Watertown Student Wins Several Awards for Her Poetry in National Competition

Watertown High School sophomore Montserrat Llacuna won five Silver Keys from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. (Courtesy Photo)

A Watertown High School student’s poetry earned her several awards in a national scholastic writing and arts competition. WHS sophomore Montserrat Llacuna won five Silver Keys and two honorable mentions in the 2024 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Llacuna, who is also an Advisory Council Member of the statewide student leadership program Project 351 submitted several of her social justice poems.

She was encouraged to submit her writing to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and got help editing her work from ELA teacher William MacLaughlin and Casey Andrews, the head of the English Department. Llacuna was not the only Watertown student to earn recognition.

A Couple of Late Evenings of Construction at Watertown High School

The following announcement was provided by project management firm Vertex:

Progress continues at the site of the new Watertown High School Project with work ongoing both inside the new building structure and around the site. In the coming days please be aware that the site may require work to extend beyond 7 p.m. due to ongoing concrete slab placements. The construction team has several slab placements on the schedule for this week and potentially long shifts on the following dates:

Wednesday April 10th

Friday April 12th

These slab placements are beginning at 7 a.m. on each of the above dates. The duration required for the slabs to be finished is dependent on the outside air temperature and weather conditions on the day of placement. Therefore, it is likely that the effort to finish the slabs once placed will continue into the evening on each of the above listed dates and have the potential to extend past 7 p.m. into the evening.

Two Years of Foreign Language Added to WHS Graduation Requirements

The School Committee approved the addition of taking a world language to the graduation requirements for Watertown High School students. The world language requirement was added to the Watertown High School Program of Studies. Beginning with Class of 2028 (current eigth graders), students will have to pass two years of the same world language (also known as foreign language). WHS Principal Joel Giacobozzi said that the change brings Watertown in line with MassCore, the state’s recommended program of study intended to align high school coursework with college and workforce expectations. “There are reasons for this, the least of which is Massachusetts has set the floor for graduation.

Work Moving Ahead on New High School, Likely to Extend Into the Evening Some Days

The steel frame of the gymnasium at the new Watertown School before the slab is placed on the area in early April. (Courtesy of Vertex)

The following announcement was provided by Watertown’s project management firm, Vertex:

The new WHS Project Site remains busy as the site preparation and steel detailing continues. Above is a current view of the steel erection progress (view of the new gymnasium space) ahead of our upcoming slab on deck placement in this area next week. We have several slab placements on the schedule for next week proposed for the following dates:

Monday April 1st : Gymnasium

Wednesday April 3rd

Thursday April 4th

These slab placements are beginning at 7 a.m. on each of the above dates. The duration required for the slabs to be finished is dependent on the outside air temperate and weather conditions on the day of placement.

LETTER: What’s Happening With Watertown High School’s Trophies?

To: School Administration, Town Officials, Historical Society of Watertown and to the editor of the WatertownMaNews, 

Recently during the deconstruction of the Watertown high school, I was made aware of a recent discovery or a better description, recovery of a WHS sports trophy. It was pulled out of a pile of debris being loaded onto a construction vehicle. My first thought was, who cares, is it a big deal, does it really matter??? It’s only one trophy but is it “only one” trophy or were the rest of the trophies dishonorably trucked out too? And when you think about it, it does matter, it matters to the winning Coaches, it matters to the outstanding Athletes that earned those trophies and the Watertown community.

Watertown High School Musical, “Working,” Takes the Mosesian Center Stage This Weekend

For two nights and one afternoon, Watertown High School students will bring Working: A Musical to the stage at the Mosesian Center for the Arts. “This year’s spring musical will take place on March 1st and March 2nd at 7 p.m. and March 3rd at 2 p.m. All shows will take place at the Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts at 321 Arsenal Street,” the announcement from the school said. General admission is $10 and Watertown Students are free. 

Working is based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, and paints a vivid portrait of the workers that the world so often takes for granted. The original production was nominated for six Tony Awards, and features songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, James Taylor, Micki Grant, and more.

School Committee to Look at Ways to Make Overnight Field Trips Affordable for All Students

Watertown Public School music students perform at Bandarama. Those in high school take a trip to New York every two years. The School Committee approved a field trip for Watertown High School music students to spend a weekend in New York, but had concerns about the price and making sure that all students can participate. The trip to the Big Apple has become a biannual tradition for the chorus, band, and orchestra. The trip includes a performance and workshop with professional musicians, a Broadway show, a dinner/dance cruise around the Statue of Liberty, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and walking around Central Park.

Following False Alarms Watertown Schools to Hold Emergency Drills, Also Seek to Improve Communication System

After a series of false alarms in the security systems at Watertown’s new schools, the district plans to hold drills for the students, and will look for ways to avoid more incidents in the future. The Watertown Public Schools opened two brand new elementary schools, a third underwent a major renovation and expansion, and students at the high school have a new, temporary home. The new buildings also have new technology, including a multi-hazard notification system, said Superintendent Dede Galdston. All four new schools have had false alarms, she said, some due to wiring and other when the panic button was pressed by mistake. “We want to make sure people understand that these happen and that we will do to prevent that from happening again,” Galdston said.