Volume 3 - Issue 6 February 1, 2018


I want to let you know that earlier this week we announced three finalists for the Middle School Principal position. The finalists will be visiting NAMS on February 6, 7 and 8 for a full day of interviews. On each of these days, parents and community members will have the opportunity to meet and provide feedback on the candidate. These meetings will take place in the NAMS cafeteria from 7:40 to 8:40 am. Our plan is to appoint the new Principal before February vacation. Below please find an overview for each candidate. We have also linked their complete resumes for your review.

Tuesday, February 6th:

Cari Perchase

Cari has been the Principal of the Medway Middle School since 2013. Prior to assuming that position she was an Assistant Principal in Medway and a Reading, English and Social Studies teacher at the Duxbury Middle School. She began her career as a 5th grade teacher in Duxbury.

Wednesday, February 7th:

Jorge Goncalves

Jorge has served as the Principal of McCall Middle School in Winchester since 2011. Prior to becoming a Principal, Jorge was the Assistant Principal of the Briscoe Middle School in Beverly, for seven years. He began his career in Framingham as a middle school English teacher, EL teacher, and football coach.

Thursday, February 8th:

Matt Steinberg

Matt has been the Assistant Principal of Haverhill High School since 2012. Prior to his current position, he was the Social Studies Department Head and a History teacher at Methuen High School.


2018 Pristash Award

The Pristash Award was founded in 2006 to honor the efforts of its namesake, David and Leanna Pristash. The award is presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated the same unselfish commitment to the North Andover Public Schools. Proceeds earned from the award celebration evening are used to fund a scholarship at the High School, which is given to a student who best represents the spirit of volunteerism. The Pristash Award is presented to one individual at each school level: elementary, middle and high school. This offers a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers to recognize their peers and thank them for their contributions to our schools.

We are now seeking nominees for the 2018 award. If you would like to nominate a deserving individual, please use the following link to submit a nomination: 2018 Pristash Award. Thanks for your support in helping us honor our volunteers!

Jacqueline Woodson

You may remember that last year, as part of North Andover's One Author, One Community series, the entire community was invited to read Jacqueline Woodson's books, and members of the community were invited to meet her at a reception on November 28, 2016. Ms. Woodson was recently named as "Ambassador of Young People's Literature, and her memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming was named an MCBA (Mass Children's Book Award) book.

Project Lead the Way

NAHS has expanded their Computer Science (CS) offerings to include Computer Science Essentials. The updated course utilizes Project Lead the Way curriculum and is an excellent opportunity for both new and experienced computer science learners. The course engages students in computational thinking practices and collaboration strategies, as well as industry-standard tools authentic to how computer science professionals work. Students will learn about professional opportunities in computer science and how computing can be an integral part of all careers today.

CURRICULUM CORNER - National Race Amity Conference

On Friday, November 16, 2017, NAHS History Department Coordinator, Brian Sheehy, escorted four of his AP European history students to the National Race Amity Conference in Boston. The National Center for Race Amity (NCRA) was established in January 2010 to promote insight and understanding of the moral and scientific truths that humankind is innately equal. The Center is based at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts and receives its founding grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Center develops forums and initiatives to advance cross-racial and cross-cultural amity that impact the public discourse on race. The NCRA overall mission has the cultivation of race amity as its key tool as well as its end goal in advancing access, equity, social justice and unity.

Kenna Fokum, a NAHS senior who participated in the event, describes her experience in part as follows: At this conference, listening to speakers from several different backgrounds share their concepts on race and their outlook on Amity, helped enlighten my preconceived notions about race. . . . As a black woman living in a predominantly white community, the

opportunity to discuss controversial topics regarding, race, especially as it relates to the black race, is rare. This, I believe, is due to the fact that people for the most part lack the knowledge and experience with race and hence are uncomfortable discussing matters relating to race.

High School Junior Soumil Dhayagude wrote that it was "pretty cool" to listen to sports writers from ESPN and said . . . it rocked my preconceptions on modern day politics. . . . Speakers like Eddie Moore and Debby Irving challenged my quasi-conservative views and made me think about the idea of privilege. While I don't agree with them fully, the discourse made me realize that the path to a peaceful future is not black or white, but grey. . . . Regardless of where one is on the political spectrum, the event encouraged you to unknowingly challenge your preconceptions, which as history students, is extremely important in the long run.

As a result of the students' involvement the conference, Mr. Sheehy and the students who attended the conference, Ms. Marx, and Ms. Keenan from the Stevens Memorial library are

Pictured are Keena Fokum, Brian Sheehy, Kaitlyn Park, Soamil Dhayagude and Kaira Vo

working together to plan and host North Andover’s first Race Amity celebration this spring. The students were so impacted by what they experienced at the conference that on the drive home that day they suggested that they would like North Andover to do something to help further understanding, support and acceptance in our community.

Stay tuned for more information!


Earlier this year, the Knightly News spotlighted a program sponsored by the Boston Celtics' Shamrock Foundation in which students from Lawrence and North Andover engage in dialogue about diversity and inclusion. The topic of the January 15 workshop was the "power of the bystander." Students from the Wetherbee School in Lawrence and North Andover Middle School traveled to the Celtics' practice facility and completed the work they began in October in designing a "playbook." This handbook features a variety of troublesome scenarios that kids might find themselves in and ways they might intervene. The scenarios include fictional incidents of casual racism and bullying, gender bias, and insensitivity to religion, disability, and orientation. All students at the January workshop were given a green t-shirt and treated to a pizza lunch in the team's conference room after watching the team practice. The students each took home a copy of the finished playbook, printed on heavy stock and designed to look like a coach's clipboard. The third and final event of the series will be held at North Andover Middle School on March 19 when students will pass along to elementary student the insights they learned and celebrate their accomplishments.


Hallway Cafe at North Andover Middle School

Submitted by Kate DeLisle

Did you forget to eat breakfast or maybe need a cup of coffee on a Friday morning? No worries! Get yourself over to the Hallway Cafe at the North Andover Middle School. You will be warmly greeted by members of the MS Life Skills class who will eagerly meet your breakfast needs.

The Hallway Cafe was started in September of 2016 by the Life Skills classroom at North Andover Middle School. The idea came to life one day when Kate DeLisle and Jeanne Donovan were trying to develop ideas on how to teach students job skills in a meaningful and hands-on way within the students’ school. The students assist with the creation of everything for the cafe. Beginning with the cafe name and logo ( a big thank you to Ms. Tomkins who kindly created the signs). The students also enjoy lively conversations to determine the products that will be sold at the cafe and how to go about working the cafe. While the students are developing school imbedded job-skills, they are also improving academic skills, such as unit pricing, money skills, communication skills, social skills and so much more.

Every week each student is given a specific job in a rotating fashion. Rotating duties allows students to experience a variety of job skills providing them an opportunity to consider various types of jobs they may want later in life. Perfecto's Cafe has been generous with the coffee.

Other community members and local stores have kindly donated some amazing food items for the students to sell. Working in a collaborative

setting has allowed the students a chance to incorporate their RAISE values in a practical realistic setting. The Service and Empathy values of RAISE are often discussed and encouraged within our classroom and generalized to the Hallway Cafe.

Through the Hallway Cafe, students are also giving back to their community. The students often take the proceeds from the cafe and donate to various charities of their choosing. Some of the charities include Toys for Tots, pediatric cancer research, and the Dana Farber Institute. The students are able to see that their hard work pays off, not just for them but for others in need as well. The Hallway Cafe runs most Friday mornings for 2 hours and is staffed by the students in the Life Skills and RISE programs. We hope to see you there!

Tweet of the Month

The new ECC Dream Team preparing to welcome pre-K and K students next fall.

School Committee Update

The February School Committee meeting is:

February 8, 2018

7 p.m.

Congrats to Gregg Gilligan and the NA School Committee for finalizing Mr. Gilligan's Superintendent contract.