After the close of each semester, we come together as a community to celebrate the academic achievements of our students. At Tuesday's Academic Awards Assembly, Spanish teacher Señor Sheff spoke to students and faculty about his own intellectual journey from a "work in progress" to an educator. He spoke of his two grandfathers, who "in the absence of wealth or opportunity, sought to do their best in all they did, and that labor transformed their lives from something meager into something grand." Señor Sheff identified four keys variables that determine success in high school academics (and life): intellect, maturity, preparedness, and work ethic:
Among intellect, maturity, preparedness and work ethic, I assert that work ethic is the most important. It is so important because it can trump all of the other variables. If you could be a bit more intellectually mature, or could have been a bit more prepared, work hard. If subject matter escapes you, work hard. You may not achieve success or be recognized quickly. As was mine, the road towards your full intellectual self may have bends, bumps, and even an occasional 10-car pileup. Do not give up! Effective learners are lifelong learners, and you will do well not to lose sight of that. In your lives, hard work can also remedy most things. This is especially true in your lives at Middlesex. As my paternal grandfather wrote to me and my siblings in his memoir “I wish you all the best, but work for it. It does not come wrapped in tinsel.”
The assembly recognized work accomplished during the fall semester. There are two levels of Honors that Middlesex School bestows upon a student for a semester’s work: For a scholastic average of between 85 and 89.99, students are awarded “Honors.” The second level is "High Honors," for an average of 90 and above. In the fall 2012 semester, 177 students achieved Honors and 84 students made the High Honors mark. Additionally, 14 students received commendation for a semester average substantially above their previous best achievement while at Middlesex. A complete listing of all award winners is available here.
Over 1,500,000 juniors took the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying exam for the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Competition. Two of our seniors, Andrew Granato '13 and Simone Wahnschafft '13 are among 15,000 who have advanced to finalist standing in the competition. The announcement of the scholarship winners will begin later this spring.