Posted Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015
2 WMA students hold fundraiser for Agawam boy
Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Courtney Fallon ’17 and Lauren Foley ’17 don’t attend Agawam Public Schools anymore.
However, when a former classmate’s life was suddenly turned upside-down, Courtney and Lauren, with the help of the Academy, were quick to step up and help.
Courtney and Lauren will be holding a fundraiser throughout this week and at the Boys’ Volleyball match April 3 for Agawam High School sophomore Alex Scafuri, who was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident March 16 in Agawam.
Courtney and Lauren both attended school in Agawam with Alex, who is showing signs of improvement after being originally paralyzed from the neck down.
“He can put a smile on anyone’s face no matter what,” Courtney said. “He’s there for people no matter what, in any situation. He would always help.”
Courtney and Lauren will sell bracelets and T-shirts during the week, Friday during office hours in Coach Donna Barone’s class in Fisk Hall, and during WMA’s home match against Agawam Friday at 4:30 p.m. They will also have a concession stand during the match, with all proceeds going toward the Scafuri family.
“It’s a terrible thing that happened so we wanted to help out,” Lauren said. “We’re from the same town. Agawam people need to stick together. We hope he gets better soon.”
Alex was skateboarding home following volleyball tryouts when he was struck by a vehicle. According to a story on masslive.com, the suspect has been charged with OUI, driving without a license and leaving the scene of an accident.
Posted Monday, Mar 30, 2015
Ashley Theriault '15 repeats as Girls' Basketball MVP
Ashley Theriault ’15 is leaving the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls’ Basketball program with back-to-back MVP awards.
For Ashley, though, a two-time captain and four-year team member, she’s most proud of where the program stands upon her departure.
“We didn’t reach our goal of making the playoffs, but last year we finished 22nd out of 24 teams (in Class C) and this year we came in 13th so that’s an incredible way to end my senior year by showing such improvement and starting a new wave for Girls’ Basketball at Wilbraham & Monson Academy,” Ashley said.
Ashley averaged 10 points/game this season for the Titans, which went 8-11 after a three-win season in 2013-14. She was grateful for the effort her coaches, Durelle Brown and assistant Janae Jones, put into helping her improve her overall game.
“They helped me step up my game and it means a lot to win the MVP,” said Ashley, who earned the Coaches Award for Girls’ Volleyball in the fall. I’ve been playing basketball for 13 years. I feel blessed to receive everything I’ve been given and to have the opportunity to play at Wilbraham & Monson Academy because it’s an incredible place to be and has such incredible coaches.”
Ashley’s coaches appreciated the incredible effort she put toward the team all season.
“I could not have asked for a better senior leader in my first year at the helm,” Coach Brown said. “Ashley is dedicated, she is passionate and she is determined. Those three traits translated from her, to us, all season. All through her last year, she carried herself with the ‘servant's’ mentality, meaning her teammates and the good of the team always came first. She was always willing to give the team whatever it was missing that day. If she was hot, she scored; if her teammates were hot, she found another way to help us get the win.
“Most importantly, she never complained. She wanted her team to have a successful season in her senior year. Our record mattered more than her touches, her shots, her minutes or her numbers. That attitude and her leadership will be surely missed.”
Ashley capped her high school basketball career March 8 when she played in the New England Prep School Athletic Council’s Class C All-Star Game. She was also selected Athlete of the Week and Athlete of the Month during the basketball season.
Ashley has been accepted and will attend Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. She has a workout with the women’s basketball coach in mid-April in hopes of making the team.
Posted Friday, Mar 27, 2015
Academy Dancers donate proceeds to Baystate Children's Hospital
When the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Dancers decided to host its inaugural Day of Dance, the team saw it as more than an opportunity to connect with students who share a common passion.
The Academy Dancers wanted to make it a fundraiser for an organization in need. But which one?
WMA’s Haley Godin ’18 not only immediately had the answer, but she knew exactly where to make the delivery. Haley has had a connection with Baystate Children’s Hospital since 2012 when she spent five days at the facility for surgery on a brain tumor.
“When I had my experience at the hospital, afterward I realized I wanted to give back because I had had such a great experience there,” Haley said. “I wanted other kids to have that same experience.”
Sixteen Academy Dancers worked with 20 girls in grades 3-8 from the region at the Day of Dance.
“It went smoothly,” Kory Rankin ’18 said. “We split up into different age groups and we made up our own dances. We did some improv and then we did some combinations with them and we showed it all to their parents. It was good. We all bonded and had a good time.”
The Academy Dancers collected $100 during its Day of Dance Feb. 15. A company double-matched the donation, pushing the final tally to $300. Haley hand-delivered the gift personally March 5 at the 14th Annual 94.7 WMAS Radiothon to benefit the Baystate Children’s Hospital.
Posted Thursday, Mar 26, 2015
Goodman '15 named to elite preseason baseball team
Even though he hasn’t even played an official game yet, Roy Goodman’s baseball season is off to a great start at Wilbraham & Monson Academy.
Roy, a member of the Class of 2015, was selected to the Perfect Game Preseason Northeast High School Senior Honorable Mention Team in March.
“I was walking into my kitchen and my dad said I got Northeast Honorable Mention. I said, ‘Did I?’ It was weird,” Roy said.
“I was shocked. There are a lot of good players I’ve played against in the northeast. I didn’t think I’d be an honorable mention so I was pretty happy about that. But I’m ready to get the season started and get back into the playoffs.”
Roy helped the Titans win the Cleary Division and reach the semifinal round of the Western New England Prep Baseball League postseason in 2014. With the help of nine exhibition games in Florida in mid-March, Roy hopes the team will be in position to return to the playoffs for his senior season.
“We played really well in Florida,” explained Roy, a speedy outfielder who will attend and play baseball next season at Framingham State University. “We were down in three of the games and came back to win. We won on a walk-off. All of that will help us in the season.”
This March has been a memorable month for Roy, who was named MVP of the Boys’ Winter Track team at the Varsity Sports Awards Ceremony March 3.
“I was kind of surprised when I got MVP because it’s not my main sport,” Roy said. “I didn’t realize how well I was doing until Coach (Sean) McGrath ’07 and Coach (Tom) Iannacone said I could be a good track runner at the next level.”
Roy sure turned out to be a good track runner this season, working his way into being a top-level sprinter. He won a pair of 55-yard races before finishing fourth in the 55-meter dash at the historic Armory in New York City at an open meet.
Along with the bus rides for away meets, Roy said his fondest memory of the season was earning two wins in the 55 after placing second in the first two meets.
“Most of our meets were at Andover, and there was this one kid who beat me twice at the start of the season,” Roy said. “And then for the third meet I trained specifically to beat him and then I beat him twice. Beating him was a relief. Coach McGrath taught me some little things and that helped me. Without his help I would not have done as well as I did.”
Posted Thursday, Mar 5, 2015
Boys' Basketball wins AA quarterfinal
Of all of its games this season, the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys’ Basketball team let its mid-February matchup against Cushing Academy slip away.
The Titans got that game back yesterday. Playing with great energy and following its game plan for all 38 minutes, WMA grabbed the lead early and never let go as the #4 Titans defeated #5 Cushing 73-59 in a NEPSAC Class AA quarterfinal game on the road.
“Our guys were hungry to get a game back that we had lost just two weeks before,” said Coach Mike Mannix, whose team fell to Cushing 72-67 during the regular season. “I could see in their eyes that they knew they had a good opportunity, and our guys are always in the right mindset when it comes to preparing for a game.”
Derick Newton ’15 (23 points) and Curtis Cobb ’15 (22) led the Titans (19-11), who did an excellent job preventing Cushing from getting its transition game going. Wenyen Gabriel ’16 gave WMA a huge lift in the second half, scoring eight points in the opening minutes to thwart the host’s comeback bid.
The victory earned WMA a semifinal date at top-seeded Tilton Academy Saturday at 4 p.m. Calling this group the “best road team I’ve coached in 15 years,” Coach Mannix sees this matchup as another opportunity.
“We have a ton of confidence on the road, and that will help us mentally and physically to play,” Coach Mannix said.
The final will be held Sunday at Endicott College at 3 p.m.
Posted Thursday, Mar 5, 2015
Boys' Swimming wins WNEPSSA DII title
Another year, another banner for the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys’ Swimming team.
For the fourth year in a row, the Titans won a Western New England Prep School Swimming Association title, claiming the Division II championship for the 2014-15 season after their win at the Bud Erich Invitational Feb. 28 at the Hopkins School.
“It’s amazing to see how the team has grown and improved,” captain Andres Feng ’15 said. “We’ve worked so hard during the season.”
All that hard work was evident at the championship invitational as WMA avenged regular season losses to the Williston Northampton School and Canterbury School to win the title.
“It was spectacular,” captain Austin Fabbo ’15 described. “We won the Division III last year, but there was no Division III this year so we moved up to Division II. We had to beat two teams that beat us during the regular season in order to win the championship.”
WMA had nine top 10 finishes, which was impressive considering the meet included schools of all divisions. The 200 medley relay team of Austin, Bill Holloman ’15, Happy Chang ’18 and Tim Beloborodov ’16 was the team’s highest finisher, taking second and earning a medal.
Austin (200 freestyle) and Bill (100 breaststroke) both placed fourth, and Bill (200 individual medley) and Happy (100 breast) took fifth. Austin touched sixth in the 100 backstroke, and Happy was ninth in the 100 butterfly. The 200 free relay combo of Jake Howarth ’15, Tan Daloonpet ’15, Tim and Jack Wilson ’19 were fifth, and the 400 free relay team of Bill, Tan, Austin and Happy came in seventh.
Posted Thursday, Mar 5, 2015
Celina Rivernider '19 wins writing contest award
For the majority of her school years, Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Celina Rivernider ’19 has been told by her teachers and friends she’s a talented writer.
Celina, though, didn’t really know how talented she really was.
Now she knows.
In a contest that includes students in grades 7-12, Celina was named a winner of a 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Regional Gold Key Award. Celina’s “America: Deaf and Blind” earned recognition in the Critical Essay category.
“I was really, really excited. I didn’t expect it,” Celina said. “I’ve had people tell me I’m talented at writing, for my class or age or grade, but I didn’t really think I’d size up with the country. I don’t know if I’ll win the national award because so few people get it, but I have a lot of years to go and I’m going to keep submitting to the contest.”
Celina received a certificate from Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in the mail in mid-February. The regional award automatically qualified her for national merit, which will be announced March 16.
Celina wrote a powerful piece on racial, gender and social inequalities in America, specifically stating how the country pretends to be equal when in fact it is not.
“Something in both the logical and visionary side of me has hung on,” Celina concluded in her essay. “It is the hope of fixing this red, white and blue contraption. If I can save a whole country, we can all save our world. But I must distinguish my voice, I am not a delinquent protesting because I can, I am speaking out because I must. I am like America, some parts coolly near-perfected, some parts beautifully imperfect. If I were to give up on our country, I would be giving up on myself.”
Celina wrote the essay as part of an assignment for her eighth-grade Humanities class at the Academy.
Posted Thursday, Mar 5, 2015
WMA center stage for national conference
When the country’s largest independent school conference was held this year, Wilbraham & Monson Academy was front and center – literally.
Center for Economics & Global Studies Director Wally Swanson was part of a panel discussion, and the Academy’s Jazz Ensemble performed before a crowd of 5,000 educators at the 2015 National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, held in Boston Feb. 25-27.
“It’s vitally important to all of us that when we have the opportunity to develop professionally, we take those,” said WMA Head of School Brian Easler, who was accompanied to the conference by 17 faculty members.
The theme of the 2015 conference was “Design the Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading and Innovation.” Mr. Swanson, an experienced academic public speaker, served as a panelist for “Design Thinking for Change: Creating Global Student Leaders.”
“I presented the curriculum and the innovations we have at our school and how we try to directly and indirectly build leadership skills, and then look at the challenges we face as a college prep curriculum that is continually trying to be innovative and challenging,” Mr. Swanson said.
“Wally Swanson has presented several times at conferences around the country,” Mr. Easler said. “Everyone here at the Academy knows he’s been on the leading edge of us developing a global program.”
WMA’s Jazz Ensemble was selected from a group of applicants to perform at this year’s conference, doing so at the opening of the final day. The band played six songs for more than 20 minutes, with more and more people filtering into the convention center the longer the band played on stage. While playing, the 14 Academy students were projected onto a massive screen, giving it a feel of a concert by a professional music group.
“They rose to the occasion,” Jazz Ensemble Director Clark Seibold said. “They were proud to be representing WMA. They were pumped and played very well. We sounded better than we ever have because we were on the convention center sound system.
“I saw some of the kids later in the day and they were still pumped. What a great apex for them, especially the seniors, who are ending on such a high note. What a cool memory to have.”