MAMS Monthly

February 2017

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A Message from the Principal...

Happy February!

As always seems to be the case, this was a really exciting month at MAMS. The highlight, at least for me, was seeing our students and staff compete in the inaugural "Battle of the Classes". There are several student articles dedicated to this event below, and I'm sure you'll get a chuckle out of the videos as well.

We should all want school to be fun. Research suggests that students who associate school with "fun" perform better and work harder academically; have better attendance; higher self-esteem and confidence in their abilities; and approach the day with higher levels of excitement and enthusiasm.

My hope for "fun" is two-fold. I hope that our students come to MAMS, every day, knowing that they will have fun in their classes by learning new ideas, developing skills, and understanding a little more about the world around them.

Second, I hope that events like "Battle of the Classes" will forever be etched in our student's minds as a time when they had fun in school because they got to be a part of something bigger. Similar to when sports fans refer to their favorite team with phrases like "I can't believe we won that game" or "Why did we run that play", the sense of belonging is a critical component of what we refer to as the "MAMS Experience":

  • An emphasis on hard work
  • High expectations with student ownership of those expectations
  • Exposure to rigorous curriculum in all areas and
  • A focus on social and emotional development that enhances a student’s ability to be an integral member of a global community.

If you ever have ideas as to how we can enhance these ideas, please don't hesitate to e-mail


Mr. Aaron S. Eyler



A Message from the PTSO

The PTSO would like to congratulate all of the students and teachers who participated in the Battle of the Classes. All of the MAMS students showed great school spirit.

You are all winners in our eyes!

The next PTSO meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 28th at 10am.


Heather Piazza and Jennifer Tesi


A Friendly Reminder: Can you help us with career day?

Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School's Career Day is scheduled for May 12. 2016.

We are asking for your help. We need YOUR experiences! Whether you are a nurse, mechanic, astronaut, custodian or business owner- we need you! We are looking for a variety of people interested in spending a day talking to our students about their careers.

If you are interested in presenting, or know of someone that may want to inspire our students and share information on their career, please e-mail and place "MAMS Career Day 2017" in the subject line.

Thank you!

Mr. McKurth, Ms. Feen, and Ms. Didio

MAMS Counselors

From the Yearbook Staff

Just a reminder if you would like to purchase a MAMS yearbook for the 2016-2017 school year, visit:

The price for a yearbook is $37. Order now - the price will be going up soon!

Important Upcoming Dates & Events

By, Antonio Guarino (8th Grade)

  • Friday February 17th - School closed

  • Monday February 20th- School closed

  • Monday February 27th at 7:00 PM- Board of Education Meeting

Student Contributions

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First Annual Battle of the Classes

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At the Night Games

Battle of the Classes 8th Grade Wins
By, Jeff Busold (8th Grade)

The Battle of the Classes, which occurred over the last two weeks, was filled with superheroes, rock stars, and athletes. In reality, “The Battle of the Grades” would be a more accurate name, but let's not focus on technicalities.

The event started on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017, with a bit of a rocky start. The 6th grade dance was great and quite unique, but everyone, even the 7th graders themselves, were surprised about the 7th grade dance. The dance started off with what resembled some sort of ritual, only to transition into a fun dance off with plastic guitars. The 8th grade dance, as everyone agreed, was the best of the three, having the most unison of the three grades and having the best performance. 8th grade took an early lead in the competition with a first place score for the dance and some wins in the opening games.

After the first day, the 6th graders were in last, the 7th graders in second, and the 8th in first, which lasted throughout the games. That Wednesday was also "wear your grade’s color," where 6th grade wore blue, 7th had green, and 8th sported pink.

Throughout last and this week the grades had to wear numerous different outfits for spirit days, such as dressing as your favorite superhero, wear 4th of July colors, wear your favorite jersey, etc. The 8th grade had the most students wearing spirit attire for 5/7 days. On the final two days, more 6th graders sported their grade color and won for those days.

At the night games, 6th grade gained 6,000 points for their team with attendance and donations. Talk about devotion! However, yet again, 8th grade dominated in tug-of-war and other events.

On the final day of the competition, 7th grade nailed 3,000 points for their win in the banner, which was not only very creative but artistically constructed. But, neither 6th nor 7th grade could get enough points in the closing games to overcome the 8th grade lead.

In the end, only one grade could win, and that was the...... GR8 8TH GRADE!! They will have the honor of being the first class to win Battle of the Classes.

Here were the final results:

1st place: 8th grade - 17,629 points

2nd place: 7th grade - 14,821 points

3rd place: 6th grade - 13,423 points

Congratulations to the 8th grade on their win and thank you to everyone for participating with such a positive spirit.

Also, a huge shout out goes to Ms. Dansky and Ms. Stanek for organizing everything, so it ran smoothly, and our coaches and teachers for their moral (and athletic) support. It was great to have some friendly competition and bring the grades together.

Battle of the Classes Food Drive

By, Antonio Guarino (8th Grade)

Over the past two weeks at MAMS, all grades have been competing to be known as the "Best Class" within the school. To earn points for their teams, each grade had the opportunity to bring in canned food for a food drive. The 6th grade had a large lead for most of the week. However, in the final hours, the 7th grade came through and collected the most cans. In the end the totals were as follows:

1st place - 7th grade: Collected 861 cans

2nd place - 8th grade: Collected 689 cans

3rd place - 6th grade: Collected 674 cans

TOTAL: 2,224 cans

The collected food will be brought to the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean County, and will be distributed to citizens of Monmouth and Ocean County who are in desperate need of supplying food for their families. Thank you, all, for your generous contribution!

Le Befana Comes to MAMS

By, Christine Pattison (8th Grade)

Though it may have seemed a long time ago, an Italian holiday (Epiphania) took place on January 6th. The night of January 5th is La Befana, a Christian feast day, where a fictional character known as La Befana comes and delivers gifts to children who have been good; much like Santa Claus. In Italian classes, a woman who dressed as La Befana would come to demonstrate the holiday while students would learn more about the tradition through reading the story and participating in numerous activities.

The story of La Befana was conceptualized through a multitude of legends, and variations of the story exist among different people. The story told in Italian class, however, began with La Befana as an elderly woman who lived in a village in Italy. It has been said that she had a family, but her husband died with her son following soon after. Meanwhile, three kings embarked on a journey to find the place where a special child would be born. Though the three kings spoke different languages as well as being sent on different paths by following stars, they all came together in the same place - not far from the star.

Along the way to the star, they found La Befana, who invited them in for food. The three kings offered her to join them on their journey, but she refused. Soon after they left, she began feeling sorrowful and regretful that she didn’t go because she yearned for a child. In turn, La Befana ran after them with a basket stuffed full with things for a child, but soon she grew tired and exhausted. In a turn of good luck, a fairy appeared and bestowed upon her broom the power to fly. So, as the legend goes, La Befana flies to the homes of children on the night of January 5th, searching for the special child. As Santa Claus would deliver gifts to good children and coal to naughty ones, La Befana would deliver gifts to good children and coal and onions to naughty ones.

To this day, La Befana, the Christmas witch, flies around on her broom to bring presents to the children on the night before January 6.

Chorus Performs Winter Songs

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By, Antonio Guarino (8th Grade)

On January 12th, the Matawan Aberdeen Middle School chorus performed their annual Winter concert for all to hear. The concert consisted of many enjoyable songs including “Dream On” by Aerosmith, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, and even “Walk Like a Man” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

The chorus is comprised of a great group of smart, talented, and fun students. In addition to being a great group of kids, they are also an award winning group who competes in “The Music in the Parks” choral competition. They always come home with 1st place and superior trophies. The MAMS chorus wouldn't be a good chorus if it wasn't for there amazing and dedicated to job teacher Mrs. Greenspan. According to Mrs. Greenspan, "the 2017 Winter Chorus Concert was the best in years!"

The chorus thanks all who came to enjoy their music. Music is not fun to sing if you have no one to sing it to!

Black History Month

This month we remember the most important people and events from African American history.
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History of Valentine's Day

By, Christine Pattison (8th grade)

Where Valentine’s Day derived isn’t exactly certain. Variations exist as to how exactly it came about along with the details, but the man who is directly linked to the occasion is St. Valentine. The holiday came from the Christian martyr, or someone that is put to death by advocating for something, along with having Roman roots.

A popular explanation by scholars is that there was a Roman emperor who lived around 270 who outlawed the marriage of young men. He claimed that men to be married were better suited for battle. Thus, St. Valentine performed secret marriages but was caught and put to death. A variation is that St. Valentine was to be put to death but fell in love with a young woman while in jail. However, in the 14th century was when scholars linked the holiday to romance.

Thus, over the years, the holiday spread in England along with the tradition of sending romantic cards with lace and ribbon. This soon spread to the colonies, however the holiday didn’t spread rapidly until around the 1850’s. Today, Valentine’s Day is a commonplace to expect every year, full of themes of romance and love. It’s become extremely normalized with its success commercially (chocolates and cards), and thus is here to stay despite its rather cloudy origins.

15 MORE Facts that Will Enlighten your Mind

By, Christine Pattison (8th Grade)

  1. When telling a lie, people will tend to not use hand gestures. Their hands will stay strangely still, while in comparison people will be drawn to make a lot of hand gestures when telling the truth.

  2. Pulling skin from your lips with your teeth or biting the skin around your nail beds may be signs of a developing anxiety disorder.

  3. The brain naturally forgets information to prevent your brain from getting too overwhelmed with information overload.

  4. People tend to trust those who express their insecurities and become vulnerable to them.

  5. When arguing with someone, the most effective way to win is to ask questions based on the other person’s claim. This will open up the supposed holes in their logic.

  6. It takes 60 days to form a habit.

  7. When pursuing a task, thinking of a favorable outcome will reduce your motivation to accomplish said task, rather than finish it.

  8. Touching someone on their upper-arm when asking a favor of them will increase their likelihood to accept to do the favor.

  9. Your personality and attitude are two distinct things. Personality traits are who you are, while your attitude is affected by how someone treats you.

  10. Alarm clocks are actually unhealthy. They don’t naturally ascend you into being awake, but rather they tend to startle you and therefore, in your panic, interrupt your sleep cycle.

  11. To reduce the pain of a small injury like stubbing your toe or hitting your hip on a desk, try yelling. This has shown to effectively reduce the pain!

  12. The reason as to why you can’t typically sleep well in a place you haven’t slept in before is because your brain is attempting to protect you from an unfamiliar environment.

  13. If you can’t get someone off your mind, there is a high chance that the person on your mind is also thinking about you.

  14. If you ever have thoughts such as “what would happen if I tipped over this railing”, or “would I die if I got into a car crash right now,” then don’t be afraid. These are called intrusive thoughts and are common among everyone. As long as you aren’t thrown into hysteria or stress due to these thoughts, they’re completely fine.

  15. “If you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.” - Malcolm Gladwell

War of the Grades

By, Jeff Busold (8th Grade)

And so it begins, the war of the grades,

A peaceful war, one fought with clothes and cans, not blades.

It begins with a dance, groups from each faction,

Performing an original piece, with an original action.

The first was interesting, but far from the best, the mighty and high,

The second was completely demonic, it would make a youngling cry.

The third was magnificent, unified and elegant.

If the dance was a prediction, then the winner is evident.

The battle continues for several days before the close,

And in the end, when everyone knows,

Who was the best of the best, the grade whose road had been paved,

Who had won, the battle of the grades.


Found By, Gevar Younan (8th Grade)

What did the rabbit say to his girlfriend on Valentine’s day?

Somebunny loves you!

What did the stamp say to the envelope on Valentine’s day?

I’m stuck on you!

What kind of flowers do you never give on Valentine’s day?


What does a vampire call it’s girlfriend?

His ghoul-friend.

How can you tell a calendar is popular?

It always has a lot of dates.

Why do skunks celebrate Valentine’s day?

Because they're scent-imental.

Inspirational Video of the Month

Sara Bareilles - Brave


By, Christine Pattison (8th Grade)
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