By Gil Newton
On August 27, 2014 the first Welcome Night of the Sandwich STEM Academy took place in the Sandwich High School auditorium. STEM Director Gil Newton welcomed a standing room only crowd and urged the students to take advantage of these new opportunities available in the first Sandwich middle school. Mr. Newton also described how his 7th grade science teacher inspired him to pursue the field of marine biology.
Sandwich Superintendent Dr. Richard Canfield thanked the many individuals who have worked hard to bring the STEM Academy to fruition for the past three years. Sandwich High School and STEM Academy principal Dr. Ellin Booras also welcomed parents and students to the building and spoke of the many opportunities in both the STEM Academy and the high school.
Other staff members present included STEM assistant principal Beth Hebb, guidance counselor Lauren Wentworth, technology specialist Josh Rodrigues, STEM nurse Jennie Macdonald, STEM secretary Carolyn Perry, 7-12 Athletic Administrator Neil Murphy and 7-12 behaviorist Jeanne Reece.
Following the introductions the students were taken to their advisory rooms by high school peer leaders. They were given a tour of the new and renovated classrooms and reviewed their schedules for the fall semester. In addition each student signed a piece of a puzzle in their advisory. The 7th graders returned to the gymnasium and the 8th graders to the auditorium where they learned that the pieces composed a shield, symbolic of the school mascot, the young squire. This project was organized by the STEM Parents Task Force and each shield will be permanently placed in the STEM Academy.
The evening successfully concluded when the inaugural students led their parents on a tour of their new school. Several teachers also volunteered their time to meet and greet parents and students.