All About Me
Is being a middle school student sometime a lonely space? Yes, but the students at Hanover Central Middle School have found a place that helps erase the lonely and replace it with something bigger than themselves. Students are a part of a team every year they are at HCMS. Sixth graders are a part of the Ball State Cardinals, seventh graders are known as the Florida Gators and the eighth graders proudly represent the Fighting Irish or Notre Dame.
While the students participate throughout the year as teams, they began the year in Mrs. Ricci’s art class adopting the same team identities they will use school wide all year long. “From my perspective, being part of a team teaches the students invaluable lessons. It gives them a resource to fall back on. Their peers will hold them up, encourage them and support them,” said teacher Maggie Ricci. She uses a team approach for the very first project of the year, ‘All About Me.’ “It’s a writing and drawing assignment that I personally use to get to know my students better, but also for them to know they are important to me and to everyone else. The project involves students writing about their likes and interests, their families and their heroes and what they want to be when they grow up. Each student puts their own creative spin on their project. “This is a project everyone can do,” said Mrs. Ricci. “The first thing I usually hear after the sheet is passed out is, ‘Oh, I can’t draw people! I can only draw stick people! And I say, fine, maybe think about something you can draw and make that into a family.” Her advice triggers creativity and unique adaptations. One student represented their family as a school of fish, complete with one member in glasses.
After the assignment is done, the class shares their projects and gets to ask each other questions and students often realize that they have something in common with other class members. “My favorite part of this project is the connections it produces. When students see something on someone else’s project, like personal hardships, they see they are not alone,” said Mrs. Ricci. It’s all about fostering the feeling of teamwork, without losing individuality. “If they all work as a team they help each other to accomplish so much more, but most importantly they quickly realize how their actions affect everyone else,” she added.
All of the projects hang in the hallway outside of the art room where students can see that 6th grader Marissa Reid wants to be a dancer when she grows up and considers her mom and dad her heroes, or that 7th grader Anna Wilk loves pop music and snapchat. 8th grader Brenda Metcalfe loves unicorns and the 4th of July. So much to learn about every team and every student, but Mrs. Ricci puts it all into perspective; “They can do whatever they want to with assignment and it’s completely in their hands. This project is all about them.” Mrs. Ricci gave a big thumbs up to the 8th grade Fighting Irish overall.
“The Irish have it for this project, maybe because they’ve had some practice in the past, but mostly because thay are responsible and creative. I think they push themselves to improve and ‘one up,’ the versions of this project they’ve done in the past. I have a lot of faith in them. They are good role models for the rest of the school.”
Our HCMS teams will continue to make an impact on their school and each other and Mrs. Ricci will continue as one of their strongest cheerleaders.
Tony Hiatt is a native of Versailles, Indiana who currently resides in Kentland with his wife Sharon Riegle Hiatt. He has four children and eleven grandchildren. Mr. Hiatt brings impressive education and experience credentials to Hanover Central Middle School. He is a graduate of South Ripley High School, Purdue University, and Indiana Wesleyan. He has also earned additional credits from San Jose State, University of San Diego, University of Southern Colorado and Valparaiso University. Mr. Hiatt taught for 31 years in the South Newton school district.
During his years as a teacher Mr. Hiatt earned many accolades including Runner-up Indiana Teacher of the Year, Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, Purdue School of Science Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in K-12 Teaching and the Sigma Xi Purdue Science Research Society’s Outstanding Educator award. “None of these recognitions is as important to me as the satisfaction I get hearing from former students who have gone on to successful careers in science and thank me for having a significant impact on their lives,” said Hiatt.
Moving from the small South Newton school district, where he was Assistant Principal and Director of Technology, to take over the reins of the brand new Hanover Central Middle School in 2012 was an exciting challenge. “It has been four great years so far and I have been blessed with an outstanding staff,” says Hiatt. “I look forward to continuing to build on the great things we have already accomplished.”
His message to students stresses respect as a key element in improving any school’s success. Students should; “Respect themselves first and foremost, respect their fellow students, respect adults and teachers and respect the taxpayers who have made educational opportunities available to them.” Each day he reminds the students that “the choices you make today shape your world tomorrow.”
September Dates To Remember
September 2nd - Middle School Athletic Recognition Night - 6:30 p.m.
September 5th - Labor Day/No School
September 7th - Back To School Night - 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
September 8th - Picture Day
September 23rd - Chipotle Band Fundraiser
September 30th - Immunization Grace Period Ends
The health and safety of Hanover students is one of our highest priorities. Proof of appropriate vaccination/immunization(s) for all Hanover students is due before the student(s) first day of class. If the required proof is not received by Friday, September 30th, student(s) will not be allowed to attend classes until proof is received. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our health care professional, Patricia Talbot at email@example.com. Thank you.
The Hanover Central Athletic Department will host an informational meeting on Tuesday, August 16th at 6:30 pm in the Hanover Central High School cafeteria for all parents/athletes interested in competing in 5th grade volleyball or 5th/6th/7th/8th grade soccer this fall. This meeting will cover the season schedule and information required by the Catholic Youth Organization.
You Can Read Anywhere
Hanover Central Middle School students now have access to the ebooks in our collection. Click on the graphic below for complete instructions!