Students and Alumni (Volume 3: Summer 2014)

Amgen Biotech Experience

Amgen EastIn early February, HL and SL Biology classes at East and West conducted Amgen Biotech Experience labs through the support of the Amgen Foundation, Marine Biological Lab, and Life Sciences Outreach at Harvard University. The goal of the labs is to generate enthusiasm among students for careers in biotechnology and other STEM fields. The program emphasizes a hands-on approach and the laboratory techniques mirror those used in the biotechnology industry and research facilities. Diabetes and production of insulin provide the focus for the laboratory sequence.

Animal Welfare Club participated in a community service activity at Cranberry Sunset Horse Farm, a horse farm that provides free or affordable animal therapy for children with special needs. Sturgis East Animal Welfare members help out around the farm to clean stables, rake trails and groom horses.


Alumni Reunion 2013 004Annual Alumni Reunion

Home for the Holidays! On December 20, 100 Sturgis alumni returned to share their college and work experiences with juniors and seniors at East and West. The annual tradition helps our students imagine the opportunities that await them. Several alumni spoke about the excellent preparation for college they received at Sturgis. One alumna encouraged students to be aware that Sturgis teachers have global experiences and are very generous with their time. She said, “Sturgis is more than a school – it’s a community.” With that in mind, we wish you and your families a restful break and a happy holiday season.

Sturgis East West at CooperstownBaseball Teams Travel to Historic Abner Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, NY

Thanks to Sturgis West baseball coach Elie Rabinowitz for planning an unforgettable experience for Sturgis West and East baseball teams to tour the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and play an East vs. West game at historic Abner Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, NY. Sturgis East won the game and qualified for the MIAA Tournament. To read more about the game, see:

Sturgis East Baseball Beats West at Cooperstown, Qualifies for State Tournament

Molly Brennan MIT ClubMolly Brennan, Class of 2014 – East

Molly Brennan and Divya Johar were invited for dinner with MIT Club of Cape Cod on May 28.  Molly will be attending MIT in the fall.  Photo includes (l-r) Sturgis Physics teacher Divya Johar, Molly Brennan and Ralph Tolbert, Co-Chair of MIT Club of Cape Cod Education Committee.


Cheer showcase-23Cape Cheer Showcase

On Sunday, February 2, Sturgis West Varsity and Junior Varsity Cheerleaders hosted the first annual Cape Cod Cheer Showcase. Seven cheer leading teams showcased their routines in preparation for future competitions. The photo shows all the teams collaborating to make a group pyramid.

Visiting squads (Sturgis East Varsity, Mashpee Varsity, Mashpee Junior Varsity, Monomoy Varsity, Upper Cape Tech Varsity) and hosting teams (Sturgis West Varsity and JV) performed for a crowd of family, friends, and fellow cheerleaders. After performances, each team participated in cheer oriented games, special skills contests and a recognition awards ceremony. Cheerleaders and coaches left feeling inspired to have a strong finish to their season.

Cape Cod Art Association

The following students received awards at the Cape Cod Art Association.

Their work was on display in a  Cape Cod Art Association exhibit called Beginnings.

Ariel Sampou, Class of 2015   1st Place – $100.00

Kelly Stuck, Class of 2014   2nd Place – $50.00

Kailey Barrows,  Class of 2016   3rd Place – $25.00

Gemma Tracy-Burns, Class of 2014    Carol Wycoff Scholarship – $1500

Matt Cappucci - Grant

Matthew Cappucci, second from left.With Cappucci, (l-r), are Ken Giessler, Foundation President, Dr. James Partridge, Award Selection Committee Chairman; and Jack Meehl, Chairman of theBoard.

Matthew Cappucci, Class of 2015 – East

Matthew Cappucci is the first winner of the Kurt Giessler Foundation for Youth Achievement’s Ambition Grant. Matt is a guest weather columnist for Old Colony Memorial and has already distinguished himself as an expert in meteorological circles. Cappucci, the youngest person ever to address the American Meteorological Association, spoke last year on the topic “Outflow Boundary Related Waterspouts: Advanced Prediction, Timely Warnings and the Impact on Public Safety” at the association’s national convention in Tennessee.

See:  Matthew Cappuci Recognized Kurt Giessler Foundation for Youth Achievement

Chess Team Wins Southeast Conference Championship

Chess Winners

Chess League Championship match between Fairhaven High School and Sturgis East Charter School – March 18, 2014

For the second year in a row, Sturgis East chess team won first place in the Southeast Conference Interscholastic Chess League Playoff. They played in the Massachusetts State Chess Team Championship on April 13 in Boxborough, MA.

Sturgis chess team members are: Team Captain Jonah Greenberg of Barnstable, Connor Antonellis of Waquoit, Owen Bescherer of East Sandwich, Mitchell Burns of Sandwich, Nate Henson of Osterville, Ben Johnson-Staub of Sandwich, Julien Legault of Falmouth, Alex Lieberwirth of Barnstable, Zak Longinidis of Hyannis, Alasdair McEwen of Yarmouth, and Connor Naples of East Sandwich. The team is coached by Aaron Dunigan-AtLee, Math teacher at Sturgis East.

Chess Trophy 021

Chess Team Wins 2014 Hurvitz Cup

The Southeast Chess League includes high school teams from Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Martha’s Vineyard, New Bedford, Sturgis and Wareham. During the chess season which runs December to February, each school plays two matches against each league team.  Matches consist of five chess games, with the five players from each school ranked in order of ability: top player vs. top player, second vs. second, and so on.  At the end of the season, the top two teams have a playoff for first place.  This year’s playoff match-up was between Sturgis and Fairhaven. The playoff is a best-2-of-3 system. Sturgis won the first round of the playoff at Fairhaven on March 11 and clinched the title with a second victory at home on March 18.  An enthusiastic group of parent, teacher, and student supporters were able to observe the games remotely via the Free Internet Chess Server with live commentary from Sturgis Chess Coach Aaron Dunigan-AtLee.  Mr. Dunigan-AtLee is very pleased that the Sturgis team was able to win the title for a second year.  “This is an enthusiastic group of students who have shown a lot of growth in their ability to plan strategically.  They played some of their best chess in the second round of the playoffs, and it paid off for them.”

At the State Chess Team Tournament, Sturgis East won the 2014 Hurvitz Cup trophy for having the highest score in their division. Congratulations to players (l-r) Alex, Jonah, Alasdair, Ben and to Coach D-A!

For more information, see Barnstable Patriot: Sturgis chess club captain reflects on winning 


Classics Day allClassics Day at Boston University

Seventeen students went to Boston University in December for Classics Day. Students attended lectures on the Greek and Roman world by professors and graduate students from Boston area colleges and universities. Sturgis West students also put on a skit titled “The Odyssey: Revised” and won “Most interesting original story.”

Katie Curran, Class of 2016 – East

Curran - Tivoli

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

In February, Katie Curran won a Gold Key award in the regional Scholastic Art and Writing competition for her photograph “Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark.” The photo was taken during Katie’s exchange program to Denmark last summer. Regional judging was conducted by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The photograph will go on for judging in the national Scholastic Art and Writing competition.

Congratulations to Katie Curran, founder and director of Project Next Generation ( for being selected as a semifinalist for Peace First Prize, an initiative introduced by Chelsea Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2012. Peace First Prize “celebrates peacemakers who have taken action to address injustice in their schools, neighborhoods, and communities.” Winners will be awarded $25,000 and a two year fellowship which supports their initiatives as peacemakers. The fellowship includes a customized curriculum, and individual coaching, networking, and mentoring from prominent business and community leaders.

See video: Project Next Generation – How Will You Change the World?

Thanks to Katie Curran, News Editor of Sturgis Stormwatch, for volunteering with Key Club members at Special Olympics this weekend and creating a video about the track and field tournament where 250 Cape and off Cape athletes competed.

Special Olympics 2014- Barnstable High School

International Baccaladies

International Baccaladies

Destination ImagiNation (DI)

The International Baccaladies, a combined Sturgis East-West Destination ImagiNation (DI) team, competed in the 2014 Massachusetts DI Finals at Worchester Polytechnic Institute where they performed an Improvisational Challenge called “Pandemonium.” The 15-20 minute challenges have open-ended answers, empowering participants to create solutions that are imaginative, original, divergent and ingenious. While improvisation is key, the teams have put in months of preparation behind the scenes. To prepare for the DI tournament, the Baccaladies researched 8 historical time periods and occupations. At the competition on Saturday, the Sturgis team was challenged to combine a modern occupation and a crisis. The team created a five minute improv skit on the spot that included a 14th century wig maker and a stenographer who were trapped in a world where everyone had x-ray vision. If you see the International Baccaladies, ask them what a gymnasiarch did at the ancient Olympics, or how a wig maker felt in the 1800s!

To learn more about DI, see: Destination Imagination Massachusetts

french exchange 020French Exchange Program

In April, Sturgis East hosted fourteen exchange students from Le lycée Thérèse d’Avila in Lille, France. One goal of the exchange is for students to have the opportunity to participate in classes, be immersed in local culture and gain global experience. French students are paired with Sturgis host students and their families. On June 18, thirteen Sturgis students traveled to Lille to live with host families there. Thanks to Madame O’Keefe and all the students and families who have supported and participated in the exchange!

Matt French - nyu 001Matthew French, Class of 2011

In May, Sturgis Alumnus Matthew French (Class of 2011) visited Sturgis East with classmates Angela Ortega Pastor from Spain and Maria Paula Seto from Colombia. The three students are enrolled at NYU Abu Dhabi and are studying abroad this semester at NYU in New York. Matthew is majoring in Social Research and Public Policy.

Dominic Fucile, Class of 2015 – West

Dom Fucile

Dom Fucile

Congratulations to Dominic Fucile for winning one of two First Place Awards at the 2014 MA State Science and Engineering Fair. His science fair project is entitled “A CubeSat Telescope Prototype for Lunar and Solar Observations.”  His satellite telescope prototype is based on the new CubeSat satellite standard. The design includes imaging, attitude control, telemetry and a solar powering system. As a result of winning first place, Dominic won the 2014 Air Force Award and an $80,000 scholarship to Wheaton College.

Charley Grossman, Class of 2014 – West and Ariel Sampou, Class of 2015 – West have been been selected to participate in the spring ArtWorks School to Careers program:

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for HumanityTen Sturgis West juniors and seniors and two faculty advisors participated in a Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge build in Battle Creek, Michigan during February vacation. They worked on a variety of construction projects as part of a voluntary service learning experience. First, they refurbished the local Habitat for Humanity office which had been damaged in a fire last November. Next, they worked alongside a future Habitat home-owner who suffers from severe brain trauma and loss of mobility after she was struck by a drunk driver. Students built a wheelchair ramp, deck, windows, and more as the future Habitat home-owner completed her sweat equity hours with Sturgis students. The last two days of service were spent building an ostrich pen at the local Binder Park Zoo. Students led valuable reflections each evening that focused on concepts such as team building, goal setting, sharing their experience and adopting service as a way of life. The team will host a presentation next Thursday during lunch in room 111 at Sturgis West. Students are already exploring ways to make more of an impact upon their return.


happy birthday captain 001Happy 232nd Birthday Captain Sturgis!

Captain William Sturgis, for whom our school is named, was born February 25, 1782 in Barnstable Village. He later donated his childhood home to become Sturgis Library, the oldest library building in the United States. When his father died in 1797, Sturgis went to sea at age 15 to support his family as an assistant trader on the ship Eliza. At that time, he decided to make education a priority by immersing himself in an intensive study of navigation, mathematics, language and world history. Four years later, he became the youngest shipmaster in the American merchant fleet. After circumnavigating the world four times, he settled in Boston and created a trading partnership with John Bryant. Bryant & Sturgis managed many of the vessels traveling to the Pacific in the first half of the nineteenth century. Later, Sturgis became a philanthropist and was elected as a longtime member of the Massachusetts House and Senate.

During Freshman orientation, students learn about the early life of William Sturgis which exemplifies how much can be accomplished by young people who set goals and work hard to achieve them. The curiosity, character and courage he cultivated in his youth produced the good judgment and generosity he demonstrated during his later years. His many endeavors – economic, political, cultural, and civic – resulted in lasting benefits to his birthplace and his nation.

IB Foreign Language Oral Exams

Spanish Orals 001In early March, Grade 12 foreign language students at Sturgis and IB schools around the world were taking individual oral exams. Each student meets individually with their teacher at an appointed time to describe an image and its cultural significance for 3-4 minutes. The selected image represents one of the IB Options covered over the course of two years that include Science and Technology, Health, Leisure, Cultural Diversity, and Traditions and Customs.

During the exam, students are given an image they have never seen before that is related to these options and have 15 minutes to take brief working notes. At the end of preparation, teachers record the student’s commentary about the image. After 3-4 minutes of uninterrupted commentary, there is a 5-6 minute period of discussion between the student and teacher. The individual orals are internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB. A video recorded in March 2014 shows students practicing for their Spanish oral:

Sturgis East Seniors Practice for HL Oral Exam



On March 29, members of Sturgis Key Club and the Cape & Islands Division of Key Clubs participated in a 5K Run/Walk to raise money and awareness for the Eliminate Project. All friends and families were encouraged to participate. The 5K Run/Walk took place on the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway.

Kiwannis playground image (14)Kiwanis One Day of Service

Sturgis East and West students recently joined forces with local Kiwanis volunteers for “Kiwanis One Day of Service.” On April 12, they built a new playground at Safe Harbor, a safe and secure family shelter offering emergency assistance for women and children who are homeless due to domestic violence.


LeukemiaThe Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

In May, Sturgis West teacher Elie Rabinowitz led a group of students, parents and teachers on an 80 mile relay race across Cape Cod to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Participants biked, ran and longboarded their way from Woods Hole starting at 5:30 am and arriving in Wellfleet around 6:00 pm. This is the second year in a row that Mr. Rabinowitz has organized the relay to raise money in honor of a friend who passed away from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. This year, he’s on pace to raise over $4,000. Photo shows Junior Jack Perry who rode his bike the entire way to help participants with timing and route finding!

For more information, see:

Gibson Leavitt, Class of 2015 – East

Jazz Improv ComboGibson was invited to participate in the All-Cape Jazz Festival at Mashpee High School on May 1. Gibson played 1st chair trombone with the ensemble. The group rehearsed for two days and then presented a concert. Gibson is a member of the Improvisation Combo at East. Sturgis is proud to have Gibson represent our school.

Christina Lucci, Class of 2016 – East

Christina has been invited  to sing at multiple events this summer. Below is a list of events where she will be performing.

She’d love to see you there!

June 19th: Hyannis Harbor Hawks Game (National Anthem)

July 6th: Hyannis Harbor Hawks Game (National Anthem)

July 11th from 6-8: In front of JFK memorial (2 hour set)

July 26th: Hyannis Harbor Hawks Game (National Anthem)

August 8th from 6-8: In front of JFK memorial (2 hour set)

August 22nd from 6-7: In front of JFK memorial (1 hour set)

Maeve McNamara - All State ChorusMaeve McNamara, Class of 2016 – East

Maeve was accepted into the Mixed Choir of the All-State Music Festival, held this year from March 20-22 in Boston. Students rehearsed for 2 1/2 days, and then presented a gala concert in Symphony Hall on Saturday afternoon. Most of the students in the choir were juniors and seniors. Maeve was one of only four altos selected from all of the schools on the Cape. Sturgis is proud to have had her represent our school, and we wish her the best in her future musical endeavors!

2014 Coffeehouse 051Poetry and Performing Arts Coffeehouse

On February 27, the Starry Night themed Poetry and Performing Arts Coffeehouse brought out the stars. Twenty four spirited performances from East and West were showcased in the star-studded coffeehouse at West Atrium. Sturgis Singers and Community Choir kicked off the event with beautiful harmonies. An enthusiastic crowd of families and friends numbering well over 100 enjoyed an eclectic mix of music, dance, and poetry interpretations including SLAM. The 11th annual Poetry and Performing Arts Coffeehouse provided another great opportunity for students from both campuses to come together and share their talents.

Harper and Carissa

Harper Edwards and Carissa Wells

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Competition took place in late January at Sturgis East and West. Thanks to Katie Curran, you can see her video of what Poetry Out Loud is all about:  POL:

Poetry Out Loud 2014- Sturgis Charter School


Congratulations to 1st place winners Carissa Wells, Class of 2017 at Sturgis East and Harper Edwards, Class of 2016 at Sturgis West. They moved on to the MA Poetry Out Loud Semi-Finals at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod on Sunday, March 2 at 1:00.

Poetry is in the air at Sturgis. Carissa Wells and Harper Edwards gave excellent performances at the MA Poetry Out Loud Regional Semi-Finals on Sunday at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. We can’t get enough poetry! On March 21st, students from East and West traveled to UMass Boston to participate in Mass Poetry’s Student Day of Poetry, a day-long field trip dedicated to poetry for high school students from all over Massachusetts. Students heard professional poets perform, participated in creative writing workshops for teens led by celebrated local and national poets, followed by a student open mike event. Teachers and chaperones were able to attend professional development workshops throughout the day.

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards:

Regional judging was conducted by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Katie Curran received a Gold Key award for  photography

Meghan Borowski a Silver Key for photography

Amy Darbyshire two Honorable Mentions (drawing and printmaking)

Hannah Joseph two Silver Keys for photography

Czarina Shartle a Silver Key for personal essay/memoir and Honorable Mention for sculpture

Catherine Etienne a Silver Key for personal essay/memoir and a Silver Key for poetry

Cooper Heilmann an Honorable Mention for short story

Monique Legault an Honorable Mention for personal essay/memoir

Julia Tager an Honorable Mention for personal essay/memoir

More information, see: Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Senior Service daySenior Service Day

On May 29, seniors at East and West participated in the tradition of Senior Service Day. For four hours, students provided service to a non-profit organization or service site of their choice. This marks the first year that both campuses participated in the collaborative event. Sturgis seniors volunteered across Cape Cod to help the following organizations: Barnstable parks and beaches, Cape Cod Maritime Museum, Guyer Art Barn, Habitat for Humanity, Housing Assistance Corporation, Hyannis Village Green, Hyannis Public Library, JFK Hyannis Museum, Salvation Army & more. Students were enthused to give back to the local community that has welcomed them throughout their time at Sturgis.

Smile Cards

Smile Cards 001A flurry of 6,455 smile cards were delivered December 18th at Sturgis East! Sturgis students (and teachers) write compliments on smile cards for other students and faculty members in order to encourage one another. The Smile Cards Committee (a branch of Key Club) collects and delivers cards to recipients’ lockers or mailboxes. The whole process was a huge success and surpassed last year’s record of 3,400 smile cards. The smile card tradition was developed at Sturgis by Olivia Sequin, Class of 2013, who believes in the importance of encouragement. This year’s effort was led by Anna Braley and other Key Clubbers helped to make it successful.


Sturgis Passion Project Raises Funds for Veterans Moving Forward

On Friday, March 28, Sturgis Passion Project (SPP) welcomed the greater Sturgis community to a coffeehouse for a cause! Singers, poets, and comedians performed to raise money for Veterans Moving Forward, Inc., an organization that provides service dogs to veterans with physical and mental health challenges. Through small suggested donations, the group was able to raise almost $200 to support the veterans. SPP members initiated and planned the entire event, which lasted for the better part of two hours and included an art exhibit by sophomore art students. SPP would like to thank the many talented performers who participated, as well as the wonderful MC, Dan Souza.

Sturgis United

 SONY DSCThanks to everyone who helped with Sturgis United on March 11. It is great to see our two campuses come together for an afternoon of fun activities. Nearly 160 East and West students participated in lively dodgeball games to win gift certificates to favorite local spots including Palio’s, New England Pizza, BBC, Columbo’s and Papa John’s. The student-faculty basketball game was very close and went into overtime! Faculty cheerleaders enthusiastically encouraged their team from the sidelines and student cheerleaders performed 3 combined East-West cheers culminating in a pyramid at center court. Faculty and student dance teams wowed the crowd at halftime. Perpetual favorites from East, the Sturgis Stompers, performed a creative dance for the crowd.

Sturgis United Donates $463.28 to First Baptist Church Food Pantry

Sturgis United Donates $463.28 to  First Baptist Church Food Pantry

Teachers combined stepping, salsa, and hip-hop for their routine and the the brand new West Dance Club led by Junior Joachim Noble-Smith were showstoppers in their debut performance.

Sturgis East Student Council and Sturgis West SWAG coordinated and ran the Sturgis United event at the HYCC.  This yearly event began simply as a student-faculty basketball game and has evolved into a fun afternoon or basketball, dodge ball, and performances by various Sturgis groups.  Through the dodge ball event, we were about to raise $463.28 which we donated tot he First Baptist Church Food Pantry.  It should be noted we would not have been able to donate this much money if it wasn’t for the HYCC waiving the rental fee for the event since this was a charity event.


These Shining Lives

Rachel Ollagnon, Theater – East and West

These Shining Lives Cast and Crew-200resWE DID IT! Sturgis East made it to the Semi-Finals of the MA High School Theatre Festival on March 15 with These Shining Lives! Bourne High School, Notre Dame High School and Sturgis East all won for their preliminary rounds from our area. Four of our actresses, Lily Paradise, Sophia Braddel, Angela Young and Czarina Shartle, received individual acting awards. Plus, Audrey Peterson received a special award for costume design. Our entire cast and crew (all 27 of them) did a fabulous job and I am so excited and proud of all of them. WOOHOO!



Alexandra Waithe, Class of 2014 – West was selected as a 2014-2015 Comcast Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship program recipient.  The scholarship is an award of $1,000 for  the 2014-2015 academic year and applied to educational expenses at an accredited, nonprofit college, university, or vocational/technical school in the United States. We are proud to recognize the efforts of young people who are helping make our communities stronger and applaud you for your achievements.  We wish you the best of luck as you pursue your future goals.

Community minded lacrosseViva 5k

What a weekend for Sturgis! Yesterday morning, the Sturgis West Girls Lacrosse team volunteered at the Viva 5k at Barnstable High school. The race and event benefit free recreational programs for students with limited resources and raises awareness about healthy living. The lacrosse team arrived at 6:30 AM, registered runners, staffed the water tables and the race route. It was a great day! Pictured is John Gleason, Director of Barnstable Recreation giving job assignments to the team. Go Sturgis!

World Challenge – Nicaragua

Nicaragua 1 (1)In July, fifteen Sturgis students hiked to the top of Momotombo Volcano in Nicaragua to watch the sunrise. They are participating in a ten day World Challenge expedition that includes a service project and three day trek. World Challenge aims to help young people explore their limits and grow in confidence, resourcefulness and global citizenship.


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