Thursday, September 27, 2012

National Merit Scholarship Commended Students

Nipmuc's National Merit Scholarship Commended Students:
(l-r) Sam Merten, Matt Burke, Brandon Hall,
Deanna Valcour, William Kelley, Grant Moyer,
and Michael Manser with Mr. Clements

In 2011 over 1.5 million students participated in the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). This standardized test which is offered by the College Board is often used as an opportunity to prepare for the SAT as well as a way to get feedback on college readiness. For a select percentage of test takers, however, this assessment provides a chance to qualify for recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

I am proud to announce that this year seven Nipmuc students have been recognized as Commended Students for their achievement on the PSAT. On Wednesday, I was proud to meet with seniors Matthew Burke, Brandon Hall, William Kelley, Michael Manser, Samuel Merten, Grant Moyer, and Deanna Valcour to congratulate them on receiving this award.

As Commended Students, this group of Nipmuc's scholars has ranked among the top five percent of all test-takers. When we met I congratulated them and thanked them for their work. This achievement distinguishes them not only in our school, but also in our state and nationally as exceptional students.

"Recognizing academically talented students plays a fundamental role in the advancement of educational excellence within our nation," commented a NMSC spokesperson. "The young people recognized as Commended Students represent some of the best and brightest minds in the country as demonstrated by their outstanding performance in our highly competitive program. We sincerely hope this recognition will provide them with additional outlets and motivate their pursuit of academic achievement."

Congratulations to our Commended Students!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Class Ring Ordering Opportunities

Corey Sullivan from Herff Jones will be at Nipmuc this week for any students or parents who are interested in purchasing a class ring. Students can meet with Mr. Sullivan on September 26 - 28 during all lunches in the cafeteria. Additionally, student/parent ordering nights will be held on September 26-27 from 6pm-8pm in the Nipmuc media center.

Additional information is included below:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Another DECA Success!

Upton Police DepartmentDECA Cookout CrewNipmuc DramaRecruiting at the Club Fair
1Copy of 100_1675

A group of our freshmen enjoying the cookout!

What a day for a cookout! Today's DECA cookout and club/activities fair was a wonderful success thanks to the efforts of so many people in our school and community. Our students had the chance to enjoy the cookout with their classmates, attend a class meeting run by their class officers, and participate in the club & activities fair.

In addition to our students, custodians, DECA volunteers, and faculty members - our school owes debt of gratitude to our police department and the volunteers that made the day a success. Thank you School Resource Officer Carl Ambrosino, Chief Bradley, Sergeant Rivard, Officer Rankins, Officer Palmieri,  and Carl Hartwick for being such great chefs and for your continued support. Thank you to Don Brown for working our grills with the members of the police department. Thank you to Gary Perras and Diane Robin - Nipmuc's DECA advisors - for all that they do to make such a fun day run so smoothly.

One of the great successes of the day came in the huge number of students who took the opportunity to join a club or activity at our school. Our club representatives did a great job putting their groups on display and recruiting new members to join the action. From the highlight reel shown by our Ultimate Frisbee team to our costumed recruiters from Nipmuc Drama to our enthusiastic DECA reps - our students kept the excitement levels high and did their best to invite more students to join their groups. We're thrilled to have so many students taking part in our extracurricular activities.

Staying Connected with Nipmuc

Good morning,
I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start. As we make our way toward October, I wanted to offer a reminder about some of the ways that we will be looking to communicate important information and news about your children and all that happens at our school. With that in mind, I am including a number of resources that will be helpful for you to stay connected to life at Nipmuc.

The Nipmuc Regional High School Principal’s Blog: (
Through this blog you will receive updates about our students and news about what is taking place at Nipmuc. Check this site frequently or sign up to receive an email each time the blog is updated by entering your email address on the “Follow My Blog by Email” box located in the margin on the right of the page. Scroll on this page to see recent posts with information about our success with Advanced Placement courses, our new freshman class officers, and Friday’s cookout and activities fair.

Follow us on Twitter: (
Mrs. Moran and I are launching our Twitter page today, providing updates about Nipmuc and our students in 140 characters or less. Follow us on Twitter to stay current on student news at Nipmuc.

The Nipmuc Guidance Department Blog: (
New this year, the Guidance Department Blog is a great new resource that will keep you connected to important information from our guidance counselors. Learn about scholarships, course selection, “Breakfast with Guidance” events, student resources, college fairs, and more by checking this blog. Like the Principal’s Blog, you can enter your email address to be alerted each time this blog is updated.

The Nipmuc Regional High School Website: (
Check in frequently to view the calendar or be connected to a number of resources including teachers’ websites, contact information, and information about Nipmuc.

Nipmuc Athletics:
Another new addition to our online presence is the Nipmuc Athletics website located at Check in for results, important announcements, information about the Warriors’ Club, and more. If you would like to download the Nipmuc athletic schedule into your calendar, check out

Please know that I recognize the importance of communicating effectively with our students, parents, and the school community. I hope these resources provide you with a variety of ways to get important information in a way that works for you. I will continue to look for ways to expand and improve our communication efforts throughout the year.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

DECA Cookout and Nipmuc Club/Activities Fair

On Friday, September 21 Nipmuc will host its fifth annual DECA Cookout and Club/Activities Fair. This event has become a yearly tradition at the school as it provides our students with a chance to connect with their classmates, meet with their class officers and get an introduction to all of the clubs and activities that Nipmuc has to offer.

This year's DECA group has done a phenomenal job organizing the event, working with local businesses to receive donations, and put together an enjoyable day for our students. Among the many students who have worked to organize the cookout is Nipmuc's DECA president and state DECA representative Chris Desilets. When asked about the importance of the event, Chris told me that the DECA cookout has become popular because "it's a great way to get back into things in the school year." He pointed out that is has become such a popular part of the school culture in part because it offers "a rare opportunity for our classes to have lunch together as a group." Beyond that he said that another reason for its success is that "it's run by kids. It's fun to see your friends making your hamburgers."

In addition, the cookout helps to raise funds to support those students who participated in DECA competitions. Last year, the DECA cookout helped to defray costs for the 106 students who competed at the state competition and the seventeen Nipmuc students who travelled to Salt Lake City for the international competition. This year the internationals are scheduled to take place in Anaheim. Friday's cookout will certainly help to support those students who will making the trip across the country.

This is an especially important event for our freshmen who will have a chance to meet with representatives from all of Nipmuc's clubs and activities. Sign-up sheets are available, providing an easy way for our students to become part of life at Nipmuc beyond the classroom. Click here for an updated copy of the Nipmuc Activities Guide which provides you with all of the groups that will be represented on Friday.

Tickets for the cookout are sold in advance for $5 in the school store and $6 at the door on Friday.

The schedule for the day is as follows:
Friday, September 21 (DEFGA)
DEF blocks - regular schedule

11:05am - 12:30pm DECA Cookout/Activities Fair/Class Meeting
11:05am - 11:33am
Seniors and Juniors: Cookout (Cafeteria/Courtyard)
Sophomores: Club/Activities Fair (Gym)
Freshmen: Class meeting (Auditorium)

11:33am - 12:01pm
Seniors and Juniors: Club/Activities Fair (Gym)
Sophomores: Class Meeting (Auditorium)
Freshmen: Cookout (Cafeteria/Courtyard)

12:01pm - 12:30pm
Seniors: Class meeting (Auditorium)
Juniors: Class meeting (Soccer field)
Sophomores: Cookout (Cafeteria/Courtyard)
Freshmen: Club/Activities Fair (Gym)

In order to prevent you from missing any blocks that day, the afternoon will run as follows:
G block: 12:33pm - 1:15pm (42 minutes)
A block: 1:18pm - 2pm (42 minutes)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Newest Student Leaders

Freshman Class Officers (l-r)
Maxwell Polay (Treasurer), Henry Marshall (Vice President)
Matthew O'Brien (President)

Congratulations are in order to the newest group of student leaders at Nipmuc Regional. At the conclusion of last week, our student council guided our freshmen through the process of electing class officers and student council members for the Class of 2016. Our school is fortunate to have a strong tradition of meaningful student leadership that guides our school-wide activites, contributes to school policy, and communicates the needs of the student body. I know that I will rely on them a great deal throughout the year and I am looking forward to working together.

With that in mind, I took a few minutes to meet with the officers from the Class of 2016 to learn more about our freshmen. Included below you will find some comments from Matthew O'Brien (President), Henry Marshall (Vice President), and Maxwell Polay (Treasurer) as they discuss some of the strengths of their class.

Matthew O'Brien: "I believe that the Class of 2016 is a hard working, goal-oriented class that knows the value of an education in the ever-changing world of today... I believe that the Class of 2016 will make a great addition to Nipmuc because we work hard and strive for excellence but know how to have a good time doing it."

Henry Marshall: "The Class of 2016 is a class with many personalities. All of these different personalities are positive, and they make for a great and fun classroom experience."

Maxwell Polay: "Many people in our class have different traits that will make this school even more enjoyable. We have many very smart people in our grade that have a high chance of succeeding in their education. We have funny people in our grade that take the stress off high school and make every day more enjoyable. And last but not least, we have some amazing athletes that are going to have great careers in Nipmuc sports."

Thank you to Matthew, Henry, and Maxwell for their words about their classmates. Joining this group in the leadership of the freshmen are the following newly elected student council members:

Nolan Bradley
Alyssa Cicconi
Scott Estabrook
Kevin Hack
Elizabeth Hilton
Lauren Jordan
Megan Mathiesan
Grace Merten
Alexa Mirageas
Carly Thibodeau
Sarah Tong
Kelsey Woods

Congratulations to all. I am looking forward to working with everyone in the year ahead.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Advanced Placement (AP) Results

Last night it was my pleasure to present the achievement of Nipmuc’s students and teachers on the 2012 Advanced Placement (AP) tests. As I mentioned at the meeting, Nipmuc’s AP programming has never been stronger. Over the course of the past eight years, Nipmuc has increased the number of Advanced Placement courses that it offers from 5 to 11. During this time period our students have embraced the challenge of AP which gives them the chance to take a college-level course while still in high school.
Some of the key data points showing the growth of the program and the achievement of our students.

These courses are independently reviewed by the College Board to ensure the rigor of the class, the specificity of the curriculum, and the quality of learning opportunities provided to our students. In offering eleven AP classes, Nipmuc gives its students a chance to challenge themselves in a variety of fields of study, helping them to develop their interests and prepare themselves for life on a college campus. We are excited that so many of our students have embraced this challenge. Whereas AP classes were once offered to only the top 10-15% of a grade, this year nearly 50% or Nipmuc's juniors or seniors are enrolled in AP courses.

In growing our AP program Nipmuc is fortunate to have support from the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative (MMSI). MMSI has provided our school with a “gain” grant, designed for schools with established AP programs with the intention of helping them not only increase enrollment, but also achievement.
Some of the gains made in Nipmuc's first year of the grant with MMSI.

Last year Nipmuc was one of approximately 300 schools in the nation awarded a spot on the 2nd Annual District Honor Roll for Significant Gains in Enrollment and Achievement. I encourage you to view the presentation below in order to see some of the tremendous achievement of our students and teachers. We recognize that there is always room for improvement; however, we are also proud of the story of achievement told in our enrollment and achievement data.

(Please be aware that you may have to temporarily allow pop-ups to view the presentation.) 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

School Picture Day

Please be aware that Grynn and Barrett photographers will be at school throughout the day on Friday, September 7 for school pictures.

Parents will have the option to purchase these pictures. Additionally, these images will be used for the students' ID cards.

Students who are absent on September 7 will have the opportunity to have their picture taken on October 18th. This is also the date that retakes will be offered to interested students.

Back to School Night

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope the school year is off to a good start for you and your child. It is wonderful to have our students back with us as we begin another year of work together.

It is my pleasure to invite parents to join us for Back to School Night here at Nipmuc. Students are not expected to attend.  The scheduled evening for parents of students in grades 9-12 is Tuesday, September 11, 2012 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  It will give you an opportunity to meet your child’s teachers, become familiar with the curriculum, and get an introduction to our new schedule.

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 14 from 12-2:00 p.m. and on Thursday, November 15 from 6-8:00 p.m. 

I hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us on September 11th.  As always, should you have questions concerning Back to School Night or anything pertaining to your child’s education here at Nipmuc, please call.

John K. Clements