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Middle School Blog

LifeSports Takes a Spring Hike

Posted by jdangleis on Wednesday March 25 at 04:55PM
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Gene Kang '20 places 3rd at national archery event

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Gene Kang ’20 felt the pressure of competing at a national event.

In the end, though, Gene proved he could handle the pressure.

Competing against people nearly twice his age, Gene finished third in his age group in the Eastern Region at the 2015 Junior Olympic Archery Development National Indoor Championships at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale Feb. 20-22.

“There was a lot of pressure and stress being at nationals, but I think I got through it during the three days I was there,” Gene said. “I hope to do it again next year.”

After a practice day, Gene shot a 410 (of 600) on the first day of competition before scoring a 379 on the final day. His age group included shooters ages 8-20.

Gene said he was “pleased with his performance” because he was “trying to break 400.” The national event not only included shooters from throughout the country, but from Nigeria, Australia, South Korea and Canada as well.

Gene had a busy, and successful, month of February. He won his age group at the New England Indoor Warm-up, took fifth in his age group at the New England Indoor Championship, and was the runner-up in his age group at the Connecticut State Indoor Championship prior to the national meet.

“I’m getting better,” Gene said. “I think I can do better next year and I think I can do better at nationals if I go.”

Posted by jdangleis on Saturday March 7 at 09:58AM
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Celina Rivernider '19 wins writing contest award

For the majority of her school years, Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Celina Rivernider ’19 has been told by her teachers and friends she’s a talented writer.

Celina, though, didn’t really know how talented she really was.

Now she knows.

In a contest that includes students in grades 7-12, Celina was named a winner of a 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Regional Gold Key Award. Celina’s “America: Deaf and Blind” earned recognition in the Critical Essay category.

“I was really, really excited. I didn’t expect it,” Celina said. “I’ve had people tell me I’m talented at writing, for my class or age or grade, but I didn’t really think I’d size up with the country. I don’t know if I’ll win the national award because so few people get it, but I have a lot of years to go and I’m going to keep submitting to the contest.”

Celina received a certificate from Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in the mail in mid-February. The regional award automatically qualified her for national merit, which will be announced March 16.

Celina wrote a powerful piece on racial, gender and social inequalities in America, specifically stating how the country pretends to be equal when in fact it is not.

“Something in both the logical and visionary side of me has hung on,” Celina concluded in her essay. “It is the hope of fixing this red, white and blue contraption. If I can save a whole country, we can all save our world. But I must distinguish my voice, I am not a delinquent protesting because I can, I am speaking out because I must. I am like America, some parts coolly near-perfected, some parts beautifully imperfect. If I were to give up on our country, I would be giving up on myself.”

Celina wrote the essay as part of an assignment for her eighth-grade Humanities class at the Academy.

Posted by jdangleis on Saturday March 7 at 09:49AM
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Lewis and Clark experiment

As part of our Westward Expansion Unit students studied Lewis and Clark and how they traveled, what they could take with them, and where they explored. As part of the unit the students needed to engineer their own canoe and work in groups to plan out the materials they would use and how they were going to build the actual canoe so that it would float for three minutes in water with a stack of coins in it.


Posted by skelley on Friday March 6 at 12:12PM
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Dr. Ito visited Grade 7 via skype.  Dr. Ito is 95 years old! He was able to answer every question and provide details.  It was a privilege to hear him and have him visit the classroom.

 Dr. Ito is Japanese-American.  He was born in 1919.  His family was interned (Excecutive Act 9066). He fought in the most decorated regiment of the US Armed Forces - the 442nd.  

He liberated one of the subcamps of Dachau.  He rose from the rank of private to Lt. (in the segregated US Armed Forces).

His family was from Hiroshima (and he showed the class remnants from the atomic bomb -- a glass jar that was melted).

He talked about his pride in serving in the military, despite fighting for a country that discriminated against him (and others).

"It was my duty and privilege to serve.  I had no doubts or hesitations.  In fact, I volunteered for hazardous duty, despite my mom not wanting me to. We were proud to serve our nation at that time." He discussed the GM Bill (which enabled him to attend school after the war).  He did not return to California. On the East Coast (which he made his home), very few were aware of the camps that interned 120.000 people of Japanese descent.

  • For more info. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susumu_Ito
  • This came about because Dr. Ito is a friend of John Robinson's great-aunt.  John focused his memorial project on Dr. Ito (segregated US Military and Japanese Internment).
Posted by skelley on Wednesday February 25 at 11:14AM
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Celina was named a 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Regional Gold Key Award winner.
Gene placed third in the 8-20 age group in the Eastern Region.
The new middle school dormitory was named in honor of Rodney and Shirley LaBrecque.
Donate new or gently used coats to help keep children warm this winter.

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