Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Life of the Little Green Athlete

Nationally, the Life of an Athlete program principles have achieved notable success in promoting wholesome athletic lifestyles. Realizing that the time a student athlete spends off the field, court, or ice is as critical as his or her time in the game, Life of an Athlete provides a concise and realistic set of lifestyle choices for New Hampshire student athletes. It's also relevant to students who participate in sports outside of school -- not just on traditional school teams. 
Central High School embraces these concepts and has 50 student members committed to the "Life of the Little Green Athlete." Together, they promote positive lifestyle choices when it comes to proper sleep, nutrition and hydration, and a pledge to avoid drugs, alcohol and any other chemicals that negatively affect their bodies.

Life of the Little Green Athlete from Communications Coordinator on Vimeo.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Youth hockey tournament applications being accepted

Manchester’s Parks, Recreation & Cemetery Division is pleased to announce that the 2016 Clement M. Lemire Hockey Tournament will begin in March.  Named for the long-time Parks Superintendent who initiated the event, the tournament makes use of the city's two ice arenas to allow elementary and middle school students to compete in a fun city-wide event.

The tournament will begin immediately following the conclusion of the high school season. Applications are currently being distributed to all public and parochial schools and is also available below.  The Tournament will have two age groups: elementary, consisting of 3rd , 4th and 5th grades; and middle school, for 6th, 7th and 8th grades.

Applications must be returned to the schools by Thursday, February 18, 2016.  No applications will be accepted after this date.

Games will be played Monday through Friday at either the JFK Coliseum or West Side Ice Arena, between the hours of 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm.  The tournament will last three to four weeks, and teams will play up to 5 games per week. All players must have the proper equipment to participate in the event.  A fee of $15.00 (check or money order only) will be charged to cover cost necessary to run the tournament.  Please make checks payable to MRYHA (Manchester Regional Youth Hockey Association).

The Department is also soliciting volunteers to assist in organizing, officiating or coaching the event. For more information, contact Eric Fischer at (603)218-9011 or email: clemlemirehockeytournament@comcast.net.
You may also contact Eva LaPeer from the Manchester Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division at (603)624-6444 with questions.

Tournament Information:   Held at JFK Coliseum and West Side Arena, Monday through Friday, 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm beginning in March through April.  (Exact dates TBD)    Please Note:  Bus transportation is not provided.  All Players must provide their own transportation.  Full equipment is required for all tournament play. 
Current Team & Position:
School Attending
GRADE  (Please Circle One)

Middle School

3        4        5       
6        7        8       

Phone (2): 

As the Parent or Legal Guardian of _______________________________________, I(we) understand that, the Leagues, Volunteers, Sponsors, West Side Arena, JFK Coliseum or the City of Manchester are not responsible for any injury that may occur during this program.  If, however, medical treatment is needed, I hereby authorize a licensed physician to treat the player named above. 

Signature of Parent/Legal Guardian:  __________________________________________________________________

Physician’s Phone:
Insurance Carrier:
Policy ID #:

          Completed Applications should be returned directly to your school or to the Manchester Parks & Recreation Division located at 475 Valley Street prior to the February 18, 2016 DEADLINE.  
           A fee of $15 is charged to cover the cost for game officials and trophies. (Check* or Money Order Only) Please make checks payable to MRYHA (Manchester Regional Youth Hockey Association)
*There will be a $25 fee for any returned checks. 

*****A fee of $15 must be submitted with your child’s application *****
*****Applications and fees must be received by Thursday, February 18, 2016.  *****
*****Late applicants may be put on a waiting list.  *****

We are in need of volunteers to make this tournament a success.  Show your support and get involved to benefit the kids who are participating.  
____Head Coach         _____Assist. Coach        ____Division Contact        ____Score/Time Keeper

Name:  _________________________________________ Phone: _________________________

Please contact Eric Fischer at 218-9011, or Eva LaPeer from the Manchester Parks & Recreation Division at 624-6444 or send an email to clemlemirehockeytournament@comcast.net if you would consider volunteering.   

Mr. Vaccarezza is one to watch!

We are very proud of Central High School principal John Vaccarezza, who is featured in this year's Union Leader 40 Under Forty honor recipients.

Read all about it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Vice Chief of Naval Operations meets with cadets from West Navy JROTC

Cadets from Manchester High School West Navy JROTC met with the number two officer in all the U.S. Navy, Admiral Michelle Howard, at the 14th annual National Cultural Diversity Awareness Council, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dinner. The cadets participated with the Salem NH Air Force JROTC cadets in a Joint Missing Man ceremony to honor POWs and MIAs. This extraordinary event also invited West High School cadets to act as ushers and the welcoming committee for attendees, including Governor Maggie Hassan, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Congresswoman Ann Kuster, among other special guests.

Adm. Michelle J. Howard, vice chief of U.S. Naval Operations, served as the keynote speaker.  The theme for this year’s dinner was “A Salute to the Brave Men and Women Who Protect Our Nation and Its Citizens.” The NCDAC paid tribute to men and women who serve in law enforcement and the military, while reinforcing the importance of multicultural awareness.

Cadets participating in the event included Bradley Ewing, Neil Beaupre, Randy Kater, Cyrus Mahir, Tim Joyce, Kaylee Paquette, Justin O’Rourke, Mikayla Valentine, Amman Mahir, and Destiny Lee, who were accompanied by their Senior Naval Science Instructor Captain Arthur W. Stauff, USN (Ret)

Hundreds of shoes collected for Manchester schools

The Webster School student council members pose with
Currier Museum of Art Director & CEO Susan Strickler and staff
while they sort shoes on January 19
Generous members of the Manchester community donated nearly 250 pairs of shoes to the Currier Museum of Art's Shoes for Schools drive. The museum organized the charitable effort in advance of its upcoming exhibition, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, and Manchester School District is grateful to be the recipient. 
The Webster Elementary School student council sorted, counted and boxed the new shoes, sneakers and boots, which are now being distributed to elementary- and middle school-age children across Manchester. 

We are storing the collection at the school district office and have invited principals and assistant principals to "shop" for shoes they can bring back to school and give to their students who need them.

Our sincere thanks to all who donated, and to the Currier for the partnership!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A message to Manchester's young learners from a FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead mentor

Words of Wisdom from Communications Coordinator on Vimeo.

FIRST Junior STEAM mentor follows his dreams

One of the valuable components of our fourth grade FIRST Junior STEAM program is the mentoring. Community mentors serve as classroom helpers and offer guidance while the elementary students navigate the new-to-them world of programming and robotics. Often, they are current business people in the tech industry, making many of our mentors real world role models for what opportunities are available to students' futures as they move through school and focus on interests in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Steve Messa has been mentoring Mrs. Buzzell's class at Green Acres since FIRST Junior STEAM started there last school year. He is a Manchester native -- and Green Acres, McLaughlin Middle School and Memorial High School graduate! -- who co-founded VidFall, an online/mobile events platform that helps brands better market their products and services through live and trending videos. "Think of it as the next frontier for online marketing," Steve said.

Steve has given his time to the fourth graders every week, helping them reach their FIRST Junior STEAM goals. He says he gained just as much from the students as they did from him.

"I got to see first-hand the way students can transform from lacking in confidence to literally leading their groups," Steve said.

As a start-up entrepreneur, Steve knows it's crucial to learn about the problem that needs to be solved, and then build a product that solves the problem.

"Much of this learning is done through experimentation, trying ideas, and testing the market's reaction, and that's exactly what we taught students in FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead," Steve said. Sometimes, the shortest route to a solution is simply testing out all options, and seeing students realize this was enlightening to me."

Now Steve and his VidFall co-founder have the exciting chance to move their company to Scottsdale, Arizona, where they say investors and close proximity to the west coast will give VidFall a big boost to hit their business goals. This week, just days before his move to Arizona, Mrs. Buzzell's class and this year's fifth graders, who benefited from Steve's knowledge last year, gave him a Green Acres send-off. Steve's mom was there, too, to hear all the wonderful things teachers and students said about her son.

FIRST Junior STEAM will miss Steve. But we also understand this is an opportunity too big to pass up, and it's the kind of thing we hope all of our students aspire to. We wish him well!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Northwest principal is tops in the state

Shelly Larochelle, principal of Northwest Elementary School, received the Elementary School Principal of the Year Award from the New Hampshire Association of School Principals. The annual award is one of three that recognizes one outstanding school principal in the state at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The nomination for Larochelle included high praise from her colleagues, including one who wrote to the selection committee, “Shelly is a principal that truly inspires the passion of being an educator in all of us. . .She promotes a culture that spreads optimism and cultivates a positive learning environment through the school. Teachers want to work with her and beside her.”

Larochelle has spent her entire career in Manchester and at Northwest, the city’s largest elementary school with an enrollment of about 700 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She began as a classroom teacher in 1995, became the school’s assistant principal in 2001, and since 2008, Larochelle has served as principal. She enjoys her role as an administrator.

“It is fulfilling to see that I have a direct part in making a positive impact on students, teachers, and the school as a whole,” said Larochelle. “I enjoy investing time with students and seeing them mature and grow throughout the school year and beyond. Our hard-working, dedicated faculty and staff make me proud to come to work every day.”

Those who know Larochelle say her collaborative ability to motivate and empower teachers to develop lifelong learners in their students has helped her school reach new heights.     

“My constituents often tell me they chose their homes specifically so that their children could attend Northwest,” said Ward 12 Board of School Committee member Connie Van Houten, who supported Larochelle’s Principal of the Year nomination. “Northwest is one of Manchester’s hidden gems, in large part because of Mrs. Larochelle, who excels well beyond her job description in leadership, integrity, compassion and devotion to her school.”

As a state Principal of the Year recipient, Larochelle will represent New Hampshire in Washington, D.C., when the National Association of Elementary Principals names its 2016 national Principal of the Year in the fall.  

“We congratulate Shelley on this outstanding achievement.  This honor is truly indicative of the high caliber of principals in our school district,” said Superintendent of Schools Debra Livingston.

Larochelle is Manchester’s second Principal of the Year in as many years. In 2015, Memorial High School principal Arthur Adamakos was named New Hampshire Secondary School Principal of the Year. 

This year's finalists for NH Secondary School Principal of the Year included Karen Machado of Manchester School of Technology, and Memorial High School assistant principal Peter Perich was a finalist for NH Assistant Principal of the Year. 

Congratulations to all of them!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Students recognized for Advanced Placement achievement

Twenty-seven members of Manchester’s classes of 2015 and 2016 were recognized at tonight’s Board of School Committee meeting for their high achievement on last spring’s Advanced Placement exams in various subjects.

Students who participate in high school AP courses have the opportunity to take an exam that can lead to college credit for scores of three or higher. These credits can allow students to save college tuition, study abroad, or secure a second major.

Manchester School District announced in October that high school students scored well above the national and global averages on spring 2015 Advanced Placement exams and narrowly outpaced the mean score of their state peers. The Manchester School District mean score on all AP exams was 3.38 (out of 5) while the New Hampshire mean was 3.23. The national and global averages were 2.82 and 2.84 respectively.

“We are immensely proud of our students and their continued level of excellence on rigorous exams such as those in the Advanced Placement program,” said Dr. Debra Livingston. “It is clear our teachers did an outstanding job in preparing them.”

Overall there were 202 students from the school district who participated in the exams, and 78.4% of those students earned a 3, 4 or 5 on their respective subject exams.

Last year’s juniors and seniors honored tonight by Mayor Gatsas and members of the school board earned a score of 3 or higher on multiple AP exams:
  • The AP Scholar award is granted to students who achieve scores of 3 or higher on at least three full-year AP Exams.
    • Central High School had 13 AP Scholars with an average score of 3.92.
    • West High School had 3 AP Scholars with an average score of 3.67.
    • Memorial High School had 1 AP Scholar with an average score of 3.5.
  • The AP Scholar with Honor award is granted to students who achieve grades of 3 or higher on at least four full-year AP Exams, and whose average AP Exam grade is at least 3.25.
    • Central High School had 4 AP Scholars with Honors with an average score of 4.25.
    • Memorial High School had 1 AP Scholar with Honors with an average score of 4.50.

  • The AP Scholar with Distinction award is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
    • Central had 5 AP Scholars with Distinction with an average score of 4.5.

Manchester School District’s Advanced Placement program continues to grow, both in course offerings and student participation. This year, 715 students are enrolled in at least one of 15 AP classes across the district, a 23% increase from last school year. Manchester’s efforts to increase enrollment and improve access to AP courses earned the school district a spot on the College Board’s 5th annual AP Honor Roll in 2014.   


AP Scholars
CENTRAL                                           WEST
Kathryn                                   Aiken Nermin Hasanovic
Juliana Cable                           Karina Ithier
Molly Clark                             Benson Yu
Fenwick Eckhardt
Ryan Gamblin                                     MEMORIAL
Kimberly Harrington                Brian Nguyen
Angela Hyde
Nora Jaber
Sean Madden
Nicholas Noboa
Thomas Regan
Sarah Schultze
John Wichert

AP Scholars with Honor
CENTRAL                                           MEMORIAL
Bridget Hurley                                     Brittnee Wirth
Elizabeth Lavoie
Molly O’Connell
Jessica Tsang

AP Scholars with Distinction
Elizabeth Aldrich
Jessica Dampier
Ashish Gurung
Emily Harris

Jennifer Murphy

Friday, January 8, 2016

McLaughlin Middle School joins national group of healthy schools

The U.S. Department of Agriculture presented McLaughlin Middle School with a bronze HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms award. McLaughlin joins the ranks of an elite group of schools across the country recognized for excellence in their integration of health, nutrition and fitness education. Only about 7% of the nation’s schools have achieved bronze, silver, gold, or gold of distinction HealthierUS status.

The HealthierUS challenge is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. Schools participating in the challenge voluntarily adopt USDA standards for food they serve at their schools, agree to provide nutrition education, and provide opportunities for physical activity.

McLaughlin demonstrates the award criteria in all areas. Principal Bill Krantz is an active member of the school district wellness council and promotes healthy behavior throughout the school. The physical education curriculum emphasizes lifelong fitness and why physical activity is important. The middle school life skills class includes nutrition education and food science in every unit. Students learn to make healthy eating choices at school and at home. McLaughlin's cafeteria offers a variety of fruits, vegetables, snacks and milk along with daily meal choices. Food services staff welcome feedback from the students and look for creative ways to make healthy food presentations appealing.

"We are proud of all of our schools for the healthy meals they provide to students," said Manchester
School District school food and nutrition director Jim Connors. "This award recognizes the efforts that go above and beyond to enhance the integration of the smarter lunchroom with everyday education."

To celebrate McLaughlin Middle School's accomplishment, a representative from the USDA presented Connors, school administrators and staff with a banner and plaque.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A message from the superintendent about snow days

Winter has arrived, and that means bracing ourselves for snow and ice and the likelihood of closing or delaying school for inclement weather.
The decision to call a snow day or delayed opening must be made before 5:30 am due to bus schedules, and I start making and receiving phone calls well before then.  The state highway department, Manchester Department of Public Works, other school superintendents, the police department, National Weather Service and local forecasters are consulted to get as much input as possible about weather conditions.
The accumulation and duration of the storm, road and sidewalk conditions, the ability to adequately remove snow on and around our schools’ campuses, and any other factor that would ensure or prevent safe travel to school at the regular time are considered.
When a large storm is imminent, the mayor convenes emergency personnel from around Manchester to make decisions about snow plowing, emergency shelters, etc.  As superintendent, I represent the school district in this collaboration.
Sometimes the snow day or delay decision is clear, but our northern New England weather often makes some decisions more difficult.  Ultimately, you are the parent or guardian of your child(ren) and best understand the conditions in your area in making a decision about whether your child attends school.
I take these decisions very seriously.  Please know that in every instance, the safety of students and staff is always high priority.

Fridays in January: Story time at McDonough Elementary School

We want to get young children excited about reading! Pre-schoolers planning to attend kindergarten next fall are invited with an adult to McDonough Elementary School, where they will hear a story, do a math activity, and make friends.
January 8, 15, 22, and 29
2:00 to 2:30 PM
Snacks provided, as well as take-home activities.
This is a free event, sponsored by Title I. Please call McDonough Elementary School for more information: 624-6373.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Board of School Committee members sworn in

Front row: Nancy Tessier, Connie Van Houten, Sarah Ambrogi, Katie Desrochers, Erika Connors
Back row: Richard Girard, Debra Langton, Lisa Freeman, Mary Georges, Mayor Gatsas, Leslie Want, Arthur Beaudry, Ross Terrio, John Avard, Dan Bergeron

New and re-elected Board of School Committee members were sworn in this morning during an inaugural ceremony held at the Palace Theater. Four new members have joined the committee for the 2016-18 term:
Mary Georges, Ward 3 
Leslie Want, Ward 4
Lisa Freeman, Ward 5
Richard Girard, at large
In addition, Dan Bergeron, representing Ward 6, and Nancy Tessier, the second at-large representative, won their elections to the seats they'd been filling on an interim basis since last year.

In the BOSC's first organizational meeting held at City Hall immediately following the inauguration and Board of Mayor and Aldermen, committee assignments with chairs were made. Mayor Ted Gatsas, now serving his fourth term as mayor, is Chairman of the Board of School Committee. Arthur Beaudry of Ward 9 was elected by the board as Vice Chairman.  Committees are as follows:

Athletics & Extra Curricular Activities
Tessier (Chair), Georges, Bergeron, Desrochers, Van Houten

Building & Sites
Ambrogi (Chair), Want, Connors, Terrio, Girard

Coordination & Administration
Beaudry (Chair), Gatsas, Langton, Terrio, Van Houten, Ambrogi, Tessier

Curriculum & Instruction
Langton (Chair), Avard, Girard, Freeman, Van Houten

Mayor Gatsas, Vice Chairman and all school Committee Members

Sub – Committee on Finance
Girard, Beaudry, Desrochers, Bergeron, Tessier
Student Conduct
Terrio (Chair), Langton, Georges, Freeman, Avard Alternate: Bergeron 

Information & Technology
Bergeron (Chair), Want, Connors, Desrochers, Avard

Contact information for all Board of School Committee members can be found at bosc.mansd.org

Monday, January 4, 2016

Senator Ayotte tours MST in support of career and technical education

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte visited students, teachers and administrators at the Manchester School of Technology (MST) and discussed her work to boost support for career and technical education (CTE), as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs. Ayotte helped introduce legislation and supported efforts to strengthen CTE and STEM programs, provisions of which were included in the bipartisan education reform bill that was recently signed into law.

“I appreciated the opportunity to visit the Manchester School of Technology and enjoyed meeting and interacting with the students there, who displayed great enthusiasm for their school and excitement about their future careers,” said Senator Ayotte. "I was also glad to have the opportunity to learn more about the school’s CTE programs as well as its partnerships with local businesses to help prepare students for good-paying jobs right here in New Hampshire."

"Our students graduate from the Manchester School of Technology career – and college – ready,” said Manchester School of Technology principal Karen Machado. “They are guided through a rigorous educational path that leads to field experience, job-shadowing, internships, and early college credit as they are deemed proficient to move into these settings by their teachers and administrators."

"Educators recognize that supporting competency-based learning opportunities like the ones available in Manchester is one more way we can prepare students to be bright, confident leaders,” said superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston.

Senator Ayotte has worked diligently on several pieces of legislation aimed at boosting participation in the CTE and STEM fields and preparing students for high-demand careers. This year, Ayotte cosponsored two pieces of legislation introduced by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), the Middle School STEP Act and the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students Act, which seek to encourage and better facilitate student participation in CTE and short-term skills programs. 

In addition, Ayotte helped to include a bipartisan amendment in the education reform bill that requires CTE to be listed as a subject considered critical to a well-rounded education. She also included an amendment with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to boost participation in STEM education by underrepresented groups.  Ayotte also worked with Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to include provisions in the education reform bill that will allow more states to design and utilize innovative means of assessments such as competency-based education.

During today's tour, Senator Ayotte stopped by the manufacturing technology, design communication, early childhood education, cosmetology and video production programs.