Here is our Educator of Year and Support Staff Person of Year!

Congratulations to History Teacher Alex Valhouli for being named our 2017 Educator of the Year. Mr. Valhouli has taught history at Whittier for 25 years, is Cluster Chairperson of the History Department and a Senior Class Advisor. 

Our Support Staff Person of the Year is Joseph Young, who has worked as a Teacher's Aid in our Plumbing, HVAC and other shops this year. He has been hired as a full-time Electrical Teacher for next year. Both awards were voted on by our staff. 

Key Club delivers teddy bears to area police departments

Key Club members made the rounds to area police stations today and delivered 120 teddy bears to help police comfort children who encounter emergency services. Officers will give them to children who experience traumatic events such as car accidents, fires or domestic incidents.

"Thank you. This is great, " said Haverhill Police Captain Stephen Doherty, as he accepted 40 bears in the lobby at Haverhill Police Department with Sgt. John Rosario and Whittier's School Resource Officer Jamie Landry. "We will have a bear in every cruiser and officers will hand them out to children who are in an upsetting situation to comfort them."  Some area police departments had bears donated at one time, but most have run out and welcomed the new additions. 

Dubbing themselves "The Teddy Bear Express," students traveled by school van with Key Club Advisor Liz Teixeira and dropped off bears in Haverhill, Merrimac, Salisbury, Amesbury, Rowley and Ipswich.

To pay for the stuffed animals, they raised $400 by selling cookie dough and Key Club President Briana Jackson earned a New England District Key Club Youth Opportunities Grant and the club received an additional $600.

Student members are: Ashlee Chaput, Kailee Chaput, Alyssa Cerullo, Emma Dupri, Khloe Vega, Sarah Dupri, Reilly Ashley, Matt Conner, Philip Blynn, Iyana While, Britnay Chaput, Briana Jackson, Katie Costa, Colinda Kyle, Alex Vega, Natasha Richard and Tabatha Noyes.

They are also led by Key Club Advisor Richard Porcelli.

 

 

Making cancer treatments easier for children

Children who are sick and receive intravenous medicines will no longer have to sit still during their treatments, thanks to our Key Club members. One of the projects they took on this year was to build and paint “Lilypads” which fasten to the bottom of IV poles and provide seats for young patients who can then wheel themselves around.

“We saw them at our District Convention in Springfield this year and loved them,” said Brianna Jackson, president of the club.

Carpentry Teacher Mark Whittier and his sophomore students cut eight molds, then sanded and finished them so they were ready for painting. Key Club members then designed and painted upbeat graphics to appeal to children such as Captain America, Finding Nemo, a pizza and bright flowers.

The lilypads will be donated to Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute at Tufts Medical Center. Cabinet-grade plywood used to build them was donated by Mark Brady of Damark Woodcraft in Haverhill. He is a member of Whittier’s Advisory Board. 

Key Club Members are: Ashlee Chaput, Kailee Chaput, Alyssa Cerullo, Emma Dupri, Khloe Vega, Sarah Dupra, Reilly Ashley, Matt Conner, Philip Blynn, Iyana While, Britnay Chaput, Briana Jackson, Katie Costa, Colinda Kyle Alex Vega, Natasha Richard and Tabatha Noyes

 

 

Our team is on their way to National SkillsUSA Competition!

They are our dream team of health knowledge. They have met at coffee shops on weekends to go over virus symptoms, and pharmaceuticals, even dentistry protocols. The four girls also stayed after school to study and expect to pull an all-nighter to prepare for the national spotlight coming their way next week.

After capturing gold medals in the statewide SkillsUSA Health Knowledge Bowl competition in April, Seniors Erin Archambault, Hayleigh Gorrassi and Kylie Gates and Junior Brianna Jackson are headed for the national SkillsUSA contest in Louisville, KY, June 19-23.

“Others lower their eyes when the four of them walk into a room,” joked their Health Occupations Teacher and SkillsUSA Advisor Jane Moskevitz. As honors students, friends, and Certified Nursing Assistants who all work at local nursing homes, they have more than a few things going for them, and hope to come home with gold.

Two of them have been to the national competition before. After a disappointing finish last year, they are pumping each other up. “We didn’t know what to expect last year,” said Erin, “and we didn’t do well. The winners were veterans and we finished in the bottom half of 20 teams. But this year, we are the veterans.”

From that experience, they knew to hone in on the uses of pharmaceuticals – using both the medical and generic terms -- and the correct spelling of each because spelling counts. At the event, they will write the answers to questions on a small white board using a Jeopardy game format.

More than 16,000 students, teachers and business partners are expected to participate in the 53rd Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase for students pursuing career and technical education.

The knowledge and skills gleaned from their studies and co-op jobs give them an advantage. “For the states, we didn’t specifically study for Skills, it’s the things we’ve learned in school over the years that have stuck, and everything we’ve learned from being out in the field,” Erin said. “We are around professionals all of the time doing real patient care.”

But nationals can be a different story. “The questions last year were a lot harder than we were used to,” said Kylie. “We’re going to be doing a lot of study groups,” said Hayleigh. They also plan to stay up all night quizzing each other before the event, sharing Oreos, pizza, and Sour Patch kids to keep them going.

Brianna, the only junior in the group, recently landed a co-op job at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital in Haverhill, and the three seniors have each worked for more than a year as CNAs -- Kylie at Avita of Newburyport, Hayleigh at Edgewood Retirement Community in North Andover and Erin at Merrimack Valley Health Center in Amesbury.

“I’m excited to go do this with my friends,” Hayleigh said. “I hope we nail it.”

 

 

Whittier Team raises $2,300 in Relay for Life

CONGRATULATIONS to the Whittier "Relay for Life" Team who raised $2,300 and counting for The American Cancer Society by participating in a walk-a-thon at Northern Essex Community College's Haverhill campus on June 9th and 10th. This is the fifth year Whittier has joined the walk. Thirteen students and eight teachers participated and received pledges from family, friends and an ongoing fundraiser at Whittier.

English Teacher Teri Bragg and Physical Education Teacher Roxanne Grover organized the Wildcat Team. Joining them were students: Ekaterina Acevedo, Bryanna Alicea, Jassidel Baez, Estafania Cruz Aviles, Arianna DeRosa, Tiara Dube, Alycia Delgado, Lauren Fitzgerald, Mia Greco, Brianna McCarthy, Desiree Michaud, Cayleice Trongeau and Nicholas Wood.

 Also participating were Culinary Arts Teacher and Interact Club Advisor Sue Josephs, English Teachers Lynn Messman and Elaine Bucher, Office Technology Teacher Ellen Petroccia, Cosmetology Teacher Suzanne Tozlowski, Assistant Principal Andy Pigeon, Coordinator of Curriculum and Professional Development Kelly Fay and Coordinator of Data and Assessment Katrina Jensen. Ms. Tozlowski set up a display of her department's Wig Bank, a program at the Whittier Cosmetology Salon that donates, fits and styles wig for people with cancer. 

There is still time to donate to the Whittier Tech Team at: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=80844

Also, money raised from a raffle of two Adirondack chairs built and donated by Carpentry students will go to the event. Winners will be pulled on Friday, June 16th at 11 a.m. at Whittier.

Students and teachers from Culinary, Cosmetology, Marketing and our Transportation Office donated a Whittier Tech Gift Basket for a raffle at the walk. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAD student built 6-rooms of dollhouse furniture with 3-D Printer

Her mom was ready to give away the old dollhouse that had belonged to a family friend, but Senior Nicole Garland saw potential. She gave the three-story, shingled house a fresh coat of paint and made it her Senior Project in CAD. Tapping her knowledge and drafting skills, she designed detailed doll furniture in the Solid Works program then printed out each piece on the shop’s Objet 3D printer. When she was finished, 30 detailed pieces, including bookshelves, a vanity, kitchen cabinets, beds, chairs, and end tables filled the six-room house. Her grade? A+ Her masterpiece is on display at Seabrook Public Library on Liberty Lane.

Valedictorian transcended middle school experience and rose straight to the top

Kaycee Salguiero was the odd girl out who was made fun of in middle school. “I was overweight; I liked to read comic books, and I wasn’t very girly,” she said. The put downs started to follow her into high school, and one day when she was feeling hopeless, she confided in her grandmother. She told me, “You are so much greater than you think you are.”

Kaycee decided to believe it. “My outlook changed,” she said. Instead of trying to make friends with the teens who tormented her, she put her energy into her schoolwork. It paid off big, and in the friend department, too.

On June 1st she graduated as valedictorian from the Electronics/Robotics Program at Whittier Tech where she was a captain on the school’s Robotics Team. Kaycee earned a 4.29 GPA in all honors classes and has enrolled at Wentworth Institute of Technology where she will pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

“I started to make school my priority and zoned the harassment out and once they realized it didn’t bother me, it stopped,” she said. “I started to make real friends and now I am surrounded by them. I can’t find enough chairs at the table.”

She joined Whittier’s SkillsUSA Team, was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society, and worked at the Information Technology Help Desk at Whittier, a prized co-op job that had her trouble shooting issues with Macbooks and iPads used by students and teachers.

The daughter of Jennifer Curtin and Helder Salgueiro of Methuen, Kaycee is a first generation college student. She went home crying tears of joy after she received the news from the director of guidance that she had finished tops in the Class of 2017.

“This has been a dream of mine since eighth grade but I wasn’t sure it would happen,” she said. “For a long time, I really struggled with who I am. I had to tell myself you are beautiful no matter what. It was hard for me to realize that.”

She has been ranked first in her class since her freshman year, and was awarded the Outstanding Vocational Technical Student in April from the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators and the Massachusetts Vocational Association.

“To receive that was surprising,” she said. “I thought I was just a regular student who worked hard.”

 

 

 

 

A party for sophomores!

We surprised our sophomores this afternoon with an ice cream party to celebrate the end of their MCAS year. Since March, they have taken the three MCAS tests they need to pass to earn a high school diploma -- English, math and biology. During 7th period, they were called down to the cafeteria for a surprise party with all of the ice cream fixings. It's a new school tradition -- and a big hit -- started this year by Superintendent Maureen Lynch.