After more than 50 years of serving Queens as a high school, Martin Luther expanded this year to include sixth, seventh and eighth graders.
The ribbon was cut for the new middle school on Thursday, September 29 on the revamped third floor of the Maspeth school building. Politicians, local business owners, parents, administrators and students were on hand to usher in the school’s new era.
“When so many parochial schools seem to be cutting back on programs, we’re trying to expand,” said Head of School Randal Gast. “The bricks and mortar of the future at Martin Luther as well as our community and our church [are the children].”
State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley – both of whom have been incredibly supportive of the school, Gast said – spoke to the students about the opportunity they have at Martin Luther.
Crowley, whose brother and sister both attended the high school, said part of their success is due to the foundation they gained at Martin Luther.
“You’ll have even more of an advantage because you’re coming in at a younger age,” said Crowley. “You have a very unique opportunity.”
“At a time when schools are struggling to survive, here you are cutting the ribbon on an expansion at Martin Luther. That’s why you should really be proud today,” said Addabbo.
Chin-Sinn joined the Martin Luther staff after 25 years at St. John’s Lutheran School in Glendale. Chin-Sinn’s vision includes making sure each student is prepared for high school.
“Quality education is important,” she said. “Our teachers are very well-equipped.”
Each eighth grader will take the Regents exams in both Intermediate Algebra and Living Environment this June.
Academics is not the only benefit the students will be able to take advantage of. There are programs both before and after school for students, including band, basketball, volleyball, photography, chess and drama.
“It’s fun,” said sixth grader Sally of the extracurriculars. “There are lots of clubs to choose from.”
All the students are involved in some extracurricular activity, said Chin-Sinn.
The programs before school begin at 7 a.m., with extracurricular activities after school lasting from 2:45 until 6 p.m.
“I’m excited about the myriad of opportunities that are open for these children,” Chin-Sinn said.