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HMS Panthers Fearlessly Stroll Into New Year

For some students returning to class Aug. 1, big goals are already on the horizon. Excellent grades and exemplary behavior have consistently been part of their history, and now it’s about closing the chapter in middle school with the same track record.

 Zoe Maher, Isabella Cruz and Martin Depner, eighth-graders (left to right), start new year at HMS Aug. 1.

Isabella Cruz, Zoe Maher and Martin Depner, all eighth-graders at Horizon Middle School, have made the list of Renaissance Program students every quarter so far during their middle school academic career. With one more year at HMS, they want to finish as strongly as they started.


“I want to make this my best year yet,” shared Zoe.


The Renaissance Program is a national program that encourages attendance, enhances school pride and promotes academics. Students can qualify for three different levels – gold, black and red – based on each quarter’s grade point average and not having any behavioral referrals. A GPA of a perfect 4.0 is required for gold recognition, along with no disciplinary referrals. Martin has achieved gold level status every quarter.


“I always strive for the highest grade I can get,” commented Martin. “I feel like working hard now will help me later in life.”


The three students offered advice for sixth-graders aspiring to make the distinguished list of Renaissance scholars. “You have to work hard to get where you want to be,” remarked Isabella. “If you fall behind, it’s hard to get back up to where you want to be.


The first Renaissance celebration to recognize and reward high-achieving Panthers for the new school year will be Aug. 23.

Amy Matisek