Principal's Corner

The Golden Tray Award

posted Feb 3, 2017, 11:48 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 11:48 AM ]

First class to win the Golden Tray Award


Molly Stark Elementary School began a recognition program that acknowledges good behavior during lunch. The "Golden Tray" is awarded once a week based on evidence of positive behavior as measured by tickets each class obtains when displaying appropriate behavior. Here's a picture of the very first class to receive the award - Ms. Keenan's Kindergarten class - with apologies to several learners who were not available when the picture was taken.

Polar Express

posted Dec 29, 2016, 9:07 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Dec 29, 2016, 9:10 AM ]

  The Polar Express arrives in Ms. Keenan's Kindergarten classroom.  
Polar Express photo 2
Polar Express photo 1

Holiday Band Program

posted Dec 29, 2016, 8:56 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Dec 29, 2016, 8:57 AM ]


4 band members


Four of the many Molly Stark learners who performed Monday evening in the combined Molly Stark and Monument Elementary School holiday band program.

Highlights Magazine

posted Dec 29, 2016, 8:52 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Dec 29, 2016, 8:53 AM ]




Congratulations to 4th grade learner Lenden Susee for having his written work published in Highlights Magazine in the Goofus and Gallant section. Lenden is pictured here with his Reading teacher, Andrea Lane. His congratulatory notice is also pictured along with his complimentary copy of the magazine.
Photo of student author

Welcome Back!

posted Sep 8, 2016, 5:13 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Sep 8, 2016, 5:16 AM ]

Molly Stark staff welcomes the students back to school in this video.  

Poetry Competition

posted Jul 22, 2016, 9:41 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Jul 22, 2016, 9:41 AM ]

Molly Stark librarian, Allyson Hoffman, was recently notified that a poem submitted by one of our learners, fifth grader Deanna Oakes, was selected from among thousands of entrants for publication in a book of poetry. Deanna remains in competition for additional prizes awarded to aspiring poets.

Congratulations, Deanna!



Dear Deanna,

We would like to publish your poem, "Freddy Lives On" in a new poetry book entitled Accomplished.

We recently sent you a notification letter that the poem you submitted through your teacher at school (Mrs. Hoffman at Molly Stark Elementary) or online through our website had been officially registered in The America Library of Poetry 2016 Student Poetry Contest. If this letter did not find you, we wanted to congratulate you on your submission and let you know that the various rounds of grading are continuing through the summer with the winners to be announced on September 30th.

We'll be awarding several prizes in each grade division along with random prizes just for entering, things like a Laptop Computer, Tablet or iPod Touch, School's Out Shopping Spree, Gift Cards, and of course the $500 U.S. Cash Grand Prize.

We also had some other exciting news especially for you. The America Library of Poetry would like to publish your poem in a new book entitled Accomplished. This compilation represents a small cross-section of select poetry we have received this year and is scheduled to be released this fall. Again, our congratulations as this is not an offer we make to everyone who sent us a submission. In fact, it may interest you to know that less than 20 percent of the authors we read will have the honor of seeing their work in print. It is something that we truly hope will encourage you to continue writing creatively and something in which you can take a great deal of pride. Of course, Accomplished will be under copyright only as a compilation. You will retain all rights to your individual work.

School in the Summer

posted Jul 22, 2016, 9:02 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Jul 22, 2016, 9:11 AM ]

Molly Stark School Community,

What happens at school during the summer?

This letter is for all of the people who wonder what goes on inside the school over the summer. “But all the kids are on break,” they say before I explain the many responsibilities that must be addressed in July and August.

Molly Stark Elementary School hosts a number of instructional programs during the summer (and some very interesting programs, like the one with animals pictured with this article). We will conclude our summer school program at the end of July. This experience involves several staff members and serves to extend what children have learned throughout the traditional school year, in a casual, enriching half-day program. There have been approximately 100 learners brightening the hallways with their smiles, enjoying a nutritious lunch, and filling rooms with the sounds of learning.

In addition to our instructional programming, head custodian Dave Rifenburg leads a crew of workers charged with the challenging task of performing needed repairs and cleaning the entire school in preparation for opening day. Sandy Mitchell, our secretary processes every purchase order required to supply the school with paper, pencils, and thumb drives. Sandy also processes information requests from anxious parents, staff members, and a new principal. Beyond that, she juggles countless phone calls and emails to the school. Technology staff from the SVSU central office are busy going school to school to school attending to computers, electronic projection screens and installing new programs and security updates. On top of this activity, teachers are frequently arriving at school to work on organizing their rooms, ordering supplies, and connecting with their colleagues regarding the curriculum.

Our school will welcome several new staff members before the first day of school. The hiring process is ongoing and designed to secure people who will contribute to our mission by furthering the hopes and supporting the dreams of all of our learners. In sum, school is a very busy place in July and August.

Summer will be over before we know it (and before we want it to be over). I look forward to the opening bell. Remind your children to bring a smile to school and our staff will collectively commit ourselves to making sure they go home at the end of the day with a smile. If that happens, then everything in between will contribute to building a brighter future for our learners. Join us in this quest by becoming a partner in your child’s learning experience. Visit the school, attend parent meetings, communicate with school staff, ask your child questions about school, find something positive to say about their effort and performance, don’t be afraid to contact me at school – get and stay involved!

Dr. Mike Mugits

Leisure Time

posted Jul 11, 2016, 12:22 PM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Jul 11, 2016, 12:22 PM ]

People spend their leisure time during the summer in many different ways. Molly Stark Elementary Assistant Principal, Gail W. Johnson, prepares for another school year by running. We'd like to congratulate Mrs. Johnson for finishing first in her age group on Sunday in the sixth annual Mad River Marathon and Half Marathon, held upstate in the Mad River Valley . Mrs. Johnson completed the half marathon (13.2 miles) before everyone else in her age group. You'll have to stay in shape and be determined if you want to keep up with Mrs. Johnson!

Let Me Introduce Myself

posted Jul 11, 2016, 9:08 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Jul 11, 2016, 12:20 PM ]

Hello Molly Stark Community:

I’d like to introduce myself. I am Mike Mugits, the new principal of Molly Stark Elementary School. It is a privilege and honor to accept this leadership position. I trust that my words and actions will convince you how, and why, I've become the leader of the school. Serving you requires more than a title or position. Allow me to explain what’s behind the nameplate on the office desk.

I am a parent. That’s a challenging responsibility. I never forget that when interacting with parents of our Molly Stark learners. I’ve raised a son and a daughter. I recently became a grandfather, to a little boy born here in Bennington last July. I have previously served as a principal and school superintendent. I came here to make a positive a difference in the lives of others by supporting the dreams and encouraging the hopes of children.

Regardless of test scores and other measurements, the success of a school depends on the relationships between and among everyone in the school. I expect your sons and daughters to be treated like our staff members would want their children treated. With this in mind, I’ve used the following quote as a guide throughout my career: “People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” That will be the foundation of our school. People must feel safe, respected, and accepted before they can experience success and achievement. The four pillars of Molly Stark – Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible – are expectations that promote learning. These expectations apply to everyone within the school, including visitors.

Our school supports many academic, social and behavioral goals, but our efforts can be simplified and reduced to one clear purpose – We expect each child to arrive at school on time, with a smile, ready to do their best, and we will do our best to provide experiences and opportunities for all children so they leave school each day with a smile. That’s the true measure of a school. That’s what I wanted for my own children; to come home from school feeling positive. If for some reason a child enters Molly Stark without a smile then we’re responsible for finding out what is troubling the child (for example, they forgot their homework, or they’re worried about their lost dog) and make sure that a caring adult responds with appropriate support to put a smile back on the child’s face. If your child comes home concerned about something at school, you should contact us at 442-2692. We encourage you to visit Molly Stark and become a partner along your child’s path of learning. I promise I will work as hard as you do to create a bright future for your child.


Dr. Michael Mugits, Principal
Molly Stark Elementary School

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