PEABODY — Superintendent Josh Vadala is pleased to report that students from across the district who exceeded expectations on the MCAS test were treated to a special breakfast prepared by Peabody Veterans Memorial High School Culinary Arts students.
The second annual MCAS Exceeding Expectations Breakfasts were held for 61 elementary students in grades 3 to 5 on Nov. 9, 61 middle school students in grades 6 to 8 on Nov. 10, and 45 high school students in grades 9 and 10 on Tuesday.
Students who were top performers on any portion of the test were treated to a special breakfast prepared at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School by Culinary Arts students. The students’ families were invited as well.
“It’s not often that we have the opportunity to honor students for excellent academic achievement at the beginning of the school year. These breakfast celebrations are important for our students, staff and families to know that we recognize and appreciate their achievements,” said Superintendent Vadala. “We are incredibly proud of their hard work especially during times when learning was often fragmented due to the pandemic. With MCAS scores down across the Commonwealth, it makes the achievement of these students even more remarkable.”
“The MCAS Breakfast is a fun opportunity to praise the hard work of our students and give them recognition for a job well done,” said Emily Sakelakos, a fifth-grade teacher at the Center School.
Parents and students who attended the breakfast said they appreciated the recognition, and that it showed them that hard work is appreciated by both teachers and school and district administration.
“The praise that she gets at home and from her teachers is important, but to be praised by both the school and district administration made her feel really special,” said Jessica Tuoti, mother of fourth-grader Bianca Tuoti.
“It made me feel proud to get a certificate for my hard work,” Bianca added.
“The breakfast was great because it showed me that all of the hard work I do in my school work pays off and gets recognized,” said fifth-grader Chris Genzale, who attends the Burke School. “That made me feel great.”
“I was extremely proud, not only of my own son, but of his friends and teammates as well,” said Chris Ganzale’s dad Matt Genzale. “I coach a lot of them in various sports and it was great to see them achieve in the classroom too!”
Pamela LeDuc, mother of eighth-grader Stella LeDuc, said the difficulties and changes students faced over the last few years made it even more remarkable to see them recognized for exceeding expectations.
This year’s breakfasts mark the second installment of the events, which began last year as a way to both celebrate students’ success and bring people together following the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is wonderful to see your child and other students being recognized and celebrated for their hard work,” Pamela LeDuc said.
“It’s nice that our school notices our accomplishments,” said tenth-grader Precious Galas.
The MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) is a statewide standardized testing program that seeks to quantify where districts, schools and students are meeting expectations, as well as where additional support is needed. For more information about the MCAS, click here.