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Farewell Class of 2019! We Will Miss You!

On  Saturday, June 8, 2019, on a picture perfect morning in an ideal setting on the Perley Field, 100 talented, smart and close knit members of the Class of 2019 proudly graduated from GMHS before their family and friends.  It could not have been a better day and the ceremony was a wonderful tribute to this great group of students who were culminating their public school careers and getting ready to venture into their next step in life, whether that be college, the military and/or the world of work.

This was the first year with new principal Dan Richards at the helm and he made a couple of changes to the ceremony which I really enjoyed. The most obvious was that the graduates’ names were read by the officers of class as they were presented with their diplomas rather than one of the Assistant Principals. The students took this responsibility very seriously and did an excellent job! This was a change that illustrates the commitment that Mr. Richards has made all year to working with the students and urging them to take on leadership roles within their school.

The valedictorian was Alyssa Geata and the salutatorian was Emma Thompson. Both of these young ladies worked very hard throughout their high school careers but they were successful in more than academics. Both of them were very active in clubs and activities, and sports as well as devoted many hours to community service. They are all around wonderful people and they have a very bright future ahead of them!  All of the student speeches were outstanding.  In addition to Alyssa and Emma, Class President Ethan Block gave a motivational speech and encouraged his classmates to stand up and make a difference.

Graduation is my favorite day every year because it signifies the successful completion of years of hard work and also represents a wonderful beginning and fresh start for each member of the class. I had the pleasure to address them and connected it to the recent trip to Disney that I took this spring with the band and chorus. This class is one I will truly miss and to use a Disney reference, ” I hope all of their dreams come true.” Best wishes Class of 2019!

Check out the article in the Georgetown Record and my comments if you are interested.


SEPAC Announces Shining Star Award Winners

Recently I was part of a wonderful evening where we got to recognize some excellent educators and service providers who have made a difference in the lives of special education students. The Special Education Advisory Pack ( SEPAC) is a group of interested parents who work closely with the district and parents of special education  students to ensure that our special education programs and services meet the needs of all children with special needs.

Each year, the SEPAC accepts nominations from SEPAC members and district staff who would like to nominate someone who has had a profound impact on their child or children receiving special education services. Each recipient receives a beautiful crystal award engraved with their name on it and has the chance to enjoy hearing the information that was submitted by the person who made the nomination at the award ceremony held at Jeff and Maria’s Homemade Ice cream in Groveland.

This year the SEPAC would like to congratulate this year’s award winners Joseph Pittella, Sherri-Ann  Pittella, Jessica McPhail, Veronica Schaefer , Erin Sinclair, Andrea Morris, MsJenny Masotta and Dana Rimer. You are all well deserving of this award! I was so happy and proud to be there to celebrate with these wonderful people. Thank you for all you do!

The SEPAC also recognized Tom Stewart who has served as President for the past three years for a Leadership Award. Tom has decided to “retire” from SEPAC but I am so happy that they recognized him because he stepped  forward and resurrected the organization when it needed it most. He and his small group of SEPAC members raised funds to award scholarships to graduating seniors in the special education program by  putting on what has come to be known as the SEPAC’s signature event every fall Trick or Trunk and getting other corporate sponsors. Tom was also able to  bring in world-renowned speakers on topics like dyslexia and reading difficulties because of his personal and professional connections. Thank you very much Tom for your dedicated service over the years. You will be missed!

Happy Father’s Day

I want  to wish all the fathers in our district family  a Happy Father’s  Day.  Thank you for being powerful and positive role models in the lives of your children!  My father has passed but the following quote is one that I feel speaks to his influence on me and it is something I wish for all  of our children. I hope you had a wonderful day with your families!

GMHS Vape Detection Program in the News

I am pleased to share with you a recent report that aired on WGBH regarding the increase in vaping among youth and what is being done about it at the policy level and at the school level.  As you may know, thanks to funding from the Georgetown Cares Coalition, vape detectors were purchased and installed in many bathrooms at GMHS last fall to serve as a detergent to  students vaping in the bathrooms. These are sensors that are triggered when vaping is detected and alerts are sent to members of the administration and the School Resource Officer. We are the first district in the state to be using them and, over the course of this year, we have received many inquiries from other districts who are considering purchasing them.  At a recent meeting of Georgetown Cares, it was voted that there will be 14 additional detectors installed for the fall. These will be located in the remaining bathrooms and  locker rooms at GMHS and in the bathrooms on the third floor at Penn Brook where the fifth and sixth grade students are located. This is being done NOT because we believe students of this age are vaping in school but the research is showing that students are beginning to vape in the upper  elementary grades  and the  middle school years. We just want to be sure this acts as a deterrent for our students.

The link below appeared in the news and includes our own Middle High School Principal Dan Richards.   Check it out!

National Business Honor Society Inducts New Members

I am so pleased to say that there are now 13 new inductees into the National Business Honor Society at GHS.  Honor Society Advisor Business and Technology Teacher Mary Lyon told the group of proud  families and friends that the purpose of the NHBS is to:

  • promote and recognize academic achievement in
    business education at Georgetown High School;
  • foster and recognize leadership skills and character
  • help members grow ethically and socially by
    promoting and encouraging an interest in business;
  • encourage member involvement in service learning

Six of the current members of the National Business Honor Society  were on hand to welcome and cheer on the new members.  A couple  of the new inductees are members of the baseball team and they had an away game on the night of this ceremony. As they came in one at a time, the other inductees wanted to be sure they were were inducted properly so they actually took the oath three times! I thought that was very considerate of them and I am sure these two students appreciated it.  I can not be more proud of these students because they work so hard to maintain a balance between academics and their commitment to leadership in their school. What is not to respect and celebrate about that?

Congratulations to the following students on being inducted.

Seniors: Tea Ferrara and Carmine Palmisano

Juniors: Jillian Bridges, Ryan Cacciola, Jesse DeWeese-Boyd, Edward Fantasia,
Lindsey Feeks, Stephen MacDonald, Madison Molis, Sam Mroz, Emma Sindoni,
Brenna Slomsky,Justin Ziolkowski

Peter Pan A Huge Hit at Penn Brook

Who doesn’t love Peter Pan especially when it is performed by a group of talented fifth grade students ? Each year the fifth grade class puts on a musical for all of their proud  family and friends. This year they performed Peter Pan Jr. and they knocked it out of the park!

Directors Elizabeth Carroll and Barry Belanger are geniuses! I have been watching these plays for 12 years and never have I seen the same play done twice. Every year they involve any student that wants to be in the play either as a main actor , member of an ensemble or as a member of the crew. I love that this is such an inclusive project where every child can find success!

Elizabeth is the first to say she could not do what she does without a support system working behind the scenes.  In addition to Barry (Musical Director) who is definitely her right hand man,  she had a lot of help from Virginia Bergson who was in charge of costumes and props, music teacher Brian Fanning who oversaw the sound system and fifth grade teacher Kelci Valorz who was in charge of  set construction and the stage crew !  They all deserve a big round of applause for  all they did to make this show such a BIG success!

Mia Girard was a great Peter Pan! It was like the role was made for her. She was able to convince the audience that she WAS Peter Pan with all his confidence and sass. The other main characters, including the lost boys and the pirates,   were all stars and the overall production from start to finish was amazing!  Congratulations to all of the actors and the stage crew that was led by stage managers Liana Nakatsugawa and Colby Kato.

The cast and crew were treated to a cast party at Erie Four after the Friday night performance and thanks to the parents for putting this on for them. The kids all worked very hard and deserved to have some fun winding down .  After all, they began working on this play in January and performed it in June! The commitment of time was significant with practices before and after school and the time they put in showed in the three performances that they did . I can’t wait  to see what play they will select for next year although that is probably the last thing Ms Carroll and Mr. Belanger want to be thinking about at this point. My hat is off to them again this year for another outstanding production!

Congratulations to all involved! You were amazing!