2021.12.23 – Saxe Weekly

December 23, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

The quote, “The days are long, but the years are short” has many meanings for many people. Some view it as appreciating the quality of time with family and others view it as a reminder to be “present” as the world seemingly flies by us. As we look back at 2021, and look ahead to 2022, we can recognize that we have navigated some challenging times, to say the least. In addition to hard work, flexibility, adaptability, and caring, there has been continuous support of one another. The past year+ has been the ultimate definition of “teamwork”.  

I could not be more proud and grateful to work alongside such terrific colleagues, parents, community members, and most importantly, students. As you celebrate over the upcoming break, please be sure to take a moment to recognize how fortunate we are to be part of this amazing Saxe community in this wonderful town of New Canaan. Thank you to everyone who plays a part in making it special. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest one second everyday, a special retirement, Science, some special team experiences, Latin, Spanish, some sweet holiday music, Soaring Hawks, some community service, a lost and found reminder, holiday spirit overload, a prestigious award winner, amazing Saxe photos from photo club, lots of dogs of Saxe, and much more…  

Enjoy, have a wonderful holiday break, and happy new year! See you in 2022… 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

1/3 – Welcome Back!

1/6 – 8th to 9th GradeTransition Parent Coffee (Virtual – 9:30 – 10:30 am)

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – Charles R. Swindoll

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.” – John Wooden

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”– John Boswell

“I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, you should have a resolution everyday, to be better.” – Nick Buroker

One Second Everyday

Back again for this week – the latest Saxe Middle School 1-Second Everyday! “Life is made of seconds.” Showcasing so much of what makes Saxe Middle School great! This will be a recurring, bi-weekly feature. At the end of the year, we will have a full version that includes every single day of the 2021-22 school year. Enjoy! (pro tip: to enjoy the video at a slower pace, change your viewing option to .75 speed).

Special Education

Please join us in wishing Beth Calandrelli, Special Education Administrative Assistant, all the best on her retirement from New Canaan Public Schools after 25 years at Saxe! Beth’s contributions to the Special Education department, Saxe and NCPS communities will be greatly missed and we look forward to updates about her upcoming adventures. We were able to surprise Beth with a celebration last week and share how much we appreciate her. Congratulations, Beth! 

The sun is setting on her time at Saxe, but the sun is rising on her retirement and great times ahead! Congrats and thank you for 25 years of service, Beth Calandrelli! Here she is reporting for her final shift this morning 🙂

We look forward to welcoming Mary Chila to our team as we return from break!

Grade 6 Science

During PJ day, students explored energy transfers and convection currents to determine how Earth’s tectonic plates (crust) move to create various landforms (new seafloor, volcanoes & mountains) and events (earthquakes).

Grade 8 Green Team

The 8 Green Team competed in some building challenges today during their workshop. Winners of each challenge were awarded points for their third period class and, at the end of the period, Ms. Martin‘s third period math class won and was awarded Free Seating Fridays for the month of January.

8 Red Fun Day

The 8 Red Team had a “Classroom Feud” today!  Mr. Ekstrom played the host!


7th grade Latin students were preparing to perform a skit about a Roman family’s Saturnalia celebration. Saturnalia was a mid-December festival in honor of the agriculture god, Saturn. During this time, Romans would decorate their homes with holly and evergreen, enjoy feasts, exchange presents, and go merry-making (including wearing red pointed caps). Saturnalia was a time to be thankful for the previous year, and hope for a return to a Golden Age of world peace and equality. 


Spanish 8th grade classes have created Todo Sobre Mi posters that highlight their interests and fun facts about themselves.  Students also created colorful ornaments, addressed to their classmates. They used their Spanish skills to share what makes their classmates special, and wrote personal notes to them.  The week was completed by learning useful and relevant holiday and winter vocabulary, and a fun game of BINGO.

World Language students ended the day and year with some fun caroling throughout the school.  Here you can see students from Spanish 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes.

Saxe Music

A little holiday cheer from our 5th Grade Band Class to get your break started off on the right foot. These students have been playing their instruments for 3 months. Click the “watch this” link below.

Happy Holidays from the Saxe Music Department. 

Watch This

Saxe Soaring Hawks December 2021

View the latest edition here: https://youtu.be/WshZw13zkNg

6 Blue Crew!

Some members of the 6th Grade Blue Team decided to lend a helping hand to clean up the playground, basketball court and field during their Workshop time. 

Lost and Found

Missing a coat, sweatshirt or lunchbox? There is a good chance that it ended up in our lost and found!  As you can see, we have an abundance of items waiting to come back home! If these items are not picked up in the next couple of weeks, they will be donated to those in need. So please have your child stop by if they are missing anything when they have a chance!

Holiday Spirit

Saxe’s own version of Buddy the Elf visited today!

Nutmeg Book Award

Each year, the State of Connecticut selects students, librarians, and staff to be ‘readers’ to choose the exciting “Nutmeg Book Award Nominees” for the elementary, intermediate, middle, and young adult level.  Student readers are nominated and must demonstrate exceptional characteristics to be selected. Applicants must: (1) be a strong, reflective reader with a commitment to supporting opinions with relevant evidence from the text, (2) be a responsible, mature student to dedicate time and stamina toward this endeavor, and (3) be flexible in their thinking and open to new genres, interests and ideas.  The selected applicants must dedicate time and effort to reading and interpreting over 100 books!

We are so honored and excited to have one of the THREE intermediate candidates from across the state right here at Saxe!  JP Felice will join a handful of students, teachers, and librarians in Connecticut to read and discuss over 100 books in the next 10 months!  

JP Felice, a hockey player and blackbelt in Karate,is no stranger to hard work and determination.  He “loves a challenge” and reflects that his favorite genres are fantasy, mythology and mystery.  However, he also reflects that he’s recently enjoyed new realistic and historical fiction texts and he’s excited to be part of this selected group! Adults who know him agree!  Mrs. Anderson, JP’s fifth grade reading and writing teacher, described JP as a “reflective reader” who “showed excellence in getting reading done both inside and outside of school.”  She also described JP as a “hard working student” who “reads successfully across genres.”  The New Canaan Public Library librarian, Rebecca Fox, reflected on JP’s participation in the Young Critics book group and said he “deeply respects his peers’ opinions and appreciates

that everyone has their own reading preferences.  She says “JP feels that being part of a

community of readers has shaped his life in numerous ways” and we hope this experience will be an exciting and engaging one for him, too! 

Congratulations, JP, on this great honor!  We wish JP luck in the months ahead and can’t wait to read the 2023 Nutmeg nominee selections and hear about his favorites! 

Tweet Street

Below are photos and phrases that were included on our Saxe middle school Twitter page (@SaxeMS) this week. Enjoy!

Good morning Saxe! It’s going to be a great week! Remember to care for one another and yourselves.

Nothing better than walking into the school with live holiday music from our orchestra students at Saxe! Thanks to Mrs. Dorfman and Ms. Harris for setting this up. Happy holidays everyone!

Thanks to Ms. Birdsall for stopping by with a few of my favorite visitors! Love seeing their smiling faces, even through their masks 🙂

The  Saxe Spirit is off the charts today! Have a great day, All!

The Saxe Photography Club has some amazing shots from around our campus on display – very cool! 

7Blue spending some quality team time together this morning!

Favorite shirt so far today! Thanks for being a good sport, Mr. McCrae… The holiday spirit is all around and it is great! 

This delivery was deemed “Tropical Holidays”, which is perfect! Then, upon further review, the lights are mini Dogs of Saxe… That brings it to a whole other level!

Maybe one of the best Christmas cards ever… Thank you to our Saxe Art teachers for the cool, creative, personalized card!

Extremely grateful for a holiday gift of BOMBAS Sesame Street themed socks and mask from a student today!

It’s morning announcement time!

Dogs of Saxe

Nice weather this week = lots of Dogs!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Graphic credit: Mr. Adams

Have a great break, Happy Holiday, and Happy New Year!

* A special thanks to Lauren Sherwood for the continuous stream of positive, optimistic quotes!

Saxe Resources (live links)

Website: https://www.ncps-k12.org/saxe 

PTC: http://www.saxeptc.org/


Twitter: @SaxeMS


The Saxe Weekly: SaxeMS.com

Saxe Middle School

Celebrating Our Learning Community Through Caring, Communication, & Commitment

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