More than 60 Landmark High School students and faculty dusted off their running shoes and sprinted across the gym in March, competing in the first-ever 40-yard dash competition. Tom O’Riordan, Landmark’s esteemed cross country and track coach, organized the event. Perhaps he had recruiting in mind? Nine females clocked in under six seconds, and 14 males under five seconds.
Top Three Boys
Matt Balestracci ‘19: 4.623
Sam Lagan ‘19: 4.658
Sam Knight ‘19: 4.664
Top Three Girls
Merryl Green ‘19: 5.114
Nevada Fahey ‘21: 5.538
Bella Cahill ‘21: 5.542
During the week leading up to the High School March break, students were encouraged to strap on their sneakers, whip up a green smoothie, and take time each day to practice mindfulness. Wellness Week is a new initiative organized by high school faculty members, John Michaud and Lauren Torres. “The goal is to help students develop an interest in and strategies to support their physical, mental, and emotional health”, said Torres. The idea came from a conversation she had with Michaud about how challenging it can be to get students to enthusiastically participate in physical education classes. The two fitness enthusiasts planned the week with the goal of getting students to recognize the benefits of healthy choices and buy-in to establishing some healthy habits.
Study Skills teacher Lindsay Banks and Science teacher Jennifer Kuhns co-teach a health and wellness class and worked with the PE and marketing departments to help students distill some of what they learned to generate a series of posters promoting health (see below). Other faculty members filled out health and wellness questionnaires sharing their views on exercise, diet, managing stress, and more (see links below). Torres and Michaud sent out helpful links to fitness tracking and meditation apps as well as myths and facts about health and wellness. Afterschool activities held during the week included a three-on-three basketball game and a 40-yard dash competition.
Students are heading in to their vacation fueled with information, insight, and hopefully inspiration to get and stay healthy over the break and throughout the year.
Meet some of our High School faculty members and learn about how they stay healthy:
Selected posters courtesy of the High School Health and Wellness class:
Thank you Bella, Clyde, Josh, Lucy, MacKenzie, Nick, and Violet
On Wednesday, February 27, as the late winter sun was setting, high school faculty and staff members, joined by their parents, children, and friends, gathered in the Inspiration Gallery to share the creative pursuits of their colleagues. This first-ever faculty/staff art show featured audio recordings, quilts, pottery, photography, weavings, woodwork, knitting, carvings, light fixtures, short stories, calligraphy, and everything in between.
Headmaster, Bob Broudo said, "I'm always impressed by the talents of our faculty and staff but this exhibit, and the creativity and the high caliber of this work, is truly remarkable. This community continues to blow me away."
The exhibit, curated and hung by the high school art department heads, Kara Healey and Beth Jamieson, will undoubtedly be the first of many.
The show is currently on view and open to members of the Landmark community.
On Feb. 21 and 22, 2019, members of the Performing Arts Department's Dance Troupe impressed audiences with their poise, teamwork, and talent. Twenty high school students performed an ambitious selection of performances, from large group numbers to solos, in genres spanning hip-hop to modern jazz to lyrical.
Kelli-Ann Camacho, head of the Dance Department, choreographed most of the dances, and Paige O'Connor, the after-school dance instructor at the High School, choreographed a selection of the solos and duets. Piper Nichols '19 and Nellie Maxwell '19 self-choreographed their solos. Nellie incorporated sign language into her performance. An Evening of Dance, an annual two-night celebration of dance, gives students the opportunity to showcase their dedication to their art.
"Each dance had different themes or stories ranging from hope, struggle, bullying, ghosts, and love. I have been doing this show for 10 years now and every year it continues to get bigger and better," said Ms. Camacho. "I’m very lucky that I get the opportunity to watch the students evolve as dancers and performers. I get to see their confidence grow. It’s the best feeling seeing them come off stage with the biggest smile on their faces because they have a huge sense of accomplishment. I am beyond proud of my students. "
In February, six Landmark wrestlers qualified to compete in the 72nd Annual New England Independent School Wrestling Association (NEISWA) Championships at Greens Farms Academy in Wesport, Conn. George Athanasiadis '21, Isaiah and Josiah Castellucci, '19, '21, Ethan Kerr '21, John Simpson '20, and Rudy Wurlitzer '22 all performed admirably and represented themselves and Landmark with class and great sportsmanship.
Isaiah took sixth and Josiah fifth in their respective weigh classes, and both advanced to the National Prep Championships at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. They were two of four students in the Eastern Independent League who made Nationals. The top six finishers in each weight class in New Englands receive an invitation to Nationals.
Landmark Represented at National Competition
At the National match on February 22, Josiah was pinned twice, pushing him out of the double elimination tournament. Isaiah lost his first match but went on to win his next two decisions. He needed to win again to wrestle on February 23. He lost his match by injury disqualification when his jaw collided with his opponent's head, forcing him out of the tournament.
While neither student placed, it was an accomplishment to receive an invitation to participate. It is an honor few others from Landmark have enjoyed. Jason Haley '02 placed seventh at Nationals his senior year and then placed fifth with Northfield Mt. Hermon as a post-grad in 2003. David Giovannacci '14 placed just outside the eighth and final medal spot at ninth for the 220 weight class.
The Landmark High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball team hosted the Fourth Annual Coaches vs. Cancer game on Friday, February 22, at the Ansara Center. The event raised more than $4,000 for the American Cancer Society. All funds will go directly to the American Cancer Society, which works to prevent cancer, save lives, and reduce cancer-related suffering.
The evening began with the Boys Varsity Basketball win over Covenant Christian Academy (CCA), followed by a silent auction, bake and t-shirt sale, pizza dinner, and culminated with the girls' season-ending game against CCA.
The stands were jammed with students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends and the excitement was palpable. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to organize this memorable community event.
Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide program organized by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
On February 21, Landmark students joined hundreds of schools around the world in celebrating International Mother Language Day, participating in events to showcase the many languages spoken on campus.
UNESCO has named 2019 the Year of Indigenous Languages in an effort to preserve languages in danger of extinction and to allow indigenous populations to be educated in their mother tongue (40% of the world population still does not have access to education in their native language).
Students and faculty made the third Landmark International Mother Language Day a success by speaking and sharing the different languages they knew, writing equivalents for the words "hope," "joy," and "loyalty" in those languages on posters. They also played word games, including one that required them to test their morphology knowledge and another to match English words and their equivalents in foreign languages. Landmark's ever-supportive Sage staff prepared delicious rice pudding with assorted toppings that added a festive flavor to the day.
The word "joy" was chosen in honor of Mrs. El Heneidy, whose middle name was Joy.
An impressive 25 foreign languages are understood at Landmark, from French to Farsi to Spanish to Swedish.
History of International Mother Language Day
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established International Mother Language Day in 1999 to to recognize that speaking in one's mother language is a human right. International Mother Language Day commemorates the February 21, 1952, killing of four college students by police in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) who were protesting for the right to speak Bengali, their mother language. The government had declared Urdu the only official language. After years of protests, the government made Bengali the official language of the country in 1956.
Landmark High School students won a total of 30 awards at the regional level of the 2019 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Five students won the Gold Key Award, five the Silver Key, and 13 students earned a total of 20 Honorable Mentions. (See below for a full list.)
"This year students from all classes and media were recognized with Scholastic Art Awards, including Foundations, Photography, Ceramics, Drawing, Graphic Design, Printmaking, and Portfolio. This also means that each of our five teachers is responsible for instructing and mentoring award winning students," said Art Department Co-Head Beth Jamieson. "Students from all levels from ninth to 12th grade were also recognized, which speaks not only to the strength of our most advanced students, but also to the potential in our youngest artists. Our students do not make their work to get awards, however, there is something rewarding about seeing their work recognized beyond the boundaries of Landmark, alongside their peers from across Massachusetts."
The work by Gold Key recipients will be on display from March 16–25, 2019, at Breed Hall, Tufts University, 51 Winthrop Street, Medford, MA 02155, and will be judged at the national level by a panel of renown artists, authors, educators, and industry experts. The Silver and Honorable Mention work will be put on display in Landmark's Inspiration Gallery.
- Eleanor Bradley, Drawing
- Kiki Finn, Mixed Media
- Coco Haseltine, Drawing
- Lydia Jackson, Mixed Media
- Andrew Meador, Digital Art
- Eleanor Bradley, Drawing
- Anya Crowley, Drawing
- Gabby Kenny, Digital Art
- Kalle Migliaccio, Woodworking
- Dante Vukotik, Digital Art
- Ellie Becker, Printmaking
- Eleanor Bradley, Digital Art
- Casper Childs, Drawing
- Caster Childs, Drawing
- Anya Crowley, Drawing
- Anya Crowley, Printmaking
- Coco Haseltine, Sculpture
- Coco Haseltine, Drawing
- Coco Hasetine, Ceramics
- Gabby Kenny, Mixed Media
- Chloe Kinteris, Drawing
- Chloe Kinteris, Digital Art
- Elijah Kline, Drawing
- Elijah Kline, Drawing
- Elijah Kline, Digital Art
- Max Lukegord, Photography
- Dominic Paolini, Photography
- Andre Richard, Printmaking
- Ale Rojas, Mixed Media
- Amelia Silvestro, Drawing
The best works submitted to local programs. Gold Key works are automatically considered for national-level recognition.
Standout works submitted to local programs that demonstrate exceptional ability.
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.
For Valentine's Day, a group of Landmark High School students visited the Veteran's Hospital in Bedford to participate in their Recognition Day—a day when special attention is given to the elderly veterans living or being treated at the hospital. Students made Valentine's Day cards for the veterans and also gave them balloons. Students met the New England Patriots’ mascot and a few Patriots cheerleaders. As always, our young people did a fantastic job!
Dozens of Landmark High School students competed in the annual science fair and displayed their ambitious projects for judges and observers on February 14.
Some students proved their hypotheses (rap music helps basketball players sink shots better than country or rock music) while others were surprised by their findings (adults ages 40 and over have better memory than teenagers). Despite the outcomes, the students reported that their projects taught them a thing or two about the scientific process and they gained an appreciation for the level of detail required to defend a hypothesis.
Each project was assessed by four judges and by their science teacher. The teacher's score was given double weight. Projects were judged on presentation, scientific thought, thoroughness, and creativity. The students were required to state the purpose of the project, the hypothesis, the scientific procedure they followed, observations, gather and interpret data, draw a conclusion, and finally, present the project to judges.
The Scientific Process
Ruairi tested the effect of heat and cold on battery life and performance. He hypothesized that batteries would be less efficient in cold environments and function normally in warm environments. He correctly hypothesized that batteries were negatively affected by cold temperatures. "In particular, iPhone devices became completely useless in environments below fridge temperatures," he said. "Android devices did work, but they lost power." He found that with alkaline batteries, the smaller the battery the more effect temperature had on them. To measure performance, he put phones in an incubator or freezer overnight, and then played a Youtube video for 10 minutes and measured how much batter life was lost. In cold environments, they lost on average 16-20% and only 5-7% at warm temperatures. He found that Android devices lost power faster than iPhones. He hypothesized that Android's larger screen and battery size caused the devices to be less energy efficient.
Elizabeth wanted to find out if name-brand sugar tastes better than off-brand. She made two batches of ice cream, one with Domino sugar and the other with a store brand. She tested two groups: students and teachers. The student group was evenly split. The teachers preferred the ice cream made with Domino sugar 2–1. Asked what inspired her to choose this experiment, Elizabeth said, "Who doesn't want to make ice cream for a week during school?"
Thank you to Greta Wright '20 and Lydia Jackson '20 for sharing these photos.