2015-05-29 / Community

Mahoney Middle School

Carrie Stilphen, Principal George Conant, Assistant Principal

The 2014-2015 school year is quickly coming to a close and by the time this article gets to your doorstep, I have (hopefully!) safely rappelled down One City Center. On May 16th, as a way to support the wonderful organization Rippleffect, I agreed to take part in such an event. Thanks to the generosity of the many members of our Mahoney Community, I was able to raise over $1000.00 and ‘earn’ my chance of rappelling. Let’s hope it all went well! When I reflect upon this past year, our continued partnership with Rippleffect comes right to mind. Two years ago I shared in this same article that Mr. Conant’s and my goal was to have 50 Mahoney students access what Rippleffect offers to adolescents. I am proud to say that as of the end of this year’s forth Rippleffect Outdoor Leadership Education (R.O.L.E.) session, over 100 students have participated in the past 2 years. Not included in the this number are several students who participated twice due to their love and commitment of the curriculum. The program includes one afternoon a week for four weeks and then a weekend out on Cow Island. The response of the students and parents continues to be overwhelming. During the Rippleffect Graduation Ceremony the leaders share a great video from the weekend on the island, but more importantly the students are recognized for their leadership skills demonstrated on the island. Mr. Conant and I are always amazed at how the leadership skills connected to each student were the ones we hoped to see flourishing in the school setting. Mr. Conant and my challenge continues to be finding opportunities to put these students’ leadership skills to work within school community to make it be an even better place for the teaching and learning. I have come to realize that our students are natural leaders in many ways within our school and finding additional ways to highlight this is difficult mostly due to how involved everyone seems to be; certainly not for lack of interest!! Community Service is something that we attempt to incorporate into our students’ experiences here and support however we can. Coastal Cleanup (our 6th grade teachers even got t-shirts!) is an endeavor that our 6th grade takes on each year. While staying safe, students are given the opportunity to take part in helping the local environment by cleaning up around our own community. Additionally, our JMG students work collaboratively with all of Mahoney in organizing a food drive each November. The amount of food our school community gathered exceeded our increased goal for this year. Those that listen to 100.9 and Chuck Igo were kept updated as to the progress this year’s food drive made in the SPSD. High school students, along with our middle schoolers, helped to load a bus to the roof upon arriving at Mahoney. Again, the generosity and attention to this endeavor was overwhelming and made a lasting impression on the students that worked so hard to make it such a success. So as June approaches our focus includes providing smooth and positive transitions for all of our students as they prepare to leave for summer and then return ready for a new school year. It is also a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements made throughout the year. Along with the step-up days and distribution of summer reading lists, will be the end of the year recognition assemblies. While some may say that doing well in school is to be expected, we know that many of our students enter the building each day with needs that exceed the classroom. Success can look different depending on the student and so our assemblies attempt to recognize various achievements; not just the purely academic ones. It is always fun to celebrate and with the students’ help in organizing these assemblies, it is sure to be an exciting way to end another school year!

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