Blue Jay Broadcast

News and Notes from the Hallways of MHS

Coffee talk with Mr. Guzman

This year has seen many of our athletic teams doing a great job and exceling in their sport. As we move towards spring sports, it’s important to check in with your student athletes to ensure they are not being overwhelmed with academics, athletics, work and home life. For many of our students, there are multiple activities in their daily lives and it’s important to check in with them to make sure they’re doing ok. They need to find a balance between all of their activities so that no one area of their lives suffers, this may require giving something up or cutting back on time spent on one activity. Athletics should not be a job; it should be a fun experience to counterbalance academics and work.

In my last Coffee Talk, I discussed making difficult decisions and this may be one of those decisions. For some of our students, they will need to rely on scholarships in order to continue to pursue their education at college/university – whether it’s an academic or athletic scholarship, they will need to be able to plan ahead and manage their time. A Student Athlete should be a student first and an athlete second, we want to encourage them to engage in all aspects of their school community. When our students leave Middlesex, we want them to have an educational foundation that will propel them to success.

We understand that not every student learns the same or has the same understanding of course content, so we offer enrichment periods twice a day: 7:40-7:56am Monday - Friday and 2:30-3:00pm Monday-Thursday. Students, athlete or not, should seek out their teachers if they are having trouble or are finding it difficult to understand what they are learning. The Library is also open for the students to have a space to study, read, do homework and research. Students may go to the library during their lunch periods or before and after school. Library hours are 7:30-3:30pm Monday-Thursday and 7:30-3:00pm on Fridays.

If students are finding themselves running out of time to do homework, projects, study and participate in activities and sports, they may need to reevaluate what they are involved in and what time it takes up in their daily schedule. I found the following article that I wanted to share with you, Balancing Sports and Academics by Justin Williamson.

“Whether it’s Jr. High or college, the students are always given a label. The jocks are known as the cool kids while the smart ones are known as the nerds. It seems so black and white; you’re either one or you’re the other. This really does not have to be the case. The straight-A student can also be the one who gets a football scholarship. It is possible to juggle sports and academics and excel in both. It comes down to desire, time management, and a whole lot of work, but it is possible. What’s more; it’s worth it.

Realize That One Helps the Other

Playing a sport in school helps to get you out of your desk and into the action; it offers a break with major benefits. Staring at a textbook can get awfully exhausting, and being part of a sports team can offer you a much needed break to work out, wake up, and then get back to it. On the other hand, doing well academically can help you to be more focused as part of a team. Academics also helps teach you logic and problem solving which you can put to good use on the field (or court, or whatever the case may be). Plus, if you are hoping for a scholarship in your sport, doing well academically will boost your chances substantially.

When managed properly, sports and academics don’t clash with each other at all; they actually complement each other and help you to put all of your hard-earned skills to use.

Don’t Think of Your Sport as Work

Sports benefit your overall health; mentally, physically and emotionally. By playing a sport, you are providing yourself with a healthy outlet that gives you some stress relief while doing something that you love. Whatever your sport may be, it can allow you to take your mind off of your term paper, grades, and even all that dirty laundry. While it can be demanding, your sport may be the break that you need to help yourself to not feel so bogged down.

This is a concept that many don’t quite understand, and is why people are often able to manage sports and academics fairly easily. The academic part is the real job and the sport is your outlet; your break. When you think of it this way, it suddenly doesn’t seem like nothing but work.

Don’t Over Book Yourself

When you commit to both academics and a sport, you must realize that you don’t leave yourself a lot of time for anything else. While your friends are at a party, you will probably be home doing the homework you didn’t have time to do because you had a game that day. This is perfectly fine so long as both your sport and schoolwork are equally important to you.

You also need to be sure that you don’t book yourself solid. Leave a little breathing room in your schedule. While it’s great to be busy and commit to a wide array of different things, if you never give yourself time to rest, you will quickly burn out. If you aren’t working at your full potential, both your schoolwork and your athletic abilities will suffer.

Manage Your Time

Perhaps the most important key to balancing both academics and sports is learning to manage your time. If you can’t make the most of every minute, you will be miserable; there is no room for procrastination in this juggling act. When you’ve got both a demanding course load and a heavy practice schedule bearing down on you, you have very little time to waste. Take a look at your daily schedule and find little ways to fit in more studying, more sleep, and less waste.

Perhaps it’s possible to take the bus to school; this would give you extra time (otherwise spent singing to the radio) to study and finish up homework instead of staying up so late at night. With one minor tweak, you’ve earned yourself both more study time and more sleep.

You’ve got to learn to make the most of the time that you have. Sit down once a week (Sunday evening tends to work the best) and think about the week ahead. Plan and schedule each thing that you can. Schedule set times for studying and then stick to your schedule. Creating a schedule is much like creating a budget except that you are working with time instead of money. Distribute the time in the most efficient way possible in order to accomplish everything and hopefully still have time left over for relaxing or going out.

Stay Motivated

When everything starts to pile up and you feel yourself wearing down, it’s easy to wonder why in the world you decided to take on both sports and academics. Constantly remind yourself that this is what you wanted and that both things are equally important. Keep a positive attitude and remember that all of your hard work is going to pay off. Also don’t forget to enjoy school and your sport; they are both things that you cared enough about to try and take on simultaneously. Don’t get so caught up in the demand of it all that you forget to enjoy yourself.”


News & Notes

Amnesty International is once again presenting MHS Idol! This is a singing competition that is judged by teachers. This event will be held on Thursday, February 1st at 7pm in the High School Auditorium. Tickets are $5.

This year’s performers are:

· Dylan Robertson

· Maggie Kyryczenko

· Taylor Fleming

· Paige Hendricks

· Annabella Garcia

· Emily Yannotta

· Nikki Strang

We will also have a guest number by last year’s winner Gaby DiTaranto.

Our judges are:

· Mr. Chismar

· Ms. Lopez

· Mr. Parisi

· Matt Kasalis-former Amnesty president, initiator of MHS Idol

This event is a fundraiser and each year Amnesty International donates the proceeds to different international charities. This year's donation will go to It is an organization that brings wells to villages and people who would otherwise have to walk many kilometers to get water.

Good Luck to all of our Idol hopefuls!

A message from the Athletics Office:

"The spring sports registration deadline of Thursday, February 15th is getting closer. Thanks to all of the students who have already finished their registration. If you did not finish your registration, please do not turn in just one form and wait until the last few days to submit anything else that is needed. All forms should be submitted ASAP to ensure that you are able to try out or start practice on time."

Fashion Club's winter accessories drive is going until February 8th. Donate gently used items, such as hats, mittens, gloves and scarves. All donations go to the FISH Foundation.

At the Winter Pep Rally on February 9th, ten of our teachers will be receiving a pie in the face. Each teacher will be pied by one of the students via raffle. To enter, students can purchase tickets after school near the gym between the 200 & 300 hallways and place their tickets in the bin for whichever teacher they would like a chance to pie. Tickets are $1 for 1 ticket and $5 for 7 tickets. This is a favorite popular event at the pep rally!

The results are in - Round 1 of Coin Wars is over and the students donated $1,155.79 to JaysFest for children in Middlesex with pediatric illness. The Seniors came in first, followed by the Juniors, Sophomores and in 4th place, the Freshman. Coin Wars will return for Round 2 on April 9th.

Five students from Ms. Cuzzolino's Entrepreneurship class competed in the 2018 Middlesex County Consumer Bowl Competition on January 30. There were four schools in the county that participated and it was held at New Brunswick High School this year.

The competition helps to educate teenagers about consumer issues that they may face in the future and how to protect themselves from fraud. A game-show format of three rounds is used to test the students’ knowledge of consumer issues.

It was our first year participating and even thought the team did not move on to the second competition, they now know what to expect and can improve for future competitions. Overall the students had a great experience and each received a T-shirt and a Certificate of Achievement.

The students that participated are:

Raisha Monga – Team Captain

Edgar Juharian

Taylor Murray

Matthew Tolomeo

Lily Weiniger

Raisha Monga and Brianna Pearyer entered the Junior Achievement Virtual Titan Regional Competition. The objective is that the teams are given a business with a product they have to manufacture, develop, advertise, market and sell. The competition was held at Synchronoss in Bridgewater, NJ on January 24, 2018.

Competitions were held all around New Jersey at different corporation sites. MHS registered four teams from our FBLA chapter. There were over 250 groups that registered and out of those 250 groups Raisha Monga and Brianna Pearyer made regional finals. This is Middlesex High School’s second attempt at reaching finalist status.

There were 18 teams in all and the competition was done in 12 rounds with Raisha and Brianna earning eighth place. They did a valiant job in maintaining their points and establishing a good strategy with their business. While they didn't win, it was an excellent experience for them. They got to speak with executives and the CEO of Synchronoss, brainstorm under pressure and network with other students from all around New Jersey.


Academic Highlights

Students in Mr. Hintelmann's US History 2 Honors classes are learning about WW2. During the war, women took a larger role in the labor force including may technical and mechanical jobs held by men who were serving in the military at that time. It was in this spirit that Felipe Cortes taught Angele Garcia to weld and use a hydraulic band saw. This project brought Workplace Readiness, STEM and History together in the classroom.

Check out the video and photo below.
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Community Support

The Key Club's Winter Coat Drive was a success! Thank you to all who donated winter coats to donate to the FISH organization for those in need.
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Did You Know?

There are currently 15 teachers and staff who are alumni of Middlesex High School. We also have alumni who return to coach, volunteer with activities, complete their student observations towards a teaching degree and even substitute teach!

Shout Outs

Shout Out to Mr. Brenner & Mr. Chismar for starting High Five Fridays. They are available outside room 205 on Friday mornings between 7:45-8:00am for high fives.
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Shout Out to our faculty for exploring new and innovative ways to bring technology into their classrooms and a special Shout Out to Ms. Logue for organizing and assisting our teachers with new technology.

Alumni Spotlight

Welcome to our newest addition to the Blue Jay Broadcast!

We wanted to make a section to highlight our alumni. There is a big world beyond Middlesex and we want to share with you some of the incredible things our alumni have done. This can be in the arts, trades, business, education, medicine, volunteering, science, armed services and the list goes on. We hope that these spotlights can encourage our students and parents to explore and engage in conversations about the variety of career paths.

Recently we reached out to James Fiorentino, Class of 1995 and he shared the following bio with us:

"James Fiorentino (b. 1977) is an American artist who currently resides in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. James's artwork was recognized at an early age. At the age of fifteen, James Fiorentino became the youngest artist ever to be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his likeness of Reggie Jackson. In 1998, James became the youngest artist to be inducted into the prestigious New York Society of Illustrators, along with such artists as Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth.

A graduate of Drew University where James was also the starting shortstop for all four years of his college career. He has painted for and met many legends of the past and stars of today, including Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Cal Ripken Jr., Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali to Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Albert Pujols. His photo-realism in watercolor has helped him become a nationally-known wildlife and portrait artist, painting people from everyday life to Presidents and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Many of James’ works currently grace the walls of notable museums, galleries, Universities, companies and private collections. James’ work has won numerous awards and can be seen nationally in books and magazines and on trading cards. In 2001, “The Fiorentino Collection” consisted of approximately 100 paintings for Upper Deck Trading Cards depicting legends in five major sports. James’ work and story has been carried on international and national television shows, and in magazines and newspapers. James is a member of the New Jersey Watercolor Society, American Watercolor Society, Society of Animal Artists and Artists For Conservation. James is also a trustee of the Raptor Trust of NJ and D & R Greenway Land Trust."

Check out the links below to learn more about James and his artwork.

Do you know of an alumni who would like to be in the spotlight? If so, please contact Alaina Sviderskis at

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