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A Wonderful Visit

posted Sep 15, 2017, 5:33 AM by Chuck Caragianes

Good afternoon,

This past week we had 16 foreign exchange students from Spain wrap up their time with us here in Maynard concluding a wonderful visit that began this past September 3rd.  I sent out a special message regarding the details of the visit yesterday (a copy of the full text of that message follows below), and the Beacon Villager also published an extensive article yesterday that I urge you to read.

19 Maynard High School students will be travelling to Spain this coming February during the school vacation week to be hosted by the families of our recent guests along with Maynard Chaperones Jen Adams and Mary Finnegan.  We are anticipating that the addition of this very exciting program this year is a harbinger of many such opportunities in the future.

Please mark your calendars and save the date of September 28th as we hold our annual “Back to School Night” from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  This is an opportunity to become acquainted with your student’s teachers, the academic expectations for the year, and receive information from some of our parent run groups.  Please plan on joining us!

With the days getting noticeably shorter, and with later sunrises, it becomes tempting to stay in bed just a few minutes longer each morning.  Please continue to help your student establish a good, on time, attendance pattern this year with a predictable morning routine to ensure a timely departure from home every morning.

As a reminder, Maynard High School opens for students at 7:00am for breakfast and academic classes begin promptly at 7:45am.  There is no traditional homeroom period.  If your student is walking into the building at 7:45 they will be late for the day and late to class where they will be missing academic work.  A 7:30 arrival all year long will ensure that your student has time to visit their locker, say hi to their friends, get settled for the day ahead and get to class on time.

Related to being on time, please be aware of the following:

When your students arrive each morning all food and beverages must be consumed in the cafeteria and cannot go up to the classrooms.  We have students with quite severe food allergies and introducing food into classrooms greatly increases the possibility of a strong allergic reaction.  So if your student is stopping for coffee and a bagel in the morning, they’ll need to build in time to eat it prior to going to class rather than thinking they’ll be munching or sipping during 1st period class.

As the year unfolds, feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns.

Below are some additional items of note and upcoming events:

The Latest Message From Our Student Council

Student Council kicked off its spirit competition for the year by running a class penny war this past week with the goal of raising money for victims of the recent hurricanes. At the end of this week, we will tally all donations and announce which class raised the most pennies (as well as which class raised the most money overall). While the competition is fun and friendly, we are reminded of the suffering and loss resulting from the recent hurricanes, and know that the donation of these funds will go to assist people in need.

The Student Council Officers for this year are:

President--Kyle Morgan

Vice President--Emmeline Weeks

Secretary--Alyssa Gwodz

Treasurer--Nick DeCastro

Public Relations Director--Nicole Jones

Fundraiser to Benefit the Katherine K. Lalli Memorial Scholarship Fund

Save the Date for "Music Together in Katherine's Memory" on Sunday September 17th at the Battle Road Brewery located at 5 Mill and Main in Maynard from 5 - 10 PM.

From 5-6 PM, Pat and Vic Lalli,  from "Music Together of Assabet Valley," will entertain the younger audience.  From 6 - 10 PM, various musicians who have played with the Lalli's will entertain the older audience.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Katherine K. Lalli Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Katherine Lalli passed away on Christmas Eve morning in an automobile accident in Lancaster.  Not only was she educated through the Maynard school system but her family has always been very much involved in the Maynard community, especially her parents, who provide programs through Music Together of Assabet Valley, enjoyed by children in the Maynard, Acton, Concord, Sudbury communities and beyond.

The scholarship will benefit students who are pursuing a degree in early childhood education or special education, both passions of Katherine's.  Katherine was a graduate of the Maynard High School Class of 2012 and earned an Associate's Degree in early childhood education from Middlesex Community College.  

If you would like to make a donation in Katherine's memory at this time, please make your check payable to "Town of Maynard." Include "Katherine K. Lalli Memorial Scholarship" on the memo line. Please mail donations to: Maynard Town Building, 195 Main Street, Maynard, MA 01754, attn Cheryl Kane, Treasurer. Acknowledgement of your gift will be forwarded to Katherine's family.

Anti Bullying Forum

The Maynard Public Schools will be holding an Anti Bullying Forum on Tuesday October 3, 2017.  This event will be held in the Fowler Assembly Hall from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

The Maynard Public Schools Policy Subcommittee is in the process of reviewing the current School Committee Policy #18 Bullying Prevention and Intervention, Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, and the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Reporting Form.

We plan on using a World Cafe Method for facilitating dialogue with large groups.  We will have break out groups at round tables brainstorming their thoughts on these documents and reporting to the committee recommendations for improvement.


From the Maynard Music Association

MMA meetings! Please consider joining us for our monthly meetings this year.   All our monthly meetings take place on the first Monday of every month in the Fowler library.  Please check out our website for a complete list of meeting dates:  

Back to School Night! Can't make our September meeting?  Be sure to stop by the MMA table at back to school night:  Thursday, September 28th. We will have info about the music calendar, jackets, sweatshirts and more. Donations for Casino Game Night class baskets can be dropped off at the MMA table for band/chorus families in grades 9-12.

Volunteers Needed for Pep Games:  September 8th and September 22nd:  

We are in need of 4 volunteers.  Reply to this email address if you can volunteer to chaperone the band in the stands. Thanks to the Babaians for volunteering their truck to transport items to/from the field!!

Update: Music Fundraiser for grades 4-12:

NEW INFO: Grade-level theme basket donations

  • Grade level theme baskets 5-12 are being coordinated.

  • Letters from your coordinator will be sent this week with theme info!

  • Coordinator for 5th still needed.

  • Donations of $10 toward your grade’s basket are requested.

  • Bring donation to Back to School Nights (9/19 Fowler, 9/28 MHS) or drop off at the main offices.

  • Thanks to : Danielle Ullrich (12), Stephanie Gavin (11), Justine St. John (10), Christine Boutin (9), Stephanie/Justine/Bonnie (8), John Cafarella (7) and Allison Clements (6) for coordinating baskets


Planning for the 9th annual Casino Game Night music fundraiser is underway!

All band/chorus parents in grades 4-12 are welcome and encouraged to join in the fun.

  • Casino Game Night is our sole fundraiser each year.

  • We raise money to support the needs of the band and chorus students of Fowler School and Maynard High School. (501c3 charitable organization)

  • Our event takes place this year on Saturday, November 4th at the Maynard Elks Club at 6:30 pm.

  • go to  or Maynard Music Association on FB for info

  • Please attend planning meetings! Fun folks, food provided - EVERY MONDAY @ 7p                          location: 13 Sherman St!

Contact Bonnie via to help!Casino Night: November 4th, 6:30 @ the Elks:  Planning is well underway.  Please consider joining us every Monday night starting September 11th at 7pm at 13 Sherman Street.  Assistance is needed in the following areas:

  • Basket making for prizes

  • Soliciting advertisements for our program

  • Soliciting table sponsors

  • Cooking/baking for the event

  • Setting up and assisting during the event

  • Dealers

  • Gathering prizes

  • Immediate Need: Class basket coordinators for grades 5 and 11.

Contact Bonnie Wilson if you can help:  

MMA officers met over the summer in prep for the year ahead.  To view the minutes visit our website under the tab "Joint".

That’s the news for the week.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Chuck Caragianes, M.Ed.

Principal of Maynard High School


(The full text of yesterday's message regarding the exchange program)

We have just concluded an enormously successful student exchange program at Maynard High School that I think you’d like to hear about.

On September 3rd 16 students from Spain along with two of their teachers, Carolina Clavijo and Juan Antonio Bascon, arrived at Logan airport and were greeted by 19 host families from Maynard for a 9 day educational experience.  Each visiting student was matched with a student, or students, from Maynard High School and was hosted in the home of a Maynard family during their stay.

Over the course of their stay students visited the Boott Mill in the Lowell National Historical Park for an introduction to the early American industrial revolution, attended a Lowell Spinners baseball game to see a quintessentially American pastime, shadowed their host student for a day at Maynard High School, toured Boston via Duck Boat and Harvard University by foot on a guided tour.  They took in Thoreau’s vision of Walden Pond with guest host and Maynard Scholar John Kucich and then went on to visit the magnificent sculpture gardens of the deCordova Museum.  There was a free day with host families taking their student guests to Faneuil Hall, shopping malls and a New England Revolution game.  A tour of the Salem Witch Museum and House of the Seven Gables also gave a peek at the darker side of New England and local history.

On the 10th the Fitzsimmons family hosted a wonderful potluck dinner and games night attended by scores of people to further enhance this incredible visit.  On Monday the 11th our visitors gave presentations and developed fun activities to share with our students at Maynard High School and the Fowler School through our World Languages classes.  The 11th culminated in a cooking class that evening with recipes shared across cultures including, quite naturally, Boston Creme Pie.

Our students, families and guests gathered one last time at 4:45 am on Tuesday morning  for the Spanish students’ departure from Maynard High School on their way back to Logan Airport for a short visit to New York and then home to Spain.  Tears of joy and appreciation were shed by many.

This coming February, during school vacation week, it will be the Maynard host students’ turn to have a cultural experience of their own as 19 MHS students head to Spain along with MHS staff members Jen Adams and Mary Finnegan.  They will  be hosted by the families of our recent guests and I’m certain they will enjoy an amazing adventure abroad.

It is impossible for me to thank enough people for making this possible, and though I run the risk of leaving someone out, here is my best attempt.

First, our trip and event coordinators Jen Adams and Mary Finnegan were the absolute driving force on our end of the exchange.  It is impossible to give enough thanks here.

I’d also like to acknowledge Superintendent Gerardi, his office and staff, and the Maynard School Committee for their active and enthusiastic endorsement of this program.

Chaperones and guides on various trips including Doug Luther, John Flynn, Liz Henderson and John Kucich were essential to the success of several of our events.

Finally, an enormous debt of gratitude goes out to our host families and children for their generosity of spirit, time and resources to make this exchange possible.

Our students and their families included Hannah Booth and family, Abigail Candela and family, Sophie Copley and family, Kate Denn and family, Erin Egan and family, Elisa Faret-Machado and family, Emma Fitzsimmons and family, Kaitlyn Gargas and family, Adam Henderson and family, Lucas Koskinen and family, Chris Kucich and family, Sofia Lappas and family, Grace Longo and family, Jinnie Mannion and family, Elizabeth Midey and family, Charlie Neuhauser and family, Emma Rubio and family, Emily Tummino and family and Emmeline Weeks and family.

As you can see, this was a huge undertaking and it was carried off with joy and aplomb thanks to the efforts and support of dozens and dozens of people.

This program showcased Maynard High School at its best and the entire Maynard Community at its best.  This should be a harbinger of many more such opportunities to come.

Go Tigers!

For Photos of this great program in action please visit the Maynard High School website at: