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Posted Friday, Apr 24, 2015 

Anthony Garro '15 headed to URI Football

Colleges from throughout New England were recruiting Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Anthony Garro ’15 to play football.

When it came time to make a decision, though, the chance to play at home was too good to pass up.

Anthony, a resident of Westerly, R.I., will attend and try out for the football team as a preferred walk-on at the University of Rhode Island.

“Coming out of Westerly, a lot of students go to URI, but I don’t know of any recent grads that have played football there,” Anthony said. “To be offered the opportunity to play for a FCS program is something special. I have been lucky to have been surrounded by great coaches at Westerly and WMA that motivated me to play at the next level. The work I put in with my coaches, teammates, father and brother has all culminated, and it’s pretty cool to see how everything works out in the end.

“I’m going to be majoring in kinesiology, specializing more in athletic training, so even if the football route doesn’t go as planned I have the chance to work with the team from that aspect."

Anthony had offers from Division II Stonehill College and the University of New Haven, and was also recruited by Division III Bates College and Norwich Academy. He also considers playing baseball at Division III Eastern Connecticut State University and Roger Williams.

Anthony made his decision after attending the Preferred Walk-on Day at URI in March.

“The presentation by the coaches, tour of the facilities and overall day was just great,” he said. “They reviewed my film and talked to me about competing for a starting position as a punter.”

In his postgraduate season for the WMA Football team, Anthony averaged 44 yards/punt, led the team in interceptions and was the second-leading receiver in catches. He earned all-conference second team honors.

“The opportunity I’ve received at WMA is something I’m thankful for,” he said. “Coach (Jeff) Vartabedian is a fantastic guy. He helped me through the whole process. He made this URI thing happen.”

After a successful March trip to Historic Dodgertown in Florida with the WMA Baseball team, Anthony has helped the Titans get off to a 5-1 start, with clutch batting from the clean-up spot and his play at first base.

At Westerly High School, Anthony played football, basketball and baseball, earning First Team All-Division II South in football and baseball.


Posted Friday, Apr 24, 2015 

Steve Fleury '16 leads WMA to win over Williston

When Wilbraham & Monson Academy pitcher Steve Fleury ’16 is on, he’s tough to beat.

Against one of the Titans’ biggest rivals, Steve was on . . . again.

Steve, who beat Suffield Academy last week, fired a two-hitter and struck out 15 of the 27 batters he faced as WMA thumped host Williston Northampton School 13-0 April 23.

“It’s a big win. Williston is always a rivalry game,” said Steve, a hard-throwing right-hander. “We got out in front of them early and put up a lot of runs. The past two games we had 49 hits. It’s awesome and great to get that sort of run support.

“My fastball was locating well and my off-speed pitches were moving a lot with the wind blowing back.”

Steve withstood some challenging elements, with the cold, wind and a touch of snow making an appearance during the league game.

“Steve had a nasty curve ball today that froze many batters,” Coach Jim Irzyk said. “He hit his locations and was in command throughout the game.”

WMA (5-1) pounded out 22 hits, with the top four batters in the lineup combining for 13 hits. Shawn Boston ’15, who hit a game-ending grand slam the previous day in a win against Pomfret, and Anthony Garro ’15 were 4 for 5. Roy Goodman ’15, Jonathan Cotto ’17 and Jake Breton ’17 all had three hits.


Posted Thursday, Apr 23, 2015 

2 WMA students selected for elite writers' seminar

Two Wilbraham & Monson Academy students were selected to participate in one of the country’s most prestigious writing seminars this spring.

Payton Grande ’16 and Daniel Qin-Dong ’17 were picked from a pool of applicants to attend the New England Young Writers’ Conference at the Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College May 14-17.

Payton and Daniel will be among 200 high school students who will be working with professional writers in workshops and classes to hone their craft.

Payton, a member of the school newspaper since freshman year, was recommended for the NEYWC by WMA English Department Chair Timothy Harrington ’73, a graduate of Middlebury.

“Honestly, this is such a honor,” Payton said. “I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m interested in writing. I might want to minor in something along those lines in college so I’m excited for this opportunity.”

The selection to the conference added to Daniel’s impressive resume. He received an award from the Boston Globe’s Scholastic Art & Writing Contest in March. Dean of Curriculum Meg Hutcheson, who attended Middlebury for graduate school, endorsed Daniel.

“Since I have a passion toward English, and the arts in general, that’s what drove me toward applying,” Daniel said. “I felt it was a good opportunity, and I wanted to see how my writing would stand up and see if I could get my writing to improve.

“Writing is such an important part of life, in college and after, so being accepted will be good for me not just in my high school and college career, but also if I pursue something that has to do with writing. It’s what I’m driven to and what I’m passionate about.”


Posted Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 

Andrew Faulstich '15 wins fifth athletic award

This winter was a difficult one in regards to training for runners.

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Andrew Faulstich ’15, though, somehow made it work. After another strong athletic season, Andrew was named the Coaches Award winner for the Winter Track team.

“I was honored to receive the Coaches Award for winter track,” Andrew said. “It was a great way to end my final season on the team.”

And Andrew has seen that team get better and better over the past few years, with the Titans now at the point where they can compete against the top competition in the northeast.

“I’ve seen the program grow over the last three years,” explained Andrew. “It’s nice to see us turn from a team that used to get laughed at to a team that is a formidable opponent. It was nice to have the addition of Mr. (Tom) Iannacone as the distance coach. I got a lot better. And going to the Armory, it showed us what track life was like outside of Andover and put us up against tougher competition. It’s great Coach (Sean) McGrath (’07) was open to all of that.”

Andrew’s highlights for the season were running the mile in four minutes, 52 seconds, and placing second in the mile at a meet at the historic Armory in New York City in 4:55.

This was the fifth award won by Andrew, who also won the Coaches Award for Winter Track a year ago. He earned the Coaches Award for Cross Country in the fall and the XC MVP Award in 2013, as well as the MVP Award for Spring Track a year ago. Andrew will major in music and run cross country at the University of Rochester.

“I’m looking forward to running at the next level and pushing my skills that much further,” said Andrew, who set the WMA Cross Country course record in October.


Posted Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 

Baseball beats Suffield to win opener

After a very long wait, the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Baseball team started its 2015 regular season the best way possible, beating archrival Suffield Academy 10-3 April 13.

“It was a great win at Suffield,” Coach Jim Irzyk said. “Steve Fleury ’16 threw five strong innings, struck out six and had great velocity. We played very good defense the first five innings. We had clutch hitting by Anthony Garro ’15 and Shawn Boston ’15; very good at bats by Danzel Williams ’15 and RC Goodman ’15 . . . I believe they walked a total of five times; and Nelly Cotto ’17 came in and did a great job throwing strikes and getting outs the last two innings.”

Anthony and Shawn both had three hits and two RBI, while Tim Quinn ’16 added a pair of hits. The Titans plated three runs in the top of the first and never trailed.

WMA begins a very busy stretch, with five games in eight days. But as the Titans showed during its nine-game trip to Florida in March, they have the pitching to be competitive.

“The boys are ready,” Coach Irzyk said. “They know we’re going to compete and we’re capable of doing good things, with the Suffield game being a good example.”


Posted Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 

Record-setting turnout for Class of 2015 toward gift

The Class of 2015 will leave its mark next month as one of the largest graduating classes in the history of Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

The Class of 2015, though, made history well before WMA Commencement by having nearly 40% of the students make a donation toward a class gift at the Academy and by having that gift in place before graduation.

“There’s been a good relationship with the Alumni and Development Office this year,” class co-advisor Donna Barone explained. “They got involved with the class before May. That has helped with the giving.”

“It’s not about how much you donated: it’s about participating in a way that you can show that you are devoted to your class,” Haotian (Roger) Cui ’15 said. “I feel great about it.”

The class paid for a study nook in Mattern Hall, complete with a tabletop and electrical outlets so students can work on their laptops, computers and iPads.

“I think the idea of putting a study nook in Mattern was great because of all the kids who sit in the hallway to do work,” Molly Socha ’15 said. “To have a private area to study and do work is a great opportunity for the students.”

“It was a great showing and a diverse group of students who donated,” class co-advisor Liz Fontaine added. “We’re the first class who has its gift in place before graduation and it’s a useful space for the students.”

The Board of Trustees and the Alumni and Development Office treated the students who made a donation toward their class gift to a dessert and networking reception in the Campus Center April 9 with Board of Trustee members Robert Edmunds ’01 and Caitlin Flynn ’06.


Posted Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 

Jiaming Mao '17 advances to 2nd round of national AMC competition

Jiaming (Martin) Mao’s mathematics teacher at Wilbraham & Monson Academy said Martin is drawn to mathematical challenges. Martin faced a challenge at the American Mathematics Competition 10, and it was a challenge he conquered.

Martin, a member of the Class of 2017, was among a small percentage of high school sophomores in the country to advance to the American Invitational Mathematics Examination based on his score on the AMC.

“I thought I didn’t do well,” Martin said. “I didn’t think I answered enough questions so I didn’t think I’d get to the second round.

“I was really happy I advanced. I didn’t know I’d get to the second round. When I received the email from Mr. (Mark) Fischer that I moved on, I was happy.”

This was Martin’s first academic test at a national or regional level. He scored in the top 2.5% nationwide to qualify for the next round.

“Martin is quick to understand any new topic sent his way,” said Mr. Fisher, WMA’s Mathematics Department Chair and Martin’s AB Calculus teacher. “He is focused and hard working and is drawn to mathematical challenges."

In March, Martin was honored by the Boston Globe’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for his pencil drawing of a woman in a headdress.

Myungsoo Kim ’17 and Zhonghan (Scott) Jiang ’18 were also recognized for their outstanding AMC 10 scores, while Xi Wang ’16, Ze (Keats) Hua ’16 and Shiyuan (Amber) Ding ’15 received honors for their scores on the AMC 12.


Posted Thursday, Apr 9, 2015 

3 earn awards for ARC at statewide event

Three members of the Academy Repertory Company at Wilbraham & Monson Academy returned from its biggest acting event of the year with awards.

Madeleine Duke ’15, Anastasia Goncharova ’16 and Jack Faulstick ’16 were named to the All-Star Cast for their performances at the Massachusetts High School Drama Festival at Norwood High School Feb. 28.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Susan Dziura, who teaches the ARC class.

WMA competed with seven other schools at this year’s statewide event, with each school having 40 minutes for their respective performance. ARC performed a narrative adaptation of a “Choose your own Adventure” story titled “War with the Evil Power Master.” The difficulty in a “Choose your own Adventure” play is the cast members must learn various options for each scene, yet only one will be selected by the audience.

WMA’s group, though, excelled, as proven by the three award winners.

“We had to rehearse multiple endings and multiple different courses of action,” Mrs. Dziura said. “It was a bummer because we didn’t do all of the cool things we had planned but that’s the way that it goes. It was audience participation and the audience went crazy for it. They loved it. They were yelling; they were laughing. The actors were feeding off of it. I was so proud.”

“We did well,” added Madeleine, who was a repeat selection to the All-Star Cast. “We had a lot of new people and people who hadn’t even acted at all before so I thought it went well.”

Along with the three award winners, also participating at Festival for WMA were: Robert Taylor ’15, Gregory Large ’15, Alexandra Stoll ’15, Alina Shirley ’15, Kirstyn Kelley ’15, Anike Tella ’16, Gabriel Awad ’17, Morah Palmer ’17 and Rhys Kulig ’17.

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