Cougar Courier

March 6th, 2021

Class of 2021 is all in on Monday!

class of 2021


The entire senior class, including those who have opted to be remote for quarter three, has been invited to be on campus for the academic day on Monday, March 8th. Seniors will attend their regularly scheduled classes as well as a class meeting to discuss their senior spring. While we understand this year has been met with a great deal of challenge, we are hopeful that Monday’s time together on campus and the updates shared at this class meeting will expand joy and excitement after a long winter. This is not a requirement but rather an opportunity for the Class of 2021 to be on campus for the day. Any student who does not feel comfortable being on campus on Monday is welcome to attend classes remotely. We look forward to seeing the Class of 2021 together on campus Monday!


Course Selection Process Begins Next Week

language kahoot

Seventh graders began the process of selecting their World Language for 8th grade while playing a Kahoot.


The Academic Office will begin the scheduling process for the 2021-2022 academic year on Monday, March 8th. An outline of the week is provided for your reference. 

  • Monday, March 8th:
    • Course Selection Forms will be sent to students via an email link to Survey Monkey.
    • Parent Webinar at 6:00 p.m. for current 6th and 7th grade parents
    • Parent Webinar at 7:00 p.m. for current 8th grade parents
  • Monday, March 8th - Thursday, March 11th:
    • Conversations about the course selection process will occur during advisory.
  • Wednesday, March 10th:
    • Parent Webinar at 6:00 p.m. for current 9th -11th grade parents 
  • Friday, March 12th:
    • Course Selection Forms must be submitted by today through Survey Monkey.
    • Please assist your students in adhering to this deadline as their delay may impact their ability to enroll in electives of their choosing.

Both the Middle School and Upper School Course Catalogs are available on the Veracross Portal.

Should you have any questions, please contact your child's advisor.


Spirit Week Benefits St. Jude Children's Hospital

st jude

Austin Prep Community members were spotted wearing buttons in support of St. Jude this week.


Spirit Week had a successful return to Austin Prep last week, complete with themed dress down days and daily contest for both staff and students. Money raised this week through the sale of Spirit Week participatory bracelets benefited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment, with a commitment to no child being denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay. We have currently raised $5,800 and counting in support of St. Jude. Well done, Austin Prep!


National Junior Honor Society Class Inducted

On March 1, the Austin Prep Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society held a virtual induction ceremony for 19 new members of the Chapter. You can view the program for the event by clicking here. As a part of that ceremony, inductees delivered reflections on the five pillars of the Society - scholarship, service, leadership, citizenship, and character.

Nareg Minassian ‘26 wrote and shared remarks on the virtue of character. To read the first text of his remarks, visit the latest Middle School Blog here, or you can view the recording of Nareg’s remarks here.

This year's Inspirational Teacher Award was presented to Ms. Meghan Chapman, Mathematics Faculty by Andre Bashirians ‘26. Thank you Ms. Chapman for the impact you have on the lives of all Austin Prep students. To learn more about Ms. Chapman, read the Community Spotlight at the end of this week's Cougar Courier!

A full list of National Junior Honor Society inductees can be found below:

2021 Inductees

Andre Bashirians ‘26
Leonardo Centinaro ‘25
Braeddon Dyment ‘26
Sophia Fanuele ‘26
Madeleine Fisher ‘26
Samuel Joseph ‘26
Anna Klovee ‘25
Jasmine Labriola ‘26
George Mamakos ‘26
Nareg Minassian ‘26
Aaria Nagpal ‘26
Margaret O’Brien ‘26
Lauren Ouellette ‘25
Steven Reyes ‘26
Dylan Sigsbury ‘25
Evelyn Surowiec ‘25
Lauren Vigneaux ‘26
Janna Vounessea ‘25
Angelica Zizza ‘26




Austin Prep Presents Returns March 23

march 23 ap presents


Austin Prep Presents returns on Tuesday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. with "Childcare and Eldercare: Balancing Everyone’s Needs” with Sheetal Patel '05, Executive Director of Great Falls Assisted Living, and Dr. Hillary Bush '03, Psychologist. Sheetal and Hillary will share their professional and personal experience with the “Sandwich/Panini Generation,” or those of us who have a parent over 65 and are raising children under the age of 18. Some of the topics we hope to cover include child and elder medical services, aiding in financial and legal matters, and the many emotional difficulties that come with balancing everyone’s needs, including our own. Webinar access credentials will be distributed to the community prior to the event.


Save the Date for Day of Giving: Wednesday, April 14

giving day 2021


Let’s do it again!

Last year, we set a record for the most gifts in one day. More important, we set a record for helping our community meet the challenges of the overwhelming pandemic crisis. We are ready to set new records again!

This year, we have an opportunity to raise the bar in support of the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund supports unanticipated technology requirements, remote learning programs, teacher professional training, student support services, health and safety initiatives and financial assistance to families in need.

Our goal is simple—keep our students, teachers and families healthy and safe with minimal disruptions as they pursue the promise of a quality education.

So, mark April 14th on your calendar and get ready to join us as we aim to set new records. To learn more and make a donation, visit our website.


Golf Open Returns

austin open golf


After having missed the opportunity to host golfers within our school community in 2020, we are excited to announce the return of the annual Austin Prep Golf Tournament! The 33rd Annual Golf Tournament will take place on May 24, 2021 at Indian Ridge Golf Club in Andover, MA. Working within local guidelines pertaining to social gatherings, we look forward to a reimagined event with the health and well being of our guests as the priority. Registration and more information will be available soon.

The Annual Golf Tournament is vital in our efforts to continue to provide exceptional educational experiences for all our students. Proceeds from past golf tournaments have funded numerous campus initiatives, including the recently renovated David E. Nelson '81 Fitness Center. Now, more than ever, we welcome your participation in the event, either as a golfer or sponsor. Event sponsorships help make our event a success, and a wide array of sponsorships are available. We appreciate all those who have already committed to helping us make this a great event, and look forward to having additional members of the community join us.

If you have questions about golf sponsorships or the event in general, please contact Ms. Susan Belanger, Assistant Head for External Affairs. We hope to see you on the course for another great day with friends in support of Austin Prep.


Austin Prep Continues to Celebrate Women's History Month

paige christie

Paige Christie '11, shown here receiving an award as a graduate student at UC Irvine, was inducted into the Austin Prep Hall of Fame in 2018.


Austin Prep continues to celebrate Women's History Month, which runs from March 1st - 31st. During this time, we will recognize the contributions, achievements and influence of women on the history and culture of the United States and the world, but also locally and in the Austin Prep Community. This week we spotlighted, among others,  Paige Christie '11. A 2018 Austin Prep Hall of Fame Inductee, Christie swam the English Channel in 2014 and is in her last semester of a JD/MBA program at UC Irvine, where she served as the 2020 MBA Commencement Speaker.


Austin Prep Announces Second Quarter Honor Roll

honor roll

The list of students who earned honors in the second quarter of Austin Prep's 2020-2021 academic year has been released. Congratulations to the students who earned this prestigious recognition in their pursuit of truth. #Veritas


Sports Leadership Course Welcomes Boston Celtics Staffer

sam taub


Mr. Colin Kiley's Topics in Technology: Sports Leadership course - a part of the Middle School curriculum - had a unique opportunity to speak virtually this week with Sam Taub, Director of Youth Basketball and Development for the Boston Celtics. Coach Taub spoke about his own personal journey, his career within sports leadership, development of the Jr. Celtics program, and lessons learned through coaches and mentors. Students were afforded the opportunity to ask Coach Taub questions on his experiences with the Celtics and beyond. Coach Taub was Mr. Kiley's mentor and supervisor during a summer college internship. Thank you to Mr. Taub for taking time to talk with students and his continued positive impact on the community.


Health and Wellness Resources


Austin Prep School Counselors, including Mr. Nicholas Reynolds, right, continue to be a valuable resource for students and families.


As part of an ongoing Health and Wellness Office to provide valuable resources to our students and parents, please take a moment to read this important article on homework by well-known author and psychologist, Dr. Lisa Damour. Last August, our Health and Wellness counselors participated in a course led by Dr. Damour entitled “Steady in the Storm: Protecting Student Mental Health.” As we continue to navigate these challenging times, please do not hesitate to reach out to Health and Wellness Counselors Ms. Jessica Lenci and Mr. Nicholas Reynolds if they can be of any assistance.


Community Spotlight: Ms. Meghan Chapman


Note: Our vibrant campus comes to life as a result of the talented students and faculty who make up the Austin Prep community. We look forward to periodically highlighting those individuals here in the Cougar Courier.

Hometown: Wakefield, MA

Education/Degrees: Bachelors in K-8 Math Education from the University of New Hampshire

Years at Austin Prep: 2 years

Years working in Education: 2 years

Department/Area of Subject: Mathematics

Describe a teacher who inspired you growing up: My 7th grade math teacher showed me what it means to learn from my mistakes. I grew confidence in my math ability that year because she believed in me.

Do you have a motto you teach by? Or an expression you try to instill in your classroom? Treat others the way you would want to be treated. This is not only a motto I teach by, but also a motto I live by. I believe that students learn best by teachers they respect. I work every day to give my students the respect and love that I believe I deserve in return.

What’s the most insightful thing a student has ever said to you? A student once asked me, “Ms. Chapman why does everyone try so hard to fit in? I think it’s kind of cool to be weird.” Truer words have never been spoken.

If you weren’t a teacher, what career would you have? I have always wanted to be a teacher but, I originally went to school to be a child psychologist.

Accolades: NHS in high school, Most Athletic in high school, Broke a school record in Indoor Track & Field, NJHS Inspirational Teacher Award at AP

Favorite Quote: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or…some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

Fun fact (about you or your past; something colleagues & students might not ordinarily know): I’m currently training for a half-marathon!

Any other information you would like to share: I also shook Barack Obama’s hand!