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MMI student advances to Pennsylvania MATHCOUNTS state competition

MMI Preparatory School eighth-grade student Louis DeAngelo advanced to the MATHCOUNTS state competition after posting the second highest individual score and finishing third in the Countdown Round.  

Alistair Plotnick, Connor Spencer, Elizabeth O'Donnell, Rachael Betz, Benjamin Zhao, Hiba Muhammad. Samantha Sparich, Kevin McNulty and Natalie Graham also competed on MMI’s MATHCOUNTS team.

The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is designed to cultivate talent in the nation’s brightest young minds by bringing together students from all 50 states in a one-of-a-kind competition consisting of a series of in-person contests.

The Competition Series, which was created in 1983, is the longest-running MATHCOUNTS program and is open to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. The competition is comprised of four rounds—Sprint, Target, Team and Countdown Round. Altogether the rounds are designed to take about three hours to complete.

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MMI Mock Trial team advances to District 2 Championships

The MMI Preparatory School Mock Trial team advanced to the District 2 Championships following semifinal wins by its defense and prosecution units.

Garrett Kost, Marc Lobitz, John Malay, Joshua Narrow, Hunter O’Clair, Erin Sari and Jonathan Smith were MMI’s winning defense team members. Ali Aijaz, Merci Centrella, Kevin Cibak, Andrew Decker, Evan Dryfoos, Mahad Muhammad and Jonathan Smith were members of the winning prosecution team.

D. Scott Wiggins, MMI Head of School and Mock Trial adviser, said, “The performance of our student attorneys and witnesses was extraordinary. The magnitude of time and investment it takes to prepare oneself and carry forth in a courtroom in front of real judges and attorney juries is immense. While the teams did not prevail in the District 2 Championship round, I’m proud of how these 13 students performed and represented MMI during the competition.”

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Grammy-nominated Wister Quartet chamber ensemble makes annual visit to MMI on March 6

For the 14th consecutive year, MMI Preparatory School will host the Grammy-nominated Wister Quartet for a public performance at the school on Monday, March 6, at 7 p.m. The performance is made possible through the support of Dr. James W. Feussner ’65 in memory of Elizabeth Feussner.

Once again this year, the Wister Quartet will perform with guitarist Allen Krantz, a critically acclaimed guitarist, composer and chamber musician. The concert, 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.

Members of the quartet are violinists Nancy Bean and Davyd Booth, violist Pamela Fay, and cellist Lloyd Smith.

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MMI students qualify for FBLA PA State Leadership Conference

Forty-seven of MMI Preparatory School’s 76 entrants in ninth through 12th grades qualified to attend the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Pennsylvania State Leadership Conference, which will be held from April 2-5 in Hershey.

MMI students qualified for the state conference in 26 different individual and team competitive events during a regional competition at the Woodlands in Wilkes-Barre. The list of competitive categories includes: Business Calculations, Business Ethics, Business Law, Business Planning, Client Service, Computer Problem Solving, Cyber Security, Global Business, Health Care Administration, Help Desk, Insurance and Risk Management, Introduction to Business, Introduction to Business Procedures, Introduction to Financial Math, Introduction to Information Technology, Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure, Journalism, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Organizational Management, Personal Finance, Publication Design, Public Speaking, Public Service Announcement, Securities and Investments, and Sports and Entertainment Management.

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FNCB contributes to MMI Preparatory EITC scholarship program

MMI Preparatory School recently received a $1,000 contribution from FNCB Bank through the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program to go toward need-based scholarships at the school.

MMI Director of Advancement Kim McNulty said, “On behalf of everyone at MMI Preparatory School, “I’d like to thank FNCB for their generous contribution. MMI students have received more than $3 million in direct scholarships thanks to the contributions from companies like FNCB since our EITC program’s inception in 2005. When you contribute to MMI through the EITC program, your gift directly supports funding for children in need to attend our school.”

FNCB Assistant Vice President Mike Cummings said, “Since 2010, FNCB has contributed almost $1.2 million dollars to local scholarship organizations through the EITC program. We are proud to help many deserving families attend schools such as MMI.”

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MMI holds Sixth Grade Science Fair

Anden Karlick captured first place in MMI’s Sixth Grade Science Fair for his presentation on Root Systems and Erosion. John Schwear III placed second for his presentation on Tire Pressure in Bicycles and Jeffrey DeAngelo was third for his presentation on How Senses Change Your Taste.

The Science fair took place on January 27 in the MMI Cafe. All sixth grade students were required to complete a project, which they then showcased to the school and their families. Projects were judged by AP Science students and faculty.  

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MMI holds school competition for National Geographic Bee

Seventh grader Christian Homnack was the winner and classmate Connor Spencer finished as the runner-up in MMI Preparatory School’s competition as part of qualifications for the National Geographic Bee. MMI’s Geographic Bee competition, at which students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 29th annual National Geographic Bee. As MMI’s winner, Homnack now has a chance to compete for a $50,000 college scholarship.

Christian Homnack is the son of Lori Pavell, Hazleton, and Dennis Homnack, St. Johns. Connor Spencer is the son of Christina and Christopher Spencer, Mountaintop.

Grete Floryshak, MMI Social Sciences instructor and adviser for the competition, said, “I’d like to commend Christian, Connor and all of MMI’s participants for their dedication to the competition. We’re honored to have Christian represent MMI as he advances to the state level of the competition.”

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MMI students participate in PMEA District 9 Orchestra Festival

This past weekend, MMI students participated in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 9 Orchestra Festival at Elk Lake High School. Junior Angelica Alday earned second seat for violin and will advance to the PMEA Regional Orchestra Festival, which will be held March 9-11 at Bangor Area High School.

Junior Aaron Harman placed third in the orchestra seating auditions for trombone and freshman Molly O'Connell placed ninth in the violin section. Students were accompanied by music instructor Christine Lizbinski.

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Six MMI students win 16 awards at Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition

Six MMI Preparatory School students won a total of 16 awards in this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. The students were honored during a recent awards ceremony at Marywood University.

Senior Evan Spear won the American Voices Medal for writers, the highest honor presented to a writer by the Scholastic Writing Awards. Only one writer from each region is presented with this award each year. Spear also received a Gold Key Poetry award.

The American Voices nominees are “Best in Show” awards that most exemplify originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Five works of writing from each region are selected by local judges as American Voices Nominees. These nominees are celebrated in local exhibitions and ceremonies. From the pool of nominees, an esteemed panel of jurors in New York City then selects one writer from each region to receive an American Voices Medal. These Medalists are recognized at the National Ceremony and Art.Write.Now exhibition in New York City.

Other recognized MMI students were: Junior Jaclyn Braunstein and sophomore Lauren Matyas who both won a Silver Key Poetry award and Matyas was an Honorable Mention selection in the Poetry category. Senior Joshua Narrow was a Gold Key Portfolio recipient and received four Silver Keys and one Honorable Mention selection in Poetry. Senior Olivia Minzola won a Gold Key for Portfolio, Silver Key awards in Personal Essay/Memoir and Flash Fiction and an Honorable Mentions in Poetry. Junior Hunter O’Clair was an Honorable Mention selection in Dramatic Script. MMI English instructors Jennifer Novotney and Donna Titus served as advisers for MMI students in the competition.

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MMI receives ExxonMobil grant for science and technology departments

MMI Preparatory School received a $500 grant through the ExxonMobil Foundation that it will use toward its science and technology departments.

MMI was nominated for the grant ExxonMobil Educational Alliance grant by Liberty Petroleum Distributors of New Milford. The grant funds are specifically designated for math or science departments. MMI plans to use the grant money to fund a collaborative project between the Marine Biology and Robotics classes where students are working toward building Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles (ROVs).

Michael Mele, MMI Science Department Chair said, “We are so appreciative of the support for this cross curriculum project and for the dedication of our alumni and the organizations they represent in helping MMI continue to provide a strong academic program in both science and technology.”  

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MMI recognizes first semester ‘Best of the Best’ students

Students in eighth, 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 Alyssa Sweda, the daughter of John and Jacqueline Sweda of Hazle Township, was the overall “Best of the Best” winner for the first semester for her presentation on Charleston, South Carolina.

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.

Additional “Best of the Best” presenters were senior Joshua Narrow, the son of Howard and Marie Narrow of Hazleton, for his presentation on Hamilton; sophomore Alexander Kline, the son of Dr. Gerard and Caterina Kline of Mountaintop, for his presentation on how to pack a suitcase; eighth grader Jacqueline Snyder, daughter of Dr. Christopher and Dr. Jill Snyder of Sugarloaf, for her presentation on superstitions; and eighth grader Louis DeAngelo, son of Grete Floryshak of Sugarloaf and Louis DeAngelo of Hazle Township, for his presentation entitled The Internet is Watching You.

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Students who take MMI entrance examination can qualify for full merit scholarship

MMI Preparatory School will be offering a full merit scholarship to the student who scores in the 95th percentile or above in one area of each section of its Entrance and Scholarship exam, which will be given on January 28, at 9 a.m. at MMI’s campus at 154 Centre Street in Freeland.

The full merit scholarship is only available to new students who sit for the Entrance and Merit Scholarship exam on January 28. The student who earns the scholarship has the opportunity to keep it throughout their time at MMI, provided they meet or exceed the established academic criteria. 

The Entrance and Merit Scholarship exam is comprehensive in nature, assessing students’ general ability (verbal and quantitative), reading comprehension and mathematic achievement. Writing skills are tested as well with a short essay.

To register for the exam, please call the admissions office at 570-636-1108 by January 26. The exam will begin promptly at 9 a.m. and all registrants are encouraged to report to MMI’s Coxe Commons by 8:45 a.m. 

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MMI team places third in annual Bloomsburg University Math Contest

A team of four MMI Preparatory School students placed third in all three categories in the annual Bloomsburg University Math Contest.

The team of Ali Aijaz, Anirban Chowdhury, Allison McGeehan and Nicholas Young placed third in Brain Teasers, Quiz Bowl and the Game of 24 card challenge. Ali Aijaz is the son of Fakhruddin and Dr. Naghma Aijaz, Mountaintop; Anirban Chowdhury is the son of Bhaskar and Saumitri Chowdhury, Hazle Township; Allison McGeehan is the daughter of Thomas and Sandra McGeehan, Drums; and Nicholas Young is the son of Christian and Nicole Young, Freeland.

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MMI students qualify for 2016-17 State Journalism Contest

Four MMI Preparatory School students qualified to compete in the Pennsylvania School Press Association 2016-17 State Journalism Contest during a regional competition at Penn State University’s Berks Campus.

Joshua Narrow, Danielle Pileggi, Julia Snyder and Chava Kornblatt earned the right to travel to Penn State’s University Park campus on March 29, 2017, to vie for the state championship in their respective categories. Danielle Pileggi and Julia Snyder both qualified in the Literary Magazine Art category, Joshua Narrow qualified in the Literary Magazine Poetry category and Chava Kornblatt qualified in the Yearbook Caption Writing category.

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MMI selects Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar representatives for 2017

MMI Preparatory School sophomores Desiree Petrick and Elizabeth Eckhart were selected to represent MMI at the 2017 Central Pennsylvania Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) seminar, which will be held May 18-21 at Shippensburg University.

Desiree Petrick is the granddaughter of John Petrick, Freeland and Elizabeth Eckhart is the daughter of Charles and Kim Eckhart, Lehighton.

The four-day HOBY seminar focuses on the theme “Empower. Lead. Excel” while encouraging the young leaders to display responsible citizenship, including community service and volunteerism. Each September, HOBY sophomore registration kits are sent to more than 22,000 public, private, and charter high schools in the United States.

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Six MMI student-athletes receive fall sports honors

Six MMI student-athletes were honored for their performance during the fall sports season. Senior Dana Carrato was named to the Wyoming Valley Coaches Association Second Team and juniors Madison Perchak and Lauryn Banyas were honorable mention selections.

The Citizens’ Voice selected junior George Palermo (golf), sophomore Jessica McClellan (golf), senior Elizabeth Pinto (tennis) and senior Dana Carrato (volleyball) to its All Star teams in their respective sports.

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MMI sophomore advances to Pennsylvania finals in national Poetry Out Loud competition

MMI Preparatory School sophomore Andrew Decker captured the regional Poetry Out Loud competition against students from parts of six counties and will advance to the state finals March 5-6, 2017 in Harrisburg. The winner of the state competition advances to the national championship in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Decker is the son of Aaron Decker, Kingston, and Elizabeth and Troy Topolski, Sugarloaf.

Jennifer Novotney, MMI English instructor and Poetry Out Loud adviser, said, “Andrew did a fantastic job and we are all very proud of him. It is an honor to have him represent MMI Preparatory School at the state finals.”

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Jennifer Novotney receives National High School Teacher of Excellence Award

MMI Preparatory School English instructor Jennifer Novotney was one of only 13 teachers from across the country to receive the National High School Teacher of Excellence Award from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

The NCTE honors recipients with the High School Teacher of Excellence Award to recognize and celebrate exceptional high school classroom teachers. Novotney accepted her award during the annual conference in Atlanta in November where she was also a general session presenter during the second day of the four-day convention.

In his nomination remarks, MMI Assistant Head of School Charles Seidel said Novotney “is an exceptional teacher who always strives to bring out the best in her students. Additionally, she is always seeking to learn new methods and pedagogy and enjoys sharing her new insights with those around her. She is creative with her lessons, but sees her students as much more than vessels to be filled. She seeks to develop critical thinking skills, communication, collaboration, and creativity in all she does.”

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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 Olivia Minzola, senior class secretary, who presented a history of MMI Preparatory School; Dana Carrato, senior class president, who provided information about Sophia Coxe; Nicholas Young, senior class treasurer, who spoke about Eckley Coxe; and Kevin Cibak, senior class vice president, who talked about the meaning of Thanksgiving. The Rev. Lawrence Barriger, MMI faculty member, provided closing remarks.

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 compete in school’s Poetry Out Loud competition

Sophomore Andrew Decker won MMI Preparatory School’s Poetry Out Loud competition for the second consecutive year and will represent MMI in the televised regional Poetry Out Loud competition on December 7 at the WVIA-TV studios in Pittston. Senior Gabriella DeMelfi placed second and junior Chava Kornblatt finished third.

Andrew Decker is the son of Aaron Decker, Kingston, and Elizabeth and Troy Topolski, Sugarloaf. Gabriella DeMelfi is the daughter of Daniel and Esme DeMelfi of Hazleton, and Chava Kornblatt is the daughter of Joseph and Georgia Kornblatt of Kingston. 

Jennifer Novotney, Katherine Zucco and Madison Below served as judges and Novotney is the MMI Poetry Out Loud faculty adviser.

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MMI holds National Honor Society inductions

MMI Preparatory School recently inducted 43 new members of the Andrew J. Stofan Chapter of the National Honor Society during a ceremony at the school.

MMI Interim Head of School D. Scott Wiggins welcomed guests and adviser and faculty member Donna Titus gave opening remarks and introduced the guest speaker, Captain Charles Stoffa ’88.

During the induction ceremony, chapter officers gave presentations on the criteria of the National Honor Society for its membership. Historian Gabriella Kupsho presented the history of the National Honor Society, Secretary Stephanie Zellner spoke about service, Treasurer Nicholas Young talked about scholarship, Vice President Lois Polashenski gave a speech on character and President Samuel Sessock spoke about leadership and inducted the new members.

Adviser and faculty member Katherine Zucco recognized the junior and senior members and gave closing remarks. MMI senior Gabriella DeMelfi provided musical accompaniment.

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MMI crowns Harvest King and Queen

MMI Preparatory School crowned Lacee Gera and Kisan Patel, pictured at center in the first row, its 2016 Harvest Queen and King during MMI’s annual Harvest Dance on Nov. 5. Additional court members were Elizabeth Pinto (first row far left), Erin Sari (first row far right), Garrett Kost (second row far left) and Keenan Overa (second row far right). Also pictured in the second row are MMI Interim Head of School D. Scott Wiggins and Parent Association representative Andrea Putnam.

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Freeland American Legion honors MMI senior for attending PA American Legion’s Keystone Boys’ State program

The Freeland American Legion honored MMI Preparatory School senior Garrett Kost following his attendance at the Pennsylvania American Legion’s Keystone Boys State program this past summer. Garrett Kost is the son of Joseph and Natalie Kost of Freeland.

Keystone Boys’ State is a week-long program held at Shippensburg University where rising high school senior boys from across the state gather to learn about Pennsylvania’s system of government. The 250 participants were divided into eight simulated cities, two simulated counties, and one simulated state. The students learned how to draft city laws and ordinances as well as the process of attempting to pass bills in counties and the state House of Representatives and Senate.

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MMI to hold Visitation Night on November 16

MMI Preparatory School will hold fall Visitation Night on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 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 the small class sizes and individual attention at MMI. They will also get details about the school’s curriculum, which includes Advanced Placement classes, financial aid, athletics and extracurricular activities. Light refreshments will be offered. Families will also have the opportunity to tour the campus.

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MMI holds Science and Math National Honor Society inductions

MMI Preparatory School inducted 23 new members into the Science National Honor Society and 16 new members into the Mathematics National Honor Society during a ceremony at the school.

During the ceremony, Assistant Head of School Charles Seidel welcomed guests, and National Science Honor Society Advisor Michael Mele introduced the officers of the two honor societies. Jonathan Smith, president of MMI’s Mathematics National Honor Society chapter, and Ali Aijaz, president of the MMI’s Science National Honor Society chapter, each gave a speech. National Math Honor Society Advisor Susan Moyer introduced the guest speaker, William Van Horn ’98. MMI Interim Head of School D. Scott Wiggins gave closing remarks. Skyler Stabin provided piano accompaniment.

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Two MMI students qualify for WVIA Artist of the Year competition

MMI Preparatory School seniors Garrett Kost and Danielle Pileggi will be featured on WVIA-TV Artist of the Week segments and are among the finalists for the WVIA Artist of the Year Award.

Garrett Kost and Danielle Pileggi visited the WVIA studios in Pittston to record a one-minute Artist of the Week piece that will appear on WVIA-TV the week of Jan. 15-21 and online at wvia.org for a year.

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Wister Quartet performs piece MMI students composed as part of their professional tour

The Wister Quartet, a nationally-renowned and Grammy-nominated chamber ensemble, opened their 2016-2017 season with a premiere performance of a song composed by students from MMI Preparatory School.

The Wister Quartet, along with guitarist Allen Krantz, performed “Song for Peace,” which MMI students composed last fall, on October 17 for the 1807 & Friends Concert series at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. The concert featured music of famous composers such as Boccherini, Barrios and Brahms, as well as a world premiere from Frank James Staneck, in addition to the professional premiere of “Song for Peace.”

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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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If you have any admissions questions, please contact:

Marci Hosier
Director of Enrollment Management & Marketing