You can watch the ceremony from here, from YouTube, on our homepage, or if you are in China, from findingschool.net on our school page.
On Tuesday, February 11th come to an Admissions Reception for teens interested in The Arts at The Winchendon School and stay for an original performance following the reception. Artwork by Sydney C.’21. This is a special evening for teens interested in learning about the Arts at The Winchendon School. The evening concludes with an original showcase production.
The showcase is all about turning expectations on their head. Winchendon Backwards will feature songs from Broadway sung by unexpected performers – students lamenting about the trials of being adults, girls performing songs for male characters, and vice versa. Come for a night of surprises and singing!
“I lost myself, “ Kevin Stevens said. Stevens, who played left wing on a line with Mario Lemieux during the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992, was injured in the mid-90s and became addicted to opioids during his recovery. For more than two decades following the injury, he suffered in his addiction, eventually being kicked out of the NHL. This is the story he told students at The Winchendon School.
To the students, Stevens said: “It all started with one bad decision.” Just a month and a half before his injury, at the age of twenty-eight, Stevens was offered cocaine at a party. Having no experience with drugs before, he believed that one time would be harmless. “I had a wonderful wife and a family and I played hockey all day every day. That was what I always wanted to do. I had everything going for me, but in ten seconds I made a decision that changed the path of my life.” According to Stevens, that event, coupled with the injury and subsequent recovery in which he was prescribed opioids, resulted in a loss of control.
Fast forward twenty-two years, and, having long since been kicked out of the NHL, found himself in jail for a drug-related offense and was facing an 18-month sentence. It was at this point that he began a process of recovery and reconciliation with his family. He has been sober and talking to hockey players and high schools for three and a half years now.
Like students at the Winchendon School, Stevens says he also had school speakers and adult role models that talked about drug addiction. He says he never believed them; he never believed it would apply to him. He hopes at least one person in our school will make the right decision as a result of his talk.
“Most buildings,” Lydia Doleman says, “are built from processed materials that don’t come from the surrounding environment.” Doleman, a natural builder, and non-profit startup founder came to campus this past week to teach Service Learning leaders about the uses and benefits of natural building techniques.
Cob building, a methodology that sources materials directly from the surrounding environment, also has the benefit of directly connecting the builder to the local environment.
To demonstrate this, Lydia had Service Learning leaders gather and use natural materials to make a Winchendon logo out of soil, sand, and straw. The process was arduous and required several hours of labor, mixing and adding, and, ultimately, applying the material.
According to Lydia, the Cob construction methodology is a positive solution that lies at the intersection of environmental justice and other social issues. This helps Service Learning leaders because it involves them first hand in a process that asks them to do more than follow directions. To make this big muddy logo, they needed to work together, they needed to get their hands dirty, but they also needed to think about the basic materials they were working with, and how those things interact with each other.
At the Winchendon School, all students engage in what we call ‘Service Learning’, a community and knowledge-based approach to community service. Unlike Community Service, Service Learning revolves around understanding the root causes of a social problem and attempting to find permanent solutions. Our Service Learning program also gives many of our students a leadership opportunity, in that each Service Learning class is lead by a student leader that manages the class’s schedule and upcoming field trips.
Examples of Service-Learning groups at The Winchendon School include Veteran’s Outreach, a class that looks for ways to help veterans returning from foreign conflicts to reintegrate into civilian life, and Advocacy for Animals, which is concerned with the ethical treatment of pets and factory farm production.
Bradley B. ‘21, one of the leaders of the Veteran’s Outreach Service Learning group, had this to say: “It’s a bit of a leap of faith. When I’m in the classroom leading it feels like I have that responsibility on my shoulders. I’m responsible for me and fifteen other students and what they do and how they help out in the community.” to learn more about Bradley’s Service Learning experience, check out this video below.
Lydia Doleman is the founder of speakforthetrees.org and Flying Hammer Productions. From her website: “Flying Hammer Productions is an Oregon based natural building company focused on infusing the urban fabric with natural materials and empowering people to create their own healthy, natural and beautiful spaces. Locally owned and operated, with 13 years construction experience in the straw bale and natural building field, we offer a wide range of services.”
You can find her at: https://theflyinghammer.com/
The Winchendon School will be hosting a basketball camp for area students in 3rd – 8th grades on Friday, November 29th. Experienced coaches will run skills and drills for girls and boys from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The day includes 3v3 and 5v5 games and promises lots of FUN!
Lunch will be available for purchase on-site. A camp t-shirt is included in the tuition.
Follow along with The Winchendon School’s Basketball team on Twitter @WinchHoops.
On Monday, Dr. Michael Fowlin, a physiologist, performer, and poet, came to campus to discuss why titles and stereotypes don’t define us, including his own. Through a series of impressions designed to make the students exit their own sense of self, and see things from a different perspective, Dr. Fowlin asked them: what makes a person?
In modern conversations, discussions of unchosen traits such as race and gender define the conversation, but Dr. Fowlin asked us to look past these, to look at the defining stories that we tell ourselves, about ourselves.
In Dr. Fowlin’s own words: “What if our authentic self is all we have, and our pain is the gift that we use to change this world? And imagine, as a foundational premise, we are raised and trained to celebrate differences, as an inclusive process, not just a tolerable one.”