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The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

Top 10 things to know about the 2023-2024 WHS school year

Wayland+High+School+students+return+to+school+on+Tuesday%2C+Sept.+5.+To+help+students+prepare+for+the+upcoming+year%2C+WSPN+has+put+together+a+list+of+the+top+10+things+to+know+about+this+school+year.+
Credit: Alyssa Ao
Wayland High School students return to school on Tuesday, Sept. 5. To help students prepare for the upcoming year, WSPN has put together a list of the top 10 things to know about this school year.

Welcome back to WSPN. Over the summer, Wayland High School administration made some changes and updates to the school. With new staff members and policies, student life will look somewhat different from last school year. Here is a list of the top 10 things to know about the 2023-2024 school year:

1. New department heads

Several new department heads have been hired for the upcoming school year. The English department head will be WHS English teacher Peter Galalis. The science department head will be newly hired William Bobowski, the former president of the Massachusetts Science Education Leadership Association. The guidance department will be directed by WHS guidance counselor Ben Buffa.

WHS Spanish teacher Nicole Haghdoust is taking a year-long leave from the position of world language department head, though she will continue to teach during this time. In her place, WHS Spanish teacher Alaina Ghetti will take over the role of department head.

2. New teachers

New teachers have been hired in differing departments. The English department has added Philip George and Eric Bosco to teach the subject. Bosco will also be teaching the journalism class along with history teacher Sarah Lee. Eimile Bowden, who has previously worked at WHS, is also joining the English department staff. There is a science teacher, Marisa Frydman, and a new math teacher, Sandra Stonebreaker. There is also a new guidance counselor, Christina Calderon. The last new teacher is special education liason, Joseph Regonlinski.

3. New Instructional Technology Specialist

In addition to new teachers, WHS has also employed Marc Lefebvre as the new Instructional Technology Specialist in place of former Technology Specialist Mary Barber. Lefebvre previously taught physics and technology courses at Melrose High School and Belmont High School. Students can find him in his office, which is located in the media center.

4. New guidance dog, Gruff

There will be a new guidance dog this year to replace Ricki, and his name is Gruff. Named after a Tinker Bell character, Gruff is a one and a half year old English Cream Golden Retriever and he is Buffa’s family dog. Since he is new to the school, Gruff will take the first weeks of school to adjust to his new environment, but after that, students can find him either walking around campus or spending time with Buffa in the guidance department.

5. Free lunches

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey permanently established the Universal Free School Meals program, which allows all students in Massachusetts to receive one free lunch each day. Limited free breakfast will be available at the snack bar in the morning as well. Students will also have the option to buy additional lunches and snacks, although these will not be free.

6. Updates on Student Learning Centers

Administration removed two Student Learning Centers (SLC) in the South Building to make room for more student seating. Both the SLC in the language wing and history wing were replaced with desks and tables. The SLCs were originally made as technology bars, but now that students have laptops, administration believed that the hightop wooden bars were less functional than the new tables.

7. Keycards

Beginning this year, all entrances to WHS buildings will be locked during the school day. In order for students to travel between buildings and unlock doors, they will use personal identification cards as keycards. The keycards are a new added security measure to make the school safer and limit outside access into school buildings. These keycards will be administered early on in the school year, and students will receive more information shortly.

8. Interim superintendent and assistant superintendent

In Feb., the Wayland School Committee voted to place former Superintendent Omar Easy on paid administrative leave. In his place, former Newton Public Schools Superintendent David Fleishman will serve a one-year term as interim superintendent. Additionally, former Wayland Middle School Principal Betsy Gavron will serve as interim assistant superintendent in place of former Assistant Superintendent Parry Graham, who will be serving as the Lincoln Public Schools superintendent.

9. More Advanced Placement classes offered

Last year, two classes of Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and Composition were available to incoming seniors. This year, due to high demand, the course has doubled in size, with four classes taught by English Department Head Peter Galalis and English teacher Kelsey Pitcairn. Previously, the class has only been taught by Pitcairn, but this year, Galalis will be teaching as well.

10. Spanish and Mandarin trips 

This upcoming spring, select students who are enrolled in a Spanish or Mandarin class will have the chance to travel to Spain and Taiwan respectively. The Spain trip will begin in Madrid, where students will visit historical sites. Following that, they will immerse themselves in the Spanish culture with a home stay, where students will stay with a host family. The Mandarin trip will take place mainly in Taiwan. Students will visit a high school and experience events like classes and sports games during their stay. They will also visit temples and other historical locations throughout the trip.

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About the Contributor
Alyssa Ao
Alyssa Ao, Co-Graphics Editor
Alyssa Ao, Class of 2025, is a co-graphics editor for WSPN. She is also one of the Math Team captains and co-president of the Art Club. Outside of school, she enjoys art, playing piano and watching TV. Contact: [email protected]
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