Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MLK Celebration at CCHS: January 15, 2020 @ 6:30

I am happy to announce the 27th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration hosted by CCHS. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, January 15, from 6:30 pm - 8 pm at CCHS (auditorium).

This event is hosted in partnership with the Concord Carlisle Human Rights Council, and the CPS and CCHS METCO Department.

We have a phenomenal keynote presenter, by the name of Ron Jones. Mr. Jones who is the owner of Dialogues On Diversity, an award-winning, and highly praised theatre company that uses theatrical models to deliver a message of difference, inclusion and social justice.

Below is the event flier, and we ask that you share this event, the flier, and EVITE LINK as all members of the community are welcome.

As a METCO district, we are part of a historic legacy of school integration. Come join us to rediscover the grassroots movement that brought students of color from Boston to your suburb in the peak of the Civil Rights Movement.

There will be acapella performances by CCHS Take Note, and The Works, a local adult acapella singing group to offer inspiration that honors the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This annual event is always a special evening, and a wonderful opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s message of integration, freedom, and justice for all. The celebration begins at 6:30 PM, at the Concord-Carlisle High School (500 Walden Street, Concord, MA). The event is free and all are welcome. 

For more information about the Concord Carlisle Human Rights Council, go to www.cchumanrights.org and for the Concord and Concord Carlisle METCO Department, contact Andrew K. Nyamekye, Director of METCO at anyamekye@concordps.org. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

CC Gratitude Video

We asked students what they are grateful for, and the video highlights a few things they mentioned.  On behalf of all of us at CCHS, have a safe holiday season and a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

College Decisions & More

Winter recess is but a few days away and seniors are celebrating this snow day more than the rest of us, as the only school-related task seniors have in June is a Graduation. For them, college decisions are trickling in and they are met with excitement and cheers for some,  and disappointment and tears for others. 

At the moment, it feels like the most important thing in the entire world,  but I want you to leap ahead to the year 2039. You are now thirty-eight years old. Maybe you landed a great job in Boston, Silicon Valley, or LA. 

Perhaps it turned out differently, and you are starting another business after a few successes and failures. Or, perhaps you just finished post-graduate work, and you are getting married to the person of your dreams. Maybe you are traveling to exotic locations for pleasure, for work, for both. Possibly you are raising two, three, four children of your own. Visualize any one of these scenarios, or visualize where you hope to be at the age of thirty-eight. The present moment: good, bad, or indifferent will have far less impact than you think.  

I want to remind every student waiting with bated breath that the college you choose will not define you. If you have decided to forego college and pursue a different path, well, this post-high school decision will not define you either. You will, however, be defined by how you treat people, and what you do with the opportunities that lay ahead. 

Regardless of the path chosen, I urge you to weight this moment with proper proportion. Congratulations to all of those who received a yes from the college of their choice. I am so happy for you. Be proud. Be excited. Be humble. As poet Wendell Berry said, "you do not know the road; you have committed to a way."

 The reality is, we have made this moment in time for seniors far more significant than it warrants, and we all shoulder some of the burden for this.  

I fully recognize sitting in my position; it is easy to tell students, don't worry, it will all work out, but I honestly believe it will. If you do not get into college #1, #2, or even numbers 3, 4, or 5, it will work out; you will end up where you belong. The college that accepts you is lucky to have you, and to the ones that said no, well use that rejection as fuel to demonstrate their mistake.  

In moments like this, it is difficult, but necessary, to keep perspective. If the most devastating moment of the year is a rejection letter, then life is splendid. Know that your family and friends are proud of you, no matter what.  

I include an article written by CCHS graduate. Chao Cheng wrote the piece for the school newspaper when he was a senior. Further, I share a New York Times article I read nearly four years ago. Below is a portion of the article I find particularly poignant.  I included a portion of it below. It will all work out. I promise!

Letter to their son
Dear Matt,

On the night before you receive your first college response, we wanted to let you know that we could not be any prouder of you than we are today. Whether or not you get accepted does not determine how proud we are of everything you have accomplished and the wonderful person you have become. That will not change based on what admissions officers decide about your future. We will celebrate with joy wherever you get accepted — and the happier you are with those responses, the happier we will be. But your worth as a person, a student and our son is not diminished or influenced in the least by what these colleges have decided.

If it does not go your way, you’ll take a different route to get where you want. There is not a single college in this country that would not be lucky to have you, and you are capable of succeeding at any of them.

We love you as deep as the ocean, as high as the sky, all the way around the world and back again — and to wherever you are headed.

Mom and Dad

Frank Bruni is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. This essay is adapted from his book, “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.”

How to Survive the College Admissions Madness

On Applying to College
by Chao Cheng • October 16, 2017 • 

With the November 1st early application deadline just two weeks away, many seniors are heavily preoccupied with assembling all the required materials necessary for their applications: transcripts, essays, recommendations, the Common App, and more. During the application process, it isn’t hard to feel a sense of despair, a feeling that you really should have paid more attention during freshman year, so maybe you would have a higher GPA, and maybe then would your dream school want you. One suddenly comes to a realization that college is just around the corner, and with it comes the gateway to life as an independent adult – and that everything you’ve done with your life up until this point matters, whether it be those years of playing the violin or all those afternoons volunteering at the local community center.

Perhaps it is because, as young as we are, we have not truly been exposed to many other grand-scale issues such as maintaining a stable income, or perhaps it is because we are so excited for it. All things considered, we place a huge emphasis on going to college that is arguably unwarranted and exaggerated. It is not without reason, of course; college, and higher education in general, opens up a multitude of opportunities for one’s life. It is a place and time where one will end up with life-long friends and memories, and it is where one truly leaves the shackles of teenage life behind and embraces the world, independent at last. For these reasons, and many more, it is indeed quite important where one goes to college and what one makes of it.

But not for the purpose you think. Sure, being accepted to a prestigious institution merits joy and satisfaction, but you shouldn’t get hung up on not being able to attend the school of your dreams. College is what you make of it, and there’s not point in wistfully wondering about your life had you gone to a different school. It is a time to discover yourself and your passions, and regardless of what college you attend, you will have the opportunity to do those things and much more. As residents of Massachusetts, one of the best educated states in the US, we are already miles above the average teenager of the world. 

Wherever you end up, you can be sure that you have access to amazing resources and amazing people. And in the long run, in the scope of your entire life, whatever you will have been destined to accomplish, destined to become, is dependent on yourself, and not the college you go to. YOU define who you are, not the admissions officers at schools across the country who have no idea what you look like or what you want. College is a stepping stone to the rest of your life, and if you don’t get into your dream school, it isn’t the end – learn from it and become a better person.

Ultimately, if you take away nothing else, I hope you will keep this simple message in mind:

Don’t let your college define you… let yourself define who you are.

New Composting Program at CCHS

Composting at CCHS
Lots of new things are taking place in the CCHS cafeteria, and it's not just all the great, fresh food. 

A group of close to 50 students, supported by Ray Pavlik, Priscilla Guiney, Peter Nichol, Bryce McNeight, and of course, Fritz Prunier, started a new composting program for the cafeteria and outside of the learning commons. 

Led by Dr. Hunter, the District's Sustainability Committee is comprised of students, staff, and community members.  The CCHS composting initiative aims to reduce waste at our school.  

To educate the CCHS community, students created and delivered presentations to all CCHS students during our weekly advisory.  The presentation, a portion of which is below, provided detailed information highlighting why we need to compost, and what we can compost at school. 

Students made signs and posters, decorated compost bins, and during lunches students stationed themselves next to the bins to assist with the new trash, recycling, and composting process. 

We are excited to partner with Black Earth, a full-service compost company native to New England.  Already we have seen a 40% reduction in trash from the cafeteria since the start of the program.

Well done, all.  


Friday, November 15, 2019

Concord Education Fund, College Panel, Athletics Update, Japan Delegation & More

As seniors contemplate life after high school, many are continuing the application process for college, which has morphed into a responsibility roughly the equivalent of another class.  

Recently we held a panel discussion with admissions counselors. With the help of the guidance department chair, Alison Nowicki, and CCHS social studies teacher, Chris Gauthier, we tried to cull some salient facts.  Not an exhaustive list, but I include some takeaways below.  

Discussing post-high school options with your child is essential, but I recommend it start with the following question.  Do you feel pressure to pursue a certain path or look at colleges because of _______? We could fill in that blank with many different things, be it peer pressure or concerns of measuring up to some perceived expectation or self-imposed pressure.  

It is important young adults choose their path or look at colleges because they are inspired to do so.  With age comes the acuity of hindsight, and I think we must emphasize that the years after high school and attending college is more than where they will be for the next four years.  It is a time where young adults figure out the kind of person they want to be for the next 4,10, 20 years.  Choosing a course of study complete with a major that allows students to graduate employable is essential. Still, these formidable years are where they learn to be better friends, siblings, sons/daughters, partners, and people.  A time where they are laying the foundation for a prosperous life making the world a better place by utilizing their unique talents.  Lofty and idealistic, but I believe it to be true.  

Read on for more information on upcoming events.  Have a great weekend.  

"Parents supporting teachers inspiring students."

Concord Education Fund 25th Anniversary Event
The generosity of the Concord Education Fund cannot be overstated.  The tireless efforts of so many parents who selflessly donate hours of volunteer time on behalf of our schools. A simple thank you is woefully inadequate,  but on behalf of the high school, it is the least I can do.  Thank you, all.  Details on their 25th Anniversary party is below.  I hope you will attend or donate money to support and inspire our future leaders.  

Event Details
Date: November 16, 2019
Time: 7 – 11pm
Location: 300 Baker Ave
The backside of the building

Athletics Update
Last weekend in Wrentham, our Boys XC and Girls XC teams were crowned D2 EMASS Champs. Saturday, the teams travel to Gardner Municipal Golf Course for the D1 All-State Championship Race and look to add some more hardware to the CC trophy case. The girls start at 12:40 and the boys at 2:00. 

Football was eliminated from the playoff bracket last weekend in a thriller vs. Tewksbury. Saturday at noon CC hosts Danvers in a matchup of well-coached, talented teams. Tickets are $7 adults/$5 students.

Cheerleading competes in the MSSA D2 North Regionals on Saturday at North Andover High School. Our team performs at 12:35. Tickets are $10/adults and $7/students. 

Boys Soccer beat Wakefield 4-0 on Wednesday to advance to the D2 North Final vs. Winchester on Sunday at 3:30 at Manning Field in Lynn. A win Sunday propels the team to a state championship game appearance - date and location TBD. 

College Panel Event
On Wednesday, 16 October, juniors had a chance to attend an information session with a panel of college admissions professionals.  In attendance were representatives from Dickinson College, The College of the Holy Cross, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Middlesex Community College, and Northeastern University.  Admissions officers offered advice to students, answered questions emphasizing what is important for admission decisions, and provided insight into options other than going straight to a four-year institution.  Some of the main takeaways:

1) Know why you're going, and interrogate your reasons for wanting to go.  College is about learning, and that learning will be more meaningful if it's something that you wish to as opposed to a perfunctory next step. Don't feel obliged to apply to and attend college right after high school. Perhaps a gap year, an experience like City Year or working before attending school.   College is also expensive and it irresponsible to spend that money on something if you are not sure why or if you want it.  

2) Make sure there is a market for the skills that you want to develop in college.  Yes, you should study your passion, but know that you will eventually have to get a job.  Some majors are marketable right out of college, and others will require more study.  Make sure to take account of this when you are planning your college experience.  

3) The essay is important, but it won't make or break an application.  In the end, colleges want to hear your voice.  Also, your writing matters across the application.  Correct grammar is essential not only in the main essay but also in the supplements and when writing about extracurriculars.

4) While all grades matter, junior year grades are the most important because they offer the best picture of the student you might be in the future.  

5) Not all schools require SAT/ACT scores; in fact, the GPA is widely viewed as a better measure of a student's ability.

6) Interview if you can, as it is a chance for the student to get to know the college, as well as the college to get to know the student.  Both should be trying to determine if the other is the right fit.

7) No extracurricular activity is better than another.  Instead, colleges are interested in sustained commitment and meaningful engagement.  For some, those activities are sports or clubs, and for others, those activities are work or family obligations.

 CCHS received its twenty-first annual delegation of students and teachers from our sister-city of Nanae in Hokkaido, Japan, from Monday 10/28 through Monday 11/4, as part of a larger delegation and exchange that included adult citizens and town officials.

Delegation from Japan
A big thank you to Dr. Nurenberg for fostering a signature relationship with our friends in Nanae, an ocean away.  I include pictures at the conclusions of this blog. 

Nine students from Nanae High School and Jr. High spent the week living in homestays with CCHS families, attending classes and taking part in events with CCHS students like dodge ball, attending practices of the Cross Country team, concert band, and chorus, and producing their own shows on the WIQH radio station and CCTV television station. 

In addition to these school-based activities which they shared with their homestay siblings, the visiting Japanese students also took special field trips to Boston and Salem to learn about New England history. The Nanae students made cultural presentations during lunch blocks, including tea-making, origami folding, and Japanese games and snacks, while the CC students introduced their Japanese counterparts to Halloween. The whole delegation came together for a potluck party wherein everyone did both the Hokey Pokey and the Hakodate Squid Dance.

This visit takes place in a larger context of how Concord Carlisle High School has enjoyed a twenty-five year long sister-school relationship with two schools in Japan'snorthernmost island of Hokkaido. We have sent our own student delegations to Nanae in 1998, 2004 and 2007, 2010 and 2019 (concert band) and in2007, 2009, 2010,  2012, 2014, 2016, and2018 (SciFi club). 

Throughout all this time, students at CCHS have maintained pen and videopal relationships with their Japanese counterparts, learned Taiko drumming, and more. Our next planned outbound delegation trip will be in April 2020.

If you want to get involved with our sister-school program, please contact Dr. David Nurenberg in the English Department (dnurenberg@concordcarlisle.org), who is our Japan program coordinator.

Interact Club
Attention all students: Project 351 and the Interact club are leading a food drive to support the Open Table food pantry here in Concord. The food drive will be a competition between advisories, with the top advisories getting a Dunkin Donuts breakfast. The drive starts November 13th and lasts until December 13th, and donation bins will be located in your advisory room or in a breakout space. If you do not put your food items in your advisory’s bin, make sure you ask your advisor to update the google sheet to record the donations. Here is a link to Open Table’s most needed food items as donation guidelines. Advisory prizes aside, I hope you all will consider donating to support this drive. Many of us are in a position to do good, so why wouldn’t we? Thank you, and may the best advisory win!"

At CCHS, we recognize that today's students are often bombarded with messages indicating that the path to success as an adult is linear and that there is only one definition of achievement.  To provide a broader perspective, we reached out to CCHS alumni from all over the world, all of whom have graduated within the last twenty years.  

We asked about their work and educational experiences, their setbacks, and triumphs, along with any advice they have for current students. Their stories, now on display outside the Learning Commons, provide many different illustrations of what “success” can look like post-CCHS. 

We want every student to find the path that is right for them and to leave high school empowered to embrace the inevitable joys and setbacks that are part of the journey of reaching adulthood.

Click here to read the stories 
Thank you to the parents on the Challenge Success Committee Polly Meyer, Lauree Eckler, Lynn Delise, and Jennifer Clarke, and to the staff members who contributed to this project, Ned Roos & Madeleine Pooler, & Tracie Dunn, and to Senior Matthew Ngaw.

Photo by William Owen

The Laramie Project
Under the leadership of our talented and dedicated theatre teacher, Melissa Charych, CC Theatre actors and techies have been working on our fall production of The Laramie Project, a documentary play that explores the murder of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming college student who was beaten and killed in 1998 for being gay.  As an educational institution that stands in solidarity against hate, our talented group of students, staff, and parent volunteers will pay hommage to Mathew and to all members of the LGBTQ community. The play is an ensemble piece requiring actors to portray multiple characters communicating a message of compassion and hope in the face of unspeakable hate.  

Immediately following Matthew Shepard’s murder, members of the Tectonic Theater Project in New York City traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, to conduct interviews with members of the community and to the people closest to Mathew.  Composed using first-hand accounts, The Laramie Project utilizes the words from those interviews to construct a masterful play, and I am excited to see our students perform with passion and sincerity.  We are thrilled to have a member of the original Tectonic Theater Company come to CCHS to run a workshop with our cast and crew on Monday, October 21st.

Performances are November 21-24 at 7:30pm.  Melissa, Ned Roos, Rebecca Robichaud, parent volunteers, and CCPOPS, welcome you to join us and witness this very important piece of theatre.

Friday, November 8, 2019

A Well Deserved Thank You to All Veterans and Their Families

Once again, I left the CCHS auditorium last evening awestruck by the talent at our school.  Led by David Gresko and Deb Smith, the concert featured CCHS Bands, Orchestra, and special guests, the CCHS Select Choir. 

The "Home of the Brave," performance honored our veterans and active men and women of the military. I was blown away by the performance. Under the tutelage of David and Deb, students left me shaking my head at the quality of the performance.  

During one of several amazing pieces, David asked members of the armed forces, both past, present, and family members to stand when the Salute to the Armed Forces played.  

Many stood, and it was a reminder that thousands of veterans and their families live humbly among us.  We pass them at the mall.  We pass them at the grocery store.  They come from or move to, places like Boston, Carlisle, and Concord. We pass future veterans here in our own hallways.  

The performance raised money for the Fisher House Foundation.  An organization doing tremendous work.  If you are interested in supporting this cause, you can send a check to the high school made out to the Fisher House Foundation.  Please put CCHS Bands in the memo field.  So far more than $2,500 has been raised.  Well done, Mr. Gresko.  

Fisher House Video  

Although I did not need it, a recent message sent to my mother served as further evidence that the world is small.  My mother received the following message last week from a student at George Washington University in D.C. 


My name is Kevin, and I am a student at George Washington University. I am a history major engaged in an assignment in which we find a soldier who served in one of the world wars from as close to our hometown as possible.  I found Francis J. Connolly, a veteran of World War II whose name appears on the Wall of the Missing at the Normandy American Cemetery.  As I was conducting my research, I found a link to your family tree which included George W. Connolly and Helen T. O'Neill, Francis J. Connolly's parents, as well as Lillian Connolly, his sister."

Lillian Connolly is my grandmother.  My mother Linda's mother. The Francis Connolly named among the missing is Lillian's brother. My mother's uncle.  I asked my mother if she was aware of this family history. She responded, "his military picture sat on top of the television, but this was not discussed with the kids, and we dared not ask." 

Needless to say, a powerful moment for me and my family. Please read on for a heartfelt thank you to all members of the armed forces and their families.  

Veterans Day
Monday, 11 November we pause to say thank you to the men and women of the armed forces. We officially thank them as a nation annually on 11 November, but they deserve a thank you every day. 

Lest one not forget the roughly 1.4 million active members of the military all enlist voluntarily. A fact so ingrained it is easy to take for granted. 

Under current law, all male US citizens are required to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. The Selective Service System maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. 

Conscription, commonly known as the draft, has been implemented in the US five times. The American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Compulsory, or mandatory military service, exists in roughly 26 countries including some United States allies like Norway, Finland, Israel, Turkey, and South Korea, to name a few. 

Stating the obvious, but the fact that young men and women voluntarily serve in the United States means those who wish not to serve, don't have to serve. This fact should not be taken for granted. 

The sacrifice made to serve our country can only be known by those serving, but the tremendous sacrifice is broader than the men and women in uniform.  Mothers, fathers, siblings, husbands, wives, and children of members of the military all sacrifice greatly. 

I am proud to say that both my grandfathers, my uncle, and my father all served in the Army.  One grandfather served in the Pacific during WWII.  

The other parachuted into France the night before the D-Day invasion. His brother-in-law is the Francis Connolly named above.  I have often wondered how he felt boarding the plane; surrounded by scared men to his left and right, what was going through his mind as he shuffled to the door, jumped from the plan, and floated to the ground? He was wounded in the war but survived. My uncle was shot in the jungles of Vietnam.  Also wounded but survived. 

I was too young to thank my grandfathers for their service, and I never told my uncle that I was grateful and proud.  Opportunities missed, so thank you, Henry, thank you, Tom, thank you, David, thank you, James.  I draw strength from their service, as whatever the perceived hardship I am enduring at any given time pales in comparison. 

Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines than at any point in my lifetime. Regardless of what side of the aisle you align yourself with politically, we should all agree the men and women of our nation's military deserve our gratitude.  

The great Winston Churchill once said, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." He was referring to a time more troubling, but I think it applies to all United States Veterans.  

I encourage you to find a Veterans Day Ceremony this weekend.  Sit quietly and listen, and when the service is over walk up to a Veteran, extend your hand, and say thank you. It is the least we can do. 

With Gratitude,

Michael J. Mastrullo

Thursday, November 7, 2019

A Concert Honoring Our Veterans, National Merit Schools, Athletic Update, & More

A Night Honoring Our Veterans

Please join us for "Home of the Brave," a night of music honoring our veterans and active military on November 7th (CCHS Auditorium) at 7pm. This 75-minute presentation will feature the CCHS Bands, Orchestra, and special guests, the CCHS Select Choir. 

 Tickets: $10 each or $25 per family

Active Military is free of charge.

Available at www.ticketstage.com

Tickets available at the door

Proceeds will go to support Fisher House Boston, which provides lodging and transportation for military families while their loved ones are receiving medical treatment.

Fisher House
"Welcome to the VA Boston Healthcare System Fisher House. By helping you in a time of need, the Fisher House Program is fulfilling Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher’s dream. This is their way of saluting members of the armed services, veterans, and their families. We understand you may be going through a difficult time, and hope that the Fisher House will be able to provide you with safe and comfortable lodging while you support your loved one. That is precisely what the Fisher House Foundation and the VA Boston Health Care System hope to accomplish by extending this service."

CCHS National Merit Scholars

Eleven students from CCHS were named among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and they will be competing for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships next spring worth more than $31 million.  

More than 1.6 million juniors from 22,000 high school competed in the National Merit Scholarship Program, the eleven semi-finalists listed below scored in the top 1%. Impressive! Congratulations to our semi-finalists.

Charles Crounse 
Carson Detweiler 
Sarah Hoover 
Cynthia Li 
Harriet Martin 
Madeline Mueller 
Olivia Mueller 
Elizabeth Rennert 
Maisie Spofford 
Heather Szczesniak 
Lucas Wilbur

Athletics Update
Last week the Girls Volleyball Team prevailed in a fiercely competitive match vs. a talented and well-coached Lincoln Sudbury Team. This was their third tough match, and we won 16-14 in the final set. 

The final point from the match was captured by AD Aaron Joncas, and CCHS staff member Mark Hernandez can be seen in the video celebrating the victory in the quarterfinal match. Watch the final point.   

Unfortunately, a great season came to an end last night.  We are proud of our team.  AD Aaron Joncas tweeted this last evening.  "Congratulations to the Needham Rockets. Our season ends but not without a courageous effort. Our kids have composed the entire match - what a team! Senior leaders get big kudos for setting the tone! Grateful to our coaches too." 

Congratulations to the Boys Soccer team.  Another exciting victory to advance deeper into the playoffs.  The win was fueled by great defense and goalie play along with goals by Luca Baum, Liam Harrington, and Levi Pierce. 

They advance to face the #1 seed North Andover HS on Saturday at 2pm at NAHS. Tickets are $5/$7. A great matchup with two perennial contenders facing off in this D2N matchup.  Go CC!

Congratulations to the Girls Soccer team for winning impressively and advancing deeper into the playoffs. CC goal by Nia Hislop, assisted by Ella McCollum, in the 23rd minute was all they needed thanks to great defensive play.  The offense sealed the victory with goals by Fallon Vaughn, Annie Jimenez, which was assisted by Sarah Creamer, and Hazel Johnstone added a late goal to make it 4-0.  CC advances to face Danvers Thursday at 7pm at Danvers HS. Congrats to Somerville on a well-played game.  Go CC!

The Golf Team placed 2nd in the state championship losing by 1 stroke to Winchester.  Congratulations on a great season.  

Cross Country team continues to dominate with the Girls Team winning the DCL Championship. A strong team effort with Emma Kerimo leading the charge by placing 2nd in the league. The boys also performed well led by Will Chaffin, who won the league title. They will compete in the Eastern Massachusetts finals in Wrentham this weekend.  Go CC!

The Cheerleading Team performed well at their competition and qualified for the regionals, which will be held on 17 November at N. Andover high school.  Good luck!

Congratulations to our football team for winning this past weekend convincingly to remain a perfect (8-0).  The Patriots play Tewksbury this Saturday.  

Click here for more football photos.  

Boston Globe Article

Thomas Pendock (left), whose art is featured at the Gleason Library, talks with Anthony Beckwith about his work during the October 12 artist reception. Pendock started creating his art when he took his first programming class, Introduction to Python Programming, with Beckwith during his junior year at CCHS. (Photo by Ellen Huber)

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Laramie Project, Fall Sports Update, Climate Strike, Free SAT Prep, and more

Photo by William Owen
The Laramie Project
Under the leadership of our talented and dedicated theatre teacher, Melissa Charych, CC Theatre actors and techies have been working on our fall production of The Laramie Project, a documentary play that explores the murder of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming college student who was beaten and killed in 1998 for being gay.  As an educational institution that stands in solidarity against hate, our talented group of students, staff, and parent volunteers will pay hommage to Mathew and to all members of the LGBTQ community. The play is an ensemble piece requiring actors to portray multiple characters communicating a message of compassion and hope in the face of unspeakable hate.  

Immediately following Matthew Shepard’s murder, members of the Tectonic Theater Project in New York City traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, to conduct interviews with members of the community and to the people closest to Mathew.  Composed using first-hand accounts, The Laramie Project utilizes the words from those interviews to construct a masterful play, and I am excited to see our students perform with passion and sincerity.  We are thrilled to have a member of the original Tectonic Theater Company come to CCHS to run a workshop with our cast and crew on Monday, October 21st.

Performances are November 21-24 at 7:30pm.  Melissa, Ned Roos, Rebecca Robichaud, parent volunteers, and CCPOPS, welcome you to join us and witness this very important piece of theatre.

Athletic Update
By Aaron Joncas

Fall sports teams are enjoying success, competing hard, and representing our school with passion and pride. The cheerleading team will participate in competitions over the next few weeks, first in Natick, followed by another competition in Billerica. The team is led by new head coach, Lucy O'Connor. 

The boys and girls cross country teams are vying for another DCL title; both teams stand at 4-0 and are looking like strong contenders in the EMass and state competitions.  

Our girls volleyball team held its annual bake sale to raise money for Susan G. Komen before the matches vs. Acton-Boxborough.  Last evening the varsity game followed an exciting JV team victory.  The varsity won impressively, beating a formidable opponent in AB in four sets.  Earlier this year, these two teams played a 5-set thriller. The team improved to 12-1. 

Boys soccer is 7-1-3 and still in contention for another DCL title. Girls soccer is 9-3-2  and positioning itself for a tourney run.  Despite battling injuries, they are playing hard and hoping to peak at the right time.  

Field hockey is enjoying an excellent season standing at 9-3-1.  Featuring a mixture of youth and experience, couch Jacqui Turner has the team firing on all cylinders.  

The golf team wrapped up a solid season posting a record of 7-6. Gabrielle Shieh had another great season and will continue her strong play next year at Brown.  

The football team plays Somerville at home today at noon.  The team was featured on Channel 5 as part of their High-Five Series.  You can watch the video by clicking this link.  The Patriots of Concord-Carlisle fired a shot heard around the league, Mike Lynch reports.

Free SAT Crash Course
Students who attend this free workshop on Tuesday at 11:30 will learn essential strategies for every section of the SAT, complete challenging practice problems, and create a personalized review card to help them thrive on test day. The class begins at 11:30, and the location will be announced on Tuesday.  

Senior Seminars
By Alison Nowicki
Beginning the week of September 23rd, counselors started a series of weekly seminars to discuss Post-Secondary Planning with seniors. These meetings provide an opportunity to give students information about the steps they need to take regarding the college application process, give them time to work on different pieces of the application, and give them time to check in with their counselor.  Counselors offer individual meetings as needed.  The seminars will run until the end of Quarter 1.  

Climate Strike
Thousands of students, including hundreds of CC students, participated in the global youth strike.  Several of our students are featured in photos available in the Boston Globe. 

By Priscilla Guiney
In anticipation of the World Youth Climate Strike set for Friday, September 20th, CCHS students and staff worked together in a grassroots effort to help educate the school community about the impact of climate change and more sustainable lifestyle choices.  The AP Environmental class and club members from the Environmental Club, Green Team, and the Activism Club helped coordinate a Climate Change information table in the Cafeteria during lunch blocks this week.  Students learned how their lifestyle choices impact climate change on a daily basis.  

The working compost bin with food being turned into soil especially generated a lot of student interest.  Many students have expressed support for actively composting all food scraps generated by the school this year.  Students and staff stopped by the table and made pledges on recycled post-its to incorporate a lifestyle change like walking or biking more, shopping at thrift stores, eating more plant-based foods, etc.   The pledges filled up a huge, hand-painted mural featuring the Lorax saying “Unless I Care”…  hung in the Cafeteria.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this timely and momentous occasion!

Athletic Program Letter to Student-Athletes
I include a letter written to our CC athletes for the athletic programs.

Dear Student-Athletes:

I am proud to say that some of my fondest memories in life are derived from my experiences in high school athletics. The memories born from these experiences, and the bonds formed during my high school athletic career, live on today. This fact serves as a testament to the profound impact sports can have on a young student-athlete.

Vince Lombardi, the late legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, once said: “The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.”

I believe it to be true, that the qualities and virtues learned on the playing field are universal skills that will help you succeed in whatever endeavor you so choose. The life lessons I have learned through athletics are far too many to list, but chief among them are teamwork, a disciplined work ethic, and learning how to succeed in the face of what appears to be insurmountable odds.

As a society, we revere success but often fail to recognize the process. The hard work, sacrifice, commitment, and dedication necessary to succeed are things that only you and your teammates can truly comprehend. It is important to note, however, that the lessons learned in the face of defeat can exceed those learned in winning, as one of the secrets of life is to fall down eight times and to get up nine. It is easy to demonstrate sportsmanship when victorious, but the true judge of one’s character can best be determined when you are exposed to defeat.

Competition and learning how to compete are vital to your future success. Whether in a rink, a gym, a track, on a court, or a field, we look forward to watching our student-athletes compete. We know you will make us proud. See you at the game!


Michael J. Mastrullo

Monday, September 30, 2019

CCHS Educational Travel Fair 1 October & Financial Aid Night 2 October

Educational Travel Night
Families and students are invited to the annual CCHS Educational Travel Presentation tonight Tuesday, October 1st, 6:00-7:00 pm in the Learning Commons.  The event will showcase all of the educational travel opportunities, including our Exchange Programs, offered for the students of CCHS in the coming year.  

The evening will showcase the opportunities in a“fair” style event where visitors can ask specific questions to the educational travel trip leaders. We hope you will join us to learn about the exciting opportunities for CCHS students. 

Financial Aid Night
Financial Aid Night this Wednesday, October 2nd 7-8:30pm. A representative from MEFA will be presenting about the process of applying for Financial Aid.