CCMS Participates in Hour of Code

The first week of December, our 7th and 8th grade scholars at Challenge Charter Middle School completed their Hour of Code under the direction of Jay Strumwasser, Executive Director of Technology. 

Mr. Strumwasser gave a quick introduction including a video from to show how important Coding is in schools, highlighting the importance of coding as a life skill. Then using activities from Tynker, scholars were able to learn to code using various different strategies, including block coding, and text coding. In addition, Mr. Liebowitz, our new Technology Support Specialist, also helped students learn how to code using paper and through tic tac toe strategies.

Learning to code will enable scholars to compete for jobs in the 21st century globally with their peers. Challenge Charter Schools has participated in the annual Hour of Code for several years to benefit our scholars in this way.

Mondesir-Gordon Named 6-8 Principal

Challenge Prep CEO/Founder, Dr. Les Mullings announced Monday, December 4th that Mavgar Mondesir-Gordon is the new 6-8 Principal for Challenge Charter Middle School. 

Ms. Mondesir-Gordon has over 25 years of experience in education and served as the founding ELA teacher when our Middle School opened in 2015. This academic year, she has been serving as the Curriculum Director/Master Teacher and guiding the new 8th Grade Honors ELA program.

Her new role as 6-8 Principal follows the recent resignation of Mrs. Sonja Webber-Bey. We thank Mrs. Webber-Bey for her service to Challenge Charter Middle School. 

We congratulate Ms. Mondesir-Gordon in her new role at Challenge Charter Middle School. 

6-8 Principal, Mavgar Mondesir-Gordon

6-8 Principal, Mavgar Mondesir-Gordon

6th Grade November Highlights

We are pleased to share the 6th Grade highlights from scholars, teachers and staff for November 2017.

CCMS Morning Monthly Broadcasters

Each morning scholars selected by Dr. Lyle broadcast the morning announcements.  They highlight the Challenge Charter Middle School CORE VALUE for the month.  "Our Core Value for the month is COURAGE, which can be defined as the quality that enables scholars to explore new ideas, to create imaginative solutions, to give and accept help, to make difficult decisions and to grow into confident compassionate adults." (CCMS Parent/Scholar Handbook).

Book Talk! 

Our Monthly Broadcasters also engage in the "Scholastic Booktalk."  Scholars participated in a conversation about a book infused with joy and emotion.

CCMS Scholars from left to right Art Egberongbe, Ayomide Aina, Janell Feraria, Kahleel English and Tolulope Agosu photographed by Mrs. Sutherland, Assistant Principal

CCMS Scholars from left to right Art Egberongbe, Ayomide Aina, Janell Feraria, Kahleel English and Tolulope Agosu photographed by Mrs. Sutherland, Assistant Principal

Challenge Charter Middle School Scholars of the Month

We congratulate the November Scholars of the Month!

CCMS Scholars from left to right Joseph Boahen, Aziana Stone, Janell Feraria, and Alivia Ingram photographed by Mrs. Anglin, Guidance Counselor

CCMS Scholars from left to right Joseph Boahen, Aziana Stone, Janell Feraria, and Alivia Ingram photographed by Mrs. Anglin, Guidance Counselor

Mrs. Hunter's Class (NYU): Joseph Boahen

Mr. Wilmot's Class (Temple University):  Aziana Stone

Mr. Sonnichsen's Class (Duke University):  Janell Feraria

Ms. Dibiase's Class (Suny Cortland University): Alivia Ingram


Kindness Challenge 

This month our scholars were challenged to perform as many acts of kindness as possible and place it on our Kindness Tree in the main office.  All scholars who perform genuine acts of kindness will receive merits and continued recognition throughout each week.

Please help us celebrate the following scholars who have already completed Acts of Kindness: Alivia Ingrim, Kayisis Smith, Genesis Edwards and Shaney Headley.  The homeroom with the most ACTS OF KINDNESS performed will receive a Breakfast Party with Mrs. Anglin!



Dr. Lyle, Mrs. Sutherland, Ms. Wolffe, Mr. Bell and Ms. Freeman engage scholars in CLUBS where scholars are learning about technology, iReady, board games, group talk and more!  


Newspaper Club recently asked scholars: "What do you like about Challenge Charter Middle School and why? What is one wish?"

"We love Challenge Charter Middle School (CCMS) because we make some amazing and kind friends. This is our reason. We have companions and acquaintances that make you feel more wanted and less homesick in a new place. My friends and I both have personal experiences in this particular area. When I first came to Challenge, I was a small, scared little girl, but my teachers and classmates took me in and made me feel welcome. When my friend first came to Challenge Charter Middle School, she was very new and people went over to her and said hi, including me! That made her feel welcome and warm inside.  

Our only wish is for us to join the Drama Club and support this amazing, honorable and great school even more."

Answers by: Tiffany Agbonwaneten  and Shaney Headley (601/Suny Cortland University)


Mrs. Anglin and Mr. Bell hosts the our 6th grade swimmers to the YMCA to engage in swimming lessons!



"Tis' the Season to Give"

Scholars will be able to donate brand new items for ill-children for Ronald McDonald House. The list of items for collection are:

  • children's scarves 
  • children's gloves/mittens
  • children's hat
  • children's fuzzy socks 

Donations will be accepted from December 1st, 2017 - December 19th, 2017. Thank you!



Mr. Sonnichsen's Class (Duke University): Scholars wrote who their heroes are which was a connection with the novel Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Scholars are working hard in  small groups to improve their comprehension skills. Our class, Duke University, is Homeroom of the Month. 

Mrs. Hunter's Class (NYU): The highlight for my class this month is that the scholars created solutions to solving the environmental issue of deforestation. Scholars are also thinking of adopting/sponsoring an animal as a class to help protect its extinction. 

Mr. Wilmot's Class (Temple University): The science teams are creating Google slide/Powerpoint presentations for our classes. From what I have seen so far, the presentations promise to be excellent.

Ms. Dibiase's Class (Suny Cortland University): One highlight that is happening in the Math classroom is the scholars are excited about completing their budget projects. They are continuously thinking and expanding on their ideas that they had previously created. They are also very excited about applying this to the real life situations that they will be seeing throughout their lives.

Staff News

We welcomed Mrs. Sutherland, Assistant Principal and Ms. Laing, Dean.  Thanks to Ms. Ballesteros who assists the main office daily and Mr. Liebowitz, Technology Support Specialist, for supporting our technology needs.

Additional thanks to the Executive Team: Mrs. Richards, Executive Expansion Director and Mr. Strumwasser, Executive Technology Director.

Our 6th Grade Site team would like to thank Dr. Mullings, our CEO, for ongoing leadership!

See you next month!

- Editor Mrs. Tania Sutherland, Co-Editor Vicky Wolffe

Challenge Charter Middle School Scholar Awarded Prestigious Dance Scholarship

When Malachi Kingston auditioned for Challenge's new Performing Arts Program directed by Nadine Sutherland, she immediately recognized his grace, poise and fluidity. Even without formal dance training, Sutherland recognized the natural ability that emanated from the young man. Wanting to see his full potential realized, Sutherland reached out to Dwana Smallwood, founder of the Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center to secure a private dance audition. 

Smallwood agreed, and late last week, Sutherland accompanied Malachi to the audition with hopes high that a door leading to formal training and dance development would open for him. Sutherland's hopes were soon answered when she received a message from Smallwood offering a scholarship and training that starts immediately. Smallwood commented on the audition saying, "[Malachi] is a wonderful, beautiful student with so much potential."

Dwana Smallwood founded her Performing Arts Center in Brooklyn following years as a principal dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In 2009, she was invited to join the staff of Oprah's Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. After developing a robust dance company at the school, she left as the Director of Student Affairs in 2013. Oprah continued to support Smallwood in the pursuit of starting her own Performing Arts Center which opened in 2014. Vogue proclaimed Smallwood as "one of the greatest modern dancers," and she has been featured on shows such as The Today Show, Sesame Street, Good Morning America and The Kennedy Center Honors.

Malachi begins his training with Smallwood this month. Dr. Mullings and the Challenge family congratulates Malachi and thanks Nadine Sutherland for her part in providing a path to this scholar's success.

Malachi Kingston

Malachi Kingston