TMHS Principal's Newsletter

September 2018

From the Principal's Desk - Kristen S. Vogel

This summer a TMHS parent shared with me a TED talk by Ms. Julia Lythcott-Haims, the former Dean of Students at Stanford University. The TED talk is about raising successful kids without over parenting. This parent found the advice helpful and reassuring. And I do as well. We all want our adolescents to be independent, resourceful, and grounded as they leave high school for the real world. This means we need to remember to let them take the reins, particularly with the college process. If we micromanage every aspect of our students as they progress through high school, our children will struggle with the independence that comes with leaving high school and entering higher education. We also need to be reminded that the college process is about them making decisions about their future and not necessarily about what we think or what we think is the best fit for them. I encourage you to take some time to watch the TED talk and I hope you find her to be frank and reassuring and her advice helpful.

Global Competency Certificate

Last spring the School Committee approved the Global Competency Certificate which recognizes students who have a passion for being involved in the greater global community. Starting with the Sophomore and Freshman classes, students can complete academic requirements, community service, and experiential learning in order to achieve the certificate. Not only will this certificate distinguish students from other college applicants come senior year, but it will also act as a guiding theme for their years at TMHS and increase their preparedness to participate in an increasingly global community after high school.

For more information please visit our website:

TMHS Open House

Our Open House will take place on Thursday evening, September 27th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Please print out your child's schedule and follow the open house schedule below. We look forward to seeing you on the 27th!
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PSAT Day - October 10th

On Wednesday, October 10th all sophomores and juniors will be taking the PSAT test during the school day. The district covers the costs of all of our sophomores and juniors participating in the test. This test is an opportunity for students to practice taking an SAT test before they take the SAT for college admission later their junior year and senior year.

While the sophomores and juniors are taking the PSAT test, all freshmen will be engaged in a program on local Native American culture and history by the Greater Lowell Indian Council.

We encourage all seniors to use this day for college visits. This day will be excused for seniors as long as they let the Guidance Office know what they will be doing that day toward their post high school plans.

We will dismiss students at 12:15pm after lunch. There will be buses for students.

Senior Portrait and Yearbook Information

Yearbooks are on sale and can be purchased at for $60. The price will go up after October 31st! So buy on-line now!

Attention All Seniors- Portraits for the yearbook should be taken by November 1st. Please contact O’Connor Studios on Main Street in Tewksbury to make an appointment; You can also book appointments on their website. As a reminder November 1st is the deadline!!

If you need to book an appointment the fall studio hours are Mon.-Fri. from 3:00pm to 7:00pm and Sat. from 9:00am to 4:00pm. All sittings are by appointment only. Seniors can make their appointment online or call 978-640-6250.

O’Connor Studios has a working relationship with the yearbook, and they support the yearbook by providing free photography coverage for all the sports, proms, plays and various events.

National Honor Society Website

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

Student Parking

We were made aware this fall of some concerns about our student parking process. As a result, we will be reviewing our process for handing out parking passes next year and making changes to ensure equity for all students in this process.

Challenge Day - October 1st and 2nd

On Monday, October 1st, and Tuesday, October 2nd, all sophomores will participate in Challenge Day. The sophomore class will be divided in half by last name so that approximately 100 students and 25 faculty members will participate each day. We piloted this program last year and the feedback was exceptional, from both students and faculty. Challenge Day is an organization out of California that works with schools to develop a positive and safe school culture for all students. I sent home earlier this week an opt out permission slip. If we do not receive that form back by September 26th, your student will participate in Challenge Day. We are really excited for all of our sophomores to have this experience!

The Challenge Day organization is the world leader in building school communities where students and adults feel safe and connected. Here is the link to their website:

A Reminder from the Nurse

When a student texts home asking to be dismissed for illness, that is not considered a medical dismissal. If a student does not feel well, the procedure is to come to the Health Room, be evaluated and if deemed appropriate, you will receive a call from the nurse indicating the need for dismissal. Thank you for understanding.

Elaine Walsh, RN, BSN

Lead Nurse

978-640-7825, ext 2131

Tewksbury Public Schools

Guidance Events

Thursday, October 4th 7:458:45am Freshman Parent Breakfast

Freshman parents may come and enjoy breakfast while meeting your student’s guidance counselors and other members of the TMHS community. This is a wonderful opportunity to review graduation requirements and programs available to students.

Thursday, October 4th 68:00pm College Financial Aid Presentation

Sophomore and junior parents are invited to attend a very important Financial Aid presentation conducted by MEFA. The recent changes in the FAFSA process and informative tips will assist parents in navigating this process.

Wednesday, October 10th 7:40am12:15pm PSAT Exam for all Sophomores and Juniors

It is recommended that all sophomores and juniors participate in the PSAT exam. Junior students who excel at PSAT exam may qualify for the National Scholarship Program. This exam gives our sophomores and juniors practice with the type of questions on the new SAT exam. It also gives the students feedback on their strengths and specifically what Advanced Placement courses they should consider taking.

Fine & Performing Arts Department

On Tuesday, September 11th the Band & Color Guard participated in the 9/11 Memorial at the town library. Senior Connor Mangan sang “Amazing Grace” and Ms. Ware sang “God Bless America.” Thank you to our contributing Music students. The first home football game was Friday, September 7th and the Marching Unit performed at halftime. Congratulations to the TMHS football team on a great “Friday Night Lights” win! As always, the TMHS Marching Unit will be at all home games. Join us and help support the team!

The TMHS Theater Company has started gearing up for their fall semester production of The Outsiders, adapted by Christopher Sergel, from the book by S.E. Hinton. The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The play tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. Come see our talented students’ amazing show on December 6th, 7th, and 8th in the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center.

Fine & Performing Arts Department Extracurricular Activities

TMHS Theater Company

Three season club with varying hours depending on participation in cast or crew includes Fall Play, Winter One Act, and Spring Musical.

TMHS Marching Band

Meets August-November on Mondays & Wednesdays, 5-8:00pm

Performs at TMHS football games and New England competitions

The TMHS Affinity Winter Color Guard

Meets November-April on Sundays (4-7:00pm), Mondays & Wednesdays (5:30-8:30pm)

Competes in the New England Scholastic Band Association winter circuit

Media Club

Meets daily at 7:10am in Room A107 TV studio to live broadcast the morning announcements for the TMHS Daily Morning Update.

Please encourage your student to consider and explore our extracurricular offerings this year.

Calendar of Events


1-2 Challenge Day for Sophomores

4 Freshman Parent Breakfast 7:45–8:45am

4 College Financial Aid Presentation 6–8:00pm

5 No School - Professional Development

8 No School - Columbus Day

10 Progress Reports Available in Aspen

10 PSATs for Sophomores and Juniors

11 Hats Off Luncheon 12:15pm

19 Admin Chat 7:30am

19 Homecoming Dance 7-10:00pm

27 Applefest Craft Fair 9:00am-3:00pm