Principal's Newsletter

APRIL 2019

From the Principal's Desk - Kristen S. Vogel

With the news last month of the parents arrested for bribing college coaches, admissions officers, and/or paying for someone to take the SAT/ACT exam for their child, we were all wondering how this could happen! These parents did some or all of this so that their child/children could be admitted to some of the nations "elite" colleges and universities. The question is why would these parents do this? Because there is a pervasive perception in our country that these "elite" colleges and universities provide a better education and access to more connections and opportunities in the world. This could not be further from the truth! And there is a perception that these colleges will only accept the best athletes and students. This is also not completely accurate. As parents and educators, this scandal provides us an opportunity to reflect on the messages we send our children and students about the college admissions process. As parents, we need to remember that this process is about the student's journey, not yours! It is important for their voice to be heard and for you to listen to them. They are young adults who are going to need to be able to advocate for themselves and navigate college. What or where you think your child should apply or attend may be very different from what your child wants. And this is okay. No matter where they attend college, if it is what and where they want, they will be successful! We read too many essays that have clearly been written by parents and resumes that have been edited from the parents perspective. This is not being honest or ethical. It is important that as parents we are the ethical role models our children need. As a school, we continue to emphasize the importance of a challenging course of study and extracurricular activities or employment that show commitment and dedication for all of our students. Two years ago, there was a report called Turning the Tide published by Harvard School of Education that "argued that what’s important in college admissions is not the quantity of students’ achievements or long “brag sheets” but the quality of their ethical and academic engagement." They are looking for students who showed commitment and dedication to either athletics, clubs, or work and family. Last month, Harvard School of Education published Turning the Tide II which emphasized the importance of ethical behavior in the college process. This report offers specific advice for both parents and schools about why and how to do this. They "focus on the critical role of high schools and parents in supporting teens in developing core ethical capacities, including a sense of responsibility for others and their communities, and reducing achievement-related stress." At TMHS, we are going to continue advising our juniors and seniors to have college applications that reflect gratitude, empathy, and responsibility to their school and greater community. We will also continue to send them the message that overloading on AP courses and extracurricular activities is not what is most important in the college process. We will also encourage our students to look at a range of colleges and universities when applying. Admittance to an "elite" college or university does not guarantee success in life, which is a common perception among middle and upper class parents and students.

As many of your begin your college visits and conversations with your students this spring and summer, I hope that you will read Turning the Tide II and consider the advice they offer in the college process!

Experiential Learning

During April vacation TMHS students had the opportunity to learn about many different topics while traveling in Puerto Rico. Please enjoy the following photos of our trip shown below:

Experiencing the rain water and the river water at The Yunque rain forest.

Big picture

Learning about Puerto Rico’s past, present, and discussing its future. Will it ever become state # 51?

Big picture

Looking for Nemo in the Caribbean Sea. The previous night students swam at night in La Parguera Bioluminescent Bay.

Big picture

Visiting the Art Museum in Ponce and preparing Mofongo for dinner.

Big picture

Learning about African heritage in Puerto Rico – Bomba Dance lesson at the beach and a visit to the studio of artist Samuel Lind.

Big picture

Learning about the ecosystems in Puerto Rico at Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve. The iguana is an invasive species to the island; thus, these volunteers are collecting the eggs to control its population.

Big picture

Visiting the Arecibo Observatory, a radio telescope operated by University of Central Florida, Yang Enterprises and UMET (Universidad Metropolitana). Students listened to a lecture about it and visited the museum; they even saw a meteorite!

Big picture

Experiencing the cuisine! Ryan really enjoyed his coconut.

Big picture

And of course, dancing and singing was an everyday activity.

Big picture

TMHS families, be proud of your children! They were always attentive to the guides, helpful to the chaperones, and courteous to everyone. Puerto Rico was an educational and fun trip to all.

Many thanks to Ms. Garrity, our parent chaperone.

Big picture

If you would like a paper version of your student's report card, please email Pat Whitehouse at and we will have one ready for you to pick up.

Mock Crash

On Tuesday, April 9th we held a mock car crash out in front of the school. Some of our students acted as drunk drivers and victims during this event. We do this to educate our students about the the life changing consequences of driving under the influence.

Big picture

Last Day of School

The official last day of school is Friday, June 14th.

April Hats Off Award

Congratulations to Julia Masotta'19 and Joseph Schifano'19 for the Tewksbury Rotary Club April 2019 Hats Off Award. These two outstanding seniors were honored at a Rotary Club Luncheon on Thursday, April 25th at 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.

Academic Excellence Award Ceremony

TMHS will applaud the Class of 2019 members who are graduating with honors at an award ceremony planned for Thursday, May 30th at 12:45pm in the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center. Academic Excellence is awarded to senior graduates who have a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher. There are three levels of distinction: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. Our awarded seniors will be presented with their medals at this ceremony. Additionally, they will once again don the medals of honor at the graduation ceremony and will be recognized in the 2018 TMHS Commencement Program. Our goal is to proudly recognize the many graduating seniors that have admirably achieved academic success at TMHS.

TMHS will also recognize those students qualifying for the Seal of Biliteracy with a certificate, medal, and cord to wear at graduation. The Seal of Biliteracy is a national movement to recognize high school students who have achieved by the time of graduation proficiency in two or more languages. In order to be a recipient students must attain proficiency level in standardized tests such as the AP, AAPPL, STAMP, MCAS, and ACCESS.

Big picture

Affinity Color Guard

Congratulations to Affinity, the TMHS Winter Color Guard on another great season! Affinity finished with a 3rd place win at NESBA Winter Color Guard Championships on Saturday, March 30th at Salem High School in Salem, MA. The team had a lot of success and fun this year. Many thanks to Ms. Ware for her endless efforts!

The Tewksbury Memorial High School Theater Company Musical Godspell

The TMHS Theater Company performed Godspell on April 25-27th in the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center. The show was a smashing success! Congratulations to the cast & crew! Thank you to Ms. Ware, Ms. Scarpa, and Mr. Crepeau for all their hard work. Their dedication makes our students’ dreams come true. Best wishes to our graduating seniors: Frankie, Julie, Connor M, Matt, Rachel, Maeve, Eric, Emmalee, Chris, Kendra, Samantha, Janine, Connor N, Justina, Delaney, Amanda, Sarah, Laura, Brooke, Jenna, SanSan, and Marina. We look forward to following your continued success.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Thank you to the TMHS Theater Company “Drama Mamas and Papas” for their dedication and support.
Big picture

Upcoming Fine & Performing Arts Spring Events

35th Annual Tewksbury District Art Show

Featuring art students K-12

Friday, May 10th from 6:30-9:00pm

6:30-7:30pm Band & Chorus Concert

In the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

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

Saturday, May 11th from 10:00am-2:00pm

Public Showing of Art Exhibit in the TMHS cafe

Tewksbury’s Got Talent! Talent Show

Thursday, May 16th at 7:00pm in the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

TMHS Marching Band Clinic

All students grades 5-12 are welcome!

Sunday, June 2nd from 9:00am-3:00pm in the TMHS Gymnasium

Band & Chorus performing at TMHS Graduation

Friday, June 7th at 6:00pm TMHS Gymnasium

Report Cards in Aspen

Report cards will no longer be sent home with students. They will be available in Aspen each term. Here are the directions for how to access the report card in Aspen:

Big picture

Action & Team Photography From O'Connor Studios

O'Connor Studios provides candid photography service to TMHS. All of our team and action photos are available to view and purchase online.

Click here to view the candid pictures taken from all of our great sports teams.

Calendar of Events


2 Half Day

2 College & Job Fair 8:15-9:45am

3 Senior Midterm

6 AP US Gov exam 8:00am

7 AP Spanish exam 8:00am

8 AP English Lit exam 8:00am

9 AP Chem exam 8:00am

9 AP Psych exam 12:00pm

10 Art Show 7-9:00pm

10 Spring Concert 6:30pm

10 AP US History exam 8:00am

13 AP Bio exam 8:00am

14 AP Calc exam 8:00am

16 AP Stats exam 12:00pm

16 Hats Off 12:15pm TCC

16 Talent Show 7:00pm

17 AP Microeconomics exam 8:00am

17 AP Latin exam 12:00pm

20 Progress Reports

20 AP Party 1:00pm

21-22 MCAS Math

23 Scholarship and Awards Night 6:30pm

24 Half Day

24 Eighth Grade Step Up Day

27 No School - Memorial Day

30 Academic Excellence Award Ceremony 12:45pm

31 Senior Project Expo 8-10:30am