Monday Memo #22 2/22/16 REPOSTED

Monday Memo–Edition #22

February 22, 2016

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I hope you were able to do something that you enjoy during our Winter Vacation.  Sadly, we lost two important people to our Winchester Community at the beginning of our school break.  On behalf of the entire WHS community, I wish the families of Caitlin Clavette and Kyra Koman our heartfelt sympathies.

Monday Updates:

  1. We have recently posted our position for a new Special Education Supervisor for the WHS community.  We would love to have a team of parents, staff and a student helping to interview our candidates.   Please let me know of your intent by this upcoming Tuesday, March 1st.
  2. We are currently short on student parking.  As a result, the Winchester Department of Public Works has generously opened up parking at Borggaard Beach (by the tennis courts).  It is a 5 minute walk from Stop and Shop.  We do ask student drivers to exercise extreme caution accessing the lot from Palmer Street.  They will access the lot in the driveway closest to the tennis courts and will exit using the other driveway.

Older Updates:

  1. Graduation plans are set.  Our plan is to have our WHS Class of 2016 Graduation on Manchester Field (behind McCall) outside on Sunday, June 5th at 4:00 pm-NOTE the later time in the day to helpful avoid the heat of the day.  (Rain Date will be Monday, June 6th at 6:00 pm).  We will be sending out more information regarding senior week activities. Keep checking your Edline account for updates.
  2. Just a reminder that we are now collecting gently new or used prom dresses to help WHS students and Belle of the Ball. Boxes are in our lobby and at 28 Richardson St.  You can also donate gift cards to Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack or DSW.  Please send the cards to me at WHS. These dresses will help any of our students who may need support as well as others from area communities.  Thank you for your support!
  3. If you haven’t already reserved the weekend, please plan to come to one of our performances of Damn Yankees on March 3-5.  Check out the information about tickets and showtimes on:  This will be our first performance in our new space. I’ve seen snippets of the show and it is NOT TO BE MISSED.
  4. We will also be hosting a Community Open House on March 21st from 5:45 until a wonderful Music Concert at 7:00 pm in the new auditorium.   All are welcomed!

Memo Shout Outs:

  1. Every year the English Speaking Union holds a National Shakespeare Competition.  Each state sets up a semi-final competition and then selects ten students to go to the final competition. Winchester High School has competed in the Boston Shakespeare Competition for over twenty years.This year, Devin Bean, a senior at Winchester High School, has been selected as one of the finalists to proceed to the state championship.  On Saturday, February 20 she competed and received first place!  In April she will be competing at Lincoln Center in the National Competition held in New York City.  We are very proud of her and confident that she will represent WHS well!
  2. The Harvard Model UN Club attended a conference in Boston at the end of January along with 3,000 student delegates from around the globe. They worked with expertise and diligence to represent their countries. Our students were just fabulous both during work and play time.  We are proud of their efforts.

This week’s schedule will be:


Day 5


Day 6


Day 7


Day 1


Day 2

Meet our Social Studies Department:

Director-Chris Kurhajetz

I am the Social Studies Director (6-12) and I currently teach World History I and American Studies.  This is my 17th year at Winchester High School.

Five things to know about me:

  1. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and it is still a special city for me.
  2. I have a deep-seated passion for the Minnesota Vikings.
  3. I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota-TwinCities.
  1. My favorite historical figures are Malcolm X, Charles Erskine, Scott Wood and Zhou Enlai
  2. I was inspired to teach after seeing the movie Do the Right Thing (although it initially led to         a short-lived dream of being a filmmaker).


Andrew Langlois

I have been teaching at Winchester for 9 years and currently teach classes in U.S. History and AP Economics.

Five things to know about me:

  1. I was born and raised in Rhode Island and love to spend as much time as I can there each summer.
  2. I have a lovely wife and two darling boys aged 3 and 1.
  3. I love football, played through college, and am a huge Patriots fan.
  4. My house was first built circa 1770 and I spend a lot of my spare time on improvement and restoration projects.
  5. My favorite historical figures are Washington, Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Twain.


Shanti Steckel Cooper

I have been teaching at WHS for five years, but also taught for five years in the NYC public school system.  I currently teach ninth grade World History and AP American History.

Five things to know about me:

  1. I am married, have a ten year old daughter and live in Concord.
  2. I am a New Yorker (but not a sports fan) and my high school prom and my first job out of college was at a law firm in the World Trade Center.
  3. While studying abroad in Denmark junior year in college, I caught the travel bug and have visited most countries in Europe.
  4. My favorite historical figures are Alexander Hamilton, Gloria Steinem and FDR.
  5. My favorite type of music is old school hip hop and I will never turn down an opportunity to dance to it, incorporate the lyrics into a lesson or talk about it.


Suzanne Bolles

I began at WHS full-time ten years ago. Presently I teach American History to juniors and electives in Psychology, as well as Modern Genocide & Human Rights, to seniors.

Five things to know about me:

  1. I was born in Winchester but was raised in northern New Jersey.
  2. I spent the summer of ‘69 living on Sioux Indian reservations in South Dakota.
  3. As a U.S. Senate intern, I got the idea for a bill, which I researched, wrote and proposed. Parts of it became federal law. I was 20-years-old.
  4. My two majors at Wellesley College were History and Psychology, with a minor in Art History. My graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison were in History.
  5. My earliest historical memory is watching the Kennedy-Nixon debates in the 1960 presidential campaign.


Emily Tucci

This is my third full year at WHS and before that I was a student teacher and long-term sub in the social studies department. I currently teach 9th Grade World History I, 10th Grade World History II, and Psychology.

Five things to know about me:

  1.       I grew up about a mile from WHS in West Medford.
  2.       I am married and have two nephews (3 years old & 5 months) and one niece (1 year old).
  3.       My husband and I just bought a 130 year old two-family house and have been living through   renovations for 5 months!
  4.       I once threw a “no-hitter’ in my glory days as varsity softball pitcher for Medford High.
  5.       My favorite historical figure is Emmeline Pankhurst.


Anna Malmede

This is my sixth year teaching at WHS. I currently teach World History II and US History.

5 things to know about me:

  1. I have a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd named Sydney (get it?).
  2. While getting my BA in History at Holy Cross, I spent a year studying abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (unfortunately a year after Will & Kate).
  3. I grew up dancing and taught tap for five years after college at my old studio.
  4. My favorite places in the world are Hawaii, France and Disney World!
  5. My favorite historical figures are (in no particular order) Queen Victoria, Otto von Bismarck and Teddy Roosevelt.


Madison Leverich

This is my fourth year teaching at Winchester High School. I currently teach 9th and 10th grade World History and Senior Focus.

Five things to know about me:

  1. I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin so I’m known as Madison from Madison (but I wasn’t born there).
  2. I majored in Political Science and minored in International Studies at Boston College. (Go Eagles!)
  3. I love to travel…some of the most unique places I have traveled include Tunisia and Thailand. I also spent a semester in Florence, Italy where I fell in love with art history and pasta.
  4. My favorite units to teach are the French Revolution and Imperialism.
  5. If I wasn’t a teacher, I would be a criminal investigator or an international DJ sensation.


Christina Costas

This is my second year teaching at Winchester High School after teaching 8th grade for five years. I currently teach 9th grade World History I and 11th grade American History.

Five things to know about me:

  1. I graduated from Elon University where I majored in History and English with a minor in Psychology, and went on to work in admissions for a year after graduating.
  2. I caught the travel bug while studying abroad in places like Greece, South Africa, and London and am always looking to add stamps to my passport.
  3. I love all kinds of music and have seen Bruce Springsteen in concert more times than I can count (actually, 39 times).
  4. If I wasn’t a teacher, I would be a talk-show host or a journalist.
  5. My all time favorite TV show is LOST – I love to talk about it; seriously, ask me!


Michael Lee

This is my third year teaching at Winchester High School. I currently teach World History II and US History.

5 things to know about me:

  1. My first name is actually Ronald, but no one has ever called me that.
  2. I grew up in Walpole, MA where my family owns a local funeral home (no one ever came to our house to trick or treat.)
  3. My favorite TV show is Seinfeld. I have probably seen every episode about 10 times.
  4. My favorite unit to teach is World War I.
  5. I am a huge Red Sox fan and I got a free couch from Jordan’s Furniture when they won the 2007 World Series.


Katherine Donahue

This is my first year teaching at Winchester High School.  I currently teach 9th Grade World History I and 10th Grade World History II Honors.

Five things to know about me:

  1. I grew up the oldest of five children in Weston, MA.
  2. I am huge fan of historical drama.  I even wrote my senior thesis on Downton Abbey.
  3. My favorite historical (and literary) figure is William Shakespeare.
  4. If I could live during any time period, I would not hesitate to be reborn into the Gilded Age.
  5. My high school superlative was “Broadway Bound,” so if I wasn’t a teacher, I would probably be busy breaking into show biz.

Mark Chase

This is my tenth year teaching at Winchester High School. I currently teach three sections of AP Psychology and 2 sections of 10th grade World History II College Prep.

Five things to know about me:

  1. My wife is an elementary school librarian in Duxbury and we have two sons; Benjamin is 4 and Patrick is 2.
  2. Prior to teaching at Winchester, I worked with autistic children for three years and prior to that I worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington DC.
  3. I have been told that I take Boston sports a little too seriously and I still haven’t fully recovered from the Patriots most recent loss.
  4. My favorite historical figures are: Plato, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Alexander Hamilton, and Abraham Lincoln.
  5. In college I had a radio show that played electronic music and hip hop and an article was written about the show in the Boston Phoenix.


Scott Spencer

This year is my first at Winchester High School.  I currently teach AP Economics, College Prep Economics, and US History since 1970.

Five things to know about me:

  1. Most recently, I was a stay-at-home father for the past seven years for two lovely daughters.
  2. I have extensively travelled abroad, for work, research, and pleasure, including long stays in Switzerland, Scotland, South Africa, London, and Western Canada.  Two of the cooler places were New Zealand and Samoa.
  3. I worked in international finance for nearly a decade and attended graduate school/taught undergraduates for a decade.  However, I expect my stay here at Winchester High School to last longer than a decade.
  4. My favorite activities involve hiking, skiing, and biking in the mountains.
  5. After “retiring” from my company in my late 20s, a buddy and I drove around America in two trips that totaled four months on the road, similar to the experiences of one of my favorite writers, Lowell-born Jack Kerouac (the topic of my senior thesis).


Adam Weiss

This is my third year at Winchester HIgh School.  I teach 9th and 10th grade World History and a senior elective, The Modern Middle East.

5 things to know about me:

  1. I grew up next door in Arlington, MA.
  2. I am a music fanatic, ranging from Jewel to the Beastie Boys.
  3. Last summer I did an improv comedy class.
  4. My favorite male historical figure is Martin Luther King, Jr. and my favorite female historical figure is Queen Elizabeth I.
  5. If I were not a teacher, I would probably be a political writer and commentator.


Date Event Location
Tuesday, Feb. 23 3:45 Alpine Ski-Slalom Wachusett
Wednesday, Feb. 24 4:00 pm Boys Hockey vs. Medford Home-O’Brien
Wednesday, Feb. 24 7:00 pm Boys Bball vs. Somerville Somerville
Friday, Feb. 26 4:30 pm Wrestling All-States
Saturday, Feb. 27 10 am Wrestling All-States
Saturday, Feb. 27 7 pm MIAA Gymnastic meet
March 3-5 Damn Yankees Production WHS Auditorium
March 5 SAT testing WHS
March 5-6 NHS Sponsored 24 Hour Famine WHS
March 7 7:00 pm Transition Meeting for Incoming Freshmen Parents WHS Auditorium
March 8 7:30 PFA Meeting WHS Dining Commons



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