Weekly Crusader News
January 17, 2019
Enjoy the Snow!
Semester 2 Begins Next Week
Calendar of Events
February 1-2, 2019: GDRHS Drama Festival of One Act Plays
February 13, 2019: German Exchange leaves for Pfungstadt, Germany
February 18 - 22, 2019: February Vacation
- Camp Sunshine Trip
- England Trip
February 27th, 2019: College info Night for Juniors and parents in the BBX
March 8, 2019: Open Mic Night
March 14, 2019: Spring Open House (6-8pm)
March 26 & 27: ELA MCAS
April 3, 2019: Course selection forms due for 2019-2020 school year.
April 5 - 6, 2019: GDRHS Drama Spring Play
April 15 - 19, 2019: April Vacation
- Spain Trip
May 4, 2019; Prom
May 6 - 16, 2019: AP Exams
May 8-11, 2019; Band Trip to Disney
May 21 & 22, 2019: Math MCAS
May 23, 2019: Spring Concert
May 29, 2019; Senior Dinner at Gibbet Hill
May 30, 2019: Class Night (seniors)
May 31, 2019: Graduation (6pm)
June 4 & 5, 2019: Science and Technology MCAS
We will continually add to this list as some events are finalized but some people are planners so I hope this is helpful. If you have questions about certain events, please send them in and we will add those events to the list.
8th Annual Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competition
On Monday, January 7, 2019, the top 20 reciters in the school participated in a two-round event, scored by six outside judges, to determine who would represent the school at the regional competition in Framingham in March.
The top scorer was Jordan Sweenie (2019), who was also the 2017 school champion, and she was followed by the 2018 school champion Megan Fitzpatrick (2019) and Jessie Wang (2020). To view the entire list of students competing and their poems, click here. The quality of recitations this year was astounding!
December Students of the Month
Ciara Murphy, Grade 12. Nominated by Mr. Kleeman and Mr. Reid for exemplifying Perseverance.
Emma Kenney, Grade 9. Nominated by Ms. Liebold for exemplifying Perseverance.
Ryan Taylor, Grade 10. Nominated by Ms. McCracken for exemplifying Integrity.
Hannah Wynn, Grade 12. Nominated by Mr. Hennelly for exemplifying Respect.
Matthew Guy, Grade 11. Nominated by Ms. Butler for exemplifying Respect.
Whitney Ellis, Grade 12. Nominated by Ms. Bennet for exemplifying Integrity.
Helena Elliot, Grade 12. Nominated by Mr. O'Connor for exemplifying Integrity.
Jared LeClerc, Grade 12, Nominated by Mr. Woodlock for exemplifying Integrity.
Scholarships are starting to be posted. They are available in Naviance Student under scholarships, or by clicking on the following links. Please pay attention to deadlines.
Late applications WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. No exceptions!
Local Groton and Dunstable Scholarships - Click Here for list and applications.
Miscellaneous Regional Scholarships - Click Here for list and applications.
"The Other Anna"
Some of you may have heard about the tragic death of a Lowell High School student earlier this fall or may have read the recent article in the Lowell Sun.
The parents of Anna Aslanian wanted to make sure that their daughter’s story was heard in hopes of encouraging other students to treat each other with kindness and to send a message to everyone that teen suicide is an issue that we should all be concerned about.
I can tell you that these types of concerns are very real right here at G-D. It is not unusual for us to meet about and with students who feel so hopeless, so stressed, so depressed, etc… that the thought of suicide has become part of their daily lives. I don’t know why it is so much more prevalent now…. maybe it isn’t but only seems that way...maybe it is the added pressure of social media… maybe it is a societal issue… most likely it is a combination of many different things. The point is that it happens all to regularly.
I encourage all parents, teachers, coaches, and students to read the article above about Anna. Anna Aslanian and my daughter were friends. Not best friends, but friends. My daughter Anna described her as someone that was really funny and that people loved being around. My son is friends with one of Anna’s little brothers. Thomas has spent a number of summer days at their house. How were we going tell our children that “The Other Anna” has died...that she took her own life? We have playfully called Anna Aslanian “The Other Anna” in our house since 5th grade when both girls started middle school together. She is gone...there is only one Anna now and it is heartbreaking. The morning after Anna died was a tough day for our whole family. Of course the thoughts of this horrific event have not gone away. The shock and gravity of the situation was so tremendous that neither my wife or I knew what to do or say to our daughter who was about to encounter this news on what was going to be a life-changing morning. At school that morning counselors were made available for all students that needed them. In the end, many students decided that they needed to take the rest of the day to be together. A number of Anna's friends were dismissed from school and made their way to a central location. There, they tried to piece together any scenario that could have led to this. They attempted to find a reason for such an unthinkable action. They could not. Later that afternoon, as a houseful of 8th and 10th graders gathered at our house, the same situation played out again. Questions came easily and answers did not come at all.
Even today, just hearing people discuss the incident….hearing the name Anna mentioned with suicide sends a chill down my spine. Even though I know it is not “my” Anna, the sound of it breaks my heart. I think of how exponentially more difficult it must be for Anna Aslanian’s family. Nightmare is the only word I can think of to describe what they must be going through. I won’t claim to know all of the facts of the situation. By no means do I consider myself an expert on this topic or the conditions of this particular tragedy. All that I know is that my daughter and her friends, some of whom were very close to Anna Aslanian, did not see this coming. Anna did not confide in them about her plans and the extent to which she was struggling. Reading the article it is clear that she did not choose to share her thoughts or plans with any adults at school. She kept it close until it was too late.
Going forward with this article, reliving the worst event of their lives, must be incredibly hard for Anna’s family. It is clear that they are doing this to bring to light the reasons for Anna’s unfortunate decision and to make all of us aware of the fact that this is more common than we may think. I share this in a humble attempt to encourage all of us to learn from this tragedy. I never thought my family would be impacted by something like this. Chances are that many of you haven't considered it very likely either. It is something that can impact any type of student. We all need to be aware if we are to prevent this from being repeated.
What can we do? The first thing is the most simple... we can all choose to be kind to one another. There is never a need to treat another person badly. With our friends and families, of course, we will argue and fight. That is natural. Let’s look out for situations where a student or students are choosing to be unkind to someone else without provocation. Let's make sure that we do something about these situations or, at the very least, let someone who can do something know right away. All too often, as administrators, we find out about a student's unkind actions well after something has happened. Additionally, let’s talk to each other. If you are a student at G-D there are a number of people available to talk to. Hopefully, there is a teacher, coach, administrator, counselor, or friend that students feel comfortable going to should these types of thoughts enter into their mind. Know that we are eager to help in any way that we can. As parents this is an awkward conversation to bring up with teens but I encourage all of you to do it. If your student hasn’t read the article, please encourage them to do so. At the very least, in our awkward parent way, we are telling them that we love and care about them. I know that Anna Aslanian was loved by family and friends and yet somehow that still wasn’t enough. All we can do is try to learn from it.
If you or anyone you know is struggling in some way with issues of self harm there is also help outside of the school setting. Below are some links recommended by our health and counseling offices which can provide information or immediate assistance.