Principal's Blog

  • Dyslexia Program Sponsored By SEPAC

    Posted by Peter Delani on 10/15/2019 12:30:00 PM

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  • Student Council presents SCHOOL SPIRIT WEEK

    Posted by Peter Delani on 10/10/2019 6:00:00 AM

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    The Masconomet High School's STUDENT COUNCIL hosted School Spirit Week, highlighted by last night's Hall Decorating.  Students were greeted Thursday morning to themed hall decorating.  Pictured here the Class of 2023's theme is "The Game of Life"!

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  • Masconomet HS Student Council Members Cheer on Elementary School Students

    Posted by Peter Delani on 10/9/2019 1:00:00 PM

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    Members of the Masconomet High School Student Council participated in the K-12 Kindness Campaign by welcoming and cheering on elementary school students in Boxford as they came to school at the Spofford and Cole Elementary Schools on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Masconomet School Committee Member Bonnie Thornborough reported: 

    "Our Spofford Pond elementary students were absolutely BEAMING this morning! And I can’t rave enough about how perfectly cool and uplifting the Masco students were. This was a powerful Act of Kindness, and they made it so fun! 

    Greeting each child with a genuinely happy greeting, connecting with them in that moment, and wishing them an awesome day… It was so impactful and meaningful for our kiddos, especially coming from those big kids they look up to! Their smiles were so big!

     And having them see those big Masco kids modeling such breezy, spirited, fun-loving kindness ~ it was a really happy morning that is sure to make a positive difference.

     I know this may sound cheesy (don’t tell my kids I said this) 😃, but I couldn’t help seeing them as super-heroes… They have these great powers, just by being cool Masco students~ and they put that power to such good use. Plus they looked like super-heroes, too ~ with capes and stars and stripes and face-paint! Haha!"

     

     

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  • Innovative Product Design Class welcomes IDEO Global Director of Design Michael Hendrix

    Posted by Peter Delani on 10/9/2019 9:00:00 AM

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    During 1st block on Wednesday, October 9th Erin Evans hosted a guest speaker in her Innovative Product Design class. His name is Michael Hendrix and he works for the globally renowned IDEO firm (industrial design). Mr. Hendrix discussed the company and some of the products the firm has designed. He is the father of Solomon (gr 12), Zephyr (gr 11), and Sullivan (gr 11).  This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to connect with the world beyond the walls of Masconomet. Much of what this firm does validates what we are trying to accomplish when we discuss what a Masco graduate looks like—problem solver, team player, good communicator, risk taker, global aware, environmentally conscious, etc.

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  • New England Innocence Project Presents to Masco Forensic Students

    Posted by Peter Delani on 10/3/2019 7:00:00 AM

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    Masconomet high school students listened to a presentation from Natale Cosenza and Ira Gant members of the New England Innocence Project.   Cosenza was wrongfully convicted of a crime in 2001 and spent 16 years in prison.  Gant is an attorney with the New England Innocence Project who works with people to gain their freedom.  Forensics Teacher Lisa Tatterson put together the presentation for her classes.

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  • Graves' Sisters Highlighted in Boston Globe

    Posted by Peter Delani on 10/3/2019 6:00:00 AM

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    Makayla and Julia Graves are still getting used to seeing each other all the time.

    Last fall, as an eighth-grader at Masconomet Regional Middle School, Julia played in the youth field hockey program. At the same time, Mak was helping propel the Masco varsity as a junior to the Division 1 North title, recording 13 goals and 14 assists and earning Globe All-Scholastic honors.

    As soon as Mak arrived home from her practices and games, settling in to do her homework, Julia would head off to her own practices. The sisters were on opposite schedules, but with three years separating the two, it was something they had grown accustomed to.

     

     

    Now, with Mak a senior and Julia finally at the high school as a freshman, the Topsfield residents are playing on the same team for the first time.

    Makayla (left) and Julia Graves assess the field during a recent practice session.
    Makayla (left) and Julia Graves assess the field during a recent practice session.JIM DAVIS/THE BOSTON GLOBE/GLOBE STAFF

    “I just wouldn’t see her as much,” said Mak, who at 17 is the oldest of the four Graves children (Julia is 14, Sarah is 11, and Sam is 7).

    “Now, I’m driving her to school, to practice, and home from practice. We’re around each other a lot more, and it’s definitely brought us closer.”

    Mak and Julia are midfielders, and in preseason scrimmages and early games they were playing alongside each other. Having that familiar face helped Julia adjust quickly to varsity field hockey.

    “The first time we played together, I was 100 percent nervous,” Julia said. “I felt like I hadn’t played field hockey before. But once the game started going, I could see Mak and what she was doing. It kind of flowed and then I knew what I was doing.”

    Mak said that Julia loves being a part of the program.

    “She goes into practice and works hard each and every day,” she said. “She was definitely nervous at first, but when she got past the first tryout day, she settled right in there.”

     

     

    Though she’s wearing the Masconomet jersey for the first time, Julia has been around the program since Mak started playing on varsity as a freshman, watching the games and cheering on the team she would one day join.

    “If Mak was playing, Julia was on the sidelines last year watching,” said Masconomet coach Maggie Bridgeo. “It just feels normal having her. We’ve never not had her. And they’re such a great team. They get along really well.”

    Now that she’s finally alongside her sister and on the team she’s dreamed of being on for years, Julia Graves has something she wants to accomplish.

    “I’m very thankful to be a part of this program, because I’ve adored watching this program for so long,” Julia said. “Watching Mak for the past three years, I had that passion. I wanted to be on the team. Now that they were D1 North champs last year, my goal is to make that happen for Mak’s last year.”

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  • SHE WON US OVER

    Posted by Peter Delani on 10/1/2019 6:00:00 AM

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    Great article about Masconomet High School Senior Maggie Chiffer in the Salem Evening News:

    JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photoMaggie Chiffer goes over a few warm-up exercises with the participants during a weekly dance class called Dance Out Dementia for senior citizens in Topsfield.

    • Jaime Campos

    TOPSFIELD — Dressed in a purple T-shirt and a pair of black sequin sneakers, Vincent Mortellite stepped into Topsfield Town Hall ready for his favorite part of the week — dance class.

    The Topsfield resident is one of nearly two dozen senior citizens who participate in Dance Out Dementia, a weekly dance class created by high school student Maggie Chiffer that helps seniors reduce their risk of dementia through dancing.

    “She won us over,” Mortellite recalled when Chiffer first spoke of her idea two years ago.

    “It’s not so much about the dance,” he added. “You’re moving and having fun. It’s enjoyable.”

    Now a senior at Masconomet Regional High School, Chiffer, 17, launched Dance Out Dementia: Train Your Brain with the Beat of Your Feet in 2017 as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. Comparable to the Eagle Scout for Boy Scouts, the Gold Award is granted to fewer than 6% of Girl Scouts annually, according to their website.

    To earn the honor, she needed to identify a need in her community and complete 80 hours of community service. Chiffer, a dancer for the last nine years, says she knew she needed to incorporate this passion into her final project. 

    “It’s something I absolutely love,” she said. Trained in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe and lyrical, to name a few, the teen is currently on the competitive dance team at North Shore Performing Arts Center.

    Referencing a study from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, she said dancing reduces a person’s risk of dementia by 76%, which is twice as much as reading. Because of the repetition of steps and combination of new routines, dancing combines physical and cognitive stimulation, says the New England Journal of Medicine.

    “I know I found the perfect project for me,” said Chiffer, who has several family members affected by dementia.

    After creating an eight-week dance curriculum and delivering three workshops on brain health, she earned the Gold Award in 2018 and transformed Dance Out Dementia into a business. The class, now run through the Topsfield Council on Aging, is open to all and averages 20 to 25 seniors each week. 

    A welcoming class

    Joni Larson, 78, says she joined the dance class about six months ago as a way to socialize and meet new people. 

    “I want to keep my body moving,” said the Topsfield resident, who added that learning new combinations helps keep her mind active. Dance styles taught in class include tap, jazz, ballroom, swing and even the cha-cha. 

    This year, Dance Out Dementia will perform at the Topsfield Fair on Sunday, Oct. 6. Chiffer said they have a 90-minute set planned, complete with three dance routines as well as a demonstration of one of their typical dance classes. Having previously performed at other events, the group also danced in the recital at Chiffer’s dance studio, where she says they received a standing ovation. 

    A former Irish step dancer, Eileen Reichardt of Topsfield isn’t too nervous to perform on stage at the annual fair. She even encouraged her friend Charlotte Schilling to begin participating in Dance Out Dementia. 

    “I love it. It got me out of the house,” said Schilling, a smile forming on her face. Because of the program, she went on to say how she’s taking part in more Topsfield Council on Aging events.

    While some seniors in the class do have dementia, Chiffer says others come to stay active or work to reduce their risk of developing future memory loss or impairment. 

    Gathered in the upstairs room at Topsfield Town Hall one Thursday afternoon, nearly 20 men and women — all dressed in purple Dance Out Dementia tees — began with a series of warm-up exercises while sitting in chairs. After a series of head rolls, arm stretches and heel taps, they soon got to their feet and moved their bodies to “Waterloo" by ABBA.

    Danvers resident and Chiffer’s grandmother, Ellie Morrison, said she was shy at first at the thought of dancing, but she couldn't disappoint her granddaughter. 

    “I came and the rest is history,” she said. “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

    Queuing the song, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” the seniors learned a new jive dance containing quick combinations of side-to-side steps, kick-ball-change sequences and claps.

    “Let’s take it from the top and try it with the music,” Chiffer announced to the group, who were arranged in a semicircle around her. 

    As for the future, the teen wants to continue teaching the class right in her hometown and is looking to expand into other communities.

    Through Dance Out Dementia, Chiffer said she hopes her class raises awareness of dementia within the community and educates people that this is not just a concern for older people. It's important for people of all ages to be thinking about brain health, she says, especially when changes to the brain can occur years earlier.

    “I’ve made so many friends,” she said of her students. “I really love each one of them, we share our lives with one another.”

    Staff writer Alyse Diamantides can be reached at 978-338-2660 or adiamantides@salemnews.com.

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  • Ban on Vaping Product Sales

    Posted by Peter Delani on 9/25/2019 1:15:00 PM

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    BOSTON — Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency in response to confirmed and suspected cases of severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes and marijuana vaping products in the Commonwealth. The Governor called for a temporary four-month statewide ban on the sale of flavored and non-flavored vaping products in both retail stores and online. The sales ban applies to all vaping products and devices, including tobacco and marijuana. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts through January 25, 2020.

    • My Life, My Quit™ has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Call or text "Start My Quit" to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help. For more information or to sign up online, visit mylifemyquit.com. 

     

    • This is Quittingpowered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Young people can text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709 to get started.  In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

     

     

    • Visit mass.gov/vaping to learn about vaping addiction, health, and quitting.

     

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  • Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program

    Posted by Peter Delani on 9/20/2019 2:10:00 PM

    Masconomet High School has three Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Program. 

    Caitlin Bolzan,Margaret Low , and Caroline McLellan, were presented their Letters of Commendation by the principal today. They placed among the top 50,000 scorers of the more than 1.5 million students who took the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (SAT/NMSQT). 

    Please congratulate these students on their outstanding academic accomplishments.

    NMSQT

    L-R: Ms. DeMatties (Guidance), Margaret Low, Mr. Novello (Guidance), Caroline McLellan, Principal Delani, Caitlin Bolzan, Ms.Thurlow (Guidance)

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  • 9th Grade "SUMMER BOOK TALKS"

    Posted by Peter Delani on 9/20/2019 2:00:00 PM

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    All 9th graders participated in summer reading “book talks” today with faculty from all over the building. 18 faculty members chose a book for incoming 9th graders to choose from last June; today each teacher lead a discussion with those students. Conversations covered general opinions on the book, character and plot development, themes and lessons to be learned, and how each book may fit under the 9th grade essential question, “Who am I and how do I know?” All groups seemed energized and engaged, proving that providing greater choice for our students allows them to explore literature in a more authentic way, in hopes they can find some reading they enjoy doing!

    Meagan Hildebrand

    English Department Chair

    Masconomet Regional School District

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Our Mission

  • Learning Is Life

    The Masconomet High School community believes that learning enables us all to achieve ambitious personal goals, develop fine minds, and build strong character.  Therefore, we foster the acquisition of attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary for life-long learners to think critically in order to participate in a global society. 

    Upon graduation, students will have demonstrated that they have embraced this mission by meeting the academic, social and civic expectations.

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