Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – May 9, 2014

May – a great month for celebrating poetry, music, spring-time weather, and the special person in your life that you call “Mom.” Have a great weekend, everyone.
News & Notes

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Kennedy Goes To Harvard!! And Wins a Trophy
(from the Kennedy School Newsletter) Historically, President John F. Kennedy did attend and graduate from Harvard University a long time ago. This article though is about NOW. Kennedy School students went to Harvard University with Mr. DiGuardia and Ms. Freitas-Haley to debate with 200 students from 17 Boston area schools in a Debate Mate sponsored competition comprising 32 teams. Governor Deval Patrick was an honored guest.
Debate Mate USA is an innovative after school program that uses college students to teach young people essential 21st century skills through competitive debating. It is the sister organization of Debate Mate UK, reaching 4500 young people across 220 schools world-wide. Debate Mate’s goal is to address the problem of social immobility among young people from urban areas by increasing their confidence, self-esteem and ability to communicate with others. The ten week program provides highly interactive verbal instruction and debating activities, which culminated in a program-wide full-day competition at Harvard University.
On Friday, May 2nd, ten students represented the Kennedy School at the 2014 Debate Mate Cup. Kennedy students performed well enough in their first three debates to make it to the final championship round in which they had to make a case for the importance and value of MCAS testing, opposing the other side which was in favor of getting rid of MCAS. Our students formed a solid argument for MCAS and were declared winners of the debate by a panel of judges, winning the illustrious title of 2014 Debate Mate Cup Champions! Kennedy School also received an award for being the highest scoring team among different schools around the Boston area. With these accomplishments, our students have established a very high standard of excellence for our John F. Kennedy Debate Mate team. As quoted from the Debate Mate webpage ( “John F. Kennedy school’s team of Debate Mate veterans emerged victorious and can now claim substantial bragging rights as the 2014 Boston Debate Mate champions.”
Congratulations to Debate Mate vets Elijah Andrade, Patrick Barton, Robert Lavey, Justin Morrison, Shayne Murphy, Matt Sousa, and Aidan Theobald, and new debaters Tommy Barton, Kevin Chandraratne, Alex Kalogeropolous for their wins on Friday and for representing the Kennedy School with such intelligence, grace, and style. We are very proud of you all!
2014 Career and Technical Education Senior Awards Banquet
Somerville High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) seniors celebrated their high school careers at the 2014 CTE Senior Banquet held Wednesday, May 7th at the SHS Field House. Kelin Velasquez highlighted an accomplished group of students, receiving the Most Outstanding Vocational Student of the Year award. Kelin has been in the Health Careers Program for 3 years, and has demonstrated a genuine interest in the health care profession, as well as a diligent, caring and compassionate approach to her school work and to her work with students. She will be attending Regis College in the fall. Congratulations to all the CTE seniors and the following 2014 CTE award winners.
2014 Most Outstanding Vocational Student of the Year: Kelin Velasquez, Health Careers
Raymond J. Izzo Achievement Award: Patrick Callinan, Mark DeWolfe, Julia DiFraia, Shayne LaFee,
Kevin Lopez, Selena Quintanilla
Lawrence F. Blute, Jr. Memorial Award: Victor Melendez, Matthew Pacheco
In Memory of Pamela Ann Knight: Kristina Sabatino
In Memory of Gregory Latino: Arpan Giri
The Co-op Award: Erika Pineda
Home First Charitable Corporation Award: Kelin Velasquez
Director’s Award Achievement Award
Architectural Design/Pre-Engineering Patrick Gibson
Automotive Technology Guilherme Cafer Jorge Bardalles
Carpentry Kezia Tiburcio Michael Gadsby
Isabel Sousa Memorial Award: Michael Gadsby
Child Development Kristen Buccelli Graziella Fernandes
Outstanding Student Intern Award: Odalis Flores Yanes
Cosmetology Selena Quintanilla Samantha Vallery
The Cosmetology Excellence Award: Kelsie Miller-Saltman, Paola Pineda, Jennifer Silva
Culinary Arts Kristina Sabatino Carlos Silveira
Dental Assisting Julia DiFraia
Electrical Sophia Barbosa Collin Hogan
Manuel Moreira Memorial Award: Sophia Barbosa, Collin Hogan
Graphic Design & Visual Communications Gurkirat Kaur Stephanie Santos
Health Careers Steven Barillas Sandy Mansilla
Outstanding School Nurse Student Intern Award: Samantha Simon
Ann Murray Paige Positivity Award: Brianna Couto
Isabel Sousa Memorial Award: Kritika Chettri
Compassion Award – In memory of Patricia Ripley and Peter & Barbara McDevitt: Hellen Espinal, Mirna Guevara Martinez
Information Support Services & Networking Wilfredo Samayoa Shirshak Sharma
Machine Technology Kevin Lopez Cindy Mendoza
Dale Engineering Machine Technology Award: Shayne LaFee
Marketing Education Brianna Dell’Isola Jonathan Figueroa
DECA Scholarships: Brianna Dell’Isola, Jonathan Figueroa, Lucas Henrique, Francisco Fernandez Neto
Metal Fabrication/Welding Matthew Pacheco Victor Melendez
Redbones Vocational Senior Scholarship: Terrance Michel
Excellence in Music Performance Award: Matthew Pacheco
Painting and Design Technology Joshua Avila Reno Toussaint
The Anne Good Memorial Award: Josh Avila, Reno Toussaint

Students Honored at 2nd Annual World Language Awards Night

A packed house at the John F. Kennedy School on Tuesday, May 6 helped recognize more than 100 World Language students throughout the District for their dedication and excellence in world language studies. Approximately 1,100 Somerville Public Schools students are currently enrolled in the District’s World Language Program, which this year expanded Spanish to the sixth grade. The evening included induction of students into the French National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society, four special awards, and presentation of Club, and Class awards. Congratulations to the World Language Department and the following award recipients:
Excellence in the Study of World Languages:
Yuying Guo (French, Mandarin); Gino Puntonio (French, Italian, Spanish)

Spain and Portugal Trip 2014 Outstanding Leadership Award: Kellie Hagerty

C.A.S.IT. Italian Scholarship & Book Award:
Adrianna Keefe and Jailene Escobar

French National Honor Society Inductees: Bianca Aires, Christina Bissereth, Andrew Churchill, Kate Churchill, Nifashe Enatah, Eliza Forrest, Jennifer Jeune, Gabrielle Matthews, Graciela Portillo, Marisa Rafal, Samantina Vidaud
Spanish National Honor Society Inductees: Kathlyn Almeida, Neha Amatya, Michael Andrick, Gongga Baerde, Ashu Bhargo, Keren Colarullo, Yalissa Cruceta, Biana DeBarros, Kaitlan Doherty, Diana Dominguez, Nickolas Eladis, Adriana Fernandez, Thatiana Jean-Louis, Bruna Lino, Kristie Lino, Navdeep Maini, Saragrace Magre, Nicole Morales, Jacob Margolin, Heidi Mejia-Pérez, Jamie Mendoza, Brenda, Nguyen, Vladimir Porokhin, Kayla O’Regan, William Quan, Arjun Singh, Anjila Shrestha, Shreyaj Shrestha, Diksha Shrestha, Molly Swanton, Ángel Vicente
Friends of Asian Culture Club: Karishma Sukhu
French Club: Samantina Vidaud
Italian Club: Brenda Badaro
Portuguese Club: Henrique Almeida
Spanish Club: Briana Lino
Sixth Grade Spanish: Christiana Brand (Brown); Harmanpreet Kaur (Argenziano); Alex Leite (Healey); Natalie Morgan, (Kennedy); Kripa Paudel (Winter Hill); Dayne Pierre (ESCS); Vivien Shea (Brown); Harmeet Singh (WSNS)
Seventh Grade Spanish: Jackson Anderson (Healey); Julia Johnson (Kennedy); Amanda Lausier (ESCS); Aaron Moreno (Winter Hill); Samuel Newman (WSNS); Luvia Salazar (Argenziano)
Eighth Grade Spanish: Jadson DeSousa (Argenziano); Alan Guardado-Ramirez (Winter Hill); Kiely Johnson (Kennedy); Jamilly Pacheco (ESCS); Mario Peña (Healey); Nicolas Ragusa (WSNS)

FULL CIRCLE HIGH SCHOOL: Gabby Etienne and Taylor Corning

French: Kate Churchill, Dessources Domond, Alice Egar, Celine Lessard-Brandt, Joy Jarnagin
Italian: Brianna Bravo, Katherine Cubias Hernández, Ariela Esmurria, Maxwell Freitas, Daniel Portillo,
Fernando Quintanilla, Naomi Rafal, Isabella Teixeira
Mandarin: Anna Carton-Smith and Amber Theobald
Portuguese: Karina Cruz, Andrea DaCosta, Paulo Guedes, Emily Liberato, Alexandra Martins, Beatriz Martins, Christopher Martins, Ethan Sweeting
Spanish: Kathlyn Almeida, Anthony Araujo-Amaral, Rhedise Bass, Henry Borges Rivera, Kristen Buccelli, Kathryn Churchill, Jessica DiRoma, Brenna Forristall, Samantha Fourtounis, Noah Gillespie, Ravneet Kaur, Navdeep Maini, Maureen McNabb, Carlos Mendoza, Donovan Palmer, William Quan, Molly Swanton, Amber Theobald, Emely Ulloa

Somerville Council of PTAs Hosts 40th Annual Scholarship Dinner Dance
An enthusiastic crowd celebrated and supported a great cause at Anthony’s in Malden last week, continuing an annual tradition to raise scholarship funds for Somerville High School students. The 40th Annual PTA Scholarship Dinner Dance, sponsored by the Somerville Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, was held Friday, May 2nd, and once again was a great success. To date, nearly $200,000 in scholarship funds have been raised through this event. Funds support SHS students in continuing their educational endeavors. The evening is also a celebration of the great work and commitment by the Somerville community in support of Somerville youth, with special recognitions, scholarship awards, dancing, and great food all part of the evening. Congratulations to the Somerville Council of PTAs for their outstanding support of Somerville students. A special congratulations to the following 2014 honorees and scholarship recipients:
Ellie Blute – Founder of the Council of PTAs Dinner Dance
Received an Award and Certificate of Recognition for her role as founder of this annual event
Leah Arredondo – Massachusetts PTA Lifetime Achievement Award
for outstanding contribution to Somerville students

Founder’s Award: Lorne Murphy, 4th Grade Math and Science Teacher at the Argenziano School
Thomas Bent, CTE Advisory Council Member
Lisa Brewster Cook, English Teacher at Somerville High School
Paula Olsen, Counselor Educator at the Brown School
Jennifer Sears, 7th & 8th Grade Teacher at the Kennedy School
In Memory of Doris and John Quinlan, parents of Mary Jo Rossetti, Alderman-at-Large and
former Somerville School Committee Member

Joytica Bhargo, Albert F. Argenziano School at Lincoln Park
Robert Bingham, East Somerville Community School
Kellie Hagerty, John F. Kennedy School
Rebecca Killin, West Somerville Neighborhood School
Adrianna Keefe, West Somerville Neighborhood School
Llaquelin Miguel, East Somerville Community School

Capuano Students Learn about “Go” and “Whoa” Foods, and the 5 Food Groups
Students in Ms. Huckins’ Kindergarten class recently learned about “go” and “whoa” foods from Ms. Kristin as part of their UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program curriculum. “Go” foods help students to grow and be strong; “whoa” foods are the foods that can make our bodies tired and slow. A rabbit and turtle puppet show demonstrated how eating too many “whoa” foods can slow us down. Students also learned all about the 5 food groups. The class discussion focused on different types of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy, and students learned that eating from all 5 food groups makes us healthy. They ended their food group lesson by coloring their own placemats showing the 5 main food groups.

Students Study Traditional West African Dance and Drumming
A special guest taught on May 5th this week in music classes in some of the district schools. Students at the West Somerville Neighborhood School and at Next Wave Junior High School studied traditional West African Dance and Drumming with Nani Agbeli from Ghana.

(Pictured are 7th and 8th grade students in the WSNS World Percussion Class.)

What’s Happening

Somerville Evening Classes – Last Chance for Teens needing Driver’s Ed before Summer
For information, call Sophia Carafotes at (617) 628-2594, M-F, 8am-4pm; Tuesday and Thursday evenings at (617) 625-6600, x6100, 6-9pm. Open enrollment. Don’t delay. Classes are starting soon!
· Driver’s Education $50 to register ($590): Twice a week for 5 weeks: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9pm — May 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29, June 3
· YOGA $15 for 3 (1-hour) classes: Tuesdays, May 13, 20, 27 (7:45-8:45pm), SHS Library (drop-in $7/class)
· Gold Zumba $15 for 3 (1-hour) classes: Tuesdays, May 13, 20, 27, (6:30-7:30pm), SHS Cafeteria (drop-in $7/class)
· Extreme Couponing Tuesday, May 13, (1-1/2 hours) 6-8:30pm: $25 or $20 for PTA Members
· Declutter your paperwork! Tuesday, May 13, (1-1/2 hours) 7-8:30pm: $20
· Financial Planning and Beyond Tuesday, May 20, (2 hours) 6:30-8:30pm: $15
Classes held at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue). Register in the SHS Main Office any Tuesday or Thursday evening between 6-8pm. Pay by check or money order made payable to Somerville Adult Evening School.

May 19th: Workshop – Behavioral Interventions for Autism and Beyond
Please join us on Monday, May 19th, as Linda Murphy, M.S., CCC-SLP, CEIS and Kevin Russo M.A., B.C.B.A. co-present RDI and ABA methodologies for the school aged child. This workshop will be held at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street) from 6:00-8:30pm. Light Supper and Childcare provided with RSVP to Kim by Monday, May 12, 2014. 617-312-5407; Sponsored by the Somerville SPED PAC.

Upcoming Musical Performances and Celebrations
The Somerville Public Schools Music Department invites you to join in celebrating Somerville students through music at a number of upcoming events. The Chamber Music Concert will be held Wednesday, May 14th, 6:30pm at the Somerville High School Library. On Thursday, May 15th, students from throughout the District bring you the All-City Middle School Spring Concert, 7:00pm at the East Somerville Community School. The following week, continue the celebration at the El Sistema Somerville Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 20th at the East Somerville Community School and the Evening of Song at Somerville High School on Thursday, May 22nd, starting at 6:30pm. Check the District Calendar of Events for more information and additional school concerts coming up.

Writers’ Den for Middle School Students
Any and all students in grades 5 through 8 (or of corresponding ages) who love to write and are active writers, are invited to Writer’s Den from 12:30-3:30pm at the central Somerville Public Library (1st floor Auditorium) on Wednesday, May 21st. Writer’s Den meets informally to share our work, learn some tips and discuss publishing possibilities. Please bring a short completed piece of writing. There will be writing and discussion of writing. Bring your poetry, fiction, nonfiction, school newspaper reporting — whatever your interest.

May is World Poetry Month
May is World Poetry Month and Kid! magazine will mark the occasion with the grand opening of their 2014 Poetry Wall, online at The wall is not yet completed but may be previewed. They will continue to accept poetry for the wall from students in grades K-8, who are invited to submit one or more of their best original poems. Poems should include the poet’s name and, for contact purposes only, his/her grade, school and teacher’s or parent’s name. Please send all poetry to The wall was begun during April, but submissions are welcome any time. Poems on the wall are eligible for possible selection for a future print edition of Snowflake! or Kid! magazine.

This Week in the schools:
Visit your child’s school website,, and click on the “calendar of events” link at the top of the page for a complete list of all the activities happening at school this month.
Monday, May 12th, 6:00-8:00pm: Healey Community Meeting, at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham St.)
Tuesday, May 13th, 5:30-8:00pm: Winter Hill Community Innovation School PTA Conferences, at WHCIS (15 Sycamore Street)
Tuesday, May 13th, 5:30-7:30pm: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street)
Wednesday, May 14th, at 4:00pm: Healey School Council Meeting, at the Healey School (5 Meacham Street)
Wednesday, May 14th, 6:00-8:30pm: Brown School PTA Meeting and Conferences (201 Willow Avenue)
Wednesday, May 14th, 6:30-8:30pm: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting, at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, May 14th, 6:30-8:00pm: Chamber Music Concert, in the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Avenue)
Thursday, May 15th, at 6:30pm: Somerville High School STEM Awards Night, at the SHS Library (81 Highland Avenue)
Thursday, May 15th, 6:30-8:00pm: Healey Family Math Night for Grades K-2, at the Healey School (5 Meacham Street)
Thursday, May 15th, 7:00-8:30pm: All City Middle School Spring Concert, at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street)
Friday, May 16th: Somerville High School Senior Prom

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
You can find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Tuesday, May 13th, at 7:00pm: Educational Programs & Instruction Subcommittee Meeting, in the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Monday, May 19th, at 6:45pm: Massachusetts School Choice Public Hearing, in the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers of Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, May 19th, at 7:00pm: School Committee Regular Meeting, in the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers of Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Thursday, May 22nd, at 7:00pm: Somerville School Committee Public Budget Hearing, in the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street)

Community Events
· Thursday, May 15th through Sunday, May 18th, 12:00-4:00pm daily: Friends of Somerville Public Library Spring Book Sale. The Friends of the Somerville Public Library will hold an extended Spring Book Sale this year from May 15th – 18th at the Central Library located at 79 Highland Avenue. Leftover books will be donated to local non-profit groups, otherwise charities farther afield. Please contact the Friends to be considered. See for more info.
· Friday, May 16th: Tufts Youth Philharmonic 2014-2015 Auditions. The Tufts Dept. of Music and Community Music at Tufts announce the Tufts Youth Philharmonic 2014-2015 Auditions, taking place Friday, May 16, 4:00 p.m. in the Perry and Marty Granoff Music Center. The orchestra is open to teenage musicians in the greater Boston area, and is led by noted conductor John Page. For more information about Tufts Youth Philharmonic, audition, and an application form, visit or contact Edith Auner at or (617) 627-3564.
· Saturday and Sunday, May 17th & 18th: Somerville’s first annual Somerville Weekend of Play. All weekend, Somerville residents are invited to join the City and Knucklebones for a variety of “play” including the City’s 4th annual PorchFest, and family-friendly activities in parks and open spaces sponsored by the Somerville Recreation Department and Knucklebones. Visit for more information and a list of activities and locations.
· Sunday, May 18th: 11th Annual Save Our Homes Walk, organized by the Somerville Affordable Housing Organizing Committee (AHOC). The 5K (3.1 mile) walk route begins at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue), passes affordable housing landmarks, and ends at Somerville High School. Registration begins at 1:30pm; the walk begins at 2:00pm. Back up transportation is provided for walkers needing assistance. For more information about this event, and ways in which you can support it, visit
· Somerville Mobile Farmers Market: Shop for local and affordable fruits and vegetables at the 4th annual Somerville Mobile Farmers Market, in partnership with Enterprise Farms and Groundwork Somerville. This summer’s market will start at two locations on Thursday, June 19th and Saturday, June 21st. The Thursday market visits the Council on Aging at the TAB Building (167 Holland St.) from 1:00-3:00pm and the Clarendon Hill Housing Development from 4:00-7:00pm (North St. and Powerhouse Blvd). The Saturday market visits the Mystic Housing Development (530 Mystic Ave.) from 1:00-4:00pm. Somerville Mobile Farmers Market is proud to accept credit cards, debit cards, cash, Farmers Market Coupons, WIC and SNAP (EBT). Follow the Somerville Mobile Farmers Market on Facebook at
Looking Ahead
Check our online Calendar of events ( for more information.
· Monday, May 19th: ESCS Math Breakfast – Grade 1
· Monday, May 19th: Workshop Behavioral Intervention for Autism and Beyond
· Tuesday, May 20th: Brown School Grade 5 Lego Build Contest
· Tuesday, May 20th: Friends of Healey Fundraiser at Flatbread
· Tuesday, May 20th: El Sistema Somerville Spring Concert
· Tuesday, May 20th: SHS Highlander Awards Night
· Wednesday, May 21st: Half Day of School
· Wednesday, May 21st: Argenziano School Memorial Day Concert
· Wednesday, May 21st: ESCS Garden Planting Day
· Wednesday, May 21st: SFLC Family Engagement Leadership Seminar
· Thursday, May 22nd: ESCS Memorial Day Assembly, Grades K-3
· Thursday, May 22nd: WHCIS Spring Concert
· Thursday, May 22nd: SHS Evening of Song
· Friday, May 23rd: ESCS Memorial Day Assembly, Grades 4-8
· Sunday, May 25th: Memorial Day Parade
· Monday, May 26th: NO SCHOOL in Observance of Memorial Day

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