Middle School Chinese teacher Ms. Hong Jia has taught at NSU University School for 14 years and has not only helped our students learn about Chinese language, history, and culture, but also develop an appreciation for all nationalities. As an advisor for the Middle School Diversity Club, she encourages students in grades 6-8 to recognize and celebrate the rich diversity in our school.
Middle School: 6-8
Here in NSU University School’s Middle School, you will not find quiet hallways and silent classrooms. Instead, you will find classrooms, hallways, art spaces, sports fields, science labs, and the stage all bustling with student activity, the exchange of ideas, and students doing what they do best in these middle school years; learning by doing, experimenting, and communicating.
Our cutting-edge academic program empowers students to pursue knowledge, big ideas, and questions. Dedicated faculty use a variety of instructional strategies to foster curiosity, exploration, and creativity. Harkness discussions take place regularly in English and social studies classes while the Modeling Method is used to engage students in science and other academic areas. NSU University School teachers understand that every child learns in his or her own way, so they continually seek to differentiatie instruction in order to reach every learner. They know that a "one size fits all" education never really fits.
During Middle School, we encourage our students to maintain their curiosity and creativity while stretching their self-confidence and self-advocacy. Students take the time to explore new electives, try interscholastic sports, and perform on or behind the stage for one of our unbelievable theatrical performances. These new opportunities help to broaden their horizons and help them discover their passion.
Our ultimate goal is that students will leave Middle School as critical thinkers, independent and lifelong learners, strong communicators, healthy risk takers, and good global citizens.
Middle School News
“Find the best in U” is our motto here at NSU University School, and Middle School teacher Janet Schroeder is a prime example of an educator who embodies that motto. Schroeder has loaned her time and expertise to USchool for more than 41 years, helping students reach their full potential in the classroom, on the court, and in life. Over the years, she has held coaching roles for our varsity volleyball, softball, and tennis programs. In her current position as a physical education teacher, Schroeder supports Middle School students with their health and wellness, encouraging them to establish healthy behaviors, exercise, and make positive choices.
Middle School teacher Maria Taravella has devoted 45 years of her life to inspiring a passion and appreciation for the Spanish language and culture in students, developing their global citizenship and intercultural understanding. Taravella has felt a strong love for teaching for as long as she can remember. Eager to have a classroom and students of her own, she arranged a large blackboard and desks in the basement of her home where she instructed imaginary students at the age of eight. The encouragement and mentorship she received from passionate educators, including her aunt, as she navigated her way through school drove her to follow her dream of becoming a teacher.
As part of Nova Southeastern University’s Global Day of Service, USchool students came together to lend a helping hand in the community by volunteering at service projects across Broward County. They assembled more than 500 meals to feed families in need, participated in beach and neighborhood cleanups, packed pet treats and adoption bags for Broward Animal Care, painted the Davie Woman’s Club 100-year-old building, delivered books to little free libraries in underserved communities, wrote letters to veterans, and more.
We are incredibly proud of our Troupe 88233 members on their award-winning performances at the 2022 Florida Junior Thespian State Festival! All events earned the highest rating of Superior and seventh grader Zachary Kopelman received a Top Honors award for his Solo Musical piece. Zachary will go on to represent all Florida Junior Thespians at the high school level Florida State Thespians Festival in March.
Three of our exemplary students – Zoe Rodriguez, Jeffrey Zhang, and Madison Davis – were named Pinnacle Award winners by the Broward County Non-Public School Association. This award is given to students who set an example for others to follow in their actions at school, home, or in the community.
From leading a class of imaginary students as a child to now having 20 years of experience in the education space, Micaile Smith knew from a young age that she was called to teach. Her love for children and helping them learn was evident as she was growing up, which led her to pursue a career in teaching. As a Middle School science teacher, Smith instills a love of learning in her students by helping them connect the material to their own lives and by creating a safe and comfortable environment. This way, students are interested and motivated to learn more, apply their understandings, and give their best effort.
Our Middle School Thespian Troupe had great success at the District 12 Junior Thespian Festival, earning three Critic's Choices, 14 Superiors, and eight Excellent ratings.
Inspired by her sister’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis, freshman Katherine Hernandez received recognition for engineering an artificial pancreas as part of her project for the Broward County Regional Science and Engineering Fair last school year, earning her second place in the biomedical engineering category. Guided by her mentor and former eighth grade teacher Ms. Jessica Lanzetta, Katherine worked closely with our robotics team throughout her "Highs and Lows of Diabetes" project to build a breadboard circuit and used her sister’s blood sugar levels as a guide when testing her hypothesis.
Middle School Thespian Troupe 88233 received a Superior for their one act, “The Rebellion,” at the District 12 Junior Thespian One Act Festival! Seventh grader Zachary was also awarded All-Star Cast Member.
NSU University School’s Homecoming canned goods collection was a huge success! More than 800 canned goods and non-perishable items were collected from our families and delivered to a new food pantry in Overtown sponsored by the non-profit organization, Food Rescue US - SouthFlorida. USchool’s Director of Parent and Alumni Relations Wynne Avellanet, who volunteers as the Food Rescue US Broward County Coordinator, stocked the shelves with the support of other organization members. The pantry was unveiled to food insecure residents living in Overtown who were invited to “shop” the pantry and gather items to take home.
Whether you are a new or returning Shark, you may be wondering what to expect at NSU University School. To give you insight, we asked students to share one piece of advice they would give to future students. Who better to get advice from than USchool students themselves?
Our schoolwide Pet Supply Drive was a success! Thank you to all those who generously donated items for animals in need at the Humane Society of Broward County. Students in our Upper School Paws with a Cause Club delivered two carloads of items, which will help feed and care for countless animals at the shelter until they are found good homes. We love to see our students at all grade levels work together to give back to the community!
Our Middle School Robotics Team 63724A won second place in the Robot Skills Match and earned first place overall in the state’s Middle School division at the remote South Florida VEX Robotics Skills Tournament!
Congratulations to Associate Head of Academic Affairs Robyn Kaiyal for completing the 2019 National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy (NIXLA) – an online strategic diversity leadership development and institutional transformation program. The immersive, highly selective five-week program offered Kaiyal an invaluable opportunity to further develop her skills as a leader and identify powerful institutional strategies that support diversity, equity, and inclusion at NSU University School.
Middle School instructor Alicia Anania has been teaching science at NSU University School (USchool) for the past five years. Originally from Connecticut, Anania moved to Florida about eight years ago and obtained her bachelor’s degree in marine science from Nova Southeastern University (NSU).
Although it is housed outside of the Middle School, students from JK to grade 12 will have the opportunity to interact with the garden this year as our teachers find ways to incorporate it into their existing curricula.
Students in grades 6-8 were able to attend the Club Fair and speak with representatives from 20+ clubs to learn about the main focus of each club, meeting times, and how they can get involved.
They were challenged with constructing a slider out of recyclables that could go down an incline with 200 milliliters of water in it, bump into a wall, and still hold water inside after the slide and collision.
Eighth grade students in Ms. Carnaggie's science class learned about the transfer of energy yesterday by actively exploring lab stations inside and outside of the classroom.
USchool families had the opportunity to learn about the various offerings within our Arts and Athletics department by meeting with department directors, instructors, and coaches.