Four MMI students receive awards in annual Klapper Memorial Holocaust essay contest

Four MMI Preparatory School students placed in the 23rd annual Israel T. & Mildred Klapper Memorial Holocaust Essay Contest. The contest is sponsored jointly by the Hazleton Jewish Community Council and the Greater Hazleton Ministerial Association.

Senior Sydney Karpowich captured first place in the High School division and senior Julia Snyder placed second. Eighth grader Lucy Butkiewicz and seventh grader Jakob Narrow tied for second place in the Middle School division. MMI English instructor Jennifer Novotney and History instructor Grete Floryshak were the faculty advisers for the competition.

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MMI to host annual Open House on Sunday

MMI Preparatory School, located at 154 Centre Street in Freeland, will host its annual Open House this Sunday, March 18, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and features special research projects in academic fields and the culinary arts that were created by MMI students. State Street Corporation is the event sponsor.

Visitors can view the academic projects from 2 to 4 p.m., while the culinary projects will be available to see and sample from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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Wister Quartet chamber ensemble makes annual visit to MMI on March 5

The Wister Quartet, a nationally renowned and Grammy-nominated chamber ensemble, will return to MMI Preparatory School for the 15th consecutive year for a performance at the school on Monday, March 5, at 7 p.m.

The concert is sponsored by Dr. James W. Feussner ’65 in memory of Elizabeth Feussner and The Sowers & Turri Music and Arts Fund of the Luzerne Foundation.

The performance, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Athletics and Drama Complex on the MMI campus at 154 Centre St., Freeland. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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Eleven MMI students receive Scholastic Writing Awards

Eleven MMI Preparatory School students were recipients of 2018 Scholastic Writing Awards in the Northeast Writing Region-at-Large division. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. 

Senior Lauren Babinetz, the daughter of Michael and Patricia Babinetz of Jim Thorpe, received a Gold Key for her critical essay “Whistleblowers – The Only Way to Know” and will advance to the national competition. Regional Gold Key work is currently being considered for national recognition in New York City and national medalists will be announced on March 13.

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Noah Poesnecker wins MMI National Geographic Bee

Eighth grader Noah Poesnecker won MMI Preparatory School’s in-school competition of the National Geographic Bee and will advance in the competition for a chance to win a $50,000 college scholarship. Sixth grader Heath Williams was the runner-up in MMI’s competition.

Poesnecker is the son of Renee Poesnecker of Mountain Top and the late Devon Poesnecker. Williams is the son of Atty. Richard and Shannon Williams of Mountain Top. MMI Social Sciences instructor Grete Floryshak is the National Geographic Bee adviser.

The School National Geographic Bee, at which students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world.

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MMI literary magazine Recommended for Highest Award

MMI Preparatory School’s literary magazine, Angst, was ranked as Recommended for Highest Award in the nation from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) as part of its 2017 Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines (PRESLM) Awards. The latest edition of Angst was displayed at the NCTE Annual Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, in November of 2017. 

MMI received a Superior score (scores of 91-100 points) in the first round of judging, which is completed by state and national judges and based on a point system. Magazines scoring 91-100 points are recommended by the state and national judges for the Highest Award. The PRESLM Advisory Committee then determines if a magazine meets enough criteria to win the honor of Highest Award.

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Fifty-one students will represent MMI at PA FBLA State Leadership Conference

Fifty-one of MMI Preparatory School’s 78 competitors in ninth through 12th grades advanced to compete at the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference, which will be held from April 9-11 in Hershey.

MMI competed against students from throughout Luzerne County during the FBLA Regional Leadership Conference and saw 24 students capture first place in individual and team events.

First place winners and their categories are: Jakob Schwabe (Accounting I); Alexander Kline (Business Communication); Kelisa Hysenbegasi and Mahum Ahmed  (Business Ethics); Kaitlyn Bellizia (Client Service); Zachary Young (Economics); Amanda Kalada-Kania and Alyssa Sweda (Entrepreneurship); McKenna Gallagher and Sydney Kohl (Graphic Design); Elliot Blasko (Impromptu Speaking); Samantha Sparich (Business Procedures); Jacqueline Snyder (Into to Public Speaking); Julia Snyder (Job Interview); Marc Lobitz, James Lambert, and George Palermo (Management Decision Making); Katharine Pinto, Philip Byriel, and Marcus Kassick (Management Information Systems); Chava Kornblatt (Organizational Leadership); and Julie Amentler, Kimberly Amentler, and Elizabeth Borchick (Publication Design).

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MMI reschedules Visitation Night to January 18

MMI Preparatory School’s winter Visitation Night, which was postponed on Wednesday due to inclement weather, will be held Thursday, January 18 starting at 6 p.m.

At Visitation Night, families can learn more about an MMI education, the advantages the school offers for their children, and the steps to admission which include the entrance and merit scholarship exam. Visitation Night gives students and parents an opportunity to come to MMI and explore the campus.

The event will begin with a presentation by the school’s administration. Families of children entering sixth, seventh, and eighth grade next year are encouraged to explore the value of an MMI Middle School education because several of the upper grade levels had wait lists last year.

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MMI junior finishes third among students from six counties at regional Poetry Out Loud competition

MMI Preparatory School junior Andrew Decker, the son of Aaron Decker, Kingston, and Elizabeth and Troy Topolski, Sugarloaf, finished third in the regional Poetry Out Loud competition at the WVIA-TV studios in Pittston. Decker represented MMI for the third consecutive year and was competing against students from parts of six counties.

During the regional competition, students recited three poems each to determine the overall winner. Decker competed against students from throughout Luzerne, Lackawanna, northwestern Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and eastern Wyoming counties. The regional competition, which was held under the direction of Arts in Education in Northeastern Pennsylvania and Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19, will be televised in April on WVIA-TV as part of the station’s National Poetry Month celebration.

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MMI students deliver first semester “Best of the Best” presentations

Students in 10th and 12th grades delivered presentations as part of MMI Preparatory School’s annual “Best of the Best” program during an assembly held at the school.

Sophomore Benjamin Putnam, the son of Benjamin and Andrea Putnam of Sugarloaf, was the overall “Best of the Best” winner for the first semester for his presentation entitled “The Science of Stranger Things.”

The assembly program is designed to help MMI students improve and enhance their communication skills, which are important as they progress through high school, college, and beyond.

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MMI Relay For Life team raises $700 for American Cancer Society with Dance-A-Thon fundraiser

MMI’s Relay For Life team raised $700 for the American Cancer Society with a Dance-A-Thon fundraiser it hosted at the school on December 1. Prior to the dance, team members sold t-shirts. Any student who purchased a t-shirt was permitted a dress-down day on the day of the dance.

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s largest fundraising initiative, with volunteers in more than 5,200 communities across 27 countries gathering annually to raise money to fight cancer. All money raised benefits the American Cancer Society’s mission of funding research, education, advocacy and service programs for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their caregivers.

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Three MMI students earn top 10 honors at Monroe County Mock Trial Invitational

Three MMI Preparatory School students placed in the top ten during the recent Monroe County Mock Trial Invitational at Pocono Mountain West High School. Junior Andrew Decker topped 78 other individuals to take the title of Best Witness and senior Hunter O’Clair finished among the top 10 witnesses. Senior George Palermo placed in the top 10 for attorneys.

A total of 26 MMI students competed in the Mock Trial Invitational, which sees students take on various roles in a fictitious case, including attorney, witness, plaintiff, defendant, and timekeeper.

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MMI team finishes fourth in annual Bloomsburg University Math Contest

MMI Preparatory School students Fredrick Mejia, Alexander Sessock, Zachary Young, and Aaron Harman placed fourth as a team in the Brain Teasers event during the annual Bloomsburg University Math Contest. Susan Moyer, MMI math instructor and department chair, was the adviser for the competition.

Mejia is the son of Carlos and Esperanza Mejia, West Hazleton. Sessock is the son of Jennifer and James Denion, Freeland, and the late John Sessock. Young is the son of Christian and Nicole Young, Freeland. Harman is the son of Ronald and Yvonne Harman, Drums.

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MMI students compete in annual Sixth Grade Science Fair

Lauren Talbott, Robert Orbin, and Nathaniel Neidlinger placed in the top three during MMI Preparatory School’s Sixth Grade Science Fair, which was held on December 1 in the MMI Cafeteria.

Talbott captured first place for her project entitled “What’s in Your Water?”  Orbin was second for his project called “Veggie Power!” Neidlinger came in third for his project entitled “How Yeast Affects the Size of Bread.”

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MMI students advance to state finals of PA School Press Association's Student Journalism Competition

Senior Julia Snyder and junior Bailey Slusser will represent MMI Preparatory School at the state finals of the Pennsylvania School Press Association’s Student Journalism Competition. The state finals will be held on March 27, 2018, at Penn State University’s University Park campus.

Snyder and Slusser tied for first place in the Literary Magazine Artwork category during the regional competition at Penn State’s Berks campus. During the competition, students were given a poem written by a professional poet. After reading the poem, the students were tasked with creating a drawing that was relevant to the poem and would accompany the poem in the literary magazine.

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Seven MMI athletes receive fall sports honors

Seven MMI athletes received regional recognition for their performance during the 2017 fall sports season.

Junior golfer Jessica McClellan was selected as a First Team All-Star by both the Citizen’s Voice and Times Leader newspapers. She is a two-time regional qualifier, finished as the runner-up among District 2 Class AA girls, and advanced to the state tournament this season.

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MMI Chamber Ensemble performs at 25th annual CAN DO Community Christmas.

The MMI Chamber Ensemble, under the direction of music instructor Christina Lizbinski, performed at the 25th annual CAN DO Community Christmas on Dec. 6. The ensemble members played three selections to open the 90-minute show that featured other musicians and choral groups from schools through the Hazleton area.

An hour-long version of the concert will be rebroadcast on WYLN-TV 35 on the following dates and times: Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 12 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m., Monday, Dec. 18 at 4 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 22 at 9 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 24 at 1 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 25 at 9 p.m.

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German language students visit Moravian Archives

MMI’s German language students, under the guidance of instructor Gabriela Moustardas, recently traveled to the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, where they learned about the history of the Moravian founders of Bethlehem.

The Moravians are a German-Protestant sect that dates back to the 15th century. They came to the United States in the 18th century as missionaries. A small group of Moravians founded Bethlehem in 1741 and went on to contribute a great amount to the regional culture of the city.

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MMI holds annual Founders' Day ceremony

Students at MMI Preparatory School honored their school’s founders, Eckley Brinton Coxe, and his wife, Sophia Georgianna Coxe, during an assembly at the school and graveside service on Wednesday, giving thanks for the Coxes’ contributions to the school and the area.

Students were treated to a Thanksgiving lunch, with the Parents Association providing pies and drinks, and an all-school assembly. Senior class officers presented a history of Eckley Coxe’s life, including the mining industry and the beginning days of the Mining and Mechanical Institute, the school he founded that is now known as MMI Preparatory School. They also spoke about Sophia Coxe’s contributions and generosity to the area. At the conclusion of the assembly, the senior class officers traveled to the grounds of St. James Episcopal Church in Drifton, where they held a wreath-laying ceremony at the gravesites of Mr. and Mrs. Coxe, more than 120 years after Eckley Coxe’s death.

Speakers included Stephanie Zellner, senior class president, who provided an introduction and presented on being thankful; Caelyn McGran, senior class vice president, who provided information about Eckley Coxe; Gabriella Kupsho, senior class secretary, who spoke about Sophia Coxe; and Julia Snyder, senior class treasurer, who presented the history of MMI.

The school also welcomed back young alumni from the last six graduating years to visit with faculty, staff and students in the Joseph A. Turri ’45 Library and Learning Center.

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MMI students attend Pennsylvania School Press Association’s Regional Student Journalism Competition

Nine MMI students attended the Pennsylvania School Press Association’s Regional Student Journalism Competition and seminar.

Alyssa Sweda, Lauren Herman, Mahum Ahmed, Julia Snyder, Jaclyn Braunstein, Macy Zenier, Bailey Slusser, Christine Park and Kelisa Hysenbegasi traveled to the Penn State University Berk’s campus and either represented MMI in the yearbook or literary magazine competitions or attended the workshops and seminars that were held in conjunction with the competition.

Competition results are expected to be announced soon. The seminars that the students attended included one conducted by a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter and another on how to take the perfect yearbook photo.

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MMI crowns 2017 Harvest king and queen

MMI Preparatory School crowned James Lambert and Caelyn McGran, pictured at center in the first row, its 2017 Harvest king and queen during the annual Harvest Dance on November 4. Additional court members are: Jaclyn Braunstein (first row far left), Julia Snyder (first row far right), Michael Badamo (second row far left) and Joseph Taylor (second row far right). Also pictured in the second row are MMI Head of School D. Scott Wiggins and MMI Parents Association representative Elizabeth Hreha.

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MMI holds annual Poetry Out Loud school competition

Junior Andrew Decker captured MMI Preparatory School’s Poetry Out Loud competition for the third consecutive year and will once again represent MMI in the televised regional Poetry Out Loud competition on December 13 at the WVIA-TV studios in Pittston.

Decker won the regional competition last December and placed among the top five in Pennsylvania during the state competition this past March. He was one of only 15 students who advanced to the state finals out of a total of 7,000 students from across the state who entered the competition starting at the school level.

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Lisa Marie Ferry honored as Outstanding Non-Public Art Educator and delivers presentation at PA Art Education Association conference

MMI Preparatory School art instructor Lisa Marie Ferry was honored with the 2017 Pennsylvania Art Education Association Outstanding Non-Public Art Educator Award and delivered a presentation at the 2017 Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) conference, which was held in October in Pittsburgh.

Earlier this year, Ferry was selected to receive the 2017 Pennsylvania Art Education Association Outstanding Non-Public Art Educator Award. The award recognizes exemplary contributions, achievements and service to art education at the state, regional and national levels. It is given on behalf of the PAEA Awards Committee and PAEA Board.  She received the award at the conference. 

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MMI to hold Visitation Night on November 15

MMI Preparatory School will hold its fall Visitation Night on Wednesday, Nov. 15, starting at 6 p.m. where families can learn more about an MMI education and the advantages the school offers for their children. Visitation Night gives students and parents an opportunity to come to MMI and explore the campus.

Families will learn about MMI’s proven record of success with preparing students for college and beyond. They will also get details about the school’s curriculum, which includes Advanced Placement classes, financial aid, athletics and extracurricular activities. The school will offer light refreshments.  Families will also have the opportunity to talk with current students, parents, faculty, and staff.  

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MMI students take part in hands-on information session on becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

Debra Minzola, PhD, MSN, CRNA, program director at the Geisinger Health System/Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Nurse Anesthesia Program, recently visited MMI Preparatory School to provide 10th and 11th grade students with a hands-on information session designed to help them learn about becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

Minzola, along with Assistant Program Director Shannon Slabinski, MSN, CRNA and nine graduate students, set up multiple stations for hands-on experience, including two stations with heads for intubations, a gowning and gloving station, and a station for epidural and spinal puncture.

During the program, the students watched a video on what it’s like to be a nurse anesthetist and Minzola delivered a presentation where she discussed what a CRNA is, identified the requirements for becoming a CRNA and informed the students on how they could locate information on one of the 116 nurse anesthesia educational programs that are available across the country.

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MMI students complete community service projects to honor alumna on Athena S. Ford ’01 Day of Service

MMI Preparatory School students completed community service projects at six locations throughout Greater Hazleton to honor a late MMI alumna for the inaugural Athena S. Ford ’01 Day of Service.

Athena S. Ford was a 2001 MMI graduate who passed away on October 23, 2016, as a result of complications sustained in an automobile collision where she was a seat-belted passenger and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The Athena S. Ford ’01 Endowed Fund for Community Service was established in 2017 by members of the MMI Class of 2001 as a way to honor Ford. “Athena was one of the most self-less individuals I had ever met. She was always the first to help someone in need, to advocate for those who could not speak for themselves or to be part of an environmental or global cause,” said Nina C. Zanon ’01, a classmate of Athena’s. “This fund is a perfect way to keep Athena’s passion for serving others alive right here in her home community.” This fund is restricted by MMI to be used solely for expenses needed to establish and perpetuate The Athena S. Ford ’01 Day of Service. Each fall, on a designated day of service, all MMI students will volunteer in the community to accomplish service projects by grade level in Athena’s memory. 

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MMI Preparatory School Interact Club organizes collection drive for Hurricane Harvey victims

MMI Preparatory School’s Interact Club collected much-needed school supplies for Humble Middle School in Humble, Texas, and partnered with the Freeland Fire Department to organize a collection drive of non-perishable food and other supplies for Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas.

Interact Club members reached out to MMI students, faculty, staff, and friends of the school to collect 12 boxes, which weighed more than 350 pounds, of school supplies that were shipped to Humble Middle School. New MMI faculty member, Robert Olive, grew up and taught middle school in Humble, which was one of the areas that was most drastically affected by the hurricane.

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MMI junior receives rare individual award during Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week program

MMI Preparatory School junior Joel Cruz received the Raymond G. Weber award during the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) program, which was held in July at Lycoming College in Williamsport. The program is presented by the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education.

The Raymond G. Weber award, which is rarely given at PFEW, is the only individual student award ever presented during the program. It is named after one of the founders of PFEW, whose passion and vision made the program what it is today. The award is presented to students who rise above extraordinary challenges, exhibit remarkable courage when faced with adversity and makes a profound impact on their teammates and all those around them.

Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) is a unique summer program that offers incoming high school juniors and seniors an intensive and challenging opportunity to see what it is like to run their own business. Participants create an imaginary management team and learn first-hand about the American free enterprise system. The students develop their own marketing strategies for their businesses, design a website and make all the decisions that are demanded of real life company executives.

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Two MMI Students Place in International Interdependence Hexagon Project Competition

MMI Preparatory School seventh graders Jakob Narrow and John Schwear III received recognition and will have their artwork exhibited as part of the 2017 International Interdependence Hexagon Project competition.

For the competition, which was completed during the 2016-17 school year, Narrow and Schwear competed in the Elementary Division (grades 4-6) in the 2-D category, which indicated a single student worked to create a two-dimensional hexagon. Narrow won the award for Most Effective All-Over Interpretation, while Schwear was an honorable mention selection in the Most Relevant Interdependence Theme category.

The International Interdependence Hexagon Project is a visual arts opportunity for young people ages 4 to 18 worldwide that is based out of Scranton. The annual project asks young people to create art within the infinitely inter-linking shape of a hexagon, a metaphor for interconnectedness. Entrants are asked to create their art in relation to the theme of our interconnectedness and acting interdependently. The symbol of the hexagon was used for the 11th consecutive year as a format to explore ideas about interdependence.

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MMI instructor Lisa Marie Ferry Gives Presentation at STR2E2AM Conference at King’s College

MMI Preparatory School art instructor Lisa Marie Ferry recently gave a presentation at the STR2E2AM Evidence-Based Practices Conference at King’s College’s Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center in Wilkes-Barre. The conference covered material for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educators in the areas of science, technology, reading, writing, engineering, early childhood education, arts and mathematics.

Ferry’s presentation was entitled “Turning Anxiety into Creativity.” The hands-on session addressed the anxiety and stress students suffer in the classroom and examined evidence-based strategies that can be used to alleviate their symptoms not only in the art curriculum, but other classes and beyond.

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MMI Alumnus Honors Class of 1967 With Sculpture That Merges Art and Mathematics

MMI Preparatory School graduate Salvadore DeFazio ‘67 presented his latest sculpture to the school during Alumni Weekend.  The sculpture honors the Class of 1967 as classmates prepare to celebrate their 50th reunion with a gathering in October.  The statue was unveiled during a ceremony Saturday in the Mildred Culp Kahler Courtyard at MMI.

“I have artwork all over the world and felt it was time to do something for my alma mater,” DeFazio said. “It’s something I wanted to do for MMI because, obviously, I developed my earliest training at the school.”

DeFazio explained that the sculpture has dual titles that combine the concepts of art and mathematics. In an artistic sense, the sculpture is known as Apollo’s Harp and represents Apollo, the Greek God of the sun. On the mathematics side, the sculpture carries the title of Plotting the Gravitational Waves of the Solar System and honors MMI’s history as the Mining and Mechanical Institute.

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Lisa Marie Ferry Wins Art Educator Award from Pennsylvania Art Education Association

MMI Preparatory School art instructor Lisa Marie Ferry was selected to receive the 2017 Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) Outstanding Non-Public Art Educator Award. The award recognizes exemplary contributions, achievements and service to art education at the state, regional and national levels. It is given on behalf of the PAEA Awards Committee and PAEA Board.

A nomination letter and two additional letters of recommendation were required for each award candidate. The award selection process took into account a candidate’s level of education; participation in National Art Education Association (NAEA) activities on the national, regional, state and local levels; their leadership roles, offices and/or honors in other professional associations; related experience with program development, publications, artistic production and/or exhibitions; and additional teaching or related experiences.

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MMI Inducts Four Members into School’s Wall of Fame

MMI Preparatory School inducted four members into its Wall of Fame during the 12th annual Wall of Fame Awards dinner, which was held Saturday as part of MMI’s Alumni Weekend festivities. Stephen A. Makuta ’69 and Wilson L. Zehner ’81 were recognized for Athletic Achievement, Dennis P. Clarke was honored for Service to MMI and Atty. Donald M. Barnes ’61 was inducted for Professional Achievement.

MMI Head of School D. Scott Wiggins said, “On behalf of the entire MMI family, I am honored to see Steve, Wilson, Dennis and Don inducted into the MMI Wall of Fame. During their time at MMI, they each played a crucial role in developing MMI Preparatory School into the exemplary academic and athletic institution that it is today. They continue to serve as outstanding representatives of MMI in their personal and professional endeavors.”

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MMI’s Literary Magazine Wins Silver Award from the Pennsylvania School Press Association

MMI Preparatory School’s literary magazine, Angst, won a Silver Award from the Pennsylvania School Press Association. 

Angst is produced annually and features literary and visual works of art that are submitted by MMI students in grades 9 through 12. The 2016-2017 edition included 22 poems, 11 non-fiction pieces, 10 works of fiction and 24 art or photography submissions. MMI English instructor Jennifer Novotney served as the faculty adviser for the project. Student editorial board members were: Olivia Minzola, editor in chief; Evan Spear, co-editor and visual arts editor; Jessica Smith, nonfiction editor; Hunter O’Clair, assistant nonfiction editor; Jacob Weiksner, fiction editor; Nicolo Cottone, assistant fiction editor; Jaclyn Braunstein, poetry editor; Merci Centrella, assistant poetry editor; Gabriella DeMelfi, production and biography editor; and Gunner Jankouskas and Zachary Gera, copy editors.

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