Monday, September 15, 2014


Hi Folks, 

It's mid-September already and frost is in the air. Stowe High School has been a busy place since we started the 2014-15 school year in late August. At the end of last we week we joined forces with Stowe Middle School to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge. A hardy crew took their medicine for a good cause in front of the assembled schools. 

I also want to take a moment to communicate what we will be doing this Friday, September 19. As usual, our seniors will be leaving in the morning to take senior pictures at various sites around Stowe. One site will be selected for publication in the yearbook. Seniors will then gather at McCarthy's for lunch courtesy of their class. They are not required to return to school that afternoon. 

Following Period 4 and lunch, students in grades 9, 10, and 11 will spend the afternoon working on Anagnorisis preparation. Please recall, especially if you are a grade nine parent/guardian, that Anagnorisis is our version of a personal learning plan. In addition to helping students to structure their Google portfolio, we will also conduct practice to develop quality written reflection within the portfolio. It is very important that all students be in attendance except for genuine emergency. Please see the website for further information and resources on Anagnorsis:

The schedule for the day is as follows: 

 September 19, 2014 - Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors

Abbreviated schedule with periods 1 - 4

                               11:45 - 12:15                                Cafeteria
                               12:15 - 12:55                                Auditorium
Overall presentation of Anagnorisis, why, timeline, stories of success, expectations, video of one senior - all students in the auditorium
                               1:00 - 1:30                                TA locations
Reflection Training -definition, set of questions, and discussion in groups by T.A.
                               1:35 - 2:05                                TA locations
Video Viewing - discussion by TA, throughout the video
                               2:10 - 2:34                                TA locations / auditorium
Organization time - sophomores and juniors by TA 24 minutes
Q and A and processing for freshmen (freshmen and senior TA’s) in auditorium

Thursday, August 28, 2014

School Year 2014-15 Arrives With the Senior Class Entrance

The Class of 2015 Arrives!

We head into the Labor Day weekend with the school year off to a great start at Stowe High School. Our seniors set the tone with a fun and respectful arrival Monday. Following an opening assembly I took the opportunity to talk privately with seniors. We discussed school climate and their ability to model the kind, inclusive, supportive atmosphere we want in our school. I have confidence this class will lead the way for their younger peers. On a related note we will be recruiting a new cohort of 25 students from all classes to participate in the school climate program A World of Difference. Formal training for the cohort will take place on October 21 and 22. If your daughter or son has not already been trained, please consider encouraging them to do so. 

Stowe High School is in the process of transitioning to Google as our platform for communication and organization. All teachers and students have been given Gmail accounts. Many teachers are piloting Google Classroom as a means of organizing classroom assignments. Please know that the expectation is students will use their school account as the sole means of communication and organization within the school. Private accounts will no longer be used. 

Technology upgrades are also changing our personal learning plan---Anagnorsis. While the plan structure stays the same, we have discarded the old digital portfolio, EPearl. Instead, students will use their Google accounts to create a portfolio using Google Folders and Sites. Teacher-advisories have been busy this week setting up their portfolios. We will conduct additional training for grades 9-11 on the afternoon of September 19, an early-release day from classes. All students except seniors will remain at school in the afternoon for Anagnorisis. In addition to technology, we are also emphasizing training which supports students to reflect well and ask probing questions of the artifacts they choose to include in their portfolios. By doing so, students prove these artifacts are evidence to demonstrate progress towards our building-wide graduation requirements of: 1) communication 2) problem-solving 3) decision-making 4) initiative and 5) service. 

IMPORTANT: the PSAT will be administered at Stowe High School on Saturday, October 18 at 7:45 am. Please see Charlene to register. The cost is $15 and checks should be payable to Stowe High School.  If you pay and are unable to take the test, there will be no refunds available!

Due to stringent college board guidelines juniors must sign up by September 26. If space permits, sophomores will be able to sign up from September 29 - October 10. There will be no late registrations allowed. We will test 60 students so juniors should sign up today!!!

I look forward to talking with many of you as the school year progresses. Please never hesitate to contact me. 

Jeff Maher

Friday, May 30, 2014

Seniors Do a Good Thing!

While our students are always doing good things, the soon to be graduated Class of 2014 took it up a notch last night when they put on a pot-luck dinner for faculty and staff here at Stowe High School. Led by senior Ula Klein, seniors organized a range of tasty treats for teachers and staff in appreciation of their efforts over the last four years.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of garden sculptures to Janet Godin in recognition of her 25 years of service as Food Services Director. Janet will be moving to the Nurse's Office next year as Nurse Assistant. Janet recently completed her certification as a Licensed Nurse Assistant. We join with the seniors in congratulating her for many years of cheerful service and relationship-building in the cafeteria and look forward to her work in a new capacity next year.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Heading Into The Memorial Day Weekend

... I am reminded that the school year is rapidly drawing to a close. Before we get to graduation on June 14, we have an awful lot of terrific events coming up at Stowe High School. Please make sure to regularly check in at the website for a full listing. One event I would like to highlight is next week's Awards Assembly on Thursday, May 29 from 9:15-10:15. These awards are separate from graduation day awards to seniors. 

The Prom last weekend was a great success. The event was incident-free and dancing style was varied, appropriate, and fun for all. There was really a nice vibe all evening; it felt good to see kids enjoying themselves while respecting each other and our community's values. Congratulations to the junior class Prom Committee and all the class advisors who chaperoned that evening.

Teacher Feature: I am always struck by the quality of what happens in classrooms each day at Stowe High School. As I get about the building I would like to share with you some of my observations. Just this morning I observed the following:
  • A vigorous discussion in Roger Murphy's Global Citizen class on gender stereotypes portrayed in the media on show like The Bachelorette.
  • Student presentations on themes and concepts in Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet in Ms. Schnee's English 9 class.
  • A close reading of The Raisin in the Sun in Mrs. Hoffmann's English 10 class.

Have a terrific and safe holiday weekend with family and friends,

Jeff Maher

Friday, May 16, 2014

One More Reminder

... as Prom approaches tomorrow please take a few moments with your daughter/son if you have not already done so and remind them that the Prom should be enjoyed but that substances and inappropriate dancing will result in consequences that will not be enjoyable.

About a week or so ago I sent home a letter for your use on these topics. Thank you for your help and support.

Jeff Maher

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Visual Arts of May

Art is everywhere in May at Stowe High School. On Friday, May 2 our annual Art Show opened at the Helen Day Art Center. I thoroughly enjoyed the opening Friday afternoon. The student artwork and display presentation was especially fine this year. Kudos to all our student artists as well as to Mrs. Crouse, Ms. Zimbalatti, and Ms. McDowell for all their hard work in making the show a success. Well done! Below is a small sample of what awaits at the Art Show. Enjoy!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rumor has it ... 

... that spring is finally in the air. Let's hope---we could all use it. With some luck, we will get our spring sports teams out on the fields shortly after break. 

Before you and your family enjoy spring break, I just want to highlight a couple of events from the last week or so at Stowe High School. 

A World Cafe ... took place last Tuesday evening. Sponsored by the Parent-Student-Teacher Team at SHS, this event was addressed at substance abuse issues, within our community and around the state. Mr. Skip Gates was our keynote speaker. Mr. Gates is featured in the film The Opiate Effect, a somber, powerful examination of the tragic death of his son from a heroin overdose. Mr. Gates shared his perspective, as he has done for the last several years, to raise awareness of the danger of opiates---especially among individuals and families who you wouldn't consider 'typical' users. Productive discussion followed the presentation. Mr. Tris Coffin, US Attorney for Vermont, Chief Don Hull, and other area service providers participated in discussion with parents and community members.  Mr. Gates also presented to the high school student body during an assembly earlier that day. 

I would like to thank PSTT, the Stoweflake, and Pierre LaFlamme for all their hard work in making this event happen. Thank you too to the many parents and community members who attended. Please share what you learned with others---the dangers of these drugs are real and present. 

Anagnorisis Presentations ... for the junior class began last Friday and will continue on Friday, April 25. This junior  class is the first group to be graduated with the requirement that they demonstrate progress towards our building-wide expectations of communication, problem-solving, decision-making, service, and, initiative. Using their digital portfolios, juniors developed presentations evaluated by faculty committees. Following completion of the process on April 25, students will receive feedback and notification whether they received .5 of the Anagnorisis graduation credit. If notified they did not receive the credit, they will receive conditions by which they can attain the credit. The other half of this graduation credit will be awarded during senior year for a Senior Reflection Paper

We are excited by the implementation of Anagnorisis, a now 4-year process. Anagnorisis is our version of a personal learning plan---something the state of Vermont is now mandating. We are even more excited that our students are self-recognizing the value of Anagnorisis for 'discovering their identity' and 'planning their future'! 

Have a great break!! 

Jeff Maher