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The Honorable Chief Justice Paula M. Carey Visits APH

APH was recently visited by another woman in leadership, this time The Honorable Paula M. Carey, Chief Justice of the Trial Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her responsibilities in the state’s judicial system are vast as she leads nearly 400 trial judges, 99 courtrooms, and thousands of employees.  We were certainly glad she could take time out to speak with us at APH, and her message was one of empowerment, inspiration, and tangible reward.  Yes, she confirmed, bias and unfair treatment are real, but that can be overcome with empathy, intentionality, and strong relationships.  “Be sure to have your voice heard,” she stated. “Dream of what you can be and don’t limit yourselves.  Through this, the difficulties of the increasingly complex world can be met with results, for you and for others,” she noted.

“The point,” Justice Carey emphasized, “is to make someone better because you intersected with their lives.”  Her message was clear: in the legal world, and other places, women must “push to succeed,” but loving what you do ensures your impact on the world.  “Put a piece of your work in your life, and you will succeed and overcome challenges,” she said.  Certainly, Justice Carey lives this idea, having put numerous initiatives in place to fight disproportionate sentencing in the courts and other injustices, winning many awards and accolades along the way.

When a student asked the Chief Justice what advice she would give her high school self, she replied with, “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  Don’t be afraid to try.  Mistakes can shape us into our strongest selves.”  Above all,” she added, “be intentional.”

Her message was definitely well received by the students.  Siobhan Noonan ’21 noted that Justice Carey’s “life represents real empowerment and impact, and it really had an impact on me.”  Alex Lang ’21 also found the presentation “really inspiring, seeing someone so passionate about helping others without bias over their situation.”

Justice Carey’s talk with APH was another example of our quest to create strong leaders in our students, capable of maintaining a leadership role and guiding others toward justice despite numerous pressures.  It certainly made for an interesting and thought-provoking Monday.

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Last Saturday, a group of our students met me in Gloucester to help in the National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, which reaches into the heart of the community to collect local food for local people in Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, and Ipswich. Cara Buchanan ’21, Rachel Dalai ’20, Adriana Kotler ’21, Alex Lang ’21, Abby Mastrocola ’21, and Madeleine Mogavero ’21 spent the afternoon emptying truckloads of packed grocery bags and sorting box after box after box of canned and dry goods. The food came at the perfect time to feed hungry children through the summer when school is not in session.

I was pleased with the girls’ enthusiasm for the job. Indeed, both the Mayor of Gloucester and the Executive Director of The Open Door commented on how impressed they were by the girls’ work ethic. The end of the school year is an especially active time for us all. I’m sure these students didn’t necessarily have the time to volunteer, but they had the heart, and that’s what makes them so great.

Hannah Kimberley

Environmental Studies Students Support Ban on Plastic Bags

Environmental Studies Students Support Ban on Plastic Bags

Environmental Studies Students Support Ban on Plastic Bags

This week the Environmental Science students and Ms. Riley’s Art History students collaborated with organizers from Salem Sound Coastwatch and Tidal Shift, an organization creating large-scale, community created, public art installations on the North Shore to communicate the negative impact of plastic bag pollution in the oceans.  Tidal Shift organizers hope to draw attention to the ill effects of plastic bags and to influence the upcoming ordinance vote in Beverly banning single-use plastic bags. Students created jellyfish that will be part of a larger art installation at the Beverly Arts Fest on Saturday, June 16th. During the workshop, students solidified their understanding of the harmful effects of plastic trash and how plastic bags are often ingested by marine life. For instance, sea turtles often mistake the plastic for jellyfish. Students watched a video mounted on a sea turtle and were surprised by how similar a jellyfish and plastic bags in the ocean look.

Earlier in the year, Environmental Science students identified plastic pollution in the oceans as an urgent and particularly troubling environmental issue, with multiple students delivering projects on plastic pollution, the North Pacific garbage patch, and alternative ways to dispose of or recycle plastic trash. In preparation for the art project, students found the number of plastic bags one community could easily accumulate staggering.


Soccer Clinic

Looking for a soccer clinic this summer?

Join our APH Coaches.
– August 6-10, 9am – 3pm
– For girls entering grades 4-8
– $250


In the Classroom – Global Literature

Juniors in Global Literature are currently showcasing their culminating projects in their study of Americanah, the award-winning 2013 novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Students had already read Adichie’s short non-fiction book Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, and Americanah serves as an even more expansive exploration of identity, gender, and race in the twenty-first century.

The novel follows Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the United States to attend college. By offering the perspective of a newcomer to the U.S., the novel is particularly insightful in articulating the cultural relativity of race (“I only became black when I came to America,” the protagonist says at one point) and standards of beauty. In order to improve her dire job prospects, for example, Ifemelu is compelled to straighten her hair through an unending series of expensive, time-consuming, and even painful procedures and products (leading one of her friends to tell her, “Relaxing your hair is like being in prison. You’re caged in. Your hair rules you”). Ifem navigates societal pressures of appearance and body image faced by all young women, and the novel further demonstrates the compound difficulties of assimilating as an immigrant and a woman of color.
In devising research topics linked to the novel, students displayed a strong multi-disciplinary approach that capitalized on their related work in history with Mr. Healy and in science classes with Ms. Hewitt. In a Monopoly-style board game called “The Game of Privilege,” one student pair dramatized the effects of systemic racism. The privileged game piece, for instance, inherits wealth from parents whose house in a desirable suburb appreciated in value for decades, while the game piece without privilege (whose parents were shut out of the housing market by redlining and other discriminatory housing policies) inherits only unpaid medical bills.
Other projects tackled the complicated intersection of race and genetics, with students digging into the latest research behind the assertion of one character in the novel that “race is not biology; race is sociology. Race is not genotype; race is a phenotype.” This is far from a simple or settled matter, as the latest iteration of the debate was playing out in real time in the pages of The New York Times even as students were conducting their research. Another infographic depicts two people of different races who travel starkly different paths through the criminal justice system for the very same offense. Multiple other projects examined standards of beauty as embodied in cosmetics, hairstyles, representation in fashion, and ballet attire. Through data, collage, and original artwork, these creative young women have brought a compelling, real-world urgency to their literary studies. They have learned from each other, and we can all learn from their splendid work! Projects are on display on the Manor House fourth floor near room 400.

Six Ways to be Mindful in May

Six Ways to be Mindful in May

The weather is finally warmer and our calendars are full this month with all the end of school year activities. This is especially true for me as my four children graduate (a daughter from college and triplets from high school) and I am looking to Mindfulness as a way to stay focused and calm …. I am trying!

Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) techniques, describes Mindfulness this way, “It’s the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally”.
Mindfulness is the practice of cultivating an awareness of the present moment and can be a daily habit and a lifelong process.
We live in a culture of stress and distraction and mindfulness is there to help us connect with the things that are important in our lives.
Cultivating mindfulness will help us achieve our goals, feel better and enjoy life more.  How do we do that?
  • Going for a walk is an excellent way to calm the mind. “Walking in green spaces enhances mood and holds our attention while at the same time allows for reflection “ (Jenny Roe from Heriot-Watt University in the UK). According to a University of Washington study, spending time in nature helps to conquer mental fatigue and may boost cognitive functioning.
  • Enjoy the simple moments in your life and accept the positive and negative emotions.  Turn daily tasks into mindful moments by paying more attention to sitting on a chair, drinking a cup of coffee, out shopping or eating your food.
  • Calming the breath is key to calming the mind. You can do this by simply bringing your attention to your in-breath and out-breath. Without effort, you stop thinking about the past or future and you are in the present feeling more peaceful.
  • Do one task completely for a time, then take a quick break. Studies have found that it takes 50 percent longer to accomplish a task and are 50 percent more likely to make an error when you multitask. (Sharon Salzberg- Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace).
  • Put phones away when spending time with those you love. Look into the eyes of the people you are with.
  • Laugh! A sense of humor has important implications for health.
School Psychologist

Softball and Tennis Update Good Hitting, Great Rallies, Hard Work

Softball and Tennis Update Good Hitting, Great Rallies, Hard Work

APH softball traveled to Rockport High School on Monday to face the Vikings’ JV squad. The Penguins continued their offensive dominance with a six-inning, 20-3 win over their hosts. In addition to good hitting and timely base stealing by the whole team, APH was led defensively by their three pitchers. Madeleine Mogavero ’21, Shayla Saad ’21, and Juliette Chait ’20. Each pitched 2 solid innings and the APH defense stepped up behind them to only allow a total of 3 runs. On Wednesday, the Penguins dropped a very close contest at Centerville field against Masconomet. Although down by 4 in the 7th inning the Penguins were not discouraged. The exciting bottom of the inning netted only 3 runs for APH but the effort to close the gap was outstanding. Other game highlights included a potential base stealer thrown out by catcher Emma Fringuelli ’19, a long triple by Kaitlyn Fucillo ’20, and a delayed steal by Madeleine Mogavero ’21. APH hosts Salem Academy today for a scrimmage at Centerville field. All are invited to route on the team!

After a rainy week of cancellations, the tennis team played back-to-back games against Newburyport and Marblehead.  Hosting Newburyport on Tuesday, the Penguins played 5 close matches and came away with 2 wins.  Despite finishing 0-5 against a strong Marblehead lineup, the team again played close matches against their opponents with the season’s improvements shown off in some great rallies.  The players’ hard work this spring has resulted in good progress and the team looks forward to a rematch against Marblehead next week.

Kate Reardon
Athletic Director

New Noises Playwriting Festival at Boston University

New Noises Playwriting Festival

New Noises Playwriting Festival

This week was an engaging and exciting week for our Theater classes.  Shakespeare for Modern Actors culminated in its study of Much Ado About Nothing with a field trip to see an incredible performance of the play at The Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Cambridge.  Complete with live musical selections of songs from the likes of Beyonce and Miley Cyrus, this crowd-pleasing romp defined modern Shakespearean Theater for our students.  A fabulous way to spend a rainy Wednesday!

This Thursday was the much anticipated New Noises Festival at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.  The festival brought us together with four other schools: Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, The Sparhawk School, Malden High School and Lexington Christian Academy, for a day of original 10 minute plays written by playwrights from the schools themselves.  All of our Play Production students spent a great deal of time writing their plays this semester.  They were visited by a guest playwright, Bill Lattanzi, whose work has been featured on stage and screen for decades.  Mr. Lattanzi helped them to shape and structure their pieces.

After all was said and done, the work of all of these students was truly wonderful.  Two plays were chosen to receive a performance in which the playwrights worked directly with professional theater artists to create a staging of the play.  Madi Castonguay ’19 and Kathryn Ward ’18  were selected.  Madi’s play was a clever romance with a touch of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and Kathryn’s play explored the interesting dynamic between four women in three generations of a family who are quite different from one another, yet forced to relate.  Micaela Trzcinski’s ’18 piece about a loving relationship that turns sour was selected to be read as part of a cold reading workshop.  It was a full day of youthful theater, vibrant and vital:  a celebration of our students, their generation, their voices!

Kevin Crowley

College Acceptances 2018

College Acceptances 2018

With the arrival of what finally looks like spring, our students returned to campus in good spirits this week, ready for the final push to the end of the year.

In just a few short weeks, the Class of 2018 will be graduating and preparing for their entry to college. I am happy to share that the fourteen members of the Class of 2018 were accepted to forty-two different colleges and universities. So far, the members of our graduating class have been offered $1,770,800.00 in non-need based academic scholarships. Congratulations The Academy at Penguin Hall  Class of 2018!!
American University
Anna Maria College
Arizona State University
Assumption College
Bryant University
Clark University
Coastal Carolina University
College of New Jersey
Dean College
Drew University
Emerson College
Emmanuel College
Florida Institute of Technology
Framingham State University
Gordon College
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
James Madison University
Johnson & Wales University
Lafayette College
Lesley University
Loyola University
Marywood University
Massachusetts College of Art & Design
Merrimack College
Newbury College
New England College
Northeastern University
Salem State University
Salve Regina University
Seton Hill University
Simmons College
Springfield College
St. Michael’s College
Suffolk University
Sweet Briar College
The New School
University College Dublin
University of Massachusetts – Lowell
University of New Haven
University of Rhode Island
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Wheaton College
Dean of Academics

Best Buddies Assembly & Fundraiser

Best Buddies Assembly & Fundraiser

By Angela Mayes, ’20

April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism is a wide-spectrum disorder, meaning every person who has autism experiences it differently. This Tuesday,  Best Buddies hosted an assembly to educate our community about autism and people with disabilities, as well as inform everyone about the Best Buddies program in general. We’re so lucky to have people in our own community willing to share their experiences and stories.

Ms. Delorenzo, our school psychologist, spoke about her experience working with children with autism. In addition to being our school psychologist, Ms. Delorenzo holds a BS in Elementary and Special Education.  Jeff Calnan, our Best Buddies Program Manager, then spoke about how Best Buddies can change the lives of high school students with disabilities. When Jeff was finished speaking he introduced a video of a Best Buddies ambassador, Jack Mayor. Jack told us how lonely he was before he met his best friend through the Best Buddies program.

Our last speaker, Leah Humphreys,  one of our seniors, spoke about her life and experiences. She touched upon the use of the ‘r-word’ and informed our community that the word is never okay to use. She talked about bad habits and forgiveness, saying, “I understand that habits are not always easy to break… I’m human, I have habits just like the rest of us. I can forgive someone who simply does not understand the history of the word, the use of it, how it makes others feel. This is ignorance, I can forgive ignorance. Though, there comes a point when ignorance becomes ignoring… and that is oh so much harder to forgive.”

She also spoke about her younger brother, Timmy, who has autism. She told us how proud she was to be his big sister and that she would never change anything about him. She mentioned the importance of speaking up about the use of the r-word as well, saying, “Speak up for the people who want to and cannot…Speech is such a beautiful, incredible thing. Please, try not to take it for granted. Use your ability to speak with care. You can say anything you want, but why choose to say something so hurtful, so painful to so many people?

Leah then introduced our next video, a simulation of how one person with autism might experience an event that happens in other people’s daily lives.

After watching the video our students and faculty broke into groups discussing how the video made them feel and what being a buddy in our school means to them. Each group made a poster of what they discussed, which will soon be hanging on our Best Buddies bulletin board. We hope our assembly made our audience more aware of how they use their power to speak and how they treat other people.
How can you help APH’s Best Buddies? Please bring your appetite and patronize Chipotle on Andover Street, Suite E194A, at the Northshore Mall, on Tuesday, May 15th 4:00-8:00 pm. 50% of all proceeds will go towards APHBest Buddies.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD and support the activities, events and leadership conference of our Best Buddies Club.