Monday, November 13, 2017

November Flurry

The last four weeks have been incredibly busy and have absolutely flown by at the middle school. We’ve jumped from fall sports to winter, we moved the clocks back, and we just came to the end of the first quarter. It seems like we just started and yet we are two weeks away from Thanksgiving. In that blur of a month we have had some outstanding things happening and a lot to be proud of.

Halloween Spooktacular
On Friday, October 27th we held our 2nd Annual WGMS PTA Halloween Spooktacular. Over 325 students (over half of our building) showed up to dance, play BINGO, shoot hoops, sing karaoke, and eat a lot of foods not found on the 'whole-30 diet'. It was a really terrific evening of fun! To pull off this type of event off you need great planning and you need people willing to step up and volunteer their time. We had both, and our parent & staff volunteers are simply awesome! I received several emails from parents thanking us for putting this on for our kids and many of our students were vocally appreciative as they thanked us heading out of the building Friday night. 

District Spelling Bee
This past week was the District Spelling Bee at Camillus Middle school. WGMS was very well represented with six of the final twelve spellers including 6th graders Joe Paoli & Cooper Corcoran, 7th grader Sophia Van Horn, and 8th graders Connor Dunham, Cameron Hovater & Emily Pattermann. Our 6th graders Joe and Cooper were the two finalists with Joe Paoli ultimately being crowned Spelling Bee Champ.
District Finalists: Cooper & Joe

Students of the Month
In an effort to be more consistent at recognizing our students at each grade level we created a building-wide ‘Student of the Month’ award recognizing two girls and two boys at each grade level. This recognition is presented to students for demonstrating exemplary work ethic, citizenship, character, compassion, honesty, trustworthiness, responsibility, optimism and/or leadership in creating a positive school environment. This isn’t about grades and athletic or musical prowess, it’s about demonstrating all of the qualities associated with great character that we value and celebrate. Last week we recognized our October Students of the Month; 6th graders Sarah Adams, Karolina Lata, Gabriel Farino and Joseph Paoli, 7th graders Kate Kuppinger, Emilie Shoults, Gabe June and Daniel McManus, 8th graders Jessica Femano, Julia Klazco, Matthew Murdock and Brad Smith.  

Career Fair
On Friday, November 3rd we had our annual Career Fair for our 8th grade students. We had 41 participants representing 30 different careers. This was a terrific opportunity for our students to get a better understanding of what some potential careers are, but also what types of skills they will need to be successful regardless of the career that they pursue. The Career Fair is a great connection to Career and Financial Management which is a high school elective brought down to the middle school for the first time this year.  A big thank you to School Counselor Cindy Kurz and our entire Counseling Department for pulling this together.

Camillus Optimist Teacher/Students of Year
Each year we have the opportunity to recognize two 8th grade students who embody everything that we value in our young adults. It’s about being a wonderful person who exudes excellence and great character in all that they do through leadership, citizenship and service to our school community. Last week I had the honor of recognizing Julia Biggs and Connor Dunham with the 2017 David Kenna Outstanding Student Award. It has been an incredible experience watching these two young people grow over the years.

In addition to the students of the year I had the honor of recognizing Toni Abdo who received the 2017 Joseph A. Witowski Outstanding Teacher Award. What is most unique about the teacher award is that individuals are nominated by their peers for being sensitive to the needs of their students; for creating an exciting and challenging classroom atmosphere; and contributing to the quality of instruction at West Genesee. Mrs. Abdo is a champion for kids who makes a personal connection with each and every student, where she demands their best and where she never ever gives up on anybody. It is an honor working with her each and every day.

This next month will be just as exciting and equally as busy as the last. We kick it off this week with our school musical, ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ with show times of 7:00 PM on Thursday and Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM.

Thank you for your continued support of our students and staff. As always, please email or call me if you have any questions or concerns.

Continued Success,

Steve Dunham
Twitter: @Sdunhamwgms