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Dedham Education Foundation holds third annual Teacher Recognition Ceremony

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Above: Julie Lally and Paul Sullivan of the Early Childhood Education Center explain the program Savvy Scientists, which helps children understand concepts such as magnetism, the growth of plants, and food/nutrition.

 

Contributed to the Dedham Times
 
On Thursday, January 10 the Dedham Education Foundation hosted its third annual Teacher Recognition Ceremony to award funds for educators in the town’s public schools who are teaching innovative or challenging units. The site was American Legion Post 18, and attendees were treated to a buffet dinner, drinks and dessert.
 
The DEF, a non-profit founded in 1991 by Dedham citizens, awarded $18,162 in grants this academic year, funding all or part of 34 requests made by teachers and staff from all grade levels. The 59 grant requests received by the foundation once again topped the previous year’s record.
 
The evening included an appearance by State Senator Mike Rush (Democrat of the Suffolk & Norfolk District) as the featured speaker. He said in a statement before the event, “I am honored to take part in the 2012-13 school year ceremony which recognizes some of our outstanding educators here in the town of Dedham. I also want to acknowledge all the great work the Dedham Education Foundation does to support this community. This partnership between the Dedham Education Foundation and the community at large is a model that other communities should emulate.”
 
Steve Bilafer, President of the Dedham Education Foundation, explained the purpose of the award ceremony. “This evevnt is really about recognizing the tremendous talent, energy and creativity that exists among the teachers in our schools,” he said. “This year, we received another record number of grant requests from teachers and staff throughout the district. Each request represents an effort to engage students in new ways and improve learning. But the number of requests we weren’t able to fulfill reminds us there is more we need to do.”
 
The annual monies provided by the DEF help fund teacher initiatives and special enrichment programs that would not be possible otherwise. Requests funded this year included student programs and trips at the Museum of Science, Minuteman National Park, the Freedom Trail, “Read-Write-Win,” the Lowell Mill Girls exhibit at the Tsongas Industrial Center, Birds of Prey at Blue Hills Trailside Museum, presentations on bullying prevention, health and social skills, and books, materials and equipment for music, arts and science.
 
Highlights included remarks by Dedham High School Assistant Principal John Murray and several teachers in the system, each of whom explained what they are doing with the funding they received from DEF. Murray presented on the high school’s new Marauder Pride Ticket program, which provides incentives for students who make positive contributions to the DHS community. Murray said, “We rolled it out on Tuesday at an assembly with all the ninth graders. All the teachers have these gray tickets (bearing the words): ‘Our core values are rigor, relevance, respect, responsibility, and relationships.’ So if our teachers see our students doing one of those things, or sense a positive attitude, showing some responsibility, preparation, effort, participation, respect, grades, attendance, school spirit or something else, our teachers are going to try to recognize that by giving them one of these Marauder Pride Tickets (which have value totaling $500 at selected businesses such as Papa Gino’s, Chipotle, Barnes & Noble or Dunkin Donuts)… We believe that recognizing students for the great things they do will build a culture of the program of the school and energize other kids to do wonderful things.”
 
In addition, Ruth Dorsey, a science teacher at Oakdale Elementary, discussed the Museum of Science’s Weather, Wind, Water and Temperature program that helps fourth and fifth graders understand the weather we experience daily. “The topic that I find most difficult to do in a hands-on approach with the children is weather. So – I don’t know if you’re familiar with the traveling programs for the Museum of Science – they started out with just five, and I think they’re up to about 15 now. What I love about them is, being housed in Boston, they take the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and build their program around it. So their traveling programs directly teach what we need for the children to know in the state of Massachusetts.”
 
Since its inception, the DEF has distributed over $300,000 in grants. It strives to supplement academic activities both inside and outside the classroom, to support teacher initiatives and to establish a permanent endowment fund. Fundraisers the DEF sponsors or organizes each year include the townwide spelling bee in March, the flocks of front yard flamingos later in the spring, and Bernie’s Run in the Manor neighborhood in the fall.
 
In addition to President Steve Bilafer, the DEF’s Executive Board members are as follows: Secretary Denise Connell, Treasurer Michael Podolski, Nancy Baker, Sharna Borsellino, Mayanne Briggs, Kevin Coughlin, Carmen DelloIacono, Dan Hart, Joe Huff, Paul Iantosca, Laurie Keogh, Doreen LaBrecque, Mary Ellen McDonough, Ann Mercer, Melissa Pearrow, Mark Reilly, Sandra Sicard, Korrin Slavin, Lynn Sullivan, Monika Wilkinson.
 
For more information about the DEF, please visit the group’s Facebook page or its website, dedhameducationfoundation.org

Honorees and their programs were:
 
Elementary Library Media Specialists at all four elementary schools – Mock Caldecott Election
 
Lisa Magnacca at all four elementary schools – Lowell Mill Girls
 
Lisa Dwyer at all four elementary schools – Earth Balloon
 
Mary MacLean at Avery – Animal Habitats
 
Michelle Luongo at Avery – High Touch Science Workshops
 
Allison Kieffner at Avery – Comprehension Strategies Literature
 
Jenny Hopkins, Katryn Ryan & Nancy Coppola at Avery – Animal Habitats
 
Sue Scully-Rose at DHS – Visualization/Video Workshop
 
John Murray at DHS – Marauder Pride Tickets
 
Elizabeth Vail at DHS – Gay-Straight Alliance
 
Jeffrey Bolduc at DHS – Sound system for practice field rehearsals
 
Ashley Weagraff & Elizabeth Vail at DHS – Afterschool Yoga Club
 
Alice Johnson at DHS – 70 fiction titles for Library
 
Mary Belge at DMS – 8th Grade Tech Engineering
 
Susan Lyons & Megan Unger at DMS – Read-Write-Win Summer Reading Contest
 
Debra Gately at DMS – Educational Theater/Anti-Bullying
 
Elizabeth Hegarty at DMS – Start DMS Literary Magazine
 
Philip Nerboso at DMS – Subscription to Brainpop.com Website
 
Maureen Magnan at DMS – 8th Grade Spanish
 
Julie Lally at ECEC – Savvy Scientists
 
Mary Joyce at ECEC – Celebrating Families Event
 
Kristen Mahoney & Greg Cronin at Greenlodge – Freedom Trail Scholars
 
Aubrey Cochrane at Greenlodge – Sky Connection
 
Rachael McNamee at Oakdale – Blue Hills Trailside Museum
 
Julie Fitzgerald & Michaelene Marotta at Oakdale – Books for Children’s Life Issues Library
 
Stacey Cawley, Meghan DeLong, Heidi Graceffa, Doreen Ward, Stacey Atkinson, Linda Delendeck, Heather Finnerty at Oakdale – Museum of Science/Starlab Portable Planetarium
 
Nancy Morrill at Oakdale – Animal Habitats
 
Ruth Dorsey at Oakdale – Weather, Wind, Water and Temperature
 
Christine Cummings at Riverdale – The Sound of Science
 
Judy Nickley & Bernadette Costello at Riverdale – Minuteman National Park
 
Tara Dignan at Riverdale – World of Wonder
 
Liz Lawlor at Riverdale – Learning Keyboards
 
Shannon Findley at Riverdale – Hands On Geography
 
Tara Dignan at Riverdale/Avery – Manguito Music.

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Written by shiretown99

January 11, 2013 at 4:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Editorial cartoon: Special election for US Senate

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Special Election for Senate

Written by shiretown99

January 6, 2013 at 6:44 am

Posted in Uncategorized

DHS Girls Basketball outlasts Norwood in close contest

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View IMG_4927.JPG in slide show
 

Bouncing back from their first defeat of the season, the Marauders erased a 38-32 deficit in the fourth quarter to take a 45-41 victory over visiting Norwood on Friday night in front of a large crowd at O’Donnell Gymnasium. Junior Libby Masalsky led all scorers with 20 points, and added 7 boards and 3 steals to help her team improve to 6-1.
 
It was a scrappy, back-and-forth contest throughout, with neither team achieving a double-digit lead. For the hosts one player fouled out and three others picked up four infractions, while two Mustangs went over the limit and another was called for four fouls.
 
Norwood took a 5-0 initial advantage but the home team responded with seven straight points on three baskets by Libby Masalsky and a free throw by her sister, Ellen (4 points, team-high 10 rebounds, 3 steals, team-high 3 assists). The Marauders frequently employed a full-court press, slowing the Norwood offense and resulting in several steals. The quarter ended with Dedham up 7-6.
 
Both defenses continued to hold sway in the next frame. Renee Gassler (4 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists) made a steal off the press, and soon thereafter Brianna Dozier (2 points, 3 steals, 2 assists, 1 blocked shot) did the same. Emily Hill (13 points, 4 rebounds, team-high 6 steals) picked her Norwood peer’s pocket and drove for a bucket to make it 9-8. Soon thereafter a drive by Dozier put the home team ahead 14-8. Gassler made two steals within a short span, then knocked down a pair of free throws to bring the score to 17-8. The Mustangs stayed close, concluding the period with a 6-0 run on a bucket in the paint, two free throws and a lay-in by Julia Copponi, the visitors’ top offensive player on the night with 16 points.
 
The second half proved to be higher-scoring but the minutes were marked by numerous whistles. Converting from the foul line proved pivotal, as the Marauders sank 15 of 24 free throws whereas their opponents missed the majority of their chances from the stripe, going 7 for 15. A jumper by Gassler gave Dedham a 19-16 advantage, then Dozier blocked a Norwood shot to help her squad defensively. The Mustangs used a press of their own to give the hosts trouble, but on one occasion with a Marauder holding the ball on the floor and about to be surrounded by blue jerseys, Head Coach Don Savi called timeout to retain possession. 
 
A trey by Libby Masalsky from Dozier made it 25-19 in Dedham’s favor. A drive by Ellen Masalsky made it a 27-24 lead, but Norwood responded with a three-pointer. Then Hill scored off the glass to make it 29-27. After his team was called for traveling, the Norwood head coach was given a technical for arguing too much, and Jenn Wadman converted one of the two free throws to give her team a 30-27 edge, which is how the third quarter finished.
 
Early in the final eight minutes the Marauders solved the press, as Gassler found Ellen Masalsky who relayed it to Wadman, but the Mustangs played strong defense to help fuel an 11-2 run to make it 38-32. The home team turned to Libby Masalsky for a bid in the lane which rimmed out, but she was fouled and made both free throws to help her team stay within striking range. Down 40-36, Ellen Masalsky made a steal and passed it ahead to Hill, who laid it in to make it 40-38 with 2:48 showing on the clock.
 
Down the stretch Wadman converted one free throw, Hill three in a row and Libby Masalsky two more on her way to a 9-for-10 performance from the stripe to provide Dedham a 44-40 margin. With 47 seconds left Copponi sank one of two free throws to make it 44-41. Then Libby Masalsky dribbled through the press and found an open teammate for a three, but it was off the mark and the Mustangs secured the board and called timeout with 13.3 ticks remaining. 
 
Norwood attempted a game-tying trey but it wouldn’t go down. Ellen Masalsky came up with the rebound and was fouled with 4.4 seconds left. She hit one of the free throws to give her team a four point edge. The Mustangs’ attempt from long distance just before the buzzer did not fall, as the Marauders stayed on the Norwood half of the court to avoid a potential 4 point play.
 
Afterwards Coach Savi said, “It was a fight. We made a nice run at the end of the game.” Senior tri-captain Ellen Masalsky made a similar comment, noting “We should have picked it up a bit, but in the end we really came through.”

The Marauders visit Natick on Tuesday at 6:30, then host Walpole on Friday at the same time.

Written by shiretown99

January 6, 2013 at 6:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

DHS Boys Hockey shuts out Stoughton in holiday tourney

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The Marauders gained a 3-0 triumph over Stoughton in the first round of the Supreme Development Holiday Tournament on December 27 courtesy of a balanced attack and a well-coordinated defense, before Weymouth came to town on Wednesday night and dominated in a Bay State League matchup.
 
Against the Black Knights, the host team turned to a variety of players for offensive output. The squad peppered the Stoughton netminder, Paul Sheehan, with 36 shots on the night, while the Dedham defense throttled the opponent’s attack. For the Marauders junior goaltender Brian Mosca faced just three shots, all of which he stopped.
 
Dedham applied pressure during the first few shifts, setting the tone. Soon thereafter the Marauders showed some chippiness and were called for slashing at 11:40. Dedham killed off that penalty with the quartet of Timmy Buttlar, Ronny Pucci, Joe McDonagh and Tommy McCarthy. A few minutes later Paul Leahy lit the lamp at 14:31 on a wrist shot from about 20 feet, prompting announcer Herbie Keough to make his energetic goal announcement for the home team. It stayed 1-0 through the end of the period.

View DSC_1605.JPG in slide show
 
The second 15 minutes saw the Marauders again control the action, yet Sheehan was equal to all ten shots he faced. The Marauders were called for boarding at 0:34, but the penalty kill unit – comprised this time of Anthony Valentino with Pucci, McCarthy and McDonagh – was effective once more. About halfway through the frame Sam Greenwood found linemate Valentino in front for a quick bid. Another chance arose when Michael Dempsey’s slapshot from the point was saved and covered. 
 
The final period saw the Marauder defense stand its ground, while the offense added a pair of tallies. The line of Liam Slavin, Paul Leahy and Joe Ford moved the puck effectively. A few minutes later Valentino broke in on the left side, and was taken down on a clean check. His linemate Tim Corrado grabbed the loose puck and put a shot on net. Soon thereafter Buttlar, taking a pass from Pucci, advanced into the Black Knight zone and uncorked a wrist shot. Sheehan made the initial stop but Buttlar got his own rebound and put it in at 9:01 to give his team a 2-0 margin.
 
Stoughton was whistled for hooking at 9:58, and the Marauders took advantage on the power play. Valentino and Pucci worked a give-and-go, with Valentino finishing to the top shelf to make it a three-goal game at 10:33.
 
Against the Wildcats, by contrast, virtually nothing went smoothly for the Marauders in an 11-0 drubbing. Weymouth showed why its program is a frequent powerhouse in Eastern Mass schoolboy hockey, as their crisp passing and potent checking dictated the pace throughout. One of the few bright spots for the Marauders came when senior Bryan Simone corralled a loose puck, deked past a defender and skated in alone on goalie Brendan Burns. The Dedham blueliner was hauled down from behind and it could have resulted in a penalty shot, but it was judged a hooking infraction instead and the hosts could not capitalize on the power play.
 
The win over Stoughton propelled the Marauders into the title round against Brookline, a 2-0 victor over Brockton. The final was postponed due to snow, and Head Coach Paul Podolski said after the Weymouth game that no make-up date had yet been scheduled. He said the squad expects the imminent return of key components John Fitzgerald – a junior forward who is the team’s leading scorer but who earned a two game suspension for an unsportsmanlike play in a loss to Norwood on December 22 – and freshman defenseman Tommy McCarthy, who has had a bout of the flu.
 
Dedham’s record now stands at 3-3. Next up is Natick at Nobles at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a trip to Walpole on Wednesday evening.

Written by shiretown99

January 3, 2013 at 10:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized