February 14th E-blast

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  February 14th, 2014


Dear Parents/Guardians,

 A few parents/guardians have called me regarding the school district’s policy around cancelling school due to snow or inclement weather and with questions regarding our school year calendar.

Public school students must attend school for 180 days a year according to Massachusetts Student Learning Time Regulations.

I present a school year calendar to the Milton School Committee each January for their approval. The school year calendar details the 180 days of school.  After each snow storm the last day of school is extended by another day in June. Again, we can — by contract — go to school until the last day of June. We publish a new and updated school year calendar which is posted on our website the day after each school cancellation. Because Milton Public School students begin school before Labor Day, we have never had an issue with having to open school during February or April vacations in order to meet the required 180 days of school for students. 

I personally make the decision if school has be canceled due to snow and/or inclement weather.  I speak with Milton’s Department of Public Works Director Joe Lynch several times during the day and night before each storm and again beginning at 4:30am on the morning of each storm. I speak with at least five area superintendents and others via e-mail regarding weather predications and conditions and their plans on cancelling school in their districts.

My goal is to have our students in school and Milton’s Public Schools open every day.  The safety of our 4,000 students is the primary factor that influences my decision regarding cancelling school.  I do not consider how many days we have closed school or how long into June our students will be attending school when making this decision. 

Some school districts announce that school will dismiss early or have a delayed opening rather than closing for a full day. For Milton Public School parents/guardians, delayed openings and early release days present scheduling problems similar to those presented by a school cancellation.       

My goal is to always notify parents/guardians the night before a school cancellation if possible and if not by 5am the morning of the school cancellation.  I want to apologize for the technical difficulties we had yesterday with our ALERT NOW telephone/e-mail communication system.   This was the first time this has happened, and our service provider has assured me that this was an isolated incident because of very high volume. 

I hope that the above answers your questions and concerns.  Please do not hesitate to e-mail or call me with any further questions.  Hopefully “the storm is over” and we can all look forward to spring. Enjoy your February vacations with your families.  

* * *

This week’s introduction was written by Amy Flanagan, MFE Trustee:

There is some exciting news about science in our elementary schools. The Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) and the Milton Public Schools are partnering with Science from Scientists, an amazing non-profit which strives to inspire and motivate students to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through hands-on experimentation and discussion. The Cunningham and Collicot fifth grade classes will be working with Science from Scientists as a pilot for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year. The hope is to expand the program into all four elementary schools in fall of 2014.

Through this partnership, fifth grade teachers will work closely with a Science from Scientists instructor to co-teach enhanced lessons that align with our curriculum and the standards. The instructors are passionate about science, have undergraduate degrees in STEM, and have received or are working towards pursuing advanced degrees in STEM or education.

The benefits of this partnership are endless. Every other week, the Science from Scientists instructor will come into the classroom to teach a 45-minute science lesson, with the classroom teacher there to co-teach. In the days to follow, the classroom teacher will continue to teach the concept. Parents are given online access to the lessons, photos and even at-home versions of the experiments. The kids are engaged, energized and filled with questions for which they are encouraged to find answers. Through co-teaching with a science expert on an on-going basis in this way, our teachers further benefit from this partnership by earning valuable Professional Development Points (PDPs). Feel free to learn more about this innovative organization at www.sciencefromscientists.org.

For the past 18 years, the MFE has worked to advance its mission of enhancing the quality of education and expanding opportunities within the Milton Public Schools beyond the normal school budget. This work is possible because of the generous support of the Milton community. This initial pilot with Science from Scientists will be funded with money raised through Celebration for Education, Monster Dash and money donated in memory of Dr. Ann Coghlan. The Monster Dash is a road race held each year at the end of October in loving memory of Sam Cichello, a Tucker elementary student who passed away in 1999. Sam loved science and the funds raised each year go toward supporting elementary science programs. Dr. Ann Coghlan, President Emeritus of the MFE, and lifelong Milton resident, was a Professor of Biology, Chair of the Biology Department and Dean of Sciences at Simmons College for 35 years. When she passed away in 2012, donations were made to the MFE in her memory. With this new partnership, the MFE hopes to spread Sam’s passion for science and inspire future generations of scientists and educators like Dr. Coghlan.

Look for news very soon about even more exciting science opportunities for grades Kindergarten through 5 made possible through Monster Dash and Sam’s Fund.

If you would like to learn more about the Milton Foundation for Education, or would like to donate or volunteer, please visit http://www.miltonfoundationforeducation.org.

  • Save the date for this year’s Celebration for Education, to be held Saturday, April 12th at the Boston Marriott/Quincy.
  • Also, please note our Teacher of the Year ceremony will be held at the Charles Winchester Auditorium on Monday, April 28th.


There have been no School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. The meeting scheduled for February 5th was cancelled due to snow. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 7 pm in the Milton High School library.


 As most of you already know, Assistant Superintendent John Phelan will be leaving the Milton Public Schools at the end of this school year. Mr. Phelan has accepted a job as Superintendent of the Belmont Public Schools and we wish him all the best in his new position. Mr. Phelan has served this district tirelessly since he first began here in 1998. He has been an outstanding administrator and highly visible presence in the Milton Public Schools since the day he arrived. It is hard to imagine this district without seeing John Phelan onstage at graduation ceremonies, advising new teachers at orientation or cheering on the Wildcats at Brooks Field or the Copeland Field House. I have no doubt that his leadership in the area of curriculum, professional development, assessment, staff recruitment and hiring, and special programs have left an indelible impression on our district. He will truly be missed.

 It is time now, however, to begin the process of recruiting and hiring a new Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Curriculum. We are asking for one teacher from the elementary level, one from the middle- and high-school level and one Unit B administrator to volunteer for a Search Committee. Staff members who are interested should contact Margaret Gibbons at mgibbons@miltonps.org by Friday, February 28th. In addition, we are looking for parents/guardians from each level to participate on this committee. Elementary-level parents and guardians should contact Stephanie O’Keefe at sastruck1@aol.com. Middle- and high-school parents and guardians should contact Sheila Varela at sevar10@comcast.net. The deadline for this is February 28th. Following are the times/dates of the Search Committee meetings:

  • Tuesday, March 18th from 7-9pm
  • Tuesday, March 25th from 7-9pm
  • Monday, March 31st from 6-10pm
  • Tuesday, April 1st from 6-10pm

We have advertised this position through School Spring and through the local media.

* * *

We are proud to announce that 19 students at Milton High School have been named winners of the 2014 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards. Thousands of student submissions from across the state were judged by a panel from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

This competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious art competitions in the region.  Milton High students won 19 Awards all together, including one Gold Key, six Silver Keys, and 12 Honorable Mentions.  Portfolio submissions consist of eight pieces of work submitted digitally and an artist statement from every senior who chose to submit a portfolio.

This year, Milton High School had the most portfolios submitted out of all the years competing with a total of 20 portfolios. Only seniors are allowed to submit portfolios and this is a huge undertaking on their part to have all their work ready to compete.  The Gold Key winners’ work will be displayed at Boston City Hall from March 7th to March 30th.

The following Milton High School students earned awards. Congratulations to their teachers, Karen Hughes and Kassandra Derby:

Gold Key: Mairead Dambruch (painting); Silver Key: Chloe Bustin (mixed media); Emme Cronin (drawing); Allison Grassa (photograph); Josh Kery (drawing); Sienna Smith (portfolio); Tori Zimmer (photograph); Honorable Mention:  Madeliene Collins (self portrait drawing & art portfolio); Mairead Dambruch (photograph); Maddie Hoy (painting),  Della Jrolf (drawing); Nancy Marcell (self portrait drawing & art portfolio) Kate Mulvey (photograph);  Cate Pappano (drawing); Edwin Rodriguez (photograph); Amanda Thorne (drawing); and Rose Zilla-ba (pen & ink).

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Ten Latin students from Milton High School were recently honored by the National Junior Classical League for their success on this year’s National Etymology Exam. The following students were the top scorers:

  • Gold medalists: Simon Eder, Micaela Keating and John Lenane
  • Silver medalist: Aislinn O’Brien
  • Bronze medalists: Joshuea Ogbuike, Cole Kroninger, Elizabeth Murphy, Nolan Carvalho, Matt McCarthy and Albert Enyedy

The National Classical Etymology Exam (NCEE) is an online exam designed to test a student’s ability to handle both Latin and Greek derivatives and their usage in the English language. The exam is administered by The National Junior Classical League (NJCL), an organization of middle and high school students sponsored by the American Classical League. It is composed of local and state chapters and is the largest Classical organization in the world today. The NJCL’s purpose is to encourage an interest in and an appreciation of the language, literature, and culture of ancient Greece. Milton students took the exam in early December. The test is based on English vocabulary words that are derived from Latin and Greek, with emphasis on academic and SAT vocabulary words.

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Milton High School’s Mock Trial team recently concluded their season with a strong showing at the Framingham Court House on February 4th. The team scored 100 points – a season high – during the mock trial. The civil trial was a wrongful death suit, in which the family of a man who was killed doing an airplane stunt sued the airplane’s manufacturer.

The team’s coach, Joao Costa, said the students performed remarkably and recognized the team for a successful year. The following students are members of the Mock Trial Team: Allyson Riboul, Andre Allen, Ava Urkevic, Bill Griffin, Britney Herndon, Catherine Pamphil, Cole Kroninger, Dara Kennedy, Jessica Brink, Jessica Machowski, Joe Linhan, Metayer Mitterand, Mitch Bosquet, Saron Kindle and Thomas O’Brien. Many thanks also to parent volunteers Ray Czwakiel, Leigh Mills and Christine Tynan. The team has competed in three Mock Trials this season, vs. Newton North, Wayland High and GANN Academy.

Coach Costa recognized several students for their outstanding performances. He said of Bill Griffin, who played the role of the attorney in all three trials. “Bill had the great ability to cross-examine witnesses and focus on the flaws of the different affidavits.”  He was also impressed by Joe Linehan, who “performed opening statements for the trials and improved each time. He was able to present the case in a five-minute opening without the use of notes.” Catherine Pamphil, who played the role of attorney, “did a great job laying the foundation for our expert witness and diligently followed the proper court proceedings,” according to Costa. Another standout, Costa said, was Tom O’Brien, “a start attorney who improved with each trial, bringing his score from a 6 to a 9 in the course of the season.” Finally, Coach Costa recognized Dara Kennedy, Allyson Riboul and Andre Allen, who “were outstanding in the role of witnesses, with all three receiving the highest rating possible from the judge.”

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The music department has some great news. We have learned that 26 students were accepted to Junior SEMSBA (Southeastern Massachusetts School Bandmasters Association.) Junior SEMSBA is for grades 7-9. Please help me to congratulate the students below:

Pierce Middle School Band: Annabel Botsford Gray Davis, Miwa Joiner, Sophia Li, Sachin Meier and Isaac Piliavin. Chorus:  Shoilee Banerjee, Kiley Check, James DiSandro, Paula Hogan, Penelope Holland, Dominik Hyppolite, Domenic Janacaterino Kara Milliken and Madelyn Wiesenhahn. Strings:  Eva Chow, Veronica Harris, Nathania Marc and Julia Nerenberg and Isabelle Neville.

Milton High School Band: Emily Possi, Benjamin Val and Maya Watanabe. Chorus: Julia Butler, Aisleen O’Brien and Katherine Steele.

In addition, 40 students were accepted to Senior SEMSBA (Southeastern Massachusetts School Bandmasters Association.)  Senior SEMSBA is for grades 9-12. Congratulations to these students below:

Milton High School Band: Shareen Alsebai, Dylan Banh, Emily Chow, Liam Hines, Kristen Ingraham, Shannon MacLeod, Tansey Massey-Green, Shane McLaughlin, Rebekah Mondelus, Christine Stafford and Michael Wyatt. Chorus: Samantha Antoniewicz, Bethany Bonilla, Monika Cormack, Ben Donahue, Edwin Duprevil, Giuliana Giddings, Hope Huban, Phillipe Janvier, Will Macmillan, Nicholas Marinilli, Colette Nourie, Elizabeth O’Connor, Joshuea Ogbuike, Tatiana Perez, Jacqueline Ruscito, Chrisian Urbina, Henry Wells, Matthew Wong and Rose Zilla-Ba. Strings: Graham Bly, Olivia Done, Anna Gaden, Kali Guise, Madeleine Lachevre, Nicole Lam, Amiel Marc, Oceane Marescal, Emma Pred-Sosa and Hannah Solomon.

There’s even more good news. Last month, students from our music department attended All State auditions with great results.  We also recently attended Junior District auditions with equally great results. Congratulations to the twelve grades 7-9 students for being chosen by audition for places in the Eastern District Junior Festival:

Milton High: Kyle Dempsey – band, Julia Butler- chorus, Clara Tennyson – chorus, Aislinn O’Brien – chorus, Kathryn Steele – chorus and Stephen Tan – chorus. Pierce: Nethania Marc – orchestra, Ben Scott – band, Paula Hogan – chorus, Penelope Holland – chorus, Dominik Hyppolite – chorus and Domenic Jancaterino – chorus.

Thank you to Colleen Martin for her work as Chorus Manager and to Rebecca Damiani for working as Chairperson-elect.  Thank you to Dawn Sykes for being the chaperone on the bus!  Thank you to the music faculty who prepared the students for the audition. It was a great day at Needham High!

Finally, I’m thrilled to report that we will have SEVEN Milton High School students performing at Symphony Hall on March 22nd as part of the Massachusetts All State Music Festival. These students will rehearse at the World Trade Center March 20-22nd and will perform at Symphony Hall in Boston at 1 pm on March 22nd.  These seven students were chosen from a huge field of highly qualified competitors. Congratulations to Will Hess (jazz band), Walker Stroud (orchestra) and Samantha Antoniewicz, Monika Cormack, Giuliana Giddings, Kevin Mehdizadeh and Garrett Sager (chorus.)  Great job!

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 The annual Future Problem Solvers Qualifying Bowl was held last weekend and we are proud to say that the Milton Public Schools hosted this event for the first time ever. Students from 13 teams met at the Glover Elementary School library to compete at this event.

Future Problem Solving Program is an international group, which aims to stimulate critical and creative thinking skills, encourage students to develop a vision for the future, and prepare students for leadership roles. Students in Future Problem Solving teams engage in creative problem solving within the curriculum and are exposed to competitive opportunities.

Milton Public Schools sent five teams from Pierce and eight teams from the elementary schools. Teams from Canton and Dedham also attended. Congratulations to all who competed:

Tucker School: Dominique Thomas, Daniel Truog, Nathan O’Neil, Blake Strong, Oskar Peloquin, Anna McGrath, Olivia Ketler, Claire Walko. Back up member: Luke Palmer.  Glover: The Glover fifth-graders: Aidan Quinn, Vivian Kwong, Anna Fahy, Hugh Cronin, Emmett Martin, June Padera, Abigail Files, Shea Johns. Collicot: Nellie Callahan, Jack Lally, Maureen Lang, Katherine McDevitt, Collin McMorrow, Benjamin Mills, Maggie Stockbridge and Michael Swanton. Cunningham: Team #1 Lila Slymon, Philip Phan, Louis Timmins, Jami Milliken. Team #2 Sophie Boucher, Eliza Callahan, Paul Kates, William Milliken. Pierce: Aidan Briathwaite, David Casaz, Sam Coover, Zachary Danner, Sawyer Flanagan, Timothy Karoff, Wallace Heller, Ryan Mazzotta, Sachin Meier, Isabelle Neville, Hue-Ninh Nguyen, Thana Nguyen, Madison Pellegri, Maggie Pelegri, Taylor Snellen and Emre Yalcindag.

Many thanks to our coaches, Nicole Hoyceanyls, Dave Romeo, Bernadette McEvoy, Marti McKenna, Thuy Nguyen, Anna Higgins and Christina Reynolds. Also, thanks to parent volunteers: Tucker: Ana Frega, Adina O’Neill, Elizabeth Thomas. Cunningham: Nhi Vo, Stacia Kates, Sara Slymon, Carol Timmins. Glover: Carter Fahy, Matthew Quinn, and Amory Files. Pierce: Sindhu Meier, Eileen Heller and Allen Neville

* * *

 We held our Grade One Information Nights on Wednesday, February 12th in each of our elementary schools. This event provided more information about the French Immersion and English/Innovation Pathway programs for our incoming first-graders.

Parents/guardians of current Kindergarten students who could not attend should contact their child’s principal to receive information and selections sheets about program choice.  These sheets are due to the school principal by March 6th.

* * *

  Kindergarten registration is currently underway. For parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before August 31st, 2014, registration packets can be obtained by contacting Laurie Dunn in the Superintendent’s Office at ldunn@miltonps.org or Student Registrar Jane Barrett: jbarrett@miltonps.org

* * *

 Registration for Integrated Preschool, which is located at the Collicot Elementary School, will be beginning soon. Applications for Peer Role Model Student slots for the 2014-15 school year will be accepted between February 24th  – March 15th. Due to the large number of applicants, there will be a lottery to determine which students are selected for the Program. Parents will be notified about whether their child was selected by April 4th. Children who are found to be eligible for and require special education services will be offered services as determined by their Special Education Teams.  For more information, please visit this link:  http://www.miltonps.org/documents/UPDATED1-14IntPKWebInfo.pdf

* * *

 Four local artists, including Pierce Middle School art teacher Robyn Thompson, have had their artwork selected for an exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery at Boston City Hall. This exhibit, “African American Artists of the DAC” (Dorchester Arts Collaborative), will run from January 13th to February 28th at the gallery, located on the third floor of City Hall. Congratulations to Ms. Thompson!

* * *

 On Wednesday, FOX News reported live from the Forbes House in Milton as part of the Lincoln Day Celebration. Robin Tagliaferri, the museum director, invited all of last year’s Lincoln Essay and Drawing Contest winners to be on hand for the live report. Click here to view the video: http://www.myfoxboston.com/video?clipId=9832247&autostart=true

This year’s winners have not yet been announced. For this year’s topics and deadlines, click here: http://forbeshousemuseum.org/educational.html

* * *

 I would like to thank Attorney Leigh Mills, a strong supporter of Milton Public Schools, who came to Milton High School recently to speak to Mr. Borde’s United States History I classes about the Bill of Rights as part of their unit on the Constitution.  Her focus was on the historical precedence behind of the Bill of Rights, and its impact on us today. Using the fifth and sixth Amendments specifically, students were able to explore the intent and meaning of each, as well as its application to current events.  Recently Ms. Mills also helped students in our Law and Government class prepare for the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Mock Trial Competition.   Many thanks to Ms. Mills.

* * *

 The Pierce Middle School has some exciting news from the Science Department. Pierce teacher Nicole Hoyceanyls has been credited as a trial teacher representing the Pierce Middle School in the newly published edition of the FOSS Earth History curriculum.

In addition, Pierce students had a great showing in the Cool Science Art Competition.  Two students earned first place honors and will have their artwork displayed on Lowell Transit in the months of March and April.

Two Grade 6 students in Jeff Stoodt’s class were recognized: Mayali Geyling and Anna Crowley. Five Grade 7 students in Bernadette McEvoy’s class were recognized: Milan Smith, John Keaney, Liam Michalski, William Heavey and Emme Schewe. To view the student artwork, click here:


Finally, we just learned last week that Bernadette McEvoy has also been selected to present at the NSTA conference in Boston.  She will be doing a half hour presentation on her work with students on environmental science, focusing mainly on her partnership with the MWRA.

* * *

 By now, I’m hoping that many of you have heard of the Donors Choose, a website that allows parents, guardians and community members to donate money to education-related projects. (www.donorschoose.org) Some of our teachers and staff members have been very successful at funding projects in their classrooms and schools through this program. There are currently two “requests” from our teachers on this site – one of which is set to “expire” in less than a week. Please click the links below for more info:

Collicot: http://www.donorschoose.org/project/chrome-book-collaboration/1146497?utm_source=dc&utm_medium=proposal&utm_campaign=copyURL&rf=copyURL_dccontent_2014_02

Cunningham: http://www.donorschoose.org/project/sound-it-out/1108622/?utm_source=dc&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=copyURL&rf=copyURL_dccontent_2014_02

Recently, Pierce teacher Jenn Rhodes posted a Donors Choose item, requesting a listening center and audio books, and it was fully funded!  Ms. Rhodes noticed a need among some her students in an organizational prep class, checked in with her English department colleagues, wrote the request, sought support, and it was funded. Many thanks to Holly Concannon for introducing teachers to this website and helping with the requests.


In my last E-blast, I informed parents and guardians that a new testing program known as PARCC is being developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.) While we were aware that Milton had been chosen as a “field test” site, we only recently learned which schools and classes will be taking the PARCC.

Please note all MPS students are taking MCAS in addition to PARCC. Scores from PARCC will not count, as this is a pilot year.



Subject Area

# of Classes

Mode of Admin.


Number of sessions

Collicot 4 ELA 2 Paper PBA 3
Cunningham 4 Mathematics 2 Online PBA 2
Tucker 4 ELA 2 Online PBA 3
Glover 3 ELA 2 Online EOY 2
Pierce 6 Mathematics 2 Online PBA &EOY 4
Pierce 7 Mathematics 2 Online PBA & EOY 4
Pierce 8 Mathematics 2 Online EOY 2
Milton High Integrated Math 1 Mathematics 4 Online EOY 2
Milton High Integrated Math 3 Mathematics 6 Online PBA 2

Students in grades 3-11 will try out a new computer-based assessment system that has the potential to deliver clearer signals to schools, colleges, employers, and parents about what students know and can do and whether they are on the pathway to success after high school. State education leaders will use evidence from a two-year try out to determine whether the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, can better serve the Commonwealth’s goal of ensuring that all students have the academic preparation necessary to successfully pursue higher education, careers, and citizenship.

Massachusetts is one of 18 states that have worked collaboratively over the past several years to develop PARCC. This spring, more than 1.35 million students from 14 of those states, including Massachusetts, will take a PARCC field test in English language arts or mathematics. For more information on PARCC, go to http://www.mass.edu/parcc/.


As you know, we send many items home to families via “electronic backpacks.” This often includes flyers for various programs in the town that are not directly school related.  We are attempting to streamline this process so please note that going forward, we will no longer send these outside notices home, but instead, will post those flyers on our website.  If you go to the Calendar section, there is a section for Milton community flyers and a section for flyers outside the Milton community.  Please check this calendar section on a regular basis to see what is going on in Milton and in surrounding cities/towns. Click here: http://www.miltonps.org/calendar.php

* * *

Theater fans, take note: on Wednesday, Feb. 26th at 7 pm, “Rabbit Hole,” is being performed by the MHS Dramatics Society. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. This is a student-led production and it will be co-directed by MHS seniors Garrett Sager and Amy Savino.  Many thanks to Dr. Sheila Walsh and Eileen Mullen, advisors for the Dramatics Society. 

* * *

Save the Date!  On Monday, March 24th at 7pm, the Milton Public Schools will be hosting an Internet Safety Night presentation in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School.

 The speaker will be Katie LeClerc Greer, an expert who has provided Internet/technology safety training to schools, law enforcement agencies, national conferences, and community organizations throughout the country.

This evening event is for parents and guardians only and we encourage every parent in our district to attend. We have heard that this could be one of the most informative 90 minute presentations you may attend this year.

Ms. Greer will be speaking to both middle and high school students during assemblies earlier in the day on March 24th, so her evening presentation will be tailored towards parents and guardians. Please do not bring anyone under 18 to this event.

Ms. Greer’s unique educational and professional background has resulted in dynamic programs that appeal to all age groups:

  • Former Intelligence Analyst, Massachusetts State Police
  • Former Director of Internet Safety, Massachusetts Attorney Generals’ Office
  • Advisory Board Member, Internet Keep Safe Coalition
  • Recognized, national expert in Internet/digital safety and technology, advising various governmental and private agencies
  • Featured on CNN, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, and USA Today
  • Presented to thousands of students, parents, educators and administrators across the country

Ms. Greer recently spoke to a group at Wellesley Middle School and their assistant principal, Kathy Gordon, said, “This speaker commanded the audience’s full attention. The kids could relate to her, since her background is relative, and very compelling.” Ms. Gordon said this was one of the presentations that she has seen.
This program has been strongly recommended to me by MPS parent and Wellesley Public School teacher JJ Kelleher, who called it one of the most compelling events of the year. Please make every effort to attend this important presentation on March 24th.

* * *

Milton High School senior Brendan Hunt has been working since September on a fundraiser to benefit the high school’s sports, clubs and activities. The result of all his hard work is the upcoming event, “The Run for Red Nation. “The proceeds of this 5K race will go directly towards protecting Milton High School’s student organizations from possible cuts in the budget and will aid in keeping participation fees low. The race will be held on April 13th at 9am at Cunningham Elementary School. The entire community is encouraged to participate in this event by registering for the race or through donations. Further information about the event, registration and donation links, and sponsorship information can be found at www.runforrednation.webs.com.

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The 5th grade class at Collicot Elementary will be holding a talent show to raise funds for their class gift to the Collicot School. It will be held at the Collicot/Cunningham Cafetorium on March 6th from 7-9pm.  Tickets are $5 for adults, $1 kids and can be purchased at the door.  It is cash only and all of the Milton Community are welcome to come. Kids will be singing, dancing, playing instruments and even juggling! 

* * *


There will be a PAC meeting on Thursday, February 27th from 7-9 at the Pierce Library.   The topic will be ESY (Extended Year Services.)  Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services Karen Clasby and Superintendent Mary Gormley will both attend this meeting.


A group of Milton citizens are working to keep artistic and cultural offerings available to Milton Public School students. The group, M-PACE (Milton Partnership for Arts & Cultural Enrichment), works through the excise tax billing program to request donations.

               With the cooperation of the Town of Milton treasurer’s office, M-PACE has enacted a “check-off” campaign to raise funds for field trips to museums, live Shakespeare performances or trips to Boston’s Symphony Hall.

               Every year, M-PACE funds bring exciting programs into our schools and allows our students to attend outside performances. This year’s M-PACE offerings are as follows:

  • Boston Symphony Orchestra, Friday, February 28th for all fourth-grade students.
  • Historia Antiqua, a travelling exhibit which brings alive the history, culture, art, and architecture of antiquity via museum quality reproductions, role-playing, lectures, and multimedia presentations – March 4th-7th for all sixth-grade students.
  • Geography Game Show, an interactive educational event – June 5th for all seventh-grade students.
  • Romeo & Juliet, performed by Shakespeare Now theater group — Thursday April 10th for ninth-graders.
  • Macbeth, performed by Shakespeare Now – Wednesday, May 7th for tenth-graders.
  • House of Blues, a narrated musical journey that traces the history of blues from its roots in African musical tradition through its emergence as an original American musical form.  The performance draws parallels between the history of our country and the history of the blues – Tuesday, April 15 for eleventh-graders.

By checking the box on the excise tax form, Milton taxpayers can help to keep these types of culturally enriching programs in our public schools.  The excise bills are expected to be mailed out this week. The continued support of the community is essential in keeping these programs operating.

The board of M-PACE is composed of Treasurer Jim McAuliffe, Roxanne Musto, Meredith Hall and Charlotte Streat, along with Superintendent Mary Gormley and Assistant Superintendent John Phelan.


The following information was provided to us by Milton Police Chief Richard Wells:

The Milton Police Department recently received documentation from Neighborhood Scout (NeighborhoodScout.com that our town has been named one of the “Safest Cities in America” for 2014. This is the second year in a row that Milton has received this important distinction.  Milton actually moved from number 92 in 2013 to 52 for 2014. Neighborhood Scout is used by businesses, realtors and home buyers worldwide looking to develop projects and buy homes.  The website looks at all FBI crime stats, especially violent crime and the general feeling residents have regarding public safety in their community.

None of you needs me to tell you how important this is given our geographic proximity to a major metropolis like Boston.  I am very grateful to the hard work done each day by the men and women of this department as well as to all of you and every citizen of Milton who takes the time to partner with MPD daily to enhance their quality of life. This is a well-deserved “Gold Star” award for Milton.

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Milton’s Teens in Need is a grass roots aid organization aimed at providing financial assistance to teenagers throughout our community. In partnering with guidance staff at Milton High School, this group identifies students and families in need and has provided financial help with college application fees, AP exam costs, senior portraits and All-Night Graduation Party tickets.

This group has also helped organize a prom dress exchange and assisted families with holiday gifts. Milton Teens in Need has already funded over $2,500 for holiday gift cards to family this year and has provided over $5,000 in support for students and families over the last three years.

They are hosting a fund-raising event Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Hoosic Club on Central Avenue in Milton from 7 to 11 pm. Proceeds from the event will be distributed to teens at both the middle and high school for holiday and other upcoming expenses.

The Milton Teens in Need is proud to announce the formation of the Peter J. Muse Scholarship which will be given to four Milton High School seniors in the name of Attorney Peter J. Muse, a Milton resident, father of five Milton High graduates, who worked tirelessly on behalf of Milton’s youth who were in need during his time with us.

Tickets are $25 and the event will feature Red Sox Tickets, appetizers and a cash bar. Monetary donations in advance of the event or after are also accepted; checks should be made out to “Milton Student Activities Fund” and sent to: Milton Teens in Need c/o Karen DeLuca, 84 Indian Spring Rd., Milton, 02186.

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The Milton Master Planning Committee is hosting a Public Forum on Saturday, March 1st from 9-12 at Fuller Village, 1372 Brush Hill Road. The theme is “Where is Milton Going?” Last year, members of the Milton community came together to discuss their visions for the future of Milton. On March 1st, we will begin to decide how, where, and when our community vision becomes reality. This is sponsored by the Milton Planning Board and the Master Plan Committee.  For more information about this event, please visit:http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_BComm/MP/MP or http://miltonmasterplan.tumblr.com  To reach a member of this group, please email: miltontownmasterplan@gmail.com

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Milton Parks & Rec Department is holding several events and signups soon. Please visit their site below: http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_Recreation/recreation

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 Milton Girls Softball program will be holding online registration over the next few weeks. Please visit the website at: http://miltonsoftball.com/Page.asp?n=49326&org=miltonsoftball.com>

The league is hoping to reach as many families with daughters as they can who would like to play girls softball and registration is open until February 28th.


Chess Tournament at the Library: On Saturday, March 8th, International Master David Vigorito will serve as tournament director for the 3rd annual “Chess-a-Palooza!” – a fun and friendly scholastic chess tournament open to all Milton school students. Players of all abilities are welcome. The tournament will be limited to the first 50 entrants. Trophies and prizes will be awarded in grades K-2, grades 3 – 5, and grades 6 – 9. Sections may be modified depending on the number of entrants. Cost is $10 and registration in advance is required. Please make checks payable to “The Friends of the Milton Public Library” and mail them to Christy Daniels, 17 Carlson Road, Milton, MA. Payment must be received by February 24th. This event is sponsored by The Friends of the Milton Public Library. It starts at 9:30am in the Keys Community Room at 476 Canton Avenue on the Library’s lower level. To register, please visit www.miltonlibrary.org and click on Event Calendar. For more information contact Christy Daniels at is2cd@gwmail.gwu.edu.

February Vacation Week promises to be a busy and fun-filled time in the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library!  In addition to our regular storytimes on Tuesday and Wednesday, we have many exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of February 16 – 22:

Sunday, February 16th – Sunday, February 23rd  – MECA StoryWalk: The Mitten, All Ages. StoryWalk comes to the Milton Public Library!  The Milton Early Childhood Alliance is sharing Jan Brett’s classic The Mitten with Milton families just in time for February Vacation Week.  This is an outdoor, rain or shine event.  Stop at each sign and read a page of the story to your child; or, have your child read the page to you!  This story walk can be appreciated by those both young and old.  Please let us know you visited by signing our Guest Register (inside the building, during library hours) after reading the last page of the story.

Monday, February 17th: LIBRARY CLOSED

Tuesday, February 18th from 2:30-3:30 pm – Lego Club, Ages 6-12.  Come build with the library’s Lego collection!  Each month we’ll build on a different theme.  At the end of the hour, your creations will go on display for all library visitors to enjoy.  Ages 6-12 welcome.  Registration is required.

Wednesday, February 19th from 2-3:30 pm – Animal World Experience, All Ages. Come join us for Animal World Experience’s live animal presentation Winter Wonders!  Ever wonder what animals do in the winter?  Join us as we explore the many ways that animals survive in, and thrive in the winter.  What you find out will shock and amaze you!  All ages welcome.  Registration for this program is required.

Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 2-3 pm – Mel O’Drama, Ages 5-9. Kids aged 5-9 are invited to join local drama teacher Melanie Grace Gillespie for a theatrical and creative hour of Mel O’Drama!  Students will enjoy such fun activities as warmups, improv games, voice projection, scene work, and movement.  Registration is required.

Saturday, February 22nd from 2-3 pm. The Great Molasses Flood: A Special Bookbusters Event, Grades 3-5. The Bookbusters is a book club for boys and girls in grades 3-5.  Led by Miss Sara, group participants are asked to read a book in advance of the meeting, then come together to talk about it with their peers.  The book we are reading for February is The Great Molasses Flood: Boston, 1919by Deborah Kops.  Copies are available at the Children’s Room desk, or by placing a hold at www.miltonlibrary.org.  Come join us to discuss this exciting true story about a sticky mess that attacked our beloved city early in the twentieth century.   This month we are particularly excited to be welcoming the book’s author, Deborah Kops, for this special edition of Bookbusters!  She will be here to show us real pictures of Boston in 1919 and talk to us about her book.  Don’t miss this chance to meet an actual author and learn about an exciting historical event at the same time!  Registration is required.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round.  Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

Teen Library News:

Friday February 14th 3pm – 5pm – Teen Friday Flicks – Once a month, an after school movie is shown in the library for teens. Four movie choices have been posted on Facebook, Tumblr, and at the library in the teen room. Cast your vote at any of these locations. Friday Flicks are after school for students in grades 6-12. Admission is free and snacks will be provided. Please contact Amy Rosa, Teen Librarian, at (617) 698-5757 or aboivin@ocln.org with questions or comments. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

To see a complete listing of library events, please click here: http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=MILTONPL


The following update was provided by our Athletic Director, Larry Rooney.

MHS Ski Team

The Milton HS Ski team performed well at the recent slalom races. The girl’s team welcomed back Sophie Chase from injury and Shea Rulon continued her dominance with top 10 finishes.  Georgia Bell, Sophie Chase, Alanna Loria and Kristen Ingraham added solid performances. Lucas Campbell excelled in his two runs with top 10 finishes.  Owen Walsh & Marc Plageman were rock-solid as they provided valuable points for the boy’s team. Following Monday evening’s race results, Shea Rulon & Lucas Campbell will be representing the MBSLE at this year’s MIAA State Ski Meet. Owen Walsh will be 1st Alternate and Alanna Loria will be 4th Alternate. The States will be held on Tues. Feb. 25th at Mt. Wachusetts. Shea Rulon placed 6th overall in the entire league and will be selected as a “MA Bay Ski League East All Star”. Other notable Divisional results: Alanna Loria-16th, Sophie Chase-17, Georgia Bell-19th. Both Boy & Girl Ski Teams finished in 4th place in the Small School Division. The team and coaches wish Captain Tori Zimmer a speedy recovery following her recent knee operation. Representing the Small School Division from Milton HS: Shea Rulon: 4th Seed, Alanna Loria: 4th Alternate, Lucas Campbell: 6th Seed, Owen Walsh: 1st Alternate. Shea also placed 4th overall in league standings and will likely be named to the MBSLE All Star Team.

Boys Varsity Hockey

Team Record 13-3-1. After a torrid start, the Boys’ Hockey Team cooled off this past week. With two straight losses at home, our record is now, 13-3-1. Getting great support from underclassmen Lloyd Hill (9 goals, 8 assists, 17 points), Jason turner (5-8-13), Owen Bligh (6-6-12), Shane Kelley (3-7-10), Jack Halloran (7-2-9) and Elliot Chauvet (1-7-8), the team should rebound in our last five games. Tomorrow night is “Senior Night” vs. Wellesley HS at Ulin Rink – 7pm game time. We hope the seniors can get a victory in their last home game.

Girls Varsity Hockey

Record 6-6-3, 15pts. The team Tied Natick 2-2 on Monday, Feb 10th at Ulin Rink

Goalie Sarah Park .911 Save%, 2.14 GAA, MacKenzie Stanley 12 Goals 4 Assists 16pts, Siobhan Murtagh 5 Goals 10 Assists 14pts, Julia Scannell 6 Goals 5 Assists 10pts, Elena Kapolis 5 Goals 4 Assists 9pts. The team needs 5 points in last 6 games to make Tournament

Girls Basketball

Girls Basketball currently stands at 7-10 and needs wins in their last three games (at Wellesley, Dedham, and Tech Boston) to qualify for the state tournament. Senior forward Leigha Okoye has been averaging over 11 rebounds a game the last five games.  The entire team has become one of the best defensive units in the league over the second half of the season.

Boys Basketball

The Boys Basketball team has rebounded with three straight wins against Bay State Conference rivals Norwood 68-62, Natick 55-29, and Walpole 92-86 in overtime. The team is working hard to gain a berth into the MIAA Division 2 South Sectional state tournament. The next games will be: Monday February 17th at Quincy HS vs Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical HS, and Tuesday February 18th at Quincy HS vs Quincy HS or Plymouth South time 5pm or 630pm.  Leading scorer for Milton Boys is Anthony Smith with 11.0 pts a game and Myles McDermott with 10.5 pts per game.

Wrestling 12-8

Jonathan Carrera 33-2, Keith Martin 31-4, Zack Mazzarella 21-8, Mark Chandler 20-8, Kevin Sampson 18-10…We had a great match against Braintree on 2/4, the crowd was loud and there was lots of energy in the Field House unfortunately we came  on the losing end 42-39.  On Saturday we were invited to the D2 Team State Tournament in North Andover.  We lost to Arlington 54-20 but then came back strong and beat Beverly 42-24.  I was a good experience for the kids just to be there. This week is a big week for the wrestling team, since we are hosting the D2 Metro Sectional Tournament on Saturday.  The team, coaches and parents are all very excited to be hosting this all day tournament.  If a wrestler finishes in the top 4 of their respected weight class they move on to the D2 State Tournament on 2/21 in North Andover.

Girls Indoor Track

Team Record 2-4

At the BSC Championships we had a number of stellar performances. Andriana Higgins was first in the 55m Hurdles and 3rd in the 55m dash. The 4x400m relay team came in 2nd place Colette O’Leary, Sophie Cousineau, Andrea Juzyca and Zion Theodoros were on the relay team. Sophie Cousineau was 3rd in 1000m. Colette O’Leary finished 4th in the 1mile and Mairead Dambruch finished 4th in the 2 mile. Up next is the Div IV state Chamionships! Not sure how well we will do but we expect at least a top 10 finish as a team.

Boys Indoor Track

The boys indoor track team finished with a 2 – 2- 1 record in the Herget Division of the BSL. Seven boys have qualified for the state division meet and two relays as well. The meet will be held on Sunday the 16th.  The 7 MHS Boys Indoor Track runners are:  Chavinskee Milcent, Mariano Davis, Edwin Dely, Mandel Guerin Robinson, Jonathon Korfin, Phillip Janvier and Larry Janvier.

MHS Cheer

Cheerleaders Tia Marathas and Madelyn Driscoll represented the Milton HS Cheerleaders at the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii. They performed at the televised half time show. The Varsity cheerleading team competed at the Bay State Competition at Framingham High School on February 12th at 6:30pm.

MHS Swim Club

The swimmers competed against Randolph High School Swim Team on Wednesday, Feb 12th.  Our girls won 91-35 and boys lost 92-33. Thanks to Coach Megan Adley and parent organizer Eileen Heller for all their hard work this season. Here are the results from the most recent meet:

Individual Girls: 50 yard free: 1st place Della Jrolf. 100 yard Free: 1st place Emma Heller. 100 Yard Medley: 1st place Maia Adley, 2nd place Leah Corcoran. 100 yard Butterfly: 1st place Jacqueline Sullivan. 100 yard Breaststroke: 1st place Emma Heller, 2nd place Della Jrolf. 50 yard Backstroke: 1st place Maia Adley. 100 yard Backstroke: 2nd place Leah Corcoran.  The relay team of Leah Corcoran, Maia Adley, Della Jrolf and Emma Heller took first place in 200 Yard Free Style and 200 Yard Medley Relays.

Individual Boys: 100 yard butterfly: 1st place Brendan McManus. 200 yard Freestyle: Brendan McManus. 50 yard Backstroke: 1st place Nolan Carvalho. The relay team of Brendan Mc Manus, Matt O’ Sullivan, Adam Potter, and Nolan Carvalho took 2nd place in the 200 Yard Freestyle and the 200 Yard Medley Relays.

Pierce Basketball:  The boys and girls teams played a very difficult schedule this year. Both teams currently have two wins. The boys swept Pembroke and the girls have victories against Newton and Gate of Heaven. Thank you to coaches John O’Leary and Chris Maine, and Nelson Taylor, who has been helping out with the boys team. Today is the last game of the season, vs. Easton.

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here:


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We have several staff members and parent/guardians who have signed up for the BOKS program. At Pierce Middle School, physical education teacher John O’Leary will be the lead coordinator. At Cunningham and Collicot schools, Beth Fahy will be the lead coordinator; at Tucker, Ben Jones & Bridget Ruggieri will share the job of lead coordinators, and they will be assisted by parent volunteers Cathy Madigan, Calece Johnson and Claire Yunger. At Glover, Katelyn Forde will be the lead coordinator, and will be assisted by parent volunteer Mimi Graham.  See below for more information about the BOKS program:

BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success), an initiative of Reebok and the Reebok Foundation, is a free before-school physical activity program aimed to get elementary and middle school aged children moving in the morning and their brains ready for a day of learning.  In 2009 Kathleen Tullie, mom, co-founder and Executive Director of BOKS, read Spark, by Dr. John Ratey which states “exercise is the single most powerful tool that we have to optimize the function of our brains.” Spark, which clearly defines why kids should be active before school, inspired Kathleen to create a program at her children’s elementary school. With school approval and a group of passionate moms, BOKS was launched. Providing a completely free robust curriculum, BOKS seeks to empower the community to help the youth of this generation embrace healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Reebok has made it a priority to reverse our current culture of spectators to create a culture of participants, and there is no better way than to start with our youth.


  • Begin the morning with active play to jump start kids’ brains and prepare them for a day of productive learning.
  • Increase opportunities for children to be physically active and gain nutritional knowledge; in turn create healthy, life-long habits.
  • Empower communities to collaborate and make a positive difference in children’s lives.


  • BOKS is completely FREE and currently in more than 500 schools worldwide.
  • BOKS is designed for grades K-5, but can also be run in grades 6-8 with our modified curriculum.
  • BOKS isn’t sports related, but instead is focused on fun and getting kids moving around to boost their minds for a day of learning.
  • The BOKS 12-week curriculum includes warm-ups, a skill of the week, running, relay races, obstacle courses, group games and nutritional tips – all kid-friendly, non-competitive and for all skill-levels!
  • BOKS curriculum is easily downloaded in the Trainer Hub on our website.
  • BOKS can be implemented by parents, PE teachers, staff, or other community members.
  • The National Institute of Out-of-School Time (NIOST) has evaluated program inputs and outputs and is currently conducting both short and long-term studies of BOKS.
  • Free training is available each month at Reebok World Headquarters in Canton, MA.  Sign up at www.BOKSKIDS.org/trainings.


As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers and members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition. Please read about some of their outstanding accomplishments below:

Students:  Congratulations to Pierce 8th-grader William Liddell, who recently represented the Milton Public Schools as part of Project 351. This initiative celebrates the ethic of service, youth leadership and the power of community.  Each of the Commonwealth’s 351 communities selects an 8th grade Ambassador to serve and learn for a year’s term. Ambassadors are nominated and selected by local educators for their exemplary ethic of service and values of kindness, compassion and humility.  Following a town meeting at Faneuil Hall, the group helped out with several different non-profit organizations in the Boston area. The group made care packages for students and teenagers and painted signs to decorate the center’s Lift Program, a program aimed at helping to lift people of poverty. Thank you to Mr. Liddell for doing such a great job representing the Pierce Middle School.

Staff:  I would like to thank Lori Henry, our Elementary School librarian and Future Problem Solvers “guru.” Ms. Henry recently organized the regional Qualifying Bowl, held at Glover Elementary School, not only for our Milton students, but also for teams from Dedham and Canton. Ms. Henry went above and beyond to plan this event for 175 people, which went off flawlessly.

Volunteers:  I would like to thank Cathy Madigan, Calece Johnson, Claire Yunger and Mimi Graham, who are first (of many, we hope) volunteers to step for BOKS training. These women will be participating in a before-school exercise program designed to get children ready and excited for a day of learning. Please see the item above under Athletics for more information on this program. Other parents/guardians who might be interested in helping with this program should contact their child’s principal for more info on BOKS.

The Milton Public School system is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the provision of quality educational programs for all students.  The Milton Public School system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, age or sexual orientation.


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