MURSD District Update
From the Office of the Superintendent
June 17, 2022
June 16, 2022
Dear Mendon-Upton School Community,
As we enter our last day of the school year, it is a perfect time to look back at all that we have accomplished this year.
- We successfully navigated a full-return to school amidst a global pandemic.
- We thoughtfully transitioned back to in-person end-of-year events and celebrations of learning.
- We made great strides towards increasing authentic learning experiences for our students as exhibited by our Inspired Learning Days and recent symposiums and events where students have personally shared their own learning with our communities.
- We continued to make forward progress in our strategic goals in understanding, supporting, and engaging our students.
- We developed promising partnerships with community members and we inspired our students to innovate and create.
- We excelled in our art shows, musical performances, and in athletic competitions.
- We expanded opportunities outside of the school to other countries and states.
- We improved our district and school communications through website updates and newsletters.
- We procured numerous competitive grants to support teaching and learning through project-based learning, accelerated math supports, and innovative practices.
- We did all of the above and so much more....
All of these examples are a culmination of the hard work and dedication of our incredibly talented Mendon-Upton teachers, staff, and leaders alongside the commitment and support of our families.
The most rewarding reflections of our year come directly from our students. As Superintendent, in addition to being in all the classrooms and schools, I also get to see the through-line of learning from our earliest learners in Pre-K and K to our recent HS graduates. I recently read the book Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds to all of our Kindergarten students this month and asked them to tell me what types of dreamers they are. Our youngest students have big dreams ahead of them filled with unicorns, strength, creativity, and adventure. At the other bookend of our school district's journey, our eldest students at the high school shared at recent symposiums their dreams, solutions, and plans for topics such as: improving their local community, addressing global problems, and creating safe, inclusive environments. In the MURSD we are filled with big dreamers and doers. I can't wait to see what new ideas our students will bring forth in the 2022-2023 school year!
Wishing you a safe and happy summer break. Thanks for a great year!
Superintendent of Schools
MURSD Inspired Learning Day
Golden Apple Awards
At our last School Committee Meeting, three Mendon-Upton Regional School District staff members have been recognized for excellence.
Molly Smith, a first-grade teacher at Memorial Elementary, Kathleen Allen, a guidance counselor at Miscoe Hill Middle School, and Justin Townsend, a Special Education teacher and Track and Field Coach at Nipmuc High School, received the annual Golden Apple Award. Presentations were made at the Mendon-Upton Regional School Committee meeting on Monday, June 6.
The District began awarding the Golden Apple in 2016 to highlight the excellent work of educators and other professionals who strive to make a difference in students’ lives, in alignment with the District’s mission, “We empower all learners to thrive.”
Award winners perform their jobs with enthusiasm, persistence, creativity, and in collaboration with parents, administration, and other staff to ensure student success.
Smith was recognized for her ability to show her Grade 1 students that learning can be stable in a chaotic time. She was commended for her patience, flexibility, creative connections with students to earn their trust and learn about their interests, and for investing her time and energy into finding strategies to maximize student engagement and encourage growth.
Allen was praised for her compassion, ability to empathize with students, professionalism, and swift responses to crises. Allen was recognized for her exemplary social-emotional support to both students and families through frequent communication and her dedication to students’ success after middle school.
Townsend was cited for his dedication to going above and beyond for his students. He was praised for encouraging students to be consistent, creating a team culture through a positive teaching style, and coaching them on how to set and achieve goals, see the best in others, and increase their self-esteem.
“Congratulations to all of our Golden Apple Award recipients, who embrace our mission to bring out the best in each student,” Superintendent Cohen said. “Thank you to the members of the Golden Apple Award Subcommittee for their hard work and dedication, and for bringing forward truly worthy recipients.”
Nipmuc High School Graduation
We are looking for (1-2) host families for next year's Spanish Assistants. We have received confirmation of one Spanish Assistant, and if we can get a 2nd host family, we might be able to support two.
a. Timeframe: September 2022 – April 30th, 2023
c. What’s in it for you?
i. Native Spanish speaker in your home, interacting with your family
ii. Learn more about the Spanish culture, first hand
iii. Supporting the program by hosting and allowing more native Spanish-speaking opportunities in the schools!
If you'd like to volunteer or have any further questions, please reach out to Dr. Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Learning Academy
YOU INSPIRE ME: Dan Hayes, P.E. Teacher, Clough Elementary School
"Dan is always enthusiastic and so happy to see the students when they arrive for his special. He is amazing at motivating the kids and getting them to try their best and stay active! He is great at getting the kids to work together as part of a team."
YOU INSPIRE ME: Karen Presbrey, Special Education Teacher, Miscoe Hill Middle School
"I met Karen in 1984 when I started teaching here at Miscoe Hill. She was a mentor to me (before mentors were even officially a position). Her knowledge, professionalism, guidance, and friendship has been tremendous. Even to this day I know I can go to Karen for anything. I am most grateful our paths crossed. I am also most fortunate to call her my friend. I wish her all the best as she retires this June. She will be greatly missed here at Miscoe."
YOU INSPIRE ME: Kristin Golini and Tara Bellafontaine, Nurse Assistant and Nurse, Clough Elementary School
"They are not only amazing nurses to the kids, they are also kind and supportive of teachers. They keep a cool head on an emergency and are able to organize everybody else around them when the need is there. You can always count on them to cheer you up and support you. We are so lucky to have them working in our school."