TMHS Principal's Newsletter


From the Principal's Desk - Kristen S. Vogel

In March our students will be selecting their program of study for the next school year with the guidance of their counselor, parents, and teachers. Before students begin this process, our teachers will have made thoughtful recommendations for the level of study for each of their students. Our guidance department has already visited 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:

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences take place on Thursday evening, March 28th from 6-8:00pm. We will once again use online sign up for conference times. We will send an email and post the directions for signing up on our website sometime in March.

Follow Up to Social Host Night

Thank you to all the juniors and their parents, as well as some seniors and their parents, for attending the important Social Host Night with Chief of Police Timothy Sheehan and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. It takes a community to provide the structures that keep our children safe.

I recently came across this letter that a mom wrote to her high school age son. I found her message powerful and spot on. I hope you will take a minute to read her letter and reflect on the messages you send to your children around your expectations concerning alcohol.

Best Buddies Bowling at Wamesit

During February vacation, our Best Buddies club had a morning of bowling and followed by pizza at Wamesit Lanes. It was a morning of great fun!
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National Honor Society Induction

The National Honor Society Induction Ceremony will take place on Tuesday evening, March 12th at 7:00pm in the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center at Tewksbury Memorial High School with a reception for NHS students, family, and faculty members afterwards.


Click here for the National Honor Society website that was created by members.

TMHS Receives $15,000 Grant!

TMHS, in partnership with History UnErased, has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Lowell Foundation to host and participate in the creation of a student-led youth equity conference in the fall. The grant will provide leadership training for students involved, with the goal of creating a sustainable conference model for other schools to follow. Students will lead workshop sessions that focus on issues of equity, including bias, privilege, gender, race, socio-economics, identity, and sexuality. Participants will walk away with ideas and practices that they can implement at their schools. Students in TMHS's Gender Sexuality Alliance and She's The First -- clubs that already work to provide equitable representation of the achievements of women and members of the LGBTQ community -- will serve on the Steering Committee and likely take on leadership positions at the conference and/or present at the conference itself. TMHS plans to invite students and educators from 10 surrounding districts for the inaugural all-day conference.

News from the International Club

TMHS’s International Club has spent the past few months giving back to the community. After participating in Applefest Fair and numerous car washes, the club raised $1,000 and donated it to Doctors Without Borders, in December.

Another one of their projects was to create knotted fleece blankets for the BRACE (Brazilian American Center), in Framingham. The club created 25 blankets to give to immigrant families.

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Finally, their most recent project was a school wide shoe drive. They collected 153 pairs to donate to Soles4Souls for people who live in poverty. These winter projects have helped many people in need and the club will continue to help even more people in the months yet to come.

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Experiencing the EnviroScape

On Friday, February 15th, Tewksbury town engineers Arthur Markos and Chester Cheng visited Mrs. Gordon’s Environmental Science classes to talk about stormwater and to demonstrate what happens to surface pollutants when precipitation falls from the sky.

The EnviroScape is a three dimensional model of a landscape that includes field, farm, factory, homes and roadways as well as nearby waterways such as stream, river and lake. In the demonstration, typical pollutants such as simulated fertilizer, animal waste, pesticide residue, road salt, etc. are placed on the field, farm, factory and roadways. Students watch as simulated rainwater washes each of these materials directly into stormwater catchbasins in paved areas and then to the nearby waterways that they empty into. These events are of concern because the water in these waterways become the source of Tewksbury’s drinking water.
During the visit, students were also introduced to the procedures and regulations that Tewksbury’s Department of Public Works follows to ensure the safety of our water sources. The guidelines listed below were shared as students were instructed to remember “Only Rain in The Drain.”

What Can a Home or Business Owner Do?

  • Minimize the use of fertilizers near grated catch basins, streams, ponds and wetland areas.
  • Remove debris such as trash, leaves, and grass clipping away from grated catch basins, streams, ponds, and wetland areas.
  • Whenever possible use environmentally friendly, biodegradable products when cleaning outside.
  • Do not dump household waste such as paint, cleaning products, motor oils, antifreeze, pet excrement, yard waste, or any other hazardous material into catch basins, streams, ponds, and wetland areas.
  • Always dispose of pet waste in the trash.
  • Do not drain swimming pools into grated catch basins or onto the street
  • If you must wash your car at home, wash it on the lawn to encourage infiltration and use low-phosphate detergents.
  • Make sure your vehicle or yard equipment is not leaking any oils or fluids.

    List Source: Tewksbury DPW Engineering Division

    - J.Gordon

    Indoor Gardening Takes Root

    A few months ago, the L.E.A.P. program at TMHS started using an indoor terraponic gardening system to grow several varieties of salad greens. These plants are grown in an organic, nutrient-rich compostable soil and can be cut to harvest several times before re-seeding is necessary.

    Harvests collected since the EvanLee Organics system was installed have added to the supply of fresh, nutrient-rich salad greens offered in our school cafeteria. Students have successfully re-seeded as well, using commonly available seeds for a variety of tasty leafy greens.

    Students in the L.E.A.P. program have enjoyed learning how to manage the growing system and have delighted in contributing freshly cut salad greens to the school lunch program.

    It is hoped that an expanded indoor gardening project in the future might complement the seasonal outdoor vegetable garden on campus and allow TMHS to contribute fresh produce year-round to the Tewksbury Community Pantry. Efforts are currently underway to locate funding sources for the purchase of additional growing racks to expand the program for students in L.E.A.P. and other academic programs, such as the Environmental Science classes.

    - J. Gordon

    Athletic Department News

    Spring Sports Sign Up Night is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6th at 6:00pm.

    Winter Sports Awards Night is scheduled for Monday, March 11th.

    Refreshments at 6:30pm followed by awards at 7:00pm.

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    The Tewksbury Memorial High School Theater Company will be performing their one act play A Midsummer's Night Dream on Saturday, March 2nd at The Massachusetts Education Theater Guild competition. It will be held at The Broomfield School of Harvard, MA. TMHS will perform at 12:15pm. Best wishes to the TMHS Theater Company, “Fly with Wings”!


    The NESBA Winter Percussion and Color Guard Competition was held on Saturday, February 2nd in the TMHS Gymnasium. This was the group’s third time hosting. There were 24 ensembles from around New England. THMS placed second in their division. The day was a great success!

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    The Music Department is looking forward to the upcoming event, Music in Our Schools Festival. It will be featuring Tewksbury music students and will be held on Sunday, March 3rd at 11:00am in the TMHS cafeteria. Hope to see you there!

    The NESBA Winter Color Guard Championships will be held on Saturday, March 30th at Salem High School in Salem, MA. Affinity Winter Color Guard will perform at 3:30pm. Affinity appreciates your support!


    The first semester Painting students have winter snow covered trees on display at Town Hall Annex. Please stop by and check them out. Also, on March 7th our Senior Art Studio will be having a reception at Villa Roma Pizza on Main Street in Tewksbury from 4-6:00pm. There will be an on going display there as well by the students. Thanks to all making this special event happen!

    The Department would like to congratulate Sansan Nguyen, senior, for being awarded a gold and silver key by The Boston Globe Scholastic Art Show competition. Sansan has been accepted to Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Lesley University, School of Visual Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art, Ringling College of Art and Design, and Digipen Institute of Technology. We look forward to her decision and following her bright future.

    Anatomy of Infatuation by Sansan Nguyen'19

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    Chillin' Contrast by Sansan Nguyen'19

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    More Upcoming Visual and Performing Art Events

    TMHS Theater Company presents Godspell, a musical

    In the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

    Thursday, April 25th at 7:00pm

    Friday, April 26th at 7:00pm

    Saturday, April 27th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm

    Tickets will be sold at the door. Students - $7 and Adults -$10

    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

    Save the date!

    The World Language Department Annual Culture Fair is planned for Tuesday, March 19th from 6-8:00pm. Come see the student interactive displays on various cultural topics, artwork, and the ever popular toga wearing demonstrations! Students in Levels 3 and 4 of language have spent a month preparing these displays for you, and are excited for you and your family to come experience everything they've learned through our interactive Culture Fair.

    Calendar of Events


    1 Midterm

    4-8 MCAS Retests ELA & Math

    7 Progress Reports Availale in Aspen

    8 Half Day - Teacher Workshop

    8 - 12th Annual TMHS PAC Trivia Night @ TCC

    12 NHS Induction 7:00pm (Snow Date March 13th)

    15 Admin Chat 7:30am

    19 Culture Fair 6-8:00pm

    21 Hats Off Luncheon 12:15pm TCC

    25 School Council Meeting 3:00pm

    26-27 MCAS ELA Testing

    28 Parent Teacher Conferences 6-8:00pm


    3 Grades Close