TMHS Principal's Newsletter

October 2019

From the Principal's Desk

- Kristen S. Vogel

At TMHS we believe that kindness is a quality that we want all of our students to practice and experience on a daily basis. It is a quality that we believe is essential to a strong and safe school culture. Because we believe so strongly in kindness, we are committed to having all tenth graders participate in Challenge Day each October. This year we had 200 sophomores, 50 juniors and 50 staff members participate! The Challenge Day organization encouraged us to have 50 juniors who had participated in Challenge Day the previous year be teen leaders this year. The teen leaders modeled the kindness, empathy and compassion that are all a part of the experience. They were amazing! We know that Challenge Day has made our school culture one where kindness and love exist. Every day we see our students supporting each other- whether it is on the field, in the classroom, in Best Buddies club, or on the unified basketball team (picture below). I was reminded of an article published last year where high school students and their parents were interviewed about what they felt was most important in life. I was struck by the discrepancy between what the students feel their parents believe to be the most important and what the parents believe to be most important. This article is a reminder to us all about the messages we send to our children/students about what is important in life. As the author points out, kindness is one of the most important qualities we should be fostering in our children/students. It is easy to put all the focus on college acceptances, SAT scores, GPA, college majors, AP classes, etc. A 2015 Gallup poll indicated that hope and engagement are greater predictors of post secondary success than what we currently measure in school as success. I believe what makes our students exceptional and successful human beings is their kindness and compassion toward each other and others outside our community. At TMHS, we are committed to preparing our students for success beyond high school by preparing them well academically and socially by reinforcing the power of kindness.

Here is the link to the article:

Unified Basketball Team

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News from SADD

SADD has been working diligently with the Tewksbury Police Department and the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative to lead a town hall style meeting on October 29th to address their concerns with local administration, town and state reps. Our members organized, planned, and executed this meeting with effort and determination and an eye on helping their peers to make positive choices. Mr. Andrew Bellistri is our SADD advisor.

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AP Psychology Class

Friendly Reminder

Please do not bring a coffee to your student while school is in session. We will not call a student out of class to come and get a coffee nor will we let them get the coffee before their lunch break. This is a disruption to the learning in the classrooms. Thank you for your support.

Report Cards

First quarter grades close on Friday, November 1st. Student report cards will be viewable in Aspen starting on Friday, November 15th. We will no longer send them home with students.

Here are the directions for how to access the report card in Aspen:

You will receive an email from Aspen in your student's primary email account (this is whatever account you chose as your student's email address when you set up their Aspen account) with instructions to go to your student's Aspen account. Once logged in there, you should go to the Published Reports task Widget on your Aspen home page (see image below).

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You should be able to click on and view your student's 1st quarter report card. This link will be available to view in Aspen for two weeks.

If you would like a paper version of your student's report card, please email Pat Whitehouse at and we will have one ready for you to pick up.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences take place on Thursday evening, November 21st from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. We will once again use online sign up for conference times. We will send an email and post the directions for signing up on our website sometime in November.

October Hats Off Award

Congratulations to Colby Brown '20 and Rebecca DeFrancesco '20 for the Tewksbury Rotary Club October 2019 Hats Off Award. These two outstanding seniors were honored at a Rotary Club Luncheon on Thursday, October 17th at Tewkwbury Memorial High School.

The award recognizes those students who have distinguished themselves academically, have contributed to the co-curricular program at the High School, and have been actively involved in the community.

News from the International Club

On October 5th the Town of Tewksbury celebrated Half Way to Earth Day by organizing a town clean-up and community beautification. The members of the International Club worked at Melvin Rogers Park. Our task was to eliminate Buckthorn from the park, a daunting task that will take us a long time to complete!

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According to Mass Audubon Organization, common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is a plant with oval-shaped leaves and small dark fruit. It grows as a shrub or a small tree (up to 20 feet tall). It’s originally from Europe and Asia and was used for landscaping and hedges. The problem is that it produces high number of fruits, which are dispersed by birds. It has invaded our woods by forming dense stands that are excluding other plants.

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Mrs. Jackie Stone, from the Beautification Committee (in red jacket) explains to the students how to identify the buckthorn plant.

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What does Applefest, and Doctors Without Borders have in common?

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The dedication of International Club members!

The International Club mission is to service the community locally in events such as Earth Day, and internationally by raising funds for Doctors Without Borders. Throughout the year members raise funds by selling food on Monday morning breakfasts and through car washes. It is, however, Applefest the one event where we are able to raise most of the funds that we donate to Doctors Without Borders. We are happy to say that we have been able to donate $1,000 annually for the last 4 years.

Doctors Without Borders is an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organization of French origin best known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases.

During this year’s Applefest our students had a table for baked good where they sold international desserts, another one for cupcake decorating and a face painting station.

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Fine and Performing Arts Department


Current external art exhibitions:

During the month of October, Ms. Arnold’s students have an eclectic collection of work on display at the Superintendent’s office located at Central Office on Pleasant Street. Also during the month of October, Ms. LaPierre’s Drawing 2 students have Halloween inspired still life drawings on display at the Town Hall Annex and the Public Library. We encourage you to pop in and see the great student art.


Tewksbury’s Got Talent! Talent Show was held October 4th at 6:00pm in the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center. It was a great evening showcasing our students’ talents. Congratulations to junior, Elizabeth Miller! She won first place for an original poem.

The Marching Unit will compete at NESBA championships in Lawrence, MA on November 3rd. Affinity Winter Color Guard will hold a clinic on November 17th from 9:00am-3:00pm in the TMHS gymnasium. New members are always welcome.

The band and chorus have been busy preparing for winter concert which will be held on December 12th at 7:00pm in the Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center.


The TMHS Theater Company has been hard at work preparing for their fall production of Alice in Wonderland. Alice in Wonderland is a classic tale cherished by audiences of all ages. Based on the novel written in 1865 by Lewis Carroll, it tells the story of a young girl Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world. Come see our talented students’ amazing show on November 14th, 15th, and 16th in the TMHS Dr. Christine L. McGrath Performing Arts Center.

She’s the First Tewksbury Chapter

She’s the First had a very successful cupcake fundraiser at the October 19th Homecoming football game. Thank you to the team, Coach Aylward, and Athletic Director Drouin for their support! It was great fun to be at the game. Congratulations on a strong win against Chelmsford!

Upcoming Trips

Traveling is a wonderful way for students to broaden their perspectives of other cultures. For the 2019-2020 school year TMHS has the following additional travel opportunities planned:

Montreal - Quebec City

DATE: Memorial Day weekend (May 22nd to May 25th)


New York City

Travel Opportunities in 2021 for TMHS Students

We are delighted to offer 3 amazing trips for the 2021 school year: Greece, Costa Rica, and the British Isles. There will be a parent informational meeting on Tuesday, November 19th from 7-8:00pm in Room LGI 1 right after the winter sports sign up meeting.

For more information on these trips and all TMHS travel information, please visit our website: TMHS Travel.

You can RSVP for the meeting at the following link and be eligible for a Travel Scholarship Raffle: RSVP for Travel Night

Important Senior Information

Graduation Day is Friday, June 5, 2020.

Seniors Must Verify that Their Name is Spelled Correctly for Their Diploma

Seniors stop by the main office or the guidance office before the end of December to verify the correct spelling of your name for your diploma. The deadline is December 21st.

Seniors Must Have Ordered Their Cap and Gown by October 11, 2019 to Avoid Late Fees

Click on this link for your CAP AND GOWN RESERVATION SITE.

Please complete the information on the above link. Once your information has been completed, you and your parent will receive a link to PAY for your cap and gown at Remember, the purchase of your cap and gown is your responsibility and you will have 3 weeks to complete payment online. The basic cap, gown and tassel unit is $19.

JOSTENS is the name of the company. AVOID LATE FEES

Questions? Call 800-JOSTENS (567-8367)

Yearbook Information

Buy your yearbooks on-line now!

Senior Portraits

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. Remember, November 1st is the deadline!!

O'Connor Studio's fall 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 at 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.

Calendar of Events


1 Grades Close

5 No School - Professional Development

8 Eighth Grade Parent Breakfast 7:45-8:45am

11 No School - Veterans Day Observation

14-16 Alice in Wonderland 7:00pm - Three Days

15 Report Cards in Aspen

16 Alice in Wonderland Matinee at 2:00pm

19 Advisory Meets

19 Winter Sports Sign Ups 6:00pm

20 DECA Fashion Show 7:00pm

21 Hats Off Luncheon 12:15pm

21 Parent/Teacher Conferences 6-8:00pm

25 School Council 3:15pm

27 Half Day

28-29 No School - Thanksgiving Recess