Highlights from the Evening of Excellence

Caitlin Samson, Writer

This year’s Evening of Excellence was a compelling window into student work and what they are creating and learning in school.

One highlight of the night was the preview of the spring musical, The Little Mermaid. The cast performed three numbers: “She’s in Love,” “Part of Your World,” and “Under the Sea.”

“She’s in Love” was the first song MMS actors performed, sung by the mer-sisters: Halle, Alyssa, Andy, Hailey, Rachel, and Saana, as well as Flounder, Josh. It was an upbeat, catchy number well sung and choreographed. Next was “Part of Your World,” an emotional ballad sung by Lauren (Ariel), the female lead of the play. She received a well-deserved uproar of an applause at the end of her performance. Lastly, the cast performed the group number “Under the Sea.” Although many important props and costumes were missing, it still displayed the cast’s incredible potential and created excitement and anticipation for the spring musical.

There were also videos that the ELL (English Language Learning) students had created for the night. This project was to take a traditional story, fairytale, or fable that originated from the people of their culture, translate it to English, and then create a video about it.

In the video, the students had to narrate their stories, and would either use storyboardthat to create pictures, or draw them. I watched a French student’s video about the fable called “The Fox and the Crow.” The boy, as all the students, did an exceptional job narrating and composing the pictures. This short film was a sliver of a bigger project the students are doing called “Our Story.”

Another highlight was Señor Pearl’s (8th grade Spanish teacher) presentations on Inca Kola. Inca Kola is a Peruvian drink with a unique flavor often compared to bubble gum or fruit. His members from his accelerated classes created a presentation about Inca Kola that was discussed in front of parents and students that evening, as Inca Kola was served.

Then they showcased two different commercials. Each of his accelerated classes created one in a friendly competition. One class created a typical “life-changing product” commercial, while the other one sang a song with choreography. 

The Millburn Penpoint hosted a game show in the library that evening for the parents who came. Kayla and Ashna created a Kahoot game that quizzed the parents on their knowledge regarding current events and stories in the Millburn Penpoint in a fun, jeopardy-like game.

During the game, PEN’s website was opened up on some computers and the parents had to run around and search for the answers to the questions (from the Kahoot game) on the website. Although few parents came to play the game, it helped increase interest, interaction with the website and publicity for the school’s newspaper.   

Overall, Evening of Excellence was a success in terms of showing student capability, skill, and talent.