Familiar Face Returning to Watertown to Lead Effort to Create Universal PreK Program

Theresa McGuinness has been appointed as Principal of Watertown’s Early Steps School. (Contributed Photo)

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Public Schools:

Watertown Public Schools is pleased to announce that Dr. Theresa McGuinness will become the principal of the Early Steps School, starting this summer. Dr. McGuinness returns to the district as the City of Watertown and Watertown Public Schools open a free Pre-K program for 4-year-olds in the fall of 2024. Watertown will become one of the only municipalities in Massachusetts to offer no-cost Pre-K education when the program launches. “I’m very excited at this opportunity to return to WPS as Principal of Early Steps and to work closely with the fine educators and support staff there – particularly given the plan to provide free universal PreKindergarten beginning in the fall of 2024,” said Dr. McGuinness.

German International School Expanding into Watertown

The following information was provided by the German International School Boston:

German International School Boston (GISB) is excited to announce the signing of long-term leases for two campuses, signaling a momentous leap forward in the school’s expansion and development trajectory. The first campus is the current 57 Holton Street location in Allston, a cornerstone of GISB’s educational history. The second location is situated at 46 Belmont Street in Watertown and represents an exciting new chapter for the educational institution. These lease agreements signify a crucial milestone for GISB, providing the much-needed space to accommodate its growing student body and enhance its educational offerings. The Belmont Street campus will serve as the future hub for GISB’s preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school programs. This strategic move consolidates younger students into a single campus.

Watertown Schools Received $20K in Grants from Community Foundation & Local Biotechs

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Community Foundation:

The Watertown Community Foundation (WCF) in collaboration with three Watertown-based life science companies, C4 Therapeutics, Enanta Pharmaceuticals, and Kymera Therapeutics has awarded $20,000 in STEM grants for students in Watertown Public Schools (WPS). This additional funding for STEM initiatives will bring WCF Education grant funding to WPS to an annual high of $55,000 for 2023-2024. Three corporate contributors, C4 Therapeutics, Enanta Pharmaceuticals, and Kymera Therapeutics have contributed $15,000 to the WCF STEM FUND to help bring elementary and high-school students the opportunity to participate in hands-on, science-based learning that expands beyond the classroom experience and the general curriculum. This collective giving program also allows companies, leaders and employees in Watertown’s life-science ecosystem to learn about WPS and forge deeper relationships with the school STEM community. The WCF has committed an additional $5,000 to support this program.

Chamber Scholarship Deadline is Approaching!

The Charles River Regional Chamber announced it is offering scholarship opportunities for up to four deserving students who either live in Needham, Newton, Watertown, or Wellesley and/or who attend school in Needham, Newton, Watertown, or Wellesley and who plan to attend an accredited program, community college, college or university in the next academic year. The student(s) selected will have a check (approximately $2,000) sent to their college or university to apply toward tuition upon completing their first semester. New this year, the chamber is expanding eligibility for a scholarship to include high school graduates attending community colleges and other accredited post-secondary programs.

Selection will be made by a panel of local leaders who will review all applications completed by the submission deadline of March 29, 2024, at 5 p.m. Decisions will be made based on a combination of the application’s completeness and accuracy, letter of recommendation, and responses to essay questions. For more information and to apply – https://www.charlesriverchamber.com/scholarship

Watertown Rotary Club Offering Scholarships, See How to Apply

The following information was provided by the Rotary Club of Watertown:

All residents of Watertown who are high school seniors and applying to college are eligible for Watertown Rotary Scholarships. The amount of each award and the number of scholarships granted are determined on a yearly basis. 

All eligible residents must submit completed applications, postmarked no later than April 12, 2024 to:


The form must be completed in full and accompanied by a transcript and letter of recommendation to be considered a valid application. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee. All information supplied on this form will be kept strictly confidential. Only one application need be submitted to be eligible for consideration for all scholarships available through the Rotary Club of Watertown.

Students from The Guild School Volunteer at the Watertown Food Pantry

Students from The Guild School sort items and put the on the shelves at the Watertown Food Pantry. (Courtesy of The Guild School)

The following piece was provided by The Guild School:

Each week, a group of Guild School students and vocational services staff volunteer at the Watertown Food Pantry. Volunteers sort items into bins, bag vegetables, stock the shelves with food items, and check expiration dates. Students work on travel training skills to get to and from the pantry. The Guild for Human Services serves more than 160 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities annually through educational, residential, and clinical programming.

Perkins School for the Blind Teams with MIT to Host Hackathon: The Super Bowl of Accessibility

A team working on ideas to adapt technology for those with disabilities at #HackDisability: AI for Accessibility Hackathon hosted by MIT and Perkins School for the Blind. (Courtesy of Perkins School for the Blind)

CAMBRIDGE — On any given Friday night at MIT there’s bound to be a few stragglers hanging around the Strata Center, the architecturally world-famous building in Cambridge that houses the MIT Computer and Artificial Intelligence Lab. On Friday Feb. 23, there were more than a few folks about, and not just from MIT: people from Perkins School for the Blind, Amazon, the Museum of Science, Cisco, and even a representative from the White House gathered for Perkins’ “#HackDisability: AI for Accessibility Hackathon,” the Watertown-based school’s second-ever hackathon and the first focused specially on harnessing artificial intelligence for a group that is often left behind by technology. The task was seemingly simple.

Watertown Students Earn Honors at BC High, Thayer


Students from Watertown made the honor roll at a pair of private schools: BC High and Thayer Academy. The following information was provided by the schools:

Boston College High School

The following students have been named to the Second Quarter Honor Roll at Boston College High School:

Ambrogio Bellotti, High Honors (Class of 2024)

Isaac Campolon, High Honors (Class of 2024)

William MacKerron, High Honors (Class of 2025)

Emiliano Pedroza, High Honors (Class of 2025)

Owen Driscoll, High Honors (Class of 2026)

Thomas Moloney, High Honors (Class of 2027)

Robert DiStefano, Honors (Class of 2027)

For High Honors a Sophomore and Junior must have at least a 3.80 quality point average and all grades “C+” or higher. Freshmen need a 3.6 quality point average and all grades “C+” or higher. For Honors a Sophomore and Junior must have at least a 3.20 quality point average and all grades “C-” or higher. Freshmen need a 3.165 quality point average and all grades “C-” or higher.