Monday Memo #26 3/21/16 Reposted

Monday Memo–Edition #26

March 21, 2016

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Hello WHS,

Last week’s Monday Memo commented on our unseasonably warm weather and now we are home with a snow day following some spring snow.  Oh well, in New England, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a while.  I hope that you have a great week.


Monday Updates:

    1. Due to today’s storm and snow day, we will have the following adjustments:


  • We will skip our Day 4 schedule and tomorrow, March 22 will be Day 5 due to MCAS testing (MCAS testing will include sophomores and will continue through March 23-24).
  • Spring Sports schedules which were to begin today, will now begin tomorrow.
  • Our Community Open House schedule for tonight at 5:45 is postponed until next Monday (March 28) at 5:45 with a Concert at 7:00 pm.       

                 2.Congratulations to all members of the Music Department and their                                     fabulous Acapellafest on Friday night.  It was a great night of music.

                3.  Thank you to the staff who chaperoned and helped organize Friday                                    night’s Sophomore dance last Friday night.  It was great to see our Sachems                      having so much fun.

                 4. Today is the last day to bid on great items on the WFEE’s Bids for Kids                          auction as it ends tonight, Monday the 21st, at midnight. There are a variety                    of  items up for bid – Red Sox tickets, exercise classes, tickets to the Selena                       Gomez concert and even the chance to bid on seats for graduation. If you have                 younger students, there are also a number of teacher led experiences.  Lots                       more at the site I hope you have                        the chance to participate.

                5.  We have an great opportunity for WHS Freshmen, Sophomores or Juniors.                   Would you like to be on a Statewide Council?  We have 2 spots on the                                  council.  Here is a description written by one of our current members,                                  Jonathan Santoro:

Student Advisory Council is a statewide program that was established to give students a voice in the way their education system works. Signed into law by Governor Francis Sargent in 1971, the program divides the state into five geographic regions, and schools in each region sends two students to make up a Regional Student Advisory Council, or RSAC. Representatives then work together to find solutions to problems that schools in the region share. Meanwhile, each RSAC sends a handful of delegates to the State Student Advisory Council, or SSAC, where student representatives from all across the state meet up to address education issues that Massachusetts as a state faces. SSAC elects a chairman who runs meetings, as well as represent the council—and, by extension, the entire student body of Massachusetts—as a member on the Board of Education. The SSAC chairman is the only elected member of the Board, and has the same voting powers as the other members. They act as a conduit between the Board and SSAC, communicating with the council what is being discussed and getting feedback to know how students feel about issues to determine how to place the student vote. This year, the SSAC Chairman is Donald Willyard, a senior at Pioneer Charter School of Science in Everett. RSAC meetings are on one day of school every other month, and SSAC meets in the between months.

This has been Winchester’s first year on the council. It is part of the Northeast Regional Student Advisory Council (NERSAC), working with schools such as Marblehead, Haverhill, and Wilmington High Schools. Currently representing Winchester is Pete Anderson, a junior and member of student council, and Jonathan Santoro, a senior. Jonathan also represents NERSAC on the State Council. This year, NERSAC has been focusing on civic education and awareness to get kids more interested and involved in politics and civic duty. They have discussed organizing assemblies and mock elections that would show the importance of participating in democracy. SSAC has likewise focused on civic engagement by creating a civics newsletter to be distributed to schools. The current edition, which should be distributed to schools soon*, includes articles on topics like the primaries, why voting matters, and a letter from a member of the State Legislature.

In over 40 years, SSAC has spoken up for students, pushing for reforms like a Student Bill of Rights, bullying prevention, and focusing less on testing and more on education. You can learn about the program on the website. It is a very rewarding, and helpful, program.  

If you would like to nominate yourself for committee, please email Mrs. Kelley as we will need to host an election if we have more than two students interested.

6.  I hope that you have a chance to stop in at one of the sessions of the two                          WHS principal finalists.  The information was sent out on Friday. There are                      sessions each day (Tuesday and Wednesday) for the following sessions:

    1. 11:00-11:30-Parents/Central Office
    2. 2:25-2:55-Students/WHS Principal Office
    3. 6:00-7:00-Parents/Central Office

Older Updates:

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.

Shout Out:

Congratulations to senior-Chris Kuang who just received the Good Citizen Award from the Daughters of the Revolution for his dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

Shout out to members of the NHS who participated in a 24 hour famine a few weekends ago at WHS.  Over the course of 24 hours close to 40 people joined with 3 students and Mrs. Chakladar managed all 24 hours. They raised $500 and will match the amount to donate $1000 to Feeding America.  What a great experience!

This week’s schedule will be:


Day 4-SNOW DAY-we will skip DAY 4


Day 5

MCAS for gr. 10


Day 6

MCAS for gr. 10


Day 7

MCAS for gr. 10


No School-Good Friday

Staff Spotlight-Meet our Special Education Department-

John Pirani-Interim Special Ed. Supervisor

John Pirani is the Interim Special Education Supervisor.  After 40 years teaching and serving in administration, he retired in 2013.  He is in his 26th year as our lacrosse coach, and coached 4 Winchester state champions.  John is married to Bonnie Gillespie and lives in Medford and Falmouth. He earned his BA from the University of Bridgeport and Masters from UMass in special education and is a proud WHS graduate, class of 1968.

Jenn Callison-Transitional Specialist

Jenn Callison started her career in Special Education in 2007 in the Cambridge Public Schools. Jenn was a paraprofessional, a co-teacher in three World History courses and in 2008 became the district’s Transition Coordinator. She worked in this position until 2014 when she joined the Winchester Public Schools as our Transition Specialist.  Jenn earned her B.S. in Communications from Norwich University in Vermont (2000), her M.Ed. in Special Education at UMass/Boston in (2011) and is in the dissertation phase of her Ph.D. work through the school of Urban Education, Leadership and Policy Studies Program at UMass/Boston.  Her work focuses on the Backgrounds and Personal Qualities of Special Education Transition Specialists in Massachusetts.  Prior to working in Special Education, Jenn worked in the radio industry in both Boston (WBCN and 92.9 WBOS) and California and held positions in Marketing, Promotions and On-Air Work as a Morning Show DJ. Currently, Jenn lives in North Andover with her husband Patrick and their children.  She is a mom to two (Olivia, 7, and Benjamin, 4) and a step-mom to two (Sasha, 7, and Travis, 5).

Marcy Crowley-Teacher

I grew up in central Massachusetts and graduated from Wachusett Regional High School in Holden.  After high school I attended Syracuse University where I earned a BFA in Art Education, with a concentration in Painting, and a Minor in English Textual Studies.  I was also an active member of the Women’s Club Soccer team at Syracuse.  After a brief break from academia, where I explored several different career options including different types of professional photography, service industry roles, and administrative work, I began working as a Special Education Instructor at Winchester High School.  My experiences working with the population of students inspired me to pursue a Masters’ Degree from Lesley University in both Moderate and Severe Disabilities, and eventually to become a Special Education teacher.


Jared Huber-Teacher

Jared Huber has been teaching at WHS for 9 years.  He lives in Woburn with his wife and his 18-month son.  Jared has a M.Ed in Special education from Curry College.  He also coaches Freshman girls and JV boys volleyball at the high school.


Ilana Grosser-Psychologist

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and received my Certification as a School Psychologist from Touro college in NYC. I worked for several years as School Psychologist in a private school in Brooklyn, New York.  During that time, I worked closely with a Creative Arts Therapist and very much enjoyed using biblio, art, and drama therapy in my work with students. My husband and I moved to Boston two years ago and love it. We have two daughters.


Cassidi Hardy-Teacher

This is my first year at Winchester High School, co-teaching in the freshmen Biology classes and in Learning Center 1. I have previously worked in Wellesley, Framingham, and Waltham in various grades and settings.   I am originally from Florida and came to Massachusetts to attend Boston University to play softball. While at BU I earned a B.S. in English Education and a M.Ed of Special Education. Following my playing career, I was asked to be the Assistant Coach at Boston University but chose to leave it in favor of being a teacher and wanting to start a family with my husband, who was also a former athlete at BU. We will have been together ten years as of Marathon Monday 2017 🙂 I have two beautiful and rambunctious girls- a three year old named Bronte and an almost one year old named Moxie. We are an extremely active family and spend most of our free time playing softball, football, wrestling, swimming, or just being active outside. I never thought I’d be teaching Biology, but it has been the best experience I’ve had in the profession. I’ve even begun listening to science podcasts in the free time I get!

Janet Hebert-Administrative Assistant

I am the Administrative Assistant for the department.  I was born and raised in Lynn, MA and graduated from Lynn Classical High School.  I began my career as a Payroll Coordinator at Greater Lynn Mental Health Association and worked my way to a management position where I remained for 17 years.  During my early years of marriage, my husband and I were live-in counselors for cognitively challenged men and women.   In 1991 we moved to Swampscott where we raised our three wonderful children, Stephen (26), David (24), and Jillian (22).  I am proud to say they are all college graduates and doing well in their fields.  Prior to joining the WHS team, I worked in the Central Office for both Swampscott and Reading School Systems.  Over the course of my career, I realized I have a special affinity toward working in

special education.  I am incredibly excited about my new job in Winchester and the kind

reception I have received.


Joan Heffernan-Psychologist

Hi All!  I joined the psychologist team at WHS in the fall.  Previously I worked in the Reading district with preschool through high school students.  In my private practice, I work with individuals, couples and families across the lifespan on such issues as life balance, mood regulation, trauma and substance abuse recovery, bereavement and career development.  I integrate spirituality, clinical hypnotherapy and the mind-body connection into my counseling work.  I also serve on the Massachusetts Psychologists’

Disaster Response Network, which includes the excitement of working the Boston Marathon Medical Tent at the finish line.  I am a member of the Lexington Community Coalition which partners with Lexington Youth and Family Services to leverage student strengths and reduce stress.  I taught traditional and hybrid courses at Endicott College, including Sr. Thesis, Lifespan Development, and The Psychology of Spirituality.  I founded an after-school enrichment program for Middle School children in Lexington.  More trivia:  my undergrad degree is in Math; I have an MBA and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.  Prior to becoming a psychologist, I was in high tech management.   My work took me across the U.S. and overseas to Australia and the Far East, where I developed an affinity for foreign languages and cultures.  My husband of a bunch of years and I have two daughters in their 20s, who are “enjoying” work: in

Washington DC as a paralegal, and Boston in International Education, respectively.  I enjoy music, dance, tennis, writing, photography, Boston sports and travel.  A passion of mine is working with youth as they prepare to launch their adult lives.  Fave show:  WHS 2016 production of Damn Yankees.  Fave youth initiative:  Technovation Club.  Go Sachems!  


Matt James-Teacher

I have been teaching at Winchester High School for as long as I can remember. I started out as a one on one instructor before taking over the Phoenix Program that eventually was renamed LC 1. I have always enjoyed working with students with more difficult behaviors, but, now I  am really enjoying co-teaching English 9 with my buddies Roisin O’Brien and Joe Norris.  I have been the head Lacrosse Coach at Melrose High School since 2011. I am married, have two daughters, Maggie and Dylan, and a dog, Lucy, who are all pretty awesome.


Krista Marino-Teacher

Krista Marino has been a Special Education teacher at WHS for 13 years. She received a Masters of Education from Lesley University in 1993. Last year Krista began working as a co-teacher for 9th grade World History. She has two children, both attending WHS.


Martha Mcdonough-Counselor

I am a counselor at WHS and grew up in Winchester, graduated from WHS, went to Keene State originally for music, quickly changing my major to an independent study in organizational management and minoring in addiction studies. I have a masters’ degree in counseling psychology from Antioch University.  I worked as an addiction counselor initially and then started my own behavioral health company which developed and managed addiction and mental health units in community hospital and outpatient programs. After living very rurally for many years in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania I moved back to Winchester. I have two children, a son and a daughter, both graduates of WHS. I have been back at WHS for nine years and absolutely love my job.


Kara Napaolitano-Teacher

This is my second year teaching in learning center 2 and I am also an assistant coach for Winchester field hockey!  Go Sachems!

5 facts about me!

  1. I was born and raised in Waltham, Massachusetts.
  2. I attended the University of New Hampshire for my undergrad where I majored in Psychology and minored in Education
  3. At UNH, I was a four year starter on the division one field hockey team (GO WILDCATS!)
  4. I started teaching at Winchester as a teacher’s assistant for 2 and a half years in 2011.
  5. I am the youngest of four and I have three nieces and a nephew who are the cutest!

Brian Norris-Teacher

I grew up in Beverly and live there with my wife Marcie, my son Dan who is 9 and my daughter Cara, who is 14 yrs old.  I graduated from Colby College and Salem State University where I earned my Master’s degree in Special Education. I’ve lived in Ireland, California, Washington state and Massachusetts.  New England is still my favorite place in the world to be and our family has camped all over New England.  I love to read, History especially, and I’ve coached track and field and youth soccer for years.I love riding my bike and sometimes ride   to school in the good weather.  Working with young people in the process of discovery we undertake together is a joy.  It’s a privilege to work with students during such a formative time in their lives and to share in their

struggles as well as the breakthroughs and I wouldn’t want any other job in the world.


Diana (DJ) Prowell-Teacher

I am in my thirteenth year as a special education teacher at Winchester High School. I began my teaching career in Maryland as a Social Studies teacher at a high school. I took time off to raise my three children before returning to teach and gravitated towards special education. I am also active in the teacher’s union as the Grievance chair. I reside in Lowell in a condo that overlooks the end of the Concord River. I really enjoy taking advantage of all that the city offers.


Tracy Troiano-Teacher

I was born and raised in the Chicago Area. My passion for sports began with having three older brothers – (and a little sister) I would love to see a Red Sox/Cubs World Series sometime in my lifetime.  I moved to Boston over 30 years ago with my husband Tom.  I live in Winchester and have had three boys graduate from WHS – all who played hockey and lacrosse.  I am a huge sports fan and am found at many fields, gyms and rinks throughout the year.  I have been voted more than once SACHEM SUPER FAN

I also love attending the plays and musical performances.  In my spare time I like to crochet or hang out at our house on Cape Cod with my Irish Setter.  My current Netflix obsessions are House of Cards, Scandal and Nashville.


Dana Zazinski-Teacher

I’m the newest special education teacher at WHS and really excited to be part of such a dedicated team. Originally from Brooklyn, I came to Boston for college and never left. Before deciding to become a special education teacher, I was I writer and performer on “The Rock of Boston,” WBCN, where I was better known as a talking computer named Karlos who often picked fights with rock stars and had a special on-air feud with David Lee Roth. After working in radio I moved on to WGBH TV and worked for many years in programming. After having my first of three kids, I chucked it all to be a writer for Parents and Oprah magazines before changing careers to become a teacher.


Date Event Location
March 22-23-24 MCAS-ELA-Sophomores WHS
March 22/23 Principal Finalists’ Visits WHS and Central Office
March 25 No School-Good Friday WHS
March 28 WHS Open House 5:45

followed by Concert at 7:00 Instrumental Concert

WHS Auditorium
March 31 Fashion Show WHS
April 1 Freshmen Dance Town Hall



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