Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's That Time---Mid-Terms!

As you know we have changed the scheduling of mid-term exams from January after the holiday break to before the holiday break starting tomorrow. We felt this better reflects how colleges schedule these exams and thus gives students similar experience. Also, with mid-terms completed before the holiday break, students and families can enjoy their time together without the stress of mid-term preparation over the break. All athletics and co-curruicula activities are on hold throughout exams so that students can concentrate on study. Please support your student to: 1) regard exams as serious---they represent 10% of the final year grade in an all-year course 2) develop a study schedule and stick to it until next Monday and 3) study in a quiet area free of distraction. 

The exam schedule has been public since Thanksgiving; it is posted below for your reference. 


Wednesday, December 17          8:10 – 10:10          period 2 class
                                                   12:00 – 2:00            period 4 class

Thursday, December 18              8:10 – 10:10          period 1 class
                                                    12:00 – 2:00           period 8 class

Friday, December 19                   8:10 – 10:10          period 3 class
                                                    12:00 – 2:00           period 6 class

Monday, December 22                8:10 – 10:10          period 7 class
                                                    12:00 – 2:00           period 5 class

Reminder to students:
  • If you are not scheduled for an exam, you are not allowed upstairs – THE LIBRARY WILL BE CLOSED.  If you are in the building with no exam you must stay in the cafeteria or commons area.
  • A Quiet Room will be designated each day for studying.  Check the easel in the lobby for location every day.
  • Students will not be able to access their individual folders nor the Groups folder during exams.
  • If you are sick the day of an exam you must call the school.
  • Make-up exams will be held at the earliest convenience of the teacher and student.

Following exams on Tuesday, December 23, we are conducting our first annual 'Day of Service'. This is a regular school day; but, instead of a focus on festivities, we have organzied a three-hour block of time where students will be serving our community in various locations around town. Your student has signed up for one of these venues. Percy's Transportation has been kind enough to run two buses during the day to these service sites. At the end of the day the bus routes will run as normal. Lunch will be served. 

Good luck to all students with their exams, 

Mr. Maher

Friday, December 5, 2014


As 'Principal Raider' I can certainly be accused of being a Pollyanna; I am an unapologetic, unabashed promoter of this school. I love this school and community. I'm guilty. 

I am also a very experienced educator with a clear-eyed, realistic understanding of school and life. Tragedy, student substance abuse concerns, health issues and the stress innate to the season have resulted in difficult times over the last couple of weeks. We faced, and will continue to face, challenges head-on with our best effort. What  else can you do? 

I do know that even when times are tough, good, even wonderful things continue to happen at Stowe High School. Rigor, relevance, and relationships happen all the time in our classrooms and common areas. Our school play brings out the best, and in some cases the hidden talents of students. Representatives from the Environmental Club take the lead in helping us to comply with a new recycling law. Leaders from Student Council and Student Leadership Team plan a 'Day of Service' on Decemer 23 (more on this next week). 

I am proud of our students and the adults who serve them. We always strive to strike the balance between addressing challenges and carrying on the with the good work before us. It is indeed a wonderful school life! 

Mid-Terms---just a reminder that mid-terms are approaching rapidly. If you have not already done so, please note this a change from the past when they were administered in January. We will administer mid-terms from December 17 through December 22. The schedule is in the Daily Announcements. Students have also received this information from teachers. Please support your student during exam evenings by restricting activities other than study. Thank you. 

Stowe Education Fund--linked below is literature from two up-coming SEF events. 



Friday, November 21, 2014

Grease is a Great!!!

Last night's opening of Grease by the Stowe High School Thespian Society was a blast. It is a fun, fast-paced production that will make you feel good at the end of a busy week. As with all school plays I am always struck by the skills and talents of certain students that you would not ordinarily see on a day-to-day basis. It just reminds of us of why we implemented Anagnorisis---every part of our curriculum is important---and each part appeals to passions and interests of different students. 

Treat yourself to the production tonight, or, tomorrow night starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium. Well done cast, crew, and parent volunteers. Special thanks and appreciation to Taryn Noelle, director, Jane Harissis, musical director, and Amena Smith, backstage director. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stowe High Students Serve Veterans

Dozens of Stowe High School students showed up on a day off yesterday to serve area veterans at the Stowe Community Church. Organized  by Stefie Clymer, Terry Wehse and a committee of parent volunteers, veterans were honored with a pancake breakfast in the Community Room of the church in advance of the traditional ceremony outside of Town Hall. I am proud of our students and community for acknowledging the service of our veterans. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thrilling End to the Fall Athletic Season and an Important Reminder. 

What a exciting last two weeks it has been! Cross-Country girl's and boy's squads placed third and first respectively in their state meet on October 25. Girl's Soccer reached the semi-finals game. Last Saturday Field Hockey ended a strong run to the finals just a goal shy of a state championship---and Boy's Soccer claimed another state title!! Congratulations to all our atheletes, coaches, and families. 

We hope you can join us for a forum tomorrow night on:  

Drugs and Drinking in Our Community

Please join the Stowe High School Parent-Student-Teacher Team for an open discussion forum regarding substance use and abuse among adolescents.

Guests will include:
Tristan Coffin, U.S. Attorney
Michelle Salvador, Vt. Dept. of Health

November 4th from 7:00 – 8:30 at Stowe High School

For more information please contact Sarah Horton or Pierre Laflamme at SHS (253-7229)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Urge You To Attend: 

Drugs and Drinking in Our Community

Please join the Stowe High School Parent-Student-Teacher Team for an open discussion forum regarding substance use and abuse among adolescents.

Guests will include:
Tristan Coffin, U.S. Attorney
Michelle Salvador, Vt. Dept. of Health

November 4th from 7:00 – 8:30 at Stowe High School

For more information please contact Sarah Horton or Pierre Laflamme at SHS (253-7229)

Thank you, 

Jeff Maher

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Events & Opportunities

Tennis Courts

On Monday, October 20 we officially opened our newly refurbished tennis courts! With the Stowe School Board and Superintendent Wrend in attrendance, Athletic Director Joanna Graves cut the ceremonial ribbon along with members of our girl's tennis team. We are grateful to the community for supporting this project at town meeting last spring and are excited for our teams to be playing on home courts in the coming spring!! We also would like to thank the Stowehof for hosting our teams in the past. 

Veteran's Day Breakfast

 This is a FREE Community Pancake Breakfast to HONOR our local veterans.

Breakfast will be served by Stowe High School students.
Tuesday, November 11th from 8-10:30am at the Stowe Community Church

Breakfast precedes the Veteran’s Day ceremony
at the Akeley Memorial building beginning 11am.

Stowe Education Fund

Information and News from the Stowe Education Fund
supporter logo

Since 1997, the Stowe Education Fund has worked to enrich the education of Stowe's elementary, middle and high school students.  We are a 100% volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to this important mission.

Shop AmazonSmile and Support SEF

SEF is excited to announce it's partnership with AmazonSmile:

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support SEF every time you shop, at no cost to you.

When you shop at smile.amazon.com you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to SEF.

Choose "Stowe Schools Foundation for Educational Advancement " (our registered trade name) or click on the link below:

SEF on AmazonSmile
Help SEF spread the word about this amazing service from Amazon! 
Important Dates, Upcoming Events & Promotions:

Get started on your holiday shopping at theNovember 7th Trunk Show generously benefiting SEF:

2015 Ella Skye Art Calendars are Here!

Stowe Elementary School student Ella Skye MacDonald is a young artist with autism. Ella has been able to learn more language during the past three years by using a speech generating device called a DynaVox. This year's calendar is really exciting because Ella was able to tell us in her own words what her drawings are titled.

Ella's calendar is for sale in Stowe at Black Cap Coffee Café, Bear Pond Books and Salon Salon. It's also available in Waterbury at Bridgeside Books and on Ella's web site

10% of all calendars sold will once again go to the Stowe Education Fund.

These calendars make fantastic birthday, holiday and teacher gifts. Spread smiles, autism awareness and help support Stowe students all at the same time.
Contact us:

Thank you to all who completed the SEF fundraising priority survey.

We are reviewing your feedback and will communicate our fundraising goals for the school year soon.

Learn More, Get Involved:

Want to learn more about our schools, budgets, local issues and ways to help?

Attend SEF or School Board meetings- we would love to have you!

Upcoming meetings:

November 12th, 6:00 PM at the Stowe Free Library

School Board:
November 17th 6:00 PM at Stowe Elementary School


SMS/SHS Auditorium:

Did you know that the auditorium at the Middle/High School is 40 years old and showing signs of its age?  

While many infrastructure improvements have been made over the past several years, the stage is in need of replacement.

Contact SEF if you would like to be a part of the subcommittee being formed to explore ways to raise the money needed for this major project.

 Annual Pumpkin Event a Huge Success:

Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the pumpkins and story telling on October 9th- we had a record number of pumpkins displayed for the contest!

A very special thank you to Grenier's Farm in Waterbury for once again donating the pumpkins for this event.


SEF partnership withHealthyCollegeSnacks.com

Healthy snack care packages can be purchased from our custom page and a $5 donation will be given to SEF for each box purchased.

Click below to go to the SEF page:

SEF on Healthy College Snacks

In addition to supporting SEF, Healthy College Snacks donates a full day of meals to the Vermont Foodbank to feed hungry kids in our state for each box shipped.

ishare logo  

Need a promotional item?

Local company Image Outfitters will donate 10% of purchases back to SEF through their charitable donations program iShare.

Find out more:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Funky Schedule This Week

Following our spirited Raider week---give a shout out to the Booster's for making last Friday's festivities possible---we have a different sort of schedule this week. I just want to remind parents what the schedule looks like for the rest of this week: 

  • Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15 is an early release day for students. Students will be released at 11:45. Grab and go lunch will be available for high school students. Teachers will spend the afternoon working on our school improvement plans including analysis of all our student data sets. 
  • Thursday, October 16 is a teacher in-service day. No school for students. Teachers will spend the day in training for various Google tools. 
  • Friday, October 17 is a non-school day for both students and teachers. 

One other up-coming calendar item to bring to your attention---if you have not already done so, please register for a parent-teacher conference on November 11 through the PTC Wizard on the following link: https://stowehs.ptcwizard.com/authenticate/?redirect=none

Have a great Raider day!!

Jeff Maher

Friday, October 3, 2014

What a Beautiful Early Autumn Day!

A day like this is made only more sweet when you see teachers and students caught in the act of instruction. 

Today's Focus on Instruction comes from Mr. Morril's Latin class. Students were given the assignment to search the school for representations of Latin vocabulary words. With each word, such as 'angry', a visual represention was captured on an IPad. The representation was then brought back to class to be used with other students to increase Latin vocabulary. 

Full disclosure---the principal is reputed to know how to represent more adjectives that the one assigned to Brandon ... . 
Inline image 1

Thursday, September 25, 2014

In the Name of Good Communication

Yesterday's Incident in Morrisville

As you probably have read by now, the suspect in yesterday's incident in Morrisville has been apprehended. This morning we reviewed the incident in our regularly scheduled Crisis Team Meeting. I would like to share some thoughts about security procedures at Stowe Middle & High School. 

  • First, we take security very seriously. The safety of your children when in our care is our first and always concern. We drill regularly. One other irony: I had originally planned a security drill for yesterday morning, but, cancelled due to conflicts. We will have one next week. We conduct these drills every other month. 
  • One item we discussed is the  difference between our secure the building/clear the hallways procedure and a lockdown procedure. If a perpetrator---God forbid---should ever threaten our campus, we would use the secure the building procedure where everyone goes immediately to a secure interior area. If we had been notified by authorities to lockdown---which we were not yesterday---we would initiate a lockdown procedure of all our perimeter doors. In this case, classes would continue unless new evidence of a more immediate threat became known. 
  • During a lockdown procedure (as well as during a secure the building procedure) the red light on the side of the main canopy above our school entrance would be flashing. Please, whenever you see this light flashing do not try and enter the building. We cannot open doors to allow anyone to enter. Please remain calm and wait for information to be distributed by authorities at the scene in the event of an incident, or, for the light to stop flashing to indicate a drill is over. 
  • Following next week's secure the building drill, we will review with faculty and students our procedures. Please help us by stressing to your child how important it is to cooperate and participate in drills with a serious attitude. 
We live in an evermore complex world; threats to our safety do exist---but, joy, compassion, and kindness also abound and are easily found. Help us to convey a balanced message of attention to prudent drills and procedures while reassuring students to not live in a perpetual state of fear. 

Thank you, 

Jeff Maher 

Monday, September 22, 2014

 Seasonal Change

Just as we begin to see change as calendar autumn begins today, so does the school year have its cyclical rthymn. The hurly-burly of opening days, the 'newness' of each new school year has settled. With the establishment of routine and schedules though, comes substantive progress as we work with students by class, subject, and school-wide. 

Last Friday afternoon all students in grades 9-11 spent the afternoon working on their personal learning plan which we call Anagnorisis, an ancient Greek word meaning 'Discover your Identity; Plan you Future'. We are working especially hard with students on coaching them to improve their skills associated with reflective thinking. To view the materials we used on Friday, and, to help you follow along with our Anagnorisis initiative, we have created a website on Anagnorisis which is located on the existing school website on the left side of the page. The link to the site is:  https://sites.google.com/a/lssuvt.org/shs_anagnorisis/

We all should be proud of how Anagnorisis is taking hold in this school. I think we can now begin to see its transformative power and not just potential. As students are graduated from Stowe High School each year, we will have confidence they have not only reached standards in our academic curriculum; but, they also will leave as problem-solvers, decision-makers, and communicators---and will have practiced taking the initiative and giving back through service to others. 

Focus on Instruction

Ms. Wells explains the telemetry of the rocket launch to a student in one of her earth science classes. The launch was the culminating activity of an inquiry lab which emphasizes the concept of 'experimental design'---HRICCD---or, hypothesis, repetition, independent variables, constant variables, control, dependent variables. 
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And did you catch last Friday's Girls' Soccer game at P.A.? What an exciting win! Go Raiders!!

Have a great week, 

Jeff Maher

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:       https://sites.google.com/a/lssuvt.org/shs_anagnorisis/

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!!