Mountaineer Notes, December 14, 2016


Delegate Freitas

On Friday December 9, Delegate Nick Freitas visited Matt Resnick’s 8th grade Civics & Economics classes to provide some insight into our state government.  The students asked questions and provided some suggestions to take back to Richmond.  The presentation was also a great review for the upcoming SOL.  We would like to thank Delegate Freitas for taking time from his busy schedule to visit our school and make a positive impact on our students.

New Student Welcome

New Student Welcome Letters

Students at Madison Primary School continue to thrive under the VTSS structure, taking to heart our school-wide expectations, and striving to be “bucket fillers” by doing good for others.  A great example was witnessed this week in Stephanie Utz’s Second Grade classroom. A new student visited last Friday and met her new teacher and classmates in preparation to begin on Monday. Unbeknownst to Mrs. Utz, students began making cards and leaving them on the student’s desk so she would feel welcome upon her arrival on Monday. What a great example of the positive character traits that we want to instill in our children!

American Woodmark, located in Orange, Virginia, is interested in partnering with area schools including Madison County to provide industry tours, mock interviews, internships, career day presentations, and summer employment. Tina Weaver, Director of Teaching and Learning, met with Daniel Troyer, Human Resources Supervisor, to discuss the partnership.

The SCA officers have joined forces with class officers, student leaders and class sponsors from all four grade levels to convert the MCHS lobby to Who-ville for the holiday season!

WYES Student Technology

WYES Student Technology

Folklore Project-Based Learning.  Fourth grade teachers are currently conducting a Folklore PBL.  The unit began when the students used videos to learn traits about tall tales, folktales, myths, and fables.  Next they read the various types of folklore and were able to see these traits used in authentic literature.  The culmination of this unit will be when they write a folklore piece of their choice.  Pictured are students from Nikki Lam’s class researching and reading about folklore.

WYES Student Technology

WYES Student Technology

The MCPS Online Professional Development Course Website is a unique opportunity for teachers to receive recertification points based on individual interest and convenient times. The site opened in November. To date, course enrollment and completion is encouraging, with sixty-six teachers signing up for Phase 1 and six completed. Thanks to Sam Utz, Director of Technology, for web development.

Congratulations to WYES Instructional Coach, Jen Rehm and teacher Kim Knighting for excellent SIPPS instruction during our recent consultant visit. These master SIPPS instructors will open their classroom doors for other district SIPPS teachers to observe.  SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) offers a systematic approach to decoding to support students in Primary, Waverly, and Wetsel in order to gain reading fluency and comprehension.

Janice Sekely

Students in Janice Sekely’s first grade class were soaring to the sky for STEAM. The laughter and excitement were contagious as they worked together to build the tallest tower for their dinosaur to sit atop. It’s fantastic to see (and hear!) all the wonderful ways teachers here at MPS are making learning fun and engaging for students.

Congratulations to Wetsel Band Director Alicia Strickler for putting on a wonderful holiday concert.  The 6th and 7th grade band students did a tremendous job in front of a packed house.  The event was enjoyed by all and our students showed off their talents.  A special thank you to Peggy Haluska for stepping in as Interim Band Director during Alicia’s absence.

French 2 students at MCHS recently finished a project on the regions of France. Emily Kline’s students worked in pairs to research and present posters on different regions. They also created a three-day travel itinerary for the region, complete with meals, transportation, lodging, and sightseeing which reflected what they learned about their region’s culture and history.

MCHS McDonalds

Last week, MCHS Marketing and Advanced Marketing students concluded a study of Customer Service by visiting two local businesses to learn how important customer service is to business growth and longevity in a small, rural community. Students met Ricky Jenkins (owner), Christie Jenkins (manager) and Carrie Hoffman (manager) at Tastee Freez, learned the history of the business and sampled the food. They also met Michael Yoder (owner) of Yoder’s Market, toured the facility, and learned how Yoder’s has experienced significant growth over three decades. After the field trip, students prepared a presentation for one of the two businesses with suggestions for how to make their marketing efforts even better to ensure future growth.

Waverly students have been excited about selecting books of interest to take home to add to their own personal library. Media Specialist Rebecca Jasman has spent her mornings assisting students in finding good titles. We are excited to be getting new and popular books for the Waverly Yowell library.

amanda-canavanThe second artist of the month for this school year at MCHS has artwork on display in the library! Amanda Canavan is the December Artist of the month!  Art Teacher Ashleigh Pugh says, “Amanda has been a hard worker since day one in art class. She has expanded with her creativity and her own artistic style that usually incorporates a cardinal bird.  She is a very patient, independent, and dedicated student and it shows in her work.”

This past Saturday, the MCHS Forensics team traveled to Fluvanna for a NCFL qualifying tournament. The team took first place overall in Speech sweepstakes, with the following individual awards:

Dramatic Performance:

  • 2nd: Michael Broyles
  • 1st: Steven Franklin
  • State Qualifier: Ben Butterworth

Oral Interpretation (Prose/Poetry):

  • 2nd: Rebecca Young


  • 5th: Caleb Mayer
  • 2nd: Hannah Gessler
  • 1st: Samuel Decowski

motw-125_1210Congratulations to Sophie Adams and Zach Gibson for being named the Mountaineer Athletes of the Week. Sophie had 15 points in the Lady Mountaineers win over Orange County last Saturday night and Zach Gibson went 5-0 on Saturday at the Hornet Duals.


benCongratulations to the Boys Varsity Basketball team for starting the season 4-0. Madison has wins over Luray (x2), Orange County and Culpeper to start the year.  Also, congratulations to our Boys Varsity Basketball coach, Ben Breeden for winning his 100th career game last week against Culpeper. This makes Coach Breeden just the 3rd Boys Basketball coach in MCHS history to achieve this feat #madisonpride.


zach-gibsonCongratulations to Eric Cashman, Zach Gibson, Dalton Dudley for going 5-0 this weekend at the Hornet Duals at Wilson Memorial HS. Christian Corbin also went 4-0 and Chase Berry was 4-1. The Mountaineers finished the day 3-2 as a team.  A special congratulations to Zach Gibson for earning his 100th career win as a wrestler on Saturday at the Hornet Duals in Fishersville.

MCHS art teacher Ashleigh Pugh recently had former art teacher and local artist Richard Young as a guest speaker in her classroom.  He talked with students about landscape, texture, color, patience, diligence, and perspective in his paintings and also shared his techniques with them. He explained how his art career had started and how much it has expanded. He answered the students questions about pricing and how much work is involved in each of his paintings.

government-pbl-4MCHS students in Theresa Hodge’s  DE Government classes are working on a Presidential Crisis Management PBL. Students participated in National Security Teams that were tasked with researching and writing recommendations for the President on two key issues – the threat of ISIS in the Middle East and the Syrian refugee problem and its related humanitarian concerns.  Each group was assigned a different ideology and each student selected a role (Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, etc.)  Once proposals were written, the groups met and discussed options and created Action Plans.

MCHS Chemistry teacher Julie Heffron puts on a great demonstration for her students.  The trick is that each beaker begins with a few drops of indicator [a different indicator per beaker] which will show a specific color in bases, but remain clear in acidic solutions.  To start, the solution is acidic, and each time they change color a base has been added.  At the end, to achieve the clear solution again in the tank, a few drops of concentrated acid were placed in the tank prior to the demonstration so that when the final solutions in the beakers were added – it would end clear.  The acid used was 0.01M hydrochloric, and the base used was 0.01M sodium hydroxide solution.


Here’s to all our Mountaineer Winter Scholar Athletes!

MS Girls Basketball

Middle School Girls Basketball






JV Girls Basketball

Junior Varsity Girls Basketball














V Girls Basketball

Varsity Girls Basketball










MS Boys Basketball

Middle School Boys Basketball










JV Boys Basketball

Junior Varsity Boys Basketball










V Boys Basketball

Varsity Boys Basketball










JV Cheer

Junior Varsity Cheer










V Cheer

Varsity Cheer








Boys Swim

Boys Swimming & Dive













Girls Swim

Girls Swimming & Dive






























Did you Know?

Athletics FaceBook Page. Did you know that the Athletic Department had a Facebook Page? Athletic Director Phil Warren and Director of Technology Sam Utz manage this site. Be sure to like us at Madison Athletics.

Christmas Lights. Did you know that Waverly Yowell has decorated for the Christmas season?  Enjoy the lights!

Flexible Support. Did you know that Liz Ford and Carrie Wintersgill provide intervention services for children in addition to their duties as media specialist and computer lab specialist?

Employment Records.  Did you know that the School Board Office maintains employment records that go back to the 1920s?

Virginia High School League (VHSL). Did you know that MCHS students participate not only in athletics through the VHSL, but also in academics?  The academic competitions  include, Forensics, Debate, Theater, Yearbook, Newspaper,  Literary Magazine and Film Festival.

Child Find.  Did you know that  Virginia Regulations governing special education mandate that school divisions must implement a “child find” program to identify, locate and evaluate students under 18 years old who are suspected of having a disability needing special education and related services, and who are incarcerated in a regional or local jail in the jurisdiction of the school division?  (8 VAC 20-81-50A.1.e)   Madison Schools are committed to serving every child in our county.

Happy Holidays, Madison.


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