Special to the Independent
The Everett High School Crimson Tide Percussion Ensemble (ECTPE) will try to be world beaters next week in Dayton, where the musicians will put their talents on display at the 2022 WGI Percussion World Championships.
“On behalf of the Everett Public Schools (EPS), I extend our most enthusiastic congratulations to the ECTPE for advancing to this prestigious competition,” said Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani. “Their achievements would be impressive under any circumstances; they are all the more remarkable given the COVID-related challenges they have navigated throughout the year.”
The ECTPE will be the first school to compete in the WGI preliminaries. It is slated to take to the floor at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 21 at the Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University. Ensembles that score high enough will advance to the semifinals. The best of the best will perform in the championship round, with a chance to bring home a world title. Everett High qualified for the 2022 WGI World Championships by virtue of its stellar performances in local, state, and regional competitions.
The ECTPE is directed by Mark Sachetta, Jared Logan, Brian Spencer, and Kylan Nowell. This year’s program is entitled, “To Be A Drum,” which is based on a children’s book by Evelyn Coleman. In the story, Daddy Wes helps his children hear the rhythm of the earth. The rhythm begins a story of the “drum,” the pulse which has moved through the African people and through time and place.
EHS senior Nevaeh Nelson shines as the dynamic star of the show, narrating the powerful message on behalf of her percussive peers. The music features a dramatic percussive pulse meant to capture the book’s story and message. Everett High’s performance is brought to life through the poignant Ivan Trevino piece, “Make a Joyful Noise;” an ominous overture in the form of Caleb Pickering’s “Dreadnaught;” and the exultant “Vodou Moldau” by Joachim Horsley.
“The members showcase their talents in hopes of sharing that spirit with the audience,” said Mr. Sachetta. “As they share this message of hope, perseverance, and enduring passion, they embody a powerful mantra from the book that reminds one and all, ‘We are alive!’”
After enduring a winter season filled with adversity wrought by the pandemic, the ECTPE installed, rehearsed, performed, and refined a program that is challenging and creative. And the group’s performances in Dayton will be a credit to not only current EHS students but to those who were unable to compete on the WGI circuit from March of 2020 through the entirety of the 2020-2021 school year.
This year’s edition of the ECTPE features a blend of experienced performers and an influx of 11 new members who had no prior musical experience. The musicians quickly gelled and have been able to achieve success in a space that is growing more competitive by the year. “Keeping up with the ever-rising standards being set by the brightest and best of music programs across the United States is like chasing a rocket to the moon,” said Mr. Sachetta. “That we will be in Dayton next week is a poignant, crowning achievement for every member of the program.”
Higher Education EPS Thanks Its College Partners
The Everett Public Schools (EPS) and its college and university partners gathered on Friday, April 8th to celebrate collaboration and the district’s expanding efforts to support current and future educators.
The luncheon, hosted by Everett High School’s Culinary Arts Department inside the Crimson Cafe, was organized by EPS Director of Remote Learning and Instruction Anne Auger. Representatives from several colleges were in attendance, as were members of Central Administration, EHS English Language Arts Department Head Ryan McGowan, and teacher Sarah Simmons.
“It was great to sit together as colleagues and educators and show our thanks to these institutions of higher learning for helping us fulfill our commitment to supporting the career development of EPS staff,” said Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani.
Over the past two years, the district has worked with representatives from several institutions — including Endicott College, Merrimack College, Salem State University, Southern New Hampshire University, Bridgewater State University, Fisher College, and Cambridge College — to help give EPS educators and staff access to the pathways that will expand and enhance their careers. This ranges from tuition discounts and access to online programs to licensure and certificate opportunities, to support for teachers who are pursuing principal/leadership credentials.
In addition to recognizing this collaboration on behalf of current EPS educators, the luncheon also highlighted the future of the profession. Kaylin Seward and Jessica Lemus Montiel, two of the 24 seniors selected to serve as EPS education interns this spring, talked about EHS’s Education Pathway and their experience in the classroom.
“Kaylin and Jessica were articulate and in complete command as they presented to our distinguished guests about what being in our Education Pathway entails,” said Superintendent Tahiliani. “They are exactly the kind of students that colleges and universities want on campus, and the type of future educators we need in the teacher pipeline.”
The High School Senior Internship Education Project (HSSIEP) is funded by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. It offers seniors the opportunity to complete a paid work-based learning education experience and is intended to accelerate the growth of the teacher pipeline in Massachusetts. This marks the second consecutive year that the EPS has participated in the HSSIEP.
This year’s EHS interns:
Meliza Buenaventura Hernandez
Jocelynne Gutierrez Guzman
Emelin Gutierrez Lones
David Gutierrez Ospina
Jessica Lemus Montiel
Cindy Portillo Tejada
Powering Innovation Plotnick Receives National Recognition
Everett High School science and technology teacher Neil Plotnick has received the National NCWIT AiC Educator Award. The award, which is presented by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), identifies exemplary formal and informal educators who play a pivotal role in encouraging 9-12th grade women, genderqueer, or non-binary students to explore their interest in computing and technology. The award recognizes these educators for their efforts to promote gender equity in computing.
Mr. Plotnick is one of four recipients that was selected from 54 eligible applicants from 33 U.S. states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. He will receive a $2,500 cash prize, recognition, a trophy, and prizes, including eligibility to apply for professional development funds.
“This prestigious and high-profile honor is completely deserved but not entirely surprising,” said Superintendent Priya Tahiliani. “Mr. Plotnick is the definition of dedication, an educator who never passes on the chance to pursue opportunities and partnerships that benefit our students at EHS.”
Added NCWIT CEO and Co-founder Lucy Sanders: “These educators’ support goes a long way in motivating students to apply their creativity and unique perspectives as they learn computational skills. Students are often more likely to pursue computing education when they are encouraged by their educators and other adult influencers,”
NCWIT is the farthest-reaching network of change leaders focused on advancing innovation by correcting underrepresentation in computing. NCWIT convenes, equips, and unites nearly 1,500 change leader organizations nationwide to increase the influential and meaningful participation of girls and women — at the intersections of race/ethnicity, class, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and other historically marginalized identities — in the field of computing, particularly in terms of innovation and development.