SSMS Weekly Update

FEBRUARY 25, 2022

Hello SSMS Tiger Nation,

Please welcome our Interim Principal, Joe Burns. We are excited to have him back in DSISD after retiring as the Dripping Spring High School Principal almost 3 years ago. Mr. Burns will collaborate with Ms. McCollum and Mr. Haase to ensure a seamless transition while a new SSMS Principal is hired. We had a very exciting week that concluded with today’s epic color battle. It was cold, but so much fun. Thank you parents, extended family, and community members for contributing to our PTA School fundraiser. The donations are still coming in, but we can already say that the color battle was a huge success. Finally, I want to thank our staff, students, and families for an amazing last week. Your letters and well wishes are a bit overwhelming and I am humbled by your sincere appreciation. It has been my privilege to be a part of your middle school journey. SSMS is an incredible school. The building is beautiful, but the people are what makes it so special. You put the MORE in Sycamore. Keep it real and always do your best. See you around Dripping’ and as always, Syc ‘em Tigers!

Dan Diehl

Sycamore Springs Middle School

Spring Pictures - March 2nd

Spring Pictures with Photo Texas will be taken on Wednesday, March 2nd, during lunches in the Sycamore Room. These photos are prepay, so only students who have ordered pictures will have their picture taken.

Please use the link below to order:

Congratulations Reese Starnes - DSEF Grant Recipient

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National History Day Regional Results: State Qualifiers

We are excited to share that we have 3 students from SSMS and 1 student from DSMS who have qualified for the Texas State History Day Contest happening on April 23, 2022

National History Day Contest encourages students to conduct historical research on a topic of their choice. DSISD had 14 students enter their projects at the regional level. Students placing 1st or 2nd advanced to the state competition after revising their research based on judges' remarks.

State Qualifiers are:


  • 7th Grader Blaine Lovett placed 1st in the region for his Individual Performance: Chernobyl: Through the Eyes of an Old Man
  • 7th Grader Amir Banky and Cooper Gray placed 1st in the region for their Group Exhibit: Why Normandy? The allies Debate Where to Land.
  • 7th Grader Landon Treague and Diego Barreto placed 2nd in the regions for their Group Documentary: Pearl Harbor


  • 8th Grader Grant Gillum placed 1st in the region for his Individual Website: The 1959 Soviet American Exhibition: Cultural Diplomacy

SSMS also had 2 students place 3rd in the region and are alternates for the State competition in their category

  • 7th Grader Truman Heaston placed 3rd in the regional contest for his Individual Exhibit: Space Race
  • 7th Grader Elle Waitrek placed 3rd in the regional contest for her Essay: The Debate of Vietnam

Other students participating in the regional contest were:

  • 7th grader Parker Wisham for his individual paper (SSMS)
  • 7th grader Justin Thar for his individual Paper (SSMS)
  • 7th grader Allen Kundukulangara for his individual paper (SSMS)
  • 7th grader Madeleine Johnson for her individual paper (SSMS)
  • 7th grader Madison Jackson for her individual exhibit (SSMS)
  • 7th grader Isla Conreaux for her individual exhibit (SSMS)

Academic UIL

Students! Are you interested in participating in this year’s Academic UIL? Events for the 2021-2022 school year will take place on either March 29th (all writing and math contests) or April 2nd (all other contests). We will be traveling to Hudson Bend on March 29th and Bee Caves MS on April 2nd. Transportation on Saturday will not be provided. Teams have already begun forming. Please reach out to the coach (listed below) and let them know you’re interested!

Event Descriptions:

ART is a chance for you to do an Art project of your choice! The sky's the limit! ALL students welcome, even if you have never taken an Art class in your life! (Van Wyngeeren)

CALCULATOR APPLICATIONS is a contest to apply calculator skills to math problems. The problems are challenging in mathematical reasoning and require the application of problem-solving skills toward realistic problems while having fun! (Mathews)

DICTIONARY SKILLS participants will answer challenging questions using the dictionary. All of the answers are right there, but can you find them in time? (Pousson)

IMPROMPTU SPEAKING: Are you great at making things up and talking about anything for a long time? If you are, come and participate in UIL impromptu speaking. Learn to think quickly on your feet about any topic under the sun. (Jensen)

LISTENING SKILLS: Do you like stories? Do you have good note-taking skills? If so, Listening Skills is for you. Listen to great stories, take notes, and then take a test using your notes. Simple as pie! (Lewis)

MATHEMATICS: Do you complete your math assignments quickly? Do you love competing against others to show how smart you are? If you answered "YES," then we need you on the UIL Math Team! (Mays)

MODERN ORATORY: Do you want the power to influence others? Do you like to debate? If so, Modern Oratory is perfect for you. In Modern Oratory you will get to select a topic, research it by looking at both sides and delivering a persuasive speech to make others see things your way. No memorization required! (Steiner)

MUSIC MEMORY: Can you name that tune? Know that performer by just a few notes? Then Music Memory is just perfect for you! We will listen to a set of music and identify who and what it is. (Steiner)

NUMBER SENSE: Are you good at doing math in your head? Do you like solving math problems? If this is your "thing" then sign up today! (Mays)

ORAL READING contest involves reading literature out loud. It allows students to analyze text, grow and develop as a performer, communicate a message to an audience and perform an artistic creation. (Steiner)

READY WRITING is for student writers that enjoy tackling expository writing prompts. Do you like convincing people that your way of thinking is the best? If so, this is the contest for you! (Rill)

SCIENCE: Do you think you're a science wiz and love the challenge of science trivia? If so, please sign up for UIL Science. The UIL Science competition consists of individual students taking a 35 question multiple-choice test within a 45 minute period. (Lewis)

SPELLING: Do your friends constantly ask you to spell for them? Are you a walking Webster's dictionary? If you answered "YES," then Mrs. Rill needs your talents on the UIL Spelling team! (Rill)

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Bus Drivers Needed!

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SSMS News | Feb 24

Upcoming Events

3/01 - 7th Grade Track & Field Pre District Meet at DSHS 4:15 PM

3/02 - Spring Pictures (During lunches in the Sycamore Room)

3/02 - 8th Grade Track & Field Pre District Meet at DSHS 4:15 PM

3/02 - Pre UIL Choir Concert 7:00 PM at DSHS

3/03 - SSMS Dance Team Tryouts 4:30 PM

3/04 - Dripping Springs Tiger Orchestra Spring Concert at DSHS PAC 7:00 PM

3/08 - Track & Field Prelims HLMS District Meet at Lake Travis HS 4:15 PM

3/09 - Track & Field Finals HLMS District Meet at Lake Travis HS 4:15 PM

3/09 - NJHS Monthly Meeting 8 AM & 4:15 PM

3/09 - 7th & 8th Grade Bands UIL Concert & Sight Reading Concert at Hays PAC (Symphonic)

3/10 - 7th & 8th Grade Bands UIL Concert & Sight Reading Concert at Hays PAC (Wind)

3/10 - SSMS Cheer Tryouts 4:30 PM

Staff Birthdays

3/02 - Blair Smith

3/04 - Katie Van Wyngeeren

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