Headlines & Features
Two students from the PNW BOCES Learning Center Program at Somers Middle School were among the 85 sixth grade students inducted into the National Junior Honors Society this month. “My parents were really proud,” says Maggie del Puerto-Vitti, who was inducted along with classmate Francisco Duran. Students are invited to apply for the NJHS based on their excellence in leadership, scholarship, attendance, effort, and character. Seventy-nine seventh-grade students and 74 eighth-grade students were inducted this year as well.
It is never too late to celebrate. In the fall of 2019, prior to Veterans Day, seventh grade middle school students participated in the annual “Patriot’s Pen” essay contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The open-ended writing topic for our seventh graders was “What Makes America Great?” Each participant received a certificate of participation. Charlotte Wilke-Olsen won a prize of $100 for her outstanding essay. In January of 2020, the Mohegan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution invited our seventh graders to think and write about “If I Were a Passenger on the Mayflower.” Dana Cohen and Natalia Tellez each won a prize of $50 for their outstanding essays.
The International Club at Somers Middle School held the Pulsera Project sales for the month of April. The Pulsera Project is a nonprofit organization that educates, empowers, and connects Central American artists with students in the U.S. schools through the sale of colorful handwoven pulseras (bracelets) and bolsitas (purses). The funds raised go towards education, employment, healthcare and housing in the communities of Guatemala and Nicaragua. We are happy to announce that we surpassed our goal and raised a total of $1310! Way to go SMS!
The debate was heated - would it be the thorny devil versus the dugón or the blue-capped ifrit versus the anchovy? This isn’t a science fiction book that middle school science students were analyzing; rather it was a March Madness-style bracket featuring mammals instead of NCAA basketball teams. “I really liked this project because it was a mix of work and fun,” says Santiago Robles, the ultimate winner of the Mammal Madness competition at Somers Middle School. The fun lesson was created by professors at Arizona State University, who run the competition annually. They select 64 animals to compete in virtual combat and keep a running commentary on a website and social media channels. The students in Monica Manko and Tim Wilbert’s classes researched the animals together, then submitted their individual picks by filling out the competition bracket.