8th Grade
Mrs. Carlee Gatlin
Mrs. Carlee Gatlin is a graduate of Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska. She earned her degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Middle Level. She also attained her Lutheran teaching diploma upon graduation. Mrs. Gatlin completed her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Southern Nazarene University in 2010. She has also been nominated and selected for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Mrs. Gatlin has always had a great passion for working with students through their middle school years. Being devoted to the overall growth of her students, Mrs. Gatlin has started athletic programs and served as athletic director; coached various sports’ programs; sponsored activities such as student council dances and fundraisers; sponsored and chaperoned 8th grade class trips; and initiated middle level advisory programs.

Mrs. Gatlin believes all students leaving middle school should know that with God on their side, they can handle any situation. It is imperative that all students not only know, but take ownership to the words found in Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Mrs. Gatlin has been married to her wonderful husband, John, for eighteen years. They have been blessed with five beautiful children Cole, Laney, Piper, Brynn and Gemma. In her free time, Mrs. Gatlin enjoys scrapbooking, reading, shopping, and being a cheerleader for her children’s extracurricular activities.

Middle Grades Overview
Middle Grades (5th through 8th)
Normally, when we think of middle school we let out a sigh or groan and remember our own experience. Our middle school years were key to becoming the adults we are today. These short years are full of spiritual, academic, emotional, and social changes. It takes prayer, love, dedication, and understanding to help these students and their families have positive middle school experiences. At Messiah Lutheran School, we desire to make the middle school experience a great one. We understand that middle school is not only about getting a great education, but it's also about learning life skills. We allow our students to learn in an atmosphere where they can begin learning responsibility and freedom to make choices within a Christian support network.

In the classroom, students are held to high academic standards. We not only want our students to be ready for the following year of school, but also to learn the skills that will help make life easier. Therefore, we incorporate study skills and organization into the core classes. Working with parents, we strive to make this an enriching and positive year of growth for your middle school student.

God's richest blessings on your middle school journey.

Language Arts

Students will be exposed to a variety of genres in literature including the novel, short story, essay, poetry, and drama. They will not only learn characteristics of each genre, but they will also learn how to think analytically and critically about the selections they read.


Students in English are given the tools needed to effectively communicate both orally and through written means. Emphasis to structure and form is given to grammar, spelling, mechanics, and the development of sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Students will be required to write in a variety of forms (narrative, expository, persuasive, descriptive, research writing) and to present their work orally. In preparation for high school, emphasis is also placed on systematic vocabulary development.


The 5th and 6th grade math curriculum teaches and reinforces the concepts of number sense and operations. Students work with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, squares, and square roots. Graphing, probability, geometry, and early algebraic properties are also taught.

In the 7th and 8th grade courses, students will learn algebraic methods and how to use them in real life situations. Students will develop problem solving skills, reasoning, and the ability to make connections in conjunction with algebraic processes. They will be asked to explain, justify, verify, interpret, draw, and label.

Social Studies

Social Studies courses taught in fifth and sixth grades focus on United States and World History. A solid understanding of the history of our great nation will help to provide access to the opportunities of our democracy and the responsibilities of citizenship. Students will learn about different cultures and the interaction between these cultures which have helped to shape the complex and fascinating world we live in today.

Courses covered in seventh and eighth grades include American History and World Geography. The students will learn about the people and events that created our nation and government which shaped our beliefs and principles. Students will study the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rights and responsibilities as citizens of the United States of America. World geography will consist of students studying regions throughout the world. The students will learn about different religions, customs, arts, and governments of those particular regions. Students will also learn about the various land formations and climates that are native to that region.


Fifth and sixth grade students will be introduced to life, earth, and physical sciences. Topics covered include: classifying organisms, cells and systems, plants, ecosystems, weather, our changing earth, matter, forces, energy, space, and technology. Messiah uses the Scott Foresman Science program, which is built on three levels of inquiry (directed, guided, and full). All three levels will engage students in activities that build a strong science foundation and help them develop a full understanding of the inquiry process.

Over the course of two years, seventh and eighth grade students will continue to explore the three branches of science: life, physical, and earth. These courses will lay the foundation for continued and more in-depth science studies in high school. During life science studies, some of the areas students will be exposed to include human biology, botany, and environmental science. Physical science studies include an introduction to matter and energy, forces and motion. Earth science studies will look at astronomy and meteorology. Skills a student will acquire include observing, classifying, measuring, experimenting, and interpreting.


All Bible study at the middle level has at its center the purpose of growing mature, Christ-centered individuals. Religion serves as a time to examine scriptures and doctrinal foundations of the Christian faith. Also during Bible time, a student's personal faith is challenged to grow through means of prayer, service, and fellowship.