Dozens of Watertown Students Collected College Honors in the Fall

See some of the Watertown students to earn honors at their college or university during the fall semester of 2023. UMass Amherst

Below is a list of local students from Watertown who were named to the dean’s list at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for the fall 2023 semester. In order to qualify, an undergraduate student must receive a 3.5 grade-point average or better on a four-point scale.Philip Richard CentolaAidan Paul ConneelyCarina Bella DeLorioRiley Francis DonlanTrisanne Phillipa DunstanLevon GukasyanRita Queenie HackettBenjamin Harrison HeepJackson Wallace HelieGevork George KarapetyanIlana KrebsMaeve Ella LawnDuncan Alexander LeperaAni Nanor ManjikianRobert MartirosyanSaron NebiyeSelina NebiyeJohn Payton-Michael RileyJen RimalSydney Willow RosenthalHenry Peter SarrisSabreena ShahMason Thomas SmithBenjamin Roubik SurenianIsabella Delmaschio TancredoDaniel Kevin TattrieHrachya Tigran TonyanMichael J VarnumGregory Steven VenizelosAnna Rose ZarkadasChristina Noora Zouein

University of Albany

The University at Albany has recognized Kainaat Yousuf of Watertown for selection to the Fall 2023 Dean’s List. The Dean’s List at the University at Albany recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of full-time undergraduate students. To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 or higher in their first semester of study and a GPA of 3.50 or higher in subsequent semesters.

UPDATED: Demolition of Watertown High School Complete, Crane Going Up to Construct Steel Frame

The old Watertown High School has been demolished. A crane that will erect the steel frame of the new high school has arrived. (Courtesy of Vertex)

The old Watertown High School is officially history. The project management firm, Vertex, provided the following update on the progress of the new high school project. With the demolition of the existing HS building completed, attention on site has turned to the continuation of foundations and start of steel erection.

Preliminary School Budget Has Small Surplus, Includes A Few New Positions

The Watertown Public Schools budget forecast for Fiscal Year 2025 would provide the district with a small surplus. The budget for the current school year is $57.58 million, and when adding the 3.5 percent increase budgeted by City Manager George Proakis (about $2 million) the budget for the 2024-25 school year will be $59.6 million, Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee last week. That would provide a surplus of $75,138. Most of the budget, about 85 percent, falls under personnel, said Lisa Gibbons, the district’s Director of Finance and Operations. Galdston said the figures are for a “level services budget.”

School Committee Member Rachel Kay Hosting Office Hours

School Committee member Rachel Kay

Watertown School Committee member Rachel Kay will host virtual office hours this week. Kay sent out the following announcement:

I will be available on zoom on Thursday February 15 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Click here at 7 p.m. on the 15th to log in. Please come with your questions and concerns, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Information About Watertown’s Free PreK and Preschool Programs

On Monday, the School Committee approved Superintendent Dede Galdston’s plan to provide free universal prekindergarten in the Watertown Public Schools beginning in the fall of 2024. Galdston provided more information about the program in an announcement sent out this week, see it below. Watertown Public Schools is pleased to announce that PreKindergarten and Preschool classes will be tuition-free for children who turn 4 by August 31, 2024. Applications for the 2024-2025 school year have already begun, and we are excited to be able to offer up to 40 additional spaces for Watertown children in our prekindergarten and preschool classrooms.

Here is more information about our Early Steps PreKindergarten program and process:

PreKindergarten is for students who turn four by August 31. The classroom has 18 students in it with 1 certified teacher and 1 instructional assistant. The curriculum is age-appropriate with an emphasis on socialization, early numeracy, and early literacy skills.

Charles River Chamber Scholarships Available, Expanded Beyond College

The following announcement was provided by the Charles River Regional Chamber:

The Charles River Regional Chamber 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 be applied toward tuition upon successfully completing their first semester. New this year, the chamber is expanding eligibility for a scholarship to include high school graduates who will be attending community colleges and other accredited post-secondary programs.

“We used to limit participation in our scholarship program to students attending a four-year college,” explained Charles River Chamber President and CEO Greg Reibman. “However, we’re expanding eligibility because we’ve come to recognize that there’s more than one path students can take to a fulfilling career, just as different jobs require different skills, knowledge, or credentials.” 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.

Watertown Schools to Offer Free PreK Starting in Fall 2024

(Courtesy of Watertown Public Schools)

Starting next fall, Watertown will offer free pre-kindergarten classes for 90 4-year-olds in town as part of a new universal PreK program. Since she arrived in Watertown, Superintendent Dede Galdston has been talking about offering universal PreKindergarten. She hoped that the district would get financial help from the federal or state government, but that has not materialized. “Sooner or later, if we feel this is something that is true to our core values, we might want to consider doing it ourselves,” Galdston told the School Committee on Monday. “So, I think we are at the moment and time where I think we do so.”

Applications Available for 56th Annual Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship

Lt. Paul Sullivan was killed in Vietnam in 1968, and a scholarship in his name has been given out for 56 years. For the 56th year, a scholarship will be awarded in memory of Paul J. Sullivan, a Watertown-native who died serving in the Vietnam. The following information was provided by the Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship Committee:


One could not have asked for a finer friend than Paul Sullivan. He was a model of rectitude in his personal relationships. In all his dealings he was straightforward, candid, and direct.