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Cortez Middle School showcases students’ elective achievements

Director Katie Zdanowski rehearses the Cortez Middle School band in March. The band and other electives classes will be featured in the CMS Elective Showcase on Tuesday.

Cortez Middle School’s Elective Showcase next week will feature all the school’s elective classes, from industrial tech to jazz band.

The event takes place Tuesday, Dec. 13, from 6-8 p.m. at the CMS gymnasium. In the second hour, the jazz band and choir will perform musical selections. Before the performance, the other elective classes will have materials on display that showcase what they have worked on during the fall semester. Those classes include art, drama, industrial tech, family and consumer science, agriculture, Navajo culture and physical education.

“It’s a chance for all the electives to show what they do,” band director Andrew Campo said.

This will be the seventh year CMS has put on the elective showcase. The band and choir program will feature holiday music and other tunes, including a combined performance of “Jingle Bell Rock,” he said.

Industrial tech students will show off their engineering projects from the semester, including bridges, windmills and battery-operated cars, teacher Keri Mustoe said. Drama teacher Angela Garibaldi said theater will display photos and set pieces from their shows.

Art teacher Caitlin Englehart said two- and three-dimensional art from students in all grades will be on display. The projects are inspired by classical artists, as well as modern artists such as Chuck Close and Dale Chihuli, she said.

Sixth- and seventh-grade students in family and consumer sciences worked on sewing by hand and machine, teacher Melinda Martinez said, and eighth-graders created blankets that will be donated to local charity organizations, homeless shelters and law enforcement departments. Navajo culture students will showcase basketry and other artwork.

Agriculture students have closed up the school garden for the winter, but they will have a presentation on their season, teacher Renee Nall said.

Elective students learn new things each year as new classes are offered, and the showcase highlights that, Mustoe said.

“It’s new to students as they come up through school,” she said. “It’s kind of a tradition.”