MM Soccer Teams Wrap Up Championship Seasons!

Congratulations to both the Marie Murphy Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer Teams – North Shore Independent Conference Champions!

The Junior Varsity finished the season with a perfect 8-win 0-loss record, clinching the championship earlier this week with a victory over rival Central School in Glencoe. The team is coached by Jessica Bodzewski.img_7919

The Varsity Vikings earned a conference co-championship, with their victory over Central School in Glencoe. Then team finished with an impressive 7-win and 1-loss record. The team is coached by Chad Henley.



Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences 2016

You are invited to participate in the Parent-Teacher Conferences to be held on: Wednesday, October 19, 2016, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. and Thursday, October 20, 2016, from 3:00-7:00 p.m.

The online registration period is: 9:00 a.m. on Friday,  September 30, 2016, until 4:00 PM, Friday, October 14, 2016.

You will need to use a username and password to sign up!  This information will be emailed to your primary email address on Friday, September 23, 2016.  

Beginning September 30th, please sign-up for conferences here!

Click here to read the information regarding Parent Teacher Conferences from Mr. Palcer!

Parent Tech Night


As a district, we utilize Google Apps for Education, a free, web-based collection of tools to support learning. But what exactly is it? In this demonstration, learn what Google Apps are and how they are being used in Avoca classrooms.

When: Monday, September 26th — 6:30-7:30pm

Where: Marie Murphy Community Room

Who: Open to all Parents, NO CHILDREN PLEASE

Summer Reading Books & Writing Assignment

June 2016

Dear Incoming 8th Graders and Parents,

I am delighted to present the summer reading list for the 2016 – 2017 school year.  This summer’s selections include books that span a variety of interests and reading levels.  I ask that you read one book from the list this summer and write a written response to the questions provided here.  When you return in the fall, you will be expected to hand in your assignment and share your summer reading with other members of the class. Additionally, you will be able to take a Reading Counts test on this book, and it will benefit your first semester Reading Counts goal.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding summer reading.  I look forward to working with you in the 2016-2017 school year, and I wish you a restful summer.


Mrs. Cunningham


8th Grade Summer Reading List ’16 -17

Boyne, John. Boy in the Striped Pajamas Historical Fiction 240 p.

Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence on “Out-With.”

Brown, Daniel James Boys in the Boat Non-Fiction 416 p.

This book tells the story on nine American men and their quest for a gold medal in rowing at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  If you like American history, biography, and a great story, this book is for you!

Deuker, Carl Heart of a Champion Sports 168 p.

Seth faces a strain on his friendship with Jimmy, who is both a baseball champion and something of an irresponsible fool, when Jimmy is kicked off the team.

Ford, Jamie Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Realistic Fiction 290 p.

In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown.  It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during WWII.  It is here that Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors.

Myers, Walter The Greatest:  Muhammad Ali Bio/Memoir 192 p.

This biography of boxing champion Muhammad Ali tells of the dangers associated with boxing, Ali’s politics and his fight against Parkinson’s disease.

Namioka, Lensey Ties That Bind, Ties That Break Cultural Fiction 154 p.

Ailin’s life takes a different turn when she defies the traditions of upper class Chinese society by refusing to have her feet bound.

Riggs, Ransom Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Fantasy 352 p.

This is a novel that mixes both fiction and photography.  When the story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets a 16 year old boy named Jacob on a journey to a remote island off the coast of Wales.  Here he discovers  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  

Spinelli, Jerry Stargirl Young Adult Fiction 208 p.

“She was home schooling gone amok.”  “She was an alien.”  “Her parents were circus acrobats.”  These are only a few of the theories concocted to explain Stargirl Caraway, a new 10th grader at Arizona’ Mica Area High School who wears pioneer dresses, strums a ukulele in the cafeteria, laughs when there are no jokes, and dances when there is no music.

Stockett, Kathryn The Help Realistic Fiction 522 p.

This story is set in the rural South during the 1960s.  The main characters are black and white women, those who are on the opposite sides of the racial divide.  If you enjoy reading about race relations in the 50s and 60s, this is a book you will not be able to put down.

Skloot, Rebecca The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Non-fiction 381 p.

This book is about an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line, known as HeLa, that came from Lacks’s cancer cells in 1951.  If you enjoy science and American history, you will love this book.

Yancey, Rick The Fifth Wave 457 p.

The 5th Wave is a young-adult, science-fiction novel. The novel was published in 2013 and is the first installment in a trilogy. Critics have compared the book favorably to The Hunger Games and The Road and noted that it “should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires.”


Writing Assignment:

After you read your book, respond to the following questions.  Each response should be at least a thoughtful, detailed paragraph.  Be prepared to turn in these responses.

  1. Why did you select this book at first?  What interested you and continued to hold your attention?
  2. To which parts of the book did you have a strong emotional reaction?  Why?
  3. What were the best scenes in this book?  Why
  4. What connections do you see between this book and your life, or to the world around you?

Challenge Question: (not required)

Write a sentence that names the central problem that the characters in your book face.  Next, write three – five sentences that reflect on parts of the story that pertain to this problem.  For the concluding sentence, write a sentence that states what this story teaches about this problem.  

2016 Fall Sports and Tryout Information



Informational Meeting
Grades 6, 7 and 8
Thursday, Aug. 25th – 3:30 PM

First Practice
Monday, August 29th – 3:30 PM

Andrea Bialk –
Daira Tramontin –


Informational Meeting
Grades 6, 7 and 8
Tuesday, Aug. 30th – 7:30-7:50 AM

Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 3:30-5:00 PM – All Grades
Thursday, Sept. 1st from 3:30-5:00 PM – All Grades

Chad Henley –


Clinic – Required
Monday, Aug. 22nd from 3:30-5:00 PM 

Tuesday, Aug. 23rd from 3:30-6:00 PM – All Grades
Wednesday, Aug. 24th from 3:30-5:30 PM – All Grades 

Kelli Lane –

2016 Olympics a Huge Success!

Winners TEam

On Tuesday, May 31st all students participated in the Marie Murphy Olympics. The weather couldn’t have been better! Ten teams comprised of 6th, 7th and 8th graders competed against one another. Team #7 came in 1st place under the leadership of Mrs. Rachmiel, Mrs. Stotz and Ms.Tramontin. Team #3 took 2nd place under the direction of Mrs. Bialk, Mrs. Bodzewski and Mr. Furman. Third place was clinched by Team #1 with guidance from Mrs. Cunningham and Mrs. Hoffmeister.

Two Marie Murphy Olympic records were broken. Remarkable! Congratulations to the following students:

440-yd. Run – 1:11.33
Vicka K. 

880-yard Relay – 2:07.42
Nylah J.
Daniel M.
Vivian V.
Brian Y. 

Science Olympiads Concludes Another Successful Year with 8th Place Finish at Nationals!

The Marie Murphy Science Olympiad Team wrapped up another hugely successful year with a top-ten finish at the national competition. The 8th place finish marks the 5th time in the last 6 years that the Marie Murphy Science Olympiad Team has finished in the top ten nationally.

Competing against top teams from across the country at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the team was led by medal-winning performances in the following categories:

  • Food Science – National Champions; 1st Place: Sophia Ahn & Andrew Kearney
  • Road Scholar – National Champions; 1st Place: Sophia Ahn & Jason Yuan
  • Elastic Lauch Glider – National Runner Up; 2nd Place: Youngwon Kim & Petra Ilic
  • Experimental Design – 4th Place: Sophia Ahn, Carol Klingler & Emilia McDougal
  • Bottle Rocket – 4th place: Petra Ilic & Jeffrey Yuan
  • Disease Detectives – 5th Place: Andrew Kearney & Chelsea Lu
  • Bridge Building – 6th Place: Sophia Ahn & Jonathan Yuan

Congratulations to all members of the team, parent coaches & volunteers, and Coaches Mr. Gravagna, Mr. Persino, Mr. Ogden, and Ms. Wright on a incredibly successful season!