Principal's Message from December

Sun, 12/20/2015 - 10:47am

Dear Parents/Guardians:

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving; it’s hard to believe we are now close to winter break.  Prior to the break, we held parent conferences with teachers; I hope you found the meetings productive and informative.  I want to thank the PTSA members/volunteers who were involved in the staff dinner on Tuesday afternoon; the staff members truly appreciate the meal between school and the conferences. I reviewed all of the evaluations, and as expected, the responses varied.  Some parents were thrilled with the Canvas sign up process and some parents longed for the Pick-A-Time program.  There were a handful of parents who requested 20 minute conferences; I will discuss that with our staff since the change would impact the amount of conferences a teacher could have in one day or evening.  It appears that the majority of teachers were very well-prepared for their conferences and the information shared was worthwhile.  Some parents feel that the school sends too much information while others are satisfied with the communication and want more.  The responses to one particular question stood out as an area for improvement.  I read many comments on question 8:My child knows what extracurricular activities are available at Marriotts Ridge High School.  As a result, I am going to work with staff to improve our communication about extracurricular activities.  We will make posters that list all of the clubs, sponsors, and dates of meetings, and we will hang them on bulletin boards around the school.  We will also consider placing this information on our TV screens that provide scrolling information about school activities.  If you have other suggestions, please let me know.  Thank you to all of the parents who attended the conferences and completed theParent/Guardian Surveys.  Your opinions matter!

The last few weeks have been filled with joyous events and the gift of giving.  Thanks to the generosity of our community members, our National Honor Society students dropped off 700 toys, for the Toys-for-Tots campaign, at the West Friendship Fire Station.  We filled two mini-vans and two cars with toys!  Special thanks go to Ryan Tuma, Matthew Ault, and Thomas Dobbins who did a great deal of work to make this happen!  Thanks to sponsor Mrs. Goldszmidt for facilitating the drive.

On Thursday, FBLA held its 2nd annual Blood Drive.  As we approach the holiday season, we all recognize that there is a need for blood; therefore, on behalf of our FBLA students and Mrs. Burke(sponsor), I want to thank all of the parents, students and staff who participated in the blood drive.  Whether you donated blood or worked the tables, you did a good deed.  Thanks for your service.

Thank you to the students and teacher sponsors who volunteered their time at the MRHS Tea Party.  On the Sunday of the play, National Art Honor Society and Art Club members at Marriotts Ridge High School hosted a Tea Party to benefit the Grassroots Shelter. Attendees received a hand-made tea cup and treats made by the National Art Honor Society and the school’s Culinary Arts Department.  The event raised $675. We are proud of our students’ service to their community.  Thank you to Mrs. Miers-Bond, Mr. Sinn, and Ms. Dawe for their dedication to the students and their extracurricular activities.

Another group to whom we would like to give thanks is our Madrigals.  For the last couple of days, Mr. Aucoin and his students have been traveling around the county bringing good cheer and entertaining people in different venues.  They are loved by all and bring a smile to the faces of everyone who hears them sing.

Congratulations to Members of Girl Scout Troop 794, all of whom are freshmen at Marriotts Ridge High School.  They received their Silver Girl Scout Awards this past summer.  We are proud of Amaris Hester, Vivian Stewart, Emily Morton, Brianna Sloan, Breanne Yencha, Gabby Murphy; and front row, Samantha Ichniowski, Danielle Bacon, Brianna Galt, Gabby Spenard and Varsha Pudi.  Their projects ranged from a pet and horse rescue project to work with Angel's Touch Assisted Living.  Some of the girls worked on a project for Howard County Drug-Free and others volunteered at Small Miracles Cat and Dog Rescue. Two of the students also worked with the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company on a project about strong women in history.  Once again, our students are using the gift of giving to better the lives of others.

Congratulations to Mrs. Spruill and our dancers who performed at the Dance Concert last Friday.  They worked extremely hard to provide us with a great show, and the audience was not disappointed.   The dance concerts at MRHS are truly spectacular; if you haven’t seen one, you should put it on your calendar for next year.  Mrs. Senisi, our new Assistant Principal, was amazed by the talent and the concert and, in particular, the choreography.  We have tremendous talent at MRHS.  Thanks for a job very well done.

This week, we enjoyed the two Winter Concerts.  On Wednesday evening, we heard the Percussion Ensemble, String Orchestra, Concert Band, Advanced Women’s Ensemble, and Madrigal Singers.On Thursday evening, we heard from the Beginning Treble Choir, Men’s Choir, Mustang Chorale, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra.  Of course the evening concluded with a beautiful rendition of the Halleluiah Chorus from Messiah.  Congratulations to our Allstate members: Elise Ahn, Odette Yang, Anson Chen, Austin Chiang, Courtney Loeb, Elisabeth Degenford, Niklas Schnake, Dan Degenford, Isaac Kim, Gabby Murphy, Alexandra Ostrander, Matthew Zheng, Ben Giroux, Sophie Lan, Rachel Choi, Davin Hong, Anglica Kim, Yoo-Jean Han, Benjamin Lee, Aaron Chiu, Yvin Hong, Karen Hao, Timm Ahn, Vinnie Parikh, David Stephens, Allison Howard, William McIntyre, Samuel Lam, Davin Park, Danika Lee, Samantha Ichniowski, Christine Kim, Diana Nam, Julia Choi, Pooja Swaminathan Abeku Abercrombie, , Duncan Tilles, Ashley Park, Lauren Ruetsch, Jeny Song, Abigail Starks, Isabella Stevens, Johanna Alonso, Chrissy Benton, Lucy Park, Zach Altenburg, Brian Jang, David Seaburg, Zach Seals, and Brian Huntley.  As a way to support the Music students and program, you can purchase fresh picked Florida citrus; the order deadline is Friday, January 8th with a delivery date of Saturday, January 23.  You can order online at  If you still want to hear music, join our students and staff at the Jazz Cabaret on December 22 at 7:00 p.m. or at the Chorale Cluster Concert on January 8.

Over the past couple of weeks, the administrators also attended many athletic events.  We have been attending basketball games, wrestling matches, and allied bowling tournaments.  In the near future, we will attend indoor track too.  Congratulations to our wrestlers who beat Long Reach on Thursday and good luck to our track team who will soon be competing at the HOCO Challenge.  Congratulations to our basketball teams on their victories.  Thanks to all of the MRHS coaches and student athletes for representing MRHS quite well.

While we celebrate our larger groups and teams, we also celebrate the achievements of individual students.  Congratulations to Khari Gardner and Jared Kagel who took 2nd and 3rd place in the high school division of the Howard County Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission Essay Contest.  Mr. Brandel and the administration will be honoring these two boys next week.  We are proud of their work and ready to hear their essays.

Congratulations to the following ninth grade students who were celebrated by the Howard County Public School System and The Council of Elders of the Black Community at an Evening of Academic Excellence:  Samantha Braddy, Donte Cain, Joshua Cooksey, Isabelle Duroseau, Delaney Haggins, Amaris Hester, Jacqueline Hiett, Benhamin Huntley, Olanrewaju Ifaloye, Sheridyn Rouse, Alyssa Scott, Brianna Sloan, Azaria Smith, and Tyler Wise.  Thank you to Mrs. Senisi and Mrs. Little for attending the celebration.

Congratulations to Greta Li who was nominated by Mrs. McCabe for December Student-of-the-Month.   According to Mrs. McCabe, Greta Li is an outstanding Mustang!  An honor student who is enrolled in four AP classes this year, she nevertheless has the time and energy to lead the Key Club as its President, serve as Treasurer of Class Council,  as Team Captain/President of Science Olympiad, and section leader in Marching Band. Greta is also a co-president of Relay for Life, and she is a member of four honor societies: NHS, Math, French, and Tri-M.   As President of Key Club she has done a great job of involving more members in the running of the club and organizing our membership, meetings and events.  We had all of our dues collected and organized to qualify for recognition for Early Bird Membership this year, for the first time.   Under Greta´s leadership we have also just launched our biggest fund-raising campaign ever and are hoping to raise $2K for Kiwanis-Project Eliminate, which would qualify us for recognition at the District Convention.  Greta deftly handles all of her obligations, and always does it cheerfully. Congratulations to Greta and her family.

Congratulations to Marriotts Ridge Senior, Christopher Simpson.  Christopher attended an empowering science and leadership experience he had at Q?rius, an interactive Science Center inside the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  He volunteered approximately 300 hours since the summer of 2014 as a Q?Crew teen and Ambassador.  Q?Crew is a volunteer group comprised of a dynamic group of teen volunteers who use communication and technology to engage with thousands of youth visitors from around the world, as well as peers from different school districts and types. Q?Crew interact with the public through facilitating hands-on activities, exploring collections objects, and discover carts in exhibit halls. Q?Crew members have the opportunity to learn various skills in science communication, activity development, and community outreach.  One of the museum donors found Q?rius so valuable that she donated $13 million dollars to the program.

Congratulations to Mr. Aucoin, Choral Director; he is the latest recipient of the Silver Mustang.  Ms. Adams, the previous recipient wrote, It is with pleasure that I pass along the Silver Mustang to my colleague Scott Aucoin.  This is Scott’s second year on faculty here at MRHS after completing his student teaching here as well. His infectious positive attitude, dedication and long hours, and un-wavering support both to students and staff are why this professional is such an asset to our Marriotts Ridge community.  His unbridled enthusiasm and passion for teaching and learning is evident every day.  As a first year teacher last year, Scott stepped up without hesitation or complaint to assist the fine arts department when one of our own battled illness. This year he continues to shine and he students achieve above and beyond.  I am so proud to work along aside him and even more proud to call him a friend.  

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break and a very happy new year.  May 2016 bring you and your families health, happiness, and peace.


Addie Kaufman, Principal