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HMS News and Information

End Of School Year Message from Ms. Patillo


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Honors & Awards 2019-2020
In recognition of their hard work and achievement this school year, please use the links below to see the lists of students who earned and received special honors and awards! Awards are listed by student in alphabetical order.
Spring Musical Performances 
Due to COVID-19 our HMS Spring Musical production was cancelled!  
But it can't stop the creativity of our talented students!  
Please CLICK HERE to visit our Spring Musical page to view some home grown videos of our students' performances with introductions by Mr. Duncan! 
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Science Fair Honors Award Winner!
Congratulations to HMS 8th grader Christine Olsen for receiving the Honors Award at the Georgia State Virtual Science Fair held in April!   Her project is titled "What is the Safest Way to Cook Chicken?"  Check out her video presentation: 
Yearbook Sales 
There is still time to purchase a 2019-2020 HMS Yearbook! They were completed just before the school closures and have been sent to the printers.  And, there is still time to purchase one. They are $50 and you have until May 15th to place your order. Visit to make a purchase.  Please be aware that the distrubution schedule has been delayed so please stay tuned for possible pick up days over the summer!
Virtual Learning Daily Schedule 
CLICK HERE to view and download the updated HMS Virtual Learning Daily Schedule.   
Virtual Learning Support 
Click the link above to access the Virtual Learning Support page. 
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Help Desk Number

Need help with the Virtual Learning Tools?  Call the Dekalb County School District Help Desk at 678-676-1188.

COVID-19 School Closure
Dear Henderson Middle School Family,

As we are experiencing school closure due to COVID-19, teachers will provide students with virtual learning assignments that are content-specific and relevant beginning March 16, 2020 until further notice.  Each assignment will be aligned to the standards and what students are currently learning.  Access to the virtual learning activities will be made available to students through the VERGE platform.

Here are some helpful links:

CLICK HERE to download information on student access to VERGE 
CLICK HERE or information on obtaining free WIFI access   

Finally, parents please make sure that you check the District website daily for the latest updates.  The link for the District's webpage is listed below and includes the latest meal sites for "Grab and Go" meals for students.  Also, please make sure that your updated email address is within the Infinite Campus portal so that you receive the many School Messenger emails that will be sent to parents during the school closure.

CLICK HERE  for the link to the District's webpage.
Rochelle Patillo
Henderson Middle School 
DCSD Virtual Job Fair
During this time of school closure and the COVID-19 pandemic, DCSD will hold a virtual job fair for all interested applicants.  Please CLICK HERE for more information.
Educational Websites
Now that our students have been issued individual Chromebooks, here is a list of educational websites for families compiled by the Georgia Department of Education.  CLICK HERE for more information.
HMS Title I Stakeholder Survey
Please CLICK HERE to access the Title I Stakeholder Input Survey.
STEM Competition Opportunities
Please use the links below to download information about upcoming STEM related competitions:
eCybermission:  proposing solutions for real community issues
Future City Competition:  Clean Water - Tap into Tomorrow 

 HMS Good News!

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Congrats to our HMS Odyssey of the Mind Team
The HMS Odyssey of the Mind team competed at the North Georgia Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament recently placing 1st in their Long-Term Problem and 4th overall, narrowly missing, by less that 1%,  their opportunity to compete at State. Team members were: Julia Barker (7th), Elijah Bedinger (6th), Savannah Bedinger (8th), Nathan Kvicala (6th), Ella Shevlin (7th), Shane Spillett (7th), and Ben Zajac (7th).
Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program where team members work together at length to solve a predefined long-term problem—involving various elements of theatrical performance, construction, and design—and a short-term, spontaneous, think-creatively-on-the-spot element. Learn more at .
HMS Students Advance to State Science Fair!
Congratulations to the following HMS Science Fair participants for advancing to the state science fair in Athens, GA:
  • Hannah Choy – Recycling: Quantity or Quality? 
  • Monica Mistry – Are Household Detergents A More Effective DNA Extraction Buffer? 
  • Christine Olsen – What is the Best Way to Cook Chicken?  
  • Evan George – Eco-Friendly or Not? Ask the Worms
The state science fair will be held Thursday, March 26 through Saturday, March 28. 
Congratulations and best wishes at state! 
Go Cougars!
Science Olympiad Team Takes 1st Place!
Congratulations to our HMS Science Olympiad Team for taking 1st Place honors at the regional competition held on February 29th at Oconee County High School.  The team competed against 18 other teams and brought home 30 medals!  The team collectively received fourteen 1st Place medals, four 2nd Place, six 3rd Place, and six 4th Place medals!  The team now moves on to the State Competition to be held on March 21st.  Students winning medals inlcuded:  Hanna Choy, Habin Yoo, Ishaan Marwaha, Haaven Siye, Alice Gustafson, William Han, Henry Fonder-Kristy, Nahom Samuel, Joshua Kho, Abbey Arrowood, Sherya Chatterjee, Preshika Chhetri, Clare Rollins, Jiya Shah, Cassie Hopper. 
Go Cougars! 
HMS Soccer Teams Video Conference with Walker Zimmerman
Henderson Middle School’s girls’ and boys’ soccer teams had the opportunity to video conference LIVE with Walker Zimmerman, Center Back for Nashville SC.  Zimmerman is perhaps the premier player in U.S. Major League Soccer. During the 45-minutes’ conversation, he provided some training tips including daily Monday – Friday before-a-game tips. One of his training tips: “To be the best, you have to work harder and longer than everyone else.” His tips for developing an overall winning strategy included – “Winning at soccer is cerebral. You don’t have to be the fastest or strongest but you do have to think two or three steps ahead of everyone else. To be a successful team your focus has to be on helping everyone else succeed.” Every student who wanted to ask a question had the opportunity to ask the question and Walker answered every question.  The event was coordinated through the Direct to Discovery program and was held on February 25th, 2020.  Thanks goes out to Mr. Chambers and Coach Q for providing this opportunity for our HMS Soccer Team!
The HMS CougarBots recently took 3rd Place out of 26 teams at the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics league championship.  The competition, held on January 25, consisted of both middle and high school teams. Congratulations to the team for such an impressive achievement in their rookie season! The CougarBots members are HMS students Andrew Bitsko, Caeli Mistretta, Darby Marsh, Emory Kennett, Graham Hege, Jake Grant, Logan Kokoth, Nahom Berhe, Nathan Mowinski, Sam Hershner, and Will Petrich.  Go Cougarbots!
Congrats HMS Reading Bowl Team!
Congratulations to our HMS Reading Bowl team for taking 3rd Place honors at the Metro Atlanta Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl held on February 8th, 2020 at Clayton State University.  This follows our 1st place win at the DeKalb Competition.  Great job to all our HMS Reading Bowl Club and Team members for making this a great reading bowl season! 
HMS Student to serve on DCSD Advisory Board

Congratulations goes to Katelyn Haynes on Team 8C.   Katelyn has been selected to be the Student Advisory Board Representative at the May 11th Board of Education Meeting to be held at the school district's headquarters at 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard in Stone Mountain.  This is indeed an honor for Katelyn and Henderson Middle School.  There is only one Student Advisory Board Representative slated to serve for each Board of Education meeting and Katelyn will be seated with and preside over the meeting along with the full Board of Education and the District Superintendent.  The meeting will be shown on May 11th through a variety of means, including the DeKalb Schools TV channel.  Access this channel by using the DeKalb County School District website and clicking on Communications.  Way to go, Katelyn!!!  We, at HMS, are all proud of you!!! 

Greenhouse Grant
Henderson Middle School thanks our HMS Foundation for assisting Mr. Purdy and our Eco-Avengers Club in securing a grant from the Clorox Foundation for a greenhouse at HMS!  To find out more about the HMS Foundation, including upcoming meetings, please visit
HMS Reflections Regional Winners!
Congratualtions to the following Henderson Middle School Students for winning at the DeKalb Regional Reflections fine arts contest.  They now advance to the State Competition:
6th Grade 
Andrew Ladzinske- 1st place, Film and Video
Elijah Bedinger- 1st place, Literature
7th Grade
Katie Sanio- 1st place, Dance Choreography
Whitman Buechner- 1st place, Film and Video
Mary Lily Brass- 1st place, Photography
8th Grade 
Sophia Hook- 1st place, Film and Video
Maya Romanelli- 1st place, photography
Alexia Spetseris- 2nd place, photography 
Congrats HMS TSA
This past October, Henderson’s Technology Student Association attended Tech Day at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia.  Our students competed against thousands of other students across the State of Georgia in various competitions.  Henderson’s TSA placed in the top ten in 3 of the competitions.  Nate W. and Jesus P. placed 5th in the Structural Design Challenge.  They competed against middle school students as well as high school students to design and construct a stool made entirely of cardboard that could withstand a specific amount of weight. Program Promotion also placed 5th.  TSA members involved in this category included Chloe F., Ashley G. and  Betsy F.  Way to go Cougars!!
Disc Golf at HMS!
The HMS staff and administrators would like thank our HMS Foundation for providing the wonderful Disc Golf equipment for use by our physical education teachers.  Coach Morrison has now implemented Disc Golf within our Physical Education curriculum and it is available to our students.  We send a big THANK YOU to our Foundation for your continuing support of our students! 
Congrats Academic Bowl Team
Congratulations to our HMS Academic Bowl Team for taking 2nd Place honors at the DeKalb County PAGE Academic Bowl Tournament held on Saturday, November 2nd.  Coached by Mr. Bell, the team will move on to the regional tournament om December.  Go Cougars! 
HMS Reflections Winners
Congratulations to our HMS PSTA Reflections Arts contest winners for 2019-2020:
7th grade- 1st place- Katie Sanio, “Dreaming of the Golden Girl” 

7th grade- 1st place- Mary Lily Brass, “Tiny Bubbles”
8th grade- 1st place- Maya Romanelli, “Look Within”
8th grade- 2nd place- Alexia Spetseris, “Inside Myself”

6th grade- 1st place- Andrew Ladzinske, “Look Within Your City”
7th grade- 1st place- Whitman Buechner, “Look Within”
8th grade- 1st place- Sophia Hook, “Look Within”

6th grade- 1st place- Ana Flores Martinez, “Untitled”
6th grade- 2nd place- Nathan Mowinski, “Never Judge A Book By Its Cover”
7th grade- 1st place- Jake Hinkel, “A World Within”
7th grade- 2nd place- Katie Sanio, “The Eyes Are Windows To the Soul”
7th grade- 3rd place- Julia Barker, “Make Sure You Know Who You Know”
8th grade- 1st place- Katelyn Haynes, “The Broken Smile”
8th grade- 2nd place- Savannah Spires, “Looking Within”

8th grade- 1st place- Alexia Spetseris, “Look Within”
8th grade- 2nd place- Kendall Lewis, “Something New”
8th grade- 3rd place- Natalie Graves, “Weep My Love”
8th grade- Honorable Mention - Maya Romanelli, “Time”

Congratulations to all winners!  1st and 2nd place winners will advance to regionals in November.
Congrats HMS Volleyball Team
Congratulations to the Henderson Middle School Volleyball team for winning 1st place in the Henderson Cougar Classic. Thank you to all the players for an outstanding season!! Go Cougars!! 
Art Star Hall of Fame
Congratulations goes to former HMS and current Lakeside High School student Rachel Selemani whose artwork titled "In Full Bloom" was selected for the 2019-2020 DCSD Art Star Hall of Fame Award.  Rachel created her artwork while at Henderson Middle School!  
Courtyard Dedication
Did you know that Henderson Middle School used to be Henderson High School?  The Henderson High School Alumni Association recently installed a dedication plaque in our school courtyard commemorating the original dedication of the courtyard in 1972.  The courtyard was constructed in memory of classmate Sinda Paige Jones by the HHS classes of 1970, 1971 and 1972.  Thank you to the Henderson High School Alumni Association for helping keep the Cougar spirit alive at Henderson Middle School!
HMS Receives Lowe's Toolbox Grant!
Henderson Middle School was recently awarded a $2,000 Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant.  The grant was awarded to the school from the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation to help with projects that fall into the following categories:  technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations and safety improvements.  Henderson Middle School will use the grant to establish an innovation lab (Makerspace) where students will have access to robots and STEM tools.
WSB-TV Features HMS Stop Bullying Campaign!
 Henderson Middle School had a great culmination to our week long anti-bullying campaign (October 22nd -October 26th).  Students wore different color t-shirts  to represent a different aspect of our anti-bullying campaign.  Students participated in a door decorating contest, created anti-bullying posters, and some of our students met with news anchor, Sophia Choi, from WSB-TV Channel 2 News.  It was a great week of activities and the excitement level was high.  
Ms. Patillo sends a special "thank you" to Ms. Jennifer Morris, Ms. Eliscia Brooks, Mr. Robert Mason, the HMS Student Council, the WHMS News Crew, and the Henderson MS PTSA.  They all did a wonderful job in making this week a big success.  
Be sure to  look for our student council students to be featured on a  special news segment on anti-bullying efforts in public schools throughout the state of Georgia. The segment is scheduled to air November 12th on the 5pm and 6pm news broadcasts on WSB-TV.
District Events
School Hours
School Day
Student Drop Off
No earlier than 8:25am
(Doors open at 8:25am)
Upcoming Events @ HMS

For more info about our school, click below to access our PTSA website! 

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