Tuesday, February 27, 2018

CCHS Students Honored by New York Times, Athletic Director Search Update, & Progress Reports

It is my sincere hope everyone had a restful February vacation filled with family, friends, and laughs. Progress report grades were released yesterday and are now available for viewing on Aspen. 

Below is an update on the Director of Athletics search and information about CCHS students being recognized by the New York Times.  Congratulations to our ELA Dept. and the following students for their impressive accomplishment.  Well done, Samantha Jones, Lily Langrind, Ayden Nichol, Odin Doolittle, Isabella Eckler, Sarah Lyons, Caitlin McCarthy, and Caitlin Terpstra. 

CCHS Students Shine in New York Times Competition
Congratulations to Dr. Nurenberg and his students for performing exceptionally well in the  "Making Connections" challenge offered by the New York Times.  

"The challenge we announced in December"— asked teenagers to suggest creative ways to link classic texts to the work today.  Over 1,200 students nationwide "suggested interesting thematic links between recent Times articles and literary, historical and scientific texts."

Astoundingly, CCHS witnessed three winners and five honorable mentions.  Dr. Nurenberg and members of the English Dept. deserve credit for developing a creative assignment that led to our students being honored.  Congratulations to the eight students recognized for being chosen out of more than 1200 submissions.  

Follow the link to read the entire article including the winning submissions. 


Samantha Jones, 16, Concord Carlisle Regional High School: “Walden” and “Dropping Out of College Into Life

Lily Langrind, 17, Concord Carlisle High School: “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh and “Checking My Male Privilege

Ayden Nichol, 17, Concord-Carlisle Regional High School: “The Merchant of Venice” and “Louisiana’s Big Step on Justice Reform

Honorable Mention
Odin Doolittle, 16, Concord Carlisle High School: “The Wretched of the Earth” by Franz Fannon and “Rohingya Militants in Myanmar Claim Responsibility for Attack

Isabella Eckler, 16, Concord Carlisle Regional High School: “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe and “Iran Bans English in Primary Schools to Block ‘Cultural Invasion’

Sarah Lyons, 16, Concord Carlisle High School: “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and “Seeing Danger in a Face

Caitlin McCarthy, 17, Concord Carlisle Regional High School: “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe and “The World Celebrates New Year’s Eve

Caitlin Terpstra, 16, Concord Carlisle High School: South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and “After the Pain, a Chance to Meet and Forgive

Athletic Director Search
As noted a previous blog post, Barry Haley, Director of Athletics is retiring after 11 years in the position.  The process of finding a replacement is moving forward with two finalists named.  I have included a copy of the job posting, which is not an exhaustive list of requirements, but it does provide a glimpse into the type of individual we are seeking. We had 32 applicants apply for the position with roughly a dozen meeting the necessary requirements and holding the appropriate licensure.  We are grateful for the interest in our school.

I am happy to report that two strong, supremely qualified candidates have advanced to the next round. Mr. Jonathan Winer and Mr. Aaron Jonas.  Mr. Winer is the current Athletic Director for the Capitol Region Education Council in Hartford, CT.  He also has worked as the Commissioner for the Capitol Region Athletic League and coached at the high school and collegiate level. 

Mr. Joncas has spent the last nine years as the METCO Director for Concord Public Schools and Concord Carlisle High School.  Mr. Joncas also served as the Athletic Director for Belmont Day School and worked in admissions at The Fenn School. 

I want to thank members of the hiring committee for their time and energy during this process, and I want to commend Assistant Principal, Brian Miller for chairing a committee that was professional, efficient, and well organized.  Details about next steps are listed below.  We hope to have a candidate a new Director of Athletics by the middle of March.  

Athletic Director Job Posting

CCHS Athletic Director Hiring Committee

Clayton Abrams
Athletic Trainer
Wayne Busa
Transportation Director
Scott Camilleri
School Resource Office
Maggie Dorr
Student, 2018
Jacob Dudley
Student, 2018
David Erenthal
Parent - Concord
Meg Howes
Parent - Carlisle
Kim Magee
Coach / Teacher
Cricket McCaffrey
Coach / Teacher
Brian Miller
Assistant Principal
Ray Pavlik
Coach / Teacher
Luz Pujols
Parent - Boston
Josh Reed
Coach / Teacher
Mike Robichaud
Coach, Football Head Coach, Parent
Maureen Sullivan
Athletic Dept Assistant

CCHS Athletic Director Hiring Timeline

January 2018
Job Posted
February 2 - 5, Friday - Monday
Initial Screening of Applications
February 8, Wednesday (3 - 5 p.m.)
Committee Review Applications and Interview Prep
February 13, Tuesday: 8:00am - 3:00pm
February 15, Thursday: 11:00am - 5pm
Round 1 Interviews
With Committee, makes recommendations to Principal
February 27, Tuesday
2nd Round Interview With Principal
February 27 - March 1, Tuesday - Thursday
Reference Check
March 2, Friday
Final Interview(s) with Superintendent

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Virginia Ryan, Kelly Leonard, Fencing, Nordic Ski, Latin Pen Pal Project, CC Weather Service, Community Service & More

In my previous blog postI suggested that students choose role models that touch their lives daily.  Mom, dad, a grandparent, a teacher, or anyone close to them worth emulating. Professional athletes are not where I would start, but if you did choose a professional athlete, Tom Brady is a good one.  The quote below is a prime example why. We all want to win, but if you lose this is how one should react.

Tom Brady's quote following Super Bowl loss.  

"....the No. 1 feeling I have had the past four days is gratitude. Gratitude to my teammates for the incredible effort given all season regardless of the challenges we faced. Gratitude toward my coaches for the effort and sacrifice they make to put us players in the best position to win. Gratitude to the Patriots organization for supporting us on our very challenging and difficult journey. Gratitude to the Philadelphia Eagles team and organization for bringing out the best in us and being gracious winners...."

This week I wanted to highlight a few service projects at the high school. As you know, community service is a graduation requirement at CCHS. It begs the question, is it genuine service if you are required to do it? I could construct a compelling argument for both sides of this question; however, I believe once exposed, students are more likely to continue donating their time and energy. There is compelling evidence to support this statement with the majority of CCHS students exceeding the 40-hour requirement.

Another reason to consider the importance of a community service graduation requirement lay in the unstated; an allegorical message quietly emanating from our Core Values & Beliefs. Not stated, just understood, that we as a school community hold service on par with core academic requirements.  I am not suggesting that we do not value things we do not require, but I am indicating that requiring service sends a message consistent with our Core Values ".... nurturing a respectful, supportive, engaged, curious, and passionate learning community."

I am convinced that without the requirement students would perform less service.  This is not an indictment of any sort; it is based on my own experiences as an individual and a father. Some people need a nudge, and once exposed it typically leads to a desire to do more. 

Service is more than writing a check or donating your time, both noble in their own right, but service is at its best when there is no hierarchy in the transaction of kindness; merely a shared goal and a shared understanding that if the roles were reversed the deed would be reciprocated. The recipient is not lesser, and it is the responsibility of the "giver" to ensure the beneficiary is treated and made to feel, equal. 

I am sharing but a few stories of student service at CCHS, and there are more I would love to highlight, so please feel free to share with me stories worthy of recognition. On that note, next blog we will pay homage to Black History Month.  Feel free to share with me stories of students of color who graduated from CCHS that we wish to highlight.  

Bella McKinney
World Literature Micro-Lending Project Funded by CEF
By Virginia Ryan
Attending school in Concord, Massachusetts has given many of us a limited perspective on a complex world. We know that some people live in extreme poverty and that the number of poor people out there far exceeds that of rich people, but it has never been amplified and put in front of us clearly enough for us to truly understand the crushing effects of poverty worldwide. World Literature works to expand our knowledge and understanding of those around us. By reading novels, watching documentaries, and tasting food from various regions around the globe, we connect ourselves with people of varying backgrounds and begin to get a flavor for what life entails in less fortunate places than here in Massachusetts. But it is not enough for us just to learn about people who have had harder experiences than we have; in World Literature, we are fortunate enough to lend money to people in need in these regions we have been researching.

Thanks to a $10,000 grant awarded by the Concord Ed Fund in 2015, students in World Literature continue to help change the lives of people in need through microloans. With this money, World Literature classes have been able to lend over $39,000 total through Kiva.org, a non-profit micro financing organization.  Kiva serves to connect people who desperately need loans to help start a business, feed their families, and send their children to school with people such as students at CCHS who want to help. This year, each senior in the two sections of World Literature can use $200 of the grant money to choose entrepreneurs and make loans. For example, one student loaned $100 to a woman named Fatima from Tayouneh, Lebanon to help her buy nursing medical equipment to use in her studies, and she will eventually pay this back to us in full over time so we can then use this money to help others in need achieve their goals. We will revisit loans we sent out later in the semester and check in on how the entrepreneurs are faring. Check out our class's team page here.

Bella McKinney, Kelly Leonard, & Lukas McCourt

Community Service Opportunities and Awards

By Jen Clarke

Our country and our communities are committed to providing our young people with the opportunity to receive an education which will enable them to be productive and responsible citizens. One meaningful way students can learn about being responsible citizens is by serving their community.

National data strongly suggests that young people want challenging responsibilities through which they can shape their character, their values, and their commitment to society. They seek a sense of purpose, of inspiration, and of fruitful connections. Beginning a practice of regular community involvement at an early age helps develop lifetime habits of service. A sense of community is so central to who we are as people that many leaders regularly call upon our youth to make values such as citizenship and a sense of obligation to others a priority in their lives.

There are many benefits to volunteering for community service:

* It can give you a sense of accomplishment.

* It can help you explore career interests.

* It can help you develop new skills.

* It can introduce you to new people.
* It can be fun.

The Community Service Program at CCHS began in the late 1980’s as a way to provide a system for linking students with community needs. Just like academic courses of study, the structure put in place was intended to help introduce students to the wider world outside of school, and participation in the Community Service Program became a requirement for graduation. The School Committee and the CCHS Faculty and Administration continue to strongly support participation, and continue to assist students in the fulfillment of this requirement.

In addition to school support for the program, a group of community members, called 2Volunteer, was formed to facilitate the connection between the needs of the community and individual students. Students should visit http://2volunteeronline.org/<http://2volunteeronline.org/> for more information about community service opportunities and the President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) application.
Spring PVSA applications are due March 15th, 2018. All service has to be for a certified non-profit organization and performed during 12 consecutive months. Applicants are responsible for checking their school email should the 2V committee have questions during the review process, March 16-29. Save the date! Class Act Awards night is Monday, April 30th.

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Concord Carlisle Weather Services Attending the National American Meteorological Society Conference in Austin, January 2018

Five students from Concord Carlisle Weather Services had the opportunity to attend the National American Meteorological Conference in January. Whether they go on in science in the future or not, the experience of being scientists, sharing academic work they have been doing and participating in presentations and poster sessions put together by some of the most well-known meteorologists in government, industry, and academia has been truly an exceptional one.

This year our group of students: Alejandro Cancio, Luke Pailet, Charlie Peachy, Wyatt Hickman, and James Sibley, presented two academic posters and one talk as well as participating in the Chapter Poster Competition.  While there are lots of college and graduate students at AMS, our students are amongst just a handful of high school attendees.

In between presenting work the students attended a range of talks in areas that interested them such as space weather, broadcasting, the 2017 hurricane season and climate change.  They networked at industry and student-focused social events which several of them found valuable as they move on from CC into the great beyond.

Our students also hosted a booth at an event for local area students and teachers in which they used the tornado machine they built to teach about tornados.  Instead of shipping this tornado machine home they decided to donate it to one of the local schools that had attended.

Did I mention the conference was in Austin, Texas?  The boys got in the spirit with cowboy hats, visits to taco trucks and bike rides along the river.  I am grateful to my co-chaperone Kester Krueger for helping me keep up with them!  I am also very grateful to the district for supporting this experience. Our students get so much out of it, least of which is an appreciation for how lucky they are to be at a school like CCHS in which they have such outstanding opportunities and resources to further their academic interests.  

"My favorite session was the opening “keynote” speaker… hearing about his views on climate change and our responsibilities informing the public. It was also very cool seeing him up there realizing that he may be my professor in the future as I pursue my interests in atmospheric science.  I was surprised by the similarities of the other college weather services to our own. The way we spread our forecasts out to the local towns is the same way some of the top colleges like Penn State and Lyndon State are doing. We aren't too far off in our own talents from some of the college clubs at that conference.”
–--Charlie Peachy

“I had the experience to talk to people who were progressing in a field of study that I was interested in. I learned about the importance of computer science and the importance of learning how to interpolate big data to make informed predictions and what to prioritize as I further my studies. I talked to a representative from Georgia Tech, and what he said were the biggest gaps in knowledge for students entering in undergrad and going into the scientific community. I really valued the information and the specific focal points for my education moving on.  I learned about networking, and experienced the environment of a professional meeting. Getting the chance to speak with several tech companies and how they act and recruit people. When I was speaking to a representative with Lockheed Martin he told me what to do when in a sales meeting.  I had to introduce myself over a hundred times, and having the expectation of professionalism really helped me improve my confidence.” –Wyatt Hickman

“This trip was a fantastic opportunity to put my educational and occupational experiences in perspective (the world is a big place!). I found that the trip, as a whole, was a good way for us to gain real world experience in a setting that allowed the 5 of us to explore topics that interest us (i.e. US Naval air systems, Space weather, wildfires, etc…).-Alejandro Cancio

Nordic Ski

The CC Boys and Girls Nordic Ski teams closed out the regular season the way they began it, with another win -- their sixth consecutive in Mass Bay West competition. "This is the first time in many years that both teams have gone undefeated in the league", said CC head coach Jeff Campbell, in his 5th year leading the team. "They are a talented group with remarkable depth, and we couldn't be prouder of them..." he said. The teams face their final and most important challenge at the MIAA State Championships to be held Feb 27th at Notchview Reservation where last year the Boys were runner-ups and the Girls finished 4th. Before States, however, the team will have some fun at the Weston Sprints (Tues, 2/13) where music and costumes take center stage. This event draws skiers from both Eastern Mass leagues and is co-hosted by the CCHS and Lincoln-Sudbury coaches under the direction this year of CC coach Whipp Parker.

In the league finale, on Tuesday Feb 6th, CC Boys placed five in the top eleven to earn 474 points ahead of runners up Winchester (423) and Westford Academy (422). Finishing one second apart out front on the 7.6 kilometer course, juniors Alex Burt and Henry Johnstone went 1-2 in 21:10 and 21:11. They were followed by co-captain Will Meehan in 8th (22:58), Julian Henry in 9th (22:59), and Will Parker in 11th (23:12). Also placing in the top 25 were Miles Kissinger at 15th in 24:16, co-captain James Grant at 18th in 24:57, Kyle Bonenfant at 20th in 25:12, Nate Smith at 21st in 25:17, and Caleb Cramer at 24th in 25:50. CC's Asa Szegvari finished in 33rd (27:07), John Troast was 52nd in 30:21, Ryan Igo was 63rd in 32:24, Jeffery Liao was 69th in 34:41, and Miles Inman came in 72nd in 36:11.

In the Girls race Feb 6th, CC finished with 467 points, well ahead of AB in 2nd (418), Winchester in 3rd (413), and Westford Academy in 4th (395). The race was a blur of maroon and gold uniforms as CC earned nine of the top twenty spots. The scoring was led once again by junior Phoebe Meyerson in 3rd place overall (26:10), followed close behind by frosh Ella Nichol in 5th (26:53). Completing the scoring for CC were: frosh Ellie Sablak in 9th (27:17), co-captain Liviya Kovacevic in 10th (27:25), and frosh Jasmine Paris in 11th (28:34).  Hallie Nelson finished in 12th (28:40), co-captain Sarah Hutchinson wa

s 15th in 29:13 - her best race yet, Sofia Congram was 18th (29:54), then Iris Bergman was 20th (30:26) in her best race yet. Also skiing for CC was Vera Sablak in 28th (31:04), Whitney Orloff in 87th and Aly Milando in 96th.

With the league races complete, the following nine CC skiers were named Mass Bay West League All-Stars for finishing in the top ten in the league (taking best 5 of 6 races).  For the Boys, congratulations to: Alex Burt, Henry Johnstone, Ayden Nichol, William Meehan, and Julian Henry. For the Girls, congratulations to: Phoebe Meyerson, Ella Nichol, Liviya Kovacevic, and Ellie Sablak.

Fencing Wins State Championship
Congratulations to the Fencing Team on a fantastic season.  Results below. 

1st - 6-Weapon Team (this is the overall team award which means that we have the best fencing team in the state)
1st - Men's Foil Squad
2nd - Men's 3-Weapon Team
2nd - Men's Epee Squad
3rd - Women's 3-Weapon Team
3rd - Women's Foil Squad

1st - Men's Foil - Bin Huang
2nd - Women's Saber - Julia Jacobs
4th - Men's Foil - Will Chiang
4th - Men's Epee - August Williams
6th - Women's Epee - Eva Volckova
6th - Men's Foil - Alejandro Cancio

Latin Letters and treats from College Saint Gabriel

Latin 3 students with their Latin epistuae from their penpals

Latin 2 students with their Latin epistulae

Latin Pen Pal Project
By Sophia Rovitti & Madeleine Pooler

Eighty-nine CCHS Latin students from Ms. Rovitti’s, Ms. Haycock’s and Ms. Pooler’s classes are participating in the Epistulae Project, a Latin pen pal project organized by a French organization for teachers of classical languages, “Arrete ton Char” (https://www.arretetonchar.fr/epistulae-plus-de-8200-cartes-seront-echangees/). The project, which was was discovered by Latin teacher Sophia Rovitti on a Latin teacher idea exchange website, involves over 8,000 Latin students from 13 different countries, providing students from around the world the opportunity to exchange epistulae (letters) in Latin. CCHS, one of only three American high schools participating, has been paired with the College Saint Gabriel outside of the city of Rennes in Brittany, France.

Since students of classical Latin do not usually learn the Latin equivalent of conversational phrases and modern vocabulary words, the organization provided a template of suggested Latin phrases with French translations to assist (French-speaking) students in crafting their epistulae. Double language (French and  Latin) students Matt Gnaw, William Crounse and Charles Crounse translated the French/Latin document into English/Latin. Students wrote their letters on postcards bearing an image of the seal of Concord and its Latin motto “quam firma res Concordia” (“How steadfast a thing is peace”).

CCHS students were delighted to receive the first set of epistulae from College Saint Gabriel on January 2, along with some treats, including Latin posters, stickers and Breton butter cookies. Latin was once the lingua franca for the Roman Empire, connecting speakers of many native tongues across a diverse empire. This project has demonstrated that Latin can still serve the same purpose today, connecting students around the world.

John is pictured 5th from left
By John Troast
Last year, at the end of my sophomore year, I participated in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar also known as HOBY. Arriving at Bentley University, I was unsure what to expect. I would soon find out that the next three days of the program would be action packed, fun, and very interesting.

The Massachusetts HOBY program is a three day, two night seminar which takes place every year at Bentley University in Waltham. On the first day you are assigned to a small group whom you become very close to by the end of the seminar. The majority of the seminar is spent listening to interesting guest speakers who are leaders in their own communities or in the business world. Your small group also does activities with a focus on group leadership, communication, and understanding different types of leadership styles. HOBY also focuses on organizing and conducting community service projects in the area throughout the year.  Perhaps the greatest part of the program is that you get to meet student leaders from all around the state.

I really enjoyed my HOBY experience and I learned a lot about leadership and myself as a leader in the process. CCHS is extremely generous in providing students with this opportunity of a lifetime.  

Pictured in the photo:  Jake Hamilton '18, Ana Rodriguez-Bas '18, Attorney General Maura Healey, Nancy Slocum, Erin Mackey '18, Spencer Torres '19
Game Change Leadership Summit and Upcoming Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Training (UPDATE)

On Oct. 12, Jake Hamilton, Ana Rodriguez-Bas, Erin Mackey,  and Spencer Torres, together with Health and Fitness Teacher Ms. Slocum, attended the Game Change Leadership Summit at Gillette Stadium to hear student leaders talk about how they have utilized and applied their Mentor's in Violence Prevention Training.  They also got to hear from MA Attorney General Maura Healey and Robert Kraft.  

Game Change – The New England Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership  (Game Change link)  is an innovative approach to healthy relationship and violence prevention education. The program, launched in 2015 by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, is providing training in anti-violence strategies to students, faculty, and coaches at public high schools across Massachusetts.

Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) is one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence, sexual harassment and bullying prevention programs in the world. Founded in 1993, the MVP Program is a 2-day training in which participants will learn concrete tools for confronting, interrupting and preventing gender-based violence. By empowering participants through a unique bystander approach to prevention, MVP enables communities to stand up against all forms of gender-based violence and challenges participants to understand and embrace their roles as leaders when faced with these issues. 

The goal is for the participants to become peer leaders in preventing physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault and heterosexism/homophobia in our school community.”

For more information about the MVP program, please visit: http://www.mvpstrat.com/

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Slocum (nslocum@concordcarlisle.org)

Effects of Marijuana, Alcohol, and other Substances On the Developing Brain
February 28, 2018 at the CCHS Auditorium 7:00-9:00 PM: 
Edibles, Vaping & Under-aged Drinking; Understanding the Effects of Alcohol, Marijuana and Tobacco on the Teenaged Brain:

Presentation by A. Eden Evins, M.D., M.P.H. Founding Director, Center for Addiction Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Cox Family Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Addiction Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Evins will provide the most current information and research regarding the use of various substances during high school years, including the neurological effects on the brain and risks of addiction and will then lead a discussion on how the school community and parents can best address these difficult issues with their teenaged children.

Dr. Evans & Dr. Potee Speaking Event Flyer

CCHS Staff In the News

Arlington resident attempts to bike every street in town.