MVMS Pride Monthly Newsletter

November 2017

If you have not done so already, please take a moment to fill out the brief survey at the end of the newsletter. To those who have already filled this out, thank you! Your feedback is much appreciated.

Giving Thanks

As the cold weather begins to slide in, the long, hot summer days seem a distant memory. As we enter into the holiday season, it’s important to take some time out from the hustle and bustle of the day to day grind to give thanks and appreciate how fortunate we are to live in a country where our freedoms are protected. On November 9th, the MVMS community kicked off the holiday season by honoring our veterans with a special assembly. The gym floor was filled with veterans of all ages as they were recognized by student presentations, performances, and a speech from the keynote speaker, Mr. Patrick Testerman, Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force, Retired. This being my first Veteran’s Day assembly, I was proud to be part of a school that celebrates and honors its community's heroes with such dignity and respect.

Washington DC....A Student's Perspective

After a very ominous beginning of waking up to the roars of whipping winds, no power, and driving to school in what looked like a disaster zone, the DC trip was a blast! The students had a fantastic time as they toured our nation's capital and took in all of the sights and experiences that the city has to offer. Here is a look at the day to day activities of the trip as told by five eighth grade students.

Day 1 - Adarmis P

When every kid woke up on October 31st, they were excited to go to school and go to Washington, D.C. Some were without power, but nevertheless, still excited. Even with their current loss of power, they still managed to make it to school. We went to school, took attendance, and were shipped off for one of the most fun and time consuming parts of the trip... the bus ride. The bus ride was full of laughs with our chaperones and friends gathered around us. About halfway through our bus ride, we stopped and got on the Freedom Island Ferry. From there, we saw Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. After exploring, we were back on the bus and off to our hotel. We knew this place would be so much fun. It was our home away from home, our base to do as we wanted…. as long as we tipped the maid.

Day 2 - Sierra B

On the second day of the Washington, D.C. trip, we visited the Korean Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. I liked that the two monuments were so close to each other, because we did a lot of walking that day. After the Korean and Lincoln memorials, we walked through the Vietnam Memorial and saw all the names of the soldiers who died during the war. We also took a tour of the National Cathedral, which was one of my favorite parts! From there, we walked to see the White House, and then up the hill to the Washington Monument, which was huge! After spending some time there, we walked to the WWII Memorial with all the pools. This was truly my favorite part of the whole trip. Next, we took a tour of the Capitol Building with our tour guide. We spent about an hour there, and then we went the the American History Museum, but we only had about 30 minutes there to explore. Towards the end of the day, we did the night tour, which included the MLK, FDR, and the Jefferson Memorials. We were fortunate to see everything all lit up. Overall, it was a great day in Washington, D.C.!

Day 3 - Kalvin M

On Wednesday of the D.C. trip, buses 3 and 4 took part in various activities. First, we went to pick up our tour guide. Our guide was with us through many of the attractions we went to that day, including Arlington Cemetery. There, we visited the grave of President J.F.K., and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Pentagon Memorial, which gave a bench for everyone who died in the crash. The most fascinating attraction to me was probably the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, not for the structure itself, but because we got to see the changing of the guard that happens hourly. The activities that took place toward the end of the day were the buffet at Golden Corral, which offered a variety of selections of food and drinks, and a visit to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. At the Kennedy Center, we watched, and some even took part in (only a minuscule amount), the play Shear Madness, which was a murder mystery as well as a comedy, and was quite enjoyable. The final thing I can recall from Day 3, is simply getting on the bus and arriving back at the hotel... for sleep?

Day 4 - Eliza G

On Thursday, we visited the Holocaust Museum, where we explored the entirety of World War II in one place. It was very emotional, and meant something to many people. After finishing up our visit to the Holocaust Museum, we visited the National Archives, and there were a TON of documents and document copies of actual writings from the founding fathers. It was very interesting and historic to see. After that, the long awaited zoo visit was upon us. The zoo was definitely a highlight of the week for many students, including myself. We saw amazing animals, such as pandas. The Smithsonian Zoo is one of the only zoos in the country with pandas. Finally, to end it all with a bang (ha ha, space joke), we visited the Air and Space Museum. Being the astronomical nerd that I am, I seriously had fun there! There were so many cool exhibits, and you could even buy space food! With the final day of the trip coming to a close, you could tell that we were reluctant to go home.

Day 5 - Diego L

The final day of our school trip to Washington, D.C, was a very long and somewhat interesting experience. In the morning before our departure, my group and I woke up at around 5:30 in the morning. We had to shower, eat breakfast, and bring all of our luggage to the lobby and into the bus by 7:00 a.m. Because of the lack of time, most of us, and other groups, had to rush to complete all the tasks and make sure that we had everything prepared and ready for the bus ride back home. When everything was ready and packed, teachers started to gather students outside of the hotel and line them up to get on the bus. Once all of the students and teachers were ready, we left the hotel and started the drive back to New Hampshire. We were on the bus for about two hours before reaching our first stop for a break at the restrooms in New Jersey. Later in the day, all of the buses stopped at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, New York for lunch. After an hour of eating and socializing with friends, we went back on the bus and didn’t arrive to our next stop for another two hours. Following the stop at the Charleston Service Area for a rest break, we drove straight to MVMS in Penacook, where we got off the bus and were picked up by our families and went home. That was how our 2017 D.C trip came to an end.

A Suessical Success!

The MVMS Drama Club knocked their Seussical performance out of the park! Seussical is a musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on the stories of Dr. Seuss (mainly Horton Hears a Who!, Horton Hatches the Egg, and "Miss Gertrude McFuzz"). All actors, actresses, and crew members did a fantastic job working together on the play. Star performances were given by Beatrice as the Cat in the Hat, Cori as Horton, Teegan as JoJo, Hailey as Mayzie LaBird, and Alivia as Gertrude. Great job to all the students involved and thank you to Mr. Livernois and Ms. Costa for your hard work and dedication!

MVMS Robotics Team

In its second year, the MVMS FIRST Lego League teams had a successful season! First, the club saw an increase in members, which caused us to create two more teams for a total of three teams. Second, the teams worked hard all season, and all three found success at the FIRST Lego League Regional Competition held on November 18th in Concord. Each team was prepared with a completed project presentation for the real world problem of potable water for all. In addition, all three teams were able to complete the missions they had programmed for their team robots. For the robot missions, out of 19 teams competing, our teams ended the day with the Ticking Time Bots in 16th, the Robo Riot in 10th, and the Alpha Bots in 7th place overall. The Alpha Bots team also scored well enough in the other 3 challenge areas (project, design, and core values/teamwork) to be awarded a spot in the state competition, which will be held on December 3rd in Salem, NH.

- Coaches Starr Fair and Chris Ginty

The Person Behind the Tweets

MVMS has been working hard to improve our communication with students, parents, and community members. By sending out weekly updates, a monthly newsletter, and regularly updating our website, we hope to provide all members of the MVMS community with the most up to date information. Our school Twitter is another great source of information. The Twitter account, handled by the one and only Mrs. Searah, is accepting new followers!

Mrs. Searah has been working hard on keeping the Twitter feed, @MVMSPride, flowing with information from the school. Twitter allows followers to stay up to date on daily announcements, as well as gives us the opportunity to share pictures and respond to questions.

Don’t have or want a Twitter account? No problem! Anyone can access the tweets from the school's website. Just click on the Twitter Timeline and Daily Announcement feed in the left hand column.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities at MVMS

MVMS is proud to have a vast variety of exciting extra-curricular options available for students. From writing club to gardening, there is something for everyone. Research indicates that participation in extra-curricular activities helps to foster a sense of belonging and promotes a positive school environment. Please take a moment to view a brief clip on the benefits of extracurricular activities and check out the offerings we have here at MVMS!

Garden Club

Garden Club is an after school club for students interested in gardening, working in the greenhouse, and learning about horticulture. Students will participate in many community service activities. The group will meet on most Wednesdays, from the end of March until June. Meetings will be held in the Tech Ed room and the greenhouse, directly after school until late bus.

Contact Andrea Newton for more information!

Student Council

Student Council typically meets on a bi-weekly basis in room 104. Student Council organizes several school-wide activities such as the spirit rallies, along with the spirit days, leading up to them. They also host several fundraising events throughout the year as well. Any student is welcome to join and there is open enrollment, so any latecomers are still able to be a part of the group.

Contact Mrs. Malone ( or Mrs. King ( for more information.

Art Club

Art Club is a "drop in" club for students who love art. Meetings are from 2:30 to 4:15. Students may walk home or be picked up by a parent at 4:15. Students who need to take the late bus (4:30 pm) must sign-up for the late bus. Sign-up sheets are outside the guidance office and should be filled out first thing in the morning or at lunch time. Students are not required to buy supplies.

See Ms. Lincoln with any questions -

Writing Club

Goal of the Club:

To provide writers with a place to brainstorm, collaborate, take risks, and have fun writing for a variety of purposes and audiences.


All students from all grades are welcome to join the Writing Club. You just need a love of writing and a willingness to try new things. All levels and abilities will be accepted. Writing Club aims to meet every other Monday of the month.

Tentative Meeting Dates: January 8th and 22nd; February 5th and 19th; March 5th and 19th; April 2nd and 16th; May 7th and 21st.

Please contact Mrs. Searah with any questions or ideas you have about Writing Club!

Spanish Club

Spanish Club is an opportunity for Spanish students to extend their learning by exploring and celebrating the culture of Spanish speaking countries through art projects, cooking, music, movies and games. Meeting take place on Wednesdays in the fall and winter. The group is scheduled to have meetings until December break this year. Contact Señora Jordan-Foote for more information -

Ski and Snowboard Club

Ski/Snowboard Club goes to Pat's Peak. Students can pay a bus fee (directly to MVMS), and travel with the group, or parents can provide transportation. Students can sign-up (online at Pat's Peak) for free ski or lessons. Season's pass holders are welcome to join us, they just need to pay the bus fee. Students may still sign up for Session #2, which will meet on the following Thursdays - 2/15, 2/22, 3/8, 3/15 & 3/22. The group will depart immediately after school and return by 8:15. Please note that there is a discount for registration before 12/15. Contact Lorieal Jordan-Foote for more information -

Recycling/Ecology Club

This club examines the footprint we leave on Earth and explores what we can do as individuals to lessen or impact. The club also takes care of the recycling 3 days a week during Pride Block. They meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month throughout the school year. If you are interested, please see Mrs. John in room 108. The next meeting will be December 20th after school, in room 108. Reminders will be over morning announcements. For more information contact Mrs. John -

Dream Catchers

Dream Catchers Pride is an after school group that is part of a state wide organization, Dream Catchers NH. We provide social and personal growth opportunities for individuals with learning and developmental disabilities. We encourage peer interactions and building strong friendships.

Some Activities: crafts, movies nights, outdoor games, group community services projects etc.

Meetings are held almost every other Monday from 2:30-4:30 in room 103. Newcomers are always welcome!

Contact if interested in joining: Mrs. Langevin -

Multimedia Club

This club is for students who art interested in the intersection of art and technology. The Multimedia Club allows students to explore new media such as video editing, video game design, photo editing, and more. This club will start in February and run until the end of the school year. Meetings will be held on Mondays after school in room 214 from 2:30-4:00. Contact Ms. Smart at for more information.

6th Grade Fitness Club

The 6th grade Fitness Club is a club for 6th grade students who like to be active and meet new people! Each week we choose a different sport/activity. This fall we played basketball, floor hockey, two hand touch football, and indoor soccer. In addition to the formal sports, we also did some strength training exercises and set goals for ourselves to meet by the end of the year! This club will meet again in the spring. We hope to see you there!

WHEN: Tuesdays 2:30-3:30pm


WHO: Contact Kelly Ciarametaro - or Mike Mahoney - if you are interested in joining this spring.

Bee Club

MVMS Bee Club educates students in grades 6 through 8 about the nature of honey bees. Bee school runs from January to March, one afternoon a week at the Middle School, for 6 to 8 weeks. All new members must complete the research assignment and complete a power point demonstrating what they have learned. Second year students will work on bee keeping chores in preparation for the spring season. Third year students are encouraged to have their own hive if possible.

All students are encouraged to participate in hive management throughout the year. The club will own and manage 10 to 15 hives each year. We visit the hives every two to three weeks throughout the year.

For more information, contact Larry Boucher or Andrea Newton

School Store

The school store staff consists of 8th graders responsible for running the store and depositing money during pride block. Students fill out an application in the fall. Students sell snacks and drinks like Fruit2O, gummies, veggie straws, goldfish, and Rice Krispies. Additional meetings are held as needed during Pride Block in room 116.

Contact Mrs. Kilmister - with any questions regarding the school store.

National Junior Honor Society

Advisors: Kim Tilton & Lisa Dunn

Meetings held: Wednesdays 2:30-3:30

Open to 7th & 8th grade students through an application process

Applications were due October 25th 2017, for the 2017-2018 school year and will re-open next fall for current 7th graders.

Students in NJHS are leaders in the community, with a strong academic record and a commitment to community service. Students must apply to be in NJHS, and an average of a 3 in academics is required, along with all 3's and 4's in effort and citizenship. In NJHS, we host various fundraisers including the Student vs Staff basketball game and the Halloween Party, as well as participate in the Rock N' Race for the Payson Cancer Center.

Contact Mrs. Tilton - or Ms. Dunn - for more information.

Chess Club

Merrimack Valley Chess Club

Advisor: Mrs.Beth Piroso - Room 119

"Check Mate!" The Merrimack Valley Middle School Chess Club meets each Tuesday from September through Thanksgiving. There is no prerequisite for the club, so all students and abilities are welcome. Each member moves through the ranks from Notice, Apprentice, Premium Player, Club Officer, to Elite Officer, and then finally to being a Club Coach. All players must play each member to move up the ranks, and we have unending dedication to improving our game, learning to sacrifice a piece, castling as well as displaying good sportsmanship. We currently have 31 members and growing strong.

Contact Mrs. Piroso - for more information.

Best Buddies

Best Buddies promotes inclusion and friendships for students with Intellectual Disabilities and typical peers. Best Buddies offers one-to-one friendship and leadership development programs.

Meetings are held one Monday a month in the FACT room with Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Stack. In these meetings, we have fun activities, plan fundraisers, and guide friendships.

Students who are great role models and plan to maintain friendships are encouraged to join. Contact Mrs. Wilson - or Ms. Stack - for more details.

Destination Imagination

The Destination Imagination team uses creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative problem solving skills to work through open-ended challenges. The solutions to all of the challenges are entirely student driven. This team competes at a tournament in March, where they will present a solution to a challenge that they knew about ahead of time, and must also tackle a challenge that is a surprise that day. We meet on Tuesdays from 2:30 to 4:30 in room 201B. The team can have a maximum of seven members. Contact Mrs. Miller for more information on the club -


Yearbook has its application process in early fall. The club accepts about 6-7 members who work on creating the MVMS yearbook. Meetings occur once or twice a month, and increase in frequency as the due date approaches. Unfortunately, no new members will be accepted this year. Please contact Mrs. Puntin - with any questions about the application process for next year.

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Merrimack Valley Middle School

MVMS's mission is to promote an environment that teaches students to be active learners, critical thinkers, and responsible citizens in an ever-changing global society.