Wachusett Regional High School

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Wachusett Regional High School
Wachusettregionalhs.png
Address
1401 Main Street
Holden, MA, USA
Information
Established 1955
School district Wachusett Regional School District
Principal William Beando
Assistant principals Andrew Costa
Catherine Knowles
Anthony DiBenedetto
Victoria DiSimone
Drew Weymouth
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2000
Color(s) Green & White         
Mascot Mountaineer
Average SAT scores 521 verbal
542 math
518 writing (2010)[1]
Newspaper Wachusett Echo
Website

Wachusett Regional High School (abbv. WRHS) is located in Holden, Massachusetts and services the Wachusett Regional School District. Founded in 1955, WRSD comprises Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, and Sterling. William Beando was appointed principal as of July 1, 2007, succeeding the one year interim service of longtime principal Hal Lane, who had retired in 1993. The assistant principals are Catherine Knowles, Andrew Costa, Anthony DiBenedetto, Victoria DeSimone, and Drew Weymouth.

Construction project[edit]

As of September 2008 the school is officially complete. Although the school was open the entire time of the construction, there was an official "re-opening" of the school on Sunday, September 21, 2008 for parents, students, members of the community, faculty, and alumni.

Academics[edit]

The school offers a wide range of courses in many subjects, chiefly of four difficulty levels. The CPA, College Prep - Advanced, is the accelerated college preparatory level, and the majority of students take classes at this level. The Honors level is above CPA. CP, College Prep is the regular level for students and prepares them for studies after high school. Students at the CP level may need a little extra support with their studies to prepare them for post-high school studies. The fourth main class level is AP, or Advanced Placement, a College Board program through which college credit can be awarded for excellent performance on year-end standardized exams. There are also V or "0" level courses, which are usually mandatory or non-academic, such as physical education and special education courses.

The Advanced Placement program at the school has proven a great success. Since 2005, 88% of students taking the end-of-year examination have earned a score of "3" or better, qualifying many of the students for college credit. As of 2010, the high school offers nineteen Advanced Placement courses.

The high school also consistently exceeds state and national averages for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT.[2]

School activities[edit]

Music Department[edit]

WRHS has a large and well regarded music department- which includes several choirs or varying sizes, orchestra and concert bands, string and wind ensembles, as well as jazz performance groups (both vocal and instrumental). For each of the past seven years, WRHS has received recognition from the Grammy Foundation for being one of the top 100 high school music programs in the United States.[3][4] WRHS's music department also has a special partnership with the Boston Symphony Orchestra which permits the students to sit in on rare closed rehearsals of the orchestra. In the spring of 2005, WRHS performed admirably at an international music competition in Toronto, Ontario. At the Festival of Music, Wachusett received first place in the Jazz Band competition, receiving recognition for having several excellent musicians, soloists, and sections. Jazz Choir and Orchestra also took first place in their respective categories. Singers and Chamber Choir took first place in the Mixed Men's and Women's Choir section. String Orchestra received a first place award as well. Wind Ensemble received second place overall. In April 2003 and 2007, the Honors Music Program performed in Florida and visited Disney World, performing on various stages within the park and in Downtown Disney. Also in 2007, the Honors Choirs performed at Foxwoods with Kenny Rogers, and also in 2008 at Mohegan Sun. In the spring of 2009, WRHS competed in the North American Festival of Music in Toronto, Ontario, receiving several first and second place awards.

The Wachusett Madrigal Singers were first led to International Music Festival Gold in 1993 by beloved director, and recipient of the MMEA Lowell Mason Award, and the MMEA Distinguished Service Award, Grace V Reidy.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Wachusett Model United Nations[edit]

Wachusett's Model United Nations program was first established in the 1970s. Under the current guidance of a political science teacher, Wachusett frequents several model United Nations conferences in locations such as Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Clark University, and Princeton University.

Massachusetts Club[edit]

Formed during the 2005-2006 school year, the Massachusetts Club takes group trips to historic places throughout the state, usually on weekends. Trips taken include a day spent in Rockport, several visits to Boston, and a trip to Salem.

Sports[edit]

Under the school colors of green and white, Wachusett fields many perennially competitive sports teams. The school has forty-six athletic programs, in which about 1,000 students participate. These include lacrosse, American football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, ice hockey, track, cross country, lacrosse, volleyball, gymnastics, field hockey, golf,and swimming and billiards. The girls cross-country team has won 13 consecutive league championships, and a number of consecutive district championships. Both girls and boys track teams are consistently among state's best. Wachusett's soccer teams have also won several championships. In 2004, the Boys Basketball team won the District Championship, supported by the enormous "Badlands" student rooting section. The school's football team went undefeated in the 2003 season and has won back-to-back Super Bowl Titles. The team went undefeated yet again in 2009, with a record of 13-0, beating 4th ranked Holy Name in the super bowl. In 2007, the girls gymnastics team was crowned Mid-Wach league champions following an undefeated season, and went on to place 6th overall in the state. The baseball team won its first district championship in 2010.

Science Seminar and Science Fair[edit]

Every year, Wachusett conducts a school science fair. Winners of the school competition advance to the Regional Science Fair. In order to help students develop high quality projects and to stimulate their interest in science, Wachusett holds Science Seminar meetings every Tuesday night. Interested students take an entrance examination in order to be admitted to Science Seminar. For the first hour of these meetings, a scientist from the community speaks to seminar members about his/her work. The second hour consists of meetings between students and their science project advisors for help and guidance in the process. In March, 2008, a student at Wachusett, Lewis Dodgson, received a second award in the Mass State science fair at MIT. Many other students have also done well at the Regional Science Fair, State Science Fair, ISEF, and other fairs. Science Seminar is presided over by Carol Sullivan, a longtime teacher at the school, as well as a variety of advisers who are current or retired scientists in the field. Every week a prominent figure in the field of science is brought in to give a one-hour lecture on their chosen subject (subjects range from forensic science to the latest solar panel technology to the size of the universe), and then students break into groups to meet with their adviser and discuss their year-long science project.

Theater Arts[edit]

The Theater Company at Wachusett performed in the MHSDG One Act Play festival under the direction of Doug Ingalls for over 10 years, before Ingalls' passing in 2009, after which the school's Black Box Theater was renamed the Doug Ingalls Black Box Theater in honor of its long standing director. In 2003 Wachusett had its first ticket to the final round in Boston with Beyond Tolerance. This was followed in 2004 with Tom Jones, in 2005 with Medea, in 2007 with For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls, and in 2008 with "The Magdalene Laundries," an original play written by Mr. Ingalls. Many awards and honors were achieved throughout the competitions, and the company continues to be one of the best performing and well known drama departments in the state.

Wachusett's Film Directors Guild[edit]

WFDG (often pronounced "woofdige") is WRHS's filmmaking club. Club members participate in many film-related activities including, but not limited to, the production of short films. Group formation, plot creation, casting, and shooting must be completed using in-camera editing during a single club meeting. The films are screened at the next club meeting. Additionally, many club members organize the Wachusett Community Film Festival. Members of the Wachusett community may submit films to the festival.

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′11.7″N 71°52′23.8″W / 42.353250°N 71.873278°W / 42.353250; -71.873278

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/state_report/sat_perf.aspx
  2. ^ Wachusett Regional School District. "SAT Reasoning Test Scores". Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  3. ^ Remarks of Hon. James P. McGovern, 2000 Congressional Record, Vol. 146, Page E319
  4. ^ Wachusett Regional School District. "Annual Report and FY07 Appropriation". Retrieved 2008-09-08. [dead link]