GMS Night at the Sea Dogs
I know I “pushed” this night very hard (and in full disclosure, you all know my daughter works in the front office for the Sea Dogs), but it could not have been more successful!
We started the night with several of our teachers being escorted on to the field by none other than Mr. Belding, the Principal from the school on the hit TV show Saved by the Bell. Mr. Belding thanked all of the teachers for their great work with our kids and said that while he played the role of an educator on TV, nothing could prepare him for the work that they do in our classrooms. He encouraged the teachers to continue with their great work.
Next, our 7th grade English/language arts teacher, Jason Lambert, tossed out the ceremonial first pitch. Now, I am not saying that Jason practiced, although I am sure he did, he threw a perfect strike from the mound.
Afterward, Jason was seen sporting an ice pack on his right shoulder and telling Manager Kevin Boles that he wold be ready for tomorrow’s game. To which Kevin replied that he had Daisuke Matzusaka already penciled in for the start, but he would take it “under advisement”.
Our last big event was the singing of the National Anthem by the GMS Chorus. The Anthem never sounded so good as it did this night. More than 50 strong, youthful voices honoring all that is American (Baseball, hotdogs and young folks doing great things) sent chills down my spine. I was so proud to be the Principal of such a great school, in such a great community!
Pesticide Spraying at the Middle School Athletic Fields
We have been invaded by grubs and they have brought the crows and the skunks (I guess!). You may have noticed what looked like an excavation site on the corner of the lacrosse field nearest the entrance to the school property. It is really quite a large excavation, it almost looks like someone went through it with a rototiller. From what we can piece together, there appears to be an infestation of grubs that has attracted either crows or skunks to feast. These hungry, hungry animals have dug up quite a spot.
So, in order to eradicate this pest, we will be spraying the fields on Saturday, May 5th. During that time the fields will be off-limits to humans and pets. We do expect to have the fields ready for Monday’s practices and games. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
8th Grade Celebration of Middle School
I think we have a plan that will meet all of the needs of the Municipal folks for voting at the Middle School and provide our 8th grade students and their families with a very comfortable and appropriate experience to celebrate the end of their Middle School careers. We will have the “parent”portion of the evening at the GHS Auditorium and the “student”portion here at the Middle School. We will provide buses for the kids who may need transportation from the HS to the MS after the parent portion.
We did a very informal poll of the students about where to hold the dance portion and the students were almost unanimous in wanting to have it at the Middle School feeling that holding the dance at the High School wouldn’t be as “comfortable” as it would be at the Middle School.
The only thing this does is push the end of the evening to about 10:00 pm rather than 9:30.
Everything else should remain the same. If you have any comments or thoughts, please let me know via phone or email.
8th Grade Pizza Fundraiser
All orders for the fundraiser should be turned into Kristen Fitz by the end of the day on Monday, April 30th. The pick up of the orders will be Wednesday, May 16th beginning at 12:30. If your child’s order is not too large, they may bring it with them on the bus. If the order is fairly substantial, we would ask that someone come to the school to pick up the order.
Teacher Appreciation Week
The week of May 7th has been designated as Teacher Appreciation Week throughout the country. We will be doing some things here at the school to try and show our appreciation to our teachers. We are always open for suggestions from the community as well. So, if you have any suggestions as to how we can appreciate our educators, please drop me a line.
Yearbook Ordering Now Done Online
Your child should have brought home an order form and instructions on how to order the Middle School Yearbook from the good folks at LifeTouch on line. To order your yearbook you need only go to: http://ybpay.lifetouch.com and follow the instructions, they will walk you through each step of the way. As far as ordering online, this is a very easy and painless process. Online orders must be done by Friday, May 4th.
Dough for Angelo
As many of you know Gorham House Of Pizza (GHOP) experienced a devastating fire last week. The restaurant will be closed for 3-6 months. Many have asked what they can do to help and we have come up with a plan. Next week GMS will be collecting money to support the GHOP employees who will be out of work for the next few months. We are calling it “Dough for Angelo”. Students will be asked to bring to school any spare change they may have ( we asked them specifically NOT to bug their parents for spare change, this is supposed to be their sacrifice!) on their bureaus of in tin cans. These funds will help many of Angelo’s loyal employees get through the next couple of months until he re-opens the restaurant. Thanks for your help and support with this. We all are indebted to Angelo for all he has done for our community over the years.
I am once again very proud to report that students at GMS have excelled in an academic competition in our state. This time it is our Robotics Team under the direction of Diane Knott. They competed over the weekend in the Southern Maine Robotics Track Meet in Kennebunk. The team walked away (or maybe, more appropriately, climbed its way to first place) with first place in the Awesome Delivery Robot Competition and second place in the Slope Climbing Robot Competition. Team members are Elizabeth Klatt, Connor Sweatt, Jake Bear, Avery Arena and Ben Ballantoni. We are very proud of our competitors and thankful for how well the represent our school and community.
Thoughts While Shaving (not really shaving, but it does sounds ethereal!)
How do like that five dollar work!?! Almost makes one think I’m cerebral!
There were two separate items in the newspapers this weekend that really got me to thinking about our role in education and the power of technology in the world today.
The first item was an editorial in the Boston Globe that, both took to task, and praised our young people for their efforts in trying to raise awareness of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) and its leader, Joseph Kony. The paper praised the creators of the video for trying to harness the enthusiasm and passion of so many young people, but chided the young folks for their lack of follow through when the day came and passed without the expected level of participation requested in the video called “Covering the Night”.
Remember that this video that was put up on Youtube had the most views of any video on Youtube in the short history of Youtube, over 180 million. In the video, film maker Jason Russell asked those viewing the video to save the date of April 20 and spend the evening covering the globe with the name of Joseph Kony, in the hopes that he could become the most famous (or infamous) person in the world and there would be no where we he could go without being recognized for his deeds.
Well, the Globe reported that on the morning of April 21st there was very little evidence (save for some graffiti painted on the Memorial commemorating the site of the Boston Massacre, not what the organizers had hoped!) that anything happened to advance the name of Kony and the cause of the Invisible Children Organization.
So, while the video had more than 180 million views, very few of those viewers, at least in Boston, put the words into action and that the Globe said might be the vulnerability of social networking, “…Getting the attention of young people is far easier than keeping it…”.
One thing, however, is indisputable. The power of social networking to activate and influence policy makers is clear. As a result of this video and the ensuing publicity, the African Union was moved to act. The African Union formed a 5000 person brigade to hunt down Kony and LRA, the first time an army has been raised in response to geopolitical demands of teenage Facebook users.
The second item was closer to home, Portland, to be exact. It was announced over the weekend that the Portland School Department is going to install software on each computer in the district that would restrict access to social networking sites for anyone using a school computer, whether in school or at home.
This is a very bold step, no doubt. A step that I am sure will be praised by many parents who feel that their teenagers spend far too much time “connected” already. And, what does anything on Facebook have to do with school learning.
There was much to be gained from the exercise that the Kony question brought, not the least of which would be to locate Uganda and Central Africa on the map. This act alone would be more than many students accomplish in some social studies classes. Think of the discussion in a social studies class about human rights, or “Man’s inhumanity to man” in the English Language Arts class as you discuss a poem by Whitman or Wordsworth?
The idea that students will not have access to any of this, either in school or at home, absolutely boggles the mind. I read somewhere that teachers back in the earlier part of the 20th Century, commenting on the introduction of the typewriter, were lamenting its introduction and stating that it would be the downfall of writing.
Technology is not the issue and it has never been the issue. Clearly we have increased the “speed of life” with more technology, but it is not unmanageable. When we choose to restrict or severely limit anything, the only thing we teach is how to get around it. In 1919, the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, making illegal distilled spirits. That worked out great… for organized crime.
Technology, for better or worse, is here to stay. It will be a huge part of our lives, from paying bills to selecting which movies we want to see and even cutting out commercials from TV shows (who said technology is bad!).
Until next time…