2022.2.11 – Saxe Weekly

February 11, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

We made it through all five days this week without a weather disruption (they have been frequent so far this year), and another busy week is in the books. Winter is certainly not over, but we will take these 50+* days in the middle of February when we can get them… The weekend is projected to be off to a good start with temps near 60*, enjoy! 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest Saxe News, Orchestra, Science, NASA at Saxe, a UV Sanitizer, Social Studies, Trout Club, celebrating new staff, National School Counseling Week, Art, lost and found, Virtual Daytime Open House resources, some new birdhouses, Hawks Talk podcast preview, Dogs of Saxe, and so much more. Thank you for checking it all out and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

2/18 – No school for students/Professional Learning Day for staff (Happy February Break!)

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks 

“To  make our way, we must have firm resolve, persistence, tenacity. We must gear ourselves to work hard all the way. We can never let up.” – Ralph Bunche

“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.”  – Katherine Johnson

“Sciences provide an understanding of a universal experience, Arts are a universal understanding of a personal experience… they are both a part of us and a manifestation of the same thing… the arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.”  – Dr.  Mae Jemison

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

Saxe News

Check out that latest Saxe News! Learn a little more about Assistant Principal, Ms. Granite, Marvel, Avengers, and more. Thanks to Mr. Petrakopoulos and the Saxe News team for these great productions!

Grade 6 Science

The Red, Purple, and Blue Teams explored weathering last week. Through a variety of investigations, students observed various physical and chemical changes that landforms endure to create sediment. For chemical weathering, they used vinegar to explore the effects of acid rain and tested a variety of metals to figure out how some rust. Additionally, they used hammers, sand paper, shaking gravel, and pushing/pulling clay to investigate the effects of physical weathering. As you can see grade six “Science Rocks!”

NASA at Saxe

The NASA Box has arrived! The five student team from Saxe designed their experiment titled “The Effect of High Altitude on Color Perception”. The team intends to collect visual data on various colors using a high definition camera by recording different colored paint samples at sea level and on the high altitude balloon journey (up to approximately 70,000 feet!). The team will compare both sets of visual data and record their observations in order to see the impact that high altitude has on the perception of color. Below, watch them open the box sent to them by NASA.

Saxe Student Created UV Sanitizer

Check out the ingenious creation developed by our students using the design thinking process. Thank you to all who participated and made this possible!

Social Studies

These 6th graders were caught researching in our library. Their topic: Ancient Cultural Hearths. Thank you to Ms. Fulco and her hard working students!


Celebrating some talented ensemble action – check it out!

Virtual Daytime Open House Presentations

If you were unable to attend the Virtual Daytime Open Houses over the past two weeks, we have put together a compilation of the presentations by grade and team below. If you have any questions, you may contact the team teachers for further information! 

Monday, 1/31Tuesday, 2/1Monday, 2/7Tuesday, 2/8
10:50 amG7: Blue TeamVOH Presentation10:50 amG7: Purple TeamVOH Recording 10:50 amG7: GreenTeamVOH Recording10:50 amG7: Red TeamVOH Presentation
11:40 amG8: Purple TeamVOH Recording11:40 amG8: Red TeamVOH Presentation11:40 amG8: Green TeamVOH Presentation11:40 amG8: Blue TeamVOH Presentation
12:30 pmG6: Purple TeamVOH Presentation12:30 pmG6: Blue TeamVOH recording12:30 pmG6: Green TeamVOH Presentation12:30 pmG6: RedTeamScience PresentationMath PresentationLA PresentationSocial Studies Presentation

Trout Club

The Trout Club is excited to announce that the trout eggs have hatched! The students are working hard each week to collect data to keep them growing and developing into alevin. Because the room 134 tank has too many growing trout, a new tank is in the process of being set up in room 24. We are looking for more helpers to join us on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 am. If interested, please contact Mrs. Poidomani or Ms. Veach! Please see our Google Slides for the ongoing timeline and all of the interesting pictures…

Room 28 Trout 2022

Room 134 Trout 2022

Celebrating New Staff – Welcome to Saxe!

DeWayne Dawkins: This week, Saxe Middle School welcomed a new staff member, Mr. Dewayne Dawkins. He began on Monday as a supervisory aide. Mr. Dawkins is a familiar face to many 8th grade students who have played youth sports in town. Most recently, he was an assistant 8th grade football coach. If you see him around the school, please introduce yourself and welcome him to our awesome community. 

Joseph Pietrafeso: It is with pleasure that we welcome Mr. Joseph Pietrafeso to our Grade 5/6 Counseling Team. In addition to counseling through his private practice, Mr. Pietrafeso has experience working with upper elementary and middle school students, in school systems, for almost a decade.  When not at Saxe, he loves being a dad and spending time with his family. He is a true Mets fan and loves taking his kids/family to Citi Field in the summer.

National School Counseling Week

This week was National School Counseling Week. The theme of this year’s week was “Better Together.”  Throughout the week, counselors posted information in their google classrooms about how school counselors work with other school faculty and staff in order to support the needs of our students here at Saxe Middle School. Thank you to our amazing School Counselors, for all that you do for our entire school community!

Thanks to our amazing Saxe PTC for  treating our School Counselors for National School Counseling Week! The service and support our counselors provide our school community is invaluable – thank you!


Here are some awesome art designs from some of our 5th grade artists. Kids are learning about the Canadian artist Ted Harrison. And while exploring color theory,  paint mixing, value, tints and shades they created a painting in his style.

Lost & Found 

Your items miss you too! Our Saxe lost and found has gained quite an inventory over the course of the winter. We will be working to get all items back to their rightful owners by the February break. Any items that remain will be donated to local charities to “keep on serving”!

Tweet Street

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

Some scenes from the most recent Virtual Daytime Open House sessions… Great updates and insight into the experiences for each grade level/team. Thank you to our teachers, and all who attended!

Some behind the scenes work for the upcoming 7/8 Musical…The work that goes into these productions is amazing and it is fun to see it all come together. Such a talented, dedicated bunch! 

Saxe Trout Club is back in a big way with over 600 hatchling/fry! We look forward to seeing them grow at Saxe before they are released into the local waterways… What a great experience for our students (&, trout)!

So nice to see some future Saxe Hawks performing in the auditorium this evening! What an amazing experience for these West School students (&, their families)… They certainly lived up to the title as their impressive “talent” was definitely on display! Bravo to All!

Some “in progress” work around Saxe. Grateful for the team of folks responsible for sprucing up our learning environment – thank you!

Wow! Thank you, Senator Blumenthal for recognizing our Saxe students on their recent Nasa Tech Rise success. We are so proud of them & look forward to seeing their project officially “lift off” this fall! Special thanks to Mr. D’Alton for creating this opportunity, too! 

What a beautiful sunrise today!

It was nice to get our staff together for our Professional Learning session yesterday! Excellent teacher led sessions on taking care of self, useful strategies, & effectively embedding EI as it relates to educating the “whole child”. Congrats & thanks to all involved!

What a wonderful contribution to our campus! Thanks to Ms. Hines, her students, and all who helped make these awesome birdhouses – can’t wait to see them hanging in our courtyards!

Open for business! Thanks again to Ms. Hines & her students for the awesome  Birdhouses Of Saxe! Can’t wait to see them welcome in some of our resident birds this spring (&, what a beautiful day to put them outside)

Ms. Birdsall and Ms. Jarosik sporting their NC Pride!

Hawks Talk

Honored to have been a guest on the 2nd episode of the official Saxe podcast, #HawksTalk! Thanks to Mr. Adams for the fun conversation & thanks to our Saxe PTC for supporting the great equipment! Stay tuned for more episodes to hear from students/staff & learn more about Saxe!

Dogs of Saxe

Sonny & Cisco braved the snowy morning and we were excited to see them!

Have a great week, see you next Friday!

Thank you to all of our Saxe Weekly contributors! Each weekly edition is an example of collaboration in action. 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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