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Minuteman receives new gear for advanced manufacturing

Minuteman High School has received state-of-the-art equipment that will help the school launch a new program to train high school students and adults for high-wage, high-demand jobs in the field of advanced manufacturing. The equipment was purchased with the help of a $500,000 competitive state grant awarded to Minuteman in February.

Minuteman High School logo

Eleven large pieces of equipment, manufactured by Haas Automation Inc., arrived on two flatbed trucks on the last day in August. The equipment included five Mini Mills, four CNC Tool Room Lathes, one Turning Center, and one CNC Lathe with Y Axis.

Most of the machines are approximately 5 to 6 feet wide, 6 feet deep and 6 feet tall and weigh several thousand pounds apiece. One, the CNC Lathe with Y Axis, weighs 8,000 pounds.

"Starting new high-quality vocational technical programs isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t inexpensive," said Michelle Roche, director of career technical education at Minuteman, in a news release. "We’re very grateful to the Governor, his Workforce Skills Cabinet, and the Legislature for recognizing the need for funding and getting the money out to where it’s really needed."

The equipment will help Minuteman serve vocational high school students, academic high school students, unemployed and underemployed adults, and incumbent workers seeking to earn industry credentials.

The school is now in the process of designing the new Advanced Manufacturing program. Initial course offerings for adults will begin in the fall.

The state is expecting 100,000 high-paying jobs in the field of Advanced Manufacturing in the next 10 years alone.

This announcement was published Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016.

Minuteman student from Arlington wins Futures Foundation logo test

John "Jack" Ross, a Minuteman student from Arlington, is the winner of a logo design contest sponsored by the Minuteman Futures Foundation Inc., a private, nonprofit organization that raises funds to support students and programs at the Lexington school.

"It was very difficult selecting a winner," Christopher Bateman, the foundation's president and the managing partner at Lexx Restaurant in Lexington, said in a news release. "The students at Minuteman contributed many very high-caliber entries."

Ross, a 16-year-old junior majoring in design and visual communications, will receive a $500 scholarship for his efforts. He was a graduate of the Ottoson Middle School. His was one of more than 40 logo designs submitted to the Minuteman Futures Foundation.

The winning entry features a hand outlined in gold supporting the letters MFF, with the words Minuteman Futures Foundation underneath.

"This logo will be the face of our organization and our fundraising efforts for many years to come, Bateman said.

The winner was announced in the design and visual communications classroom at the start of school Sept. 6.

The Minuteman Futures Foundation was officially established last year as a private nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to the Minuteman Futures Foundation Inc., c/o Christopher Bateman, 9 Charnstaff Lane, Billerica, MA 01821.

This announcement was published Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016.

BIG CHANCE: Minuteman grad helps build Wynn casino

Dana Ham is thinking big these days. Really, really big.

That’s because he is director of facilities for what may be the largest construction project underway in Massachusetts -- Wynn Boston Harbor, the first five-star resort and casino in the Commonwealth.

Situated in Everett, this massive $2.1 billion project will encompass more than 3 million square feet on 33 acres and has an expected opening date of June 2019. Ham, 51, of Lexington, in inset at left, works with the Wynn team overseeing the project.

He is a 1983 graduate of Minuteman High School, in Lexington, and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2015. He credits Minuteman with giving him a solid foundation for his professional success. "I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it wasn’t for Minuteman," he said in a school news release.

Ham's other notable endeavor these days involves working toward the creation of a modern, state-of-the-art school building to replace the current Minuteman facility. He serves on the Minuteman School Building Committee but his ties with the school go even deeper; Ham's son, Kevin, graduated from Minuteman in 2015. While attending Minuteman, Kevin earned six college credits through dual enrollment, had an internship with his current employer and was accepted into IBEW Local 103 as an electrical apprentice.

Ham’s career has been eclectic, allowing him to accrue a wide range of skills. He studied welding in high school and remained in that field for five years, then took the Civil Service exam and was hired by the Lexington Police Department in 1988. Ham was the first school resource officer in Lexington, and he also was on the detective bureau investigating juvenile crime.

Ham subsequently pursued a different interest by becoming director of facilities for the Lexington Public Schools for two years. In 2005, he was named director of facilities for the Cambridge Public Schools, with responsibilities that included 13 buildings with a total of 16 million square feet and nearly 100 employees. While in Cambridge, Ham planned and supervised over $500 million worth of school construction, including the phased and occupied renovation of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School.

When a challenging new opportunity presented itself at Wynn in the fall of 2015, Ham accepted it because he felt that it would fully use the depth and breadth of his varied background. Today, after nearly a year, he describes his position as "a dream job."

It’s definitely not an easy one. Ham’s hectic 12-hour days are consumed by meetings with vendors, architects, construction experts and others representing a wide array of trades from carpentry to plumbing. "It’s a very fast-paced, never-ending project," he said. "It’s go, go, go until you go home."

He appreciates the way the Wynn organization brings in their engineering staff early in the construction process of a project "before the walls are closed up," as he put it. Using that approach, he said, means that every nuance of a structure, from the placement of a boiler to the siting of light fixtures, is done the first time around in precise accordance with how the Wynn operations staff want it done. By contrast, he explained, most companies hire a contractor who builds the building and then the company’s own operations experts come on board -- when it’s often too late or problematic to correct anything. Now that the City of Somerville has dropped its environmental objections to Wynn Boston Harbor, construction is proceeding rapidly.

As for the value of a Minuteman education, Ham believes that the school provides students with a multitude of viable pathways. He gladly points out how his own training there has paid off. In today’s world, he noted, students need options, and Minuteman provides them.

"If I didn’t go to Minuteman," he said, "I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today."

This news release was published Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016.

Minuteman's Girls in STEM mentoring chosen for state summit

Minuteman High School's nationally award-winning Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Mentoring Program has been selected as an exhibitor at the 2016 Massachusetts STEM Summit.

Minuteman High School logo

The event, whose theme this year is "Building a Lifetime of Opportunity," will be held at the DCU Center in Worcester on Nov. 1.

"What this opportunity does more than anything," Minuteman Director of Career and Technical Education Michelle Roche said in a news release, "is validate that the girls are on the right path, that it's OK to be smart, to show that off and to be proud of the choices they’ve made."

Roche, who has played a key role in establishing the program, added that Minuteman emphasizes STEM education, noting that it was the first vocational-technical high school in Massachusetts to have state-approved programs in robotics, environmental science and biotechnology.

This recognition is the latest accolade for the Minuteman program, which earned a grand prize for student-to-student mentoring two years in a row from SkillsUSA, a national organization that runs trade and leadership competitions for students in career and technical schools. Girls in STEM also received an award for excellence from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Scheduled to represent Minuteman at the STEM Summit are Sarah Ard, program coadviser and Minuteman faculty member; Minuteman student Shaina Guidebeck; Jamy Swartz,, a middle school student; and Roche.

The Girls in STEM initiative was launched at Minuteman in 2015 to provide role models and mentors for middle-school girls interested in STEM, information on STEM education and careers, and a supportive atmosphere that builds female students' self-confidence and enthusiasm for STEM fields. There have been four weeklong STEM exploratory camps at Minuteman for girls in grades seven and eight.

Women are significantly underrepresented in the workplace in STEM areas, which have traditionally been dominated by men. One primary goal of Girls in STEM at Minuteman is to help reverse that trend by empowering more females to pursue their interest in STEM in college and in careers.

The STEM Summit's purpose, according to its website, is to serve as "an annual opportunity for sharing innovative ideas, discussing groundbreaking policies and strategies, and celebrating the tremendous ongoing work taking place at all levels of education and workforce development throughout the state."
It is hosted and sponsored by the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, the UMass Donahue Institute and media partner WGBH. Several other sponsors representing education and industry are taking part.

"This is the big event of the year, the one everyone interested in the field tends to go to," John Hodgman, a STEM advocate and member of the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, said in the release. He said that having Minuteman’s Girls in STEM program exhibiting is "very timely because we need to get as many young women as possible interested in STEM fields," and the Minuteman people will be able to showcase their best practices for a large number of educators.

There is a competitive process for choosing the exhibitors, said Jean Supel, research manager at the UMass Donahue Institute, who is coordinating this program. Fifty-one proposals were received, she said; of those, 40 were picked by an independent review committee based upon the clarity and relevance to STEM of the applications, the topic of the suggested exhibit, whether it is unique, inspiring and adaptable for use by other schools, and its potential to engage visitors’ interest.

Supel expects 1,400 visitors will attend the event, including legislators, representatives from business, higher education and industry, CEOs and educators from kindergarten through grade 12.

"Minuteman Girls in STEM is a rich opportunity for our students and future students," said Ford Spalding, Dover representative to the Minuteman School Committee. "Being a part of the Summit will be an opportunity for them to learn from others, and at the same time, to have others learn from them."

This announcement was published Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.

$10K planning grant goes to Minuteman High School

Minuteman High School logo

Minuteman High School is one of a dozen educational institutions and only five vocational schools selected by the state to study innovative programming to expand career and technical education in Massachusetts.

The school in Lexington this month was awarded a $10,000 competitive planning grant from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Career and Technical Education Partnership Planning Grant is designed to help the schools expand existing programs -- or create new ones -- to increase student access to career and technical education in Massachusetts.

With the grant, Minuteman will explore several possible options. They include expanding its half-day "Minuteman in the Morning" program, which serves students from nonvocational high schools; offering an advanced-manufacturing program to retrain adults; launching an after-school career exploratory program to serve middle school students, including female students wishing to explore nontraditional by gender careers; and expanding career exploratory programs for middle school students during the February, April and summer vacations.

"We’re very pleased to be one of a handful of vocational schools selected to take part," Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman’s superintendent, said in a news release issued Monday, Aug. 22. "We look forward to working with our partner schools and businesses in our region to expand student access to high-quality career and technical education."
Bouquillon serves on the governing board of the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education, a new statewide organization whose primary goal is to expand access to high-quality career and technical education for more Massachusetts students.

Minuteman is expecting to work with a host of educational and business partners, including the Lexington Public Schools, Middlesex Community College, Haas, Prattville Machine & Tool, North Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, Metro North Regional Employment Board and Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce.

Twenty-nine schools and school districts applied for planning grants, and 12 received them, with amounts ranging from $6,000 to $10,000.

The other 11 institutions receiving competitive grants include Bunker Hill Community College, Essex North Shore Technical High School, Greater Lawrence Technical High School, Greater Lowell Technical High School, Holyoke Community College, Lynn Public Schools, Massasoit Community College, Mohawk Trail Regional School District, Quincy Public Schools, Upper Cape Cod Technical School District and Worcester Public Schools.

Work done under the planning grant must be completed by Oct.31.
Schools may then apply for grants of up to $150,000 to implement their ideas. Only the 12 educational institutions that received planning grants are eligible to apply for implementation grants.

This announcement was published Monday, Aug. 22, 2016.

Minuteman special election: Polling changes for 3 town precincts

Minuteman High School logo

All voters in the 16 towns in the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District will be sent postcards in late August noting where they vote in the Sept. 20 districtwide special election, aimed at determining whether the high school rebuild proceeds.

Polling places were selected by the Minuteman School Committee in consultation with the selectmen and town clerks in Minuteman's member towns.

Arlington residents will vote at the customary polling locations, covering 21 precincts, in the town -- except for residents of Precincts 13, 15 and 17. They would usually vote at Stratton, but because of renovations at the school, Town Clerk Stephanie Lucarelli said residents of Precincts 13 and 15 vote at the Ed Burns Arena, 42 Summer St. Precinct 17 vote at Peirce School.

In 14 of the 16 member towns, there is a single voting location. Belmont, whose Town Meeting opposition vote spurred the special election, vote at its seven customary polling locations, coverung eight precincts, a Minuteman news release issued Wednesday, Aug. 17, says.

The special election, set for Tuesday, Sept. 20, from noon to 8 p.m., was called by the Minuteman School Committee to determine whether district voters support or oppose bonding for a new school.

The special election was called in accord with Chapter 71, Section 16(n) of the Massachusetts General Laws.

The districtwide aggregate count of "yes" and "no" votes will determine the result, with the majority prevailing.

If you are not registered to vote at your current address, the last date to do so for this special election is 8 p.m. Aug. 31. To check on your voter-registration status or to complete online voter registration, go to

To view the warrant for the special districtwide ballot, visit the Minuteman website at

This news report was published Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.

Sept. 20 Minuteman vote to use all polling locations in Arlington, Belmont

Minuteman High School logo

Other towns use single ballot spot; tech school paying election costs

UPDATED, Aug. 2: The warrant for the unprecedented districtwide Minuteman election Sept. 20 calls for single polling locations in 14 towns -- but multiple locations in Arlington and Belmont.

Officers of the Minuteman School Committee approved the warrant on Monday, Aug. 1, for the districtwide election that will decide bonding for a new Minuteman High School. The warrant was prepared by Minuteman's administration in consultation with town clerks and boards of selectmen in the district's 16 member towns.

To keep down election expenses, Minuteman had asked the towns to designate just one polling place. But Arlington and Belmont both asked the district to allow them to use all of their regular polling places, and the Minuteman School Committee officers approved their requests. According to the warrant, Arlington will use its 10 polling locations; Belmont will use its usual seven, Minuteman said in a news release.

YourArlington asked Marie Krepelka, selectmen's administrator, about the estimated cost of the election, and on Aug. 2 she put it at about $35,000 for Arlington, noting that Minuteman is paying it all.

The warrant now must be signed by a majority of the Minuteman School Committee and posted in the 16 member towns.

Last week, Minuteman officials met with town clerks from member towns, reviewing the mechanics of the election, answering questions and outlining how Minuteman would handle reimbursement of costs to the towns. Since the election is being called by Minuteman, the district will pay the reasonable costs related to it.

The special election, to be held Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 12 noon to 8 p.m., was called by the Minuteman School Committee to determine whether district voters support or oppose bonding for a new school. The districtwide aggregate count of "yes" and "no" votes will determine the result, with the majority prevailing.

State law allows regional vocational school districts to secure local bonding approval either through their local Town Meetings or by a districtwide referendum. Minuteman initially tried the Town Meeting route, and received approval from all except Belmont, on May 4.

On June 27, the School Committee voted to put the question directly to the district’s voters pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 16(n).

The project cost of the high school is $144.9 million. The Massachusetts School Building Authority, the state agency that oversees school-building projects, has approved a $44 million grant to help offset the cost to local taxpayers.

In addition, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved a change in state regulations to enable Minuteman to charge a capital fee to nonmember communities that send students to Minuteman.

Minuteman started working on the MSBA Feasibility Study in 2009.

In November of 2012, the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) placed Minuteman’s accreditation on "Warning" status because of the condition of its building.

This announcement was published Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, and updated Aug. 2.

Minuteman readies rollout of career academy, early release

Minuteman High School logo

Districtwide vote set for 3 weeks into new year

With a new school year on the horizon, significant developments are ahead for Minuteman, including a districtwide vote about whether to approve bonding for a new high school, as well as launching a new career-academy model of education that will more closely align students' academic and technical instruction.

"A big year is ahead," Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman's superintendent-director, said in a news release.

"We're really excited about the districtwide vote," said Principal Jack Dillon. "We expect it's going to pass and expect to serve Minuteman families and students better in a brand new building." The districtwide vote is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Having a new school facility would certainly have a substantial positive impact, Bouquillon said. Still, he said he is far more excited about instituting the career academy concept at Minuteman. Bouquillon praised the leadership of 18 Minuteman teachers representing the school's academic, technical and special-education programs who collaborated in establishing the groundwork over the past two years.

The career academy is expected to benefit students by providing them with what he called "a more integrated learning environment" that will give them opportunities to reinforce their academic and technical training by using it in practical, real-world situations. For example, engineering students will demonstrate how their projects apply math and communications through the presentation of their senior capstone requirement, or the math teachers will teach math to carpentry students in the carpentry shop or on site at a house-construction project.

Bouquillon expects higher test scores as a result of the career academy, plus higher-level competencies across the board. His eventual goal is for Minuteman students to receive their high school diploma and an associate's degree simultaneously when they graduate, with growing support for "dual-enrollment" programs with higher-education institutions. He foresees this happening in the next few years.

Time for professional development

Another anticipated change at Minuteman associated with the career academy is the early release of students at 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays starting in September to allow teachers to have weekly planning and professional-development time.

"It’s great, it's unprecedented at Minuteman," said Principal Dillon. "The number one issue we have as educators is the need for common planning time. We're excited about the potential of what it can provide for us. In the long run, the collaboration on how we can do things better for students will be significant."

Principal Dillon mentioned that yet another change everyone will notice is the repaved driveway leading to Minuteman from Marrett Road (Route 2A), along with a renovated front entrance. "It looks beautiful," he said. The entry road has been widened a little to increase the safety of students who are walking, all potholes have been eliminated and there will be speed bumps to remind drivers to comply with the 10-mph speed limit.

School to start Aug. 29

The 2016-17 school year at Minuteman begins on Monday, Aug. 29, when freshmen and transfer students arrive for a half day to familiarize themselves with the building and meet their guidance counselors and teachers. On Tuesday, Aug. 30, all students are expected to attend for a full day of school. There is no school on Friday, Sept. 2, and Monday, Sept. 5, to observe the Labor Day holiday.

Bouquillon said that students who are now in the sixth-, seventh- or eighth-grade should start planning early for the application process at Minuteman, because he expects "a more competitive admissions process" in the future. He suggested that middle-school students and their families obtain information from George Clement, assistant principal/director of admissions, and look into participating in Minuteman’s after-school programs or summer school.

Dillon reminds parents and guardians that his door is always open to them, and they should not hesitate to contact him if their child is having a problem of any kind. "We want to work with them to make sure that every student is successful," he said. "I’m really looking forward to a great 2016-17 school year."

Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that integrates robust academic and career & technical learning to deliver a revolutionary competitive advantage. The school serves a diverse student body with multiple learning styles, expanding opportunities for college and career success.

This announcement was published Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

All 16 Minuteman member towns face September vote on new school

Minuteman High School logo

UPDATED, June 28: In hopes of saving a $44 million state grant and securing final approval to build a new high school, the Minuteman School Committee has decided to submit the issue directly to the voters of its 16 member towns.

On Monday, June 27, the committee voted, 12-1, with one abstention, to conduct a districtwide referendum seeking approval of bonding for the project. The election is set for Tuesday, Sept. 20, from noon to 8 p.m.

"We tried the traditional Town Meeting route and won by overwhelming margins just about everywhere," Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, superintendent-director, said in a news release. "But we were unable to make the case properly in one town and, given the rules of this process, that was enough to require going directly to citizens through a formal referendum."

Sue Sheffler, Arlington's representative on the Minuteman School Committee, commented June 27:

"It is a mixed blessing that voters in the district need to add another election to their fall calendars. On the positive side, the populace as a whole will get to make individual decisions about the future of Minuteman's facility, and we have several months to provide detailed information about the value of Minuteman and the proposed new building.

"On the other hand, the election will be costly in terms of financing and resources, and is necessary only because Belmont leadership did not support the building initiative that had been 7 years in development.

"That is, 15 towns in the Minuteman district voted to support the new project, although several will leave the district before construction. Belmont has done neither, and thus the project is stalled until after the September 20th election."

Belmont lone negative Town Meeting vote

Belmont's Town Meeting voted against bonding for the project on May 4, the only member town to reject support of the new school. Arlington voters June 14 cast ballots in support. Under the Town Meeting approval process, the project could only move forward if no member town voted to object.

Key stakeholders from throughout the district met with Belmont officials on June 20 in Arlington to determine whether Minuteman should attempt to bring the matter back to Belmont Town Meeting or, alternatively, go to a referendum. Belmont officials informed representatives from the other 15 member towns that they would not change their opposition to bonding for the project.

Based on that, it was clear to a majority of those present that it would not be productive for Minuteman to seek Belmont's reconsideration without a reasonable prospect for success. Instead, they felt that the sensible course would be to proceed directly to referendum.

"Fortunately, state law gives multitown districts such as Minuteman a second option for getting capital projects approved," Bouquillon said. "It's a simple vote across all the district towns. It's done on the same day during the same hours. The votes are totaled. If there are more 'yes' votes than 'no' votes, the project is approved."

Minuteman to pay for election

The election will be paid by the Minuteman School District, so the School Committee also voted to transfer funds within its fiscal 2017 budget to cover the anticipated costs.

Officials from Minuteman will be meeting with area town clerks to discuss the mechanics of holding the election, Bouquillon said.

There have been at least three previous districtwide ballots conducted by regional vocational-technical school districts in Massachusetts: Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton secured approval for a $73.8 million repair project through a districtwide ballot in October 2012. Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls secured approval for $2.456 million in repairs through districtwide balloting in June 2015. Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School District in Franklin secured approval for a $2.3 million bond through district balloting in 1995.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has committed $44 million toward the $144.9 million Minuteman project. The MSBA has given Minuteman until November 30 to secure local approval.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has revised state vocational regulations to allow Minuteman to charge out-of-district communities a capital fee to help pay for the project. Nonmember towns sending students to Minuteman will pay a capital fee in addition to the current state-set annual tuition.

The New England Association of Schools & Colleges has placed Minuteman's accreditation on "warning" status solely because of the condition of the building.

Proponents have argued that building a new school will actually be less expensive -- and far less disruptive to students -- than renovating the current facility.

Renovations and repairs are projected to cost local taxpayers roughly $100 million and take six to 10 years to complete. Arlington's share is estimated at $32 million.

With the MSBA grant, the local share would be roughly the same amount, to be paid by local taxpayers and by out-of-district communities through a new capital fee assessed by the state.

Minuteman began its MSBA Feasibility Study in 2009.

June 22, 2016: Belmont remains opposed to funding rebuilt Minuteman

This report was published Monday, June 27, 2016, and updated June 28, to add comment.

Minuteman Girls in STEM score grand prize 2nd straight year

For the second year in a row, Minuteman High School’s chapter of SkillsUSA has been awarded the grand prize in the Student2Student Recognition Program for its Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outreach to middle-school girls.

The prize is to be presented to Minuteman at the 52nd Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday, June 21, during the opening ceremony. Minuteman’s SkillsUSA chapter will receive a plaque, $500 to apply to next year’s mentoring project, and a $500 stipend to cover travel expenses for the Minuteman’s SkillsUSA chapter adviser and one student to go to Louisville.

The Minuteman students also earned this honor because of a successful paper-recycling program they launched at the school this year.

SkillsUSA is a national organization that runs trade and leadership competitions for students in career and technical schools. The purpose of this award, as explained on the SkillsUSA website, is "to recognize excellence and professionalism in the area of student mentoring."

Students in the Girls in STEM Club at Minuteman, in Lexington, were instrumental in the popularity and success of the school’s first Girls in STEM camp in February 2015, and the two subsequent STEM camps in August 2015 and February 2016.

Three people who have been vital in planning and implementing the Girls in STEM projects at Minuteman are Director of Career and Technical Education Michelle Roche, Engineering Technology Instructor Becky Quay and  Horticulture/Landscape Technology Instructor Sarah Ard.

Regarding the Girls in STEM Club’s paper-recycling program, Quay said in a news release, the students "educated their peers, making them aware of the program and encouraging them to recycle paper products within our school. They made weekly pickups from recycling bins from each classroom. They worked extremely hard, putting in many hours and much labor to make this a successful program."

Seven and a half tons of paper were recycled as a result of their efforts.

The weeklong STEM program for seventh- and eighth-grade girls from within and beyond the Minuteman school district engages them in creative STEM-related activities, provides information about careers and further education in STEM, and gives them the opportunity to be advised by Minuteman students knowledgeable about STEM and certified in mentoring.

The Girls in STEM Club members from Minuteman are themselves being mentored by female professionals in STEM, and are effectively using their ability and enthusiasm to inspire young female students who are eager to pursue STEM educational opportunities and careers.

The school’s STEM initiative was brought to the public’s attention by coverage in the Boston Globe and on New England Cable News.

Another Girls in STEM opportunity for middle-school girls is set to take place at Minuteman this summer. From Aug. 1-5, building on the success of the previous Girls in STEM events, there will be a Girls in STEM Explore program. Students can apply by visiting the Minuteman web site at

This announcement was published Monday, June 27, 2016.

Arlington's Minuteman students receive awards

Minuteman High School logo

The following members of the class of 2016 at Minuteman High School in Lexington who are Arlington residents were honored with awards and scholarships at graduation on June 3. They are:

Abigail Bucci (Class President)
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence

Kristin Cassata
Career Program Award – Health Occupations

Neva Coovert
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement
Friends of Minuteman Award

Michael Legere (National Honor Society member)

Paul Alphen Science Award
Paul Johnson Memorial Award
John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement
Career Program Award – Culinary Arts / Baking
Academic Achievement Award – Science
Beverly M. Lydiard Memorial Scholarship

Samuel Manion

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

Shay Martin

President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement

Adrien Nouvellon-Pugh

President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement

Brendan O’Rourke

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence
Career Program Award – Biotechnology
Portfolio Award
Arlington Rotary Club Award
Dr. Ronald Fitzgerald Scholarship
Minuteman Players Drama Club Award

Julia Ruderman (National Honor Society member, SkillsUSA chapter officer)

Minuteman Parent Association Scholarship – Student Leadership Award
Minuteman Senior Project Award
John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence
Career Program Award – Engineering
Cambridge Savings Bank / Kevin J. Fitzgerald Scholarship
Felicia M. DeLorenzo Scholarship Foundation

Hunter Spadafora

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence

Stephen Vaccarello

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement
Academic Achievement Award – Music
Margaret Rosselli Memorial Scholarship

Zachary Weber

President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence
Career Program Award – Design and Visual Communications
Academic Achievement Award – World Language
Arlington Dollars for Scholars Scholarship
Felicia M. DeLorenzo Scholarship Foundation
Old Concord Chapter – Daughters of the American Revolution Award
Richard Trzepacz Graphic Arts Award

This announcement was published Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

Arlington seniors among graduates at Minuteman

Minuteman High School logo

Commencement exercises were held for the class of 2016 from Minuteman High School in Lexington on Friday, June 3, at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The occasion featured memorable speeches filled with farewells to dedicated teachers, sage advice for the future, expressions of appreciation to Minuteman for the valuable education it provided and heartfelt final words for the young men and women who have shared the excitement and challenges of the past four years.

Scroll down to see a list of Arlington graduates provided by the school.

Valedictorian Rachel Toups of Boxborough gave an address that imaginatively compared the function and movement of each finger to each student’s own distinctive history and destiny. “No matter the path we choose, be it a career, continued education, or undecided as of yet, I encourage you to see your hand as a symbol of your life,” she told her peers. “Just as our hands are all unique, so too will be the paths we take from here.”

“This school has been our wonderland, because we have done the impossible,” said salutatorian Tristin O’Connor of Bolton, making a reference to Alice in Wonderland. “We have earned licenses, explored work experiences, and made connections with businesses all before we were legal to vote. All that's left for us to do now is believe in ourselves and take that leap of faith into the real world….”

Likening the choices and unpredictability of life to being dealt a hand of cards, Ms. O’Connor added, “Know that you have the opportunity to make the best out of whatever situation you are dealt. I hope that you always shuffle your deck and play your cards right because you are all able to define your own history.”

Class President Abigail Bucci of Arlington took a nostalgic look back at the past and glimpsed the future with anticipation. “We are staring adulthood in the face, whether we are ready or not. We have spent the past few years preparing for this. No matter what you say, Minuteman has built our character. These years have been about the growth of who we are.”
Gratitude was the theme of Minuteman Superintendent-Director Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon’s remarks. He urged the graduates to pause for a few moments to reflect upon those who helped them reach what he called a milestone. He also explained the gratitude he himself feels toward members of the Class of 2016 for their useful input during the process of preparing a proposal for the Massachusetts School Building Authority which included options such as renovating the existing Minuteman facility, adding space to it, or creating a new school building.

Thanking the graduates for their “energy, creativity and enthusiasm,” Dr. Bouquillon mentioned that they presented viable ideas that even architects and engineers had not thought of. Above all, he acknowledged the fact that “even though you will never be a student in the new high school, you continue to care about it; not for yourselves, but as you said to me, ‘Dr. B., we are doing this for every student coming after us.’”

He said that experience made him think about different, more inclusive methods of problem-solving. “I realized that solutions to problems don’t come from the top in most cases; they come from all of us. You have taught me this and I am grateful to you. You have demonstrated to me that we are linked; we are not ranked.”

Perhaps Class President Bucci summed up the meaning of the day most succinctly of all: “We’ve grown up, now it’s time to start our lives.”

The event included the presentation of awards and scholarships by Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment William J. Blake Jr., Scholarship Committee Chair Diane Dempsey, Principal Jack Dillon, and Director of Career and Technical Education Michelle Roche.

Diplomas were presented by Minuteman School Committee members David Horton (Lexington), David O’Connor (Bolton), Sue Sheffler (Arlington),and Ford Spalding (Dover). They were assisted by Assistant Principal George Clement, Assistant Principal Brian Tildsley, Principal Dillon, Blake and Roche.

Arlington graduates are:

Adrien Nouvellon-Pugh, biotechnology

Brendan O'Rourke, biotechnology

Hunter Spadafora, biotechnology

Shay Martin, cosmetology

Michael Legere, culinary arts/baking

Stephen Vaccarello, culinary arts/baking

Neva Coovert, design/visual comm

Samuel Manion, design/visual comm

Zachary Weber, design/visual comm

Abigail Bucci, early education & care

Jonathan Alves, electrical Wiring

Julia Ruderman, engineering technology

Kristen Cassata, health assisting

Zachary Clark, HVAC

Ilana Pliner, marketing

Brigitte Robbins, marketing

Nikolas Gigante, plumbing

Sean Kelly, plumbing

Matthew Sullivan, plumbing

This announcement was published Tuesday, June 7, 2016.

Minuteman students earn medals at state SkillsUSA conference

Davis Kahmann of Arlington, left and Evan Kennedy-Spaien of Revere were among the winners. / Alice Ofria photoDavis Kahmann of Arlington, left, and Evan Kennedy-Spaien of Revere were among the winners. / Alice Ofria photo

Seventeen students from Minuteman High School in Lexington recently captured 10 medals in a statewide skills competition against their peers.

Minuteman students earned one gold (first-place) medal, five silver (second-place) medals and four bronze (third-place) medals at the 2016 SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference held in Marlborough from April 28 to 30. SkillsUSA allows students in career and technical education to compete in a host of technical and leadership competitions.

A total of 44 students from Minuteman represented the school at the event.

Student Sean Datar earned a gold medal, which qualifies him to compete at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference from June 20 to 25 in Louisville, Ky.

The medalists from Minuteman were as follows:

Action Skills: Collin Kelly (Sudbury), 2nd place;

Career Pathways Showcase: Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources – Alison Beucler (Medford), Allison Kirk (Saugus), Brian Courtney Jr. (West Roxbury), 2nd place;

Career Pathways Showcase: Industrial Engineering: Rachel Sheehan (Malden), Kentra Vellom (Sudbury), Dante Fiore (Medford), 2nd place;

Employment Action Skills: Erin Noel (Medford), 2nd place;

Freshman Exploratory Project: Jordan Mills (Waltham), 3rd place;

Human-Robot: Ben Leone (Lancaster), Pratush Kc (Woburn), 3rd place;

Mobile Robotics: Davis Kahmann (Arlington), Evan Kennedy-Spaien (Revere), 2nd place;

Related Technical Math: Sean Datar (Acton), 1st place;

Technical Drafting: Jasper Hendrix (Acton), 3rd place;

Web Design: Anastasia Monich (Boxborough), Adam Powell (Arlington), 3rd place.

Minuteman staff members Alice Ofria, Crystal Auger, Karen Tan, Larry Lambert, Kyle Romano and Patrick Rafter accompanied the students as advisers.

This announcement was published Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Minuteman juniors, most from Arlington, honored with book awards

Minteman High School logo

Twenty-five juniors from Minuteman High School in Lexington were recently honored with book awards from various colleges and universities for demonstrating outstanding scholarship, leadership, community service and achievement in specific academic areas.

The honorees and their awards are as follows (those involving Arlington residents are listed first):
The Air Force awards the Math and Science Award to a student who excels in math and science: Michael Whitmore (Arlington)
The Regis College Book Award goes to a student who demonstrates excellent written and oral communication skills, displays outstanding academic promise and exhibits exceptional leadership quality. Dominic DeCampo (Arlington)
In recognition of the value that the St. Lawrence community places on service to others, the St. Lawrence Book Award honors high school juniors who have distinguished themselves in their communities by their significant commitment to community service. If the recipient attends St. Lawrence University, he will receive a merit scholarship of $1,000: Jeffrey Lovoi (Arlington)
University of Rochester George Eastman Young Leaders Award is given in recognition of strong leadership experience at school and in the community, high grades and challenging courses, and extensive involvement in extracurricular activities: Thainara Gomes (Arlington)
The Society of Women Engineers offers Certificates of Merit to young women who have completed, with distinction, three years of science and three years of math and are active citizens of the school and/or community: Allanah Gatto (Arlington), Diana Perez Sandoval (Everett) and Laurie Pierre (Waltham)
For more than 20 years, the Wheelock College Alumni Book Award has honored outstanding high school juniors who demonstrate a strong commitment to working with and improving the lives of others. Wheelock alumni, students, faculty and administrators share this commitment to being activists and community leaders, themes that are celebrated in this year's award book. We congratulate this year’s recipient for being chosen to receive this award and commend her for her work with our country’s most precious resource, our children: Allison Jorgensen (Arlington)
Two students more students are recognized by RIT for their academic achievements, involvement as a member of our school and community and their creative and innovative talents. If the students decide to attend RIT, they are eligible to receive a scholarship of $7,000 a year for four years: Shaina Guidebeck (Arlington) and Jacob Blum (Wilmington)
The Cornell University Book Award is given to an outstanding student who is an active member of the school or community: Liam Chapman (Arlington)
The Brown University Book Award is awarded to an outstanding high school or preparatory school junior who best combines academic excellence with clarity in written and spoken expression: Davis Kahmann (Arlington)
The Sage Colleges recognize two students who embody the Sage College motto: "To Be, To Know, To Do." The recipients will receive a scholarship of at least $5,000 per year to attend the Sage Colleges: Mitchell Cupp (Concord) and Rustam Ragin (Needham)
Clarkson University recognizes a student who has outstanding leadership qualities and wants to major in engineering, business, science or liberal arts. The Clarkson School Scholars Award gives the recipient a $60,000 scholarship if he decides to attend Clarkson: Evan Kennedy-Spaien (Revere)
Winners of the University of Rochester awards will be eligible to be considered for a merit scholarship of at least $10,000 a year:
University of Rochester Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award is awarded to a student with high achievement and rigor in science classes as well as high PSAT Math and/or SAT Math scores: Dante Fiore (Medford)
University of Rochester Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology recognizes a strong interest in innovation and/or information technology and a high level of achievement in this area.  The student also has exposure to new technologies outside of school, such as pursuing serious work opportunities in local laboratories or industry: Robert Gavin Scott (Watertown)
University of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award is given to a student who has demonstrated commitment to understanding and addressing difficulty social issues, has shown leadership and dedication to community action and has strong grades and rigorous courses taken in the humanities and social sciences: Kevin Lieber (Lexington)
The Elmira College Key has been awarded since 1935 in recognition of the outstanding achievements of high school juniors who rank among the top ten percent of their class and who have demonstrated admirable leadership qualities and held important positions in their schools and their communities. Recipients of this award who decide to attend Elmira will receive a scholarship of $20,000 a year for four years: Tyler Newcomb (Woburn)
The Swathmore College Book Award is given to a student who performs well academically, has a deep sense of ethical and social concern, has outstanding involvement within the community and demonstrates inclusive leadership: Benjamin James (Lancaster)
St. Michael’s College Book Award for Academic Achievement with a Social Conscience recognizes outstanding students who demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism and leadership in his or her community service endeavors: Kathryn Barnes (Stow) and Jacob Blum (Wilmington)
The Lawrence Tech Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is given to a student who has completed at least one year of chemistry or physics and two years of math and is an active and responsible citizen of the school and community. If the recipient chooses to attend Lawrence Tech he will receive a scholarship of $2000 a year for four years: Eric Giniger (Carlisle)
The Rensselaer Medal recognizes superlative academic achievement of young men and women. It is awarded to a junior who has distinguished himself in math and science. If this student attends Rensselaer he will receive a merit scholarship of $25,000 a year for four years: Sean Datar (Acton)
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) recognizes students with a medal as well as a scholarship, should they decide to attend RIT. Two students are recognized for their academic achievements, involvement as a member of our school and community and their computing abilities. If the students decide to attend RIT, they are eligible to receive a scholarship of $7,000 a year for four years:  Christopher Earl (Needham) and Alexander Lamarche (Watertown)

This announcement was published Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Arlington freshman among 4 standouts during Minuteman's 3rd term


Minuteman High School in Lexington has named four outstanding students as Students of the Term for the third term of the school year 2015-2016: freshman Fae Eisenheim of Arlington, sophomore Mia Ramos of Watertown, junior Alexander Gonzalez of Watertown and senior Andrew Battcock of Billerica.

This honor is awarded to one student from each grade level based upon nominations from teachers. The criteria include academic achievement and good citizenship, according to Assistant Principal Brian Tildsley.

All four attended a luncheon in their honor at the Fife & Drum Restaurant at Minuteman recently and were given certificates in recognition of their achievement.

Eisenheim "is an overall great student, teammate and friend," said Nichole Devereaux, her math instructor and basketball coach.

Citing Fae’s industriousness, upbeat attitude, dedication and leadership skills, Devereaux lauds her as "a role model for all students." Another of Fae’s teachers, Ashley Pisapia, noted her devotion to her family and ability to balance time for school work with involvement in sports, including soccer, basketball and tennis.

She is concentrating in horticulture/landscape technology at Minuteman and plans to attend a four-year college.

Ramos was commended by her English teacher, Kevin Sheerin, for having exceptional grades in his class for two consecutive years.

"She is a tremendous student," he said, noting that although she is one of the few girls in Minuteman’s Carpentry program, she holds her own and "does exceptionally well."

Sheerin also praised Mia’s optimistic attitude and outgoing demeanor. Her favorite academic subject is mathematics, she enjoys camping and running, and she hopes to attend the Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Mia’s goal is to be a carpenter and own her own business.

Gonzalez is, in the words of his science teacher, Nina Griffin, a "mature, polite and intelligent young man" who is a role model for his fellow students. He gladly reaches out to classmates who need some assistance with their schoolwork and always takes pride in doing so.

Alexander shows leadership qualities, coming to the forefront in group situations "and making sure that everyone has a chance to be involved," Griffin observed.

He is an exemplary student. His favorite academic subject is mathematics, he participates in soccer and basketball at Minuteman, and in his spare time, he likes watching boxing, playing basketball pick-up games, and playing with his 2-year-old nephew.

He is in Minuteman’s culinary-arts program and wants to start a restaurant with his brother.

Battcock has "constantly been a courteous, dependable, meticulous and diligent student," said his telecommunications instructor, Richard Caruso. "I am proud of him for the level of work he has accomplished at Minuteman."

A conscientious student who works hard and does well, Andrew likes pitching in to help with Freshman Exploratory and Shadowing Day. He plans to attend either Bunker Hill Community College or Middlesex Community College and enroll in the Eversource/National Grid Electric Power & Utility Program.

His hobbies include playing video games and watching TV.

This announcement was published Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

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