2015 Summer Programs

Summer is here! Check out the 2015 Summer Programs at MVRHS.


Irish History class remembers shipwreck off Chappaquiddick

On May 28th, during this time of memorializing those who went before us, the Irish History class boarded the tiny Chappy school bus and traveled to the scene where in 1851, 256 Irish people fleeing from the Famine in Ireland were shipwrecked. The class had researched the name of the boat: The British Queen, and had obtained its passenger list. We know from the captain’s report that five people died on the voyage from Ireland and that a baby was born. Contemporary reports from the rescuers speak of the Irish being packed in steerage in appalling conditions and the diary of Jeremiah Pease tells that “four Irish froze to death.” The students read all of the 256 names of the passengers, threw flowers in the water to honor them and repeated the Irish gaelic phrase: is cuimhin linn tu (“We remember you”). It was a meaningful experience for all of us. We have done this ceremony before, but now we know the peoples’ names and can honor them and their struggle for survival.

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Elaine Weintraub

Sami Steigmann: “By forgiving others, you forgive yourself”

MVRHS students had the extraordinary fortune to meet Holocaust survivor Sami Steigmann on Tuesday, May 12th.  In a series of talks to large groups of students in the library, he greatly impressed everyone.  In spite of his life story, being a child of Holocaust survivors and a Holocaust survivor himself, he remains positive. “In every calamity there is an opportunity.”   Special thanks to Dr. Elaine Weintraub and her organizing committee for inviting him to MVRHS. The organizing committee: Jason Lages, Jr. Teles, Gabe Nunes, Michael Morris, Thomas O’Shaughnessy and Annie Ollen.

Photography by Junior Teles:

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MVRHS wins MA Senior Level School of the Year from the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project

For the last three years, students from the high school have offered engineering clubs at local elementary schools. The first two years we worked with the Tisbury School. This past year, participating students wanted to expand the project, so we worked with all five elementary schools in our district, and we did all of the organizing and recruiting of volunteers, etc, through the MVironment Club. A team of 35 students ran the clubs. A leadership/design team designed activities to run four weekly sessions at each school, contacted teachers, prepared materials, etc, and arranged for groups of 5-10 high school students to work each week with each club at each school. This year, the teams led 3rd and 4th graders through making pinwheels, a grabber, a musical instrument, and an LED flashlight. All sessions were themed around energy and completely student-organized and run. Our program reached over 100 elementary students on the island, and the elementary teachers and schools were all extremely receptive and ready to collaborate with us.

Zachary Bresnick and Casey McAndrews, the project leaders, created a portfolio of the project and entered it to be considered for a National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project’s Youth Leadership Award. We found out Friday afternoon by email that we have been chosen as the Massachusetts Senior Level School of the Year, which is the top honor for high schools in the state. We have been invited and are hoping to attend the NEED Energy Conference and Awards Ceremony Washington DC at the end of June.

The participants in the project and the liason teachers are listed below, so feel free to congratulate them on this exciting acknowledgement of their volunteer work.

Natalie Munn and Anna Cotton, MVironment Club Advisors
Dana Munn, technical advising

Group Photo

Our amazing team of volunteers . . .

Iris Albert
Chris Aring – Design Team
Caley Bennett – Design Team, Edgartown School Leader
Zach Bresnick (2nd year volunteering) – Design Team, Project Leader
Emma Caron (2nd year volunteering)
Ben Clark
Marcelle De Sousa Alves
Connor Downing
Lucas Dutton
Olivia Green-Lingren
Samantha Hargy
Jackie Hegarty
Courtney Howell
Gabbie Hoxsie (2nd year volunteering)
Olivia Jacobs
Maisie Jarrell – Design Team, Tisbury School Leader
Nelly Katzman – Design Team, Tisbury School Leader
Katrina Lakis (2nd year volunteering)
Jared Livingston – Design Team, Edgartown School Leader
Matt Luce
Casey McAndrews (2nd year volunteering) – Design Team, Project Leader
Madeline Moore (2nd year volunteering) – Design Team, Oak Bluffs School Leader
Ben Nadelstein
Julia Neville
David Packer – Design Team
Sara Poggi
Ellie Reagan – Design Team, Oak Bluffs School Leader
Andrew Ruimerman
Max Santos
Brahmin Thurber-Carbone – Design Team, Chilmark School Leader
Pearl Vercruysse
David Webster – Design Team, Chilmark School Leader
August Welles – Design Team, West Tisbury Leader
Charlie Whalen
Kyra Whalen (2nd year volunteering)

And a special thank you to teachers who helped coordinate at each school . . .

Jackie Guzulak – Chilmark School
Lauren Keaney Serpa and Laura Edelman – West Tisbury School
Jen Bausman and Leah Dorr – Oak Bluffs School
Robin Moriarty – Edgartown School
Anne Williamson (2nd year coordinator) – Tisbury School

MVRHS Students win awards at the MA State Science & Engineering Fair

Congratulations to Christopher Aring-Sharkowitz, Nils Aldeborgh, and Harrison Dorr and Jared Koster for representing MVRHS at the MA State Science & Engineering Fair held at MIT this past Friday and Saturday.

Christopher Aring-Sharkowitz received the following awards:

  • The 2015 Harvard University Press Book Award
  • The MSSEF Science & Technology $100 Award
  • 2015 MSSEF 2nd Place Award
  • The Frederick P. Fish Patent Award, which includes legal services to file a patent application. This is the same law firm that once represented such luminaries as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison
  • Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2015 Finalist to represent Region V – Southeastern Massachusetts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Good luck to Christopher at the international fair May 10-15.

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Jackie Hermann

MVRHS Track is Auto-Awesome

Thanks to Joel Graves for sharing these!

MVRHS Track Auto-Awesome MVRHS Track Auto-Awesome

MVRHS Recognized for Tolerance Efforts

Mix it Up Model School Award

Designated ‘Mix It Up’ Model School by the Southern Poverty Law Center

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program has named Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School as a Mix It Up Model School for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among its students and throughout its campus during the 2014-15 school year.

The SPLC became aware of MVRHS through the Brazilian-American Friendship Lunch. Social Studies teacher Elaine Weintraub, who has spearheaded the event over the last five years. Ms. Weintraub describes the lunch as an “annual event… intended to build understanding and create opportunities for meaningful dialog between our student communities. It is based on a simple concept that each Brazilian-American student invites a student or a teacher from the larger culture to be their guest. The meal is a traditional Brazilian lunch and the organizing committee decorate the dining room, send out invitations and provide music.”

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School is among 104 schools to receive the honor.

“We are delighted to recognize Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “Mix It Up Model Schools have found innovative ways to create school environments where respect and inclusiveness are core values. They all serve as great examples of how a school—any school—can cultivate these values among their students, faculty and staff.”

The Teaching Tolerance program has hosted Mix It Up at Lunch Day for the past 14 years to help students demonstrate the importance of respecting each other’s differences. This year’s event will be held on October 27. Schools are encouraged to register at tolerance.org/mix-it-up/add.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day is a simple call to action. By asking students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, the event encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. Many schools plan activities for the entire day, and some use the event to kick off yearlong explorations of social divisions.

The Mix It Up Model Schools met five criteria: They each hosted a Mix it Up at Lunch Day during the 2014-15 school year; they included different members of the school’s community—cafeteria staff, aides, administrators, teachers and students—in organizing the event; they followed up with at least two additional Mix It Up-related programs or events on campus; they publicized Mix It Up at Lunch Day or celebrated inclusiveness with posters, announcements and other media; and their event was seen by students and school officials as a success.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats bigotry and discrimination through litigation, education and advocacy. For more information, see www.splcenter.org.

MVRHS chess team reaches league championship finals

On March 24th, chess team captain Lee Faraca will lead our school to the Southeastern Interscholastic Chess League championship finals.

MVRHS will play Fairhaven High School for the league championship beginning with two matches on Tuesday, March 24th at MVRHS. The first team to win two matches will become the 2015 league champion.

Lee, who has been a member of the high school’s chess team since he was in third grade, will complete his high school chess career tied with Eric Herman, class of 2005, for the total number of years as a high school chess team member.

Dan Sharkovitz

Chris Aring wins first place overall at Regional Science Fair – will head to International Science Fair in May

Chris' Sandtable in Action at MVHRS
Chris’ Sandtable in Action at MVHRS

Congratulations to Nils Aldebourgh, Rose Engler and Chris Aring, who represented MVRHS at the South Shore Regional Science Fair at Bridgewater State University.  Nils won third place and is eligible to compete in the  Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on April 30th.

Chris won first place overall at the event for his Augmented Reality Sandtable (check out videos of his project in action). He will represent the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a finalist at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Pittsburgh in May.

Congratulations to MVRHS art award winners!

Congratulations to MVRHS senior Jack Yuen for winning TWO national silver medals at the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, announced yesterday afternoon. While we’re awaiting details, traditionally there is a ceremony at Carnegie Hall and an exhibit of work at a gallery in Manhattan. His two awards are for a digital illustration – “Nautical Spirit” – and a painting, “Acid Rap”.

In other departmental news:

• Congratulations to Isabelle Crawford, Ewellen Carlos, Grace Kenney, Hailey Rogers, Jessica Sonia, Nicholas Chapman, Sequoia Ahren, and Amber Medeiros for winning awards in the Cape Cod Times’ “Classroom Times” photography contest. Their work was featured in a special section of yesterday’s Cape Cod Times.

• Congratulations to Ewellen Carlos for having her artwork chosen for the cover of the 2015 Oak Bluffs Town Report.

• And be sure to stop by Featherstone Gallery on Barnes Road between now and April 8th for the “Take a Seat: The Chair Show” to see chair designs by Advanced Architecture & Design students Emerson Mahoney, Eleah Caseau, Austin Chandler, Nick Vukota, and Jullyo Lima; and photographs by Curtis Fisher, Savanna Aiello, Jessica Haynes, Caroline Roddy,

If you see any of these students, be sure to congratulate them!

Chris Baer