MCGEE QUICK FACTS

Established: 1969
Grades: 6-8
Students: 709
Colors: Green & Gold
Mascot: Spartan

McGee History

McGee Middle School was founded in 1969 and renovated in 1996 to meet the growing needs of the community.  Additions included new science labs, nine classrooms, and an upgraded library / media center.  Over the years McGee has been steered by principals and teachers who have maintained a focus on student academic, social, and emotional success.  In 2004, former principal Carol Janssen was honored as the Connecticut Principal of the Year.  The following year, Brian Benigni was honored by the Connecticut Association of Schools as the William Cieslukowski Outstanding First-Year Middle School Principal.  McGee Middle School is the proud alma mater of many famous professionals, including; Mauro Gozzo, former Major League Baseball pitcher; Austin Stowell, actor best known for his role as Kyle Connellan in “Dolphin Tale”; Laura Woyasz, cast member of the Broadway hit “Wicked”; and famous animal trainer Bill Berloni, who trained Sandy for the movie “Annie”. 


TIME LINE 1969 - 1979

1969

  • Opened to Grades 7 & 8 with Prinipal Michael Carbone
  • Dedicated to Catherine M. McGee

1970

  • Joseph R. Suranna hired as Vice Principal
  • Opened to Grade 6 students who were taught as a separate unit within school brining total enrollment to 810
  • Some classes were taught in the lecture rooms
  • Learning Disabilities Class added
  • Track Intermural Program founded by James Keefe

1972

  • Title IX passed resulting in equal opportunities for girls to participate in sports

1973

  • Departments Heads appointed and committees established to improve coordinaton of class content between the schools and review the core curriculum

1974

  • Math - Multi-media approach structuring teaching strategies to meet individual achievement   levels adopted
  • Science - Lab-oriented approach stressing individual student inquiry adopted
  • Social Studies - Team teaching adopted
  • Intermural athletics
  • Active Choral Music Program & Instrumental Music programs

1975

  • Berlin Public Schools Learning Festival
  • Career Awareness Program introduced
  • Title I Project RISE (Reinforming Instruction through Supplemental Education Program) launched to tutor in reading, math, and language arts

1978

  • Interdisciplinary, Team-Based instruction authorized by BOE
  • Budget cuts eliminate interscholastic sports, late-bus transportation, and after-school use of buildings at McGee

1979

  • First comprehensive achievement testing 

TIME LINE 1980 - 1989

1980

  • Five-year overall Instructional Improvement Plan focusing on science & language arts
  • Writing assessment for grade 7
  • Diagnostic & Prescriptive Laboratory for reading and math
  • CAPP (Comprehensive Approach to Pupil Planning) Coordinators to standardize Special Education services

1981

  • Interscholastic sports and after-school use of building restored
  • Qualifying grade 8 students receive accelerated science instruction in biology
  • McGee praised for initiating a unique "core team" system dividing students' time into blocks that were rotated on a consistent schedule giving students access to remedial help that they needed during the school day without altering their basic schedule.

1982

  • Writing and Grammar curriculum revised

1983

  •  Girls' soccer replaced field hockey
  • Auditorium dedicated to Robert C. Luckens, former Board of Education member and treasurer

1984

  • Closed one day due to fumes from roofing tar

1987

  • Guy Parillo hired as new principal
  • Girls' Varsity Basketball Team undefeated for fourth consecutive year and champions of the Mid-State Middle School League under Head Coach Adela McLaughlin and Assistant Coach Paul Griswold
  • First Washington, DC, Field Trip for Grade 8 Students

1989

  • Asbestos removed
  • First Regatta Day

TIME LINE 1990 - 1999

1990

  • Sixteen room addition and renovations proposed

1991

  • Exchange concert with Pulaski Middle School, New Britain

1993

  • Two portable classrooms installed to ease overcrowding

1994

  • FIRST Robotics Program began by Paul Griswold
  • Plan for $6.5 million expansion and renovation completed
  • Six portable classrooms installed
  • Assistant Principal Joseph R. Suranna dies
  • Mr. Theodore Waz hired as Assistant Principal

1995

  • Voters approved expansion plans

1996

  • Hazardous odor sickens staff and students who are transported to area hospitals for medical observation
  • New library-media center dedicated to Joseph R. Suranna
  • Heterogeneous grouping piloted in Science and ILA
  • Mrs. Sorensen hired as Assistant Principal

1997

  • Ms. Carol Janssen hired as principal

1998

  • McGee March Madness Intramural Basketball Tournament and Penny Drive begins
  • McGee Miler begins

1999

  • Town-to-Town Care-a-Van painted by students from McGee, Slade & Roosevelt Middle Schools
  • Rope climbing wall installed in gym

TIMELINE 2000-

2002

  • Brian Benigni promoted to Assistant Principal
  • Brenda Janik promoted to new position of Dean of Students

2004

  • Carol Janssen was honored as the Connecticut Principal of the Year

2006

  • Brian Benigni promoted to Principal
  • Brian Benigni was honored by the Connecticut Association of Schools as the William Cieslukowski Outstanding First-Year Middle School Principal
  • Brenda Janik promoted to Assistant Principal
  • James Sachs hired as Dean of Students

2008

  • Barbara Ventura promoted to Assistant Principal

 

2010

  • Dr. Scott Ratchford hired as Principal
  • Fumes from roof repair halted classes
  • $6.79 million renovation of roof and HVAC system began

2011

  • McGee opened as an emergency shelter after blizzard

 2012

  • Pamela Hamad hired as Assistant Principal
  • Steel braces installed to reinforce interior walls

2013

  • Dr. Arnold Frank served as interim Principal

2014

  • Former McGee student Salvatore Urso hired as Principal
  •  David Kitzman hired as Assistant Principal
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