No One Puts The Marauders In A Corner As Belmont High Grabs ‘GBH High School Quiz Show Championship On The Final Question [VIDEO]

Photo: The champion Belmont High School team winning the 12th edition of ‘GBH High School Quiz Show

In a thriller between last year’s finalists, Belmont High School overtook returning two-time winners Boston Latin on the final question of the match to eke out the most slender of victories, 1070-1060, to be crowned champions of the 12th season of GBH High School Quiz Show.

With Belmont trailing Latin by 10 points – 990 to 1,000 – the final question of the match asked by long-time host Billy Costa in the lightning round was which 1980s film does Patrick Swayze say ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner”: Dirty Dancing or Sixteen Candles?

As viewers of a certain age were likely screaming “Dirty Dancing!!!!” at their televisions, computer screens or smartphones, the Belmont quartet punched in more collective right answers to pull ahead of the Latin squad to grab the championship at the buzzer.

Belmont was represented by four talented seniors: Tor Metelmann, Margo Danahy, Bennett Mohr and Nathan Sheffield.

In a tight match from the start, the two teams could never pull away from the other during the several segments – Toss-up Round, Head-to-Head, Category Round, and Lightning Round – of the quiz. But in the end, it was the strength of Belmont as a team that will bring the coveted High School Quiz Show trophy to the new trophy case in the high school wing of the Belmont Middle and High School when it opens in September.

High School Quiz Show is Boston public media producer GBH’s award-winning, fast-paced academic competition for Massachusetts high school students. Aside from Jeopardy!High School Quiz Show is the most popular academic quiz show on American television. 

In Rematch, Belmont High Takes On Current Champ Boston Latin In ‘GBH’s High School Quiz Show Finals On Saturday

Photo: Here are your Belmont High team in the finals of the 12th season of High School Quiz Show

The Marauders will once again face off against the Wolfpack to earn the title of being really wicked smart.

After defeating Advanced Math and Science in last week’s semi-finals, Belmont High School will take on two-time defending champions Boston Latin School for the title of the 12th season of High School Quiz Show on Saturday, June 19 in a repeat of last year’s championship match.

The finals episode of the academic competition produced by Boston’s ‘GBH will premiere at 6 p.m. on GBH 2 and will also stream at the same time on the High School Quiz Show YouTube channel. 

High School Quiz Show is Boston public media producer GBH’s award-winning, fast-paced academic competition for Massachusetts high school students. Aside from Jeopardy!High School Quiz Show is the most popular academic quiz show on American television. 

For this year’s competition, the show was produced using a new, innovative hybrid model with students competing remotely and long-time host Billy Costa emceeing from GBH studios in Boston.

High School Quiz Show is endorsed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Massachusetts PTA. Questions on the show are aligned with the Massachusetts high school curriculum standards in subjects that include literature, history, civics, science and math, as well as current events, and general knowledge.

Major funding for High School Quiz Show is provided by Safety Insurance. Additional funding is provided by the Museum of Science, Massachusetts Teachers Association, XFINITY from Comcast, Eastern Bank, Emerson College and Subaru of New England.

Biggest Moving Give Away Ever! Belmont High’s Surplus Furniture Up For Grabs July 2

Photo: It’s first come/first serve for surplus Belmont High furniture

The biggest moving give away ever in town history will occur on Friday, July 2 as Belmont residents will have the opportunity to take away surplus furniture from Belmont High School on a first come/first serve basis on Friday, July 2 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The give away will allow former students to retrieve their old desks for their apartments, designers who long for 1990-era furnishings to grab some vintage items or bargain hunters to stock up on hidden treasures.

And be prepared to take and carry: Items must be removed from the building during the give away, there is no holding of furniture, and there are no resources available to move the furniture so everyone must come ready to take the furniture by their own means.

The access area will be limited to spaces on the first floor of the high school; all other areas will be secured from access as the building is not be open for tours. Preliminary work on demolishing the circa-1970 building will begin in July to make way for the middle school portion of the new school and new playing fields.

Belmont High School Performing Arts Company Ends the School Year with TWO Shows On Friday Over The Weekend

Photo: Posters for both shows this weekend

As the days in the school year have entered single digits, the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company is ending it was a bang with two shows, one live and the other virtual.

  • Friday, June 11: A LIVE improv show outdoors
  • Saturday/Sunday, June 12-13: The Streaming Premiere of Some Enchanted Evening 

Details about both shows below and at bhs-pac.org

OUTDOOR IMPROV SHOW

The PAC Improv Troupe is performing a full show of our favorite games and scenes. Fresh off the success of our May Show, we’ll be back at Clay Pit Pond – near the Veteran’s Memorial at the corner of Underwood – with more improvisers, more games and more laughs. Friday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.

FREE for everyone, registration/sign up ahead of time requested. Sign up at http://bhs-pac.org/improv-show

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING

The PAC’s Spring Musical is a celebration of the Golden Age of Musical Theater.  A collection of songs and scenes from classic musicals, the production showcases the work of our talented student performers and crew.

This production honors great composers, iconic shows and groundbreaking work, including songs from shows that you aren’t likely to see full productions of on the PAC stage. We’re thrilled to give our students and audiences the opportunity to experience this material.

The show is free to watch, but donations are encouraged.

  • Watch on the PAC Website (bhs-pac.org). The show premieres online June 12 at 7 p.m.
  • The show will also air on Belmont Media Center TV (Comcast Ch 96/Verizon Ch 30) on Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13 at 7 PM.

Belmont High Graduation 2021: A Sunny Conclusion To A Class That Endured Much [Photos]

Photo: The first act of the newly minted class of 2021.

It’s unlikely any future group of same-grade students will be dealt such a bad hand as the Belmont High School class of 2021. The classmates missed out by a single year attending classes in a brand new high school, playing fields were taken away by the construction as the new school was being built, and the COVID-19 global pandemic forced students to spend the majority of their senior year learning and socializing online rather than in the halls and grounds of the high school.

But under an unforgiving sun that pushed temperatures into the mid-90s, the vast majority of the 321 member class of 2021 attended their graduation celebration. Keeping with the trend of deviating from tradition, the graduation celebration was held on Harris Field rather than the Wenner Field House and taking place on the first Saturday of June instead of the Sunday. And while the vast majority of the class received at least one vaccination shot, the pandemic also saw graduates miss out on receiving their diplomas from the podium, instead of standing when their names were called. But two customs did carry on: beach balls flying in the student section and the post-graduation cigar.

In his welcoming remarks, Belmont High Principal Isaac Taylor spoke of the power of friendship in sustaining the community, especially during this school year.

“I think that we can all agree that people have needed one another as we faced chaos, loss and the uncertainty of the pandemic,” he said, noting the best friendships are based on openness and honesty. “Friendship is at the heart of any good relationship,” he said. With this generation facing a climate crisis, the likelihood of more pandemics and the rapid advancement in technology likely to leave a large number of people behind. But it is also a generation that can reshape society for the better and that depending on taking risks including taking a risk on friendship.

If there was a person who took center stage on Saturday it was Edward Lee, who performed triple duty, speaking as senior class president, being honored with one of the two School Committee awards for outstanding achievement in scholarship (and giving his second speech within 10 minutes of the other) and then reading 320 of the 321 names of each graduate.

In his opening remarks, Lee – who will be attending Harvard College in September – said as president he learned that the class didn’t have a single core identity – with the exception of transforming in feral beasts in the student parking lot at the end of each school day – as it was as diverse as each person, overflowing with interests, hobbies and experiences. Whether it was award-winning musicals, exhilarating sports events and impactful community service projects, his fellow student should “bring this same passion and energy where ever you may go. Stay true to your vision and don’t be afraid to nurture them,” Lee said.

Jason Tang, the second School Committee scholarship winner – and joining Lee at Harvard in the fall – recalled the “brazen fearlessness and an unshakable optimism” of his and his classmates younger selves, how on the first-ever days of school, surrounded by strangers and asked to study things no one had any experience with, “we dove right in.”

“We exhibit shameless curiosity, by pestering our teachers with question after question about anything that crossed our minds. We viewed everyone as potential friends and eagerly approached each other. We were unafraid to be vulnerable to explore unfamiliar concepts to experiment with innovative ideas,” said Tang.

And as each graduate will soon be asked to begin a new chapter of their life, “keep seeking out new opportunities, and don’t be afraid to try new things, dream big, and follow those dreams, live with the fear of a little kid, and combine it with the wisdom, you have accumulated the past 13 years. We are ready for anything that life may throw,” he said.

With an arrangement of “Send Me On My Way,” by the Senior A Cappella group and Lee reading each graduate’s name at a 12 per minute clip, the graduation ceremony took just over an hour to conclude. And with it, the class of 2021 had a final good memory to hold onto for years to come.

[Update] Early Release Monday, Tuesday As Heatwave Shortens School Day; Students: Bring Water, Sunscreen

Photo: Heatwave on tap for the beginning of the week

[Update] For a second day, schools will be dismissed early on Tuesday, June 8, due to the high heat conditions.

Given the current heatwave and concerns for students and staff, the Belmont School District will be dismissing school early Monday, June 7.

  • Belmont High will dismiss at 1:30 p.m.
  • Chenery Middle School will dismiss at 1:15 p.m.
  • Butler, Burbank and Wellington will dismiss at 1:40 p.m.
  • Winn Brook will dismiss at 1:50 p.m.

On Monday:

  • Lunch will be served in all schools.
  • Belmont High School will have morning MCAS as planned.
  • All after school care programs are cancelled.
  • All after school activities are cancelled.
  • Remote instruction will end at these times as well.

With Belmont in the midst of a multiday heatwave (+90 degree F high temperatures) beginning on Saturday, June 5 and lasting until Wednesday, June 9, the Belmont School District will monitor the temperatures inside schools and assess whether or not we may need to dismiss students and staff early from school, according to John P. Phelan,
Superintendent of Schools.

“Please know that if we do choose to shorten the school day next week for heat concerns, we will communicate any change via email and/or automated call,” said Phelan in an email to the school community.

With the heatwave occuring during a week schools are in session, the district reminds students and parents that it is important for students and staff to stay hydrated. School officials recommend everyone bring a water bottle that can be replenished at our fill stations, dress for the weather and wear sunscreen.

“Please see the nursing department’s bulletin sent on May 28 regarding Warm Weather Reminders,” said Phelan.

Belmont Honoring Retiring AD Jim Davis At Harris Field, Wednesday, June 2

Photo: Jim Davis, retiring Belmont High AD

The Belmont School District will honor Jim Davis who is retiring as Director of Athletics & Physical Education for the Belmont Public Schools after serving the district for 19 years.

The celebration will occur on Wednesday, June 2 at halftime of the Belmont vs St. John’s Prep boys’ rugby match. The game between the state’s two top rugger squads will begin at 7 p.m. at Harris Field. The estimated start time of the 10-minute celebration will be 7:45 p.m. Sarkis Asadoorian, Belmont High School’s longtime athletic trainer and high school educator, will be the main speaker.

Despite Difficulties, 54 Belmont Musicians Accepted In Northeast Junior District Honors Festival

Photo: Singers and instrumentalists score at Jr. District Honors

Fifty-four students from Chenery Middle and Belmont High schools were accepted to perform in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Northeast Junior District honors ensembles this year, according to Arto Asadoorian, the Belmont Public School’s Director of Fine and Performing Arts. The remote festival took place on May 1, and included students from school districts across eastern and northeast Massachusetts.

The following Belmont students were accepted to Junior District ensembles. The process of auditioning this year was much different than in the past, involving pre-recorded auditions. While we congratulate these students for being accepted to honors ensembles, all of the students who auditioned should be commended for their dedication and the effort they put into their auditions.

  • Joesph Barry Trombone
  • Danielle Bergen Violin
  • Rohan Bhagwati Trombone
  • Claire Boyle Chorus
  • Parker Brookins Trumpet
  • Allison Caputo Violin
  • Brady Chan Trumpet
  • Aidan Chen Clarinet
  • Amy Chen  Violin
  • Ian Choi  Trumpet
  • Joshua Christensen Chorus
  • Mark Chumack Trumpet
  • Quincy Crockett Oboe
  • Caroline Dudzinski Bassoon
  • Bethany Eagar French Horn
  • Allyson Gomez-Martin Chorus
  • Mark Guzelian Trumpet
  • Hank Hicks  Bassoon
  • Elspeth Hulsman Chorus
  • Esther Ji  Violin
  • Nari Kang  Violin
  • Daniel Kim Cello
  • Ethan Kim Trombone
  • Sam Kutsman  Clarinet
  • Ian Lee  Violin
  • Isaac Lee  Clarinet
  • Clodagh Liang Violin
  • William Lin  Alto Saxophone
  • Daniel Liu  Violin
  • Laila Lusis  Trombone
  • Jordan Macarty Alto Saxophone
  • Ali Masoud  Tenor Saxophone
  • Hugh Montana String Bass
  • Sydney Mun  Oboe
  • Katherine Murphy Alto Saxophone
  • Stella Ovcharova Mallet Percussion
  • Arjun Pai  Trumpet
  • Reyansh Parikh Snare Drum
  • Ryan Park  Trumpet
  • Nathan Peck  Violin
  • Rohin Pinisetti Trombone
  • Su Min Pyo  Clarinet
  • Sophia Qin  Oboe
  • Andrew Quinn Cello
  • Maia Redi  Mallet Percussion
  • Jin Roe  Cello
  • Malcolm Stanton Trumpet
  • Andrew Wood-Sue Wing Jazz Guitar
  • Aiden Yang  Violin
  • Evan Zhang  Clarinet
  • Larry Zhang  Clarinet
  • May Zheng  Chorus
  • Emily Zhou  Flute
  • Elizabeth Zuccarello Euphonium

Everyone’s Invited! Restrictions Lifted For HS Graduation Ceremony At Harris Field

Photo:

In partnership with the Belmont Health Department, Belmont High School is lifting restrictions on the commencement capacity and opening up the graduation ceremony to all individuals interested in attending. 

The 2021 Belmont High School graduation ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. at Harris Field.

Previous planning had limited attendance to graduates and two guests per graduate. Now, the school is able to welcome more family members, friends, and community members to this event.

Please note: on-field seating will still be limited to graduates and their two guests. Graduates will be seated together and their two on-field guests can access the additional field seating. To access field seating, guests must arrive with their graduates. Because of previous restrictions, we are not utilizing a ticket system: the graduate is their guests’ “ticket” to enter onto the field.

All other guests are invited to sit on the bleachers or to access the standing room only areas.

Graduates and their two on-field guests should plan on arriving at 2:15 p.m. We will stage students for a procession and assist guests in accessing seating. All other guests are welcome to arrive between 2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is limited. You may access parking at the high school, the Wellington School, and on Concord Avenue. 

Set, Game, Match: School Committee Won’t Commit To Bring Tennis To West Of Harris Field Campus

Photo: No tennis courts West of Harris Field.

William Lovallo didn’t mince words: “Respect the process.”

The Chair of the Belmont Middle and High School Building Committee came to the Tuesday, May 25 meeting of the Belmont School Committee to provide context to the nearly four year give and take on returning tennis courts to the campus of the new Middle and High School after they were written out of the new facility’s blueprints back in 2017 due to the growing footprint of the new school.

To Lovallo, the continuing campaign to construct five courts – the minimum required to play a tournament varsity match – ignores two previous decisions in 2017 and 2020 by the building committee, school committee, select board and the school district resulting in exiling the varsity sport to courts nearby the Winn Brook Elementary School.

Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan and Lovallo said they retrieved public meeting minutes and reviewed broadcasts of the Building Committee to counter statements by the tennis community that public comment was not fully accomindated.

“For the benefit of Belmont, as a whole, we have to move forward through the process and not keep going back and unpacking and reevaluating things that were decisions that we made that have such a tremendous impact on the project,” said Lovallo, who said that while there’s always a time to review some aspects of the project, [B]ut certainly there has to be some respect of the process” especially after material, dialogue and data were provided at eight joint meetings that informed their vote.

“It was well-vetted, it was well discussed and the school committee approved [the site plan] back [in 2017],” said Lovallo. The effort to secure votes on the “whole site” by committees and boards was “because we understand that boards and committee [members] change and people have different opinions and will want to start to unpack this,” said Lovallo referring to the entire building project which is ready to open the high school and administrative wing in September.

After an hour and 35 minutes of , the School Committee couldn’t coalesce behind a single strategy to bring back the courts to the school, allowing the debate to simply peter out through its inaction and putting to an end nearly a year-and-a-half of at times emotional pleas to bring back the only varsity sport without a campus venue.

“The School Committee effectively killed off any potential plans for tennis courts west of Harris Field … last night by declining to intervene in any way,” said Belmont School Committee’s Mike Crowley.

Since January 2019, the town’s influential tennis community and parents of and players of Belmont High School girls’ and boys’ tennis teams have been lobbying the School Committee and the greater community to return the varsity sport to the new campus. Currently, the teams play on four town courts at the Winn Brook, a location tennis supporters note is without restroom/changing facilities or a water supply. The $190,000 cost to construct a fifth court at Winn Brook will come before Town Meeting next week via a Community Preservation Committee request.

After the school administration and then Athletic Director Jim Davis recommended in January 2020 that the tennis teams could play effectively at the Winn Brook, tennis campaigners this year hitched their chances to construct five courts onto the town’s latest plan to replace the town’s dilapidated skating rink on the MHS campus known as West of Harris Field.

The location’s program includes the rink, three overlapping playing fields for junior varsity baseball and softball and soccer/field hockey, and approximately 100 student parking spaces required under the Site Plan agreement hammered out with the Planning Board. Tennis supporters believed the five courts could be included in the mix by either reducing parking by 80 percent or taking the space of the JV baseball diamond.

But Lovallo recalled that the parking component – which includes approximately 400 spaces on the main campus, on Concord Avenue and west of Harris Field associated with a new rink – is part of the Site Plan Review process with the Planning Board. A dozen public meetings with abutters, residents, the town and determined everything from plantings to parking and the location of the buildings (including moving one wing of the high school section a few feet away from Clay Pit Pond).

“The Planning Board has the final say, basically the final approval that allows us to proceed with the building permit on the site plan,” said Lovallo. While the building committee will need to return to the Planning Board for final designs for West of Harris Field, there is an understanding that parking and the fields are the main components.

The 100 student parking slots west of Harris is to segregate beginning and inexperienced drivers from the main campus which will house 7th and 8th graders by 2023, said Lovallo. While the total number of spaces is far more than what is likely needed on an average school day, the additional spaces will accommodate overflow community and school events such as graduation, athletic events, plays and musical performances and Town Meeting.

Saying that there should always be an opportunity to reexamine past decisions, Crowley presented the most comprehensive action plan to support tennis on the site with six options which included the possibility of taking by eminent domain the service station abutting the West of Harris Field and allowing for student and event parking on many of the adjacent side streets.

“I just think that we should exhaust all these options. I don’t want to completely [block] the process for going forward on this site, but I do think it’s worth thinking about constituting a small group or committee … to take a few months and go through these options in depth and see if there is … some form of a compromise that allows us to cite tennis courts on the site,” said Crowley.

Others believed the continuing review of past decisions could have long lasting ramifications. “I don’t think that this is not a particularly good precedent to have. We have a plan that has been evaluated, consulted on, and thoroughly talked through. At some point, you have to say, ‘This is enough,” said Andrea Prestwich.

For tennis supporters, this lost opportunity will be felt years down the road. Katherine Stievater, who has two sons playing varsity tennis, told the School Committee its decision on the fields alignment will have ramifications for the high school tennis program for the next 50 years.

“[Placing tennis courts] can’t be done again if it’s not done now on the campus,” Stievater said, pointing out that the school’s softball program is not suiting up a JV team while cuts were made to the number of players trying out for the boys’ tennis teams.

“I urge you to create realistic field configuration that accommodates five or six tennis courts for our student athletes … who are just as important as every other student athlete at Belmont High School.”