Friday, April 27, 2012

BHS Drama To Perform "Grease"

BROCKTON--Brockton High's Drama Club will host performances of the ever-popular musical "Grease" Friday, May 11 and Saturday May 12 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee Sunday, May 13 at 6 p.m. at the Edwin A. Nelson Fine Arts Building at Brockton High School.
Tickets are $12. They are on sale now at the main office of Brockton High. Tickets will be sold day-of-show while seats last.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Playground For Brockton's JFK Elementary

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—When students at John F. Kennedy Elementary School return from vacation next week, they will have something that hasn’t been available to them in many, many years: a new playground.
A steady cadre of parents and volunteers have been installing the school’s playground since last week when volunteers from the city’s public works department used a bulldozer to grade and flatten a swath of land in front of the school that had become a broken-down, and according to parents, unsafe area for youngsters.
After this week, it will boast a safe and modern playground with corkscrew slide, monkey bars, climbing wall and a host of other play stations that are part of a $25,000 playground earned by the school through a contest hosted by Miracle Recreation Equipment.
“This was really a community effort,” said Jenna Giannaros, a teacher at the school and one of many parents and staff members who spearheaded a drive to rebuild the school’s playground. “It’s our little miracle,” Giannaros said. Giannaros (pictured below with children Andrew and Alex) and other committee members thanked everyone in the community for their help making the dream of a new playground a reality.
The drive began several years ago with fundraisers, but took a decided turn when the playground committee entered Miracle Equipment’s contest last November.
The contest included voting from the community on Miracle’s website, an essay on why the school was deserving of the new playground and a video—aided by Brockton Community Cable Access’ Noube Rateau—that showed the old playground and interviews with parents, staff and students explaining why the school should win the grand prize.
Miracle Equipment had 150 entries from across the US and between the video and the city collecting the most votes, the Kennedy School walked away with a brand new playground.
The drive was capped by Cumberland Farms holding a fundraising drive and donated a chunk of money from its fountain sales that helped offset other costs, like the rubber surface around the new equipment.
Although the playground will be ready to go for students when they return on Monday, some work is still left.
Parent and school department spokeswoman Jocelyn Meek said plans are in the works to place picnic tables and other furniture for parents and kids to relax and watch as others crawl and play on the new equipment.
Meek said school officials are looking to aid other schools, like the Raymond and the Downey, get playgrounds for their schools.
Volunteers said the equipment isn’t just for students at the school, it’s for all residents in the JFK area who haven’t had a playground to enjoy in decades.
“This was a community effort and it’s for the community,” Giannaros said. “We’re really excited for the kids and the city,” she said.

Monday, April 9, 2012

BHS Spring Concert Tuesday Night

BROCKTON—Brockton High’s music department will take to the stage Tuesday night for its annual spring concert which will feature internationally-acclaimed woodwind artist Chris Vadala and a presentation of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award to Carl W. Landerholm.
Vadala, best known for his work with the Chuck Mangione Quartet, will be a featured performer during the Brockton High School Spring Concert Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Vadala is a saxophone professor and director of jazz Studies at the University of Maryland.
Vadala will perform with the Advanced Concert Band and conduct a workshop with students during the school day.
The concert is being sponsored by the Brockton Rotary Club and some of the proceeds will benefit an outdoor amphitheater the club is building in honor of the late John Drystadt, a long-time Rotarian and music lover who supported the BHS Music Department.
When the Marching Band was trying to purchase new uniforms in 1992, Drystadt walked around a Rotary luncheon and secured funding for 27 of them, all before dessert was served.
Landerholm, a 1957 graduate, will be presented the Distinguished Alumni Award during the concert.
Landerholm will be honored at a preconcert reception in the Azure Café at Brockton High School.
The reception will begin at 5:30 and conclude at 7 p.m.
Friends, colleagues, BHS Alumni and the community are welcome to attend.
The spring concert features the Concert Band, Advanced Concert Band and Wind Ensemble.
Musical fare will range from pops music to jazz and light classical. Vadala will appear with the Advanced Concert Band, performing “Take the A Train’ and “The Children of Sanchez.”
The Spring Concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Brockton High School auditorium.
Tickets cost $4 per person and are available at the Brockton High School main office weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door while seats last.
(Vidala CD image courtesy Chris

Friday, March 30, 2012

Student Accident Raises Calls For More Safety Measures At High School Crossing

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—School officials have added a new crossing guard and are seeking other steps to prevent a similar near fatal accident at Brockton High’s entrance on Belmont like the one that has 16-year-old Redondo Constant struggling to recover from severe internal injuries after a van plowed into the teen before school Tuesday.
“We’re all praying for him,” said Michael Thomas, executive director of the district’s office of operations and administration who was headmaster of the high school’s Azure House where Thomas got know Constant.
“I know him very well—he’s a happy-go-lucky kid. He has a good sense of humor and is very popular…we’re all in shock and we’re all pulling for him,” he said.
Thomas said in his 20 years working for the school department he is unaware of a student suffering such a catastrophic accident as the one Redondo has suffered.
On Tuesday at about 6:45 a.m. officials said a white utility van driven by 20-year-old Jose Tacuri smashed into Constant as he tried to cross Belmont Street from the high school entrance to McDonald’s—a popular spot for students before and after school.
Officials said Constant headed into the busy 6-lane street and into a crosswalk despite the green light that allowed traffic the right of way heading east to west.
He was nearly halfway across the thoroughfare when Tacuri’s van smashed into Constant and sent him sprawling horribly 30-feet into the air.
Numerous people who saw what happened immediately called 911 and began to help the prostrate student.
Constant’s injuries were so severe, rescue personnel wanted to fly Constant by helicopter to Boston Medical Center, but because of high winds helicopters could not fly, and Constant was raced by ambulance with life-threatening internal injuries and a broken arm.
Officials in contact with Constant’s family said he is listed in stable but critical condition and has been placed in a drug-induced coma to aid in the healing process.
Officials said Thursday Constant showed signs of improvement.
The driver of the van, Tacuri, faces a charge of driving without a license.
Constant, a popular and active member of the school, was also a student leader on the school's Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools, or REMS, team that prepares teachers, staff, students, police, fire and other personnel for school emergencies such as drug raids, potential Columbine-like shootings, and other emergency situations.
However, the federally funded grant program does not address student safety when it comes to crossing streets or proper pedestrian safety.
Wednesday night school officials called an emergency meeting that included Acting Police Chief Manuel Gomes and school officer Lt. Donald Mills to discuss measures to prevent another accident like this one—especially since school committee members have worked for at least the last 2 years to address the safety issue posed by the congested roadway.
Thomas said Superintendent Matthew Malone and the police department have been criticized for removing a police officer that monitored the crosswalk in the past or worse, ignored pleas from school officials to replace the officer.
Thomas said he contacted his predecessor who said it was not the police who removed the officer, but the state Highway Department which maintains and owns the road.
Thomas said the police officer has not guarded the intersection for 8 years.
He said the state advises against police officers because often the conflict between a police officer directing traffic and the changing of signal lights causes more confusion for drivers.
Thomas said the roadway has been studied several times and has been found to be dangerous, but it appears it will be studied again because the state plans to reconstruct the roadway beginning in August or late summer and after Constant’s accident officials want to provide more input on design plans.
Thomas said one option is to install new digital crosswalk signs that count down the number of seconds pedestrians have until the light turns green and motorists can go.
A whole host of improvements are planned, including widening of the roadway and the relocation and alignment of a BAT bus stop moved that are expected to create a less dangerous journey for pedestrians and motorists.
Either way any changes will be too late for Constant, and wheelchair-bound veteran Edwin Nelson who was killed by a motorist in the same crosswalk in October, 2011.
Thomas said as school officials work to better the crossing, their prayers will be with Constant for his full recovery—something Thomas himself is familiar with.
When he was 24, Thomas said, he was in a terrible accident when he broke his leg and suffered extensive internal injuries.
Like Constant, he was young and with the best medical care, positive attitude, family support and youth, he has overcome nearly all affects from the accident.
“When you’re young and healthy you have more of a chance. You’re body is more resilient and able to heal—we hope that is the case with Redondo,” Thomas said.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spellman Readies For New Principal

BROCKTON--Cardinal Spellman High School officials have announced the private Catholic School has appointed Paul Kelly as the school’s new principal.
Kelly is the current principal of the St. Joseph Elementary School in Needham.
He has served in that position since 1997.
Kelly will begin his tenure July 1.
Current principal Dorothy Lynch will take on a new role in the admissions department.
Prior to his current position at St. Joseph Elementary School, Kelly served as a music teacher at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree and as Director of Music at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham.
Cardinal Spellman began their search with 14 strong candidates.
A committee comprised of faculty, parents, and students assisted in interviewing six semifinalists and then Kelly was selected.
Cardinal Spellman President John McEwan said in a prepared statement he is very pleased to have appointed Kelly.
“I am confident that Paul has the enthusiasm, background and character to be an outstanding Principal for many years to come,” McEwan said.
Among Kelly’s many accomplishments, Saint Joseph Elementary earned New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation in 2004 and the school has experienced elevated standardized testing scores for all grades.
Kelly instituted an extensive Fine Arts Program, before and after school programs, and he oversaw the creation of the school’s web site and the development of the Parent School Association.
Kelly is a father of three children and a resident of Braintree.
Kelly also serves as the Director of Music at St. John the Baptist Parish in Quincy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ashfield Teacher Czymbor Awarded Abe Lincoln Fellowship

BROCKTON--Peter Czymbor, a 6th grade teacher at Ashfield Middle School in Brockton received a surprise visit from the Horace Mann Co., Wednesday to announce Czymbor is one of 50 educators across the U.S. to earn an Abraham Lincoln Fellowship.
The fellowship includes a nearly-all-expenses paid five day trip to Springfield, Ill., during the summer to learn about Abraham Lincoln.
Czymbor and 49 other teachers will "walk in Abraham Lincoln's footsteps," through various historical sites in Illinois, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, Lincoln's home, Lincoln's tomb and the Old State Capitol State Historic Site.
School officials said Czymbor is a great teacher with a passion for history and is known in the community for his prowess as a juggler at a host of events.
(Photo courtesy Brockton Public Schools. Czymbor, in middle, with Ashfield School Principal Barbara Lovell at left, and, right, Don McGrath, a representative of the Horace Mann Insurance Co.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Brockton B-Ball Falls Short In State Title Bid

By Lisa E. Crowley
WORCESTER--In a 21-point loss Brockton High’s boys basketball team took the second place medal in the MIAA Div. 1 Championship, a finish that wasn’t hoped for, but one that showed a different type of mettle for Brockton’s boys.
Being second is hard to swallow.

It stinks actually, but after a tenacious battle in Saturday’s state finals, Brockton saw their title hopes sink behind Springfield Central’s pinpoint perimeter shooting and foul line give-me’s that led the Golden Eagles to a 67-46 victory--its first state championship since 1991.
While Brockton had to eat second place—they did so with dignity and grace.
There were no tantrums, and while some players hung their heads in dejection and others received hugs from family and friends, in all Brockton took the loss well.
As they should have.
It was a great run, by a group of young men Brockton High Principal Susan Szachowicz has called a great group of athletes, who are not only leaders on the court, but also in the hallways and corridors of Brockton High School who take sports, academics and their community seriously.
“They are a wonderful group of young men,” Szachowicz said.
During the season, the Boxers went 19-2, a mark few in the division expected. When the season opened, Brockton was unseeded.
At the end of the season, the team was the #1 seed in the South section of the Div. 1 tournament.
They almost made the top seed stick—rolling into the state final behind an overtime win against Madison Park.
However, Springfield Central was the #1 seed in Div. 1 Western division.
After a 19-1 season, the Golden Eagles capped it’s incredible season with an offensive takeover that began in the third quarter and decided the game by the middle of the fourth quarter.

On Saturday night at the DCU Center with about 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, Brockton’s Boxers—whose defense outshined its offense all year long--couldn’t stop the steady bombardment of timely 3-pointers from Springfield Central’s Tyrell Springer, and a corps of guards and forwards who kept sinking their shots as Brockton’s rolled around the rim or crashed heavily off the boards.
Brockton led the game 27-20 at the start of the 3rd period. By the 5:15 mark, Central had reeled off 9 straight points to tie the game.
Brockton was hanging on to a lead at 33-31 with about 3:40 in the quarter, but at about 1:50 Central took a 36-35 lead and never looked back.

Brockton continued strong rebounding in its offensive zone, but lobs and missiles to the basket bounced off the rim, around the rim, off the backboard, off finger tips and eventually turned into breakaways and points for Central. In a blink of an eye, at the end of the 3rd quarter, Springfield had taken a 5 point lead, 42-37 going into the fourth quarter.
Brockton opened the fourth with a 2-point basket and played tough defense as the Boxers tried to slow the Golden Eagles’ momentum, but after that basket, Brockton couldn’t post another point for nearly 4 minutes. Springfield didn’t have the same problem.

The Golden Eagles racked up another 12 points to lead 56-42.
Just as Brockton reclaimed its scoring touch, hope was squelched at about 3:26 and again at 2:56 when Springfield netted two, 3-pointers to take an insurmountable 62-42 lead.
Brockton hustled to add 5 more points, but Coach Bob Boen began putting in second-string players and essentially all Springfield had to do was run out the clock for the championship.

While we at know how it feels to come up short in a championship game—Brockton’s boys should be proud.
They had a great run, and while people say no one ever remembers who came in second, we will here at
We had fun chasing the team around the tournament and while we would have loved to post the winning story, sometimes even when you lose you win, and that’s the case here.
Brockton’s boys rolled over nearly all-comers during the season and they won the South Sectional when very few thought they would go so far.

And while the copper medal hanging around their necks for second place may feel to the players as tinny as people saying stuff like, “at least they got to the final,” and “few even get that far,” etc., Brockton’s players showed us their true mettle Saturday night as they watched Springfield Central hoist the State Championship above their heads.
Losing with grace is harder than winning with grace.
It takes real mettle to watch the victor celebrate and not lose it or act out.
It takes courage.

You have to be fearless to work and strive as hard as you can and know you still may not win the game.
Win or lose it takes mettle.