Posted Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014
A Tinkering Place at WMA
Thanks to the 2014 Science Initiative, which raised more than $82,000 for science equipment for WMA classrooms, the Science Department has seen vast improvements in equipment and curriculum.
In addition to enhancing the classroom, this equipment has sparked a new idea: A Tinkering Place is a new on-campus weekend activity created by Dr. Gorski and her team where students can experiment with 3-D printing, engineering and robotics. “Tinkering is a mindset,” says Dr. Gorski. “WMA’s A Tinkering Place offers a playful way to approach and solve problems through direct experience, experimentation and discovery.” WMA is excited to add this activity to our list of offerings that extend learning beyond the classroom.
Thanks to all the donors who made this possible. Together, we’re making WMA a great place for tomorrow’s leaders to learn and grow!
View updated photos from Dr. Gorski's Dropbox.
Posted Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014
Sue Dziura performing "Home for the Holidays"
FPA and English Dept. faculty member Sue Dziura is performing at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, Mass. during their annual performance of "Home for the Holidays." The family variety show, featuring skits and music from yesteryear and today, runs Dec. 16 - 22. Below is a preview from ABC40 featuring Mrs. Dziura. Tickets are available online at majestictheater.com and usually sell out quickly.
Posted Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014
Emily Dromgold '17 performs at Festival of Trees
Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Emily Dromgold ’17 loves the feel of the holidays.
And when Emily gets a chance to play the piano for a worthy cause during the holiday season, that makes her feel even better.
For the third December in a row, Emily played at Springfield’s Tower Square on Dec. 12 for the 14th Annual Festival of Trees, which serves as a fundraiser for the Springfield Boys & Girls Club.
“My private piano teacher mentioned it me and encouraged me to do the Festival of Trees because it’s a good experience and it’s a nice thing to do,” Emily explained. “That’s how I got involved.
“It was so much fun this year. It’s ridiculously festive. I like it because it gets me into the holiday spirit, and it’s nice to know it’s supporting a good cause. Everything about it is great, in one package. I love attending.”
As she did for WMA’s Winter Concert Dec. 14, Emily played one of her favorites: “Christmas Time is Here,” which was written for the 1965 TV Special “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
“I love Charlie Brown,” Emily said. “I’ve been working on it this winter so I figured I’d play it. It’s also very wintery so I thought it would be great.”
The event typical draws more than 8,000 visitors and raises more than $80,000 annually. Participants bid on more than 100 pre-decorated trees.
Posted Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014
Andrew Faulstich '15 earns another WMA award
Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Andrew Faulstich ’15 is a dominant cross country runner. In the 2014 season, he set a school record, was a great team captain, and never slacked off during practice, which made him a logical recipient of the Coaches Award.
Andrew certainly is a devoted runner. During his junior year he was the recipient of the MVP Award for Cross Country, as well as the Coaches Award for Winter Track. Andrew set the school record for the 5K cross country course, and this season he broke his record with a time of 18 minutes, 23 seconds.
Andrew said he would not have been able to set the course record in just a single season’s span if he did not train during the summer. Andrew showed devotion to his team by following the summer running plan given to him by his coach to further strengthen his running skills.
“Andrew was an excellent captain,” said Coach Dan Moran. “He was a positive role model for our younger athletes by being encouraging and always working hard. Andrew’s performance over the season stands out as one of the most dominant Titan seasons since I started coaching.”
Andrew certainly had a fitting end to his high school cross country career. Looking ahead, he plans on running at the University of Rochester.
- James Sabatino ’16
Posted Friday, Dec 12, 2014
Evan Roy '15 wins Boys' Soccer MVP
Evan Roy ’15 wasn’t expecting to be named MVP of the Boys’ Soccer team at Wilbraham & Monson Academy, and he certainly didn’t have being selected to the All-State team on his radar either.
But he earned both, and Evan is now poised to play soccer at the collegiate level.
“I feel honored to be the team MVP but I didn’t think a center back who had never been a center back would win it,” Evan admitted.
“And it’s an honor to make All-State. I feel like I worked hard during the season. Even though I got moved around a lot, I tried to play the positions well and tried to adapt to the different positions.”
Evan played his share of positions for the Titans in 2014. He started the first three games at striker, and then played outside midfield for the next three matches. For the final 12 games of the regular season, though, Evan played center back, and he played that position extraordinarily well despite never playing that position before during his soccer career.
“We thought coming into the season that Evan would be one of our most important attacking players, from a wide position and up top because he has experience at those positions,” Coach Gary Cook explained. “But due to a sequence of events and injuries, we put Evan at center back and that solidified the entire back four. We finished the regular season on a 10-game unbeaten streak. His ability to close opponents down and organize the back, he turned out to be a brilliant defender.”
With Evan leading the defense, the Titans went 9-0-1 over the final 10 games of the regular season, with the Academy earning a spot in the Western New England Prep School Soccer Association Class B tournament.
“I was hoping to play outside mid all year, but I had to play where Coach needed me,” Evan said. “I thought I did well for never playing center back in my life.”
“Having Evan as an attacking player for most of his career, when he came out of the back he was comfortable with the ball,” Coach Cook said. “We liked it when he won a ball in the middle because he could carry the ball forward and combine with people. The other thing with Evan is that he’s a very calm player. He’s not over-emotional. He’s grounded. He doesn’t want to bring an ego onto the field. Those are some qualities you look for in a center back: very reliable, very steady.”
Evan was so reliable and so steady that he has drawn interest from a number of colleges, including the University of Massachusetts, which is a Division I program. Middlebury College, Skidmore College, Connecticut College and Bard College have also expressed interest in Evan, who will apply to all five of the colleges previously mentioned.
“From the moment he got here, he was serious about his soccer and serious about his academics,” Coach Cook expressed. “He’s had a great academic career. He’s developed as a player and as a young man. He was a great captain and leader. He’s well respected on campus. We’re excited and happy for him and thrilled to see where he will end up next.”
Evan was also selected to play in the WNEPSSA All-Star Game, which was held Nov. 9 at The Loomis Chaffee School.
Posted Tuesday, Dec 9, 2014
Tori Bernardo, Alex Baltazar, Molly Socha win Girls' Soccer postseason awards
Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls’ Soccer players Tori Bernardo, Alex Baltazar and Molly Socha have a lot in common: they’re all seniors, they played for the Titans for four seasons, they’re all from the same hometown, and they will all play soccer in college.
And, lastly, they all received multiple awards following the team’s memorable 2014 season.
Tori, Alex and Molly were all honored at the Academy’s Fall Varsity Sports Awards Ceremony Nov. 11, with Tori and Alex sharing the team’s MVP Award, and Molly earning the Coaches Award. They were also all selected to the All-League First Team.
WMA (14-3-2) won the Women’s Western New England Prep School Soccer Association Class B title during the regular season. In the New England playoffs, the Titans beat Lawrence Academy and Governor’s Academy before falling to the Groton School in the Class B final.
Tori, the quick and hardworking vocal leader of the team, shared the MVP honor for the second season in a row.
“It means a lot what the girls and the coaches think of me,” said Tori, a center back. “It’s nice to know all the effort I put into the game is recognized and the girls feel I’m such a crucial part to the team. What’s so great about this team is they recognize there isn’t just one Most Valuable Player, and I don’t think anyone is more deserving to get the MVP Award than Alex Baltazar.”
“As our co-MVP and as one of our co-captains, Tori clearly demonstrated her value to our team this fall,” Coach Don Nicholson ’79 said. “Her commitment, work ethic, athleticism and ability to inspire her teammates were evident each and every day in practices and games. Tori was the leader of a defense, which recorded six shutouts and was a critical part of our success in winning our division and getting to the New England finals.”
Alex enjoyed another great season on the front line for WMA, proving to be one of the most dangerous players in New England with 21 goals and 14 assists in 19 games.
“This is one of the best seasons we’ve had since I’ve been at WMA,” said Alex, who has verbally committed to Connecticut College. “We came together as a family, did some good stuff, and made it far. I was proud of all the girls.”
“Alex certainly experienced a great senior season, as she was named co-MVP,” Coach Nicholson said. “She quickly established herself as one of the top goal scorers in our league. Throughout the fall, Alex was the spearhead of our offensive efforts and played a huge role in keeping opposing defenses off balance with her high intensity and physical style of play.”
Molly was an exceptional co-captain, taking charge when necessary and always leading by example on and off the field. The blue-collar center midfielder has verbally committed to the University of Hartford.
“Winning the Coaches Award means a lot, especially because the team voted,” Molly said. “It means a lot to me that the team sees me in that type of way – as someone worthy of a Coaches Award.”
“As one of our co-captains and as the winner of the Coaches Award, Molly combined all the elements of being an impact player and a team leader this fall,” Coach Nicholson said. “Her hardworking attitude and style of play was a critical part of our overall team success throughout the fall. As one of our central midfielders, Molly showed a very strong capability to help us both offensively and defensively. Molly combined all of this with being an inspiring leader to her teammates, especially our underclassmen.”
Posted Monday, Dec 8, 2014
Hope Williams '15 wins Coaches Award for Field Hockey
Hope Williams ’15 played defense throughout her career for the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Field Hockey team.
However, even though Hope was on defense, that didn’t stop her from attacking.
“I love attacking people,” said Hope, who was honored with the team’s Coaches Award at the 2014 Fall Varsity Sports Awards Ceremony Nov. 11 at WMA. “It’s different than offense because you’re defending your home turf. People are coming at you. Being a center defender, I’m the main person to stop them. I like being right in there.”
Hope was right in there all season for the Academy’s defense, helping the Titans post five shutouts.
“She was a force in the back as far as leadership,” Coach Liz Fontaine said. “She was the quarterback, making all of our play calls. We had all freshmen back on defense, so she made sure they were following and in perfect position. We owe a lot of our shutout success to Hope.”
“I’m proud of how I played,” said Hope, who was one of two Titans selected to play in the league’s postseason all-star game. “With the team being better, I didn’t have to direct them as much and we could work together. “The all-star game was great. It was a totally new experience and I was honored to be sent there.”
She was also honored to receive the Coaches Award from the only field hockey coach she has ever had.
“The team did really well,” Hope said. “I’m surprised how far we’ve come, especially since my first year. We had a lot of new people who came out of nowhere this year, even though we lost some people from last year, so that was good.
“I was glad to win the award. I was not expecting it. I’ve worked with Coach Fontaine for four years. I’ve never had a coach other than her. I definitely felt honored to receive an award from her.”
Posted Thursday, Dec 4, 2014
Versatility, unselfishness lead Miles Nallen '15 to Coaches Award
There was an ongoing joke on the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Football team this season that Miles Nallen ’15 should wear a jersey with Velcro numbers on it.
Literally, Miles would often change from uniform #14 to #51, or vice versa, depending on the game situation. That versatility and unselfishness earned the four-year varsity member the Coaches Award for the 2014 season.
“Winning the Coaches Award was surprising,” said Miles, who was honored at the 2014 Fall Varsity Sports Awards Ceremony Nov. 11. “I’m a four-year player but I was shocked and very happy to be recognized and appreciated. It was a nice feeling.”
During his career at WMA, Miles played quarterback, wide receiver, guard, center and tackle on offensive, while lining up at the linebacker, safety and cornerback positions on defense. This season, Miles was asked for the first time to move from a skill position to guard on offense because of low numbers.
“I did not think I was going to play on the line,” Miles admitted. “I heard rumors we didn’t have that many lineman and Coach (Jeff Vartabedian) said at the beginning of the season he might have to throw me in there. It was a surprise but I was open to trying new things.”
Despite being undersized and new to the position, Miles did his job admirably on the offensive line. Miles also stood out on defense, shining at outside linebacker, while seeing action as a defensive back, too.
“It was a little tough, but we were a little shorthanded, so wherever I was needed that’s where I went,” Miles said. “I just wanted to help out wherever I could. It didn’t matter to me, as long as I was playing.”
“Miles had a very good year for the WMA Titan football program this year,” Coach Vartabedian added. “He is a great example of a guy who earned a starting role on defense as a senior and made the most of it. He finished second on the team in tackles from his outside linebacker position and had multiple games with 15 or more tackles. Miles showed his versatility by playing numerous positions on offensive and defense.”
Miles is considering attending Northwestern University, Babson College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Case Western Reserve University.