The Sierra Monthly

Sierra Middle School - September 2021 Newsletter

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From the Desk of the Principal: Mrs. Norris

My name is Debbi Norris. I am extremely excited to be here at Sierra. Being the principal of this school has been a dream of mine. I have been in the Roswell Independent School District for 27 years. I have taught at Chisum Elementary, Mesa Middle School, Missouri Avenue, and Nancy Lopez. I was principal at East Grand Plains for a short time and Assistant Principal at Goddard High School for about 4 years with a semester as Assistant Principal here at Sierra. I have been married over 25 years. I have 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys. My oldest, a daughter is an RN. My boys are twins and are both equipment operators. My youngest, a daughter is at college in Socorro at NM Tech majoring in math.

This year at Sierra we have a couple new faces. I am a huge proponent of education. We have an amazing staff!! Our goal as a school and a staff is to educate. With life taking so many twists and turns with health concerns, we are working diligently to keep students in our building learning.

Assistant Principal: Mr. Garcia

Sierra Middle School Eagles,

My name is Manuel Garcia. I have been employed with Roswell Independent School District for 28 years. I have been happily Married to my beautiful wife for 30 years and have two daughters and two grandkids. My wife and I are military Veterans; me Army National Guard, and my wife 26 years Army Reserves. I have been an administrator now going on 4 years, and have previously taught at Sierra in 2012. It was 6th grade science at the time, but my main background is Special Education. I am glad to be back here at Sierra!

My biggest message I want all the students and staff to know is RESPECT! Respect ourselves, and we will respect others. In the end, we will do the right thing!

I am proud to be a Sierra Eagle!

Assistant Principal: Mrs. McDonald

My name is Mrs. McDonald. I have been in education since December of 2000. I have taught 4th and 5th grade as well as 6th, 7th and 8th Family Consumer Science. I enjoy cooking, shopping and petting cats! I love my 4 pets, 3 cats and one dog. My favorite food is pizza! I am married to Mr. McDonald, who is an English teacher and tennis coach at RHS. I have two children, Jackson (16) and Kate (19). I am VERY happy to be here at Sierra. I am looking forward to making connections to students and families and helping them make the most of their time here at Sierra!
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First Semester Schedule

  • October 4 - Fair Day Holiday
  • October 7 - 1st 9-Weeks Ends
  • October 12 - 1st 9-Weeks Report Cards Issued
  • October 15 - Teacher Professional Development (No School for Students)
  • November 10 - 2nd Mid-9 Weeks Ends
  • November 12 - 2nd Mid-9 Weeks Report Cards Issued
  • November 24 through 26 - Thanksgiving Break
  • December 17 - Semester Ends
  • December 20 through 31 - Winter Break

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What do I do if I am having technology issues or problems with my school Chromebook?

Contact the front office at Sierra or your advisory teacher. We will try to help fix any problems that you may be having.

What do I need to do to play sports?

  • Sign up with a coach
  • Get a physical
  • Complete paperwork
  • Complete concussion course
  • Check if you are eligible through your grades with your coach

When can I practice?

You can practice after eligibility is checked and all forms, your physical, and the concussion course are completed.

Where can I obtain my student's PowerSchool information?

You can visit with the office to request this information.

2021-2022 Sierra Middle School Yearbook

Capture Your Memories in This Year’s Sierra Middle School Yearbook.
  • Purchase by October 31st to get 5% OFF.

Customize your 2 free pages

  • Add photos from your computer, Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive & more.
  • Answer fun Memory Questions to help remember the year.
  • The 2 Custom Pages are FREE and are printed ONLY in your book.
  • Want more pages? Each additional 2 pages is just $0.99.

To purchase & customize your yearbook, you must be a parent or student 13 years or older.

  • Go to
  • Enter your school’s passcode: 101368052897701
  • Regular Price: $21.91 (Does not include sales tax). Hardcover copies will be an extra $6.95.

Parent PowerSchool Access

Watch "PowerSchool Parent Tutorial" to see how to gain access to your student's PowerSchool information.
Powerschool Parent Tutorial

School Staff and Student COVID-19 Decision Tree

The following decision tree was created for families, students, and staff to better understand the steps that should be taken if an individual develops symptoms. Testing of close contacts (strongly encouraged) should happen five days into quarantine, or at onset of symptoms. A negative test for an unvaccinated close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual does not end the quarantine period.

2021-2022 School Calendar

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Community Schools Update from Mrs. Salyards

Sierra Middle School has some exciting things going on thanks to the Community Schools initiative. Our main highlight for this month is to let students and parents know that there are several after school clubs that will be starting in October. If a student is interested in joining, they can talk to the club sponsor or see Mrs. Salyards in the front office. The list of clubs and sponsors are as follows:

  • Coding/Robotics Club - Mr. Busby
  • Math Club - Mrs.Whitlow and Mr. Smith
  • Board Games - Mr. Katz
  • Piano Lessons - Mrs. Brittain
  • Voice Lessons - Mrs. Brittain
  • Anime Club - Mr. Bewley and Mr. Ramirez-Garcia
  • Harry Potter Book Club - Mr. Busby

There will be more information to come!! A vaccination clinic will be scheduled soon as well.

Featured Article: September Facts

  1. September’s name is really quite inaccurate these days. It was originally the seventh month of the ancient Roman calendar, and as such is was named Septem, which translates into “the seventh month”. It wasn’t until 451 BC that the months of January and February were added to the calendar, making September the ninth month.
  2. September also used to only have 29 days. Thanks to Julius Caesar’s reform of the Roman calendar in 46 BC the month now has an additional day!
  3. The Romans would quite often associate different months with different gods. The month of September is associated with Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, quite possibly because it was a fiery hot month back when it was the seventh month of the year.
  4. In the year 1752, the British Empire skipped 11 days of September, between the 2nd and 14th. This was actually due to another calendar change, although this time it was when the British Empire changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
  5. Back in the days of the Anglo-Saxons September used to be called Gerst Monath, which translates into “barley month”. It was given this name because it was the time of year that the barley crop was harvested, and it was a special time as they brewed a popular drink out of it.

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NO DOUBT - 6th Grade

  • Kyhilee Baber - Kyhilee is one of the No Doubt Students of the Month for September. Kyhilee is a very friendly and kind young lady. She is a very enthusiastic student that truly cares about her academic career here at SMS. She asks questions for clarification and is a very responsible student. She says that when she grows up she is interested in becoming a cook and is also interested in being in the military. With her dedication and drive, there is “No Doubt” that Kyhilee will be a success. Her favorite hobbies include dancing and drawing. Her words of advice to peers are: "Get your work turned in as fast as you can and don't wait till the end to finish it."

  • Jose Martinez Torres - Jose is one of the Students of the Month for September. Jose is a very polite young man that really takes his academic career seriously. He works hard in class and actively participates during instruction. He is thoughtful and kind and is just an all-around great kid. Jose is thinking about becoming a Zookeeper in the future and his favorite animal is a wolf. We have “No Doubt” Jose will succeed in whatever he puts his mind to. His favorite hobbies include playing Pokémon and playing with his cat. His words of advice for peers are: "Work hard and don't give up."

NO FEAR - 6th Grade

  • Madisen Duran - When you see Madisen, congratulate her for being selected No Fear’s student of the month. Madisen was given this honor by her peers as shown in the results of an on-line survey completed by students on team No Fear. Why students chose Madisen as the student most exhibiting the character trait of respect is evident. She is soft spoken, polite, considerate and honors the feelings, opinions, and property of others. She is honest, dependable, and handles herself with integrity. She does not strike out against others when things don’t go her way. She has her priorities straight and works hard in school. She has an inner sense of right and wrong and can be counted on to do what is right. Anyone who knows Madisen has “No Fear” she is a perfect choice for student of the month and is deserving of this honor. Congratulations Madisen, your character is amazing and has not gone unnoticed by team No Fear! Yay Madisen, way to go! Her hobbies include dancing and taking walks. Her words of advice to her peers are: "Care about what other's think."

  • Caden Robinson - Caden is No Fear’s pick for student of the month. Team No Fear is honoring students who exhibit the character trait RESPECT. No Fear students participated in an on-line survey and Caden was selected as the student who most exhibits this character trait. Have “No Fear,” Caden is a perfect choice for student of the month. He is accepting of other people’s differences, is considerate of the feelings of others, uses good manners, exhibits honorable behavior, and is always willing to lend a helping hand without complaint. Caden is a good role model for his peers and his respectful nature has earned him the respect of his peers in return. Caden has proven himself to be a respectful young man and is deserving of the honor of student of the month. Congratulations Caden Robinson on being nominated for this honor by your peers and teachers. Team No Fear thanks you for being a positive part of the team. Go Caden Robinson! His hobbies include playing football and hanging out with friends. His words of advice to his peers are: "Always show respect. Get your work in on time and try your best on everything you do."

STORM - 7th Grade

  • Xanali Madrid - Xanali is a positive role model for Team Storm. She demonstrates respect in the classroom. She shows up to class with a smile and is ready to participate. Xanali enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She also enjoys playing games. Her dream job is to be a Geologist. Xanali’s advice to other students: "There will be times you want to give up but you will make it even when it is difficult."

  • Brayden Hardy - Brayden is a very respectful student. He participates in class discussions and is a leader in the classroom. He has a positive attitude and always strives to do his best. Brayden’s hobbies are coding, watching Star Wars, playing games and taking photos. His dream job is to be in Aerospace as an engineer for NASA. Brayden’s advice to other students: "Giving up only rewards you with regret in the end. Never Give Up!"

TALONS - 7th Grade

  • Alyssa Byers - Alyssa has been selected as one of the Talons September student's of the month. According to her teachers, she is always reliable. She is self-motivated and wants to do things right the first time. These characteristics help her be successful with her academics. Alyssa's hobbies are singing and reading. Her words of advice to her peers are: "Don't be lazy. Try your hardest."

  • Connor Wagoner - Connor has been selected as one of the Talons September student's of the month. His teachers have said that he exhibits great leadership skills. In addition to being a peer leader, he is also very respectful and self driven. He does well with his academics due to these qualities. Connor's hobby is playing video games. His words of advice to his peers are: "Always try your hardest."

RAPTORS - 8th Grade

  • Keauna Thomas - Keauna has been selected as one of the Raptors September student's of the month. According to her teachers, she is very disciplined. She is also very intelligent and maintains great grades. Keauna is always respectful to both her teachers and her peers. She likes basketball and cooking. Her words of advice to her peers are: "Never Give Up. You're going to mess up and that’s ok. Just keep trying."

  • Michael Flores - Michael has been selected as one of the Raptors September student's of the month. His teachers all agree that he is very smart and is able to maintain good grades. He is very disciplined, allowing him to achieve whatever he puts his mind to. Michael is also respectful to his teachers and peers. He enjoys soccer and skateboarding. His words of advice to his peers are: "Always try your best."

SHOCKWAVE - 8th Grade

  • Cabrie Lethgo - Cabrie has been selected as one of the Shockwave September student's of the month. According to her teachers, she is a very polite student. She is always engaged and self-motivated, qualities that help her be successful with whatever she puts her mind to. Cabrie is also funny and very helpful to those around her. She enjoys drawing and animating. Her words of advice to her peers are: "The things you can achieve are limitless. So push yourself to reach your goals."

  • Dominic Zavala - Dominic has been selected as one of the Shockwave September student's of the month. His teachers have stated that he is very intelligent. He is both disciplined and hard working, which helps him achieve success in his initiatives. In addition, he also has a great sense of humor. Dominic's hobby is sports. His words of advice to his peers are: "Be wise in the choices you make."
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7th and 8th grade students - Get your physical!

21-22 Athletic Participation And Physical Exam Forms

All participants need to obtain a proper physical. Please click the button above or come by Sierra Middle School for the required paperwork.

Concussion Course For Students

Please click the link above to complete the required NFHS Concussion Course. (Required by all athletes each year).

7th Grade Volleyball

A message from Coach Murphy: As for the 7th grade volleyball team, we have had a difficult year. The girls work hard in practice to learn brand new skills. The season is a short one, only about a month long, so a lot of learning goes on in a short amount of time. Improvement has led us to being able to do better in some of our games over the course of the season.

8th Grade Volleyball

A message from Coach Griffin: 8th grade volleyball has had a great season this year. I'm happy to coach these amazing young ladies. The 8th grade volleyball team won 1st place in their most recent tournament! The 8th grade team has a another tournament in Artesia on October 2nd. The lady eagles have a record of 8-2.


This month we had the honor to interview ten amazing Sierra football players, with five being 7th graders and five being 8th graders. The first question that we asked the 8th graders was: Why did you join the football team? Their answers varied, from “ I’ve played my entire life,” “I just love football,” “I joined to represent Sierra and have a fun last year,” “This is my favorite sport. I also like playing with my friends,” to “ I honestly just wanted to get out of the house.” We asked the 7th graders the same question, and this is what they said. “ I love the sport.” “ I joined to have fun.”

We also asked how do you feel the team will do after the 8th graders leave? The 7th graders said "Even though we will be losing really good players, we will get new ones, so we will be fine.” We asked the eighth graders how it feels with this being their last year playing for Sierra. “ I'm going to miss Sierra, my friends, the coaches, and my team. We all are.” We asked the seventh graders how it feels with this being their first year playing. “ I barely started and I’m having a lot of fun.” “ I'm excited to win and learn more about the sport.”

Finally, we asked the eighth graders if they will continue to play football in high school. Although one said no, the others said "Yes. We love football. We are dedicated and have been inspired by our teammates."

We wish the Sierra Eagles Football Team best of luck for the remainder of their season.

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Tips From Nurse Palomino

Help Stop the Spread by:

  • Handwashing: Please remember to wash hands with soap and water and or hand sanitizer for 20 seconds. For example, sing "Happy Birthday" while washing hands.
  • Make sure your mask fits snug and covers your nose and mouth.
  • Social distancing: Stay 6 feet apart.
  • Stay home when you are feeling sick.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
Know How to Wear Your Face Mask Correctly
Wash Your Hands to Stay Healthy During COVID-19

Book Recommendations

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight… for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off chains, both physical and spiritual.

Recommended by: Ms. Dawson

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Winner of the 1995 John Newbery Medal. Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hill, known as Sal, is traveling from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, in search of her mother. Along the way, she tells them the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, met a “potential lunatic,” and whose mother disappeared. Beneath Phoebe’s story is Sal’s story and that of her mother, who left one day for Idaho and has not returned. Sal has less than a week to get to Idaho in time for her mother’s birthday and bring her back. Despite her father’s warning that she is fishing in the air, Sal knows this journey is the only chance she has for reuniting her family.

Recommended by: Ms. Niece

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Inspirational Quote

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Video of Inspiration

UZAIR Best Animated Short Films 2021 - Motivational & Inspirational