The Sentinel Legacy 12/11/17

The Sentinel Legacy: 12/11/2017

“It Never Made Sense to Me”

A crucial component of being an educator is developing a strong sense of empathy and sympathy for students, while focusing on the key factors that will develop this student into a successful person. The recognition of students’ perspectives is an important piece in order to lead to this success. Whether it be academic, personal, or emotional, we are called to meet students where they are in order to lead them to where we want them to be. Every so often, I reflect back on the days when I walked the hallways of my high school. I find it amazing how seeing a situation or hearing a song can trigger vivid memories from yesteryears. I remember the anxiety of adolescent life, whereby your social persona was the ultimate factor in navigating the mire of high school. I remember the teenage angst which called for rebellion against whatever (current psychology research the healthy and necessary function of this in establishing one’s own identity: Rebellion Article). I remember the impassioned calls of emotion from life’s struggles and triumphs, and certain songs that encapsulated teenage musings (Smashing Pumpkins wrote most of my personal teenage anthems). I remember that simply being a teen was glorious and tragic and boring and exciting and lonely and connected and disillusioning…all at the same time.

Above all, I remember the feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin at times from the pressure of academic expectations, and the boredom of sitting for upwards of six hours a day. I understand that this is not everyone’s recollection or experience, but if asked how many of us would do high school all over again, there would be a sizable proportion with hands by their sides. It never made sense to me that we would take these people with a massive range of excitable emotions, and have them sit and listen for upwards of six hours per day. What I’m thankful for is that educational practices (widespread throughout the country) are truly beginning to change where this is not the case. At Smithfield High School, we strive to focus on interactive and engaging programs to teach students through experiences. We work to harness the energy and enthusiasm of our students, and utilize their passion to create a meaningful impact on our community. My hope is that as, twenty years down the line, as our current students are reflecting on their high school experiences, they are able to reminisce fondly of a time that engagingly pushed them to become the successful leaders of tomorrow.

A few items to note:

Academic Updates:

-11th graders will have access to their PSAT score report on Wednesday, December 13th. Score reports are available by logging into his or her college board account. All students will participate in counselor-led informational sessions on how to interpret their score report, and ways to improve their academic skills for future testing. For a more detailed perspective on the score report, please go to

Additionally, 9th, 10th, and 11th graders will be participating in PSAT and SAT testing in the spring (April 10). College Board, in conjunction with Khan Academy, offers instructional, educational videos that are tied to students’ score reports. Please refer to the college board website for additional details.

-In addition to the resources at, a MIT program named Scratch provides some phenomenal interactive programs to learn coding. If interested, please check out:

-ASCD article about the need for Mental Health training for educators (correlates with our work with NAMI during Respect Week): “Who in Your Class Needs Help?”

Administrative Updates:

-The Smithfield High School Music Department proudly invites you to their winter concert on Tuesday, December 12, at 7 PM, in the Smithfield High School Auditorium. Donations are welcome, but not required. Delicious Holiday Cookie Trays will be for sale to benefit the Music Department. Hope to see you there!

-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)

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

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

-A special thank you to the Senior class, and to the Senior class advisors: Mr. Snow, Mr. Thibodeau, and Mr. Russillo, for an outstanding SHS Fashion Show! Rave reviews from all! The amount of work and time put into this event is incredible, and it is truly appreciated! Fashion Show Valley Breeze Article

Other Important Dates:

-Tuesday, December 12: SHS Band and Choral Performance: 7-9 PM

-Wednesday, December 20: Alumni Day

-Winter Theme Days:

Monday, 12/18: Red and Green Day

Tuesday, 12/19: “Swinter” (Summer/Winter) Day

Wednesday, 12/20: Polar Express (Flannel) Day

Thursday, 12/21: Holiday Character Costume Day (and the return of Elf on the Shelf…looking for other elves for this year)

Friday, 12/22: Ugly Holiday Sweater Day; Assembly 9:25-10:52; We will have social advisory the entire last period of the day; Schedule forthcoming


-SHS students and staff participating in the Smithfield Holiday Parade:

-Spanish 3 students participating in a virtual museum project:




“Youth has no age.”




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