzer, Grade Five Mathematics Teacher

President Obama Honors Outstanding Math and Science Teachers 
Karen Jagolinzer

WASHINGTON, DC -- President Obama today named 102 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This year’s awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, event in the coming year.
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2012 awardees named today teach kindergarten through 6th grade.
Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration.
“These teachers are inspiring today’s young students to become the next generation of American scientists, mathematicians, and innovators,” President Obama said. “Through their passion and dedication, and by sharing their excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math, they are helping us build a promising future for all our children.”
Excellent math and science teachers, exemplified by these awardees, are critical to getting more students engaged in the increasingly important science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. That’s why President Obama has committed to strengthening STEM education and has called for preparing 100,000 excellent science and mathematics teachers over the next decade—a goal that inspired the creation of “100kin10,” a coalition of leading corporations, philanthropies, universities, service organizations, and others working to train and retain STEM teachers across the Nation. The President has also proposed to further strengthen the STEM teaching profession by launching a new STEM Master Teacher Corps, leveraging the expertise of some of our nation’s best and brightest teachers in science and mathematics to elevate the teaching of these subjects nationwide.
Nominations for the 2014 PAEMST are open through April 1, 2014. For more information about PAEMST, please visit

The recipients of the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are:

Karen Jagolinzer, Yarmouth (Math)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

STEAM Students Go Ballooning!

Mr. Dehetre prepping the balloon outside.

Students prepping the balloon inside.

Last spring, three 7th grade students constructed a hot air balloon in STEAM. Due to poor weather conditions last spring they didn’t get to fly their balloon but vowed to one day fly. On a very cold day in December, Sophia, Becca, and Eliza met with Mr. Dehetre to finally fly their aircraft. The girls, now 8th graders, were amazed at how high the balloon was able to rise. The outside temperature was about 10°. They estimated that the balloon traveled a good 100 to 150 feet upward.

How does it work? The key is density. The air outside of the balloon and within the balloon have different densities due to the heating of the air with a propane burner. Warming the air inside the balloon causes its atoms to move faster than the atoms of the air outside of the balloon. Having fewer atoms within the balloon at the same air pressure as the air surrounding the balloon makes the balloon less dense causing it to float.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Claire Scott performs on "207"

Our very own Claire Scott (7th grade student) was on the television program 207 this week. Claire played the violin, and sang with fellow violinist, Lauren Rioux. 

Claire has been playing the violin since she was six years old; she has participated in every Yulegrass show. Check out the link below to learn more about Claire's inspiring talent, and her musical background!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Samsung Solve For Tomorrow Challenge

 Congratulations to Mike Arsenault, Morgan Cuthbert, and Molly Kellogg for their work on the, "Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Challenge!"
We just learned HMS is a State Finalist in this challenge. Click on "Maine" for more information; HMS was chosen from 5 schools.
Samsung started the Solve for Tomorrow education contest, giving schools across the U.S. the opportunity to raise interest in Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects among students, by awarding their schools with a share of over $2 million in technology.

HMS students will be studying the invasive, Green Crab issue. The Green Crabs are destroying Maine's clam beds, and weakening our salt marshes. Students will conduct interviews and propose solutions to this problem. 
At this point in the contest HMS has been granted two Galaxy tablets a laptop, camcorder, and Adobe software.

Our next challenge submission will take place sometime in February.  If we're able to advance further in the contest the process will go live for voting. Mike, Morgan, and Molly will keep us posted on this so we can all participate! If HMS is able to make it into the next round of fifteen, our school will win a twenty to thirty-eight thousand dollar technology package!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Unprincess!

CONGRATULATIONS to the 6th grade cast and crew of The Unprincess! This wonderful play was performed in front of two packed houses. The amazing acting by the talented cast was equally matched by the incredible costumes and sets. Our students worked hard to ensure that the audience would be wowed and entertained-they achieved this goal!

Special thanks to all of our parent volunteers; this show would not be possible without you!

Sincere gratitude to Kathy Gardner for everything she does behind the scenes to contribute to our plays!

Huge appreciation to our Director Deb Sevee, her husband Pete, and their sons John and Avery Sevee! We're so fortunate to benefit from your many talents!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fund Raiser

Chickens for Guatemala
 A unique part of the fund raiser this year was earning live egg-laying chickens for the hungry of Guatemala through  Save the Children. For sales accumulated during our recent fund raiser students were awarded a paper chicken for every three sales. When all was totaled the students of HMS earned 59 chickens to be sent to Guatemala. Congratulations to all!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mr. Dehetre is awarded a grant to bring a 3D printer to HMS!

We're thrilled to let you know that Randy Dehetre successfully pursued a grant to bring a 3D printer to HMS using a site called:

Please see Randy's exciting proposal below, along with this piece from The Boston Globe, which explains some of the amazing uses of this technology.

From The Boston Globe

Dream It. Design It. 3D Print It!
Mr. Dehetre's Technology project at Frank H Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth, ME 

My classroom is the STEAM lab! Activities in my classroom are very "hands on" as students explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. We learn about everything! Building and programming robots, trajectory through the use of model rocketry, bridge building, SketchUp, engines and more.
I teach students in grades 5 through 8. Describe my students? Over achievers; they love learning! Their parents are strong backers of education and appreciate everything we (teachers) do for their children. I couldn't ask for better children to work with. I have approximately 115 students in each grade and sometime during the year every student in the school takes part in STEAM lab. I look at my students as a resource as I learn just as much from them as I teach. My 5th and 6th graders are with me for a full quarter of the school year. 7th graders for a trimester and my 8th graders are with me for a full half year. Being in a small school with a total population of a little over 450 children allows me to get to know my students well. I truly look forward to each day of teaching.

I'm looking to take my students to the next level. Two years ago I changed the title of my teaching area from Industrial Arts to STEAM lab. When I started teaching at this middle school I began bringing in the many concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math to the activities my students were taking part in. I've added Lego Mindstorm Robotics to the 5th grade curriculum which is loved! My 8th graders have been learning about computer programming through SCRATCH and practicing design work through the use of Autodesk SketchBook, and Google SketchUp. All three of these areas have provided my students with many new and exciting learning opportunities. Adding a 3D printer would enhance their learning very much! 7th graders are learning about engineering by building balsa wood bridges and testing the strength of their designs. My 6th graders are learning basic concepts of physics through model rocketry and building race cars. STEAM lab is a very popular class that kids enjoy!

Adding a 3D printer to the STEAM lab will make a very big difference in the lives of my students. They love new technology and learning in general. I estimate that more than 90% will be going to college. Many have expressed a desire to study engineering. I encourage both male and female students to consider engineering. One mom wrote "Many girls tend to lose interest at this age and you have encouraged her to continue."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Aeterna Trio Visits HMS

Our seventh grade students had the privilege of visiting with a special group of musicians this week when Ben Birkbeck, Andy Happel, and Devon Colella, of the Aeterna Trio, joined their language arts classes. 

These talented individuals shared their thoughts about the creative process, and what motivates and inspires them. They talked with the students about the importance of
practicing, persevering through difficult times, and finding trusting friends and colleagues with whom to collaborate. 

The trio treated our students to several of their compositions, and worked together to create some songs in real time. We were enthralled with their talent, and so grateful to them for sharing their expertise with us, and contributing to our learning.

Please enjoy the pictures of this event, contributed by accomplished HMS photographer Sam Marjerison.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nick Prato wins the Steingart Family Music Scholarship!

We're thrilled and excited to announce that Nick Prato is the second recipient of the Steingart Family Music Scholarship! The scholarship will be used for private music lessons. Mrs. Grover and Mr. C. have described Nick as an extremely worthy recipient of this honor.

The Steingart family established this scholarship fund prior to Mr. Steingart's passing last year. They saw their daughter Emily's world change in positive ways when she pursued the bassoon in middle school. Emily's love of music presented her with the opportunity to play with the Portland Youth Symphony, as well as the Youth Philharmonic (in Boston) while she was in high school. Her talent and dedication opened the door to some prestigious awards and opportunities, including traveling to China with the Youth Philharmonic orchestra.
 Heartfelt congratulations to Nick and his family on this wonderful award!
Mrs. Prato, Mrs. Grover, Nick Prato, Mr. Prato, and Mr. C.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Connecting With Friends In Uganda!

HMS 5th and 7th grade French students are continuing the pen pal exchange with The St. Bahkita School in Uganda. The friendship between HMS and St. Bahkita began three years ago, when Paula Vicenzi brought this unique opportunity to HMS. 

Charlie and Susan Roscoe, who head up the Schools for Refugee Foundation, hand delivered 180 letters from HMS students to the students of St. Bahkita. Through the Roscoe's foundation, St. Bahkita was gifted with several iPads, which they'll use to connect with students and teachers around the world.                                
The students in Uganda recently had the chance to Skype with the 7th grade students from Mrs. Vicenzi’s and Mrs. Hladky’s French classes. The plan is for the St. Bahkita students to Skype with each of the 5th grade classes at HMS sometime soon. 

These pictures show the excitement and fascination on the faces of the St. Bahkita students as they experience how technology can be used to connect with people from other countries.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Literary Cafe

October 14th - 18th was National Teen Read Week.  Teens at Harrison Middle School celebrated by attending the now-annual Literary Cafe in the HMS Library.  Cookies, bars, hot chocolate and cider were served to the 7th and 8th grade students, thanks to generous donations from parents.  Once students selected their goodies, they found a comfy spot in the lamp-lit room to read, eat and sip.  At the end of the period, they were treated to a look at the newly-updated HMS OverDrive website, through which students can borrow popular titles in eBook format on their own device, their school laptop, or a borrowed eReader from the HMS Library.  Inline image 2

Inline image 1
Read and Relax
HMS OverDrive

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Charlotte Agell wins Friends of the Gifted Award

We're thrilled to let you know that Charlotte Agell received the Friends of the Gifted award, which was presented to her by the Maine Educators of the Gifted And Talented, during the New England Conference on 10/25/13. Charlotte was chosen for this award based on years of outstanding, dedicated service to gifted students and their families
Charlotte Agell (center) receives her award with friend and colleague Molly Kellogg (left) by her side.

We know that you join us in congratulating Charlotte on this well deserved honor!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Charlotte Agell and Molly Kellogg present at New England GT Conference

Charlotte Agell and Molly Kellogg are presenting at he New England Conference of the Gifted and Talented in Portland next week. A description of their fascinating session is below:
This workshop is an exploration of GT characteristics as vividly illustrated by gifted protagonists from children’s literature. We will use the 12 characteristics of giftedness as outlined on our screening nomination form as well as professional texts like Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults to profile these characters and make connections to real GT kids we know. We will also discuss and demonstrate the use of these books in language arts curriculum in GT groups, the regular classroom and at home to help kids and adults understand gifted learners of all sorts. Participants will gain a new understanding of the needs of gifted learners in their classrooms or homes and how to accommodate for them.

Randy Dehetre awarded $500.00 Grant

Congratulations to Randy Dehetre who was recently awarded a grant through the Adopt A Classroom organization! See the information below for details:

AAC_RGB_Red_logo copy 4


We are thrilled to inform you that you have just been adopted by one of the key corporate sponsors. The Coach Foundation has just awarded you a $500 grant to help you buy the supplies and materials you need to create a more dynamic teaching environment for your students. The funds are in your account and ready to use today.

The Coach Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Coach, Inc., the leading American design house of modern luxury accessories. The Coach Foundation’s Education Initiative focuses on improving educational opportunities for the underserved, to provide everyone with the opportunity to learn, grow and meaningfully contribute to our society.  

We are grateful to The Coach Foundation for their continued support of and teachers across the country. And a big thank you to you – our teachers - for your continued dedication to helping children succeed now and in the future.

Tell a Teacher…
Please tell your teaching colleagues to visit and register their classroom. has many corporate and private sponsors and we continue to award funds to teachers on their behalf. Another disbursement of funds is scheduled for later this November. The teachers selected to receive funding are selected based on need and other criteria as agreed upon between and each corporate partner.
Congratulations Again,
Your team at

Morgan Cuthbert presents at MAMLE Conference

 Morgan Cuthbert presented at the Maine Association of Middle Level Education (MAMLE) Conference on October 18th. See the interesting/innovative details of Morgan's presentation below:

Connecting Science, Social Studies, and Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Mini-Unit on Skin, Tanning, and Skin Cancer – Morgan Cuthbert, Frank H. Harrison Middle School, Dr. Erin Van Wagenen, Maine Medical Center
Frank H. Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth has connected with doctors at Maine Medical Center, the Maine chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Melanoma Foundation of New England to create an innovative and engaging unit on skin cancer and tanning.  The web base program is an interdisciplinary approach that connects science, social studies, and advocacy to reduce teen tanning, and to raise awareness of the dangers of over exposure to UV rays.  This is a perfect unit to introduce at the Middle Level as the rate of skin cancer goes up to 58% if teens get severe burns prior to 21 years of age.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jenny Jorgensen and Mike Arsenault Present at ACTEM Conference

 Jenny Jorgensen, Lead Math Teacher, and Mike Arsenault, Technology Coordinator, both presented at this fall's Association of Computer and Technology Educators of Maine conference, held on Thursday, October 10th, at the Augusta Civic Center. Below is information about their well attended presentations. Congratulations Jenny and Mike! 

Jenny presented, "Teaching Implications from the "Show Me" App". Her presentation focused on how to use the Show Me App for the iPad to enlighten a student's mathematical understanding, and highlight any misconceptions a student may have. Jenny shared Show Me App student recordings; participants discussed the implications for their teaching and student learning, along with specific ways the App can be used with students. Jenny is using the App with students who are part of the RTI Tier 2 process.

Mike Arsenault teamed up with Alice Barr, YHS Technology Coordinator, to present a full-day workshop entitled, "Crash Course in Google Apps for Education". This session provided information on how educators can use Google Drive, Calendar and Sites in the classroom.

The Google Drive component of the session focused on sharing documents and folders. Participants were shown how to create folders that could be used to share files with their classes as well as drop boxes where each student can electronically submit their work. Adding apps like Lucid Chart and the Desmos Graphing Calculator to Google Drive was also demonstrated for creating mind maps and graphs. Each participant was then shown how to create events in their personal calendar as well as creating additional calendars for posting homework, team meetings and more. After lunch we focused our time tying it all together using Google Sites. Participants learned how to create new sites for teacher web pages as well as for specific projects. These sites were filled with text, links, images, embedded folders, video (from Drive and YouTube), calendars and more.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

5/6 Writing Club

Charlotte Agell shared the following information about the exciting first meeting of the 5th/6th grade Writing Club!

Sixteen eager writers came to our first 5th/6th Grade Writing Club, during which I was ably assisted by Maxen Hathcock, grade 9. We went with our notebooks to harvest words from the community garden. Here's a group poem, as just one example of the bounty:

Summer leaves us coated in fragile pine needles the yellow sun beams on the green grass
the grass is growing yellow,
Birds fly toward the sun

The thermometer leaves the seventies 
and won’t come back there for a while....

Autumn arrives in leaves prancing and dancing
around the gnarled roots of the maple tree
Dandelions wither and withdraw their flowers in sad farewell 

Leaves fall off the vine

As one season becomes another
with the death of sunflowers and the birth of pumpkins leaves twist and turn, falling from a rainbow of trees Summer becomes autumn
in a burst of color all around us
The humidity goes south, the frost arrives

Are you ready?

by the September Group of 5th/6th Grade Writing Club 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013


 Elaine Fletcher recently attended the Annual Fall Conference of the Maine Art Education Association, held at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, on Deer Isle. Elaine was asked to share her parent newsletter at this conference. She posts these newsletters outside the art room door, and also  includes them in her students' art folders. Elaine's beautiful, and informative newsletter is below: