Superintendent's Update - May 19, 2023

Superintendent’s Update – May 19, 2023

May 19, 2023

Dear Shrewsbury Families, Colleagues, & Community Members,

Events of this past week have reminded me in multiple ways of why I am so proud to be a part of this school district and community.  I had the opportunity to attend all three art shows presented this week at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and the quality of our students' artwork was incredible -- congrats to all of the students whose pieces were displayed, and to their skillful teachers.  I also had the great pleasure of stopping by the Coolidge School's Celebration of Us event that was part of their Cultural Connections Week, which was a wonderful event where students, families, and staff had a marvelous time sharing aspects of their cultural heritage, including traditional dress, dance, food, art, photographs, and cultural artifacts.  It was truly joyful event that highlighted the rich mix of international cultures we have in our community.  From there, I went to SHS where I attended the annual Awards Night, where scores of SHS students were honored with recognition for excellence and the awarding of many scholarships (click HERE to see the event program with a list of recipients, and click HERE for a description of local scholarships that are provided through the great generosity of many local benefactors).  Finally, I am very grateful that early in the week the elected members of Town Meeting strongly supported next year's School Department budget that was presented by the School Committee, so that we have the resources to continue to provide the academic programs and co-curricular experiences that enable our students to thrive!

We have had several other recent student successes that I would like to share, including:

• The SHS E-Sports teams continued to demonstrate excellence, with the Rocket League team finishing in 2nd place in the spring state tournament and the League of Legends team winning the state championship!  Congratulations to Rocket League players Vincent Lam '25, Alex Anderson '23, and Robin Oxley-Luyster '23 (Captain) and to League of Legends players Callan Fitch '26, Isaac Wolfus '25, Kenneth Nguyen '23, Steven Hu '23 (Captain), and John Qiu '23 (Captain).

• The SHS Speech & Debate team kept up their tradition of success, finishing 2nd in the state tournament, while three students won individual state championships: Vasu Lakshmanan '25, Top Individual Speaker in Debate; Siri Ural '24, Impromptu Speaking; and Trisha Madamsetty '26, Novice Oral Interpretation of Literature.  State tournament 2nd place finishers included Nicole Orlik '23 (Poetry Reading); Vishnu Angiras '24 (Extemporaneous Speaking); and Adele Fuzaylov '25 (Declamation), while 3rd place finishers included Varun Nannuri '23 (Extemporaneous Speaking); and Kubra Mohammadi '24 (Original Oratory).

• The inaugural year of the DECA Business Club resulted in very strong performances, including by Nayan Kaul '24, who earned a Top 20 International competition finish after finishing 2nd overall in the state and 1st in the state in the written exam for personal finance.

• Multiple SHS students earned awards at the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair, with Isha Nagireddy '25 earning a 1st place award; Kruthi Gundu '25, Amal Nadaf '25, and Lagnajeet Panigrahi '25 receiving 2nd place honors; Aniketh Mahesh '25 recognized with a 3rd place; and Barry Wang '25 receiving an honorable mention.

While all of the accomplishments highlighted above are superb, I am even more proud that the SHS Class of 2023 was recently awarded the United Way of Central Massachusetts's Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for their outstanding dedication to community service.  Our students have made significant contributions to give of themselves to benefit others in need, and that is something of which we all can be incredibly proud, as it speaks to the values and character of our community's young people.  

While I wear sneakers this weekend, many of our SHS students will be dressed to the nines as they participate in the Junior Prom (hopefully they can avoid the pouring rain), with lots more activities to come as we head into the final phase of the school year, and our schools are ready for it.

Thank you for your continued support of our schools!


Joe Sawyer
Superintendent of Schools

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