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School Committee Notebook: Committee Accepts $50,000 Donation, Shown The Fruits Of Previous Donation

Mar 30, 2016 02:22PM ● By Bill Gilman

School Committee member Dennis Francis presents commendations to Wynn School teacher Lisa Bailey and TMHS teacher Susan Barrett.

Over the past four years, the Tewksbury Education Foundation has hosted annual fundraising auctions that has allowed the group to be able to supplement the district budget and allow for the purchase of such items as 3D printers, a PCR machine, document cameras, an Electronic Balance Scale and assorted microscopes.
At the March 23 School Committee meeting, the TEF presented a $50,000 donation, which will be used to advance the district's Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) programs.
Over four years, the TEF has donated $150,000 to the district.
"We're so proud of the accomplishments (of the TEF) because it's not only just an auction that they run," said School Committee Chairperson Krissy Polimeno, who was also one of the founders of the TEF. "They also do all sorts of enrichments for our students ... they run an annual spelling bee that also promotes academic excellence ... The foundation does a lot of great things. I hope the foundation is around 50 years from now."
"The (annual auction) has become a community event. It's a 'must-attend.'" said Committee Vice-Chair Dennis Francis. "Each year, it gets larger and larger."
After accepting the donation on the half of the district, the School Committee had the chance to see, first-hand, the fruits of the TEF's 2015 donation.. Wynn Middle School students Emily Parr and Michael Ripley and computer teacher, Lisa Bailey, explained how a 3-D printed has become an integral part of their technology curriculum. They also showed off pencil holders created with the printer.
Also on hand were members of the TMHS Robotics Team (Michael Monahan, Virginia Barnes and Akhil Bagul) and science teacher Susan Barrett. The team explained how they used the school's 3-D printer to create cost-saving parts for the competition robot they built.
The committee presented Barrett and Bailey with commendations for their work.

In other business:
  • The School Committee recognized 4th grade student Cullen Mangan as the National Geographic Geography Bee Champion of the Trahan School. Before he received his commendation, Cullen gave committee members a brief geography quiz, with Dennis Francis and Jayne Miller proving they are, in fact, as smart as a 4th grader.
  • The committee recognized the new Tewksbury High Science Bowl team, which competed under the guidance of science teacher Susan Barrett. Sophomores Felicia Ragucci, Devyn MacEachern, Rachel Sessa, Kathryn Famiglietti and freshman Grace Morris competed against teams generally made up of juniors and seniors.

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