Grade 7

Mrs. Esposito's 7th graders investigate mystery substances for signs of life.

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Mrs. Geri Esposito - Science

Geri Esposito holds a degree in Science and a Higher Diploma in Education from University College Galway, Ireland, along with a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Rutgers University. Mrs. Esposito taught courses in biology and physical science at the High School level for 10 years before coming to MTMS where she has taught science since 2000. “I really enjoy working with Middle School students. I love their enthusiasm and curiosity. Teaching science is different every day and my job is never boring.” says Mrs. Esposito. Mrs. Esposito also enjoys her role as MTMS yearbook advisor.

Mrs. Catherine Gustavsen - Language Arts

Catherine Gustavsen began teaching at Mendham Township Middle School in 1998 and currently teaches 6th and 7th grade Language Arts. She received her B.A. in English from Rutgers College and earned separate Master’s degrees in Special Education, the Art of Teaching, and Literacy. She is also a certified reading specialist. She hopes to continue to share her love of reading by hosting a book club after school. Mrs. Gustavsen enjoys going to the beach, discussing books with her students, cheering for the New York Giants, and supporting MTMS students in their extracurricular and sporting events.

Dr. James Haggerty - Math

Dr. James Haggerty Prior to teaching Grade Seven Mathematics and Grade Eight Geometry at Mendham Township Middle School. Dr. Haggerty practiced law, worked on Wall Street, and taught mathematics and language arts in the inner city. Dr. Haggerty acquired his passion for mathematics from his mother, a former mathematician at Bell Labs. He is certified in English, his college major. Like his father, a former attorney and sitting judge, he enjoys reading all genres of writing in his spare time. Dr. Haggerty also coaches the MTMS boys soccer team. He recently accepted a position tutoring mathematics and writing at Farleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.

Mr. Matthew Lynch - History

Mr. Lynch began his teaching career in 2008 in Belvidere, NJ. He has been teaching 7th grade Social Studies in Mendham Township since 2010. He received a BA in History from Ramapo College in 2000. Before following in his father’s footsteps and becoming an educator, Mr. lynch worked in building materials manufacturing and sales. The highlight of each seventh grade year is Mr. Lynch’s trip to Philadelphia in the spring.

Ms. Amanda Porter - World Language

Mrs. Amanda Porter is a 2004 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University; earning a BS in K-12 Spanish Education and a minor in International Studies. Mrs. Porter studied abroad in high school and college in Seville, Spain, where she experienced total immersion in the Spanish language and culture. Mrs. Porter was excited to join the MTMS teaching staff in 2016, bringing many years of experience and a passion for teaching world languages to middle level learners. Mrs. Porter believes in the importance of making connections with students that extend beyond the school walls. She is currently an active member of FLENJ, the advisor of a Jump, Stunt, and Tumble Cheerleading Club at MTMS and the Head Coach of the nationally ranked Varsity Competitive Cheerleading Team at Mendham High School.

Ms. Sara Samaan - World Language

Mrs. Sara Samaan/Señora Samaan joined MTMS in 2011 and currently teaches 6th and 7th grade Spanish. She is from Bogotá, Colombia and holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Mrs. Samaan earned her Spanish Teacher Certification after meeting all the requirements established by the State Board of Education and completing Methods of Foreign Language Teaching course at Rutgers University. Mrs. Samaan began her teaching career in 2004 at Wardlaw-Hartridge School teaching Spanish III and AP Spanish. Señora Samaan loves teaching and brings native fluency and enthusiasm about the Spanish speaking world into the classroom.

Ms. Christine Varjian - Language Arts

Christine Varjian has been a Language Arts teacher since 2003. She began teaching at MTMS in 2015. She has her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Theatre. In 2005, she obtained an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. Currently, she continues post graduate studies in literature.

Mrs. Christine Yawger - Language Arts

Mrs. Yawger has been teaching seventh and eighth grade language arts at MTMS since 2010. Mrs. Yawger earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Middle School Endorsement in language arts from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in English Writing from Seton Hall University. While at Seton Hall, Mrs. Yawger taught several first year English courses. She just recently finished a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership at Montclair State University. Teaching language arts has always been Mrs. Yawger’s passion, and middle school is her absolute favorite age group to teach. She loves being able to guide all of her students to grow as critical thinkers, readers, and writers so they can apply these skills in all that they do!

Grade 7 Special Events

Holocaust Unit

For many years, the seventh grade unit on the Holocaust has culminated in attending an in-school performance based on the life of Anne Frank. In this one-woman play, called “Through the Eyes of a Friend”, the actress interacts with a realistic video in a riveting and emotional account of young Anne’s life.

Speech Doctor

Improving students’ public speaking ability is an important objective of the seventh grade curriculum. To help achieve this goal “The Speech Doctor”, who has a Doctorate in public speaking and teaches at the college level, instructs our students on the major requirements of delivering successful presentations.

Philadelphia Trip

Mr. Lynch plans and accompanies the 7th graders on their class trip to Philadelphia each spring. Historical attractions student's experience on the trip include the Liberty Bell, Eastern State Penitentiary and the new Constitution Center.

Frog Dissection

One of the highlights of 7th Grade Life Science is the frog dissection that is done as part of the animal unit. Students get to practice their skills with dissection tools including scalpels and dissection needles. Should any student opt-out of dissecting the frog they have the opportunity to perform a virtual dissection using the on line program Froguts.