Blue Jay Broadcast

News and Notes from the Hallways of MHS

Coffee talk with Mr. Guzman

In light of the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I wanted to use this space to discuss school safety. We take the safety of our staff and students very seriously and we work closely with the Middlesex Police Department to share information and ensure we are following the same procedures. As an Administration, we evaluate our policies and procedures and we make improvements as necessary. In the coming months, we will be announcing changes to our students during morning announcements and grade level meetings. Please understand that these changes are working towards a safe and secure school community.

At Middlesex, we encourage and support “See Something, Say Something”. As I’ve discussed in the past, our students are living in a digital world where information is spread quickly and sometimes inaccurately. It is important that our students understand that actions, in person or online, can have lasting repercussions. It’s important to take threats of violence or crime very seriously regardless of where it is said. We encourage our students and families to follow the idea if you see something, say something. We do not want to have an incident because someone didn’t feel comfortable sharing what they saw or heard. Many of our students have built trust with adults in the school and it is our hope that each student has an adult that they would go to if they saw or heard threats of school violence. We take all information that is shared very seriously as the safety and security of our school community is a priority.

There are a lot of emotions around the shooting in Parkland, Florida. There have been numerous news stories; we’ve learned names and histories of the victims and the attacker. For some of our students, this may be difficult to cope with or they may need extra support in processing what happened in Parkland. We encourage our students to reach out if they need assistance; we have our Counseling Office available to students who may need additional support during the school day.

We appreciate all of the feedback, questions and concerns that you share with the school administration; we value your input and encourage you to continue to share with us so we can continue to provide the best possible educational experience to all of our students.

News & Notes

Congratulations to Dylan Robertson for his second place medal for bowling at the Sectionals for Special Olympics. He will be moving on to the State Competition - Good Luck Dylan!

Congratulations to Jake Robel for scoring 1,000 points for his basketball career! He earned his 1,000th point with a monster dunk in just 3 years of playing.

MHS Presents Legally Blonde: The Musical. Performances will be March 15, 16 & 17 at 7pm in the Peter J. Diskin Auditorium. Tickets may be purchased at the door each night of the performance, there is no reserved seating. Tickets are $10/adult and $7/students and senior citizens. This production is not suitable for children under 13.

A reminder about student safety, if your student is going to be leaving early, please send your student in with a note to the office in the morning so an early dismissal pass can be issued. This will allow the students to leave their classroom to meet you in the office so that the entire class does not need to be interrupted by a phone call to locate your student. For those students who drive or walk, please indicate in your note that they will be doing so. If it is not noted, we will need to call and speak with a parent for permission. If someone other than a parent/guardian will be picking up a student, please notify the office as students will not be dismissed without parent permission. This is for all students regardless of age.

A note about school security, Please be advised that students will no longer be able to enter the building at Door #5 (near the library) in the morning. The front doors under the canopy - Door #1 and the door near the gym - Door #14 will be the only entrances for students in the morning. After 8am, ALL students should be entering through the Visitor Entrance at the front of the building. Please remind your students that at no time should they be opening doors to allow others to enter the building.

Yesterday morning, March 14th at 10am, Middlesex High School students participated in the National School Walkout. For those students who chose to participate, they gathered in the Gym to acknowledge and remember the lives lost on February 14th at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl. This effort was organized by 4 students who worked together to create a peaceful demonstration, including wearing the colors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, burgundy and black. After exiting classrooms and walking to the gym quietly and respectfully, the students gathered on the bleachers for a short speech by the 4 student leaders. The students spoke of their reason for gathering everyone together and then read the names of each lost life, including their age and grade or in the case of adults, their role at the school. Those gathered remained quiet and respectful of the experience and the intention of the walkout. The students gathered together for a photo to share on social media to show their support and at the end of the 17 minutes, students returned to their classes. The students, whether they walked out or not, should be commended for the maturity and respect they demonstrated today.

Academic Highlights

On February 20th, Ms. Anagnostos arranged for her Forensic Science students to attend a presentation by law enforcement that supported the units that the students were working on in class. The units addressed included history of forensic science, applications of law, evidence types (class and individual) and analysis, eyewitness testimony and ballistics/gun control. To encourage the practice of social engagement, the students and guests participated in an informal meet and greet to close out the demonstration.

Thank you to Sgt. James Knapp of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (Evidence Division), NJ State Trooper Nicholas Mimikos, School Resource Officer Joleen Auricchio and Officer Bryan Rodrigues of the Middlesex Police Department for taking time from their busy schedules to work with our students.

Community Support

Over the last 15 years, the Key Club has collected over $25,000 to donate to the Leukemia Society. This year's coin collection took place the week of February 26th. Collection boxes are placed in each homeroom and the homeroom that raises the most money per student wins a Domino's Pizza Lunch. Ms. Sharp's homeroom won this year and collected $15.05 per student.

The Top 5 Homerooms were:

Ms. Sharp - $15.05 per student

Mr. Bustamante - $11.30 per student

Ms. Gitler - $9.89 per student

Ms. Siegrist - $8.65 per student

Ms. Vitali - $4.46 per student

This year's final total was $865.30 donated to the Leukemia Society. Thank you to all of the staff and students who participated and supported the Leukemia Society.

Did You Know?

Did you know that there is a Middlesex High School in Saluda, Virginia whose school colors are also blue and white? They are the Middlesex Chargers.

Shout Outs

Shout Out to Middlesex Fire Department's Beechwood & Pierce Firehouses for opening their doors for our students to rehearse for the Spring Musical while school was closed due to the snow storm. We appreciate the community's support of our students, THANK YOU!

Shout Out to Ms. Heiba, Mr.Gallagher and all of the participants in the Marshmallow Challenge! During National Engineer's Week, they hosted the Marshmallow Challenge.

"Engineers are changing the world all of the time.

They dream up creative, practical solutions and work with other smart, inspiring people to invent, design and create things that matter.

Engineers Week is a time for everyone to celebrate and wonder what the next big innovation will be."

The Marshmallow Challenge is an engineering design challenge to build the tallest freestanding structure with only a marshmallow, dry spaghetti, string and tape.

Students and staff took the challenge and a team of students won with a structure measuring 30.75 inches!

Shout Out to Madame Kiss, her students and Ms. Sladky for volunteering their time to help After-Care students at Mauger make Mardi Gras masks at the 2nd Annual Mardi Gras After-Care event. Thanks to the students and to Ms. Samantha Sladky for helping out with this event too! Much fun was had by all!

Alumni Spotlight

Holly Wintermute (née Norgard) graduated Middlesex High School in 2007. She graduated Vassar College in 2011 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2014. She now works as a civil litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City.

While at Vassar, Holly majored in Psychology and English and wrote her thesis on Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Henry IV, Part I. During her junior year, she studied abroad in London and had an incredible time visiting her friends at their programs throughout western Europe. Holly was also actively involved in Together Opposing Neglect and Child Abuse (T.O.N.C.A.) and Helicon, the literary magazine. Perhaps most importantly, she learned how to knit.

At Seton Hall Law, Holly served as a Submissions Editor on the Seton Hall Law Review, and her Comment “Pushing Schools Around: New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act” was published in 2014. She was also involved in the law school’s Interscholastic Moot Court Program and competed in national competitions in Albany and Houston. During her third year, she served as Director of the school’s Gressman Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Program, the final round of which was judged by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Law school is also where she met her husband!

At Debevoise, Holly has worked on a variety of matters, based in federal and state court. Her practice includes securities, contract, white collar, and bankruptcy actions, and she has handled various pro bono representations.

She spends her free time doing yoga, seeing as many Broadway shows as possible, and playing Cranium with her family and friends.

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!

Our first selection of photos comes from the Art Enrichment Club who are painting the hallways above our doorways. The teachers are able to select what they would like and the art wing highlights their artistic styles - ceramics, drawing & painting, theater and music!

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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