Blue Jay Broadcast

News and Notes from the Hallways of MHS

Coffee talk with Mr. Guzman

The Middlesex High School faculty and staff is very much a community of collaboration made up of different skillsets and interests, all of which are utilized to engage students and enhance their learning. We encourage our students to work together and share ideas, whether they are in the classroom or participating in sports and activities, we want them to be comfortable and confident in bringing a new and fresh perspective to their own learning. Students learn and practice interpersonal skills and team-related skills. Furthermore students are put in positions to gain an awareness of who they are and where their own perspective comes from. Self-awareness skills allow them to better understand and empathize with the emotions and viewpoints of others, moving beyond “tolerance” or “acceptance” to genuinely valuing the perspectives quite different from their own. In order to encourage it with our students, we encourage it with our faculty.

Recently, Mr. Inciong and Ms. Cuffari came together for a demo on French omelets. Mr. I, a self-proclaimed foodie and music teacher, demonstrated the preparation and cooking of the omelet before the students broke into their smaller groups to prepare one themselves. In the Foods classes, students are divided into groups and assigned to a cooking station where they work together to prepare the dishes that have been demonstrated. Teachers collaborating with one another to prepare and teach lessons show our students the outcome when you bring differences together and what can be accomplished.

Ms. Cuzzolino and Mr.Caivano also brought together their areas of expertise to create lessons that highlight the business of building. The Entrepreneurship classes brainstormed and came up with two products that could be made in the woodshop for teachers. One class will be making a telephone caddy and one class will be making a desk organizer. The classes will complete their projects from creating their design, to determining their labor, materials and profit before building their items. Understanding business from product conception through production and distribution is a transferable skill that our students can continue to use throughout their personal and professional lives.

These collaborations provide the students with the opportunity to meet teachers that they may never have in class and build on our school community by interacting and learning from one another.

News & Notes

Remind your students to listen during morning announcements and check out fliers posted in the hallways for club and activity information, meeting schedules and fundraisers.

Cross Country Team is accepting donations of sneakers that are no longer used for GotSneakers, a sneaker recycling organization that provides wearable sneakers to those less fortunate around the world as well as keeping used sneakers out of landfills. They will be collecting sneakers until May 1st.

Fall College Visits have begun. Students can sign up to speak with representatives in the Counseling Office.

A few reminders as we settle in to the new school year:

Students who are leaving early need to bring a note to the Main Office in the morning so that a pass can be provided to them and they can leave class to meet their parent in the office. If a student is walking, driving or being picked up by someone other than a parent, that information will need to be included in the note.

Students will not be released from school without parent permission, permission may be granted by a parent phone call or note. Students who are not feeling well should report to the Health Office before calling home.

It is important for students to arrive to school on time - the school day begins at 8:00am. Students who arrive after 8:00am are marked as tardy, students who are tardy 3 times will be issued a morning detention, students will receive a second morning detention if they are tardy an additional 3 times. Students who are tardy 7 or more times will receive a Saturday morning detention as well as lose privileges such as field trips, school dances, club activities, etc. Attendance policies can be found in the student handbook on the high school website.

School security continues to remain a top priority and as such, procedures will continue to change as we work on providing a safe and secure environment for our students and staff.

Please be advised, there are changes to our visitor policy. ALL visitors who wish to enter the building will be required to sign in and wear an ID badge. Visitors will not be allowed entrance to the building until the person they are visiting is available to meet them in the security vestibule. This is for all high school offices, including the Main Office, Counseling Office, Health Office and Athletics Office. Visitors are required to have an escort at all times. Please plan your time accordingly.

Community Support

The Fashion Club Halloween costume drive was a success! This collection will benefit Ozanam Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter in Piscataway and Agape House in Somerville. The costumes will provide families the opportunity to dress up for the holiday.

Sneaker Update from the Cross Country Team:

89 pairs of wearable sneakers and cleats, 93 pairs of wearable non athletic shoes shipped overseas. All other shoes are going to be recycled.
The team packed 20 total bags
493 pairs
569 pounds
of recycled sneakers/cleats/ boots/sandals/flip flops/high heals & slippers to date.
Our goal is to collect 500 pairs. Thank you to the team, coaches, friends, family, neighbors and our town of Middlesex for your donations thus far."

Big picture

Did You Know?

The architects responsible for Middlesex High School, Micklewright & Mountford, are celebrating 100 years of business this year. They have had a number of name changes over the years but Middlesex High School is one of their projects from the 1950s.

Shout Outs

Shout Out to Ms. Cuffari for bringing international experiences to our Foods students. From Ms. Cuffari: "Ms. Cuffari's Food Services Class video called Frank from Tokyo, Japan in the library today. He is the owner of 5AM Ramen and does amazing ramen tasting tours in Tokyo, Japan. The students asked Frank about what is like to live and eat in Japan. If you ever find yourself in Tokyo definitely go on a ramen tour with Frank:

Follow Frank on Instagram @5amramen

For more information about traveling in Japan contact Ms. Cuffari for her Japan travel guide."

Shout Out to the Weightlifting Club - They raised $1,200 for Team Danny to help fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Alumni Spotlight

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

Tyler L. Spano, PhD

Class of 2004

After graduating from MHS in 2004, Tyler put her creativity into action by studying fine arts at DuCret School of Art in Plainfield NJ, and interior design at Middlesex County College. Although she still loves art and design, in 2008 Tyler set out to study Earth Science, a topic that had interested her since childhood. At Kean University in Union NJ, she immersed herself in the study of geology and chemistry. This led to the realization that mineralogy, the scientific study of the physical, chemical, and structural properties of minerals, was what she wanted to spend her life doing. Tyler then began to focus on investigating the occurrence of radioactive minerals in NJ for her honors bachelor’s thesis. In her final year of undergraduate studies, she started applying to graduate programs in hopes of pursuing a PhD that would focus on the geology and chemistry of uranium-containing minerals. This brought her to work with Dr. Peter C. Burns, a uranium mineralogist at the University of Notre Dame in Northern Indiana.

Her PhD studies investigated a group of uranium minerals that also contain the element vanadium. These are important ore minerals, and have interesting chemical and geologic properties. Tyler also conducted research with Dr. Antonio Simonetti at Notre Dame, in the field of nuclear forensics. Her work on this subject sought to trace back the geologic origin of nuclear materials if, for example, uranium ore were to be stolen and used for malicious purposes. She obtained her PhD in December of 2017.

In addition to her dissertation, entitled “Uranyl Vanadate Mineralogy and Nuclear Forensic Analysis of Uranium-Rich Materials”, Tyler has authored or coauthored 15 peer-reviewed publications and has presented her research at national and international scientific conferences. Tyler has also been involved in the discovery of new mineral species, has visited the International Atomic Energy Agency and United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, and has had the opportunity to present her research at Los Alamos, Brookhaven, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

Tyler is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Notre Dame, where she studies the forensic signatures in nuclear fuel pellets. She is also involved in developing new geologic models for uranium deposits. When she isn’t working, Tyler loves to spend time cooking and playing board games with her husband Jon Suckoe, also a MHS alum. She also enjoys playing with her three cats (Tesla, Newton, and Gauss), gardening, and making jewelry. If you would like to learn more about Tyler or her research, please visit her website or contact her directly at

Artist Corner

Below are some of this year's Halloween make up - both students and staff got into the Halloween spirit.

Bird's Eye View

Welcome to our newest addition to the Blue Jay Broadcast! We're taking you inside the halls of MHS....stay tuned.
The Peace Table at MHS

Last year, students were selected to participate in a Peace Table discussion moderated by Dr. Laurie Mulvey, a Middlesex HS alumni and Executive Director, World in Conversation. This discussion was centered around guns and gun violence and allowed our students to have an open and honest conversation with their peers.

Dr. Mulvey provided us with the video above to share the experience with the community. We are so proud of our students and thank Dr. Mulvey for bringing the experience to Middlesex High School.

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