Students Spend Flex Time in the Gifted Room


Media by Arpitha Sistla

Mia Kreissler, junior; Lauren King, sophomore; and Ginger Ramirez, sophomore, eat lunch and read in the Gifted Room.

With the introduction of Flex Time this year, many students have found spots around MHS to claim as their own, making use of spaces ranging from as large as the Commons to various nooks and crannies. 

One of these spots in particular provides a safe space, a small group setting and an abundance of resources: the Gifted Office. 

About 10-15 students, including Himanth Bobba, sophomore, visit the Gifted Office each day. Bobba often goes to the gifted office during Flex for a quiet place to get some work done. 

“You can spend some time, breathe a little bit and then get back on your feet,” Bobba said. 

Bobba said he sees students around the office lounging in the chairs and couches while quietly chatting with each other and the counselors. He said he enjoys spending time in the Gifted Office because there he has a familiar adult to talk to. 

Bobba said the Gifted Office is a great resource and should be used more because the gifted office suits an array of needs, providing resources like books, information about awards and the knowledge of the teachers themselves. 

“No matter what your situation is, they have something there to help you,” Bobba said. 

Dr. Robin Lady, gifted resource teacher, also said  the Gifted Office is truly for every one of the 450 gifted students at MHS. Students utilizing the office during Flex and lunch can find resources to cope with stress and anxiety, time management and organization as well as a quiet space to take a break. 

“We’re a safe space for all students no matter their background and what’s going on in their life,” Dr. Lady said. 

Dr. Lady said what she thinks is the biggest appeal of the Gifted Office is it offers a place where gifted students can spend time with peers like themselves. 

“I think it’s just really cool to hang out with kids that you like discussing topics with and that you feel connected with,” Dr. Lady said.

Judi Willenbrink, gifted resource teacher, said students enjoy the welcoming environment. 

“If they don’t feel they have friends out in the Commons, [the gifted office] is a place to de-stress,” Willenbrink said.

Willenbrink said that this year the gifted resource teachers will use Room G12 as a more flexible space outside of the office to talk about stress relief, have guest speakers come in, have discussions about various topics and try and focus on what the students would like to do. 

Room G12 has enough space to hold about 30 students, much bigger than the Gifted Office, allowing for some of the larger activities planned. Additionally, the gifted resource teachers plan to encourage gifted students to come to the Gifted Office and Room G12 when they check in with the seniors and freshmen this month. 

Kenneth Baremore, traveling gifted teacher between MHS and Selvidge, said the gifted resource teachers are also planning to offer sessions on note taking, study skills and social and emotional issues during Flex. 

Being a middle school and high school gifted resource teacher, he recognizes the bonds gifted kids form between themselves and with their past gifted teachers and sees this as what gifted students like most about spending time in the Gifted Office in high school. 

“Sometimes they are continuing a relationship with students and teachers that they began years before in the CCL and in Stretch,” Baremore said.