TMHS Principal's Newsletter

January 2018

From the Principal's Desk - Kristen S. Vogel

Everyday adolescents are confronted with the challenges of navigating peer interactions and social media that more often than not containin disrespectful and sexual language. Often when asked about it, adolescents answer with, "they are my friends" and "we are just joking and always talk to each other this way." What we know from our conversations with students is that they justify these interactions because they are afraid to confront others for fear of not being socially accepted. As a school we encourage and support students to stand up to people or words that make them feel disrespected. I recently read an article by Richard Weissbourd and Alison Cashin in Usable Knowledge that cited a recent survey where "72% of male students and 80% of female students told researchers they had never had a conversation with their parents about how to avoid sexually harassing others, and similar percentages had never had conversations about various forms of disrespect and harassment." As parents of teenagers it is easy to push this conversation to the back burner because we tend to believe we "covered" this when they were younger. This data tells us we need to make this conversation a priority. Our students' sense of self worth and safety are important to all of us. This month our GSA Club organized No Name Calling Week from January 15th-19th. On January 18th members of the GSA handed out name tags to students and faculty who would like to participate in this worldwide show of kindness and inclusion. Students also had the opportunity to sign a pledge to "Celebrate Kindness" and do their best to support efforts to end bullying and name-calling. No Name-Calling Week was inspired by James Howe’s novel The Misfits about students who, after experiencing name-calling, run for student council on a No Name-Calling platform. The week is rooted in the idea that we should not merely recognize the importance of kindness, but actively add kindness into our every action.

Weissbourd and Cashin provide six suggestions for both parents and educators on how to address these issues with teenagers. Below is the link to the article.

“What Parents Can Do to Stop Sexual Harassment” by Richard Weissbourd and Alison Cashin in Usable Knowledge, October 18, 2017

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Mandatory Social Host Law Meeting

On March 1st at 7pm there will be a mandatory meeting for all juniors attending the junior prom and a parent/guardian. It will take place in the TMHS Auditorium. If a senior did not attend the meeting last year with a parent, they will be required to attend in order to purchase senior week tickets. If your child is not a junior or senior and is attending the prom as a guest, they do not need to attend this meeting.

Juniors will not be able to purchase tickets for the prom if they do not attend the meeting with a parent. Students must make adjustments to work schedules in order to attend the meeting. If you have an extenuating circumstance that does not allow you to attend the meeting, you must make arrangements through the Main Office to view the presentation.

World Peace Sculpture

Ms. Arnold's Sculpture class this fall has been working on a new piece for our outdoor sculpture garden. The class decided to have world peace as the theme for the sculpture. Each student created a rock that reflects what world peace means to them. The sculpture will be on display inside until the spring when it can be installed in one of our sculpture gardens.

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Spring MCAS

Spring is right around the corner and with this season comes the MCAS assessments. It is required for a student to pass Science, ELA and Math MCAS to graduate from high school in Massachusetts. Our students take the Science (Biology) MCAS during the spring of 9th grade and ELA and Math MCAS in the spring of 10th grade. The schedule of the high school MCAS dates is included in the link below. Please do not schedule family vacations and make every effort not to schedule doctor's appointments on these testing days if your student is scheduled to take an MCAS. The state only allows make up opportunities for students if they provide a doctor's note indicating they were ill. Thank you.

Women in STEM Event-UMASS Lowell

Women In STEM Event will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 12:30pm to 5pm in the UMass Lowell Makerspace (Falmouth 102). At this event, students get to participate in fun hands-on activities led by female engineers. The event is free and dinner is provided from 5-6pm. During dinner, there will be a question and answer panel for students to ask the engineers and UML SWE members any questions they may have. NO EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED!

Please register on the link below if you are interested

Experiencing the EnviroScape

On Thursday, January 11th, 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 fertilizer, animal waste, pesticide residue, road salt, etc. are placed on field, farm, factory, and roadways. Students watch as simulated rainwater washes each of these materials directly into stormwater catchbasins and the nearby waterways they empty into.

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 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

TMHS S.E.L.F. (Social Emotional Learning Fair)

On Thursday evening, March 1st, we will be having our 2nd Annual Wellness Fair at TMHS! It will be from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. It is open to the entire community. There will be vendors and information on yoga, fitness, massage, nutrition, dance therapy, chiropractors, and acupuncture. We will also have a therapy dog and a raffle! The sponsor of the event is Whole Foods. Light refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!

Guidance News

On Friday, February 2nd, TMHS will host its annual Junior Parent Breakfast. A representative from Massachusetts Education Finance Authority (MEFA) will co-facilitate a presentation on how to prepare your child for college. TMHS staff will review the status of upcoming events and timelines for students to follow from now through next fall.

All juniors are encouraged to open a CollegeBoard account. Registration for SAT exams needs to be done on the CollegeBoard website. Although many colleges are becoming test optional, several scholarships and degree programs will require official SAT results. It is recommended that students participate in two SAT exam administrations. Schools who require SAT scores will "super score" multiple tests, taking the highest subtest scores, and combining the results to calculate the highest overall performance.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses will need to make their final exam payments on Community Pass by March 1st.

In February, students currently enrolled in grades 9-11 will be selecting their courses for the next academic year. Core content teachers will recommend students for the level core content courses. Students will be selecting the elective courses for next year. Beginning the last week of February through March, students will be meeting with the guidance staff individually to review their transcript, post-secondary goals, and course requests for next academic year. During this visit, students will be given information on the many wonderful opportunities available to them.

As a reminder to all seniors, the Community Scholarship is currently available. All completed forms need to be returned to Ms. Whitehouse by February 16th. Students who signed up for the AFL-CIO test are reminded that the exam will be given Wednesday, February 7th beginning at 7:30am. Students are to report to their first block class for attendance. Once an announcement regarding the exam is made, students should proceed to LGI 1. The time allotment for the exam is one hour.

Fine and Performing Arts Department

Welcome Ms. Sweetapple!

The Department is excited to welcome our new colleague Emma Sweetapple. Ms. Sweetapple will be our new Digital Media teacher. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a BFA in Visual Communications. This past fall semester, she worked as a long term substitute for Hopkinton Middle School. She brings an impressive wealth of technical and visual skills to the Department. We are happy to have her join us.

Ms. Simpson, our Digital Media teacher of 4 years, has accepted a position in the district as a District Technology Integration Specialist. We owe Ms.Simpson a great deal of gratitude for getting the TMHS TV Studio up and running, creating TMHS Morning Update, and being an all around wonderful person to work with. While we will greatly miss seeing her everyday, we look forward to working with her in her new position.

Congratulations Jason Benitez'18 and Nicole Jo'21!

The Scholastic Art Awards program has been recognizing the exceptional work of young people in Massachusetts for decades. Thanks to support from the Boston Globe Foundation, the Scholastic program introduces the Boston community to a new generation of young artistic talent. We are so proud to announce Senior Art Studio student, Jason Benitez (senior) is the recipient of a silver key in Drawing and Illustration for his piece titled “Revival”. (Shown across.) We are also ecstatic to announce Digital Media student, Nicole Jo (freshman) has received four keys! She received a gold key for a photograph titled “Angry”. She received a silver key in the category of Digital Art titled “Edgar and the Raven”. She also won two additional keys in category of photography for her pieces titled: “My Brother” and “Sad”. (All four are shown below.)

Congratulations to Jason and Nicole! Amazing work!

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Affinity, the TMHS Winter Color Guard NESBA (New England Scholastic Band Association) Competition

On Saturday, January 27, 2018, Affinity performed at Salem High School in Salem, MA.

Upcoming Fine & Performing Arts Events

Affinity, the TMHS Winter Color Guard

NESBA Winter Percussion and Color Guard Competition

Saturday, February 3, 2018


TMHS Gymnasium

The Tewksbury Memorial High School Theater Company

One Act Play - The Great Nursing Home Escape

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

Competing: March 3, 2018 @ St. John’s Prep in Danvers

Music in Our Schools Festival

Featuring Tewksbury Music Students

Sunday, March 4, 2018


TMHS Cafeteria

Affinity, the TMHS Winter Color Guard

NESBA Winter Color Guard Championships

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Affinity Winter Color Guard Tentative Performance


Salem High School, Salem, MA

The Tewksbury Memorial High School Theater Company

Musical Jekyll and Hyde

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

Friday, April 27, 2018


Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

Saturday, April 28, 2018

2pm & 7pm

Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

The 34th Annual Tewksbury District Art Show

Featuring Art Students K-12

Friday, May 4, 2018

6:30-7:30pm TMHS Band & Chorus Concert

Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center

7-9pm Public Showing of Art Exhibit


Saturday, May 5, 2018

10am-2pm Public Showing of Art Exhibit


TMHS Marching Band Clinic

All students grades 5-12 are welcome!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

9am to 3pm

TMHS Gymnasium

TMHS Theater Company

The TMHS Theater Company is busy preparing for the Spring musical Jekyll & Hyde to be held April 26-28th at TMHS. Tickets are $7 for students and senior citizens and $10 for adults. Please note the show is PG-13.

Yearbooks for Sale

Yearbooks can be ordered online at This price is $70. Order now! If you would like to pay by personal check, checks may be made out to TMHS Yearbook and submitted to Mrs. Sullivan in Room A103.

Any questions, please email:

Calendar of Events


1 Eighth Grade Parent Night 6pm

2 Junior Parent Breakfast 7:45-8:45am

2 Junior Assembly 9-10am

2 Report Cards Issued

15 Mr. TMHS

16 Half Day

19-23 No School February Recess

26 School Council 4pm

28 Midterm

Tewksbury Tribune

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The Tewksbury Tribune online school newspaper is back! Go to: to read all the school news that's fit to print!