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Posted: July 13, 2012 9:28 a.m.

Veterans Memorial faculty pushes students to be better

While academics are the main focus at Veterans Memorial Middle School, faculty and staff also make sure to push students into becoming good citizens and stewards in their community.

"The mission of Veterans Memorial Middle School is to educate the whole student socially, emotionally and educationally so that each can reach his/her optimal potential. Since opening in 2001, Veterans places a strong emphasis on citizenship and community service, while teaching the core subjects of language arts, math, science and social studies," said Principal James Peek.

"Veterans Memorial Middle School is an excellent school because we have an entire staff of people who are dedicated to ensuring that all students are equipped with the essential academic and character elements needed to be successful. There is also excellent camaraderie and collegiality among our staff. This has enabled us, over the years of existence, to maintain a positive school climate.

"The students at Veterans enjoy a wide range of activities and clubs to involve themselves. Some significant activities and clubs include, but are not limited to: Junior Beta; Generals 360 Publishing Club; GEMS (Girls Engaged in Meaningful Service); World Cultures Club. Additionally, students involved in the Literacy Days Competitions, Academic Bowls, and the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowls have been very successful. Student recognition programs such as Six Star Generals (students achieving all A's), Duke Talent, Student of the Month, Honor Band, Honor Chorus, Athletic Awards Night and Honors Night help us to recognize students for their outstanding individual and group performances. Finally, we recognize our staff by having drawings and catered food at various faculty meetings and trainings to highlight those teachers who go above and beyond to support student learning and achievement.

"We are truly proud of the successes that we have had at Veterans since opening the doors in 2001. Our motto has always been ‘Excellence is a Journey, Not a Destination.' Therefore, we will certainly embrace the educational challenges and journeys that lie ahead as we seek to provide educational excellence for all of our students."

Superintendent Gary Mathews said, "Veterans Memorial has certainly experienced success. By the time students reach the eighth grade, scores reach the mid-90s in language arts and the mid-80s in math. Having most recently earned Adequate Yearly Progress under the former NCLB, VMMS has shown sufficient progress for all subgroups served at the school with a student population that has more than a 60 percent free and reduced meal rate. VMMS is a place where teaching really matters. Principal James Peek and faculty are to be commended for the school's progress over the years. We look for even more progress going forward."

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