Taking Russian as a high school student while also getting to learn about the country’s fascinating culture and history is rare. At The Academy, Introduction to Russian Language and History is an elective course taught by Mary Richards. It is open to students of all class years and eight students are currently enrolled.
When you see a Russian word such as Здравствуйте (hello), you begin to understand that an important part of learning the language is to master the connection between the alphabet and the sounds. “When you first see the alphabet, it looks foreign and a bit incomprehensible but once students get acquainted with the letters, it’s the first step to unlocking the language. There are many Russian words that come from Greek, Latin, or English words – and are very familiar to us, once we get past the alphabet. Some aspects of the language are simpler than English. It’s also really fun!” Ms. Richards said. Students have been working on vocabulary you would encounter in daily life and feel it has been fascinating to learn how to say the names for places and objects.
Students have also been practicing how to introduce themselves to each other. This has enabled students to become comfortable with the Russian terms for the different parts of names: first name (имя), patronymic or father’s first name (имя отчество), and last name (фамилия). Being able to practice such basics frequently is important for students’ success in speaking Russian comfortably. Ms. Richards connected this exercise to the upcoming history lesson, telling students: “We need to know how to introduce ourselves before we meet Peter the Great.”
The concept of introductions was an excellent transition into talking about Peter the Great and his important role in Russian history. By viewing paintings of Peter (on the right in the image above) and his father side by side, students discussed, in simple Russian phrases, the differences in how they were portrayed and what that said about how Peter changed the role of the tsar. Through both conversation and a brief video, students began to see how complex Peter was and that, while he is viewed as a modernizer in many ways, he also had a dark side.
Now the students in Ms. Richards’ are embarking on a biography project. They will each be researching the life of a Russian historical figure of their choice (for example, Catherine the Great, Nicholas – the last Tsar and his family, Anna Pavlovna – a famous prima ballerina of the early twentieth century). Their first step is to create a bookmark that presents a snapshot of the person. Then students will research their subject and make a presentation to the class, giving a detailed view of the individual within the context of their times in both Russian and world history. By putting these famous Russian figures on a timeline (pre-Peter or post-Peter), the girls will gain a foundation for conceptualizing Russian history as a whole. The girls will also be learning new vocabulary and expressions along the way and continue to practice their pronunciation as they strive to master the unique and beautiful Russian language.
Being able to teach a Russian class to young women in high school is very meaningful to Ms. Richards. She started her own study of Russian in tenth grade. She went on to complete her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Russian and Slavic Languages, earning a B.A. in Russian from Indiana University and then an M.A. and Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from The University of California, Berkeley, CA. She studied on exchange at Harvard while writing her dissertation and spent time living and studying in different Russian cities, including St. Petersburg. She also studied in Poland. Through her class at APH, Ms. Richards hopes to inspire the next generation of students to develop an interest in Russian language, history, and culture.
До свидания! (Goodbye!)
Part of The Academy’s approach for preparing students for college involves classes that directly parallel the types of projects and expectations they will experience as undergraduates. A perfect example of this is Gail Lake’s Portfolio Art class. Her description of the class demonstrates her strong commitment to helping her students get ready for what lies ahead: “Portfolio is an advanced course that invites students to creatively explore art while maximizing their potential within and outside the classroom. This course is designed to support and encourage students who are interested in pursuing Art at a higher level and require documentation of their high school art experience.”
Each week in Ms. Lake’s Portfolio class, students get to put down their books, put on music, and pick up a shading pencil or paintbrush. “This is my favorite class!” said Angela M. ‘20 as she entered the room. Classmate Madi C. ‘19 strongly agreed and shared: “I am always excited to work on my projects.” This is exactly the type of environment Ms. Lake is trying to cultivate in her classroom. “This is a no stress zone,” she said. “When you come here, we get to work and chat.”
While the students and Ms. Lake have a good time, everyone is also very serious about creating art. Knowing that these students are interested in studying art in college, Ms. Lake has structured her Portfolio Art class to include college-level projects. Her advanced students are working on several pieces right now, including two observational drawings from life and a painting based on the concept of upside down drawing. Inspired by Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, Ms. Lake gave each student a line version (essentially a black and white outline) of a famous work of art upside down on the page. She only revealed about an inch of the image at a time and asked the students to draw what they saw without trying to name it or compare it.
Left to Right: Angela M. ‘20, Emma F. ‘19, Madi C. ‘19, and Molly G. ‘19
When Ms. Lake revealed the full image and turned it right side up, she said it was “like Christmas.” Her students agreed. Molly G.‘19 said, “The suspense was killing me! I had a hard time not saying “these are leaves” or labeling anything I saw.” Angela M.‘20 noted that she “felt very happy” when she finally got to see the full image. Madi C.‘19 “hated her first one” but then really loves the second one she is working on, which is one of Frida Kahlo’s self portraits. Ms. Lake also challenged the students to do this project on a large scale. Emma F.‘19, whose upside down image was a Modigliani piece, said, “I like working smaller and in watercolor so this is challenging and so different.” Finished pieces from this class and others will be displayed around the school.
Ms. Lake greatly appreciates working with students at The Academy. “I find the atmosphere and ambience here very inspiring,” she said. “I enjoy coming to class since the girls have so much enthusiasm about what they are doing.” She also finds the small, intimate class sizes helpful.
The Portfolio Art students have an exciting rest of the semester including more high-level projects, guest speakers, and field trips. A representative from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University is coming to class on October 11th to give a presentation. Then in early November, the class will be taking a field trip to Montserrat College of Art. Ms. Lake shared: “The goal of field trip is for students to experience college art classes and immerse themselves into what daily life as a student at an art college is like.” These young women and Ms. Lake are a great team who support each other in the artistic process.
From the moment you enter Mr. Borzi’s classroom, you can tell you are in for an adventure instead of a typical math class. The walls are lined with memes, quotes, and motivational words that echo the values of The Academy. As students entered, they got right to work on the “Do Now” problem of the day. The students asked Mr. Borzi questions and he often asked a question right back that got the students to keep solving the problem instead of looking to him for the answer.
After discussing the “Do Now” problem, Mr. Borzi set up the day’s activity. “I’m always trying to come up with real world problems based on what we’re covering in class,” he said. “It’s nice when you can be teaching something and then the next day, bam!, we are doing a real world activity. They have to figure it out and get to work together.” The students in his Geometry classes got to apply their understanding of the Segment Addition Postulate through an unusual, hands-on activity. Students acted as “building inspectors” and needed to determine the distance to the exit door from three different 4th floor classrooms. Each class was split into two groups and each group was only given three or four pieces of twine of varying length that were measured and labeled. Students had to make a diagram of the hallway, determine what distances each piece of twine represents, and by using the Segment Addition Postulate, determine each of the distances to the exit door.
One of Mr. Borzi’s core values is getting students to communicate and explain math rather than simply arriving at an answer. For the activity, each student created a report with all the data, calculations, and processes used. In their individual reports, they were given the chance to draw the map of the hallway and exits and present the information in whatever way they wanted as long as the key concepts and data was there.
In speaking with Mr. Borzi, he acknowledged that the idea of emphasizing communication in a Math class is a foreign concept to many students. When he returned the reports, he showed them examples of reports that earned the full amount of points. “I want these reports to stand alone so that someone could just pick this up, read it, and know exactly what the project was about without any prior information. They are getting into the habit of doing lab reports in science class or writing papers in English class but they don’t usually have to write about math in this way.” He is continuing to build these real-world activities from scratch for each topic he is teaching. “It is so rewarding to see these students in action applying what they are learning. That’s what excites me…the process of the learning and the life skills they are developing.”
Sara Campbell, the designer, founder, and CEO of Sara Campbell Ltd., started this year’s Women in Leadership Speaker Series on a high note. In addition to over 30 years of designing timeless fashion for women, she has been dedicated to philanthropy throughout her career. During her time speaking with students, faculty, and staff, Ms. Campbell was candid and genuine about how she got started in the design industry, the challenges she has had along the way, and what gets her excited to go to work every day.
Ms. Campbell’s journey to becoming a dress designer started during childhood. As one of six children raised by an oncologist father and stay-at-home mother, Ms. Campbell learned early on that she needed a creative outlet. She borrowed her older sister’s sewing machine and started making dresses. This passion led a summer job where she taught people sewing lessons and also babysat to earn money to buy fabric. She went on to college and then completed a graduate degree in Art Education at Lesley University. Ms. Campbell shared that to her, success meant being able “to support myself by being creative.” A pivotal moment was when Ms. Campbell met and befriended the artist Corita Kent. Ms. Kent went on to serve as a private tutor and mentor for Ms. Campbell, especially while she completed her Masters in Fine Art from Mass Art. Ms. Campbell designed her first line of clothing in 1985, making her first sale to Pappagallo on Newbury Street. A chance meeting during a plane trip led to Ms. Campbell selling a large order to Talbots and she has grown Sara Campbell Ltd. into a 20 million dollar business with 24 retail stores.
5 Keys to Success from Ms. Campbell:
1.) Believe in and support each other.
Her motto within her company is “it takes a village” and that she and her team need to believe in each other, customers, and community.
2.) Kindness is everything.
Having seen a bumper sticker said, “Make kindness cool again,” Ms. Campbell emphasized how much she believes in kindness. When interacting with others, she said, “we need to ask, “Is this my best self?” and if not, change it.” At The Academy, we strongly agree with Ms. Campbell and all work hard to create a culture of kindness.
3.) Be persistent and tenacious.
Ms. Campbell told the audience how she has weathered some tough times. She was very frank about the challenges she faced, including embezzlement by a family member working in the business, a lawsuit brought by an investor, and not taking a salary for two years in order to make payroll. Even in those dark moments, Ms. Campbell said that she drew strength from her family and faith. “We still had each other and we got through it,” she said, “I believe in the power of spirit, visualization, and prayer.”
4.) Give back.
Ms. Campbell encouraged students to see giving back as an important way to make a difference. “You each have a responsibility to yourselves and the world,” she said. Throughout her career, Ms. Campbell has held numerous fundraising events at her stores and has donated a substantial amount to local organizations including Rosie’s House.
5.) Be a sponge and never stop learning.
Looking around the room and the young women in front of her, Ms. Campbell issued a call to action. “You’re here to be empowered and you have an incredible opportunity to soak it up,” she said, “Education is important above anything else and don’t take it for granted.” She also added, “Every day is a learning day and I love that part of my life.”
In her closing remarks, Ms. Campbell invited the audience to picture their lives in a unique way. “You are building a sentence for your lifetime and every experience is more vocabulary.”
Students asked Ms. Campbell a number of insightful questions. Ellie Beriau ‘19, who has an interest in fashion design and hopes to launch her own company in the future, asked Ms. Campbell: “What advice do you have for students wanting to build a fashion empire?” Ms. Campbell’s answer focused on the importance of hard work and knowing it won’t be an easy road. Emily Osborn ‘19 asked if Ms. Campbell could go back and do anything differently, what would she choose? Ms. Campbell replied that she wished she had spent time working in a fashion design company before launching her line. Her candor and positivity were palpable and many students came up to speak with her after the event.
The Academy community is deeply grateful for the time Ms. Campbell spent with us and for her uplifting, impactful advice.
By Mary DeLorenzo, School Psychologist
Now that summer is in full swing, what will the rest of the summer break hold for you? Take time to relax, travel, create memories, and make an impact.
- Reclaim your joy. Things that often get placed on the back burner during the busy academic year can regenerate your spirit. Read for enjoyment, take a photography class, journal/blog, start playing the guitar. Let your interests be your guide.
- Get active: Plan activities that you can do with friends like swimming, biking, hiking, or walks on the beach. Summer days are longer, the sun feels warmer, so get outdoors.
- Unplug and engage with people.
- Reconnect with friends, family and important people in your life. Face-to-face connections are important.
- Get a summer job or create your own small business like lawn-cutting, dog walking, or babysitting. Be empowered by managing your own schedule and save money.
- Apply for an internship to obtain real-world experience, network, and learn.
- Give Back by volunteering this summer within an organization you are passionate about.
- Build life skills. Learn to cook, do laundry, practice money management and budgeting.
- Plan college visits and make time for adventures while traveling and prepare for standardized tests. But remember balance is key
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to enjoy with the people, places, and things that matter most. Make time for good old-fashioned fun!
By APH Staff
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. 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.”
“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.
By Hannah Kimberley, Humanities
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.
By Emily Hewitt, Sciences—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.
By Bryon Williams, Humanities—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 a 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.
By Mary DeLorenzo, School Psychologist—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.
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.
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!
By Jan Healy, Dean of Academics
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!!
Anna Maria College
Arizona State University
Coastal Carolina University
College of New Jersey
Florida Institute of Technology
Framingham State University
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
James Madison University
Johnson & Wales University
Massachusetts College of Art & Design
New England College
Salem State University
Salve Regina University
Seton Hill University
St. Michael’s College
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
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 to 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.
By Katherine Reardon, Director of Athletics—The season is off to a great start for APH athletics. Last Friday, our tennis team traveled to Newburyport Racquet Club where they faced off against Amesbury in their season opener. The 8 members of our tennis team played hard and earned a 3-1 win over their hosts. They’re looking forward to continuing this momentum after the break when they take on Masco.
Track & Field has begun practicing, using both the St. John’s Prep track facility and our campus, and is looking ahead to APH’s first-ever meet on May 8th.
Penguin softball played back-to-back games this week against Shawsheen Tech on Monday and Triton on Tuesday. Solid offensive play from the team earned a huge win over Shawsheen. The game against Triton started off tough, with APH going down early in the first inning and spending the rest of the game trying to battle their way back.
Down by 2 in the bottom of the 7th, the Penguins donned their helmets and grabbed their bats as they faced their last chance to earn the win. Bats came alive and the team quickly loaded the bases. After Triton threw out two runners at home, the team found themselves working with their last out of the game. A walk brought Ava Mantenuto ’21 across the plate to bring the team within one run of their opponent. Then, in dramatic fashion with two strikes on the count, Caileigh Cunningham ’18 connected for a long base hit to bring home two teammates with Shayla Saad ’21 running hard from 2nd base to make it home before the ball for the game-winning score.
Congratulations to all of our student-athletes!