The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 14, 2003

College student

describes how CCHS education stands up

To the Editor:

The discussion concerning the CCHS budget crisis has been brought to my attention, and I want to speak out on the value of my education there. As a freshman at Stanford University, I see first-hand the education that other students have received, and the teaching at Concord-Carlisle ranks with the best. I meet people who have taken some of the "same" classes in high school, but they understand the topics in less depth and with less breadth than I do. Any school can offer a class and find a teacher to teach it, but a better school finds excellent teachers so that students not only learn the basics of a topic, but also grasp the more complex elements. CCHS is such a school.

Our high school prides itself on not "teaching to the test," but lets teachers cover topics they deem worthwhile and advantageous to their students' education. As a product of such a policy, I can firmly say that therein lies my greatest advantage in college. Where other students find themselves rooted in examples from textbooks, I expect teachers to throw in something that isn't covered in the text. Having grown up with handouts and alternate sources thrown at me, my papers have more depth and support than many of my classmates. It is the teachers I have had over the years who are responsible for the ease with which I handle stressful coursework and heavy workloads. I hold them fully responsible for the quality of their work just as they held me to mine. Too often overlooked are the long hours spent after school helping students succeed. I can remember times when teachers met with me in the evening because sports filled my afternoons. Other teachers took us on weekend trips to films or shows to give a different perspective on a topic. The effort these teachers gave is matched by the effort they draw out of those they teach. I remember their efforts every time I sit to write a paper, or dare to raise a hand in a class discussion,and I treasure them.

Justin Hendrickson
Russell Street


To the Editor:

I read about the approval of the "first 40B development" and thought: this is a significant milestone in Carlisle's history. It says that we welcome half-acre zoning in contrast to the two-acre zoning that has kept our population density among the lowest of towns within 495. I recall a planning study done ten years ago where the theoretical maximum population of Carlisle was estimated to be 7500 people if all the remaining developable properties were sold as two-acre lots. With our inviting developers to build eight units on four acres, the new theoretical maximum population of Carlisle would be around 18,000.

This would be too large to continue having a Town Meeting form of government. A welcomed change for some, and another milestone for Carlisle. With 18,000 residents, and a fourfold increase in density, would yet another milestone be a requirement for city water and sewers? With the increased traffic, would we see traffic lights? We'd certainly be able to support a McDonald's where Daisy's now sits (tastefully done like the one on Hilton Head Island, of course), and the three new schools, expansion of the DPW and police force, and larger, paid, vs. volunteer Fire Department would certainly justify the investment in affordable housing.

All this is being said with a bit of tongue-in-cheek. We'll certainly never see 18,000 people living in Carlisle.will we? This (40B) kind of change, prone to unintended consequences, makes me feel uneasy, and a little nostalgic. Every generation faces these kinds of changes. I wonder what some of them have been in the past in Carlisle. Perhaps, one was building the new church on the Green in 1811, replacing the original Meetinghouse that had burned down. Perhaps it was the first motorcar in town. Perhaps, the first Deck House that signaled the influx of a new breed of residents. Certainly the new elementary school was a milestone. All of these changes have signaled "progress." No stopping "progress." I just sincerely hope we don't "progressively" evolve into becoming just another Boston suburb, indistinguishable from all the rest.

Kerry Kissinger
Elizabeth Ridge Road

CCPOPS thanks fundraiser volunteers

To the Editor:

The CCHS cafeteria became a tropical paradise on November 8 when CCPOPS (Concord Carlisle Patrons of Performing Students) presented our annual fundraiser "A Time to Shine." A delicious meal was offered as well as delightful entertainment provided by members of the community including CCHS teachers Chuck Brown, Andrei Sobchenko, Andy Sapp and Ben Kendall. The friendly competition of a silent auction added to the fun of the evening, with items donated by over 100 individuals and local merchants. We so appreciated their generosity. We also thank the businesses who served as ticket outlets: Daisy's, The Cheese Shop, The Toy Shop, Video Revolution and West Concord 5 & 10.

The success of an event of this magnitude depends on dedicated and skilled leadership. We congratulate and thank co-chairs Carol Jamison and Margie Zuk for organizing and directing all aspects of the evening, and they are grateful for the expertise of the committee chairs: Cal Armistead, Linda Chateauneuf, Margaret Coughlin, Patty Hecht, Kathy Kennedy, Yvonne Larson, Scott Lawrence, Wendy Lawson, Jane Turner Michael, Shelley Peterson and Priscilla Sturges.

Nearly 80 CCHS students were involved, an indication of their appreciation for the support they receive from CCPOPS. Over 50 CCHS students served as waitstaff, and other students who accepted significant responsibility for aspects of the evening were seniors Nikki Armistead, Brian Gaines, Rebecca Lawrence, Alex Moore, McCurdy Miller, and Caroline Perry; juniors Graham Jenkins, Michael Johnson, and Olivia Vienneau; and sophomore Alice Lovick.

We want to recognize the following for their extraordinary contributions: Sandy Barber, Kathy Boucher, John Brewer, Isaac Brody, Patty Brown, Dennis Chateauneuf, Brenda and Eugene Delsener, Molly Molloy Ehrlich, Bob Frazier, Monica Jubinksy, Erica Karban, Marga Marchetti, Lucy and Tom Miller, Mark Murphy, Nancy Peck, Marcia Schloss, Howard Sturges, Anita Tekle, and Bruce and Donna Vienneau. The programs and support that CCPOPs offers students will continue to flourish thanks to everyone who offered their time and energy.

Our thanks are extended to all who attended the event. You have helped CCPOPS with our mission to support the performing arts students.

Mary Jane Divino
President CCPOPS
Mattison Drive, Concord

Political potluck

To the Editor:

Looking for a better alternative than Bush in 2004?

Come join us for potluck snacks on Saturday, November 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. at our home at 268 Fiske Street. Learn more about Howard Dean and engage in a lively political discussion about the issues and candidates with like-minded friends and neighbors. Bring your questions, thoughts, friends and opinions to a lively get-together on Saturday.

John and Ann Ballantine
Fiske Street

Donations sought for Zousoumas Scholarship Fund

To the Editor:

Cassie Zousoumas was a six-year old student at the Shaughnessy Elementary School in Lowell who died on October 28, 2003 from complications of Gaucher disease. Cassie had a severe form of Gaucher, a disease that causes progressive muscle weakness, neurological problems, seizures, and deterioration of internal organs. In spite of her lengthy struggle with the disease, Cassie maintained a sense of humor and found joy in everyday occurrences. As the Lowell Public Schools' physical therapist that worked with Cassie, I know firsthand the unique set of challenges that she and her family faced. In addition, I am acutely aware of the variety of challenges that students in Lowell encounter on a daily basis, both in school and out. The Cassie Zousoumas Scholarship Fund has been established to honor her courage and determination in battling this illness. Cassie's family was appreciative of the services provided by the Lowell Public Schools' staff in meeting Cassie's complex needs. Therefore this scholarship will provide financial assistance to a Lowell High School student who plans to attend a college or university with the goal of becoming a special education teacher, occupational therapist, physical therapist, or speech therapist.

Please consider giving a tax-deductible contribution to this scholarship fund and help us reach our goal of raising $10,000. Checks should be made out to the Cassie Zousoumas Scholarship Fund/GLCF and mailed to: Greater Lowell Community Foundation, c/o David Kronberg, 169 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852. If you would like to make a non-cash gift, please contact David Kronberg at 1-978-970-1600.

Thank you for your help and please call me at 1-978-369-9845 if you have any questions.

Deborah Webster
Stearns Street

Community Education serves thousands

To the Editor:

The Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education program issued its annual report for 2002-2003 at last week's School Committee meeting.

Last year Community Education served almost 5,000 people in several hundred continuing education classes. The great majority were Carlisle and Concord residents, while residents of other towns joined and shared our costs when space was available.

The school budget of $60,000 produces educational results, when measured in dollars, of $500,000. Three hundred part-time teachers and all the associated costs of their classes, are funded with participant fees. The high school is open for the community every weeknight, and most weekends and school vacation periods. Every program is self-funded. The community education concept holds that our schools are simply too valuable to sit idle after traditional school hours.

Before adults and the community at large can be invited to use the schools, the needs of K-12 students and town programs must be met. Even after these requirements are met, with the remaining space and time, citizens are able to use the "extended-day" at CCHS to learn a language, master a computer, study music or literature, and more. Opportunities abound.

The annual report is at, or at the Gleason Library or Community Education office. We're open weekdays at the Ripley Building, and nights at CCHS.

Do you have an idea to share about community education, or a recommendation or complaint? Would you teach a class? Nine citizens on the Advisory Committee expand the citizen voice in decision-making about community education. Carlisle members are Jean Ford Webb, Jim Saltonstall and Brigid Siegel, and Mike Fitzgerald is our liaison to the School Committee. Please share your ideas about the best ways to harness our educational investment so that local citizens can realize more for themselves and their children and grandchildren, with every dollar spent.

When adults join a class or workshop at CCHS after the regular school day is complete, they send a subtle yet real message to younger people: education is a necessary, voluntary pursuit that lasts a lifetime. Please join us.

Court Booth, director
Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito