Tag Archives: GHS

Next stop nationals! Gloucester High School Cheerleading Team New England champions

courtesy photo from winning routine 2018 New England champs

Julie Smith, Director of Athletics, shares great news about the Gloucester High School Cheerleading team:

“Please take a moment to watch the amazing Gloucester High School Cheerleading team and their winning routine, out of a field of 18 teams, at the NEW ENGLAND championships yesterday at Southern New Hampshire State University. According to Coach Erica Mitchell, yesterday’s competition was the “Super Bowl of the New England competitive cheer world.”  The team captured back-to-back State Titles in the Fall and Winter seasons.  The New England Championships are a culmination of the two seasons and only occur at the conclusion of the Winter season.  This is the program’s first New England Championship since 2007.  The team departs for Florida where they will compete in the National Championship this weekend.”

Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing 2017 Harbor Lights 20171122_091510

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing Harbor Lights, GIF 1122091429

from a studio visit with Stephanie Benenson Nov 2017

You can join in Stephanie Benenson’s fascinating big vision, Harbor Voices, a public art and cultural piece that’s made from light, sound and community participation. Part of the project is a  large-scale and temporary LIVE light & sound installation which will happen on ten minute loops from 4-8pm on Friday December 8th, and Saturday December 9th, one of many featured events for the 2017 Middle Street Walk. Harbor Voices will be held inside the Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall , 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA.

Come experience a sweeping ocean of sound, stories and light, drawn by the voices and acts of generosity of neighbors and friends.

Benenson, a Rockport native and North Shore based fine artist, received a prestigious and competitive RISD grant to create Harbor Voices. Benenson collected over 100 stories in eight languages of recent and ancestral immigration to Cape Ann. For the past year she led (and continues to lead) practical and creative storytelling sessions and workshops at area schools like Veteran’s Memorial and Gloucester High School,  as well as community organizations and centers such as Sandy Bay Historical Society. Students talked with Benenson about “their ancestors* and families bringing cultural heritage to Cape Ann.” She said that kids mentioned “family members that started businesses here (like Jalapenos, Sclafanis, and other cultural destinations on Cape Ann)…and how meangingful that was to them…and people that they had deep respect and admiration for…” They discussed “family recipes, music, food and how immigration historically has made American art and culture come alive.”  Mayor Romeo Theken was the first story collected. Other Cape Ann storytellers outside of the schools and non profit partners include: Jean Testaverde (Portuguese fishing ancestry), Ingrid Swan (Swedith quarrying ancestry), Heather Lovett (descendent of Roger Babson), Sal Zerilli (Awesome Gloucester and Rockport), Jan Bell, Buddy Woods, Susannah Natti (Finnish and descendent of Folly Cove designer), Rich Francis (GHS teacher), and Celestino Basille (GHS teacher).

Depending upon age and preference, stories were written, recorded, or drawn. All were mixed into materials and audio that will choreograph connections directly into the light installation, and an enlarging community. At first, Benenson thought the light might guide any audio. Instead voices continue to guide the light.

Every story and act of generosity is linked to the installation and transformed into light.

Blurring the lines between public art and social sculpture, LIVE happening and virtual action, Harbor Voices emblematically presents stories, shared connections and actions. Participants of all ages are encouraged to interact with the project www.harborvoices.com and its installation– to bathe so to speak in a community of vibrancy and waves of interconnectedness and support.  Benenson adds that from 4-6PM during the two days of this installation iteration, “children will be offered a small flashlight to engage with this artwork, allowing them a tangible moment to consider their part in this interconnected network of community and local history by creating their own beam of light.” Also, before the installation opens to the public, one hundred Gloucester High School students –including some who have already added into the piece– will come to City Hall to experience Harbor Voices.

Benenson’s promotion for Harbor Voices launched in September. Leveraging attention for this remarkably ambitious project is an essential component as more involvement means more impact. Straight away it fostered community and brought opportunities. For example, Benenson spoke about the project and shared audio of the stories with Rose Baker seniors, Gloucester Rotary and the Cape Ann Museum’s Red Cottage Society. Someone from Beverly has already underwrittten  support for a class at Veteran’s Memorial Elementary School. She spoke about the project with Joey as part of GMG podcast #253

As a third generation Cape Ann artist, Benenson is especially excited to “create art and conversations around our cultural heritage and our contributions to the vibrant mix of people that live on Cape Ann.”

See more pictures and read more about the artist

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👏 #GloucesterMA: Dawn’s Studio dance students sparkled on the Walt Disney Stage @WaltDisneyWorld FLA

Gloucester Dawn Studio of Dance student dancers perform at Walt Disney World 2017 449

Photo caption: children from Gloucester MA performed with Dawn’s Studio of Dance at Walt Disney World November 7, 2017. Photos shared from participating families 

On November 7, 2017, 19 children from Gloucester performed with Dawn’s Studio of Dance at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World in Florida. The Gloucester dancers did a fantatstic job performing with Disney Performing Arts under the direction of Gloucester’s instructors, Dawn Koller and Tiffany Smith. The 2017 dancers were a multi-age group, includingseniors from Gloucester High School as well as students from O’Maley and some of the local elementary schools. Many friends and family from Gloucester watched the performance and were thrilled to see Gloucester “sparkle on the Disney stage.” Dawn’s has been bringing dancers for years and some of these kids have performed at Disney World many times before. About 4 years ago, they were chosen to lead the parade at Magic Kingdom over all the other dance studios that were there to be in the parade.

Congratulations to all the dancers! A couple of more photos:
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Boys soccer PLAYOFF GAME 7PM Nov 4th, Joe Kibango’s GHS Gillnetter Article: Diversity Breeds Success,

Excerpt from Diversity Breeds Success: New Perspectives For Boys Soccer Team

“The GHS boys soccer team is making a name for itself in the Northeastern South Conference, as Head Coach Armando Marnoto’s culturally diverse squad represents more than ten different countries.” – great opener by Joe Kibango

Columnist Joe Kibango knows what he’s writing about; he’s one of the team captains. Kibango, GHS soccer team player #3, was born in Tanzania. His wonderful article  includes profile interviews with some of the team players and Coach Marcos Trejo:

#5 Mohamad “Mo” Alsweidani
#10 Elijah Elliott
#13 Robert Mugabe (freshman!)
#17 Anthony Suazo
#8 Kevin De Oliveira
#30 Lasse Struppe
#23 Mario Santos

Read the complete article here: https://thegillnetter.com/5565/features/diversity-breeds-success-new-perspectives-for-boys-soccer-team/

Follow the 2017 MIAA Boys Soccer North Division 3 state bracket here

PLAYOFF GAME Come support the team this Saturday November 4th 7PM at Newell

Gillnetter Joe Kibango

Back to School Gloucester Public Schools update from Superintendent

The traditional end of summer ‘welcome back’ notice for parents from the Gloucester Public Schools Superintendent has great news for the whole community! I’ve noted funding sources, like Applied Materials, when they were listed, and will add in any that were missed!

Page 1

  • Back to School / Open House dates



back to school 1

Page 2

  • JOHN BARRY, KURT LICHTENWALD, DAVID SCHNEIDER – amazing teachers’ program receives #1 state and national engineering awards and recognition
  • BACH IS BACK  Gregg Bach has returned to GPS, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  • JODIE GRENNODIE new Principal at Beeman
  • GHS – FULL ROOF REPLACEMENT great details about the construction project and an earlier update from July 
  • DEADLINE INFO for BUS PASS applications and  FREE/REDUCED LUNCH applications

back to school 2


  • GHS ERIC LEIGH AND DAVID ENOS write and secure $109,154 biotechnology grant
  • GHS $499,000 WORTH NEW FAB LAB AND EQUIPMENT – Grant awarded for a brand new Fabrication Lab/Maker space and state of the art, industry level equipment for advanced manufacturing and pre-engineering program in  Career and Voc
  • O’MALEY ACADEMY aka after school offerings, directed by the amazing counselor Allison Cousins, have been extended and funded for a 4th year as the program deemed exemplary ($140,250 grant )

back to school 3

Page 4

  • O’MALEY new BioLab space thanks to Applied Materials and MA Life Sciences Foundation
  • O’MALEY band and chorus music room to be souped up acoustically thanks to $136,980 from Gloucester Education Foundation
  • ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS – BUILDING BLOCKS exciting new elementary science program
  • ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS new teacher collaboration opportunities

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LIVE at City Hall: GEF Gloucester Arts Festival

Listen to sweet voices from Veterans school chorus, “Imagine”.


Gloucester High School chorus


More theater, bands and chorus coming up!

Kurt Lichtenwald and GHS robotics presented at 1pm. GHS has 11  engineering courses — teaching to the top! Showing us Propane furnaces, LADAR, magnetic Newton’s cradle (no sound), a hovercraft that can carry 60 pounds… Design. Build. Modify. (More than one kid behind me said “I can’t wait to go to high school.”) Displayed art by O’Maley Middle school artists throughout City Hall, Cape Ann Museum and Sawyer Free.








Woodwork display is amazing!



Amazing Gloucester High School trip to Spain and Portugal

Over the April 2017 school vacation, Gloucester High School students and chaperones traveled to Spain and Portugal. Report from the trip:

Mr. Celestino Basile, World Language Coordinator at the High School, led the group through visits to Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Costa del Sol, & Granada, as well as many other fascinating spots in Spain before heading to Lisbon, Portugal. Basile has brought many groups of GHS students to Europe over the years. While in Seville, on Easter Sunday, some of the Spanish exchange students who had visited Gloucester in September 2016 (staying for 3 weeks with GHS students and their families, and attending GHS with their hosting student) were able to meet up with and visit the Gloucester group. What an amazing opportunity for these kids, thanks to Mr. Basile! Highlights included a flamenco evening, an evening cruise, visiting the beach at Costa del Sol, and re-connecting with the exchange students who had visited Gloucester.

In Gloucester,MA, one must experience Fisherman at the Wheel,  the iconic bronze memorial by Leonard Craske installed in 1925. While in Madrid one must visit Oso y El Madrono– the bear and strawberry tree– the 1967 monument to the symbol of Madrid by artist Antonio Navarro Santafé.  Bears are common symbols worldwide but a bear leaning on a strawberry tree and eating the fruit heralds solely Madrid. Before that sculpture commission, Santafé modeled Madrid’s Bear of Berlin as well as sculpture gifts for dignitaries based on Madrid’s memorable coat of arms. Madrid’s bear was modeled on a local one* captured in the Picos de Europa mountains and sent to the zoo in El Retiro. “The bear, more than Difficult, it is ungrateful, because it is animal in a heavy way, and the sculptor has to guess its anatomy through its imposing fur coat. Anyway, like everything done by God, and for Nature, it is beautiful.” 

“My bear, which is the Bear of Madrid, in the fabulous wheel of the Puerta del Sol!” Antonio Navarro Santafé

The Gloucester High School students were there! And the Prado, and…



Antonio Navarro Santafe, Parque de Berlin Oso de Berlin, Madrid




Spanish language teacher and chaperone, Heidi Wakeman, sent two photos and summarized the trip for Good Morning Gloucester:

“37 students, 6 chaperones, 2 countries and 1 Spanish tour guide = ONE AMAZING TRIP! The GHS trip to Spain and Portugal was an exciting, educational and exhausting excursion!  We landed on Wednesday, April 12 and started sightseeing right away (El Prado museum, to see Las Meninas, el Greco, among other masterpieces).  There were cathedrals, churches, plazas and palaces.  A highlight was the reunion with Spanish students that lived here in Gloucester last fall. Students spoke and listened to a lot of Spanish, then Portuguese as we finished in Lisbon.  As a middle school Spanish teacher at O’Maley, I was so grateful for the experience: my first time chaperoning an overseas trip, and my first time to Spain! The kids will never forget this trip, and neither will I!”- Heidi Wakeman

Sevilla, Spain from Heidi


Chaperones, Toledo Spain, from Heidi

GHS spain 2017


*Local inspiration:

Anna Hyatt Huntington modeled Joan of Arc at her Annisquam home Seven Acres in part from poses of her niece, Clara, and Frank, a ‘magnificent Percheron’  from the Gloucester fire department. The Gloucester cast is a monument to the WW1 heroes of Gloucester. Leonard Craske’s Gloucester Fisherman at the Wheel is a debated composite.


oral history transcript 1969 A Hyatt Mayor Adores his Aunt Anna Hyatt Huntington (read by Marie Demick)

Gloucester’s Katy Geraghty part of Broadway’s Tony Award nominated musical Groundhog Day!

How exciting to follow news about this stunning vocalist and actress. Not at all surprised to hear that Katy Geraghty is part of a Broadway musical!

from today’s Gloucester Daily Times:

Katy On Broadway
A Gloucester woman is making her Broadway debut in a show that has racked up a number of Tony Award nominations. Katy Geraghty, a 2012 graduate of Gloucester High School and the daughter of city residents Rick and Martha Geraghty*, plays the role of Debbie in the acclaimed musical “Groundhog Day,” which opened April 17 at the August-Wilson Theater on New York’s 52nd Street…Geraghty, also a 2016 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said she landed the role after being called to audition in March last year. She said she had caught the attention of “Groundhog Day” musical director David Holtzenberg, whose husband, Michael Heitzman, directed Geraghty in North Shore Music Theatre’s 2015 production of “Shrek, the Musical.” “Groundhog Day,” based on the 1993 film that featured Bill Murray, stars Andy Karl, best known for his role in “Legally Blonde,” and has been nominated for a Tony as best musical…

Read the article


Groundhog Day perform on TODAY show

Today show groundhog day


Katy on Instagram

*Martha Geraghty is a Cape Ann Reads finalist

Katy stepping up to help Cape Ann Big Band raise money for O’Maley Middle School band (from prior post –2min video snippets including classics Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and ‘S Wonderful with vocalist Katy Geraghty) I think we first saw Katy in Once Upon a Mattress


street art Gloucester: 21st Century Orphans by Danny Diamond graffiti writer and mural artist






There’s a monumental outdoor mural behind Prince Insurance at 3 Washington Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, that changes every year. It’s sited on private property.

Thanks to the Greeke family who own Prince Insurance and let him have at it, artist and writer Danny Diamond has expressed his ideas and showcased his can command on this same outside wall annually since 2011.


My favorite sight line is from Middle Street heading to the Captain Lester S. Wass American Legion Post 3 and the Joan of Arc sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington. It’s in a tight spot, and so is the kid with the green, green eyes staring back from the latest mural.

Diamond is using his talents to bring awareness to homelessness and the economy. Here’s an excerpt from his statement about 21st Century Orphans: “The windfall of green-backs that flies from my letters gives way to dingy news-print and beggars’ placards–this orphaned child’s currency. It’s rarely discussed, in our scenic little fishing town, that the homeless population has increased in Massachusetts by 40% since 2007, even as the national average was in decline. This in part due to the fact that the cost of living here in Mass is among the highest in the country; the cost of housing continues to increase now that the market has come back, and there is no relief in sight… Fifteen percent (over half a million) of our children here in the Bay state live in poverty; of the over seventeen-thousand homeless people here, thirty-eight percent are children.” – Danny Diamond, 2016

A Gloucester native, Diamond is busy with commercial art and commissions on both coasts.  I had a chance to ask him more about his art and writing after I did a post about the sea monster fence he painted. He brushed off the street artist description: “I consider myself a graffiti-writer and sometimes a mural-artist, but not a “street-artist” (semantic distinction).”  I asked him about Gloucester connections and if he went to the high school. Did any teachers influence him? He wrote back swiftly:

I studied art under Jackie Underwood, who was “Jackie Kapp” at the time, as well as theatre and set-design with Krista Cowan and Kim Trigilio. I went on to earn a cum laude BA in English Lit and Creative Writing at UMass Boston, class of ’06… I spent a lot of time at Artspace on Center St. as a kid, and so Gloucester’s sub-cultural grandmaster Shep Abbott had a big effect on me by bringing punk rock and mural art into downtown. I was mentored in the world of graffiti art by the late Jed Richardson of Manhattan who was a major figure in the NYC subway-train art movement of the 1980’s; he moved to Gloucester in 2001 or so and remained here until his passing in September of ’09… ” 

Diamond created a tribute chalk mural to his mentor at Minglewood Tavern. I worked in New York and saw first hand the 1980 era kings (and not so kings) of subway and club graffiti. I didn’t know Jed Richardson’s work and wondered if Diamond had an image to share for this post.


artist Jed Richardson c.2008 (photo from artist Danny Diamond)

I also thought about the owners who turned over their wall for Diamond’s art. I learned that the building is owned by Peter Greeke who founded Prince Insurance. Aha! A creative family that understood and allows Danny Diamond the use of a large wall to practice and express his art. The Prince Insurance company is on Washington Street between Middle and Main and directly across from the Legion. It is a second generation family business that has specialized  in personal insurance for more than 35 years. It’s now co-owned by sisters, Melissa Moseley and Wendy Prendergast. A third sister, fashion designer Jennifer Greeke, operates Harpy Fashion out of the back office. The Prince Insurance storefront stands out with such original picture window displays.These windows are an entire family affair. Melissa doesn’t remember a time before the windows. Their mother creates them; Jen has made clothing, sculpted papier-mâché  creatures and mermaids. “Of course because of the community we  live in, over time artistic customers and friends joined in…like Richard Harding and the built boat. They’re just a lot of fun.”   Prince Insurance has a beautiful new website.

I hoped Danny Diamond had a record of his devoted wall mural project, which he obliterates and repaints every year. He did. Photographs below are from Diamond or his website, www.skribblefish.com.  His Instagram is @pyse117.  I added one showing a work in progress he is  completing for a new restaurant opening in Salem in February and other local commissions.

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Caroline Enos writes about the Civil War Coat for The Gillnetter

Everyone in Gloucester should read the  The Gillnetter, the Gloucester High School newspaper. Let’s give the young journalists finding their voice some readers. It’s good.

What’s it like to write for a high school paper nowadays? This one has embraced the digital world so it’s earth-friendly. It’s a beauty with a very easy layout. I dove in for one story but stuck around. There are editorials such as this one about the high school bathrooms needing attention by Rachel Alexander with original art by Rachel Nearis; actionable information; unexpected topics; and lots of local news  likethis inspiring report by Hanna Zuidema or this one  “pizza lovers of Gloucester Have Spoken”  by Corynn Ulrich. Did you know The Gillnetter journalists were invited to the Boston Globe?

Gloucester The Gillnetter homepage MA

What brought my attention to The Gillnetter was anticipation for a story about the Civil War coat from students at the high school. Caroline Enos interviewed George and Charles before April school vacation. We hoped she’d come to Awesome Gloucester pitch night to support them and hang out. That she did. Thanks to her open notebook and scoop we have a record of a lovely testimonial delivered by Russell Hobbs. You can read Caroline Enos’ article here.



Devils Island 2: Rogue Written and Directed by GHS Social Studies Teacher Shaun Goulart

Devils Island 2: Rogue is the follow up to the 2012 film Devils Island. Again written and directed by GHS Social Studies teacher Shaun Goulart, the sequel picks up where the first one left off. DI2 has many recurring roles mostly played by Gloucester natives as well as some new local faces.

When Jeffrey Taylor (Nick Decoulos) has discovered his wife has gone missing, he goes to the extremes to find her, even meeting up with an old nemesis in Trent Goodrich (Shaun Goulart). Taylor is accompanied in his efforts by his best friend Scott (Bobby Hopkins), Detective Ellis (Frank Militello), Sheriff Jackson (Frank Develis) and a disgruntled police officer (Bo Cleary).

Due out in 2015.

Bob Tibert and the Rockport Police Dept, Chief Leonard Campanello and the Gloucester Police Dept, Lisa Smith and Cape Ann TV, Paul St. Germain and the Thacher Island Association and all the rest of the locations for donating their time and space. And a very special thank you as well to the cast and crew for volunteering their time and making the project a success, it couldn’t have been possible without their efforts.

GHS 1964 50th reunion–August 16, 2014

1964 FlickerReminder; the class of Gloucester and St Ann’s High School  are celebrating their 50th class reunion on Saturday August 16th 2014.

For more information Contact Louise Pallazola at 978-281-1048 or 978-375-8066.

The Caption on the photo says it all.





1964 a


Students from the Gloucester High School Dramatic Program, under the direction of Nick Neyeloff, will present a staged reading of scenes from My Beautiful Failure, a teen novel about a suicide hotline, on Friday evening, January 17, at 7 p.m. at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester. Admission is $5 per person, with all proceeds to go to the school’s drama program.

My Beautiful Failure is the work of Gloucester author Janet Ruth Young. Set in a locale similar to Cape Ann, it tells the story of Billy Morrison, a teen boy who volunteers at the hotline hoping to save a life, then finds that he’s falling in love with one of the callers. Says Young, “I can’t wait to see how the actors translate this story from the page to the stage. For one thing, they will not be able to look at one another, since their characters are connected only by phone. Also, the hotline does not use caller ID or any other form of tracking, so each time Billy answers the phone he has no idea what kind of situation he’s getting into.”

Zachary Schultz

The cast includes Christina Giambanco, Mikayla Healey, Diana DiLiberti, Celia Sanfilippo, Zachary Schultz (in photo), and Sabrina Siragusa. A book signing and discussion will follow the reading. For more program information, call (978) 283-6530; for directions and parking, see www.rockyneckartcolony.org.

GHS In Spain

Cathy Lawson Submits-clip_image008

On April 10, 2013 forty-five Gloucester High students left for a ten-day visit to Spain. The trip began in the city of Madrid. They visited Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, the Retiro Park and the Royal Palace, which has more than 2,800 rooms.

The following day students traveled to the picturesque city of Toledo, the old capital of the country, which lies an hour outside of Madrid. In Toledo students walked through winding streets, visited the beautiful Medieval Cathedral, and visited the church of San Tome where they were able to see one of the most famous paintings by Velázquez, El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz. In the afternoon students visited the city of Segovia with its famous 2000 year old Roman aqueduct and the beautiful Alcazar castle.

From Madrid, students travelled toward the north of Spain. The first city they visited was Burgos. This city has an impressive Gothic cathedral made famous by the legendary hero, El Cid. The following day, students continued on to Bilbao where they visited the famous Guggenheim museum. The building itself is a masterpiece, designed by Frank Gerah.

The following day, using money from the fundraiser, students visited Biarritz, the playground of the rich and famous in France. In the morning, they had the chance to put their feet in the Atlantic Ocean, speak a bit of French and, of course, sample fresh croissants. Students spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the beach, swimming, or sunbathing.

The tour continued to the city of Zaragoza en route to Barcelona. Students visited the beautiful Basilica of our lady of El Pilar. Zaragoza is a Roman city where Emperor Caesar Augustus had established a Roman settlement.

The final destination was Barcelona. In this beautiful city, students visited the Basilica of La Sagrada Familia designed by the architect Antonio Gaudi. They also had an opportunity to walk through the Güell, Montjuïc Hill Park and one of Gaudi’s houses. On the last day, students visited Montserrat, famous for its monastery, caves and its amazing mountain with its weirdly shaped crags of rock. The town lies just 40km northwest of Barcelona and is a summer escape for many. The highlight of this visit was hearing the children’s choir sing the Salve Regina and one of the local songs.

Throughout their trip, students were able to experience authentic meals such as paella, tapas, local fish, different hams and other gastronomic delights. On one occasion, students had the opportunity to see — and participate in — an evening of Flamenco dance.





GMG GHS Correspondent Marlee Melvin Submits-

DECA students from GHS are selling their scarfs for a great deal of only eight dollars to support their DECA competition this coming January. These DECA students are selling them to other students at lunch last Friday. 

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