Saturday, February 15, 2020

Principal's Blog: Thank You, Well Wishes, and Resources

All,

I write to wish you and your family a fantastic break filled with lots of memories.  The school-work free break hopefully makes space for that to occur.  Further, I want to draw your attention to my correspondence with the entire school, and Dr. Hunter's correspondence to all members of the CCHS educational community.  Both come with a deep appreciation for all the support provided to so many in need over the last few weeks.  


Hello,

As we all leave for the break, I want to share a heartfelt thank you for a school community that demonstrated their care for one another over the past few weeks. It is always important to care for one another, but ensuring CCHS is a kind, welcoming place where everyone feels supported is never more critical than when we are grieving; one of many reasons CCHS is a remarkable school.

We hope vacation provides a well-deserved respite, and time spent with family and friends is filled with fun and laughter. If, however, there is a time that you need or a friend needs help, please talk with a trusted adult. Everyone needs help sometimes, and those connections will provide needed support.

For some the change in routine is hard, and support does not seem as readily available.  We wanted to be sure that help was accessible through the upcoming week.  

Warmly,


Michael J. Mastrullo
Principal


Dr. Hunter's Correspondence

 Dear Families:

 We reach the break with gratitude for what community brings to us.  The past two weeks brought a sense of togetherness that I have heard in ongoing conversations, ideas, and acts of support to one another.  This, undoubtedly, strengthens us in good times and bad.

 The upcoming week will be one of travel, joy, respite and relaxation.  Sometimes, though, the change in routine is hard and support does not seem as easily available if needed.  We wanted to be sure that support was accessible through the upcoming week.  

Riverside Trauma Center recommends two primary options in the community in addition to your own private providers.  They are:


Advocates       
24-hour emergency and crisis support
https://www.advocates.org/services/psychiatric-emergency-services
800-640-5432


Eliot Center, Concord 
Counseling Services
http://www.eliotchs.org/services/outpatient-services/
(978) 369-1113 ask for an intake

Enjoy the time with family and friends.  Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns. 

Best,


Dr. Laurie Hunter, Superintendent

Friday, January 31, 2020

Important Update

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I am writing to provide a brief update on the tragic news shared early this morning and to provide information on support available at CCHS this weekend.  

Today staff members from CPS, CCHS, and Carlisle went to each class to notify students and staff of the dreadful news.  We had a team of people supporting students and staff.  We remain in close contact with the family, and they are so gracious and kind while dealing with grief beyond words.  Our thoughts are with them.

Below is correspondence from Dr. Hunter that includes resources and information about this weekend.  

Take care of yourself and each other.

Warmly,

Michael Mastrullo
Principal

Dear Community, 
The recent death of our student, Chase Bjork,  has impacted many if not all of us in some way. This is a tragedy for the Bjork family, for our school and for our community, and we are all deeply saddened by what has happened. We are grieving the loss of one of our own.
Support for anyone in need is being offered in multiple forms: 
  • There will be Open Hours at CCHS on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 11 AM - 1 PM and Sunday, February 2, from 2 PM - 4 PM with counselors present for anyone (students, parents, faculty, and community members).

  • The bottom of this message has a list of Mental Health Resources for Youth and Families.
  • The school is working closely with the Riverside Community Care, a Department of Mental Health funded organization that provides support to schools and communities following suicides. They are helping us to plan student support groups, conduct staff training and provide more resources for parents. More information will be forthcoming.
  • Counselors and teachers at the schools are providing ongoing support to students. This support will continue over the coming days and weeks.
  • More supports and training will be available through the Center for Parents and Teachers, the Parent Teacher Groups, and Riverside Community Care. 
This is a time for our community to grieve and there are no easy answers. We need to be accessible to one another and to truly listen when someone opens up to us. In short, we need to be here for each other during this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Dr. Laurie Hunter, Superintendent

Mental Health Services for Youth and Families
This list of resources is presented in an attempt to provide options for those seeking assistance. 
Their mention herein does not necessarily indicate the endorsement of Concord-Carlisle High School. 

LOCAL AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES 
CCHS Guidance Dept. (978)341-2941 or (978)341-2924 
Emerson Hospital (978) 369-1400
Advocates 800-640-5432 (mobile risk assessment service)
Concord Emergency Services (police & fire dispatch) (978)318-3400
Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program (800)799-7233
Elliot Community Health Services (800)988-1111 
Concord Health Department (978)318-3275
William James College Interface, Help-Line, Website:  www.interface.williamjames.edu;  617-332-3666,  x 411

HELP FOR TEENS 
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800)273-TALK (24 hr.) 
National Hope Line Network (800)442-HOPE (4673)
Covenant House Nine Line (800) 999-9999 
Boston Emergency Screening Team (800) 981-HELP 
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (800) 841-8371 
Fenway Community Health Center Peer Listening Line 
(Hotline for GLBT teens) (800) 399-7337 
Samaritans Teen Line (For Teens Only) (800) 525-TEEN (24hrs.) 

HELP FOR FAMILIES 
Riverside Emergency Services Team 24-hr Crisis Line:  (800) 529-5077 
Parental Stress Line (800) 632-8188 (24 hrs.) 
Samaritans Hotline (617) 247-0220 (24 hrs.) 
Riverside Outpatient Center (617) 969-4925 

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT AND SUPPORT 
MA Substance Abuse Information and Education Help Line (800) 327-5050 
Substance Abuse Treatment Referral (800) 662-HELP 
Alcoholics Anonymous (Boston) (617) 426-9444 
Al-Ateen 508-366-0556

WEBSITES

Principal's Blog: Sad News to Share

All,

I am following up on the tragic news shared by Dr. Hunter sent earlier this morning.  Words seem woefully inadequate at this time, but with the heaviest of hearts, we mourn the loss of Chase Bjork.  We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. 

Counselors from Concord and Carlisle, along with nearby schools, are on-site across the district to support those grieving.  The superintendent will share additional information and resources later today.  

Lastly, I am sharing the statement read to students earlier today. 

Warmly,

Michael Mastrullo
Principal


Statement Read to Students

Dear Students,


It is with our deepest sympathies and greatest sorrows that we share the loss of a member of our school community. With great sadness, the family informed us that Chase Bjork died by suicide last evening. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family, including his brothers Lars, a current sophomore at CCHS, and Bryce, class of 2016.

We recognize that this is a difficult time for many in our school community, and we are all here to support one another. Guidance counselors, school adjustment counselors, and grief counselors are available to help students and staff during this difficult time.  Anyone in need of support is welcome in the guidance department.



Message from Superintendent 
January 31, 2020

 With great sadness, I share that we learned this morning that a member of our community, Chase Bjork, died last night.  The family shared with us that he died by suicide.  

Support is available to students and adults who are in need.  We are working closely with Riverside Trauma Center and will be sharing more information shortly.  

We extend our deepest condolences to the Bjork family.   



Best, 


Dr. Laurie Hunter, Superintendent






Tuesday, January 28, 2020

9th-Grade Academy Information

9th-Grade Academy

I am excited to provide detailed information about the new 9th-Grade Academy beginning in the fall of 2020.  Below is an introduction.  I would encourage you to read the complete document that provides a broader overview of the 9th-Grade Academy.  


Introduction
Born from our continued work with Challenge Success, the idea to explore the ninth-grade student experience in more detail emerged roughly 18 months ago.   After months of research, along with internal reflection, debate, and dialogue, we are excited to announce that students entering high school in the Fall of 2020 will enjoy a slightly different experience than their predecessors. The Fall of 2020 will feature a new 9th-Grade Academy.

Ninth grade is an extremely challenging year for many high school students for a variety of developmental, social, and academic reasons. High-school years are formative ones for adolescents, and a successful 9th-grade experience is critical to success. Even students who handle transitions well can struggle when leaving their highly structured elementary and middle schools and entering larger, comprehensive high schools. Those who do not cope well with this dramatic transition, and who become disengaged from their high school during their first-year often struggle throughout high school.

We are acutely aware that being a teenager today is different than it was five, ten, or twenty years ago. In many respects, it is harder today than it was for previous generations of teens. There is a mountain of evidence to support this statement, but one look no further than a September Washington Post article, which named students from high-achieving schools an at-risk group.  Further, many factors are influencing the experience for teens, and no generation is immune to modern social, political, and economic developments; however, there is no doubt we are witnessing an alarming rise in mental health challenges in our student population.  As 2020 dawns and we enter a new decade, we accept that the world and teens are far different than they were one or two generations ago, and we need to adapt and change the way first-year-students experience 9th-grade.  

The 9th-Grade Academy Committee began working earnestly over the summer to identify, among other things, the most important questions to consider, to review data collected to-date, to identify and review current academic research, and to prepare for site visits and informational sessions with educators from Brookline, Lexington, Parker Charter, and Beverly. 

Ultimately, the 9th-Grade Academy will feature smaller learning communities that will employ a team approach to ensure all students are known and supported during their transition to CCHS. The goal is to create an emotionally healthy, socially inclusive, and academically supportive first-year experience for our 9th-grade students. We want them to transition to 10th-grade with more skills, more resiliency, better coping mechanisms, and move on better prepared to succeed in high school and beyond. As with most new endeavors, the 9th-Grade Academy will develop and evolve as we learn through shared experiences. Still, we are confident students will enjoy a better experience and leave well prepared for 10th-grade and beyond.

9th-Grade Academy Information

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.