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NHP Seventh Graders Celebrate Gladiator Madness

By Christine Ren and Joanna Jesurasa


March arrives at New Hyde Park Memorial in the form of bustling activity and excitement for junior high students. For seventh graders, March entails Gladiator Madness, a fierce competition between the blue and white teams, as well as a famous guest speaker and a Pi Day competition. 


The first Gladiator Madness face-off took place in the gym. The activities included tug-of-war and a basketball shootout, among other competitions. White team was in the lead up until the last round — their winning streak was broken when it was heard that there may have been foul play involved. The teachers eventually decided that the point would be distributed to both teams as a draw.


Source by Mary Kay Mannle

Amongst the most popular events for the seventh graders are the various opening challenges for Gladiator Madness, in which students from the grade battle to successfully kick off the month of competition.


The Pi Day Challenge, a competition to determine which student would be able to recite the most digits of pi, was a victory for the blue team. Joanna Jesurasa set a new school record by reciting 236 digits of pi. 


“The two-hundred digits of pi song and a lot of delusion was all I needed,” Jesurasa said. 


An additional math-related competition was a graph drawing activity. Students were required to draw a city skyline with the buildings representing digits of pi. Christine Ren, another blue team student, was declared the winner of this challenge. 


Blue and white teams participated in a donation contest for English — raising $1,386.73 in total. White team raised $754.74, making them the winner of this contest. All proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation, a company devoted to helping people and families affected by cancer.


“I am incredibly proud of each of our seventh graders. What a great-class building experience this has been, and what an amazing way to raise money for a wonderful cause,” Ms. Mulé said. 


Gary Valentine, a popular actor from the television show “The King Of Queens,” made an appearance to 7th and 8th graders. He explained his love for acting, along with the roles he played in multiple movies. Valentine rallied kids to pursue what they love and encouraged the students to chase their dreams. 


Source by Mary Kay Mannle

NHP seventh graders gather to hear Gary Valentine speak about his inspirational career, life and legacy.


“Meeting Gary Valentine was very motivating and exciting. It almost felt surreal, but it was very cool that we got the chance to hear about his life,” seventh grader Leighton Roliz said. 


The final result of Gladiator Madness was a win for the blue team – the first victory for the blue team in a whopping 7 years. 


“We were disappointed that we ended the almost decade winning streak the white team had earned. It was crushing to know that we lost,” seventh grader Vraj Shah said. 


“I was so excited that the blue team won! It was a great win!” special education teacher Ms. Nicastro said.


Although Gladiator Madness sparked much competition, these activities involving collaboration and cooperation promoted a greater sense of community throughout junior high. 

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