Memorial Middle School
When people speak of 8th grader Sydney Malaspina, they use words like outstanding, kind, excellent and motivated to describe her. It is because of these and many other qualities that Malaspina, 14, was presented with the Superintendent’s Award for her achievements at Memorial Middle School.
“Sydney is a delightful young lady who possesses many fine qualities and I am very happy that she has earned so many honors,” says Dr. Frank Sippy, Region 15 Superintendent of Schools. “She is an outstanding young person.”
As an A+ student at MMS, Malaspina divides her time between academics, sports, and the arts as well as volunteering in her community. She is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, captain of the soccer team and plays point guard and serves as captain of the basketball team. Malaspina is also a participant in the Art Enrichment Program and a Peer Tutor in Spanish, her favorite subject.
Malaspina’s essay on whether patriotism still matters earned her an award in an Essay Contest at MMS. “We really need patriotism now,” she explains. “We need leaders with patriotism to help get us through these rough times.”
Teachers agree that Malaspina exemplifies exceptional qualities for such a young student.
“She is a kind, well rounded and outstanding student,” says Michelle Boulay, who has served as Malaspina’s guidance counselor while at MMS. “She is very motivated and mature for her age and certainly is a “whiz kid” for her outstanding achievements.”
“Her most remarkable quality is that she accepts criticism with grace, openness, and very keen ears,” says her English teacher, Eric Gottfried.
Outside school, Malaspina gladly puts her love of basketball together with her love of children and assists her mother in coaching and running clinics for a youth basketball team. “I am happy when I am able to play basketball and help out the kids,” she says.
Malaspina also helps paves the way for the younger generation soccer players in her role as a referee in a youth soccer league. Malaspina also finds time to give back to her church and volunteers her time to help teach Sunday school to younger parishioners at St. John of the Cross.
“She is a real team player. She is just so unselfish,” says her mother Marjorie, proudly adding her daughter volunteers every year to help with the March of Dimes neighborhood mailing.
Each year for the past three years, Malaspina has helped with the March of Dimes, always including a personal note to her neighbors on the importance of the charity and always exceeding her fundraising goal.
“I was a premature baby, just by a month, but I think it’s really an important cause,” Malaspina says adding that she loves children in general but has a special place in her heart for those babies who have added challenges because they are born prematurely.
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