Monday Memo #10 November 16, 2015-REPOSTED

Monday Memo–Edition #10

November 16,  2015

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     Hello WHS and I am sure like me, many of you watched in horror as the events in Paris unfolded Friday night.  Whenever something like that happens, it causes all of us to expel a communal sigh as any act of terrorism is so senseless.   I am sure that  our students will come to school this week with more questions about this and it certainly brings up memories of similar senseless acts.  If you feel that your child could benefit from talking to a counselor, please reach out and let us know.  We are here to support all of our students.

As you may know, our grades closed this past week and we are now officially one fourth of the way into the school year.  Sometimes students start off strong and now (especially this time of the year) start to wane a bit with assignments and preparing for exams.  In addition, sometimes students have a rocky start to the school year but after a few months in their new roles, they figure things out and hit their stride.  We hope that your child is off to a great start but if not, you may wish to reach out to their specific teacher or to their guidance counselor on how you (and we) may support their learning.

Here are the Monday updates.  

    • From our desk of our Athletic Director-Marc Arria:  
      • The Fall Season is winding down with just a few more events in the next couple of weeks.  Congratulations to the teams that completed their seasons! This past weekend, our Cross Country team traveled to the Wrentham Developmental Center for the MIAA State Championship Race at 9AM.  Girls Swimming also competed at the MIAA Sectionals at MIT at on Saturday. The Football team played Medford at home at 10AM on Saturday.  On Sunday, our Cheerleading team competed at Sectionals at Woburn HS at 2:30. Good Luck to all of our teams still competing.  We are so proud of all of our student athletes.
  • Winchester High School would like to welcome John DePasquale as the new Girls Varsity Basketball Coach.  Coach DePasquale spent the last two years coaching the varsity girls team at North Reading High School.  Prior to that, he spent a year as the varsity coach at Somerville High School.  Before heading to Somerville, he was the head coach at Ursuline Academy in Dedham for twelve years.  During his time at Ursuline, he guided a team to an MIAA State Championship and was named Boston Globe Division IV Coach of the Year.  Coach DePasquale started his coaching career at Trinity Catholic in Newton, where he coached the girls varsity team for eight years.  We are extremely excited to have Coach DePasquale on board and we wish him luck.  

Here are some repeating updates:

  • Don’t miss our fall play brought to you by the Drama Club.   The fall play will be at 7 PM on Tuesday November 17th, Wednesday November 18th, and Thursday November 19th at Town Hall.  The show is Suite Surrender by Michael Mckeever, a farce, and it should be hilarious! The show will be held at the Town Hall Auditorium. Tickets will be $10 and $5 for students.
  • Once again this year, WHS will be participating in WHS Gives Back.  Last year, we were able to raise funds to help local families with gifts this holiday season.  We are already looking to collect money in homerooms from now until early December.  Thank you in advance for your donations!
  • Teen Depression Workshop for Parents and students.  11/17 WHS Learning Commons at 7:00 pm-Pizza will be served
  • We will be participating in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey  on November 17-18.   You received an email last week about our plans.  Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
  • This upcoming week’s Day Schedule will be:

Day 3


Day 4


Day 5


Day 6


Day 7

Memo Shout-Outs- We have so much to be proud of here at WHS.  I have asked staff to send me regular shout out announcements so we can recognize some of our great happenings for our WHS community. (If you have a shout out to share-please email me at

  • Congratulations to our 18 JSA (Junior State of America) delegates.  Our delegates participated in debate, moderated and served as Justices in many interesting topics over two days at the Westin Hotel in Boston this weekend. There were over 700 students in attendance from all over New England and there were political debates about current policy, taxes, the presidential election, immigration and many other topics. There was an interesting Keynote Speaker, Richard Miniter, who is an investigative journalist and author of several books. Congratulations to our delegates who were reported to be polite, knowledgeable and skilled in debate.  Also a huge thank you to our JSA advisor, Mrs. Troiano who accompanied the team.

Team WHS-

In this section, I hope to introduce or reintroduce our community to members of our community.

I would like to introduce or reintroduce you to member of our English Department.

Meet Judy Hession, Director.  Judy has been the director of English grades 6-12 for the last 16 years.  She has a masters degree from Brown University.  One of the reasons she came to teach English at WHS was to work in the brand new building in 1972 and now in two years, she will move right into another brand new one.  One of her most gratifying educational experiences was her Fulbright to Israel in the summer of 1985.  She is passionate about teaching Shakespeare and thanks to a grant from WFEE, she studied at the Globe Theater in London for a month with 20 high school teachers.  When she returned, she designed a Shakespearean and Modern Drama course which culminates in “Shakespeare Day” in May where her students perform all day for their peers.  “The most important part of my job is to hire dynamic teachers who will make a difference in the life and mind of a student.”

Meet Rebecca Blomberg.  Rebecca did her undergraduate work at Brandeis and her graduate work at Lesley University.  This is her second year teaching in the WHS English departments.  Last August, Rebecca married a teacher and they bought a house together.

Meet Tracie Evrigenis.  She is a native Californian and taught in England before moving back to the east coast.  She does graduate work at Tufts University and has worked in WHS English department for 15 years.  She is the mother of two daughters.

Meet Katie Hillstrom.    She is from Kansas.  She and her husband met at the University of Kansas.  Katie taught in the Maryland school district before moving here and has taught in the WHS English department for 10 years.  She is the mother of a five year old son.

Meet Eric Lister.   Eric has an undergraduate degree from Stanford and graduate degrees from University of Colorado-Boulder and Brown University.  He has worked at WHS for 10 years and has created a paperless classroom.  He is the father of a son and a daughter.

Meet Brody Miles. He is a transplant from Michigan.  Both his undergraduate and graduate degrees are from Michigan State.  Before coming to Winchester, he worked at an international school in Switzerland for three years.  He has two passions:  reading and running.  He has worked at WHS for 13 years and is the father of two boys.

Meet Joseph Norris.  Joseph is a native of Quincy and has the accent to prove it.  Joe has an undergraduate and Master’s degrees from UMass Boston.  Before coming to Winchester, Joe worked in Boston Public Schools.  This is his second year at WHS and in June, he will be married to an elementary school teacher.

Meet Roisin O’Brien.  Roisin has an undergraduate degree from Boston College.  She was hired right out of her Master’s program at Columbia University and has taught at WHS for 12 years after teaching seventh grade at McCall for five years.  She has a two year old daughter.

Meet Katie Pickett.  Katie is an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a Masters from the University of Chicago.  Katie worked in Acton-Boxboro before coming to Winchester.  Katie has worked in the WHS English department for 10 years.  Her passion is musical theater.  This fall, she performed with the Burlington Players in the “Great American Trailer Park Musical.”  Katie is the mother of two daughters.

Meet Ray Rhatigan.  He is a career changer who has  worked many years in the private sector.   He student taught at Newton North High School before coming here 9 years ago.  He has his master’s degree from Framingham State University and is the father of three.

Meet Ian Ruderman.  Ian has an undergraduate degree from Vassar and graduate degrees from  NYU in Creative Writing and Harvard Graduate School of Education.  He is a native Bostonian and for many years has worked in public and private schools.  He most recently  worked at Brookline HIgh.  He has worked at WHS for five year and just published his first novel, The Peculiar Grace of a Shaker Chair.  He is the father of two boys.

Meet Gerry Skinder.  Mr. Skinder is the patriarch of the WHS English department.  His undergraduate work was at Colby College and his graduate work was at Salem State University.  Gerry has two passions beyond the classrooms; his music and his cabin in Maine.  He has taught at WHS for 32 years and has two stepchildren.

Meet John Waddell.  John is a transplant from Tennessee.  He has a masters from Tisch in Cinema Studies.  He and his wife moved to Boston where John earned an MAT from Northeastern.  He has worked in the WHS English for 15 years.  He is the father of a five year old son.

Meet Alec Weir.  Alec grew up in Winchester and attended Winchester High.  He was hired right out of the Tufts Master’s in Teaching program.  This is his 6th year at WHS.  Over a year ago, Alec married a teacher and they bought a house together.

Upcoming Dates

I will continue to repost items and add dates to this weekly update-I apologize in advance for any omissions. Please email me to be posted onto this listing:

Get that Sachem Spirit come to our sporting events! (Highlighted events are HOME/Local events).

Tuesday 11/17 7:00 Depression Discussion for Teens For Parents and Teens

Dining Commons

Tuesday-Thursday 11/17-19

7:00 pm

Drama Club Presents

Suite Surrender

Town Hall Auditorium
Thursday 11/19 6:00 pm Technology Night

drop in for a mini workshop (some presented by our own WHS staff)

McCall Middle School
Saturday 11/21 11:00 am-2:00 pm WHS Spirit Fair (Come do your shopping) WHS Dining Commons
Wednesday 11/25

Thursday 11/26-27

Early Release Day 11:15

(following Pep Rally)

Thanksgiving Holiday

No School

Thursday 11/26 10:00 am

Thanksgiving GAME

Football vs. Woburn

Cheerleading, Band


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