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Friday, March 31, 2017
Good afternoon,

Each year I send this letter to parent/guardians regarding senior expectations for the end of the school year.  Please take a moment review this letter with your son/daughter if you have a graduating senior.  The letter will also be posted on our website Monday morning and in the Principal's Corner.  

PHONE: 978-692-5570  FAX: 978-692-5502

JAMES P. ANTONELLI, PRINCIPAL                                                   MICHAEL J. PARENT, DEAN
BETSY MURPHY, DEAN                                                                ROBERT P. WARE, DEAN

April, 2017

Dear Seniors and Parents/Guardians:

Westford Academy will conduct commencement exercises for the Class of 2017 in approximately two months from now. Graduation is scheduled for Friday, June 2, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. on the Westford Academy Trustees Field at Alumni Stadium.  If the weather requires us to postpone the event, it will be held on Saturday, June 3 at 5:30 p.m.; if weather continues to be a factor it will be held on Sunday, June 4 at 2:00 p.m.  

It has been a remarkable year filled with many individual and collective accomplishments in the classroom, and in co-curricular and interscholastic activities. You should be proud, as I certainly am, of your maturity, your enthusiasm, and your enviable record of achievement in all of these areas.

Seniors, please make sure to maintain the degree of effort necessary to succeed in order to walk across the stage to receive your diploma in June.  This refers to both academic and behavioral expectations that remain in place, whether here at Westford Academy or on site at your internship. Parents, we ask you to initiate a dialogue with your prospective graduate about both these issues.  There are still classes to attend, quizzes/tests and final assessments to take, homework to complete and final averages to be computed before that diploma is signed.  Seniors, please do not jeopardize your eligibility to participate in the graduation ceremony by failing to attend to these matters.

I regret to have to address the issue of inappropriate behavior as we approach the end of your Westford Public School experience.  Unfortunately, in the past, some students have not been able to avoid making poor choices that have caused them, their families, and school personnel significant personal and emotional distress during a time that should be joyous.  It is my obligation to inform you that any irresponsible and/or disruptive behavior, including but not limited to the use of alcohol/drugs, that occurs between now and graduation will result in serious disciplinary consequences, including ineligibility to participate in senior week activities and/or the graduation ceremony.  It is important to note that this behavior includes what many refer to as a “Senior Prank”. Any student involved in such an activity will be suspended and will not be allowed to participate in graduation.

As principal, I want to be clear on the position I have taken on this issue.  It is my opinion that there is too much potential for personal injury and damage to public and private property during the planning and execution of such pranks.  In addition, this type of activity does not reflect the academic or ethical standards of Westford Academy.  I fully understand that some may disagree with this position, but I am stating it explicitly in the interest of full and advance disclosure.

The commencement exercise is a formal ceremony, and all participants, including spectators are asked to conduct themselves in accordance with the tone of the ceremony.  Parents are asked not to move into the roped off area separating the students from spectators.  Also, parents are not allowed to move toward the stage area during the ceremony.  We have hired photographers to take individual pictures of each student receiving his/her diploma.  It is important that we all respect the space needed to give each student his or her appropriate recognition.

Seniors will receive with their diplomas an acknowledgment list, which will give the names and addresses of the individuals and organizations that award scholarships and major awards.  Seniors are reminded to acknowledge any awards they receive.  Parents, please ensure your graduate sends the appropriate note of thanks.

All school obligations must be fulfilled prior to receiving your diploma.  Seniors who have not turned in their books and other materials will receive notification of their outstanding obligations. Attending graduation practice is required if you plan to participate in the ceremony.

Finally, and most importantly, let us all enjoy and celebrate your accomplishments in the proper manner.  Graduation from Westford Academy is an accomplishment in which to take great pride.  The events that are planned in connection with graduation are all celebrations of this achievement. We applaud our students, parents of our soon-to-be graduates, our teachers, and all others who made it all possible. Make these closing weeks memorable for all the right reasons.

On behalf of the entire faculty, staff and administration, I congratulate you and thank you in advance for your cooperation.


James P. Antonelli


Graduation Shout-out to Seniors - WA Ghostwriter
The end of your child's high school career is near! We know you have many different ways to commemorate the occasion, but we'd like to offer another possibility. The staff of the student newspaper, The WA Ghostwriter, invites you to purchase a graduation shout-out for your son or daughter.  We publish a printed June edition of the newspaper that is distributed at graduation.  Since it features a list of the graduates' college destinations, it tends to be a hot commodity! We are selling four different shout-out spaces this year. ( Deadline for submitting all materials and payment: April 13, 2017. The Ghostwriter staff will design your shout-out at no additional cost! Photos that work well: senior portraits (that you have a release for), baby pictures, candids, close up and clear photos. Photos that do not work well: Iphone photos, blurry or unfocused photos. Message example: “We are so proud of you Sam!  We know you will do well in college and succeed at UConn!  We hope you always stay true to yourself and follow your dreams!  Love, Mom and Dad”. Feel free to email me with any questions!
Janet Fonden
English and Journalism Teacher
WA Ghostwriter Adviser

DECA Business Club-Comedy Hypnotist
Comedy Hypnotist Tickets will be sold during all lunches next week (Monday - Friday) for students, unless they sell out. The DECA club cannot guarantee that there will be tickets available at the end of the week, so get your tickets early.  Tickets during lunches are $8.

WA Last Night 2017 is the all-night, substance-free celebration for our Westford Academy graduating seniors, which will be held on Friday, June 2nd starting at 10:00 PM. With almost 100% participation, Last Night is a highlight for WA graduates. It takes over 200 volunteers and many, many generous donors to make this evening a success. Parents of all students from K to 12, are encouraged to volunteer.
  • Donations can be made online at or please send your contribution to: WA Last Night 2017, PO Box 4079, Westford, MA 01886. All gifts are tax-deductible.
  • To volunteer, contact Volunteer Coordinator Cindy McKeen at or come to an upcoming volunteer event to sign up and process your CORI form. Cindy will be at Panera from 7 to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, April 11th and Tuesday, April 25th. You can also sign up before the monthly Last Night meeting in the WA Lecture Hall (Room 144) on Wednesday, April 5th from 6:45 to 7:00 PM.
For more information, please see the Last Night website at

Change of Date!  Electronics Recycling Fundraiser
Please support Westford Troop 95's 2nd annual Electronics Recycling Fundraiser!  Due to the coming storm, we will be changing the date to this Sunday, April 2.  Other info the same - still 10-1:00 PM at the Miller School.  Please see for items accepted and nominal fees charged.  Thank you for your support in raising funds to send our Troop to experience an adventure in China!

Have a great weekend!  Jim Antonelli

Westford Academy   •   30 Patten Road  •  Westford, MA 01886   •   Tel: (978) 692-5570

Westford Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or homelessness.