Thursday, November 29, 2012

Student Government

Since electing our Student Government officials on October 12th, SGA has been diligently working to increase school spirit and participation. After the student body elected 11th grade students  Dedric Dowing as student body president and Joey Adams as student body vice-president, as well as two class representatives per grade, our SGA officers immediately began planning their first school event.

SGA officers planned, coordinated, and organized a Mock Presidential Election on Election Day. From choosing among actual state measures up for election to include on the ballot, to advertising and running the election, our SGA officers helped more than 150 TMA students practice their right to vote and engage in the democratic process. Additionally, TMA students accurately predicted the outcome of the presidential election as well as Maryland Marriage Equality and Maryland Dream Act!

In the weeks since the election, SGA has been working with the school administration, Senior Class Committee, and Mentor Program to plan and execute TMA's Spirit Week and Homecoming Dance on December 7th. SGA officers helped choose the Spirit Week themed days, Homecoming dance theme, and will organize the Homecoming Court election and will help decorate the gymnasium before the dance. Additionally, SGA is teaming up with the Mentor Program to promote a TMA wide Shoebox Gift Drive benefitting So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.).

SGA is having a great year so far and has a full plate for the next few months. SGA is starting up the Buddy Program, a TMA mentor program which will pair freshmen with juniors and seniors with sophomores. SGA hopes to have the program up and running by January so that as many students and possible can be paired up with a classmate and begin building a new friendship.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Law Day of the Year

Friday, October 17th, marked the beginning of this year’s Law Day program, in which 9th grade students travel to local law firms and learn about legal concepts from practicing attorneys! Half of the 9th grade class went to Hogan Lovells and the remaining students were split between Latham & Watkins and Foley & Lardner. Many students opted to wear professional dress for their first Law Day.

Students left TMA for their respective law firms at 12:30 and many students were given tours of the firms once they arrived. Students split into smaller groups and participated in a discussion on negotiation led by a few attorneys. The students learned the importance of preparation in resolving disputes through negotiation, as well as skills to argue their position in a negotiation and to better understand the views and tactics of others in such instances. For example, students brainstormed arguments in favor of and in opposition to introducing school uniforms from the point of view of faculty, parents, and students. Our students were thoughtful, articulate, and were able to effectively argue positions their differed from their personal views.

The first Law Day was an amazing success and many of the attorneys confided that these groups of 9th graders are some of the most engaging and interested students TMA has ever had! All of the students and volunteers had a great time. A special thanks to the chaperones and volunteers at the firms of Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins and Foley & Lardner!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Growing Healthy Schools Week Comes to TMA October 15th!

Hey there, foodies, green thumb gardeners, and curious bystanders! Here's an announcement you won't want to miss! On October 15th, from 10am-12pm, Thurgood Marshall Academy will host the kickoff for the First Annual Growing Healthy Schools Week.

There will be cooking competitions using produce from the Great Garden of Anacostia, garden tours, speakers, a farmer's market provided by Whole Foods, and much, much more!

Kadeejah Johnson with TMA's  Funky Pumpkin! 
In preparation for GHSW, TMA students have been cooking during lunch every Thursday. Last week we made Ratatouille, and tomorrow we're making Thai Pumpkin Curry, using the pumpkin that won "Funkiest Vegetable" at the DC State Fair!

If you're interested in attending, please RSVP to!

Monday, September 24, 2012

TMA's Writing Center Opens Today!

After training all summer, TMA's inaugural group of Peer Consultants are ready to help their fellow students polish their writing skills. These 11th and 12th grade students can assist with anything from thesis statements to short stories, introductions, conclusions, topic sentences, thesis statements, bibliographies and citations, and MORE!

Students can stop by the Writing Center (located in Room 214) any time after school on Mondays or Wednesdays, OR they can sign up online at:
Writing Center Sign Up

See you there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Students at Thurgood Marshall have been back in school for about month, laughing in the hallways, making new friends, and challenging themselves in fun and exciting new classes. In the last few weeks students have been diligently studying in our new and improved Homework Help and last Thursday TMA hosted its annual Clubs Fair. The Clubs Fair was an amazing success, with over twenty five clubs and after school activities available for students to choose from. From student government, Girl Scouts, and the Anti-Defamation League to Drama, Hair Club, and the Green Club, all TMA students in attendance found a club that fits their interests. The next few weeks are going to be packed with club meetings, sports practice, drama auditions, and more!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

TMA's First Monthly Workday a Great Success!

Thurgood Marshall Academy had its first monthly Garden Workday and Plant Sale this past Saturday, June 9th.

Rising 10th grader Cer’cia Wallace had this to say about her experience at the TMA Community Garden Workday:

This weekend I spent my Saturday in the garden. I was the first TMA student to arrive to the work day. When I got there Ms.Boehle-Silva greeted me and Ms. Hanson, our librarian, introduced me to her son. I also saw Ms. Wyss and Ms. Kate, our Garden Coordinator. Then it was off to the garden! I pulled out the weeds and assisted with the Savoy kids, helping them in the garden. We pulled and pulled, dirt flying everywhere, Ms. Wyss and I talked about summer plans as we sold some plants, and I got to take one home! The sun beat down and water was a necessity. This day of gardening has made me want to become more involved in the garden next year!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Last Call for 2011-2012 The TMA Brief

The TMA Brief concluded a stellar second year with its largest issue ever. At a whopping 16 pages, the fourth and final issue packs a punch. On the front page, star senior reporter Kendra Atchison reflects on college acceptance and rejection in what is her final article for the newspaper. Also on the front, new up-and-comer Syndi Foshee delves into the intricacies of locker logistics, documenting students’ laments over the treacherous bottom lockers. Senior Justice Long rounds out the coverage of the 2012 graduating class with a pair of faculty interviews about senioritis and its symptoms. Justice also continues her ongoing quest to find the best-dressed faculty and staff by interviewing Ms. Boehle-Silva. In their regular A-C Wars column, Cericia Wallace and Anthonya James go head-to-head, ramping up the rhetoric over whether it’s Twitter or Facebook that dominates the social media landscape. In fiction, Keneon Williams completes his sci-fi epic, The Darkest World, with a thrilling two-part conclusion. More than any other issue, this one brings the culture, featuring humor, poetry, Bryn Baffer’s book reviews, a photo essay, a Spanish-language section and The Queen and Mickey’s regular wrap-up of the latest music and videos.

This issue is the last but absolutely not least. Don’t miss out—click the link below to have a look for yourself!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Guest Blog: TMA Community Service Spotlight

Thurgood Marshall Academy and City Year Answer the Call

Additionally, thanks to Congress Heights Community Association!

Guest Blogger Cer'cia Wallace Covers Track Meet

Saturday morning most students and TMA  staff were still turning over in bed. But a select few of the track team members and staff were at Banneker track, for a community track meet. Students met at TMA on a bus to Banneker track, then slowly but surely staff members showed up. Then competition and boasting was in the air. Before the events started the warm-up was made into a mock race.

Then the day got going, with to start with a 50-meter race, in which the students won. Then as student, and male, victories out numbered female and staff wins we turned to relies. The first rely had the boys in led, with Markel coming out for a win, then the girls and Jessie bringinin it home, then Coach Scogin  with the finish for the staff. This was met by cheers and playful jeering by the staff, which swore they were cheated. The accusation the Staff made sent the crowd in an up roar of laughter. Next we had the 400-meter, a race that got very little volunteers, but did send Ms. D and Markel in a hand and hand race with each other. Every one was cheering for the close win, for who one I say they both are winners in that race.  Finally it was the final rely, in which I was the starter for the girls, and was the most heart warming race. In this race the community part came out. When the girls’ last runner finished she was the only one still running. It was her and the race. But instantly she wasn’t alone, the crowd cheered, and some went back to run with her. We all finished together.

Then we ate subway and laughed at the days events. We all entered the race of finishing Mr. Bein’s 6 foot sub. I couldn’t help but poke fun at Ms. Gang because I hadn’t planned on running but beat her once, of course she beat me mutable   times, but is that really important? On the bus ride back I couldn’t help be a mix of happy and sad, happy at the wonderful turn my day took, but sad to know this was the last TMA outing of the year. Also the last one with Ms. D, and maybe Ms. Gang, two staff I’ve grown to love over this year. So for the other 17 hours I was racing staff, and for the next 42 hours I will feel the effects of the race. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tricks of the Trade: TMA Two-Wheeled Edition

Master Historian Mr. Pat
Making the most of a sunny afternoon in the courtyard, TMA mountain bikers learned a hard lesson when the trails at Fort Dupont were too wet to ride. The clouds lifted for the dynamic duo of Ken and Pat to lead the group in a maintenance and history class.  Wilderness bikers learned about famous cyclists and watched a demo before trying their own hands at changing a flat tire.   Armed with their new history facts, knowledge of the ABC spin check, and tools to change a flat, the bikers took to the trails this past Tuesday for their final session at Fort Dupont Park

Delrico and Ken checking the crank.
Canethia watches carefully how to check the tire.
Joey is pumping it up! Go Joey go!

Missed your chance to get on two wheels?
 Not to worry, there’s a full line-up of summer racing with Trails for Youth and more outdoor activities planned.  Interested in joining the Trails for Youth team over the summer, contact Patrick Childers at  or see Ms. Gang( in the Programs Office.  

Fort Dupont Park also has free bike rides on the last Saturday of each month.  For more information visit, contact the Activity center at 202-426-7723 or click here for a downloadable flyer.

 Photos taken by student photographers and Trails for Youth.  Special thanks to the entire team at Trails for Youth: Pat, Ken, May, and Julie for actively supporting TMA's Wilderness crew to overcome obstacles! We look forward to getting back on the trails with you in the Fal!

In the meantime, make the most of your summer and get outside on two wheels!

Also, vote for Trails for Youth's picture of Delrico and help even more students get on bikes!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Student Athletes Shine in Awards Video

Congratulations to the many Thurgood Marshall Academy students who participated in a TMA sport this year! Go Warriors! 

Check out this video shown at the 3rd annual Athletic Awards Banquet last month:

Many thanks to Ms. Stewart for letting us re-post this video!

2nd Annual TMA Community Track Meet THIS SATURDAY

The Track and Field team will host the 2nd annual TMA Community Meet THIS SATURDAY at Banneker Track! Faculty, staff and students are invited to compete in races with the track team members from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.

There will be drinks, snacks and lunch provided.

STUDENTS: If you plan to compete and are NOT on the track team, you need your parent/guardian to sign a permission slip. See Coach Bein, Coach Scogin or Ms. Thompson to pick up a permission slip.

Banneker track is located next to the Banneker pool at 2500 Georgia Avenue, by the north end of the Shaw Metro. A bus will take students to Banneker from TMA at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

See Coach Bein or Coach Scogin with questions.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Interview with Award-Winning TMA Student Stewart Gray

Thurgood Marshall Academy sophomore Stewart Gray recently placed 5th in the nation in the National EnvironMentors Fair, a competition put on by EnvironMentors, a national environmental science program that matches students interested in science with mentors from community organizations, science laboratories, and local colleges and universities. Students and mentors meet off campus to engage in science laboratory experiments and rigorous research projects throughout the year. 

The Other 17 Hours sat down with Stewart to talk about his experience with EnvironMentors, his interest in science, and his winning Science Fair project!

Stewart presenting his project at the National Science Fair.

The Other 17 Hours: Stewart, could you tell us a little bit about EnvironMentors?

SG: The EnvironMentors program is a hands-on 8 month educational opportunity where you get to explore many areas of environmental science, including visits to the National Institute of Health and the Smithsonian. You also are paired with a mentor who helps you construct a project for the National Science Fair.

The Other 17 Hours: Who were your mentors this year, and what project did you work on?

SG: My mentors were Ayana Johnson, who works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a Knauss Fellow and Jennifer Ridell, who works for the Environmental Protection Agency as a AAAS Fellow. Our project was on the air quality of metro stations. We originally wanted to get a sense of how clean the air is in urban areas, but we couldn’t measure all of the air quality everywhere in the city, so we chose to measure the air quality of metro stations using a photo ionization detector. We took measurements both in the stations themselves and in the metro trains.

The Other 17 Hours: What were the results of your project?

SG: We were looking for specific kinds of pollutants in our study, and we found that the air quality was much better than I’d expected, which surprised me, because I thought that metro stations were pretty dirty.

The Other 17 Hours: Can you tell us about the Science Fair?

SG: I’d presented projects before, but never to the entire nation, so I was a little bit nervous about that. We set up our presentation and talked to the people attending the fair, giving them an overview of our research and our findings. When the judges came around to ask us questions, a lot of them said they liked the project idea.

The Other 17 Hours: Do you have any advice for students interested in EnvironMentors?

SG: Environmentors is a big commitment, but it’s worth it. I’d tell students to be sure that they’re dedicated enough to finish the year and they should try and build a relationship with their mentors. You don’t have to be an expert in environmental science, just willing to work together. It’s a great program because it’s really hands on—you get knowledge about the environment and how the entire community affects it, without having to use textbooks or learn in a classroom. You’re really learning by doing, under the supervision of teachers, scientists, and mentors.

Fifth in the Nation! Congrats, Stewart! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Bloggers Kijon James and Imani Scriber on the 5th Annual Spanish Fair!

Pura Vida: The Pure Life Comes to TMA 

By Kijon James and Imani Scriber

With singing, dancing, food, music, and games, there's plenty to capture one’s eye at the Spanish Fair! The various culture-based activities of TMA’s Spanish Fair makes you want to travel to another country. Between the professional and student performances, the fair showcased a clear view on the various exciting things to do and experience within the Spanish culture.

Student performances at the Spanish Fair.
The Spanish fair is an annual program put together by TMA students and staff in the Spanish department. Students and staff put in their best efforts to decorate and coordinate the fair and do a swell job every year without fail. The Spanish fair has always been a unforgettable highlight during the TMA school year and this year was no different!
Ms. Garcia poses for the camera!

“My favorite part of the Spanish fair was the performances. I always enjoy seeing my classmates relate their everyday talents to Spanish culture” –Imani Scriber (11th grade)

“I enjoyed learning about the different aspects of Spanish culture in the culture room, it introduced me to things that I didn’t realize about the culture. Plus, the food was GREAT!” –Kijon James (11th grade)

TMA 11th grader Kijon James
These are typical responses to the TMA annual Spanish fair. It surely makes people come to life!

A Magical Evening

Jetting down the red carpet, seniors and their dates gathered at the Westin Georgetown for a night of picture taking, dancing and devouring of finger food! All dressed up and nowhere to go? That was certainly not the case for this year’s senior class who donned their best dresses, heels, tuxes, and suits, to celebrate the end of the year.  When the clock struck 10, Ms. Bobo crowned the Class of 2012's Prom King and Queen—Demetrius Begemann and Nia Boxley. Dancing continued well into the night until it was time to award Best Dressed (drum roll please) to……..Nia Crawley and Evan Mabry and Most Creative to Malik Latney and Moriah Nelson! Congratulations!

A special thanks to Ms. Bobo’s stellar organizing skills, Ms. Shabbaz’s dazzling decorations, and to the TMA staff who volunteered to chaperone, set-up, clean-up and make the evening a success!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yale Alumni Help Thurgood Marshall Academy Students with Portfolio Presentations

This past Saturday, May 12th, Thurgood Marshall Academy hosted 20 volunteers from the Association of Yale Alumni, who spent a few hours working with juniors and seniors on their portfolio binders and presentations. The volunteers were participants in the AYA's fourth annual Yale Day of Service, which connects Yale Alumni with service sites all over the world. Experts in a range of topics from Excel to Public Speaking, these volunteers used their many skills to help students craft strong end of semester presentations. 

For those who don't know, all Thurgood Marshall Academy students are required to build a portfolio, a binder documenting their academic and civic achievement, and to hold themselves responsible to high standards. Each student compiles a record of his or her academic work, behavioral performance, and community service and prepares special academic projects in core subjects for inclusion in their portfolios.  

Each year Thurgood Marshall Academy students give—and are graded on—formal presentations of their portfolios before a panel of faculty, staff, parents, and other volunteers. In their portfolio presentations students make their case to be promoted to the next grade using their academics and citizenship work as evidence.
Because Portfolio is one of the most demanding aspects of the curriculum at Thurgood Marshall Academy, many of the students who attended the portfolio help session with Yale Alumni noted that they now feel much better prepared to present their portfolios in June. Thank you to the many alumni who volunteered their time to work with students! We hope to see you again next year! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spring in the Garden: Food Policy, Berry Trellising, New Sign, and Michaelann Henderson Talks Strawberries

It’s been a whirlwind month in the Thurgood Marshall Academy Garden: Karen Lee’s Government classes finished up their unit on food policy by exploring the politics of food, and then took the first step to food independence by planting onions, potatoes, peas, beans, kale, and arugula in our raised beds (and taking some cute pictures!):

Government teacher Karen Lee with seniors Tiona Rollerson and Vernee Lightfoot.
Sam Ullery, The School Garden Specialist for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), stopped by to help us tame our berry patch: 

Kate Lee, Sam Ullery, Kali Boehle-Silva, and the berry patch!
Art teacher Nafeesah Shabazz and the members of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Art Club put up a wire garden sign that’s now gracing the fence across from the Anacostia Metro:

Art Teacher Nafeesah Shabazz and Darylquisha Hill, Art Club member, in front of the new sign!

And we’re just starting to harvest our kale, collards, lettuce, radishes, and (a student and staff favorite) strawberries! 

Guest blogger and Green Club Vice President Michaelann Henderson stopped by the Programs Office to muse on the TMA garden and the fast- ripening strawberries:

The garden teaches us the importance of knowing where our food comes from and what goes into making fruits and vegetables. Being able to grow our own food is fun and it teaches us how our bodies and minds react to fresh food. In Green Club we learn proper garden etiquette and how to grow and manage our own gardens. We learn about how different foods affect our bodies, nutritional facts, and why buying locally grown foods are better for ourselves and the economy. Gardening teaches us how to choose food at the grocery store that doesn’t just taste good, but is also healthy for us!

The strawberries in the garden are fresh and sweet, beautiful and bright red. It’s always exciting to see the finished product after planting and watering seeds to make a food… I love our strawberries and can’t wait to see what we make with them in our next Green Club meeting!

Law Day Culminates with a Civil Mock Trial Lesson

Kiah McGill prepares her argument at Foley Lardner.
After an introduction to trial proceedings in March law day’s lesson on criminal mock trials, ninth graders applied their preparation, negotiation, and delivery skills during this month’s civil mock trial.  Students began last Friday’s session with a review of the parts of the trial and an overview of the differences between criminal and civil law.  Following an exploration of the differences between the two, students split into two sides—plaintiffs and defendants, ready to tackle the facts of the case of Tubman v. Turner which challenged students to examine the issue of social host liability.   

Keneon Williams delivers his argument
Guest judge Deb Lange swears in witness Dean Smikle

Student attorneys and witnesses for the defense were tasked to represent party host Nat Turner and alleged drunk driver Bill Garrison, who after leaving a party hosted by Turner crashed into another car driven by Harriet Tubman, who was on her way home from work early one Sunday morning.  With the help of testimony from party guest Dorothy Dix, students representing plaintiff Harriet Tubman composed arguments to charge Turner with negligence and seek $100,000 in lost wages for Tubman.  Participants from both sides collaborated with volunteer attorneys to craft opening statements, witness examinations, cross examinations and closing statements in anticipation of the trail.  After 30 minutes to finalize arguments, the trial launched and objections and order in the courts began flying around the board room.   

April’s civil mock trail completed this year’s Law Day Program.  A special thank you to all the TMA law day chaperones and volunteer attorneys from our partner firms Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins, and Foley Lardner for their energy and efforts throughout the year in making the Law Day program run smoothly!  See you in the fall!  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TMA Track and Field Heats Up

The TMA Track team has ramped up its power and athleticism for it's second season. Starting with a competitive scrimmage against Washington Latin in March, the Warriors have built momentum toward a slew of city-wide meets in May. Captains Chris Ridout, Kijon James and Nakiah Ferrel led the team to wins against Washington Latin in the 200, 400 and 800 meter races as well as the 400 meter relay. The squad followed-up with a strong performance against top competitors at the Woodward Relays at Georgetown Prep, the nation's longest running high school relay meet.
After another great meet against Capital City Public Charter School, the Warriors are set to take on more charter competition Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in a scrimmage against Options at Kenilworth Park.

Come out and support TMA Track!