Points of Pride
Geisler Middle School is proud of its students and staff!
Honor Roll students who received 3.0 GPA or higher were celebrated with certificates and special recognition. There were 136 GMS students who earned a 4.0 GPA, 161 students who earned at least a 3.5, and 162 students who earned at least a 3.0. These students were recognized in May with a special honors assembly and field day.
This year more than 60 students took the qualifying exam to compete in the You Be the Chemist challenge held at Oakland University. Geisler Middle School sent a team of five students from the 7th and 8th grade. Our students competed against other students from throughout Oakland County, including students from Detroit Country Day and Cranbrook. One of our students, Jyotsna Joshi qualified and earned 4th place for the State of Michigan competition.
America and Me Essay Contest - Geisler Middle School has been participating in the America and Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance, for more than two decades. Geisler students, Ankita Rao, Riley Barry, and Sachi Arora placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Ankita Rao was also the Spelling Bee winner this year.
Avery Colvin and Jyotsn Joshi both took first place, in their specific genres in the State Forensics competition, held in December, 2013. Jyotsn also won the Geography Bee this year, coached by Mr. Tom Weddell.
The 8th Grade Washington D.C. Trip – Devon Meyer and Carolyn Hudson organized the trip to Washington, D.C. on April 30 - May 3, 2014, and it was a huge success! Four deluxe motor coaches transported over 200 students and a wonderful staff of chaperones on this excursion that included tours of the Capitol, the Pentagon, the White House and many historical museums and memorials.
Geisler Math Club aims to spark interest in students about competitive math by having weekly classes where we learn, prepare and practice for the Math Counts competition. Geisler Math Club is modeled after the Math Counts Club program. Geisler students also participated in AMC 8 competition.
GMS is excited to share that they have now been recognized with a National Junior Honors Society chapter, and they officially welcomed the first class of 7th and 8th grade students in a beautiful induction ceremony. NJHS participated in many outreach programs including fundraisers for St. Baldricks and jeans collections for the needy.
Our community partnership with Nissan Motors for our Vex Robotics team allowed 15 of our students to participate and achieve high marks in four competitions this year, and a robotics camp in August.
Expanded Laptop Program - in an effort to encourage a one-to-one ratio for student technology, we have expanded our laptop program. Next year our school will be a Bring Your Own Device school, infusing technology throughout all grade levels and subject areas.
Over 500 students participated in instrumental or choral music. This year 10 students composed and conducted original compositions in concert. Forty-two band students participated in solo and ensemble competition, and 25 students participated in Fiddle Club.
GMS is very proud of its school musical, Hairspray, Jr. The cast of 55 students and crew were outstanding and the talent of the students was amazing. Kathy Booker, 6th Grade English teacher, produced and directed the musical, assisted by music teachers Ryan Dawley and Pam Helm. The musical ran for three consecutive evenings to standing room only crowds!
Twenty students participated in the 17th annual Walled Lake Schools K-12 Student Art Exhibition that was on display May 28-31, 2014. GMS art was featured on the promotional material for the exhibition, and one student’s work, Alex Bezvik, was selected to be featured at the Walled Lake Administration Building.
On Saturday, May 17, the 7th & 8th grade band and orchestra students, and the 6th, 7th & 8th grade choir students participated in the Music in the Parks Festival at Cedar Point. All three ensembles received superior ratings.
Once again, the GMS Variety Show was a huge success! Thanks to Ms. Booker and the cooperation of this great staff, we were able to perform the show four times! We were fortunate to have exciting and talent-filled acts that included singing, dancing, baton twirling, pianists and other instrumentalists. The staff performance to, “What da Fox Say?” was quite a surprise as the grand finale!
Geisler Students: A Community of Character
Upstanders – This is a peer mentoring group trained specifically in strategies to end peer mistreatment in social settings. The Upstanders group participants had the opportunity to learn about how peer mistreatment begins, and often goes undetected or unidentified until someone stands-up for a peer, rather than just acting as a by-stander. This group will also launch a positive peer intervention group to assist in peer conflict resolution.
Peer Mentoring - The 8th to 6th grade peer mentoring group was a huge success. Over 30 students participated, allowing 8th grade students to develop relationships with struggling 6th graders and assist them in skills like organization and studying.
Celebrating Earth Day - Seventh graders went outside to pick up the grounds on April 22 in recognition of Earth Day.
GMS students grossed just over $2,600 for the American Heart Association during the Hoops for Heart Basketball Tournament and Dodge Ball for Heart Tournament.
Random Acts of Kindness Club is a new student-initiated and student-led group who strive to do anonymous good works for others. Some of the initiatives of this club included writing thank you cards for bus drivers, teachers and staff, supporting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to make flannel blankets to donate to Mott’s Children’s Hospital, and serving food at a soup-kitchen. In addition, these students created a hand-made valentine to place on every student’s locker on Valentine’s Day.
The Green Team is a student-led group that moved GMS to an EVERGREEN status this year!! Through the leadership of this team, our group increased our level of recycling, is planning an outdoor learning area and habitat, and will be adopting an animal to support at the Detroit Zoo.
Diversity Journeys is a group of students, under the direction of teacher Carol Kravetz, who visit places of worship to learn more about our neighbors in our community. This activity was possible in part, due to the generosity of the Foundation for Excellence.
Student Leadership worked hard after school on May 22 to clean-up the school grounds and plant flowers around the flag pole. This beautification project prepared Geisler for a very special Flag Day celebration shared with the Walled Lake American Legion.
St Baldrick’s - This year, several students at Geisler Middle school shared with their peers what it means to demonstrate community and service by shaving their heads at the Saint Baldrick’s foundation annual fundraiser supporting the education and research of childhood cancer. Geisler Middle School is proud to have students of extremely high character be a part of our learning community demonstrating the importance of how one person can make a difference.
Fuel Up to Play 60! Thanks to the efforts of teacher, Mrs. Greaves and parent, Mrs. Tallman, our school received a grant to purchase a breakfast kiosk to make buying breakfast more convenient. As a result of their hard work, 25% more of our students are starting their day with a full belly and an energized brain. After school, students are remaining active by participating in FIT club, which has been a challenge considering the extended winter this year.
Due to the combined efforts of these and other student groups, GMS has been awarded a National Promising Practice award from the Character Education Partnership.
Geisler Middle School offers many athletic teams for all three grade levels throughout the year. These include, football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, wrestling, co-ed swimming, cross-country, track, and cheerleading. Geisler athletics was almost evenly split with 157 female participants and 156 male participants. Geisler also was proud of its 60 scholar-athlete nominees. This year Geisler enjoyed undefeated seasons in both wrestling and 8th grade girls’ basketball. In addition, eighth grader, Sophia Colvin was the Oakland County champion in the high jump event. Finally, our beloved Coach Dan Ristau was honored by the Michigan Football Coaches Association as the Middle School Coach of the Year.
Caring, dedicated staff members
Cyrena Keating, GMS 8th grade English teacher, was voted 2014 Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Keating is loved by the students, staff and parent, and is a very proud member of James R. Geisler Middle School staff. Mrs. Keating exemplifies all that this honor stands for in everything she does both personally and professionally. Mrs. Keating has been teaching in Walled Lake since 2002 and has been at Geisler Middle School the entire time. Students are excited to be placed in her class, as the word is out that she is a dynamite teacher! Finding ways to reach students of varying abilities, Mrs. Keating makes herself available to her students, before, during, and after school. Mrs. Keating has a great love for teaching, and students are drawn to her. Mrs. Keating’s car is always one of the first in the parking lot. She is an enthusiastic, friendly, confident, dependable, organized, goal oriented, knowledgeable, real, caring, and compassionate person. Mrs. Keating is a great role model for both students and staff, possessing professional integrity, and always a warm smile to greet her students. Mrs. Keating’s professional goals include pushing herself to be an effective leader. She just completed an Ed Specialist degree in Leadership, and is excited about her participation in Galileo, and that our district provides this opportunity for our teachers. Mrs. Keating exemplifies the term, “teacher-leader.”
Geisler Middle School is proud of its students and staff! (continued)
Study Buddy Tutoring – Our student teachers organized a Tuesday and Thursday after-school program which offered tailored academic assistance and enrichment to several GMS students including English Language Learners. The tutoring mentoring efforts by additional staff have been very effective increasing overall grade point averages and Benchmark Assessment scores for students. This program was for “serious learners” needing homework assistance, organization, test-taking skills, study techniques, or enrichment in Math, English, Social Studies, Science and Encore, including Spanish.
Parents and the school community working together
Family Math & Science Night – Walled Lake School District Outdoor Center was instrumental in setting up 20 activities focusing on math and science concepts for participants to actively engage in. GMS students, parents and 5th graders from our feeder elementary schools (Hickory Woods, Guest, andMeadowbrook) were invited to participate in this delightful and educational evening.
Geisler Community Night- Geisler is committed to reaching out to parents in partnership. Therefore we offered various community nights to help educate parents regarding child development, school strategies, technology and internet safety. In addition, GMS hosted a special night for Spanish speaking families, where this information could be shared in the family’s native language for ease in communication.
PTSA – Our Parent organization is active and has supported MANY efforts this year. If you see it, PTSA has their hand in it.
A newly formed African American Parent Network looks forward to bringing many programs to benefit and inform all students and families next year as we continue to connect our community. Although this is a Walled Lake family initiative, the GMS family is an active and founding part of it.