2017-06-09 / Community

Mahoney Middle School

Carrie Stilphen, Principal

Mitchell Ouellet, Assistant Principal

The 2016-2017 school year is quickly coming to a close and when I reflect upon this past year, I have to smile when thinking of my students. While our work in proficiency is central to what we do, our top priority remains to value and honor each student as a whole person and help them to recognize themselves as learners. What are their strengths? Their challenges? How can they help themselves to be more successful learners? Not understanding a new concept is not a problem. The message is when you don’t do something about it, then there is a problem. If the strategies used in the classroom aren’t successful, then we encourage students to use Intervention Workshop as a time to go back and work with the teacher for more individualized teaching.

We call this ‘drafting’ and either teachers draft those they feel need some extra help or students can ‘self-draft’. Community Service is something that we attempt to incorporate into our students’ experiences here and support however we can. This year our Civil rights team, along with Mahoney’s JMG students distributed our Pinwheels of Peace throughout Mill Creek businesses created by students in our Connections groups this fall. It was a wonderful way to spread a positive and peaceful message. Additionally, our JMG students work collaboratively with all of Mahoney in organizing a food drive each November. The amount of food our school community continued to amazed all involved. Those that

listen to 100.9 and Chuck Igo were kept updated as to theprogress made in this year’s South Portland School District’s food drive. 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.

This is our 6th year partnering with Rippleffect. shared in this same article that 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 Rippleffect Outdoor Leadership Education (R.O.L.E.) session, over 170 students have participated in the past 6 years. 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. I am always amazed at how the leadership skills connected to each student were the ones we hoped to see flourishing in the school setting.

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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