As the snow is finally disappearing and spring shyly arrives, we are so proud to bring you news of our students’ many accomplishments!!  My only challenge was when to send this, as each day brings more news to share!  Thank you to all of our fabulous faculty and families who help make all of this happen, and most of all to our wonderful students.



NSHS students won a total of 35 awards in the Massachusetts regional Scholastic Art awards. To see images of the winning works you can visit,

Art Portfolio, Gold Key: 

Maggie DiMarco
Tomer Keren
Genevieve Ogden

Art Porfolio, Silver Key: 

Kailah Korsh (2)
Hannah Karten
Paul Swetz

Individual Works:

Gold Key:
Ollie Chebac
Maggie DiMarco
Annalisa Flynn (2)
Esther Kwak
Sophie Galowitz
Hannah Karten
Hadas Rosen
Elizabeth Wojciechowska

Silver Key: 

Maggie DiMarco
Annalisa Flynn
Esther Kwak
Anjali Shankar
Sally Zhang

Honorable Mention:

Harrison Chebac (2)
Ollie Chebac
Rachel Goldstein
Doina Iliescu
Tomer Keren (3)
Esther Kwak
Ariel Neuman
Anjali Shankar
Ellan Suder
Giormanni Vargas
Sally Zhang

Two NSHS students won silver keys at the NATIONAL Scholastic art awards.

Congratulations to:

Maggie DiMarco
Esther Kwak


Five NSHS music students were selected from the Eastern region to participate in MMEA’s All State Festival on 3/19 & 3/20 in Boston’s Seaport district. Congratulations to: Diego Bacigalupe, Sam Blumenstiel, Yumi Lee, Kyle Takach and David Zhang.

In March the NSHS Jazz Ensemble earned gold, achieving a near perfect 74 out of 75 possible points, in MAJE’s jazz festival.

Jazz Ensemble earned gold at the MAJE festival.

Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble earned gold at MICCA

Madrigals earned bronze at MICCA

Academic Teams


The Mathematics Team tied Lexington High School for 2nd overall at the Massachusetts Association of Mathematics Leagues State Competition.

Team Members participating in this meet were:

Jae Seung Lee
Andrew Shaughnessy
Zhe Wu
Jason Ma
Liza Sulkin
Ethan Xu
Evan Zeng
Bhavik Nagda

The team’s performance at States qualifies them to compete in the New England Regional Competition on Friday, May 1.


The following is a list of students who represented Newton South at the Massachusetts State Science Olympiad on Saturday, March 21, 2015.

With Fourty-six high schools competing, Newton South placed third, behind Newton North (2nd) and Acton-Boxborough (1st).

Audrey Hooker
Julianna Huang
Sasha Kuznetsov
Colin MacGinnitie
Ian Paul
Shiv Roychowdhury
Gabriella Sinclair
Suyoung Choi
Ellen Kwon
Liza Sulkin
Alex Cao
Bhavik Nagda
Jonathan Lee
Caleb Fried
Alice Kulalina
John Barbone
Jason Crowley
Demetri Kanellias
Bhairavi Chanekhar

The following Newton South students were recognized for their outstanding performance with individual medals in their events, as described below:

Sasha Kuznetsov & Colin MacGinnitie; Bungee Drop; 1st – Gold Medal
Gabriella Sinclair & Suyoung Choi; Forensics; 1st – Gold Medal
Julianna Huang & Audrey Hooker; Geologic Mapping; 1st – Gold Medal
Ian Paul & Caleb Fried; Write it/Do it; 1st – Gold Medal
Ian Paul & Audrey Hooker; Anatomy & Physiology; 2nd – Silver Medal
Colin MacGinnitie & Suyoung Choi; Chemistry Lab; 2nd  – Silver Medal
Ellen Kwon & Suyoung Choi; Bridge Building; 2nd – Silver Medal
Gabriellla Sinclair & Caleb Fried; Astronomy; 3rd   – Bronze Medal
Liza Sulkin & Jonathan Lee; It’s About Time; 3rd – Bronze Medal
Demetri Kanellias & John Barbone; Wright Stuff; 3rd – Bronze Medal
Alice Kukalina & Bhairavi Chandekhar; Protein Modeling; 3rd – Bronze Medal


The following Business Department students competed in the annual DECA state competition:

Bhavik Nagda
Nikolas Lazar
James Rao
Ksenia Potopav
Troy Manditch
Noah Gans
Henry Feldman


Congratulations to the Future Business Leaders of America team for having 14 South students place 3rd or higher in the FBLA State Championships.  The 14 students are Kayla Chang, Andrew Fu, Carol Zhang, Bhavik Nagda, James Rao, Nikolas Lazar, Jason Ma, Jacob Sander, Jarrett Shapiro, Ayush Upneja, Ben Anderson-Krim, Gabriel Betancourt, Nick Komarovsky, and Simon Steele.  FBLA students will have a chance to compete at Nationals this June.

Speech and Debate

The 101 members of the Newton South Speech & Debate team have had an outstanding winter, with top 3 team finishes at every in-state tournament and many individual successes. The following students have qualified for Nationals in Speech & Debate.

NCFL NATIONALS in Fort Lauderdale over Memorial Day Weekend:

Aidan Bassett – in Declamation
Karen Weinstock – in Dramatic Performance
Naomi Li & Ariel Hirschhorn – in Duo Interpretation
Jasper Primack – in Extemporaneous Speaking
James Rao – in Extemporaneous Speaking
Winson Ye – in Extemporaneous Speaking
Kim Gravlin – in Oral Interpretation of Literature
Rhea Dudani – in Original Oratory
Jae Seung Lee & Zephy Chang – in Public Forum Debate
Ethan Kestenberg & Sachin Srivastava – in Public Forum Debate
Ben Silvian & Daniel A. Goldstein – in Public Forum Debate
Bella Ehrlich & Feli Kuperwasser – in Public Forum Debate
Veronica Podolny & Rebecca Shaar – in Public Forum Debate
Mitchell Gamburg & Ayush Upneja – in Public Forum Debate

First Alternates:
Lily Borak – in Dramatic Performance
Jason Ma – in Extemporaneous Speaking – (Because another competitor who qualified will not attend, Jason will be competing.)
Jessica Landon – in Oral Interpretation of Literature

NSDA NATIONALS in Dallas, Texas in June:

Jasper Primack – in U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking
James Rao – in U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking
Winson Ye – in U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking
Jason Ma – in International Extemporaneous Speaking
Shira Abramovich & Amanda Stavis – in Duo Interp
Ethan Kestenbarg & Sachin Srivastava – Public Forum Debate
Jared Goodfriend & Malcolm Davis – Public Forum Debate


Recently at UMass Dartmouth, the Newton LigerBots, FIRST Robotics Team 2877, turned in an excellent performance in their first district meet of the 2015 Robotics Competition season.  The team made it all the way to semifinals in this year’s “Recycle Rush” game, with their alliance finishing third in the tournament. They also won the coveted District Chairman’s Award, an award celebrating FIRST teams’ efforts to spread interest in STEM in their community. The accolade also automatically advances the team and the robot to compete in the upcoming District Championship to be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 9-11, for the chance to qualify for the FIRST World Championships later this spring.

Also at UMass Dartmouth, three members of the team were nominated for and advanced in the competition for individual awards. Congratulations to head coach Charles Hurwitz for advancing to the district championship level for the Woodie Flowers Award for FIRST team mentor achievement, and to Max Tepermeister and Ilias Vamvakas for advancing to the district championship level for the Dean’s List Award for FIRST team member achievement.


Eleven students from South (Melissa Bernstein, Gethin Binns, Alana Bojar, Sophia Franco, Isabel Kaplan, Andrea Lirio, Madeleine Michael, Dalia Paris-Saper, Rhea Soni, Morgan Truncer and Henry Walsh) participated in the annual Close Up trip to Washington DC from March 1-6. They met and roomed with students from around the country, debated contemporary issues, visited many monuments and museums, observed protesters outside the Supreme Court and the White House, participated in a Mock Congress and learned first-hand how the US government works. On March 4, they had the opportunity to talk with Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Joe Kennedy, and our students asked them fascinating questions about their experiences and opinions. That same day, they observed a House hearing on the crisis in Ukraine, viewed the Senate just prior to the unsuccessful vote to try to over-ride President Obama’s Keystone Pipeline veto, got a tour of the Capital and visited the Library of Congress! Every day, in fact, students were busy from 7:00 in the morning until late at night, and their chaperone, History teacher Bob Parlin received many compliments about how respectful and cooperative the South students were.

Sophomore Speech

42 students who were selected by their English classes competed in the speech semi-finals. 10 students participated in our first Sophomore Speech Showcase, in which teachers selected students to give their speeches in the Lecture Hall during A, B, and G blocks. Following each speech, the audience had a chance to discuss the ideas that the speaker raised. Our speakers were: Natalie Dorfman, Ariana Rezaei, and Lousia Parker (A block); Margaret Zhao, Esther Kaplun, Victoria Stoia, and Sally Nelson (B block); and Madison Hofert, Isabella Auerbach, and Nishant Varna (G block). In addition, six students gave their speeches in the Field House in front of the entire sophomore class during the speech finals. Noah Kopf was named the winner, Abigail Lass placed second, and Risa Gelles-Watnick finished third. Lily Borak, Yuval Dinoor, and Samantha Armstrong were finalists.

Congratulations and thanks to all who participated.

Other academic news

Sophomore Jake Rong won a Silver Key award in the 2015 Scholastic Regional Writing Award competition for his critical essay “Quandaries in Education”!

A number of South students won awards in the National Russian Essay Contest this year. We had 3 gold medals, 6 silvers, 5 bronzes, and 2 honorable mentions.


On Sunday, March 15, students and staff from Newton South’s Dreamfar High School Marathon Team participated in the New Bedford Half Marathon (13.1 miles). All of the following students and staff ran this 13.1 mile course! It was a tough race for many of our students and mentors who are getting over injuries and building up the mileage for our ultimate goal – the Providence Marathon (26.2 miles) in May. As many of you know, Dreamfar is about so much more than running – and today was a prime example: mentoring, teamwork, friendship, experiential learning, and more. Please congratulate these students on their spectacular effort, endurance, and teamwork! Their resolve and commitment is truly extraordinary at this significant milestone in our marathon training program.

Jason Agress, Lily Eng, Suzanne Murphy Ferguson, Vittoria Macadino, and Holly Kee Newton South Team Leaders/Advisors Dreamfar High School Marathon

Karin Alsop
Anne Burnett
Melissa Butchard
Patrick Carberry
Evan Cohen
Marisa Cohen
Zach Day
Tristan Dinsmore
Aidan Fitzmaurice
Kieran Fitzmaurice
Emily Fong
Jeremy Freedman
Molly Granoff-Kuhn
Laura Grosser
Eleanor Harlan
Zach Hill
George Hillas
Hallie Kruh-Needleman
Kuang Arturo
Liam LaMonica
Tom Lee
Ana Lopez
Jose Lopez
Nickel Lucena-Farias
Colin MacGinnitie
Jessica Moskowitz
Allen Ng
Charlene Ng
Michelle Ng
Sam Peacock
Shiv Roychowdhury
Talia Tartaro
Kiki Vetoulis-Acevedo
Zanny Weinreb
Melissa Wong
Keith Woo
Ilana Zeldin

South Faculty Mentors:
Candice Beermann
Karen Sobin-Jonash

Winter Athletics

Wrestling two students qualified for New England’s for first time since 2011: Adam Josephson and Zack Nislick.

Girls Basketball: Team qualified to the tournament and competed in the South sectional semifinal at Massosoit College.

Boys Basketball: Team qualified to the tournament and competed in the South Sectional quarterfinal.

Girls track ; team qualified students to the All State tournament with Rebecca Grusby finishing 3rd in the 2 miles. They also qualified runners to New England’s and won the DCL Sportsmanship Award.

Boys Track: team qualified students to the All State tournament and to New England. Phil Batler finishing 2nd at New England’s, fastest time in MA.

Boys Gymnastics: Co-Op with North Won STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. Tomer Kerem Boston Globe All Scholastic

Girls Gymnastics: Won DCL dual championship, 3rd in State, 6th in New England’s. Camila Hernandez and Kalena Wang Boston Globe All scholastics.

Alpine Ski: Jessica Landon finished 3 in the Bay State league and top 30 in the State tournament.

Nordic Ski: Strong showing by the team at States and during regular season.

Girls Hockey: Co-op with Brookline. Sonja Klumpp selected Honorable Mentioned of the Bay State League.

Boys Hockey: DCL champions, Griffin Connolly: Player of the Year, Coach Ryberg “coach of the year.” Team qualified to States and competed in North Semifinals.

Swimming: Team finished top 4 at the DCL league. Several school records were set during the season by our swimmers and divers.