Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, March 8, 2023

Gymnastics Wins Fourth Consecutive State Championship

Congratulations to our Gymnastics Team on winning their fourth consecutive MIAA Championship last Saturday, March 4th, at Algonquin Regional High School.  The team came back from a full point deficit to win in the final rotation over NEC rival Danvers High School.  The final score for the state meet was 148.6 Masconomet to 148.15 Danvers.  Congratulations to Coach Alicia Gomes Miffitt on building a fantastic program and to the members of this year’s team for continuing a great tradition. 

Theater Team Advances in Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Festival

On Sunday March 5th, Masconomet’s Theater Team presented the play Women and Wallace in the Preliminary Round of the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) Festival at North Reading High School.  The Team placed in the top four of eight teams in their bracket, which qualified them to advance to the Semi-Final Round on March 18th at St. John’s Prep.  This is the first time in over 30 years that Masconomet has had a team enter the METG competition.  Congratulations to Drama Teacher Brian Pereira and the entire cast and crew and “break a leg” in the next round.

The Theater Team will be performing Women and Wallace at Masconomet on Friday, March 10th at 7 pm in the auditorium.  Women and Wallace is a 40-minute play which centers around the character Wallace Kirkman, who endures a very tragic event at a young age which effects their relationship with women throughout their life. There is no charge to attend this performance. Because of the mature themes portrayed in the show, it is not recommended for young audience members. Specifically, this show contains mature themes of trauma (suicidal ideation, resiliency). 

Graphic Novel Author Visits Masconomet Middle School

Graphic novelist Nathan Hale will be visiting with Masconomet Middle School students on March 10. He will hold one assembly for each grade with a book signing in between the presentations. Hale is the author of the award-winning Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, a series of stories from American history presented in graphic novel form.  For more information about this popular young adult author, please check out his website.

Dr. Henry Turner Speaks to Middle and High School Students on March 13th

Dr. Henry Turner the co-author of Change the Narrative: How to Foster an Anti-Racist Culture in Your School will be speaking with our Middle and High School students on the morning of Monday, March 13th. Dr. Turner is the Principal of Newton North High School and met with our school leadership team this summer to help us with our work in creating a more inclusive community.

High School Principal Search Process

On Monday, March 6th, I accepted Dr. Carabatsos’ resignation from the position of Masconomet High School Principal.  She will be leaving her position at the conclusion of the school year in June.  I want to thank Dr. Carabatsos for her service to the entire Masconomet community over the past two years and wish her the best as she continues her career.

I’ve developed a timeline to conduct a search for the next principal of Masconomet.  The position will be advertised beginning on Monday, March 13th with applications due by April 7th.  I anticipate making an offer to a preferred candidate during the week of May 8th.  I will contact the community with dates for community input into the search process, such as public interviews of candidates, when they are confirmed.

Upcoming School Events:

High School

  • March 23– HS Spring Band Concert
  • March 24– Senior Prom
  • March 28– HS spring Choral Concert
  • April 4– Quarter 3 Ends

Middle School

  • March 14– Trimester 2 Ends
  • April 4– Grade 7 ELA MCAS Session 1
  • April 6– Grade 7 ELA MCAS Session 2

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, February, 15, 2023

Masconomet High School Students Recognized in 2023 Scholastic Art Awards

Art Department Head Stacy Mannheim is proud to report that the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Regional Awards were recently announced and Masconomet High School received the second largest number of awards of all public high school art programs in the state. Our students received a total of 52 awards (12 Gold Keys, 21 Silver Keys, and 19 Honorable Mentions). Congratulations to all of the talented and hard-working award winners, participants, and their art teachers as well!

This year there were 7,363 entries from students grades 7 through 12 from across Massachusetts. There will be an in-person exhibit and awards ceremony for Gold and Silver Key recipients on March 18th on the Tufts University campus. More information to come. Additionally, all Massachusetts Gold Key awards advance to the National Competition and results will be announced towards the end of March.

Some Gold Key artwork from left to right: Paige Panagos, “Submerged”, Jessica Villarreal-Reyes, “Wave Platter”, and Megan Brady, “Imprints”

Masconomet Middle School Students Recognized in 2023 Scholastic Art Awards

Art Department Head is proud to announce that Masconomet Middle School once again achieved excellent results in the 2023 Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!  Masconomet Middle School students had a total of 24 awards (4 Gold Keys, 9 Silver Keys, 11 Honorable Mentions), which is more than any other public middle school program in the state! Congratulations to the award winners, all the students who participated in this competition, and our art faculty, Ms. Amsler and Mrs. Malinowski.

This year there were 7,363 entries from students grades 7 through 12 from across Massachusetts. There will be an in-person exhibit and awards ceremony for Gold and Silver Key recipients on March 18th on the Tufts University campus. More information to come. Gold Key winning work is currently being reviewed on a national level and results will be announced in late March.

Gold Key work clockwise from top right: Bella Denis, “Scorpion”, Kiera Macauley, “Broken Stained Glass”, Caleb Aitchison, “Blue Dragon Eye” and Ada Eisenberg, “Radial Rhythms”

MHS Students at Boston Model UN Conference

After a two-year hiatus from overnight conferences, the Masconomet High School Model United Nations team put their skills to the test at BosMUN, a premier three-day simulation of the United Nations organized by the Boston University International Affairs Association. Thirteen Masco students, led by Head Delegates Henry Liu, Tess Thattacherry, and Meghan Burr, enthusiastically joined thousands of other high school students from around the world in Parliamentary style debate and collaboration, with the goal of resolving some of the world’s most challenging issues.  Thanks to club advisors Ms. Greeley and Mr. Magner for their work in supporting our students.  For photos from the conference, please go to:

Response to Rise in Hoax School Threats

We’ve been monitoring the rise in “Swatting” incidents targeting local public schools in MA and across the country over the past few days. In these swatting incidents, a caller contacts the local police department alleging there is a threat on school property, prompting a response from the emergency responders and the school to be placed in lockdown. After investigation, it these calls have been determined to be a hoax and there is no danger to the school community. This week several of our neighboring schools have been targeted, including Haverhill, Amesbury, and Ipswich High Schools. The caller in each incident provided the same information. 

We take every threat seriously. We have been in contact with the Boxford Police Department to develop a plan if Masconomet is targeted with one of these calls. If a call is received by the police department, the School Resource Officer and the school will be contacted and out of the abundance of caution, the school will be placed in lockdown. Emergency personnel will be deployed to the school. In the event the threat is cleared as a hoax, the school lockdown will be lifted, and school will resume. At that time, a message will also be sent to the school community providing information about the occurrence. 

Out of an abundance of caution, we have also arranged for an additional uniformed officer to patrol the exterior of our campus through the end of the school day Friday, February 17th.

Upcoming School Committee Budget Meetings

-February 27, Budget Subcommittee Meeting with Department Heads, 5:00 PM
-March 1, School Committee Budget Public Hearing and Regular Meeting, 7:00 PM
-March 6, School Committee Budget Deliberation, 7:00 PM (If Necessary)
-March 8, School Committee Budget Deliberation, 7:00 PM
-March 15, School Committee Budget Vote, 7:00 PM  

Upcoming School Events:

High SchoolMiddle School
February 16, HS Jazz Band Concert, 7 PMFebruary 18-26, Winter BreakFebruary 13-17, Middle School Spirit WeekFebruary 18-26, Winter BreakMarch 14, Trimester 2 Ends

For a full listing of School Events, please see the Masconomet Website.

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, February 1, 2023

Strategic Plan Update

Our Strategic Planning Working Group will be meeting for the fourth time on February 14th.  For the past two weeks, the Working Group has been conducting a survey of the Communities of Boxford, Middleton and Topsfield and will be reviewing the results of this survey in a future meeting.  The survey link was distributed to Masconomet families through my January 18th Report, and Principals’ Newsletters. Faculty were provided with time to take the survey during their regular faculty meetings earlier this week, and students are being asked to participate in the survey during their M-Blocks in both the Middle and High Schools.

Pilot Schedule Review Committee Update

Our Pilot Schedule Review Committee will hold its next meeting on February 3rd.  We are continuing to review the responses from the faculty and student survey and looking at potential changes to the schedule for next fall.  The Committee plans on communicating any changes to the schedule for the fall by the end of February.  The general feedback to the schedule has been very positive, so the changes the Review Committee is contemplating are relatively minor. 

Tri-Town Council Community Conversation on 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data

Congratulations and “Thank You” to the Tri-Town Council for presenting last Thursday’s Community Conversation on the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Results.  Participants experienced an excellent presentation of the key findings of the YRBS by a group of Masconomet students and were asked to engage in discussion and provide feedback on how these issues could best be addressed through community-wide action.  Anyone who’s interested in reviewing the findings of the 2021 YRBS can find them in the materials from the October 12, 2022 School Committee Meeting.

Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Hosts Bystander Training

On Monday, January 30 I attended the Tri-Town/Masconomet Special Education Parent Advisory Committee’s training for bystanders of acts of violence or hatred.  The training provided great information on why people do not get involved when they are witnesses to acts of hatred or violence and strategies people can employ when they are faced with these situations.  I want to thank the SEPAC leadership for bringing this training to Masconomet.

Masconomet Featured in Boston Globe Article on Holocaust Education Grants

Masconomet was prominently featured in an article in the “Globe Local” section of the January 27th edition of the Boston Globe on the awarding of Genocide Education Grants.  Masconomet was recently awarded $20,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to “work with Salem State University to train educators on the implementation of genocide curriculum materials, content knowledge, and teaching strategies.”  Additionally, Masconomet will use the funds to add to our collection of Holocaust resource materials and to provide student learning experiences centered on the Holocaust and genocide.

Upcoming School Events:

High SchoolMiddle School
-February 16, HS Jazz Band Concert, 7 PM
-February 18-26, Winter Break
-February 14, MS Jazz Band Concert, 7 PM
-February 13-17, Middle School Spirit Week
-February 18-26, Winter Break
March 14, Trimester 2 Ends

For a full listing of School Events, please see the Masconomet Website.

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 1/18/23

FY24 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget Presentation

On January 18th, Assistant Superintendent Jeff Sands and I presented the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Superintendent’s Recommended Budget to the School Committee.  The Superintendent’s Recommended Budget represents a “Level Service” budget, or the funding required to continue all current positions, services and programs in the District.  The General Operating Expense (after Offsets) Budget for FY24 totals $40,155,113, which is an increase of $2,580,731 or 6.9% over the current year.  Some of the major drivers behind the level service increase include increases of $712,062 in Out-of-District Special Education Tuitions, which is 24.4% over the current year, $660,577 in contracted salary increases, which is 2.9% over the current year, an increase of $340,847 in insurance benefits, which is 7.1% over the current year, an increase of $219,921 for special education transportation services, which is an increase of 76.3% over current, and an increase of $177,294 to regular education transportation, which is 15.3% over the current year.  Over the next two months, the School Committee will hear presentations on various aspects of the Superintendent’s Recommended Budget, and deliberate to shape this recommendation in order to adopt a School Committee’s Recommended Budget on March 15, 2023.  All FY24 documents, including a calendar of scheduled meetings can be found at:

Strategic Plan Update and Community Survey

Masconomet’s Strategic Plan Working Team has met three times since the launch of the Strategic Planning Initiative.  Discussions to date have focused on getting to know each other and better understanding our communication and planning tendencies. More recently we have begun discussing Masconomet’s student and professional culture, student expectations and stakeholder collaboration and communications.

Through these discussions, we’ve developed a survey for all community and school stakeholders to weigh in on four driving questions:

  1. What should every student know and be able to demonstrate by graduation?
  2. What are the qualities most important to a thriving professional and school culture?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Masconomet’s programming and policies as we build a plan for the next 3-5 years?
  4. What requests do community members have for the planning process?

All community members, Masconomet staff and faculty, and students
are invited to share their perspectives and ideas to the Working Team.

To complete the survey please go to:

Tri-Town Council Community Conversation

The Tri-Town Council’s Coalition and Youth Action Advisory Board (YAAB) invite you to attend a “Community Conversation” on Thursday, January 26 from 7 – 9PM in the Masconomet cafeteria. Our Youth Action Advisory Board leaders will be presenting results from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey administered at Masconomet Middle and High School in November of 2021.  This national survey instrument created by the CDC, administered biennially since 2010, measures youth risk and protective factors, perceptions, attitudes and resistance strategies. After the data presentation, youth leaders and coalition volunteers will be facilitating table conversations with small groups about the info highlighted in the presentation.

Masconomet High School Hosts Successful 8th Grade Open House

Congratulations to Dr. Carabatsos and the faculty and administration at Masconomet High School for hosting a successful 8th grade Open House on January 12th.  The evening began in the Auditorium with an overview of the academic and operational aspects of the high school followed by brief remarks from current Masconomet students. Families then had the opportunity to attend brief presentations highlighting different aspects of Masconomet’s curriculum and program offerings, and attend a student-run athletics, sports and activities fair.  Ninety-five families of prospective 9th grade students were able to attend this event and learn about the great things that are happening at Masconomet High School.  Dr. Carabatsos plans on making the open house an annual event to showcase the wealth of programs and talent at Masconomet High School.

School Breakfast Program Resumes

The Masconomet Regional School District Food Service Team is pleased to announce that it began offering daily breakfast service on Monday, January 9, 2023.  Breakfast will be offered daily from 7:00 – 7:30 AM as part of the universal free school meals program and will consist of a variety of options including yogurt parfaits, whole grain cereals, oatmeal, whole grain muffins, whole grain bagels, fresh fruit, fruit juices, and milk. All students are eligible to receive one free breakfast per day as long as it meets USDA reimbursable breakfast guidelines which include a selection of at least three of the four main food options, one of which must be a fruit or fruit juice. Breakfasts that do not meet these guidelines will not qualify as free and will be subject to a la carte pricing. For students who take advantage of the breakfast program, please note that breakfast must be eaten in the cafeteria and will not be permitted in classrooms or other areas on campus.

Masconomet Regional School District Receives Genocide Education Grant

Superintendent Michael Harvey and Social Studies Department Head Eva Urban Hughes are pleased to announce that Masconomet Regional School District was awarded a Genocide Education Grant.

The school district received $20,000 in grant funds, which will allow for interdisciplinary opportunities within the humanities to enhance genocide studies across the middle school and high school curriculum.

Masconomet plans to partner with Salem State University’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) is committed to advancing research, education and public programming in the fields of Holocaust education, comparative genocide, conflict studies and human rights.

“We are thankful to the state for this grant, which will support our mission of celebrating diversity and the unique cultural heritage of our community and combating negative stereotypes and prejudice in school.” Harvey said.

In 2021, then-Governor Charlie Baker signed a law requiring that all middle and high school students be educated about genocide. For more information on that law, click here.

The goal of the new curriculum is to:

  • To promote a broader understanding of human rights issues in general
  • To examine the patterns of genocide that show how prejudice and hatred impact societie
  • To reject group-specific targeting and prejudice that can lead to violence and genocide

CHGS will offer targeted professional development sessions designed to help participants both understand and teach content covered by the Genocide Education Act. 

Potential training topics will include:

  • Connecting genocide education with existing units on human rights and civic responsibility
  • Identifying high quality, accurate, and affirming resources to use with students
  • Historical instances of genocide with an emphasis on centering on the lives, cultures, and identities of targeted communities

These trainings will not only provide much needed content knowledge and pedagogical support, but will also enrich community understandings of civic responsibility, activism, tolerance, and diversity.

“The Social Studies Department is excited to continue our collaboration with Dr. Christopher Mauriello and his team at the Salem State University Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies,” Hughes said.  “Many Social Studies teachers have studied and traveled with Dr. Mauriello in past years and this grant strengthens the connection between Masconomet’s Social Studies teachers and Salem State University.  We are looking forward to building capacity in teachers in collaboration with CHGS to broach these difficult and important topics with our students thoughtfully and compassionately.”  The district also plans to build a Holocaust studies library to support the current curriculum in place for 11th graders and allow equitable access to all students.”

The upcoming changes will directly affect 25 educators and 1,800 students in the district.

Masconomet Middle School Students Recognized for Service Leadership

Masconomet Regional Middle School 8th Grade students Davis DeLuties of Middleton, Lydia Deal of Boxford, and Jonathan Pinelli of Topsfield were recently selected as 2023 Project 351 Ambassadors for their inspiring ethic of service and values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude. Project 351 is a non-profit organization that empowers a youth-led movement for change powered by an eighth grade student representing every city and town in Massachusetts. 

“These students are fantastic representatives of the Masconomet Middle School Community’s dedication to creating a culture of kindness that celebrates respect for self, respect for our classmates and respect for our communities,” Middle School Principal Dr. Phil McManus said.  “I’m very proud of the work that these students have accomplished and know that they will well represent Masconomet Middle School at Project 351.”    

On January 14th, DeLuties, Deal and Pinelli will unite with more than 425 Ambassadors and Alumni mentors for Project 351’s 13th annual Launch and Service Day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King. Launch Day kicks-off 12 months of leadership development through unifying service, Alumni mentorship, and enrichment through Project 351’s Service Leadership Academy. 

Over their year’s term, Ambassadors develop the skills and confidence to mobilize schools and communities in four statewide service campaigns: Spring Service, benefitting Cradles and Crayons, Hope & Gratitude Walk benefiting nonprofits selected by Ambassadors;  9.11 Tribute Service with the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund; and Fall Service, which seeks to eradicate hunger through support of hundreds of hometown Food Pantries. At the close of their service year, Ambassadors are invited to continue to hone skills and lead communities as a member of the Alumni Organization.

Launch Day will celebrate the Class of 2023 and honor the legacy of the Kings, with a special tribute of the “The Embrace”, the Commonwealth’s first memorial to Dr. and Mrs. King. Highlights include a kick-off program at Faneuil Hall and an end-of-day celebration.

Ambassadors will dedicate the afternoon to high impact service with 10 nonprofit organizations including La Colaborativa, Cradles to Crayons, Hope & Comfort, and the Wonderfund. United across 351 cities and towns, Ambassadors will address critical issues including hunger, educational opportunity, childhood poverty, mental health and wellness, and care for military and veterans – impacting thousands of neighbors across Boston and the Commonwealth.

“The 351 generation is compassion-in-action. We’re honored to welcome our 13th Class of leaders, dreamers, and doers,” said Carolyn Casey, Project 351’s Founder and Executive Director.  “We are proud of their commitment to unite as the Class of 2023 to build the knowledge, skills, and confidence to lead the change they wish to see in the world.”

Since 2011, 4,492 Ambassadors have positively impacted more than 1.2 million neighbors through unifying statewide service. 

About Project 351

Founded in 2011, Project 351 is a youth-led movement for change powered by an eighth grade unsung hero selected to represent every city and town in Massachusetts. Ambassadors are selected for an exemplary ethic of service and the values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude.  

Project 351 is a nonprofit organization powered by Ambassador leadership and the investment of civic-minded corporations, foundations, individuals, and Project 351 Alumni. We are honored by the faith of our partners including the Martin Richard Foundation, Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, Crimson Lion Foundation, John Hancock, Michael Carmen and Pamela Lederer, Foundation to be Named Later, HYM Investment, Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, Governor Deval and Diane Patrick, two generous funders who chose anonymity,  and our media partner WBZ-TV.

Masconomet Regional School District Receives Grant in Support of Language Proficiency Testing

BOXFORD – Superintendent Michael Harvey and World Language Department Head Jeanne O’Hearn are pleased to announce that the Masconomet Regional School District has been awarded grant funding to support the purchase of language proficiency testing materials.

The $8,473 Proficiency-based Outcomes in Languages Other than English Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will assist the district in setting goals for students studying world languages, including Spanish, French, and Chinese in Grades eight and 12, or who are proficient in another language at home.

The testing assessment produces separate scores for each student’s proficiency levels in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The goals are to use the data to help eighth-grade students work toward their targeted proficiency level, and for 12th-grade students in advanced courses to have an opportunity to earn the Seal of Biliteracy, which is awarded to students who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English and one other language.

This funding aids in reinforcing and clarifying teachers’ understanding of each student’s strengths and challenges as language learners.

Teachers will be able to look for commonalities among their students regarding the attainment of certain skills while also utilizing data to consider adapting instruction going forward.

“This will be a great resource for our district that will directly benefit world language students,” Superintendent Harvey said. “We’re grateful to DESE for its support of this important program.”

For more information on Masconomet Regional School District, click here.

Masconomet Regional High School Organizes ‘Five Days of Giving’ Drive & Spirit Event

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From left: Maguire Sturgis, Avery Allen, Brooklyn Odoardi, Emmy Clark and Jessie Chadwick stand in their festive holiday sweaters to celebrate the last day of spirit week and the Five Days of Giving. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)

BOXFORD – Superintendent Michael Harvey and Principal Mary Jo Carabatsos are pleased to share that Masconomet Regional High School students recently organized a successful gift drive as part of the annual Masconomet Five Days of Giving event. 

The drive, Which ran from Dec.16-22, resulted in 170 gifts and gift cards being collected for children ages 10 and up. 

“It was truly wonderful to see the Masconomet community come together in the holiday spirit through the act of giving and community engagement,” said Principal Carabatsos. 

Each morning of the event, donations were collected by peer leaders and members of the Student Council. Joan Murphy, a long-time educator in the district, assisted the project by collecting donations each day and delivering them to various community programs and tri-town residents.

Peer leaders also dedicated their time during the week to spread holiday cheer by visiting freshmen in their classrooms to discuss the importance of giving and community building, and also share holiday-themed trivia. 

“Many of us will be receiving gifts from family members and loved ones. However, it is important to recognize that this is not the case for everyone and some of these people are within our tri-town community,” said Peer Leader Captian Avery Allen. “Community is crucial during this time, as it is our chance to help people around us who might need extra support.” 

The Five Days of Giving coincided with Masconomet’s Spirit Week, which consisted of these holiday-themed apparel days:

  • Friday – Pajama Party Day 
  • Monday- Whoville Day 
  • Tuesday- Candy Cane Day 
  • Wednesday- Snow Day 
  • Thursday- Festive Holiday Sweater Day 
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Evelyn Hubbard and Maddie Payne collect donations in the hallway as part of the five days of giving drive.

Masconomet Psychology Club Visits MIT to Explore Research Work

Members of the Masconomet Psychology Club during their visit to the Broad Institute at MIT. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)

The Masconomet High School Psychology Club had an opportunity to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last month to learn about the innovative work being done in the field. 

On Friday, Dec. 16, 28 seniors in the club traveled to the Broad Institute and the Koch Galleries at MIT to learn more about those organizations’ work on Alzheimer’s Disease and Schizophrenia, and chemo-resistant cancer, respectively.

Both the Broad Institute and MIT are doing cutting-edge work in the field of psychology, and students had the opportunity to see research psychology being put into practice as they toured the labs, spoke to researchers and attended graduate student lectures. 

“It was very inspiring for students to see what they learn in our classroom in action. Some of this stuff is years away from being applied, but it’s exciting to be part of the process,” psychology teacher Brian Mintz said. 

Students observed the work researchers are doing to study schizophrenia in mice by mimicking neurological issues, which allows them to work toward developing effective medications. 

During the visit, students also learned about experiments exploring how organisms as small as a pencil eraser are able to learn. 

“What I liked about this field trip was that there was a huge variety of experiences all day,” senior Taylor Carmody said. “My favorite experience was going into the labs where the scientists were working. One of the scientists was really focused on talking about career experiences and taking questions. I was really inspired by her to go into the field! It was great to get that exposure.” 

According to Mintz, a number of psychology students are pursuing it from a medical perspective and the visit afforded them the opportunity to see the variety of ways psychology can be put to use and to determine what interests them most. 

Future trips will include visits to the Gross Anatomy Lab at Boston University Medical School and to Harvard’s Adolescent Neuroscience Center. 

Psychology Club members Piper Morris (left) and Grace Spinetti took part in a simulation of chemotherapy-resistant cancers using beads during their visit to MIT in December. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)
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Members of the Masconomet Psychology Club during their visit to the Broad Institute at MIT. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)

Masconomet Middle School Students Organize Toy Drive to Benefit Pathways for Children in Beverly

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Members of the Masconomet Middle School Student Council who helped organize the toy drive. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)

On Tuesday, Dec. 20, the Middle School Student Council completed its annual toy drive in support of Pathways for Children — a head start program based in Beverly. Through the generosity of students and families, the council donated more than $2,000 worth of toys and books to the organization. 

The toy drive ran through most of December, with students being encouraged to donate toys for children ages 3-5. Additionally, as part of their effort, Masconomet students had the opportunity to visit with children from the organization to play games and sing songs together.

The gifts donated ranged from dolls to LEGOs and board games, among other items. 

The Student Council’s faculty advisors, Nicko Tzortzis and Dan Bisceglia facilitated the toy drive and accompanied students on their visit to Pathways for Children. The council is comprised of more than 50 seventh- and eighth-grade students who take part in a variety of activities during the school year that center on community service and outreach, as well as spirit days, the end-of-year celebration and other activities throughout the year.

“This is an important tradition for our school community which helps to connect our students to those in need in our area,” Tzortzis said.

“We’re proud to work with our Student Council to organize this effort every year, and it’s such a great experience to see them connect with the students from Pathways for Children in such a meaningful way,” Bisceglia added.

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Masconomet Middle School students and families collectively donated more than $2,000 worth of toys and books to students at Beverly’s Pathways for Children program. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)