Thursday, December 23, 2021

CCHS Music, CCHS Theatre, Tori Postler, Anyuu Inomoto Fong, & Audrey Mirak

It is with great pleasure that I share my last blog of 2021 featuring highlights from our talented students; however, before I do, I feel compelled to acknowledge that we all suffer from some form of COVID exhaustion. 

Still, recent events compel me to reiterate the importance of simple safety measures intended as an antidote to the inevitable relaxing of our senses that accompany two years of COVID mandates. 

Wearing a mask is now a mode of consciousness that has become instinct, but the proper wearing of a mask (fully covering mouth and nose) lacks needed consistency. Also, I reiterate the importance of cleaning your personal space when arriving at a desk. 

The nightly news spreads plenty of fear and anxiety.  To counter pockets of grim, I encourage everyone to spreads a bit of joy more liberally than division and fear. If nothing else, the holidays should bring kindness; lest one not forget, often the shortest distance between two people is laughter, even if covered by a mask. 

I sincerely hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday break. I look forward to 2022 with great optimism that our future will be better than our past.  Come what may.  

Michael J. Mastrullo

Concord-Carlisle freshman takes first prize in state violin competition

Congratulations to Anyuu Inomoto Fong for winning first prize in violin at the Massachusetts statewide competition. She will represent the state as she competes against delegates from other states in the northeast region. 

Read the story here!

Calendar and Schedule Information

Below you will find a calendar with some important dates (coordinated assessment days, no assessment days, reading days, exams, etc) and also the mid-year exam schedule:

CCHS Music

The CCHS Orchestra, Jazz Band A, Repertory Band, Concert Band, Combined Chorus, Melodies, Bel Canto Singers, Men's Chorus, and Select Choir recently held indoor concerts, the first since December of 2019. Despite the challenges of last year and the continuation of distancing, masks, and bell covers, the student musicians put on polished and professional performances that were well received by the limited capacity audience.

Close to 200 instrumentalists and singers performed over the course of two concerts and students were excited to finally share their music with an audience; a luxury taken for granted no longer, as live performances were missed by all. Thank you to the CCHS community for your support and to our music families for making these nights so special for all involved.  Congratulations to Deb, David, and to all those who make the event possible.

Click Here to hear a clip of the CCHS Orchestra

Click Here to hear a clip of the Select Choir

- David Gresko, Director of Bands and Orchestra

- Deborah Smith, Director of Choirs

PRISM Concert

​This unique concert was a non-stop surround sound musical kaleidoscope, showcasing the talented student musicians of the Concord-Carlisle High School Bands and Orchestra. A variety of musical styles and ensembles were on full display throughout the performance.  The students were so impressive.  

CCHS Senior, Tori Postler, Commits to Northeastern

Tori Postler signs the National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play field hockey at Northeastern. The NLI is a binding NCAA agreement for Division 1 student-athletes. 

Tori’s parents, Mike and Theresa, and brother Zach (2025 - football player) were in attendance. Jacqui Turner, our field hockey coach, and members of the team were also there. Congratulations Tori!

CCHS Senior, Audrey Mirak, Commits to UNH

Senior Audrey Mirak signed her National Letter of Intent to play D1 lacrosse at the University of New Hampshire. Audrey led the team in scoring last season with 64 goals and 18 assists in 14 games and is a team captain this spring. She was also a mentor on the Unified Basketball Team this fall. Congratulations Audrey!

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream 

CC Theatre proudly performed William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream on our beautiful outdoor stage under the stars on October 21-23.  With over 70 students in the cast and crew, including numerous student leaders in charge of stage management, carpentry, props, lighting, sound, costumes, hair, makeup, scenic art, graphic design, house management, and accessibility, we sold out our final two performances.  Congratulations to all students in the cast and crew!  Stay tuned for details about our spring musical!

Friday, December 10, 2021

PRISM Concert - CCHS Instrumental Music, December 11 at 7:00 pm

PRISM ​is a non-stop, surround sound musical kaleidoscope, showcasing the talented student musicians of the Concord-Carlisle High School Bands and Orchestra. A variety of musical styles and ensembles will be presented throughout the performing space, creating an interactive experience for the audience. You have never seen a concert like this!

We have approximately 50 additional tickets now available to the public for our popular Prism Concert on Saturday, December 11th at 7 PM. Please visit to get your tickets today! These seats are general admission ($12/$8) and seats will be assigned and available at check-in.  

-David Gresko, Director of Bands and Orchestra

Friday, November 19, 2021

August Lee-Kovach, Harlem LAX Gear Drive, Apple Picking, Senior Aerial Photo

It is with pride and pleasure I share some interesting and inspiring information from CCHS.  

 August Lee-Kovach to publish NYT Crossword Puzzle*

August Lee-Kovach, of Prospect Street, a 14-year-old freshman at Concord-Carlisle High School, has had two of his crossword puzzles accepted by the New York Times, and the first will be published in the paper this Saturday, October 9. This is the result of over two years of perseverance developing his puzzling craft.
August started trying to solve crosswords when he was nine at Cape Cod with his parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. “Someone would read the clues,” he says, “and people would call out the answers. I thought of the right answer sometimes.” He also would solve crosswords with his dad. “More accurately, I would sit and watch him fill in the puzzle. But now I can solve Monday and Tuesday puzzles on my own.” (Puzzles get harder throughout the week from Monday to Saturday.)
August got the idea of making a crossword when he was ten. His dad told him that, many years ago, he had submitted a puzzle to the New York Times, but it was rejected. “Will [Shortz] wouldn’t accept made-up entries like ALSOS or LTD EDTN,” the reviewer had said. August convinced his dad that they should give it another try. They read “How to Make a Crossword Puzzle,” by the New York Times puzzle editors and constructors, and he was inspired.
At first, August and his dad collaborated on puzzles. At 11, August made his first solo crossword. “It was a ‘meh’ puzzle,” he says. But he made more, and with each one he got better. The rejections were hard. He submitted more than ten puzzles, some with his dad and some solo, and all were rejected. But the reviewers at the Times encouraged him and made helpful suggestions each time, and he took their advice.
Finally, in December 2020, he got an email saying that one of his solo puzzles was accepted. It was a themeless puzzle with a lot of long words and an open grid, usually the toughest kind to solve. They told him it would be published on a Saturday—as it turns out, this Saturday.
August continued submitting puzzles (there was time during the pandemic), and after seven more rejections, another of his solo puzzles was accepted. This time it was a themed puzzle, but a tricky one that will be published in the Times on a Thursday. 
It is hard for August to say his favorite part of making puzzles. There’s developing a theme: “Coming up with a theme can be grueling,” he says, “but once you have a good idea, it’s fun thinking up examples.” There’s filling in the words: “I like it that I can put in whatever words I want. That’s where you get to make the puzzle your own.” And there’s writing the clues: “A good clue has word-play. It misdirects the solver without making it obvious that it is a misdirect.”
What has he learned from all this? “Words, and how to play with words,” he says. “I’ve learned a lot of common knowledge . . . and not-so-common knowledge that nobody should ever need to learn because it’s so random—like Brian Eno or an etui (a small ornamental case).”∆
*This article first appeared in the Carlisle Mosquito

Harlem Lacrosse Gear Drive
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the Concord-Carlisle High School Community for its support of GEAR2GOALS, a student-led gear drive that is now in its 4th year of collecting gently used lacrosse gear and athletic clothing for student-athletes in the Harlem Lacrosse - Boston program.

Founded by Simon Cataldo, a CCHS grad, Harlem Lacrosse is a school-based nonprofit that is now established in five cities across the US. Harlem Lacrosse provides lacrosse instruction, academic support, mentoring, leadership, as well as college and career readiness training to its student-athletes. GEAR2GOALS grew out of the camaraderie among young people playing lacrosse together in Concord, Harlem, and now Dorchester, and its success would not be possible without the support of CCHS - its staff, coaches, students, athletes, parents, and also our youth lacrosse leagues. Many, many thanks for making this year’s drive a huge success! (

- GEAR2GOALS Volunteer Team

Team Willow Field Trip

Team Willow spent the day at Shelburne Farms in Stow, MA.  The team spent the day picking apples and pumpkins, hanging with the farm's animals, doing poetry, learning to throw golf discs, and sampling fresh cider doughnuts and apple cider.  It was the first time that the entire team was together and provided a nice opportunity for the team to get to know each other, without masks, on a beautiful fall day.

Launch Field Trip to Carlson Orchards

Several Launch members visited Carlson Orchards to do some apple picking.  The weather could not have been more beautiful! They started off by enjoying some delicious pizza before showing off their apple picking skills. 

Other Launch members stayed on campus and watched Hocus Pocus.  What a fantastic Halloween movie!  

Once the crew returned from apple picking, everyone was able to sample some apple cider and enjoy an apple cider donut.

Class of 2022

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Veterans Day

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

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

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

The sacrifice made to serve our country can only be known by those serving, but the tremendous sacrifice is broader than the men and women in uniform. Mothers, fathers, siblings, husbands, wives, and children of military members all sacrifice greatly. I am proud to say that my grandfathers, uncle, and father all served in the Army.  

In this country, we can trace the beginning of our democracy to the very founding of our nation. It began with a call to arms, where citizens from all across this country, from towns like Carlisle, and Concord, and cities like Boston ushered aside their peaceful life to fight for the cause of freedom and democracy. As the adage goes, "freedom is not free." It comes at a cost, and sometimes it is paid with the ultimate sacrifice.  

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

With Gratitude,

Michael J. Mastrullo

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Fall Choral Concert 11/2, at 7:00 pm, CCHS Auditorium


LIVE and IN PERSON: The CCHS Chorus, Melodies, Bel Canto, Men's Chorus, and Select Choir will be presenting their first Fall Concert since November 2019!  The concert is being videotaped by Minuteman Media Network and will be broadcast on your local cable channels within a few weeks.  Featuring a wide array of musical genres and styles, from classical to contemporary, there's something for everyone to enjoy!

- Deborah Smith, Director of Choirs

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Important Notification

Earlier this afternoon, District and School leaders learned that a CCHS faculty member, while coaching for another school district, was alleged to have used the N-word while addressing student-athletes on Friday night following a game. 

We immediately placed the teacher on paid leave pending a complete investigation.  The Concord-Carlisle School District will not tolerate the use of racial slurs or any other inappropriate language meant to demean individuals or groups.  

Our students' safety, health, and mental health are our top priority; we continue to value inclusion and strive to create a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment for all. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Homework Club, Academic Support, and Upcoming Programs

We are but a few weeks away from November and from the close of quarter 1.  Contrary to our unseasonably warm weather, November is but a few weeks away, and with it will come colder weather, the end of spring sports and activities, and the close of quarter one on 5 November.  With this information in mind, I am sharing CCHS supports available to students.  I would encourage you to speak with your child and make sure they are aware of the supports available to them and access these resources as needed.  Please read on for additional information.

Homework Club

The homework club provides a quiet space to do homework. Students can ask questions and receive support on assignments. Students can attend every day it is offered or come based on their needs that week.

Time: Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 2:45-3:35 p.m.

Location: Room 308

Faculty Advisor: Ms. Stevens and Ms. Elmes

Please see Ms. Stevens or Ms. Elmes if you have any questions.

Upcoming Programs - Center for Parents and Teachers

Due to new grant funding the following Stress Management programs are now being offered free of charge!

All sessions are held online for 45 minutes and are facilitated by our instructor, Carolyn Wilkins,  who trained at Massachusetts General Hospital's Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine.

  • Monday, October 18 at 7:30 PM “Key Partners to Combat Stress: Restorative Sleep & Mindfulness”. Pre-registration by October 14th is required by emailing and typing “October 18” in the subject line.

Only 1 in 3 adults get the recommended 7-9 hours sleep each night, with consequences ranging from impaired memory, compromised immune function to hypertension and obesity. And the throughline to stress is clear: Among over 85 sleep disorders, the #1 root cause is stress, giving us a vital key to crack this code. Join this 45-minute session as we explore the practical, behavioral, and social implications for achieving better sleep.

  • Monday, October 25 at 7:30 PM “Redefining Social Connections for Optimal Wellness”. Pre-registration by October 21st is required by emailing and typing “October 25” in the subject line

After 18 months of social restriction, we’re beginning to reframe and reprioritize our social interactions. Science shows us that social connections are vital to buffering stress, helping us to modulate fear and anxiety. Join us as we explore ways to mindfully assess our social and prosocial connections as a way to enhance wellness.

  • Monday, November 1 at 7:30 PM “Stress Warning Signals: What are they & what can they teach us?”  Pre-registration by October 28th is required by emailing and typing “November 1” in the subject line

Stress is more than feeling distress and discomfort; it’s the root cause of 60-90% of all doctor visits, begging us to forge a healthier approach to managing daily stress. Where and how stress manifests itself in our minds and bodies become valuable data, especially when married with a science-backed toolkit of techniques to calm the nervous system and make us more resilient.

  • Monday, November 8 at 7:30 PM “Meditation & Mindfulness”Pre-registration by November 1 is required by emailing and typing “November 8” in the subject line

Developing a mentally clear and emotionally calm, stable state first requires that we acknowledge the critical role that meditation & mindfulness play in making us more resilient. Learn how developing a practice can happen, and what it can offer us as we seek to buffer the daily impact of stress.

  • Wish to attend all sessions?  Email and type “Series on Managing Stress” in the subject line

About the Instructor
Concord resident Carolyn Wilkins is a Certified Positivity and Relaxation Training (PART) instructor trained at Massachusetts General Hospital's Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine. She leads (online) group stress management classes through her organization, Wilkins Wellness, providing proven tools to be healthier and happier, creating greater calm and clarity in these uncertain times.

The Center for Parents and Teachers is a 501(c)3 non-profit grateful to be supported in part through a generous grant from the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.  Learn more about us at

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Sad News To Share Regarding A CCHS Graduate

I’m writing to share some tragic news. Trevon Sands, affectionately referred to as Tre, was killed by gun violence over the weekend. We offer our deepest condolences to Tre’s family, friends, and loved ones.  

Tre graduated from CC in 2019 and his brother Devin Sands graduated from CC in 2021.  Losing a member of our community, whether past or present, is heartbreaking and we encourage all students and adults to ask for support as needed. Students should contact a trusted adult or their guidance counselor should they need additional support.


Michael J. Mastrullo

Friday, October 1, 2021

15th Annual Kicks for Cancer

15th Annual Kicks for Cancer returns to CCHS

By Kicks for Cancer Committee Members

After hosting a virtual event in 2020, the 15th annual Lois Wells Memorial Kicks for Cancer event returned to the fields at Concord-Carlisle High School this past Saturday, September 25th.  The crowds and community spirit were record-breaking!  As more than 20 towns faced off in matches throughout the day, and the CCHS teams matched up against Lincoln-Sudbury High School, the extensive fan base and community support was palpable.  This year was special!

On the field, the CCHS women’s varsity soccer team prevailed with a 2-1 win over L-S, but the men’s varsity soccer team didn’t get the result they were looking for, losing 3-2 to Lincoln-Sudbury.  However, the day is about so much more than wins and losses.  This day is about the name on your back - the person that you are honoring, remembering, celebrating.  We all have a story to share at Kicks for Cancer.

Kicks is proud of its roots - this long-standing community event has grown from one benefit game between CCHS and Boston Latin High School in October 2007 to honor the life and spirit of Lois Wells, the beloved mother of CCHS assistant soccer coach Steve Wells and his brother Dan, both CCHS alum.  Lois lost her battle with stage IV ovarian cancer less than a year after being diagnosed.  Fifteen years later, Kicks for Cancer has grown into the cornerstone of an incredible community-building weekend held every September at CCHS.  This year was unparalleled with the outpouring of community spirit and support! 

Kicks for Cancer also partners with The Mighty Moose 5k, which originated in 2018 in honor of Concord resident and mother Jenna Swaim, whose dream was to add a 5K Fun Run as part of Kicks for Cancer Weekend.  Many students and community members also came out early this past Sunday to run, walk and volunteer at the Mighty Moose - it was another joyful, celebratory day!

In addition, other CCHS athletic teams also played their part during Kicks Weekend:  field hockey (Sticks for Cancer), cross country (Kilometers for Cancer), golf (Links for Cancer), and football (Tackling Cancer together) all participated.  

Coming into this year, Kicks and the Mighty Moose had already contributed more than $1 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to advance women’s cancer research over the years.  Today, the events celebrate “One Community One Goal”—both in creating a powerful sense of community and awareness and by raising funds to advance ovarian cancer prevention. 

This year’s fundraising numbers are not yet available, but organizers are optimistic as attendance and enthusiasm at the event suggest a tremendous success.

In Coach Wells’s words, “I am beyond humbled and awed by the magnitude of Kicks. The generosity of the CCHS community—and now that of many other towns—is indescribable. The time, effort, and energy put into Kicks for Cancer by Coach Pavlik and so many parent volunteers is unbelievable. Our commitment to cancer research and to the patients and families impacted by cancer is unwavering.”

Thank you, CCHS!  Kicks for Cancer can't wait to see you again next year!

Nevaeh Lewis, Harlem Lacrosse Gear Drive, CCHS Chorus, Updated 21-22 Calendar, & Online Student Demographic Form

The longest September in recorded history comes to a close. Well, it felt that way from my vantage point. A beautiful October 1 brings optimism for the month ahead. Please read on for important information and some highlights from CCHS students. 

Updated 2021-2022 School Calendar

The CCHS early release day scheduled for February 9th has been moved to January 12th. The updated calendar is available on the website here.

Reminder: Please Complete the Online Student Demographic Verification Form

  1. Log onto your Aspen account and click on the "Online Student Demographic Verification Form" link under Announcements (see screenshot below).
  2. Choose "Student Demographic Verification" under workflow and choose your child.
  3. Once on the form, you will be able to add additional emergency contacts by clicking the "add" button to the right under "Student Contact Information".
  4. Please note:  Changes will not appear until accepted by the school.

Reminder: A Healthier Approach to College Admissions

Please remember to register for the parent workshop about college admissions. The workshop will take place on October 5 at 7:00 pm ET. You can find the original blog post about the workshop here

CCHS Chorus Performs the classic, "September"

CCHS Chorus performs the Earth, Wind, and Fire classic, "September".  Filmed and recorded in the spring, Owen Curtin (Colonial Sound) and I worked to edit and finish it over the summer.  We are so proud of how the video turned out and thankful to the many staff members who took part in it.  We hope you enjoy it.  Feel free to share! Click here to view the video.

- Deb Smith, Director of Choirs 

CCHS Junior, Nevaeh Lewis, Competes at the Big E

You may not see her on an athletic field participating in a sport at school, but you will find her at a barn training or doing community service.  Nevaeh has a deep passion for riding and has set a goal to compete at Worlds with the Friesian breed.  She excels in equitation but will ride in any class her trainer asks while showing.  

She is thrilled to be riding a 6yr old Friesian, Ylisa van Stal Hogewald, who is owned by Danielle and Justin Piascik from Brookside Friesians (Feeding Hills, MA), while training with Dan Dali Haber from Mountain View Training Center out of Granby, MA.  Nevaeh competed at the Big E this weekend.  

Her largest class was 12 and her smallest was 9.  She placed 3rd, 4th, 4th, and 5th.  She feels blessed to have support from Danielle and Dan to guide her with her journey and goal.  It takes a lot of training not only in the saddle but learning in the barn too.  Nevaeh is a Junior and one of your equestrians! 

Harlem Lacrosse Gear Drive

Gear2Goals for Harlem Lacrosse: 4th Annual LAX gear and athletic clothing drive for student-athletes in Harlem Lacrosse’s Boston schools. Seeking donations of gently used athletic clothing for girls and boys of all ages, and any gently used lacrosse gear. Donations can be dropped off anytime this week at 52 Indian Spring Road or 42 Nashoba Road, Concord, MA. Thank you!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Kicks for Cancer 2021 is here!

The year is off to a solid beginning. I am proud of how well our educational community has adapted to the challenges before us. In the face of great uncertainties, prediction is a fool's game, but as September begins to wind down, I am cautiously optimistic this school year will feel more like our pre-pandemic world. 

We have a few signature events at CCHS; none of which are bigger, or more important, than Kicks for Cancer.  It is a true community-wide event with contributions, both large and small, from hundreds of individuals.  A hardy round of applause and a big thank you to all the remembers of the 2021 Kicks for Cancer Committee. We hope to see you this weekend.

Kicks for Cancer 2021 is here!
By The 2021 Kicks for Cancer Committee

The Kicks for Cancer Committee would like to thank the CCHS community for their incredible community spirit and support of Kicks for Cancer and the Mighty Moose 5K Walk/Run!   It was amazing to see the students, staff and faculty wearing their Kicks for Cancer shirts as they entered the building this morning, thank you!

We hope to see you all tomorrow at Kicks for Cancer!  Here are some details:

The Main Entry Gate for Kicks will be up at the upper parking lot.  The game schedule is here:

The Sticks for Cancer games will be at the Lower Turf - Memorial Field.  Thank you to the Field Hockey Team for their dedication and support!

New this year - the entire upper parking lot will be closed to cars and traffic. There will be a festival-type area in this parking lot, which will include food trucks, games and activities for kids, and Kicks for Cancer and Mighty Moose merchandise for sale.  Stop by and check out our new merchandise, including Kicks sweatpants!  And take some photos next to the festive Kicks for Cancer signs!

For parking information, please see the attached map and parking guidelines.  Please arrive early!

We also look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday at the Mighty Moose 5K Walk/Run.  Thank you to the many student volunteers who will be helping out on Sunday morning!  For more information, go to:

Thank you to all CCHS students, athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supportive staff and faculty.  We are so proud of our community coming together for this wonderful cause.  We are One Community with One Goal.  Thank you, CCHS!

The 2021 Kicks for Cancer Committee