Farewell Reunion from 6-8PM June 7 retirement tribute for Albina Papows, Mrs. Reis, at the AMAZING Gloucester High School preschool program!

SAVE THE DATE. Farewell Reunion. Retirement tribute. June 7th. 6-8PM. Gloucester Preschool at the High School.

The unusual and innovative preschool at Gloucester High School meshes the education of Gloucester public high school students with a class of 4 year old preschoolers. These two age groups don’t usually interact. How does it work? Albina Papows, that’s how, for forty years.

Albina Papows is a visionary educator.

Along with Mrs. Papows and Mrs. Reis, there were eight to ten high school seniors selected as full-time “student teachers.” Another fifty or so high school students enrolled in 1 to 3 periods a day throughout the week. The high school student teachers were assigned to teams that alternated amazingly coordinated and extensive curriculum…weekly.


photo: sample weekly news


below photo: “…this was Allie’s activity. She gave us bee like toys and there were flowers, we made out of paper with bowls in the middle of the room which were filled with glitter nectar and we took the bee toys (which we had decorated) and we put glue on them and then we flew from flower to flower scooping the glitter nectar pollen from the bowls in the flower.”


Papows designed two classrooms with an access passage between them. This clever hall is a threshold, constructed with a line of cubby lockers along one wall and an immense window along the opposite wall. The “glazing” was actually a two-way observation mirror for viewing into the preschool classroom.

photo: doorway into the cubby entrance to the preschool (Mrs. Papows leaning down to speak to each student as they head out for the day). High school students turned right to enter the high school classroom.


The program was woven into the high school environment fluidly and effectively. The preschoolers went on “field trips” to the foreign language rooms, the auto mechanic trade rooms, and the library.  Special holidays and events were teaching opportunities and fun. On Thanksgiving, the preschool program prepared not one but three turkeys with full accompanying sides, all cooked and prepared as much ahead with the preschoolers. I am sure Mrs. Papows and Mrs. Reis needed to give up much of their predawn hours to prepare not only for the preschoolers, but for all those hungry high school students! The Gloucester H.S. Preschool teachers and student teachers volunteered their time in the community. I will never forget when they created activities and collected toys and treats for a friend of my sons, a 5 year old little boy stricken with cancer and in a hospital for years awaiting a bone marrow match. They walked at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and to raise awareness for the “swab to save a life” bone marrow campaign that the little boy needed. Today he is thriving and cancer free.


On weekends the high school students sent home their school projects which were serious work on their end and magical custom hand made activities and games for our kids.


I have to thank John and Alexandra, Alexandra’s Bread, for steering my family to this incredible preschool resource.  Upon their recommendation, I made an appointment to visit the program and was immediately bowled over by seeing so many engaged and vibrant young adults–male and female– with so much energy and hope in their faces all directed at these lucky little preschoolers. I vividly recall my mother–who had a long career in education and extensive experience with teacher evaluations– putting her hands on my shoulder to grab my attention when she visited the class for the first time.

“Do you understand how remarkable it is that Mrs. Papows can switch her style back and forth each and every day teaching preschoolers and high school students like that?!  They require completely different skills, approaches and handling!” Ok maybe not ‘handling’.

Ah, no, I didn’t. Her comments did bring back my sons’ first day of school when I experienced Mrs. Papows’ quick social intelligence and observation skills.  She leaned down to study my sons, identical twins, and would not let them pass until she knew them. She did it so fast, I thought,  is she one of those super recognizer people, the ones I’ve read about that are so adept at facial recognition and reading people?

I came to believe that this impressive preschool program was so good that it was clearly a terrific opportunity for Gloucester to reveal an outstanding teaching model. Maybe it could inspire other programs or be replicated across other school systems? So I wrote letters and made phone calls to successive superintendents and principals, some contacts, and a few local and national media outlets about this hidden jewel, urging them to please, please keep Gloucester High School and this inspirational model program in mind and share it. What a great teacher story! What great high school students! At the time, national attention was focused elsewhere.  Forget the preschool and kindergarten at the 92nd Street Y and other private preschools in New York City: here was a local public school facing some economic challenges offering work at a high caliber.

When my kids went to elementary school, there were more great teachers. I thought it would be nice to have a Staff Shine box on the Gloucester Public School and city website. There would be no hesitation which teacher I would write about first.

Now my kids are at O’Maley Innovation and are learning from excellent middle school teachers. When the Honor Roll is published, the list is filled with former Gloucester High School preschool students. Thank you Gloucester preschool at the High School, all the former high school student teachers, Mrs. Reis and especially Mrs. Papows!

Please share the “Farewell Reunion” news so that former students and preschoolers can join in! SAVE THE DATE. Farewell Reunion. June 7th. 6-8PM. Gloucester Preschool at the High School.

Rare western snowy plovers nesting in Los Angeles after 70-year absence

Thank you to my new friend Laura Stevens for sharing the following story. I have been to Malibu Lagoon State Beach when visiting Liv in Santa Monica and it is equally as well-loved and highly trafficked as is Good Harbor Beach.

Rare western snowy plovers nesting in Los Angeles after 70-year absence

Mother Nature Network/By Jaymi Heimbuch/May 14, 2017

Photo: Kristian Bell

On April 18, the nest of a western snowy plover was discovered on Santa Monica State Beach. More nests were discovered later in the month on Dockweiler State Beach and Malibu Lagoon State Beach. While finding the nests of shore birds on a beach doesn’t seem like a big deal, it’s an extraordinary moment when you consider the species. The last time a nest of this species was found on a Los Angeles County beach was in 1949! After 68 years, the tiny birds once again are trying to raise families on these busy southern California shores.

The western snowy plover is a tiny shorebird so perfectly camouflaged that it can disappear in plain sight on the sand. It lays its eggs in depressions in the sand, and these eggs can be next to impossible to see until you’re right on top of them. Snowy plover chicks — as pictured here — learn to get up and go within hours of hatching.

Unfortunately, the nesting preferences of these little birds make them vulnerable to disturbance from humans and predation by everything from crows to cats.

According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) news release, “The Pacific Coast population of western snowy plover was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1993, because of habitat loss, impacts from non-native predators and other factors. At the time of listing, the California population was estimated to be about 1,300 adults. In 2016, the population was estimated to have increased to a little more than 1,800 adults.”

The news that the birds are making a comeback in Los Angeles County is heartening, and it shows the conservation efforts to restore habitat and protect nesting areas are paying off.

“This is a sign that, against all odds, western snowy plovers are making a comeback, and we really need the cooperation of beachgoers to help give them the space they need to nest and raise their young,” said senior FWS biologist Chris Dellith. “I’m hopeful that we can find a balance between beach recreation and habitat restoration, which will allow humans and shorebirds like the western snowy plover to peacefully exist along our coastline.”

New England Premiere Opens Gloucester Stage 2017 Season


Gloucester Stage Company kicks off its 38th season of professional theater on Cape Ann with the New England Premiere of John Kolvenbach’s Bank Job from May 19 through June 10 at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. For two brothers, Russell and Tracey, new to the armed robbery industry, what seems like easy money turns out to be a lot more difficult than it looks in the movies in John Kolvenbach’s hilarious Bank Job. When heist plans A and B (and C through F) fail, the brothers find themselves locked in the executive bathroom with no way out and no choice but to depend on a brave bank teller, a guileless cop, and the man in the shadows who put them up to the whole thing. A fun comedy, Bank Job is about the holes we dig ourselves into—and the unexpected comrades we trust to dig us out. Directed by GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh and featuring GSC veterans Johnny Lee Davenport, Nael Nacer, Richard McElvain and Paul Melendy and GSC newcomer Shuyi Jia..


Bank Job had its world premiere in 2014 at the Amphibian Stage Productions Theater in Fort Worth, Texas. Bank Job playwright John Kolvenbach will be at Gloucester Stage on Sunday, June 4 for a free post show discussion with the director and cast following the 2pmperformance. John Kolvenbach is an American playwright known for works including Sister Play, Gizmo Love, Love Song, On An Average Day, Goldfish, Marriage Play, and Fabuloso. Both Love Song and On An Average Day were performed on the West End in London. Love Song was directed by John Crowley and featured Kristen Johnson, Cillian Murphy, Neve Campbell and Michael McKean, and was nominated for an Olivier Award as best new comedy. On an Average Day was also directed by Crowley and featured Woody Harrelson and Kyle McLachlan. Mr. Kolvenbach’s plays have been performed in London’s West End and all over the world, including productions in Rome, Sydney, Wellington, Seoul, Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Zurich, San Juan, Berlin and throughout the United States.

  Continue reading “New England Premiere Opens Gloucester Stage 2017 Season”

3rd Week of Katrina’s $1,000 Singer Songwriter Challenge Tonight! 7:30pm start

Check out last week’s 2nd challenge 2nd night
Katrina’s $1,000 Singer Songwriter Challenge 5.9.2017
Another night with a great mix of music from so many singer songwriters.
Moving lyrics with passionate deliverance by all.
It always amazes me how one can write lyrics and put it to music or vice versa…What a talent and then to get up in front of a crowd and share it all.
Thank you to all that shared.
Collin Curtis
Lisa Manning
Chad Perrone
Maximillian Wentz
Red Tail Hawk duo
JP Heston
Joseph Andrew Slepoy
Nico Rivers
Peter Mercier

photos by Sheila Roberts Orlando

Congratulations to Chad Perrone for winning last nights challenge. We will see you at the finals.

jisilva photo

Thank you to the judges: Alice Arnold, Eric Reardon and Jake Pardee.

I could never do it, seriously…
A special thank you to Chris Langathianos for bringing it and Katrina’s for hosting.



Spring is here and what a better way to celebrate the warm weather with a reggae party! So join us in the tiki lounge upstairs from Short and Main FRIDAY MAY 14th

DJs Renegade Red and Vision of LION PRIDE SOUND have opened for numerous legendary reggae acts, put on some of MASS and Vermonts most popular reggae nights as well as the infamous REGGAE BASHMENT ON THE HIGH SEAS BOAT-CRUISES … they will be in full affect playing strictly the best in Roots Reggae, Dancehall, Rockers, Lovers rock , Ska and Rocksteady on the 1s and 2s!

Pet of the Week- Felix

Do you enjoy travel and cruising around and are looking for someone who would enjoy car rides as much as you do? Well then here I am! I love going for rides, just sitting in the seat and watching the world go by, maybe I was born for an RV lifestyle? Felix here and considering myself a lucky guy for getting to travel from Georgia up here to Massachusetts to find a new family I can relish as my own! I am a very affectionate fellow and want to be part of your day. I get along great with the other pooches here and don’t mind having other small dog roommates here so wouldn’t mind sharing my new home with a canine sibling or two. I spent some time in foster before traveling here and my foster family had this to say. “Felix was sort of needy and whiny his first few nights in my home but once he figured out the schedule and what was expected of him he settled right in. Felix is very well crate trained, and walks great on the leash. He is not 100% house-trained but does well with supervision. He really loves attention but likes to explore too. I have never seen him react negatively to anything or anyone. I honestly think that Felix would be a great addition to any home that plans to treat him with patience and positive, consistent reinforcement. He is so very special and deserving of a posh life in his older years!” So what do you say, take a chance on me? To see all of the available animals at the Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter please go to our website:capeannanimalaid.org.

Turkey Trauma

A few turkeys were walking around the side yard of campus yesterday so I walked outside to take some photos of them.  Imagine my horror when I realized that one had a long arrow straight through its body!  While it seemed to walking fine and keeping up with its friends, it was totally heartbreaking to see.  I can only imagine the pain and discomfort the arrow must be causing.

I made a phone call to Beverly Animal Control who told me to call Fish and Wildlife who told me to call Boston Wildlife Rescue.  They asked for photos and asked for us to keep an eye out to see if the turkey is able to roost at night and whether or not it looks like it is eating, etc.  Hopefully they will come find it this week to see if there is anything they can do.



Phil Curcuru shares that a new and improved boardwalk is being installed this week at Good Harbor Beach at the #2 location, directly in front of the snack bar. The boardwalk will be wide enough to be handicap accessible.

Thank you Phil and Mike, and thank you to the Gloucester DPW for the tremendous job they do maintaining Good Harbor, and all of Gloucester’s public beaches, throughout the year.