Category Archives: Congratulations

National Merit Recognizes Six Williston Students

Out of the approximately 1.5 million students who took the PSAT in their sophomore year, a small percentage were recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  Students from the top 5 percent were awarded the distinction of “commended” and the Williston Northampton School had six students who received this distinction. Academic Dean Greg Tuleja presented the following seniors with their awards during the Upper School Assembly on January 7.

Alicia Barry
James Borden
Matt Cavanaugh
Brendan Hellweg
Maddy Stern
Persis Ticknor-Swanson

According to a press release from the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program, commended students have demonstrated “outstanding potential for academic success…We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

We Live in Texas

Greg Tuleja

We live in Texas now, and Oregon, and Rome,
dispersed, our blind intentions lifted up and cradled down,
toward sleek sea-side apartments, or a dusty border town,
so many, many miles from our home.

It exists now only as the faintest memory,
which should be strong and good, but might not
always be, except for tiny sacred moments,
in speckled shade that quivers on the gate,
a falling breeze, and netted butterflies,
and from the porch, a plaintive cry, come in now,
it’s time for dinner, the streetlights are on.

I can see them glowing, and the high hedges,
the basement window, cracked, and the curb
where I used to sit, and I can hear
the milkman clanking, and ice cream bells,
a smell of apples and hot tar steaming in the road,
but as I strain to look inside, I cannot see them,
just the empty room where once they stood.

We live in Texas now, and Oregon, and Rome,
and though we keep a tender heart, we’re comforted to learn
that time can never be reversed, and we cannot return
to find our histories, our past, the place we once called home.

Editor’s note: Mr. Tuleja’s poem is published in The Heart of All That Is, an anthology on the theme of home. Read more about the anthology on Amazon. Or visit the Holy Cow! Press page here. Mr. Tuleja is the Williston Northampton School’s Academic Dean.

Thank You From Varsity Volleyball


Varsity Volleyball was able to raise well over $2,000 due to the support of the Williston community. To everyone that came out – you were an amazing crowd!  While I’m coaching, the focus is on the court.  But when I turned to see what a player was smiling at during a time out, I was amazed at the turnout!

Now that you know how much fun volleyball games are, we’d like to see you fill those stands more often!!!

Didn’t get a t-shirt and still want one?  Shoot me an email with your shirt size.  These will be CASH ONLY sales.  $15.

Special thanks to:
Phil Angelo for being the Wildcat
Boys Water Polo for running around in their Speedos like crazy people
Soccer and Field Hockey for teaming up and raising funds to fight something that affects us all

And again, thanks to  YOU – WILLISTON!!!!!

Enjoy the weekend, y’all!
Ms. Chambers

A Good Day To Be A Wildcat Premiers Tonight at 6:30

On May 17, with a final win over Cushing Academy, the girls lacrosse team completed an unprecidented third undefeated season. Under the guidance of Head Coach Jen Fulcher and captains Karly Simpson ’13, Amanda Cronin ’13, and Kirstyn Kruse ’13, the team scored 202 goals and allowed only 50. With 15-0 tally, they also set a new school record for wins in a season.

Senior Jilly Lim has been documenting the team throughout their incredible 2013 run—including 15 wins against perennial powerhouse opponents including Hotchkiss, Gunnery, and Deerfield.  Her documentary on the lacrosse, A Good Day To Be A Wildcat, premiers tonight, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the StuBop.

From director Jilly Lim ’13:

A Good Day To Be A Wildcat is one of my favorite film projects I have worked on.  The pre-production started in late February when I met with Ms. Fulcher to discuss the idea of a documentary.  Detailed planning happened during the spring break when I mapped out the majority of the film, though there have been many changes in the video’s structure since then.

Being around the girls’ varsity lacrosse team for the last three months have made me fall in love with lacrosse once again—I have loved every moment of it, the practices and games and interviews, the night game at Choate Rosemary Hall and the interactions with the coaches and the players, and the hours of editing in the photo lab.

I want to thank everybody on the team for helping me make this project possible, especially Coach Fulcher and Captains Karly, Kirstyn, and Amanda. Observing the love and respect everyone on the team has for each other has been really awesome.
Thank you and enjoy the film!

Watch the trailer

Children’s Center Staff Honored

Dear Williston Community,

It is my pleasure to share with you that Charlene Cross, our toddler teacher and the Assistant Children’s Center Administrator, and Keira Durrett ’88, our Children’s Center Director, were both recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care for their outstanding work.

Each year the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care gives out awards to exceptional educators and leaders in the field of early childhood education in each region of the state.  I am proud to announce that Charlene has won the Exceptional Educator Award and Keira has won the Exceptional Leader Award.  These awards are for Region 1 in the state which includes Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties.

Congratulations to Charlene and Keira on this fantastic achievement!  I hope you will congratulate both of them when you see them on campus—this award comes as no surprise, but it’s a testament to the work they do and the passion with which they do.



Robotics Team Places 6th at State Championship

The "Pits" where teams worked on their robots while waited for their matches to be called. Williston Wildcat Robotics is team 3157 at the right in the picture.

There are over 2,400 FIRST Tech Challenge robotics teams competing each year for the FTC World Championship (to be held in St. Louis, MO). From those thousands of teams, only 128 will win the right to go to the World Championship. On Saturday, March 16th, Williston Wildcat Robotics spent the day in Bridgewater, MA competing in the Massachusetts State FTC Robotics Championships to win one of the coveted 128 World Championship invitations.

Massachusetts is well-known for its high-technology initiatives in secondary education, and all 28 competing state teams displayed a very impressive use of technology and creativity in preparing their robots to compete in the Ring It Up! robot challenge. All teams had to be invited to the State Championships by being a member of an “alliance” that won one of the seven qualifying rounds held between December and March. An alliance represents two individual teams who work together in the Ring It Up! game to defeat an opposing alliance. Also invited were the top two judged awards winners from each of the qualifying rounds.
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Williston Places 19th in 2013 Green Cup

Hey Wildcats!

The final National Ranking for the 2013 Green Cup Energy Challenge is out today from the Green Schools Alliance.

As you can see, Williston Northampton places 19th out of 117 schools.  We should take pride in the steps we took towards this initiative.  Students and dorm parents consolidated food to one fridge in order to unplug an unnecessary one.  Our community used natural lighting from the sun instead of turning the lights on with the shades closed.  Wise choices were made in the use of common space lights and appliances during the day and in study hall.  Conscious decisions were made about personal use of laundry rooms and dorm room lighting and appliances.

When we return from spring break, remember that small things add up over time and we make collective decisions that impact all of us.  The amount of CO2 we conserved from entering our atmosphere by reducing our electrical energy consumption over a four week period is significant.  Imagine what we can do over the course of a whole trimester, year, or lifetime?

Matt Spearing
Director of Student Activities

“For God’s sake, be economical with your lamps and candles! not a gallon you burn, but at least one drop of man’s blood was spilled for it,” from Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Diversity Day/ Chris Herren

I wanted to share a quick email with the entire Williston community in regards to Chris Herren who spoke on Friday.  The attention that you all gave him was unbelievably and I hope everyone learned “one thing” from his story.

You cancheck out his website at Founded in 2011, the Herren Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction.

I also wanted to share that some students have asked about supporting his foundation and I believe this is going to be the charity that we use this year during the Police and Fire Department vs. Williston faculty basketball game that will take place on Friday night April 5th at 7:00pm.  This is a class Saturday so the entire boarding school will be here.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you’d like to learn more or help out with this event.

Thanks again for a successful Diversity Day!

Mike Athas

[Video] On Shooting TEMPUS by Charles Frank ’13

“TEMPUS” was one of those spontaneous pieces that had absolutely no planning. I was spending the weekend in New Jersey working on pre-production for a mini documentary I’m shooting in March, when I suddenly turned to my friend Jake (the co-director of “TEMPUS”), and said, “Let’s shoot something this weekend.”

Within a few hours we had conceptualized a video, scouted a location, acquired free equipment, and found a third crew member to help us out. With a backpack full of snacks ready, Jake and I picked up our dancer and crew the next morning, and began shooting on instinct with no real plan of attack. After five hours, the sun started to set, and Jake and I retreated to our editing station.

For 10 and a half hours through the night we edited and finished “TEMPUS.” Thus far, “TEMPUS” has drawn attention from director/cinematographer, Philip Bloom, cinematographer of “Act of Valor,” Shane Hurlbut, and lastly, Red Bull. Hope you enjoy!

TEMPUS – Sony FS700 from Jake Oleson on Vimeo.

Last Day for Green Cup Challenge

We’ve been doing amazing work around campus conserving electricity despite the weather.  We will be taking our final readings tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13.  Anybody who would like to help take readings, stop by the Activities Office at 1 p.m.  It takes about 45 minutes to read the meters around campus.  Don’t forget to conserve electricity tonight, and to vote for the Williston’s video in the Video Challenge!