School news

Construction of new AHS: through week of Nov. 28

Saturday work continues; no work Thanksgiving Day

AHS project logo

UPDATED Nov. 17: Preliminary sitework for rebuilding Arlington High School began in late February 2020, and, later that year, residents saw steel rising for one wing. That work -- phase 1 construction -- began in November 2020 and is complete. Phase 2 is underway.

Construction work hours were to have been Monday through Friday. However, Saturday work returned Nov. 7, 2020, and has been required for the foreseeable future. No work on Thanksgiving Day is scheduled.

Viewers can see the new school taking shape by reading the update and viewing the photos through the week of Nov. 24 >>

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Host families sought for international students attending AHS

Arlington High School seeks host families for international students, authorities announced earlier this month.AHS logo 3916

“Every year, as part of our efforts to encourage intercultural learning, we invite international students to join us at AHS. This is our fourth year running this program, and this year, we have students from countries including Italy, France, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Germany,” wrote Superintendent Elizabeth C. Homan in her Oct. 3 message on the district’s website.

“Families who open their homes to students make this intercultural learning experience possible. We have families who have hosted in the past returning, and we are looking for new families as well. “

The message suggests contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from Educatius Group via email or by calling or texting to 617-970-1999.

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Famed Italian tenor introduces public to new auditorium at AHS

Alberto Profeta

Renowned opera singer Alberto Profeta performed before as many as 150 people as the first guest artist in Arlington High School's new 826-seat auditorium Thursday, Sept. 29, introduced by Jing-Huey Wei, the new high school’s performing arts director, and Sabatino “Tino” D’Agostino the band and orchestra teacher.

D’Agostino accompanied Profeta on bass, along with a band consisting of Maxim Lubarsky on piano, Salvatore DiFusco on guitar, Sergio Bellotti on drums and former AHS student Gaetano Zagami on percussion.

D’Agostino said he hopes that this concert will be the “first of many” at Arlington High, and he reminded the audience that the Italian Soul Festival is to take place at the new Auditorium on Nov. 9. 

At the start, the band had feet tapping, the crowd grinning. Still, the band appeared to have the best time. Fully invested in the music they were playing, moving, swinging, making faces and bantering with each other; it was enthralling to watch.

Entering with a humble bow, Profeta began the night with the theme from the 1972 film “The Godfather.” Following that was Puccini's “Nessun Dorma,” which drew a cheer from the audience immediately. After that, Bellotti's drum solo had many on the edge of their seats. 

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9 from Arlington named merit scholarship semifinalists

School-awards logo

UPDATED: Eight students at Arlington High School and one from Belmont Hill have been named semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarships.

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced these names of AHS students: Anna E. Berggren, William S. Bouck, Aryan N. Deshpande, Meredith Gast, Gregory Lubashev, Armaan A. Merchant, Marko Rasin and Brendan Rubel.

Cameron Connell, an  Arlington resident and Belmont Hill student, is also a semifinalist.

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School officials continued hiring as opening day approached

Back to school logo
'We are filling positions as quickly as possible.'
           -- Robert Spiegel

UPDATED Sept. 1: Close to four dozen vacancies -- in teaching, nursing and other fields -- were listed at Arlington Public Schools last month, a predicament similar to those in communities nationwide. But that list was down to 30 just before the opening of the school year, including a new vacancy in the central office, that of chief financial officer. This spot opened up after CFO Michael Mason was chosen to become deputy town manager effective in November.

However, all teaching posts are expected to be filled by the time classes started Tuesday, Sept. 6, right after Labor Day, APS officials say.

The district website in recent days listed 50 jobs, including 14 teaching posts, but Human Resources Director Robert Spiegel said last month that the true total number was 45, with some having been filled previously and others inadvertent duplicates. 

As of Thursday evening Sept. 1, the website listed only five vacancies for teaching jobs for the regular school day -- all in the special-education field, as expected. Isolated positions are also listed for the much-smaller before-school and after-school programs.

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AHS Class of '87 reunion held at Heights Pub

Reunion logo

The Arlington High School Class of 1987 will hold its 35th reunion on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 7 to midnight, at The Heights Pub, 1314 Mass. Ave., in the Heights.

The venue is owned by 1987 classmate Jim O'Rourke.

Tickets are $35 until Nov. 11. After that and at the door, they are $50 (or at the door).

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Town resident gets MBA from Park University

Park University

Park University, in Parkville, Mo., has announced its spring graduates, and among them is Arlington resident Chirag P. Patel, who received a master's degree in business administration in finance.

The list of graduates includes those from the university’s campus in Parkville as well as its 41 campuses across the country and online worldwide. The university had 963 students eligible to graduate. Of those, 214 students received a master’s degree, a specialist degree and/or graduate certificate, and 749 students received a bachelor’s degree, associate
degree and/or undergraduate certificate.

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Resident in MassBay’s radiologic class with perfect pass rate

MassBay Community College logo

The MassBay Community College class of 2022 has achieved a perfect pass rate on the national American Registry of Radiologic Technologist licensure exam.

Among those in the class is Megan Keeffe of Arlington, who works at Cambridge Hospital.

Individuals who pass this exam are fully qualified to enter the profession and work as radiologic technologists. In addition to passing the exam, all seven MassBay graduates were offered jobs in the field.

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Arlington grads from Cambridge School of Weston head to college

ahs awards 19Arlington residents Max Evans-Schmid, Oscar Zhao, Lincoln Cohn and Max Cohn graduated from the Cambridge School of Weston on Friday, June 10. They will attend the following colleges in the fall:

Evans-Schmid, Trinity College, Dublin;

The Cohn brothers, Boston University;

and Oscar Zhao, Pomona College.

See their photos here >>

A leader among America's progressive independent schools, the Cambridge School of Weston describes itself as at the forefront of educational innovation since 1886.

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2 at AHS play their parts to aim for change

Hannah MarketzHannah Marketz

Daisy TakangDaisy Takang

Arlington High School embraces a vibrant community, and just like any varied group, it faces challenges and problems.

Two Arlington High students, Hannah Markelz and Daisy Takang, are playing their parts to make AHS a better place for all. Recognizing their efforts is Rustic Pathways, a student-travel organization.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., to be a senior at AHS, is a co-leader of the Anti-Racism Working Group (AWG) as well as member of the successful Heterogeneous Grouping Initiative (HGI). As a member of HGI, Markelz presented to the School Committee and fielded questions about the heterogeneous pilot program for the 2022-2023 school year.

All her hard work paid off when the School Committee voted in favor of the plan in mid-April. Read a summary of that meeting >>

As co-leader of the AWG at AHS, Markelz is also leading an initiative to make scholarships more accessible for METCO students. Markelz states that “working with AWG has helped [her] be more empowered to . . . make [her] community a better place.” She hopes to continue her work into the coming school year.

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AHS graduation: Time to congratulate '21-22 and 1966

Awards recipients, graduates' names added

ahs awards 19

Stephen Austin ThibodeauStephen Austin Thibodeau, '66

UPDATED June 9: Let's honor 2021-22 at Arlington High School.

Despite the lingering pandemic, the masked returned to in-person learning, the unmasking of falsity in search of truth.

Despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in February, students and staff happily invaded the two new wings at the rebuilding high school.

Despite mass shootings in a United States too divided by too many guns, for an hour or so Thursday, June 2, parents and guardian honored the best on Awards Night.

Before the awards ceremony began, Principal Matt Janger presided over a special graduation ceremony.

Stephen Austin Thibodeau was a member of the Arlington High School class of 1966, the 100th graduating class. But before he was able to graduate, Stephen enlisted in the armed forces, completing his basic training at Fort Gordon, in Georgia, and was stationed for a year in Korea.

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Annual Memorial Day assembly at Ottoson held

Watch ACMi's video of Ottoson's in-person Memorial Day ceremony, May 27:


Memorial Day logo

The Ottoson Middle School, at 63 Acton St., has scheduled a Memorial Day assembly for 8:45 a.m. Friday, May 27, at the school.

All veterans are invited to the assembly and to attend the breakfast at 8:15 a.m. at Ottoson.

Reserved parking for veterans is in the upper lot at Ottoson.

Please RSVP to Marie Bassett OMS, 781-316-3745, x 28005


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One '22 merit scholarships winner from Arlington

Scholarships logo

The lone winner from Arlington in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship competition is Morris William Henry Smith, a student at the Belmont Hill School who lists his probably career as college professor.

Arlington High School typically has a number of winners, but not this year. Last September, three AHS student were named semifinalists -- Victor Q. Chen, Alessandro M. Drake and Katerina R. Shubochkin.

A winner takes home a $2,500 award. The students were chosen from among about 15,000 finalists in the 67th annual program.

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Return to masks indoors recommended at public schools

Covid-19 image

UPDATED: With Covid-19 case numbers again rising in Middlesex County, Arlington Public School students and staff face a recommendation that all resume wearing masks indoors.

In an email to the community Sunday, May 8, Dr. Elizabeth Homan, the school superintendent, “strongly recommends” this step as part of Covid-19 safety measures for the week of May 9. reported May 9 that Cambridge and Belmont school leaders have made similar pleas.

She called the rates “rapidly increasing” and promised another update May 15 as to whether the recommendation will be extended. The School Committee of APS is scheduled for its next regular meeting the evening of May 12; Homan typically reports at every APS meeting on all matters of consequence including the pandemic situation.

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Estimated 3,000 view AHS wings, and many interviewed are impressed

AHS tour, April 30, 2022Residents tour new AHS wing April 30. / Alisha Gandhi photo

Phase I of the new Arlington High School opened its doors to the public for the first time Saturday April 30, and an estimated 3,000 attendees explored the new Performing Arts and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) wings, which opened to students a month earlier. 

View more photos >>

Those taking the tour interviewed by YourArlington expressed near-unanimous appreciation for the abundance of light in the new building. Jenifer Tidwell and Rich Carreiro agreed that the, “natural light is one of the best features” of the new wings.

They were not alone in their sentiment. Eleven year old Zoe, compares the new wing to a museum, crediting the “really nice lighting and a lot of windows.”

In addition, attendee Joseph Curro Jr., the former Select Board and School Committee member, thought that the brightness would likely be “helpful to the learning experience.”

The lighting in the new building was definitely a hit -- but was it worth the price tag?

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