Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Students Of The Month

The following students are being recognized as students of the month.  They are the top 10 students in the class of 2014.  If you take a few moments to read their biographies you will discover they are intelligent, well-rounded, and ambitious.  Their resumes are impressive, their academic achievements are many, their skill sets are vast and diverse, and, above all else, they are young men and women of great character.

Celina Antonellis
 Aside from her work in the classroom, Celina loves to participate in a number of after school activities. She served as president of her class for the last three years and was captain of both the varsity basketball and softball teams. In her free time, Celina enjoys coaching youth softball and basketball in town. Celina is a member of her school's National Honor Society, and was a recipient of both the Harvard Book Award and the President's Volunteer Service Award. After high school, Celina will be attending Bucknell University, where she will play on scholarship for their woman's softball team. She will major in biochemistry and hopes to someday work in medical research. Celina's favorite achievement was being voted Class Clown by her fellow classmates.

Sisi Liu

A longtime clarinetist, gymnast, and mathlete, Sisi is an avid bookworm and travel enthusiast with a penchant for solving Rubik’s cubes. Outside of school, she is part of a regional math team (ARML) and is also co-captain of the GD math team. Sisi has been section leader for the GD jazz and concert bands in the past, and is an active member of Music Honor Society. In her scarce spare time, Sisi enjoys fiddling around on the internet, listening to Schubert, and watching Marvel movies. She has always had a soft spot for film,television, theatre, and Star Trek.

Between Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, and UChicago, Sisi has a tough college decision ahead. Possible majors for her include economics, computer science, neuroscience, film, and whatever else captures her imagination. Regardless of the path she eventually chooses to pursue, Sisi hopes that her endeavors will one day improve the lives of others around the world

Chris Huber
Chris is enjoying his final year at GD almost too much. In school, his favorite subjects are chemistry, calculus, and Latin. After school, he plays the trumpet in the Jazz and Concert Bands, while also participating in a variety of different clubs and organizations. When he is not up to his knees in Cicero’s orations and physics problem sets, he loves to read, play video games, swim, and pretend he is good at basketball.  He would like to thank his parents for all their support, and to a lesser degree, begrudgingly acknowledges that his siblings, Ben, a senior, and Eric, a freshman, helped him out a little too. Chris will be attending Cornell University in the fall, to study electrical engineering; wisely, he is investing in a quality raincoat for that stellar Ithaca weather

Katherine Harte
Katherine is a senior at GDRHS, and she currently participates in a variety of school clubs, including the National Honor Society, Math Team, Academic Team, and Peer Leaders, in which she has been an officer for the past two years.  Katherine has also been a part of the volleyball program for all four years of high school, culminating as captain of the varsity team this fall.  She regularly volunteers at both Rivercourt Residences and the Nashoba Valley Medical Center, in addition to working at Market Basket.  Her sister, Amanda, recently graduated from college and is now working as a Physician Assistant in Connecticut, inspiring Katherine to pursue a career in the medical field.  Katherine plans to use her own college education to become a pharmacist, and is still deciding between the six-year pharmacy programs at Northeastern University and The University of Rhode Island.

Bryce McLaughlin
Bryce intends on pursuing a major in chemistry or physics upon graduation at either Harvey Mudd College or Dartmouth College. He has lived in Groton his entire life with his parents Lisa and Hugh McLaughlin as well as younger brother Randy, who currently attends the Parker Charter School on Fort Devens. Bryce takes full advantage of the programs the high school has to offer as a member of the Jazz Band, Academic and Math Teams, Poetry Slam Group, Community Service Council, Ultimate Frisbee Team, and Captain of the Cross-Country Program. While balancing his extracurricular activities, Bryce puts his work with the Special Olympics above all else. “They are my inspiration and motivation,” Bryce says, “they overcome everything thrown against them, outperforming every expectation anyone sets for them, each one of them being true testaments to the power of the individual. The athletes I work with have molded the contours of my mind, helping me to realize that achieving and finding happiness for yourself and others is the most important part of life. The simplest way to change the world is one smile at a time.” One day Bryce hopes to complete his PhD and become a professor to fulfill his love for education and help others accomplish their goals.

Christopher Marsh
Christopher Marsh is a high school senior who will be attending Northeastern University as part of the honors program next year for chemical engineering. He hopes to pursue a career in developing alternative energy. He is an active member of the National Honor Society, Music Honor Society, concert and jazz bands, as well as a number of school clubs. Outside of school, Christopher has been extremely active in the local Scouting program, going as far as achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He is also employed by the Ace Hardware in Westford. In order to balance his workload, he makes time to play basketball with his friends, hike, and spend time with his girlfriend.  

Laura Donovan 
The doctor presiding over Laura's birth inadvertently served to motivate Laura for several years. When her mother inquired as to her newborn daughter's well-being, the doctor snapped, "What do you want me to tell you, lady, that she's going to go to Harvard?" When Laura's mother related this story to her daughter several years later,Laura decided that she would attend Harvard just to spite this stranger. As she grew up, though, Laura learned that uninformed resolutions based on arbitrary reasons are hard to keep; so, she decided that Harvard, which did not specialize in her areas of interest (languages, the arts, storytelling), was unnecessary as well as almost definitely unattainable. Laura does not currently have rigid plans for the future after college, as she has learned that making decisions without sufficient data can impede realistic progress toward more immediate goals. 

Ariana Cho
Ariana Cho is thankful to have been nominated as a Student of the Month and would like to congratulate her fellow nominees, as they are all very deserving of this honor.  She is involved in many extracurricular activities, such as Student Council, National Honors Society, Leadership Team, and varsity softball. She is appreciative of her friends and family, who motivate her to do her best both in and out of school. She is especially grateful of the amazing faculty at GD, who not only help her reach her full potential, but also serve as great role models. They give her confidence that she will do well in the future, as she plans to major in Communications at Boston College. 

Jessica Chu
Jessica is eighteen years old and a senior at GDRHS. She was nominated as student of the month for finishing in the top 5% of her graduating class. She has two sisters, Emily (17) and Michele (9). She is a member of Peer Leaders, National Honor Society, and is Co-President of Student Council. She also tutors younger students in math, is a wonderful babysitter, and teaches recreational gymnastics classes. Outside of school she has done competitive gymnastics her entire life. Through gymnastics she has learned how to be a strong leader and team mom. She has also learned how to be a better friend, a positive role model, and a supportive teammate. She is a hard worker and is dedicated to achieving her many goals. She plans on attending Northeastern University for the six year Doctorate of Physical Therapy program.

Alec Sheffield
Alec Sheffield is a student full of ambition, passion, and intellectual curiosity.  Raised in a family deeply concerned with matters of science, literature, and all-around knowledge, Alec became enamored by the quest to understand the world and how it can be used for the betterment of all people across the globe.  Beginning around freshman year in high school, Alec truly began to see the value of a strong mind in a chaotic world that seems to lack direction and purpose.  Alec saw the greatest beauty and utility in the relatively new study of the mind itself.  At Colorado College, he plans to major in neuroscience, and hopes to go on to unravel the mystery of human consciousness and how it influences society through our culture, government, and economy.  Alec owes an enormous debt of gratitude to many of his teachers throughout the years, including Mr. Woods, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Reid, for stimulating his interest in all realms of education.  Nonetheless, Alec would not be the person he is today without the guidance and inspiration of reggae musicians such as Bob Marley.  Their words have shown Alec that the mind is but a tool to be cultivated to accomplish your dreams, for better or worse. If that mind is to make a positive contribution to the world, then it must be surrounded by the love that one can only achieve by nourishing the heart.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Principal's Notes

A small number of families expressed concern that a Saturday graduation rain date would conflict with existing family vacation plans and/or graduation festivities.  For this reason, the high school graduation will be held rain or shine on Friday May 30th at 6pm.  This email will serve as notification that graduation ceremonies in the future will include a rain date.  

If you visit the high school website you will find the GDRHS Two-Year Progress Report that is a requirement of the ongoing NEASC process. Two years ago a NEASC team visited GDRHS and issued a report nearly one-hundred pages long.  The report outlined in great detail both commendations and recommendations. The NEASC process continues in perpetuity, and as part of the process a two-year and five-year report is required.  Schools are required to answer all recommendations outlined in the report.  GDRHS received full accreditation status two years ago, and I can say with confidence that the recommendations outlined in the report have been adequately met.  In the Two-Year Report all recommendations must be characterized as completed, in progress, rejected, planned for the future or no action. For more information please visit the NEASC website

The NEASC website states that:

"Accreditation of public secondary schools by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges indicates that the educational institution has conducted a self-evaluation of all of its programs and  has hosted a visiting committee to evaluate the institution in terms of its own stated educational goals and the seven Standards for Accreditation of the Commission on Public Secondary Schools.
The awarding of accreditation signifies that the school has met Commission Standards at an acceptable level and is willing to both maintain those standards and to improve its educational program by implementing the recommendations of the visiting committee and the Commission.  Continued accreditation is dependent upon a school demonstrating ongoing, reflective progress to improve teaching and learning and the support of teaching and learning."

Parent Conference Sign-Up
We will be using an on-line scheduling platform - - for parent/teacher conferences. You now will be able to schedule a conference with your child’s teachers from the convenience of your home computer, smartphone or tablet. Spring 2014 parent/teacher conferences are on April 10, 2014. Ten minute time slots are available in the afternoon. Please schedule all conferences by the end of the day on Sunday, April 6th.

If you are unable to access you may call the main office 978-448-6362 and one our administrative assistants will be able to schedule a conference for you. Please call on April 2-4 from between 1pm to 3pm.

For detailed information please visit our website.  
Third quarter grades close today.  Report cards will be visible in IPASS next Friday.