Faculty (Volume 2: Fall 2012)

Mo-Vember Comes to a Close

Sturgis Mo-Vember-2

(l-r) Patrick OKane, John Newcombe, Justin Scott, Paul Marble, Robert Albis, Aaron Dunigan AtLee,
Steve McDonald, John Techlenberg, Mark Blake, Jeff Hyer and Randy Carspecken

As December approached, the use of razors increased for the male faculty of Sturgis. It isn’t too late to donate to any of the men depicted here who have slaved tirelessly to grow facial hair. All money will be donated to Boston Children’s Hospital in the name of Evan Barrasso.

In addition to faculty above, Travis Andrade, Eric Hillebrand, Pete Richenburg and Peter Steedman also participated in the fundraiser and will welcome your donations.

Laura Carah – Library West

A variety of Arts, Culture, and Learning is on-going in the West Library! Matt Lee and Elise Edmonson’s History classes are busy using the Research Process to develop essays on Colonialism, the Constitutional Convention, and pre-war Social Reform. Multimedia presentations on the theme of World Music are being developed using a variety of resources in Elizabeth Moore’s Music class visits, as well. We are so thankful to Tom Kooharian, an ever present substitute and resident artist, who is providing a “hanging structure” with lighting for our developing Arts Gallery. This is a space where students and local artists can show their work. Currently, visitors can view art from students at the Chinese IB Schools, gifts from the delegation who toured the school on Tuesday, November 13,2012. Thanks go out as well for a generous donation to purchase new shelving for the library. With the help of volunteers to put the shelves together, The West Library will be even more productive and beautiful. We are looking forward to your visit soon.

Morgan Derby – English East

Morgan Derby will be taking a group of Sturgis East juniors to the annual IB World Student Conference. This summer, the conference will be held for the first time in Asia, in the “East meets West” city of Hong Kong on the campus of Hong Kong University (ranked #1 in the continent and just 22nd in the entire world). Sturgis students on on the trip will meet and work with international leading experts and IB students from around the world to promote positive global change through a CAS project that they can then bring home to the Sturgis community. This year’s conference explores “iResponsibility”: the connections, creations, and consequences of life in an online world.

Bev Fogg – Guidance East

  • Close to half of the senior class has applied to one or more colleges/universities under the early action admission process. Admission decisions will be arriving in mid to late December for early applicants.
  • Guidance Team worked with freshmen classes on organization and time management skills – delivered through Latin 1 classes
  • The Massachusetts Education Financing Authority (MEFA) delivered a presentation on financing higher education to parents of seniors and the senior class earlier this month

Tricellular Circulation Model

Cindy Gallo – Science East

Cindy Gallo’s Junior Environmental Systems and Societies students created balloon models of the atmospheric circulation of the Earth (IB: “Tricellular Circulation model”). In past years her students have struggled with this concept as it entails planetary and atmospheric physics, so she devised a fun and hands-on approach to an extremely complex topic.

Eric Hieser – Executive Director

Along with other school leaders, Eric is serving as IB Consultant for two schools preparing for authorization to offer the International Baccalaureate Programme:

  • Bronx Early College Academy in New York
  • Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA

During the last month, Eric has served as Team Leader on verification visits for two schools to gain IB authorization:

  • Eastern Senior High School in Washington, DC
  • Seaford High School in Seaford, Delaware

Eric Hillebrand – History West

InvenTeam is now officially “Sturgis InvenTeam” with the addition of 3 students from East. The two schools’ young engineers are collaborating right now on the full scale prototype of their marine mammal transport. Work takes place Wednesdays after school in the fully-equipped team shop in the basement at West.

Lynn Kelley – Theory of Knowledge West

This past weekend, Lynn attended a “Learning and the Brain” Conference in Boston. The presenters included some of the most highly respected individuals in the fields of both education (Jane Healy, “Dangerous Minds”) and neuroscience (John Medina, “Brain Rules”). It was fascinating and I look forward to incorporating what I learned into my classes as well as sharing with colleagues.

Caroline Lee – Latin West

Caroline Lee and thirteen students from Sturgis West attended Junior Classical League’s annual “Classics Day” at Boston University on Thursday, December 6. 700 Latin students from around the state were there, and students attended seminars led by Boston area professors and graduate students.

The Sturgis West students won 2nd place in the skit contest with their rendition of “Pygmalion,” the story of an ancient man who sculpts the perfect woman out of ivory.

Paul Marble – Principal East

Paul Marble led an IB Workshop in Portland, Oregon on November 3-5. The workshop was entitled “Success Strategies for Ensuring Access to the IB English A1 Curriculum for Diverse Learners.” s the IB expands its scope, teachers and schools are looking for thoughtful ways to ensure student access to a challenging curriculum. Workshop participants : probed the idea of access; examined the principles of backwards design and differentiated instruction; surveyed model lessons, units, and approaches; and began to develop their own curriculum that will allow students of varying backgrounds, abilities and motivation to engage with, and be successful in, the IB English A1 program of study. Participants examined the idea of access, and carefully applied models of backwards design and differentiated instruction to their IB English A1 classroom in an attempt to support diverse learners as well as their classroom as a whole.

Paul has been invited to offer similar workshops at IB Conferences this spring in Portland, Oregon and at Rice University in Houston.

Will Mathews – Latin East

On December 6th, 22 East Latin students participated in “Classics Day” at Boston University where they joined 700 other Latin students from around Massachusetts to attend workshops on the Arts of Ancient Greece and Rome. The workshops were taught by professors and PhD candidates from BU and Harvard and covered topics ranging from “Classical Archaeology in the 21st Century” to “Ancient Greek Theater and Vase painting.”

Claire Merrill, Erica Scott and Claire Shea – Spanish East and West

On November 13, 2012, faculty of the Spanish Department from both East and West took a group of students to the Beech-Tree Cantina on Main Street. It was a wonderful time! Students had the opportunity to order their meals and beverage of choice in Spanish. Students reviewed their menus which were in both Spanish in English. During the meal, Latin music such as “merengue” “salsa” and “cumbia” played in the background!

After our meal, “el cocinero” – the cook – who is originally from Ecuador, came out to speak to the students in the target language. The students really seemed to understand! They asked him many questions (in Spanish!) and thanked him for the meal!

“¡Qué Deliciosa!

Bret Miles, Math

Rock Band performed during lunch on Wednesday, December 19. They have worked hard since the beginning of school and look forward to “Rocking West”.  Rock Band is a club consisting of musicians that enjoy playing rock and roll. We work on various songs after school and on weekends and hope to have a full 12 – 15 song concert in the spring. The concert on Wednesday will involve 6 songs.

PVC Panpipes

PVC Panpipes

Elisabeth Moore – Music West

In Music 10, we made our own sets of panpipes out of PVC pipe, clay, duct tape, and a little love. Using these instruments we will start learning how to read music and rhythms for our pan pipe ensemble in January.

The IB Music class has started working with  Sibelius software which is a compositional tool that helps the students compose their own music without having to write it out by hand. They can play back what they’ve composed and have a better understanding of musical theory. It’s the way of the future!

The first West Winter Concert was a great success! There were 200+ people who came to watch all the talent Sturgis West has to offer. All the students did a great job.

Elie Rabinowitz (right) with Sturgis Students

Elie Rabinowitz – Spanish West

Sturgis Runs Across the Cape for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fundraiser

Sturgis students and faculty participated in Sturgis Runs Across the Cape on Saturday, November 17th. In 5 KM segments, students and faculty relayed across the Cape Cod via foot and bike from Woods Hole to Wellfleet, a total of 78 miles. The first participants started at 7am at the Shining Sea Bike Path in Woods Hole and the final runners arrived at 6:15pm at the end of the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Wellfleet.

This event was a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and helped Mr. Rabinowitz achieve his goal of raising $5,000 for blood cancer research and patient care. On December 9th, Elie ran the Honolulu Marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. Afterwards, he sent the following note to Sturgis Faculty:

I want to thank you all for your support in my efforts to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in conjunction with running the 2012 Honolulu Marathon.  Both the fundraising and the race were a huge success.  This is the third time I have raised money for LLS, and at over $5,100, it was the most I ever raised.  Approximately $3,000 of that came from Sturgis students, staff, and faculty, so I cannot thank you enough.

Elie Rabinowitz -Crosses Hawaii Finish Line

Elie Rabinowitz -Crosses Hawaii Finish Line

This money gets used to fund all sorts of cancer research projects as well as assist with patient care.  My monetary contribution went to the larger efforts of all LLS participants from across the country who, in raising money for the Honolulu Marathon alone, contributed over $250,000 to cancer research and patient care.

In terms of running, the event was also a success as I completed the marathon (26.2 miles) in 4 hours and 11 minutes, an average of 9:37 per mile.  I was hoping to finish under 4:20 and I did!  Knowing that you were supporting me was a huge motivation to finish strong, as this type of event can certainly break you down both physically and mentally.

Thank you again for all of your support.

To make a donation to Elie’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Society team, run to:


Abby Rhoads and Mary Kulhowvick – English West

All of Ms. Kulhowvick and Ms. Rhoads’ English classes in grades nine and ten are completing multi-modal projects. This idea was shared from colleagues at East and was adapted to fit our ninth and tenth grade units. For this assignment, students choose to complete a project from one of four modes: visual, digital, auditory, or read-write. Examples include original works of art, fake Twitter or Facebook accounts which assume a character’s identity, song play-lists, wills, surveys, memos or recipes that somehow connect to the texts students are reading. Ninth graders completed their project as a culminating assignment for their unit on Night by Elie Wiesel and shared their creations with the class in 2-5 minute presentations. Tenth graders are in the process of completing a series of these projects including mini-presentations. The presentations will prepare them for their mock IOP’s which will take place at the end of the unit on A Separate Peace. These projects have been successful in highlighting students’ individual talents and creativity, as well as enhancing their presentation skills.

Claire Shea – Spanish East

Claire attended a training tour in Rome in November to prepare for the first student trip she will lead to Costa Rica. She was thrilled when she got back that her students still remembered Spanish and she was able to tell them all about her trip in Spanish.

Claire Shea Receives GrantPhoto by Jarvis Chen

Claire Shea Receives Grant
Photo by Jarvis Chen

Congratulations to Claire for winning a grant from the Education Foundation for Dennis and Yarmouth for the second year in a row! Claire’s  proposal was entitled Writing to Spain: Creating Connections through Common Language. The grant will give her Spanish II students the opportunity to take part in an international pen pal project with students in Spain. Claire attended a meeting of the Education Foundation for Dennis and Yarmouth on December 3 at the Dennis Police Station where all grant recipients were acknowledged and received checks.

Alicia Watts and Matt Fetzer – Arts Café East

Mr. Fetzer’s advisory and the Human Rights Advisory/Club are sponsoring an Arts Cafe to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. 11/29 6-8p. Students and faculty will perform poetry, theater, and music and the audience will have coffee and snacks. Donations will be sent to Red Cross after the event.

Alicia Watts

Relay For Life team at East has passed the $300 mark for funds raised for American Cancer Society. Last Friday the team bonded at the free bowling offered by STUCO. Ms Watts is forming a Sturgis alumni, teacher, parent, and community team to walk alongside the East and West student team at the event in June.

HL Biology Students work with Microscopes

HL Biology Students work with Microscopes

Plasma Membrane

Plasma Membrane

Tonja Weimer – Biology West

West HL Biology class are exploring the microscopic world. Students reviewed proper microscope techniques, learned how to properly prepare a stained slide, and how to calculate the actual size of a specimen under various magnifications all while viewing plant and animal cells.

In order to better understand the structure, properties, and function of a cell’s membrane, students worked in small groups to construct models. An example of a students’ project in HL Biology of a plasma membrane is pictured to the right.

Tom Wooton, History

Tom Wooton and Lauren Scott’s advisories have spearheaded a school-wide recycling campaign for white paper and, most recently, bottles and cans. The kids created collection points throughout the school, posted signs, and have worked out a collection scheme- Ms. Scott’s class gathers paper once a week, and Mr. Wooton’s class collecting bottles and cans. For now, parents and teachers have volunteered to take bottles and cans to on-cape recycling centers, but eventually we would like to turn this into a “trash for cash” fund-raiser for school activities.

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