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

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Into the Woods

The 7th and 8th grade cast and crew of Into The Woods truly outdid themselves this year by creating this beautifully, whimsical, funny and entertaining show! Every detail was perfect from the acting and singing, to the lighting, sound, costumes and sets.

The combined talent and hard work of our students led to a remarkably professional show, which felt like it was put on by an ensemble well beyond our students' years. The play was expertly led and directed by the one and only Betsey Reinsborough, who put her unique stamp on it with one of the best special effects we've ever seen on stage (ask someone about this if you didn't get to see it!)!
Our thanks and appreciation to Betsey and all of the amazing Reinsboroughs, including our very own Liz, for their tireless work and commitment to this production. Thanks, as always, to all of our parent volunteers, we could not do this without you, and to Kathy Gardner and Bill Allen for their on-going support.


 A huge thank you to the HMS Student Leadership Team and Mrs. Emmons, their advisor, for creating the themes and structure for an outstanding Spirit Week! Student participation was awesome-we loved seeing the creative outfits, the way they magically transformed our hallways, and their focus on fundraising for Camp Sunshine.

Speaking of fundraising, another HUGE shout out goes to Ms. Shaw, Mr. Morse, Mr. Hagerty and Mr. Warshaw for turning into human sundaes on behalf of this wonderful cause-you wore the sprinkles wonderfully well! Thanks also to our students who did the honors creating the sundaes : ). 

We noticed and appreciate the kind and supportive behavior throughout the week, even in the midst of friendly competitions!

There are several important reasons we hold Spirit Week:
1. 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.
2. Spirit Week gives us a chance to use our artistic, innovative ideas and skills to transform our hallways from the everyday corridors of HMS to unique and interesting places around our country or world. The grade level projects provide us with the opportunity to collaborate and work together, have fun, and enjoy the creative process.

3. Spirit Week also allows us to show off our school spirit, dress up, PLAY, and shake up our daily routine a bit! Research tells us that Play Isn't Just for PreSchoolers-Teenagers Need it Too and confirms the many benefits to learning when students are given time to dream, create and play. 
We're looking forward to next year!

International Evening at YES

 Sheri Oliva and Marielle Scammell, Yarmouth ESL teachers, created a beautiful event to celebrate their students' hard work throughout the school year.  Students and their families gathered at Yarmouth Elementary School to share food and fun! Jodi McGuire joined Sheri and Marielle in this effort. Together they created a wonderful evening of connections, which provided opportunities for parents to get to know each other, and students of all ages to play together. Our thanks to these students and their families, and to Sheri, Marielle, and Jodi for hosting this evening which everyone hopes will be an annual event!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

7th Grade Science Update

Our seventh-grade students had the unique opportunity to learn about congenital heart disease, EKG reading and angiograms from a team of experts including Kyle Deerwester, Yarmouth Alum at Tufts Medical School.

Our students gained valuable knowledge from participating in the porcine dissection under the expert direction of HMS parents and community members. Our thanks to the following parents who volunteered their time to support this unique learning experience for our students!

Adam Owen
Linda Coes
Michelle Carol-Cristopher
Julia Brock
Loree Wood-Devinney
Kevin Cowell
Deidre Heersink
Bennett Wilson
Kyle Deerwester

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mindfulness Presentation for Parents

Susan Parr, HMS Social Worker, has been educating our students, staff and district about the benefits of Mindfulness for several years. She leads the HMS Mindfulness Club, visits classrooms to share a variety of Mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises and activities, and meets with interested staff members weekly to continue this education.

Susan describes Mindfulness as paying attention to the present moment, on purpose, and without judgement.  Studies show that using Mindfulness has numerous benefits, including decreased stress, anxiety, and depression while increasing focus, concentration and emotional regulation.

Earlier this winter Susan invited HMS parents to attend a Mindfulness presentation to learn about the concept and explore the variety of practices that parents can use for themselves and/or with family.

Thanks to Olivia Bailey, Izabel Cox-Faxon, and Maddie Miles for sharing their wealth of knowledge during this presentation. Additionally, thanks to both the Mindfulness Club and the 8th grade Mindfulness lunch group for serving on the panel, answering questions and sharing their personal experiences on how Mindfulness has helped them in Middle School.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Poutine à HMS! Oh là là!!

Paula Vicenzi filled us in on the first, delicious use of our induction range and pan:

Through the support of the PTO and Kelly Sawhney, PTO member and HMS parent, we now have an an induction range and pan!

The world language team will use the range to enrich our cultural units through simple food demonstrations in our classrooms. On Friday, March 10, Blair Currier, the director of the Yarmouth School Nutrition Program, joined the 7th grade French classes to demonstrate how to make a popular Québécois dish called "Poutine." 

Blair Currier cooks for our students
The wonderful smells of fries covered with cheese curds and homemade gravy helped us imagine that we had a little of Québec in our classroom!

Tori Kendeigh, Alice Donahue, and Maddie Emrich-Shanks enjoy this special dish

Geo Bee Update-Congratulations to Evan Lucca

 Congratulations and best wishes to Evan Lucca, who qualified to compete in the state level National Geographic Bee!
Evan Lucca
The Maine State Bee will be held on Friday, March 31, 2017. Eligible state Bee competitors are in grades four through eight, and have participated in and won the competition at the school level that involved at least six students. This year 106 students qualified for the state competition.
One champion from each state and territory will advance to the National Geographic Bee Championship, which will be held May 14-18 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Many thanks to Megan Rice and Charlotte Agell for their coordination and facilitation of the HMS Geo Bee.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Project FeederWatch comes to the HMS Library

 Merry Stuhr brought us up to date on the latest innovation in our Wonder-Filled Library:

As Merry's photos demonstrate, our students love this new addition to the library!
Thanks to our PTO, and Kellie McMahon, HMS has begun the citizen science project through Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University! 

HMS students who visit the library and wish to participate are recording their observations, which will be submitted to Cornell. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. 

Kellie McMahon, 8th grade science and math teacher, was  instrumental in helping to get this project off the ground. Thank you, Kellie! 

Please enjoy this very special video taken by Sam Polstein, 8th grade student:


Rob Finch visits HMS Choirs

Kimberly Grover filled us in on an exciting visit from fellow Choir Conductor, Rob Finch:
Rob Finch working with HMS Students
Rob Finch visited with HMS choir students on Tuesday, 2.28. Rob was the District II Honors Chorus conductor this year and the 30 HMS students who participated in the choir absolutely loved working with him!
Rob hails from Dover NH where he teachers music and drama at their middle school. He is also an active singer and actor, most recently performing in this past summer's production of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Rob enjoyed working with our students and the feeling was mutual. 
Thanks and appreciation to the Music Boosters for making Rob's visit possible!