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posted: Wed, Apr 27th, 2016

Student competes in geography state finals

Eighth-grader Stephen Goodyear recently represented Mount Olive Middle School in the New Jersey finals of the National Geographic Bee and finished seventh overall. Stephen won the school bee and his high score on a qualifying exam allowed him to advance to the state tournament at Rowan University where he competed against more than 100 other students. No other student in MOMS history has placed as high as Stephen did.

“It was a great experience meeting people who have the same likes and interests as me,” said Stephen. "I learned a lot from the other kids and I was able to connect with them really easily.”

Matt Hansen and Josh Lindeblad, social studies teachers and advisers of the school’s geography club, helped Stephen prepare for the state competition. They peppered him with questions from various quiz websites and provided him with a study guide prepared by National Geographic.

“Stephen is a terrific young man,” said Mr. Hansen. “He’s a history buff and naturally picked up a lot of things that we went over in the geography club. We’re all very proud of him and the way he represented Mount Olive.”

Celebrating the arts

Sixth-grader Izzie Alvarez was recently named the middle school winner in the annual student art contest sponsored by Morristown’s Mayo Performing Arts Center. Izzie’s original artwork, along with the three high school level winners, will appear on program covers this spring.

The performing arts center announced the winners and unveiled giant posters of the winning artwork at a reception in the center’s art gallery. This year’s theme was “Celebrate the Arts!” 







Karen Killen holds her award next to co-teacher Stephanie Tarnowski

A teacher who rocks

Karen Killen rocks.

WDHA (105.5 FM) and the New Jersey Education Association recently honored the sixth grade social studies teacher in the Teachers Who Rock awards. The annual program recognizes educators who make a significant impact on the lives of students. 

Stephanie Tarnowski co-teaches classes with Ms. Killen and nominated her for the award. The two teachers have worked with each other for 16 years, first at Tinc Road Elementary School and the last five at MOMS.

“Karen's enthusiasm and incredible work ethic, along with her ability to connect with all students, makes her one of the most incredible educators I have worked with,” said Ms. Tarnowski. “She inspires me and our students each day. I absolutely love working alongside her, and I am constantly learning from her. Our students often claim that social studies is their favorite class, and I know that this is due to Karen's dedication and hard work, and her ability to make every single student feel intelligent and cared for.” 

Ms. Killen first learned of her award when the announcement was made on WDHA. Ms. Tarnowski used a cover story about her son’s basketball team being mentioned on the air as the reason to keep the radio on during class. 

Ms. Killen received her award at a banquet at Casa Bianca in Oak Ridge with the other teachers recognized in the program.

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Mount Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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Phone: 973.691.4006 Fax: 973.691.4029

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