Our vision is to connect, engage, and inspire all students in the Ayer Shirley Regional School District to reach academic excellence. We, the educators of the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, will instill habits of reflection and inquiry to challenge our students in setting ambitious academic and personal goals. Students will develop a strong voice to express thoughts and ideas in the community and the confidence to showcase their talents and successes in preparation for entry into college and the world of work.

May/June Blog 2018

Our vision is to connect, engage, and inspire all students in the Ayer Shirley Regional School District to reach academic excellence. We, the educators of the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, will instill habits of reflection and inquiry to challenge our students in setting ambitious academic and personal goals. Students will develop a strong voice to express thoughts and ideas in the community and the confidence to showcase their talents and successes in preparation for entry into college and the world of work.

Panther News

“Going from Good to Great”

May/June 2018

Greetings ASRSD Families,

The sweet lyrics of the birds; blooming flowers bursting with color and sweet fragrances; the deafening chorus of peepers harkening through the night; wild turkeys strolling through the glistening grass; the white-tailed cotton rabbit feasting on the luscious greens; the bluebirds nesting and raising their young; these are the wonders of nature!

Interacting with nature by just looking, listening, smelling, and touching is one of life's simple pleasures! It is relaxing and can be a de-stressor. Children love to frolic among nature; they love to hike. There are many beautiful walking trails in our area. Immersing oneself in nature is healthy and a great summer activity. Take it all in!

Speaking of summer, June 21 is right around the corner. Before you know it, your homes will be filled with much activity. It is time for us to send your children home for the summer!

May Hath 31 Days
The month of May came and went. There was much active learning happening in every classroom and many activities taking place such as field trips, MCAS testing, spring sports, and robotics to name a few.

Here is a recap of some of the other exciting things that took place in May.

ASRHS Performing Arts 
ASRHS went nuts this Spring and put on a wonderful performance of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” the Clark Gesner musical based on the comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. Directed by JulieAnn Govang, with musical direction by Tim Ketterer, the ensemble cast featured ASRHS students Julia Alo, Alexis Blackwell, Carolyn Cooper, Eliza Cuoco, Chris Govang, Jared Magno, Nadia Nalesnik, Olivia Oestreicher, Deran Quinty, Camilla Ramos, Claudia Ramos, Emily Russell, Wesley Trumbo and Jorden Young. Chris Govang, who was cast as Linus, has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild. A total of 500 actors were recommended and approximately one-fifth made it through. The awards ceremony is June 23 at Berklee. Good luck, Chris!

Forty-nine team members from Andromeda One competed in the World Championship in Detroit. The robot performed great and the team won the Team Spirit Award trophy!  This is their first award won at a World Championship event. This is what the judges had to say about the ASRHS Robotics Team: "This team's inclusive approach embodies a spirit that has impacted thousands of people in their school and surrounding community. Their campaign to get a FIRST program in every school district in Massachusetts proves they are a shining star!" Congratulations to Andromeda One! A big shout out to Christine Miska who has championed this team and all the incredible volunteers who gave so much to the team. Thank you!

World Affairs Seminar Sponsored by Rotary
Nicole Patano was selected from a pool of applicants from Ayer, Shirley, Harvard, and Devens to attend The World Affairs Seminar, which is a week long program scheduled from June 23-29 at Carroll University in Wisconsin. The goal of the seminar is to teach students about the advancement of international goodwill and peace through an understanding of global issues.  Students are selected for leadership potential, good citizenship, desire to attend the conference, and for scholarship. Congrats, Nicole!

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference
Dejah Fleurancois and Liam Gleason were selected to attend The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference, which is a program for high school sophomores that allows them to live, work, and interact with others their age in friendly competition to improve their leadership skills. The conference is being held at Fitchburg State from June 22-24. These students were selected for leadership potential, good citizenship, desire to attend the conference, and for scholarship. Congratulations to Dejah and Liam!

National Honor Society Induction
In May, twenty-two ASRHS students were inducted into the National Honor Society. It was a wonderful ceremony, but there was an air of melancholy as we bid farewell to our seniors. Thank you to NHS Advisor, Mrs. Allaire-Narro.

National Junior Honor Society (NJHS)
This is the first year of NJHS at the middle school, and twelve students were inducted. This organization recognizes outstanding middle level students who demonstrate excellence in leadership, scholarship, service, character, and citizenship. Congratulations to these students and a big thank you to NJHS Advisor, Mrs. Smiraglia.

ASRHS Performing Arts
The ASRHS Concert Band and Chorus traveled to New York City in May to compete in the Music in the Parks Competition. The Concert Band received 1st place, Division A, and 1st place overall concert band. The choir received 1st place mixed choir, Division A, and 1st place overall mixed choir. Both groups received grades of excellence. Congratulations to Mr. Ketterer, the Concert Band, and Choir! Such outstanding musicians!

Literary Accomplishment
Katherine Krieger, an AP Literature and Composition student at Ayer Shirley Regional High School, was recently selected to be published in The Marble Collection. In addition, her poem “Love Is” was nominated for exhibition at The Marble Collection’s fifth annual magazine release gala, Spring into Art, on Sunday, May 20, 2018, from 3pm to 5pm at UMass Boston’s Harbor Gallery.The gala is a celebration of Massachusetts’ teens whose writing, poetry, artwork, and photography are published in The Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts. It features an exhibition and sale of teen artwork and a program of teens reading their original creative writing. Katherine and her teacher, Mrs. Wittmier, attended the gala to celebrate her publication. Congratulations to Katherine and Mrs. Wittmier.

As the 2017-2018 school year comes to a close…..

Parent/Guardian Survey
Our goal is to provide your child an excellent education and a positive school experience. We want to know what we are doing well and how we can improve. This will be the third year we have requested that you participate in this survey, and we appreciate your time and effort. At this juncture, we have longitudinal quantitative and qualitative data, and we can compare results, which provides us rich and meaningful feedback.

The survey consists of 21 questions and should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey by Friday, June 22, 2018. To access the survey, please click here.

Summer Stem Camp
Registration is open for the Andromeda One Summer STEM Program for students in grades 3-7.  July 16-20 from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the high school. Registrations will be accepted through June 29, 2018.

Summer Reading
Summer reading is very important. Please ensure your child reads this summer. Join us in the summer climb and avoid the summer slide. Please see the Ayer Shirley Regional Summer 2018 Reading Book Lists and Assignments by grade level.

We have been very fortunate to join with the United Way of Central MA in preventing illiteracy and ensuring all students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. The online literacy program, Footsteps2Brilliance, was launched with our teachers in Grades K-2 in February.

The first Literacy Summit was held in late May. Three first graders in Mrs. Crutchfield’s class were selected to showcase their very own books created in the program. Victoria Tavares attended the event with parents and read her book to an audience of over 100 attendees. The student created books are below. Take a look! I bet you learn something about animals that you did not know. Enjoy.

Parents of students in preschool through Grade 2 can register for a free Footsteps2Brilliance parent account here. Any resident in Ayer or Shirley is eligible to register as a community member, including day care providers. Registering provides the family free access to the following apps which can be used on any device (phone, tablet, or computer).

  • Footsteps2Brilliance (Grades K-2/3)
  • Clever Kids University (Preschool)

Check out the Summer Reading Challenge and Challenge Board Tracker Form and please join us in support of the goal - all students reading by the end of Grade 3!

The Ayer Shirley Educational Foundation (ASEF) came through for education as they always do!  The middle school is the recipient of the $10,000 Impact Grant. ASEF approved the purchase of Google Expeditions. Google Expeditions makes it possible for teachers to take their classrooms on over 800 virtual reality field trips to amazing places like the Taj Mahal or Machu Picchu.  Expeditions enables teachers to bring students on virtual trips to places like museums, underwater, and outer space. These trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° panoramas and 3D images — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. Thank You, ASEF!

Championships, Awards, & More
The new literacy program in Grades 3-5 is well on its way to full implementation; we had more students than ever take AP exams; we launched the EMT course at the high school for next school year; we went 1:1 at the high school where every student received their own Chromebook; the NEASC accreditation process began at the high school; The teachers worked on curricula development all year. A curriculum adoption committee selected a K-8 science resource for next year, which includes textbooks, online resources, hands-on science kits. The program is published by McGraw Hil and the name of the K-5 program is Inspire and the 6-8 program is iScience. Great things are happening in teaching and learning across the district. Thank you to the fabulous teachers.


Awards and championships galore!  Congratulations to all of the athletes and Coaches!

  • Boys Indoor Track- MIAA Division 2 Central/Western MA State Champions
  • Boys Outdoor Track & Field Team, MIAA Central/Western State Championship
  • Lunenburg Ayer Shirley Hockey Team State Champions Division 3A State Championship
  • Coach Donovan, Indoor Track Coach of the Year
  • Football Team won MIAA Sportsmanship Award two years in a row
  • Four ASRHS track and field athletes, Trevor Fields, Edward Ernst, William Ernst, and Ethan Matthews, qualified for the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Track & Field competition in North Carolina at the A&T stadium.  The boys came in 15th out of 26 teams in the Emerging Elite Distance Medley. Their time of 10:44 was a school record! What an epic year for the track teams.

Later Start Times
When we welcome back our students next year, we have new start times:


Leadership Team
I am pleased to announce the following appointments:

  • Mary Beth Hamel, who has held the position of Assistant Superintendent for the last several years, will be taking on a new position as Director of Student Services.
  • Mr. Charlie Caliri  has been appointed Assistant Superintendent.
  • Mr Spencer Christie has been appointed the principal of ASRHS.
  • Mr. Stephen Kendall has been appointed the new Athletic Director.

Farewell to Our Retirees
Congratulations on their retirement!  We wish them much luck in their future endeavors.

  • Mrs. Brenda Marcoux, 4th Grade Teacher at LAW, 24 years of service
  • Mrs. Becky Gardner, ASRHS Nurse, 19 years of service
  • Mrs. Jocelyn Smith, 7th Grade Teacher at ASRMS, 12 years of service

Extended Learning
Summer learning for special education students will take place at Page Hilltop from July 9 to August 2.  For more information on the program please send inquiries to Mrs. Bozek, Director of Special Education, 978-772-8600 Ext. 1407 or tbozek@asrsd.org.

Summer 2018 Title I Extended Learning Program
The Summer 2018 Title I Extended Learning Program is ready to roll  with 5 teachers, 37 students in entering grades 2-6 and 7 students entering grades 7-9. Students in the early grades will strengthen foundation skills in literacy and math, students in middle school and high school will receive instruction to strengthen comprehension and fluency and support for summer reading and writing assignments.  For more information on the program please send inquiries to Mrs. Hamel, Assistant Superintendent, 978-772-8600 Ext. 1509 or mbhamel@asrsd.org.

Summer Registration
Summer registration for Preschool-Grade 12 will take place in the district office located at 115 Washington from July 9 to August 10.  Please contact Michelle Towne for more information or to make an appointment at 978-772-8600 Ext. 1508 or mtowne@asrsd.org.

Register Your Child Now for Preschool & Kindergarten!  
Tell your friends and neighbors!

We still have openings in preschool and kindergarten. We encourage Ayer and Shirley residents to register as soon as possible to be sure you have a slot.  We offer free full day K staffed with a teacher and full-time paraprofessional. For our preschool parents, child care is available at LAW and Page Hilltop. For more information on preschool, please inquire with Doreen Mahoney at 978-772-8600 Ext. 1480 or dmahoney@asrsd.org. Kindergarten inquiries may be directed to Mr.Deppe at Page Hilltop and Mrs. Desai at LAW.

ASRHS Drama Group
The ASRHS Drama group performed at the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild and they received the Special Award for Program Growth and Development. Three of the high school actors received Acting Excellence Awards: Nadia Nalesnik, Deran Quinty, and Carolyn Cooper. Congratulations to the group, the students, and Director of Drama, JulieAnn Govang.

ASRMS Band and Chorus
Band & Chorus earned a Superior award at the Trills and Thrills festival.  This is the second year Chorus received the award, and the fifth year Band has won this award. Congratulations to Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs. Cooper, and the students.

MICCA Festival
Both the Chorus and Concert Band earned a silver medal at the MICCA Festival in March. Congratulations to Director, Mr. Ketterer, and the students! Well-done.

We are very proud of our scholarship awards and college acceptances. Please see below for our scholarships and a very impressive list of college acceptances.

There is more to celebrate in the district and to list it all is just not possible. We are very proud of our students and our teachers. I would like to thank all of our wonderful teachers for their hard work and excellent teaching. They are the best!

Thank you to all of you for your support and helping us make the Ayer Shirley Regional School District the very best it can be. On behalf of the administration and faculty, we wish our families a wonderful and safe summer.

Warmest regards,
Dr. Malone
Superintendent of Schools

Meet the new ASRHS Principal, Mr. Spencer Christie.

ASRSD students participated in this year's Special Olympics.

ASRMS Band and Chorus won the Superior Award at this year's Trills and Thrills Festival.

 Mrs. Marshall’s classroom working on planting and beautifying the courtyard at PH.

School Committee Member, Mr. Dan Gleason, and his son Liam attended Meet the Principal at the high school.

8th grade graduation dance at the Bull Run in Shirley.

SRO Bigelow (not pictured), Deputy Chief Gill, Detective Barhight, and Detective Kularski from APD on the grill at Page Hilltop's field day.

The high school faculty engaged in professional development on block scheduling.

Grade 7 students celebrating graduation from the D.A.R.E. program. Thank you, Lt. Cromwell.

Mr. Moore's outdoor biology class.

LAW Grade 5 students teaching science to Grade 4 students in Mrs. Marcoux's class.

Look at the attentive Grade 4 LAW students. Maybe the student teachers need to be hired to replace Mrs. Marcoux!

141 Washington Street | Phone: 978-772-8600
1 Hospital Rd | Phone: (978) 772-8600
115 Washington Street | Phone: (978) 772-8600
34 Lancaster Road | Phone: (978) 772-8600