The Bear Necessities

Summer 2021

Granby Memorial Middle School

Taylor P. Wrye, Principal

Heather A. Tanis, Assistant Principal

Important Dates


25 - Open Campus - For 6th Grade & New Students

26 - First Day of School!


3 - Picture Day

6 - Labor Day - Schools & Offices Closed

16 - Yom Kippur - School & Offices Closed


6 - Virtual Community Meeting / PAC @ 6 PM

11 - Columbus Day - School & Offices Closed

12 - Professional Development - No School

The Principal's Office

Hello GMMS Families,

This is my favorite annual letter to gear up for another school year. I am very excited to welcome everyone back to the building for a fantastic year of learning and fostering relationships! We have been very busy this summer and have some exciting news to share with all of you. We have a few new faces joining us this year and a few still to come. We are in the process of looking for two math teachers, and I will update everyone once we find the best fit for our school. Please extend a very Granby Bear welcome to the new faces that will be joining GMMS:

Melissa Wabble - Physical Education 6 - 8

Elizabeth Asal - School Psychologist

Alba Jaquez - Spanish 6

Christina Strain - Social Worker

Ellen Buda - Spanish 6

This year the student dismissal time is now 2:30 pm. The start time will remain the same at 7:35 am. In addition, we are implementing our new eight 50 minute period schedule that can be found in this newsletter and on our school’s website. In the new schedule, we have shifted grade-level teams and classroom locations and implemented Academic Enrichment. AE is a daily 25 minute period that will be used for team building, recess, passion projects, and much more. The course of studies catalog is located below for more in-depth information about the classes your children will be taking at the middle school. Similar to last year, lockers will not be available to students for the first few months of school. When it gets colder we will revisit locker usage for coat storage. At this time, students need only bring their Chromebooks and a bottle of water to school.

The student schedules will be released via PowerSchool on August 11th after 3 pm. Minor changes to those schedules may occur prior to the first day of school for balancing purposes. If you notice any missing or double-booked periods on the schedule, please reach out to your child’s guidance counselor or me as soon as possible. I want to remind everyone that we do not take class or placement requests.

Mark your calendars for an open campus event on August 25th from 7:30 am to 10:00 am for students to locate their classrooms for the upcoming school year. This event is for incoming 6th grade students and students new to GMMS. Parents and guardians are welcome to wait outside while your child explores GMMS. Please contact your child’s guidance counselor if you have any questions about this event.

As the Principal of GMMS, I am truly honored each and every day to be a part of this fantastic community. Enjoy the next 16 days of summer vacation, and I will see you soon!


Taylor Wrye

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21-22 Bus Routes

Bus route lists will be e-mailed to you directly from your child’s school(s). If you do not receive an e-mail by the end of the day on August 19th, do not have access to e-mail, or do not have an e-mail on record, please call Central Services or the school between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Please note that bus stop times are estimated and students should be at their designated bus stops 10 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. To assist us in our efforts to provide excellent service, please be sure your house or mailbox is clearly marked with your street number. Transportation will be provided by CREC Transportation Solutions. Changes will not be made to the bus schedule until mid September; however, if you need to change your student’s transportation requirements due to a move or a change in daycare, please call Central Services @ 860-844-5253.

For all other busing questions or concerns, please call CREC Transportation Solutions @ 860-509-3783.

2021-22 Required Forms

The 21-22 Required Student Forms were available on the PowerSchool parent portal beginning on Thursday, July 22nd. The forms must be completed before the first day of school.

Log in to the parent portal using the link on the Granby Public Schools website or by using this link:

If you forgot your username or password, there are reset options on the login screen. Once you log in, you will see your child(ren)’s name in the upper left corner. For each child, please choose the “Forms” option on the left and then complete the forms in the 21-22 Required Student Forms section.

If you have tried the reset options and continue to have problems logging in, please contact the main office or email

Accelerated Math with Mrs. Olsen

This is a reminder that students who are enrolled in the accelerated math 7 & 8 courses for the upcoming school year need to complete the summer assignments by August 15th!

Completion of these assignments is a prerequisite for enrollment into this course.

Please contact Mrs. Olsen if you have any questions at


Elizabeth Asal - School Psychologist

My name is Elizabeth Asal and I’m excited to be joining GMMS as your school psychologist! I was born and raised in Connecticut, earned my Bachelor’s at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and then returned to my home state to earn my Master’s and Sixth Year Certificate at UConn. I will be entering my second year of practice as a school psychologist, having completed my first year in Somers. I enjoy working at the middle school level and look forward to getting to know the Granby community!

I currently live in Canton with my husband and our dog, Lacy. In my free time, I love reading, hiking, photography, and taking on home renovation projects with a lot of enthusiasm and a growing knowledge of how to actually operate power tools.

Melissa Wabble - Physical Education

My name is Melissa Wabble and I am proud to say that I am the new Physical Education teacher for Granby Memorial Middle School. I have always been passionate about both sports and teaching ever since I was in middle school. My teachers always made it fun, creative, and engaging, and my goal is to do the same. I graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and this year will be my second year teaching middle school. I love the outdoors, board games, sports, backyard games, and spending time with my friends and family. I am grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the Granby team. Go Bears!

Christina Strain - Social Worker

My name is Christina Strain and I am so excited to join Granby Memorial Middle School as one of the school social workers. I will be starting my 7th year in Granby in the fall! During my first year in Granby, I split my time between GMHS and GMMS and then in my second year, I worked full time at GMHS. Amazing how fast time goes when you are having fun!

A little bit about me: I earned my Master's degree in Social Work from Springfield College. My Bachelor's degree in Special education at Southern CT State University. I am a licensed clinical social worker, certified school social worker, and certified special education teacher with over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and gained experiences from all of them but my passion is working in the school setting.

My focus is to help Granby students and families build on their strengths and provide opportunities that promote academic confidence and success in school and for life. Mental health/social-emotional learning continues to evolve throughout our district with families, students, and others. If we can all find a way to connect within our community and with others, I feel we can live a healthier and happier life.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, horseback riding, reading, and spending time with my two college-aged sons and my extended family.

I look forward to an exciting year at GMMS!

Alba Jaquez - Spanish 6

My name is Alba Jaquez and I feel fortunate and very excited to be an addition to the Granby World Language team. Native from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Spanish is my first Language. I have been teaching for many years and have taught different levels. But for the last ten years, I have been teaching the Spanish language.

We have a lot of fun in Spanish class as I enjoy bringing music into the classroom whenever it can be applied to learning.

I am looking forward to meeting everyone and a splendid time guiding students through their language learning journey.

Ellen Buda - Spanish 6

I am delighted to be returning to GMMS this year as a part-time grade six Spanish teacher. I joined the Granby school system in 1996. I received a BA in Spanish from the University of St. Joseph and an MAT (Master of Arts in teaching Spanish from Fairfield University). I come from a family of teachers, My husband is a social studies teacher, and my son is an English professor. I enjoy spending time with family, reading, cooking, and entertaining. I enjoy current events as well as learning about other cultures. I have taught at both the middle school and high school throughout the years as a shared staff member. I consider myself very fortunate to have connected to many students throughout their journey to become successful members of our school community. I am excited to be working within such a talented and dedicated department. I look forward to what I know will be a great year as we work together.

New Locations

The 6th Grade hallway is now the yellow hallway upstairs above the UA rooms

The 7th Grade hallway will remain the purple hallway that is located upstairs

The 8th Grade hallway is now the blue hallway located on the first floor.

The World Language Rooms have moved, so please notice the room number on your schedule.

The New Teams

*** Please note that students may cross teams for certain Math classes.***

Grade 6 Team

  • Mrs. Abel - Global Studies & SUCCESS 6
  • Mrs. Bovin - Math 6 & Math 6 Accelerated
  • Mrs. Glidden - Science 6 & Math 6
  • Mrs. Stupinski - Global Studies 6 & ELA 6
  • Mrs. Waddington - ELA 6 & Science 6

Grade 7 Team

  • TBA - Math 7 & Math 7 Accelerated
  • Mrs. Buckley - Science 7
  • Mrs. Okenquist - Global Studies 7
  • Mr. McNamara - ELA 7

Grades 7/8 Team

  • Mrs. Falkenberg - Math 7 & Math 8
  • Mrs. Alender - Science 7 & Science 8
  • Mr. Cullen - Global Studies 7 & US History
  • Mrs. Everett - ELA 7 & ELA 8

Grade 8 Tean

  • TBD - Math 8 & Algebra I
  • Mr. Cote - Science 8
  • Mr. Buttler - American History
  • Mrs. Matthews - ELA 8

World Language

  • Mrs. Sales - French
  • Mrs. Schaumburger - Spanish 7 & 8
  • Mrs. Jaquez - Spanish 6 / SUCCESS 6
  • Mrs. Buda - Spanish 6
  • Mrs. Zhang - Mandarin Chinese / SUCCESS 6

Unified Arts

Mrs. Bryanton - Visual Arts

Mrs. Cowles - Enrichment & SUCCESS 6

Mr. Godin - Physical Education

Mrs. Marti - Family and Consumer Sciences

Mrs. Mello - Band & Music

Mrs. Ryan - Libary Media Specialist & Media 6

Mrs. Rivera - Chorus & Music

Mr. Pickhardt - Technology Education

Mrs. Wabble - Physical Education

The Governor's Summer Reading Challenge

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