NNHS Principal's Newsletter April 2017

Newton North High School Principal Letter

Principal’s Newsletter-April 2017

One of the amazing aspects of Newton North is the number of ways that our students help to give back to their school and strengthen their larger community.  As you may recall, we are working to provide a greater focus on our Social and Civic Expectations across the building.  Below is a sample of some of the highlights of events that showcase the many ways our Student Organizations help to strengthen our community.

Club Activities

ToBGLAD Day was held on April 7th. The days events were well attended and  found it was a supportive event to help raise awareness and understanding of LGBTQ issues. During the day there were a number of panelist groups and presenters including faith community members, students and faculty, a group of acapella singers as well as a parents and community group Out Metrowest.

The Kindness Club recently celebrated Kindness Day that included a variety of activities on Main Street as well as a full day of speakers including acclaimed speaker Pamela Schuller, a special needs advocate and panel discussions for students and teachers alike. Math teachers Tracey Stewart and Allegra Atkinson lead the club with a focus on efforts to create a more connected and caring school community stating that “the one thing that’s hard to teach is just humanness, the realization that everyone around you is worthy of love, respect and kindess!”

Body Confidence Day was led by PEHW teacher Courtney Albert. The focus of the day was to start and continue conversations about the under-discussed, yet prevalent subject of how we view ourselves. The day included presentations and panel discussions that ranged from eating disorders, dieting addictions and BMI to ableism, body dysphoria for transgender students and plus size fashion and body confidence. Mass MEDA (Multiservice Eating Disorders Association) clinicians were on hand to answer questions and assist students.

Dreamfar High School Marathon Club serves a purpose far beyond helping students simply run the 26.2 miles of the Providence marathon. This year the club had 24 students involved with the group and practiced during the week after school and on Saturday mornings with teachers Ethan Peritz, Colleen Virgil and Amy McMahon. Students have reflected that being part of a community that was supportive and non-competitive is wonderful for them. One student remarked that preparing for the marathon has “had a positive impact on my mental and emotional health” and that training has “largely affected my self-confidence.” Students who take part in Dreamfar are part of a larger group of 14 schools that take part and all get to interact with one another on their long runs as part of a community.

FBLA Club awarded MA Chapter of the Year at 2017 State Competition. 15 club members were presented with an opportunity to attend Nationals in Anaheim, California for their highly competitive test scores and outstanding presentations at the state competition held at Bentley University.

SLACers (Student Library Assistant Club) help out in the Library Learning Commons throughout the school day. Our students collaborate on building creative displays to promote reading, check books in and out and shelve books that have been returned. The club welcomes new students and participate in special.projects. Each term the librarians accept 1-2 students to assist library teachers and receive credit for their service.

The Hiking Club led by Anndy Dannenberg went on a day trip to the Blue Hills. Before they left the parking lot, the club co-president had engaged all 16 students in a name-game that was remarkable in that it took as long to formulate the rules of the game as it did to play. The constant modifications to the protocol felt more like an improv theater exercise than an organized ice breaker, but it involved all concerned, and put everyone at their ease as they relaxed into the craziness. Eventually a structure was conceived and eventually the stated purpose of introductions was achieved. The hike was equally relaxed and collaborative, and the membership in the hiking club had been expanded. The co-presidents are among the most welcoming and inclusive student leaders I’ve had the pleasure of working with in my long tenure as club advisor.

Old Grannies is an inclusive and relaxed club where participants are able to be creative among friends and collaborate. In this club we can teach and learn from each other how to knit, crochet and embroider. Over the year the club has created hats, scarves, blankets and gifts. The club is dedicated to Karen Douglass whom the group tries to honor by emulating her creativity.

Archery has has taken a field trip to Bay State Archery to practice their shooting technique and has enjoyed a number of opportunities to bond as group.

Asian Culture Club has monthly meetings with club members and has held both annual events in April including  Asian Culture Day which featured both famous Asians in the film industry as well as NNHS teacher Subheen Razzaqui, student speakers and artist Bren Bataclan. Asian Culture Night focused on student led acts including: Chinese lion dance, Filipino traditional dance, K-Pop dancing, singing, Chinese yo-yo, a fashion show and students who played the violin and piano.

The boys and girls Ultimate teams held a discussion on gender equity in sports. The teams discussed the qualities of good leaders, teammates and friends and tried to build a greater understanding of gender I’m balance that has existed in sports throughout history. There were no ‘right’ answers’ but mostly observations of these imbalances and discussions about what can be done to support women in sports and women’s sports in general.

The Science Team earned 1st place in the state for the 2017 TEAMS (Tests of Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) 11th and 12th grade competition. The 9th and 10th grade team won 3rd place.


Upcoming Events

The Junior semi-formal will take place on May 20th at the Royal Sonesta Hotel from 7 to 11 pm. Students can purchase tickets for the Great Gatsby/Roaring Twenties themed event during third lunch for $85 a ticket. If your student would like to take a guest from another grade or school please have them visit the Riley House office to pick up a form which must be signed by the other student’s Dean or Assistant Principal of their school. Busses will transport students to and from the event and will leave promptly from the theater entrance of Newton North at 6:30 pm.

To celebrate our students diverse backgrounds, an International Event will take place on May 25th.

Weather permitting, graduation will take place on Wednesday, June 7th at 5 pm at Newton North High School. For planning purposes, we estimate that the entire graduation takes two hours.

From left: Students painting an Office during Newton Serves; Newton METCO 50th Anniversary Celebration; 40th Anniversary celebration of Newton North–Masillon French Exchange; Ms. Franchi cooks Pancakes for her students before vacation; Winners of the Heintzelman Writing Competition read their work.

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