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Welcome from the Middle School Director

The Middle School at ASM responds to the unique needs of adolescents at a very special time in their lives. Students and teachers engage in active, purposeful learning, and the curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant.

Our teachers believe that learning should involve real-world experiences, risk and failure, self-reflection, and choice. Teachers recognize that learning is a continuous process that requires our students to push through challenges and perceived limits. Students are also encouraged to actively own their own learning, and teachers create learning experiences that support problem solving and collaboration. The teachers use multiple learning and teaching approaches, and varied and on-going assessments advance learning as well as to measure it. 

Our teachers value young adolescents, and learning takes place within a positive, supportive community. The daily advisory program is centered on the Responsive Advisory model, and the advisor is a key person in the social and emotional development of our students. The Middle School teachers recognize that in addition to working with students to achieve optimal academic achievement, it is important to promote constructive learner attitudes, skills, and behaviors, including the development of a student’s passion for learning, collaboration, the disposition to apply critical and creative thinking skills, and a willingness to work hard to achieve one’s full potential. The Middle School Learner Profile helps teachers and students to establish goals, plan instruction, generate discussions, and reflect on learner behaviors and citizenship. The advancement of the attitudes, attributes, and behaviors of the Learner Profile is a central focus of the Middle School program and considered by our staff to be critical to long-term student success. 

Students at the American School of Madrid have many opportunities to pursue interests outside of the regular core curriculum. Students may choose to take exploratory courses in the humanities, fine and performing arts, and technology. Classes like Science Design and Projects, Film as Literature, Future Technologies, and Graphic Design provide enriching learning experiences. Students are also encouraged to pursue musical interests by taking Orchestra, Band, or Choir. The exploratory course program is an essential feature of our overall Middle School program.

The academic school program is enriched by after-school opportunities such as Model United Nations, Robotics, and Computer Programming. Students also enjoy a variety of athletic opportunities as well as a rich arts program that offers evening concerts as well as private music lessons. Students are also encouraged to serve our school and local community by joining our school’s two service organizations, Junior Embajadores and Caring Hands. 

We welcome you to our ASM Middle School and trust that you will take advantage of the many opportunities that our school community offers.

Mike Nugent

The New Middle School 

ASM’s commitment to providing every opportunity for students to fully develop their character, their skills, and their habits of mind is clear in the new Middle School building. The common areas and classrooms create a range of learning spaces, from science labs to small group collaboration hubs, and a Middle School performance and meeting area. The new Middle School, which opened in April 2021,  simultaneously creates a 21st learning environment of Middle School students and frees up space within the current high school building, giving more room for our older students and allowing for future renovations.

Mike Nugent joined the American School of Madrid staff in 1995 as a Middle and High School English teacher. He also served as the Middle School Coordinator from 1995-2010. During his tenure at ASM, Mike has served as co-chair for two ASM accreditation cycles for the Middle States Association.

Prior to his time at ASM, Mike taught English and Spanish at a public Middle School in Rochester, Michigan where he was also active as a cross country and track coach.

In 2015, Mike received a Certificate of International School Leadership from the Principals Training Center. Mike also received his BA in English and Spanish from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan in 1985 and his MA in English from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in 1993.