Friday, October 13, 2017

McKenzie Campbell, Pablo Munez, Santiago Benoit, Delegation from Nanae, Steve Li, Marisa Ih, & More

What transpires at CCHS in a given week is both impressive and inspiring.  From engaging class discussions and lessons, to visiting delegations from Japan, to inspirational stories of student service and student accomplishments.  It is impossible to capture even a fraction of the great stories that evolve in a given week, but below I am highlighting a few of many that are worthy of note.  Please read on to be both impressed and inspired.  Have a great weekend!

Eagle Scout
By Santiago BenoitMy path towards getting Eagle Scout was a great experience for me, mainly because it taught me how to lead groups of people and how to take initiative and plan things out myself. A lot of this experience came from the most noteworthy requirement of Eagle Scout: the Eagle Project. My Eagle Project was to build a picnic table, two benches, and a peg board -- all from scratch -- at the Gaining Ground farm in Concord. Before starting work on the project, I had to plan it out completely on my own and include all details, including the materials and their costs, how I will acquire funds, all the steps to take during work, how people will be grouped to work on different parts of the project in parallel, and other logistics during the project. After that, there was the bureaucratic process of getting all the signatures I needed and presenting my project proposal to my troop committee. By the time I had started the actual project, everything was already planned out and all I had to do was make sure that everything went smoothly (and it went very well!).

Overall, being in the Boy Scouts was a life-changing experience for me, not just because of the Eagle Scout requirements but also because of all the leadership experience I was exposed to. There were several occasions in which I was in a position of leadership; for example, I served as the leader of my crew when we did a week-long, hardcore high-adventure trip in Maine, and I was the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for my troop. Boy Scouts has also shaped me morally, to the point where I am willing to help others without expecting recognition or reward. I think that the experiences offered by Boy Scouts are unique because they give you opportunities to make a real impact on other people's lives. Boy Scouts isn't just about learning outdoor skills -- it's mostly about how to be a good leader and a good person.

All National Honor Ensembles
By David Gresko
During the 2016-17 school year, Steve Li (oboe) and Marisa Ih (clarinet) practiced with dedication to gain high placements in the Eastern District (MA) and All-State (MA) ensembles.  Their high achievement made them eligible to audition for the 2017 All-National Honor Ensembles. And now, Steve and Marisa will join the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) 2017 All-National Honor Ensembles November 26-29, 2017, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

The All-National Honor Ensembles performers represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form. The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir, and jazz ensemble. Students were chosen through an audition process. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have 155 and 152 instrumentalists respectively, the jazz ensemble 20 instrumentalists, and the mixed choir 281 vocalists. Eligible students have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against top students for a spot in these national honor ensembles.

Selected students will be rehearsing a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the baton of five of the most prominent conductors in the United States: Dr. Z. Randall Stroope (Mixed Choir); Dr. Margery Deutsch (Symphony Orchestra); Dr. T. André Feagin (Concert Band); and Todd Stoll with Lauren Sevian (Jazz Ensemble). All conductors have received top honors in their field and will spend several days rehearsing with students before the concert.

Marissa Ih (’20) was awarded a spot in the prestigious All-National Concert Band and participates in the Concert Band, Pep Band and Pit Orchestra at CCHS.

Steve Li (’19) was awarded first chair (FIRST CHAIR!) in the elusive All-National Orchestra on oboe and has participated in many ensembles at CCHS, including the Concert Band, Pep Band, Pit Orchestra and Jazz A.

Delegation from Japan
Concord Carlisle High School has enjoyed more than twenty-five years of friendship and educational exchange with Nanae High School, and our collaboration has taken many forms: joint concerts with our school bands, visits by students and teachers to one another's schools, and most recently a one month exchange through the William Wheeler program. CCHS student Davison Floyd visited Nanae last year.  He has brought back many experiences that have enriched us all, and we hope this will be the first of many such exchanges.

We are sending representation to Nanae's anniversary celebration in November. We also look forward to sending another student delegation to Nanae in April.

We at CCHS consider ourselves very lucky, as it is the rare school in the United States that has such a close and rewarding relationship with a school in another nation. We are proud of our tradition of friendship, dating all the way back to William Wheeler's visit to Hokkaido, yet we also have our eyes on the future. CCHS, like Nanae High School and schools all over the world, must prepare their graduates for success and citizenship in an interconnected global society. Exchanges like this one play an essential role in that mission, and we want to work with you to ensure that they continue.

An end of visit debrief with the Japanese students about their impressions of Concord and of CCHS yielded some interesting insights.  The debrief is an annual tradition as we are interested to hear their favorite part of the experience,  what surprised them the most, what they learned from their visit, and what they feel we could learn from Japanese schools.

They nearly unanimously spoke of how friendly everyone was, and how they hadn't expected to be received so warmly by people who didn't even know them.

They were also very impressed with how vocal CCHS students were in their classes, and how many opportunities they had to give their input/opinion (in Japan, instruction follows much more of a teacher-lectures, kids-take-notes model).

As for what they felt we could learn from Japanese schools? "Personal responsibility," especially in regards to "cleanliness." Every single Japanese student in the delegation expressed shock that students left their dirty trays on tables in the cafe, and much random trash they saw strewn around the building. In Japanese schools, custodial staff is minimal and it is the students' duty to maintain a clean building.  

As the principal of this school and the father of two young girls, cleanliness is an area of growth both at CCHS and my children's rooms.  The common denominator in this problem is me, so perhaps I need to start doing a better job.

Thank you to CCHS teacher, David Nurenberg.  He is the chief curator of this vital relationship whose efforts ensure a smooth, enriching experience for our friends from Nanae, and he is an excellent ambassador for our school and country. Thanks, David.  

I also want to thank all students and staff for receiving our friends from Nanae so warmly.  

McKenzie Campbell
Mckenzie Campbell recently visited Haiti on a humanitarian mission.  The purpose of the mission trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti was to provide reconstructive surgery to earthquake survivors, people with birth defects, and people with injuries due to fighting. 

"Our trip focused specifically on reconstructing the ear, in which we taught seven Haitian medical residents how to perform surgery and deal with a patient who needs reconstruction.  Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. Although I have gone on other medical mission trips to developing countries, Haiti was definitely in the worst condition. There is still so much damage from the earthquake that happened six years ago, but the people cannot do much about it because their government is corrupt and the country has little money to spend. We could not go outside unless we were in a car. 

The hospital we worked at consisted of many small buildings in poor condition, and the waiting lines outside each one of them are impressively long every day. I wish we could have provided more to these people, but we definitely made an impact on the education the medical students had and the lives of the affected. I have hope that these young doctors will make an even greater impact in their country."

International Students at CCHS
Every year Concord Carlisle High School welcomes several exchange students from all over the world.  This year we have students from Belgium, Brazil, and Belgium.  We are delighted to have them with us.  They add diversity to our halls and a global perspective to our classrooms.   Over the next three weeks, I will introduce you to our visiting students.  This edition features Pablo Munez, a student from Spain.
Where are you from?  

I’m from Spain, I was born in Madrid and I’ve lived my whole life there. 

Please tell us a little about the town/city you live in and what your high school is like?

I live in the north part of Madrid, in a neighborhood called “El Encinar”. As it isn’t in the center of the city it has plenty of space, the houses are pretty big, even though it has nothing to do with Concord. Here a regular house is two times bigger than the nicest houses in my neighborhood.
One huge difference I’ve noticed is that in Spain we hang out in the street or anywhere more often than in here, we are almost every day going out with our friends.The school is way different than my past one. Back in my country, we don’t change classes, the teacher the one who goes from class to class and we are not allowed to walk around the halls in the school by our own. As we don’t change classes, I’m always with the same people, I know them since I was 7 and, as we spend that much time together, my best friends are usually in the same classroom as me. CCHS is much bigger than any other school I know in Madrid and it has much more sports fields and other facilities, such as the gym or the auditorium. 

Why did you want to come to the United States and Concord Carlisle to study?

I wanted a change, I’ve always wanted to study a year abroad so one day I took my laptop, searched for one of these programs and signed in. Sincerely, I didn’t know I was coming to MA, they told me like three weeks before coming where I was going, a bit risky, but it worked out pretty well. I think I’ve been so lucky with this place.

How has your experience been so far?

It has been great. I arrived the 9th of August and everything is going well, I’ve already done things that I would have never done in Spain and I’m seeing things from a different perspective.

What are you most excited about?

I’m excited about everything, I mean, about all the things that are going to happen during this year.

Ruettger's Lecture Featuring Liz Wilkinson

Why do people hike the Appalachian Trail or bike cross-country? Why do people make pilgrimages? What is the Way of St. James, otherwise known simply as The Way or El Camino, and why Spain? These are the questions that Spanish teacher Mrs. Wilkinson addressed in a Ruettger's Lecture on Wednesday, October 4th.  The Camino is a 1000-year-old pilgrimage route in northwestern Spain that at one time was the third most important route after Jerusalem and Rome. Nowadays, people of all ages and of all religious persuasions from all over the world do the Camino by foot or by bike.  

Three students from the class of 2017, Emma Walker, Margrit Rindlisbacher, and Linnea Hubbard-Nelson, did the Camino this past summer and shared their testimonials and photos. Mrs. Teiwis, who did the Camino five years ago, also gave a brief but soulful account of her experience.  Mrs. Wilkinson did the last third of the Camino by bike because she wanted to get to know this part of Spain and create pedagogy to teach history through architecture, so those who attended the lecture got a brief summary of 1000 years of history through photos she took along the way.  Reactions? Some of the students who participated expressed interest in doing the Camino someday!
The Way of St. James Liz Wilkinson

Kicks for Cancer
By Ray Pavlik
Thank you to everyone who helped support the 2017 Lois Wells Kicks for Cancer.  From those who attended and planned the Pink Dance on Friday night, bought shirts and wore pink and teal, volunteered or attended one of the games, it was an amazing example of a community coming together.  The crowds were incredible, a sea of pink, it was humbling to be a part of the day.

Early returns suggest that we will exceed our goal of $50,000 raised for women's cancer research at Dana Farber, bringing our 11 year total to over $325,000

I have attached a few memories from the day:

Senior Jeff Zhu playing the anthem with his cello quartet:

Teacher Tuesday
By Brian Miller
We are lucky to have Mr. Pavlik as a member of the CCHS Faculty. From CCHS earth science teacher to soccer coach, to class advisor, he is involved in so many things at CC to enhance our students' experiences. Follow the link to learn more about him.

Ray Pavlik Feature

Mrs. Lynne Beattie has been worked in a variety of roles in the District including as a teacher, a principal, and she is now our K-12 Digital Literacy Administrator. Learn more about her work below. 

Lynne Beattie Feature

Pathways Blog

The Pathways staff and students have been working hard on the Pathways blog. The blog features photos and descriptions of the current activities of our students, from classes to extracurriculars and more! It is a great way to keep up to date with the ongoings of Pathways.  

Additional photos of our friends from Nanae and Kicks-for-Cancer.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Q5 Update, Travel Opportunities, & Junior Parent Night Information

Q5 Update

Dear CCHS Parents and Guardians:

As many of you have heard, the end of this school year will be entirely different from years past.  We are introducing a program called Q5, an altogether new two-week learning experience where students will select seminar courses on various topics that further engage students and teachers.  

Final exams will take place at the end of May and Q5 will follow.   Students & teachers will have the opportunity to try something new, take risks, explore and discover new interests, and celebrate their accomplishments while building a stronger Concord Carlisle High School.  Student participation is mandatory, and courses will be graded on a pass/fail basis; Q5 courses will be included on a student's transcript.  

We are really excited about this new program.  The mission statement eloquently encapsulates the anticipated Q5 experience.

"Q5 is an immersive learning experience leveraging the curiosity, knowledge, and passions of students and faculty to foster complex thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Q5 complements our academic program and seeks to inspire students and faculty to pursue shared interests and ideas."

Estimated timeline:
Preliminary lists of Q5 courses distributed

Early November
Students are presented a final catalog of all courses suggested by the faculty

Student select their top 10 choices

December - Feb     
The Master schedule is developed

Early March        
Student schedules announced

Early June        
Q5 begins (exact date depends on snow days)

Students will bring home Q5 materials in November.  We hope that you and your child are excited about this new learning opportunity and that you can engage with them about how they might best use it.  You can preview some of the initial proposals that were developed last spring in the Q5 Preliminary Course Catalog.  A final course catalog will be presented in November.  

Knowing the wealth of knowledge present in the three communities we serve: Concord, Carlisle, and Boston; we see this as an opportunity to engage with community members to further enrich the Q5 experience for students and staff. 

After reviewing the preliminary course proposals, please complete the attached form if you are willing and able to offer support.  We fully expect levels of community support to exist on a continuum.  For example, perhaps you have an idea you want to share after reading the seminar course proposal, or you have a contact in an industry or field of study that will enhance the opportunity for students and staff.  No idea is too big or too small, your input and participation is welcome and wanted.  

Q5 Community Support & Input Form

I would be remiss if I did not thank the community for their continued support in all our endeavors, and like so many of our initiatives, it would not be possible without the generous donations of the Parents Association, the Concord Education Fund, and members of the community who generously give to these organizations.  Thank you!

If you have questions, please contact Laurie Fortunato   We look forward to this exciting new time with your student this spring.

Yours truly,

The Q5 Committee

Laurie Fortunato, coordinator and math teacher
Mike Mastrullo, principal
Leslie Knight, asst. principal
Brian Miller, asst. principal
Mike Vela, science
Jessica Lutz, special education
Agatha Wozniak, social studies
Emily Marano, class of 2018
Eric Marshall, class of 2017
Tracy Marano, parent
Ryan Palmer, science
Rebecca Lindamood, special education
Tamara DiCesare, guidance
Tracy Dunn, Rivers and Revolutions
Matt Rudmann, guidance
Robin Cicchetti, learning commons
Josh Reed, health and fitness
Kate Lee Dubon, English
Sophie Fisher, class of 2018
Jennifer Blounts, English

Michelle Ernst, parents association

2018 Travel Opportunities
All trips for the 2017-2018 academic year have been summarized in the following document. This includes price, timeline, and trip leaders.  Additionally, this Slide Deck provides further information regarding the various trips.

Students who are interested in applying for a spot on any trip will need to complete a common application.  Keep in mind that trips have limited numbers and students may not get their first choice.  This common application has a place for students to select multiple trips of interest and rank in order of preference.

Estimated timeline:

Preliminary list of Q5 courses is distributed 

Late October
Trip Common Application Due

Early November
Deposit due for students partaking in travel oppotunities 
(invoice will be sent via 

Mid November
Q5 course selection for students

Although Q5 is mandatory, credit-bearing, and will be included with on a student transcipt, students who are participating in a travel opportunity during Q5 are exempt from the requirement.  

If you have any questions about a specific trip, please contact the trip leader(s) directly.  If you have any general questions, please reach out to Laurie Fortunato (

Junior Parent Program - YOG 2019                                             
On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, we held an informational meeting for YOG 2019 Junior parents/guardians, which primarily focused on topics families should be considering while navigating the maze of postsecondary opportunities. 

Topics discussed included the timeline for the admissions process, sources of information, issues of student stress, and the role of parents in the process. This meeting was designed primarily for parents; however, some students also attended.  

We thank all those who attended, but we understand not all families were able to attend the evening.  For those that did not make the event, please view the included presentation.  Also, please contact your child's guidance counselor with any questions. 

Junior Parent Program Presentation

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Two Events This Evening: 4 October 2017, CCHS Trip Presentation & Junior Parent Program

CCHS Trip Presentation Evening
Families and students are invited to the first ever CCHS Trip Presentation night on Wednesday, October 4th 6-7pm in the Learning Commons.  This event will showcase all of the trips that CCHS teachers are offering in the coming year as well as some running next year.  We hope you will join us to learn about the exciting opportunities for students and gather information to help with your planning.  

Junior Parent Program - YOG 2019                                             
On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium, a meeting will be held for YOG 2019 Junior parents/guardians, which will focus on what families should be doing about postsecondary plans during the junior year. Topics discussed will include the timeline for the admissions process, sources of information, issues of student stress, and the role of parents in the process. This meeting is designed primarily for parents; however, students are also welcome to attend.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Cecelia Pavero, Ben Clarke, Rivers heads to Boston, Merit Scholars, School Rankings & More

For a number of reasons, school rankings are a fickle barometer by which to measure a school. There are dozens of national and local publications specializing in ranking schools; most utilizing different metrics to rank public high schools across the state and country. They measure various things ranging from student achievement to school resources.  To illustrate my point, I have included the CCHS report card below from one of the publications in question.  Difficult to argue with an overall rating of an A+, but receiving a C for Health & Safety based on limited feedback is difficult to comprehend.  

I will refrain from getting too deep into the details; partly because it is tough to put much stock in the ranking systems due to their variability, but you will find CCHS ranks near the top of the list when measured solely on academic performance. 

Boston Magazine recently ranked the 125 best schools systems in the Greater Boston area, and I am proud to say CCHS ranks #2 on their list.  Very sound metrics, Boston Magazine, so thank you!

We are acutely aware that reputations are more easily lost than won, and we recognize ahead lay countless hours of work to improve, but there is no doubt that CCHS is a high achieving academic institution that excels in many areas, and it is a fantastic place to come to school and work each and every day.  Not measured in any ranking system is perhaps our greatest strength, and that is a strong school culture built on a foundation of meaningful relationships.  Follow the link for the top 125 schools in Greater Boston.  

Boston Magazine High School Rankings

CCHS Trip Presentation Evening
Families and students are invited to the first ever CCHS Trip Presentation night on Wednesday, October 4th 6-7pm in the Learning Commons.  This event will showcase all of the trips that CCHS teachers are offering in the coming year as well as some running next year.  We hope you will join us to learn about the exciting opportunities for students and gather information to help with your planning.  

Junior Parent Program - YOG 2019                                             
On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium, a meeting will be held for YOG 2019 Junior parents/guardians, which will focus on what families should be doing about postsecondary plans during the junior year. Topics discussed will include the timeline for the admissions process, sources of information, issues of student stress, and the role of parents in the process. This meeting is designed primarily for parents; however, students are also welcome to attend.

CCHS National Merit Scholars
Fifteen students from CCHS were named among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and they will be competing for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships next spring worth more than $32 million.  More than 1.6 million juniors from 22,000 high school competed in the National Merit Scholarship Program, the 15 semi-finalists listed below scored in the top 1%. Impressive! Congratulations to our semi-finalists.  

Tucker Boynton, Jason Chadwick, Karen Chen, Laurie Chen, Chao Cheng, Timothy Dillon, Anthony Gao, Emma Garrison, Russell Guth, Alexander Hoey, Aidan Nuzum-Clark, Mariya Shtiliyanova, Peter Yang, Caroline Zeng, and Aidan Zinck.  

Teacher Spotlight
This week's teacher spotlight features Alex Kuchar, a new member of our science department.  Her favorite part of the job?  "The people! The students, staff, parents — there’s a buzz about a high school that makes it a great community and a fabulous place to work. I learn something new every day."

Follow the link for the complete feature on Alex Kuchar.

Sportsmanship Award
CCHS made the MIAA Sportsmanship Honor Roll for not having any student-athletes or coaches disqualified or suspended form an athletic contest last year.  

Pictured are CCHS students Justin Reed, Ben Clarke, Cameron Lopresti and Sandro Lopresti

Eagle Scout
As part of his Eagle Scout Project, CCHS junior Ben Clarke built structures for The Kindness Rocks project at CMS.  Ben Clarke had this to say about the project. "It's cool that our town, my Scout troop and the Middle School where I went can work together to help the community." 

Laura Regis, 7th grade Peabody English teacher, wrote to the Concord Journal:
"I am reaching out to you to invite you to a Kindness Rock "installation" at the Hunt Gym in Concord on Sunday, October 1, at 12:30pm.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the 7th and 8th (now 8th and 9th) graders at CMS created "kindness rocks," inspired by The Kindness Rocks Project

The teacher/facilitators here at CMS looked for a place to "install" or "plant" the rocks in Concord for everyone in the community, as well as visitors, to enjoy. We wanted the messages of our students to spread beyond the walls of our school building. Lucky for us, we found a spot outside of the Hunt Gym/Concord Rec Center. Even luckier, a CCHS student partnered up with us to create the structure where the rocks will be installed.

As part of his Eagle Scout project, Ben Clarke (Peabody alum) built the structures for our rocks!

On Sunday, the student rock creators, teacher facilitators, and Ben Clarke will come together to officially "install" the rocks. Our hope is that people in Concord will take time to stop and read the inspiring messages on the rocks.

Even more exciting, we are inviting any community members to create their own rocks and add them to the "garden."

This will become a permanent and evolving part of the town, created by kids!

The rock project began as a part of a larger ThinkGive unit taught by CMS teachers Laura Regis and Alyssa Bigay. Reiko Funaki, 8th-grade math teacher, also contributed to the rocks with her math students who are current 9th graders at CCHS. 

Laura and Alyssa worked closely with Ben all summer.  Alyssa had this to say. "It really is a far-reaching project involving so many of our students, teachers and community members. Ben's work has really made our vision possible and his ownership of his piece helped it all come together."

Elsa Simonton and CJ Israel
Photo by Peter Nichol
Rivers & Revolutions Heads to Boston
By Michael Goodwin
A critical part of the Rivers and Revolutions experience is visiting the various communities in which all of our students reside. Such work in the field allows members of the cohort to better understand one another; this community building is foundational to the intensive learning experience that marks the program. To this end, our Concord and Carlisle students boarded the bus last Friday to head into the neighborhoods of Boston to pick up our 11 students who reside in the city. Winding through the streets of  Roslindale, Hyde Park, Dorchester, and Roxbury, the cohort took in the various features of these unique Boston communities before arriving at the Charles River in Back Bay. Along these more urban waters, we compared the Charles to the Concord and began to explore the similarities and differences of not only the rivers, but the day to day reality of the students who comprise Cohort 11.

At the conclusion of the day, Concord resident and senior Elsa Simonton shared with the full group her appreciation for the devotion and commitment of our Boston students for coming so far to go to school every day. In response, Roxbury resident and senior CJ Israel thanked Elsa for her comments, offering how much it meant to hear such a statement. He said that it gave him a sense of pride to be able to show where he lived, and to offer a part of his daily experience to his classmates. It was the first time since he began coming to Concord in Kindergarten that he was able to share his home with his classmates. His gratitude was palpable, as was her's. This was our final day of the Rivers unit - our "Rivers Synthesis Day" - in which we aimed to pull together our learning across discipline during this first unit of study. This particular exchange between Elsa and CJ was truly synthesis at its finest. 

Johnny Hudson and Jaylin Farquharson greet instructors Michael Goodwin and Tracie Dunn to board the bus in Roslindale
Photo by Peter Nichol

The cohort gathers by the Charles River at the Hatch Memorial Shell
Photo by Peter Nichol

International Students at CCHS
Every year Concord Carlisle High School welcomes several exchange students from all over the world.  This year we have students from Belgium, Brazil, and Italy.  We are delighted to have them with us.  They add diversity to our halls and a global perspective to our classrooms.  This week's edition features Cecilia Pavero, a student from Italy.  

Where are you from?  

I’m from Italy.

Please tell us a little about the town/city you live in and what your high school is like?

 I live in a small town in the North of Italy in a beautiful green valley. My high school there is very different from CCHS, because it’s an old-school, with not enough room for everybody, but the kids there are very enterprising and smart. Italian schools are different from here because we can choose different kinds of high schools (like the scientific high school, the humanistic one, or the one for foreign languages) and from the first day of the first year you stay in your class with the same classmates doing the same lessons at the same time for five years. And also there is no technology at all, only paper and books and a lot of handwriting.

Why did you want to come to the United States and Concord Carlisle to study? 

I decided to join an exchange year program in the US because I wanted to do something that could give the possibility to be more independent and to learn how to live in a place with a different culture. I came here to CCHS because here I’m living with family friends that are from Carlisle. 

How has your experience been so far? 

I have been here since August 17th, and so far everything is going very well. I have made friends and I like everything I am studying. Also, all of my teachers, and my host family is so kind. 

What are you most excited about?

I made the volleyball varsity here in CCHS, and all my teammates are very kind and friendly, and very good at playing and this is so challenging for me! 

Freshmen Class Election Results
The election results are in!

Class President: Vishal Chandra
Vice-Presidents: Jack Henry Eaton and Hayden Taylor
Class Secretary: Julia Clarke
Class Treasurer: Emily Aldous

Congrats to the new class officers!

Principal's Coffee
Principal's Coffee is Monday, October 2 at 9:30 in the Main Office Conference Room.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Safety & Security at CCHS

A.L.I.C.E. Emergency Drill

On Wednesday, September 27th, we conducted a review of our emergency protocols and procedures with students, staff, and local law enforcement officials. The Concord Police Department, the Concord Fire Department in conjunction with neighboring law enforcement personnel, including individuals from Acton, Bedford, and the State Police, along with CCHS staff and administration reviewed our response options for dealing with an emergency situation. At the conclusion of the emergency drill, we utilized the Advisory program to review our emergency protocols in a small group setting.  

On Monday Detective Camilleri provided an overview of the A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) emergency response system with members of the freshmen class, as well as all new students.  The emergency drill that transpired this morning is part of ongoing training efforts with students and staff.

Although these are routine exercises, we encourage you to talk with your child about the drills they participated in this morning.  We take pride in running a school that is safe, organized, and focused on teaching and learning.  Safety resides at the top of that list.   
It is important to remind everyone that schools remain extremely safe places to be.

If you have questions or comments, please contact our School Resource Officer, Det. Scott Camilleri ( or email me directly.

At the conclusion of the drill, we sent a text alert to all students notifying them that the drill was complete.  This is how we plan to provide real-time information in the case of an emergency.  If the notification was not received, we do not have the student's cell phone number.  Please follow the link to a previous blog for instructions on how to update student cell phone information in Aspen.


Michael J. Mastrullo


Friday, September 22, 2017

Sacha Weksler, Alejandro Cancio, Kicks for Canter, METCO Turns 50, & More

It's been more than 60 years since the Supreme Court's landmark case Brown v. Board of Education ruled racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. A watershed moment for the Civil Rights movement. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the METCO program.  A half-century of a voluntary, grant-funded program  "intended to expand educational opportunities, increase diversity, and reduce racial isolation, by permitting students in certain cities to attend public schools in other communities that have agreed to participate."

When the program was instituted, the Civil Rights movement was at its peak; to the creators of the program and the first students who participated, I stand in awe of the courage and foresight of the program.  I applaud the town of Concord for being one of the founding members of the program.  We are so very proud of our participation in the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunities program.  The students from Concord, Carlisle, and Boston are all the better for it.  We are fortunate to have a dedicated METCO Director who cares deeply about kids and the program.  Please read on for some recent METCO event highlights, upcoming events, and some CCHS students who are doing some pretty amazing things.

By Aaron Joncas
METCO is a state-funded, voluntary desegregation program that began in Massachusetts in 1966. It currently operates in thirty-one cities and towns in Greater Boston and seven in Greater Springfield. Concord-Carlisle welcomed its first students in September of 1967, and our program is home today to 141 students in grades K-12 from neighborhoods throughout Boston.

Our METCO Program enjoyed a busy weekend. On Saturday, CCHS teacher Hanna Bruno and I took 24 students to Project Adventure in Beverly for a day of ropes course challenges to kickoff POWER (Positive Opportunities With Engaging Relationships), our mentor program for Boston students. In POWER, 11th and 12th-grade students are matched with 9th-grade students to provide guidance and positive peer support. The upperclassmen develop leadership skills while the freshmen are able to lean on their student mentors during the transition to high school. It was a rewarding day for all of us!

On Sunday the CCHS and Concord Public Schools communities came together at CCHS to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of METCO in Concord with an outdoor picnic. Over 100 current and former students and their families joined teachers and staff on a beautiful afternoon. We are planning to invite more alumni back to campus this year to share their experiences with students in honor of this special anniversary.

Our gratitude to the CCHS Parents Association for generously funding the picnic provided by Trail's End Cafe. A group of teachers and staff were also instrumental in making the day a success!

Keep an eye out for upcoming news about future events commemorating METCO this year!

Kicks for Cancer
Started in 2007, Kicks for Cancer is played annually in support of all families who have been touched by this awful disease. All proceeds from the evening’s game will be donated in memory of Lois Wells to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to support woman's cancer research. Teams will wear pink or teal uniforms to support breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

For the first three years of the event, only one game was played. Starting in 2010, Kicks for Cancer expanded to 2 games. The following year the event expanded again, featuring 6 games and now features 10 matches between some of the top high school soccer teams in Massachusetts. The 2017 Kicks for Cancer event will see 7 recent state champion teams take the field.

Since it's inception, Kicks for Cancer has raised $288,148.54

2016 - $60,021.00
2015 - $46,940.00
2014 - $44,307.65
2013 - $33,409.01
2012 - $28,989.96
2011 - $28,273.27
2010 - $17,051.00
2009 - $10,124.25
2008 - $11,032.40
2007 - $8,000.00

The 2016 Kicks for Cancer raised $60,021.00

By Ray Pavlik
This year marks the 11th anniversary of the Lois Wells Memorial Kicks for Cancer. Lois is the mother of our very own Steve Wells. Tomorrow, 9/23, many of the top men's and women's teams in the state will play matches on the CCHS turf fields and wear special pink and blue game jerseys honoring people in their lives who have battled cancer by wearing the names of their loved ones on their backs.  It is common to see players have, Nana, Pop or Mom and Dad on their jerseys as they play.

There will be eighteen local schools participating in twelve full-length games that will run 10:00 am through 7:00 pm.  24 soccer teams, 20 Varsity, 4 Junior Varsity, girls and boys teams will play.   CCHS JV and Varsity girls field hockey teams will play "Sticks For Cancer" 10:00 am and 11:30 am.

As part of the fundraiser we sell these jerseys to the public; 100% of the proceeds go to Dana Farber to support women's cancer research. We would love to have all members of the community in attendance this weekend. The campus will be full of athletic competitions all weekend.  

Pink Dance

This Friday, September 22 the Pink Dance will be held in the cafe from 8:00pm to 10:30pm. Students may leave beginning at 10:00pm on their own.  No student can leave before 10:00 unless picked up by a parent.  Students must enter the dance through the cafeteria. All bags, coats, and sweatshirts must be left at the coat check.  This is an all-school dance that raises money the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Teacher Spotlight
This week's teacher spotlight features Andy Marton, a new member of our math department. Andy summarizes his teaching philosophy this way. "My teaching is centered on helping students learn to think deeply and explore, rather than memorize formulas. I want to give them the tools they need, and encourage them as they find creative solutions to the problems I assign them."

Follow the link for the complete feature on Andy Marton.

Schuyler Winstanley
Sophomore, Schuyler Winstanley recently performed in the Learning Commons.  I have included a short clip from her performance.  She is really talented.  Thanks, Schuyler.

Eagle Scout
Congratulations to Alejandro Cancio for earning the prestigious honor of Eagle Scout.  Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Only four percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank.

I asked Alejandro to share some his experiences working with the Boy Scouts.

"The Boy Scouts of America has offered me countless opportunities; I will forever be indebted to a program that is dedicated to developing young men into the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. The BSA has taught me many lessons, but I am going to highlight just three. 

I joined Troop 132 (based here in Concord) in 2010 and quickly learned the ropes. Enamored with the acquisition of new talents, skills, experiences, and of course, shiny badges, I dove head first into scouting, and quickly moved up in the ranks. By the eighth grade, I had already been elected Senior Patrol Leader and had reached the rank of Life Scout (one below Eagle). It was here that I learned the first of my lessons. It’s simple, slow down. That’s it. What I realized, was that I had been running with my nose to the ground for 4 years. Yes, I learned a lot of skills and earned a lot of badges, but I had missed the ride. I realized the value of slowing down and experiencing every moment that comes to you; Time, as we all know is the one resource that is truly non-renewable, and it's important we appreciate every second.

With that lesson firmly tucked under my belt, I turned to face the rank of Eagle Scout. The BSA likens the rank to a mountain, and I can’t think of anything better to compare it to. If there is one thing that I have done a lot of in my life, it’s climbing mountains (physically and metaphorically). The second lesson that I learned helped me climb to the top of Eagle Peak, it goes something like this: Success isn’t something that just happens, we work hard to create a better tomorrow, but the thing is, the tomorrows keep coming. The only way to conquer a mountain, or to achieve something, is to constantly chisel away at the rock, until you have sculpted your future as you wish. Using this method, and working every day towards my goal, I received the rank of Eagle Scout in September, 2016. 

The third lesson that I wish to highlight came from my experiences as a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. What I came to realize while watching the entire troop as a whole, is that being a leader is not solely confined to fancy titles, or ranks; every single person, regardless of what your elected position, age, or ideas are, can be a leader. I learned that leadership is something that comes in all forms; sometimes all it takes is following the rules, and setting a good example to be an effective leader, and setting a good example is something anyone can do. Above all else, I learned that the best way to be a leader, regardless of who you are, is to lift up others and help them. Not only are you allowing them to become stronger, you in turn, make yourself stronger, you inspire others to do the same, and before long, you have helped to create a better community in which its members are collectively at their best.

Throughout the seven years that I have been a Boy Scout, I have grown immensely, and am forever grateful for all of the assistance, support and guidance that I have received along the way (especially to Bill Duggan, my Scoutmaster). Hopefully, I will be able to teach the lessons I have taken away, and provide guidance to scouting generations to come. I plan to continue with scouting for as long as I can, because if there is something I’ve realized, it’s that you’ve never learned it all; there’s a new mountain out there, go climb it."

Sacha Weksler

International Students at CCHS
Every year Concord Carlisle High School welcomes several exchange students from all over the world.  This year we have students from Belgium, Brazil, and Belgium.  We are delighted to have them with us.  They add diversity to our halls and a global perspective to our classrooms.   Over the next three weeks, I will introduce you to our visiting students.  The first edition features Sacha Weksler, a student from Belgium.  

Where are you from?  
I am from Belgium and I live in the capital, Brussels.

Please tell us a little about the town/city you live in and what your high school is like?
My city is pretty big, there are a few parks but the majority of the city is made up of buildings. Moreover, we have a European district because Brussels is not only the Belgium capital, it is also Europe’s capital. I live on the edge of the city, so it is pretty quiet. I have a forest just next to my house.

Why did you want to come to the United States and Concord Carlisle to study?

I wanted to come to the US because my sister did it 10 years ago and she told me things about the US that made me want to live there myself. Moreover, I wanted to “learn” English for my future study ( Business School ) and CC is a very high-level school so it can help me in my ambition.

How has your experience been so far?
My experience now is very nice, students are kind with me, they help me to integrate into the school, my host family is just perfect and I have already done a lot of things since the beginning of my travel, only 1 month ago... 

What are you most excited about?
I’m waiting for the holidays like Halloween, Christmas, New Year,... because here, everything is big hahaha, you live the holiday, there is so much decoration while in Belgium we don’t have that. And I am waiting for the Prom too!

Anything else you would like to share?

I don’t know… Maybe that all the people that I already met are great and I hope meet new people all year.

Pathways Blog
The purpose of the Pathways Blog is to help keep students, parents and other interested parties up-to-date on exciting Pathways news and events.  The blog is located at the following internet address:  Once at the page, you can click "SUBSCRIBE" at the top of the page and enter your email address to get email notification whenever the blog is updated.  

We hope you enjoy this new method of communication and we are excited to be able to easily share all the great things that are going on withPathways students every day.

MIT-Concord Research Team
By Doug Shattuck
The MIT-Concord Research Team began in 2015 when seven CMS students were invited to conduct original research with MIT's Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics. Their work was published and presented at a national conference in 2016. Ten additional students joined the team in 2016 and continued the project and their work was also published and presented at the 2017 national Microscopy and Microanalysis Conference.
Five members of the team interned in the lab last summer working on different projects. They presented their findings to the Lab on Sept 20 and were invited to return again next summer.

CCHS Social Media
If you are interested in following us on social media, here are the links:
Facebook                 @concordcarlislehs
Instagram                 @concordcarlislehs
Blogger (principal’s blog) @cchsmm

Pictures from the recent METCO events.