Principal's Message from January

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 12:01pm

Dear Parents/ Guardians:

I hope you are all staying warm and enjoying the sunshine!  Of course, the change in weather seems to facilitate winter colds and the flu.  I continue to remind everyone to wash hands regularly and cough or sneeze toward the shoulder to minimize the spread of germs.  We keep hand sanitizer in the cafeteria and locker rooms, and many teachers have hand sanitizer in their rooms.  Let’s try to keep everyone healthy and happy this winter season. 

The month of January is eventful and includes mid-term exams.  Thank you to the teachers and Instructional Team Leaders who facilitated mid-term review sessions for ninth graders this week.  We know the importance of assisting our freshmen with study and organizational skills.  We wish all of our students success as they enter mid-term week.  Tuesday, January 19 will be a full day for all students.  Students will begin the day with a first period exam, which is 90 minutes, and move through the remaining portion of the day on a revised bell schedule.  On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday schools close 3 hours early.  There are no extracurricular activities on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with the exception of 1.5 hour conditioning practice for athletes.  On Wednesday, our students will take their period 2 and 3 exams with a break between exams; on Thursday, they will take periods 4A and 4B exams with a break between exams; on Friday, they will take periods 5 & 6 exams with a break between the exams.  Students are welcome to purchase food in the cafeteria during the break.  At this point in time, we are not expecting inclement weather; however, if the forecast changes, please refer to the High School Semester Exam information on our website. 

Although our students are dismissed early next week, the Glenwood Middle School (GMS) students will remain in our building for full days on Wednesday and Thursday.  Thank you to all of the staff members who have graciously received the staff and students from GMS.  The transition went smoothly and our student body is handling the addition of 195 eighth graders and relocation of some classes very well!  At this time, we know that the GMS students will remain at Marriotts Ridge for another week. 

The transition for our Glenwood visitors began on Monday.  Monday was also the day on which we shared the sad news about Mrs. Sally “Liv” Livingston.  My initial e-mail stated that the family would hold a private service; however, that information has since changed.  There will be a Celebration of Life at the Wilde Lake Village Center on January 30, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.  Students and staff are aware of the change.  Please join me in keeping Ms. Liv’s family in your thoughts and prayers and know that we will ensure that Ms. Liv’s legacy lives on.

Ms. Liv’s involvement at MRHS reached from the theater department to many other areas of the fine arts and core curricular classes.  Our extracurricular programs continue as we prepare for the Coffee House, Model U.N. Conference, Speech & Debate Tournaments, Dance Festival, and much more.  From the Choral Cluster Concert last Friday evening to our athletic events this weekend, our students continue to energetically participate in activities and perform well.  Over the course of this month, I’ve seen many parents at evening meetings and celebrated with parents at events such as the National Honor Society Induction.  This week I also had the opportunity to congratulate students at events such as the Science National Honor Society Induction.  Our dancers attended a state festival at Goucher College last week, and they will perform this weekend at the Howard County Dance Festival.  And, by the way, some of our staff members are also becoming dancers.  Mark your calendars to attend “Sruttin’ with the Staff” on February 11, 2016 at Centennial H.S.  This is a fundraiser to support the Bright Minds Foundation; it is a very worthy organization that directly impacts students and schools.  Should you attend, you will be entertained by Mr. Flynn, Mr. Beall, Mr. Romash, Mrs. Senisi, Mrs. Gaieski, Mrs. Goldzsmidt, Mrs. Ryal, Mrs. Valdesuso, and me.  There may even be a few other surprise guests.  Under the direction of our dance teacher, Mrs. Spruill, the staff dance team will perform to the music of Annie.  We can’t wait to see our parents and students support the staff!

Course Selection & Registration

Parents and students can also support our staff by ensuring that course requests for next year have been discussed, signed, and returned to Student Services.  To assist our students in making good choices for2016-2017, we offered our 1st Annual Challenge Yourself Week and Course Fair.  The 2016 Challenge Yourself Week & Course Fair was held last week from January 5 – 11.  During break each day, students attended sessions, run by our highly qualified teachers, and gathered information about courses they might be interested in taking next year.  The sessions and course fair enabled all students at MRHS to meet, interact, and communicate with various teachers at our school.  Throughout the week, teachers were available in designated classrooms; they offered information about their courses and answered questions related to the academic class and/or elective.  It was a productive and informative week for all Mustangs.

The Challenge Yourself Week & Course Fair was the precursor to the registration process.  Students were directed to visit teachers during the sessions and select courses for 2016-2017.  Subsequently, they were asked to bring the registration forms home and discuss the course selections with their parents/guardians.  It is my hope that you all had the opportunity to engage in serious discussions about the courses that your child is interested in taking next year.  The course registration sheets were collected on Tuesday, January 12 during third period.  During the month of February, counselors will meet with every student to conduct credit checks and review the course requests for next year.  If you have a question about a teacher’s recommendation, please contact the teacher.

If your child is still considering courses, you might want to know that Marriotts Ridge High School is now offering Teaching as a Profession GT, and Principles of Business as dual enrollment courses for college credit through Howard Community College.   Students may take the course entirely at MRHS.  Upon completion, students will receive 3 transferable credits from HCC.  The cost of the course is 40% off the price to take the course at HCC. 


Senior Information

While underclassmen were attending session, senior attended a meeting, assisted teachers with presentations, or participated in break.  Mrs. Rashid and I met with the seniors last week.  At that time, we shared information about graduation activities, memorabilia, and auditions for graduation speeches.  In English classes, seniors received directions for submitting speeches for Graduation and the Farewell Assembly; additionally, seniors had the opportunity to vote on their gown color.   Seniors who wish to submit a graduation speech must do so by February 12.  Submissions should be given to Mrs. Derwart in the Media Center.  The graduation committee comprised of the senior class sponsors, English teachers, the theater teacher and a counselor will read all submissions and rank them in order of strength.  The committee will select up to 10 semifinalists.  Those students will deliver their speeches orally in front of the graduation speech committee.  The committee will choose two finalists to speak at graduation and one or two students to speak at the Farewell Assembly.  If your child is interested in submitting a graduation speech, please ensure that the speech is submitted to Mrs. Derwart by February 12.  Semifinalists will audition on March 1. 

Student Activities

On Thursday, our Jazz Band headed to Towson University to participate in the Towson University Jazz Festival. They were joined by groups from all over the State, and performed for world-renowned jazz artists followed by a clinic session with the artists. Following the performances and clinics, the students attended master classes and learning sessions with the Towson jazz faculty ending with a concert by the guest artists.  They had a great time and learned a great deal!

Last Thursday, we also inducted approximately 145 students into the National Honor Society.  In the presence of Ms. Goldzsmidt, sponsor, and Mr. Krikorian, Mrs. Michael, and Mrs. Ryal, Faculty Council Members, students took the pledge and received their certificates for NHS membership.  The NHS Executive Officers ran the program; thank you to Matthew Ault, Garrison Ferrell, Mackenzie Hockensmith, and Ryan Tuma for a job well done.  Thank you to our musicians, Erica Chen, Mindy Kang, Sophie Moock, and Jina Park for performing at the beginning of the ceremony.  And thank you to Mr. Rahnama, Ms. Franklin, and Mrs. Senisi for attending this wonderful event.  Congratulations to all of the inductees and their parents and families.  Everyone should be very proud!

Last Friday, I attended the Choral Cluster Concert which included students from Manor Wood E.S., Waverly E.S., West Friendship E.S., Burleigh Manor M.S., Mt. View M.S., and Marriotts Ridge H.S.  Under the direction of all the choral teachers at all levels, our students performed beautifully and entertained a full house.

Last night, I attended the HCPSS Creativity Challenge: Working with Limitations at the Columbia Arts Center (6100 Foreland Garth, Long Reach Village Center).  Thank you to Mrs. Miers-Bond and Mr. Sinn, art teachers, who work with our students and facilitate their growth in art and photography.   Congratulations to Lina Alva, who created Watching; Kayla Bae who created Holiday and Wendy Yang who createdReveal.  You will find their work on MRHS Twitter or you can visit the Columbia Arts Center; the exhibit runs from now until January 31, 2016.

Today, approximately 100 U.S. History GT and AP students from Mr. Malt and Mr. McDonald's classes visited the University of Maryland in College Park to conduct research for National History Day projects at McKeldin and Hornbake Libraries.  Students worked with UMD librarians to explore various local primary sources in the collections at Hornbake Library and received instruction on locating scholarly sources in a university digital and print collection.  This is our third year partnering with UMD and we are grateful to their staff for giving our students this opportunity.

Thank you

Thank you to our friends at Win Kelly Chevrolet in Clarksville.  Under the direction of Mr. Seaboch, Win Kelly sponsored 2 MRHS families during the holidays this year.   This is the second year in which Win Kelly has sponsored MRHS families.  Thank you for your kind support.
To say that they were generous is an understatement.  The families were truly overwhelmed!


Congratulations to the cast and crew of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.  Stay tuned for updates on performance dates and times.

Congratualtions to Khari Gardner and Jared Kagel; they won 2nd and 3rd place in the high school category for the 2015-2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Essay contest.  The administration had the opportunity to hear Jared’s speech.  Mrs. Franklin, Assistant Principal, will celebrate with the students when they are recognized at the formal ceremony this Sunday at Howard Community College.

Congratulations to Garrison Ferrell who is our Student-Leader-of-the-Month for January.
According to Mrs. Goldzsmidt, Garrison has been an outstanding officer of the National Honor Society. Garrison is the primary administrator of the NHS Facebook page, and gets messages out to all 300 + members promptly and accurately. Garrison, along with his fellow NHS members, has been responsible for encouraging NHS to donate cans, and he has been a large part of organizing the NHS meetings.  Garrison has a 4.29 weighted GPA and is enrolled in 1 GT and 4 AP courses.  In addition, Garrison is a member of the Math National Honor Society and tutors three other students in Algebra. 

Congratulations to Jacob Hejeebu; he is our Athlete-of-the-Week.  According to Mr. Conley, He went 7-0 this weekend and was voted outstanding wrestler by the other coaches at the tournament.  He was also the pivotal match that lead us to defeating Oakland Mills and winning the tournament.  

Congratulations to our Varsity Wrestling Team and their coach, Jason Conley. According to Mr. Brown, As a result of today's matches, they won the Loch Raven Duals with 8 of our wrestlers winning championships. Included in today's matches was a 36-31 victory over Oakland Mills who is currently highly ranked. Congratulations to Jacob Hejeebu who was named the outstanding wrestler of the entire tournament.

Congratulations to the Marriotts Ridge Ice Hockey Team (a non-school sponsored activity).  The Marriotts Ridge Ice Hockey team is undefeated and anticipates playing in the Championship game.  Join me in wishing them luck as they continue in their season.

Congratulations to Julia Choi who finished 4th at the 2016 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships in the Intermediate Pairs event. As stated in the letter I received, This is an exceptional accomplishment she should be very proud of.  Julia and Aidan’s placement in the top four at their sectional championships earned them the right to compete at the 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The U.S. Figure Skating Championships are national championships and considered the most prestigious figure skating event held annually in the United States. Here, Julia and Aidan will compete against the other eleven teams that finished in the top four in Intermediate Pairs at their respective sectional championships. Join me in wishing Julia well as she continues to compete in US Figure Skating. 


HC Drug Free

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After School Programming

The Brains and Bodies at Work after school program is accepting new students.  The program offers teacher assistance in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.   PARCC and HSA prep classes begin soon. Bus transportation home is provided. Please email Ms. Burke for more information.

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend.  Enjoy your time with family and friends. 


Addie Kaufman, Principal