2022.3.25 – Saxe Weekly

March 25, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

Thank you to everyone who came out this week for our Saxe Meet & Greet evenings! We loved having our “Saxe Parents” back in the building and each night was filled with excitement, gratitude, and even some wonder. The comment that was heard most often was, “I can’t believe how big this building is and I’m not really sure how my child knows how to get around!”. Fortunately, our student ambassadors were all over to help our parents navigate the building and they even treated our attendees to some Saxe Fun Facts!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest one-second everyday video, Math, Science, STEM, a published poet, world-class Music, Odyssey of the Mind, the amazingness of the Saxe cafeteria, a welcome homecoming, World Down Syndrome Day, the 2022 Color Drop, a “kaleidoscope” of butterflies, spring has sprung, the Saxe Meet & Greets, Hawk’s Valley outdoor learning space, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

3/26 – NC Color Drop, 10:00 a.m. @ Waveny

4/1 – Saxe Art Show @ 6:30 pm, Matilda Musical @ 7:00 pm

4/2 – Matilda Musical @  11:00 am & 3:00 pm

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.” – Louise Hay

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa

“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” – Sonia Sotomayor

“The challenge is not to be perfect…it’s to be whole.” – Jane Fonda

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.”  – Simone de Beauvoir

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).

Grade 6 Math

Ms. Bohlmann’s classes are doing “Math Madness” where they are working with percentages. Also, her students wrote letters to their parents to share at Open House!


Mr. Pacacci’s class had fun with Charades while reviewing Symbiotic Relationships. 

Grade 7 STEM

The Grade 7 Tech Rise Challenge team had the opportunity to meet with US Congressman Jim Himes last Monday. During the visit, the students shared the original design for their experiment titled “The Effect of High Altitude on Color Perception” which will collect visual data on various colors using a high-definition camera at sea level and on a high-altitude balloon journey. Since winning the competition in January, the team has had several meetings with engineers from the Future Engineers and NASA teams where they have been offered access to technical support and assistance during the building process. Currently, the Saxe team is in the process of building the final payload and preparing to test the computer/microcontroller of their experiment on the digital simulator provided by the Future Engineer team. The students also had the opportunity to ask Congressman Himes questions about his interest in their project and STEM.

Success Story

Congratulations to Amelia Stainer, who recently had her poem, A Crazy Time, published on beloved author Kelly Yang’s website. We featured Amelia’s pandemic-inspired poem last year, but she is now a PUBLISHED poet! Nice work, Amelia!


Our Saxe seventh and eighth grade orchestra and eighth grade wind students attended an in-school concert/Master Class with Saxe/NCHS Graduate Andrew Armstrong on Thursday.  Andrew Armstrong performed (on the piano) along with Arnaud Sussmann, Violin and Alexander Fiterstein, Clarinet. The Trio shared their experiences of performing music with the students who in turn shared their thoughts about each piece of repertoire. Some of the music performed included excerpts from:

Darius Milhaud’s Suite for violin, clarinet, and piano: Jeu and Finale

Franck violin sonata 2nd mvt

Debussy premiere Rhapsodie for clarinet and piano

Andrew and members of New Canaan Chamber Music will be performing at the New Canaan First Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 27th at 5:00.  

Grade 7/8 Saxe Musical


Seats are going fast!  There are three showings: April 1st at 7:00pm and April 2nd at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. We hope to see you there!

Odyssey of the Mind

Congratulations to the 5 SAXE teams that participated in the CT Odyssey of the Mind Competition on Saturday, March 19. Each team spent months preparing and planning for the competition, using creativity and innovation to solve a complicated problem. All their hard work paid off! Four of our SAXE teams won 1st or 2nd place, and have been extended an invitation to compete in World Competitions in Iowa this May.  Great teamwork!

SAXE team (7th graders)- Deen Bhora, Mir Bhora, Colin Cronk, Jason Generalis, Emmy Miller (1st place)

SAXE team (5th graders) – Aarna Prakash, Anaya Ansh, Anushka Dave, Ari Epstein, Noah Epstein, Skandar Sidani, Warren Check (2nd place)

SAXE team (6th graders) – Devin Boulanger, Tatum Colthup, Bracelen Flood, Arianth Pharshy, Luca Pisant, Kaleb Tan (2nd place)

SAXE team (6th graders)- Julianna Moore, Serena Johnson, Leo Grady, Cooper Smith, Blake Pozatek, Anthony Westhead (2nd place)

SAXE team (6th graders)- Billy Flynn, Stewart Goodwin, Emmeline DeMuth, Sally Ferris, Elena Dillon, Thomas Kim, Maria Morely

Odyssey of the Mind (OM™) teaches students how to develop and use their natural creativity to become problem-solvers. OM brings the classroom to life as students apply what they learn and combine it with their interests and passions to solve our unique open-ended problems. OM also emphasizes teamwork, budgeting, time management, public speaking, and so much more. For more information, see www.odysseyofthemind.com

Saxe Cafeteria

In case you ever wondered what lunch looks like here at Saxe Middle School, feast your eyes on these delectable offerings! Thank you to our Cafeteria Staff who work hard every day to make great food for our students!

Welcome Home!

Lauren Sherwood’s husband, who is also a police officer in town, just got back from a year away with the National Guard. If you missed the article in the New Canaan Hour, the link is below. It is a wonderful read!


Tweet Street

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

The 6th graders have done it again! 2010 Girls Black team has won their second championship final this year at the Chelsea Piers Indoor Soccer League! Congratulations girls! 

Alright Saxe, let’s see your silly, wacky, and/or mismatched socks tomorrow to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day  3.21.22. 

Let’s see your socks! Ms. Portanova is winning the sock game so far today!

I can’t touch those socks, but I was rocking what I had to support  Lots Of Socks today at Saxe!

Seen in the 5th grade hallway!

Buy a ball for the NC Color Drop and these guys will be cheering for you to win a prize!!

This was a nice addition to my office door. Thank you to the “anonymous butterflies” who have fluttered by to put a smile on our faces!

Thank you to CT Congressman, Jim Himes for stopping by today to check out some of our STEM & Innovation spaces and speak with our recent NASA Tech Rise award winners! They were proud to share their progress and look forward to the official launch to 70,000’ in June!

What an amazing surprise and a nice way to start the week! We celebrated the arrival of spring yesterday and spring has certainly sprung. Thank you to our amazing Saxe PTC & parent volunteers! 

Check out two of our grads who are thriving at NCHS. I love seeing NCPS celebrating with pride! 

Parents got a sneak peek at the Hawk’s Valley outdoor learning project that is set to begin this summer. Thanks to our PTC, and all of your support, our students will have the opportunity to learn in what will undoubtedly be one of the finest outdoor learning spaces of any middle school in the state (and, beyond)!

Thanks to Right At School for having a nice, informative display setup for our @SaxeMS parents to learn more about programs for the 2022-23 school year at the first official Saxe Meet & Greet!

Thanks to Ms. Benware & Ms. Granite for making sure all parents had their student schedules for the first official Saxe Meet & Greet. They were a dynamic duo!

Great turnout for the Saxe Grades 5 & 6 Meet & Greet, and so nice to see parents back in the building – thanks to all who came out!

Here are just a few of our Saxe rockstar student guides for the first official Saxe Meet and Greet! Great turnout for grades 5 & 6 and so nice to see parents back in the building – thanks to all who came out!

Grateful to these student representatives helping guide parents through our Saxe Meet and Greet for Grades 5&6.

“Charter Row” was on display for our grade 5 & 6 Meet & Greet. Great turnout and so nice to see parents back in the building – thanks to all who came out! 

A few action shots from around Saxe during the grade 7/8 parent Meet & Greet – thanks to all who came out, it was a wonderful evening! 

Our student volunteers were the superstars of the evening! Below are just a few of them… Thanks for helping make our Saxe Meet & Greet such a success – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Great turnout for our grade 7 & 8 Meet & Greet and it was so nice to have parents back in the building again! Thanks to our awesome Saxe PTC for the great snack spread, for parents & staff alike! 

In addition to helping parents around the building, our student ambassadors treated attendees to some “fun facts”!

March Madness is alive and well at Saxe thanks to Saxe Health Ed for the help designing the board. Sweet 16 starting tomorrow.

Saxe Alum, Andrew (Andy) Armstrong on piano, along with a violinist and clarinetist visited, performed, and inspired our music classes today. Thanks to Andy for bringing this world class musical experience within feet of our students… Seeing this level of performance, especially this close, is truly remarkable! 

Received this nice creation & note from two of our caring students – thank you! As we were chatting, we looked up that a group of butterflies is called a “kaleidoscope”. Learn something new every day!

It may not be a Saxe Hawk, but this is a great gift from a student! Does this mean we need to start, #BirdsOfSaxe?!

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s