All Around APS

News from the Andover Public School District

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 – vol. 3

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Student’s Spotlight- Charlie Higgins- AHS sophomore

AHS sophomore Charlie Higgins is busy. When he’s not playing soccer, basketball, or studying for one of his many honors classes, you’ll find him playing lacrosse. Charlie was recently selected to be a member of the first ever U15 (under 15) select lacrosse team as part of U.S. Lacrosse’s national team development program (NTDP). Charlie is one of four players in Massachusetts to be selected for the team of 22 players nationally and will travel to Maryland from October 18-20th to compete against a team from Ontario, Canada, in the Fall Classic.

For Charlie, playing lacrosse requires intense focus and he enjoys every minute of the game. He says, “Once I put on the mask, I put everything else aside and concentrate on being in the moment. Lacrosse is such an active sport, I can’t dwell on anything while I’m on the field.”

He’s kept somewhat quiet on being selected for the U15 national team, telling only his family, a few coaches and friends. “Charlie is a young man who is respectful of the game, competitive on the field and a great teammate to have in the locker room,” says Andover High School Lacrosse Coach Wayne Puglisi. “Charlie has a tremendous future in this game and I know he is focused on making that a reality.”

Featured Teacher- Justine Maloberti- French Teacher at Doherty Middle School

“The goal is to build students’ confidence in themselves through the language.”

Even in her first year teaching, Justine Maloberti brings a worldly experience to her French classes at Doherty Middle School. Justine was born in France, moved to Budapest at age five before coming to the United States. Much of her family still lives in France, and she visits as often as she can.

Her experiences with the French culture and literature influence her lessons in the classroom. “Classes are geared toward conversation,” says Justine. “It’s such an amazing experience when I see a student making a connection between the grammar and comprehending the language.”

Justine realizes learning a new language can be a bit intimidating for her students. Rather than just recitation units, Justine assigns projects to enhance their self-confidence in presentation, all the while speaking French. Her eighth grade students will work on a “fashion unit” as a creative way to learn terms. The unit culminates with each student presenting a “look book” to their peers. Students are also working on a “Who am I?” project, providing them the opportunity to tell each other about themselves in French in small groups.

Outside of the classroom, Justine loves to travel, read and cook, although she is still mastering the art of French cooking. She travels as often as possible. Last summer she went to Europe and visited London, Barcelona and Paris, of course, to see her family.

A Student’s Story- A student’s firsthand experience at APS

Earlier this month, the seventh grade class at Wood Hill Middle School had the opportunity to attend Camp Kieve in Maine. Ellie Peck shares her experience from the week-long trip.

I went to Kieve because I love the feeling of being out in the woods and staying in a cabin with my friends. I think this comes from my excitement from going camping with my family. It’s the same feeling. The butterflies in my stomach and the excitement alone already had me begging my parents if I could go at the very beginning of the summer.

During my week at Kieve I learned how to be a good friend and more about team work. My “grow group” did a lot of activities that involved teamwork so I learned how to be better at working together. For example, my group had a challenge where we all had to stand on a big seesaw type thing and balance it. We had to work together to keep it balanced and my group actually got the seasonal record of 16:35 minutes!

Personally, my favorite part about Kieve was Solo Time. More specifically, when I had finished whatever work sheet I was working on and got to just sit, doodle and relax. I really like how calm it was to just sit by the lake and listen to nature. I also enjoyed my time in my cabin. It was fun to spend time with my friends there.

By far the most fun part of my Kieve experience was climbing the trapeze. The trapeze is a tall telephone pole that had little rungs. The objective was to jump off the very top and catch the trapeze bar. When I got strapped in and started climbing, the pole started to shake. Not very much at first, but the higher I got the more it shook and when I got to the top it felt like the telephone pole was having an earthquake. I managed to get one foot up onto the very top before the pole shook too much and I fell. I was of course caught by my harness on my back and I was lowered down to the ground. I felt like I was flying!

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Superintendent's Message- Community Engagement in Andover

October brings an opportunity for families to participate in some wonderful events at our schools and in Andover and to connect with our community. I encourage you to take a look at the town’s community calendar for some events that bring us together.

In the next few weeks, you will begin seeing the familiar sight of scarecrows downtown. In its 7th year, the A.C.E. Scarecrow Festival celebrates our imagination. Scarecrows made by students, faculty, administrators and the community showcase a celebration of fall unique to Andover. This year’s theme is centered on “Favorite Children's Books”, inspired by APS’s initiative to expand the children’s literature in our classroom libraries. The festival also offers a scavenger hunt and poetry event for children. The Scarecrow Festival caught the attention of WBZ-TV last year. You can get involved in building a scarecrow to share with others or just to put on your lawn. Or you can just come downtown and take your children on a scavenger hunt through people’s favorite books.

For parents who are interested, Andover Parent to Parent, continues its speaker series this month with two events. Andover Parent 2 Parent (P2P) is an organization dedicated to bringing informative and helpful speakers to area parents seeking more information on relevant child-rearing topics.

Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) and Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) are very active in October and provide wonderful support for students and families. Each school at APS has a PAC or PTO, and I encourage you to get in touch with them for information on volunteering or participating in events. All PAC/ PTO activities support our students and are a great way to meet our neighbors.

So take some time this month to join with other families in the wonderful community events at your school and throughout Andover. This is a special community and this month offers a great opportunity to enjoy it and to connect with others.

Shelley Berman


APS Community News

APS by the Numbers- Celebrating National Principals’ Month!

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Every year in October, the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) join forces to celebrate our nation’s principals for their tireless dedication to their students and the schools they serve.

At APS, our 10 principals have a combined 58 years in the district. Over their lifetime, they have served in education for a combined total of 234 years! Our longest serving educator is Andover High School Principal Phil Conrad, who has dedicated 33 years to education.

We are grateful for our exceptional team of principals and school leaders in Andover: Phil Conrad, Patrick Bucco, Tim Corkery, Robin Wilson, Michelle Costa, Tracy Crowley, Jason DiCarlo, Carol Green, Jennifer Hunt, and Pam Lathrop.

Looking for ways to thank your principal? Click here for ideas!

Set Your DVRs: West Middle School’s Tully O’Keefe on the Today Show!

Last year, Tully O’Keefe was featured on WCVB’s Five for Good segment for her “Bikes for Girls in Vietnam” birthday fundraiser. Tully’s charity donates bikes and helmets to girls in Vietnam, so they may have access to transportation to schools.

Tully has been invited to share her story with the Today Show on NBC on Friday, October 11th in celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl.

Andover Vocal Music – 10th Annual Andover Broadway Cabaret

On October 30, 2019 at 7 PM, join the Andover Vocal Music Program for the 10th Annual Andover Broadway Cabaret at the Collins Center for Performing Arts at Andover High School!

Enjoy moments from both old and new Broadway musicals throughout the night! There will be solos, duets, small groups, and full show choir numbers- this is surely an event that you won't want to miss! Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students and $8 for seniors and can be purchased at or at the door.

School Committee Forum on School Start Times

The School Committee is currently considering the implications of Andover school schedules on adolescents’ mental health and well-being, and potential impacts of changing school start times within the district.

The Start Time Working Group created a webpage where the community can find the most recent information: presentations, broadcasts of previous forums and the results of the survey. The Committee recently held a workshop to review survey results and plan next steps, including the opportunity for community feedback. To view the meeting, check out Andover TV’s broadcast or to view the presentation, click here.

The School Committee wants to provide as many opportunities as possible to receive community input. Included among these opportunities are the following:

  • A public forum exclusively dedicated to start times will take place on Wednesday, October 16 at 7:00 pm in the Library/Media Center at Andover High School.
  • All School Committee meetings during October and November will include start times as an agenda item. The meetings are on October 10, October 24, November 7 and November 21 at 7:00 pm and are held in the School Committee conference room on the 2nd floor of the School Administration Building (36 Bartlet St.).
  • School Committee informal forums will be held on Tuesday, October 29th at 9 AM and Saturday, November 16th at 9 AM on the top floor of Memorial Hall Library. At these forums, two committee members will be available for discussion of any matter within the Committee’s authority, including start times.

Also, feedback can be provided by email to the Start Time Working Group at or by reaching out directly to individual School Committee members.

Have you read it? Arts in Andover

Visual and Performing Art Coordinator Sean Walsh sent his first Arts in Andover newsletter last week, and it is fantastic! In case you missed it- check here.

Please join the community as Andover is recognized as a Purple Heart Community

The Military Order of the Purple Heart will officially recognize the Town of Andover as a Purple Heart Community. This honor will be endowed on Thursday, October 24th, 2019 @ 6:00p.m. at the J. Everett Collins Center, Andover High School Auditorium. For further information contact the Veterans’ Services Office at (978) 623-8381 or All are encouraged and welcome to attend.

School Committee Informal Forums

The School Committee welcomes the community to join us for an informal forum on the top floor of Memorial Hall Library on October 29, 2019 from 9- 10:30 a.m.

These forums have no set agenda, and the community is welcome to drop in at any time to speak with two members of the School Committee on any topics related to our schools.

Because these session are attended by only two School Committee members, they allow an interactive dialogue outside of the Open Meeting Law legal parameters. Issues raised at the forum that might require further discussion with the entire School Committee will be communicated during a regular business meeting.

Dates for 2019:

  • Tuesday, October 29th at 9 a.m.
  • Saturday, November 16th at 9 a.m.
  • Monday, December 9th at 7 p.m.

Dates for 2020 will be announced when scheduled.