Westford Academy

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Westford Academy
WA Logo.png
Established 1792 (1792)
Type Public Secondary
Principal James Antonelli
Dean Michael Parent, Robert Ware, Betsy Murphy (Interim)
Faculty 120
Students approx. 1651
Grades 9-12
Location 30 Patten Road,
Westford, Massachusetts, United States of America
District Westford Public Schools
Accreditation NEASC
Campus suburban
Colors Maroon & Grey         
Athletics Alpine Skiing, Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Crew, Cross Country, Cross-Country Skiing Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Wrestling
Nickname WA
Mascot Grey Ghosts
Rival Acton-Boxborough, Lincoln-Sudbury
Newspaper WA Ghostwriter
MCAS % proficient and advanced ELA: 97 Math: 97 Science: 94 (Spring 2011)[1]
SAT scores Average Reading 594, Math 619, Writing 588 (2012)[2]
National ranking 796 (2013 U.S. News and World Report)[3]
Website Westford Academy
Westford Academy, Westford MA.jpg
Westford Academy

Westford Academy is the public high school (grades 9-12) for the town of Westford, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1792,[4] and is one of the oldest public high schools in the United States. Westford Academy was originally established as a private school and was changed to a public school in 1928. Westford maintained the name "Academy" as it maintained the board of trustees to allow students to continue being eligible to receive scholarships established by Westford Academy trustees.[5]

Curriculum[edit]

Students must complete the following requirements for graduation:

  • English 20 credits
  • Math 20 credits
  • Science 15 credits
  • Social Studies 15 credits (5 U.S.)
  • PE / Health 12.5 credits
  • Computer Literacy 2.5 credits
  • Electives 37.5 credits

No class rank is officially calculated, however a valedictorian and a salutatorian are named every year at graduation. Westford Academy provides several honors and advanced placement courses.

Advanced Placement courses include AP Calculus (AB & BC), AP Statistics, AP Computer Science, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics B, AP United States History, AP European History, AP English Literature and Composition, AP French Language, AP German Language, AP Spanish Language, AP Latin Literature, AP Psychology, AP Studio Art Drawing, and AP Music Theory. Often if a particular AP course is not offered as a class, teachers will work with students to study above the normal class curriculum and prepare for the Advanced Placement Exams.

Westford Academy Post High School Placement (2012)

  • 4 year college- 87%
  • 2 year college- 12%
  • Employment- 0.6%
  • Military/Other- 0.4% [6]

There are 130 classroom teachers – 95% Masters degrees - and an average class size of 1:23 teacher:students.

Awards[edit]

The 2008 Blue Ribbon Schools were announced on September 9. 329 public and private schools were honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., October 20–21. Westford Academy was named a NCLB-Blue Ribbon School. The No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior in their state or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. Westford Academy has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Athletics[edit]

Westford Academy participates in the DCL (Dual County League), arguably one of the most competitive leagues in the state of Massachusetts. Sports teams include Cheerleading, Soccer, Golf, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Swimming, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Gymnastics, Alpine Skiing, Indoor Track, Wrestling, Cross-Country Skiing, Women's Ice Hockey, Track and Field, Lacrosse, Tennis, Softball, Baseball, Crew, and Volleyball.

Westford Academy's football rival is Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. WA scored its first victory over AB in the Fall of 2005, snapping a 13 year losing streak. Interestingly, Ayer High School had been Westford Academy's Thanksgiving rival from 1969 until Westford Academy moved into the DCL. ABRHS had been Littleton's Thanksgiving Day rival from 1965-1969.

The Westford Academy Girls Varsity Ice Hockey team also allows girls from the Littleton High School to join the team because of the lack of women who play ice hockey between the two high schools.

Theatre Arts[edit]

Westford Academy has a thriving theatre arts department, led by Artistic Director Michael Towers. The program puts on four main stage and four black box productions each year showcasing the talents of the over two hundred students involved in Westford Academy Theatre Arts (WATA). Guest directors have included Dr. Luke Jorgensen, a professor at Boston College, and Larry Sousa, a nationally recognized director and choreographer.

In addition to six state championships (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), the students in WATA's have won an outstanding number of awards in Acting and Technical Design for their entry in the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild's annual play festival.

Special Interests[edit]

The Westford Academy Performing Arts Center seats around 850 people.

Other extracurricular activities include Beyond Words (literary magazine), the WA Ghostwriter (school newspaper), the Yearbook Club, WATA, Marching Band, After School Chorus, Mock Trial, DECA, French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Latin Clubs, International Club, Ping-Pong Club, Best Buddies, WA Pride, Community service club, Student Council, Speech and Debate, Forensics Club, Museum Club, Book Club, Gay Straight Alliance, Photography Club, Peer Counseling, WA Unicycle Club, Cirrus, WAHYC, Future Educators of America, Amnesty International and many others.[7]

Incidents[edit]

In 2004, Westford Academy math teacher Rosemarie Pumo pled guilty to providing heroin to her students.[8]The school was later criticized by parents for not being forthcoming about the events and the school's role in it.[9]

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 42°34′37.3″N 71°27′49.6″W / 42.577028°N 71.463778°W / 42.577028; -71.463778