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Displayed beside pros, Minuteman gardeners' exhibit grabs 5 awards

The award-winning Minuteman garden exhibit. /  Photo by Sarah ArdThe award-winning Minuteman garden exhibit. /  Photo by Sarah Ard

Exhibit showcased in Boston Magazine

Minuteman High students in horticulture and plant science won five awards for an exhibit they created for the 2018 Boston Flower & Garden Show. 

The Minuteman exhibit received the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals Award, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources state award, an award for edible plant gardening, a $1,000 Premium Award for "a garden exhibit's use of forced plant material hardy to New England" and a blue ribbon in the amateur horticultural competition. 

The Minuteman exhibit was also depicted in photos published in Boston Magazine. Scroll down here to see them >>

Setup of the exhibit was done by horticulture students Charles Lovett (Arlington), Nick DuLong and Antonio Aluia (both Medford) and Jeffrey Connell (Billerica).

Lovett, a sophomore, said of the experience in a March 31 news release: "It was a lot of fun to help assemble and satisfying to see how it all came together. I've never worked on a project like this before where I got to help with the design and work on it through the build stage." 

Sarah Ard, Minuteman horticulture and plant science instructor, who supervised the students' work instructor Peter Kelleher, described the exhibit, the only one at the show done by high school students.

"It was an outdoor, lush space that invited you in to sample spring's bounty," Ard said in the release. "Lettuce and edible flowers were surrounded by native and nonnative woody landscape plants."

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2 Minuteman students pitch tech ed on national TV

From left, Fae Eisenheim of Arlington, general contractor/radio host Cindy Stumpo, entertainer Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Merrick of Lexington. / Photo by Bryan BedderFrom left, Fae Eisenheim of Arlington, general contractor/radio host Cindy Stumpo, entertainer Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Merrick of Lexington. / Photo by Bryan Bedder

Minuteman High School students Fae Eisenheim and Michael Merrick stepped on stage in New York in early February to tape a segment of "Harry," a daytime TV show hosted by entertainer Harry Connick Jr., and displayed the poise and professionalism of two seasoned pros.

Much was at stake that day. Arlington resident Eisenheim and Merrick, of Lexington, represented Minuteman in front of an audience extending far beyond the borders of Massachusetts; they were also ambassadors for the numerous benefits of career and technical education.

Their adventure actually had its genesis last fall, when George Clement, Minuteman assistant principal for academic programs/admissions, was a guest on a program on WBZ Radio titled "Cindy Stumpo is Tough as Nails." The host is Stumpo, a successful Newton-based general contractor who specializes in luxury homes. The theme of the show, according to its producer, Tricia Bradley of Serious Fun Productions, was "Where Are All the Good, Reliable, Dependable Sub-Contractors?"

Some of them are being trained now at exceptional schools such as Minuteman, Clement pointed out. In fact, the subject of career and technical education and how its teachers and programs are closing the skills gap resonated strongly with both Stumpo and Bradley, leading to yet another broadcast. "The conversation and information was compelling," Bradley said in a March 21 news release, "so we had George back on with two students. We called that show, 'Cool Kids, Cool Jobs.'"

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Arlington students among Minuteman medalists at skills competition

Minuteman High School logo

Minuteman students earned gold, silver and bronze medals in the regional SkillsUSA District III competition held at Joseph P. Keefe Regional Technical School in Framingham on Feb. 28.   

SkillsUSA is a national organization that allows students in career and technical education to compete in rigorous technical and leadership competitions. The medalists from Minuteman were:

Culinary arts: gold, Sam Zurlo '19, Lexington;

Cosmetology over 500 hours: bronze, Madelyn Hedges '8, Arlington;

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Minuteman launches advanced manufacturing with visit from Lt. Governor Polito

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito (third from left) is surrounded by a host of students, school officials, and dignitaries at the ribbon-cutting for Minuteman High School’s new Advanced Manufacturing program.Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (third from left in front) is surrounded at the ribbon-cutting.

With Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito present, Minuteman High School celebrated the opening of its new advanced-manufacturing lab.

Outfitted with the latest state-of-the-art equipment courtesy of $995,000 in state grants, the new lab is designed to train high school students and adults in high-wage, high-demands jobs in advanced manufacturing.

Polito joined Minuteman staff, area business leaders and a host of dignitaries on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the start of the new program. She praised school officials for establishing the new program. "This is essential for Massachusetts," she said. "We're known as the number one innovation economy in the country. You are on the cutting edge of something really amazing."

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Arlington senior named Minuteman outstanding vo-tech student for '18

From left,  Principal Jack Dillon, design instructor Maria Galante, 'Jack' Ross; Michelle Roche, career director; and Lisa Camagna, guidance counselor. / Photo by Ryan CrookerFrom left, Principal Jack Dillon, design instructor Maria Galante, 'Jack' Ross; Michelle Roche, career director; and Lisa Camagna, guidance counselor. / Photo by Ryan Crooker.

Senior John "Jack" Ross of Arlington has been chosen as Minuteman High School's Outstanding Vocational Technical Student of 2018.

He will be honored, with dozens of students who are receiving this award from vocational technical high schools and state-approved technical programs throughout Massachusetts, at a banquet and ceremony at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on April 12.

This award is given jointly by the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators and the Massachusetts Vocational Association to recognize students who have exceptional grades, technical competence, attendance, leadership qualities, vocational work experience, extracurricular activities and community involvement.

Ross was nominated by his design and visual communication instructor at Minuteman, Maria Galante. In an essay, she wrote, "In addition to Jack's excellent grades and attendance, he is one of the students who continually helps [her department] and Minuteman. He has helped other students on group projects in the classroom and has consistently helped with Showcase Day, Career Day and advisory board meetings, to name just a few."

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Participation in 22nd Genesis Battlegreen Run benefits Minuteman High groups

Battlegreen17 400 12718From left, Emma Leone; Dean Malerba, tech assistant; Michelle Roche, technical education director; Charles Lovett, Arlington, grade 10 horticulture and plant sciences; Fae Eisenheim, Arlington, grade 11 horticulture and plant sciences; Jenn Eisenheim, parent; Otto Rademacher, Arlington, grade 10, environmental science and technology.          Photo by Allison Salisbury.

As a result of its participation in the 22nd annual Genesis Battlegreen Run last year, Minuteman High School received a total of $2,875 for two organizations that actively support the school's educational mission -- the Minuteman Parent Association and the Minuteman Futures Foundation.

The Minuteman Parent Association, an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization comprising parents and guardians of current Minuteman students, received $1,500.

The Minuteman Futures Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District in its mission as a provider of workforce education, received $1,375.

"The Battlegreen Run Foundation offers fund-raising opportunities for qualified nonprofit organizations through a program held in conjunction with the Genesis Battlegreen Run, which is held annually on the first Sunday in November," said Maryanne Ham, Minuteman's director of special projects who also serves on the board of directors of the Battlegreen Run Foundation.

The run provides an opportunity for nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston, Ovarian Cancer Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Genesis Community Fund, Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA MASS), Esperanza – Hope for Children, the Lighthouse Animal Shelter, and now Minuteman High School to engage in a fund-raising opportunity where 100 percent of the proceeds are donated back to the nonprofit, she said in a Jan. 23 news release.

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Arlington freshman chosen tops among 4 at Minuteman for term

Minuteman High School has selected four outstanding students for the first term.

Padraig Paddy Wallace 990 122617The students chosen are freshman Padraig "Paddy" Wallace of Arlington (at right), sophomore Julia Gomes of Lexington, junior Kimmee Hanson of Lancaster and senior Giacomo Zuccala of Woburn. All were given certificates in recognition of this achievement, had their photos taken and were treated to lunch with Minuteman Principal Jack Dillon in the school's student-run restaurant, The Fife & Drum.

This honor is awarded every term to one student from each grade level based on nominations from teachers. The criteria include attendance, character and improvement, according to Assistant Principal Brian Tildsley.

Wallace was nominated by his mathematics instructor, Carrie E. W. Bernstein, who is impressed by his consistently cheerful, outgoing attitude. He is majoring in biotechnology, enjoys chemistry and is thinking of attending either Georgia Tech or MIT. Wallace is interested in someday using nanotechnology to do site-specific cancer removal. He is on the Student Council and the math team and likes calligraphy, writing and poetry.

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Minuteman to participate in new advanced-manufacturing certificate program for adults

Minuteman High School is one of 10 vocational-technical high schools that will be participating in a new educational initiative designed to train adults for high-wage, skill-intensive careers in advanced manufacturing.Minuteman High School logo

The certificate program was announced by Gov. Charlie Baker at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in Easton on Dec. 14.

"This is one of the best investments in human opportunity and capability we can all make," he said in a Dec. 20 news release. "We're very excited about this."

Jobs are available in this burgeoning field for two factors that make employers uneasy -- an aging workforce with retirement looming and a skills gap that translates into a scarcity of qualified employees to replace them. The program unveiled by Gov. Baker is intended to prepare men and women to join the advanced-manufacturing workforce to keep propelling the industry forward.

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Minuteman Parent Association revitalized

The Minuteman Parent Association is going strong again, Minuteman High School Principal Jack Dillon says.
Minuteman High School logo

He lauded the newly reconstituted group for demonstrating remarkable industriousness and commitment to its mission. "They've done more in the past six months than I've seen in 12 years," he said.

The all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization is composed of parents and guardians of current Minuteman students. They assist the school by supporting student activities, publishing a student directory, giving scholarships and trade awards, facilitating parent communication, raising funds for teacher training tools and professional development, holding a monthly informational speaker series and having a presence at school events. They also help to create a positive school culture, Dillon said.

The association, which was founded years ago, is emerging from a period of inactivity because many of its most involved members left the organization when their children graduated from Minuteman. Nevertheless, Dillon and George Clement, assistant principal/director of admissions, both felt that the group serves a worthwhile purpose and deserved to be restarted. Now, with new leadership as of last May, and new members, a fresh spirit of excitement is galvanizing the organization.

"We have an unbelievable group of officers" leading the association, Dillon said. They are Sue Mullaney, president, Needham; Lea Minghella, vice president, Lexington; Susanna Vennerbeck, treasurer, Stow; Julie Onos, secretary, Acton; and Joan Fiore, member at large, Woburn.

The group got off to a lively beginning this year, thanks to several successful fund-raisers. They held a Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo Night at the Woburn Elks on Oct. 28, which raised about $5,000, drew about 170 people and generated positive feedback. The association also partnered with Minuteman to advertise and participate in the Battlegreen Run on Nov. 5.

On Saturday, Dec. 9, a "Breakfast with Santa" is planned at Minuteman. Another fund-raiser is planned for April, with details to be announced.

A free monthly speaker series hosted by the association and open to all Minuteman district parents and guardians, as well as parents and guardians of students from other local high schools, was launched in November. The first presentation was "Getting Ready for College." Upcoming presentations will include "Supporting the Mental Health of Our Students" (January), "The Impact of Vocational-Technical Education" with Governor Charles D. Baker (March) and "Raising Awareness of Drugs and Alcohol" (May).

Yet another milestone was achieved this year when the group contributed $6,000 to support scholarships for Minuteman students.

The association meets twice monthly. Membership dues are whatever each member considers appropriate. Additional information is available at

Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that integrates robust academic and career & technical learning to deliver a revolutionary competitive advantage to its students, expanding their opportunities for college and career success. Minuteman is as an accredited member of the New England Association of Schools & Colleges. 

This news announcement was published Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.

2 from Minuteman named commended students in merit test

Adam Powell of Arlington. / Photo by Brian TildsleyAdam Powell of Arlington. / Photo by Brian Tildsley

Two students from Minuteman High School have been named commended students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Seniors Adam Powell of Arlington and Jasper Hendrix of Acton earned this distinction because they excelled on the qualifying test administered by the program in 2016.

Powell is in the programming and web-development program. Hendrix is majoring in engineering. 

"We were thrilled to hear the good news about Jasper Hendrix and Adam Powell," Minuteman Principal Jack Dillon said in a Nov. 5 news release. "They should be extremely proud of this accomplishment. Being commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program is an honor and it doesn’t come without a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance. I have no doubt that Jasper and Adam will continue to accomplish great things as they start to prepare for their future outside of Minuteman."

Both students were given a letter of commendation from Minuteman and the National Merit Scholarship Corp. in recognition of this achievement.

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Minuteman student from Arlington helps create mural for library's teen space

Minuteman High School students Mariana Torres-Roman of Watertown, left, and Lucy Couet of Arlington are creating a mural at the Cary Memorial Library in Lexington. Photo courtesy Maria Galante.Mariana Torres-Roman of Watertown, left, and Lucy Couet of Arlington. / Photo courtesy Maria Galante.

The Cary Memorial Library’s Teen Space will soon have a new mural adorning the wall, thanks to two industrious students from Minuteman High School.

Seniors Lucy Couet of Arlington and Mariana Torres-Roman of Watertown are in the design and visual communications program at Minuteman. They are interning at the library this fall to complete the mural they designed, said their teacher, Maria Galante.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with Minuteman High School students on this project," Jennifer Forgit, the library’s teen-services manager, said in an Oct. 30 news release. "From the outset of the Teen Room design project, we knew that it would be important to pay attention to the design and decor so that teens would feel at home. This is their space, and we want the look and the feel of the room to convey that. The mural will be the final piece to really personalize the space for Lexington teens.”

Couet and Torres-Roman are spending 18 hours a week at the library during the weeks when they would ordinarily be in their vocational program until the mural is completed, set for December.

It measures about 7 feet by 10 feet and will be done with paint, markers and pencils on canvas. The Cary Memorial Library Foundation is funding materials for the mural. The mural showcases themes such as diversity, acceptance and community in a fanciful and engaging manner.

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Minuteman students on November broadcast of 'This Old House'

To be shown restoring gardens at the historic Buttrick mansion in Concord

Students in horticulture and plant science at Minuteman High School will be featured in November on the nationally televised, Emmy award-winning PBS series, "This Old House."Minuteman High School logo

The students, along with their teachers Sarah Ard and Peter Kelleher, will be shown restoring the gardens at the Buttrick mansion in Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord. One of the students is Charles Lovett of Arlington. 

The program was scheduled to air Nov. 16.

This will be the second time in slightly more than a month that Minuteman has been showcased on a PBS program. On Oct. 12, Minuteman was one of three vocational technical high schools in Massachusetts spotlighted on a PBS documentary titled "Job Centered Learning," which examined the benefits of career and technical education.

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Town resident among Minuteman Hall of Fame inductees

6th annual ceremony Nov. 3 in Stoneham

The Minuteman High School Hall of Fame recognizes exceptional alumni, teachers, administrators, coaches, sports teams and others associated with the school who have distinguished themselves during and after their time at Minuteman.

DeAnne Dupont, 2016 Citizen of the YearDeAnne Dupont, in 2016, when she was named Arlington Chamber of Commerce first Citizen of the Year.

This year’s inductees are DeAnne Dupont of Arlington, recognized for  service to the Minuteman Parent Association; retired administrator William Callahan, alumnus David Jones, alumna Eliza Leahy, alumnus Randy LeBlanc, retired administrator Dick Lee, alumnus Bob McCarthy, alumna Jody Bobbitt Zolli and the 2002 girls’ basketball team.

They will be inducted in a ceremony at Montvale Plaza, 54 Montvale Ave., Stoneham, on Friday, Nov. 3, from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person, which includes a reception, buffet dinner, and the award ceremony.

RSVP by Oct. 20. Make checks payable to Minuteman and write Minuteman HOF on the memo line. Send checks to Minuteman Hall of Fame, Sonia Vetrano, 758 Marrett Road, Lexington MA 02421.

For more information, contact Sonia Vetrano at 781-861-6500 x7241 or email her at SVetrano[@]

Here is additional information about the 2017 inductees, reported in an Oct. 10 school news release:

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Minuteman High takes part in federal food programs

Minuteman High School is reminding families of its students that it takes part in the national school lunch and breakfast programs – and that free or reduced priced meals are available to students whose families are eligible.Minuteman High School logo

“At Minuteman, we believe that a healthy breakfast and lunch should be available to all students. That’s why we make available free and reduced priced meals every school day,” said Heather Shastany, RD, Minuteman’s director of food services.

Minuteman High School utilizes the district website ( to inform Minuteman families of the availability of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, she said.

Eligibility criteria for free and reduced priced meals are set by the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. The complete chart for eligibility criteria can be found by visiting the following site >>

The Free and Reduced Meals Application packet is mailed to all families yearly and as necessary. Application packets are also provided to all new students.

Families receiving assistance from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), homeless, migrant, runaway and enrolled in an eligible Head Start or enrolled in an eligible prekindergarten class will be notified of free eligibility.

If a family member is receiving these benefits and is not notified, they should contact the Food Services Department at Minuteman High School to have free meal benefits extended to them. If the household chooses to decline the free meal benefits, they must contact the Minuteman Food Services Department.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Minuteman is an equal opportunity provider.

This announcement was published Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017.

Minuteman sells first bonds for construction of new high school

rebuild 300 82817Site work proceeds in Lincoln on a new Minuteman High in an August photo; current school in background.

UPDATED, Sept. 20: The Minuteman School Committee, in a 10-0 vote, this month approved the sale of $36 million in general-obligation bonds for constructing a new high school.

Eight financial institutions competed to purchase the bonds. The low bid was submitted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with a true interest cost of just over 3.09 percent. The high bid was just over 3.43 percent.

The district offered the bids after receiving a credit rating of "AA" from S&P Global Ratings.

"We’re pleased with the results," said Kevin F. Mahoney, assistant superintendent of finance for Minuteman, "The effective interest came in lower than we had projected so we’re working within our budget and saving money for the District in the long run."

The new school will cost $144.9 million. About $44 million is to come from a grant from the state School Building Authority, and the district is borrowing about $100 million.

District officials plan two additional bond sales to cover the district's share of the project. The second bond sale is tentatively scheduled for the late spring of 2019.

Construction of the new school is underway. The site has been cleared and foundation work is beginning this month.

The new school is expected to be completed in time for the start of school in the fall of 2019.

The new school is designed for two career academies offering a total of 16 career and technical education programs, including two new ones: advanced manufacturing and multimedia engineering.

New Minuteman High moves ahead on schedule

Site-preparation work for construction of a new Minuteman High School is moving ahead on schedule, without surprises, the construction manager says. 

Walter Kincaid, project executive for Gilbane Building Co., updated neighbors during a meeting at Minuteman High School to keep nearby residents apprised of progress on the $144.9 million construction project.

"Things are progressing well," Kincaid said in an Aug. 28 news release, adding that construction crews haven’t run into anything unexpected or unusual while clearing and excavating the site.

He expressed confidence that the project will be completed within two years. "We’re going to put kids in the new school in the fall of 2019," he said.

Expected blasting schedule

Kincaid said blasting of ledge would continue up to three times a week for four more weeks. He said crews are scheduled to start putting in the building’s foundation around Sept. 18.

Kincaid and a representative from Skanska Building USA, Minuteman’s project manager, gave a brief PowerPoint presentation and answered questions from a handful of residential homeowners and the head of the Minute Man National Historical Park.

Minuteman High School drawing, main front entrance Conceptual drawing provided by Minuteman shows the front entrance.

Skanska Building USA is also the project manager for the plan to revamp Arlington High School. 

They updated neighbors on clearing of the site, blasting of ledge, crushing of rock, excavation of dirt, efforts to minimize dust and the relocation of a massive 130-ton boulder to the west end of the property.

They answered questions on a wide range of topics, including how noise levels are being monitored, construction of an emergency access driveway, and the fate of wildlife, such as deer and turkeys.

The neighbors weren’t particularly pleased with the blasting -- including an especially large blast that occurred that very morning -- but they complimented the Minuteman administration for communicating with them about the blasting schedule. They also complimented construction crews for not starting work before 7 a.m.

Superintendent Edward Bouquillon said the next meeting would be scheduled for late September. At that time, he hoped neighbors would be able to take a walk around the site.

Next meeting late September

The Aug. 22 meeting was the second of at least three scheduled by the school administration.

The new school is being built on district-owned property in Lincoln, just a few hundred yards away from the existing school in Lexington.

The new Minuteman High School is designed for 628 students who will spend their Minuteman "careers" in one of two Career Academies: a Life Sciences and Services Academy and an Engineering, Construction & Trades Academy. The new school will include 16 career and technical education programs, including two new ones: Advanced Manufacturing and Multi-Media Engineering (Technical Theatre).

The Massachusetts School Building Authority is investing more than $44 million in the project.

Gilbane Building Co is the construction manager for the project, and Kaestle Boos Associates is the architect.

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. 

The Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District includes 10 member towns: Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham and Stow.

June 14, 2017: State, local officials break ground for new Minuteman High

This news announcement was published Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, and updated Sept. 20.

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