Morse has been a very busy place over the past several weeks. It is amazing how quickly a school year can get underway and pick up steam. The overall energy level with faculty and students has been high and positive this year. With 43 school days over nine weeks behind us, we have a lot to reflect on and be proud of, as well as a lot of goals which we can continue to focus on.
Our AP Exam scores are in for last school year and Morse students continued our tradition of excellence. We had 23 students earning AP Scholar designations. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on their AP exams. Four students earned AP Scholar with Distinction Awards by earning an average score of 3.5 or greater on all exams. Seven students earned an AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of 3.0 or higher on their exams. We had one National AP Scholar, who earned an average score of 4.5 on all exams. Congratulations to these motivated, smart, and hard-working students and teachers for their accomplishments.
We administered the PSAT test to (almost) all of our students in grades 9, 10, and 11 on October 10th. We hope to continue to grow post-secondary aspirations with the use of PSAT testing and score follow-up with students. Two of our current seniors, Elsa Bertlesman and Echo Griggs, earned a special recognition from the National Merit Scholar program based on their PSAT results from last school year.
Each year Morse has the opportunity to honor one member of the senior class with the designation of the DAR Good Citizen of the year. This award is based on scholarship, service, and character. Faculty members nominate seniors and the top three nominations are voted on by the class. It is my pleasure to announce that Sarah Berkowitz earned the 2018-19 designation of DAR Good Citizen of the Year!
Our very own senior class president, Mae Winglass, earned the honor of Citizen Involvement Youth Award this year from the City of Bath for all of the amazing things that she does in our school community. From our Unified Sports Programs to school government, athletics, and Shipbuilders Committed; Mae goes above and beyond in our school community and it was nice to see this well-deserved recognition.
Fall athletics have come to a close. Golf had a very successful season, with an undefeated regular season! Field Hockey just missed a playoff spot, while Soccer and Cross-Country completed their postseason last weekend. Football and cheering just completed their postseason on Friday night, just missing the semifinals.
As you may be aware, Morse has adopted a new academic eligibility policy that, among other things, is more frequent and immediate in both becoming ineligible and regaining eligibility. We have also adopted an official appeal process for the decision. Although this policy and practice are more laborious for the Athletic Director, the new policy appears more genuine and effective in maintaining a high bar for Morse athletes.
I am excited to report that we have re-started the Morse Math Team and they have already traveled to a competition. Similarly, we are able to support the Morse Debate team at a more significant level than has been possible in recent years. Our club offerings continue to expand each year; please encourage your student to get involved in a co-curricular opportunity.
Morse Drama is again off to a busy start: The Tempest debuted as the fall play last weekend. A fantastic rendition of traditional Shakespeare with a modern twist was performed on the stage of the Montgomery Theater; the cast and crew did a great job. MoHiBa auditions and practices are underway. MoHiBa never disappoints and always leaves me so impressed with the wide range of talent that exists in our student body. Morse will also bring an original student-written play written by Emily Minott to this year’s MPA One-Act Play Festival again this year. Bravo to the cast and crew!
Morse is currently hosting five interns from Bowdoin College, who are each working in a Morse teacher’s classroom this semester. Additionally, we have two student teachers from the University of Maine System working with Morse teachers on a daily basis. These internships or student-teaching placements are mutually beneficial and I am excited about the prospect of growing these partnerships in the years to come.
As you read through the pages of this edition of The Navigator, please do not miss the article covering the relatively new and concerning fad in teens: vaping. Like most things, it was a little late arriving to Morse, but I am very concerned with how fast this practice has become popular. Please do not assume that your student is immune to this new fad; I ask for your help in speaking with your students about the risks and consequences of vaping.
November 19th and 20th are parent-teacher conferences. I am always impressed by the number of parents who attend our conferences and meet with their student’s teachers. Please see the signup information inside of this edition of The Navigator.
Students, staff, and parents are really getting excited about the new Morse High School. It only takes a drive to the field complex to see some obvious progress on our future home. The planning process continues to get more and more detailed as the weeks progress and the plans get closer to final. We will miss this old building, but look forward to our new, beautiful home!
Eric J. Varney
Morse High School