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Five MMI seniors recognized in National Merit Scholarship Program

Five MMI Preparatory School seniors were recognized as Semifinalists or Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Ali Aijaz, Anirban Chowdhury, Allison McGeehan and Nicholas Young were among a national field of just 16,000 students to be named Semifinalists, while Samuel Sessock was among only 34,000 individuals who were selected as Commended Students in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

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MMI students attend PA Governor’s School for the Sciences

MMI Preparatory School seniors Anirban Chowdhury, the son of Bhaskar and Saumitri Chowdhury of Hazle Township, and Ali Aijaz, the son of Fakhruddin and Dr. Naghma Aijaz of Mountaintop, attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University this summer. The pair joined high school students from across the state to complete research and problem-solving projects.

The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences is an annual summer enrichment program for rising high school seniors. The program hosts some of the state’s brightest students for five weeks and provides them with course work and lab work in biology, chemistry, physics, computer science and mathematics.

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MMI welcomes new group of four into Wall of Fame

MMI Preparatory School held its 11th annual Wall of Fame dinner on Saturday, September 17, welcoming four new members to its Wall of Fame.

Established in 2006, the MMI Wall of Fame honors alumni in addition to past faculty, staff, and board members who have distinguished themselves in the areas of athletics, business, sciences, education, government, public service, the arts, or humanities. Wall of Fame inductees are selected in the following categories: Athletic Achievement, Community Service, Service to MMI, and Professional Achievement.

During this year’s dinner and awards ceremony, the following inductees joined the Wall of Fame: John E. Hollis ’64 (Athletic Achievement), Lewis J. Matuella ’77 (Athletic Achievement), the late Dr. Thomas J. Conahan ’26 (Community Service), and Llewellyn F. Dryfoos, III ’82 (Community Service).

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MMI art instructor earns prestigious Master of Arts degree

MMI Preparatory School art instructor Lisa Marie Ferry recently earned the prestigious Master of Arts degree in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations from Moore College of Art and Design. It is the only degree of its kind in the country and they are very selective in the application process. The rigorous program trains and empowers art educators to develop skills for adapting and implementing strategies that enrich the lives of all learners.

Once accepted into the master’s program, candidates develop and test innovative techniques through their action-based research in a field setting, while critically assessing art education policies and documenting the study of contemporary art education issues for diverse learners.

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MMI students attend Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship with peers from 20 countries

MMI Preparatory School seniors Keenan Overa, Katherine Eschenbach and Jessica Smith were among a select group of students from 20 different countries who attended the month-long Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship at Lehigh University in July.

The program is open to sophomores and juniors ages 15-18, who were selected to attend during the 2015-2016 school year. The Global Entrepreneurship program exposed the students to the topics of entrepreneurship, globalization, team building, project management, leadership and working within a culturally diverse environment and ignited the students’ spirit of creativity, innovation and learning.

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MMI opens 2016-17 school year with multiple facility upgrades

The MMI Preparatory School campus was full of activity this summer and students saw multiple facility upgrades both inside and outside the school when they returned to classes on August 23 to open the 2016-17 school year.

Highlights of the facility improvements include ongoing construction on a new multi-purpose building near MMI’s athletic fields, improved drainage at the baseball and softball fields and new display cases outside the library to house Native American artifacts that were donated by an MMI alumnus.

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Jessica McClellan captures Wyoming Valley Country Club Invitational golf tournament

MMI Preparatory School rising sophomore Jessica McClellan, the daughter of Bruce and Patricia McClellan of Freeland, scored a 94 to capture the Girls 9-10 grade division of the Wyoming Valley Country Club Invitational at the Wyoming Valley Country Club in Wilkes-Barre. McClellan defeated five other golfers in her first year competing in the annual event. The tournament has four divisions for boys and girls in grades 9-10 and 11-12.

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MMI senior attends PA American Legion Keystone Boys State civic leadership program

MMI Preparatory School rising senior Garrett Kost, the son of Joseph and Natalie Kost of Freeland, was selected to attend the Pennsylvania American Legion Keystone Boys State civic leadership program at Shippensburg University. More than 230 rising high school seniors from across Pennsylvania attended the weeklong program in June.

The students learned about leadership, state and local government and civic participation. Participants are among the best and brightest of Pennsylvania’s future leaders.

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Four MMI students compete at FBLA National Leadership Conference in Atlanta

Four MMI Preparatory School students competed at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Rising senior Allison McGeehan placed fifth in the nation for Business Law.

McGeehan was one of 55 Pennsylvania students to earn a national award. She will serve the state chapter on the Executive Committee as the Pennsylvania FBLA State Reporter for 2016-2017. Of her experience, McGeehan said, “Getting to spend a week in Atlanta with both my MMI and state office families was really amazing, and the pride I felt representing not only my school but all of Pennsylvania FBLA on the national stage is something I will never forget."

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MMI art instructor selected to give presentation at state art education conference

MMI Preparatory School art instructor Lisa Marie Ferry was selected to give a presentation at the 2016 Pennsylvania Art Education Association conference, which will be held October 7-9 in Philadelphia.

Ferry’s presentation is entitled “Using Postmodern Principles in Art Education Curriculum to Alleviate Anxiety” and will give participants knowledge and understanding of how to create art activities and an art journaling kit based on postmodern principles to help alleviate anxiety and stress symptoms. Presentation proposals were blind reviewed by two members of a committee of art educators from a variety of divisions.

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Eight MMI students selected for Junior Leadership programs

Eight MMI Preparatory School incoming juniors were selected to participate in Junior Leadership programs for the 2016-17 school year.

Lauren Babinetz, Sydney Karpowich, Gabriella Kupsho, John Malay, Caelyn McGran, George Palermo and Caitlyn Kline will participate in the Junior Leadership Hazleton program. Angelica Alday will be a member of the Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre class.

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MMI team receives Judges Choice Award in regional Botball Tournament

A team of 10 MMI Preparatory School students received the Judges Choice Award for Outstanding Engineering during the New York/New Jersey region Botball Tournament, which was held in May in Rahway, New Jersey. MMI was the only school from Pennsylvania among the 16 teams that competed in the event.

MMI students Jay Solgama, Erin Sari, Gabriella DeMelfi, Megan Marchetti, Lois Polashenski, Stephanie Zellner, Garrett Kost, Dillon Merenich, Samuel Sessock and Niklas Byriel competed in the event. MMI computer science instructor Justin Vincent was the student adviser for the competition.

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MMI sweeps top three places in regional Stock Market Game competition

MMI Preparatory School teams swept the top three positions in the seventh and eighth grade division in the year-long edition of the Stock Market Game for the University of Scranton region. The competition’s objective is to introduce participants to the fundamentals of investing.

The team of Ayla Cooper, Carly Pennington, Harriet Wilson and Maya Rizkalla captured first place in the competition. Madyson Hornack, Benjamin Putnam, Joshua Serock and Grant Warren came in second. Emily Ankiewicz, Catrina Havrilla, Adam Tron, Macy Zenier and Abigail Walters finished third. MMI social sciences instructor Michael Scarlato was the student adviser for the competition.

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Alday, Heft named Hazleton Elks Teens of the Year

MMI Preparatory School Class of 2016 graduates Andrew Alday and Shaelyn Heft were recently named the Hazleton Elks Lodge #200 Teenagers of the Year.

This is the second year in a row that two MMI Preparatory School students received the honor. Claire Sheen and Michael Eisenhart were the 2015 Teenagers of the Year. MMI also had both a male and female student receive the award in 2010.

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MMI students, instructor honored by Northeastern PA Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese

Five MMI Preparatory School Spanish students were honored for being among the top students in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Alexander Sessock, Frederick Mejia, Maxwell Santana, Ali Aijaz and Daniel Tron, as well as MMI Spanish instructor Dennis Clarke, received awards during the local chapter’s Spanish Contest Awards dinner in May.

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MMI students will attend Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference

MMI Preparatory School rising juniors Jett Chen, Chava Kornblatt and Stephanie Zellner were selected to attend the 2016 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference, which will be held June 26-30 at Keystone College in La Plume.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference is a program for high school students completing their sophomore year who have shown leadership potential in their home, school and community. The conference is designed to introduce participants to thoughts and ideas which, if utilized, will strengthen and develop their leadership skills. It also provides an environment where participants may discuss and exchange their ideas with other students.

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MMI instructor Jennifer Novotney to receive High School Teacher of Excellence Award

MMI Preparatory School English instructor Jennifer Novotney has been selected by the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English Language Arts as one of only 10 national recipients of the 2016 High School Teachers of Excellence Award and was chosen from among 1,700 applicants to give a presentation during the National Council of Teachers of English organization’s annual convention.

The High School Teachers of Excellence Award is sponsored by the Secondary Section of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Novotney will be honored in an awards presentation on November 19 at the Secondary Section Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Andrew Alday receives full-tuition University of Pittsburgh scholarship as Nordenberg Leadership Scholar

MMI Preparatory School senior Andrew Alday, the son of Dr. Senen Alday and Dr. Milagros Azcueta-Alday of Mountaintop, was selected as one of only ten University of Pittsburgh 2016 Nordenberg Leadership Scholars. Alday has accepted a full-tuition scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh and will study philosophy as a pre-law track.

In addition to his academic course work in philosophy, Alday will participate in a series of outside-the-classroom experiences designed to enhance personal and professional growth, including training sessions on a variety of topics, leadership opportunities, service activities, one-on-one career and personal coaching and experiential learning in internship and volunteer settings. These activities will be laid out in a progressive and structured manner during each of the four years of his undergraduate career.

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MMI students attain recognition in 2016 National Spanish Examinations

Several MMI Preparatory School world language students attained national recognition for their excellent performance on the 2016 National Spanish Examinations.

MMI students earned a total of two gold, four silver and seven bronze medals along with 11 honorable mentions from Spanish 1 through Spanish 4.

The National Spanish Examinations are administered each year in grades 6 through 12, and are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. The honors are based on percentiles in competition with the more than 157,000 students who took the examination this year.  

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MMI 2016 summer art camps registration open

MMI Preparatory School is still accepting registrations for its four art camps that are part of the 2016 Summer Camp program which will be held on MMI’s campus at 154 Centre Street in Freeland.

Drawing Camp, Asian Art Camp and Bookmaking Camp run the week of July 25 and Messy Art Camp runs the week of August 1. The camps are open to all area school children. Each summer camp is held over five days and costs just $150. MMI is asking that people register by Tuesday, July 5.

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MMI students receive athletic awards

MMI Preparatory School recently presented athletic awards to students during the school’s annual Awards Convocation.

The awards were presented by MMI Athletic Director Jason Tribbet and team coaches.

The District 2 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Award was presented to Desiree Dinko and Edward Herbener. The award is for students who have participated in MMI’s athletic program for multiple years, maintained high academic averages and are involved in community and school service. Sarah Moyer and Brendan Drusda received the 2016 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, which recognizes students for success and achievement in both academics and athletics.

Edward Herbener received the Freeland American Legion Good Citizenship Award from Freeland Mayor Ed Appleman.

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MMI honors students at annual awards convocation

MMI Preparatory School recently held its annual Awards Convocation to honor students in 9th through 12th grades.

MMI Head of School Thomas G. Hood said, “Our students have made a number of tremendous accomplishments in many academic and community service areas throughout the 2015-16 school year and we’re honored to reward them for their achievements.”

Alyssa Famalette received a scholarship award on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC).

Brendan Drusda was given the 2016 Jake Kislan ’56 Polonaise Society Award, which honors the highest achieving Polish American graduate of MMI. He also received the Ernest Scheller III Memorial World Wide Scholarship, which is awarded annually to one student on the basis of academic merit, demonstrated leadership and documented civic and community service participation.

The Eckley B. Coxe Jr. Memorial Subject Awards were presented to senior students who have excelled in their fields of study as follows: Art, Karalyn Sitch; History, Luke Yamulla; English, Brendan Drusda; Science, Math and Spanish, Jay Solgama; Chinese, Terrance Jankouskas; German, Sarah Moyer.

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Four MMI students advance to FBLA National Leadership Conference

Ten MMI Preparatory School students placed in the top 10 in their respective competitive events categories at the 2016 Pennsylvania FBLA State Leadership Conference in Hershey, including four students who placed in the top four and will advance to the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Allison McGeehan placed second in the Business Law category and was honored in a recognition ceremony at the conclusion of the awards program for being elected to serve the state chapter on the Executive Committee as the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania FBLA State Reporter. Joshua Narrow, Joey Kress, and Nicholas Young placed fourth for their work in Marketing and will join Allison McGeehan at the national conference in Atlanta from June 29 to July 2.

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Limited openings remain for MMI 2016 summer camps

There is still time to register your child for MMI Preparatory School’s 2016 Summer Camp program but space is limited.

A variety of camps will be offered in morning and afternoon sessions for children ages 5 through 15 across a five-week period in June, July, and August. The camps are open to all area school children. Topics include maker camp, robotics; the science, art, and literature behind Harry Potter; Egyptian archaeology; computer work with Minecraft; film making with Legos; hovercraft design; forensics and crime scene investigation; Asian art; and bookmaking.

Each summer camp is held for three hours each day over five days and costs just $150. Parents may sign their child up for multiple camps. Children attending two camps in a day should bring their lunch and will be supervised between sessions.

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MMI holds 124th commencement ceremony

MMI Preparatory School in Freeland, conducted its 124th Commencement Exercises on Thursday, May 19, as seniors were awarded diplomas by Stanley B. Warner III ’92, chairman of MMI’s Board of Directors.

This year’s graduating class of 31 seniors amassed more than $5.9 million in merit scholarships and awards, an average of more than $190,000 per student. The 2016 graduating class also attained an average SAT score of 1708. The Class of 2016’s average ACT score is 26.

Members of the Class of 2016 were accepted at over 90% of the colleges they applied to and will attend over 19 different colleges and universities this fall.

Brian Rosen ’75, a partner in the Business Finance and Restructuring Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Manhattan, delivered the commencement address.

During commencement exercises, valedictorian Jay P. Solgama spoke to his fellow graduates about time and how it passes more quickly as you get older, and about the impact of technology on our social interactions.

Salutatorian Sarah K. Moyer also addressed her classmates about "first impressions" and unique contributions to MMI made by the Class of 2016.

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MMI holds National Junior Honor Society and National Latin Honor Society inductions

MMI Preparatory School inducted 18 eighth-grade students into the National Junior Honor Society and 12 eighth graders into the National Latin Honor Society during a ceremony at the school.

MMI Head of School Thomas G. Hood provided opening remarks and greeted those in attendance before the ceremony. Faculty member and adviser, the Very Rev. Lawrence Barriger, presented the criteria for membership, inducted the students into the honor societies, and introduced the speaker.

Justin Richard, Esq. ’04, assistant district attorney for Luzerne County, was the guest speaker. Assistant Head of School Charles C. Seidel provided closing remarks. Benjamin Putnam, an eighth-grade student at MMI, provided music for the processional and recessional.

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Karalyn Sitch announces college selection

MMI Preparatory School senior Karalyn Sitch, seated at center, will continue her academic and athletic careers at Immaculata University, where she will run cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field. Seated with Karalyn are her parents, from left, Rosemarie and Mark Sitch. Also pictured are, second row, from left: MMI Assistant Head of School Charles Seidel, MMI Athletic Director Jason Tribbet, MMI Cross Country Coach Jon Weaver, and MMI Head of School Thomas G. Hood.  

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New York corporate attorney to deliver Founder’s Day address at MMI Commencement ceremony

MMI Preparatory School Head of School Thomas G. Hood announced that Atty. Brian Rosen ’75 has accepted his invitation to deliver the Founder’s Day Address during MMI’s 124th commencement ceremonies, which will be held on Thursday, May 19 at the school.

Rosen is a 1975 MMI Preparatory School graduate and was a point guard on the school’s basketball team. He is a partner in the Business Finance and Restructuring Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Manhattan and focuses on chapter 11 bankruptcy (through pre-packaged and in-court solicitations) and out-of-court debt restructurings, acquisitions of distressed companies or assets, and the collection of sovereign indebtedness.

Rosen has been recognized several times as a “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. He was named a “Recommended” lawyer for Corporate Restructuring, including Bankruptcy, in the United States by The Legal 500 USA.

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Five MMI juniors to receive National Merit Scholarship Program recognition

Five MMI Preparatory School juniors will receive 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program recognition after placing among the top 50,000 out of 1.5 million participants on the qualifying test.

Ali Aijaz, Anirban Chowdhury, Allison McGeehan, Samuel Sessock, and Nicholas Young finished among the top 50,000 nationwide on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). All five students recorded a Selection Index score of 209 or above and have the opportunity to be one of the 16,000 students who will be named National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in September.

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D. Scott Wiggins hired as interim Head of MMI

D Scott WigginsThe MMI Preparatory School Board of Directors on Tuesday appointed D. Scott Wiggins of New Hope, Pennsylvania, as interim Head of School for the 2016-2017 school year.

The appointment comes as part of an ongoing national search for a permanent successor to Thomas G. Hood who announced in January that he has accepted a position as Head of School at St. Agnes Academy and St. Dominic School in Memphis, Tennessee.

MMI’s Board of Directors acted on the recommendation of a search committee comprised of six current and former members of the board of directors, four of them having served as chairs of the board and all of them having graduated from MMI Preparatory School.

In addition to the search committee, Wiggins also met during the interview process with an advisory committee comprised of MMI staff, faculty, parents and students. Then, on Tuesday, he met with the full board of directors before the vote was taken. He will begin his duties as Head of School on July 1.

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Five MMI teams finish in top 15 overall at Luzerne County Envirothon

Five MMI Preparatory School teams finished in the top 15 overall out of 36 teams at the 2016 Luzerne County Envirothon.

The Luzerne County Conservation District coordinates and sponsors the Envirothon, an annual environmental competition for high school students in grades 9-12, each spring. It tests their knowledge of the environment with five 100-point tests: Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, and a Current Topic. A cumulative score is tabulated based on the performance in those five tests.

The team of Joshua Kalada-Kania, Samuel Sessock, Taylor Peluso, Sarah Moyer, and Jay Solgama captured first place with 410 out of a possible 500 points and clinched the top category in the individual components of Aquatics, Current Topic, Soils, and Wildlife. They will represent Luzerne County in the two-day Pennsylvania Envirothon on May 24 and 25 at Susquehanna University.

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Elliot Blasko captures MMI Spring Best of the Best title

Elliot Blasko, pictured in the second row at left, won the overall title in MMI Preparatory School’s Spring Best of the Best competition for his speech entitled “How to Be Funny.” Each MMI student in grades 7-12 makes at least one appearance in an assembly program each school year. The best student performances from each semester's assemblies, chosen by the MMI faculty, are presented to a joint assembly of both upper school and middle school students to determine the "Best of the Best." Additional Best of the Best competitors and their assembly presentations were, first row, from left: Irene Altmiller, “Number 32: Christian Laettner;” Kaitlyn McGeehan, “The Human Memory;” and Jacqueline Snyder, “Lucy the Elephant.” Second row: Elliot Blasko and Eric Degenhart, “Liberty of Babel.”

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MMI junior selected to attend prestigious Wharton School business program

MMI Preparatory School junior Danielle Pileggi is one of only 160 students worldwide who were recently selected from hundreds of applicants to attend this year’s Leadership in the Business World program offered by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Pileggi, the daughter of Daniel and Sandra Pileggi of Albrightsville, will attend the highly-selective program from July 3 to July 30 on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus in Philadelphia.

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Two MMI juniors accepted to prestigious PA Governor’s School for the Sciences

MMI Preparatory School juniors Ali Aijaz and Anirban Chowdhury were recently accepted into the summer 2016 Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences.

The Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences (PGSS), which is hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, was established in order to provide a summer enrichment experience in the sciences and mathematics for talented Pennsylvania high school students and to encourage them to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The program provides instruction in biological sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science, with emphasis on collaborative learning and team research.

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