Monday, May 22, 2017

The Cast and Crew of Sleeping Beauty
Congratulations to the wonderful cast and crew of Sleeping Beauty! Our 5th grade students put on a winning, whimsical rendition of this show, which featured acting, singing, dancing, lighting and sound that rivaled the original production!

All the students involved worked together, exhibiting the perseverance, teamwork and collaboration necessary for success! We're proud of their efforts and their support of each other during this process.

Heartfelt thanks to our Director, Betsey Reinsborough, whose vision guides all of the HMS shows to successful fruition, and to all of our parent volunteers for their support!

Our continuous appreciation to all of the Reinsboroughs, our very own Liz, Kathy Gardner, Danielle Newcomb, Bill Allen, Kimberly Grover and Brad Ciechomski for all of their assistance! HMS Blog with photos coming soon : )

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Student Leadership Team Book Drive

HMS Student Leadership Team (Maddy Corson not pictured in this photo)
The books have been counted and the results are in:  
Sixth grade students donated 320 books! They're the winners of the first 'Share the Love of Reading' drive!
Grade 5 takes second place with 178 books donated, Grade 7 takes third place with 138 books donated, and Grade 8 takes fourth place with 94 books donated. This makes a total of 730 donated books from our HMS community. Our students should be proud of this effort!
Thank you from the Yarmouth Food Pantry, Tedford Housing, The Boys & Girls Club and the Student Leadership Team to all of our wonderful families and students who donated books for this drive!
Thanks and appreciation to Mrs. Emmons, Student Leadership Advisor, and all of the students on the leadership team!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

HMS Career Fair

Our heartfelt appreciation to Mrs. Emmons, Ms. Mike, and all of our Career Fair presenters for creating another exceptionally successful HMS Career Fair!

Mr. Currier at work
Putting this day together takes an incredible amount of time, energy and planning. The presenters were phenomenal. Their interesting, engaging sessions fascinated our students. We appreciate the time they took to share their expertise with us and the  questions our students asked, which demonstrated their interest and excitement about careers they may want to pursue.

Mr. Hewitt at work
We extend our gratitude to the Career Fair committee for all of their work. Special thanks to Ms. Roberts, Mrs. Gardner, Mr. Arsenault and Mr. C. for their efforts to ensure that this day was a success, and to all of the HMS staff support of this event.

Mr. Reinsborough at work
Our thanks also to Mrs. Logan for introducing us to our Keynote speaker, Mr. Akakpo, who shared his inspiring story with us!

Mrs. Logan introduces Mr. Akakpo

Spring Concerts spread the joy of music

This year's spring concerts highlighted our students hard work, commitment and passion to music, and support of each other as they delighted the audiences with their performances.
7th and 8th grade students prepare to serenade the audience
 Congratulations to the 5th Grade Band, the 6th Grade Band, the 6th Grade Jazz Choir, and the 5th and 6th Grade Chorus for a fantastic night of music! 
The 5th Grade Band kicked off the night with a rousing set of music that highlighted their growth as musicians this year. The 6th Grade Band pushed themselves with challenging songs about zombie trombones and cartoon craziness. The 6th Grade Jazz Choir took us back in time with Do Wah Diddy Diddy, complete with some spot-on beat boxing. The 5th and 6th Grade Chorus closed the evening with five songs that put a little love in everyone's heart. Many thanks to Mrs. Grover and Mr. C, as each has an uncanny ability to get the very best out of HMS's students. Bravo!
Mrs. Grover at work
The 7th & 8th Grade Symphonic Band, 7th & 8th Grade Jazz Coir, and 7th & 8th Grade Concert Choir provided the audience with a stellar evening of music at the spring concert. The night was filled with beautiful sounds, emotion and gratitude.
Our HMS musicians and singers performed challenging pieces rich with historical significance. The students conveyed the passion behind each of the songs, which they played and sang to perfection. Their interpretations of the music made it possible for the audience to share their feelings of teamwork, community, support for each other, and the joy and emotion that music brings to our lives.
Our 8th grade students' heartfelt tributes to Mrs. Grover and Mr. C. highlighted the hard work, perseverance, time and energy that go into creating evenings like last night, and our students' gratitude and appreciation to their parents and these teachers for their support.
Patrick Bergen pays tribute to Mr. C.
Our thanks to all of our students who participated in last night's event and congratulations to our 8th grade students for their moving performances in their last middle school concert.

Thank you to Mr. Dustin for his unwavering support and accompaniment at all of our concerts.
To Mrs. Grover and Mr. C., we all continue to learn so much from you about the power of music. Thank you for all you bring to our community.

Mr. C. at work

Saturday, May 6, 2017

An Interview with Charlotte Agell by Alex Ericson

Charlotte Agell and Alex Ericson
Alex Ericson, HMS journalist, interviewed Charlotte Agell, our author in residence. 

We are pleased to share their fascinating conversation with you about Charlotte's 13th book. The working title is  Elba & Norris and the Big Block. It's a picture book with Scholastic, due out in 2019. 

Thanks to Alex for this compelling interview!

Our congratulations and best wishes to Charlotte! We're thrilled to know that our school had something to do with the idea for this book. We cannot wait to read her latest creation!

What inspired you to write this book?

This book was actually born in our HMS hallways! A student asked me if I ever got writer's block. I replied that I was more likely to have TOO many ideas, like a swarm of butterflies. This lead to me thinking about blocks and butterflies. In the book, Elba drags around a big black block. Norris has so many butterflies. The book came to be about the heaviness of grief and the importance of friendship.

How did you come up with the characters?

At first, I saw the characters as people. In a conversation with my daughter, I quickly realized they must be animals, so that they really could represent ANYbody. Elba, in my version, is a rhinoceros in a pink tutu. Norris is a crocodile in a top hat. This might change since, for the first time ever, I will not be illustrating my own book, which is both scary and possibly really cool.

What kind of books do you write?

I write the book that comes to find me and nags me the most. That might sound odd, but I mean it.

What do you enjoy about writing?

I enjoy writing; it takes me all over the place. I hate writing sometimes; it can be hard.  I can't help but write, it seems. It's always been that way for me.

I feel so lucky to work in a district that so values reading and writing. I am surrounded by readers and writers here in Yarmouth!

Blair and Nikki bring home the win!

We're proud to share this update from Dr. Dolloff on YSD School Nutrition Director Blair Currier and HMS Nutrition Team member Nikki Davoren:
YSD School Nutrition Director Blair Currier and HMS Nutrition Employee Nikki Davoren competed against RSU 52 (Turner) at the State Final Farm to School cook-off this week at Freeport High School and brought home the win!  

Teams were tasked with preparing a breakfast and lunch meal within a specific time frame using at least two ingredients that are grown, raised, caught or manufactured in the State of Maine while meeting National School Breakfast and Lunch Program requirements.  As an added twist, Maine wild blueberries and Maine potatoes had to be used as "challenge" ingredients in the competition. 

Each team presented their meal to a judging panel consisting of a Freeport High School student, a certified professional chef, and a school nutrition director.  

Blair and Nikki won with their breakfast of crepes with a wild blueberry and kelp smoothie and a lunch consisting of Atlantic fish tacos, Maine apple salsa and garlic roasted potatoes.  All recipes from the cook-off will be published in a cookbook  distributed by the Maine Department of Education. 

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Exciting Final Math Meets!

Thanks to Barb Ellis and Jay Harrington for this update. We thank Barb, Jay, and Bob Gross for their guidance and leadership of these teams this year!
On Tuesday, May 2nd, the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math teams proudly represented Harrison Middle School at the last math meet of the year.  For the first time in many years, HMS was represented by a full six-member team at every grade level! They were accompanied by coaches Mrs. Ellis, Mr Harrington and Mr Gross.  All of these students were very enthusiastic and an exciting time was had by all who attended.  We are pleased to announce that Sebastien Martinez earned the third place individual score among about 200 other 5th graders and brought home a trophy! Congratulations to all.

6th graders: Emily Densmore, Stuart Baybutt, Truman Peters, William Best, Nate Hagedorn & Joshua Leinwand
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8th graders: Evan Lucca, G.W. Ruth, Evan Van Lonkhuyzen, Parker Harnett, Zoe Siegel & Anushka Canfield
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7th graders: Krisztian Kovaks, Elena Miller, Emily Mickool, Milo Weibus, Ty Lucca & Georgia Herr
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5th graders: Fionna Moran, Milo Sanokklis, Sebastien Martinez, Norah Mills, Evan Hankins & Ryan Cowell
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3rd Place individual for 5th grade: Sebastien Martinez
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cheryl Lambert cycles her way to a YEF Grant

Cheryl Lambert
The HMS community extends thanks and appreciation to the Yarmouth Education Foundation for enabling Cheryl Lambert and her students to cycle their way to learning and fitness! 

Cheryl was one of the district's spring grant recipients. Her innovative idea for desk cycles will support students to make a connection between the benefits of movement, increased heart rate and achievement. 
Cheryl's students help her celebrate the exciting news!
Students (and staff  : ) are looking forward to trying this new form of fitness at HMS! Cheryl will keep us posted on our students' progress. Stay tuned for more information coming soon in a blog update.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lydia Dustin receives the Steingart Scholarship

Heartfelt congratulations to Lydia Dustin, this year's recipient of the Steingart Family Music Scholarship!

Lydia has a passion for music. She plays the flute and viola; she also sings. Lydia has been selected to participate in all three District Honors Music Festivals for the past two years in a row. This includes the Concert Band, Orchestra, and Chorus. She plays with another orchestra outside of school and has pursued private viola lessons. Lydia will use this scholarship award for further music lessons of her choosing.

The Steingart family established this scholarship fund prior to Mr. Steingart's passing in 2013. They saw their daughter Emily's world change in positive ways when she pursued the bassoon in middle school. Emily's hard work and love of music led to 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.
Carol Steingart, Kimberly Grover, Brad Ciechomski, Stephanie Dustin, Lydia Dustin, Rick Dustin
The Steingart family met with Mrs. Grover and Mr. C. in 2013 to establish this award, which will fund years of private lessons for our students. Their goal is to provide opportunities to other young musicians so they too can explore and expand their own world of music and everything that music can bring into our lives.
The scholarships are awarded to students who have a love for music and are committed to their craft. Presenting these scholarships is one of the highlights of Mrs. Grover and Mr. C's school year. Lydia is a most deserving recipient of this honor!

The HMS community extends their deep gratitude to the Steingart family for making this opportunity possible for our students.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

7th Grade Students enjoy Tostones and Yucas Fritas

Claudine Hladky offered this description the recent feast prepared by Blair Currier:

7th grade Spanish students in Mrs. Roberts' and Mrs. Hladky's classes sampled food from Costa Rica and Puerto Rico: tostones (fried plantains), yucas fritas (fried yucas or cassavas), and pico de gallo (salsa). The food tasting is part of the 7th grade study of the culture of Spanish speaking countries. Many thanks to Blair Curier, our Nutrition Director, who cooked the meal and took students through the step by step process involved in preparing the food. ¡Delicioso!
Blair Currier

Sixth Grade Science students study our water

Thanks to Barbara Ellis for her description of this engaging learning opportunity:
On April 5th, 6th and 7th,  sixth grades students were visited by Kat Munson of the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, as well as a representative from the Yarmouth Water District. The goal of this visit was for students to understand that their drinking water comes from groundwater, to learn the characteristics of North Yarmouth's drinking water, and to understand the surface-groundwater connection and the role humans play in this system. They constructed a model that shows what happens when pollutants introduced at the surface make their way into the groundwater.  It was a wonderful, educational , hands-on experience for our budding young scientists!
Sixth Grade Students work with Kat Munson

Google Expedition Arrives in Yarmouth

Through the generous funding of YEF, Google’s virtual reality app, Expeditions, has landed in Yarmouth Schools! 
Our thanks to the Yarmouth Education Foundation and Allison Flowerdew for these photos! 
Mike Arsenault provided us with this exciting update:

We now have a class set of devices to take students on a virtual field trip, with teachers leading the tour. To get teachers acquainted with the kit and procedures I'll be offering training sessions so they can see what’s available and how to manage an “expedition”.  There are over 500 expeditions that encompass all learning areas. Check out our Google Expeditions site for more details!

Mrs. Logan's class takes virtual tour of Ethiopia, Switzerland and Bhutan

Google Expedition Carrying Case

Blair Currier and Nikki Davoren win Farm to School Cook-off

Thanks to Dr. Dolloff for sharing this exciting news about Blair Currier, head of the K-12 Nutrition Team and Nikki Davoren, member of the HMS Nutrition Team!
Nikki Davoren and Blair Currier
I am pleased to let you know that our own Blair Currier and Nikki Davoren won the Department of Education's Regional Farm to School Cook-off competition yesterday.  Competing against teams from Falmouth and RSU 14 (Windham/Raymond), Blair and Nikki created the winning breakfast and lunch featuring Maine ingredients.  

Entrants were judged on taste, presentation, food cost and food safety skills.  For Yarmouth, breakfast featured crepes made with Maine wheat and eggs and served with a wild blueberry and kelp smoothie.  Lunch included Atlantic fish tacos with Maine apple salsa and garlic roasted potatoes.

Blair and Nikki will now represent Yarmouth's School Nutrition Department in the state finals in April.

7/8 Math Team-3rd Meet

Thanks to Jay Harrington for this latest math team update!  
On Thursday 3/16, the 7th/8th Grade Math Team traveled to the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland to compete in the third meet of the season. The team continued its success with the 7th Grade Team finishing in second place overall! Additionally, Krisztian Kovaks placed second overall in individual scores!
Evan Lucca, Krisztian Kovacs, Jack Riddle, Milo Weibus, Emily Mickool, Georgia Herr, Elena Miller
Krisztian Kovaks
Congratulations to team members Evan Lucca, Elena Miller, Emily Mickool, Georgia Herr, Krisztian Kovaks, Milo Weibus, and Jack Riddle. Well done all, and please note our fancy new shirts!
Milo Weibus

Barbara Ellis recognized by ATOMIM

Congratulations and best wishes to Barb on this recognition from the Association of Teachers of Mathematics! 
Barbara Ellis
Hello Barbara!

On behalf of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine I want to congratulate you for being recognized as part of our teacher recognition program.  You have been chosen as our April ATOMIM winner! 

Let me also thank you for the work you do, making your sixth grade classroom an engaging and exciting place for students to learn and love math and science.  We would like to honor you by sharing your story on our social media pages.  We will also include your name in our end-of-year drawing for some goodies along with all of our nominees and monthly winners. Thank you for your energy and enthusiasm and for making your mathematics classroom so hands-on and student focused.  We are so pleased to recognize your excellent work.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  

Yours, Marielle
Marielle Edgecomb
ATOMIM President-Elect
Peninsula School
Prospect Harbor, Maine 04693

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Poetry KaBaam!

 Our thanks to Charlotte Agell for filling us in on the annual HMS Poetry KaBaam, and to Charlotte, Merry Stuhr and Tracy Weinrich for their wonderful work on this inspiring event!

On April 5th, HMS celebrated National Poetry Month by hosting our annual KaBaam. A KaBaam is a (locally invented!) kinder version of a Poetry Slam. High school "Poetry Out Loud" contestant Hannah Grant regaled the crowd, as did eight HMS students and one librarian, some of whom had written their own poems.

Hannah Grant performs for HMS students
After each performs, audience members write down the emotion that the poem elicited. The room was a sea of reactions! Many thanks to the parents who provided the refreshments enjoyed by this large crowd of 7th and 8th grade poetry fans. A video clip of the YGT High School quartet performing "Sorry" kicked off this celebration in style. Poetry lives!

Maddie Emrich-Shanks and Juliet Meas react to KaBaam poems

6th Grade Scientists Learn About Our Water

 Thanks to Barbara Ellis for providing this interesting update about our 6th grade scientists:
Kat Munson with 6th grade scientists
On April 5th, 6th and 7th,  sixth graders were visited by Kat Munson of the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, as well as a representative from the Yarmouth Water District. 

The goals for the visits included students learning about their drinking water, which comes from groundwater, understanding the characteristics of North Yarmouth's drinking water, the surface-groundwater connection, and the role humans play in this system. They constructed a model that shows what happens when pollutants introduced at the surface make their way into the groundwater.  It was a wonderful, educational , hands-on learning experience for our budding young scientists!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fundraising for Camp Sunshine

This week Terry Blashke, a representative from Camp Sunshine, joined our HMS Student Leadership Team, and Nini Emmons, their advisor, for a special presentation. The Leadership Team was proud to present Terry and Camp Sunshine with a check for eight hundred dollars, which our students raised during Spirit Week. Our thanks to the Student Leadership Team and Nini for spearheading this effort, and to the inspiring staff at Camp Sunshine and the important work they do.

HMS Student Leadership Team
Spirit Week brings our school together as a community with the focus on outreach and giving to others who need assistance. We engage in a friendly fundraising competition with the goal of presenting a united front, as a learning community, about the importance of community service and community engagement. Our Student Leadership team has designated Camp Sunshine as this year's recipient of our fundraising efforts.

From the Camp Sunshine Website:
Camp Sunshine's Mission: Camp Sunshine was
founded in 1984. The camp provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses, and their families, through the various stages of a child’s illness.
Please access further information about Camp Sunshine at the link provided. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Civil Rights Team update

HMS Civil Rights Team: Ms. Mike, Avi Singh, Tyler Roderick, Erik Borda, Louisa Thompson-Longshore, Grace Shi, Ellie Zimmerman, Ms. Agell
Team members Finn Snow, Emily Mickool and Joshua Leinwand, were not present for the photo
The HMS Civil Rights team created a thoughtful and informative bulletin board focused on the labels students have heard at HMS. The words reported by our students refer negatively to people in all categories protected under the Maine Civil Rights Law. The Civil Rights Team crafted questions that caused students to pause and reflect on how they feel when they use negative labels, and what using these labels says about the labelers. Their presentation received a lot of positive attention and fostered interesting conversations among HMS community members.

 Our thanks and appreciation to the HMS Civil Rights team, and Mrs. Mike and Ms. Agell, the advisors to this team. Their inspiring work caused us to stop, think, and talk with each other about these words, which impact all of us daily. If you haven't seen the bulletin board yet please stop by (it's across from the library) and take time to consider this learning and the issues this project brings into focus for all of us. We're looking forward to the next activity sponsored by our Civil Rights team, and the learning it will bring to the forefront of our community.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jenny Jorgensen honored as Yarmouth's Educator of the Year!

Barbara Ellis, Karyn Smith, Jenny Jorgensen and Karen Jagolinzer
 On Monday, March 20th, Jenny Jorgensen, Harrison Middle School Lead Math Teacher, was honored as Yarmouth's Educator of the Year. Rick Biskup, President of the Yarmouth Education Association, was the master of ceremonies at this special, surprise celebration.

Jenny Jorgensen and Rick Biskup
 Jenny's gifts to the district are too numerous to count. Her dedication to our students' learning and progress, inspiring leadership, and continuous commitment to creative and innovative practices are some of the hallmarks of her work. Jenny models life-long learning for all of us; the HMS staff and the district as a whole have benefited by her example.  As Rick mentioned in his remarks (see his letter below), "While Jenny's nominators presented a resume that would be the envy of any professional given the breadth and depth of what has been accomplished over a distinguished career, it is what she contributes on a daily basis that is so awe inspiring. Her dedication and commitment to education is exceeded only by her humility and grace."

We congratulate Jenny on this wonderful and well-deserved recognition and look forward to honoring her at the banquet in May!

Yarmouth Education Association
Wednesday, March 20, 2017
Dear Colleagues,
As president of the Yarmouth Education Association it is my distinct honor to announce that the 2016-17 Educator of the Year Award will go to a member of the Frank Harrison Middle School faculty.

When Joan suggested today as a time for me to come and divulge the name of this year's recipient, it did not escape my attention that it was to be the first day of spring. The two events coinciding is somewhat fortuitous. The vernal equinox is a time of balance; literally as day and night are of equal duration. But there is also a metaphoric aspect to it as well. This year's recipient strikes me as being a model of balance. There are some people who tend to bring turbulence to a placid Sea and there are others who exude calm amidst the chaos. This year's educator of the year is the epitome of the later. Subtlety and grace are adjectives that come to mind. While there are those who seek the spotlight and yearn for recognition, this years awardee tends to allow her colleagues to discover the unique gifts and talents that comprise what it means to be a consummate professional. Much like the recent film, Hidden Figures, the contribution of this individual is best evidenced through her work. While her nominators presented a resume that would be the envy of any professional given the breadth and depth of what has been accomplished over a distinguished career, it is what this person contributes on a daily basis that is so awe inspiring. Her dedication and commitment to education is exceeded only by her humility and grace.

It is with great pleasure that I announce this year's Educator of the Year... Jenny Jorgensen.

Sincerely Yours,
Rick Biskup
President, Yarmouth Education Association

Jenny Jorgensen and Joan Adler

5th Graders Celebrate Colonial Craft Day

Mr. Smith's Class
Last Friday our 5th grade students had the chance to travel back in time to experience what life was like for children during colonial days. Our students and teachers dressed in the clothing of the time period, learned how to make their own candles and butter, knit, and create hand painted toys. Our students enjoyed a delicious "family style" lunch, which provided a perfect time to debrief their experiences and learnings from the day.

Thanks and appreciation to our 5th grade team for creating this special and unique learning celebration, and to our parent volunteers who add so much to this day. 

Andi Cobaj and Kelly Conley
Tom and Diane McDowell
We're grateful to Nini Emmons for her assistance and support getting ready for Colonial Craft Day, which was clearly enjoyed by all, and to Blair Currier, Kathy Lathem and the HMS Nutrition Team for their time and effort creating a very special meal for our students to share together!
Chloe Bibula
Benjamin Flowerdew
Curtis Adams-Beyea

Destination Imagination

Congratulations to our students who participated in Destination Imagination this year. We’re excited and inspired by their creativity and perseverance, which they put to spectacular use during this competition! Our thanks to these DO managers for dedicating countless hours of support to their teams!

The Vegan Cows:  

Team Members:
Norah Mills 

Matilda Murray 
Erin Grace Balduf 
Addy Lentz 
Anna Dickinson  

Team Managers: Vince Dickinson & Mika Lentz  

The Challenge: Top Secret.  

Results: They placed 3rd at the State Celebration!

The Vegan Cows

The Classy Clippers:  
Team Members
Stuart Baybutt
Darby Brennan
Jonny Cody
Nate Hagedorn
Evie King
John Raymond
Emily Waaler.

Team Managers: Al Raymond and Chris Waaler

Team Challenge: Show and Tech

Results: They placed FIRST at the State Celebration! The team will attend the DI Global Finals!

The Classy Clippers

The Jitterbugs:  
Team Members
Milo Sanokklis
Max Converse
Atticus Prinn
Evan Hankins
Ry Wood

Team Manager: Jenny Prinn

Team Challenge: Show and Tech 

Results: They placed 2nd at the State Celebration!

The Jitterbugs