Blue Jay Broadcast

News and Notes from the Hallways of MHS

Coffee talk with Mr. Guzman

Throughout the year, I believe in setting expectations that surpass what we think we are capable of doing. By doing so, the potential that is in each student and staff member becomes more than just potential, it becomes action and experience. In a blog post for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Magdalun L. Horton, English 1 teacher at Manassas High School in Memphis, TN shared,

“By setting high expectations for my students, I’m letting them know that I see their potential, and I believe they’re capable of meeting and even exceeding those expectations. When I show them that I believe in them, they start to believe in themselves too, and pursue dreams they had never imagined.”

There are two mind-sets that are common amongst students about their intelligence. First is a fixed mindset and second is a growth mind-set. A fixed mind-set is a static trait, the belief that some people are smart and some are not and nothing will change that. A growth mind-set believes that intelligence is developed over time and can continue to grow through effort and instruction. A statement from Carol S. Dweck’s article Mind-Sets and Equitable Education describes this mind-set as the following: “growth mind-set doesn’t imply that everyone is the same or that anyone could be Einstein, but it does imply that everyone’s intellectual ability can grow—and that even Einstein wasn’t Einstein before he put in years of passionate, relentless effort.”

We encourage our students to challenge themselves and our teachers work to challenge them in the classroom. This year, our teachers have been working hard to bring more technology into the classrooms and it is something we continue to strive to do. Our students have been introduced to new and challenging ideas; when our teachers introduce these new ideas, it pushes our students further in their understanding of class content as well as their ability to problem solve and work collaboratively with other students.

When we set high expectations, our goal is to help our students reach and exceed those expectations. This can be achieved through discussions, in class activities, group projects and independent work. It’s important that students set goals for themselves and then work to surpass their goals and set new ones. We encourage all of our students to have a growth mind-set in all aspects of their lives and we strive to assist them in discovering the “ah-ha” moments now so they can recognize them in the future.

I've discussed decision-making and expectations in my Coffee Talks and with prom and graduation just around the corner, these topics will become much more relevant. I will be sending a special edition of the Blue Jay Broadcast next week that focuses on these events.

News & Notes

The Fashion Club hosted their annual prom dress drive. They accepted gently used Prom, Quinceanera, Sweet 16, tuxedo and suits during the month of April.

Due to the additional snow days used, the school year has been extended until June 20, 2018. SENIOR PARENTS: HS Graduation will be on June 20, 2018.

Final exams will be be June 15th, 18th and 19th.

Congratulations to Dylan Robertson! Dylan won the gold medal at the Special Olympics State Championship in bowling with a 645 series.

Congratulations to Arianna Zepeda and Madison Mondero! Arianna's portrait was the 3rd place winner at the PSA Youth Showcase and qualifies for the national competition. Madison was a finalist at the Best of College and High School Photographer's Forum in conjunction with Fuji Film. Over 12,000 entries were received and Madison will be published in their special edition hard cover book as a finalist.

The second round of JaysFest Coin Wars took place the week after Spring Break. The results are as follows:

4th Place - Seniors receiving 100 Battle of the Classes Points

3rd Place - Freshman receiving 200 Battle of the Classes Points

2nd Place - Sophomores receiving 400 Battle of the Classes Points

...and CONGRATULATIONS to the Junior Class for their 1st Place win, receiving 400 Battle of the Classes Points.

The 2 rounds of Coin Wars this year raised $1,031.70 in coins and $441 in cash for a grand total of $1,472.70 for children with pediatric illness in Middlesex.

The National Honor Society hosted the Mr. MHS competition and raised $800 for JaysFest. Congratulations to the winners:

Mr. MHS 2018 - Tom Rau

Mr. Legs 2018 - Keith Erickson

Mr. Talent 2018 - Dylan Robertson

and the People's Choice - Tom Rau

On April 27th, the Gay Straight Alliance participated in GLSEN's Day of Silence. The Day of Silence bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment and effective reponses. The goal of the Day of Silence is to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

Each year, students audition and are accepted for Middlesex County's Arts High program. Student selected attend classes one afternoon a week for 14 weeks . The students selected attend classes one afternoon a week with distinguished teaching artists. During this year's Arts High program, one of our students, Alex Arroyo's photography was selected for the traveling exhibit and will be displayed in Middlesex County Libraries.

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Academic Highlights

Mr. McCarthy's Physics class completed an egg drop activity in which the students built devices to protect eggs from a fall off of the roof of the school. Students worked with a partner or on their own to build these devices which were subject to certain design goals (weight, size, distance from target, etc). Students had access to a "store" of supplies and were given a "budget" which they could not exceed on their project. Some students had additional ideas and brought items from home to work with in addition to materials from the "store". Mr. Ianiero and Mr. Parenti from the Facilities Department assisted with this activity by dropping the eggs from the roof of the building.

Community Support

This year, the cast and crew of Legally Blonde lost rehearsal time due to our unexpected snow days. Pierce Firehouse and Beechwood Heights Firehouse graciously opened their doors for our students to rehearse so they would be prepared for the production. At each performance of Legally Blonde, the cast and crew collected donations for the firehouses to help support them as they supported our production during the challenging weather.

Did You Know?

Last year, Isabel Martinez's (grade 11) charcoal portrait came in 1st place at the Congressional Art Competition presented by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, representative of the 12th District of New Jersey. Isabel's work has been hanging in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capital in Washington, D.C. along with other district winners from around the country for the past year.
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Shout Outs

Shout Out to Mr. Ianiero & Mr. Parenti from our Facilities Department for their assistance with Mr. McCarthy's Physics class egg drop activity.

Shout Out to Ms. Ullrich, Ms. Barnes, Ms. Nelson, Mr. Chismar and Russell for judging the Mr. MHS contest.

Alumni Spotlight

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

Artist Corner

Our students are incredibly talented and we have student art throughout the building. We created this section to show off some of our talented students' work. Thank you to the Visual and Performing Arts Department for encouraging our students to express themselves creatively!

Ms. Clark's Ceramics Student Work

Mr. Dow's Art Students

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.

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