The Sentinel Legacy 10/24/17

The Sentinel Legacy: 10/24/2017

“Humility is to Listen”

Given the ongoing tenor of the political climate, an issue that we as educators face is how to apply the appropriate tact in handling sometimes sensitive and divisive issues, while advancing the lifelong learning of our students. Coming from a background in social studies, I have come to a singular truth regarding this: we will always have important conflicts with which we must struggle. Part of our nature is to inquisitively question ourselves, and the world around us. This reflection leads to dialogue with our peers, and is crucial to our understanding of world and our role within it. Lost in this shuffle, and imperative as we guide our students, is the value of humility. As educators, we must humble ourselves to the reality that what our students learn is more important than what we can teach. Fostering and cultivating an inquisitive nature is key to our students’ ongoing pursuit of knowledge. However, in order to successfully guide our students to their own understandings, we must strive to listen, humbling ourselves in the process. What are our students struggling to say? How are they forming their conclusions? In a world mired by opinions and instant feedback, of comment sections and generalizations, it is our crucial mission to model our own expectations, to listen to understand as opposed to listening to respond, and to approach each student as a unique example of the human experience. Civility and understanding preside over relationships built on empathy, respect, and dignity. It is my hope that I am able to quiet myself, and always listen to the actions of others. They may be saying more than their words permit.

A few items to note:

Academic Update:

-A great resource in educational circles is the organization ASCD (Assessment and Curriculum Development). Common to its articles are research-based conclusions, delving into the myriad of topics in education.

Here’s three great articles (two oldies but goodies):

Parental Expectations

Great 2007 Article Researching Homework Effectiveness

Chapter of a 2009 book on homework practices

-NEASC update: SHS will be participating in the reaccreditation process through the New Engalnd Association of Schools and Colleges. This process will analyze the constant work and progression of SHS to standards of excellence in education. Our accreditation visit will be occurring in the Spring of 2020. More information regarding the process can be found here:

Administrative Updates:

-”Meet the Sentinels” Episode 3: Check out the first in our series dedicated to celebrating members of our Sentinel family: Meet the Sentinels: Ep. 3

-We will be having a school presentation from RIDOT on Monday, 10/30, focusing on the dangers of texting and driving (and safe driving practices).

-On Halloween, Tuesday, October 31, SADD (Students against Destructive Decisions) will be hosting a Halloween Costume Relay Race during last period of the day. Students who sign up for the event will be able to dress in costume, and participate in a festive relay race. We’d ask that no costumes be worn to school on that day. Students participating in the event will have time to change.

-Please see this important message from Tri-Town Community Action regarding aid with heating costs this winter: Tri-Town Community Action

-Congratulations to Coach Tony Torregrossa on his induction to the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Hall of Fame! The induction will take place on Wednesday, October 25, at a RIIL event. Coach T bleeds green and gold, and embodies everything that is means to be a Sentinel Legacy. Congratulations to him on his accomplishment. Here is a great article about his ongoing legacy:

-On Thursday, November 30, we will be hosting our first ever SHS Showcase from 6-8 throughout the school. We invite members of the community and prospective students to attend this event, which will highlight all the great clubs, activities, academic work, and school engagement that SHS has to offer. Mark your calendars, and spread the word!

-We are pleased to announce that on Nov. 1, our in-school coffee shop, “On School Grounds, will be operational!  This venture will be completely operated by our Academy of Finance students, giving them hands-on experience with running a business.  Thank you to our Academy of Finance leadership for this exciting initiative!

-Congratulations to newly elected FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and current Academy of Finance officers:

FBLA 2017/2018:

President:          Thomas Frezza

Vice President:     Jay Spalding
Secretary:           Rachel Maggiacomo
Academy of Finance:
President: Brandon England
Vice President: Theresa DiNobile
Secretary: Thomas Frezza
Treasurer: Allison Oliveira
Advisory Board Student Rep: Megan Boory
Junior Rep: Samantha Baxter
Sophomore Rep: Timothy Ferron
Fundraising Coordinators: Abby Theroux and Karleigh Lamoureux


-Congrats to Senior Ben Cortes, who was named WPRI12 Hometown Hero: Hometown Hero

-Congratulations to our social studies department chair, Mr. Vin Zibelli, on his appointment as Lincoln High’s varsity baseball coach!

-Congratulations to Adam Spring, business department teacher and chairperson, as he coached the RIC Women’s tennis team to an undefeated season and Little East Conference championship! Shout out to Emily Orticerio, SHS class of 2017, who is on the squad!

-Please vote for Matt Laboissonniere’s game winning goal for ABC6’s Play of the Week: Play of the Week

Other Important Dates:

-Monday, October 30: RIDOT Assembly during school

-Tuesday, October 31 (Halloween): SADD Halloween Costume Relay Race during last period assembly

-Wednesday, November 8, from 7-8 PM: Parent Council/Booster Club meeting

-Thursday, November 9: SHS Hockey Pasta Dinner Fundraiser

-Tuesday, November 14, from 6-8 PM: SHS Financial Aid Night in the Media Center

-Thursday, November 16: No School: SHS Parent-Teacher Conferences: 1-4:30, 5:30-7:45 PM

-*Please note that on Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19, Jennison Dance studio will be hosting a dance competition at SHS. On that Sunday, a regional cross country tournament will also be held at SHS. Parking will be extremely limited that weekend, especially on Sunday.


-New England Weather at SHS:



Mrs. Daniels’ class using a Kahoot poll to answer questions in class:


Sgt. Gregg Catlow from the Smithfield Police Department speaking to our Introduction to Criminal Justice students:


Festive folk for our Junior class trip to Salem:


Learning the Cha Cha during Social Advisory:


Congratulations to our SHS National Honor Society inductees, and thank you to Ms. DiSano and Ms. Witman for serving as advisors!


“It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.”




The Sentinel Legacy 10/10/17

The Sentinel Legacy: 10/10/2017

“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

No words can really encapsulate the tremendous energy and enthusiasm that filled the halls and events of Smithfield High School during last week’s Spirit Week. Please check out the photos at the end of this blog to see some great moments!

A few items to note:

Academic Update:

-On Wednesday, October 11, Freshmen, Sophomores, and Seniors will be taking part in our first SHS Google 1:1 Bootcamp, equipping students with important skills to facilitate the successful usage of our Chromebooks. Juniors, due to PSAT testing, will have this opportunity at a later date. Our 1:1 initiative has helped to make our educational program more efficient, without replacing the essential teaching and learning interactions that are an important component to classroom success. Technology augments instruction, but it should never replace instruction. We at Smithfield Public Schools abide by this statement.

-On Wednesday, October 11, students in all classes will take part in our bi-annual ALICE presentation, conducted in conjunction with the Smithfield Police Department. Due to the unfortunate events of our times, this presentation is necessary, and prepares our students for emergency situations involving violent scenarios. Further information will be distributed to parents. We are thankful for our continued partnerships with the Smithfield Police Department, the Smithfield Fire Department, and Smithfield EMA services. The safety and security of our students and staff is our foremost priority.

Administrative Updates:

-”Meet the Sentinels” Episode 1: Check out the first in our series dedicated to celebrating members of our Sentinel family: Meet the Sentinels: Ep. 1

SHS 50th Graduation Committee Sign-Up: Please consider signing up to be part of our SHS 50th Graduation Committee. We are looking for faculty, parent, and student input to mark the legacy of 50 years of excellence in education. Responsibilities include: occasional meetings now through June, email correspondence, outreach to alumni.

-The SHS Fashion Show has been scheduled for Friday, December 8! Please mark your calendars for this fun, student-led event. (Spoiler alert) The theme this year is outstanding…

-We will be having our first “Coffee with a Principal” event at Barnes and Noble, in Smithfield, on Saturday, October 14, from 8-10 AM. This event is designed so that members of the community can get together on a quarterly basis to talk about general education trends and topics. *Please note that we cannot discuss specific students or teachers during this forum, but can discuss overall education practices. Though the forum will be open, one theme to be discussed is standards-based instruction. Barnes and Noble will be providing FREE hot coffee for attendees. For planning purposes, please email me if you plan to attend so that we can determine numbers (

-A SHS Student Flu Clinic will be held on Thursday, 10/12. Information related to the flu clinic can be found here: SHS Flu Clinic

-Principal Kelley: Please check out this update from Mr. Kelley from his travels as president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Other Important Dates:

– Wednesday, October 11 – Juniors: PSAT/NMSQT

-Saturday, October 14: Coffee with a Principal: Barnes and Noble, Smithfield, 8-10 AM

-Tuesday, October 17: Junior Class Field Trip to Salem, MA

– Thursday, October 19 (6-8:30) NHS Induction

-Friday, October 20: Picture Retakes

-Tuesday, October 24 (6-8 PM): SHS Financial Aid Night

-Thursday, November 16: No School: SHS Parent-Teacher Conferences: 1-4:30, 5:30-7:45 PM


Great picture from student Harper Nelson of the sun setting over SHS:


-Senior Parking Spot Painting:



-Twin Day: Mrs. Barry and Mrs. Tancrelle:


-Senior Class Advisors: Mr. Russillo and Mr. Thibodeau (Pondering the week…)


-Class Color Day (Thanks for the pic, Brandon!)


-More class color day pics:


-Green and Gold Day:


-Green and Gold Day in Mrs. True’s class:


-Frank Santos: Hypnotizing some “volunteers”


-”Victory Man”: Mr. Kelley comes back to help build the bonfire:


-Ken Hopkins throwing a palette on the fire:


-Congrats to the Freshmen XCountry team on their great showing at the Wickham Park Invitational!:



-Some shots from our bonfire, Senior Pic in the Courtyard, Homecoming Game, and Moonlit courtyard during the Homecoming Dance:



“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson