U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Visits Whittier Tech for Memorial Day Presentation

Maureen Lynch, Superintendent
115 Amesbury Line Road
Haverhill, MA 01830

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Contact: Jessica Sacco
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: jessica@jgpr.net

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Visits Whittier Tech for Memorial Day Presentation

HAVERHILL — As Whittier Tech students prepare for Memorial Day weekend, they were reminded of the significance of the holiday at a presentation this week led by retired U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Mike Devin — a speaker for the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes program.

A nonprofit organization, Massachusetts Fallen Heroes honors soldiers from the state who have been killed in combat and supports their Gold Star families. Since 9/11, 286 soldiers from Massachusetts have lost their lives, including five from Haverhill and one graduate from Whittier Tech, Evan O’Neill, who died at age 19 in 2003, fighting in Afghanistan.

Principal Chris Laganas welcomed students and staff to the assembly in the gymnasium on Monday, May 21. Whittier’s chorus sang, “The Star Spangled Banner” and a moving video leading up to Devin’s speech showed Gold Star family members talking about their loved ones and the recognition they deserve.

“Amid the barbecues, take a moment to reflect upon those who sacrificed their lives for our country,” Devin told students. “Take a moment to look up and think about Pvt. First Class Evan O’Neill who sat in this same gym.”

Gathered together on the bleachers, more than half of Whittier’s 1,300 students raised their hands when asked if they had a family member who has served in the military. “If your family member made it home, they were lucky,” Devin said.

As part of his presentation to Whittier, Devin shared how he enlisted in the Marine Corps after college when he saw members honor his dad at his funeral.

“It was a sense of camaraderie I wanted to be part of,” he said.

The day before he shipped out to Afghanistan he received news that one of his close friends had stepped on a roadside bomb and lost both of his legs. He was dispatched to the same location, and eventually stepped on an improvised explosive device himself, but luckily it did not detonate.

He spent a year in Afghanistan training Afghan soldiers, followed by four years in Mexico where he trained infantry to fight the drug cartels.

After the assembly, students said they appreciated the overall message and several approached Devin to shake his hand.

“I thought it was nice the way he mentioned Evan O’Neill, and how he told us to enjoy the day, but thank everyone we see who served, to just say thank you for their service,” said freshman Keily Martinez, of Haverhill. “I also liked hearing how the Gold Star families support each other.”

Members of Whittier’s Student Government, led by advisers James Donahue, Jr. and Andrew Cherouvis, brought the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes program to Whittier.

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Whittier Tech Students Compete in Boston Eco-Carpentry Challenge

Maureen Lynch, Superintendent
115 Amesbury Line Road
Haverhill, MA 01830

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Contact: Jessica Sacco
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: jessica@jgpr.net

Whittier Tech Students Compete in Boston Eco-Carpentry Challenge

HAVERHILL — Whittier Tech carpentry students turned trash into treasure for this month’s Boston Eco-Carpentry Challenge, taking a pile of discarded office furniture and creating two carnival games.

The annual contest promotes recycling and gives students the opportunity to showcase their creativity by transforming old pieces into something new.

Over the past three months, 22 sophomores and one senior took apart cabinets, tables and office partitions that were given to Whittier by The Furniture Trust, a nonprofit that puts on the challenge. They used those supplies to build Skeeball and Plinko games.

To create the games, students used lathes to make the 4-inch balls that players roll up the Skeeball table, and they also crafted pucks that get placed at the top wall of the Plinko game then slip down the slotted walls to earn points.

Students had their work judged against eight other participating schools during the challenge event on May 10 at District Hall in Boston. A team of judges awarded the Whittier team with the Best Craftsmanship award. This is the fourth year Whittier has entered the competition

“The students had a great time and our entry was swarmed with people all night playing our games and admiring the other items they had made,” said Carpentry Teacher Mark Whittier, who worked with students during the project. “The Eco-Carpentry Challenge illustrates the value of recycling and allows students to hone the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to create fun projects that can be used long after the furniture’s original lifespan.”

Participating carpentry students include: sophomores Ethan Burridge, of Groveland, Dylan Fraize, of Amesbury, Jyrell Ruiz, of Lawrence, Aristotle Campbell, of Merrimac, Max Ouellette, of Newbury, Cody Hadley, Brendan Gallagher, Angelica Cintron, Ricky Flores, Nathan Charoux, Siarra Cronin, Jared Recillas, Angel Alvarado, Alanna Stafford, Tyler Wetherbee, Emily Wilson, Nicholas Glynn, Cody Littlefield, Adam Taschereau, Brian Skaff, Killian Barry and senior Desiree Michaud, all of Haverhill.

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Exeter Elementary School Wins First Place in Maple Syrup Contest

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New Hampshire School Administrative Unit 16
Christine Rath, Interim Superintendent
30 Linden Street
Exeter, NH 03833

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Exeter Elementary School Wins First Place in Maple Syrup Contest

EXETER —  Lincoln Street Elementary School students’ hard work tapping, collecting and producing maple syrup paid off — their sample earned first place in the statewide Tucker Mountain Challenge.

Organized by New Hampshire Agriculture in the Classroom, the contest tasks students with creating the best maple syrup. Participants had to submit a quart of the breakfast condiment in April, which went through a blind taste test. The top three scoring samples were judged again at the New Hampshire Future Farmers of America meeting earlier this month and a winner was selected.

To take home first place, samples had to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for density and color. Density needed to be between 66-68.9 percent, and color could range from Grade A Golden (delicate taste) to Grade A Very Dark (strong taste). The closer schools could get to golden, the higher they scored.

Lincoln Street School earned a 68 percent density, 59 percent for color (rich taste) and obtained the highest number of points for flavor over their competitors. For their winning entry, the school was awarded $2,000, which they’ll use for supplies and equipment to further expand and continue the sugaring operation for years to come.

“Making maple syrup has been a relatively new endeavor for us at Lincoln Street School and I’m proud of the students and faculty who really dedicated themselves to this process,” Principal Drew Bairstow said. “With this award, we’ll be able to reinvest in the program to ensure its sustainability going forward.”

Students, under the leadership of teachers Keith Schmitt and Hallie Estle, first attempted making maple syrup last year, tapping a few tress in front of the school and using propane burners and turkey fryers to reduce the sap to syrup.

Knowing they wanted to have a more permanent maple syrup program at Lincoln Street School, Estle and Schmit searched for ways to obtain the appropriate equipment. Through a collaboration with the Exeter Elementary PTO and a generous donation from the Acorn Alcinda Foundation, they were able to purchase an evaporator and sugar shack.

Earlier this year, fourth grade students doubled their efforts, tapping 10 trees around the school that yielded three gallons of delicious syrup.

Given the successful season, Estle and Schmitt decided to enter their syrup into the competition in hopes of earning students some recognition for their hard work.

“Over the last two seasons we’ve all learned a lot about the maple syrup making process and it’s been a great experience for everyone at school,” Schmitt said. “It’s awesome to have earned first place in the Tucker Mountain Challenge in just the second time entering the competition. We got a lot of great feedback from judges, which we’ll use for next year’s contest to hopefully produce an even better batch.”

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GLTS Students Restore Fleet of Lawrence Police Cruisers

Greater Lawrence Technical School
Superintendent John Lavoie
57 River Rd, Andover,
MA 01810

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

GLTS Students Restore Fleet of Lawrence Police Cruisers

ANDOVER — Superintendent John Lavoie is pleased to announce that GLTS partnered with the Lawrence Police Department to restore three police cruisers.

Juniors and seniors in the school’s auto collision and repair program, and instructor Tom Hatem, repaired three vehicles that were in need of some TLC.

Students completed minor body work and did a complete paint job, including new decals.

“The kids take a lot of pride in working on these types of projects,” Hatem said. “Everything they do is good practice for their future careers, and it’s great to give back to our partner communities whenever possible.”

On May 4, Chief Roy Vasque and members of the Lawrence Police Department visited GLTS to thank students for their hard work. The restored vehicles will be used for traffic and community police work.

“It was cool meeting the Chief, especially because I live in Lawrence,” said junior Christian Rodriguez, who spray painted the cruisers. “I think the cars looked really nice. I would love to see them on the road.”

Superintendent Lavoie and Stephany Infante, GLTS School Committee representative from Lawrence, also made a special visit to the auto collision and repair shop to admire the completed vehicles.

“I’m very proud of the work our students do each day,” Infante said. “Without a doubt, you can tell how proud they were to work on these cruisers. It’s amazing how they are able to learn, do what they love and give back to their community all at the same time.”

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