HWRHS Remote Learning – What does it look like?

It certainly doesn’t look like school as we know it. After all, our families and teachers are all trying to balance the reality of working from home, managing their online meetings, devices, their kids online school, and the unfortunate realities of the probability of someone getting sick. Pretty stressful.

In the last couple of weeks, I realized that one thing continues to shine through…relationships. The relationships created in school are hard to duplicate online, but are necessary to make the most of being in a remote learning environment. The power of the relationships our teachers have with their students has been the foundation of what has happened to date. It is clear though that our teachers miss their students and our students miss their teachers.

So what else are our teachers up to? We should be extremely proud that they were able to move many of the facets of traditional school to a non-traditional online world. While remote learning will never have the same impacts as face-to-face learning, our teachers have been amazing at bringing as much as they can to the remote environment.

So what is happening?

  • Our counselors are connecting with students and families individually and in groups. zoom.us
  • Yesterday some hosted junior zoom calls to talk about the college process.
  • Foreign Language teachers are using the online tool Gimkit to help students with vocabulary. Currently 3 or 4 other schools are involved with them too!
  • One teacher has a funny hat day scheduled during her zoom meeting with her students try lighten the mood. After all, we can still have fun!
  • All teachers have managed to learn or teach themselves how to use Zoom or Google Meet for online video connections with students.
  • Teachers have used Zoom and Screencastify to record 10-15 minute reviews and prompts for students.
  • School counselors, our RISE program team and our school resource officer meet weekly online and then fan out to connect with students who we need a connection or boost.
  • One teacher uses a song of the day to make relevant connections for the prompt or assignment
  • A teacher and his son are using the HS 3-D printer to print masks for local hospitals
  • Our staff created 17 live zoom trainings to support professional development of our teachers

Each day I learn about something new and amazing that is happening within our remote learning environment. The key to success has been hard work, persistence and most importantly, the relationships we built when we are together.

I am sure our teachers and students will continue to do amazing things together. Times like this consistently open the doors for more innovation and creativity. Will our schools ever be the same?


HWRHS Common Scholarship Application Link has been sent to HWRHS seniors and their first contact by email.

Our internal HWRHS Common Scholarship application is now electronic.  For those of you who have filled out the paper form, you can use that information to easily complete the new Google Form; it has basically the same layout.  If you were also applying for one of our internal music scholarships (Bettencourt/Bowler/Stahlberg), please know that we have added them to the Common Scholarship to simplify the process.

The biggest difference will be that you will not be able to attach a resume.  This is for the ease of the committees who will have to read the submissions electronically instead of on paper.  There are places for you to enter the information.  If you have a resume or your essays saved on a computer, you should be able to easily copy and paste the information into the form.

The new deadline to complete and submit this application is April 15, 2020.

  • Please note that the application will accept submissions from HWRSD user accounts only.

FOR OTHER SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS, as always, double check their deadlines and submission instructions.  Let Ms. Adamo know if you need transcripts and teacher letters sent.  She will do that electronically in most cases.  PLEASE do not wait until the deadline to complete and submit ANY application.  You never know what difficulties you might encounter (device/printer issues, internet slowdowns, etc.)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Adamo or your counselor.

Take care and stay safe.  These are strange times for sure.

New Superintendent for HWRSD selected

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     MARCH 26, 2020

The Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Mary Beth Banios as our next Superintendent of Schools and will begin negotiations of a contract beginning on July 1, 2020.  

Ms. Banios is currently serving as the Superintendent of Windsor Central Supervisory Union in Woodstock, Vermont.  She also has extensive experience in Massachusetts, serving as the Assistant Superintendent in Shrewsbury and in Maynard.  She has been a principal, assistant principal and classroom teacher in Massachusetts as well.

The School Committee recognizes the valuable work done by the Superintendent Screening Committee and thanks the members; Mary Adamik, Julian Brown-Myers, Gary Cheeseman, Kristen Crockett, Catherine Frost, Tyson Goodridge, Catherine Harrison, Margaret McElhinney, Bill Olson, Deirdre Pierotti, Kristen Borges, and Ben Schersten.  Additionally, the process was greatly enhanced by all the community members, parents, and school staff who participated in the focus groups and virtual community visits. This superintendent search featured strong candidate participation by Philip Conrad, Julie Kukenberger, and Daniel Richards. The School Committee congratulates Dr. Kukenberger on her appointment as the Melrose Superintendent and Mr. Conrad on his appointment as the Bedford Superintendent. 

The School Committee looks forward to welcoming Ms. Banios to the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District and to her leadership in the years ahead. 

During difficult times, choices make the difference

Life is full of so many choices. We make good ones, bad ones and even some mediocre ones. During difficult times, the choices people make really make the difference.

We can choose to sleep til noon, watch Netflix, eat some snacks and watch Netflix again before going to bed for another 12 hours or so. We can choose to skip the gym, eat junk and be generally unproductive. It’s easy to do.

This morning my better half reached out to a friend of hers who is in her late 80s. She said, “I lived through world war 2, we didn’t have all the social media and it didn’t seem as scary.” We can choose to limit what we are watching and listening to each day. If we dwell on all of the negative news, it is bound to bring us down. Schedule a couple of check ins each day with news sources that have credibility and leave it at that.

We can choose to take a virtual tour of our national parks, watch a Broadway Play from home or even check out some of the worlds greatest treasures virtually:

We can also choose to do some fun things like, play drums, draw, learn about planting a garden for the upcoming spring, learn a language, or even learning to program in a new language. The choice we make can help us to grow, create some fun for us and others and even help us to stay connected by finding like people online or within social networks. Here is a fun way to choose to get some time on the “tread mill”:

We can choose to write (yes, with paper and pen) a note to every elderly person we know, video chat with them or give them a call to see how they are doing. We can choose to clean out the cellar or attic that we have ignored for months or years. We can choose to keep a journal or to even write a book (yes you can!).

Given the massive amounts of online content, we can choose to learn something from it or to add positively to it. We can choose to teach others something really cool and we can choose to share something really interesting.

We can choose to get outside to walk, run, exercise or even to do some forest bathing:

Most importantly…we can choose. What will you choose to do?

Stay healthy and be great Generals!

Mr. Tracy

2 Hamilton Wenham Students Qualify for DECA International Career Development Conference

The Hamilton Wenham DECA Chapter traveled to the 61st annual Massachusetts DECA State Career Development Conference (SCDC) this past weekend at the Marriott Copley and Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Two students qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Nashville, TN through competition with an additional seven planning to attend the leadership development academy. 

Seventy-eight Hamilton Wenham students joined 3,400 students, advisors, and business professionals attending the conference where students compete in over 50 categories of marketing, hospitality, finance and entrepreneurship topics. The theme this year was Find Your Fire (link to program booklet, pictured below) and encouraged students to explore what motivates them to succeed.

The SCDC took place over February 27–29 with role-play competitors taking a 100-question comprehensive exam then performing 2 role-plays with business professionals who volunteer as judges. Role-plays ask students to solve a problem and present their solution to the judge while covering specific performance indicators. Project competitors presented their findings from their previously submitted prepared papers at the conference. Project topics included start-up business plans, operations research papers, and international business plans.

ICDC Qualifiers

Student (grade)CategoryAward
Kyle Russo (12)Retail Merchandising Series2nd Place Overall
3rd Place Role Play 11st Place Role Play 2
Audrey Kiarsis (11)Apparel & Accessories Marketing Series3rd Place Overall
1st Place Role Play 1

Additional Recognition: Alternates for ICDC

Student (grade)CategoryAward
Hope Jensen (11)Principles of Hospitality & TourismTop 10 Overall
Vivienne Willett (10)Business Services MarketingTop 10 Overall3rd Place Role Play 2
Eliza Kerivan (12)Human Resources ManagementTop 10 Overall
Sophie Doane (12) & Jordan Story (12)Financial Operations Research Project: Institution for SavingsTop 10 Overall
Eileen Campbell (12) & Klaudia Rushi (12)Hospitality & Tourism Operations Research Project: John’s Bar & GrillTop 10 Overall
Addie Condon (12)International Business Plan: Dunkin BrandsTop 10 Overall2nd Place Written Project
Lily Waterman (11)Hospitality & Tourism Professional Selling EventTop 10 Overall
Damian Sorrenti (10)Professional Selling EventTop 10 Overall

Hamilton Wenham earned 7 allocations for the prestigious leadership development academy at the ICDC through chapter campaigns on the state and national levels. HW DECA earned their allocations through increasing membership, community outreach such as presenting to the School Committee, and participating in community service events. Students who attend the leadership portion of the conference will participate in professional interactive leadership workshops with Focus Training.

DECA is a co-curricular organization of high school students that builds transferable skills for college and career with over 200,000 members in all 50 states, four US territories, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Korea, and more. DECA helps students develop skills for successful careers, builds self-esteem, provides leadership opportunities, and stresses community involvement and service.

The Hamilton Wenham program is led by Laura Wheeler,  DECA Advisor & Business Teacher, and Stefanie Rogal, Assistant DECA Advisor & Academic Coordinator of the RISE program. The program is in its fourth year at HWRHS and has 196 members representing over one third of the school. The experience would not be possible without the support of faculty volunteers who donated their time to chaperone the trip: Dr. Jennifer Sauriol, 6-12 Mathematics Curriculum Leader, her husband Rick Sauriol, Sally Maijenski, Special Education teacher, her husband Robert Bova, and Joe Maher, Math Teacher. 

To learn more about DECA, visit www.deca.org and www.madeca.org.

HWRHS Teacher David Veling to Run Boston Marathon

Our very own special education teacher, Mr. David Veling will be running the 124th Boston Marathon this year as part of the Boston Children’s Hospital Team.  The race is set for Monday, April 20, 2020. 

Mr. Veling is an avid runner and competes regularly in road, trail, and obstacle course events across the country.  Last year he ran more than 20 events, including roughly a dozen 5 and 10k races, the Run to Remember half marathon, eight Spartan obstacle course races, and the Ultra F.I.T. in which he completed eight laps, each consisting of 3.3 miles, 1000 feet of elevation gain, and 30 obstacles.

Since the fall he has been training weekly with members of the Boston Children’s Hospital team.  Most recently he finished a training run of 17 miles to prepare for the big day.

Why Mr. Veling Runs

“I am honored to be a part of the Miles for Miracles team running the 2020 Boston Marathon. My reason for running is my 6-year-old son, James, pictured here completing his first ever 5k trail race with me. It is a big deal for a 6-year-old to run a 5k. It is an especially big deal for someone like James, who experienced a stroke at birth. For the past five years, James has worked with more than a dozen different specialists on three different campuses of BCH and every single person he has encountered has been incredibly kind and caring. Although he continues to face health and learning challenges, we know that the professionals supporting us are committed to seeing him succeed and grow. Because of his team at Boston Children’s Hospital, James is thriving and able to pursue the activities he loves…like running.”


As you may know, each runner is expected to raise a large amount of money.  David is working to raise $15,000 by race day. So far he has raised $6767.20. In order to meet the 15K goal, he is coordinating fundraisers with the help of some very special friends.  The next one is listed below. Maybe you can join David?

Join Team Veling on Thursday, March 5, from 6:00 until 8:00 at, John’s Bar & Grill, 392 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA, for an evening of fantastic Greek/Mediterranean food, fun, and fundraising for Boston Children’s Hospital!
$20 for adults. $10 for kids 12 and up. Kids 11 and under are free. Cash bar.
Chances to win lots of great prizes.5. 0/50 raffle at the door!
100% of proceeds go directly to Boston Children’s Hospital.

The Boston Children’s Hospital page outlines that “all funds raised through the B.A.A. Boston Marathon Official Charity Program helps to continue this tradition of phenomenal pediatric care, revolutionary research, and transformative medical training.”  We wish Mr. Veling and the BCH team best of luck in their fundraising efforts and their race day run! 

To learn more or donate directly, please go to http://fundraise.childrenshospital.org/goto/teamveling