September 1, 2022

Challenger Middle School Mission

To provide an exemplary education that develops critical thinking and problem solving skills which inspire our students to challenge their minds and charge their spirits.

Principal's Corner

Hello to all Challenger Chargers families and community members!

Challenger wants to thank all parents, students, staff, and teachers for an amazing first month of school! We are so thankful to everyone contributing to make our start of year successful and enjoyable.

We are officially getting into the swing of things at Challenger. Not only has standards-driven instruction started, we've also begun extracurricular activities and sports. The basketball team starts playing this month, and we hope you all come out to cheer on our students.

We are nearing the halfway point for Quarter 1, which means Interim Reports will be available very soon. Q1 Interims will be posted on students FOCUS portal accounts on Monday, September 12th. We are so very proud of the students at Challenger Middle and their academic growth. If you see that your student is underperforming please feel free to call the school to schedule an appointment with his/her teachers. Student success - emotionally, physically and academically are our first priority.


Stacia Winfree

Principal – Challenger Middle

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FYI - Connect With Lee is Back!

Free tutoring offered by the district with live educational experts.

Connect with Lee will be offered Monday - Thursday from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Both Teachers and Students can access this resource via the Connect with Lee app on their Launchpad!

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Szyrwiel’s Songwriting Club


Every other Wednesday from 4:30-5:15

(Starting August 24th)


Room 221

Students must have a ride here by 5:15 pm or they will have to wait in the front office.

ALL Challenger School expectations must be followed!

Acoustic guitars are welcome, but instruments are not necessary.

For more information email Mr. Szyrwiel:

Art Club

Would you like to join Art Club?

We will begin on Aug. 30, and meet on Tuesdays, from 4:15 – 6:00 PM in the Art Room.

The cost is $20.00 per semester (to pay for supplies) and a prompt ride home is expected.

Students can stop by the Art Room (2-117) for a permission slip, or you may print them out at home by joining Google Classroom : 4iicsai

Science Olympiad Club

The first Science Olympiad Club meeting will be held on:

Wednesday September 14th from 4:30 – 5:30pm

Location: room 1-326

What Is Science Olympiad?

Science Olympiad is a competition for students. Teams are comprised of up to 15 students. Teams compete in different events that are rooted in mathematics, physics, chemistry, earth and space science, biology, and engineering. Students engage in hands-on, interactive, and inquiry-based activities that are lab-based, research-based, or design and construct a device to test at competitions.

Students can see Ms. Hayes or Mr. Ernst for permission forms.

Jr. Thespian Drama Club


Once a month on specified dates until 5:30 pm

Semester 1: Aug 16, Sept 23, Oct 7, Nov 4 (Drama Lock-In), Dec 2

Semester 2: TBA

* Please check the google classroom often for updated changes


Mrs. Leonard's Room - 2-116

from 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Students do NOT have to perform to join the club, and do NOT have to come to all meetings in order to participate in the club. All are welcome!

For more information email Mrs. Leonard:


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Cross Country 👟


with qualifications needed for regional and championship meets only

The Cross Country google classroom code is: bi74mru

Students will meet in the gym at dismissal. The first day of the sport, students will receive information about what is needed to continue. Intramural and insurance information must be signed and returned prior to practice. These forms will go home the first day of sign ups. The day of sign ups, please have a ride by 5:00 pm, or approval and registration to go to After Care.

Please feel free to email Coach Hinton at for any questions or concerns.

Basketball 🏀

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Book Battle

Book Battle begins on October 6 in room 1-342 at 8:45!

We will continue to meet every other Thursday until the competition in May.

Students read all Sunshine State books and create questions based on the texts.

All middle schools in the county will participate in a quiz style competition comprised of the questions created by the students.

First, Second, and Third places all win visa gift cards.

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Teacher of the Month

April Williamson

This school year has been off to a pretty crazy start, but that hasn't stopped our Teacher of the Month, April Williamson! Ms. Williamson wears many hats at Challenger Middle. When she's not busy teaching US History to over 200+ students, she's also helping with scheduling issues, social emotional learning, and team leading for 6th grade. Ms. Williamson starts out the year working hard to help gets student's scheduled, she even works way past her hours to ensure that it all gets done. Despite being extremely busy with scheduling and other responsibilities, Ms. Williamson still plans and teaches US History. She makes her lessons engaging and memorable. Through all of this, she is always prepared to drop anything and help others, she does her job with extreme grace and kindness. We are so lucky to have Ms. Williamson at Challenger. Congratulations on being September Teacher of the Month!

Staff Member of the Month

Teresa Grain

We have an absolutely amazing staff member being honored this month, our Technology Specialist Ms. Teresa Grain! This is her second year at Challenger Middle School, and we are so lucky to have her! Here at Challenger she manages and monitors all district computers and chromebooks, installs, manages, updates, and maintain computer hardware, and assist educators in planning for and use of technology in the instructional program. She does all of it with a smile on her face and a positive attitude every single day. Teresa was nominated for how supportive and hard working she is. We wouldn't be able to navigate through all of the daily technology fails without her. We are very grateful to have Ms. Grain! Congratulations on being September Staff Member of the Month!!

Class Pet of the Month

Nyota Muriel the Guinea Pig

Otherwise known as "Cucumbers", Nyota Muriel - yes that's her full name - resides in Mr. Buczynski's room. Nyota is a very recent addition to the Challenger Middle School family, as she arrived in Mr. B's room just this week!

Nyota is new to this world, so she is still getting used to the sights and smells of her surroundings, and likes to explore. She loves to cuddle up with Mr. Buczynski and sometimes cries when she's put down. The students love to watch her, and she's just as curious about them.

She enjoys a diet of lettuce and carrot snacks, but not too many since she's still so young. Nyota brings a lot of joy to the classroom, and makes Mr. B's students smile.

Take Stock in Children

Take Stock in Children was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization in Florida that provides a unique opportunity for low-income and at-risk students, many from minority families, to escape the cycle of poverty through education. We offer our students college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors, and hope for a better life.

Each student who enters our program signs a contract promising to remain crime and drug-free, maintain a 2.5 GPA and above, exhibit good behavior, and meet with their assigned mentor regularly through high school graduation. Upon graduation, students receive a 4-year college tuition scholarship. Take Stock in Children staff meet with students in the program each semester to ensure students have the resources they need to complete school. Student grades are tracked quarterly and immediate intervention is provided should students show signs of academic decline.

This year the application window will be open through October 26, 2022.

For more information and to apply now go to:


PTO/SAC Meetings occur the first Thursday of every month. Our very first meeting will take place on October 6, 2022.

PTO will start at 5:30pm and run until 6:00pm.

SAC will then begin at 6:00pm and go until 6:30pm.

All PTO/SAC Meetings will be held in person at Challenger Middle School in the Media Center.

Golden Apple 2022-2023 Nominations!

Each year the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools honors six amazing Lee County educators at the annual Golden Apple Recognition Banquet in the Spring. Please take a minute and use the form below to nominate an outstanding teacher who has impacted you or your child's life!

Important Dates

Below are a list of dates for when both interims and report cards will be available to both students and parents. 😊

1st Quarter

Interim – Sept. 12th

Report Card – Oct. 19th

2nd Quarter

Interim – Nov. 16th

Report Card – Jan. 13th

3rd Quarter

Interim – Feb. 9th

Report Card – March 22nd

4th Quarter

Interim April 27th

Report Card – June 12th

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Out of Field Teachers

Florida State Statute 1012.42 recognizes that teachers at times must be assigned duties in a class outside the field in which the teacher is certified. The following teachers at Challenger Middle School are engaged in training to add the required endorsements and certifications to their teaching certificate:

Mariel Orengo

Todd Maurer

Lee County School Board

Debbie Jordan, District 4 (Chair)

Mary Fischer, District 1 (Vice Chair)

Melisa W. Giovannelli, District 2

Chris N. Patricca, District 3

Gwynetta S. Gittens, District 5

Betsy Vaughn, District 6

Cathleen O'Daniel Morgan, District 7

Kathy Dupuy-Bruno, Esq., Board Attorney

Dr. Christopher Bernier