News from the Andover Public School District
Girls Swim and Dive Team wins MIAA D1 Championship
With 518 points, Andover Girls Swim and Dive team took home their 5th consecutive MIAA Division 1 title, and their 18th out of the last 19 state championships, on Sunday, November 18, 2018. Congratulations to the team and the awesome coaching staff, led by the legendary Marilyn Fitzgerald.
Special Olympics Jamboree at AHS
Andover High School hosted the MIAA North Sectional Unified Basketball Jamboree on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. Teams from Lowell, North Andover, Malden, Tewksbury, Billerica and Haverhill joined Andover at the AHS field house.
The Andover Townsman caught up with the Andover team following the jamboree in this week's issue.
WCVB's “Good Morning Eye Opener!”
The fourth of the five “Wake Up Calls” aired on Wednesday on WCVB. If you want to review shout outs from our elementary schools, click on your school below:
High Plain Elementary
If you were waiting for South Elementary’s shout out- don’t worry, it’s been rescheduled to Tuesday, December 11th.
STUDENTS SPOTLIGHT- The Warrior magazine at AHS
In a few weeks, students at AHS will see some new reading material around school, thanks to the dedicated team at The Warrior. The Warrior print magazine launches in December and will offer students a chance to read stories written by their peers.
Editor-in-Chief Sydney Bergan, managing editors Karishma Mistry and Livia Iwanicki and their team are excited with the topic of their first edition- focused solely on female empowerment. They hope this topic will create a dialogue that provides different perspectives. The team has done its research by interviewing students, faculty and administrators. They will also interview faculty from Merrimack College’s Women’s & Gender Studies program.
The Warrior team is diverse and represents all grades, from freshman to seniors. While writing and journalism is a common thread, outside of The Warrior, they all have different interests. They are guided by Language Arts teacher Scott Aubrey, who shares his journalism background with the group. We look forward to seeing the first issue!
FEATURED TEACHER- Jedi Master of Physical Education- Kevin Tiller at West Elementary
For West Elementary Physical Education teacher Kevin Tiller success is measured by seeing his students embrace movement with enthusiasm. Kevin has been teaching elementary and adaptive P.E. for over 20 years, and was honored as the 2015 Elementary P.E. Teacher of the Year in Massachusetts.
Kevin knows that one of the biggest challenges to teaching can be competition with screen time. Understanding this challenge, Kevin has spent years incorporating technology into his classes as a unique way to foster participation from his students. He is also a master at infusing theme-based lesson plans with video and apps, allowing him to teach the whole class while giving one-on-one attention. This year’s lesson planning for West Elementary students incorporates outer space. Previous themes include “Star Wars” and “Under the Sea.” To engage students in P.E., Kevin aligns classroom topics like math and social studies through fitness and movement-based activities.
In addition to teaching, Kevin mentors colleagues around the country, sharing his lesson plans and offering his website as a resource for all. He recently presented at MAHPERD (Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) and conducts workshops on topics such as “Incorporating Math Into Physical Education," "Using iPads & iPods In Physical Education," and "Enhancing Instruction Through Technology In Physical Education.”
Kevin uses a variety of resources to assess student performance and communicate with parents at home. His evaluations of students’ progress follow the national standards defined by SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America.
Kevin believes that physical education is a shared experience, and he encourages students and parents to participate in physical activity together. Each month, Kevin creates a calendar that outlines a daily activity for the students to perform at home, which keeps kids active outside of P.E. class. Kevin’s biggest reward as a teacher is seeing the enthusiasm in his students. For him, Physical Education is not about competition with others, but his goal is to motivate students to be active for a lifetime.
The start of this school year has been unlike any other we’ve experienced. Before we break for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for the generosity and resiliency of the entire APS community.
Many of our students, staff and faculty have been beacons of light through the challenges we’ve faced, and their kindness is a terrific example of why Andover shines as a place where the community comes together to help its neighbors. The day of the gas explosions and fires, our high school students showed their bravery and stayed with our afterschool elementary students throughout the chaos. The weekend following the gas crisis, our Andover Vocal Music Show Choir performed for volunteers at the Arlington Middle School in Lawrence, while school administrators provided overnight coverage at Senior Center. Our high school Student Ambassadors and students from Doherty Middle School made blankets for those affected. Teachers and principals collected donations for families in their schools. Our high school Girls Soccer team will serve dinners on Thanksgiving morning to provide meals for families who need an extra helping hand at this time. These are just a few examples of selflessness within our APS community.
In addition to our students, some of our teachers have not had gas until very recently and others are still without heat in their homes. With grace, they continue to come to school to provide a sense of normalcy for their students. I commend their dedication to their students and schools. I am grateful to all who have stepped up and stepped in to lend their time and expertise, and displayed compassion to all since September. I wish you all a peaceful holiday with your families.
Shawsheen Preschoolers Are a Thankful Group!
APS Community News
Sanborn Harvest Festival Celebrates 40 Years
The Harvest Festival is a long standing tradition at Sanborn Elementary. The event gathers all Sanborn students together to bring gifts and joy to Andover’s senior community. Students delivered gift bags to over 300 senior citizens last week, and celebrated Tuesday with a musical assembly directed by music teacher Diane Waddell. Former music teacher and founder of the Harvest Festival, Mary Guziejka, was honored for her dedication to the Sanborn community.
Andover High School Quiz Show Team is back!
WGBH’s High School Quiz Show enters its tenth season, and Andover will be back to defend its title. The returning champs qualified earlier this month at a “Super Sunday” qualifier at WGBH’s studios. The next phase of the competition begins in January 2019, when they return to tape episodes. Vishnu Suresh, Ayan Chowdury, Anuraag Nagaraja, Omkar Savkur, Naren Savkur, Noah Coyle make up this year’s team, coached by AHS Math teacher Alan Hibino.
Bio Builders surprise!
Congratulations to the AHS BioBuilder Club! Their biological designs from the 2017-2018 school year have been published in three articles in the journal Biotreks, an international synthetic biology journal for high school students. AHS BioBuilder Club members spent months developing their designs, submitting their articles for peer review, and taking suggestions from scientists and other high school students. We commend the students’ persistence and creativity! Links to these articles are here, here and here.
AHS science teacher Lindsay L'Ecuyer leads the BioBuilder Club. With mentors and opportunities from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, BioBuilder Club high school teams around the country and globe have been applying synthetic biology to develop their ideas for a biotechnology project that will promote positive changes in the world.
Fall Gala is Around the Corner
Join us on Thursday, November 29 at 7:00 pm for the Andover Vocal Music Fall Gala at the Collins Center. All of the vocal ensembles at the middle and high school levels have been hard at work since the beginning of the school year and they invite to you hear what they have been working on!
The gala will feature all three middle school choirs, AHS Concert Choir, Spotlight (high school chamber choir), Chromatics (a cappella), Nothing But Treble (women’s show choir), Back to BASS-ics (men’s show choir) and From Start to Finish (coed show choir). The concert will conclude with a combined number featuring all of the performers! The choirs are under the direction of Katie Bickford, Jennifer Bobzin, Chris Desjardins and Lori Pratt with choreography by Beth Kennedy and Darvin Hernandez. This event is free!
Special Town Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, November 27th
A Special Town Meeting is scheduled for November 27, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Collins Center at Andover High School. The Special Town Meeting will have one article to consider land acquisition and the construction of a new Ballardvale Fire Station. More information can be found on the town’s website.
Andover Small Business Saturday
On Saturday, Nov. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Andover residents are encouraged to visit downtown for a family-friendly Small Business Saturday event, which includes the Touch-A-Truck event!
The Touch-A-Truck event will take place at Old Town Hall and features vehicles from the Andover Police and Fire Departments -- including a police cruiser and motorcycle -- as well as Department of Public Works equipment, including a dump truck and a backhoe. The event will also feature a limited number of free giveaways celebrating the beginning of the holiday shopping season. This will kick off a major effort to celebrate and accelerate our business community for the holiday season.
Minding Your Mind: “Promoting Mental Health Awareness and Wellness in Our Adolescents”
Presented by Parent to Parent and co-sponsored with Andona of Andover
Current research shows that one in four teens will experience a mental health issue, yet less than 20% will seek treatment. The “Minding Your Mind” presentation will cover the role of negative coping as it relates to crisis and will allow participants to understand and recognize positive resources for support.
Minding Your Mind’s primary objective is to provide mental health education to adolescents, teens and young adults, their parents, teachers and school administrators. The goal is to reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues. MYM programs move away from crisis based response to prevention through education. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at the Pike School, beginning at 7 PM. Middle school and high school aged students are welcome to attend with a parent or guardian. Please visit http://www.andoverp2p.com/ for more information.