Creativity, Activity, Service










By C.A.S. Coordinators Jim Barrasso (East) and Christine McDowell (West)

Creativity, Activity, & Service (C.A.S.) is one of the three parts of the core of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum (along with Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay) and plays a very important role in an IB education. C.A.S. is designed to make sure that students not only learn from the rigorous academics but also learn from their activities.

The designers of the IB Program felt it was important that students be well-rounded, and that they get out and interact with the world they live in. Creativity, Activity and Service activities are designed to facilitate this meaningful and reflective process.

Welcome to CAS Showcase 2016

Welcome to CAS Showcase 2016

One of the most enjoyable parts for us, as C.A.S. Coordinators, is sitting down with the students and interviewing them about their two-year C.A.S. experience. We hear the most unique stories: deciding to raise money for Centro Bellota (a child care center in Guatemala), making blankets for the Children’s Center at the Cape Cod Hospital, collaborating with others to raise awareness about homelessness through a winter mitten collection,  heading to the State tournament with the Softball team, or even to shellfish as a volunteer through the Natural Resource Dept. As we view our students’ portfolios, we have the opportunity to listen to students teach themselves how to play the ukulele or learn how to cook cultural recipes for their family members.  As C.A.S. Coordinators, we’re blessed to have a unique “inside” view into what our school is all about. It’s a fun, fulfilling element of our job.

MB Library 2It’s also a pleasure when we can help facilitate student service projects like the Community Garden at Sturgis West, blood drives at both campuses, winter clothing collections for local shelters, playground builds and so much more.  Our students are up to some amazing work. We are very, very proud of all the good we do in the community for others – but also for ourselves and our own growth.

Senior Service Day 2016

Senior Service Day 2016

Seniors at both campuses participate in a Senior Service Day during Senior Week before graduation, which is a culmination of their past two years of CAS.  This year, some of the service sites included a camp clean-up for Boy Scouts of America, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Cotuit Center for the Arts, Homeless not Helpless shelters, Housing Assistance Corporation shelters, the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. The CAS coordinators, and Sturgis students, are always seeking to connect with organizations in and around Cape Cod.

CAS to the Core 005What does it take to succeed in C.A.S.?  Over the course of two years, we like to see four main objectives accomplished.  Here are the “Big 4” that Sturgis students must do to meet C.A.S. requirements:

-Participate in at least one ongoing collaborative project that including at least two out of the three elements of C.A.S.

-Engage in CAS activities an average of 2-3 hours per week

-Document evidence of all 7 learning outcomes, with a good balance of creativity, action and service at the end of two years

-Reflect in a meaningful way on a regular basis that shows the student’s growth

We asked students if we could share some of their meaningful reflections. We hope you will be able to see the reward our students’ are finding through this program. Enjoy!

Annie Dankert, Class of 2017 – West


DanceOn April 9th I went to a workshop at my dance. Leslie Scott, the founder of YPAD, came in and gave a seminar about self esteem, bullying, the negative effects of social media, and the sexualization of women, especially dancers. YPAD stands for Youth Protection Advocates in Dance and aims to help dancers who are over sexualized or don’t feel like they are good enough because of the “standard” for how dancers should look and dance. The seminar was very powerful and taught me that being a great dancer won’t change the world but being a great person could. It also reminded me that I dance because it is fun, my goal is not to become anorexic and learn how to do 20 turns in a row so that I can become a professional dancer. You don’t have to be the most flexible or have the highest jumps or the most controlled turns to be able to call yourself a dancer. After the 2 hour seminar, she taught us a hip hop dance combination that was very fast but it was very fun. The seminar increased my awareness of myself because even though many people needed the seminar more than I did, because I think I am a pretty confident and self accepting person, everyone needs to be reminded occasionally that they are good enough and many of the expectations set for women in this society are not realistic.

Michaelann Ferro, Class of 2017 – East

Child Care at Women’s Support Group

February 22, 2016

This week we had to try to integrate creativity for the children to keep occupied through the hour and a half we watch them. The kids really like cars so we decided to lay down tape on the floor to make a homemade street for the kids to drive their trucks down. Two of the kids also really enjoy playing house so we put out dolls and a doll house for them to experiment with.

Being able to watch these kids and being able to observe them lets me learn more about the effects of having a family affected by opiate addiction and/or post-partum depression. It is clear that it affects the kids’ behaviors, making them more excitable and even irritable. Instead of using verbal communication to relay their feelings or needs, they’ve learned that a rather more disruptive way that calls attention to them is more effective. This choice that the kids make, whether it because of their family situation or not, makes it hard to perceive the kid’s needs and attend to them so we are trying to enforce the kids to use their words and say what they feel.

Even though the kids have become more consistent in coming to this support group with their mothers, it’s been the same children that are challenges to all the teachers. Like mentioned before, we try our best to create activities that are interesting enough for the kids.

We all managed to keep all the kids happy the entire time but we had to change a rule. Up until this week, we’ve been letting the kids bring their own toys into the playroom but it has brought on too many disagreements between the kids. The children haven’t been able to comprehend the idea that if they leave a toy unattended, someone else will try and use it. Although we try to encourage them to share, they are very protective of their toys so we’ve decided to amend the rule of letting them bring the toys to just leaving the toys in the cubby.

Molly Goldberg & Greta Nelson,Class of 2016 – West

CAS Project (Water Filtration system & Reusable Water Bottles)

Water bottlesThe water filter was put in this past weekend and it is fantastic. The water bottle filler has a count of how many bottles it’s filled and in 2 days it’s already over 300 bottles. It’s so exciting to see all of our hard work and planning finally pay off. The only hiccup we’ve faced as of right now was the presentation to students hasn’t been presented because I did not get it to the teacher in charge of advisory soon enough. Nevertheless, it has gone very well. Additionally I sold the water bottles at lunch today with another garden club member. The students loved the bottles and pricing them at $1 made them all the more appealing. I feel like we have already made a huge positive change in the school culture. Kids love the fresh water taste and think the bottle filler is so cool (because it is!!!). I am very proud that we have been able to get kids to drink more water without the harmful plastic waste generated by throw away bottles. I think my CAS project was a success and I learned so much about working with others and persevering to make our ideas a reality.

Elizabeth Happel, Class of 2016 – East

Theater Photo 2

Brett Zimble and David Girardin


Description of Photos:

Elizabeth Happel, David Girardin and Brett Zimble

Elizabeth Happel, David Girardin and Brett Zimble

At the beginnings of most rehearsals, after warm ups, we do what is called Viewpointing. It is a style of warm up that involves an hyperawareness of movement. The physicality of character is often the most difficult thing to articulate about a character. There is little to more often no speaking during Viewpoints. That is what is happening in the below photos.


West Orientation

West Orientation

Sam Joy & Althea Turley, Class of 2016 – West

Initiating Freshmen Orientation at Sturgis West

Orientation Day was very successful; 70 new students showed up, and 25 returning students were there to welcome them. However, we made a list of what we can do to make next year’s event even better:

– Students weren’t super involved in tours; it would have been better to have their schedules to show them where they would be. Because we didn’t know schedules or where teachers would be this year, the tours were vague and possibly inaccurate. If we could tell them their teacher and a bit about the teacher, that would have captured their attention.
– Also, during tours, we should focus on freshmen year, not so much the IB and later events. Schedules will again help focus the tours.
– During the kickball game, it would be nice to have more options for activities to include everyone and incorporate many interests, other than kickball and theatre.
– There should be a set time to talk with the mentors and freshmen about the school to share stories and answer questions. It would help everyone get to know the others in the group.
Orientation 2– The organization of groups could be better organized into people with similar interests. Perhaps there could be a way to sort people by similar interests?
– Seniors should have started the morning with a game of ships and sailors, or another game, to provide the students trickling in with something to do immediately.
– There should be a uniform way to silence the crowd and get attention. ex: “If you hear my voice, clap once. (pause) If you hear my voice clap twice.”
– We should mention Orientation Day at placement tests.
– Parents, after drop off, should have something to do. Perhaps SPA could organize a Q&A session or meet and greet brunch?
– Correctly count who wants pizza. This year, we only counted freshmen who wanted pizza, not the mentors and other volunteers.
But I am very pleased we made this happen. It got much of the awkwardness out of the way and made new students more comfortable with each other and the school. The slideshow of pictures Alex took was perfect and it was great to show during the first day of school. Freshmen said they enjoyed playing icebreakers and meeting new people, especially the seniors who are now like older siblings. This quote says it all: “We not only broke the ice, we shattered it into a million pieces.”

Ben Judelson, Class of 2017 – West


I recently entered into a photography contest at the local arts center. This was a big step for me because even if I don’t win, all the submissions will still be displayed at the arts center and my work will be exposed to lots of people. The entry cost was relatively low considering the amount of exposure I will get. The contest is judged by an internationally known photographer. However I am not familiar with his work and therefore I am concerned I did not submit the photos that will appeal to him the most. In any case it is still a great opportunity for me to connect with like minded people and get my work out there so other people can experience it.


Nellie Marshall-Torres, Class of 2017 – East

Volunteering to Register Voters

register-to-voteOn Tuesday I volunteered with my friend Kathy at the Cape Cod Community College from 5 pm to 730 pm. We set up a table in the cafeteria of the school to register people to vote. We had the necessary papers people need to fill out to vote in the next election.

It’s important to make voting as accessible to people as possible, no matter what party they choose to vote for. By setting up this table, we made voting registration a lot easier for a lot of people. All they had to do was fill out the paper and then we would mail it for them.

There were two girls that said they were not registered but also didn’t want any papers. The woman I was volunteering with had asked them why and one of the girls responded that they just weren’t interested in voting because she didn’t like any of the candidates running in the 2016 election. Kathy kind of persisted by saying, “well this is also so you can vote in local elections for people that will decide the budgeting for this very college, so it’s actually affecting you quite directly.” However the girl said she still wasn’t interested and didn’t want to vote. This was interesting to me and I thought about it for a while after. It makes me sad that some people just don’t want to be involved in democracy or the state of their society. It’s like Dr. Pete says, “If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain.” And Mr. Abel preaches the common phrase, “Democracy isn’t something you have, it’s something you do.” And I think this is very true. I also think that there should be more encouragement in school towards youth to get involved, get educated, and genuinely care about societies both locally and globally. It’s important that people understand the impact, possibility, and power of an individual. Imagine how much social, environmental, and political change could be achieved if more people acted and voted as the change they wish to see in the world.

It made me a little sad that these girls didn’t care at all, whether or not I actually have the right to be saddened by this. But it also reminded me how important it was for me to engage in bring voting to the people. I sound like a missionary forcing my beliefs onto others, but what I mean to say is that I felt kind of pointless sitting at the cafeteria table late at night while barely anyone took interest to the table. But then I realized that even very miniscule actions and attempts from individuals add up. Because it would be a lot worse of a place if no one tried at all.

It was also exciting because I myself filled out registration to vote.

Emma Metzger, Class of 2017 – West

CAS Showcase

CAS Showcase

CAS Showcase

I had a great time setting up for the CAS showcase, and our entryway came out great! The three of us really worked together and collaborated to make something awesome, to show everyone all of the great CAS opportunities that there were. I hope that people were able to gain information on opportunities that they can do in the community. We also planned the whole display by ourselves, and we decided how ere thought it would work the best, while also looking good. I was super proud of what we were able to do in a short period of time for the showcase, and it made the showcase more exciting, knowing that I helped out in that way. I know that everyone thought it was a great display, and Im glad that it is still set up in the school lobby as I write this. It has a lot of valuable information for students and visitors who want to get out into the Cape Cod community.


Kevin Nicolai, Class of 2016 – East

JV Soccer

JV Soccer East

JV Soccer East

Recently, I played my last game with the JV soccer team. Even though we only tied, it was by far the most memorable experience I have had playing soccer. In the first half of the game, per usual, I played right sweeper, the position that I have played since middle school. After a good first half, my coach asked me if I wanted to play striker, the most glorified and coveted position on the field. Given that it was my last game, I was more than thrilled to be offered the position. I played my hardest, and got my first high school career assist. What was most memorable in that game, however, was not the assist that I got, or the opportunity to play sweeper, but the final whistle of the game, indicating the end of the second half, and marking the sun setting on my high school soccer career.

After the game was over, I took a very long drive, reflecting on what had become of my Sturgis soccer career. I thought of how scared I was on my first day of practice when I was a freshman, for the first time in my life not being one of the tallest kids on the team and not knowing anyone. I also remember being a freshman, struggling to balance my time after school between soccer and homework. I also remembered how I met most of my current friends at Sturgis; on the soccer field my freshman year. Then, I remembered getting my first concussion, and how it kept me off the field during my Sophomore and Junior years, and how I was the stat keeper my Junior year. Finally, I reflected on what it was like to be a JV captain my Senior year, and how much fun I had, and how much I learned about myself thru that experience.

Had you asked me what my Sturgis soccer career would be like at that first summer practice, I would have told you that one day, I would be playing starting varsity, alongside teammates that I had been playing with for the past four years, Things most certainly did not go to plan. However, I could not be more thankful for the time that I had playing soccer at Sturgis. Playing soccer my freshman year taught me the basics of time management and helped me make friends. My senior season taught me leadership, and was a great way to become more involved in my school community, and although my two year break from soccer was very frustrating, it showed me just how much I enjoy playing soccer.

The Varsity team did make it to the playoffs, but I do not think that I will get very much playing time. I will not take these few remaining weeks for granted.

Maggie Paul, Class of 2016 – East

Blood Drive

Red CrossBy helping to coordinate the blood drive, I planned and was able to meet the outcomes of: Planned and initiated activities, working collaboratively with others, show perseverance and commitment, and engaged with issues of global importance.

The drive was a lot of work to plan. While the actual event is taken care of by Cape Cod Healthcare, all of the sign ups and scheduling had to be done by the group. The team and I put in a lot of time recruiting people to donate and scheduling students and faculty. What made the planning more difficult was the National Latin Exam taking place on the same day. Despite the complications we ran into, I think that the event was able to run smoothly, making our work pay off.

As mentioned earlier, I did not work on this alone. I had help from a mixed group of juniors and seniors who all put in time and effort to get the blood drive running. Not only that, but Cape Cod Healthcare obviously worked with us in order to hold the event and supplied all the necessary materials.

cchc-blood-drive-imageI spent a lot of time, both in school and out, working on the blood drive. Scheduling students proved to be hard and we had to constantly rearrange the time slots in order to accommodate everyone. Not only was there a lot of work to do, but on the day of the drive I got to school at 6:00 to help set up. If that isn’t commitment, I don’t know what is! I wanted to donate myself, but was unable to due to low Iron levels.

The blood drive I donated at last year taught me a lot about why donations are important and the ways blood is used to help people. This year, because of the Zika Virus, I learned more about that. Several people who wanted to donate weren’t able to because they traveled to Costa Rica, where the Virus is very common. In order to prevent the spread of a disease to another part of the world, blood donations have to be carefully monitored. This drive especially showed me how important that is.

I learned quite a bit from the drive. I enjoyed helping out, and am so glad I was able to play a part in its success. The blood the Sturgis community donated will stay on Cape Cod in order to benefit the people who need it locally, which makes the work we did even more worth it. Our own neighbors are the people who will benefit from the drive, and that is very satisfying. I’m thankful for being asked to help with the drive because it allowed me to learn a lot and to help so many people.

Sierra Proft, Class of 2017 – East


I had a wonderful tennis season this year, and I am incredibly grateful for the experience I got out of it. The learning outcomes I planned to meet were Initiative, Commitment, Ethics, Challenge, Collaboration and New Skills.

During this season of tennis, I think I took quite a bit of initiative. Before being made Captain, I was frequently chosen to both facilitate and direct various exercises and drills during practices. As Captain, it was naturally my job to try to be the best leader I could in order to effectively direct and help the team. I hoped to be a Captain the team deserved, one who would help them grow and improve and who would encourage them when they needed support. Based on their progress and increased skill levels, I think they improved quite a lot.

This sport is one of the things I have been most committed to this year. I was at every practice and match (except when hindered by injury/illness), and made sure to get the most out of both. Tennis is something I put an incredible amount of effort into, and something I made sure to dedicate myself earnestly to. And I think such devotion paid off; I ended up becoming a more skilled and knowledgeable player myself.

There is definitely an ethical aspect to this sport as well. Sometimes you either play with/against people with whom you may not agree or whom you don’t necessarily like. Sometimes you deal with people who try to play slightly dishonestly. Other times it’s not the players who prove to be difficult, it’s the families. In any situation, one must be cordial and respectful, even you dislike or disagree with the person. It’s a key element of sportsmanship, and very important to not just sports, but life in general. And that was something I learned well during this season.

Absolutely this sport presented many challenges. It was a challenge to improve, to keep the team in line, to stay calm, to deal with uncooperative or rude individuals, to increase my athletic ability, and many other things. But the good things about challenges is that they serve to educate and improve. Plus, nothing is worth it if there isn’t a challenge involved. If there’s no obstacle, then the activity just becomes boring.

Any sport involves a great degree of collaboration, even one like tennis which some don’t normally view as a ‘team’ sport. However, the player has to work with his/her partner, and his/her team collectively, in order to utilize maximum potential in a game. Cooperation and understanding is incredibly important, as well as realizing everyone has something of value to contribute to the team. Learning how to utilize those aspects in order to make the team stronger is a skill that is crucial to all sports, and something I think was an important part of my tennis experience this year.

With every year I play tennis, there are always new skills and strategies to be learned and acquired. I think this year I learned the most, because I applied myself the most and had experience at both JV and Varsity levels. I also believe everything I learned definitely helped me improve as a player and individual, and I feel that because of all that I have a better understanding of and handle on the sport. I can serve better, receive/return more effectively, and definitely chase after the ball with increased speed.

I’m super happy to have had a great season this year; I had so much fun and I learned a lot, and hopefully I’ll be able to continue to improve as well as maintain my enjoyment of this sport.

Peter Prygocki, Class of 2017 – East  

Tech Support at Barnstable Senior Center

This week at the Barnstable Senior Center:

Local student assists an elderly woman in selling her paintings on eBay! More info coming RIGHT NOW!!

This week I finalized assisting a member of the Barnstable Senior Center in selling her paintings on eBay. What I did seems easy enough now, but at first I was very nervous. What we were dealing with were beautiful recreations of a famous French painter (Pierre-Joseph Redoute, if I remember correctly), which she framed herself in silk and wood covered with silver leaf! She was really giving me a large responsibility. It was additionally tough because I not only never actually sold anything on eBay, so I had to learn how to do that, but I also had to try and teach her how to do it so that she could recreate it at home by herself.

I find that many of these tasks that I need to complete at the Senior Center have been learning experiences for me. I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone and get used to different kinds of technology other than the usual “Windows PC and Apple iPhone” knowledge that I already have. All-in-all, I think these experiences are really helping me grow as a “Tech Support guy”.

I was really excited when she came with her paintings this week because we had already started the process a few weeks before. Actually putting the pieces up for sale was the culmination of about a month’s work and I’m glad that despite some setbacks we were able to list her pieces. I’m hoping for the best for her and I can’t wait to see if they sold!

Max Sheremet, Class of 2016 – West

World Challenge Beliz



When we first arrived to Belize International airport, I quickly noticed the differences between the country I would be spending the next eleven days in and my home in the US. For one, the heat in combination with humidity hit us hard, and before long we were exhausted after being in the country for less than an hour. The second thing that I could not help but notice was the difference in atmosphere. Even when waiting for our ride by the airport, we could see endless amounts of poverty, ranging from cars that would never pass inspection back at home to cell phones that looked at least ten years old. In the United States, most people have smartphones, so it was almost as if we went back into the past when we arrived in Belize. The day we arrived, I was in charge of arranging our ride to the school that we would be staying at for the next few days. I thought that we would catch a bus, but when I saw a box truck pull up to us, I realized that this whole trip would be different from what I expected. Earlier in April, I went on a trip to Battle Creek Michigan and I experienced poverty there, but what I saw in Belize was ten times worse. Nonetheless, the lack of money did not seem to affect the locals, as the all were extremely friendly to us. I always heard that Latin America was a very close knit community, but I never fully understood what that meant until I travelled to Belize and waved to every person we passed on the roads, no matter where we went. The theme of poverty continued when we arrived at the school. I did not have high expectations after seeing Belize City, but I at least thought that there would be slightly better facilities. Our shower and sink consisted of just a tap in the middle of the field. The school itself also was not in the best condition, and we could see what we would be working on during the next couple of days.

The next day, a small group of us went out to buy supplies for the school, and we were fortunate to be able to buy $750 worth of building material. Although we were not able to fully utilize all of the supplies during the build phase of our trip, we knew that the purchase would continue to help the school even after we left. While waiting for our group to assemble after buying the supplies in the city, I talked to two homeless men. We saw how much poverty affected them as we witnessed one of them lie to our faces and say that his friend did not give him half of the money we gave them. I didn’t take it personally though, as I knew that those few dollars meant much more to him than they would to me. Seeing the poor parts of town made me really appreciate everything that I have in life, and reinforced the idea that anything you own that isn’t food, water, and a shelter is a luxury, even though it does not always seem that way.


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