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Return to classroom draws critics, support at Hardy

Accord following decade-old suit settlement underlies change; D'Agostino comments

UPDATED, June 26: A veteran employee of the Arlington public schools, in an administrative role for nine years following the settlement of a lawsuit, has been approved for a return to teaching -- at Hardy School's third grade next fall.

LeiLanie D'AgostinoLeiLanie D'Agostino got her corsage in May for 20 years' service.

Some parents are upset about the move, citing details of allegations made in the 2001 lawsuit. Other parents say the employee, LeiLanie D'Agostino, should be given a chance.

The School Committee met in closed session Wednesday, June 23. While only the general reason for the meeting may be disclosed, the session is believed to have been a discussion of issues surrounding D'Agostino.

Further, the teachers' union issued a news release disavowing authority in teaching assignments.

In 2005, a judge ruled in favor of the teacher and the school administration in a lawsuit alleging sexual, physical and emotional abuse by D'Agostino, in 2000, when she was a teacher at the Brackett School.

Following the court decision, a 2006 agreement between the administration and the Arlington Education Association, the teachers' union, permitted D'Agostino to move to administrative role. She is the director of data integration for curriculum, instruction and assessment and continues in that position.

Superintendent Kathleen Bodie wrote in an email to Hardy parents June 18 that the agreement gave "Ms. D’Agostino the right to return to a classroom teaching position in the future. It is a legally binding agreement between the School District and the AEA. Ms. D’Agostino has chosen to exercise that right."

D'Agostino, who was among many school employees recognized in May, for 20 years of service, has responded after two requests for comment.

Bodie's statement continued: "The process for classroom placement was the process the district follows for placing teachers who return from a leave of absence of a year or longer. Principals of schools that have openings interview the returning teacher.

In this case, there were openings at two elementary schools. The principals of both schools interviewed Ms. D’Agostino. The superintendent makes the final placement after discussion with the principals.

"The district will be exploring the possibility of an amicable resolution with Ms. D’Agostino."

Agreement requested

Asked June 19 to identify the other school, Bodie responded June 23 that it was Thompson. Asked to clarify the issue over which an "amicable resolution" needs to be reached, she wrote, "For the purpose of process, her decision to exercise her right to return to teaching has been treated as a leave since she retained her seniority in the agreement.

"I am not at liberty right now to discuss any further what an amicable resolution would be."

Robert Spiegel, head of human resources for the schools, was asked June 19  for a copy of the 2006 agreement with the union. He responded June 23: " ... [T]hat appears to be exempt under M.G.L. c. 7, sec. 4, clause twenty-sixth(c).

He did provide this information about D'Agostino's work history:

Grade 5 teacher, Brackett, September 1995 - June 1996

Grade 3 teacher, Brackett, September 1996 - June 1997

Grade 5 teacher, Brackett, September 1997 - June 2006

Curriculum Developer/Data Analyst/Director of Data Integration beginning in September 2006.

Union release

Linda Hanson, president of the AEA, issued this news release June 23:

"The Arlington Education Association is aware that the administration is making teaching assignments for the 2015-16 school year. The AEA does not have authority over these decisions, and the AEA played no role in the decision to implement the provisions of an agreement with an employee that was signed in 2006.

"However, the AEA expects the administration to act in the best interests of our students and their families. We also expect the administration to protect the rights of all employees -- and to provide appropriate support for every educator in the district.

"It is worth noting that, although the AEA has obligations resulting from the 2006 agreement, along with potential future obligations if the employee exercises her legal option under that agreement to resume a position that falls under the bargaining unit, she is not currently an AEA member."

Meanwhile, some members of the public have spoken out for and against D'Agostino's returning to the classroom. They did so on the Arlington email list June 18, and YourArlington quotes them after receiving permission.

Lisa Galen urged open-mindedness.

"I am not a personal friend of Ms. D'Agostino, and I haven't seen or talked to her since my younger daughter finished at Brackett, about 14 years ago.

Loved her class

"Both of my daughters had Leilani D'Agostino when she taught at Brackett. They are now 30 and 25. Both girls loved being in her class, and counted her among the top 2 teachers they had at Brackett.

"My younger daughter was in the class with the girl, whose family was the source of the suit.

"No one can say for certain what exactly happened, but as it has been pointed out, the outcome of the investigation was in favor of the defendant (Ms. D'Agostino and the APS).

"My guess is that the source of the trouble grew out of a misunderstanding or personal falling out that escalated to an extreme."

'Could not feel safe'

Nayda A. Cuevas, writing as missartzy[@], expressed a different view:

"After I have read what the victim suffered or accused this teacher of -- Which I recommend everyone read and Google the teacher's name -- I as a mother could not feel safe leaving my child under her care. There is no way I would leave my child under her care.

"A person whom has done such harm should not be around children. Again.

"My opinion, I will continue to further inform myself on her 10-year-old case."

Barbara Jones had only questions: "Has anyone asked why Ms. D'Agostino was put into an administrative position instead of going back to teaching? Why is she just going back now, all these years later?"

She declined to venture an opinion without answers to these questions.

D'Agostino and the agreement with the union might shed some light. So far, both are unavailable.

'Intelligent, perceptive, caring'

Jan Stetson thanks Galen on the email list June 18: "When I saw the announcement on the list that LeiLanie D'Agostino was slated to return to the classroom at Hardy, I wondered how long it would take for the unpleasant accusations of years past to be resurrected.

"It didn't take long.

"I also am not a personal friend, but both my daughters loved being in her class and found her to be an excellent and effective teacher. In my dealings with her in a parent-teacher capacity, I found her to be intelligent, perceptive and caring.

"I was sorry to see her shifted into administration, and I'm thrilled to hear that she is returning to classroom teaching. I agree with Lisa that her years out of the classroom have been a loss to Arlingtonchildren. There are more competent administrators than gifted teachers in this world, I believe."

Stetson wrote to someone off-list, and the following is quoted with permission:

"Based on my older daughter's experience, we actively wanted Ms D'Agostino for her younger sister. As teacher to my children, she did an excellent job. I do not yet have grandchildren, but if I did, I would go out of my way to get them into a classroom where Ms D'Agostino was teaching."

Issue arose June 17

Various officials learned about objections to D’Agostino’s appointment on Wednesday, June 17, when they received this plea (the email text but not the author was provided to YourArlington from a credible source):

"It was recently released that the new 3rd grade teacher is going to be LeiLanie D'Agostino. She has been an administrator here in Arlington for 10 years, but before that she was a third and fifth grade teacher in Arlington who had charges brought against her due to her conduct with students. If you Google her name, it is the first thing that comes up

"Reading the document explains what she did to a few of her prior female students. The case was about was if her actions constituted a sexual crime or not (which it seems it was decided it did not.) But when you read it, everyone agrees it is certainly not professional or behavior we would want our children to experience personally or be witness too. People are outraged to hear that she was appointed by Dr. Bodie to be a classroom teacher in our school without any interview process etc.

"A number of people have already written emails to Dr. Bodie and the school committee. The teachers are so upset and their hands are tied so parents are trying to band together to show Dr. Bodie and the School Committee that we are not ok with this person working with our children (at any of the schools).

The email adds the email addresses for Bodie, School Committee members and the town manager. It refers to a meeting 8 a.m. Thursday, June 19, in the Hardy office for parents to try to get more information from Principal Kristin DeFrancisco.

Further comments of support

Galen's comments include this caution about the relevance of events from 2000-2001 to the present day:

"This episode came near the beginning of Ms. D'Agostino's teaching career. I think that in her enthusiasm as a new teacher, clearly able to reach her students academically, she got caught up in her status as a teacher who knew how to make learning fun.

"Not every inexperienced teacher can manage teaching and managing the classroom behavior of young adolescents so successfully. Unfortunately, I don't think that she completely understood the necessity of maintaining professional boundaries with her students and their parents.

"She loved teaching, loved (appropriately, I believe) her students, and enjoyed forming relationships with their families. Most young teachers grow to understand the need for keeping some distance before something blows up in their face. Unfortunately, Ms. D’Agostino was not able to get to that point. I (and apparently the courts) believe that she was naive, NOT criminal.

"My kids LOVED being in Ms. D'Agostino's class. She enabled them to master things most adults find difficult (converting to metrics and back -- easily), and making complex concepts (mathematical and otherwise) clear.

"She taught them how to organize themselves for studying, and gave them tools my older daughter says she continued to use through graduate school. She broadened their horizons by telling them about her work in the Brain Lab at the Shriver Center, and inviting them to visit it. She made REAL learning exciting and fun.

After the trial, when she was side-lined into administrative work (which I'm sure she performed at a very high level), I was sorry that she couldn't be in the classroom, because I know she loved teaching. But I was sorriest for the children who never got to have her for a teacher. During all these years, they are the ones who really missed out.

"Please, give her a chance!" 

OPINION: Who decides who teaches? Let us know what you think

June 26, 2015: D'Agostino offers her account

This report was published Tuesday, June 23, 2015, and updated June 26, to add a link to D'Agostino's viewpoint.

Arlington grads at Minuteman include valedictorian


"You are the leaders of tomorrow," Class President Kaleena Gulledge declared when she addressed fellow members of the Class of 2015 from Minuteman High School at their commencement ceremony. 

Diplomas were awarded to the school’s 163 graduating seniors, including 34 from Arlington, at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Friday, June 5.

"Take your knowledge, your skills, and your talent and use them to mold a bright future not only for yourselves, but for all," Gulledge added.

In their addresses, she and other leaders of the Class of 2015 looked back with appreciation while vowing to serve others and do great things in the future.

Speeches from valedictorian Maria Cid-Pacheco, of Arlington, salutatorian Jacqueline Lopez, of Waltham, and Gulledge, of Watertown, featured solemn words of advice, exhortations to their classmates to use the education they received at Minuteman, in Lexington, wisely and productively, and heartfelt expressions of thanks to their parents and teachers.

Stressing the value of the "nontraditional education" that she and her classmates received at Minuteman, Cid-Pacheco told them, "Take what you have learned these past four years and let it change your future, and take what you learn in life and use it to change the world."

A theme in Lopez’s remarks was how far everyone had progressed in maturity and knowledge since their days as freshmen, and that four demanding years of hard work, little sleep, hectic schedules and other challenges had ultimately been worthwhile.

“It feels like, just yesterday, we were scared and awkward freshmen at the bottom of the food chain. Today, however, we should all be happy about how far we have come,” she said. “We finally accomplished what took us thirteen or more years of hard work – be proud.”

Minuteman’s Superintendent, Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, urged the graduates to serve the world by exhibiting the traits of warriors – not the cinematic or one-dimensional variety, he emphasized, but “true warriors” in the noblest ancient tradition who “train with great discipline and diligence to develop their skills which they willingly offer in selfless service.”

Noting that true warriors are caring, keenly attuned to their surroundings, and passionate about what they do, Dr. Bouquillon defined them in one word: brave.

He said, “…[T]he world needs Warriors now more than ever, the world needs you, we need you!”

Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that gives its graduates a competitive edge in the new global economy by providing them with a high-quality career and technical education, coupled with a rigorous grounding in mathematics, English, science, and social studies. At Minuteman, students can currently major in 19 career and technical education programs at the same time they take rigorous academic courses, similar to those in traditional academic high schools. Minuteman offers a wide selection of academic courses and programs.

The 34 graduates from Arlington are:

Maria Cid-Pacheco, biotechnology

Emma Ruth Kremer Rich, biotechnology

William Foster Peters, carpentry

Erica Marcella Alves, cosmetology

Avery Ruth Eisenheim, cosmetology

Edward Harrington, culinary arts/baking

Natalie Rose Schulz, design/visual communications

Jonpaul Christian Addorisio, electrical wiring

Anthony Robert DeCampo, electrical wiring

Daniel Emanuele Oliva, electrical wiring

Christopher Michael Smith, electrical wiring

Maya Rose Frost Brophy, engineering technology

Isaac Evan Hiller, engineering technology

Aidan Patrick Rojo, engineering technology

William Fredrick Woods, health assisting

Hayley Louise Veno, hospitality

Richardson Dalencourt, marketing

Joshua Power Clark, plumbing

Ryan Paul Harrington, plumbing

Avishank Singh Khadka, Programming & Web

Anthony James Buscemi, Automotive Technology

Matthew Robert Day, carpentry

Madeline Ann Bransford, cosmetology

Haley Marie Cove, early education & care

Brendan Timothy Kirkpatrick, electrical wiring

Ashley Jordan Koll, electrical wiring

Roger Joseph Magalhaes, electrical wiring

Joseph Daniel Vaudo, electrical wiring

Hunter James Fitzsimmons, Environmental Science

Sarah Ann Joseph, Environmental Science

Lindsey Nicole Azar, Health Assisting

Claudia Louise Pinard, Health Assisting

Marina Schwartz, marketing

Julian Daniel Fox, plumbing

This summary was published Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

324 graduate shine at AHS commencement

Officials, seniors file into Peirce Field on June 6, 2015.

Arlington High School officials gave diplomas to 324 at Peirce Field on Saturday, June 6, an afternoon in which the sun shined brightly when it needed to.

For the Class of 2015, its members stand on the shoulders of 100 years of graduates of the Mass. Ave. school who went before. The current high school observed its first century last year.

2 honors speakers

The number receiving diplomas is based on the students listed in the program, and their names of provided below.

Here is the program for graduation exercises for the Class of 2015 at Arlington High School, held 1 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at Peirce Field, followed by a list of all who are graduating. 

Processional: Entrance of the Class of 2015

Presentation of colors: Arlington Police Department

Honor Guard National Anthem: Arlington High School Band

Welcome: Robert DiLoreto, dean, Fusco House and master of ceremonies

Elementary School Faculty Appreciation Awards announcement: Introduced by Miki Zaganjor, secretary of the Class of 2015

Globe opinion, June 6: Why there is nothing like high school graduation

Caps off at AHS graduation, June 13, 2010

Arlington High School image

Remarks: Matthew I. Janger, principal, introduced by Guarav Dangol, vice president of the Class of 2015

Remarks: Kathleen M. Bodie, superintendent of schools

Remarks: Paul Schlichtman, chair, Arlington School Committee

Faculty speaker: Graham E. Daley, introduced by Meghan A. DeCourcey, treasurer of the Class of 2015

Remarks: Francis W. Roche, president of the Student Council

Presidential address: Alexander D. Crowley, president of the Class of 2015

Honors speaker: William Doyle

Honors speaker: Meghan A. DeCourcey

Presentation of diplomas: Matthew I. Janger, Paul Schlichtman

Presentation of class gift and conclusion: Alexander D. Crowley, president of the Class of 2015

Readers: Veronica L. Tivnan, dean, Downs House; William J. McCarthy, vice principal

Diploma assistants: Susan Briggs, Danielle Rakowsky and Joanna Begin

Graduation coordinator: Nanci L. Ortwein

Senior class officers: Alexander D. Crowley, president; Guarav Dangol, vice president; Camil Miki Zaganjor, secretary; Meaghan A. DeCourcey, treasurer

Student Council officers: Francis Roche, president; Miles Robinson, vice president: William Sanders, treasurer; Ammarah Rehman, secretary

Junior class marshals: Margaret M. Kelly, president, 2015; Shivam N. Rastogi, vice president, 2015; Kerry T. Liu, secretary, 2015; Ashley E. Wicks, treasurer, 2015

Band director: John DiTomaso

Music and sound: Brian Collymore bagpiper

Rob Eagan: Elementary School Faculty Appreciation Awards

Jeanne Wall, Bishop School

Colleen Gorman, Brackett School

Helen McGah, Dallin School

Richard Sullivan, Hardy School

Christina Perkoski, Peirce School

Janelle Ricciuti, Stratton School

Kate Armstrong, Thompson School

Carol Feeney, Ottoson Middle School

Class of 2015, as listed in the program

* National Honor Society

Andrea M. Abanto

Ruben Felix Gabriel Abbou

Armani Acevedo

Gabriel James Adams-Keane

Cameron Bayrd Adelman

Moyosore Elizabeth Adeyemi

Anthony Nicholas Aggouras

* Rosella Aluia

Orsola Amati

Alana Murphy Ambrose

Carolyn Anderson

Maria K. Arvanitis

Taylor Elizabeth Assarian

Collin Andrew Bailey-Healy

Nasana Bajracharya

* Maxwell James Ball

Rowan Thomas Ballman

Antania Skye Baptista

Allison Siobhan Bartlett

* James Scott Barvick

Derya Deniz Basegmez

Caleb P. Bausman

Alessandro Bernabei

Olivia Bernhard

Kayla Michelle Bertucci

Olivia Iris Whittington Bird

Julia Minot Blass

Elizabeth Michal Blouin

Daniel Bofise

Teo Sebastian Boley

Janaya Cornelia Braund

Daniel Matthew Brennan

Samuel David James Brown

Trevor Kennon Brown

* Eliza Catherine Brush

Julia Catherine Buckley

Christian Allan Burger

Jeena Dorothy Cadigan

Hunter Campbell-Breen

Gabrielle Canada

Nicola J. Carbini

* Dominique Katrin Carey

Zachary J. Casa-Olicker

Gregorio Catolla Cavalcanti

* Ellen Marguerite Cayer

* Tim Chang

Taylor Chenault

Paul M. Chioccariello

Peter Costello Christmann

Jaewoo Chung

Augustus L. Chvany

* Mary Elizabeth Ciarlone

Francesco Andrea Cinti

Andrew E. Clarke

Jenny Clerveau

Adam Doster Cohn

* Jack Doster Cohn

Nyal J. Coiley

Kyle Spencer Coleman

Daniel Patrick Collins

Eva Elizabeth Collins

* Aaron Hart Colonnese

Katherine Nicole Colovos

Nicolas George Connor

Daniel L. Cook

Dorothy Rose Cooperson Vieweg

Alexis Copeland

Megan Mead Corkery

Sheriden Imani Costello

Ryan Peter Cote

* Shannon Marie Coughlin

* Alexander David Crowley

* Erin Mary Crowley

Alicia Jazmine Cruz

Murphy Claire Curran

David Jerome Curreri

* Chase Leigh Currier

Gaurav Dangol

Melanie Rose DeAlmeida

Joao Vitor Dettoni deAlvrenga

Imani Dora Deal

* Meghan Anne DeCourcey

Andrew Matthew DeGregorio

Lucas A. Delbanco

Justin DeMarco

Bryanna Avery DeVeau

Kayla Marie DiBiase

Anthony Fred DiFranco

Sophia Gloria DiFranco

Sabina A. Dirienzo

* Eryk A. Dobrushkin

Rachel L. Domond

Nicholas Daniel Dores-Lahti

Julie Christine Downing

* William Doyle

Evan Larcom Duffy

Mostafa M. Elebiary

Andrew Seward Ellis

* Gabriel Entov

Liam F. Fagan

Elizabeth Maclean Farris

Naphe Fatahi

Starr Monique Felder

Andrew Dean Felknor

Ruth Eva Ferrante

Isabella Ferrara

Hadley W. Flavin

Samantha Rhoades Fleishman

Sipei Fu

Serena Michelle Gabriels

Gabriella Rejane Gageiro

Yana Galina

Samuel J. Gallagher

Benjamin Hirsch Gallini

Anna Gentile

* Katarina Sophie Gentile

Brianna Tayla Gervais

Adam James Edward Gibson

Christopher M. Girouard

Ragna Roedli Gjoertz

Samuel Lawrence Rhoads Glick

* Benjamin David Cosmos Goebel

Caroline Gracely

* Maxfield E. Green

Brendan Leary Griffin

Julia Griffin

* Audrey Lee Griffith

Leah Grodstein

Rebecca Guertin

* Zachary Kilpatrick Guion

Phoebe Rose Hallahan

Max P. Halliday

* Renee Lee Hamblin

Jasper John Hamilton

Sara E. Hamilton

* Henry C. Hannon

* Julia Rabson Harris

* Christopher Denton Hart

Joseph Boyden Hazelton

* Elyana L. Heighham

Michael Helou

Stephanie Helou

Patrick Paul Henehan

Myles Avery Hicks

* Shannon Lea Hirsch

* Emma Hodgdon

Madison S. Holman

Savannah L. Holmes-Farley

Matthew Alan Holowitz

* Allison Holt

Ryan Peter Hood

Ian J. Hopeman

Mohammed Jobaid Hossain

Haley Hourican

Chun-chieh Hsiang

Jacob J. Jacisin

Lucas J. Jacisin

Catherine Jacob-Dolan

Dianna Grayce Jamgochian

Samantha K. Jarvis

Clarina Jeanniton

Abigail R. Jones

Corshayla Unique Jones

Samuel Elias Jordan

* Marley Marie Jurgensmeyer

Shahnewaz Kabir

Elizabeth Namkula Kamya

Kathryn M. Kapilian

Thomas John Kearney

Tyler James Kearney

Aurora M. Kelly

* Christina S. Kennedy

Julia Marie Kerr

Patrick Brian Keveny

Collin J. Keyes

* Allison Ruth Kilbride

* Ruby McPhail Kinnamon

Kelsey Evans Klaczyk

Daniel Oscar Klingsberg

Paul William Klosterman

Svilen Vihren Kolev

Brian M. Koslowsky

Christos Kotidis

Aleksei M. Kuznetsov

* Mitchell J. Kwok

* Liam King Lanigan

Augustin Victor Lee

Joshua Chin Lee

Brendan Wynne Lehman

Yizhong Li

* Jacques Orion Libresco

Andrew Lindheim

Siting Liu

Carla LoPresti

Megan Lo

Christopher Lobo

Michael J. Lojacono

Kayla M. Lucente

Alexander Lyne

Alfred John MacEachern

Nicholas James Madden

Nicholas Ryan Marino

Daniel James Martin

William Kenneth Martin

Venus Arrianna Martinez

Alexa Nicol Martorana

Emily R. Mastrangelo

Daniel Joseph Muniz Matlack

Maureen Cecilia McAfee

Caille Magaret McAleer

Bryan McCarron

Liam James McDonough

Alexandra McElhoe

Cailin Paige McKissick

Maureen E. McMakin-Bowler

Abby May McNulty

* Jason Tano Mejia

Samantha Miles

Grace Whelan Miller

David J. Milner

* Jamila Mirzazade

Katherine Evelyn Mitri

* Justin Davies Mongold

Sabrina Joaneva Morais

Matthew Suchorski Moroney

Eleni D. Moutsatsos

Sean David Mucci

Allyson Marie Murphy

Greta Myatieva

Graham Nasson

Justin Wesley Nee

Redate Negussie

Jinghan Ni

* Panagiotis Nikitas

* Kelly Anne Niland

Fabio Nunes de Mello

* Aidan Paul O’Day

Samuel P. O’Leary

Jessica Grace O’Steen

* Diego James Opperman

Simran Pabla

Nicholas Pagliasotti

* Anja Pajevic

Nathan William Peterson

* Mila Gabriella Phelps-Friedl

Christopher Jacoby Pickert

Mason Felix Goodman Pitchel

Amari L. Powell

Foster Clay Wetmore Powell

Nishant B. Prakash

Ernesto Prati

Molly Sarah Rae

Namrata Rajkarnikar

* Ammarah Rehman

Christopher M. Rikeman

Miles Gordon Robinson

* Francis William Roche

Nicholas John Edward Roche

Nathalia A. Rodrigues

Emmit Jerry Rojo

* Joseph Robert Romano

Madeline Leni Roop

Nicholas Patrick Rose

* Sophia Marganit Rosen

Eli B. Rubens

Leah Davis Rubin

* William Sanders

* Saffron Eve Schober

Andre Schuldenfrei

Talia Anne Scotto

Samuel Wallace Seiders

* Kaavya Senthil

Nikita Danielle Rosie Shaffer

Bria Lee Shannon

Duncan Robert Sharp

Daniel Timothy Shaw

Dipankar Shrestha

Anastasia Siegel

Lucy Simone Smith

Ziza Victoria Soares

* Rahul K. Sompuram

Nicholas George Sotiropoulos

Kelsie Lee Spear

Caleb John Staskunas

Lukas Stavropoulos

Clara L. Stejskal

Jason A. Stevens

* Emma Louise Stewart

Rebecca Straubing

Kirsten Elizabeth Sullivan

Tarah Lily Sullivan

Marissa Angela Tiezzi

* Catherine Anne Tiffany

Michael S. Tremblay

Steven E. Trvalik

Tyler Cole Vaillancourt

Oliver Eduardo Valdes

Anna Lee VanBenschoten

Jonah VanderMel

Johannes Richard Vanderspeck

Sachy E. Vega

Roxanne Frances Vento

Camille Courtney Vitale

Nathan Daniel Vitale

Giovanni Vitorino Affini

Kenneth John Wallace IV

Olivia M. Wan

Leigh F. Wasilewski

Callum James Watson

Riley Keith Smith Watson

William Christopher Watson

Sarah T. White

Alec J. Wilson

Brandon William Woods

Joseph Matthew Woodworth

Taiyo Galileo Yamaguchi

Tenzin Yangzom

Nicholas L. Yee

Jose Pablo Yolito Ortega

Xuechun Yu

Camil Miki Zaganjor

Pengfei Zheng

Alexandra Zink

Ilana Zacher

Congratulations to the members of the Class of 2015 and to the parents, teachers, administrators, counselors and secretaries who have helped them reach this goal.


Annalise Abdelnour

Josephine Albanese

Anne Albertazzi

JoLinda Alderuccio

John Amirault

James Anderson

Paul Andrus

Kristin Arabasz

David Ardito

Maria Arevalo-Virgil

Danny Arnao

Linda Bagdis

Meghan Barnes

James Barry

Meagan Bassett

Cory Bavuso

Joanna Begin

Patricia Bellahrossi

Liana Bessette

Connor Bishop

Paul Bombara

Sarah Bott Lee

Justin Bourassa

Cindy Bouvier

Octavia Brauner

Susan Briggs

Jill Broughton

Jeff Bruno

Carla Bruzzese

Linda Buckley

Moira Byer

Michael Byrne

Nancy Caccavaro

Amanda Camelio

Michael Carta

Cheryl Christo

Lisa Clark

Matt Coleman

Jennifer Collins

Carolyn Conlon

Margaret Credle-Thomas

LeiLanie D’Agostino

Tino D’Agostino

Francis Dabarera

Graham Daley

Christopher Dangel

Will Darling
David Dempsey

Rob DiLoreto

William Disanza

Anthony DiSanzo

John DiTomaso

Melissa Dlugolecki

Amanda Donahue

Kathleen Driscoll

Risa Dubin

Justine Ducie

Joyce Dvorak

Lester Eggleston Jr.

Nicole Eidson

Kim Eudenbach

Sean Faeth

Glen Fant

Theodore Fiust

Al Flanders

Ed Foley

Wendy Forgie

Jayce G. Sheilah Gauch

Lauren Geiger

Dennis Geller

David Good

Sherry Gooen

Barbara Gridley

Katia Haberman

Robert Hale

Kathleen Hirsch

Na Lu Hogan

Diane Jackson

Matthew Janger

Clayton Jones

Marianne Kitchenka

Stacy Kitsis

Jessica Klau

Melanie Konstandakis

Veronique Lahey

Jason Lamoureux

Caitlyin LeBlanc

Caroline Lichter

Meg Lim

Peter Lundstrom

Cathy MacDonald

Ian Mackay

John Macuk

Christopher Magni

Alicia Majid

Michelle Malley

Tara Manke

Jane Martin

Christopher Martino

Scott Matson

William McCarthy

Paul McKnight

Lindsey McPherson

Cassandra Mea

Stacia Meczywor

Cathy Meehan

Julie Mele

Jeff Minear

Pam Monahan

David Moore

Elizabeth Morris

Nancy Muise

Victoria Mumma

Jennie Nocella

Magali Olander

Nanci Ortwein

Emmy Osterling

Jerry Pei

Maria Pelosi

Deb Perry

Lauren Peterson

Stephen Porciello

Danielle Raad

Danielle Rakowsky

Andrea Razi-Thomas

Nicole Read

Annemarie Rebola-Thompson

Kevin Richardson

Catherine Ritz

Joshua Roth

Brian Rowe

Joseph Sancinito

Michael Sandler

Kristen Sandstrom

Valerie Sarazen

Allison Schubert

Elizabeth Scott

Joseph Shay

Dan Sheehan

Dan Sheldon

Cindy Sheridan-Curran

Jocelyn Siccone

Carolyn Simmons

Barbara Slade

Greg Slawson

Jeff Snyder

Sarah Stoe

Diane Swift

Brian Sylvester

John Tan

Frank Tassone

Pasquale Tassone

Richard Thornton

Veronica Tivnan

Christina Toro

Kambiz Vatan

Joseph Vautour

Mary Villano

Kim Visco

Rebecca Walsh Bradley

Larry Weathers

Kent Werst

Konwen Yuen

This information was published Friday, June 5, 2015, and updated June 6, to add link, photo, change headline.

Stratton first grader's quick action spurs award

Bryanne Gallagher honored at Stratton.In an award ceremony June 1 were, from left, Lt. Robert Paone Jr., Sgt. Bryan Gallagher, Tommy, Bryanne, Detective Rebecca Gallagher, David DeMarco and firefighter Kevin Burn. In background, Principal Michael Hanna.

Even a 7-year-old can make a difference.

That was the message that warmed an assembly at Stratton School on a chill and rainy Monday morning.

Nearly all of the school's students, joined by four generations of family guests, crowded into the cafeteria to see state and local fire representatives recognize Bryanne Gallagher, who spotted a potential blaze near the school in May. The recognition was a surprise to the first grader.

Principal Michael Hanna called it "a great moment of Stratton PRIDE" as a way to start June.

The letters in PRIDE, a long-established community-building program at the school, stand for perseverance, Respect and Responsibility, Independence, Dedication and Empowerment.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, with hundreds of hands over hearts, Hanna focused on the last word.

As examples of "empowerment," he asked for applause for the fifth grade, beginning its work on a fund drive to aid the Arlington Food Pantry.

Then he turned to what he called a "unique example" of empowerment and asked David DeMarco, of the state Fire Marshal's Office, to explain.

DeMarco represents the SAFE program, whose letter stand for Student Awareness of Fire Education, a state initiative begun 1995 to provide resources to local fire departments to conduct fire and life safety education programs in grades K-12. The aim is to enable students to recognize the dangers of fire.

'Could have been any one of you'

He began by getting the ready audience involved. He asked: "If there is an emergency, who you call?"

A great many shouted the answer before he got all his words out: "9-1-1."

Whatever DeMarco asked, the students responded correctly.

Then came the chief reason for the assembly.

"This could have been any one of you," he said.

Here's what happened: On Tuesday, May 7, at 6:20 p.m. Bryanne and her mom were walking near Stratton. In a wooded area between Stratton and a home, they saw what looked like smoke. Her mother, Arlington Detective Rebecca Gallagher, called 911.

In a May 8 email to Superintendent Kathleen Bodie, who was present at the assembly, Hanna wrote: "Last evening, [school employee] Rick [Albert] noticed what first appeared to be blowing dust outside the Stratton School in the wooded area close to Mountain Avenue, but turned out to be a small fire.

"Once outside, Rick noticed the Gallagher family, who told him that they phoned in the fire to AFD after their daughter, Bryanne, noticed it and immediately alerted her parents. Rick went to the neighbors closest to the small fire to alert them.

"The firefighters arrived immediately, put out the fire, and recognized the source as a sparking wire. They contacted the electric company, who arrived soon after to repair the wire, and trim the trees.

"Rick and the AFD firefighters displayed profound professionalism and excellent assistance to our town. Bryanne showed a lot of courage and poise -- especially for a 1st grader! We will recognize her in our PRIDE announcements on Monday, but I thought I'd let you know of her brave day yesterday, and the helpful support from Rick and the fire department."

Four generations present

Following those events, Chief Robert Jefferson and Lt. Robert Paone Jr. recommended a SAFE award. On June 1 Bryanne received a state proclamation for actions that led to averting an event that could have had a damaging impact to the school and a home.

Present were members of four generations: grandmother Anne Gallagher, grandparents Bonnie and Fred Jordan as well as great-grandparents Kaye and Eric Carmichael.

Earlier that day, as they headed for Stratton in the rain, Bryanne asked her dad, Arlington police Sgt. Bryan Gallagher: "Why are walking me to school today?" He told her that her granddad, who works at the  Stratton lunchroom, was getting award.

Grandfather Fred was among those smiling as the 7-year-old was recognized.

As such assemblies sometimes go, Hanna announced that the school had collected 3,700 box tops in May under a program called Boxtops for Education, which helps schools raise money, and that Miss Flanagan’s class had collected the most, 670.

A cheer went up, and the program closes with a call-and-respond gleeful clap fest.

This story was published Monday, June 1, 2015.

Public schools honor their staff, retirees

Corsage honoring staff, teachers.

The Arlington public schools has honored many staff members for their years of services, for advancement and in their retirement.

At a ceremony held May 21 at Ottoson Middle School cafeteria, staff honorees recognized for 40 years of service were Frank Burgess, custodian, Arlington High School; and Janet Carlino, food service, Arlington High School.

See photos of 15 corsage recipients >>

Honored for 35 years were Cindy Bouvier, director of wellness/counseling, and Mary Giragosian, traffic supervisor.

Recognized for 30 years were Barbara Slade, media aide, Arlington High; Clifford Fallis, custodian, Ottoson; and Shari Ghitelman, teacher, Ottoson.

Honored for 25 years were MaryAnn DeFrancisco, traffic supervisor; Janet Maguire, teacher, Ottoson; Richard Corbett, maintenance, Arlington High; and Helen Bassett, occupational therapy, Brackett School.

Here are the 20-year honorees:

Jolinda Alderuccio, teacher, Arlington High; LeiLanie D’Agostino, director, data integration; Kim Eudenbach, teacher, Arlington High; Claire Horan, traffic supervisor; Barbara Langlais, food service, Brackett School;

Also Sharon Malone, assistant manager, food service; Maryanne O’Brien, food service, Peirce School; June Smith, teacher, Peirce School.

Retirees recognized were:

Anne Albertazzi, administrative assistant, Arlington High

Carol Andrus, reading teacher, Stratton School

Paul Andrus, physics teacher, Arlington High School

Walter Bedell, custodian, Peirce School

Cindy Bouvier, director of wellness and counseling

Cheryl Christo, music teacher, Arlington High School

Evelyn DeRosa, reading coach, Peirce/Stratton schools

Lucia Gentile, food service, Ottoson Middle School

Barbara Gridley, FACS teacher, Arlington High School

Laurie Johnstone, grade 5 teacher, Hardy School

Janice Satlak-Mott, kindergarten teacher, Stratton School

Jeanne Wall, grade 3 teacher, Bishop School

Attaining professional status in 2014-2015 were:

Jacquelyn Aureli, teacher, Peirce School

Eric Bakke, teacher, Ottoson School Middle

Laura Braga, teacher, Brackett School

Christine Brayfield, teacher, Thompson School

Carolyn Burke, teacher, Peirce School

Stefanie Carlson, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

Alison Caruso, psychologist, Brackett School

Alicia Coletti, teacher, Peirce School

Matthew Cooney, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

Alyson Dubzinski, teacher, Brackett School

Sarah Dun, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

Nicole Eidson, teacher, Arlington High School

Jennifer Finkle, teacher, Brackett School

Colleen Fish, teacher, Dallin School

Elizabeth Franchi, teacher, Bishop School

Alyssa Frank, teacher, Bishop School

Lauren Geiger, teacher, Arlington High School

Rachel Grodman, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

James Hart, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

Jeanne Hinckley , teacher, Thompson School

Laurie Key, social worker, Ottoson Middle School

Stacy Kitsis, teacher, Arlington High School

Kelly Lemos, teacher, Stratton School

Carolyn Lucente, teacher, Stratton School

John Macuk, teacher, Arlington High School

Kelsey McKenzie, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

Angela Morais, teacher, Peirce School

Maria Morgan, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

Lillian O’Donnell, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

Erica Osattin, teacher, Brackett School

Wendy Plansky, teacher, Dallin School

Crystal Power, teacher, Peirce School

Annmarie Rebola-Thompson, teacher, Arlington High School

Andrew Scopa, teacher, Bishop School

Joseph Shay, teacher, Arlington High School

Christine Skidmore, teacher, Brackett School

Jennifer Smith, teacher, Dallin School

Michele Stella, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

This listing was published Friday, May 29, 2015.

Arlington recipients among 21 Minuteman juniors to get higher-ed book awards

Minteman High School logo

Twenty-one juniors from Minuteman High School in Lexington have been honored with book awards from various colleges and universities for their outstanding scholarship, leadership, community service and achievement in specific academic areas.

The Arlington recipients and the criteria for each award, which was presented by Principal Jack Dillon, are:

The Society of Women Engineers offers Certificates of Merit to young women who have completed, with distinction, three years of science and three years of math and are active citizens of the school and/or community.
Society of Women Engineers – Anastasia Monich (Boxborough), Rachel Toups (Boxborough) and Julia Ruderman (Arlington)

Smith College recognizes the achievements of an outstanding student who exemplifies the academic achievement, leadership and concern for others that characterize the thousands of women who have graduated from Smith College.

Smith College – Abby Bucci (Arlington)

The Swathmore College Book Award is given to a student who performs well academically, has a deep sense of ethical and social concern, has outstanding involvement within the community and demonstrates inclusive leadership.
Swathmore College – Brendan O’Rourke (Arlington)

The Rensselaer Medal recognizes superlative academic achievement of young men and women. It is awarded to a junior who has distinguished herself in math and science.
Rensselaer – Julia Ruderman (Arlington)

Recipients from other towns:

The Regis College Book Award goes to a student who demonstrates excellent written and oral communication skills, displays outstanding academic promise and exhibits exceptional leadership.
Regis College – Taylor Hartman (Sudbury)

The St. Lawrence Book Award honors high school juniors who have distinguished themselves by their significant commitment to community service.
St. Lawrence – Evan Simon (Lexington)

University of Rochester Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award is awarded to a student with high achievement and rigor in science classes as well as high PSAT Math and/or SAT Math scores.
University of Rochester (Bausch & Lomb) – Stephen Libby (Medford)

University of Rochester George Eastman Young Leaders Award
This award is in recognition of strong leadership experience at school and in the community, high grades and challenging courses, and extensive involvement in extracurricular activities
University of Rochester (George Eastman) – Michaela Ganimian (Stow)

University of Rochester Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology
This award recognizes a strong interest in innovation and/or information technology and a high level of achievement in this area. The student also has pursued work opportunities in local laboratories or industry.
University of Rochester (Xerox) – Ralph Cicone (Medford)

The Elmira College Key has been awarded since 1935 in recognition of the outstanding achievements of high school juniors who rank among the top ten percent of their class, demonstrated admirable leadership and held important positions in their school and community.
Elmira College – Caitlin Monagle (Wellesley)

St. Michaels College Book Award for Academic Achievement with a Social Conscience recognizes outstanding students who demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism and leadership in community service endeavors.
St. Michaels – Michael Alfonso (Belmont) and Afnan Khan (Belmont)

The Lawrence Tech Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is given to a student who has completed at least one year of chemistry or physics and two years of math and is an active and responsible citizen of the school and community.
Lawrence Tech – PJ Traub (Andover)

RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) recognizes students with a medal as well as a scholarship, should they decide to attend RIT. Two students are recognized for their academic achievements, involvement as a member of our school and community and their computing abilities.
RIT Computing – Evan Simon (Lexington) and Anastasia Monich (Boxborough)

Two additional students are recognized by RIT for their academic achievements, involvement as members of the school and community and their creative and innovative talents.
RIT Creativity – Rachel Toups (Boxborough) and Christopher Mills (Waltham)

The Cornell University Book Award is given to an outstanding student who is an active member of the school or community.
Cornell University – Tristin O’Connor (Bolton)

The Brown University Book Award is awarded to an outstanding high school or preparatory school junior who best combines academic excellence with clarity in written and spoken expression.
Brown University – Rachel Toups (Boxborough)

Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that gives its graduates a competitive edge in the new global economy by providing them with a high-quality career and technical education, coupled with a rigorous grounding in mathematics, English, science, and social studies.

This extended announcement was published Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

AYCC awarded $100,000 to support elementary-school programs

AYCC logo

The Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation to support school-based counseling and mental health consultation for children in Arlington elementary schools.

AYCC is one of 100 local area charities to receive the Cummings 100K for 100 grant, which will be dispersed to AYCC over three years.

With this funding, AYCC will continue its important work with the Arlington public schools to expand counseling services in the elementary schools, through a partnership called Project SUCCESS

Read the full press release here.

This story was published Friday, May 22, 2015.

Arlington Minuteman student among 12 earning medals at SkillsUSA

Minteman High School logo

Twelve students from Minuteman High School, including one from Arlington, recently received medals -- four gold and eight bronze -- in a statewide skills competition. 

The students earned the medals at the 2015 SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference held in Marlborough from April 30 to May 2. Fifty-nine students from Minuteman took part in the event -- 54 contestants, three voting delegates and two candidates for state office.

SkillsUSA allows students in career and technical education to compete in a host of technical and leadership competitions. 

The medalists were:

Sarah Joseph ’15 (Arlington), bronze medal in career pathways showcase – health; Aiblinn Moore '16 (Medford), bronze medal in telecommunications cabling; Caitlin Monagle ’16 (Wellesley), gold medal in community action project; McKenzie Hartman ’16 (Sudbury), gold medal in community action project; Alison Beucler ’17 (Medford), bronze medal in OSHA; Rachel Sheehan ’17 (Malden), bronze medal in OSHA; Kentra Vellom ’17 (Sudbury), bronze medal in OSHA; Danny Lessard (Medford), gold medal in Plumbing (postgraduate), Robin Verheyen (Harvard), bronze medal in commercial baking (postgraduate); Collin Kelly ’17 (Sudbury), gold medal in action skills; Kaleena Gulledge ’15 (Watertown), bronze medal in career pathways showcase – health; Allison Kirk ’17 (Saugus), bronze medal, career pathways showcase – health.

Michaela Ganimian ’16 (Stow) was elected to serve as a SkillsUSA State Officer next year, and Minuteman’s SkillsUSA Chapter adviser Terry Regan was named Adviser of the Year. 

Engineering technology onstructor Becky Quay and the following Minuteman students in the STEM (science technology, engineering and math) program were given special recognition as the SkillsUSA National Grand Prize winners for their Student2Student mentoring program:

Nakeyra Santos ’17 (Lexington), Tanisha Santos ’18 (Lexington), Rachel Toups ’16 (Boxborough), Alicia Benway ’17 (Waltham), Channon Lessard ’16 (Medford), Alison Beucler ’17 (Medford), Anastasia Monich’16 (Boxborough), Hannah Whitney ’15 (Acton), Emma Clemente ’15 (Medford), Tristin O’Connor ’16 (Bolton), Michaela Ganimian ’16 (Stow), Diana Perez ’17 (Everett), Sarah Joseph ’15 (Arlington), Julia Ruderman ’16 (Arlington), Kaleena Gulledge ’15 (Watertown), and Alice Hawkes ’15 (Waltham).

The gold medalists listed above will be competing at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference being in Louisville Ky., from June 22-June 27. Quay and representatives of the STEM program will be recognized at the National Conference, and as an officer-elect, Michaela will attend as a national voting delegate.

Several Minuteman instructors assisted at the conference: Kyle Romano (HVAC/R), Alice Ofria (environmental technology), Pat Rafter (biotechnology), Karen Tan (culinary arts/baking) and Larry Lambert (programming, Web).

This extended announcement was published Friday, May 15, 2015.

AHS student's poster shines


Catherine Ritz, head of world languages for the Arlington public schools, has congratulated Arlington High School student Aya Burton, who won second place in a poster contest run by the Massachusetts Bay chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

The poster theme was "un puente al futuro" ("a bridge to the future").
Aya will be awarded a monetary award for her work. ¡Felicidades!

This announcement was published Monday, May 10, 2015.

Dillon named permanent Minuteman principal.

Jack Dillon, principal

John "Jack" Dillon III, at left, who has been serving as the school’s interim principal for the past four months and was the assistant principal for nine years before that, has been named permanent principal by Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman’s superintendent-director.

"I have all the confidence in Jack to be the educational leader of the school moving forward at a critical time in the school’s history," Bouquillon said in a news release Friday, May 8. More than 125 people attended interviews, offered opinions or completed evaluation forms of the candidates, he added.

"I’ve wanted to be a principal since I was in high school, Dillon said in the release.”As a goal-oriented person, it’s something I’ve always focused on, and I’m very happy it’s finally become a reality.

"Minuteman is a great school, and I’m very proud of the staff and students here," he said. "The next year will be very important for us as we try to promote a building project. It’s a herculean effort, and I’m committed to working with our superintendent and our communities to help make it happen."

Most recently, Dillon served as assistant principal of education services at Minuteman. Among other things, he was responsible for reaching out to seventh- and eighth-grade students in the district’s 16 communities to make them aware of the high-quality vocational technical education available at Minuteman. Annually, he met with and interviewed hundreds of potential applicants.

Dillon has worked in education for 25 years. Before working at Minuteman, he served as assistant principal at Maynard High School and as a health teacher and acting assistant principal at Burlington High School.

He earned a master of education degree from Cambridge College. He holds a bachelor of science in education from Bridgewater State University.

He is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to serve as a principal or assistant principal.

Thirty-four persons applied for the Principal’s position. Bouquillon described the selection process as "rigorous" and said that it had involved input from all aspects of the Minuteman community, including parents, faculty, staff, alumni and the school committee.

Dillon succeeds Ernest F. Houle, who was appointed superintendent-director at Assabet Regional Vocational Technical High School in Marlborough.

Dillon lives in Woburn. He is married and has two sons, 8 and 10.

This announcement was published Friday, May 8, 2015.

Minuteman chapter of SkillsUSA earns grand prize for girls in STEM mentoring

Minteman High School logo

Minuteman High School’s chapter of SkillsUSA has been awarded the 2015 grand prize in the Student2Student Recognition Program for its Girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach to middle school girls. SkillsUSA is a national organization that runs trade and leadership competitions for students in career and technical schools.

The purpose of this honor, as explained on the SkillsUSA website, is "to recognize excellence and professionalism in the area of student mentoring."

Students in the Girls in STEM Club at Minuteman, in Lexington, were instrumental in the popularity and success of the school’s first Girls in STEM camp last February. It was brought to the public’s attention by coverage in The Boston Globe and on New England Cable News.

The weeklong program for seventh- and eighth-grade girls from within and beyond the Minuteman school district engaged them in creative STEM-related activities, provided information about careers and further education in STEM, and gave them the opportunity to be advised by Minuteman students knowledgeable about STEM and certified in mentoring.

Another Girls in STEM initiative for middle school girls will take place at Minuteman this summer. In August, building on the success of the Girls in STEM camp, there will be a Girls in STEM Summer Exploratory program.

The Girls in STEM Club members from Minuteman are themselves being mentored by women in STEM, and are effectively using their ability and enthusiasm to inspire young female students who are eager to pursue STEM educational opportunities and professions.

Two people who have been vital in planning and implementing the Girls in STEM projects at Minuteman are Michelle Roche, director of career and technical education, and Becky Quay, engineering technology instructor.

"I'm really proud of this program," Roche said. "The students and their advisor have really turned this into something to inspire middle school girls thinking about a career in STEM."

She said the program not only benefits students at Minuteman.  It also benefits middle school students from the Minuteman district.

The grand prize will be presented to Minuteman at the 51st Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., in June. Minuteman’s SkillsUSA chapter will receive a plaque, $500 to help fund next year’s mentoring project, and a $500 stipend to cover travel expenses for the Minuteman’s SkillsUSA chapter adviser and one student to go to Louisville.

This announcement was published Thursday, May 7, 2015.

FARM TEAM: Minuteman students help build rooftop garden at Fenway

Here's a Red Sox farm team you have never heard of: Students from Minuteman High School recently spent a day at Fenway Park helping construct a rooftop garden.

Using the skills they acquired in the school’s environmental-science program were students involved in the Class of 2017. 

They included Collin Kelly (Sudbury), Kentra Vellom (Sudbury), Rachel Sheehan (Malden), Allison Kirk (Saugus), Alison Beucler (Medford), Zoe Beyer (Arlington), Angela Beaucejour (Lexington), Patrick Collura (Waltham), Ben James (Lancaster), Cameron Campbell (Winchester), Johnathan Sillari (Medford), Brian Courtney (West Roxbury), Dante Fiore (Medford) and Chris Sheehan (Medford).

Their environmental-science instructors are Terry Regan, Tony Wilbur and Alice Ofria.

Working high above where fans sit, the students helped construct a green roof on top of Gate A for an extensive new garden called Fenway Farms.

According to BostInno, a Boston tech-startup site that quoted a news release from the Red Sox, a variety of herbs and vegetables will be grown there to provide fresh ingredients for food served to Fenway patrons, to promote healthy eating choices and to be environmentally friendly.

Talk about a 'green' monster

"We worked to help put together the modular green roof," explained Kelly, a student participant. "What modular means is that it was put together in many pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. The modules that the roof is made of were milk crates that had a lining called an ecopot that helps root growth and aeration of the soil."

"We helped put the modules together by means of an assembly line in which everyone had a very specific job. After the modules were loaded on pallets, they were then taken up to the roof of Gate A to be assembled in rows."

Two Somerville-based companies took part in this effort. Recover Green Roofs put in the garden planters and irrigation system. Green City Growers did the actual planting of Fenway Farms and will take care of its upkeep. Mark Winterer, the director of operations at Recover Green Roofs, also serves on the Environmental Technology Advisory Board at Minuteman, and offered this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to Minuteman students, as well as teens from Winchester High School and Youth Build Boston.

The whole experience clearly resonated with Kelly: "What we got, was the satisfaction of being able to help build something on one of the oldest baseball parks in the U.S., as well as a lesson in how to work with others to get something done. This was one of my favorite things I have ever done in the environmental-science program at Minuteman High School."

A Minuteman news release says the award-winning regional high school gives its graduates a competitive edge in the new global economy by providing them with a high-quality career and technical education, coupled with a rigorous grounding in mathematics, English, science and social studies.

At the Lexington school, students can major in 19 career and technical education programs at the same time they take rigorous academic courses, similar to those in traditional academic high schools. After graduation, more than 60 percent of the school’s graduates pursue college or advanced training.

This story, based on a Minuteman news release, was published Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

Minuteman High School lands $88K for biotech

Minteman High School logoMinuteman High SchoolMinuteman High School, in Lexington,has been awarded an $88,970 state grant to expand its biotechnology program and give students a competitive edge in one of the state’s fastest-growing industries. The grant was one of six awarded by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center this month to schools in the MetroWest region.

"We’re very happy to receive this grant," Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, superintendent at Minuteman, said in a news release April 13. "It will help us expand our biotechnology program and give our students an even richer learning experience.'

The grant will allow the program to purchase biotech equipment and supplies, including Bioreactors and Bio Commanders software. This will make more equipment available to more students, allow the school to simulate industry environments or "wet labs," and increase the teaching of process control, an essential skill in any biotech career. The Bioreactor and accessories will allow Minuteman students to grow transformed cells to mimic the procedures used in industry.

"This grant is one of several that we’ve received to upgrade our equipment and bring in novel technologies over the last four years," said Patrick Rafter, biotechnology instructor at Minuteman.

The program allows its students to explore and research the many careers in the biotech industry, including biomanufacturing technician, research and development scientist, and biomedical engineer. The four-year program includes aseptic techniques, microscope use, applied genetics, marine biology, microbiology electrophoresis, basic instrumentation, molecular biology and DNA, writing standard operating procedures, immunology, protein chemistry, proteomics, statistical process control, and sustainability and green techniques.

biotech students at Minuteman can earn up to 11 college credits at Middlesex Community College while still in high school.

According to industry figures, the number of Biotechnology research and development jobs grew faster in Massachusetts than in any other state in the nation.

Minuteman operates a highly-regarded Technology Outreach Program in several middle schools in the Nashoba Regional School District and the Acton-Boxborough School District. The Outreach Program serves as a pipeline for students interested in careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Biotechnology is one of more than one dozen career majors offered at Minuteman High School.

The grant is one of several that Minuteman has received from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center during recent years to support its programs.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center received a total of 72 grant applications. It approved 44 grants that totaled nearly $3.8 million.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center supports innovation, research and development in the life sciences. The agency is responsible for putting into effect a 10-year, $1 billion state investment initiative.  

This announcement was published Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

Arlington public schools introduces ALICE safety steps

Arlington High School

Sandy Hook initiative leader, Mass. officer to speak

UPDATED, April 3: Parents and guardians of students in the Arlington public schools are invited to a presentation of new protocols for school safety set for 7 p.m. Monday, April 6, in Lowe Auditorium, Arlington High School.

APD logo

The safety protocol, new to Arlington, is known as ALICE, which represents current best practice for safety in the K-12 public schools. Here is what the acronym stands for >> 

Watch ACMi interview on ALICE >>

The presentation will describe ALICE in detail and why the public schools have decided to adopt it, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie and Frederick Ryan, chief of police, said in an email.

You will also learn how it will be taught to students and their teachers across the district, as well as to parents and guardians.

This school year, Bishop Elementary School, Ottoson Middle School and Arlington High School will be trained in the new procedures. Next school year, Brackett, Dallin, Hardy, Peirce, Stratton and Thompson elementary schools will adopt the new procedures.

To help introduce ALICE to the community, we have invited two guest speakers: Michele Gay and Lt. Scott Sencabaugh.

Gay is a mother, former teacher and now one of the founders of Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative. After her daughter, Josephine Grace, was among those shot to death on Dec. 14, 2012, she chose to take action as an advocate for improved school security and safety in our nation’s schools.

Her background as a teacher and involved parent, along with her personal loss and post tragedy perspective, have left her uniquely positioned to help school communities prevent tragedy, and better prepare and respond in the event of an emergency in their own schools.

Lt. Sencabaugh, of the Wilmington Police Department, supervises the Wilmington school resource officers and is the Commander of the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Agency Council  officers. He implemented the ALICE protocol for Wilmington public schools.

To learn more about the Massachusetts Task Force on School Safety and Security that resulted in Arlington adopting ALICE protocols, visit

Read the entire Task Force Report here >> 

Iin advance of the presentation, read more about ALICE here >>  

This story was published Monday, March 23, 2015, and updated April 3, to add an ACMi link.

Arlington Minuteman students earn medals in FFA competition


Students from Minuteman High School in Lexington received 17 medals at a statewide skills competition. The 85th Massachusetts State Future Farmers of America (FFA) "Cultivating Success" Convention was held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center from March 16 to 18.

The Minuteman FFA Chapter also received the 100% Membership Award and the Chapter Membership Growth Award, according to Minuteman Horticulture / Landscape Technology Instructor Sarah Ard, MCH, who is the school’s FFA chapter advisor.

"All of the FFA members worked very hard this year with the help of their shop teachers, industry professionals, and feedback from students on their projects,” Ard said. "Their efforts certainly paid off."

Ard said Minuteman students also attended leadership workshops with state officers and a national FFA officer, Ruth Ann Myers (National FFA Eastern Region Vice President).

The Minuteman FFA chapter officers are President John Goudey (sophomore, Billerica), VP Jack Gallagher (senior, Needham), Secretary Channon Lessard (junior, Medford), and Treasurer Andreas Aluia (senior, Somerville).

Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that gives its graduates a competitive edge in the new global economy by providing them with a high-quality career and technical education, coupled with a rigorous grounding in mathematics, English, science, and social studies.

At Minuteman, students can currently major in 19 career and technical education programs.

The 2015 FFA medalists from Minuteman were as follows:

1st Place Agriscience Fair Natural Resources - Emma Rich ’15 (Arlington) and Maria Cid-Pacheco ’15 (Arlington)
2nd Place Agriscience Fair Animal Systems - Channon Lessard ’16 (Medford) and Emily Reiner ’16 (Burlington)
3rd Place Individual Demonstration- Andreas Aluia ’15 (Somerville)
Courtesy Corps Award - Jack Gallagher ’15 (Needham) Jack won the Courtesy Corps Award- given to the Courtesy Corps member who went above and beyond the call of duty, helping with events and making members feel welcome.

Silver Awards

Chapter Exhibit-Natania Dufresne ’17 (Boston) and Lisa French ’17 (Lexington)

Nursery Landscape Career Development Event- Brent Boudrot ’17 (Billerica), Ricky Gottschalk ’17 (Wilmington), Max Porten ’15 (Acton), and Joe Grennon ’15 (Dedham)

Individual Demonstration - John Goudey ’17 (Billerica)

Team Demonstration - Angelo Butera ’17 (Needham) and Ricky Gottschalk ’17 (Wilmington)

Extemporaneous Speaking- Jack Gallagher ’15 (Needham)

Interview- David Olick-Llano ’15 (Cambridge) 

This announcement was published Monday, March 30, 2015.

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Bob Sprague What do we do about Arlington's news desert?
27 May 2022
Good question, Eric. Since it became a nonprofit last fall, YourArlington has been led by a board se...
Guest - Eric Segal What do we do about Arlington's news desert?
25 May 2022
I wonder what it would cost to have a local, nonprofit digital news network -- like this but maybe a...
Bob Sprague What do we do about Arlington's news desert?
25 May 2022
I agree withg Mark's comment about democracy and local support for the press. One answer to this iss...

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