Thursday, February 26, 2015

February newsletter now available

Want to read about all the good news our students and staff want you to know? Read this month's edition of MSD Messages.

School snow removal update

The Manchester Department of Public Works Facilities Division has been working all week on its snow removal efforts from the roofs of school buildings across the city. There is no present concern about the snow loads on the roofs or structural integrity of the buildings; these steps are precautionary in the event of another major snow storm.

In the meantime, a structural engineer completed his assessment of Gossler-Park Elementary School after cracks in several walls prompted the school's evacuation last week. The engineer concluded that none of the wall cracks are the result of snow loads on the roof, but rather they appear to be an older, recurring issue. Many have been previously repaired but reappeared over time and are likely caused by settling.  He saw no other indications of structural distress or issues related to the snow.

City workers will continue to stay ahead of roof snow removal through the end of the season.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Manchester students shine at DECA

Thirty-five students from Manchester are heading to Orlando in April for the DECA International Career Development Conference to compete against students from across the country as well as Canada, Mexico, China and Germany. DECA is non-profit curriculum-based organization which offers students a chance to develop their business and leadership skills. Central, Memorial and West high schools have very active chapters. 

At the DECA NH Career Development Conference this month in Manchester, more than 400 high school students from across the state in 32 categories of business presentations did their best to demonstrate what they know in the fields of entrepreneurship, management, marketing, finance, and more. 

Liam O’Connell
Principles of Business
1st place test
2nd place role play
Bradley Aiken
Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
1st place role play
Jack Kramer
Principles of Marketing
2nd place test
Matt Read
Principles of Marketing
1st place test
1st place role play
Kate Aiken
Food Marketing Series
1st test
1st role play 1
1st role play 2
Zach McKenna
Marketing Management
2nd Role Play 2
Chris Whittle
Quick Service Restaurant Management
2nd test
Ja’Kiea Williams
Quick Service Restaurant Management
2nd place role play 2
Jason Davison
Buying & Merchandising Management
2nd test
Molly O’Connell
Marketing Communications
2nd test
Hailey Pellerin & Molly O’Connell
Marketing Communications Team
2nd role play
Karah Marshall & Brianna Fahie
Travel & Tourism Marketing Management Team
2nd place role play
Overall Top Finishers
Kathryn Aiken
Food Marketing Series
Kate Aiken
1st place
Christopher Whittle
Quick Serve Restaurant
2nd place
Steven Lemay
Entrepreneurship Innovation
1st Place
Kathryn Aiken
Entrepreneurship Growing Your Business
2nd place
Matt Read
Principles of Marketing
1st place
Molly O’Connell
Lindsey Conrad
Matt Currie
Learn and Earn Project
1st place
Hailey Pellerin
Molly O’Connell
Marketing Communications
1st place
Bradley Aiken
Principles of Hospitality
2nd place
Liam O’Connell
Principles of Business Management

2nd place

Community Service Project            
3rdPlace – Atlanta Juarez and Shauri Gilot
Entrepreneurship Written              
2ndPlace – Kayla Johonnet
3rdPlace – Savannah Claver and Liam Harris
Public Relations Project                  
2ndPlace – Brianna Flannigan, Gabby Zampi and Olivia Ryan
Fashion Promotion Plan                  
2ndPlace – Shannon Mulholland

Sports Promotion Plan                    
3rdPlace – Caleb Grenon
Apparel & Accessories                     
3rdPlace in Test – Shannon Mulholland
1stPlace in Role Play #1 – Sarah Gagnon
2ndPlace in Role Play #2 – Sarah Gagnon
1stPlace Overall – Sarah Gagnon
Automotive Services                         
1stPlace in Test – Kayla Johonnet
2ndPlace in Test – Sara Beauchesne
2ndPlace in Role Play #1 – Taryn McNulty
1stPlace in Role Play #2 – Kayla Johonnet
1stPlace Overall – Kayla Johonnet
2ndPlace Overall – Taryn McNulty
Business Services                               1stPlace in Test – Atlanta Juarez
Marketing                                          3rdPlace in Role Play #2 – Matt Pinault        
Food Marketing                                3rdPlace in Role Play #1 – Caleb Grenon
                                                            2ndPlace in Role Play #2 – Caleb Grenon
                                                            3rdPlace Overall – Caleb Grenon
Hotel and Lodging                            3rdPlace in Role Play #2 – Valery Gonzalez
Human Resources Management      1stPlace in Role Play #1 – Liam Harris
Quick Serve                                       3rdPlace in Test – Efthemios Stamoulis
                                                            2ndPlace in Role Play #1 – Mason Gilmartin
Retail Marketing                               2ndPlace in Role Play #1 – Breauna Eldredge
                                                            3rdPlace Overall – Breauna Eldredge
Restaurant and Food Service           2ndPlace in Role Play #1 – Skyler Neveau
                                                            2ndPlace in Role Play #2 – Skyler Neveau
                                                            2ndPlace Overall – Skyler Neveau
Buying and Merchandising              3rdPlace in Test – Kyle Van De Bogart and Nicholas Burgess
Team Event                                                                                          

West High School
Gavin McFarland and David PenaQualified in both Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team Event 3rd place and Community Service Project 2nd place.Allison Hebert - Entrepreneurship Participating Event 1st placeKarina Orellana - Entrepreneurship Participating Event 3rd placeAshley Stewart - Medals for Accounting Test 2nd place and Role Play 3rd place Joe Oliveria - Medal for Marketing TestPaola Rivera-Villafane - Medals for Marketing Test 2nd palce and Role Play 3rd place and Fashion Promotion Plan 3rd PlaceBrianna Perry and Emma Riley - Learn and Earn Project 2nd place.

Community support builds for FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead

Several major companies and foundations have together contributed $164,000 to Manchester’s FIRST® Junior STEAM Ahead program. Funds from the Argosy Foundation, Autodesk, the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation, and Texas Instruments will help support costs related to bringing the popular FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) program into fourth grade classrooms.

Fourth graders across the city, beginning with Beech Street, Green Acres and Jewett Street elementary schools, are participating in FIRST® LEGO® League in teams of four students. During lessons that apply math and science concepts, they will design, build, and program robots using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 and other LEGO elements. The students not only practice skills such as computer programming, team-building, and effective communication, but they also start to understand the scientific process and creative problem-solving to find innovative solutions to real-world issues.

Four more schools will be added to the program next school year, and the city’s remaining elementary schools will join the year after that. Corporate contributions and grants cover the cost of the technology, including the LEGO kits, robots and computers.

Equally important to the program’s success are the members of the business community who are giving their time and technical expertise every week. Mentors from SilverTech, Wasabi Ventures, Autodesk, DEKA, FIRST, NH High Tech Council, Fuentek, Robbins Farley, and Salesforce/Cloud for Good provide hands-on guidance to FIRST® Junior STEAM Ahead in the classrooms.

The creation of FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead happened with support from FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international not-for-profit public charity based in Manchester that motivates young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Google Science Fair: Calling all scientists between the ages of 13 & 18!

Attention scientists between the ages of 13 and 18!

What's your passion? Are you good at building robots? Do you love to code? Maybe you want to help stop cyberbullying -- Google Science Fair, in partnership with National Geographic, LEGO Education, Scientific American, and Virgin Galactic, wants YOU to change the world!

Twenty finalists, along with a parent or guardian, with travel to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA to present their project to the judges and compete for the Grand prize and a number of other awards.

Submission deadline is May 19. Individuals and teams are highly encouraged to enter:

Green Acres food drive benefits New Horizons for Manchester shelter and food pantry

A van from New Horizons for New Hampshire picked up more than a dozen large boxes full of food and personal care items donated by Green Acres Elementary School. In honor of their 100th day of school the kindergarten classes at Green Acres challenged all of the other classrooms to donate at least 100 items toward a food drive this month.

This is the second year of the school-wide effort to support New Horizons, an idea started by Mrs.Stone's kindergarten class last year. All together, the school contributed 1,373 items today.

Gossler Park students dismissed while engineers inspect building

Gossler Park Elementary School students are being dismissed while city engineers inspect the building for safety after several cracks in the walls were discovered this morning. Students were evacuated as a precaution when staff from the facilities division were called. They remained safe and warm inside the Middle School at Parkside.

No immediate risk at Gossler Park has been detected, but superintendent Debra Livingston agrees that the structural engineer should give his assessment, and without knowing how long that might take, the elementary students will not return to the building today. Parents were being contacted with information about picking up their children at Parkside.

Weather Advisory

Due to severe wind chill temperatures there will be a two hour delay for all schools on Friday, February 20, 2015.  Morning preschool is cancelled.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hallsville fuels up to be healthy!

The National Diary Council has awarded Hallsville Elementary School with the "Fuel Up to Play 60" grant. The grant's purpose is to promote physical activity and healthy eating among students and families.  

 A portion of Hallsville's funding was used to purchase blenders!  In February, each grade level had the opportunity to try different flavored smoothies in a school-wide taste test and complete a short survey developed by the Hallsville School Wellness Committee.  The survey revealed that students wanted strawberry banana smoothies as part of the school's daily breakfast program.  

 A special thanks to MSD food service director, Mr. Connors, and dietician, Ms. Sheehy, for assisting with with the school-wide taste test.

Books saved from recycling center and donated to schools

When Tami Chevalier of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester heard that there were thousands of new books looking for a home, she knew exactly what to do. 

 "I thought I was picking up 1,000 books from a publisher who had contacted our Reach Out and Read program to make a donation," said Chevalier. "When I got there, they told me the warehouse was closing, and any books left would be sent to a recycling center." 

And so the donation from Flyleaf Publishing turned into about 5,000 books for first and second graders. Chevalier stored the books at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester while she organized a way to distribute them to schools and youth groups across southern New Hampshire. It took two weeks to give all the books away, and ten Manchester elementary schools were the lucky recipients of Flyleaf's generosity: Beech Street, Green Acres, Hallsville, Highland-Goffe's Falls, McDonough, Northwest, Parker-Varney, Webster, Weston and Wilson. Manchester Boys & Girls Club also received some of the books. 

"I was happy to do it," said Chevalier. "These books have gone to wonderful schools and programs with energetic people who came and loaded, trucks, vans and even a small car that had to make two trips! Flyleaf Publishing gave us a wonderful gift."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The picture of education in Manchester, according to parents and teachers

Thank you to everyone who responded to our Facebook post when we asked our followers to describe their schools and teachers. We got some great answers!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Rooftops watched closely for signs of trouble

The roofs of city schools are stable, and there are no trouble spots to be worried right now about under all that snow.

Still, with the number of significant storms we've had in a short period of time, the buildings are being monitored.

Kevin O'Maley, chief facilities manager for the Manchester Department of Public Works has crews out regularly to remove snow from rooftops around the city, including our schools.

"We are well ahead of this problem and we currently have no indication that there is any reason for concern," said O'Maley.  "We will continue to watch and take appropriate action."

We thank our city workers for keeping us all safe!

Central senior named city and state Voice of Democracy winner

Elizabeth Lavoie receives the state Voice of Democracy award from
District 6 Commander Jorge Dreusicke and
VFW Post 8214 Adjutant and VOD Chair Rose Connor-Allard.
Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition
Central High School principal John Vaccarezza and
English Department chair Selma Naccach-Hoff
pose with the school Voice of Democracy trophy from the VFW. 
For many years, local VFW Post 8214 has sponsored the annual contest in Manchester. This year, the city, district and state winner is Central senior Elizabeth Lavoie, with her submission on the theme, "My vision for America." She will take a one week, all expenses paid trip at the end of the month to Washington, D.C. to compete on the national level, representing New Hampshire.
More than two dozen student from Central High School entered this year's
Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.
The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship! Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000. Congratulations and good luck to Liz!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Software developoment certification available to middle schoolers

Students in middle school have the opportunity to earn a Dyn University certificate by completing three eight-week courses in software development.This program provides hands-on opportunities for the students to learn concepts of computer programming. The first of the three courses will start next Wednesday, February 18. 

The program in Software Development Fundamentals is offered by SEE Science Center and Dyn, Inc. for 7th and 8th graders.  There is a cost for the course, but need-based scholarships are available. 

Tech companies, such as Manchester-based Dynhave long been looking to find ways to educate future work-force talent to ensure that they have the talent that they need to grow their companies. In collaboration with the Technology & Innovation Academy at SEE, Dyn University is introducing this new certification program for middle school students. It will prepare students to pursue a technology-focused curriculum in their high school and college career. 

For more information, contact Dr. Ali Rafieymehr:

Monday, February 9, 2015

Parkside Middle School victory a quarter century in the making

Congratulations to all of the elementary and middle school basketball teams on their great seasons! Special recognition goes to the Parkside boys A team for its first city championship in 25 years! They beat McLaughlin to capture the victory. Way to go!!

BOSC meetings moved to Wednesday

Because of weather conditions, the finance sub-committee and full Board of School Committee meetings scheduled for tonight have been postponed until Wednesday, February 11:
Sub-committee on Finance  6:30 pm
Board of School Committee 7:00 pm

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Manchester schools have some of the state’s most creative teens

CHS senior Claude Kwizera submitted several pieces,
including "Pants," and received Gold and Silver Key honors
What do Ken Burns, Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath and 23 students from Manchester have in common? All of them have been recognized by the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Students from Central and Memorial high schools are contenders in the national competition after winning regional awards from partner programs in New Hampshire.
Memorial HS senior Chris LaSalle won
the Silver Key in ceramics and glass
More than 2,000 public, private and homeschooled students from across the state submitted works to this year’s Scholastic Art Awards of New Hampshire contest. A ceremony to honor Manchester’s 22 young artists in a variety of categories, including photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and glass, digital art and design will be held this weekend. All of the state's winning works are on display this week at Pinkerton Academy's Stockbridge Theater. The awards ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, February 8 from 10:00 am-2:00 pm.

Nearly 600 aspiring authors entered submissions to the National Writing Project in New Hampshire. Manchester’s one winner in the writing category will be honored in May.

All of New Hampshire’s winners – some students received honors in more than one category – will be considered for the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which will be presented in June at Carnegie Hall in New York by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. That organization’s mission is to provide recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarship to students across the country with exceptional artistic and literary talent. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has grown to be the nation’s longest-running, most respected recognition initiative for creative students and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. Learn more at

Manchester’s students hoping for an invitation to Carnegie Hall are:
Memorial HS junior Rachel Thibeault is a Gold and Silver Key
winner for several photographs, including "Bricks."

Memorial High School
Hanna Kierstead, senior: photography, sculpture and art portfolio
Jansen Mayer, senior: design
Anuva Mizan, senior: drawing and illustration
Rachel Thibeault, junior: photography
Despina Yogas, junior: digital art
Alayna Blodgett, junior: drawing        
Susan Garwood, sophomore: photography
Christopher LaSalle, senior: ceramics and glass                      
Marika Ohar, junior: ceramics and glass                     
Caleb Pantazis, junior: photography   
Brandon Scott, junior: drawing and illustration           
Amber Fournier, senior: art portfolio  

Honorable Mention:
Shauri Gilot, junior: ceramics and glass                       
Hanna Kierstead, senior: painting       
GeDeon Mwano, junior: painting        
Collin Tessier, sophomore: drawing and illustration   
Rachel Thiebeault, junior: photography                      
Brooke Wisniewski, sophomore: photography           

Central High School
Claude Kwizera, senior: drawing and illustration
Jordan McCown, senior: art portfolio
Nick Picciano, senior: comic art  
Angel Hyde, senior: writing, personal essay/memoir and flash fiction

Honorable Mention:
Elaura Thompson, senior: drawing and illustration
Johanna Hebert, senior: drawing and illustration
Ashley Holland, senior: drawing and illustration

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Scenes from the West High School art show

The student art exhibit at West High School last month was a big success. Here's a peek at some of the talent that was on display. Congratulations to all of our young artists on their creativity and hard work!