The Sentinel Legacy 12/4/17

The Sentinel Legacy: 12/4/2017

“More than a Week”

-Today we wrapped up an outstanding RESPECT week with a presentation by Cindy Elder, Exec. Director for the RI chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Our speaker series, coupled with our RESPECT day, which focused on mechanisms to increase self-respect as well as outward respect, provided an incredible jumping off point to increase awareness and discussions on a variety of topics related to acceptance, inclusion, and well-being. Some personal reflections on the week:

-Being a person with an academic background in social studies, I was intrigued with Dr. Almandrez’s statements regarding the hidden narrative of society related to elements of diversity, especially the connection to the blanketing over Native American history and tradition within local areas.

-Empathy often begins with a call for help.

-Respect for oneself is fundamental to respecting others, and personal well-being is crucial to developing positive interpersonal interactions

-Tai-Chi, Yoga, and mindfulness exercises work, and work well, in managing stress

-Conflicts can and should be avoided, unless there is injury to a person or people mentally, emotionally, or physically.

-There is a difference between being civil and being polite. Civility can exist in conflict, whereas, in certain instances, emphasis on being polite can undermine the necessity for honest discussion

-Kindness can be the silver lining that shines in the midst of tragedy

-The most important step towards inclusion is to identify when someone is struggling, say hello, and include.

-We are a Sentinel community!

In the wake of a rejuvenating and thought-provoking week, we must recognize that this week only encapsulates a snapshot of the larger picture. For us, as a community, the concepts of acceptance, inclusion, and respect must live on for more than a week, and be the foundation upon which our community grows and endures throughout our lasting legacy.

-On Friday, the Smithfield school community lost an exceptional educator and person, as Kathy Walsh, long-time teacher and librarian, passed away.  Her obituary can be found here: Kathy Walsh.

I was honored to know Kathy as a truly caring and compassionate person, who was devoted to children and education.  She is a true Smithfield legacy, and she will be missed.

A few items to note:

Academic Update:

-This is a great article about the necessity for a shift in professional practice in education: “It’s Time to Throw Out the Playbook”

-On Friday, 12/8, SHS will be participating in the annual “Hour of Code”, which teaches basic programming to students throughout the country. More information can be found here: Currently, according to NEIT (New England Institute of Technology), there are over 2000 IT jobs currently unoccupied in Rhode Island due to the lack of qualified applicants.

Administrative Updates:

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

-Please consider awarding SHS A+ fundraising donations through the simple use of your Stop and Shop card! Information on how to link your card to SHS fundraising Stop and Shop Fundraising Program:

Stop and Shop A+ Fundraising Instructions (English)

Stop and Shop A+ Fundraising Instructions (Spanish)

Stop and Shop A+ Fundraising Instructions (Online)

-Representatives from NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness) will be conducting a presentation for parents, entitled Parents and Teachers as Allies, from 5:30-6:45 in SHS Media Center. This presentation is similar to student and teacher presentations being conducted by NAMI this week at SHS.

-We have begun the winter athletic season! Please check out our Athletics Page for additional information, including schedules.

Meet the Sentinels: Ep. 4: Coach Jackson and Nakayah Dagraca

-Congratulations to 7 of our SHS Music students for being accepted into an Rhode Island Music Educator’s All-state ensemble! The audition process is highly rigorous and selective. These students will participate in a festival concert with students from around the state in March. Congratulations!

  • Maia Bowker – Band
  • Max Votolato – Band
  • Zander Semerjian – Orchestra
  • Meghan Mitchell – Chorus
  • Abby Sayles – Chorus
  • Darianna Perez – Chorus
  • David Alexander – Chorus

-Check out our SHS Interactive Map, provided at the SHS Showcase, that has interactive links to highlights from all SHS Departments: SHS Interactive Map


-Congrats to Alex Collins, Ryan Lane, and Alec Devine on their Academic All-State Honors for Cross Country! Well-done!


-Our annual SHS Senior Fashion Show will be on Friday, December 8, from 7-10 PM! Tickets for the show are available at all lunches!

-Very thankful at our SHS Showcase to have guest chef Jonathan Poyourow, an Assistant Professor in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University, cook alongside our students as part of our Family Consumer Science program. He, along with JWU and SHS students, made pasta from scratch, with three different sauces alongside it. He was formerly a division dietician in the US Army,and can articulate how different sports require different nutritional needs, what — and when — athletes should eat for optimal performance, food’s healing factors and the proper balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Poyourow also hosts biweekly Cooking with Class segments on Providence NBC affiliate WJAR Channel 10. His areas of expertise include Athletic Performance Cuisine, Culinary Nutrition, and Military Fitness Nutrition.


Other Important Dates:

-Monday, December 4: NAMI Presentation Ending the Silence: See above; Parent Presentation Parents and Teachers as Allies from 5:30-6:45 in SHS Media Center

-Thursday, December 7: No School: Professional Development Day

-Friday, December 8: SHS Hour of Code

-Friday, December 8: SHS Fashion Show: 7-10 PM

-Tuesday, December 12: SHS Band and Choral Performance: 6-9 PM

-Wednesday, December 20: Alumni Day





-Dr. Almandrez, Dean of Students at Brown University, speaking to the SHS student body on the topics of diversity and inclusion

-Positive student affirmations from a session on Eating Disorders and Body Image

-Presentation on creating a safe, supportive, and respectful school for LGBTQ students

-Presentation from US AG Investigator and Retired State Trooper, David Neill, on the effects of substance abuse and substance abuse prevention

-Anti-Bullying presentations side-by-side with a “tinkering” as a positive stress management mechanism

-Self-Defense session with SRO John Ricciarelli, and his father, assistant director of the municipal police training academy, David Ricciarelli

-Using Art as a stress management mechanism

-Session on Diversity and Inclusion with Mrs. Santana and Mrs. Daniels

-Yoga Session with Mrs. Janani Sakthivel

-Respect Day Presentation by representatives from Mastery Martial Arts

-Pictures of multiple sessions from Respect Day, with our Respect Day coordinator, Mrs. Barry!



-Ernie Jean-Baptiste, Presenter from Sandy Hook Promise, teaching our students about kindness by Starting with Hello!



-Cindy Elder, Exec. Director of NAMI RI, speaking to our students about Mental Health Awareness:



-SHS Showcase Pics:


“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”




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