Black River Middle School

"A School to Watch"

February 2019

BRMS Girls Basketball Team Claims Third Straight Championship!

The BRMS Girls Basketball team won the Morris County Group Three Championship for the third consecutive year! It's a feat that's never been accomplished in Black River history. The team's determination, work ethic, and passion were evident in every game. We are extremely proud of this achievement and the legacy that the girls leave for future players for many years to come.

Team members pictured below are (top row, l. to r.): Assistant Coach Kathy Vespignani, Lia Manuel, Madison Pela, Zoe Hermans, Alexa Kupka, Natalia Cresti, Alyssa Ettel, Sara Brandt, and Head Coach Theresa Meierhofer. Bottom row, l. to r. are: Halle Ferrara, Alessandra Wallace, Lily Chandler, Caroline Ziegler, and MaryHope Swarts. Congratulations!

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8th Grade GIST Students Attend Jr. Model U.N. Conference

On February 8, a group of BRMS 8th Grade GIST students attended the annual Junior Model United Nations Conference at Drew University. Students were split into delegations, and each delegation represented a country. The delegations were given a real-world issue for their assigned country, and the teams were charged with researching and creating possible solutions. Over 200 students attended the event.

Chester was honored to have two teams win Best Delegation! Congratulations to the team representing the country of Chad: Joey Alexion, Jack Eisenhardt, David Frees, and Jack Lia; additional congratulations to the team representing Finland: Gabby Coutts, Claire Kurisko, Maggie Lee, Sydney Pappas, and Erica Russo. All of the teams put in a tremendous amount of work and did a wonderful job showcasing the many talents of our Chester students.

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BRMS: Proud to be Stigma Free!

BRMS is proud to celebrate our district's designation as a Stigma Free School District. The Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative is a county-wide program which aims to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace which results from judgment by others, while mental illness refers to conditions generally categorized by dysregulation of mood, thought, and/or behavior. At BRMS we know that students who are not emotionally present are also not mentally available to learn.

As a stigma free campus, we aim to open dialogues about stigma, to raise awareness of mental illness, and to create a culture where students feel supported in their school community. In addition, we aim to promote awareness that there can be no "health" without mental health. Finally, students will be encouraged to engage in self-care and to ask for help when needed.

For further information, please visit

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BRMS 8th Grader Named Middle School Leadership Award Recipient

BRMS 8th Grader Anushka Elavia has been named the Chester District's recipient of the Middle School Leadership Award, sponsored by the Morris County Association of School Administrators. She will be honored at a ceremony this spring.

Anushka's interests include volunteering for an animal shelter, playing tennis, golf, and piano, and writing. In fact, her written works have twice earned her the Scholastic Silver Key Writing Award. She hopes to become a veterinarian.

Congratulations Anushka!

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Faculty Fun Facts at BRMS!

BRMS is a community. As such, this newsletter regularly features highlights about the people who make our school a special place. This time, please meet Eighth Grade Teachers Christina Sarlo and David Leckie. Did you know?

Mrs. Sarlo:

1. Has been to Walt Disney World well over 120 times.

2. Is a diehard Miami Hurricanes football fan.

3. Loves dogs, and has three of them!

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Mr. Leckie:

1. His father's book, Helmet for My Pillow, was adapted into an HBO miniseries called "The Pacific".

2. Began teaching at age 41 after running a family business for 20 years.

3. Offers historical walking tours of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other East Coast sites in partnership with his wife.

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BRMS Guidance Corner

If you'd like some strategies to facilitate your child's homework, check out these two resources from the National PTA and the Department of Education:

Coming Soon:

March 2- Chester Science Fair

March 4- Science Fair Awards Assemblies

March 8- Career Day

March 15- Drama Club "Beauty and the Beast" 7 p.m.

March 16- Drama Club "Beauty and the Beast" 7 p.m.

March 25-29- Spring Break