TMHS Principal's Newsletter

January 2020

From the Principal's Desk - Kristen S. Vogel

We have made some important changes to the course change procedures and policies that we would like you to be aware of as you begin selecting courses for next year. Starting in February, teachers will put course recommendations in Aspen for each student's course of study for next year. These recommendations should not be a surprise to students since their current teachers were to communicate with students their course recommendations for next year. This is the beginning of the course selection/scheduling process at TMHS. Before the end of February vacation, students and parents should review these recommendations in Aspen and select additional elective courses to complete their schedules. During late February/early March, guidance counselors will meet individually with every student to review the recommendations and finalize each program of study for the next school year. Changes in course requests may be made anytime in the months between the scheduling meeting with the counselor in February/March through the last day of school. It is expected that students and parents have reviewed and corrected any course selections during this time. After the last day of school, the only course changes that will be made will be those necessitated by schedule conflicts, level changes, failure of a course, or data entry errors. Please pay close attention to the new deadlines for completing course override forms, as well as making changes to requests, as we will be strictly adhering to the new structure we are putting in place. The new forms for course changes will be available in Guidance and are also on the Guidance Web site. All forms must be signed and turned in to Guidance before the deadline of April 1. We hope these procedure changes will result in fewer disruptions to the classroom and to the learning that takes place during the first term of school.

The Program of Studies, the guidance counselors and our teachers are great resources for learning about elective courses. During our January advisory meeting, advisors discussed the course selection time line and went over where to find and access the Program of Studies on our website with 9th, 10th and 11th graders. In early February, our guidance department will visit with students in small groups to discuss graduation requirements as well as courses available to students at each grade level for next year. I would ask that you have a conversation (maybe many!) with your student about their course of study for next year. We want all of our students to be challenged and balanced in their course of study. Encourage your student to push themselves outside their comfort zone in the classroom. If they are particularly interested in a subject area, suggest they take an honors or AP course in that area. It is important that they challenge themselves academically. College admissions officers will tell you that they are more interested in the rigor of the course of study of a student than they are in straight “A”’s on a student’s transcript. They are also interested in the skills that are important for students to find success in a 21st century higher education environment and career. I recently read an interview of the co-authors of a new book called Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children. The co-authors, Kathy Hirsch-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff discuss the 6 C's they found to be necessary for student success in life. The 6 C's are collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence. The article did not mention grades or exceptional subject knowledge as being key to a brilliant child or success in life. As a school, our faculty work with students on developing the 6 C's in every area of their academic and extracurricular lives at TMHS. We are hearing from higher education as well as employers that these skills are essential for success both in college and career. Below is a link to the interview:

Mandatory Social Host Night for Parents and Guardians of Junior Students

As a reminder to all TMHS Junior parents and guardians, all juniors planning on attending the junior prom must attend, with a parent or guardian, the mandatory Social Host Night on Wednesday, February 26 at 7:00pm at TMHS. Juniors will not be allowed to purchase a ticket to the prom unless they attend with a parent/guardian.

Please direct questions to class advisors, Connor Bourgoin, or Lindsey Bowden,

Reminder about Dismissal Policy

Recently, we have noticed students being dismissed in the middle of the school day for driving lessons. The driving schools are picking up the students at TMHS. Per our attendance policy in the Student Handbook, dismissal for driving lessons is not allowed. Please see the language below from the handbook.

Absences, tardiness, and dismissals are expected only in the case of illness or legitimate family emergencies.

We know that with students busy schedules it is difficult to find the time. We ask that you not dismiss your student from school for driving lessons going forward. We will be following up on any dismissal note that is not for a medical appointment, illness or legitimate family emergency.

January Hats Off Award

Congratulations to Faith Mazzipica '20 and Arianna Raso '20 for the Tewksbury Rotary Club January Hats Off Award. These two outstanding seniors were honored at a Rotary Club Luncheon on Thursday, January 16 at the Tewksbury Country Club.

The award recognizes those students who have distinguished themselves academically, have contributed to the co-curricular program at the High School, and have been actively involved in the community.

AP Psychology Projects

AP Psychology students created toys/games that are appropriate for each age/stage according to Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory.

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DECA Attends Regional Competition

On January 7th students in DECA attended the regional competition at UMASS Lowell to qualify for the state competition. Over 30 students qualified to compete at the state competition in Boston the last week in February! Congratulations to all who competed and qualified!
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Principal's Day

January 10th was Principal's Day at TMHS! There is nothing better than coming to work to find your office full of balloons and streamers! Not to mention the box of donuts that could feed the entire staff! It was a wonderful day and I want to thank Student Council, Class Councils and clubs who showered me with cards and gifts throughout the day!

Food Pantry Donation

Both the Girls and Boys Basketball teams joined together to do a food drive to support the Tewksbury Food Pantry. The teams put out bins in the front lobby of TMHS during the week of January 14! The bins were filled with food! Thank you to our generous and kind school community for their donations!

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News from the International Club

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During our winter break International Club members made 26 fleece blankets. These blankets will be donated to the House of Hope in Lowell, an organization that provides advocacy and housing for homeless families.

We have also donated US $1,000 to Doctors Without Borders, an organization that provides medical aid where it is needed most – with independence, impartiality, and neutrality.

Fine and Performing Arts Department

Upcoming Fine & Performing Arts Spring Events

Affinity, TMHS Winter Color Guard

NESBA Winter Percussion and Color Guard Competition

Saturday, February 1, 2020

4:00pm, TMHS Gymnasium

Tewksbury Memorial High School Theater Company

One Act Play Almost Maine

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020

7:00pm, Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

$5 entry fee

Affinity, TMHS Winter Color Guard

NESBA Winter Color Guard Championships

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Affinity Winter Color Guard tentative performance

5:30pm, Affinity performs, Salem High School, Salem, MA

Tewksbury Memorial High School Theater Company

Musical Cinderella

Thursday, April 30, 2020

7:00pm, TMHS, Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

Friday, May 1, 2020

7:00pm, TMHS, Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

Saturday, May 2, 2020

2:00pm & 7:00pm, TMHS, Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

The 36th Annual Tewksbury District Art Show

Featuring Art Students K-12

Friday, May 8, 2020

7:00pm, TMHS Band & Chorus Concert, Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

7:00-9:00pm, Public Showing of Art Exhibit, TMHS cafe

Saturday, May 9, 2020

10:00am-2:00pm, Public Showing of Art Exhibit, TMHS cafe

Concert at Wynn Middle School

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Wynn Middle School

Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 25, 2020

Tewksbury Cemetery/Main Street

TMHS Marching Band Clinic

All students grades 5-12 are welcome!

Saturday, May 31, 2020

8:00am, TMHS Gymnasium

TMHS Graduation

Friday, June 5, 2020

6:00pm, TMHS Gymnasium

Band & Chorus performing

Student Artwork on Display in the Principal's Conference Room

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World Language Department

Spotlight on Former Students: Brandon Smith, Class of 2018

Currently studying at: Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts

Major: Hospitality Management, minor in Communication

Brandon Smith earned the Platinum Certificate the year TMHS piloted the Seal of Biliteracy program; that is equivalent to the State Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction. He received the highest level of the seal to date. In November, the TMHS journalism class interviewed Brandon on his language learning experience at TMHS and how earning the Platinum Certificate has helped him after his career at TMHS.

Did you find it easy to learn Spanish?

No, but it really did show me how to push myself as a student. Once I got the hang of [learning Spanish] I found it easy. “

Has the skill of learning another language inspired you to study abroad?

“Yes, definitely. It certainly has sparked some ideas for me to study abroad somewhere in the next couple of years. Maybe Spain or [Italy]”

How did [the Seal of Biliteracy] open up opportunities outside of high school?

“It definitely helped with the college process. In a sense it was like I was a step ahead of some of the other students who were applying to the same schools as me. Also, it has opened up my mind a lot more on a cultural level.”

For Brandon, studying Spanish and acquiring proficiency was always important because of his intention to pursue a career in the Hospitality field. For his senior project, he tutored a student learning English at the Ryan School. Brandon was able to give back to his school community while sharing some of his experiences about learning a second language, and provide academic and emotional support to a sixth grader.

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The Seal of Biliteracy

Our goal is to award and celebrate all students who achieve biliteracy. We encourage juniors and seniors from Latin, French, and Spanish classes, as well as any student who can speak, listen, read and write in a language other than English to apply.

Congratulations to Tierney Trant '22!

TMHS is very proud of our sophomore student, Tierney Trant, who was accepted to study abroad with CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) this summer. Tierney was awarded a Global Navigator Scholarship to study Diplomacy and Problem Solving with Russian students in Moscow.

This abroad experience will help Tierney to develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. She is an example of someone who intends to be the change that she wishes to see in the world.

Any student interested in Seizing the Summer can learn more about CIEE: here

CIEE website:

Aspen Parent Portal and Report Cards

We have piloted the parent portal in Aspen and have had great success! If you would like to sign up to have access to the parent portal, click on this link:

Last year we went to electronic report cards. You will receive an email directly from Aspen when your student's report card is viewable in Aspen. Please be sure that this email is not going to spam:

National Honor Society Website

Below is the link to the National Honor Society website that was created by members.

Calendar of Events


5-6 MCAS Biology

6-7 Drama Play

12 School Committee Meeting

14 Half Day

17-21 No School - February Recess

24 School Council 3:15pm

26 Social Hosting Night 7:00pm


2 MCAS Retests

4-6 MCAS Retests

6 Progress Reports Available

13 Half Day - Teacher's Workshop

14 SAT's

17 Advisory Meets

19 Hats Off Luncheon

24-25 MCAS ELA

26 Parent / Teacher Conferences 6-8:00pm

30 School Council Meeting 3:15pm

31 NHS Induction 7:00pm