Amity Middle School Orange Students Receive Superintendents Award

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Jan 132021

Colin Spoerndle accepts a Certificate of Excellence from the Connecticut Association
of Public School Superintendents given by Amity superintendent, Dr. Byars. Not pictured Maya Quaranta. (Photo by Kathy Burke)

AMSO students Maya Quaranta and Colin Spoerndle received the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents Award of Excellence and were recognized at the January Board of Education
meeting for their community service and service to others, as well as their academic progress and leadership service to the school community.

Maya Quaranta is an active member of the AMSO school community. She serves as the student representative on the School Climate Committee. Maya can be counted on to share her ideas and make
practical suggestions to improve the school climate.

Her teachers note that Maya has distinguished herself among her peers with her diligence, ability to collaborate, and her outstanding effort. Outside of school, Maya contributes to her community
by volunteering at a local church baking treats for Orange residents. She also works at a nearby farm stand.

Colin Spoerndle also serves on the AMSO School Climate Committee and can be counted on to provide thoughtful, honest comments at school climate meetings. His insight and suggestions have been helpful

in providing the student perspective on what is and is not working in terms of our school climate. Colin’s teachers praised him for his positive attitude and work ethic that make him a leader among his peers.

Outside of school, Colin is busy swimming with the Amity Regional Aquatic Club. Colin has also been active in the Orange Little League helping out clinics for the younger children.

Amity District 5 Teacher Of The Year

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Jun 102020

This year’s Teacher of the Year has been with Amity schools since 2006. Described by her colleagues as “lighthearted and approachable, she will always make the time for you and never makes you feel like you are
unintelligent with respect to technology,” the Amity Teacher of the Year from Amity Middle School in Orange is Kristen Yaekel.

Kristen started her work at Amity as an English teacher and now serves as the school’s library media specialist. Kristen’s colleagues note that she is always available to support faculty and staff. She is amazing at technology, and whether the issue is small or major she responds quickly. They know that can always rely on Kristen. Whether it is to spark some enthusiasm with the students, support school activities, organize a field trip, or clean up at the end of a day, Kristen is always first to help.

As a teacher, Kristen is enthusiastic and always willing to try new things. She was one of the first teachers to Skype with the outside world, so her students get a firsthand account of how life is in other places, and she continues to help other teachers connect their students to the world around us.

As a teacher Kristen is amazing, and students enjoy her instruction. As the building’s library media specialist
she has brought a new ambiance, joy, and rich learning experience to the library area. She was nominated by
her peers not only because of her expertise in technology and instruction, but also for her patience, persistence,
and kind helpful spirit.

She has been a tremendous support with distance learning, not only to the staff but also to the students. As noted by a teacher at Amity Middle School in Orange, “When our learning and global community was in chaos her calm comforting spirit, her understanding of my goals, and her expertise was how I got through to the other side.” Kristen is going to be an exemplary representative as Amity’s 2020 Teacher of the Year.

Amity Middle School Students Help Central American Students and Families

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Dec 162019

The Pulsera Project was a fundraiser facilitated by 8th-grade Spanish teacher Stephanie Sanchez’s advisory group at Amity Middle School in Orange. 

Artisans from Guatemala and Nicaragua sent handmade bracelets and cross-body bags to be sold to help provide education, clean water, and housing to the people in those countries.  The advisory group was able to raise more than $800 selling the items during lunch waves.

Pictured are: (top row) Erica Manandhar, Paige Boguniecki, Caroline Tirollo, James Morrin, Charlotte Pellegrino; (bottom row) Christopher Nam, Hayden Chetwynd, Kenneth Ganun

(Photo by Stephanie Sanchez)

Orange Middle School Students Participate In Government Day

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Oct 182019

On Wednesday, October 16, students from Amity Middle School in Orange worked in the government offices for the town of Orange. From the 55 essays submitted to the contest, 17 students were chosen to participate.

Eighth-grade social studies teacher, Jennifer Marganski, has coordinated this annual event for the past few years.  “Seventh and eighth-graders were able to learn from Town Clerk, Pat O’Sullivan, how our democracy is an evolutionary process and that local government allows us to do collectively what we cannot do alone,” Marganski stated.

Jillian Barnes, an eighth-grader, said, “It was a fun and educational experience.  I would recommend it to other students.”  Eighth-grader, Raegan French, said, “I drive by the community center every day, and I never knew all the work that goes on inside [until participating in Government Day].”  Furthermore, eighth-grader, Andie Napolitano, said, “Everybody [at the library] was so kind; and I loved every moment of it, especially when I got to help out with the kids.”  Finally, eighth-grader, Taylor Thomas said, “It was fun!”  That seemed to be the overriding sentiment for the day; everyone enjoyed the experience.

Students also met with First Selectmen Jim Zeoli before spending time in their designated positions.  He explained that each department in local government is valuable; and together the departments create the town, of which the school is a vital part.

After spending the morning in their positions, the Student Council at Amity Middle School in Orange treated the students to lunch at Chip’s Family Restaurant.  Students were very grateful for the opportunity to shadow local leaders and spend the day actively learning about their town.

Amity Students Participate In PEACE Project

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May 242019

Students at Amity Middle School in Bethany, Amity Middle School in Orange, and Amity Regional High School have been working to paint symbols of peace, harmony, and unity. 

Throughout Amity Regional School District No. 5 schools The Peace Project will be installed in outdoor areas, such as our own courtyards.

This project of peace is a direct response to the anti-Semitic concerns that were raised at Amity Regional High School earlier this school year. 

The Peace Project showcases that the Amity community does not condone discriminatory sentiments and instead wishes to live in a community of support and peace.  It is up to us, as members of this community, to work to make this wish a reality.

New Haven Mineral Club Show At Amity Middle School This Weekend

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Mar 312019

The New Haven Mineral Club will celebrate its 46th annual show on Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, at Amity Middle School in Orange. There will be minerals and gems, of course, to dazzle visitors, but the show also serves to promote the study of mineralogy, geology, paleontology (fossils), lapidary and other sciences.

Each year, a scholarship is awarded to an area high school student, too, to assist in the continuation of studies. The club also does field trips, speakers and special events during the year, but the annual show — with dealers, door prizes, lectures, and demonstrations, is the most popular.

Amity Regional Middle School, 100 Ohman Ave., Orange. Saturday, April 6, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 7, 10-5. Donation $6, under 12 free with an adult. newhavenmineralclub.org

Copy and print this story for 1.00 Dollar off Admission

Amity Middle School Students Emulate Jackie Robinson’s Character

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Dec 132018

(Pictured, left to right): Zephaniah Abdus-Salaam, Zshonna Singleton, Sam Sender, Aditi Bhattamishra, Claire Bath, Ari Chetwynd, Oliver Kusiak, and Patrick Coughlin.

Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play professional baseball, has been used as a role model for the students at Amity Middle School in Orange. Jackie lived by non-violent actions and by values that the teachers, staff, and administrators at Amity use today as an example for the student body.

Courage is the “Jackie’s Nine” characteristic of the month for November at Amity Middle School in Orange.  Zephaniah Abdus-Salaam, a seventh-grade student, defined courage as “being proud of yourself to really stand out and protect your friends from people you don’t know…people who may bully others.”  Eighth-grader Patrick Coughlin said that courage is “staying on task during a test and studying even when you don’t want to, so you get the best result.”

The following students were recognized for demonstrating courage to do what is right, even when it is difficult. Zephaniah Abdus-Salaam, Claire Bath, Aditi Bhattamishra, Ari Chetwynd, Patrick Coughlin, Oliver Kusiak, Sam Sender, and Zshonna Singleton.

Chinese Educators to Visit Amity Middle Schools Next Week

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Nov 082018

Twenty-five distinguished Chinese educators, mostly principals, will be visiting the Amity Middle Schools in Bethany and Orange on Tuesday, November 13.

These educators have been selected by Guangdong Province, one of China’s most progressive provinces, to come to the United States this year. The trip for the delegation, which is visiting Connecticut November 4 through November 16, has been arranged by Daniel W. Gregg, Director of International Programs, Connecticut Association of Schools.

The purpose of this visit will be to explore how schools in the United States provide innovative school types and
approaches to address student populations; develop management strategies to ensure teacher quality and student learning; employ innovative teaching methods to improve learning for all students, and promote effective teaching and learning by engaging in dialogue with American educators.

Their visit to Amity will focus on middle school programs in Connecticut. This will be the second year the Connecticut Association of Schools has hosted educators from Guangdong Province. The delegation will be visiting Amity Middle School in Bethany 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and Amity Middle School in Orange 10:45 a.m.
to 12:00 noon.


Minerals, Gems, and Fossils, Oh My!

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Apr 082018

The New Haven Mineral Club presents its 45th Annual Show at Amity Middle School, 100 Ohman Ave., Orange, on Sunday, April 8.

The show is a gem collector’s favorite and only comes around once each year. Dozens of vendors and dealers will have a wide variety of minerals, gems, crystals, metaphysical stones, fossils, and jewelry for sale and to admire. The event includes exhibits, demonstrations, door prizes, kids activities, and refreshments.

The Show is open on Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Parking is free. Admission is $6, Children under 12 admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

For more information, go to NewHavenMineralClub.org.

This is a wonderful place to start buying crystals and minerals for a child’s collection or to find something special for yourself.


Local Teen Band Lands Spot in Ridgefield Playhouse BandJam Competition Final!

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Apr 062018

Four Orange teens will be competing for the grand prize and title of the best local middle school band in the upcoming Ridgefield Playhouse 2018 BandJam, on Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m.The band, called the 7’s, after the lucky number of some of its members earned one of the four final coveted spots.

They will be performing two songs in front of a live audience, as well as guest celebrity judges.  Luck has nothing to do with it though, as these four boys have been working hard and having weekly rehearsals to prepare them for the show.

Three of the band members, Christopher Carlson (drums,) Lucas Ketchian, (guitar & bass,) and Declan O’Rourke (guitar & bass) are 7th-grade students at Amity Middle School in Orange. Oliver Nappi, lead singer, is a sixth grader at Turkey Hill School.

The band members have known each other since kindergarten, reconnected on the Lacrosse field in 2015 and added a lead singer 2 years later. They are no stranger to performing however, and have played at many school talent shows as well as showcase performances at RVP studios. Eric Carlson, the drummer’s dad,  has a background in music, having played in a band himself as a teenager, and has been an invaluable asset to the group.  He has been managing the boys and giving them musical direction to help prepare for the upcoming performance.

The area’s hottest musical competition known as BandJam 2018 will bring eight high-octane bands, 4 middle school and 4 high school, to compete at The Ridgefield Playhouse!  The Playhouse BandJam is open to area Middle School and High School Students. A panel of celebrity judges will be on hand to select this year’s BandJam champions. The show is hosted by Christine O’Leary and Jay Prince. What began as a charity event for The Playhouse has become a much-anticipated competition where middle school and high school students perform before a panel of industry professionals for the title of BandJam Winner! 100% of all proceeds from this event will go directly to support The Ridgefield Playhouse.

The band members whose musical tastes run from 80’s and 90’s rock such as Guns n’ Roses and Green Day to current performers like Panic at The Disco will be playing two songs and competing against three other middle school bands. The bands will be judged on musicianship, quality of sound and showmanship. The band would love any support they can get from their fans, and the band that has the most tickets sold gets to pick in which order they will perform!  If you would like to attend, please call The Ridgefield Playhouse box office at 203-438-5795 to purchase a ticket and let them know you are there to support the 7’s! The band would love to bring home the title and grand prize but are also super proud of getting this far!