Wellesley High’s David McCullough writes about a special guy: His Dad

David McCullough

Wellesley High School English teacher David McCullough, Jr., is at it again.

Harkening back to sentiments expressed in his You’re Not Special commencement speech and follow-on “You Are Not Special…” book, he writes an opinion piece in the Boston Globe today about his dad, David McCullough, Sr., the noted historian and author who has just finished his 10th book (about the Wright brothers and advent of aviation).

Something of a technophobe , McCullough, Jr., describes the current “era of the selfie and twerking and Snapchats and Facebook trends and Twitter feeds and, often, scrambling after achievement for attention’s sake.” (Hey, he even told me that prior to Swellesley breaking the story of his commencement speech, he didn’t even know what a blog was). The teacher cites a comment from a  new student that “It’s better to look good than to be good,” to which McCullough replies that this isn’t necessarily the case, and holds up his father as a shining example of someone who is accomplished because he believes in what he does, not because he is looking for attention and accolades.

RELATED: You’re not special, but my blog is (Swellesley meets the Boston Globe)


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Wellesley High switches Magpiong from boys to girls’ hoop coach

Wellesley High boys hoop huddle

Glenn Magpiong, the Wellesley High School boys basketball coach since 2004, this season will take on a new challenge at the school: He’s been named varsity coach for the girls’ basketball team.

Magpiong will not be doing double-duty, however. The school will name a new boys’ coach, but just hasn’t done so yet.

Magpiong, who has been on the boys’ basketball coaching staff since 2004 and is shown in the middle of the huddle above, is an experienced girls coach as well.  According to Athletic Director John Brown, Magpiong prior to coming to Wellesley High was the girls’ varsity basketball coach at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif. , which won the North Coast California Section Championship under Magpiong’s direction. He has also been a girls’ AAU coach with the Bay State Jaguars.

At WHS, Magpiong replaces Kristin Cieri, who coached the team for the past 18 seasons.

RELATED: Outdoor basketball court grand opening will be Oct. 25

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Wellesley gushes over new school drinking fountains

water-fountain upham

Upham hydration station

Wellesley High School last year installed a couple of newfangled drinking fountains that let you sip from a stream as usual, or fill up your water bottle via a special spigot. Anecdotally, we’d heard the students weren’t blown away by the advance initially, so I was skeptical when I recently came across a Sustainable Wellesley newsletter item about Upham Elementary School getting such a “hydration station” amidst claims that “These have been a huge hit at Wellesley High School, saving thousands of plastic bottles from landfills.”

So I asked for some numbers to back up the claim, and they’re impressive.

The town’s Facilities Maintenance Department points to a digital readout for the first unit, which has diverted what amounts to 24,429 plastic bottles from landfills as a result of students/faculty/staff filling reusable bottles.

The second High School unit, installed in the Cafeteria this past February, saved the equivalent of 18,329 plastic water bottles in an eight-month span, says Joe McDonough, Facilities Director.

The Upham unit, funded by the school’s PTO and installed outside the gym at the start of the school year, has diverted 2,270 plastic water bottles in 7 weeks, he says.

The School Department plans to request at least one of these water dispensers in every school as part of the FY16 capital plan, according to Sustainable Wellesley.



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Preview of Wellesley-Needham Thanksgiving Day football game?

wellesley football bumper stickerWe received the following message regarding Wellesley Youth Football‘s big weekend:

“Wellesley Youth Football made history yesterday!  We have all three teams, Grades 5-7 in the Baystate Conference playoffs.  We played Needham and Grade 5 beat Needham 8-0, Grade 6 beat Needham 46-0 (2013 National Champions will be defending their title) and Grade 7- beat Needham 22-16. All there teams played their last home game in the regular season yesterday and will go on the road next week to play the first round in the Baystate Conference.”

Wellesley High plays Needham Hight in Needham on Thanksgiving Day.

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Holiday shop-ortunity: Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club Marketplace set for November 22


The 38th Annual Wellesley Marketplace 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Over 150 of New England’s Finest Artisans

Saturday, November 22, 9am – 4pm

Wellesley Middle School, Kingsbury St.

Premium admission 9am – 10am, $15

Regular admission 10am – 4pm, $10

Seniors and students, $5



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Wellesley Scholarship Foundation accepting applications until Feb. 1, 2015

1402156883The Wellesley Scholarship Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year.  The deadline is February 1, 2015.

WSF provides college scholarships, some based on financial need and two based on academic merit, to residents of Wellesley who attend undergraduate programs. A four-member sub-committee of Trustees oversees the annual review and selection of scholarship recipients.  All financial information is held in strict confidence and is viewed only by this four-member committee.

In 2014, WSF awarded $248,250 in need-based awards to 78 students. These scholarships are funded by donations to WSF and the foundation’s investment income. In addition, each year WSF awards new merit scholarships to one female and one male graduating high school senior in recognition of outstanding achievement and citizenship.

Scholarships may range in size from $500 to $10,000 annually. 

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Wellesley students reap $cholarships

GIANT BANK CHECKS support Wellesley scholars, skaters


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Wellesley Square White Mountain Creamery: We plan to re-open after renovations

White mountain sign oct 21 2014White Mountain Creamery in Wellesley Square remains closed, and now there’s a sign on the door saying it’s because of a renovation.

As we mentioned last week, an earlier window sign said that the shop was closed due to a family emergency. We did inquire at the store to find out when White Mountain might re-open but did not hear back, so for now, we communicate via old-fashioned handwritten signs. Kind of quaint, actually.

In the meantime, Wellesley has no shortage of ice cream and frozen yogurt places to serve you if you have a hankering.White Mountain Creamery Wellesley


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The Sanatorium of Horror coming to Wellesley

SanatoriumA classic neighborhood haunted house returns to Wellesley this year at 67 Whittier Rd., where the theme will be “The Sanatorium of Horror.” (Wellesley, by the way, once was home to a real sanitarium.)

The Thames family last year didn’t host a haunted house due to some major construction. Previously, they had creeped out the Poets’ Corner neighborhood for about 10 years straight. The theme in 2012 was Haunted Forest.



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Wellesley Sleepwalker sculpture lives on as multimedia project

Wellesley SleepwalkerI’m really not quite sure how to describe this project from artdesigncafe.com, other than to say it combines media coverage of the Wellesley College/Tony Matelli “Sleepwalker” sculpture and music.

Who knows, maybe it will wind up in the Wellesley College Davis Museum.

Sleepwalker media coverage: The remixes

Reflecting on the Sleepwalker media frenzy at Wellesley College earlier this year, artist Tony Matelli who created the discussion-generating sculpture said in interview,

“I think it’s bizarre. The attention it received was so out of left field, so irrelevant to the work. So, I’m mystified by it really. It was fascinating just to watch it happen.” (31 March 2014, artdesigncafe)

This sentiment sparked an independent initiative to compile a sizeable sample of the media coverage at artdesigncafe.com . After gathering 5000+ articles in 96+ countries, this initiative ended in August, still incomplete. In artdesigncafe fashion, then it was time to examine and interpret the research findings combining selected text, visuals and sound, resulting in Sleepwalker media coverage: The remixes. Previous independent remixes and media coverage compilations have focused on artists Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Paul McCarthy, Gregor Schneider, and Spencer Tunick.

The Sleepwalker remixes feature music selections by legendary music-journalist Stephen Mallinder, a founding member of the highly influential Cabaret Voltaire band. Artists Kim Min Su and Marcus Bering offer visuals and text selection/design reinterpreting the coverage. Bob Brown at the Wellesley-based Swellesley Report, who originally broke key stories with mediagenic angles later consumed by national and international media, offered his original photos for the presentation.

To see the overview of the five media coverage remixes and the article listing of the overall project, including an overview article partnered with Sculpture magazine, and interviews of Tony Matelli and the exhibition’s media consultant Nina Berger, click: http://www.artdesigncafe.com/sleepwalker

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New Wellesley Natural Resources Director comes by way of Brookline & NYC

Brandon Schmitt, NRCThe Wellesley Natural Resources Commission has appointed Brandon Schmitt as its new director, a job that includes stewardship of the town’s park, conservation, recreation and open space system.

He joins the NRC at a busy time, as the Fuller Brook Park restoration and improvement project really gets going. The commission recently reorganized, with former director Janet Hartke Bowser taking on a new role as Natural Resources Specialist.

A quick look at Schmitt’s background reveals that he knows a thing or two about the great outdoors. He was previously a park ranger in Brookline, where he also managed a “green dog” program that involves charging a fee to dog owners who want off-leash privileges for their pets in certain parks during specific hours.

Fuller Brook Park restoration underway

Fuller Brook Park restoration underway

Before that, Schmitt was a senior forester with the New York City Division of Forestry and Horticulture, where he was instrumental in the Million Trees Program. Schmitt has diverse field experience, and is familiar with wetlands biology and regulations. He is also a certified arborist and playground inspector. He has been a crew supervisor for Habitat for Humanity both in the States and in Belfast, Ireland, and has volunteered with various animal welfare organizations.

Schmitt’s educational background includes two advanced degrees from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University at Bloomington: a Masters of Science in Environmental Sciences (Concentration: Ecosystem Analysis and Management); and a Masters of Public Affairs ( Concentration: Public Policy Analysis). Schmitt did his undergraduate work in political science and environmental studies at Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH.

NRC Chair Heidi Kost-Gross says: “Of all applying candidates, Brandon’s impressive environmental education, technical skills and boots-on-the-ground experiences, particularly in the NYC parks system, make him especially suited for the role of NRC Director. In Wellesley, the role of Director requires hands-on abilities and a thorough understanding of natural eco systems.”

Not to mention, Schmitt has gotten after those dastardly Canada Geese with the Goosinator!Town Hall Canada Geese

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  • Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers

    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers