connections graphic

June 7, 2023

Translate this newsletter by reading it on our website. Use the select language feature on the top right of the page.

Congratulations Class of 2023 graduates! Somerville High School students graduated on June 5. Read the speeches the valedictorian, Veid Patel, and salutatorian, Elizabeth Churchill, presented at the ceremony at Dilboy Stadium. Full Circle students graduate tonight at 5:00 p.m. at the Arts at the Armory. SCALE Adult Education students graduate tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Highlander Forum. Watch a fun video from this year's Class Day, a unique Somerville tradition.

Photo of SHS students at Class Day celebration walking into auditorium

Connect to Resources this Summer

For some families and students, the summer is a time of reduced access to resources. For any students or families looking for some extra support this summer, there are plenty of ways to connect with local resources.


Student and Staff Stories

Bilingual Storytelling at the East

Bilingual storytellers Karina Liendo and Esther Gomez came to ESCS to celebrate the Real Story of Cinco de Mayo through an interactive event with second and third grade UNIDOS students. Students danced, played games, and learned about Mexican cultural heritage. Esther Gomez is from Mexico, and Karina Liendo is from Peru. Esther has more than 20 years of experience teaching Spanish to children in and around Massachusetts. Karina has traveled to 30 countries, including 9 in Latin America. She is a facilitator, and is being trained as a storyteller by the Escuela de Cuentacuentos in Madrid, Spain. - ESCS Assistant Principal Julie Allen



Rocket Club Places 3rd in National Competition!

In the spring of 2022, the Rocket Club at the Argenziano participated in a payload competition hosted by the aerospace company United Launch Alliance. Students could submit proposals for experiments to launch in low altitude sport-category rockets. The Somerville Rocket Club team designed an experiment to test how liquids would react under the forces experienced during launch. The team created an experiment to fit inside a cardboard tube that would fit into the rocket and be collected after launch. The team presented their experiment to the ULA student payload team over video call in early June 2022. In July, Mr. Coughlin traveled to Colorado to participate in the set up and launch of the rocket. Due to weather conditions and rocket malfunctions from overheating, not all the payloads were able to launch on the test day. The ULA team based the judging on the strength of the experimental design and presentations. The Somerville Rocket Club placed third overall in the competition out of dozens of teams from across the country and won a $1000 prize to be donated to their classroom. Pictured below are (L-R) Michael Coughlin, Henry Zarecor, Nico Brain, Jack Waide, Aiden Devers, Theo Gys. Not pictured is Anarghya Rajbanshi. Great job Somerville Rocket Club and thanks to their leader Mr. Coughlin!

Teacher and student members of Somerville Rocket club pose with their payload for competition


SHS Multicultural Fair: A Joyful Celebration

After a multiyear absence, the beloved Multicultural Fair returned to Somerville High School, and the atmosphere was joyous. Read more about it in this blog post.

Multicultural Fair at SHS


SHS Students Curate Museum Exhibit

Check out the Above and Beyond exhibit, celebrating the life of Phil Reavis. The exhibit is a collaboration between Somerville High School Local History Club students, led by SHS history teacher Adda Santos, and Somerville Museum staff. Phil Reavis is a Somerville native, Olympic athlete, and long-time educator. The opening reception is June 8 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. and has a $5.00 admission for non-members. Visit the Somerville Museum website to learn more.

Photo of Phil Reavis: Above and Beyond, the remarkable life of Somerville Olympian Phil Reavis, Thursday, June 8 - Saturday, July 8, 2023.


Supper Club for Kids

What is more fun than dining out with friends? Students participating in any of the afterschool programs at the East Somerville Community School enjoyed a hot, delicious meal with their friends every Tuesday and Thursday starting in November 2022. Afterschool site-coordinator Yolanda Andrade says, "students love the chicken and rice, beans, vegetables, mac and cheese. The kids are always asking about dinner day and looking forward to it." These fun meals together enhance the afterschool experience while simultaneously making sure each participant enjoys a nutritious meal. Students in every afternoon program in the building were invited, including Community Schools Afterschool, El Sistema, Language Builders, as well as students participating in the Edgerly Teen Center. This program was made possible thanks to a grant from Education Leaders of Color (EdLOC), of whom our Assistant Superintendent of Academics Dr. Boston Davis is a member, in partnership with No Kid Hungry, and working with our local partners at Stock Pot Malden, Somerville Education Foundation, Somerville Parks & Recreation, and Somerville Department of Public Works.

Students east supper together


33 Students Qualify for Prestigious Seal of Biliteracy 

Congratulations to the 33 Somerville High School juniors and seniors who qualified for the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy. The seal recognizes high school students who attained high functional and academic levels of proficiency in two or more languages. The seal is awarded based on 10th Grade ELA MCAS and through challenging proficiency tests or through a portfolio for languages with no standardized test. Seniors wore a medal at graduation and the Seal of Biliteracy will appear on their diploma and transcripts. Among the 33 students who qualified, eight students earned the Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction, indicating they scored 501 or higher on their MCAS ELA and Advanced Low or higher on their Language Proficiency Test, or a 5 on the Language Advanced Placement exam. Pictured below are eight of the seniors who earned the Seal of Biliteracy on Monday.

Seal of Biliteracy Recipients


Visual Art and Performance Collaboration at SHS

In a collaboration between the Music Department and the Art Department, students had the time and space to perform and showcase their talents on May 18 at the 2023 Spring Concert and Art Exhibition. Families watched student performances, viewed artwork, and even purchased some of the student artwork. Music Director Beverly Mosby and Art Supervisor May Chau plan to expand this event every year to celebrate more student work. Watch a video about the event, narrated by May Chau.

Student artwork


Jazz Band and Student Musicians on Stage Together

SPS Percussion Teacher Jacob Gabriszeski invited local jazz band the Sharp Nines to Somerville High School last month to perform for then play with student musicians. The Sharp Nines played to a rapt audience filled with the accomplished musicians in the SHS Band, SHS Orchestra, SHS Chorus, and Advanced Guitar class. Mr. Gabriszeski took over for the band's drummer on their last song, then SHS Band members hopped on stage to play a song, appropriately named Sharp Nine, with the jazz musicians. Thank you to the Sharp Nines for the visit!

SHS Band and visiting musicians


Personal Finance Team Moves on to National Competition

The Somerville High School personal finance team was bumped up to first place in the Massachusetts Personal Finance Challenge and will now compete in the National Personal Finance Challenge! The team, made up of Liam Beretsky-Jewell, Matthew Mannion, Michael Nionakis, and Oliver Wicks, traveled to Cleveland, Ohio on June 4-5, 2023 to compete at the Federal Reserve Bank. "I am so proud of these students," says Michele Harney, who teaches Personal Finance 1 at Somerville High School. This team won another competition, the Stock Market Challenge, in Boston. Congratulations to the team and thank you to Ms. Harney for her dedication to teaching finance to our students!

Personal Finance Team members pose in classroom


SHS Scholarships

Congratulations to the Somerville Scholarship recipients from the Class of 2023! Around 100 Somerville High School seniors received scholarships for college at this year's Scholarship Event where almost $200,000 was awarded! Thank you to Director of College and Career Readiness Melanie Kessler and School Counseling Administrative Assistant and Testing Coordinator Julie Phylis for organizing this incredible event.


First Grader wins My Ideal School Contest

Congratulations to first-grader Selah! She was one of ten winners chosen in the 14th Annual My Ideal School contest for her essay and poster. She will attend a ceremony at the State House. The My Ideal School contest, run by the Massachusetts School Building Authority, promotes discussion among students and teachers as to how thoughtful design and construction of schools supports student engagement and 21st century learning. 

Ideal School Contest winner


Ribbon Cutting at New Healey Field

The Healey School has a new field, dedicated to lifelong Somerville resident Joe Mackey. Mr. Mackey was a former Ward 4 City Councilor as well as State Representative. His family participated in the ceremony, along with city and school officials. Be sure to stop by and visit the new outdoor spaces at the Healey School this summer.

View from above of the Joe Mackey field at Healey School within surrounding neighborhood


Cute Visitors to SHS Staff Room

Waffles, with his owner Karen Stocz Oemler, and Mowgli, with his owner Stephanie Febonio, stopped by for a stress-relief visit for staff at Somerville High School recently. Both are regular visitors to Somerville schools and were certified through Dog B.O.N.E.S.™ Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts. Pictured below are college counselor Maddie Short and Waffles on the left, and college counselor Dewayne Greene with Mowgli and Stephanie on the right. Thank you to Karen and Stephanie for volunteering their time. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering in any capacity for the Somerville Public Schools, please visit our Volunteers page. You can follow Waffles on Instagram @wafflesthetherapydog2020.

Therapy dogs


Truffle-Making Workshop

Thank you to chocolatier Sarah Shapiro from Somerville-based Wild Child Chocolate company; she conducted a truffle-making workshop with culinary arts students. 

Chocolatier works with two culinary arts students


Information and Activities for Families

All events and activities below are free unless otherwise noted.

Newsies, Jr! Middle Grades Theatre Production. June 8 at 7:00 p.m., June 9 at 5:00 p.m., and June 10 at 2:00 p.m. Don't miss the middle grades theatre production, Newsies, Jr! Performances start tomorrow in the Somerville High School Auditorium. Find more information and updates on the Highlander Theatre Company website.​

Last Day of School. June 16. Prekindergarten students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m., and all other students will be dismissed at noon. Have a great summer break!

Fourth of July Celebration. June 29, starts at 6:30 p.m. Join Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the Somerville Arts Council for the Independence Day Fireworks at Trum Field. Fireworks begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. 

Orientation for Student Athletes. Ongoing. Any students planning to play on a sports team when they arrive at Somerville High School are encouraged to look through the Orientation Slides for Incoming Athletes. This presentation was put together by the SHS Athletics staff and contains all the information you need to know to get started as a Highlander athlete, including coach and staff contact information, links to schedules and rosters, important dates, and more. 

SMILE Program Becomes Prekindergarten. Ongoing. The beloved SMILE program for our resident four-year-old students gets a new name this summer, but stays the same amazing program with our wonderful educators and staff. Moving forward, the program will be called prekindergarten, or PK for short. The term prekindergarten translates more easily and is more immediately understandable. In case you have ever wondered, SMILE was an acronym for Sequentially Monitored Individualized Learning Experiences. 

SHS Welcomes Rising 9th Graders. Ongoing. There are lots of ways to get an inside peek at Somerville High School before ninth grade starts! Visit the Welcome to SHS page to learn more.

Growing Center Open Hours. Ongoing. Visit the Growing Center during their open garden hours: Thursdays from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Sundays from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Check their website for information and to find more family-friendly programs. Open hours are weather dependent.

Somerville Public Schools Jobs. Find the complete listing of SPS open positions, including full-time teaching and administrative positions, and several important summer programming positions.

City of Somerville Jobs. Find the complete listing of City of Somerville open positions