Warrior Wednesdays

News from the Andover Public School District

Wednesday, May 8, 2019- vol. 32

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Students' Spotlight- Celebrating Academic Scholars

Two Andover High School seniors were honored last week at the Merrimack Valley Superintendents’ Academic Scholars Luncheon for outstanding academic achievement and growth throughout their high school years. Kate Ivanovich and Omkar Savkur attended the event with their families, Principal Philip Conrad, Director of Guidance Aixa de Kelley, Superintendent Shelley Berman and Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Sandra Trach.

Kate says it was wonderful to be honored at the luncheon and acknowledged for her hard work and effort she puts into her studies at AHS. In her time at AHS, Kate has achieved an “A” in every class she’s taken. While her favorite subjects are biology, anatomy, and statistics, she’s also taken yoga and ceramics classes. Her school counselor applauds Kate’s approach to any situation, noting her measured approach to any challenge.

Additionally, Kate has enrolled in AP U.S. History and AP Spanish and is also a National Merit Finalist, a recipient of the Yale Book Award, and has received five underclassman awards. Outside of school, Kate is a member of the AHS Cross Country and Track teams, teaches Kung Fu and is a recreational skier. She tutors at the Russian School of Mathematics, and looks forward to securing two more jobs to earn money for college. Kate plans to attend Cornell University this fall. What don’t you know about Kate? She loves puns, the cornier the better.

Omkar was honored to be at the luncheon and was happy to see what other students accomplished over the course of their high school journey. Like Kate, Omkar enjoyed his experience at AHS, and took advantage of every opportunity he could. His counselor calls Omkar a “top notch” scholar and a “leader.” He is active in several AHS clubs, and loves math and science because, as he says, they can “be applied to solve almost any problem.” Outside of school, Omkar is active in the Andover Robotics Club, SeaPerch, the Math Team and the Quiz Bowl. Next year, Omkar will attend Carnegie Mellon University, where he plans to study engineering. What don’t you know about Omkar? He thinks best when writing by hand.

Each principal at the luncheon was asked to offer a few words about their scholars. Principal Conrad says that Kate is determined, resilient, self-motivated and kind and Omkar is virtuous, benevolent, respectful and clever. Congratulations to Kate and Omkar!

Honoring All APS Faculty & Nurses

This week at APS, we celebrate our educators, nurses and health assistants. In 1982, Congress recognized May 6th as National Nurses Day and with May 12th being the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the week between May 6th and May 12th was adopted as National Nurses Week. We celebrate their dedication to all of our students, staff and families within the Andover community.

The history of National Teachers’ Appreciation Week, and National Teachers’ Appreciation Day, is not certain. Eleanor Roosevelt made a major push for honoring the work of teachers in 1953.

In 1980, Congress declared a National Teacher Day and in 1985 the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) established National Teacher Week as the first week of May. It has been celebrated annually since.

APS administrators welcome to opportunity to acknowledge our dedicated professionals.

“I am very appreciative and recognize the hard work and dedication of our nurses and health assistants each and every day; this week serves as a reminder to celebrate their commitment to all at APS,” says Rita Casper, director of Nursing for Andover Public Schools. “We are extremely fortunate to have an outstanding team of health professionals, always ready with a warm and friendly smile to offer support, guidance, and medical expertise.”

“Andover Public Schools has many wonderful and talented teachers and nurses,” says Superintendent Shelley Berman. “Their influence on our students is felt every day.”

“This year, it has been incredible to meet so many teachers and staff, and share in the excitement of learning,” says Sandy Trach, assistant superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “I am in deep admiration of our educators! APS is so fortunate to have such talented and dedicated faculty and staff, who care so deeply for our students and their education.”

So many of our teachers go above and beyond to meet their students’ needs from the most basic to higher, more complex supports, including showing them respect, increasing their self-esteem, and recognizing their achievements,” notes AHS Principal Philip Conrad. “While we don’t use the word often, it seems most appropriate to thank you for the love and kindness you share with our students each and every day.”

“It is a pleasure to work with a staff that is so deeply committed to students, thinks outside of the box to meet students’ needs and is dedicated to helping one another in the complex work we do with students and families,” adds Doherty Middle School Principal Robin Wilson. “DMS teachers rock!”

“West Middle School teachers and staff lead with their hearts. I am so proud to work with a group of professionals who consistently keep the best interests of students at the center of every decision,” says WMS Principal Becky Franks. “I also cherish the ‘vibe’ our staff creates at WMS. Our staff loves to have fun – and it shows. When I walk around West Middle School, I see people who truly enjoy working with students, who love to laugh – and who truly enjoy what they do.”

“The passion, dedication, and empathy our teachers at Wood Hill show to our students is like no other,” adds Wood Hill Middle School Principal Patrick Bucco. “Tests will come and go, but our teachers always have their priorities in the right place. Thank you for never giving up on any student and seeing the strengths and potential in every child.”

“When the Bancroft teachers enter the school each morning, our students become their focus, learning becomes their mission, and they recognize the responsibility of preparing these students to become our future,” notes Bancroft Elementary Principal Michelle Costa. “It would be impossible to ever truly show our appreciation for their level of dedication, patience and passion. I am so grateful to be part of a staff who loves what they do!”

“Teacher Appreciation Day is a wonderful opportunity to express our gratitude for the work our teachers do to make High Plain such a wonderful place,” says High Plain Elementary Principal Pam Lathrop. “We are constantly amazed with all the little extras that each staff member gives to our students and our school. Our kids may go home at 3:00 p.m., but we know our staff also takes them home in their heads and hearts. For all of these reasons and thousands more we thank them!”

“I want to offer an enormous 'thank you' for everything our Sanborn teachers do on behalf of our students,” says Sanborn Elementary Principal Jason DiCarlo. “I view our ENTIRE staff as 'teachers' in their own right and own way. Everyone in the Sanborn community has an impact on our students, and I value and appreciate our talented and dedicated team.”

“Our dedicated South staff of teachers and assistants is simply amazing. They change the lives of our children every day, and their work and impact extends far beyond the boundaries of their classrooms,” adds South Elementary Principal Tracy Crowley. “They play a pivotal role in our children’s lives, inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery. They live by South’s motto and we love them! They are important! They do it! They never give up on students! They count on each other!”

“Without our teachers leading the way our district would be at a loss!” says West Elementary Principal Liz Roos. “We are so proud of all that our teachers accomplish. Bask in the praise. This week is all about recognizing our amazing teachers!”

“With each new initiative, our teachers enthusiastically find a way to fit it to our preschool classrooms,” says Carol Green, Early Childhood Coordinator at Shawsheen Preschool. “I’m in awe of their energy and dedication to our youngest students.”

Superintendent’s Message

At every school in our district, we are celebrating teachers and nurses this week. They are such a vital part of our students’ lives and experiences at APS, and I am so appreciative of their commitment to our students and our community.

We have 603 active teachers in the district and over 50% have been at APS for over ten years. Ninety-two of our teachers have over 20 years’ of service to our students. Walking into classrooms all across the district, I am always impressed by the depth of talent and skill among our faculty and the richness of the learning experiences our students participate in. I echo the sentiments of our principals in expressing our gratitude for our faculty for their unwavering commitment to our students and the passion they bring to their work.

APS has fourteen full-time nurses, two health assistants, and five substitute nurses available throughout the district. Our nurses are caring and compassionate and tirelessly advocate for students and their families. They are a backbone to the care and supportive environment we provide for our students. Their thoroughness and thoughtfulness are deeply appreciated.

We are so fortunate to have such remarkable team of teachers and nurses. I hope you will join me in honoring their enthusiasm and devotion to our students.

Shelley Berman


APS Community News

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Capstone Mentorship

Last week, AHS Senior Capstone students hosted a working lunch for elementary and middle school Capstone students. The AHS Media Center was buzzing with activity, as seniors helped fifth and eighth graders with the layout and design of their academic Capstone posters, which will be displayed at the IDEAShowcase on evening of May 20th.

Capstone projects offers students a chance to create a semi-independent academic experience, with a focus on authentic and personalized learning. The goal of Capstone is for students to merge their various interests, curiosities, and passions with their academic and intellectual lives.

Andover High Senior Matthew Allen mentors High Plain Elementary students Kailey Coughlin, Francesca Nilsen, Hari Palaniyappan, Ben Hennessey Martin and West Elementary fifth grader Charlie Poor on their projects.

Middle School Science Fair State Competition

At the Regional Science and Engineering Fair at UMass-Lowell this past weekend, four projects from Andover middle schools qualified for the Massachusetts State Middle School Science and Engineering Fair on May 11 at the Worcester Technical High School. All three of our middle schools will be represented.

Congratulations to our APS qualifiers! Best of luck to Wood Hill Middle School sixth grader Sharayu Josh, West Middle School’s sixth grader Bhuvan Veera, seventh graders Eva Routhier, Natalia Salinas, Ryan Greenwood and Marianna Tasiopoulos and Doherty Middle School seventh graders Carolyn Barbie and Sarah Zhang. Best of luck to you all!

Noah Caruso- Principal for the Day at South Elementary!

South Elementary third grader Noah Caruso did a fabulous job as Principal of the Day. Noah’s parents bid on the opportunity at Andover Coalition for Education’s (ACE) March Madness event. Principal Tracy Crowley “handed over” the responsibilities and the walkie-talkie so Noah could declare all- school recess and an early dismissal for teachers.

AHS Senior Enlists in Massachusetts Army National Guard

Congratulations to AHS Senior Zachary Saab! On May 2nd, Zachary conducted a swearing in ceremony at the Boston Military Entrance Processing Station officially enlisting in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Zach will begin his military service upon graduation and begin ROTC with the goal of becoming an Army officer. Zach received a surprise visit from AHS School Resource Officer Barry Dubois to congratulate him on his enlistment.

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MAPHERD- Teachers of the Year

Last weekend, Valerie Meiners, Adapted Physical Education Teacher at APS, received the Amelia Rou Award as Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year from the Massachusetts Association of Health, Physical Education and Dance (MAHPERD). Additionally, Jackie Salvesen, Health Teacher at AHS was honored as Health Teacher of the Year. Both Jackie and Valerie were featured in a February issue of Warrior Wednesdays.

Brian McNally, recent retiree as Program Coordinator for Physical Education and Health (APS) and currently teaching a physical education teaching class at AHS, received the Gavel as the incoming President of MAHPERD 2019-20. Andover Public Schools was well represented.

School Start Times Community Forums

We encourage you to join us for this community forum on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 from 7- 8:15 PM at Veterans Memorial Auditorium at Doherty Middle School.

You will have the opportunity to hear from key members of the School Start Time Working Group, ask questions and provide feedback. Following community feedback through forums, meetings, and surveys, the School Start Time Working Group plans to make recommendations to the School Committee in the fall of 2019. The School Committee is considering the implications of the Andover Public Schools' schedule on adolescents’ well-being, and potential impacts of changing start times within the district.

We will hold a second forum this spring, scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at West Middle School. Invite to follow.

For more information on the School Start Times Study, please visit our website.

A Conversation with Massachusetts State Police and the Andover Police Department on Cybercrimes

Parents and guardians of Andover High School students are invited to join Massachusetts State Police Sergeant James Dowling of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Andover Police Detective Kevin Aufiero, and Officer Barry DuBois for an important conversation on keeping children safe on-line on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at West Middle School.

Please contact Officer DuBois at 978-247-5526 or bdub@andoverps.net for questions or comments.

School Bus, Van Drivers and Monitors Needed!

NRT Bus, Inc. is currently looking for drivers and will train CDL and 7D drivers, with bonuses upon completion of training.

For more information, please call Beth Paulino at 978-697-1174 or email: epaulino@nrtbus.com

Discover Substitute Teaching at APS

Substitute teaching is a great way for those interested in a career in education to have a chance to get classroom experience or it can simply be a way of sharing in our educational community by supporting teachers and schools.

Applying for a substitute teaching position is an easy process, and previous teaching experience isn’t required. The position requires a minimum of two years of college, as well as experience working with or supervising children. More information can be found on our website.