A farewell to Dr. Michael Fiveash and Mme. Karen Girondel

Michael Fiveash and Karen Girondel

Mme. Girondel was a new graduate when she was hired to teach Middle School French in Lexington. “For me, my 20’s were heaven. I started teaching right out of school. I was very lucky. Clarke was a brand new school. All the foreign languages shared a central space. Collaboration is what that school was all about. We learned from the veterans,” she says.

Gigi taught at Clarke until 1984 when she was brought over to the high school to reinvigorate the French 4 classes. “I had never taught French 4, so I just did what I did at Clarke.” French 4 became a very popular class.French 4, French Literature, everything Mme. Girondel taught became popular.

She also revived the french exhange program. Lexington’s connection with Antony, France began at Clarke because a fellow teacher had a friend who taught middle school there. Mme. Girondel brought that connection to the high school and created a very successful exchange program with Antony that continues today and has led to a sister city relationship between the two towns.

Dr. Fiveash had a little more worldly experience before landing at LHS. He spent four years lecturing at Boston University after college. To make ends meet he unloaded trucks, did some sweeping up and tutored. Then a call came from the Lexington schools. “The previous Latin teacher walked out on a Friday and never came back. My intention was to be here a year or two. I fell in love with the school and with teaching high school. By the end of that first year I felt it was something I could do and could get better at.”

Once he gets on this topic, Dr. Fiveash’s passion for teaching at LHS flows easily. “I loved the connection with kids. It was very different from college. I was a young father, I had a one year old. I felt the same thing here. What the Town of Lexington wanted me to do was teach these kids what I love and be a parent/protector.”

Left, Michael Fiveash and Karen Girondel have anchored the Bee Linguists for years.

Their connection with these kids continues long after graduation. You have to know that at any point during a conversation with Gigi and Doc recent alumni will arrive at the door, soaking in the familiar sights of the room that served as “home” for many of them during their years at LHS. Both teachers believe in the importance of this space. Dr. Fiveash notes, “When you walk in, you want to get a sense of what goes on there.”  Mme. Girondel adds, “Rooms are so important to how we connect with kids.” Apparently, the students agree. Julie Doherty graduated in 2010 and says, “I’m sure every student who has ever had her remembers learning the subjunctive from Gigi’s Star Wars poster on the wall, which says Que la force soit avec toi,or May the force be with you. Mme. Girondel would be happy to hear that, as she does admit to a particular weakness for that part of speech. When she throws up her hands with a shrug and says, “I just love the subjunctive,” you can understand why her kids love learning it, too.

And, to these rooms, and these teachers, the students return. Dan Choi, Class of 2005 says, “There was this change in the culture at LHS when we came in. I think that’s why I liked coming here. It was old school. The way the history of LHS had been.”

The approach might be old school, but these two are on the cutting edge of teaching technology. Back in Apple II days Dr. Fiveash found a script that would generate random sentences, something that’s very important when you’re teaching a language that no one has spoken for a few thousand years. Then he got the kids involved. “Kids are great natural teachers, especially when teaching technology. They love teaching their elders.” he says. “They love the inverted nature of it.”

Technology has come a long way since then. Through an LEF grant Dr. Fiveash and Mme. Girondel now have high tech “white boards”  in their classrooms. Michaela Shtilman-Minkin thinks, “He’s one of the funniest and most sarcastic people I’ve ever known.” So it’s not a surprise to hear him say, “Two of the oldest teachers in the school got the most cutting edge technology! There’s a little irony there.”

His passion for teaching can’t be contained at this point in our interview. He jumps up and turns on the system, gliding into an impromptu Latin lesson that leaves me wondering, Where do I sign up?

Michael Fiveash gives an impromptu demonstration using the Smart Board

Dr. Fiveash and Mme. Girondel see this new technology as an exciting opportunity for the future. “If we can’t teach kids,” Mme. Girondel says, “we’d like to teach teachers how to use this amazing technology.”  Dr. Fiveash completes the vision, “The part we’re interested in is the pedagogy. Subjects that really lend themselves to large group instruction.” But the future has to wait.  “It’s distracting, all the stuff that’s going on,” he says,  “but we both feel like we have to end this the right way.”

In the last few weeks of school they’ve focused on teaching and spent time catching up with returning students. Recently they were immersed in the affection of 150 fellow teachers, students, alumni and parents at a surprise party organized completely by the kids.

And it all comes back to the kids. Ting Ting Shiue and Dan Choi, Class of  ’05, stop by the classroom to reconnect with their teacher. In their conversation Ting Ting tells them she now realizes, “It wasn’t about the text or the material, it was about a lot more than that. A lot of the things I took away from the class influence the way I think about what I want to do.”  Dan Choi adds, “Obviously, we didn’t understand it at all then, but now we do. You didn’t just teach language and art. You taught us how to live life.”

That is the theme that you hear over and over again from students. That is the legacy that Dr. Michael Fiveash and Karen Girondel leave the students of Lexington High School.

Farewell to Dr. Michael Fiveash and Mme. Karen Girondel.


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Putting Sports in Perspective

Commissioner Hanksmall

Commissioner Hank

I woke up the morning after the Super Bowl realizing I had to deal with a real crisis.

The new, probably large, house going up in my neighborhood which I wrote about earlier? No, I was just a bit saddened when more than 60 years of history disappeared in under 45 minutes, leaving only an empty lot where once a house had stood, but I had written about the inevitability of change and here it was happening right in front of me.

The fact that Tom Terrific had not been able to lead the Patriots to another NFL championship? Really, I am over that and am already looking forward to next season.

This was a real crisis because when the Super Bowl ran long because of the power outage (obviously they should have had a muni supplying electricity to the stadium), I lost any chance to see Downton Abbey that night. Sure, I could talk with the best of them around the water cooler about the football game, but not only was I going to be lost when the subject of Downton Abbey came up, it was very likely that before I could find another way to see the episode, most of the secrets would have been revealed. Did Bates get out of jail? Would Ethel manage to prepare lunch without embarrassing her employer or herself? Would Lady Mary stop being irritating and actually do something productive besides looking gorgeous and wearing clothes really well?

Of course, like many Lexingtonians, I am interested in sports, especially youth sports. The day before the Super Bowl I had spent five hours being the Commissioner of LBYH In-House Hockey, an 11-team, 187 player, inclusive league for kids between the ages of 5 and 11. Everybody gets equal playing time and coaches are evaluated mostly on how well they can bond with players and parents rather than their won-lost record.

I followed that with a short nap and then headed off for four hours of announcing at the LHS varsity hockey games. “Good evening hockey fans …” I once figured that I sit through something like 140 hockey games each year.

Of course there is baseball in the spring and summer, but here I stick with T-Ball age players. In fact, I spend most of my time with Pre-Ball which is for players between the ages of 4 and 6. And let’s not forget football in the fall.

So with all of that, I must be nuts about sports, right? Well, sort of, but not in the way you might expect.

Sports does touch kids’ lives and it can teach valuable lessons. But all too often I see things I would rather not see. Coaches who act out. Parents screaming about just about everything.

I forget who won and who lost almost as soon as the game is over. What I remember are the good plays, the flashes of brilliance, the displays of sportsmanship. The player who scores the first goal ever. My son slept with his trophy for weeks after he scored his first. A tiny goalie realizing that the pucks do not hurt because of all the padding and that she can stop them. Matt in his wheelchair propelling himself around the bases will be with me always. I wake up sometimes thinking “What if I had been so stupid that I denied Matt his chance just because he was in a wheelchair?” And then I remember that it all came out all right and I smile.

A few seasons ago, the LHS varsity hockey coach pulled up to the varsity for the last game of the season, a player who had spent his high school career on the junior varsity. The player would get to be a varsity hockey player even if only for one game. Then his teammates combined to feed him the puck so that he could score his first varsity goal.

I have no memory of how many games the team won that year. But that bit of magic told me all I needed to know about the coach and the team. They were all superstars as far as I was concerned.

The funny thing is that the kids care mostly about playing rather than about the score. Years ago a team I coached won a hockey tournament. The coaches were feeling pretty good about themselves. Obviously we were just about the best human beings around. Then I felt a tug on the hem of my jacket and looked down to find a tiny third liner with tears in her eyes. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “Do we have to stop playing hockey now? she demanded.” That little third liner didn’t care about the trophy in her hand. She didn’t understand won or lost. What she cared about was playing the game and now the season was over.

The fact is that no matter how good a Lexington player is, there is a nearly 100% chance that they will make a living doing something besides playing professional sports. So take it easy, enjoy the game, forget the mistakes and the bad games, and remember the good times.

Years ago I was the starting pitcher in a baseball game. We were mercy-ruled after the other team scored 21 runs in a single inning. While it was true I had struck out nobody, neither had I walked anybody nor had I made any errors or thrown a wild pitch. Even better I had made no fielding errors and my ERA was still zero because there had been no hits. All runs were scored on errors. And it was only the first inning.

The funny thing is that while I have played on some good teams over the years, that is the team I remember best. I still see the guys I played with. And we are still kidding each other about just how awful we were that day and just about every other day.

So most of my job has become figuring out how to let kids just play the game. I want everybody to have a chance to play the game, no matter what game it is, and I hope all of us can join in to make that happen. Not just with sports, either.


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Lexington CommUNITY’s 20th annual MLK Day Celebration

The crowd marches from the Lexington Battle Green to Cary Hall

By Laurie Atwater

Each year Lexington CommUNITY sponsors a march and program to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. This committee has been working together in Lexington for many years to bring issues of diversity and social justice to the forefront of community discourse. Committee members Claudia Lach, Larry Link, Charles Martin, Brenda Prusak, Yukari Watanabe Scott, Jill Smilow, Sam Zales and Helen Cohen always deliver a provacative and thoughtful presentation to honor this important national figure.

On Sunday, January 20th, Lexington CommUNITY presented its 20th annual community commemoration of Martin Luther King Day. The theme: Diversity in Lexington’s Schools: Looking Back, Looking Forward. Along with community members, the event was attended by Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash, School Committee member Margaret Coppe and Selectman Hank Manz.

According to CommUNITY member Jill Smilow, the committee chose this theme as part of the overarching 300th anniversary in Lexington to celebrate the public schools and the progress that they have made on diversity issues. Smilow, who began working with No Place for Hate years ago, has seen great progress in Lexington over time. From Lexington’s early embrace of the METCO (Metropolitan Council for Education Opportunity) program, to solidarity with same-sex couples and their families in the Lexington schools, Lexington has sought to be a welcoming place for all. Although Smilow acknowledges that there is much work to be done, she said that the CommUNITY committee really wanted to “showcase the fact that there is a lot being done and a lot has been accomplished in the schools.”

METCO Scholar Malik Alfred with his family

Smilow noted that the MLK Day panel was made up of educators who have received the Sharyn Wong-Chan and Sara Harrington Diversity Award. The award is presented each year by Lexington’s Diversity Task Force to educators that embrace and promote cultural diversity in the schools. Smilow credits the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) for underwriting the award each year which comes with a cash prize. Participating on the Sunday panel were Ann Kim Tenhor, a technology specialist at LPS elementary schools, Lexington High School guidance counselor Melissa Buttaro and former dean William Cole, who is now a social studies teacher at LHS. Also participating in the special program was Malik Alfred, a 2012 METCO Scholar.

THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF DIVERSITY After a performance by the Bowman School fifth grade chorus, conducted by music specialist Martha Rodgers, Assistant Superintendent of LPS Human Resources Bob Harris opened the program. He shared with the audience a fact they may have been surprising—Dr. King actually visited Lexington in 1963 and spoke to a group of Lexington residents.

Harris went on to discuss the changing demographics of the Lexington public schools saying that in the past few decades the percentatge of minority students in the Lexington Public Schools has almost doubled. In 1963 LHS was almost 100% white. Lexington High School is now 62% White, 33% Asian and 5% Black. The increase in diversity has come predominantly from an influx of Asians—Chinese, Indians and Koreans.

Lexington is an affluent suburb that has been inching its way forward from insular to decidedly more inclusive. We’re still predominately white—just not as white as we were 10 years ago.

Each era has seen changes that are peculiar to the times. In our modern era, the largest influx of new residents came post WWII with the development of the highway system and the new found wealth of the working class. Affordable entry level homes in Lexington and surrounding suburbs made it possible for working class families and to escape the city for the green grass of the burbs. At the same time academics moved to Lexington and settled in progressive neighborhoods like Moon Hill, Peacock Farms and Five Fields, and this trend continued bringing with it an increasing focus on education and the schools in town. With these new residents came a measure of economic diversity that was enjoyed in Lexington throughout the sixties and seventies, but little non-Caucasian ethnic diversity

After the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 made is easier for Asians to immigrate to the U.S., the Asian population began slowly to grow in Lexington. The explosion in biotech, sciences and high tech have attracted many Asian immigrants to Boston for its universities and high tech jobs and that has converged with Lexington’s increased focus on excellent schools. Highly educated Asian families come to the Boston area for education and well-compensated work in technology and the sciences. They in turn want to pass on a good education to their children and are attracted to Lexington for its school system. This has led to a pattern of in-migration that is less economically diverse, but more culturally diverse. To address the increasing diversity in the Lexington schools, the district is seeking to increase the ethnic diversity of its staff which is currently 92.7% white.

Bowman School fifth grade chorus, led by music specialist Martha Rodgers

In his remarks Harris pointed to the challenges around hiring teachers with more diverse ethnic backgrounds in the suburbs, saying that “there is a perception among many minority teachers that suburban school districts are entirely white.” He also said that diversity among accredited teachers in Massachusetts is still very low making it difficult to recruit new teachers. Still, the goal is serious and Lexington has chosen to participate in an innovate program to increase their success. That program is called Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT). Together with Arlington, Andover and Brookline, Lexington will enroll five students in an intensive mentoring program for prospective teachers. After completing the program at the high school level, students receive a 50% reduction in college tuition to enroll in a program to receive their degree and teaching accreditation. Once students graduate and receive their license, they are eligible for a job in one of the participating districts.

This is just one in a long history of efforts to embrace and celebrate diversity in the Lexington schools. Each of the panelists made a short presentation to the assembled audience and talked about their experiences with diversity issues in life and in the Lexington schools.

Panel members Ann Tenhor, Bill Cole and Melissa Buttaro

ANN KIM TENHOR Ann Kim Tenhor, who is a graduate of Lexington High School and an Instructional Technology Specialist in the Lexington schools, remembered her youth in Lexington in the 70s. She said that she felt that Lexington really celebrated individual differences and that really stuck with her. When she went to college she realized that other students hadn’t had the same experience where they were from. She jokingly said that she was “shocked” to find out that all other schools didn’t host “a multi cultural potluck dinner!” Throughout her career Ann knew that she was always seeking to recreate her Lexington experience where she says “we discuss and share!” In the schools she is proud to create differentiated learning to address the needs of every student. “Everyone has something to share and something to learn,” she said.

BILL COLE Bill Cole, also an LHS grad, was used to being in places where white folks were in the minority. His family moved around a lot before they settled in Lexington in 1968. Cole said that in his 1981 LHS graduating class METCO students were being accepted into top echelon colleges like Brown, Duke and Harvard.

Fast forward to 2007 and Cole was a Dean at LHS when former Diamond teacher Vito LaMura released his report, “The Achievement Gap in the Lexington Public Schools” which was generated in response to evidence that Lexington’s METCO students were performing at lower levels than their classmates.

Following up on one of the numerous observations and recommendations in the report, Superintendent Ash created the Achievement Gap Task Force (which later became the Equity and Excellence Committee) and Dean Cole joined. Cole then helped to organize and run a new mentoring program called METCO Scholars which was modeled on a program he had found in Shaker Heights, Ohio. “We’re currently working with our fourth cohort,” Cole explained to the audience. And while he labels their success as “fairly modest over the years” he also said that “we’re aiming high, but not taking any of the smaller objectives or ripple effects for granted.” All in all Cole said that he feels the METCO Scholars program has really helped METCO students to get “over the hump” in terms of “respective and productive behavior and achieving at a higher level.” Now in the classroom full time Cole is inspired by his students. “I think the Lexington High School Community has incredible diversity of thought,” he said. “I’m incredibly proud of what we are doing in the school.”

MALIK ALFRED METCO Scholar Malik Alfred would make anyone proud. Malik is a second generation METCO student—both his mom and his aunt attended Lexington schools!

Lexington has been part of Alfred’s life since the 2nd grade when he started on the demanding path of a METCO student. He said, “My experience in METCO has been a great one,” but he admitted that it wasn’t easy. Getting up every day at 5AM to catch a bus to Lexington was not easy. “It was challenging coming to Lexington from the Boston Public Schools,” he said. “At that age I knew that it was different—[there were] definitely less people in my class that looked like me.”

Alfred talked about feeling “a little out of place and alone,” but went on to say that as he became more involved in the community “Lexington opened my eyes to…different races and nationalities and lifestyles.”

Alfred also talked about how important it was for him to have the “help and support” of his mother, saying that he was “so blessed and thankful for her.” METCO parents sacrifice tremendously to have their children participate in the program.

Also important to Alfred were his host families over the years and especially Kim Hogan his host “mom” while he was in high school. “She’s honestly the most non-judgmental person,” he said and thanked her and her family for helping him succeed.

Currently Alfred is attending Dean College and studying criminal justice. “I want to make a name for myself in the criminal justice field,” he said. “I have a dream and that’s my dream.”

MELISSA BUTTARO Lexington High School guidance counselor Melissa Buttaro said she “found her niche” when she came to Lexington. After several less than satisfying assignments in other districts, she was invited to interview for a position at the high school and said, “I’ll never forget walking across the quad and seeing a rainbow flag hanging in the window above the main entrance in the old health teacher’s office, “safe zone” stickers were visible, my interview committee was diverse and the questions they asked me included issues of diversity.”

Butarro has been involved in diversity groups everywhere she has worked and is currently GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) adviser at LHS. She reflected on her own awareness of diversity issues by saying, “Being female, I observed discrimination against girls as long as I can remember.”

As a strong advocate for the GLBTQ community at the high school, she has known her share of controversy but is thankful for the “unwavering support and encouragement” that she has received from the district. Buttaro ended her comments by stating: “We are always trying to do more…it is humbling work. I love it!”

Moderator and longtime CommUNITY member Jill Smilow

PROVOCATIVE QUESTIONS In the final moments of the program audience members came to the microphone to ask questions and made several astute observations.

A young Lexingtonian who attends a private high school in Cambridge said that Lexington was a “stark contrast [less diverse] to my community in Cambridge.”

Another audience member who was involved in the fair housing movement in Lexington in the 1960s observed that “We’ve got a lot of Asian families and a lot of Indian families, but I don’t even think there are as many black families [in Lexington] as we had in 1960.”

A gentleman with a daughter of mixed race expressed concern over the “self segregation” that he sees among the high school students. He said that he sees it downtown and in the pictures in the yearbook—Asian students with other Asian students, blacks kids with other black kids and white kids with other white kids. In classes they are together, but they are separate when they socialize. “I was most struck by it walking through the high school cafeteria—Commons I and Commons II,” he said.

The answers to these questions and observations are vexing. How do we make Lexington more attractive for black families? How can we encourage more economic diversity in our community? Are diverse groups just coexisting or are they truly engaging with one another? As the program closed Jill Smilow encouraged people to reach out to someone new. She commented, “The work is not done, but it’s happening. It’s also imperative.”

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LHS PTSA March Forum

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time:7:00 – 9:00 PM

Location: LHS Media Library (Room 147)

Speaker: Dr. Ryan Madigan, BU Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders

Topic: “Identifying, Understanding and Coping with Stress & Anxiety: Strategies for High School Students and their Parents”

As a follow-up to last year’s presentation, Dr. Ryan Madigan will return to discuss stress and coping strategies, specifically for high school students and their parents. During this forum, Dr. Madigan will discuss:

Understanding helpful and unhelpful stress and anxiety

Identifying when anxiety becomes a problem and different types of anxiety disorders

How to cope with stress and anxiety in school and at home

Demonstrating how to implement each coping strategy through activities and interactive discussion

Relevant resources in the area and how to find the best care

Talking to teens about the role substance abuse plays in symptoms of anxiety.

Dr. Madigan is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Boston University Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders and is a Visiting Instructor at Wellesley College. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University and completed his internship at Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital Boston in pediatric psychology. Internationally known, the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders specializes in evidence-based assessment, treatment and the scientific investigation of anxiety and mood disorders.

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A Personal Connection~How do you like them apples?

By Hank Manz  |  In my front yard are two apple trees which we inherited from friends when the trees and we were a lot younger and our friends were enlarging their house. The trees had to go and where they went was our front yard. The placement was awkward because I just wanted to keep them alive while I found a better site for them.

Our house lot is small and other things intervened so today the trees sit where they were planted years ago—too close together—and now it is too late to do anything about that although the storm last October did some serious pruning when it took the top out of one of them.

We were told that one of the trees would produce Macs while the other would give us Golden Delicious so I joked that a graft would produce an apple called the Manz Orchards Malicious.

For a few years they produced, but then there were several years when we got nothing. Courtesy of one of the email lists, we learned about winter moths and how to keep them at bay. So now every year, about the time the snow has finally left the ground, but before anything is even thinking of blooming, you will find me outside spraying the trees with my puny hand sprayer filled with something called dormant oil. All it takes is one spraying.

Once we learned that trick, the trees started to produce again. Overwhelmingly to boot. The resident woodchuck, the squirrels, and the chipmunks wandered around looking fat and happy and we feasted on applesauce, apple pie, apple cobbler, apple-stuffed squash and any number of things with “apple” in the name.

We don’t spray for bugs, however, so like the apples in the Joni Mitchell song, ours sometimes have spots and they are not always as perfect as the somewhat tasteless ones you buy in supermarkets.

Those spots sometimes make people think that the apples have something wrong with them so while some passersby enjoy an apple now and then, others look at them, but do not touch.

Our apple trees, like our tomato and cucumber plants, produce huge quantities over a very short period of time so what to do with them all begins to sound like a variation on a famous Henny Youngman line—“Take my apples … please!”

There is a little girl who lives a few houses away. Now and then she would take an apple, but then a few minutes later she would be brought back by her grandmother who handed the apple back with body language that said “I am sorry my granddaughter took your apple.”

Unfortunately, neither the child nor her grandmother share a common language with me and my attempts at sort of a sign language were never productive so I could not get the message across that it was alright to take the apples.

Then a light dawned. I went to the Lexington List and asked if somebody could write me a sign in Chinese that said something like “The apples are good to eat. Feel free to take one.” I received several replies within an hour.

Oh, I could have used Google Translate or some service like that, but I have heard stories of people who had Chinese and Japanese characters tattooed on their bodies only to find out later that they did not mean :Good Luck” or “Good Fortune” so now they needed a tattoo removal service. Immediately. And I remember the huge laugh several years ago when a notice about the Public Garden in Boston left the “L” out of Public.

But the sign looked good and after running it by a Hong Kong-born Mormon missionary who happened to stop by, I put it by the tree.

The little girl came by a short time later. She read the sign. Smiles. She left and returned with her grandmother. Nods. More smiles. Both left and returned with other family members. Even more smiles. Picking of apples followed.

I also found out that I had other neighbors who spoke Chinese. A great deal of smiling and multi-lingual exchanges. Then other people stopped by and shyly asked if they could try an apple.

I thanked all the people who had helped by sending a short note to the Lexington List. A couple of people suggested that a children’s book should be written about it. I thought about it, I have to admit.

But then I rejected the idea. A child wanted an apple, but we could not communicate well enough. Then a lot of things came together in space and time to allow it to happen. Then other people we didn’t know about were able to sample the apples.

The real story is not a puppy-mom-apple pie sort of thing, but that there was a small victory in a quest to communicate better. A victory that leaves me with a desire to make it happen more often and with much bigger issues than apples. The real story is that we all need to try harder to make things work and that is more than a children’s story.

The apples will be gone in a couple of weeks. What we humans don’t eat, the furry critters will. But I hope the magic of what happened with a child who wanted an apple and an adult who finally figured out how to tell her it was OK will last a lot longer.

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Minuteman High School Students Earn Medals at State Skills USA Competition

By Judy Bass  |

Congratulations to all students from Minuteman High School in Lexington who competed at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference, featuring championships and state officer elections, in Marlboro, Mass., from April 26 to 28, 2012. More than one-third of the Minuteman students attending brought home medals from the competition.

SkillsUSA is a national organization for vocational students that sponsors competitions in dozens of technical areas at the local, district, state and national levels.

Bronze medalists include: James Cardillo (Peabody) for Residential Construction Wiring; Michael Dasaro (Arlington) for Occupational Safety & Health; Nicholas Frotten (Medford) for Employment Application Process; Breanna Harfst (Woburn) for Job Interview; and Gabrielle Fitzgerald-Leger (Waltham), Eric Gulbicki (North Reading), and Kelsey Wakelin (Arlington) for Career Pathways Showcase in Agriculture Food, and Natural Resources.

The silver medalist was sophomore Graham Fortier-Dube (Lexington), who won in Computer Programming.

The following 10 Gold medalists from will represent Team Massachusetts as the best in their career field at the National SkillsUSA Competition from June 23 to 28, 2012 in Kansas City, Mo.: Patrick Boisvert (Arlington) for Post-Grad Plumbing; Michael Bowe (Bolton) and Annie Viggh (Boxborough) for Web Design; Dylan Caples (Lexington), Peter Kelly (Arlington), and Lindsay McGrail (Framingham) for Career Pathways Showcase in Engineering, Science, Technology, and Math; Dan Dangora (Medford) and John Lessard (Medford) for Mobile Robotics; Ryan Gleason (Bolton) for Action Skills; and Christine Hamilton (Stow) for Sustainability Solutions.

Shannon Cain (Arlington) was also selected to serve as a National Voting Delegate.

Finally, for the fourth year running, a Minuteman student has been elected to serve as a State Officer. Congratulations to Lisa Willms (Arlington), who was elected to serve as a 2012-2013 Massachusetts State Officer. Rounding out the list of 13 Minuteman students going to Nationals is Anthony Senesi (Arlington), will also be representing Team Massachusetts as a current Massachusetts SkillsUSA State Officer.

Congratulations to all participants, and a huge thank you to the advisors who made all of this possible: Mr. Rafter, Mr. St. George, Mr. Blank, Mr. King, Mr. Boisvert, Ms. Griffin, and Ms. Withrow.


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