Message from the Principal
Dear MMS Community,
What an adventure the 2020- 2021 school year has been! Thanks to our teachers, staff, parents and of course our wonderful students, in spite of all its challenges, this year gave us the opportunity to make wonderful memories together.
The spirit of MMS was on display in the amazing success of the virtual STEAM Fair, 8th Grade Camp Kiwi trip that even rain could not put a damper on, and Pac Club bringing us together with letter writing, “Mix It Up” and “Dare to be Different” days, the daily positive quote of the day and the Pledge of Allegiance by students on morning announcements, and teacher appreciation activities. Our incredible student government made sure we all showcased our school spirit with themed days including Crazy Mask Day, Team Day, Halloween Dress Up, the Ugly Sweater Holiday Contest and Twin Day to name a few.
The talents of the middle school were captured in the Mahopac Art Department virtual art show, the MMS Theater Company Virtual Variety Show: Celebrating 20 Years of Greatness, Don Flynn’s final Steel Drum concert (check out photos and videos on the District facebook page), and the orchestra performances from our 6th Grade Concert, 7th Grade Concert, and 8th Grade Concert. The success of our athletic teams: gymnastics, volleyball, lacrosse (our girls were undefeated!), baseball, and softball also brought us pride!
Finally, our National Junior Honor Society held an in person induction of 42 members with over 400 hours of community service performed by inductees and, last but not least, our 8th grade moving up ceremony on the turf capped off the year on a positive note for all of us.
Thank you MMS Community! Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you all in September.
Thomas Cozzocrea, Principal
Mahopac Middle School
News & Headlines
Moving Up 2021 Celebration
The forecast threatened rain, but our eighth graders and their families gathered under a bright blue sky for the moving up ceremony on Monday, June 21. MMS Principal Tom Cozzocrea welcomed everyone and applauded his students on the hard work and resilience that got them to this celebration. He reminded them that it was the support and love of their parents and many educators that helped them along the way. “These people will continue to support you for the next four years and beyond. Greatness is team effort and you are fortunate to have an amazing team!”
Superintendent DiCarlo spoke to the class quoting Walt Disney, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them,” he said. The celebration ended with Assistant Principals Allyson Fallman and Patrick Keevins calling up each student to receive his or her certificate from either Mr. DiCarlo or Mr. Cozzocrea.
Before being dismissed, the class turned and faced the bleachers and cheered for their parents to thank them. Our newest freshman class then exited the stadium to raucous cheering while Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” played over the speakers.MMS News & Headlines
MMS Virtual Variety Show
The Mahopac Middle School Theater Company's is proud to have produced their 20th production: a virtual variety show celebrating 20 years of greatness, under the direction of Heather L. Palkewick and Victoria A. Velders Although the pandemic prohibited us from producing a traditional show this year, we embraced the opportunity to take on a challenging and unusual project so that the show would go on. This year’s experience required our theater company’s staff to think outside of the box and off the stage. We designed a performance that met the creative needs of the singers and actors we have in school today and paid tribute to all of those who have graced our stage in the past. This year, we have put together a collection of work from every show produced at MMS. Using scenes, songs, and the visual arts we have created a theatrical production during these most complicated times.
"A heartfelt thank you goes out to all the faculty, staff and administration who helped us on this year’s production, and every production for the past 20 years," said Palkewick, MMS Chorus Teacher & Musical Director. "We have been honored to have worked with so many talented actors, musicians, and stagecrafters during our tenure. We also send out thanks and congratulations to the students who worked on this production. It was a long and strange process this year. We started with an interactive, yet virtual experience, and just recently began to meet in person. The students and staff of 2021 persevered and rose to the challenge and for that we are ever so proud! We hope you enjoy this Celebration of 20 years of Greatness!"MMS News & Headlines
Middle School Orchestra Spring Performances!MMS News & Headlines
Weiss Places Second in Assemblyman Kevin Byrne's 94th Assembly District Art Competition
Congratulations to MMS 8th grader Alexandra Weiss for placing second in Assemblyman Kevin Byrne's 94th Assembly District Art Competition. Designed to offer more opportunities for young people to engage with their elected representatives and witness democracy in action, this year Assemblyman Byrne’s office launch its first ever district-wide Art Competition for middle school students (Grades 5-8) throughout the 94th Assembly District.
The contest sought submissions in a wide variety of mediums - painted canvas, drawings , two dimensional collages, mixed media, computer generated art, and photography - all of which were on display at the A. Eric Arctander Gallery from June 5 to June 13, where parents, teachers and students were able to come in and admire them. Winners were announced at a ceremony on June 13 at the Putnam Arts Council.MMS News & Headlines
Steel Drum Concert Delights!After skipping last year due to the pandemic, the annual steel drum concert was held on Wednesday, June 9 at the middle school. Parents, community members, and Mahopac staff brought lawn chairs and sat on the pavement outside the gym to enjoy the music.“Last year we were not able to have this concert, so I invited back my students who missed out last year and they performed with us this year,” said Mahopac Middle school/high school music teacher and steel drum band teacher/conductor Donald Flynn. The band was also supported by teachers and staff members playing instruments as well as special appearance by former MMS Spanish teacher, George Feebles.The band delighted the crowd with popular favorites such as “Brown Eyed Girl,” “La Isla Bonita,” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” as well as other less well-known but no less fabulous songs from Trinidad and Jamaica.As joyful as it was for the students to be performing together, the evening was bittersweet as it was Flynn‘s final concert after 36 years at Mahopac. The evening closed with a presentation of gifts from Flynn’s students, both current and past.MMS News & Headlines
MMS National Junior Honor Society Celebrates 2021 Inductees
The National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony brought parents, administrators, board or education members, teachers, staff, and students together, in person for the first time in over a year. Everyone gathered to celebrate students with both a high scholastic average and outstanding commitment to the MMS community.
NJHS adviser Kerry Tarantino enthusiastically greeted everyone and thanked them for their support of the program and their children throughout their middle school career. She handed the microphone to Principal Tom Cozzocrea who congratulated students for “climbing the mountain of high academic success. The best news: there are more mountains to climb!” He continued, “Thank you for not giving up, for being you, and for letting me be a small part of it. This is your night enjoy it!”
Superintendent Anthony DiCarlo, too, expressed his excitement at this chance to be together in person, “It is wonderful to have parents here for tonight’s celebration! Greatness is a team effort. Thank you for taking our guidance and encouragement and achieving greatness.”
He closed by saying, “You are are now in an exclusive club. This combination of scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship, and character shows there is much more to you than your grades. It’s an honor to be here with you tonight!”
The ceremony continued with students lighting a candle for each pillar of the NJHS pledge, each coming to the front of the stage to accept their certificate and pin, and finally reciting the pledge together:
“I pledge to uphold the high purposes of the National Junior Honor Society to which I have been selected; I will be true to the principles for which it stands; I will be loyal to my school; and I will maintain and encourage high standards of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, Citizenship, and Character.”
The evening ended with group photos of the new inductees, their parents and friends.
Congratulations MMS NJHS Class of 2021!MMS News & Headlines
MCSD 2020-2021 District-wide Art Show
The Mahopac Central School District believes that Art education is an essential component of human development. Through Visual Art, students are empowered to be creative, “out of the box” thinkers and conscious designers; they are able to discover and express who they are, communicate their ideas, understand the visual, cultural, and virtual world, take risks, work collaboratively, make connections in their learning, innovate, develop an increasing sense of their own aesthetic, and authentically engage in their education.
The inaugural District-wide Art Show centralizes all the a talent district wide from Kindergarten to 12th Grade. Click the link below, explore, and enjoy!MMS News & Headlines
For the past 14 years, Mahopac Middle School English teacher Beth Palmer has incorporated teaching about the Holocaust into her class and this year was no exception. Eighth graders read The Cage, a non-fiction book about the hardship and cruelty of being a Jew during the Holocaust written by Ruth Minsky Sender. “I find that if my students know the history, they get the more out of the book.”
Palmer works with the speakers bureau at the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center in White Plains to make sure that the kids get to meet a survivor. “I think it makes it more real to them to hear someone who went through the actual events. It is much more impact than just watching a video or seeing pictures.” Typically the meeting happens in person, but this year 90-year-old Hanne Holsten “zoomed” into their classroom. This enabled all students, in-person and remote, to share the experience.
Holsten lived a normal life in Nuremberg, Germany in 1938 with her parents, sister, and brother. She told students the story of Nazis coming into her house on Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), destroying everything her family owned and placing them in jail overnight. The students were enthralled as she spoke about her two year journey traveling around Europe and being hidden by smugglers to avoid being captured by the Nazis. She emphasizes to students that her family only survived as a result of the kindness of others
“We were really able to have a conversation with Hanne about history and the people who were persecuted, why it happened, and how not to let it happen again. Meeting a survivor is a tangible way for the kids to care about the people who perished,” said Palmer. “There will not be many, if any, survivors left in a few years, so it is important to me that students get the experience of meeting one.”
Palmer also uses the unit as an opportunity to discuss tolerance. In addition to reading The Cage, writing a research paper, and meeting a survivor, students create a wall of remembrance in the classroom. Everyday the class reads two names of people that did not survive and adds them to the wall. They also commit to performing random acts of kindness which they also document on the wall.
“It is important for students to understand the snowball effect of bullying and nasty comments. The Holocaust did not happen overnight and I want them to see that their individual actions can help, or hurt, others in ways they may not realize. I hope the whole experience inspires students to choose kindness, just as Hanne asked them to do at the end of her talk.”MMS News & Headlines
May the 4th Be With You!
Thank you MMS Student Government for giving us the perfect way to celebrate #Maythe4th and show our school spirit! And thank you to all our students - and teachers! - who came to school today in their best #StarWars gear. Congratulations to everyone who collected tickets and won raffle prizes. We can't wait for the next Spirit Day!MMS News & Headlines
Extra, extra, read all about it!
Hot off the presses, Mahopac Middle School's newspaper, The Torch, Winter 2021 edition is now available!
Steam Far awards, staff interviews, art, creative writing, and short story context results, and much more!MMS News & Headlines
6th Grade Curriculum Night
Dear 5th Grade Parents,
It was a pleasure presenting to you during our 6th Grade Curriculum Night yesterday. This is the first step in transitioning your child from Elementary students to official Middle Schoolers in September. If you were unable to join us last night you can review the 6th Grade Curriculum Night Slides. Over the next few months there will be additional opportunities for both you and your child to learn more about Mahopac Middle School. We look forward to in-person or virtual visits to their schools as well as the students coming to the Middle school. We also plan on having a 6th grade orientation in late August to help them feel comfortable. Do not hesitate to reach out over the next few months with any questions that you may have. We look forward to working with you and your children over the next 3 years!
Mahopac Middle School Administration.MMS News & Headlines
7th and 8th Grade Curriculum Night
The middle school team covered a wide variety of topics at our virtual 7th and 8th grade curriculum night including: Program(s) of Study, Accelerated Courses, World Language, Special Education, National Junior Honor Society, High School Graduation Requirements, NYS Assessments, and Academic Integrity. The presentation challenged parents to consider how their children manage time, if their organizational skills and study/work routines are keeping pace with the workload, and how to assess their expectations for their children.
The entire presentation can be viewed here: Curriculum Night 7/8 January 20, 2021.MMS News & Headlines
Mahopac's annual celebration of STEAM is this Saturday, January 23, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Follow this link to the program of events for the day. The award ceremony will be live live-streamed at 2 p.m. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyyGXNnB-fKndXzHrPO_WqA/videos (once the live-stream starts the link will update).
This website includes:
MMS News & Headlines
- Middle School STEAM Fair participants' projects
- Information about MHS Science National Honor Society (SNHS)
- Middle school technology & engineering classes
- MHS Project Lead the Way (Engineering Class)
- Science-inspired art projects done by Mrs. Lyons’ class
- Interactive Math Games hosted by the Math Experts
- STEAM ITalian - save Venice!
- Staying Healthy During COVID - participants can win prizes!
- Gender Equality Club - Learn about the Red Box Project
- STEAM Week highlights for our 5th grade students
2020-2021 One Page Calendar
This Calendar includes school breaks, holidays, and color cohort days for the entire 2020-2021 school year.MMS News & Headlines
MMS Reopens Video!
This video covers everything you need to know - arrival, health & safety, movement through the building, lockers/backpacks, dismissal. We can't wait to see you!MMS News & Headlines
Letter Day Calendar
The 2020-2021 MMS Letter Day Calendar will be updated monthly. Please note the date at the bottom indicates the most recent update.MMS News & Headlines
2020-2021 Supply Lists are here!
Before purchasing all the items on the supply list, please have your child check in his or her teachers during remote learning.MMS News & Headlines
Special Edition Spotlight: MMS Reopening
Please enjoy this Spotlight especially for MMS Families about the reopening.MMS News & Headlines