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Under-construction Minuteman High School draws public awe

Minuteman rendering 400 121418Artist's rendering of the new Minuteman High School, courtesy of Kaestle Boos Associates Inc.

Tours of the under-construction Minuteman High School have begun, and, a school news release says, members of the public were impressed with the $145 million, state-of-the-art facility. It is scheduled to open early next summer.

“All day long, people described the new building as awesome, gorgeous, and unbelievable,” Maggie F. Miller, Minuteman assistant director of admissions and outreach, said in the Dec. 14 release of the recent open house. “I sensed genuine excitement from everyone.”

She noted a spike in applications for the 2019-2020 school year.

“The parents and students were very excited to see all the progress that has been made,” said Assistant Principal Brian Tildsley. “Our tours were booked solid all the way out to 1:30 p.m. within the first 45 minutes of our open house, which began at 10:45 a.m.

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Minuteman High accepts national blue ribbon school award

Representatives from Minuteman High School in Lexington accepted the school’s 2018 National Blue Ribbon School award at a ceremony held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Only three schools in Massachusetts – Minuteman, Abington High School and Swampscott High School – received the award. Minuteman is the sole vocational high school in the state to get this recognition.Minuteman High School logo

An audience of 1,300 people attended in the hotel’s ballroom as dozens of outstanding schools nationwide were presented Nov. 8 with the award by Aba S. Kumi, the director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

“At no other time in Minuteman’s history that I can think of has our school had such a great stretch of news going on,” said Principal Jack Dillon, who has worked at Minuteman for the past 13 years. “This is a really proud moment to represent Minuteman.”

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Minuteman High named U.S. blue-ribbon school for 2018

Among 349 public, private schools nationwide

Minuteman High School has been named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The announcement of all 349 public and private school honorees was made Oct. 1 by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.Minuteman High School logo

Swampscott and Abington are the other Massachusetts high schools that earned this recognition. Minuteman is the sole vocational high school in the state to be accorded this award.

“This is an incredible recognition of the work of my staff and administrators,” said Minuteman Superintendent Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon. “I hope this accolade causes parents to take notice of Minuteman and how our model of learning and teaching can give their children a real advantage in high school, in college and in their careers.”

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Minuteman High gets $10K from Hub Foundation

Minuteman High School recently received a donation of $10,000 by Hub Foundation Co. Inc., a Chelmsford-based, full-service drilling company that is a longtime cooperative education employer of Minuteman students from the school’s metal fabrication and joining technologies (welding) program.Minuteman High School logo

Presenting the check to Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman’s superintendent-director, in the Welding program area of the school, were representatives of Hub Foundation and Dan DiRocco Welding Inc., a foundation subcontractor.

Accompanying DiRocco were three employees who graduated from Minuteman and studied welding there -- Brad Gradeski ’11, Dan Mazzola ’12 and Jake Littlefield ’11. Gradeski and Littlefield, who is a foreman, work for Hub Foundation. Both belong to the Tunnel Workers Union (Local 88). Mazzola is a fabricator for DiRocco Welding and works alongside the Hub Foundation.

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Minuteman to launch 5 new training programs for adults

State OKs advanced manufacturing, welding, culinary arts, electrical, licensed practical nursing

Over the next two years, Minuteman Technical Institute, a branch of the Minuteman School District, will expand its current postsecondary offerings for underemployed and unemployed adults, including recent high school graduates looking to start a career.

Minuteman High School logoTwo long-standing programs, cosmetology and automotive technology, have graduated more than 60 adults in the past three years with 100 percent of the cosmetology students passing the state board exam.

The institute will be launching a host of new evening programs, which are one or two years long. The first four programs -- culinary arts, electrical, welding and advanced manufacturing -- are expected to start in September. The fifth program, licensed practical nursing, will begin a year later. Students who participate in these programs must be a high school graduate or have obtained a GED.

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Minuteman lands $495K state grant to expand welding program

Minuteman Regional High School has secured a $495,000 state grant to update and expand its metal fabrication and joining technologies (welding) program. The grant – the third major competitive grant landed by Minuteman in the past two years -- was announced on June 21 by Governor Charlie Baker.Minuteman High School logo

The state awarded $10.9 million in the latest round of the Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant Program. The Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which administers the grant program, received 63 applications for over $20.2 million in funding. Thirty-three high schools and educational institutions received grants.

“These [grants] are real game-changers – for students, teachers, and employers,” Governor Baker told dozens of school and state officials gathered for the grant announcement at Salem High School. Joining the Governor at the ceremonies was Secretary Jay Ash of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.

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Minuteman Class of '18 graduates: Awards, scholarships

Adam Powell, Markham Award, 2018Jenna DeCampo photo
Valedictorian Adam Powell

Shaping commencement exercises Minuteman High School's Class of 2018, held at Lowell Memorial Auditorium, was a theme best summarized by a quote from the address delivered by Class President Erin Noel (Medford): “We are part of the world that can and will make a difference, and we have already started.”

Minuteman High School logo

The event’s other speakers, including Superintendent-Director Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, valedictorian Adam Powell (Arlington) and salutatorian Amy Brennan (Maynard) featured sage words of advice, heartfelt expressions of gratitude to parents and family members, teachers and coaches for their support during the past four years, and exhortations to “keep following what you love to do,” as Powell put it.

Another topic of the day, June 1, was the key role Minuteman played in helping the graduates pinpoint their aptitude and trained them for careers that will showcase it, while also shaping them into mature, capable, focused young adults.

Salutatorian Brennan said, “Each one of us was put here for a reason and Minuteman helped me find my reason and I hope you find yours.”

Benjamin Roth of Arlington was also a salutatorian of the Class of 2018.

In his remarks, Bouquillon emphasized the contrast between love and its opposite emotion, fear, encouraging the graduates to choose the former over the latter because love “boosts your physical health and your mental well-being. It can also improve your outlook on the world, your work and your friendships.”

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Japanese sister-city students make first visit to Minuteman High

Japanese students perform a dance at Minuteman High School during their visit. / Sue Sheffler photosJapanese students perform a dance at Minuteman High School during their visit. / Sue Sheffler photos

For the first time, Minuteman High School was the host for a delegation from Arlington's sister city in Japan.

The school enthusiastically treated 21 Japanese students and their four chaperones to American hospitality and culture as well as giving them a look at how career and technical education is handled in an American vocational high school.

“They loved it,” said Minuteman Principal Jack Dillon of the Japanese students’ reaction to what they experienced at the school. “They thought it was great.”

Their recent time at Minuteman was just one activity-filled stop on a trip to this area that lasted for several days.

The guests came to Minuteman for a half school day as part of a student exchange between Arlington, which is one of Minuteman’s member towns, and the Japanese city of Nagaokakyo. The two have been sister cities for 34 years.

Sue Sheffler, vice chair of the Minuteman School Committee and its Arlington representative, played a key role in arranging the visit in her capacity as executive director of the Arlington-Nagaokakyo Student Exchange. She attended the Japanese students’ visit to Minuteman, as did Exchange President Joanne Routenberg.

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9 town students among Minuteman team that helped refurbish storm-damaged New Orleans home

nola 400 52318Minuteman High School crew in New Orleans, where they worked on a home in 2017 (full caption below). / Photo by Erin Bordeau

 A vital cornerstone of career and technical education at Minuteman High School is the practical, hands-on experience students get when they put their newly acquired skills to use outside the classroom.

An enthusiastic group of students from Minuteman proved that when they traveled to New Orleans for six days in April to help refurbish a home that was severely damaged by a post-Hurricane Katrina tornado.

Not only did they learn that their knowledge can be used to significantly improve people's lives, but they also came to appreciate the tremendous value of teamwork and to recognize the crucial need that exists for individuals with abilities just like theirs.

"This is what education is all about," affirmed Michelle Roche, director of career and technical education, who went on the New Orleans trip, the third one that Minuteman students have made to New Orleans for humanitarian reasons. "It wasn't about going on a vacation, and the kids understood that."

The Minuteman effort was conducted under the aegis of an organization called Mass Nine for the 9th, which originated at Newton North High School and whose goal, as explained on its website, is to bring "the emerging technical skills of our students … to the service of those most in need: the residents of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, at least 8,000 to 10,000 families are still unable to return to their homes. We will collaborate with at least nine career vocational and technical education schools from across Massachusetts to create a curriculum of caring as we help to rebuild homes."

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Arlington students among 24 at Minuteman to win medals at skills conference

Minuteman High School logo

Students from Minuteman High School in Lexington earned 24 medals at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference. Four of those named are from Arlington, three of whom received gold medals.

The six students from Minuteman who were gold medalists have the opportunity to participate in the 54th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference from June 25-29, 2018, in Louisville, Ky.

SkillsUSA is a national organization that allows students in career and technical education to compete in a host of rigorous technical and leadership competitions. Minuteman's SkillsUSA chapter advisers are instructors Malcolm Paradise and Clifford Keirstead.

The medalists from Minuteman were:

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A FIRST: Minuteman, Hanscom make partnership formal

Minuteman High School logo

Exploring co-ops, cybersecurity training

For the first time, Minuteman Regional High School and Hanscom Air Force Base have executed a formal agreement outlining how the two institutions will cooperate on education, research and workforce development. The three-year accord, formally known as an education partnership agreement, was signed by the parties in April.

"Minuteman and Hanscom have been working together for many years and this agreement formalizes our long-standing relationship," said Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman's superintendent, in a May 7 news release. "We're very pleased with the opportunities that this creates for our students, our staff and the region."

Bouquillon noted that Minuteman already is a member of the Hanscom Community Partnership Committee, a group that explores ways for the Air Force base, area towns and institutions to cooperate and leverage resources. In addition, Minuteman hosts an annual civilian job fair at Hanscom.

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Tech-skills award goes to Arlington senior at Minuteman

Adam Powell, Markham Award, 2018Jenna DeCampo photo
Adam Powell "has the ambition and drive to achieve any goal he sets his mind to. Adam is a pleasure to teach, work with and learn from."
-- Teacher Larry Lambert
Adam Powell, a student at Minuteman High School, has been chosen to receive the 2018 Walter J. Markham Award.  

Following a competitive selection process, this prestigious honor is given annually to one high school senior in Massachusetts who is enrolled in a state-approved technical program and has demonstrated exceptional capability. The award is jointly sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators and the Massachusetts Vocational Association.

Powell, who lives in Arlington, is majoring in programming and web development at Minuteman. He plans to attend either the Worcester Polytechnic Institute or the University of Massachusetts in Amherst to study computer science after he graduates from Minuteman on June 1.

He will be presented with the Markham Award at graduation. Powell will get a plaque, along with $500 to either buy materials he may need for his future profession or to pay educational costs.

In a letter to Powell, Alexandre Magalhaes, chairman of the Walter J. Markham Award Committee and superintendent-director of Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton, wrote: "The Selection Committee is very impressed with your technical, academic and personal achievements which exemplify the ideals of the first Massachusetts Associate Commissioner of Occupational Education in whose name this award is presented."

Dana Farrill, Powell's guidance counselor at Minuteman, praised Powell’s single-minded dedication to his studies, notable zeal for learning and desire to refine and expand his technical abilities. 

"As a programming and web-development student," Farrill said in an April 29 news release, "Adam has spent the last four years learning the ins and outs of computer hardware, software, web development and systems engineering. At this point in time, Adam is proficient with Adobe Illustrator, C-sharp, Microsoft Visual Studio, Visual Basic, Python, Java, CSS, web design and database management. Through these experiences, Adam has confirmed his passion for computer programming, software engineering, and game development. He looks forward to honing these skills in college." 

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Minuteman High fair exposes students, alums to varied careers

Minuteman High School logoMinuteman High School was the host for a recent career fair for its students and alumni. This annual event allows them to meet representatives from local companies and organizations seeking new employees with top-notch workplace skills and high-quality career and technical education.

Thoroughly preparing students for the profession of their choice is "mission one of our priorities," said Minuteman Coordinator of Workforce and Economic Development Joseph Pitta in an April 19 news release. "We train students to get good jobs. Our employer partners want to hire them." Businesses contact Minuteman "all the time" looking for well-trained young people to fill staff openings, he said.

More than 800 employers are listed on Minuteman's job board, Pitta said. Of that large, diverse group, he explained, 45 were represented at the fair. They sought individuals to hire for summer jobs and cooperative education jobs, along with seniors who will join the workforce after they graduate from Minuteman in June.

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New Minuteman High building project topped off

The Minuteman High School building project has reached another major milestone.

In ceremonies attended by hundreds of students, dignitaries and Minuteman supporters, Gilbane Building Co. used a 185-foot crane to lift the final steel beam into place over what will become the new high school's main entrance. Erection of the 24-foot beam -- painted white and signed by students, teachers, elected officials and well-wishers -- marks completion of the steel structure of the building.

“What a beautiful sight,” Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, the school’s superintendent, said in an April 12 news release. He spoke as the final steel beam was lifted into place in what builders traditionally call a topping-off ceremony. An American flag and small tree were also attached to the beam.  

Despite some challenging weather over the fall and winter, the Minuteman project remains on schedule and on budget, school officials said. Students are scheduled to start classes in the new building in the fall of 2019.
“Look what a skilled workforce can do in less than 10 months,” said Bouquillon as he surveyed the concrete and steel building skeleton that will become the new Minuteman High School. He described the new Minuteman as “the school of the future.” 

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Minuteman granted 'commendation school' status for academic success

Dr. Edward BouquillonDr. Edward Bouquillon in event with Gov. Baker.

The state has recognized students at Minuteman High School for their academic performance.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has named Minuteman as a "Massachusetts Commendation School" for high progress and for narrowing proficiency gaps. 

"I'm very proud of our faculty, staff and students for this achievement,” Dr. Edward A.  Bouquillon, Minuteman's superintendent, said in an April 6 news release. "This recognition truly belongs to them."

Governor Charles D. Baker presented Bouquillon with a plaque during ceremonies at the State House on April 5. Bouquillon also received an official citation from the state Legislature.  

A host of dignitaries attended the event. Joining Bouquillon at the celebration were members of the Minuteman legislative delegation, including state Sen. Cindy F. Friedman, Democrat of Arlington, and state Rep. Jay R. Kaufman, Democrat of Lexington.

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