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MMI Preparatory School wins regional Envirothon competition and teams featuring 45 students place in top 26

Forty-five MMI Preparatory School students placed in the top 26 during the regional Envirothon competition, including the team of Alexander Sessock, Kaitlyn McGeehan, Kai Mele, Dominique Kline, and Benjamin Putnam, who captured first place in the event. The winning team will represent MMI and Luzerne County at the Pennsylvania Envirothon state competition on May 21-22 at the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnstown campus.

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Andrew Straw ’75 will deliver speech at MMI Preparatory School’s 2019 commencement ceremony

Andrew Krzywicki Straw ’75, the global portfolio manager for fiber optic connectivity product development for Corning Incorporated and a retired Army Reserve Colonel, will serve as the commencement speaker at MMI’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony on May 23.

In his role at Corning, Straw manages a portfolio of more than 50 development projects for fiber-to-the-home, data center, and distributed antenna system products. He has worked in the fiber optic communications industry for more than 30 years in a variety of engineering and management roles, including applications and field engineering, manufacturing, and research and development.

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Justin S. Kleinheider chosen as new Head of School at MMI Preparatory School

The MMI Preparatory School Board of Directors announced today that Justin S. Kleinheider has been appointed as MMI’s new Head of School beginning on July 1.

Kleinheider is a New Jersey native with nearly 20 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in independent schools. He comes to MMI from Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, Missouri, where he oversees the liberal arts, college preparatory curricular program in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. In addition to curricular oversight, Kleinheider works directly with faculty on professional development and is an active participant in daily student life. He led the school’s accreditation process and self-study for ISACS (Independent School Association of Central States) and served on accreditation visiting teams for several independent schools, most recently co-chairing a visiting team.

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MMI students perform community service projects in honor of alumna on Athena Ford ’01 Day of Service

MMI Preparatory School students completed community service projects at nine locations throughout Greater Hazleton to honor a late MMI alumna as part of the annual Athena Ford ’01 Day of Service.

Athena 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. This fund is restricted by MMI to be used solely for expenses needed to establish and perpetuate The Athena Ford ’01 Day of Service. Each year, 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 students participate in German Day at Penn State University

Thirteen MMI Preparatory School students in the German Language program participated in German Day at Penn State University’s Main Campus. 

Senior Daniel DeMelfi placed first in Level 3 Spelling. The Trivia Team of Anna Hoxha, Paige Matchick, Natalie Graham, Morgan Hosier, Louis DeAngelo, Reiley DeStefano, Daniel DeMelfi, Elias Bachman, Peter Walko, Dustin Paul, Allain Benetiz, Joshua Galbiati, and Althea Stewart tied for first place.  

Sophomore Louis DeAngelo was second in Level 2 Spelling and freshman Allain Benitez finished 3rd in Level 1 Poetry.

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Five MMI students complete community service projects as part of Junior Leadership Hazleton

Five MMI Preparatory School students completed several community service projects across Greater Hazleton as members of the 2018-19 Junior Leadership Hazleton class.

Juniors Carter Frask, Catherine Havrilla, Madyson Hornack, Josiah Pacchioli, and Benjamin Putnam joined other students from schools throughout Greater Hazleton to carry out the projects. The class members are assigned a team who then prepares a project. The project teaches students about delegation of power, how to work together to achieve a goal, and ways they can bring some joy to parts of the community.

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MMI students sweep awards categories in 24th annual Israel T. & Mildred Klapper Memorial Holocaust Essay Contest

Four MMI Preparatory School students received awards in the 24th annual Israel T. & Mildred Klapper Memorial Holocaust Essay Contest, marking the first time in the history of the contest that one school won all four awards in the Middle School and High School categories.

Eighth grader Jakob Narrow placed first in the Middle School division and junior Adam Tron won the High School division. Eighth grader Lauren Urosevich was second in the Middle School category and senior Wesley Guarneri was second in the High School category.

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Motivational speakers group Be a Hero, LLC, brings a message of Sweethearts and Heroes to MMI

Motivational speakers group Be a Hero, LLC, returned to MMI and gave two presentations to the students about the impact bullying has on our schools, neighborhoods, and individuals.

Lisa Marie Ferry, MMI Dean of Students and art instructor, played an integral role in bringing the program back to MMI. The organization’s unique perspective, action plan for every member of the bullying cycle, and unmatched ignition to make change puts Sweethearts and Heroes at the top of the list when it comes to changing schools’ climates.

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Forty-one MMI students inducted into the Andrew J. Stofan Chapter of the National Honor Society

Forty-one MMI Preparatory School students were inducted into the Andrew J. Stofan Chapter of the National Honor Society during MMI’s Honor Societies induction ceremony at the school.

MMI English instructor and National Honor Society advisor Donna Titus presided over the induction ceremony. National Honor Society officers are: Alexander Sessock, president; Keefer Hoover, vice president; Elise Hreha, secretary; Zachary Young, treasurer, and David Antolick, Historian.

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MMI Prepper Playhouse will present “The New Mel Brooks Musical, Young Frankenstein” April 5 and 6

MMI Prepper Playhouse will present “The New Mel Brooks Musical, Young Frankenstein” on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the MMI Athletic and Drama Complex.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students and $12 for reserved seating. To reserve seats, please call the office (570) 636-1108 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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MMI seniors place first in Luzerne County Council of Teachers of Mathematics contest at Wilkes University

MMI senior Frederick Mejia placed first in the individual competition and joined classmates Brian Payne, Zachary Young, Alexander Sessock, Daniel DeMelfi, Wesley Guarneri, Alexander Kline and Coleman Smith to capture the top prize in the team event at the 71st annual Luzerne County Council of Teachers of Mathematics (LCCTM) contest, which was held recently at Wilkes University.

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Wister Quartet chamber ensemble returns to MMI on April 1 for annual concert

The Wister Quartet, a nationally renowned and Grammy-nominated chamber ensemble, will perform at MMI Preparatory School for the 16th consecutive year on Monday, April 1 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 is free and open to the public and 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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MMI will hold annual Open House on Sunday

MMI Preparatory School, located at 154 Centre Street in Freeland, will hold its annual Open House event this Sunday, March 24, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

The annual event, which is free and open to the public, gives MMI students the opportunity to showcase their academic and culinary arts projects. State Street Corporation is the event sponsor for the second year. 

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Justin Vincent and Lisa Marie Ferry named to Dean positions

MMI Preparatory School Acting Head of School Dr. William A. Shergalis recently announced two administrative changes at the school. Justin Vincent was named to the newly-created position of Academic Dean and will have all duties related to academic matters and Lisa Marie Ferry was named to the newly-created position of Dean of Students and will have responsibility for student discipline, dress code, and general student comportment. 

Between them, Vincent and Ferry will be handling all responsibilities previously assigned to the Assistant Head of School, and therefore the Assistant Head of School position has been eliminated.

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MMI implements “Safe2Say Something” school safety program

MMI Preparatory School recently implemented the “Safe2Say Something” anonymous reporting system in conjunction with a school safety initiative organized by the Office of the Attorney General. In 2018, the General Assembly passed Act 44 mandating the establishment and use of the “Safe2Say Something” anonymous reporting system by every Pennsylvania school entity. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has established “Safe2Say Something” and will manage and maintain the program. The OAG is organizing the program in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise, a leader in anonymous reporting systems, who is building out the app, website, and PA-based 24/7 Crisis Center platform. 

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MMI senior Nicholas Carrato awarded scholarship from Air and Expedited Motor Carriers Association

MMI Preparatory School senior Nicholas Carrato was recently awarded the 2019 Jeff Patterson Scholarship from the Air & Expedited Motor Carriers Association (AEMCA).

The scholarship is presented to a qualified high school senior who plans to pursue a career in logistics. Carrato, the son of Dr. Anthony and Carmine Carrato of Hazleton, plans to attend the Penn State Smeal School of Business to major in logistics and supply chain management.

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MMI’s Darren Zheng advances to FBLA State Leadership Conference following special, state-level qualifying competition

MMI Preparatory School sophomore Darren Zheng participated in a special, state-only project and earned the right to advance to the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Leadership Conference based on his work in the Computer Game and Simulation competitive event. 

Zheng, the son of De and Hongzhi Zheng of Jim Thorpe, was one of 15 finalists in the preliminary round who advanced to the final round of the competition. MMI Social Sciences instructor Katherine Zucco is the FBLA advisor. The PA FBLA State Leadership Conference will be held from April 8-10 in Hershey.

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MMI students receive Honorable Mentions in Scholastic Writing Awards competition

MMI Preparatory School senior Alexander Kline and junior Andrellie Puntiel received Honorable Mentions in the Scholastic Writing Awards competition.

Kline, the son of Dr. Gerard and Cathy Kline of Mountaintop, won in the Critical Essay category for his piece entitled "The Four Frankensteins - Character Duplication and the Gothic Doppelganger in Frankenstein." Puntiel, the daughter of Jose and Yesenia Rivera of Hazleton and Pedro Puntiel of Monroe, NJ, captured the award in the Poetry category for her poem "The 21st Century." MMI English instructor Jennifer Novotney served as the advisor for the competition.

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MMI Preparatory School holds sixth grade science fair

Michael Kranyak captured first place in MMI Preparatory School’s sixth grade science fair. Kranyak won for his project entitled “Are Permanent Markers Really Permanent?”

Danical Karlick was the runner-up for her project “Gel Polish vs. Traditional Polish” and Kendall Orozco finished third for her project “The Birthday Paradox.”  

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Heath Williams wins MMI’s National Geographic GeoBee competition

MMI Preparatory School seventh grade student Heath Williams won the school’s National Geographic GeoBee competition and eighth grader Jakob Narrow placed second.

Williams will now take an online qualifying test for entrance into the state competition. MMI Social Sciences instructor Grete Floryshak served as MMI’s GeoBee coordinator and the moderator for the competition. MMI faculty members Rev. Lawrence Barriger, Christine Lizbinski, and Laurie Mele were the scorekeepers.

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MMI junior Benjamin Putnam advances to Northeast Region Orchestra Festival

MMI Preparatory School junior Benjamin Putnam placed third out of 11 string bass musicians at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District Orchestra Festival seating auditions and will advance to the Northeast Region Orchestra Festival in February. He prepared for the audition under the guidance of MMI music instructor Christine Lizbinski.

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MMI announces annual Spanish II Piñata contest winners

James Kelly captured first place in MMI Preparatory School’s annual Spanish II Piñata contest.

Kelly, the son of James and Chris Kelly of Mountaintop, won the contest for his rendition of Argentina soccer star Lionel Messi’s jersey. Gregory Leonard, the son of Gregory and Karen Leonard of Hazle Township, placed second for his Venezuelan Devil. Ryan McNelis, the son of Atty. Edward and Florence McNelis of Conyngham, was third for his Cuban missile piñata.

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MMI awarded $500 ExxonMobil grant to enhance its science and technology departments

MMI Preparatory School received a $500 grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation that will be used toward the purchase an X-Carve machine for the school’s science department. Liberty Petroleum Distributors nominated the school for the grant.

The X-Carve is a multi-axis milling machine that can automatically carve very detailed pieces from a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, acrylic, and aluminum. Michael Mele, MMI Science Department chair, said many students will have an opportunity to use the device.

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Fifty MMI students advance to PA FBLA State Leadership Conference

Fifty of MMI Preparatory School’s 75 student competitors qualified for the Pennsylvania FBLA State Leadership Conference during the recent Regional Leadership Conference competition.

The top five students in each test event advance to states and the top two students or teams in each performance event advance to the state competition, which will be held April 8-10 in Hershey. MMI Social Sciences instructor Katherine Zucco is the FBLA advisor and Flashback Cinema sponsors MMI’s FBLA chapter. 

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More Articles ...

  1. MMI sophomore captures first place in district VFW Voice of Democracy Audio-Essay Scholarship Competition
  2. MMI to hold Visitation Night on January 16, Entrance and Scholarship Exam on January 26
  3. MMI senior Andrew Decker advances to Poetry Out Loud state championship
  4. MMI’s new Harkness tables will help prepare students for college discussion-based learning courses
  5. MMI team earns second place at King’s College Math Contest
  6. MMI Chamber Ensemble performs at CAN DO Community Christmas
  7. MMI Upper School Drama Club to present "An Evening of One Act Comedies IV" Friday and Saturday
  8. MMI Preparatory School students finish fourth in two categories in Bloomsburg University Math Contest
  9. MMI holds annual Founder’s Day ceremony
  10. MMI releases 2018-2019 first quarter Honor Roll
  11. MMI crowns 2018 Harvest Dance king and queen
  12. MMI art instructor Lisa Marie Ferry gives presentation at Pennsylvania Art Education Association conference for third consecutive year
  13. Senior Andrew Decker will represent MMI at the Poetry Out Loud regional competition for fourth straight year
  14. MMI finishes third in Capital Area Interscholastic Math Contest
  15. Families can learn more about MMI during Visitation Night on November 14
  16. MMI senior Frederick Mejia named National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar
  17. MMI senior Zachary Young selected as Commended Student in National Merit Scholarship Program
  18. MMI students win regional awards as part of the worldwide Interdependence Hexagon Project XII art competition
  19. MMI holds annual orientation, opens 2018-2019 school year
  20. MMI inducts new Wall of Fame class during annual ceremony
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