Springfield Public Schools - Home

FMS Gifted

1200 Outer Park Drive
Springfield, IL 62704
FMS Scholastic Bowl Team Places 3rd at State!

The Franklin Scholastic Bowl Team concluded its outstanding season by placing 3rd at the IESA State Tournament in Peoria on May 6th!  We are proud of our outstanding Scholastic Bowl Team ond the tradition of excellence that they achieve on a yearly basis!

Great job, Falcons!

Falcons Soar at IJAS State Science Fair

The Following Franklin students participated and excelled at the IJAS State Science Fair held at the Peoria Civic Center on April 23, 2022.

Euphoria Y.: 7th Grade-"Mask Mania"

Gold Award Winner

2022 Broadcom Masters Award Winner for Outstanding Performance

Nominated to participate in Nationals


Neel A.: 7th Grade-"Does Density of Wood Affect Flammability"

Gold Award Winner

Winner of Best Science Materials Award


Vanshika G.: 7th Grade-"Does Color Affect Memory"

Gold Award Winner


Meher G. 7th Grade-"Spherification of Liquids"

Gold Award Winner

Sullivan G.: 8th Grade-"Stress Rates"

Silver Award Winner

Marc Q. Advances to History Bee Nationals

Marc Q. placed third at the History Bee Regionals in Chicago on April 10th.  Marc will now advance to the History Bee Nationals and International History Olympiad.  We are proud of you, Marc!

2022 Regional Science Fair Results

Seven students participated in Regionals on March 19, 2022. All students were invited to participate in State competition on April 23rd in Peoria, Il.

Neel A. 7th Grade Outstanding Award winner

Meher G. 7th Grade Outstanding Award winner and Naval Science Award winner

Vanshika G. 7th Grade Outstanding Award winner

Lila M. 7th Grade Outstanding Award winner

Euphoria Y. 7th Grade First place award and Mosley Consumer Science Award winner

Sullivan G. 8th Grade First place award

Anshul N. 8th Grade First place award

GO FALCONS! We are proud of you!


16 Falcons Advance In IAC Geography Competition



Congratulations to the following Franklin students that have advanced to the International Academic Competition Geography Qualifying exam.

Lily C.

Eliyas F.

LaMyia F.

Meher G.

Vanshika G.

Marym H.

Alexander H.

Bentley H.

Jai K.

Morgan L.

Anshul N.

Ann N.

Suman P.

Will S.

Tommy W.

Euphoria Y.

Franklin Sends 7 To Regional Science Fair

Franklin Middle School's 6th, 7th and 8th grade gifted students participated in the annual FMS Science Fair.  5 seventh grade students and 2 eighth grade students have advanced to the regional science fair on March 26th.  They are:

7th grade

Neel A., Vanshika G., Meher G., Lila M., Euphoria Y.

8th grade

Sully G. and Anshul N.


Congratulations and good luck!

Purdue Summer Learning Opportunity For Gifted Students

Purdue’s Gifted Education Research & Resource Institute (GER²I) is excited to announce the return of our in-person Summer Residential Program for students currently in grades 5-12! Our summer program will be held July 3-30, 2022 with one, two, or four week sessions, and registration opens March 1st. For a brochure, copy this address: https://www.education.purdue.edu/geri/youth-programs/summer-residential/


Anshul N. Advances To Regional Spelling Bee

Congratulations to Anshul N. for advancing to the SNSB Regional Spelling Bee.  Anshul is one of 19 spellers to advance.  Good luck to Anshul!

17 Falcons Advance In IAC History Competition

Congratulations to the following Franklin students that have advanced to the International Academic Competition History Qualifying exam.

Neel A.

Sophia B.

Lily C.

Eric D.

Logan F.

Gabby G.

Vanshika G.

Kalel H.

Jai K.

Morgan L.

Claire L.

Anshul N.

Ann N.

Suman P.

Marc Q.

Tommy W.

Euphoria Y.

2 Franklin Students Place First and Second In MLK Essay Contest

Two FMS students finished first and second overall in the middle school age group for the MLK Essay contest put on by the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield. 

FMS 7th grader Paul W. finished first and was awarded $400.00.  Paul had the great honor of reading his essay at Union Baptist Church on Sunday at the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service.  

FMS 8th grader Claire S. finished second and was awarded $300.00.

FMS Spelling Bee Finalists

The FMS Spelling Bee Champion was 8th grader, Anshul N. 2nd place was awarded to 7th grader, Zoe R. 3rd place was awarded to 7th grader, Vanshika G.



C-H-A-M-P. Anshul N. Wins the FMS Spelling Bee

Prior to winter break, all students in ELA classes participated in the Franklin Spelling Bee.  Top spellers advanced to the finals in the FMS Library, and the winner was Anshul N!  Congratulations to all who participated!!

Aaryah P. Wins DAR Essay Contest

Congratulations, Aaryah P ! 

He was selected as the winner for 2021 American History from the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution Springfield Chapter. 

Aaryah competed agains several local schools and many students to be selected as the top writer of the contest.  

We are proud of you, Aaryah!!!

Family Matters! Feature Story of Falcon Alumni Sarah and Ruth

Congratulations to FMS Alumni, Sarah and Ruth Becker, for being featured in the State Journal-Register.  Sarah and Ruth exemplify the best qualities of what we try to instill at Franklin-superb academics, excellent athletics, and most importantly, being positive and productive citizens of our community!  To read more about the Becker’s accomplishments, please click the headline above (story by S-JR).

Fore! James M. Advances To IESA Golf Finals

Congratulations to James M for shooting an 88 at the IESA Golf Tournament last weekend.  The round of 88 places James 11th at the moment and allows James to play in the IESA Finals this Friday.  We are proud of you James!

NUMATS Information For FMS Students

If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) in the 2021-2022 school year, here is some important information that you will need to know:

The NUMATS web page is below.


Why enroll your child in NUMATS?  According to the NUMATS website,

" (NUMATS) helps parents and educators better understand their students’ academic strengths and educational needs through assessments designed for older students. These assessments, including the PSATTM 8/9, SAT®, and ACT®, use college and career readiness as learning benchmarks and when given to younger students they provide insight into academic ability and potential."

Franklin's NUMATS ID number is: 8004547

If you want more information about NUMATS, please contact Ray Zinnen, FMS Gifted Department Chair, at rzinnen@sps186.org.

New Late Work Policy For Gifted Students The 2021-2022 Year

Students and Parents,

The late work policy for gifted students for the 2021-2022 school year has changed.  In the preceding years, Franklin had a departmentalized policy regarding late work.  This is no longer the case.  Effective Monday, August 23rd, 2021, each individual teacher has his/her own policy for late work in Gifted classes.  For that policy, please check in that teacher's classroom management plan or on the teacher's webpage.  If you have any questions about this, please email me: at rzinnen@sps186.org

Thank you!

Ray Zinnen

Franklin Gifted Department Chair


Mayor Langfelder Visits 7th Grade Gifted Students

On Friday, May 7 - Mayor Jim Langfelder visited the 5th and 6th hour gifted students of the 7th grade to discuss local issues and setting goals.  Mayor Langfelder spoke to the students about the importance of family, getting involved in your community, and setting goals for yourself.  He answered questions from the kids and provided pizza and water for everyone.  The students really enjoyed his visit and left them with the goal of being kind, doing the right thing, and helping others. Thank you, Mayor Langfelder for visiting FMS again!

So Fein! Falcon Alum a National Champ!

Aidan Fein,  a  2016 FMS alum, was a member of the 2021 Vanderbilt University National Championship Quiz Bowl Team. This was not Aidan’s first championship in team academic competitions, as Aidan was team captain of the  2016 Franklin Scholastic Bowl Team that won the IESA State Championship.  Aidan is a freshman at the prestigious Vanderbilt University and is majoring in Chemical Engineering.   Aidan is pictured above in the top left hand corner with his championship team members as they flex the hand symbol of Vanderbilt.  We are Falcon proud of Aidan!

FMS Trio Advances to State MATHCOUNTS

Manu M, Rohan U and Meher G participated in the second round of on-line MATHCOUNTS competition (The Chapter Invite Round) on Thursday, February 25th. All three students have advanced to MATHCOUNTS STATE COMPETITON.
Way to go Falcons!

Scholastic Bowl News

On March 6th, Franklin Middle School participated in the Northwestern Wildcat SB tournament and did an amazing job!
This tournament had the best of the best scholastic bowl teams in the entire Chicago area as well as teams from Michigan and Tennessee. Franklin Team A finished 4th out of 24 teams with a 6-2 record, losing to the overall winner of the tournament on the last question. Ethan B finished 4th overall in individual scoring out of 110 people scoring on average 76 points per match. He is one of the best scholastic bowl players in the state.

Congrats to Ethan and his teammates on Team A Sri T, Jeffrey S and Rohan U.

FMS B finished 10th overall with a 5-3 record. The team was led by Anshul N (who placed 10th overall all in individual scoring) swept their afternoon consolation bracket winning all three matches. Congrats to Anshul and his teammates Rishan U, Sebastian K, Vanshika and Marc Q.

MATHCOUNTS Sweeps In Regional Competition

The Franklin MATHCOUNTS Team competed in the Regional Competition this past weekend and had a clean sweep!  Congratulations to the following Falcons:

1st Place: Manu M.

2nd Place: Rohan U.

3rd Place: Meher G.

4th Place: Vanshika G.

FMS Mathcounts Regional News!

Manu M., Rohan U. and Meher G. advanced to the MATHCOUNTS Chapter Invitational contest. The scholars had to be in the top 20% of all participates in the first round of competition to move forward.

Scholastic Bowl Team Zooms Through The Competition!

On Sunday the FMS Scholastic Bowl team participated in NAQT (National Academic Quizbowl Tournaments) league play. We faced off against two teams from San Diego, CA.

The fiirst match FMS won 540 to 155! Participants in this match were Manu M, Ethan B, Sri and Rohan U.

The 2nd match FMS won 410 to 70! The participants in this match were Lucy G., Ethan B, Jeffrey S., Krish, K and Anshul N.

FMS is now 3-0 in that league defeating teams from Missouri and California.

FMS plays in two matches on Wednesday Feb 17. Depending how we perform in those two matches will determine whether we compete in the championship bracket or the consolation bracket.

Amazing job FMS students!

No Malice Film Contest Announced by ALPLM and Community Partners

Students from across Illinois will have the opportunity to explore the topic of racial healing using the medium of film, thanks to a collaboration between the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

The No Malice Film Contest will be open to youth and young adults between the ages of 11-21. Contestants will harness their creativity and passion to produce short films that help promote fairness, heal wounds in their communities, and lead to positive social changes for the benefit of all. 

“President Lincoln urged Americans to ‘bind up the nation’s wounds.’ But to heal, we must first listen to the expression of people’s pain and lived experiences,” says Chaz Ebert, Chair of the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation. “Storytelling through film has the power to change hearts and minds. It’s essential that the next generation who will lead us to a better place has a chance to be heard.” 

The aspiring student filmmakers won’t be going it alone. The No Malice Film Contest will include five interactive sessions with leading writers, producers, and directors to help guide contestants through the creative process of using film to tell powerful stories.

Winning films will premiere at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum's No Malice Film Contest on July 31, 2021 and be screened again at EbertFest at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in Fall 2021. Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each age bracket: 11-14, 15-18, and 19-21. Winning films will also be shared with educators as part of an online curriculum that uses peer films to address topics of racial healing with youth.


See Mr. Zinnen if you're interested.


Incoming Gifted Preview Night for 2020-2021

The incoming Gifted Preview Night at FMS will begin at 6 P.M. on Monday, December 14th. The Zoom link will be posted on the FMS main webpage. Looking forward to an exciting night!

The 2020-2021 FMS Scholastic Bowl Team Competes Nationwide

Last Saturday, our 8th grade Scholastic Bowl students: Jeffrey S., Manu M., Ethan B., Rohan U., Krish K., Sri T. participated in a online scholastic bowl tournament held in Connecticut. There were teams from California, Arizona, Virginia, New York, Connecticut and Kentucky.

We held our own against the best of the best, finishing with a 4-3 record. Special kudos goes out to the team captain Ethan B. for finishing 5th overall in individual points per game (peg). This was a huge accomplishment given the competition we played against.

'17 Falcon Grad Emma C. Named National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist

Congratulations to SHS senior Emma C., who recently was informed that she was a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship.  Emma C. was a 2017 graduate of Franklin.  Congratulations, Emma!  We are proud of you!

2020-2021 National Geographic Geography Bee Canceled

We have received word from the National Geogrphic Society that the 2020-2021 Geography Bee has been canceled.  They hope to have the Bee again in the 2021-2022 school year.

IMSA Preview Day September 19th: 9:30-Noon

Attention FMS Students,

We wanted to share with everyone about an event at IMSA called Preview Day.

Preview Day provides the opportunity for prospective students to explore all IMSA has to offer with a detailed look into academics and residential life at the Academy. Informational sessions with a Q&A portion with IMSA Faculty and Residence Life staff will be held throughout the day.

Use the link below to register for the Information Preview day.


https://campscui.active.com/orgs/ IllinoisMathematicsandScienceAcademy#/selectSessions/2867116

Falcon Gifted Students: Family Fun Opportunity With Architecture Scavenger Hunt

Architecture Scavenger Hunt Details Below!

Downtown Springfield Inc. and our volunteer Design Committee has partnered with AIA IllinoisIllinois REALTORS, and Visit Springfield to launch a new Architecture Scavenger Hunt series on Tuesday, September 8 with prizes, which include new “Downtown Bucks” redeemable at participating downtown businesses.

The Architecture Scavenger Hunt challenges participants to find the location of eight architectural features in downtown Springfield using only a small, visual clue, with the opportunity to win prizes for their efforts.

This activity is perfect for:

  • All ages

  • Home schooling families

  • Families who just did remote learning for six hours and need to get away from the screens

  • People who love architecture

  • People who need to get outside in a fun, socially distanced way

When Will the Hunts Be Held?

People can participate in any or all of the three Hunts, taking place over one week each:

  • September 8 – September 12

  • September 22 – September 26, and

  • October 6 – 10.

Where Do You Pick Up the Hunt Clues?

People can stop by and pick up the first eight clues on Tuesday, September 8 from 4 – 7 PM at the DSI Booth located on the Old State Capitol Plaza at the corner of 6th and Adams Street.

People can pick up forms at the Visit Springfield Visitors Center (6th and Adams) Wednesday through Friday from 9 AM – 5 PM.

The last opportunity to participate in each week’s Hunt is at the Old Capitol Farmers Market on Saturdays, where participants can pick up and drop off their completed form at the Market Information Tent between 8 AM – 12:30 PM.

How to Earn Prizes

The first twenty people to turn in their completed forms for each Hunt will receive $10 in Downtown Bucks, which are redeemable at any participating downtown business.

At the end of each Hunt, all completed forms will be entered into a drawing for prizes. The first name drawn receives $100 in Downtown Bucks, second receives $50 in Downtown Bucks, third receives $20 in Downtown Bucks, and the remaining winners will receive gift cards and merchandise from downtown businesses.

Follow Along on Facebook

Say you’ll join us for the kick-off!

Looking for Similar Fun in Springfield?

Visit Springfield is excited to launch their “SPI 7 in 7 Fall Competition!” The competition will begin September 8 and run through October 27. Get details here. (The Enter to Win page will go live on 9/8 when the contest starts.)


Falcons Take Flight at Regional History and Science Bee


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign hosted the Central Illinois on Saturday, March 7th, 2020.  Franklin students who placed included:

History Bee

6th grade: 1st place: Anshul N.

7th grade: 1st place: Sri T.; 2nd place: Ethan B.; 4th place: Rohan U.

8th grade: 3rd place: Aryan P.; Shashi B.

Science Bee

6th grade: 1st place: Anshul N.

7th grade: 1st place: Rohan U.

8th grade: 1st place: Aryan P.

Academic Bowl

6th grade: 1st place: Anshul N.

7th grade: 1st place: Ethan B.; 2nd place: Sri T.; 3rd place: Rohan U.

8th grade: 3rd place: Aryan P.; 4th place: Shashi B.

Falcons Garner Seven Firsts At Beta Convention

Almost 100 students from the FMS Beta Club participated in the Illinois State Convention.  Students had a wonderful time and enjoying meeting other honor roll and ‘good citizens’ from the entire state of Illinois. Congratulations to the following FMS students for placing in the their event;

Rohan U. -  1st place - language arts - 7th 

Manu M. -  1st place - math - 7th

Leo H. -  1st place - science - 7th 

Faizaan S. -  1st place - math - 8th 

Bella Y. -  1st place - creative writing - 8th 

Katerina K. - - 1st place - poetry - 8th

Jake K.  - 2nd place - history - 8th 

Arya S.  - 3rd place - speech - 8th

Quiz Bowl 1st place -Nishi K.   Srihari G. Aryan P. Jeffrey S.

Alumni Spotlight: Allorah Garner, Triumphant Artist

FMS Alumna Allorah Garner and current high school senior has won numerous art awards this year!

In September, she won 1st place at the Carillon Youth Art Showcase.

In January, she won a gold award for the senior art portfolio at Scholastic Art Awards.  Also, the Regional Scholastic Art Awards choose 5 art pieces out of thousands entered from the area jr. high/high schools to receive their top award, the American Visions Award.  Allorah’s portrait entitled, “Addiction” was given this award.  All of her gold award pieces will go on to the compete at National Level.

Allorah started competing in Scholastics at Franklin Middle School.  

She plans to attend SIUE next year and major in illustration/business.


FMS Science Fair Results

Congratulations to all the FMS students who particiapted the annnual Science Fair. The following students received an OUTSTANDING SCIENCE FAIR designation:

Ethan Baima
Simon Lanter
Nina McEuen
Christian Schneider
Alexandra Orantia
Aryan Pathak
Faizaan Shaikh
Arya Sreedhar


Franklin Caps Winning Weekend!

The FMS MATHCOUNTS team won the Capital Chapter at LLCC,  defeating Iles, Lincoln Magnet, Chatham and Rochester. The team will advance to the state competition March 7th. Team members advancing to state are Alex Orantia, Srihari Gurugubelli, Faizaan Shaikh, and Bella Yu.

Alex, Srihari, Faizaan, Bella, and Arya Sreedhar were in the Top 10 Individuals that competed in the Countdown Round.

Alex and Faizaan also won individual awards. Alex took 2nd in the Countdown Round, Faizaan was 3rd in Countdown and 2nd overall. 

Congratulations on a job well done!


The FMS Scholastic Bowl Team placed first the Normal Metcalf Sweetheart Tournmant this weekend as well.

And lastly, the defending state champion 8th grade volleyball team won the FMS Volleyball Tournament over the weekend!

Franklin Sweeps MLK Essay Contest

Congratulations to the following Falcons for being finalists of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay contest this January.  These students are 1st place: Bella Y., 2nd place: Sri G., 3rd place:  Alex O.

Anshul N. Crowned 2020 FMS Geography Bee Champion!

Over 30 students from Franklin Middle School participated in the FMS Geography Bee Finals on January 17th.  The very challenging competition concluded with 6th grader Anshul N. winning.  Anshul will now take an online test to determine if he advances to the Illinois State Geography  Bee on March 27th.  Congratulations, Anshul, and all other participants!


Lily H. Wins DAR Essay Contest!

Congratulations to Lily H. for winning first place in the Daughters of the American American History Essay Contest!  Lily’s essay topic pertained to the Mayflower voyage.  Congratulations, Lily!

FMS Scholastic Bowl Team Rocks in Detroit!

Congratulations to Mr. Knoepfle and the entire FMS Scholastic Bowl Team for capturing 1st place at the Detroit Scholastic Bowl Tournament!  Some of the top scholastic bowl teams from the midwest participated in this tournament.  Go Falcons!

Gettysburg Addressed: Mr. Zinnen's Classes Attend ALPML Presentation

Students from Mr. Zinnen’s 7th grade gifted history classes went to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library for a presentation by Dr. Christian McWhirter.  Dr. McWhirter’s presentation on the Battle of Gettysburg in July, 1863 and then Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in November of the same year.  Regarding the Battle of Gettysburg, Dr. McWhirter exhibited a civil war cannonball, bayonet, mini-ball bullet, and a Civil War Union hat.  

Dr. McWhirter then transitioned to Lincoln’s historic two minute address.  Artifacts from the speech included an actual program from 1863, the only picture of Lincoln at Gettysburg, and souvenirs about the speech that included a poster and a plate.  The outstanding presentation concluded with a question and answer session.

Mr. Zinnen's Gifted Classes Visit The Lincoln Museum and Library

Students in Mr. Zinnen's gifted history classes went to the exclusive Linoln Library for a presentation titled, "If Objects Talked", given by ALPML Manuscripts Curator Chris Schnell.  This specific presentation detailed artifacts and strategies behind the presidential elections of 1860 and 1864, both elections won by Springfield's Abraham Lincoln.  Students then were offered the unique opportunity to view these rare and unique objects.

Where Are They Now? The Inaugural 2000-2001 FMS Staff

This year, Franklin celebrates its 20th year as a gifted magnet school. Two current staff members, Mr. Knoepfle and Mrs. Zinnen (Miss Johnson), have been with the program all 20 years.  Let's catch up with the inauagural 2000-2001 Gifted Staff:

Mrs.Kris Huddleston served as Principal of Franklin until her retirement in 2013.  She currently resides in Florida.

6th Grade Teachers:

Mr. Scott Flohr was the 6th grade history teacher,  cross country and track coach at FMS.  After a courageous battle with cancer, Mr. Flohr passed away in 2013.  A practice track was built in Mr. Flohr's honor that is located in the back of Franklin.

Mrs. Sue Kelso:  Mrs. Kelso is in her 7th year a Language Arts Teacher in the Pleasant Plains School District.

Mrs.Rachel Jachino:  Mrs. Jachino left FMS in 2008 and worked for the State Board of Education of Illinois.  She returned to Franklin in 2015 and is now a 7th grade math teacher.

7th Grade Teachers:

Mr. Jim Drury taught history at FMS until his retirement in 2004.  He now works for Pierson Testing and still resides in Springfield.

Mrs. Angela (Johnson) Zinnen is one of two original staff members (along with Mr. Knoepfle) still teaching Gifted (Writing)  at FMS.

Mr. Dave Knoepfle is still teaching 7th grade Math at FMS.  He did retire from performing cartwheels in March, 2019.

Ms. Krista Vander Leest retired from District 186 in 2018 as a science teacher at Springfield High School.

8th Grade Teachers:

Mrs. Kara Merkley Pecoraro, language arts teacher at FMS in 2001, is now the Librarian at New Berlin Elementary School. 

Mrs. Sue Tillman taught gifted history at FMS until she retired in 2016.  She still resides in Springfield.

Mr. Duke Wilbur taught gifted science until he retired in 2004.  He has traveled all over the world since that time.


Perfection! Emma C. Scores a 36 on the ACT!

Emma C., FMS class of '17, recently scored a perfect 36 on her ACT!  She is currently a junior at Springfield High School.  We are proud of you, Emma!

IMSA Admissions Staff In Springfield On October 16th

The IMSA Admissions Staff will be in Springfield, Il on Wednesday, October 16th. They will meet with any student and their family interested in more information on IMSA High School. The meeting will take place at Lincoln Library, 326 S. 7th Street from 6:15 to 7:15 PM. If you have any questions please contact the Admission Staff at admissions@imsa.edu or call (630) 907-5028. 

2019-2020 NUMATS Registration Now Open

Parents who are interested in having their child particpate in the Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) can now register online.  Why look into NUMATS for your child?  From the NUMATS webpage: "Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) is a research-validated program that utilizes above-grade-level assessment to help parents and educators better understand their students’ academic strengths and educational needs."  If you want more details about NUMATS, go to the webpage below or contact Ray Zinnen (rzinnen@sps186.org).



MLK, JR. Essay Contest

Students interested in participating the the Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay contest can see Mr. Zinnen in room 234 for details.  The essay is sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield and Vicinity and Franklin students can win cash prizes of $400, $300 and $200 for top written essays.

20 in '20: 2019-2020 School Year

Welcome Back to another exciting school year for the FMS Gifted Program!  This school year is the milestone of the 20th year of the Gifted Program at Franklin.  Check back here for special features as we celebrate 20 years, and of course this page will also have updates on the latest news and activities of all of the great experiences that are on the horizon for this school year!

2018-2019 FMS Gifted Program

2018-2019 News

Welcome to the 2018-2019 year at Franklin Middle School!  We have excellent experiences planned for our gifted students in order to provide them with as many well-rounded educational opportunities as possible-both inside and outside the classroom.  These include: NUMATS, Science Fair, Mathcounts, Gettysburg Address Puzzle Contest, History Bee, Geography Bee, MLK Essay Contest, SIU School of Medicine Brain Day, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Engineering Open House, a variety of guest speakers, and much more.

Mind and Matter: Falcons Excel at State Science Fair!

Congratulations!!!  Six Franklin students attended State Science Fair at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale on Saturday, May 4. All six received Gold Awards for their poster presentations:

Siddarth B., Max Energy, Gold

Nihar C., Iron Man, Gold

Audrey L., Soak It Up, Gold

Alexandra O., Differentiating Gender Response, Gold

Arya S., Renew, Reuse, Refuel: Energy Stored in Food Waste, Gold

Bella Y., Shell Waste and the Buffers to Ocean Acidification, Gold

FMS Scholastic Bowl Places 2nd at State!

Congratulations to the 2019 Franklin Middle School scholastic bowl team for finishing 2nd at the IESA State Scholastic bowl tournament held at the Peoria Civic Center Friday afternoon.  FMS has been to the state playoffs each of the last five years now finishing 1st one time and 2nd two times. GO FALCONS!

FMS Scholastic Bowl Advances To State For 5th Year In A Row!

The FMS Scholastic Bowl Team won sectionals last night-the program's 5th consecutive trip to state!  We are proud of our tradition of Scholastic Bowl Excellence!  Good luck at state this weekend!!

3 Falcons Advance to Science Nationals

Congratulations to Siddu B., Jared D., and Arnav N. who advanced to the Science Bee Nationals to be held in June!

FMS Students Advance to History Nationals

Ethan B. participated in the St. Louis Regional History Bee and placed first in the 6th grade Bee.  Ethan will now advance to Hisory Nationals in Chicago in June.  Malu advanced to 6th grade Nationals as well.


Other FMS students advancing are: 7th grade: Aryan P., Lily H., Allyah H., Will.

8th grade: Arnav N., Jared D., Siddu B., JP, Damon S., and Molly T.

Great Job and good luck in Chicago!

Arnav N. Places 4th in the Illinois Geography Bee

Arnav N. competed in the Illinois Geography on March 29th and finished fourth statewide.  100 top geography students throughout the state competed in Normal. Arnav was one of only eight competitors who had a perfect score in the preliminary rounds. The top ten scorers advanced to the finals. Arnav’s fourth place finish is the highest any Franklin student has placed in the Illinois Geography Bee.  Congratulations, Arnav!

7 Franklin Regional Science Fair Participants Advance To State

The Regional Science Fair was held Saturday, March 23rd, at Lincoln Land Community College. Franklin Middle School was awarded five Outstanding and two First Place ribbons. All the Franklin students will be moving on to compete at the State Science Fair Competition at Southern Illinois University on May 4th.

7th Grade:

Arya S. was the recipient of the: Outstanding ribbon

* Naval Science Award

* Benjamin Franklin Masonic Science Award

* The Lemelson Early Inventor Prize Award

* Broadcom Masters Award for placing in the top 10% of all entries

Alex O.  received an Outstanding ribbon and the American Psychology Association Award. 

Bella Y.  received a First Place ribbon and the  Stockholm Junior Water Prize Award.

Faizaan S. received an Outstanding ribbon.

8th Grade:

Audrey L.  received an Outstanding ribbon and Mosely Consumer Science Award.

Siddarth B. received an Outstanding ribbon.

Nihar C. received a First Place ribbon. 

FMS Students Attend UIUC Engineering Open House

Students from FMS participated in the Engineering Open House at the University of Illinois. Students from every discipline of engineering set up exhibits to remind the general public of the role that science plays in everyday life and to show the difference that technology will make in the future. 

FMS Band Dominates at the Showcase of Excellence

The FMS Jazz Birds swept 1st place in all categories at Showcase of Excellence: #1 Best in Class, #1 Best in Division, #1 Jazz Representation from Illinois, #1 Best Middle School Performer (Bruce B.), and the Gold Award. 

 51 FMS band students competed Friday night at Contest. 43 received 1st Place Ratings. 

Falcon Alums Lead SHS Scholastic Bowl Team To State

The Varsity Springfield High Scholastic Bowl team defeated Dunlap, Glenwood and Macomb at Saturday's IHSA Sectional Tournament. Top Scorer for the Senators was junior, Aidan Fein with 23 toss ups. Freshman, Jack Casey contributed 6 over the three matches. Senior, Jack Allen and Sophomore Maggie Sturm each scored 4 toss ups. The team will travel to the IHSA State Tournament on Friday, March 15 at the Peoria Convention Center, playing Stevenson High School, IMSA and the University of Illinois Lab School. The Senators have had a very successful season with 92 wins and 23 losses so far this year. In CS8 play they were undefeated, winning possession of the Barron Robinson Memorial Traveling Trophy at the Varsity CS8 Tournament in December.  Go Senators!!!

Fantastic Falcons Have Fantastic Results At Distrcit 186 Contest!

The following are the FMS vocal results from District 186 contest on Friday, March 8, 2019.

The following students received 1's on their vocal solo:  Audrey Delcomyn, Grace Gauvin, Paige Maning, Arya Sreedhar and Matthew Wieberg.

The Fantastic Falcons Show Choir finished their competition at the Quincy Showcase on Saturday, March 9, 2019.  They finished with a Gold Award and 2nd Place in the Junior High Division.  A special thank you to Mrs. Schnake, Ms. Harrison, and all of the wonderful parents and friends that helped throughout the contest season.  The kids performed well and had an outstanding performance.  Thank you to the kids for a great competition season.

7th Grade Gifted History Students See Unique Lincoln Artifacts at ALPML

7th grade students from Mr. Zinnen’s gifted history classes participated in a special presentation by Ian Hunt of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library.  The presentation centered in the 1865 Inauguration of Lincoln.  The presentation included the pen well that Lincoln wrote the inaugural address, which many historians believe is Lincoln’s greatest speech- not the Gettysburg Address.  Other artifacts included the inaugural menu, which included terrapin (turtle) and wild game among other food items.  Students saw a letter Lincoln wrote that summarized the key points of his inaugural address.  Lastly, students saw a picture of the inauguration at the unfinished U.S. Capitol building.  In the picture, John Wilkes Booth can be seen near Lincoln.  Booth ended up taking Lincoln’s life six weeks later.  A question/answer segment concluded the presentation, and students viewed the aforementioned artifacts up close.

Arnav Nagrecha Advances To Illinois State Geography Bee

FMS Geography Bee Champion has advanced to the Illinois State Geography Bee!  The Illinois State Geography Bee will be held on March 29th in Normal.  School-wide winners like Arnav recently took a standardized test to determine the top 100 scores.  Those students qualified for the state bee.  

Congratulations, Arnav!

4 FMS Eighth Grade Students Advance To Regional Science Fair

The following students were selected to move on to the Regional Science fair on 3/23/19 at LLCC.

Mr. Troemper would like to commend all students that created a science fair project. Students did a fantastic job with such a diverse array of experiments Congratulations on a job well done.

8th Grade Students Moving on to Regionals

Luke Elston

Nihar Cheruku

Audrey Lupton

Siddu Bangaru

5 FMS Seventh Graders Advance to Regional Science

Mrs. Adams would like to recognize all students for their hard work on their science fair projects. Outstanding Science Fair Achievement was awarded to Faizaan S., Ruth B., Arya S., Alex O., and Bella Y.. These students will be attending the Regional Science Fair on March 23rd at Lincoln Land College.

Falcons Shine At Illinois Beta Club Convention

The FMS Beta Club had an amazing performance at this year’s state convention at the Crowne Plaza. 

The FMS Quiz Bowl Team placed 2nd. The team members were Jarod D., Arnav N., Damon S., and  Srihari G..

Individual Awards 

Aliyah H. - 1st Place -  Language Arts

Iza W. -  1st Place - poetry

Faizaan S. - 1st Place - Math

Louisa E. - 1st Place - Language Arts 

Jake K. - 3rd Place - Social Studies

Bella Yu - 1st Place - Science

David L. - 3rd Place - Math

JP M. - 3rd Place - Social Studies

Katie C. - 3rd Place - Creative Writing

Molly T. - 2nd place - Book Battle Competition

Great Job Falcons!

FMS MATHCOUNTS Team Is State Bound!

Congratulations to the FMS MATHCOUNTS team and Coach McDonald on an outstanding 1st place win in the Capital Chapter Tournament. The team advanced after competing against Rochester, Chatham, Lincolon Magnet and Iles. The MATHCOUNTS Foundation is a non-profit organization that strives to engage middle school students of all ability and interest levels in fun, challenging math programs, in order to expand their academic and professional opportunities. The team will compete in the State competition held on March 23rd in Lisle. State winners advance in May to the National Competition.

Arnav Nagrecha has repeated at the FMS Geography Bee Champion!  Students in all history classes participated in the seven preliminary rounds, with 40 students advancing to the finals in the FMS Library.  Arnav, who won in the 2018 FMS Bee as well, will now take an online test through National Geographic.  The top 100 Illinois Students will advance to the Illinois Geography Bee on March 29th.  Congratulations Arnav!
Arnav Nagrecha Repeats as FMS Geography Bee Champion

Arnav Nagrecha has repeated as the FMS Geography Bee Champion!  Students in all history classes participated in the seven preliminary rounds, with 40 students advancing to the finals in the FMS Library.  Arnav, who won in the 2018 FMS Bee as well, will now take an online test through National Geographic.  The top 100 Illinois Students will advance to the Illinois Geography Bee on March 29th.  Congratulations Arnav!

Congratulations to Former Falcons Named to Sangamon County State Scholars

Congratulations to the former Franklin students, who, as current high school seniors, were named as Sangamon County State Scholars by the ISAC.  They are:

Cavin Armour; Lilliana Beard; Ericka Creek; Jordan Creek; Braden Dilbaitis; Ethan Doyle; Maya Fetter; Gianna Flammini; Jeremiah Freetly; Alec Glisson; John Gremer; Andrew Harmon; Nicholas Herron; Christina King; Matthew Knox; Nina Litvak; Eric Martin; Grant Martin; Zoe McVey; Abigail Milhiser; Trent Minder; Samantha Morris; Anushka Narielwala; Anjali Patel; Lillian Peralta; Waseem Rehan; Madison Ridley; Simran Shailesh; Tayli Shekleton; Faith Sidener; Raj Sinha; Carter Spaulding; Andrew Standley; Jacquez Stewart; Skyy Sumlin; Allison Teichman; Ryan Waldinger; Abigail Wilson; Logan Wright

Gifted Night Video 2018

Former students in the gifted program talk about their experiences while attending Franklin. Click on the title to watch the video.

West Point Cadet & FMS Alum Visits Franklin

On Tuesday, a former FMS student, Tyler Shekleton, visited Mrs. Duke’s and Mrs. Zinnen’s classes for the afternoon.  Tyler is a West Point Cadet, in his sophomore year. He gave a very informed presentation to the students and discussed the multiple opportunities provided by this prestigious academy.  Tyler is one of several former FMS and District 186 students who are attending or have attended West Point. Congratulations on your many accomplishments!  FMS salutes you!

Arts In Education

Audrey L. received recognition at the IAEA meeting. This was an art show in Bloomington on November 10th that featured her poster that earned third place in the Arts in Education contest. The theme was “the arts make history come alive.” Audrey received an abundance of art supplies and treats. FMS Art teacher Mrs. Minch also received a certificate.

FMS Scholastic Bowl Team Shines At Milwaukee Gladiator Tournament!

The FMS Scholastic Bowl Team traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to compete in the 2018 Gladiator Tournament.

The 8th grade team finished fourth overall out of 26 teams, losing to the team that eventually won the tournament on the last question of the match.

FMS beat scholastic bowl powerhouse Rockford Keith. 

Our 7th grade team finished 8th overall. 

Coach Knoepfle is very proud!

Mr. Zinnen's Historical/Cultural Pumpkins

Please click this link to view Mr. Zinnen's Historical/Cultural Pumpkins done by his 7th grade history classes.

Iza Willis Wins Caribou Autumn Poetry Contest

Iza Willis has won the Caribou Cafe Autumn Poetry Contest.  Here is her winning poem, "Ode to Autumn".

The crunching of leaves beneath my feet

Walking alone through the calm, empty street

With no conflict in sight but the wars in my heart

Delivers the hope of a brand new start

Isn’t that lovely in a way

When you find yourself surrounded by death and decay?

You‘ve been noted this cycle came back to fruition

Once again, my dear friend, to complete her mission

She never fails, she does it all

That’s why I love it in the fall

Others like scarves, leaves, and pumpkin spice

I like it when the air hits my face like sharp ice

She wakes me up on those cozy mornings

And gets me going in my stories

The call to action of autumn, I praise,

gets me through my toughest days

And her cycle continues for years and years

Thickening my skin and drying my tears

I’ve done it all before

And I’ll do it again

Telling my thoughts

Through the ink in my pen

Though some of our falls are muted and dull

It teaches us all we don’t need to be beautiful

To simply persist is enough when you’re aching

Do whatever it takes to stop you from breaking

Congratulations, Iza!


If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search in the 2018-2019 school year, here is some important information that you will need to know:

The NUMATS web page is below.


Franklin's NUMATS ID number is: 8004547

2017-2018 Gifted News

47 Former Falcons Attend Golden Laurel Awards

Congratulations to the 47 former Falcon students who attended 2018 Golden Laurel Awards.  Once A Falcon, Always A Falcon... 

News Channel 20's Cheryl Lemke Visits 7th Grade Gifted Science Classes

 May 11

What a joy. I had the pleasure to talk to a terrific group of students from Franklin Middle School in Springfield. It was great meeting Mr. Ray Zinnen and the other wonderful teachers and students there.


FMS Scholastic Bowl Team Places 2nd at State

Congratulations to the Franklin Falcons Scholastic Bowl Team for placing 2nd at the IESA Finals!

Falcons Soar At State Science Fair!

Congratulations to all of our State Science Fair participants! 

GOLD Awards: Reece Fullerton, Maryum Ahmad, Luke Elston, and Hannah Elston (Luke also received a special award from United State Gypsum (USG) for a top project, with a $75 check!)

SILVER Award: Kayla Adkins 

BRONZE Award: Payton Heise

FMS is VERY PROUD of all of you!

Arnav Nagrecha Qualifies For Intl. Grog. Bee Nationals

Arnav Nagrecha recently took an online exam and is a national qualier to the Geography Bee World Championships in Atlanta, GA.  Arnav had the 12th highest score out of 172 students who also competed from the central region of the U.S.  Other students competing were top students from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,  Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Five students from Franklin Middle School who participated at the regional History Bee in St. Louis Missouri have advanced to the national History Bee which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in late May.  Those that participated in the St. Louis regionals included students from central and southern Illinois, the city and county of St. Louis, and central Missouri. Students who placed in the top 10 by grade level advanced to the nationals.  Franklin students who advanced are:

7th Grade

J. P. Moore

Arnav Nagrecha

Damon Sturm

Molly Tolsdorf

8th Grade

Olivia Baima

Five Falcons Advance to History Bee Nationals!

Five students from Franklin Middle School who participated at the regional History Bee in St. Louis Missouri have advanced to the national History Bee which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in late May.  Those that participated in the St. Louis regionals included students from central and southern Illinois, the city and county of St. Louis, and central Missouri. Students who placed in the top 10 by grade level advanced to the nationals.  Franklin students who advanced are:

7th Grade

J. P. Moore

Arnav Nagrecha

Damon Sturm

Molly Tolsdorf

8th Grade

Olivia Baima


Falcons Shine At Regional Science Fair!

Franklin Middle School was awarded 5 Outstanding and 4 First Place awards at Regional Science Fair.



Outstanding Award Winners: Kayla Adkins, Reece Fullerton, Maryum Ahmad, Hannah Elston, and Luke Elston.



Each of these recipients will be attending State competition April 28th at Peoria Civic Center 



1st Place Award Winners: Payton Heise (who will also compete at State), Louisa Eldridge, Audrey Lupton, and Katie Chen.



Special Awards:



Kayla Adkins was selected as a Broadcom Masters Award recipient. 



Luke Elston, Louisa Eldridge, and Audrey Lupton were winners of the Mosely Consumer Science Award.



Congratulations to all the students attending the regional science fair.



Go Falcons!

Nine FMS Students Advance To Regional Science Fair At LLCC

The Franklin Gifted Science Department recently held their annual Science Fair.  Congratulations to the following FMS 7th and 8th grade students who are advancing to the Regional Science Fair held at Lincoln Land Community College on March 24th, 2018.   Falcons advancing are: Audrey Lupton, Louisa Eldridge, Luke Elston, Hannah Elston, Payton Heise, Katie Chen, Reese Fullerton, Kayla Adkins, Marym Ahmed.

Good luck at Regional Science Fair!


FMS Scholastic Bowl Wins Sweetheart Tournament in Normal

FMS brought home a 1st place trophy at the Sweetheart Tournament @ Thomas Metcalf School. Congratulations to Coach Knoepfle and the whole team. The MVPs for the 3 teams that participated were: Jack Casey, Molly Tolsdorf and Jared Dong. We are proud of you! Go Falcons.

FMS Mathcounts News!

FMS competed in regional play in Mathcounts at LLCC on Saturday and brought home a fantastic 2nd place! Oliver won the count down round competition. We had 4 students in the top ten:  David Lu - 2nd, Oliver Rauscher - 3rd, Kai Brudnak 4th and Faizaan Shaikh 7th. David and Oliver will continue on to state competition in March.

Arnav Negrecha Wins FMS Geography Bee!

FMS Geography Bee - Congratulations to all the participants in the History Bee. We are proud to announce that Arvav Nagrecha is the 2017-2018 winner!  Arnav now has a chance to advance to the Illinois State Geography Bee in April.

Congratulations FMS Artists!

We have two 8th grade student who have each earned a Honorable Mention for their drawings in the Scholastic Art Awards. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. Congratulations Max A. and Avery F. on this great honor!

FMS MLK, Jr. Essay Finalists

Congratulations to Mia Marcy, Olivia Baima, Anna Borders, and Jack Casey!  These three outstanding Falcons are finalists in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest.  They will read their essays to the committee on Thursday to be considered for the top 3 place winners.  We are proud of you!

Scholastic Bowl Team Competes Against Top Illinois Teams

The FMS Scholastic Bowl team traveled to Rockford, Illinois for the Knights Challenge Tournament. The tournament consisted of 20 teams, all of which were top notch. Both Franklin teams participated in the championship round (top 8 teams record wise). Franklin Team #1 finished third, defeating a scholastic bowl powerhouse Quest Academy from Chicago. Jack Casey finished 2nd in individual points score per match. Go Falcons! We are proud of you.

Audrey Lupton Places 3rd In Illinois Art Poster Contest

Congratulations to Audrey Lupton (7th grade) who has won third place in the 2018 Illinois Art Education Week poster contest!  Her art work was submitted by the FMS art teacher, Amy Minch.  

The first place winner will have art work on the IAEW poster along with an artist statement on the back.  The poster will be printed and distributed to all Illinois public and private schools prior to Illinois Arts Education Week which is March 12-18, 2018.  The first place winner was  Tejaswi Achanta (8th grade) and second place was Alec Osato (7th grade) from Westfield Middle School, District 13 in Bloomingdale.

All three winners will receive recognition at the IAEA fall conference later in 2018.

FMS Students To Perform In The Nutcracker

The Springfield Ballet Company’s 43rd annual production of The Nutcracker features elaborate new scenery, colorful new costumes, exquisite dancing, and beautiful music.Congratulations to the following Falcons who will be performing this year in The Nutcracker, Caroline D., Meghan G., Audrey L.,  Mia M. and Marina P.. Shows are at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Saturday, December 9th and again at 2:00 pm on Sunday, December 10th.


Fantastic Falcons Show Choir Rocks at Festival of Trees!

The Fantastic Falcons had their first show choir performance of the year at the Festival of Trees on Saturday, November 25, 2017.  They had an outstanding performance.



The next performance will be at the 5th grade preview night on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.  

Congratulations FMS Art Club!

Franklin’s Art Club won a third place ribbon in the middle school division at the 2017 Festival of Trees. The event's theme this year was “Sleds, skates, and snow.” Art club students took off with Up-cycled Robot decorations and metallic colors.



There is still a People Choice award given after all public voting has concluded. So if you and family or friends go to the Festival of Trees, we want to encourage everyone to vote for the Franklin Middle School tree!! The Festival of Trees is open every day this week and all day on Saturday and Sunday (for event times click here.) link for event hours:  https://www.memorialmedical.com/memorial-medical-center-foundation/events/festival-of-trees/about-festival

Falcons Shatter Gettysburg Address Puzzle Time at ALPML!

Congratulations to all the students who represented FMS at the annual Gettysburg Address puzzle contest sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. The 6th grade team time was 19:52, the 8th grade team time was 14:50 and the 7th grade team with the new event record of 14:10.  Congratulations to all of our teams. We are proud of you!

FMS Hosts German Exchange Students

FMS hosted exchange students from the German-American Partnership Program on Tuesday, October 24.  The group toured the building and visited classes.  Students had the opportunity to talk with our visitors, sharing information about our school and learning about the German culture.



The partnership is an exchange program between Springfield High School and Gnadenthal-Gymnasium in Ingolstadt, Germany.

2017 Think Pink Game Another Huge Success!

Thank you to all the staff, students and community members who worked, donated and performed at our annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The turn out was tremendous to support a great cause. 

Anthony Peralta Places 20th at Cross Country State!

Congratulations to Anthony Peralta! He competed in the  in the 3A IESA State Cross Country Meet, this weekend in Bloomington, Illinois.  Anthony finished 20th in a field of 235 runners.  This is an incredible accomplishment!



We are proud of you!!!



Go Falcons!

FMS Wins Girls and Boys City Cross Country!

Congratulations to the girls' and boys' cross country teams for bringing home the city titles. The top girls runners were:  Maryum A. (17th), Josie R. (16th), Ava U.  (13th), Carrie D. (12th), Caroline D. (11th), Lilly L. (8th), Amelia E. (5th), Payton H. (4th), Ruth B. (3rd), and our 1st place CHAMPION Sarah B.!



The top boy runners were:  Clayton K. (16th), Aiden M. (15th), Kai B. (12th), Sam Y. (10th), Oliver R. (5th), Jack C. (4th), Nick H. (2nd), and our 1st place CHAMPION Anthony P.!



Special shout out to Anthony and Sarah for placing first in their races!



Go Falcons!

IMSA Application Information

Any 8th grade Franklin student who is interested in applying for The Illinois Math and Science Academy for the 2018-2019 school year has an application deadline of February 1st, 2018.  The online application is available at www.imsa.edu

Solar Eclipse

FMS celebrates the 2017 solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.

2016-2017 News

Environmental Chemist Visits 7th Grade Science Class

P.J. Becker (father of 7th grader Sarah Becker) is an Environmental Chemist with CWLP. He spoke to Mrs. Adams' class about the pros and cons of renewable and nonrenewable resources as well as water treatment and environmental safety.P.J. Becker (father of 7th grader Sarah Becker) is an Environmental Chemist with CWLP. He spoke to Mrs. Adams' class about the pros and cons of renewable and nonrenewable resources as well as water treatment and environmental safety. 

Science And the Community Visit 6th Grade Gifted!

Sixth grade gifted classes had the opportunity to bring science in the community into the classrooms thanks to our FMS parents and grandparents!   Students learned about using forensic handwriting analysis with Lincoln documents with Mr Lupton. Captain Ingebrigtsen discussed how science and math are used with crash reconstructions. Mr. Sturm discussed how DNA analysis is important in the court systems.   Professor Bloemer demonstrated refraction with really cool experiments!  Lastly, Dr. Sturm explained about the profession of dentistry and the science behind dental implants.



Thank you to all the speakers!

State Science Fair Winners!

Maryum Ahmad, Mc Kenna Lambert, Molly Kuper, Emma Cox and Keith Shedlebower competed in the State Sciene Fair held Saturday in Dekalb, Illinois.  All five FMS students won a Gold Certificate (1st Place) for their projects. Go Falcons!

Franklin Scholastic Bowl Team Advances To State!

FMS scored wins against Mt. Zion, Maroa-Forsyth and Bloomington Jr. High in the IESA Sectional Scholastic Bowl Match. The Falcons now advance to the STATE competition to be held Friday, May 5th in Peoria.

FMS Scholastic Bowl Team Wins IESA Regionals!

The FMS Scholastic Bowl Team won the IESA Regional competition and will now advance to the IESA Sectional to be held Monday, May 1st @ Franklin Middle School.

WNBA Player, Former Falcon Alex Harden Visits FMS

WNBA Player and Former Franklin Falcon Alex Harden visited Franklin Middle School and donated a signed Jersey to be displayed at the school. Alex was accompanied by her parents and former Coach Lex Bitner.  Alex spent time talking with 6, 7, and 8th grade members of the FMS Girls' Basketball Team.

Falcons Soar At Regional History Bee In St. Louis

Nine Franklin students participated in the Regional History Bee in St. Louis on March 29th, 2017. They were Damon Sturm (6th grade), Molly Tolsdorf (6th grade),Olivia Baima (7th grade), Anna Grace Palmer Vogt (7th grade), Emma Cox (8th grade), Astha Nimavat (8th grade), Avery Pound (8th grade), Maggie Sturm (8th grade), and Sairishika Talluri (8th grade).

Emma Cox, Astha Nimavat, Avery Pound, Maggie Sturm, Olivia Baima, Damon Sturm, and Molly Tolsdorf distinguished themselves by advancing to the National History Bee, which will be held in Atlanta, GA in June.  

Great job, Falcons!

FMS Students Excel At Regional Science Fair!

Congratulations to the FMS participants in this year’s Region 10 Science Fair at LLCC.

FMS received:

4 —Outstanding Awards

Emma Cox

Maryum Ahmad

Molly Kuper

McKenna Lambert


6 —1st place Awards

Kayla Adkins

Sarah Becker

Jack Casey

Glen Gochenour

Lydia Lupton

Keith Shedlebower

Of these participants, 5 will be moving on to the State Science Fair in Dekalb, IL. at NIU on May 6. 

Other Awards:

Broadcomm Masters Award for the top 14 projects

Maryum Ahmad

Air Force Award

Glen Gochenour

American Psychology Assoc.

Emma Cox

Moseley Consumer Science Award

Emma Cox

Ben Franklin Award

Glen Gochenour

Mosely Consumer Science Award

McKenna Lambert 


FMS is very proud of you and all of your efforts!

FMS Scholastic Team Places 2nd At Litchfield Tournament

The Franklin Middle School Scholastic Bowl Team competed in the Litchfield Tournament on Saturday, March 18th.  The Falcons took 2nd place.  16 teams participated.  Go Falcons!

8th Grade Gifted Students Attend U of I Engineering Open House

FMS sent their 8th grade gifted classes to experience the Engineering Open House at the University of Illinois-Champaign.  Students had the opportunity to experience science and math outside the classroom through the STEM activities provided by the college students.   Students had the opportunity to see the towering concrete crusher in action while listening to Civil Engineering students and eat a marshmallow that was frozen in liquid nitrogen when they visited  the Loomis Laboratory of Physics.   There were over 200 exhibits designed by the various engineering students to excite and teach our students about all that a future in Engineering could offer them


Avery Pound Advances To State Geography Bee!

Avery Pound, an 8th Grader at FMS, has advanced and will compete in the IL Geography Bee @IllinoisStateU on 3/31. He beat over 800 students ~good luck Avery!

FMS MathCounts Attends State Competition!

Congrats to the FMS MATHCOUNTS team. We had a great time at State competition in Naperville today. We are already preparing for next year!

Beta Club Members Excel At State Convention!

Congratulations to all FMS Beta Club competitors.  Here are the results!

History - Maggie Sturm 2nd place

Lang. Arts - MacKenzie Farley  3rd place

Science: Astha Nimavat 3rd place

Math: Sairishika Talluri  1st Place  

Calisthenics of the Mind (4 members) - written test for one hour…work as a team:   Jeremy Brincken, Alfred Hofmann, Glen Gochenour, Matt Lehmann 1st place

Quiz Bowl (4 members), Jack Casey, Avery Pound, Anna Grace Palmer-Vogt, Bryce Tucker  (alternate: Zeke Cross)  1st place 

Speech: Emma Cox  

Advertising /Design: Kylie McMillan, Lia Romanotto, Lydia Lupton

Poetry: Leeza Zavelsky  2nd place

Talent: Alyssa Samaniego  2nd place

Art:  Jordan Stewart, Alaina Hinmann, Claudia Lupton

Essay: Emma Cox  2nd place

FBI Agents Guest Speakers In Gifted Classes

FBI Agents Bill O’Sullivan and David Harmon were guest speakers at FMS today and they spoke to seven different classes. Topics of discussion included: requirements to be an agent, Quantico Training Academy, forensics (phone and computers), the importance of acquiring a strong foundation f of writing, science, math, and government.  The students were very cooperative and inquisitive.

FMS Science Fair Results

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in the FMS Science Fair.  There was a great diversity of ideas and projects that show how important science is to our daily lives.

There were 11 students who received an OUTSTANDING Award at this year's fair.  The students/projects will advance to the Regional Science Fair at Lincoln Land Community College on March 25th, 2017. Good Luck to these students in further competition!

Emma Cox

Glen Gochenour

Lydia Lupton

Molly Kuper

Avery Pound

Keith Shedlebower

Kayla Adkins

Jack Casey

Sara Becker

Mckenna Lambert

Maryum Ahmad

FMS MathCounts Place Second In Regionals

The FMS MATHCOUNTS Team took second place at the Regional Competition. Scholastic Bowl competed in the Metcalfe Sweetheart Tournament. The B Team finished 4-2 while the A Team finished 5-1. B Team MVP: Olivia Baima. A Team MVP: Avery Pound. The 8th Grade Girls Volleyball Team competed in the Titan Tournament in Jacksonville.

Scholastic Art Award Winners Announced!

Wow! We could not be prouder! Scholastic Art Awards for Mid Central Illinois have just been announced Franklin Middle School has 9 pieces that have been chosen to be included in the show. Such amazing Art work!

Each year the art teachers from 7-12 grades from the central part of the state are asked to enter their best art pieces for judging. Artists from the area judge the art work and decide what pieces get into the show. Just to be chosen to be entered is a big deal!

A big congratulations goes to Christiana Kavados ( 7th grade ). She has two pieces included in the show. Her pastel of a Cat’s Eye won an Honorable Mention and one of her beautiful sketches of a truck delivering christmas things also won an Honorable Mention.

Three students not only got in the show, but also received a Silver Key award, a Regional award for additional merit. 7th grader, Cutter Gillette got the silver key for his pastel, “The Old Car” and 8th grader Claudia Lupton received a Silver Key award for her mixed media portrait. The third Silver Key award went to Bala Ramaraju for her tiger sculpture made late in the year last year as an 8th grader. Bala now attends Springfield High School.

In addition Franklin had 4 art pieces who won a Gold Key award for additional merit that will go on to compete at the National level. Congratulations to 7th grader Avery Fifer whose beautiful flower pastel won a Gold Key award. Also, Morgan Arnold who won a Gold Key award for her pastel of resting hands. Elijah Gibson , 8th grade won a Gold Key award for his mixed media portrait, “Dear Sarah” and Hannah Markey won a gold key award for her peacock sculpture from late last year. Hannah now attends Lanphier High School.

These students will be honored at an Awards Ceremony at Springfield High School on January 29th. Their art work will be on display at the Springfield Art Association starting January 29th, through the third week in February.

Avery Pound Wins The FMS Geography Bee!

Avery Pound, an 8th grader at FMS, won the Franklin National Geographic Geography Bee today. Avery competed against 39 other Franklin students who advanced to the finals. Avery will now take a standardized geography test. If Avery has one of the top 100 scores statewide across the state of Illinois, he will advance to the Illinois Geography Bee held in Chicago this spring.

Congratulations, Avery!!

FMS 8th Grade Team BREAKS Gettysburg Address Puzzle Contest Record!

Three teams from the Franklin Gifted Program traveled to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library to participate in the Gettysburg Address Puzzle Contest. The 8th grade team smashed the all time record with a time of 14:22, besting the previous record time of 17 minutes, which was also held by the Franklin 2014 8th grade team. The 7th grade team timed out at 20:44, while the 6th grade team finished with a time of 34:11. Way to go Falcons!

FMS Student Angie Antuna Is The Peace Poster Contest Winner!

Angie Antuna is the winner of the Springfield Noon Lions Club Peace Poster Contest. Angie received a $100 check from the SNLC along with a Certificate of Winner for our contest. Her poster was forwarded to the District level. Lion Leann Brackney commented that it was one of the best she had seen and would make sure it went on to the district level. Marina Summers was the runner up. Kally Chen, Elizabeth Grant and Sasha Gordon were finalists.

No Pi's The Limit For Nihar Cheruku!

Congratulations to 6th grade student Nihar Cheruku for being the first person in the 2016-17 school year to memorize the first 200 digits of the number pi!!! He completed the task at the beginning of 5th hour class on Monday, October 17th, 2016! Of course the first 200 digits of pi are:

6th Grade Students Visit UIS Astronomy Observatory!

Sixth grade gifted students went to the UIS observatory to listen to Astronomy Professor, Dr Martin, speak about the wonders of our Solar System.

Congratulations to Lydia Lupton!

Lydia Lupton was recognized at a ceremony at IMSA September 17 for her “GOLD” science fair project this past spring.

Eric Mason

September 15, 2016   0 photos

FMS/LHS Alumnus Eric Mason visits Franklin Middle School!

Eric stopped by Franklin yesterday to visit his middle school alma mater before heading to Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.

Gifted News 2015-2016

Lanphier, Southeast grads overcame long odds to get to top colleges SJR

Kanicia Green, left, Eric Mason, both seniors at Lanphier High School, and Alexa Brown from Southeast, have been through a lot growing up, but the friends since middle school have bright futures. Green is headed to Howard University, Mason is going to Stanford and Brown will attend Harvard. The three were photographed at Lanphier High School Thursday, May 20, 2016. Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register


Detective Fannin, CSI, Meets With 7th Grade Gifted Students

Detective Mike Fannin, Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) for the Springfield Police Department, was a guest speaker in all of Mr. Zinnen's classes on February 24th. Detective Fannin discussed his qualifications to become an officer, the daily procedures of an officer, his role as a member of the Mobile Field Force Unit (riot police), and his experiences as a CSI. The students were also shown how a foot print could be taken to be used as evidence. In closing, his job entails aspects of history (civics), math, science, writing, literature (reading), art and physical education in his professional experiences.

Senator Dick Durbin Meets With Franklin 8th Grade Gifted Classes

Senator Dick Durbin met with Franklin's 8th grade gifted classes in the library. Senator Durbin held a question and answer session. Topics included foreign affairs, the 2016 presidential election, and the recent visit to Springfield by President Barack Obama.

10 Franklin Students Advance to Midwest History Bee Regional Finals!

10 Franklin Middle School students took the Online Qualifying Exam for the National History Bee competition and all scored high enough to advance to the Regional Finals. They are:

Borland, Drew (Grade 8)
Fein, Aidan (Grade 8)
Frazier, Jason (Grade 8)
Harms, Molly (Grade 8)
Iyer, Varsha (Grade 8)
Ralph, Miles (Grade 8)
Ressel, Steve (Grade 8)
Si, Katherine (Grade 8)
Sturm, Maggie (Grade 7)
Talluri, Sairishika (Grade 7)

FMS 7th Grade Gifted Students Visit Prairie Heart Institute

7th Grade Gifted Students not only visited the Prairie Heart Institute but also observed an actual heart surgery performed by Dr. Nilesh Goswami. The SJR covered the event. To read more click the following link: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160208/franklin-students-get-first-hand-look-at-medical-procedure

Franklin Scholastic Bowl Team Wins Metcalf Tournament!

FMS dominated the pool of 16 teams with the A Team going 8-0 and taking 1st place! The MVP was Aidan Fein.
The B Team went 7-1 and brought home the 3rd place trophy. The MVP was Jack Casey. All team members contributed and it was an outstanding day for FMS.

FMS Artists Shine!

A very competitive and honored art show is happening this month at the Springfield Art Association. Schools from all over the MId Central Illinois Region entered works their teachers chose as exemplary. It is the Scholastic Art Show, in which the vast majority of works are done by high school age students, but middle school seventh and eighth graders are also considered. We had 27 pieces chosen to be entered by Mrs. Krumrei. It is quite an honor to be chosen to represent the school.
On this particular day, Saturday, Jan. 16, a panel of judges chose five top pieces from FMS to be in the show. These pieces are done by first semester 7th and 8th graders. They will be honored at the Honors Day Reception on Jan. 31st at Springfield HS auditorium.
The highest award was received by Allorah Garner, a gold key award, her painting will go on to be considered for a national award after the regional show. This is also Allorah's second year to have a piece in the show. This year her gold key was for her landscape Impressionist painting called , "Mountain Impressionsm".
Two students were chosen to receive the silver key award, seventh grader Rowan Goebel- Bain for his oil pastel, " Conquers All" a close up of water, and eighth grader Hannah Markey for her tempera Impressionist painting, of a landscape, " In the Meadow". This is the second year Hannah has had her work accepted into Scholastic. ( Last year she received Honorable Mention)
WOW! Great work art students! Keep it up.


Aidan Fein Advances to the Illinois State Geography Bee

Aidan Fein, an 8th grade student at Franklin Middle School, has advanced to the Illinois Geography Bee Finals. To advance to the state geography bee, Aidan first won the school-wide bee at Franklin. Next, Aidan took the online qualifying test for the Illinois Geography Bee. The top 100 scores throughout the state of Illinois advanced to the Illinois Geography Bee. The Illinois Geography Bee will be held at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn on April 1st.

Congratulations, Aidan!

Beta Club Convention Results

Congratulations to the 7th and 8th grade Beta Club members who attended the Illinois State Convention Monday and Tuesday of this week. Competitors and members represented FMS very well and we were able to bring home several trophies from the academic and talent competitions.

Language Arts - Emma Cox - 2nd place
Social Studies - Jason Frazier - 2nd place
Math - Katherine Si - 2nd place
Speech - Amalia Schneider - 2nd place
Special Talent - Ben Joens - 2nd place
Quiz Bow TEAM - Aidan Fein
Molly Harms
Avery Pound
Miles Ralph - 1st place

Your sponsors are very proud of you and we hope you had a great experience. Congratulations FMS students!!

Aidan Fein Wins FMS Geography Bee

Aidan Fein won the FMS Geography Bee. Aidan will now take a qualifying test to see if he advances to the Illinois Geography Bee that will be held in Chicago in April. Congratulations, Aidan!

Franklin History Bee Finalists

10 Franklin Middle School students took the Online Qualifying Exam for the National History Bee competition and all scored high enough to advance to the Regional Finals. They are:

Borland, Drew (Grade 8)
Fein, Aidan (Grade 8)
Frazier, Jason (Grade 8)
Harms, Molly (Grade 8)
Iyer, Varsha (Grade 8)
Ralph, Miles (Grade 8)
Ressel, Steve (Grade 8)
Si, Katherine (Grade 8)
Sturm, Maggie (Grade 7)
Talluri, Sairishika (Grade 7)

Allorah Garner Wins Gold Key at Springfield Scholastic Art Show

Allorah Garner won the gold key award at the Springfield Scholastic Art Show. Allorah's painting will go on to be considered for a national award after the regional show. This is also Allorah's second year to have a piece in the show. This year her gold key was for her landscape Impressionist painting called "Mountain Impressionsm".

FMS 8th Grader Kyle Boughter Wins 3A State Cross Country!

8th Grader Kyle Boughter won the IESA 3A Cross Country Meet with a time of 10:19.3! Isaac Becker, an 8th Grader as well, took 4th place! GO FALCONS!

Sairisha Talluri Recites the First 200 Digits of Pi!

Sairishika Talluri, a 7th grade student in Mr. Knoepfle's Algebra I class, recited the first 200 digits of Pi from memory. As a reward, Sairishika's 5th hour class enjoyed a pizza party honoring her accomplishment. WAY TO GO Sairishika!

Congratulations to FMS 8th Grader Varsha Iyer!

Congratulations Varsha Iyer!

You have been selected as a semifinalist in the 2015 Broadcom MASTERS®, a program of Society for Science & the Public. This honor places you among a select group of 300 semifinalists named from more than 6,000 nominees throughout the United States. It is a well-earned distinction of which you can be very proud.

Varsha Iyer Competes in Regional Spelling Bee!

Congratulations to Varsha Iyer for participating in the SJR Regional Spelling Bee held on Saturday, March 21.
Varsha competed against several students from the surrounding area and represented FMS very well.

She made it through 5 rounds of spelling the following words:


Misspelled word:

klompen - a clog from the Netherlands - whole feet clogs

Congratulations Varsha!!

Historical Pumpkins!

Mr. Zinnen has displayed his annual "Historical Pumpkins!" Awesome!

PEACE Poster Contest Winners!

1st Place - 7th Grader Allorah Garner ($100)

2nd Place - Trent Minder ($50)

3rd Place Saylor Tidball ($25)

Good job FMS artists! Go Falcons!


Samira Cheruku (7th grade student) memorized the first 200 digits of pie winning a
pizza party for her 5th period class.

Way to go Samira!

FMS Gifted Program Brochure

Attached is the brochure outlining the Gifted Program at FMS.



If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search in the 2016-2017 school year, here is some important information that you will need to know:

The NUMATS web page is below.


Franklin's NUMATS ID number is: 8004547

NUMATS Information

Six Franklin students participated in NUMATS during the 2014-2015 school year. Last year, one Franklin 8th grade student distinguished himself by scoring in the 98th percentile with the composite score the of the SAT, while a 7th grade student had a composite SAT in the 96th percentile!

Test dates and online registration deadlines for the 2015-2016 school year is shown shown in the tables below. Registration begins in July. See Register now! for more information on how to register.

Test Dates:


September 12th, 2015 (Late registration still accepted)

October 24th, 2015 (registration due 9/18/15)

December 12th, 2015 (registration due 11/6/15)


October 3rd, 2015

November 7th, 2015

December 5th, 2015

January 23rd, 2016

Important phone numbers:
NUMATS (847)491-3782

ACT (319)337-1270; www.actstudent.org

SAT (866)756-7346; www.sat.collegeboard.org

Important Reminders
Tests are normally taken on a Saturday morning. Students whose religion prohibits testing on Saturday may choose a non-Saturday test date when they register.
NUMATS offers testing throughout the school year for the ACT® and SAT®; however, students must test before March to have their scores considered for most award ceremonies (boldface dates in tables below).
Students should register as early as possible to increase the likelihood that they will be assigned to their first- or second-choice test center. Test centers are assigned by the testing agencies, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If seats are not available at the test centers you choose, the testing agencies will assign you to the nearest available test center.

If you have any questions about NUMATS, please email Ray Zinnen, FMS Gifted Department Chair, at rzinnen@sps186.org or call him at 525-3164, ext. 234.

2014-2015 Information

6th Grade PREVIEW Night

6th Grade Gifted Preview Night November 13th, 2014
Parents and Students:
Invitations will be mailed to students who qualify for Franklin's Gifted Program the week of November 1.
If your child has been invited to attend the Franklin Middle School Gifted Program for the 2015-2016 school year, you will be invited to attend Thursday, November 13th, 2014, from 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

We look forward to meeting you and your child and sharing all of the positive attributes of our program. Come hear our Jazz Band, meet the gifted teachers, learn more about our academic departments, tour the Franklin facilities, and watch a short movie that highlights our program. We will also have current Franklin Gifted students on hand to address any questions that you or your child may have about the many extra-curricular activities offered at FMS.

On behalf of the Franklin Gifted Program, we look forward to seeing you on November 13th!

2013-2014 GIFTED NEWS

Science Fair Participants Advance

Congratulations to the following FMS Science Fair participants who have advanced to the 2014 regional science fair.

Brady Dane
Skyler Ferree
Riley Ferree
Gianna Flammini
Rekha Goswami
Jessica Hoos
Eric Martin & Raj Sinha
Madison Ridley
Tayli Shekleton
Allison Teichman
Nyah Webb
Abigail Wilson
Hannah Wyatt

These students are eligible to participate in the Region 10 Science Fair at LLCC Cass Gym on March 22. Good luck to all of you!!!

Alumni Honors - Varun Iyer
Varsha Iyer Wins Geography Bee!

Varsha Iyer, a 6th grader at Franklin Middle School, won the Geography Bee and will be given a standardized test that will be sent to National Geographic. From there Varsha may be invited to participate in the state level competition to be held in Chicago in April.

Abby Milhiser Wins the Dr. King Essay Contest

Abby Milhiser, a 7th grade student at FMS, won first place in Middle School Division of the Dr. King Essay Contest sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance. Abby presented her essay at the Alliance's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Event. The winners received a certificate of recognition and prize money. The experience allowed Abby to learn more about the civil rights movement not only through the writing but also by attending the event. Great accomplishment Abby!

IEPA Visits the Gifted Students to Talk About Clean Water Access

On Thursday, January 9th, we had members of the IEPA (Ed Wagner, Kristi Morris, and Lindsay Miller) visit to explain how communities access water. They were able to show the students the differences in water supply operations in urban and rural communities. The importance of water security, pollution and a model of how water flows ecologically within a system were explained as well. The students were very engaged and had a great educational experience. Thank you to the IEPA for volunteering their time for such an important topic to our students.

7th Grader Recites the First 200 Digits of Pi!

Gianna Flammini, a 7th grade student at Franklin Middle School, recited the first 200 digits of pi with no errors! Her teacher, Dave Knoepfle, now has to buy the class a pizza party! Way to go Gianna! That's two now, Mr. Knoepfle!

6th Grader Recites the First 200 Digits of Pi!

Ankeith Guntupalli, a 6th grade student at Franklin Middle School, stated the first 200 digits of pi with no errors. His teacher, Dave Knoepfle, now has to buy the class a pizza party! Way to go Ankeith!