Sunday, March 27, 2016


Congratulations to the cast and crew of the 7th/8th (and some 6th) grade production of Aladdin Jr.
Expertly directed by Betsey Reinsborough, the students acted, sang, and danced their way into the hearts of the audience at two standing room only shows! Their talent and enthusiasm enchanted the crowd, as did their beautifully vivid costumes. Their support for each other and their collaboration on every aspect of the play was obvious to all.
Our gratitude and admiration to Betsey Reinsborough, the heart and soul of all HMS shows!

Special Thanks to: Team Reinsborough, which includes Liz and Tom,
Kathy Gardner, Melina Roberts, Mary Kate Elward, Marlena Faxon, Karina Omark, Cindy Walden, Sarah Costen, Jen Hill, and Kristina Truesdale, along with all of our other wonderful parent volunteers. These shows could not happen without your support!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Colonial Craft Day


Our 5th graders had a chance to experience life as colonial students during this engaging celebration of learning. They dressed in the clothing of this time period and tackled the challenges of making candles, wooden toys, and spice racks. They also learned to use a loom and enjoyed at a "family style" lunch provided by our amazing school nutrition team. The students immersed themselves in this authentic learning opportunity and enjoyed all that it offered to them.


Special thanks to the 5th grade team, Nini Emmons, and all of our parents who contributed their time and talent this unique event!

Nancy Castonia named Yarmouth's Friend of Education

Congratulations to Nancy Castonia, HMS library volunteer, who has been named as Yarmouth's Friend of Education!                                                 
Merry Stuhr, Nancy Castonia, and Bruce Brann
Nancy is a retired reading teacher who adds her own unique flare to our library and our school. We're amazed by her legendary window displays for events like One Book One School and Star Wars Week. Nancy's Jedi Librarian costume and Origami stations add a fun and whimsical touch to this special space at HMS. 

Merry Stuhr explained that Nancy provides individual attention to our students. She reaches out to help them connect with the right books and follows up to see if they enjoyed the books she recommends. Tracy Weinrich and Charlotte Agell couldn't agree more.

Our school community benefits greatly from Nancy's expertise, time and attention. We're grateful for all she does to enrich our environment! 

We also want to extend our thanks to Ragan Bartlett and her students who created a wonderful surprise celebration for Nancy on the morning of this announcement.  

Nancy receives a special tribute from Mrs. Bartlett's class
Dear Colleagues,

It is my honor to announce that Nancy Castonia has been named Yarmouth's Friend of Education for the 2015-16 Academic Year.  There are several reasons why practicing education in this district is so special.  Not the least of which is the wonderful support we receive from our community.  Nancy represents the best of what our Town has to offer.  Her tireless and selfless devotion to the faculty and students of Harrison Middle School serves as an apt reminder of just how fortunate we are to have volunteers of Nancy's ilk among us.

Congratulations Nancy, and on behalf of all educators in the district, thank you for your devotion to Yarmouth Schools.

Rick Biskup

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Georgia Herr places at the Southern Maine Math League meet

Georgia Herr earned a third place trophy at the Southern Maine Math League meet at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland on March 8th. Congratulations, Georgia!
Georgia Herr



HMS hosts Math-Themed "Dine & Discuss"

HMS 7th Grade math and science teacher Jay Harrington along with Tate Gale, K-6 Math Strategist for RSU 5, are hosting a Dine & Discuss event focusing on the use of Formative Assessment in Mathematics.
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Jay Harringon
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Tate Gale
“The teacher’s job is not to transmit knowledge, nor to facilitate learning. It is to engineer effective learning environments for the students. The key features of effective learning environments are that they create student engagement and allow teachers, learners, and their peers to ensure that the learning is proceeding in the intended direction. The only way we can do this is through assessment. That is why assessment is, indeed, the bridge between teaching and learning.” ― Dylan Wiliam, Embedded Formative Assessment, 2015
These events were designed through a partnership between the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine (ATOMIM) and the Maine Department of Education

Participants attending the Dine & Discuss will:
  • Learn about formative assessment as formative instruction which includes a number of key elements;
  • Learn about practical strategies to increase student engagement and provide important information about students’ mathematical thinking; and
  • Network with other educators to share ideas.
These events are happening across the state. Click here for more information. Session 1 will be held on April 12th. Session 2 will be held on May 3rd.

Spirit Week at HMS

Students and staff participated in the annual HMS Spirit Week celebration with boundless energy, creativity, and generosity!
Fancy/Wacky Day at HMS
We raised money in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Crohn's Disease Research. Our students took their fund raising efforts seriously while enjoying the change in routine and fun that this week long event provides. Heartfelt thanks to our Student Leadership Team, and  Nini Emmons, Student Leadership facilitator and Volunteer Program Director, for creating this special week for our students and staff!

Sawyer Flowerdew as Mr. Arsenault on "Emulate your Favorite Teacher" day

Nick Knuppel as Ms. Hill
HMS office staff dressed as Mr. Brann

Mr. Brann with Punk Rocker Mrs. Parr and Princess Angie Turgeon

Alex Augur and Sadie Cowles named Scholastic National Gold Medal Winners!

We're thrilled to congratulate Alex Augur and Sadie Cowles on being named Scholastic NATIONAL Gold Medal Winners!

Alex Augur
Sadie Cowles

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

National Medalist News-A Newsletter for National Medalists in the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

We wanted to take a moment to put your amazing accomplishment into context.

This fall and winter, students across the country and from places abroad submitted nearly 320,000 works of art and writing to the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Nearly 18,000 works earned regional Gold Keys and advanced to NYC for national adjudication. Of those Gold Key works, just 2,400 received National Medals! YOUR work is one of the top 1% of art and writing submitted to the 2016 Scholastic Awards! Thank you again for sharing your work with us this year! We couldn't be happier to have the chance to show the world what you can do!

The National Ceremony takes place at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, June 2, at 6:00 pm ET.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Building Bridges in STEAM

 Thanks to Mr. Dehetre for sharing this exciting update from STEAM:
Patrick Bergen

Students Study Structural Engineering in STEAM

7th grade STEAM students were given the challenge to build a light but strong bridge using only balsa wood and glue. Patrick Bergen stepped up to that challenge during the 2nd trimester by building a truss bridge that didn’t even weigh one ounce (.89 oz) but was able to hold 113.6 pounds. That’s a very remarkable feat considering the weight his light bridge was able to withstand. That’s more than Patrick’s own weight!

Patrick’s bridge is the 11th strongest bridge built in the STEAM class since I started keeping records back in 2009. The class record is 152.2 pounds held by David Gerkin in June of 2010. Congratulations to Patrick on building such a fine bridge! The thought and craftsmanship he put in to this project was outstanding. Maybe some day Patrick will need to add the initials P.E. (professional engineer) to his name. Patrick Bergen P.E. sounds pretty good!

Besides building and testing the strength of their bridges, the 7th grade STEAM students also learn about the different styles of bridges, and various community infrastructures. They also study the three major forces that affect bridges-strength of materials, design and use of drafting equipment, along with a look at the unintended consequences of eminent domain. Time was spent studying the construction of the Brooklyn and the Golden Gate Bridges. Students were fascinated by the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge back in 1940 and how structural engineers used data that they gathered from the disaster to make other suspension bridges safer and able to withstand extreme weather conditions.

2016 HMS Blood Drive


The 7th Grade science classes held their annual Blood Drive on Thursday, March 10th. They collected 78 usable pints of blood. Each pint of blood can influence the lives of three people, so their work impacted 234 people. Our students also brought in a number of new donors, which is extremely helpful and important to this cause.


 In addition to running the drive the students' informative projects demonstrated all that they've learned about blood, blood typing, blood disorders and the genetics of blood. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback about our students' professionalism as the ran the drive. Those who attended observed the essential value of service learning!                                                    

Congratulations to the 7th Grade Students and Team! Our thanks to Morgan Cuthbert, Jay Harrington and Janice Medenica for creating this important learning experience for our school and community.