School Info » Administration



Dr. Semeen Issa


Welcome to First Avenue! 


The staff and administration are honored to welcome you and your child to First Ave Middle School. Our staff are a community of professionals dedicated to the philosophy of whole child teaching and learning.


The program and traditions at First Avenue are indicative of the staff’s focus on middle school adolescent development, an important time of transition for our youngsters. This means students need a learning environment that places importance on social and emotional wellness while providing great experiential learning opportunities. Our staff makes it possible for every child to experience the many electives offered, including opportunities for every student to excel in the performing arts (music, dance, and theater), industrial technology, home economics, fine arts, science and engineering, broadcast journalism, civics, leadership and digital discourse. First Avenue is unique in providing our students with such a quality well-rounded education with many choices and rigorous academics. Along the same vein we remain committed to providing our students with learning experiences that will help them grow in self confidence and develop their passions, while building healthy relationships and understanding self-care.

We value the partnership between parents and school, and we hope that you will become involved in PTSA and other opportunities to help us provide an amazing experience for all our students. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of any assistance. It’s going to be a great school year and we are honored to have you on this journey with us. 


Stay safe and be well.




Mr. Michael DeGrazia

I am excited to be engaged in my fifth year at First Avenue.  We will have a much different learning environment at First Avenue, but our staff is prepared to take on the new challenge and we will be prepared when we are able to return.  First Avenue has amazing students, staff, and parents.  There are a number of opportunities for students through innovation and teacher collaboration that support Arcadia’s tag line to imagine, inquire, and inspire.  We have an exemplary music program, performing arts program, sports program, and we have a number of electives that appeal to students with different interests.  This year, we are also having an advisory period where students can check in with teachers, listen to announcements, review materials, ask questions, and obtain support from teachers


Other programs we offer when we are in session at First Avenue are:  Ellis Island Day, Medieval Day, Science Day, and the Spartan Olympics continue to enable students to display all of their many talents.  First Avenue has a strong tradition and I enjoy being a part of it.  We continue to implement the “Leader In Me Program” and we are continually making improvements to the school.  


Many students and teachers have also made contributions to the growing sports program that provides students initial experiences to athletics in order to prepare students for high school athletics.  Math Circles and competitive mathematics will continue to take place in order to provide students experience and opportunities that can have a positive influence on their future. Along with sports and competitive mathematics, our music, performing arts, art, and robotics programs continue to impress.


I am looking forward to everyone having a successful year at First Avenue for the 2020-2021 school year. Thank you for your continued support and please feel free to contact me if you need any assistance.