student at whiteboard

High School

Citizen Bee 2021

News Type:  High School Date:  Monday, March 8, 2021

In February 2021, Landmark High School students held a virtual Citizen's Bee. The Citizen's Bee is a long-standing tradition at Landmark High School. It is a friendly trivia match to challenge students on content they have been learning throughout the year or in current events.

Championship Round a Nail-Biter

All social studies classes participated in the Citizen's Bee virtually. The final round came down to Mr. Murphy's 5th period Economics class and Mr. Ahearn's 2nd period Law class. This final round was close, with Mr Murphy's 5th period Economics class eking out a 2 point win, earning 38 points to the other class' 36 points. The finals "match was conducted remotely by Mr. Chhu and Mr. Talbot, and each class was asked questions during their regularly scheduled class. There were two rounds. The first round featured a series of questions in the following categories: Geography, American History, World History, Famous People, Current Events, and Sports and Entertainment. 

The 2nd round had randomized categories. This year there were questions on poetry, identifying major international cities, state license plates, and fast food menu items, among others.

"Citizen Bee is a creative way for students to review some of the concepts they have learned in their classes, be introduced to information they might not otherwise hear about, and hopefully add to their collection of historical and contemporary knowledge," said Mr. Talbot. "We aim to include questions that tap into students' wide array of interests, providing room for them to shine during a trivia competition which might otherwise feel inaccessible." 

Citizen's Bee winners 2021


Fostering Friendship a World Away

News Type:  High School Date:  Tuesday, March 2, 2021

What started out four years ago as a spring break trip to share professional development with schools and educators in Mozambique, has blossomed into a cross-cultural partnership that has touched hundreds of teachers and their many students.

In 2017, a group of five Landmark teachers went to Mozambique to share what they knew about teaching best practices with educators there. The trip was organized by former high school faculty member, Cassie Larson, whose family founded and runs the Sunshine Approach Foundation, part of the Sunshine Nut Company located in Mozambique. The corporation uses a majority of their cashew farming and distribution profits to support agricultural development, orphans and vulnerable children, and other like-minded organizations in the area.

Since that first visit, a team of Landmark teachers has visited Mozambique every year, cultivated meaningful friendships, collaborated with teachers, delivered lessons and activities to school-age children, and contributed more than $6,000 in the form of Landmark teaching publications and supplies, backpacks, uniforms, and more to hundreds of students. "Each year, we partner with more than 100 teachers, many of whom we get to reconnect with each year. They teach us as much as we teach them," said high school Science teacher, Michelle Boucher.

This year, due to travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, Boucher mobilized a fundraising effort among school faculty and staff that generated funds to provide 130 backpacks and 70 uniforms to students in Mozambique.   

Boucher says, "Working with these teachers and students has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Knowing that we can share the spirit of Landmark halfway around the world, and come back with new ideas and inspiration from teachers in Mozambique and share them with our community, is incredibly rewarding."

Landmark teachers who have participated in past trips to Mozambique include:

2017: Kyle Clark, Kate Kinsman, Cassie Larson, Kaleigh Mangiarelli, Lauren (Morrow) Murphy 

2018: Rachael Bartz, Chelsey Bergsten, Nathan Gray, Brigid Houlihan, Victoria Tansey

2019: Scott Blanchette, Michelle Boucher, Jamaal Dixon

2020: Michelle Boucher, Doug Musco, Doug Walker

High School Students Win 2021 Scholastic Art Awards

News Type:  High School Date:  Thursday, February 25, 2021

Landmark High School students won a total of 11 awards at the regional level of the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Awards included one Gold Key, two Silver Key, and eight Honorable Mentions. (See below for a full list.)

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students had less time to work on their projects, and some had to work fully remote, with fewer resources. As a result, the art department submitted fewer works for consideration than in a typical year.

"We usually choose a good deal of work from the previous spring for submissions to the Scholastic Art Awards because that is when students have developed skills from the beginning of the year and traditionally make their most advanced and personal work," said Visual Arts Department Co-Chair Beth Jamieson. "This year was different because the art classes all went remote for the spring and many students didn't have access to the same materials. It is remarkable that some of the work that was recognized was created at home during quarantine or completed right before campus closed. It is also important to note that some of the work that was recognized this year was made by fully remote students this fall. We are thankful that we were able to continue submitting work and that our students were recognized for their efforts." 


Gold Key

  • Jake Lunder '21, Torus Cage

Silver Key

  • Kiki Finn '21, Self-Portrait in Black
  • Amelia Silvestro '22, Blind Contour Eagles

Honorable Mention

  • Kiki Finn '21, Self-Portrait in White
  • Elijah Kline '21, Self-Portrait in Black
  • Diego Lender Comeau '21, Self-Portrait in Black
  • Jake Lunder '21, Hope Globe
  • Jake Lunder '21, Space Helmet
  • Amelia Silvestro '22, Self-Portrait in Black
  • Bella Tita-Bright '22, Pen and Ink Dog
  • Naomi Volpi '21, Self-Portrait in Black

Award Categories

Gold Key

The best works submitted to local programs. Gold Key works are automatically considered for national-level recognition.

Silver Key

Standout works submitted to local programs that demonstrate exceptional ability.

Honorable Mention

Accomplished works submitted to local programs showing great skill and potential.

History of the Awards

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recognize student achievement in the visual and literary arts in 29 categories, including editorial cartoon, poetry, graphic design, fashion, science fiction, video-game design, and more. Founded in 1923, the awards are the nation's longest-running, most prestigious educational initiative supporting student achievement in the visual and literary arts. Students in grades 7–12 from public, private, and home schools throughout the U.S. and its territories can submit works to the awards. 


jake lunder landmark school scholastic art award gold key torus cage

Landmark School InvenTeam Wins Prestigious Lemelson Grant

News Type:  High School Date:  Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A group of nine Landmark High School students is among 13 teams nationwide awarded this year’s prestigious Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams grant to invent solutions to solve real-world problems. This is the third time that Landmark’s team has received this grant. 

The Landmark initiative is a near-shore marine data survey collector in the form of a fixed buoy placed off the coast adjacent to the Landmark High School campus. The device will collect air temperature, barometric pressure, water salinity, windspeed, water temperature and acidity, and turbidity at the water surface, 10 ft. down, and on the ocean floor.

Collaborating With Local Organizations

What is particularly noteworthy about this initiative is that Landmark’s InvenTeam is collaborating with other local organizations and their students and teachers, researchers, and scientist by sharing the data to help establish baselines and observe trends of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of the North Shore. These organizations include: Beverly Public Schools, Division of Marine Fisheries of Massachusetts, Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center in Nahant, and the Salem Sound Coastwatch.

The problem that the Landmark team is aiming to solve is to provide an alternative to other data collection buoys that are typically free-floating, often get lost and damaged at sea, and have hefty uplink costs. Landmark’s buoy will be anchored to the ocean floor within two miles from the coast. The device will collect data several times each day and thanks to the programming of the Landmark team, will be loaded automatically to a spreadsheet that will be shared with the partner organizations. 

“It’s been exciting to see our students dive head first into researching projects that we could propose to the Lemelson-MIT committee and to see so many be recognized with a grant to help us execute our vision,” said Landmark teacher Doug Walker. Co-teacher Dan Crossman said, “This project is particularly rewarding since we are able to share our data with other local organizations allowing them to learn from what we collect, develop solutions to a range of environmental challenges, and to continually innovate.” 

Landmark School’s InvenTeam

Julia Bottarelli, sophomore, Manchester, Mass.

Ethan Cadorette, junior, Swampscott, Mass.

Cole Drouin, sophomore, Andover, Mass. 

Matt Favreau, junior, Danvers, Mass. 

Nikolaus Guthrie, junior, North Andover, Mass. 

Ryan Johanson, senior, North Andover, Mass. 

Stephen Lukasiewicz, junior, Winchester, Mass. 

Jake Lunder, senior, Weston, Mass. 

Kaitlin Rattray, sophomore, Gloucester, Mass. 

Since 2006, the Lemelson-MIT  InvenTeam initiative has been changing the way educators teach and providing young people with creative problem solving skills to flourish in college and their chosen careers,” said Stephanie Couch, Executive Director of Lemelson-MIT. 

Other InvenTeams this school year include students from California, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. The Lemelson-MIT program celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through investigation.  Learn more about the program at 

The Landmark InvenTeam will be sharing progress on the invention on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Register to attend this free event 

Landmark Senior Published in National Magazine

News Type:  High School Date:  Thursday, February 18, 2021

Andy Leshaw, an avid boater who's a senior at Landmark High School, used his shore-bound time during the COVID-19 pandemic to research and test boating apps for navigation, weather, and general boating activities. He wrote an article about his work, and BoatUS Magazine published it in their Expert Advice section in February. Great job, Andy!

andy leshaw in boat

Expressing Herself Through Art

News Type:  High School Date:  Thursday, February 18, 2021

Julia Bottarelli '23 arrived at Landmark as an eighth grade student. Moving to a new school can be stressful. It involves making new friends, learning the routines of the community, and settling into an entirely different system. Then add the pressure of moving here from the Chicago area so Julia and her sister could attend Landmark. Fortunately, the Bottarelli sisters have very supportive parents, a great attitude, and lots of interests. 

Julia is passionate about the visual arts. Earlier this fall, her Physical Science teacher, Doug Walker, announced that the school had acquired a Cricut printer, which prints original or templated DIY projects and provides high-quality cutting capabilities. She was intrigued and set about creating some logos. Bottarelli said, “At the time we were studying Newton’s Laws of Motion so I wanted to design a logo that could incorporate the Landmark compass rose along with some relevant symbols. I added gears to show motion in action, then I added a ramp to suggest how far the logo would roll based on the ramp size. My final touch was adding little markings to represent gravity and the force applied.” 

She continues, “The response was really positive so I started to re-imagine the Landmark logo in other ways. One expresses my interest in the visual arts. The design uses the compass rose layered on top of a blend of many bright colors representing how visual art is often a mix of media and techniques. My favorite variation is one showing the compass rose on top of an image of the globe. It symbolizes the school as the destination where students and families come from all over the US and the world to be a part of the Landmark community. As someone who moved here from 1,000 miles away, this is the one that means the most to me.”

Landmark School logo by Julia Bottarelli

Causing "Good Trouble"

News Type:  High School Date:  Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Every year, Landmark School's High School Visual Arts Department challenges students to collaborate on a charcoal portrait of people who have been positive agents of change. Subjects have included a range of individuals from the original Apollo astronauts, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, and even the founding faculty members of the School. 

As co-head of the department, Beth Jamieson, said, “When choosing the subject for the collaborative charcoal project, we look at the events of the past year and consider pivotal figures. We decided on former U.S. Congressman John Lewis, who passed away in July, to acknowledge his contributions to racial justice and voting rights—two important issues of 2020.”

Jamieson continued, “The goal of the collaborative portrait project for the Drawing class, is to learn to draw realistic portraits by identifying shapes, values, relationships, and texture by rendering them using newly-learned charcoal techniques. Students are taught the method of gridding to break down a drawing into smaller pieces in order to observe detail and draw accurate placement. Each student was given three sections of the grid/portrait to focus on and they worked together to assemble the complete composition.”  

In order to put the subject of John Lewis into context for the seven drawing students, the class watched the 2020 documentary, Good Trouble, about Lewis’s life and impact on the civil rights movement.

2020-21 Drawing Students: Angie A., Julia B., Mia K., Amelia S., Bella S., Sydney S., Isabella T-B.

Collaborative charcoal drawing of John Lewis

Landmark Celebrates Black History Month

News Type:  High School Date:  Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Teachers on both the Elementary•Middle and High School campuses are celebrating Black History Month by incorporating lessons on a variety of perspectives of Black history in America into their curriculum.

At the High School, administrators have asked faculty members to spend several days in February discussing events, concepts, or leaders connected to Black history. They will connect the lessons learned, obstacles faced, losses suffered, or victories celebrated to the world students are currently living in.  

"The similarities can be disheartening, but we can also help students feel empowered to develop their own point of view and learn how to effectively participate in our democracy," said Ariel Martin-Cone, assistant dean of students.

Landmark's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee provided students an explanation of Black History Month:

"Black History Month is an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the contributions and struggles of Black people throughout the history of the United States. Its existence acknowledges the erasure of Black stories in mainstream understandings of American history. Black History Month pushes us to reeducate ourselves on our past and to reexamine our present and future."

The History Department developed lesson plans for teachers and tutors to use with students during Black History Month. The lessons focus on milestones and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Librarian Amy Veling curated a list of recommended books, short stories, and other resources for both students and faculty. Titles and links to buy the books are below.

At the Elementary•Middle School, teachers featured Black History Month content during Morning Meeting and in class. They showed videos that highlight contemporary or historical figures. Middle School Oral Expression/Literature classes learned about Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet and activist who delivered her poem, "The Hill We Climb," at the 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden.


Middle school science classes looked at the contributions of Black trailblazers in the field of medicine and medical research, which coincided with the start of the Human Body unit. 

Elementary science classes, while studying a unit on weather, learned about June Bacon-Bercey, a Black meteorologist pioneer who was an expert on weather and aviation.

Social Studies

Middle School teachers incorporated Black History Month into their lessons based on their curriculum, interests, and developmental level of their students. Examples include a unit on Black founders of the nation, researching important historical figures, studying the African-American influence music development, and the causes of the Civil War.

Students in Freddi Triback’s Social Studies and Kids Around the Globe classes read Meet 52 Black Heroes From Past and Present: Young, Gifted and Black, by Jamia Wilson, and watched supplemental videos to bring contemporary and historical figures to life. 

"In our Beatles/teenager theme we delved into how white artists, such as Pat Boone, covered songs by Black musicians and writers and didn’t give credit or compensation to the original Black artists.  We also learned that the term ‘Rock and Roll’ was created by DJs to hide its black origins. We also watched a video on the Beatles refusing to play to a segregated audience."—Jerry Smith, Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Language Arts

Ally Gnoza's students focused on the three "hidden figures" of NASA: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who worked as human computers to help get the U.S. to the moon. They discussed segregation and racism within the space program in general.

Oral Expression/Literature

Martha Heddon's classes did a "what did you notice, what did you wonder activity" after watching recordings of Amy Conant​'s classes reciting portions of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. 

Many Elementary School classes learned about Time Magazine Kid of the Year Honoree, Bellen Woodard, who is known for her “More Than Peach” project, which “uses crayons as a way to tackle perceptions about skin colors among children”.

While EMS celebrates Black History Month in February, the ultimate goal is to make a larger shift of showing Black history and people, as well as other diversity, throughout the year.


2020–2021 Student Advocates

News Type:  High School Date:  Monday, November 9, 2020

Landmark High School students juggle many responsibilities each day: school, homework, community service, and often long commutes. Each year, 10–12 seniors add another time-consuming commitment to their schedules that requires travel, public speaking, and sharing personal stories. That role is being a Student Advocate. This year, several Advocates face the additional challenge of navigating hybrid or remote learning.

The Advocates, led by faculty members Jason Mansfield, Dan Ahearn, and Ashley Norman, present to graduate and undergraduate education students at local colleges and universities, as well as to students, teachers, and administrators at elementary and middle schools. They talk about their learning difference, how it affects them in school, at work, and in other aspects of life, and how they overcome their challenges. In addition, they offer advice and strategies to teachers about how to support students with learning differences to help them succeed. These personal accounts are honest, powerful, and eye-opening. Some of these presentations will be remote this year, and students will all certainly be wearing masks.

The Advocates delivered their presentations to a group of Landmark faculty and staff in early November. All were composed, prepared, and confident. There was a common theme when the Advocates listed tips and tools for teachers: be patient and provide a supportive environment. Other strategies drew on Landmark's Six Teaching Principles, such as presenting information in varied ways, making lessons active and kinesthetic, using templates, encouraging self-advocacy.

Shared Experiences

Josh described how having slow processing speed affects "every aspect of my day." He said that he often knows the answer to a question, but it takes him more time to put his thoughts into words. "This lowers my self-esteem and confidence," he said. He recommends that teachers "be patient, question students to make sure they understand concepts and directions, and provide executive function supports."

Heather, who has dyslexia, used strategies she learned at Landmark to help a second-grade girl she babysits who struggles with reading. "I was always catching up in class and avoided reading, so school was not fun," she said. Heather wanted to spare the girl the pain and anxiety she faced. "I read a story to her first, then previewed the text, summarized it, and had her practice. Then I asked her comprehension questions." Her advice for teachers? "Be supportive and encouraging, work in a quiet environment, break down the steps, and set goals.

Ethan explained that while there's no scientific evidence of a correlation between mental health issues and dyslexia, students with dyslexia are more likely to be bullied or harassed than other students, which can cause anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. He suggests that teachers look for signs that students are being bullied or are experiencing mental health issues and intervene. "Most important, be supportive and patient," he said.

Since 1995, dozens of Advocates have shared their stories, given advice, answered questions, and enlightened many. In addition to influencing future teachers and students, the Advocates leave the program with well-honed public-speaking—and some teaching—skills.

2020–2021 Advocates

  • Mia
  • Makayla
  • Lilly
  • Heather
  • Ethan
  • Josh
  • Morgan
  • Landon
  • Maggie
  • Nathaniel
  • Ruby

landmark high school student advocates presentation

Solidarity Day 2020

News Type:  High School Date:  Friday, October 16, 2020

Each year, Landmark High School's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) sponsors Ally Day and encourages community members to reflect on their values and actions, commit to end harassment and bullying, and support their peers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. In 2020, the GSA expanded its focus to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and called the day Solidarity Day. The day is intended to draw attention to the historic harm done to Black people and emphasize the responsibility we have to adjust our language, ideas, and actions so they are appropriate and reflect the voices of those most impacted by oppressive systems and behaviors. The GSA encouraged the community to reflect on the following pledge:

I believe that all students, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression deserve to feel safe and supported, and that Black lives matter. That means I pledge to:

  • Try to listen to perspectives and experiences that differ from my own, and to keep an open mind.
  • Not use racist, or anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) language or slurs.
  • Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where students are being harassed or tell an adult.
  • Support efforts to end bullying and harassment.
  • Encourage others to be Allies.

Dozens of students, faculty, and staff participated in Solidarity Day at the High School on October 16 and signed the pledge digitally. A Peace flag was displayed in the cafeteria in Alexander. The flag symbolizes Landmark’s stand against the injustice and inequality that still exists in our society.  

"Our goal for Solidarity Day is for members of the Landmark community to take time and reflect on how our actions and behavior can create a community that is a more welcoming, equitable, and safe place for all." said Jennifer Moy, faculty leader of the GSA and a teacher at the High School. "It is especially important in these uncertain and challenging times to continue to have events like this (in a safe manner) to draw attention to these issues and show our support for those more at risk for harassment, inequity, and discrimination."

Ally Day is inspired by Ally Week, a student-led program during which LGBTQ K–12 students and educators lead a conversation on what they need from their allies in school. It is sponsored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network). Showing our support is especially important now, as rates of bullying and harassment increase for students who identify as LGBTQIA+, and these students are four times more likely to attempt suicide.



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