Westford Academy

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Westford Academy
Westford Academy, Westford MA.jpg
Westford Academy
Location
30 Patten Road,
Westford, Massachusetts

USA
Information
Type Public
Secondary
Open enrollment[1]
Established 1792 (1792)[2]
School district Westford Public Schools
Dean Michael Parent
Robert Ware
Betsy Murphy
Principal James Antonelli
Faculty 120
Grades 912
Enrollment approx. 1651
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Maroon and grey         
Athletics Alpine Skiing, Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Crew, Cross Country, Cross-Country Skiing Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Marching Band, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Wrestling
Mascot Grey Ghosts
Rivals Acton-Boxborough, Lincoln-Sudbury
Accreditation NEASC
USNWR ranking Ranked #47 Best High Schools in U.S and #2 in Massachusetts by Newsweek 2016
Average SAT scores 601 verbal
622 math
587 writing
1810 total (2016)[3]
Newspaper WA Ghostwriter
MCAS % proficient and advanced ELA: 97 Math: 97 Science: 94 (Spring 2011)[4]
Website

Westford Academy is the public high school (grades 9–12) for the town of Westford, Massachusetts. It was incorporated in 1793[5] 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.[6]

Curriculum[edit]

Students must complete the following requirements for graduation:

  • English 20 credits
  • Math 20 credits
  • Science 15 credits
  • Social Studies 15 credits (10 U.S.)
  • PE 10 credits
  • Computer Literacy 2.5 credits
  • Electives 37.5 credits
  • Foreign Language 10 credits (Class of 2020)

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 Environmental Science, 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 – 88%
  • 2 year college – 10%
  • Employment – 1%
  • Military/other – 1%[7]

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

Awards/Recognition[edit]

Newsweek Magazine (2016): #47 U.S. High Schools (National) #2 Massachusetts High Schools (State)

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]

WA Logo.png

Westford Academy participates in the DCL (Dual County League). Sports teams include Cheerleading, Soccer, Golf, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Swimming & Diving, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Gymnastics, Alpine Skiing, Indoor Track, Wrestling, Cross-Country Skiing, Women's Ice Hockey, Track and Field, Lacrosse, Tennis, Softball, Baseball, Crew, Marching Band, 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. 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]

The Westford Academy Theater Arts program (WATA) puts on four main stage and four black box productions each year. Guest directors have included Dr. Luke Jorgensen, a professor at Boston College, and Larry Sousa, an acclaimed director and choreographer. WATA has won eight state championships (1990, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) in the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild's annual play festival.

Special interests[edit]

Other extracurricular activities include Beyond Words (literary magazine), the WA Ghostwriter (school newspaper), the Yearbook Club, Marching Band, After School Chorus, Mock Trial, DECA, French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Latin Clubs, International Club, Gender Sexuality Alliance, Best Buddies, WA Pride, Community service club, Student Council, Speech and Debate, Junior State of America, Math Team, Science Team, HOSA, Forensics Club, Museum Club, WABC, Book Club, Photography Club, Chess Club, Peer Counseling, Cirrus, WAHYC, Future Educators of America, Amnesty International, Environmental Club, Quiz Bowl, Economics Club and many others.[8]

Incidents[edit]

In 2004, Westford Academy math teacher Rosemarie Pumo pleaded guilty to providing heroin to her students.[9] The school was later criticized by parents for not being forthcoming about the events and the school's role in it.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]

Nettie Maria Stevens was an early American geneticist. She and Edmund Beecher Wilson were the first researchers to describe the chromosomal basis of sex, but they conducted their research independently of each other

Distinguished Alumni Award[edit]

Established to honor Westford Academy Alumni who have distinguished themselves and go above and beyond in service representing Westford, the Academy, and in service to the community (listed in order each were awarded).

  • H. Arnold Wilder – Class of 1927, Historian, W.A. Trustee
  • Paul L. Davies – Class of 1960
  • Paul T. MacMillan – Class of 1964
  • William A. Murray – Class of 1977, Police Chief Ayer, MA
  • John J. Waugh – Class of 1977
  • Geoffrey D. Hall – Class of 1966, Board of Selectmen, Massachusetts State Representative
  • Andrew W. Basinas – Class of 1941, War Veteran
  • Helena "Mickey" Crocker – Class of 1946, philanthropist
  • Donald G. White – Class of 1930
  • James P. Antonelli – Class of 1986, W.A. Principal
  • Robert M. Welch – Class of 1970, Police Chief, Westford
  • Beverly Garside Woods – Class of 1975
  • Thomas McEnaneny – Class of 1983, Police Chief, Westford
  • Jason M. Main – Class of 1991, War Veteran
  • George P. Rogers – Class of 1951, First Full Time Fire Chief, Westford, Active Town Volunteer
  • Genevieve Dubinski Johnson – Class of 2014, oldest Academy student to graduate
  • George S. Fletcher – Class of 1951, Deputy Fire Chief Westford, multi Town Positions/Volunteer
  • Rebecca Palma Hill – Class of 1997, philanthropist
  • David P. Christiana – Class of 1993, Firefighter, Sculptor/Artist (Fallen Firefighter's Memorial, 9-11 Memorial, Westford Knight Statue, Etc.), Lowell Sun Greater Lowell "Man of the Year" 2015[12]
  • Nancy J. Cook – Class of 1972, V.P. Concord Oil Co., former Town Clerk, multiple Town Committee Volunteer, philanthropist
  • Willis "Bucky" Buckingham – Class of 1941, WWII Navy Veteran (USS Dorothea L Dix)
  • Cathy Coughlin – Class of 1977, teacher

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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