November 21st - December 20th

GMSD Recap

November 21st - December 20th

Germantown Municipal School District

Weekly Recap

Excellence is all around us.

December 20th, 2017

EXCELLENT ACADEMICS

DECEMBER’S TEACHER FEATURE:  TARA WALKER OF DOGWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Germantown, Tennessee—December 1, 2017—What does total engagement look like?  We spent some time in the classroom of this month’s Teacher Feature to find out.  Around a kidney table, five children sit while their attention and focus never leaves their teacher for the duration of an entire lesson.  Is it a miracle of science or a wise and varied arsenal of behavioral techniques used by a very skilled special education teacher? 

 

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TOM KOLODZIEJ AND ELLA BARAN OF HHS RECOGNIZED BY GERMANTOWN EDUCATION COMMISSION

Germantown, Tennessee—December 11, 2017— The December Youth Excellence Award was presented to Eleanor “Ella” Baran, a senior at Houston High School, for her determination, intellectual curiosity, conscientiousness, independence and natural leadership. Ella has achieved an excellent academic record – with a special interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses.

The December Teacher of the Month was awarded to Mr. Tom Kolodziej, a senior English and Mythology teacher at Houston High School, where he holds his students to the highest academic and ethical standards. He blends humor and subject matter expertise to keep his classes engaging and demanding at the same time. 

 

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CALLING ALL HOUSTON HIGH STUDENTS—IT’S TIME TO GEAR UP FOR BATTLE OF THE BRAINS 

Germantown, Tennessee—November 10, 2017—Students from across Germantown will compete in the Battle of the Brains on Saturday, February 4. The event takes place in the Houston High School auditorium lobby, from 9 a.m. to noon. The public is encouraged to stop in, take a look and ask questions about projects on topics including rooftop agriculture, password protection, healing wounds with differential calculus, robotics and more. Students from Germantown, Houston and White Station High Schools and Memphis University School will compete.

EXCELLENT OPERATIONS

TEAM FROM HOUSTON HIGH WINS THE CONGRESSIONAL APP CHALLENGE WITH “JUMP” GAME

Germantown, Tennessee—December 15, 2017— From newly added coding classes to the district's one-to-one initiative, Germantown Municipal School District recognizes what an incredible asset technology can be in education. This asset can be equally incredible in pursuit of fun. Three Houston High students applied both of these facts and channeled their technological knowledge into the creation of an entertaining app, one now receiving congressional recognition. 

 

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GMSD EARNS TOP WORKPLACE DISTINCTION FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR!

Germantown, Tennessee—December 13, 2017—Thank you to all of the staff members who completed the Commercial Appeal’s Top Work Places Survey again this year.  We have earned the distinction as being a Top Place to Work for the third year in a row! Our favorite quote from the surveys: “I feel valued.  I feel appreciated.  I feel important.”

 

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GMSD TAKES FIRST PLACE IN THE GERMANTOWN HOLIDAY PARADE---DOGWOOD ELEMENTARY TAKES THIRD IN FLOAT DIVISION

Germantown, Tennessee—December 9, 2017—A resounding thank you to those that participated in this year’s parade.  Over 30 entries and hundreds of students strong, GMSD truly shined!  Click the image below to view a quick slide show of some of our entries. A special thanks to the HMS Color Guard and the DES Honor Choir for their participation in the district float, The Mustang Express.

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO SLIDE SHOW OF THE PARADE

DECEMBER SCHOOL BOARD MEETING, (DEC. 18)

Germantown, Tennessee—December 18, 2017— The agenda can be viewed here. The Houston High School Girls Soccer Team was recognized for their recent state championship win and #1 national ranking. The winners of the GMSD Holiday Card Contest were also recognized:  Hailey Park (FES), Rachel Christenbury (HMS), Alexander Buckley (HHS), and Julie Earnest (HHS). 

SEE THE WINNING DESIGNS HERE

DESIGNING HOUSTON INTRODUCES HOLIDAY INSPIRED ITEMS

Germantown, Tennessee—December 17, 2017—Houston High’s Fashion Design class’s ecommerce store online is NOW OPEN, offering the clothing they produce in class for purchase. Entitled Designing Houston, the website features a variety of upcycled and hand-sewn clothes, all created entirely by the high schooler designers.

ACCESS THE ONLINE STORE HERE

EXCELLENT CLASSROOMS

HHS ALUMNI RILEY TOLL VISITS ELEMENTARY STUDENTS TO DELIVER MESSAGE OF PERSERVERANCE AND HOPE

Germantown, Tennessee—December 17, 2017— Dogwood students enjoyed an inspiring visit from GMSD alumni, Riley Toll.  Riley is currently a freshman at UT where she is studying engineering.  She is an active student who was on the HHS pom team, in the Honors Academy, and she loves to wakeboard.  She encouraged the DES 4th and 5th graders that nothing is too hard for them even if they have to find their own way to conquer challenges.  Riley knows all about this because she was born with a limb difference. 

 

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HHS HOSA PROVIDES HEALTH SCREENINGS THROUGHOUT THE DISTRICT

Germantown, Tennessee—December 16, 2017— GMSD students will grow up to become teachers, writers, engineers, artists, and everything in between, and, as educators, we do all we can to prepare our students for these futures through a variety of programs for a variety of careers. One such program is that of HOSA. Houston High’s HOSA, a program dedicated to building up the medical professionals of tomorrow, recently demonstrated this technical career knowledge by providing medical screenings for other GMSD students.

WIT AND WISDOMA ENCOURAGES KINDERGARTENERS TO EXAMINE "FARMING" FROM MULTIPLE VIEWPOINTS 

Germantown, Tennessee—December 17, 2017— After a nine week of study of farm featured story elements, Dogwood Kindergarteners celebrated all they learned with a fun, farmer dress-up day.  

 

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STUDY OF YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC ENDS IN FIELD TRIP TO ELMWOOD CEMETERY FOR FIFTH GRADE STUDENTS

Germantown, Tennessee—December 17, 2017— Although it sounds unusual to take a group of Dogwood 5th graders to a cemetery, Elmwood Cemetery offered them a unique field trip experience.  Ms. Fredrick said, “It is the perfect place to visit in the fall because of its park-like setting, beautiful trees, and magnificent monuments.” This was a culminating activity after reading Graveyard Girl by Anna Myers enriched what was learned while studying about the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis and the Civil War. 

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HOUSTON HIGH SCHOOL TEAM QUALIFIES AS STATE FINALIST IN SAMSUNG'S SOLVE FOR TOMORROW APP CONTEST 

Germantown, Tennessee—December 9, 2017— Houston High School is one of five schools in Tennessee to be chosen among the nation’s 255 state finalists in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow Contest.  Read about the award winning idea from Stefano Della Rosa, Mandy Merkle, Jake Manuel, and Nick Anewalt.

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ELL TEACHER, SUNITA PURI, PROVIDES A SPECIAL WAY FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO SHARE THEIR CULINARY TRADITIONS

Germantown, Tennessee—December 14, 2017— Few things encapsulate the holidays quite like food. Dishes ranging from fruit cake to candy canes are served all season long, but Houston High’s English Language Learners (ELL) Program decided to have a feast of a different variety. This past Friday, the class organized a special international breakfast in the school library intended to celebrate the season and each students' unique cultures.

 

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EXCELLENT ARTS

HOUSTON MIDDLE BAND IS HAVING THE BEST WEEK EVER: GRIZZLIES, BRUNO MARS, AND COMMUNITY SERVICE

Germantown, Tennessee—December 19, 2017— As things are winding down for winter break, the Houston Middle School Band stays bustling and busier than ever. Throughout December, the HMS band has lent their fantastic musical stylings in a variety of venues to a variety of patrons. Follow their adventures by reading this highlight article.

 

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WE WISH YOUR A MERRY, MAKE-A-WISH! HHS SGA AND HHS CHOIRS COLLABORATE ON CAROLING FUNDRAISER

Germantown, Tennessee—December 15, 2017— “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” declares Will Ferrel’s character in the classic Christmas movie Elf. Few people find this statement as true as that of the Houston High Choir Program. After performing a whopping three holiday concerts, in addition to their various Dicken’s caroling engagements, these dedicated and talented students went searching for even more opportunities to spread holiday cheer. They found some in a special collaboration with Houston’s Student Government Executive Board (SGA). 

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SILVER BELLS?  MORE LIKE TINKERBELL--FOUR GMSD STUDENTS PERFORM IN PLAYHOUSE ON THE SQUARE'S PETER PAN 

Germantown, Tennessee—November 31, 2017— While silver bells are certainly ringing this holiday season, this year some GMSD students are performing alongside a substantially different kind of bell: Tinkerbell. HMS’s Nicholas Luter and Sarah Johnson and Riverdale’s Kelsie Hogan and Evelyn Jones are all performing in the professional production of Peter Pan at Playhouse on the Square.

 

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: MELISSA ANDERSON SWEAZY, CLASS OF 1993, IS EMERGING AS ONE OF MEMPHIS’ IMPORTANT LOCAL FILMMAKERS

Germantown, Tennessee—November 30, 2017— Melissa Anderson Sweazy is an award-winning screenwriter, film and music video director, essayist, and photographer. An alumni of Houston High School (Class of 1993), she is also quite the storyteller.

 


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IN SUMMARY, THE FINE ARTS DEPARTMENTS HAVE PUT ON SO MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES, IT'D BE HARD TO SUM THEM UP--BUT WE'VE MADE A QUICK COLLECTION OF MOMENTS FOR YOU TO VIEW 

Germantown, Tennessee—December 20, 2017— *Note that this document is not static—please email us if you have a snippet of something great to add.  Also, many of these are Facebook videos and may require additional logins.
Diego Martinez’s bass concerto solo during the HHS/HMS Orchestra Concert

This little dolphin singing “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” 

This Fifth Measure version of “Rain in Africa” reworked into a holiday tune

These Houston High School teachers making a holiday collab video 

 EXCELLENT STUDENTS

HMS STUDENT LOGAN WU WINS THE NATIONAL CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Germantown, Tennessee—December 10, 2017— It was this time last year when we reported that extraordinary student Logan Wu had won a National Chess Championship--and if you are curious about what it looks like and what type of practice it takes to be a national chess champion, check our live interview with Logan, here.

 

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EXCELLENT COMMUNITY

PARENT FEATURE:  VOLUNTEER TRACK COACH EXTRAORDINAIRE STACEY SCHWARZMANN

Germantown, Tennessee—November 15, 2017— Though we at GMSD frequently boast about our exceptional educators, dedicated athletes, and gifted artists, there is another group playing a role equally vital in the success of our school district: parents. Without the involvement of our passionate parents, so much of what makes GMSD a wonderful place to learn and grow would be lost. For an example of this impact made possible by our fantastic parents, one needn’t look any further than that of Stacey Schwarzmann, a volunteer cross country coach and parent at Dogwood Elementary. 

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RIVERDALE STUDENTS LEARN BIKE SAFETY FROM TDOT EXPERTS THROUGH SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL GRANT

Nashville, Tennessee—December 5, 2017— Through a meaningful partnership, the City of Germantown and Germantown Municipal Schools have been honored with a grant to ensure safe and healthier ways to walk and bike to school. Through the Safe Routes to School grant, Riverdale Elementary School is receiving some ancillary services, in addition to new sidewalks and bike lanes from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

 

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NATIONAL AGRICULTURE DAY ESSAY CONTEST COMES WITH $1000 CASH PRIZE

Germantown, Tennessee—November 30, 2017— Apples, oranges, bananas, carrots, spinach, all are staples of the American diet. However, while these foods are incredibly prevalent in our lives, we rarely consider where and how these foods have come to be on our kitchen tables. The Agriculture Council of America aims to change this lack of curiosity with their national essay competition and celebration of farming on National Ag Day (March 20th). 

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN OUR NEXT recap or KNOW SOMEONE WHO SHOULD? Respond to this email with your submissions.

UNTIL THEN, STAY EXCELLENT, GMSD!