During the spring closure caused by the pandemic, students in Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Peer Leadership Program continued to find ways to stay connected and serve as role models for younger students.
The program is one of many activities beyond the classroom that encourages students to cultivate their maturity, sense of responsibility and character in ways that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
“The students gain a sense of why it's important to make positive connections with people,” said English teacher Terri O’Brien, who is a co-adviser of the program. “We put a lot of emphasis on the idea that they can create the culture of the school through their example. Peer leaders provide freshmen with strong and stable mentor relationships that will positively influence their experience and development.”
During the closure, the program began a “Connect2Community Clubhouse” where students were able to connect to their classmates virtually with those who shared similar career interests. The junior peer leaders facilitated conversations with freshmen that provided a much-needed space to connect with one another.
Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School has released the names of the students who were named to honor rolls for the third quarter of the academic year. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the third term was extended into early May.
The 132 students on the high honor roll and 128 on the honor roll live in these ommunities: Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Boxborough, Brookline, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Lincoln, Needham, Newton, Reading, Stow, Sudbury, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Westford, Weston, Wilmington and Woburn. Here are those named from Arlington:
Three juniors from Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School were honored recently with the Authors Award for Excellence in Imaginative Writing for their outstanding short stories.
Each will receive a scholarship. The three students are:
- First-place winner Day Kolz, of Wayland, who was recognized for writing the story “Illiteracy and Inheritance.” One of the contest judges described it as “a sweet take on what it means to be someone’s son.”
- Second-place winner Jillian Bearden, of Arlington, whose story is titled “Take a Gander.” A judge “liked that it turned philosophical as it asks, ‘What is art?’”
- Third-place winner Ariana Calder, of Lancaster, who wrote a story called “Creative Liberties.” “Gritty, macabre and extremely well-written” was how one judge praised it.
Bearden said in a June 10 news release: “Growing up, I'd always have some story going through my head but nothing I ever wrote down. I feel like I've always been a creative person and that's a reason why I'm pursuing a career in art. I hope to continue writing, even just casually, and hopefully one day I'll even create children's books.”
Lowe’s Home Improvement and SkillsUSA, an organization dedicated to advancing career and technical education, have awarded Minuteman Technical Institute $1,000 worth of educational materials to launch its own SkillsUSA chapter, to provide adult students learning opportunities to help fill the nation’s skills gap.
Minuteman Technical Institute (MTI) is the adult workforce training division of Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Lexington. MTI’s allocation is from a $100,000 grant from Lowe’s to 100 eligible chapters.
Grants are for SkillsUSA chapters began in 2018 and are designed to provide teachers with more resources to support student-led learning through the SkillsUSA framework.
UPDATED, June 5: On Friday, June 5, 121 students in the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Class of 2020 received their diplomas in a first-ever “drive-in” graduation ceremony.
The ceremony is the school’s solution to honoring the seniors in a way that ensures social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ceremony was live-streamed at youtube.com/minutemanhighschool. Prerecorded speeches from the valedictorian, salutatorian and senior class president, will also be broadcast on YouTube.
The Massachusetts Reading Association (MRA), an organization that promotes literacy, has honored Minuteman with its Exemplary Reading Program Award, Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School has announced.
“This award legitimizes the work we have done over the last 10 years to make sure we take care of the needs of the students,” said Minuteman High School Principal George Clement in a May 18 news release. “We recognized a need and stuck with it. It’s all been worthwhile.”
For the first time in MRA history, this award is being given to a secondary school. The previous recipients of this honor have been elementary schools.
Minuteman was selected in a competitive process that involved 12 nominated schools from across the state.
The Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District, closed because of Covid-19, continues a key mission -- to highlight students who are working in essential trade jobs.
Such career majors as health assisting, biotechnology, electrical and engineering are offered at Minuteman High for grades nine through 12 and Minuteman Technical Institute for adults.
“Even in periods of uncertainty, career technical education continues to be a rewarding, essential and long-term option for high school and adult students alike,” Edward A. Bouquillon, superintendent-director of Minuteman, in a May 11 news release. “We are proud of all of our students who are using their skills to provide essential services in our communities.”
Twelve students from the Class of 2020 at Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School were recently recognized as “Outstanding Seniors” shortly before the coronavirus emergency closed schools in March. The 12 seniors were treated to a luncheon with Minuteman administrators in the school’s student-run restaurant, The District Café.
“Minuteman is a place where we foster students’ strengths so they can excel in their education and as leaders for those around them,”Edward A. Bouquillon, superintendent-director of Minuteman in a May 4 news releaze. “The coronavirus has put a damper on the events we typically hold to honor our seniors at the end of the year. But we want all our students, especially our ‘Outstanding Seniors,’ to know that we are very proud of them.”
Each year, teachers and staff nominate seniors for separate, annual statewide awards for seniors from the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators and the Massachusetts Vocational Association.
Nominated students must have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average, display technical competence in their career major, exhibit leadership qualities, vocational-related work experience, excellent class attendance, extra-curricular activities and community service involvement.
Several members of the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School community are doing their part to fight Covid-19 -- from creating face masks to helping a local hospital expand its capacity to care for coronavirus patients.
“All of us are making sacrifices right now, but no one is sacrificing more than the medical providers and first responders across the nation,” said Superintendent-Director Edward A. Bouquillon, who has sewn dozens of masks at home with his wife, Diane. “We want to help in any way we can. I’m so proud of the students and staff who are using their skills to pitch in.”
Three siblings from Arlington, all of whom attend Minuteman -- 11th-grader Jacob Woolf (programming and web development major) and ninth-graders Leah and Mari Woolf (early education and design and visual communication majors, respectively) -- are volunteering for MasksOn.
That is an initiative launched in recent weeks to retrofit snorkel masks with medical-grade breathing equipment that can be used repeatedly by clinicians. MasksOn was formed by a coalition of doctors, academics and executives from numerous organizations, including Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Mass. General Hospital and Tufts Medical Center.
Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School has released the names of students who attained honor roll and high honor roll for the second quarter of the academic year. Those from Arlington are:
- Nadia Ayad, Automotive Technology, Grade 9
- Hannah Bardei, Engineering Technology, Grade 11
Arlington student under self-quarantine after exposure
UPDATED, March 16: Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School will be closed through Friday, March 20, because of ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) concerns, joining numerous other school districts in the region that have canceled classes. (Gov. Baker announced March 15 that all schools will closed through April 6.)
Minuteman administrators were notified Friday, March 13, that a student who lives in Arlington is under self-quarantine after being exposed to an individual who tested positive for Covid-19. The student is not exhibiting any symptoms, a school news release says.
Superintendent-Director Edward A. Bouquillon issued the following email to all students, families and staff:
Minuteman High School has been chosen to participate in the 2019 Massachusetts cybersecurity awareness program, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Technology Services and Technology has announced.
The help aims to keep student records and information secure as well as provide training to staff and students about ways to avoid the dangers of phishing. That occurs when someone uses email to intentionally dupe a person into disclosing sensitive personal information, such as credit card numbers or other data.
“It’s a big deal for us,” said Minuteman Assistant Principal Brian Tildsley, in a Nov. 24 news release. “The credit goes to Minuteman Director of Data and Accountability John Cammarata, who wrote the application.”
At Minuteman High School, students receive an education that prepares them to enter the career of their choice as job-ready, rigorously trained young professionals. One key goal of their education is to familiarize them with possible career paths that intrigue them and will use their skills.
With that aim in mind, a group of about 40 students in the electrical, plumbing, carpentry and metal fabrication programs at Minuteman recently participated in Youth Remodeling Career Day at the Bolton Fairgrounds in Lancaster, an event that allowed them to learn about careers in the remodeling industry and have mock interviews with experts.
Showcase Day for in-district eighth graders was Thursday, Nov. 21. Students are encouraged to apply for admission now by visiting www.minuteman.org and going to the Admissions tab on the home page.
The hands-on, practical nature of this endeavor made it especially valuable for the students, as did the chance for them to speak one-to-one with representatives from prominent companies specializing in all aspects of remodeling. Seventeen other schools took part as well.
“The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles kept echoing for state Sen. Cindy Friedman. For her, the song illustrated the extended process that led to rebuilding Minuteman High School.
Friedman, who spoke Oct. 4, at the school's grand opening and ribbon cutting, told the crowd that she kept thinking of that wistful 1970 ballad because the journey from the new building’s inception in November 2008 to its completion 11 years later followed such a road -- protracted, sometimes frustrating and strewn with pitfalls and hurdles.
An inviting Student Union, a theater outfitted with an impressive array of professional-grade features, and a spacious restaurant with a café, a bakery sales area and a patio that seats two dozen guests are some of the marquee elements in a new school building in Lexington. Although it probably sounds more like a college facility, it’s actually the new, state-of-the-art, visually striking $145 million Minuteman High School, which opened its doors to students for the first time Sept. 3.
So far, according to two top Minuteman administrators, the transition from the old building to the new one has been an invigorating experience that is going extremely smoothly.
“The staff are very excited,” said Minuteman Superintendent-Director Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, the primary driving force behind getting the new building approved and constructed. “There’s a little anxiety about coming into a new place. It’s been a transition, but a pretty exciting one. My leadership team and the teachers have been patient and accommodating.”
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