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March Principal's Report

Principal Report for March, 2017

DECA States.  About 114 students departed for the State DECA competition in Boston on March 9th.  The theme of this year’s competition was “Dream, Design, Dominate”. The results for our students were quite impressive: Competing in a broad array of business categories, and often in fields of 30 to 50 competitors, Algonquin students -  including solo and team - gained 42 finalists, with 30 students qualifying for the next competitive level; ICDC. In all, Algonquin had 10 first places, 7 seconds, 1 third, 4 fourths, and 5 fifths.

Pictured is a scene from the raucous Friday night preliminary awards from the Hynes Auditorium, with one of our parent chaperones in the foreground, and a T-Hawk award winner in the middle of the stage and featured on the double jumbotrons.  Hynes is not that far from the offices of Boston Magazine, about a 12-minute walk using Dalton Street.  Individual medal winners in the preliminary round included 12 first places, 11 second places, and 16 third places, for a total of 39.  Tricia Riley and Cam Martin advise the DECA Chapter at Algonquin.  Student Officers are: President: Jake DeMarco, VP of Professional Development: Anthony Francalancia, VP of Chapter Communications: Alex Pietropaolo, VP of Fundraising: Nicholas Francalancia, VP of Public Relations: Olivia Permatteo.  

Health and Physical Education (HE/PE).  The Samaritan's came on Monday March 6th to speak with the Health and Fitness 10 classes for our bi-annual suicide prevention talk.  They teach the student's about being a good listener, where to access help in and out of the building and warning signs if their friend is struggling.  They are available 24 hours a day.  WARHS and Health and Fitness 10 student PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) are on the radio! WARHS radio! Listen to the important messages created by the student's advocating for specific causes.  Melissa Arvanigian teaches Health at Algonquin.

Wellness Week is coming to ARHS!  The newly formed Algonquin Wellness Committee is presenting their first Wellness Week at Algonquin, March 13-17.  Monday was “My Cause Monday, Tuesday - scotched by Winter Storm Stella – would have been “Take Charge Tuesday”, Wednesday is “Wellness”, Thursday is “Thankful”, and Friday is “Healthy Food”.  The committee members are Chrissy Connelly, Melissa Arvanigian, Justine Fishman, Sheree Caron, Deb Guterman, Lisa Connery, Steve Godbout, Maura Morrison, Katie Salt, Brian Mawson, and Andy McGowan.

USABO (U.S.A. Biology Olympiad) club at Algonquin.  The USABO club had 7 members take the open exam on Thursday, February 16.  We are awaiting results, but students felt better about the exam than they did last year.  Students are hopeful that they scored high enough to advance to the semifinal round of the Olympiad.  The program is building and students continue to discuss ways to better prepare for the exam each year. Elisa Drake teaches Biology at Algonquin, and advises this new club.


The Winter Show.  Ms. Morrison files this report on the annual Dramahawks show.   The show this year is a series of original sketches we are calling HOMEMADE THEATER.  The menu features 12 sketches and 2 original monologues. 

The cast includes 26 students who have all contributed in some way to the sketches and with Opening Night 8 days away, we are still revising. Writing your own script is not for the faint of heart.  This troupe of free-range Drama-hawks developed ideas through improvisational work began in October.  Again, we are still revising scripts but will be ready for March 16. 


George Hancin and his art students have created the design for the set and are currently sketching with fresh paint on the way.  Bridie McGlynn (art student) is the artist who recreated a picture for our poster.  Julie Doyle and one of her SWAT team students have been helping out with program design.   Nitai Kortua is on lights and Nick Libby is playing live music to help create ambience during the scenes. 8 of my cast will also be playing live before the show to warm up the audience.  It takes a village.

Show dates:  Thursday, Mar 16, Friday, Mar 17 - St Paddy's Day, and Saturday, Mar 18 all at 7pm in the Black Box Theatre.  Maura Morrison teaches Drama I and Drama II at Algonquin.                


Math Team having a banner year. Official results have been posted, and Algonquin has finished in 2nd place in WOCOMAL Class A, our highest finish since 2008-09.  We also finished 1st among all "Large" Schools in WOCOMAL, which qualifies us for the MAML State Playoffs at the end of this month.  Several Algonquin Students placed in the Top-100 among all WOCOMAL competitors: 12 - Andrew Lee (7th Grader from Melican), 26 - Andrew Gao, 31 - Nick Ding, 32 - Alex Chen, 54 - Bharath Heggadahalli, 87 - Jennifer Lee 101 - Ben Poon (Close enough to Top-100 to list!).  Other competing Mathletes this year were:  Sam Forbush, Chris Wang, Jared Entwistle, Meng (Jessie) Liang, and Alex Lemieux.  This is a terrific showing for our school and district.  Brian Calnan teaches Mathematics at Algonquin, advises the math team, and organizes the various math competition testing that occurs at Algonquin.

Judging STEM.  Maggie Perreault, math teacher at Algonquin, served as a judge at the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science STEM Fair on the WPI campus in Worcester on Wednesday, February 15th.

Juniors Kaleigh Barker and Christina Iverson will be representing ARHS at the Special Olympics Youth Leadership Summit (Yawkey Sports Training Center, Marlborough, MA) to share strategies with new and returning Unified Champion Schools on how to promote programs like Unified Basketball and Unified Track.  They will be sharing stories of success like increased participation, effective R-word campaigns, and the positive changes having programs like UTrack and UBasketball have had on our school atmosphere.  Kevin Hausmann teaches Chemistry at Algonquin, and is the most famous Best Buddies/Unified Sports Impresario/coach in the Commonwealth.

The Harbinger had its best showing ever at last night's Suffolk University Greater Boston High School Newspaper Awards Competition banquet. The paper earned second runner up in Sports Writing, first runner up in Editorial Writing, and first runner up in News Writing (We were the only school to earn recognition in every writing category).   And most excitingly the paper was awarded the highest honor, the Massachusetts Press Association Award for General Excellence which honors not only the paper's writing, but the publication as a whole in terms of coverage, design, and photographs. 

The photograph shows Photo Editor Rafaela Coelho, Co-Editor-in-Chief Riya Pujari, and co-Arts and Entertainment Editor Maggie DelRe at the banquet with the awards. Suffolk University is located close to Beacon Hill, in the heart of the hub, Boston.  From the offices of Boston Magazine, you can take the T; you would walk for 2 minutes to the Symphony Station of the Green Line, take the Green Line to Park Street (Lechmere bound), then walk for 6 minutes to Suffolk U. About 18 minutes of travel, on a good day.  As Giles Ober said, Every Day is a Good Day at Algonquin.  Lindsay Coppens teaches English, and advises the best high school newspaper east of the Mississippi.

Y of Central Mass Awards Algonquin CAP.  Each year at the Annual Meeting of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts recognizes volunteers for our Association of 5 Y’s that make an impact at our YMCA.  This year the Committee will give Algonquin’s Community Access Program (CAP) their Diversity, Inclusion and Global Awareness Volunteer Award for all the great work they do and most importantly the volunteers do for our YMCA.   The recognition ceremony will take place on April 26th from 5-7pm at the Greendale YMCA, 75 Shore Line Drive in Worcester. This is a well-deserved recognition for Monique Cloutier, our CAP Coordinator.  Jeff Laliberte Branch Director of the Boroughs Family YMCA in Westborough made this announcement.

Good news from the English Department.  Creative writing student Jana Wright, received word that one of her poems; Warning Signs, will be published in The Marble Collection, a literary magazine for Massachusetts high school students. The literary magazine's website:  Valerie Burdette teaches Creative Writing at Algonquin.

Model UN Conference.   On Friday, March 10, the Algonquin Model UN club made their overland trip to Amherst for the annual state conference. Representing the Maroon and Gold were seniors; Ian Bourdon, Cory Champeon, Danielle Gillerin, Tess Herdman, Ian Kim, Luke Kim, Sariah Roberts, Gabi Thompson, juniors; Julia Chun, Michael Wu, sophomores; Nathan Rhind, Anishka Yerabothu.   Michelle Rehill and Kim Honey advise the Model UN club.

Three members (pictured) of the Model United Nations Club won awards from the UMass Model UN conference (left to right):  Danielle Gillerin (YOG17) Outstanding Delegate (that's 2nd place in Model UN parlance), Nathan Rhind (YOG19) Honorable Mention (3rd place), Julia Chun (YOG18) Best Delegate (first place, so she won a gavel!).

Best Buddies Friendship Ball.  On February 17th, Algonquin hosted the Central Mass annual Best Buddies Friendship Ball. The theme this year was The "Besties” a play on the Oscars. The decorations featured a wall of fame, a red-carpet entrance, a photo booth for all the star students, and non-stop dancing courtesy of DJ Patrick Hynes. Our chapter hosts students from Hopkinton, Westborough, Millbury, Uxbridge, Shrewsbury, and Marlborough. Kevin Hausmann and Caitlin Hynes co-advise the Best Buddies Chapter at Algonquin.

Musically Speaking.  At the recent, and hosted MAJE Festival, both of our Jazz Ensembles (Jazz I & II) were awarded Silver Medals.  At the Jazz Choir competition at UNH, our Algonquin Jazz Choir brought home the Gold Medal.  Kathrine Waters teaches Choral at Algonquin, Eric Vincent teaches Instrumental Music at Algonquin and directs Jazz I, Henry The VIII Morel directs our Jazz II Ensemble.

Sachem received an award of "Excellence" from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual literary magazine competition.  This award recognizes last year's magazine, and results are not released until mid-way through the following year.  Jen Zuba, English Teacher, Advises the Sachem.

For Crying Out Loud.  Junior Kara Hadden competed at the Poetry Out Loud State Finals at the Old South Meeting House in Boston on March 12. Among the 24 state finalists, Kara went first, and recited ‘Eros Turannos’ by Edwin Arlington Robinson.  In the second round, she performed ‘The Gaffe’ by C.K. Williams.  Hadden progressed to States after being ranked within the top four contestants at the Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals in Framingham on March 4. This was her third year as a final contestant at Algonquin, but her first time moving on beyond the school level competition.  Seth Czarnecki teaches English at Algonquin, and is the MC/Impresario of our Poetry Out Loud competition.  Kara is our third state finalist in the last 8 years. For more on Kara and her experiences at the State Finals, go to The Harbinger online at