This is one in a series in which readers share why their local school is special. Today, students in Thomas Gebbia's seventh- and eighth-grade journalism class at Wildwood Middle School share what they believe makes their school special. The class publishes the school newspaper.

To read all of the responses, click on this article at

The Diversity

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There are lots of things that make Wildwood Middle School so special, but the main reason is the diversity of students. There are many kids from all different places, like Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Mexico, and much more. In this school, you can learn from each other so much because so many students come from different cultures. You can be yourself without anyone judging you. It doesn't matter how you look or dress, what matters is how you are on the inside. Wildwood Middle School accepts you just the way you are!

Maria Menjivar

The After School Program

The one thing that makes it special the most is the After School Program. The After School Program holds lots of activities like science, steel drums, acting, cooking, film, and many more activities to do! In cooking you can learn to make delicious foods. There is also film, where you can play the computer or make videos! Some students don't know how special the program can be so they don't sign up, so I think more people should sign up and know the real fun!

Gustavo Perez

Small Classes

Wildwood Middle School is the most awesome and special place for me because we get paid lots of attention because there aren't so many students. Not having a lot of people in the school means that teachers help us even more. Most of us focus on our work better when there are fewer students. It's easier for students to listen because it's not as loud. Teachers also like a small classes so that they can teach better and pay attention to the students that need extra help or are struggling. I go to the best school ever!

Katia Gonzalez

Mr. Wes

Wildwood Middle School is so special because of our school's security guard, Mr. Wes. I remember when I forgot my money at home and Mr. Wes let me borrow money for lunch. Mr. Wes is always helping somebody, and he is always protecting somebody. He even stops fights from happening. He has a big part in Wildwood Middle School. Mr. Wes is like a relative to me. He also makes me laugh. He spends so much time working hard at Wildwood Middle School. If it wasn't for Mr. Wes, Wildwood Middle School wouldn't be so special.

Tieon Marrow

Mrs. Rodriguez

Wildwood Middle School is a spectacular place because of my Language Arts Teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez. She is a great teacher, because she makes all her teaching easier by making everybody understand it. She does this by going up to everyone in the classroom and asking them questions individually. She treats everybody with care and always gives out candy at the end of the period as a reward for students who worked hard, completed their work, and behaved all period. Mrs. Rodriguez wants everybody to succeed in life, and helps us every day to achieve this.

Karina Menjivar

Mrs. Benkovic

The best math teacher in Wildwood Middle School is Mrs. Benkovic. She is the best math teacher and she is a good person to talk to whether you're feeling down, or you just need somebody to be there for you. The reason I feel that way is because when I am mad or I did something inconsiderate the day before, Mrs. Benkovic always asks me if I need to talk, and she is always there for me. Another reason I feel she makes our school special is because when she gives us class work, she does not just leave us there clueless about what we're doing - she actually helps us! Without Mrs. Benkovic, I don't know what I would do.

Destiny Tozer

Our Baseball Team

There are so many things that make Wildwood Middle School special, like the teachers or the extra-curricular activities, but the one thing I think makes our school so special is our Baseball program. The coaches and the players make the team special to the school. The baseball team has some of my best friends on it too. My friends are who encouraged me to play baseball in the first place. Wildwood Baseball team is also so special because of the teamwork and encouragement between the players. They RARELY criticize each other. As they say, "What makes a team is teamwork."

Zack Cripps

Wildwood Sports

Wildwood Middle School is an amazing school for one really awesome reason, the sports. Here at Wildwood, we have a wonderful sports program. We have all different sports. At WMS, you can play soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, and run cross country. In high school, you can play those same sports, plus even more, including tennis, track and field, and volleyball. So instead of going home with nothing to do, many of us students are kept busy and learn sportsmanship playing for the Wildwood Warriors. The best thing is, you don't have to pay to play. WMS students play to win and have fun!

Trevon Smith

Mrs. Torres

Mrs. Torres really means a lot to me. She is like a second mom to me. She explains my work so I can understand it better. Mrs. Torres is happy to teach all of us students, and she does a really great job. She makes it easier to do our work, by keeping the classroom really quiet. Everyone behaves really great for Mrs. Torres and she loves when we do well with our work. Everyone is always ready and prepared to get the work done for Mrs. Torres. She works really hard - she deserves to earn a reward! We all love Mrs. Torres!

Fabian Delgado

Mrs. Flanigan

Mrs. Flanigan is an amazing teacher. She is fun because she lets us work in partners all the time, which I like a lot. She also lets us pick our partners which is even better, because we can work together as a team that we actually like. She is funny because she always makes jokes in class. Mrs. Flanigan also is very fair. When I am doing well she lets me revise and fix my work to improve my grade.

JD Cammarano

Mrs. McNicholas

Wildwood Middle School is a great, amazing place for one mouth-dropping reason: Mrs. McNicholas. I have never met a teacher that is more caring and that wants you to succeed in life. She wants you to do work in her class and she also cares about your personal life too. She cares about how you are doing outside of school. She is awesome!

Tracey Young

The Most Helpful Teacher

What make this school special are the teachers, but one in particular is Mrs. McNicholas. She is my math teacher. She is unique and not like any other teacher. Mrs. McNicholas is really funny during class and she makes everybody laugh, but we still get our work done. She gives everybody a chance to answer a question. Plus, she cares about our grades as she stays after school every day for a long time. "Mrs. Mack" also stays after school on Fridays and helps other teachers with the After School Program. Plus, Mrs. McNicholas is one great teacher to talk to. Mrs. McNicholas is the best!!

Railyn Serrano Springer

The After School Program

There are many special things about Wildwood Middle School, but what makes it so special is the After School Program. It is special because there are many different and fun activities that you can participate in like film and cooking. There are more unique things about the ASP, like marbles and arts and crafts. The ASP is so amazing because people enjoy it and it is also a place where you can ask for help on your homework. This certainly helps our grades a lot. The After School Program is why WMS is so special. Without the ASP, WMS would be not as great!

Alexis Perez

The After School Program

Wildwood Middle School is awesome because of the After School Program. It is fun because we have a lot of activities like cooking class, and many more. We can finish all our homework, and we learn lots of interesting stuff. On Fridays, we play games and every time you win you get a raffle ticket. From that raffle ticket, you can win cool prizes. We also get pizza when all the games are finished. All of the students work really hard too. The program is good for us to have a break and do our homework in a quiet place. If you went to After School Program, you would totally have fun too!

Keniel Perez

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