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WJMS Boys Basketball Team Win Region

WJMS boys completed an 18-0 season for the second year in a row. The Knights won the title of Coastal Empire Region Champions with a win over Effingham County. The team also won the Langston Chapel Preseason Tournament as well as the Knight Holiday Classic Christmas tournament.

boys basketball


Coaches Row - Roosevelt Whitney, Kadarious Lemmons, George Shaver, Brian Hall, CJ Lanier, Quintin Walker

Back Row L to R - Flip Dixon, Shaun Hill, Tybias Young, Quan Busby, Jo Burns, Jacobi Edenfield, O.J. Reese, Kristian Clark

Middle Row L to R - Rodney Hill, Elyja Fields, Janard Mike, Mike Wilcox, Von Taylor, Cameron White, Conner Williams, Cam Harrison, Makaleb McBride

Front Row L to R - Henry Humphries, Keilyn Murphy, Kayden Taylor, Fred Adams, Dominique Harrison, Jaden Wells, Garrison Littles, Ahmod McCullough


WJMS Girls Basketball Team Finish With a Winning Season

The William James Lady Knights had an impressive 2015-2016 season, advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. With Adrienne Clark as head coach and assistant coaches Kyerha Tate and Janetta Alabi-Isama, the girls finished the season with a 5-4 region stats record and an overall season record of 7-6. The girls were ecstatic about their winning season and made their coaches proud by giving their all.

girls basketball


Coaches Row - Kyerha Tate, Janetta Alabi-Isama, and Adrienne Clark

Back Row L to R - Najwa Williams, Jalecia Kearse, Madison Lee, Brinson Anne Rogers, Caitlin Waters, Emily Quinn, Jasmine Lowe

Middle Row L to R - Dasani Derard, Meyah Rawls, Kacie Ricketts, Bailee Roberts, Jordan Palmer, Jada Scott, Jekiyah Young

Front Row L to R - Alexis Ward, Dijanay Gantt, Keke Strickland, Jabria Atkinson, Tanner Kaiser, Madison Freeman


Veterans Day Program

WJMS hosted a Veterans Day program with guest speakers from the community. The local 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion of the Army National Guard spent the day with our students showing them military vehicles and equipment. At the end of the day, they visited the classrooms and spoke with our students to answer questions they had about the military. Active duty military and local veterans were encouraged to come out and spend the day with us.


Pictured L to R: Major Abby Walker, Principal Mike Yawn, & Colonel Randall Simmons


Pictured L to R in truck: Bryan Brown, Cameron Allen, Malayah Dekle, Kinsley James, Lane Preston, Cody Wilson, Carlton Gamble with SPC James A. Barrington

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Pictured: Jace Perossa, Helen Piltner, Brianna McDaniel, Ceci Smith, Jordan Aycock, Ashtyn Peeples, Jamyen Williams, Mallory Horst, Emerson Chester, & CJ Lanier


Parent Night - Hatchet Book Walk and Horror Showcase

WJMS held a Parent Night in November to showcase student work. The 6th and 7th grade ELA teachers and students turned the front hallway, the media center, and the ELA hallway into a Book Walk featuring the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Each teacher developed a different component of the book with their classes for the display. The 8th grade teachers and students decorated one hallway with a horror theme. Students read the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe and completed activities based on common themes from the Horror genre. They created their own two-sentence horror stories, recipes for insanity stew, cover art for "The Tell-Tale Heart", and music playlists that represent the overall mood and tone of the story. Students also re-wrote the story and formatted it into a comic strip format where they had to draw out the setting and the characters based on the evidence from the text.

 Parent Night Parent Night 2
Parent Night 3Pictured L to R: McKayla Cook & Asia Lee       

Parent Night 4

Pictured L to R: Jamaria Allen, Mikaela Dekle, Brinson Anne Rogers








parent Night Parent NIght 6

Chess Team

The WJMS Chess Team has a perfect record this season. Students have competed in three tournaments this year and have won the first place title in each one of them. The team has worked hard all year meeting each week to practice. Their final match is coming up soon and the group plans to make it a clean sweep for the season.  

Pictured Back Row L to R: Winston Moore, Ryan Brannen, Tanner Fallin, Anna Smith, Riley Vasilatos, Isabella Hunter, Ada Wallace, Ben Heffner, Albert Zheng

Front Row L to R: Parent Liaison Maggie Halaby, Josh Smith, Will Heffner, Cameron Halaby, Gabriel Rowe, Joey Taylor, Scott Caplinger, Cooper Ownbey

Not Pictured: Dylan Carter, Jayman Patel, Brian White, Chase Page, Jack Newton, Jackson Hodgin,  Shirling Xu, Parth Patel, Austin Halaby, Eletria Biswas, Will Altman, Trestin Harrington, Coach Dave Vasilatos, Parent Liaison Carrie Vescio


WJMS Regional Technology Fair Winners

On Saturday, January 23rd WJMS students competed in the Bulloch County Regional Student Technology Fair at Julia P. Bryant Elementary. Anna Smith placed 2nd in 3D Modeling for division 3. Bryce Costlow placed 2nd in the Audio Production category for division 3. Shirling Xu placed 1st in Internet Applications for division 3. Bailey Borck placed 1st in Multimedia Apps for division 2. NaKyung Oh placed 2nd in the Mobile Apps category for division 3.  Andrew Ogle and Gabriel Bermudez-Moronta placed 1st in the Game Design category for division 2. Students who placed 1st in their category will advance to the Georgia Educational Technology Fair competition in Macon on March 5th.



Back Row L to R: Gabriel Bermudez-Moronta, Bryce Costlow, Bailey Borck

Front Row L to R: NaKyung Oh, Shirling Xu, Andrew Ogle, Anna Smith


Science Fair

WJMS held its second annual Science Fair with 85 students participating. The top three winners were Gabriel Rowe in first place with his project, Holy mammals, What’s up with their cells?, second place went to the team of Christian Vescio and Mason Hudgens with their project, Does tapping on the top of a carbonated beverage affect if it spews after shaking?, and the team of Nora Wiggins and Katelyn Carter won third place with their project, Are composite faces or real faces more attractive? A total of 34 projects from WJMS will go on to compete in the Regional Science Fair at Savannah State on February 10th.

Pictured L to R: Christian Vescio, Mason Hudgens, Gabriel Rowe, Katelyn Carter, & Nora Wiggins


WJMS Girls Tennis Team Win Region


Back Row L to R - Coach Brian Hall, Bailee Roberts, Jill Jameson, Zoey Thompson, Hannah Pease, Dee Dee Thompson

Middle Row L to R - Elizabeth Bennett, Emma Baxley, Reid Ragan, Jada Coble, Abby Welch

Front Row L to R - Jada Scott, Addison Taylor, Isabella Nobles

Not Pictured: Lexi Tanner and Catherine Morgan Akins


Geography Bee Winner Named

All students at WJMS participated in the National Geography Bee by completing a multiple choice geography test. Of the tests, the top ten scoring students competed against each other in the school-level Geography Bee in January. After several rounds of competition, Harrison Cork won the competition. Ben Buckhoff came in second place with Kate Lamb in third. Cameron Halaby placed fourth in the competition. As our school winner, Harrison completed an online exam which was submitted to the National Geographic Society. Top scoring students from across the state will be notified in March if they will advance to the state competition.

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Pictured Back Row L to R: Ethan Steiner, Austin Halaby, Michael Corbett, Jake Peeples, Neal Fordham, and Brian Curry

Front Row L to R: Harrison Cork, Ben Buckhoff, Kate Lamb, and Cameron Halaby


Letters of Appreciation for Family

After the recent loss of hometown hero, Staff Sgt. Chester McBride, 8th grade ELA students at WJMS decided to spend some time reaching out to McBride's family to thank them for their sacrifice and to offer love and support.  In order to accomplish this, 8th grade ELA teachers used a "Thank You Thursday" where students spent time discussing and writing about the costs of freedom, with a specific focus on McBride and his family. After students wrote letters to the family expressing their appreciation for his service, they will be shared with the family.


Random Acts of Kindness Week

William James Middles School celebrated its third annual Random Acts of Kindness Week February 8th – 12th. The purpose of the week is to emphasize to students the importance of being kind to one another, their teachers, their families, and the community. This year students also stressed kindness on social media.

To increase awareness, WJMS scheduled dress-up days related to kindness.  For example, Disney Day reflects Cinderella’s pledge to “Have Courage and Be Kind”; Senior Citizen Day because being kind never gets old; and Akahai is the Hawaiian word for kindness so students dressed for a luau.  The student body was also given daily kindness challenges for home, school, and social media. Students were encouraged to hold the door for someone at school, thank their family, and post kind and encouraging words on Instagram and Snapchat.

As a school-wide act of kindness, WJMS students and faculty collected money for Relay for Life.  A grand total of $1,450 was raised for Relay for Life during the week! Kay Nay with the American Cancer Society came to William James to accept a check from members of the eighth grade Kindness Committee.


L to R: Jamaria Allen, Madelyn Wolfe, Hil Gracen, Kay Nay, Jackson Proctor, Fred Adams, and Renea Durrence, WJMS Nurse/Relay for Life Team Captain

L to R: Dee Dee Thompson, Lauren Massee, Sarah Hibbard, Pam Radford, Kim Wagoner, Autumn Horton, Joy Marsh, Beth Lamb, Deanna Tackett, Megan Anderson, Allison Smith
L to R: Megan Anderson, Gabe Hardy, Maggie Ponder, Maggie Howell, Ali Anderson, Savannah Barefoot, Heather Petty, Laura Groover, Kylee Taylor, Ashani Whitfield, Kalli Johnson, Makaela Dekle, Hil Gracen, Emma Godbee, Savanna McQuaig, Bobbie Anna Hotchkiss, Sarah Hibbard, Brooke Bennett, Madelyn Wolfe, Dee Dee Thompson, Emily Riner

Miss WJMS Pageant

The 2016 Miss WJMS Pageant was held in the SHS Auditorium. WJMS young ladies competed for the pageant title in which contestants were judged in a casual wear category as well as a formal wear category. The judges selected five semi-finalists who then participated in an onstage interview. After tabulating the results, Britt Lane was crowned Miss WJMS 2016. First runner up was Hayden Hughes, second runner up was Maggie Howell, third runner up was Addie Sanders, and fourth runner up was Samaria Johnson. In addition, Miss Congeniality went to Maggie Howell and the People’s Choice Award went to Britt Lane.

Georgia Science and Engineering Fair

Three William James students earned the honor to compete at the Georgia Science & Engineering Fair: Eletria Biswas, Katelyn Carter and Nora Wiggins. Eletria Biswas was awarded 2nd Honors for her project titled: How does one person's incorrect answers influence other people's answers in a simple test? Katelyn Carter and Nora Wiggins were awarded 3rd Honors for their project titled: Are composite faces or real faces more attractive?


L to R: Nora Wiggins, Katelyn Carter, Eletria Biswas


Science Olympiad

The WJMS Science Olympiad team placed 5th overall at the 2nd annual Division B Regional Science Olympiad competition. The event was held at Georgia Southern University on February 20th.


L to R: Danielle Jackson, Cameron Halaby, Albert Zheng, Gavin Jackson, Gabe Rowe, Evy Shen, Anna Smith, Shirling Xu, Lori Beth Carter, Brian White, Eletria Biswas, David Lippincott, Ansley Jackson, Austin Halaby, Adison Marsh, Amy Smith, and  Ceci Smith


SECME Competition

A six student team from William James competed in the Regional SECME Competition at Savannah State University on April 9th.  

The VEX Robotics team and the Water Bottle Rocket team each took home the 1st Place Award. With their win, the VEX Robotics team was awarded an all expenses paid trip to National VEX Robotics Competition in June.


L to R: VEX Robotics Team - Albert Zheng, Anna Smith, and Cameron Halaby


L to R: Water Bottle Rocket Team - Helen Piltner, Evy Shen, and Scott Caplinger

Girls Golf Team -  Region Champions

Boys Golf Team - Region Runner-Up


L to R: Tyler Howard, Stone Bailey, Glenn Bailey, JT Dorsey, Hunter Brown, Victory Lee, Mason Kleinlein, Brooke Bennett, Jackson Proctor, Madison Freeman, Savannah Barefoot, Jim Winskie


Girls Soccer Team - Region Runner-Up


Pictured: Nora Wiggins, Jada Coble, Katelyn Carter, Reid Ragan, Madison Jackson, Hayden Hughes, Jamaria Allen, Bailey Borck, Ashtyn Peeples, Ansley Jackson, Sydney Sisson, Tanner Kaiser, India Harden, Madi Welch, Bailee Roberts, Avery Wiggins, Kacie Ricketts, Jordan Palmer, Christian Reagin, Brooke Stansel, Grace Geiger, Brinson Anne Rogers


Boys and Girls Track Teams - Region Champions

Team Members: Parrish Aldred, Aaron Baynon, Jo Burns, DyQuan Busby, Michael Corbett, Daniel Crowe, Daronta Davis, Flip Dixon, Jacobi Edenfield, Nick Foreman, Greyson Gawthrop, Jamison Godbee, Austin Halaby, Shaun Hill, Xavier  Lee, Corey McCullough, Devon Taylor, Mike Wilcox, Tybias Young, David Lippincott, Garrison Littles, O’Jaryn Reese, Adrian Taylor ,Al’Zarion Weaver, Courtnei Williams, Elijah Gawthrop, Rodney Hill, Noah McCollar, Jace Perossa, Nycorian Roberts, Jamie Speight, Jamaria Allen, Mikaela Dekle, Emma Godbee, Makenna Hart, Bobbi Anna Hotchkiss, Isabella Nobles, Maggie Ponder, Christian Reagin, Sarah Reddick, Conley Roberson, Shacoyia Smart, Alexis Ward, Sana Chaudhry, Hartlee Faircloth, Tanner Kaiser, Kate Lamb, Markasia Mincey, Rianna Mock, Bailee Roberts, Ty’Keria Shipman, Madison Lee, Andee Mackiewicz, Aaliyah Marshall, Marshanti  Mikell, Ashtyn Peeples, Logan Stewart, Lexi Tanner, and Jekiah Young


Georgia STEM Day

On Friday, May 6th WJMS hosted events celebrating Georgia STEM Day. Georgia STEM Day provided an opportunity to engage students in activities involving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 


Brian White demonstrates the air launcher built for Science Olympiad competition. A ping pong ball is loaded into the tube for launching.

Through grant funding with GSU, Dr. Lucy Green and Dr. Mete Akcaoglu have worked with students all year coding games using Kodu. WJMS students were able to play the games the group created.

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L to R: Peyton Shuman, Mallory Horst, Brianna McDaniel, Dr. Lucy Green, Andee Mackiewicz, Jace Perossa, Slade Gracen, Jordan Fennell, and Mete Akcaoglu
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Cameron Halaby, Anna Smith, and Gabe Rowe demonstrate the VEX robots they built and programmed.

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Using a Makey Makey invention kit, several students join hands to complete a circuit in order to play a coin piano.

Penny Sikes Math Tournament Winners

The WJMS 6th grade math team competed in the Penny Sikes Math Tournament hosted by Southeast Bulloch High School. Coached by Tom Borck, the group worked hard during the school year by meeting each week after school to practice for the tournament. The team placed first overall at the event and won first place in ciphering. Students who placed in the top ten for individual trophies include: Evy Shen(1st place), Scott Caplinger(2nd place), Albert Zheng(3rd place), and Helen Piltner(5th place).

L to R: Madison Lee, Evy Shen, Bailey Borck, Jamyen Williams, Albert Zheng, Sophie Concannon, Scott Caplinger, and Minju Kim


Nan-Rushing Write Off Winners

The Nan Rushing Write-Off was recently hosted by Southeast Bulloch Middle School’s English Department. Students from all of Bulloch County’s middle schools competed in seven categories including capitalization/punctuation, mental concentration, writing, language expression, vocabulary, spelling, and usage. In five of the events students complete multiple-choice exams that are then scored electronically. For the mental concentration and composition competitions, judges hand-score the entries. WJMS winners were Scott Caplinger(1st place in 6th grade), Albert Zheng(3rd place in 6th grade), Mikal Mascarello(1st place in 8th grade) and Eletria Biswas(2nd place in 8th grade) in Mental Concentration; Evy Shen(1st place in 6th grade), Abigail Nesmith(2nd place in 7th grade), and Morgan Bruner(2nd place in 8th grade) in Narrative Writing; Brianna McDaniel(1st place in 6th grade), Jenna Goodson(2nd place in 6th grade), Lindsey Hill(2nd place in 7th grade), Victory Hill(1st place in 8th grade) in Persuasive Writing; Gavin Jackson(2nd place in 6th grade), Abi Welch(2nd place in 7th grade), Jada Scott(3rd place in 8th grade) in Spelling; Ben Buckhoff(3rd place in 7th grade) and Shirling Xu(3rd place in 8th grade) in Usage/Language & Expression; Andee Mackiewicz(1st place in 6th grade), Jackson Hodgin(1st place in 7th grade), Cameron Halaby(3rd place in 7th grade), and Eletria Biswas(1st place in 8th grade) in Vocabulary.


Community Service and Passion Projects

Eighth grade students in Mrs. Starling's advanced ELA class spent both Fall and Spring semesters volunteering their time and researching their ideas for their Community Service and Passion Projects. Students were encouraged to select an area in the community which has potential as a career choice and to volunteer a minimum of 15 hours for each semester.  During those volunteer hours, students were to search for a problem and then research a solution for their Passion Project.  Students volunteered at locations such as East Georgia Regional Medical Center, Statesboro Regional Library, Georgia Southern University, Bulloch County EMS, Best Friends Animal Hospital, Colonial House of Flowers, Wing Maxx, Cotton Patch Bakery, Pittman Park Methodist Church, Connections Church, Pladd Dot Music, and many more. For their Passion Projects, students created solutions like creating new materials to make a baseball, building their own guitar, and making a shoulder guard from fiberglass designed to minimize injuries.

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8th Grader, Austin Halaby, shows off his Passion Project with his pop art creations of The Joker from Batman.
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After volunteering at Best Friends Animal Hospital,Nora Wiggins shows Hil Gracen the procedures for taking an animal through surgery. She also created a pamphlet for pet owners to help deal with the grief of losing an animal.