A Memorial Day Assembly, Book Donations, a Career Fair, a Triathlon, and a Storytime

Memorial Day is Monday and Proctor School wanted all to remember it is just not a day off. Other schools are keeping busy with community service, career awareness, and other programs and events.

Memorial Day Assembly: remembered the veterans who have served and are currently serving our country with an all school assembly. 

Principal Margaret Donohoe has been holding this assembly for many years. “It’s a way for all of us to not just think of Monday as a day off,” she said.

She also recognized Adam Costello, a father of Proctor students, who is currently serving our country.

Coordinated by Proctor Library Teacher Joanne Giancolo, the ceremony began with the presentation of colors by American Legion Post 234 followed by the National Anthem. Service Officer Gerard Bourque of American Legion Picard Post 234 spoke to students, staff, and parents.

Fifth graders Kaylin Blair, Aaron Nodoushani,  Katelyn Reynolds, Taylor Fenerty, Katherine Lee and Kaleo Paik read poems they wrote with their own reflections on how to remember veterans and what Memorial Day means.

Fourth graders, under the direction of Judy Scally, sang Remember to Remember by Mike Wilson and Those Who Served by Teresa Jennings.

The program was concluded by students Matteo Calvanese and Dave Poretsky playing Taps.

Book Donations: recently donated 50 new children’s books to Northborough Family and Youth Services.

Peaslee’s Librarian Nancy Kellner met with a group of teachers last summer as part of a professional learning committee to discuss the book Writing Essentials by Regie Routman.

“One thing emphasized by the author is writing for authentic purpose,” stated Kellner.

She said the group of teachers came up with an activity that would be a wonderful opportunity for the school to give back to the community while also having an instructional purpose for the students.

During the past few months, some students read the books and wrote mini reviews in the form of a friendly letter, which were placed inside the front cover of the particular books to entice recipients to read and enjoy the books.

Director of Northborough Family and Youth Services June David-Fors was thrilled with the donation. Some of the books will be used in the office waiting room, which will help to occupy kids and families as they come into the office for counseling or meetings.

The activity involved students of all ages and all grades. Often the reading was done as part of the Reading Buddies program at Peaslee, where an older student reads with a younger student. 

“The Reading Buddies program empowers the older kids and gives a role model to the younger kids," said Kellner.

The teachers voted to forego some of the profits from the school’s Scholastic book fair, that would normally be used for their classrooms, and purchase the books that were donated to Northborough Family and Youth Services.

“In essence, this donation was funded by the whole Peaslee community," said Kellner. “The teachers agreed on this unanimously at a staff meeting and Book Fair Chair Julie Schwingbeck was also 100 percent behind it.”

Career Fair for Eighth Graders: For the third year, the  gym was buzzing with conversations between eighth graders and 26 professionals from a variety of careers.

Guidance Counselor Lauren O’Neil coordinated this year’s career fair. “It starts with a network of staff, family and friends, and who we know with interesting careers,” said O’Neil. There was an impressive list of careers represented at this fair.

O’Neil explained that each student was given the list of people who would be available to speak about their career, and from that list had to prepare questions for three of those professionals. The questions related to the education and preparation needed for that career path.

Those who shared information about their careers with the students included Dr. Lara Helwig, Veterinarian ; Jeff Noel, Detective Northborough Police; Dr. John Solominides, Pediatrician/General Practitioner; Melissa Progin, Biotechnology; Rita Matraia, Owner of The Core Connection; Ryan Sullivan, Firefighter; Jeremiah Morgan, Neo-natal nurse, Maura Moore, Photographer; Chris Brown, Web Developer/Designer; Todd Brown, Mechanical Engineer; Rich Williams, Auto Repair/Former Fighter Pilot; Andrea and Fernando Fierimonte, Owners of Anthony Andrew Jewelers; Betsy Moore, Protective Military Gear (USMC); Diane Mariano, Artist / Teacher; Vin Femia, Author of Patriot Pride andThe Possible Dream; Debi Dunn, Salon Owner of Innovations; Jennifer Atkinson, Hair Stylist; Jon Wood,Tug Boat Captain; Rusty Eggen, Sports Information Director at WPI; Jeff Conner, Professional Musician, Boston Brass; Alison Takacs, Lawyer; Andy McCarthy, Filmmaker/ Director/ Producer; Brian Fitzgibbons, Golf Pro, Cyprian Keyes; Bethany Kelley, Biologist; Chris Lambert, Channel 7 Meteorologist; and Jon Lincoln, comedian.

Triathlon at Zeh: A tradition that started about five years ago at continues with physical education instructor Regan DeSimone. Fourth and fifth graders created sixteen teams of three students each and participated in three events in their own version of a triathlon. This after school event, which emphasizes the fitness initiatives that Zeh School Principal Susan Whitten highly supports, began with participants jumping rope and using scooters in the gym, then heading outside for a two mile bicycle ride around the school grounds, and ending with a one mile run down a portion of Howard Street.

The event has a great participation rate according to Whitten, and would not be possible without the teacher support, parent volunteers, and assistance from the Northborough police department, which  directed traffic during the running portion of the event.

Storytime for Incoming Kindergarteners: One school year is winding down, but the elementary schools are gearing up to meet the incoming Kindergarteners for the 2012-2013 school year. hosted a storytime this week. Programs, such as the storytimes, enable the families and the new students to become familiar with the school, meet the Kindergarten teachers and the principal, as well as to meet new friends.

A small group of kids along with their parents met in the library as Kindergarten teachers Kathy Behrens and Pam Jones chatted with them and answered any of their questions as to what Kindergarten will be like. Behrens read a book written and illustrated by the current Kindergarten students that detailed what Kindergarten is all about and what to expect next year. The kids were delighted to know that they do a lot of the things they already like to do.

The story was followed by a few fun songs and a lot of giggles.

Andi Daunais May 25, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I enjoyed reading this article and learning of all the great things the schools do! Another reason I love this town!
Adam Costello May 28, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Thank you, Proctor School, for recognizing my family and I this Memorial Day. Your ongoing support to our veterans and their families in your community has always made me proud to serve.


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