The newly reconstituted Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District has a new School Committee leadership team.
At the first meeting of the new 10-member committee, members elected David Horton of Lexington chair, Sue Sheffler of Arlington vice chair and Pam Nourse of Acton secretary. All were elected to one-year terms.
Horton succeeds Jeffrey Stulin of Needham, who successfully led the School Committee from the start of planning for a new school to its groundbreaking in June. Horton, formerly the committee secretary, is a retired school administrator.
He served as Principal at the Estabrook, Bowman and Munroe schools in Lexington and as a supervisor of student teachers at Simmons College from 2001-2017. He has been a Lexington Town Meeting member for 15 years. He served as the treasurer of the Campaign for Minuteman's Future in 2016.
In a July 26 news release, Horton calls this "an exciting time for the Minuteman community.
"The Minuteman district is writing a new page in its history. The excitement and interest in the new building and in the academy model of organizing and implementing instruction it will offer are palpable."
He added in the release: "I see my role as chair and the School Committee's role to facilitate and support the work being done by the Minuteman staff and the School Building Committee to complete the project successfully -- on time and on budget. At the same time, we need to ensure that the Minuteman experience for our students continues to match the expectations of the quality education for which the school is deservedly well known, while the building project unfolds."
Sheffler, a former Arlington School Committee chair, succeeds Carolyn "Carrie" Flood of Concord as vice chair of the committee.
Nourse, a longtime Acton resident, replaces Horton as secretary.
As of July, the Minuteman District includes 10 member towns: Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham and Stow.
Construction of a new $144.9 million high school has begun. The new school is expected to be open for classes in the fall of 2019.
In the new school, students will learn in two career academies designed to promote collaboration and innovation. The academies will encompass a total of 16 career programs, including two new ones: advanced manufacturing and multimedia engineering (technical theater).
Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that integrates robust academic and career and technical learning to deliver a revolutionary competitive advantage to its students, expanding their opportunities for college and career success.
This news announcement was published Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
Six students from Minuteman High School in Lexington earned medals at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference last month 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.
The medalists were Sean Datar, 2017 of Acton, gold medal in related technical math; Erin Noel, '18 of Medford, gold medal in employment application process; Collin Kelly, '17 of Sudbury, and Brian Courtney Jr., '17 of West Roxbury, gold medal in community action project; and Adam Powell and Ethan Francis-Wright, b0th '18 of Arlington, bronze medal in Web design.
"The students of Minuteman were the leaders for our state, winning more gold medals than any other school," said Minuteman SkillsUSA Coadviser Clifford Keirstead.
To qualify for this event, the competitors had to earn gold medals at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference held in Massachusetts in April. Twelve Minuteman students competed at the SkillsUSA National Conference.
Planning for $144.9m Lincoln facility began in 2008
Almost a decade in the planning, construction of a new Minuteman High School got underway Wednesday, June 14.
The new school is designed for 628 students, who will spend their Minuteman "careers" in one of two career academies -- for life sciences and engineering. The new school will include 16 career- and technical-education programs, including two new ones: Advanced Manufacturing and Multi-Media Engineering (Technical Theatre).
State and local officials joined hundreds of Minuteman faculty, staff and students for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of a new $144.9 million high school. The 45-minute event took place on the school's football field, on district-owned property in Lincoln, a few hundred yards away from the existing school in Lexington.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is investing more than $44 million in the project.
"An investment in education pays the best interest," said MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy, in a news release. He was paraphrasing the words of Benjamin Franklin.
McCarthy noted that the Minuteman project has been in the MSBA planning process longer than almost any other project in the state, spanning the tenure of several state treasurers.
Speaking on behalf of Minuteman's State House delegation, Rep. Jay Kaufman, Democrat of Lexington, applauded the project and noted Minuteman's importance to students and to the region's economy.
He also remembered the late Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, Democrat of Arlington, as a leader in support of vocational-technical education and Minuteman High.
To secure project approval, the district needed to revise its governance structure and membership, scale back student enrollment and change state regulations so nonmembers contribute to capital costs. The district was also forced to hold a districtwide election to secure final approval for bonding.
"This project nearly failed several times," said School Committee Chair Jeffrey Stulin of Needham. Speaking directly to Minuteman students, Stulin urged them to take on important projects, be persistent, put their passion into it, and have the courage to accept that they might fail.
For Minuteman Superintendent Dr. Edward Bouquillon, the groundbreaking ceremony has been a long time coming. He said he first realized that the existing building needed significant repair or replacement soon after he accepted the job as superintendent in 2007. In November 2008, he filed a Statement of Interest with the MSBA. The new building will open in the fall of 2019.
In remarks at the groundbreaking, Bouquillon urged state officials not to tinker with the existing model for career vocational-technical education. "Now is not the time to shave off the best aspects of CVTE and try to graft it onto a traditional high school schedule," he said. "All that will do is weaken our system in Massachusetts."
He also urged the state Legislature to increase funding for similar projects. "MSBA needs another penny of the sales tax to get all the vocational technical schools rebuilt and to build new ones to fill the skills gap," Bouquillon said. Currently, MSBA is funded by one penny of the state's 6.25-percent sales tax.
Following the remarks, Bouquillon received a standing ovation.
Guests at the groundbreaking included a host of town managers and selectmen from area towns; education officials, including vocational school superintendents; officials from the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS); members of Minuteman’s business-led program advisory committees; and a representative from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
Several students flanked the podium, wearing uniforms representing two student organizations, FFA and SkillsUSA.
Ford Spalding, chair of the Minuteman School Building Committee and a member of the Minuteman School Committee, served as master of ceremonies.
Through the governor's Workforce Skills Cabinet, the Baker administration has approved two competitive grants totaling $995,000 to help Minuteman purchase equipment to start-up the new Advanced Manufacturing program.
Gilbane Building Co. is the construction manager for the project and Kaestle Boos Associates is the Architect. Skanska USA Building serves as Minuteman's project manager.
Beginning in July, the Minuteman district will include 10 member towns, down from 16: Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham and Stow.
This news announcement was published Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
Superintendent echoes message of pop song: be 'humble, kind'
“Feel good about your work, what you’ve accomplished, but always stay humble and kind.” That was the parting message given by Superintendent Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon to the Class of 2017 from Minuteman High School in Lexington at commencement exercises.
The ceremony took place at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on June 2.
Select members of the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019 were recently inducted into its chapter of the National Honor Society in a ceremony held at the school. Five are from Arlington.
“It is how I want you to be as you move into the world .... it is what I wish for the entire world right now,” Bouquillon said. He explained that over the past year, he has been listening quite frequently to the song “Humble and Kind” written by Lori McKenna and recorded by Tim McGraw. He called its message “beautiful and simple.”
Bouquillon described the typical habits of humble people based on the writing of Jeff Boss, a contributor to Forbes who is the author of Navigating Chaos: How to Find Certainty in Uncertain Situations: “Stick by your friends and family; put others first; if you want to practice being humble, listen to others; if you want to practice being more humble, start sentences with ‘you’ rather than ‘I’; seek and accept feedback from others; and ask for help.”
Bouquillon also expressed his appreciation to the Class of 2017 for their input on the design for the new Minuteman High School building. “You, the Class of 2017, stand out in my heart as one of the more energetic and exceptional voices in realizing this dream of a new school. You gave your ideas willingly to our design team, knowing you would never be students in the new school. I am grateful for your giving.”
Valedictorian and Senior Class President Sean Datar of Acton told his fellow graduates,” Surround yourself with people who you know will push you to greater heights. Go out of your way to find new people who will challenge you.” After thanking many of his teachers and his parents for their role in his education and personal development, Mr. Datar said that he hopes everyone’s “dreams of today become the reality of tomorrow.”
“Make mistakes and make tough choices, the freedom of adulthood and post-high school is now available to you all,” Salutatorian Jacob Blum of Wilmington said in his address to the graduates. Likening the past four years at Minuteman to a marathon that was sometimes challenging and difficult, Mr. Blum reminded the members of the Class of 2017 that they now have the freedom to do as they wish without the constraints of being in school. “Go ahead and do what you want to do,” he exhorted them. “Remember you are now the main driver of your life.”
The awards, special recognition and scholarships that were presented and their recipients were as follows:
National Honor Society: Marcello Barbieri (Lancaster), Alison Beucler (Medford), Anna Brooks (Belmont), Olivia Cassidy (Concord), Liam Chapman (Arlington), Sean Datar (Acton), Eric Giniger (Carlisle), Benjamin James (Lancaster), Davis Kahmann (Arlington), Collin Kelly (Sudbury), Allison Kirk (Saugus), Diana Kurey (Arlington), Catherine Maxwell (Arlington), Rachel Sheehan (Malden)
2017 John & Abigail Adams Scholarship Recipients: Lucas Abreu (Arlington), Serena Avon (Billerica), Henry Bachmann (Stow), Marcello Barbieri (Lancaster), Luvilena Berrios-Nieves (Arlington), Alison Beucler (Medford), Jacob Blum (Wilmington), David Combs (Bolton), Brian Courtney (West Roxbury), Sean Datar (Acton), Dominic DeCampo (Arlington), Marcus Doucette (Wakefield), Christopher Earl (Needham), Charles Erickson (Needham), Emmanuel Georgoudis (Malden), Eric Giniger (Carlisle), Thainara Gomes (Arlington), Cody Gonzales (Acton), Andrew Greenwood (Sudbury), Shaina Guidebeck (Arlington), William Hardy (Acton), Stavros Ioakimidis (Arlington), Davis Kahmann (Arlington), Collin Kelly (Sudbury), Evan Kennedy-Spaien (Danvers), Sarah Kittredge (Lancaster), Alexander Lamarche (Watertown), Peter Lavina (Stow), Kevin Lieber (Lexington), Duncan MacLean (Medford), Leanna Marden (Acton), Tyler Newcomb (Woburn), Rodolfo Ramirez (Waltham), Parker Ripley (Waltham), Thomas Spurr (Acton), Jared Weiskopf (Sudbury), Michael Whitmore (Arlington), Timothy Yelle (Carlisle)
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence: David Andrade (Arlington), Kathryn Barnes (Stow), Alison Beucler (Medford), Joan Blair (Lincoln), Jacob Blum (Wilmington), Brent Boudrot (Billerica), Lily-Nou Bradtke (Lexington), Liam Chapman (Arlington), David Combs (Bolton), Mitchell Cupp (Concord), Sean Datar (Acton), Dominic DeCampo (Arlington), Marcus Doucette (Wakefield), Christopher Earl (Needham), Eric Giniger (Carlisle), Alexander Gonzalez (Watertown), Stavros Ioakimidis (Arlington), Michael Joshua (Woburn), Davis Kahmann (Arlington), Collin Kelly (Sudbury), Evan Kennedy-Spaien (Danvers), Allison Kirk (Saugus), Sarah Kittredge (Lancaster), Alexander Lamarche (Watertown), Anthony Lavin (Stow), Kevin Lieber (Lexington), Leanna Marden (Acton), Catherine Maxwell (Arlington), Tyler Newcomb (Woburn), Rachel Sheehan (Malden), Jacob Svirsky (Needham), Michael Whitmore (Arlington)
President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement: Lucas Abreu (Arlington), Marcello Barbieri (Lancaster), Luvilena Berrios Nieves (Arlington), Anna Brooks (Belmont), Angelo Butera (Wayland), Olivia Cassidy (Concord), Charles Erickson (Needham), Benjamin French (Stow), Emmanuel Georgoudis (Malden), Samantha Gomez (Arlington), Shaina Guidebeck (Arlington), William Hardy (Acton), Benjamin James (Lancaster), Allison Jorgensen (Arlington), Duncan MacLean (Medford), Alison Nakhtiga (Lexington)l, Michael Ortiz (Arlington), Laurie Pierre (Waltham), Rustam Ragin (Needham), Gianna Raneri (Medford), Brianna Ridore (Waltham), Parker Ripley (Waltham), Nicholas Sordillo (Arlington), Thomas Spurr (Acton)
Career Program Awards: The Career Program Award is presented to the senior who has demonstrated the highest level of expertise in their technical area:
AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY | Ryan Ramsingh (Needham)
BIOTECHNOLOGY | Derek Smith (Arlington)
CARPENTRY | William Hardy (Acton)
COSMETOLOGY | Joan Blair (Lincoln)
CULINARY ARTS/BAKING | Dominic DeCampo (Arlington) and Benjamin French (Stow)
DESIGN AND VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS | Thainara Gomes (Arlington)
EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE | Allison Jorgensen (Arlington)
ELECTRICAL WIRING | Mitchell Cupp (Concord)
ENGINEERING | Eric Giniger (Carlisle)
ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY | Collin Kelly (Sudbury)
HEALTH OCCUPATIONS | Alison Nakhtigal (Lexington)
HORTICULTURE/LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT | Brent Boudrot (Billerica)
HVAC/REFRIGERATION | Steven Lee (Lancaster)
MARKETING | Gianna Raneri (Medford)
METAL FABRICATION & WELDING | Ryan McGonagle (Lexington)
PLUMBING | Liam Chapman (Arlington)
PROGRAMMING & WEB DEVELOPMENT | Alexander Lamarche (Watertown)
ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY | Jonathan Meister (Arlington)
TELECOMMUNICATIONS | Stavros Ioakimidis (Arlington)
Academic Achievement Awards: The Academic Achievement Award is presented to the senior who has demonstrated the highest level of proficiency in an academic area:
ENGLISH | Kevin Lieber (Lexington)
HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES | Sakai Fuller-Long (Waltham)
MATHEMATICS | Sean Datar (Acton)
MUSIC | Alison Beucler (Medford)
PHYSICAL EDUCATION | Sean Datar (Acton) and Alexander Gonzalez (Watertown)
SCIENCE | Thomas Spurr (Acton)
WORLD LANGUAGE | Stavros Ioakimidis (Arlington)
Outstanding Senior Project Awards:
The Outstanding Senior Project Awards are presented to seniors who presented an exemplary senior project: Marcello Barbieri (Lancaster), Jacob Blum (Wilmington), Liam Chapman (Arlington), Sean Datar (Acton), Charles Erickson (Needham), Jonathan Meister (Arlington), Tyler Newcomb (Woburn), Michael Ortiz (Arlington)
Outstanding Senior Portfolio Award:
Stavros Ioakimidis (Arlington)
Arlington Rotary Club Award – Davis Kahmann (Arlington)
Beverly W. Lydiard Memorial Scholarship – Samantha Gomez (Arlington)
Bonnie J. Hilla Memorial Award – Collin Kelly (Sudbury)
Cambridge Savings Bank / Kevin J. Fitzgerald Scholarship – Jonathan Meister (Arlington)
Christel McCarthy Scholarship – Duncan MacLean (Medford)
Craig M. King Memorial Scholarship – Jacob Gibson (Arlington)
DeLuca Family Scholarship / Class of 2004 – Jacob Blum (Wilmington) and Evan Kennedy-Spaien (Danvers)
Department of the Army – Olivia Cassidy (Concord) and Duncan MacLean (Medford)
Dick Ham Memorial Award – Kevin Manning (Arlington)
Edward Lillis Memorial Award – Thainara Gomes (Arlington)
Felicia M. DeLorenzo Scholarship Foundation – Michael Bent (Arlington)
Francis Koppeis (Wayside Inn) Memorial Award – Sakai Fuller-Long (Waltham)
Fred Troisi Memorial Scholarship – Rachel Sheehan (Malden)
Friends of Minuteman Award - To graduates on the basis of academic achievement and good citizenship: presented to Serena Avon (Billerica), Brian Courtney (West Roxbury), Holly Clancy (Arlington), Natania DuFresne (Boston), William Glynn (Arlington), Ayla Lopez-Casanova (Belmont), Nicholas Sordillo (Arlington), Jacob Svirsky (Needham), Demetrios Tsoukalas.(Acton)
Gourmet Club Award – Alexander Gonzalez (Watertown)
Jed Dowd Memorial Scholarship – Tyler Newcomb (Woburn)
John Hayward Memorial Scholarship – Luvilena Berrios-Nieves (Arlington)
Lexington Field & Garden Club Award – Maxwell Busa (Lexington) and Natania DuFresne (Boston)
Lexington Rotary Club Scholarship – Alison Beucler (Medford) and Alison Nakhtigal (Lexington)
Lexington Outstanding Senior Award - Lily-Nou Bradtke (Lexington), Kevin Lieber (Lexington) and Alison Nakhtigal.(Lexington)
Margaret Rosselli Memorial Scholarship – Lily-Nou Bradtke (Lexington)
Mary S. Indelicato Scholarship – Olivia Cassidy (Concord)
Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators Award – Davis Kahmann (Arlington)
Merrimack Valley Superintendents Association Award – Sean Datar (Acton) and Davis Kahmann (Arlington)
Middlesex Savings Bank Award – Collin Kelly (Sudbury)
Minuteman Alumni Association Scholarships – Kathryn Barnes (Stow), Alexander Lamarche (Watertown) and Parker Ripley (Waltham)
Minuteman Chapter of the National Honor Society Award – Catherine Maxwell (Arlington)
Minuteman Faculty Association Award / Elaine Karkos Memorial Scholarship – Sean Datar (Acton)
Minuteman Parent Association Scholarships - Marcello Barbieri (Lancaster), Zachary Bazydola (Belmont), Andrew Bergeron (Arlington), Jacob Blum (Wilmington), Sean Datar (Acton), Marcus Doucette (Wakefield), Christopher Earl (Needham), Leanna Marden (Acton)
Minuteman Players Drama Club Award – Shaina Guidebeck (Arlington) and Catherine Maxwell (Arlington)
Minuteman Principal’s Award – Stavros Ioakimidis (Arlington)
Minuteman Senior Project Award - Marcello Barbieri (Lancaster), Jacob Blum (Wilmington), Liam Chapman (Arlington), Sean Datar (Acton), Charles Erickson (Needham), Jonathan Meister (Arlington), Tyler Newcomb (Woburn), Michael Ortiz (Arlington)
New England Plumbing, Gas and Mechanical Inspectors Association Award – Liam Chapman (Arlington)
Norman Myerow Memorial Award – Lily-Nou Bradtke (Lexington)
Old Concord Chapter – Daughters of the American Revolution Award – Olivia Cassidy (Concord)
Paul Alphen Science Award – Thomas Spurr (Acton)
Paul Johnson Memorial Award - Dominic DeCampo (Acton) and Benjamin French (Stow)
Paul Stone Memorial Scholarship – Rustam Ragin (Needham)
Pauline Briggs Memorial Scholarship – David Andrade (Arlington)
Ralph Hersey Memorial Scholarship – Duncan MacLean (Medford)
Renzo A. Ricciuti Memorial Scholarship – Liam Chapman (Arlington)
Richard Trzepacz Graphic Arts Award – Thainara Gomes (Arlington)
Roger S. Eleftherakis Memorial Scholarship – Sean Datar (Acton)
Ryan Eaton Memorial Award – Angelo Butera (Wayland) and Benjamin French (Stow)
Rotary Club of Acton Boxborough Award – Thomas Spurr (Acton)
Rotary District 7930 - Andrew Bergeron (Arlington), Shaina Guidebeck (Arlington), Allison Jorgensen (Arlington) and Derek Smith.(Arlington)
Senior Class Spirit and Dedication Award – David Andrade (Arlington)
Scotty Enwright Memorial Scholarship – Liam Chapman (Arlington)
Town of Belmont Education Scholarship – Anna Brooks (Belmont)
This news announcement was published Friday, June 9, 2017.
Aug. 29, 2005, is a day that Gulf Coast residents will never forget. That morning, Hurricane Katrina, by then a powerful Category 3 storm, struck land with relentless ferocity, leaving death and massive destruction behind. The Federal Emergency Management Agency called Katrina "the single most catastrophic disaster in U.S. history" as well as the nation's costliest hurricane, with total damage estimated to be $108 billion. Some 1,833 victims perished, mainly in Louisiana.
Today, nearly 12 years later, some people who lived in the affected area are still rebuilding their homes. To assist with that effort, a group of adults and students from Minuteman High School in Lexington traveled about 1,500 miles to New Orleans in April as part of an initiative called Mass Nine for the 9th.
That organization was founded by carpentry students from Newton North High School who were assisted by three teachers from Newton North and Newton South, and Diana Bouquillon, Newton North's former director of career and technical education and wife of Minuteman Superintendent Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon.
The intent of Mass Nine for the 9th is to help those displaced by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward to get back on their feet and back in their homes by having vocational students donate their time and construction skills to repair damaged residences.
Seeking wider participation
The goal is to eventually have nine vocational-technical high schools in Massachusetts participating in this endeavor; thus far, Minuteman and Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton have pitched in, plus Newton North.
"I really enjoyed it a lot," said Minuteman Director of Career and Technical Education Michelle Roche, who went on the trip, April 9 to 15. "A lot of the students who participated were so young when Hurricane Katrina happened. They learned a lot about themselves and how fortunate they are to have parents and homes. They came away changed."
In addition to Roche, the team included carpentry teacher Clifford Keirstead, plumbing teacher Kyle Romano; Connie Maynard, adviser to the Community Service and Learning Club, and Ms. Bouquillon.
Minuteman students involved were Margaret Armstrong, Olivia Cassidy, Anna Clark, Fae Eisenheim, Mark Galvin, Nadishna Khadka, Charles Lovett, Kameryn Montimes, Kevin Mullaney, Alison Nakhtigal, Lillian Powell, Otto Rademacher, Benjamin Roth and Allison Sanzio.
The students volunteered to go as part of Minuteman's Community Service and Learning Club. They stayed at the Church of the Annunciation Retreat House, which Roche likened to a hostel because it has temporary living quarters for people such as those from Minuteman who come for brief stays for humanitarian reasons. Dormitory-style accommodations were the rule, with a cook on hand to prepare what Roche called "typical New Orleans fare" for meals.
What was a workday like?
Their days were long and hectic, usually starting at 7:30 a.m., when everyone awoke. They would arrive on site early in the morning and would be picked up by a bus to be taken back to their home base by midafternoon.
They worked on three dwellings. "On one, the students installed the insulation for an entire house," Maynard explained. "At another, students put up wallboard, then spackled and sanded the home; and on the third site, they painted and did yard work."
The students came from a wide variety of technical programs, including environmental science, cosmetology and culinary arts/baking. Not all of them were adept at carpentry. Nevertheless, as Roche pointed out, "No matter what your talents are, there is something you can do to help."
The tools, equipment and supplies used by the Minuteman group were provided by the St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit established less than a year after Hurricane Katrina to rebuild homes in St. Bernard Parish in southeast Louisiana. A program manager from the project was on site with the Minuteman people, specifying what they were expected to do each day.
Nights were devoted to learning, stimulating discussions and quiet reflection. One evening activity involved watching a 2006 documentary titled "When the Levees Broke" by filmmaker Spike Lee. It depicts the harsh aftermath of Katrina in the words of those who endured its fury. Some of the students were initially wary of viewing it, Roche said, given the film's unsparing intensity, but in the end, they all did. "It shocked them at first," she said, "but we had some great conversations" about it.
To record their memories and impressions, the students were expected to keep journals. Roche suggested that they write down what they know about Katrina at the beginning of their stay in New Orleans and what they came to understand about it by the time they were ready to head back to Massachusetts. Exit interviews were conducted. The students were asked to respond to questions about what surprised them, what had challenged them and what changes they planned to make in their lives at school and home.
Throughout the week, there were memorable encounters that the students could never have anticipated, Roche said. For example, they listened to one of their bus drivers, only 14 years old at the time of Katrina, who described having to literally carry his petite mother so she would not drown in the steadily rising waters that flooded the streets after the levees gave way.
Heard from cousins
They also heard from cousins of Minuteman Superintendent Bouquillon -- Rhonda Lee Richoux, Carey-Farrar Brassette and husband Edward Dane Brassette -- who weathered Katrina, rebuilt their homes and live in New Orleans.
It wasn't unusual, Roche said, for strangers to approach the group to express their heartfelt thanks. The students appreciated their warmth and sincerity. Kevin Mullaney, a sophomore from Needham majoring in carpentry at Minuteman, said, "Everyone that lives in the area is so friendly and kind. They walk right up to you and start talking and telling their stories. Everyone should help people throughout their lives because it helps you to become a better person."
Lillian Powell, a sophomore from Arlington majoring in health assisting, agreed. For her, the whole experience was upbeat and clearly demonstrated that her technical skills and those of her peers could be used not only to earn a living, but to truly transform people's lives.
"The amount of gratitude we received throughout the week from numerous people was incredible; it was never-ending," she said. "To me, I think that the biggest takeaway from the trip was that I was making a difference. I could see the houses changing and the smiles on people's faces because of me helping."
This news feature provided by Minuteman was published Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
Select members of the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019 at Minuteman High School in Lexington were recently inducted into its chapter of the National Honor Society in a ceremony held at the school. Five are from Arlington.
Following a welcome from Minuteman’s two National Honor Society advisers, teachers Ashley Pisapia and Amy Hutchings, Principal Jack Dillon gave the keynote address. (Dylan English is also a Minuteman National Honor Society adviser.)
Four National Honor Society members then spoke about the qualities that distinguish students who belong to this organization -– scholarship, leadership, service and character. The new inductees recited the National Honor Society pledge before Pisapia and Hutchings inducted each of them and delivered closing remarks.
The new inductees from each class are:
Class of 2019 (sophomores) – Tyler Benoit (Lancaster), Sabrina Correa (Arlington), Sophia Li (Acton), Jordan Mills (Waltham), Ethan Moore (Arlington).
Class of 2018 (juniors) – Aviva Brandes-Krug (Medford), Nathaniel Dekin (Lexington), Semhal Katz (Lexington), Matthew O’Connell (Arlington), Matthew Tobio (Billerica).
Class of 2017 (seniors) Alison Beucler (Medford), Anna Brooks (Belmont), Olivia Cassidy (Concord), Eric Giniger (Carlisle), Benjamin James (Lancaster), Collin Kelly (Sudbury), Allison Kirk (Saugus), Diana Kurey (Arlington), Catherine Maxwell (Arlington), Rachel Sheehan (Malden).
Minuteman was established in the 1970s as one of more than two dozen regional-vocational technical high schools in Massachusetts. Over the years, the school has distinguished itself by building a reputation for excellence. Minuteman students consistently excel on the larger stage and have won numerous awards at state and national competitions. Minuteman challenges all students to revolutionize their high school expectations by aspiring to their full potential, accelerating their learning, and achieving success in the 21st-century global community.
This news announcement was published Friday, May 26, 2017.
Minuteman High School has selected four outstanding students as for term three of the current school year, and two are from Arlington.
The students chosen are freshman Otto Rademacher of Arlington, sophomore Sophia Li of Acton, junior Trisha Mitchell of Acton and senior Stavros Ioakimidis of Arlington.
This honor is awarded every term to one student from each grade level based on nominations from teachers. The criteria include exceptional academic achievement and good citizenship, according to Assistant Principal Brian Tildsley.
All four were given certificates in recognition of this award, had a photo taken with the teachers who nominated them and were treated to lunch at Minuteman's student-run restaurant, The Fife & Drum.
Rademacher has been described by his environmental science instructor, Terry Regan, as a "model student" with "a strong, outgoing personality" and "positive attitude."
Regan praised Rademacher's eagerness to learn, industriousness and willingness to assist his classmates. His favorite academic subject is science. He hopes to attend college to become a marine biologist. Rademacher is a Student Ambassador, whose extracurricular activities include varsity soccer and varsity and junior varsity baseball. He also likes biking and running.
Li typically goes "above and beyond" what is required, according to her honors geometry instructor, Nicole Devereaux, who also coaches Li in basketball. According to Devereaux, she brings "hard work and determination" to the basketball court just as she does in the classroom.
She is majoring in engineering/robotics at Minuteman, and her favorite academic subject is mathematics. Li plans to go to college to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering, then she intends to become an electrical engineer. She is involved in several extracurriculars, such as the Math Team, the Book Club, soccer, basketball, Girls in STEM and the National Honor Society.
Mitchell is "one of the hardest-working students" in the general chemistry class taught by Nina Griffin. Mitchell earned a grade of A+ in that subject for each term all year. "Her perseverance and dedication to success are admirable and deserve recognition," Griffin also noted.
Mitchell's favorite academic subject is English, and she is majoring in design and visual communications. In her spare time, she likes creating art. Mitchell wants to pursue a career as a photographer.
Ioakimides has done exceptionally well in his co-op job, said his telecommunications instructor, Rich Caruso. "His employers are so impressed with his work ethic, perfect attendance (he is also never late, usually arrives one hour early and works weekends when asked), skill level and job knowledge," Caruso said.
Ioakimides' average in the telecommunications program is 98, "near perfect," in Caruso's words. Ioakimides' favorite academic subject is biology, and he hopes to attend the Wentworth Institute of Technology. His extracurricular activities include the Swim Team, the Student Council, the Advisory Committee and Student Ambassador.
This news announcement was published Sunday, May 21, 2017.
Twenty-four students from Minuteman High School, including five from Arlington, have earned medals at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference, put on by the national organization for students in career and technical education to compete in rigorous tech and leadership tests.
At left is Erin Noel of Medford, a junior, who won a gold medal in the employment application process category, in a photo by Clifford Keirstead.
The 12 students who won gold medals have the opportunity to participate in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference that will be held from June 19 to 24, in Louisville, Ky.
Senior Collin Kelly of Sudbury, a gold medal winner, also received the Jannine Baker Legacy Scholarship and the Presidents Volunteer Service Award.
Minuteman’s SkillsUSA chapter advisers are instructors Debra Eichhorst and Clifford Keirstead. The conference took place in late April in Marlborough.
Adam Powell, Arlington, web design; Ethan Francis-Wright, Arlington, web design; Allison Kirk, Saugus, Career Pathways Showcase: Business/ Mgt/Tech; Collin Kelly, Sudbury, Community Action Project; Benjamin Keaton, Concord, Career Pathways Showcase: Human Services; Tyler Ferrin, Tewksbury, Career Pathways Showcase: Human Services; Alison Beucler, Medford, Career Pathways Showcase: Business/ Mgt/Tech; Sean Datar, Acton, Related Technical Math; Nicholas Delorey, Concord, Career Pathways Showcase: Human Services; Brian Courtney Jr, West Roxbury, Community Action Project; Erin Noel, Medford, Employment Application Process; Kentrahvey Vellom, Sudbury, Career Pathways Showcase: Business/ Mgt/Tech.
Alexander Doucette, Wakefield, Humanoid Robotics; Nicholas Moy, Concord, Humanoid Robotics; Marcus Doucette, Wakefield, Mechatronics; Emmanuel Georgoudis, Malden, Mechatronics.
Brodie Hawkes, Waltham, Career Pathways Showcase: Natural Resources/Agriculture/Food; Milo Rossi, Arlington, Career Pathways Showcase: Natural Resources/Agriculture/Food; Matthew Tobio, Billerica, Career Pathways Showcase: Natural Resources/Agriculture/Food; Marcello Barbieri, Lancaster, Engineering Technology; Jacob Blum, Wilmington, Engineering Technology; Evan Kennedy-Spaien, Danvers, Engineering Technology; Davis Kahmann, Arlington, Mechatronics; Jonathan Meister, Arlington, Mechatronics.
This news announcement was published Monday, May 15, 2017.
Teachers and students in horticulture/landscape technology at Minuteman High School in Lexington have won an award for an exhibit they created for the 2017 Boston Flower & Garden Show.
Instructors Sarah Ard and Peter Kelleher and their students received the New England Nursery Association Award for an intricate exhibit featuring a 320-square-foot garden (at left). The theme of the show, from March 22-26 at the Seaport World Trade Center, was "Superheroes of the Garden."
"It’s really exciting," Ard said of the honor. "Our exhibit highlighted pollinators as the real superheroes. The exhibit has a dry-fit cobblestone moongate, inspired by a moongate at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, R.I.; bee boxes and various pollinator houses (bat boxes, mason bee hotels and beetle boxes); and native plants, such as Concord grape and Cary Award-winning plants."
A moongate is “a circular opening in a garden wall” that people can pass through.
The award is "presented to the exhibit that best utilizes a range of New England native plants, and their cultivars, in a visually appealing and environmentally sensible setting." Cultivars are "plants selected for desirable characteristics that are maintained during propagation."
All students in horticulture/landscape tech had a hand in the design and logistics of the exhibit as well as in building various parts of the display. For the set-up, including constructing the moongate, two juniors (Nick DuLong of Medford and Jeffrey Connell of Billerica) and two seniors (Max Busa of Lexington and Duncan MacLean of Medford) devoted a weekend to working on the display.
Kelleher worked on the moongate with the upperclassmen to get the form correct and to practice fitting it all in preparation for the show, because there was limited time to get it ready. Ard worked on plant selection and placement and the layout of the display.
The students benefited tremendously from their experience, Ard said. They practiced time management due to impending deadlines and did research on pollinators, habitat and native plants. They also had to think about the practicality of each aspect of the display, she mentioned, like how the plants were going to look and what people could see from all sides of the display.
The effort was well worth it. "This was a great experience to add to their resume," Ard explained. "More than 75,000 people attend the Show, which has been around for over 100 years. It is a great confidence booster because we were the only high school group involved. The students get recognized by companies who see that we have a high school horticulture program and that our level of work is in line with the other exhibits."
Minuteman Superintendent Dr. Edward Bouquillon expressed his pleasure at how horticulture/landscape tech has flourished: "Minuteman's agricultural program continues to impress me and is a great source of pride for our school. The Future Farmers of America members, our instructors and our very active Advisory Board have helped grow this program. As we move forward with the construction of the new Minuteman school building, the Landscaping and Horticulture program will be even more relevant and will be able to serve the industry and our students who are moving forward in their college and career plans."
Student Duncan MacLean conveyed the rewarding sense of accomplishment that he and his classmates derived from what they did: "To be a part of the prestigious Boston Flower show is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a high school student. To be able to see the enjoyment that people experienced from viewing our exhibit was very gratifying."
This news announcement was published Thursday, March 30, 2017.
Freshmen at Minuteman High School are now armed with digital learning devices, thanks to a new initiative called "mPower — Empower Our Revolution."
In early March, all ninth-graders received a convertible laptop as part of Minuteman's one-to-one program. Under that, each student is given an electronic device. In this case, they received an HP Probook x360, which is a laptop and a tablet (convertible laptop).
"Minuteman is committed to preparing the students for their current and future success in the digital world," Annamaria Schrimpf, director of educational technology at Minuteman, said in a news release.
"These devices have the ability to enhance multiple aspects of a Minuteman student's educational experience. By designing and giving our students access to digital environments, we encourage them to be responsible digital citizens."
The focus of mPower is the use of the device in teaching and learning to support a 21st-century learning experience, and empowering Minuteman students to be active participants in their learning. Most of the freshmen at Minuteman take a semesterlong Digital Literacy and Citizenship course educating them on the opportunities afforded them by using technology.
Students are able to use the devices in school and take them home at night and are expected to bring them back every day fully charged. Teachers are encouraged to use these valuable resources during the school day.
All laptops include a web filter that prohibits students from accessing websites at home that they are prohibited from accessing at school by the district's internet filtering system.
Increased responsibility for students through this tool will allow them to improve time management, increase organizational skills and advance information retrieval. In both academic courses and career majors, students will use and access electronic resources to engage in and enhance their learning experience through collaboration, curation, communication and creativity. Minuteman is an Office 365 school that embraces the cloud-based use of software and data storage. This program will prepare students for both college and career.
Students now have instantaneous access to websites, Office 365, OneNote, Class Notebook, Microsoft Classroom and online journals and databases. Having the device also will allow them to easily add to their ePortfolios.
This program allows opportunities for the creation of personalized and blended learning environments, enhance the creation of ePortfolios and Senior Projects, and digitize the Executive Function program.
To help increase student and school awareness, a logo was developed for the mPower initiative and a large banner was placed in the front lobby.
The mPower initiative was launched with the help of nearly a dozen Minuteman educators known as Digital Learning Curators (DLC). These dedicated teachers were instrumental in investigating potential devices to be used and in supporting teachers with the integration of technology into their teaching and learning.
The DLC team includes design and visual communications teacher Allison Barry, math teacher Justin Fraser-deHaan, English teacher Bruce Girouard, science teachers Nina Griffin and Eric Marshall, instructional technology specialist Alissa Landau, library media specialist Maria Mastrocola, special-education teacher Andie Merkowitz, environmental-science teacher Terry Regan and programming and web-development teacher Bob Voges. Schrimpf leads the team.
Next year, the school plans to expand the program to another class of students. Minuteman is committed to ensuring that both teachers and students will be competent in the use of technology before their arrival in the new high school, soon to be under construction.
The program is being funded through the district's regular operating budget in place of the purchase of wireless computer carts.
This news announcement was published Thursday, March 23, 2017.
Davis Kahmann and Sean Datar, two outstanding seniors from Minuteman High School in Lexington, have earned recognition for exemplary character, leadership and scholastic excellence.
Kahmann, of Arlington, who is in the engineering program, is the school's Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) and the Massachusetts Vocational Association (MVA) Outstanding Vocational-Technical Student of 2017. He, along with other distinguished student honorees from vocational-technical high schools and programs across the Commonwealth, will be honored at the 31st Annual Outstanding Vocational Student Award Dinner at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on April 13.
Kahmann has excelled in his classes, including honors and advanced-placement English. He won the Brown University Book Award for writing last year. Over the summer, he participated in the MIT Lincoln Laboratory - Radar Introduction for Student Engineers program in Lexington, building small radar systems. This is a two-week summer residential workshop that is limited to 18 students. He was also awarded a paid co-op/internship position designing educational programs scheduled to be launched this summer featuring radio-controlled cars and drones.
He has been a group leader in the Team America Rocket Competition, constructing rockets. Kahmann also volunteers at a food pantry, has been a member of both the National Honor Society and the Math Team for two years, and is a John and Abigail Adams Scholar.
Datar, of Acton, is studying robotics and is Minuteman's 2017 nominee for the Walter J. Markham Award. This honor is sponsored by MAVA and MVA. Walter Markham was a pioneer in vocational-technical education in Massachusetts.
Mr. Datar plans to study electrical engineering in college and intends to go to graduate school. He has already been accepted to Purdue University and is awaiting responses from other colleges.
His extracurricular activities include varsity cross-country running in grades 9-12 (team captain in his junior and senior year), class officer in grades 9, 11 and 12 (freshman vice president and president in junior and senior year) and varsity swimming in grades 10-12 (co-captain in senior year). In 2015, Datar was a camp counselor in the College Academy Summer Program.
Minuteman has distinguished itself by building a reputation for excellence. Minuteman students consistently excel on the larger stage and have won numerous awards at state and national competitions. Minuteman challenges all students to revolutionize their high school expectations by aspiring to their full potential, accelerating their learning, and achieving success in the 21st-century global community.
This news announcement was published Thursday, March 9, 2017.
For the second year in a row, Minuteman High School has landed a major competitive grant from the state to help support its new advanced-manufacturing and metal-fabrication program.
The $495,000 grant was announced by Governor Charles D. Baker during an awards ceremony at Greater Lowell Technical High School on March 3.
The governor and his Workforce Skills Cabinet announced grants totaling $11.8 million from the new Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant Program. Baker was joined at the event by Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II, Education Secretary James Peyser and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.
Some 64 vocational-technical high schools, community colleges and traditional public school districts applied for grants. Only 32 were successful.
"Our school and its students owe a big debt of gratitude to the Baker Administration and the Workforce Skills Cabinet for making this investment in our future," Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman’s superintendent, said in a March 9 news release. "Starting new high-quality career and technical programs isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. This state grant will go a long way toward making this new program possible."
Bouquillon said the state grant will help keep down costs for local taxpayers.
Last year, Minuteman received $500,000 from the Skills Capital Grant Program, the largest grant possible. This year, it received $495,000.
With this year’s grant, Minuteman will purchase a host of industry-standard 3D printers and precision measurement and inspection devices to enable students to learn about the growing field of additive manufacturing and to hone their skills in the areas of precision measurement and quality control.
Over the next few months, the school will be ordering and installing the equipment, hiring a teacher, and finalizing the program design. The school is planning to start the new program in the fall.
The UMass Lowell College of Engineering is assisting with implementation, with guidance from an active Program Advisory Committee of business, education, and community leaders that will review curriculum, equipment, instruction, and industry trends.
Instruction will be delivered at Minuteman High School by state-licensed teachers and will follow state curriculum frameworks and guidelines from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.
Pending local permitting, Minuteman is planning to break ground this spring on a new 628-student high school consisting of two Career Academies supporting a total of 16 high-quality career and technical education programs.
The new high school is planned for the Lincoln side of Minuteman’s property.
This news announcement was published Thursday, March 9, 2017.
Two students from Minuteman High School in Lexington have earned awards for posters they created for an annual public-service announcement and poster competition sponsored by the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth and the Middlesex District Attorney's Office. This year's theme was "Challenge Yourself -- Be Resilient."
Melanie Hennessey, a junior from Dover, was the overall winner for her poster, "Smooth Seas." John "Jack" Ross, a junior from Arlington, earned an honorable mention for his poster, "New Heights." Both students are in the design and visual communications program at Minuteman, said their teacher, Maria Galante.
Ross said his poster "represents challenge and resilience through a man climbing up a very large, steep cliff. The poster implies that challenging tasks build up strength and courage, thus bringing you to 'new heights.'"
Students who entered the competition were asked to create posters conveying a message to teens about the importance of being resilient, a quality that can help them cope with setbacks, motivate them to seek out challenging new experiences and become productive, healthy adults.
More than 100 entries were submitted by middle- and high school students in Middlesex County, according to Stephanie Guyotte, director of programs and outreach for the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth. The judges included staff from the district attorney's office, police officers, educators and school administrators.
The students will be honored this month at a ceremony with Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. The winning poster will be printed and distributed to Middlesex County schools. Posters will also be shared on the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth website.
The group brings together various individuals and organizations dedicated to improving, enhancing and safeguarding the well-being of young people throughout Middlesex County.
This news announcement was published Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017.
Minuteman High School has landed another major grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to help upgrade its biotechnology program. The $108,172 competitive grant will enable the school to outfit its biotechnology lab with more advanced equipment and send two teachers to intensive training in the latest techniques.
The grant will enable Minuteman to expand its biomanufacturing capability through the purchase of $100,000 in equipment, including three biological safety cabinets Class II hoods and three single-stage vacuum pumps to run the hoods. The hoods are essential for maintaining sterility and aseptic technique in growing animal cells and microbes in the school lab.
The grant will also enable Minuteman to update the water-purification system in its biotechnology lab to meet industry standards. The purified water is required for cell growth, molecular biology and biomanufacturing.
"We're extremely grateful to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and to the Baker administration for this investment in education," Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman's superintendent, said in a news release. "This equipment will help us strengthen the Biotechnology pipeline and prepare our students for careers in one of the state’s fastest-growing industries."
3D printers, teacher program
The grant will also allow Minuteman to purchase two 3D printers to introduce students to cutting-edge technologies used in micronutrient research and production and in tissue culture. 3D printers create models that allow students to visualize cell and tissue structure and better understand related diseases and how to target them. Knowing 3D printing is fast becoming an essential skill for biotechnicians.
In addition to the $100,000 for equipment, Minuteman received $8,172 to enable biotechnology teachers Patrick Rafter and Mark Jurman to take a four-day certificate program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute titled "Microbial Fermentation Development, Scale-up and Manufacturing."
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center received a record-high 105 applications for equipment funds. It approved 49 applications totaling $4.3 million.
The center is a state agency charged with administering a $1 billion state investment in the life sciences. As part of that investment, it has funded five rounds of equipment grants to Massachusetts middle schools and high schools to improve the delivery of instruction in the life sciences.
Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that integrates robust academic and career & technical learning to deliver a revolutionary competitive advantage.
Pending local permitting, Minuteman is planning to break ground soon on a new 628-student high school, in Lincoln, consisting of two career academies supporting a total of 16 high-quality career and technical education programs.
This news announcement was published Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.
Minuteman High School and Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce Inc. are joining forces to expand opportunities for young high school women seeking careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). With the help of a $14,500 competitive state grant, Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce will assist in funding a series of activities for Minuteman's award-winning Girls in STEM program.
Among other things, the grant will help Minuteman operate a Girls in STEM Vacation Camp, enable students to visit and explore a host of STEM employers and laboratories, and launch the creation of a STEM library of books and audiovisual materials related to STEM fields.
"This gives a big boost to the Minuteman Girls in STEM program," Michelle Roche, director of career and technical education at Minuteman, said in a news release. "We're grateful to Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce and look forward to this new collaboration."
Kelley French, director of youth programs at Partnerships, said in the release: "We have a strong history of promoting STEM in the Marlborough Public Schools,” said “This new collaboration allows us to make more of an impact throughout our region."
Three years ago, Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce won a sizable federal grant to partner with Marlborough High School to create an in-depth STEM curriculum. For more information on the program, click here >>
For two consecutive years, Minuteman's Girls in STEM program has received national awards from SkillsUSA, an organization that runs skill and leadership competitions for students in career and technical high schools across the nation.
Girls in STEM was launched several years ago at the urging of Superintendent Dr. Edward Bouquillon, who recognized the need to increase the number of young women in STEM-related career training programs. Since that time, Minuteman’s Girls in STEM has run after-school programs, field trips and vacation camps and actively promoted STEM programs to dozens of female high school and middle school students in the region.
Under the Girls in STEM model, female adults working in STEM fields serve as mentors for Minuteman High School students interested in pursuing STEM careers. In turn, the female Minuteman students serve as mentors for female middle school students interested in exploring STEM careers.
Until now, the program has operated without any financial support from the state, using unspent local funds if they were available. The new source of funding comes from a Connecting Activities STEM Career Vocational Technical Education Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce is the regional workforce board covering 43 cities and towns. Those include most of the member communities in Minuteman's 16-town district.
Minuteman recently secured state and local funding to build a new $144.9 million school, including 16 career and technical programs in two career academies. Groundbreaking is expected to occur this spring, with the new school being open to students in the fall of 2019.
This news announcement was published Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017.
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