Friday, February 15, 2019

An Important Message for Students & Parents along with upcoming CCHS Sporting Events

I wish everyone a safe and restful vacation filled with friends, family, and lots of smiles and laughs. To allow for this, vacations are school-work free. My next blog will include more information on initiatives related to our Challenge Success initiative.  For information on Challenge Success initiatives please review this document.  If you are looking for some exciting high school sports to watch, I encourage you to watch one of our many upcoming events.  

The wrestling team enjoyed lots of success this year and several continue on in the Div. 2 State Tournament in Beverly both today and tomorrow.  Indoor Track competes in the Div. 2 State Tournament at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Both Girls and Boys Hockey have Senior Night games tomorrow at the Edge, and our 17-1 Girls Basketball Team has Senior Night tonight at CCHS.

I sent the following email to students this morning.  If you can reinforce the message at home we would be grateful.  


Michael J. Mastrullo

Attention All Students,

I hope this email finds you well on the eve of a well-deserved break.  My apologies for the long email.  I ask that you read the email in its entirety.

I am writing to address a few recent issues that are disappointing, to say the least, and to set expectations going forward.  I recognize that I am addressing the entire 1,273 members of the student body for the actions of a few, but it is important to note; the one school mantra you often hear from us does encompass everyone, and our collective actions not only influence student privileges and rules, but they also influence the reputation of CC.  

I need not remind anyone that our school has an excellent reputation, largely due to the efforts of students, but reputations are hard earned and easily lost.  The issues addressed below do not ruin an excellent reputation, but CCHS is expected to lead and not follow, and the recent issues do not reflect well on all of us.    

We, which in this case encompasses all staff, work hard to make this a great place to come to school.  Never perfect and always room for improvement, but we work hard every day to help great kids like you. I often say if you need something ask for it, and if I can do it, I will.  

I try to be fair and kind each day, but it would be foolish to mistake kindness for weakness, and if the issues below do not improve we can all expect changes to the privileges all students enjoy.  These privileges assume good intentions along with the unstated expectation to appreciate, respect, and handle them with care. They assume you will act like the respectful and kind young adults we know you are. 

As you are most likely aware, students hacked into their classmates' school accounts, photoshopped images and sent them to the entire student body.  Those responsible were held accountable. 

You might recall at the beginning of the year; I informed students at the assembly that the baseline expectation for everyone in this building is to treat each other with kindness.  This is one rule that is not negotiable.  

A Lesson For All
Hacking into someone's account carries a school consequence that is not inconsequential, but a similar infraction beyond high school, be it an email account, social media account, bank account, etc., is a cybercrime that will likely result in expulsion from college, loss of employment, or criminal charges.   

Expectations going forward

1) Technology Usage
VPNs are not allowed on the school network. If you are caught using one your privileges are revoked indefinitely.  If you are caught hacking into another person's account, your privileges will be revoked indefinitely.

a)  Passwords
We are asking all students to log out immediately, and once you do the system will prompt you to set a new password.  Please do not use your student ID; employ a unique password and do not share it with anyone.

2) Other Privileges
It would be foolish to assume the privileges outlined below extend indefinitely regardless of actions, and we are all accountable for each other, so the actions of a few will impact all students. 

a) Open Campus- As of now, the status quo remains intact, do not abuse this privilege or I will end it without warning.

b) Eating -Presently students eat lunch in the learning commons, the cafe, and outside when weather permits. Right now the status quo remains intact, do not abuse this privilege or I will end it without warning. As it stands now, tables are often left messy for someone else to clean.  It is incumbent upon us all to clean up after ourselves.  It should not be the job of anyone to throw away remnants of someone's lunch or snack.  If this does not improve after the break, all eating will take place in the cafe.  No exceptions. 

c) Email Accounts- Presently, all email accounts allow students to disseminate information to the entire student body quickly by emailing groups.  We allowed students to email a whole grade level and/or the entire student body. That privilege is no longer.  We will moderate all emails sent to student groups.

d) Vandalism- Locker rooms are often vandalized, large holes put in walls, and debris left all over the area.  If this does not improve access to locker rooms will be reduced to a few minutes before class and a few minutes after class.  We have witnessed vandalism in bathrooms and classrooms.  We are lucky to have a state of the art facility.  Save for your home; you spend more time here than anywhere, so treat it with the respect it deserves, please.

Two years ago we chose the piece of artwork below from several student submissions to adorn the walls downstairs at a considerable expense.  We are currently considering more student work to be displayed around the school, but until I have assurance they will not be vandalized, we will not proceed.

4) Parking
We understand parking is a frustration for many students including juniors.  The School Committee put forth a warrant article to address this issue.  At this point, we have maximized the number of spots on campus, any student parked on campus illegally will be towed without warning. 

It is rare I send an email or make announcements to address student behavior.  That is due partly to the culture of mutual respect we have, and we do not want to micromanage, impose unnecessarily strict rules and regulations, but when we do address an issue it is for good reason, and we are left with no choice but to act if things do not improve.  

I will continue to treat students like the young, inspiring adults that you are, and I prefer to help kids and not address them on matters I find disrespectful and unacceptable.  

It is my sincere hope you all have a safe, happy, and restful vacation filled with laughs, friends, and family.  I look forward to seeing you on the other side of February break, and I hope you will take this email for what it is, a request to treat each other and your school with kindness and respect.

Your Principal,

Michael J. Mastrullo
Concord Carlisle High School
500 Walden Street
Concord, MA 01742

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Fencing Team Wins States, Art Awards, High School Administration Update, & TEDX

Nearly mid-February and despite the frigid temperatures the weather has played barely a cameo role in our school year. Today the weather has a few more lines, so we released early to beat the weather.  We will see what tomorrow brings.  I can almost hear the seniors willing more snow to New England.  Please read on for some brief, but impressive student highlights, and a change at the administrator level at the high school.  Enjoy the snow and be safe!

CCHS Administration Update
Ms. Knight has decided to resign her position for personal reasons and we wish her the best.  CCHS staff member, Iolanda Volpe will assume the responsibilities for the remainder of the year.  I feel fortunate to have someone of her caliber ready and willing to take on this new challenge.  She is an exemplary teacher and World Language Department Chair, and despite these lofty accolades, a better person than she has been in those positions.

Iolanda has been part of the World Language Department at CCHS for the past 21 years.  Her love for learning and teaching world languages, literature, and cultural competency is an ongoing life- long pursuit. This is combined with her passion for working with students to instill in them a desire to learn new languages so they can build bridges across cultural and geographical divides and embrace global perspectives.

During her time at CCHS, she taught all levels of  Spanish and was in the role of Department Chair for the past eight years. Ms. Volpe has contributed to the new teacher Mentor Program both as a mentor, and Mentor Program Facilitator for several years.  She will continue her work coaching teachers in best pedagogical and student engagement practices. With students at the center of all her learning and teaching endeavors, Ms. Volpe is a reflective professional who values collaboration with colleagues and encourages students to focus on their wellbeing as much as they focus on academic excellence.  

Caitlin Smith is a well-respected member of the World Language Department and school, and she will assume the role of WL Dept. Chair.  We are happy to have her join the high school leadership team. We are fortunate to have two individuals with great capacity both ready and willing to assume responsibilities in the service of our students and school.  

All school years present different challenges and obstacles we must contend with.  This year is no different and in some respects, the challenges are greater than years past. Each obstacle presents an opportunity for a built-in excuse or a problem to be solved.  One way to teach resiliency in students is to model this essential attribute of life success. Instead of leaning on the chance to point to the built-in excuse as justification for not meeting the immensely high standards we shoulder, we roll our sleeves up, work in concert, and meet or exceed high standards regardless of circumstances.  A hallmark of a great school. Thanks for your continued support.

Fencing Team Wins State Championship

Congratulations to the Boys Fencing Team for winning a state championship at St. John's Prep over the weekend.  Nice job, CC! 

Glyn Mardis:  Me
Art Awards
The artistic talent level of the students at CCHS never ceases to amaze.  We are lucky to have a department of teachers dedicated to their craft, and a host of students with great talent and a willingness to pursue the arts.  There are may students to highlight, but the following three are the most recent.

The following three students artwork was accepted into the Emerging Young Artist exhibition hosted by the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts. 

This exhibition was a highly competitive juried (by Dean Laura Franz) event, 70 local schools and over 350 students submitted work. Congratulations to Glyn Mardis, Sandro Lopresti, and Henry Johnstone!

Henry Johnstone: Al Dente (Also a Gold Key winner at Scholastic Arts and Writing)

Alessandro Lopresti: Self Portrait Number 19 - Spiritual, Hearing Things from an Excerpt of Don Quixote (included in a portfolio that won a gold key at the Scholastic Arts and Writing)

Glyn Mardis:  Me (Another Gold Key winner at Scholastic Arts and Writing)

Alessandro Lopresti: Self Portrait Number 19 

CCHS students won two of the four Emerging Young Artist Awards at UMASS.

Dean's Award, Henry Johnstone – Concord-Carlisle Regional High School, MA
(Senior, Art Teacher: Joseph Pickman)

3rd Place Award, Alessandro Lopresti – Concord-Carlisle Regional High School, MA

(Senior, Art Teacher: Joseph Pickman)

Henry Johnstone: Al Dente 

By David Nurenberg & Caitlin Smith

2019 tickets now available!
CCHS is proud to announce TEDxYouth ConcordCarlisle 2019, an independently organized, licensed TED event happening on March 2nd, 2019 from 9:00am-4:30pm. 

We have twenty dynamic adolescent speakers on the topic of "Young people making a difference right now." Speakers will not only deliver their "ideas worth spreading" live at the conference, but also on video to be hosted at TEDx's website!

For more info, visit or email

CLICK HERE to get your tickets now!

More info: Tickets are free: you can reserve your seat for one or more of our five "blocks" of speakers (see our Eventbrite order page for information about which speakers are speaking during which blocks). 

Although the Eventbrite website limits you to ordering two tickets per block at a time, you can re-load an order more if you wish. You may reserve as many tickets for as many blocks as you like, but since seating is limited, please make sure the people for whom you are reserving tickets will actually be attending.

In the event that a block is all sold out, don't worry - we have overflow space in the school cafeteria where the talks will be playing on giant video screens! There will be a pizza lunch provided from 11:40-12:20pm, free until supplies run out.
Scholarship Fund 
Join us for an amazing Community Event!

SHOP locally at participating businesses and SUPPORT them while they, in turn, SUPPORT The Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle. These businesses will be making a donation to The Scholarship Fund based on their sales during our event. 

The purpose of The Scholarship Fund is to provide annual scholarships to Concord and Carlisle students with financial need and help them achieve a post-secondary school education. Look for our flyer at participating stores and restaurants, mention The Scholarship Fund while shopping and dining, and thank the businesses for their support! For more information on participating businesses, please join our SHOP and SUPPORT Facebook Event Page:

Food for Thought:

Based on the overwhelmingly positive response during taste testing on 1/31/19, we are now offering the 88 Acres Seed & Grain Bars and will soon offer 88 Acres Pumpkin Seed Butter in a Protein Box in the Grab ‘n Go snack area.  88 Acres is a local MA company.

Seedling Fact (on bar’s packaging):  In the 8th Century, King Charlemagne passed a law ordering his subjects to eat flax seeds.

Seedling Fact (on bar’s packaging):  Only 5% of oats grown worldwide are eaten by humans.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Phoebe Myerson, Alex Burt, Henry Johnstone, Thomas Kim, Wheeler Exchange, Super Bowl & More

Super Bowl Sunday is but two days away.  A welcome distraction viewed by over 100 million people.  As a fan of the Patriots and Tom Brady, you can count me among the 100 million viewers.  

In a sport noted for its parity, the Patriots have managed an astonishing dominance over the last 17 years. Sunday marks their 9th Super Bowl appearance over that period and their 11th Super Bowl appearance as a franchise.  Difficult to believe but they have appeared in 20% of all Super Bowls.  

Impossible to persuade any non-Pats fan, which is essentially any fan outside of New England at this point, that Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots team are a confident, yet humble team. 

Both Brady and Belichick share praise, rarely use the pronoun I unless articulating a failure, and speak in terms of we and team. Time is a relentless opponent and as we bask in the glow of another Super Bowl I am hopeful this is not the last one for Tom Brady.  Anyone looking for perfection will never find it, but hard work and practice improve whatever craft one pursues, and few, if any, objectionable fans would argue that effort and perseverance are the foundation for their success.  

There is much to bemoan when dissecting professional sports: overpaid players, obscene ticket prices, poor behavior, and inflated egos, but there is also much to celebrate. Games are a unifying leisure activity that is mostly blind to political preferences. 

A football franchise is a 53 man player roster; however, a team employs hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds.  Individuals with divergent political beliefs, with different ethnic backgrounds, with various religious beliefs; all practicing different rituals, customs, and speaking different languages.  Despite their differences, they come together for a common purpose and a common goal.  One team with one mission, all striving to be the very best they can be. Traits worthy of emulation! 

Detractors will argue differently, but from my vantage point the Patriots win and lose with grace, class, and humility.  Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick in a draft with only seven rounds. An underdog passed over many times by all teams; a man with a 40-yard dash time at his professional tryout slower than my 12-year-old daughter (in fairness, she is pretty fast), and 17-years later he is considered the best of all-time.  What sets him apart, in my humble opinion, is his competitive fire.  Michael Jordan and Tom Brady are the two most competitive athletes I have ever seen.  

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge another first during this football season.  Sarah Thomas became the first female referee in 2015, and she became the first female to referee a playoff football game. Progress with more to be made!  

Unrelated, but arguably the greatest athlete of all-time made a comeback late last year and this athlete recently competed for the first time in 2019.  A relatively brief hiatus from the sport to tend to the most important job in the world.  Motherhood!  Serena Williams returns post childbirth to the tennis courts, and I look forward to watching her dominance. She lends grace and inspiration to both spectator and sport, but I digress.

Read on for some highlights of our remarkable students at CCHS.  Go Pats!

CCHS Filmmaker, Thomas Kim ('19) 
Thomas Kim's short animated film, "Trejur",in playing across the country. A few years back Thomas Kim successfully crowdfunded it on this blog and other outlets like the Concord Journal. It is finally complete and you can view it here

"Trejur" has gone to screen in film festivals across the country, most recently playing in places like the New World Center in Miami, the John F Kennedy Center in DC, or The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, all providing all-expense paid week-long trips. These are just the first steps to a filmmaking career, but hopefully, the first of many. Stay tuned for 2019!

Thomas Kim's stop motion video "Trejur" 

See Thomas' successful Kickstarter page for behind the scenes looks at his film (now completed) and creative process:  Kickstarter Funding Page

CCHS Students Compete in Cross Country Ski Championship
Impressive students and better people, three CCHS Nordic skiers (Phoebe Meyerson, Alex Burt, and Henry Johnstone) competed in the 2019 U.S. Cross Country Ski National Championships in Craftsbury, VT. 

This annual, multi-day competition showcases some of the top Nordic skiing talent in the U.S., ranging from a few elite high school-level skiers to numerous college-level skiers to current, former, and future Olympians. It’s one of the few events that enables younger skiers to race directly against much higher-level, elite competition on demanding race courses that have been certified for competition at the highest level by skiing’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS).

Phoebe, Alex, and Henry are grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this event, and it is a testament to their hard work and our outstanding  CCHS Nordic Ski program, which helped develop their talent in this demanding sport. The event provided a great opportunity to see how each individual stacks up at this point in their athletic careers against tough competition, as all three will continue skiing competitively in college after they graduate from CCHS.

William Wheeler Exchange
Allyson Lee'18 spoke to the science fiction club, plus some other assembled students and faculty members, presenting her experiences studying in our sister-city of Nanae, Japan last July via the William Wheeler Exchange. The WWE program allows for one student from CCHS and one student from Nanae High School to spend a month in the other's community for full-immersion cultural learning. The WWE program's applications for July 2019 will open next month. For more information, please see Dr. Nurenberg (

National Council of English Teachers (NCTE)
By David Nurenberg
The English Department would like to congratulate the following juniors who were selected as the winners of our 2018-19 student writing competition: Marisa Ih, Kenneth Liu and Harriet Martin. These three students will now go on to compete in the National Council of English Teachers writing competition on a nationwide level. Thank you to all of the students who entered, and also to our three judges for this year, Mr. Sawyer, Ms. Sutter and Ms. Vice-Hisey.

By David Nurenberg and Caitlin Smith
The TEDx Youth Concord Carlisle 2019 selection committee is proud to announce the following 20 speakers for our March 2nd, 2019 conference, "Young people making a difference, right now!"

Asia Adams-Lemar (TechBoston Academy)
Siena Harrigan (Hopkinton High School)
Ella Baker-Puttini (Concord Carlisle High School)
William Beguhn (Concord Carlisle High School)
Sarika Chawla (Acton Boxboro Regional High School)
Jade Darling (Excel Charter Academy High School)
Eva Ferguson (Concord Carlisle High School)
Coco Huang (Concord Academy)
Anna Kitagawa (Concord Carlisle High School)
Kierthan Lathrop (Concord Carlisle High School)
Jennifer Miller (Maynard High School)
Justin Moy (Concord Carlisle High School alum)
Caitlyn O'Leary (Maynard High School)
Charlie Peachey (Concord Carlisle High School alum)
Camaryn Petersen (Concord Carlisle High School)
Laura Pohl (Concord Carlisle High School)
Kunal Sharda (Acton Boxboro Regional High School)
Maxwell Surprenant (St. Sebastian’s School, Needham)
Joseph Vann (Concord Carlisle High School)
Haley Wixom (Concord Academy)

Our deep thanks to everyone who submitted and to the many students and teachers who worked to help us with the extremely difficult task of selecting speakers from such a compelling collection of applications.

Everyone and anyone is invited for March 2nd, 2019 as an attendee, for a day of stimulating ideas and amazing stories. We hope you will spread the word about TEDx Youth Concord Carlisle 2019!

Pictures From Our Activism Club Attending the Women's March

6 February Half-Day

The Homework Club will be offering academic support during next Wednesday's early release (2/6). The center will be open for all CCHS students from 11:15 AM through 2:41 PM. It is located in room 308. Door prize for the first 10 students.  Hope to see you there!

Local Food In Our Cafe
By Maria Barker

We will be serving in January a variety of locally grown produce from Drumlin Farm, which is located in Lincoln, MA.  This produce includes carrots, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, daikon radish, butternut squash, and gilfeather turnip.

Computer Science + Entrepreneurship Opportunity for High School Girls 

My name is Shrunothra, and I am the co-founder of MetroHacks, a 501c3 educational nonprofit dedicated to empowering high school students with practical computer science education and tools. We are running our second annual Women's Conference this year, and we would love to have your students! 

It is an incredible opportunity for girls to learn from leading experts, explore in a pressure-free environment, create solutions, and compete for prizes! There will be speakers, free meals, snacks, and swag, workshops, prizes, etc. It’s completely free and open to all high school girls interested in exploring computer science, regardless of experience level. You can view our first women's event featured in The Boston Globe last year and our recap video!

At our event, students will: 

- Create innovative solutions to various problems in society
- Learn various skills and explore topics in computer science
- Attend workshops conducted by industry experts in everything from machine learning to entrepreneurship
- Enjoy free meals and snacks all day
- Compete for grand prizes (ex. Snapchat Spectacles!) 
- Get free swag from companies
- Meet other amazing women in tech from the community!

*Mentors will be available to help students with projects. 

Date: Saturday, February 23rd, 2019
Time: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm (Sign-in begins at 8:15 am)
Location: Microsoft NERD Center (1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA)
Registration is open now at!

Additionally, MetroHacks provides opportunities for students to get internships, kick-start their own businesses, network with experts from prominent tech companies, and gain exposure to the computer science community in New England. 

Notifying the student and parent body of this event - either through email, newsletter, announcement - is a great way to encourage students to sign up, and would be much appreciated. As the event is free, thanks to our wonderful partners and sponsors, there is no charge for students to attend! If you have any questions, please visit or reach me at

We sincerely hope to see some of your Concord-Carlisle High School students at our event! Be sure to visit us on our social media platforms to see the latest updates about the event.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration!


Shrunothra Ambati (Ms.)         
Co-founder, MetroHacks


o you know a student who is interested in STEM? 
The Army’s Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) offers several summer apprenticeship programs for high school and college students - all provide educational stipends while working with a mentor in a research lab. 

Applications close on February 28th.

For High School Students:

REAP offers underserved high school students (Grades 9 – 12) a research experience in a university lab.  For more information and to apply:

SEAP is a high school program that matches students (ages vary) with scientists in a Department of Defense Lab.  For more information and t0 apply:  SEAP:

HSAP offers high school students (rising juniors and seniors) a research experience alongside university researchers sponsored by the Army Research Office. For more information and to apply: HSAP: