Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nipmuc Homecoming

It is about this time each year that the color of the trees provides the first indication of the change in season. As you drive on the roads of Mendon and Upton, you can find bursts of yellow and gold in the foliage - a sure sign that autumn is on its way. Similarly, as each September comes to an end at Nipmuc Regional, the celebration of our homecoming weekend marks another change of sorts. For our students, homecoming signifies that our year is in full swing. When we reach homecoming weekend, we know that the introductions and adjustments of coming back to school have been made. Homecoming is a chance to celebrate the new year and show pride in being part of our school.

Junior and senior students
at the DECA cookout
Homecoming events began on Friday with the DECA cookout and student activities fair. DECA - a business and marketing group that gives students a chance to apply their classroom learning to the world of business - provided great food and excitement for our entire student body. The students' hard work along with donations of local businesses, the support of our volunteer chefs from the Upton Police Department, and the guidance of Mr. Gary Perras helped to start our day with enthusiasm. After filling up on hamburgers and hot dogs, our students attended the activities fair where over 400 students signed up to be part of different extracurricular groups.  

By 1:30pm our students had gathered in the gym for our homecoming pep rally to cheer on our teams (click here for Rachel Burke's rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner from the pep rally). Despite having our athletic schedule altered by the rain, our teams had a successful weekend including the inaugural game for our fledgling volleyball program and a victory for the football team against Bartlett on Saturday.

Homecoming King & Queen
Katie Estabrook & Matt D'Innocenzo
On Saturday evening nearly 500 students returned to the school for the homecoming dance. Throughout the day on Saturday our student council volunteered at the school to decorate the gym and prepare for the festivities. Their efforts paid off as we had a great night and a wonderful celebration of homecoming.

Thanks to the planning, organization, and enthusiasm of our student council, this year's homecoming was an especially memorable weekend of celebration and pride. StuCo advisers - Mrs. Janis Grady and Mr. Nick Pezzote - along with the StuCo leaders and members deserve a great deal of credit for hosting a wonderful weekend of events and ushering in this new stage of the school year with style.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

College Planning Night/ Back to School Night

I am looking forward to welcoming parents to Nipmuc tomorrow night from 6:30pm - 8:30pm for our Back to School Night. In preparation for this evening, I have included below a copy of the Nipmuc Activity Guide. Please be aware that student representatives from each of the groups will be available on Thursday night to provide you with additional information about their clubs and organizations.

In addition to offering a reminder about tomorrow's Back to School Night, I also wanted to let parents of seniors know about the guidance department's college planning presentation. Parents of seniors should review the included letter that provides information about Senior College Planning Night to be held in the Nipmuc auditorium at 7pm on Wednesday, October 5.

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
John Clements

Nipmuc Activities Guide:

Senior College Planning Night Letter:

Please be aware that automatic notifications of blog posts via email are often delayed by several hours. I am working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nipmuc Travelling Art Show

If you've ever had the chance to walk through the halls of Nipmuc Regional, then you are familiar with the tremendous student artwork that decorates our corridors and stairwells. Whenever I am welcoming teachers or administrators from other schools to our building, I always begin the tour of our building by showing this display of student artwork. Each one of the paintings, drawings, and photographs on our walls provides a great source of pride for our school and a wonderful introduction to the creativity, skill, and achievement of our students and teachers.

We know how fortunate we are to spend each day surrounded by a gallery of student work. We are also excited that each year is a new chance to share this work with the community. Each year the Nipmuc Art Society puts together a collection of some of the most accomplished student artwork to be part of the Nipmuc Regional High School Travelling Art Show. This professionally framed collection of student work is then made available for local businesses to display for a month at a time for a donation of $100. These donations are then used to fund art scholarships for students in the current senior class.

I am excited to let you know that Dean Bank in Mendon is the site of the first showing of the 2011 Travelling Art Show. The show will be displayed until October 31st. We are very thankful for the support provided by Dean Bank and hope that you will stop by to view the show.

Congratulations to the students whose work is part of this year's show including: Aislyne Calianos, Bethany Laquidara, Celia Taylor, Hailey Smith, Hannah Smith, Jennifer Pittman, Kelsey Campbell, Marisa Camden, Michaela Arrigo, Michaela Bolotin, Skylar Griswold, Timothy Sabean, Danielle LaCroix, Nicole LaCroix, and Chenoa TraceyStone.

Congratulations, also, to our art teachers - Mr. Kevin Campbell, Mrs. Alison Clish, and Ms. Jessica Grady (now teaching at Memorial School) - for their inspired teaching of our artists.

Travelling Art Show Brochure:

Please be aware that automatic notifications of blog posts via email are often delayed by several hours. I am working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Safety Drill

Good morning,
I am writing to let you know that just a few minutes ago our school conducted a planned drill to practice our lockdown procedure. In cooperation with the Upton Police Department, we practice this procedure each year to be sure we have an effective plan in place to keep our students safe in the event of an emergency.

When holding class meetings last week, we informed our students that we would continue to hold these drills and thanked them in advance for their cooperation. During today's practice, our students were once again respectful and cooperative. I am thankful for their help, the guidance of the teachers and staff members, and the assistance of the police department in conducting this safety drill.

Should you have any questions about today's planned safety drill, please feel free to contact me at

Thank you,
John Clements

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to School Night

As we begin our year, I am very pleased to invite parents to join us for Back to School Night at Nipmuc. Please know that our students are not expected to attend.  The scheduled evening for parents of students in grades 9-12 is Thursday, September 22, 2011 from 6:30 – 8:30pm.  Back to School Night will give you an opportunity to meet your child’s teachers, become familiar with the curriculum and extracurricular activities as well as see where your child spends the day. We will meet briefly in the auditorium to welcome you. Parents will then follow their child’s schedule. Schedules with corresponding room numbers will be available that evening. 

Another opportunity for you to meet with your child’s teachers will be in November after the first term report card has been issued.  Conferences are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 17 from 12-2:00 p.m. and on Thursday, November 18 from 6-8:00 p.m. 

I hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us on September 22.  As always, should you have questions concerning Back to School Night or anything pertaining to your child’s education here at Nipmuc, please feel free to call our main office.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Remembering September 11th

An important part of the start of each school day at Nipmuc is the reading of the morning announcements from the student group affectionately known as "The Voice of Nipmuc". Just after the ringing of the 7:30am bell which starts our school day, our students can rely on the The Voice of Nipmuc to provide the pledge to the flag, announcements of the day, and some words of wisdom. As we have made our transition back from summer vacation, we've looked to The Voice of Nipmuc as a way to help us return to the routine of being in school. Today, however, The Voice of Nipmuc provided an important reminder that this September morning was far from routine.

Included below is the announcement prepared and read by Brian Mullen, a senior member of the Voice of Nipmuc, reminding our school to remember the lasting impact of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

"This Sunday is the ten year anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11th. Four airplanes were hijacked by terrorists. Flights 11, 77, 93, and 175 were commandeered by terrorists. Flights 11 and 175 crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon and Flight 93 was courageously reclaimed by the passengers and crashed in Pennsylvania. Many were affected by the losses of September 11th and we must not forget the courage displayed that fateful day.

On November 11th, 2001, President George W. Bush said, 'Time is passing. Yet, for the United States there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of children.'

I would now like to take a long moment of silence to remember all those lost and affected by September 11.

Thank you and may we all live in an indivisible nation with liberty and justice for all."

I am extremely thankful for Brian's leadership and for reminding us of the courage of those who lost their lives, the lasting impact of the tragedy, and the power of the American spirit.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

School Picture Day

Please be aware that Grynn and Barrett photographers will be at Nipmuc on Friday, September 9 for school picture day. Students will be coming home this afternoon with picture order forms and information about popular picture packages and pricing. Students should bring the picture day envelope and payment with them when they return to school on Friday.
Thank you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Start of a New Year

After a week of frustration in dealing with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, we were thrilled to welcome our students back to school on Tuesday. Although the weather provided a wet start to the school year, the students didn't let the rain dampen their spirits. The first day back at school was a chance to reconnect with their friends, meet their teachers, and learn about the experiences they will share throughout the school year.

For the 800 students who attend Nipmuc, the start of new school year is a time of transition, change, and anticipation. Certainly, there is a palpable excitement about catching up with friends and discussing the summer. However, the start of the school year is also a time to establish new goals, to confront the anxiety of taking on new challenges, and to prepare for the rigors of the work ahead.

As an educator and a parent, I look at the start of the new school year with great optimism. I also  recognize my responsibility to see this experience from a student's point of view. With that in mind, I asked some of Nipmuc's finest student leaders for insight on the first days of school. I am glad to share
their thoughts, and I hope that it provides a window into the beginning of our year.

Katie Estabrook
Student Council President

On returning to school: "We all like to pretend that we hate going back to school, but once we all walk into Nipmuc there is a visible buzz of excitement. Each new class is a new adventure. The summer is amazing, but I really do love coming back to Nipmuc with all my Warrior friends."

With advice for freshmen: "The biggest advice I can give is to branch out, make new friends, and don't be afraid to try new things. Really enjoy it because pretty soon you will be crossing the stage at graduation."

Stephen Lukas
President: Class of 2013

On the challenges of the school year: "Personally, I will face the challenge of two AP tests, SATs, and rigorous finals. However, I am confident that with the help of my devoted teachers, I will score well on these tests."

With advice for freshmen: "I advise the members of the freshman class to open up the lines of communication with their teachers. Also, keep in mind that despite the plethora of school opportunities, academics should be first in your priorities."

Emily Wojtowicz
President: Class of 2014

On the excitement of the start of the school year: "It's always an excitement to come back to school and see everyone you haven't seen all summer and to get your schedule and find out what classes you have...This year I actually got bored of summer. I just wanted the first day of school to come already!"

On goals for herself and the Class of 2014: "This year, I would like to challenge myself and really make everyone in my class feel comfortable and accepted. As a class, I'd like to challenge my peers to become more involved in the school and become more united as a class together!"

Dan Consigli
President: Class of 2012

With advice for freshmen: "The best advice I have for freshmen is to make your school work your top priority and to try your best on all of your work because it will pay off."

On the challenges of the year: "The most challenging aspect of senior year is balancing all of one's work while filling out college applications."

As you can see, Nipmuc is fortunate to have such thoughtful and enthusiastic student leaders. Through their guidance, we are excited to build on the momentum of these first days as we look forward to the year ahead!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to School (Finally!)

With Hurricane Irene behind us, I'm glad to know that tomorrow will be the official start of the 2011-2012 school year. I hope that everyone's power has been restored and that the Labor Day weekend provided a chance to relax after a difficult week.

Included below are a few notes about students' first day of classes:
  • Schedules will be passed out to students as they arrive on Tuesday morning. All students - even freshmen who picked up their schedules on the day of the 9th grade orientation - should get a schedule from the following locations:
    • Freshmen - Auditorium
    • Sophomores - Cafeteria
    • Juniors - Left side of the gym
    • Seniors - Right side of the gym
  • If not for last week's cancellations, tomorrow would have been the fourth day of the current school year. With that in mind, tomorrow will run as a "Day 4" on the Nipmuc six-day cycle. The order of classes will be F-D-C-E. After picking up their schedules, students will report to their F block class. The Miscoe Hill School will also begin its year on a Day 4 schedule.
Enjoy the last few hours of your Labor Day weekend. I am excited to welcome our students back to school tomorrow morning!

Nipmuc Volleyball: Parent Informational Night

Nipmuc High School Volleyball: Parent Informational Meeting for Girls' and Boys' Program

September 7, 2011 at 6pm in the Nipmuc gym
Please note that the athletic fee for volleyball will be $375/athlete

Girls' JV Volleyball Team Tryouts:
  • September 8, 2:30pm - 4:30pm in the Nipmuc gym
  • Tryouts continue September 9, 12, and 13
  • Before trying out, students must return a completed "green card" which is available in the main office at Nipmuc. No one is allowed to tryout without this completed form.
Recommended Equipment for Tryouts:
  • Kneepads, athletic sneakers, athletic clothing (you may want to bring a long sleeved athletic t-shirt), and water.
  • Please do not wear any jewelery or jeans.
If you have any questions regarding the program please attend the Sept 7th meeting or email Coach Corey at

Nipmuc High School Volleyball Boosters