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Posted Thursday, Apr 9, 2015 

WMA selected by College Board to offer AP Capstone Program

In another sign Wilbraham & Monson Academy is in the lead pack in regards to a secondary education, the Academy will offer a new two-year course as well as three online classes for the 2015-16 academic calendar year.

WMA was selected by the College Board to include the AP Capstone Program as part of its curriculum. The first year will offer AP Seminar, which will be part of the English Department, while AP Research in the second year will follow the students’ passion and could fall under any academic discipline.

Meg Hutcheson, Dean of Curriculum, said the program will involve a high-level skill set, with intense reading and research.

“These courses address something we’ve been looking for in our curriculum and I think it’s going to produce some good projects that students can showcase,” Ms. Hutcheson said. “Students will immerse themselves in topics to develop the research, analytical and synthesis skills colleges desire.”

Like most colleges, WMA will offer online courses for its students. Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, a new English elective, is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) run by the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House.

AP European History, which will be a full year course in the CEGS Department, and Video Game Design, which will be an Academic Computing Department elective, are run by the Virtual High School.

“We’re offering online courses as a pilot program to enhance our curriculum,” Ms. Hutcheson explained. “We want our students to have a hybrid experience. We’re not just sending students to an online learning space; the students will have an online learning block in their schedule and they will be responsible for reporting to the classroom. There will be a teacher in the classroom to help the students stay on task, meet deadlines and manage their online platform.”

Along with the new online course, the Academy’s Academic Computing Department will add a full-year introductory level class called Exploring Computing Science. Power and Ethics, an English elective taught by Head of School Brian Easler, will return to the curriculum after a one-year hiatus.

Posted Monday, Apr 6, 2015 

Felchner wins 2 events at NE Championships

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Christina Felchner ’16 went to the New England Division III Swimming Championships looking to get her best times. Winning would be a bonus.

Christina earned a double-bonus.

Christina won a pair of events at this year’s championships, touching first in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle races March 7 at Canterbury School.

“It’s exciting,” said Christina, who had finished second multiple times at previous New England meets. “It was a little nerve-wracking. To me, winning isn’t everything. I just like to get my times down.”

Christina swam the fastest time in the prelims for the 50 before winning by .6 seconds in 25.19. Her best races, though, came in the 100. She posted the top time and her fastest time in the 100 prelims before doing the same in the final, finishing in 54.91 and easily winning by more than two seconds.

“When I got out of the water . . . it made my whole day,” she said.

Christina earned the team’s Coaches Award at the WMA Varsity Sports Ceremony March 3.

“I like helping the team. It’s fun,” said Christina, who set a pool record in the 50 free in 25.14 at a home meet December 10. “I like cheering on my teammates.”

 

Posted Monday, Apr 6, 2015 

Boys' Swimming finishes 6th at NE Championships

The Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys’ Swimming team placed sixth at the New England Prep School Division III Swimming Championships March 7 at Canterbury School. Below is a list of swimmers who scored points for the Titans:

Individuals

Name

Place

Event

Time

William (Bill) Holloman ’15

2nd

100 back

1:01.40

Wenjun (Happy) Chang ’18

3rd

100 free

51.67

Happy Chang

5th

200 IM

2:10.35

Austin Fabbo ’15

5th

200 free

1:55.34

Bill Holloman

5th

100 fly

1:01.36

Austin Fabbo

6th

500 free

5:13.81

Shungo (James) Tanaka ’17

10th

100 fly

1:05.10

Tanatip (Tan) Daloonpet ’15

11th

50 free

25.27

 James Tanaka ’17

12th

100 back

1:12.12

Andres Feng ’15

13th

200 free

2:14.02

Nicholas Spellman ’19

13th

100 back

1:11.79

Andres Feng

16th

500 free

6:11.43

John Wilson ’19

16th

200 IM

2:31.13

Relays

Event

Place

Time

200 IM

2nd

1:45.64

200 free

4th

1:39.35

400 free

7th

3:48.64

Posted Monday, Apr 6, 2015 

Girls' Swimming places 5th at NE Championships

The Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls’ Swimming team placed fifth at the New England Prep School Division III Swimming Championships March 7 at Canterbury School. Below is a list of swimmers who scored points for the Titans:

Individuals

Name

Place

Event

Time

Christina Felchner ’16

1st

50 free

25.32

Christina Felchner

1st

100 free

54.91

Margaret (Meg) Harrington ’15

4th

50 free

26.74

Marissa Fabbo ’17

6th

100 back

1:09.96

Adrianna (Adie) Russell ’15

6th

200 IM

2:26.62

Meg Harrington

7th

100 fly

1:07.70

Adie Russell

8th

500 free

5:51.80

Marissa Fabbo

10th

200 free

2:13.18

Clara Harrington ’18

14th

500 free

6:24.20


Relays

Event

Place

Time

200 free

2nd

1:45.61

400 free

2nd

3:53.94

Posted Sunday, Apr 5, 2015 

Barone attends elite clinic

One way for an athlete to get better is to learn from the best.

During spring break, Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Nate Barone ’16 was looking to improve his volleyball skills for the upcoming season. He signed up for a clinic at Springfield College, where Nate certainly learned from one of the best.

Nate spent eight hours at a clinic under the tutelage of Coach Charles Sullivan, whose resume ranks with anyone involved in volleyball in the United States. His Springfield College teams have won the last three NCAA Division III titles, and he also works as a coach for the U.S. National team.

“I got a lot out of it,” Nate said. “It was a lot of rebuilding fundamental stuff, and a lot of drills I can bring to the team here at WMA,” said Nate, who met Coach Sullivan during the summer at the national tournament in Texas. “It was a fun time. I got to play a lot of volleyball.”

And Nate got to learn a lot of volleyball, which he enjoys bringing back to the Academy.

“There are so many different ways to play volleyball, like every sport,” Nate explained. “Two different coaches can teach the same thing different ways. When you do the same drill over and over, it gets boring after a while. So if you bring a fresh way to learn the same thing, it always helps the team. I bring things like that to our team. Coach (Donna Barone) will have one way to do it, and then she’ll ask me if I have a different way to do it.”

The clinic attracted 24 high-level players, where Nate learned he ranks right up there among the best of the best. He placed second in an individual hitting competition.

“It was a fun competition,” he said. “It showed people have a potential they might not know they had. “It was so much fun to play that level of volleyball. The coaches even played with us because it was good enough that they could play.”

 

 

Posted Friday, Apr 3, 2015 

Mitchell verbally commits to Boston College

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Gianna Mitchell ’17 saw a big commitment from Boston College over the last few months, and in return, Gianna is now showing a commitment to the Eagles.

Gianna verbally committed Thursday to play women’s soccer at Boston College, a Division I power that plays in the mighty Atlantic Coast Conference.

“I talked to them yesterday on the phone and they said they’d like to have me,” said Gianna, who added she was tackled by her friend, Katie Cronin ’17, as soon as she got off the phone.

Gianna has been a star at center midfield since arriving at WMA two soccer seasons ago. She helped the Titans reach the final of the New England Class B tournament this season.

“Although only a sophomore, Gianna has been an impact player for us since she first walked onto our playing fields as a freshman,” Coach Don Nicholson ’79 said. “She has played a huge role in our overall success as a soccer program the last two years and she has been a tremendous member of our school community.

“More importantly, Gianna continues to be a standout at our school academically. We look forward to the next two years of Gianna playing soccer for the Titans and we also look forward to watching Gianna in the future as she moves on to play for the Division I Boston College Eagles.”

Remarkably, Gianna caught BC’s attention while she played with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which she injured in the New England championship.

“Boston College has been very supportive,” she said. “Even when I told them I tore it, they said they’d stand by me. They said I would benefit from the experience, and I already am. Even though it stinks I can’t play now, it will be good.”

Gianna thought BC was more than good when she went for her tour. She was impressed with the campus, coaching staff and team.

“The area was great, and it’s not too far away,” Gianna explained. “The coaches were super nice, and so was the team. Plus, the keeper from my club team has committed there and we’ll be playing together.”

Gianna, who hoped to sign with a college this spring, also drew interest from North Carolina, Stanford, Duke, Brown, Southern Methodist and Penn State.

Posted Friday, Apr 3, 2015 

Fabbo wins Boys' Swimming MVP; helps team set school record

Austin Fabbo’s conclusion to the Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Boys’ Swimming season couldn’t have gone much better.

Four days after being named MVP, Austin, a member of the Class of 2015, helped a WMA relay team set a school record in the final meet of his four-year high school career.

At the New England Division III Championships, held March 7 at Canterbury School, Austin, who opened the relay with the backstroke, teamed with Bill Holloman ’15 (breaststroke), Wenjun (Happy) Chang ’18 (butterfly) and Tan Daloonpet ’15 (freestyle) to establish a new WMA mark in the 200-meter medley relay. The foursome finished in one minute, 45.64 seconds, topping the mark of 1:46.09 set in 2013.

“We all had amazing swims and managed to get the record,” Austin said. “I felt like I had my best swim of the season, and Bill did, too. “I didn’t even realize at the meet we had broken the record. I wasn’t paying attention to it. Bill knew we were close the meet before, but I wasn’t thinking about it.”

Austin wasn’t thinking about winning the MVP this season either. He just wanted to do what he had done each of the previous three seasons – get better.

“I’ve improved since I started swimming here four years ago,” said Austin, whose main events were the 200 and 500 freestyle. “I wasn’t expecting to get MVP. Bill and Happy were equally as good as I was. When my name was announced at the banquet, I was taken aback.

“It felt good. The four years of swimming have paid off.”

Austin enjoyed a stellar Water Polo season in the fall, becoming just the third player in school history to surpass the 100-goal mark. Austin will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute next school year.

 

Posted Thursday, Apr 2, 2015 

WMA students earn national science awards

Five months of work came with a big reward for seven freshmen science students at Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

Two groups from Marissa Axtell’s STEM 9 classes were selected to the ExploraVision Honorable Mention list, a national science competition that attracts thousands of participants from throughout the country.

Addison Wakelin, Andrew Nagle and Jay Fournier teamed to create an Alzheimer’s Reducing Headband with Medication Storage and Distribution; the group of Kelsey Jiang, Sarah Ragnauth, Ben Bicknell and Max Spears designed a much-improved version of a wireless smartphone charger.

“I think it’s awesome they were recognized on the national level,” Mrs. Axtell said. “We started the project in September and didn’t finish until the end of January. Two projects from WMA were chosen out of thousands of projects, and that shows the hard work and dedication of the students, and that hard work pays off.”

The project had to include current technology, but also how the product would work decades from now.

“The students have to research a technology that exists today and how they can change it and make it better 20 years into the future,” Mrs. Axtell explained.

The group that created the headband gained its inspiration from Addison’s great-grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. A chip inside a headband transfers information to the brain. While that information is presented to the person, it is reworked into the brain to stop the Alzheimer’s.

“It will reduce it to the point where the Alzheimer’s disease isn’t affecting the brain anymore,” Addison said.

Wireless chargers for smartphones have been in existence over the last few years. However, they’re limited, especially when it comes to the actual charger being charged.

“Ours is like a regular charger but more improved and smaller,” Sarah said. “Wireless chargers now are huge. Ours is going to be a pad and you don’t have to plug it in.”

“We’re going to make a pocket size charger that we don’t need to charge everyday,” Kesley added. “It can be charged by a satellite. If a phone can pick up a satellite, a phone can be charged anywhere. But for security purposes, we don’t want our phones charged by something we don’t know so we can go to the settings on our phone and find a satellite we can use to charge our phone.”

 

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