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Students performing

MSN and MSS eighth grade orchestras put on a truly splendid performance Nov. 21 at the Vernon Hills High School Eighth Grade Orchestra Festival! Former VHHS Orchestra Director, Frank Lestina, was featured as a guest conductor and led the students through impressive pieces, such as Symphony No. 5 by Schubert. Thank you so much to Samantha May and Jennifer Greenwell for their hard work and for making this possible!

band performing

The Middle School North and Middle School South Eighth Grade Pep Band had a lot of fun playing at the Vernon Hills High School football game on Friday night. The students did a great job and sounded fantastic.

Students using Google Viewers

Eighth grade students at Middle School South went on a VR trip to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum today via the Google Expeditions app. Students were able to see a wide assortment of areas, including the Memorial Hall, the Center Passage, Foundation Hall, the “In Memoriam” Wall, and the three part September 11, 2001 Exhibit. The Google Viewers were made possible through a grant from the Key to 73 Foundation.

students at Pep Rally

Middle School South’s Pep Rally on Friday featured several wonderful performances, contests and a guessing game involving the three retiring staff, Ms. Burton, Mr. Kleinschmidt and Mr. Gomez. The sixth-grade orchestra delivered a splendid rendition of “Crystal Moon” and the Guitar Club played a number of fast and fun pieces.

Cook Library Logo

Cook Library District recently announced the winners of the 13th Annual Creative Writing Contest. This year the contest had over 150 entries. Winning students and their families will attend a special event at the Aspen Drive Library to receive their certificates and copies of the library’s 10th edition of a journal with the winning entries. The winning students at Hawthorn Middle School South are as follows:

Colette K.: Aeternum
Orlando J.: Virginia, My New Home
Tyler P.: Five Minutes
Clara S.: The Sound of a New World
Aanya G.: A Second Chance for Humankind


The cast and crew of “Oklahoma” gave amazing performances last Friday and Saturday!  The performers truly brought their characters to life. After 29 successful years, a huge shout out to Mr. Kleinschmidt, as he directed his final musical.  A special thank you to the following staff for their dedication to our students and for providing them with a great extra-curricular experience:

  • Ms. Klein – music director and choreography 
  • Mr. Crandall – set construction
  • Ms. Baittie – costumes, makeup, hair
  • Ms. Wilgus – lights and sound
  • Ms. Corush – set painting 
  • Mr. Jaramillo – set design and t-shirts
Students rehearsing

Monday was a dress rehearsal for Middle School South’s production of “Getting to Know…Oklahoma”. Everyone helped each other as the performers put on makeup and got their hair in the right style. It was all smiles as students brought their characters to life on stage.

Students study the moon

Students in Ms. Humboldt’s class at Middle School South studied the phases of the moon. They worked in the dark with flashlights.

orchestra practicing

Directed by Samantha May, Middle School South’s sixth-grade orchestra practiced several pieces including the exhilarating piece, “Crystal Moon”. They sounded great. They will perform at the Middle School South Open House on May 16.

students create art works

Eighth grade students in Ms. Benton’s art class at Middle School South created works inspired by Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstract art. Whether the students were designing on a computer, painting clay bowls, drawing or painting on paper, Kandinsky’s bold style came through in their art work.

Students in Advisory

During Friday’s Advisory, students at Middle School South participated in different activities across grade levels to build self management skills.  Sixth grade discussed how social media affects their daily lives and worked on strategies to connect with others in safe and appropriate ways.   Seventh grade discussed peer pressure and demonstrated strategies on how to resist it through role playing activities.  Eighth grade watched Vernon Hills High School VIP (Voices in Prevention) students perform skits that addressed common problems that arise in high school.  Students were also able to ask questions related to transitioning to high school at the end of the presentation.

team members standing together
Congratulations to our Middle School South eighth grade boys and girls volleyball teams on becoming conference champions! The eighth grade girls team took home the win again last night which means they play again Monday to determine if they are going to state next weekend! Way to go coaches and athletes!