alumni

Classmates reconnected at Alumni Weekend

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Alumni Association looking for new officers and class representatives

Many of you reconnected with friends this past weekend at our annual Alumni Weekend. We were happy to see you walk the halls of SLA again. 

The class with the largest turnout was the honor class of 1978, celebrating their 40th reunion. A couple of members of the class of 1988 proudly showed up with their letter jackets.

The classes that typically have the best attendance returning for Alumni Weekend are those that have an active class representative who contacts each former student from their class. If you'd like to be a class representative, please contact Shauna Neidigh at development@mysla.org or (978) 368-8544, ext. 108.

According to the bylaws of the Alumni Association, it's time to elect officers. Most of our current officers are stepping down from their roles. We are looking for a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Webmaster for a one-year term. The officers plan the Alumni Weekend, any communication to the alumni and other events at their discretion. If you are interested in giving back to your alma mater in one of these capacities, please contact Shauna Neidigh at development@mysla.org or (978) 368-8544, ext. 108.

Plan now to attend next year's Alumni Weekend on Oct. 11-13, 2019. We will be honoring the classes of 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2004, 2014. 

Join your friends for Alumni Weekend

Attention all SLA alumni, you are invited to Alumni Weekend, Oct. 5-7. We want to especially encourage those from the honor classes to attend, those classes from years that end in an 8 or a 3. Come and reminisce with classmates while enjoying the fall colors in New England.

The Alumni Association has worked hard to plan a weekend for all to enjoy. See the schedule below:

Friday, Oct. 5
3-6 p.m. Registration at SLA
7:30 p.m. Musical vespers featuring the Youth Ensemble of New England and SLA's il Voce', choir and bell choirs at the College Church

Sabbath, Oct. 6
9:30 a.m. Sabbath School at the College Church
11 a.m. Church service with keynote speaker, Ron Nickerson, class of 1966, at the College Church
1 p.m. Lunch at Thayer
2 p.m. Class pictures at Thayer (classes choose specific locations)
3 p.m. Honor class meetings at SLA
5:30 p.m. Vespers at the Village Church with the class of 1973.
7 p.m. Supper and program at Thayer, including meeting our new principal, David Branum
7:30 p.m. SLA students vs. alumni coed volleyball game at SLA gym
8 p.m. SLA students vs. alumni men's basketball game at SLA gym

Sunday, Oct. 7
9 a.m. Honor classes brunch at The Old Mill, Westminster (optional, with advance reservation ONLY, or alternate plans per class discretion)
9 a.m. to noon, Estate planning appointments with Tom Murray, Director of Planned Giving and Trust Services at Southern New England Conference. Contact Tom Murray at (978) 365-4551, ext. 615 or plannedgiving@sneconline.org to set up an appointment.

Purchase your meal tickets for the Sabbath lunch and/or supper at slaalumni.org before Sept. 17.

We look forward to seeing you at SLA soon!

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New faces and a facelift

Each school year is ripe with changes and possibilities, and this year South Lancaster Academy has that in abundance. We are welcoming our returning and new students with some new faces in the faculty and a facelift to the parking lot, athletics fields and gymnasium. 

Faces
We are pleased to welcome two new administrators to our team:

  • David Branum is the Principal (see July 2018 Fiat Lux)
  • Ginnie Hakes is the Vice Principal (see story below).

SLA also has three new academy teachers:

  • Damali Caine is the Religion Teacher/Chaplain. She comes from Pine Forge Academy in Pennsylvania where she taught religion. She relocated with her husband, Eric, and their young son, Nathan.
  • Veronica Iria is the Business/Technology/Art Teacher. She is not new to SLA as she's taught art here part-time, but now she is a full-time teacher taking over the business, technology and yearbook classes as well.
  • Karl Hernandez is the Maintenance/Transportation/Vocational Arts Director. He is well-known at SLA as a popular substitute teacher, but now is our full-time Maintenance Director and teaches woodworking and home repair.

We are happy each one has joined SLA to continue to share God's love while they educate our students.

Facelift
Perhaps the most obvious changes is on the school grounds itself. A newly designed parking lot and pick-up/drop-off zone increase safety and efficiency. Both athletic fields, one by the elementary building and one by the secondary building, were leveled for improved drainage and usability. The gymnasium got a fresh coat of paint with the school seal and Crusader logo gracing the walls.

We are extremely grateful to Allain Sitework and Comley Excavating, both alumni-owned companies, for their work on the parking lots and fields.

Good things are happening at South Lancaster Academy. God is leading, we are following.

Upgraded athletic field, parking lot and drop-off/pick-up lane

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When students arrive for the first day of school on Aug. 23, they will see a revamped drop-off/pick-up lane with clearly marked lines, a sidewalk with a curb to provide a safe walkway between the elementary and secondary buildings, more parking spaces, and a newly leveled sports field so our athletes don't have to play soccer in a muddy swamp.

These improvements are possible thanks to generous donations of time and resources from Allain Sitework and Comley Excavating, both companies with ties to South Lancaster Academy as alumni or current parents, as well as your donations to our Building for Eternity campaign.

Thank you for continuing to support South Lancaster Academy in providing improved facilities in which our students can learn and grow in their relationship with God.

Graduates earn more than $1.1 in scholarships

Class of 2018

Class of 2018

South Lancaster Academy celebrated its 135th commencement on Sunday, June 10, 2018, graduating 18 students. These seniors were awarded more than $1,165,000 in scholarships.

Of the 18 seniors, 13 plan to attend Seventh-day Adventist colleges, one is attending New York Institute of Technology, one attending Quinsigamond Community College, one entering the Navy and two are undecided. Eight students are National Honor Society members with five earning highest honors with a cumulative GPA of 3.9-4.0, one with high honors of a cumulative GPA of 3.75-3.89 and one with honors of a cumulative GPA of 3.5-3.75.

Four additional awards were presented. The Prudential Spirit of Community Award was presented to Daniel Hammond andGeovanny Sanchez. The Worcester Telegram Award went to Danielle Malivert. Evan Garrity received the Caring Heart Award. Michaela Hernandez was the first recipient of Melissa Martinez Kidder scholarship.

We were honored to welcome alumnus Melissa Kidder, class of 1982, to present this scholarship. The scholarship was established this year by Lanu Stoddart Williams to honor her friend diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The scholarship is awarded to students going to a SDA college to study STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics). Donations to this scholarship can made in the business office at SLA.

We applaud the accomplishments of each student. We see bright things in their future and look forward to seeing them return to SLA as shining examples of God's love in their lives.

Many alumni attended the graduation ceremonies. We welcome each of these alumni back to SLA at any time.

Many alumni attended the graduation ceremonies. We welcome each of these alumni back to SLA at any time.

Join us for next Alumni Weekend, Oct. 5-7, 2018

We enjoyed visiting with former students, classmates and staff at our recent Alumni Weekend. Pictured above are members of the class of 1992, commemorating their 25th reunion at Alumni Weekend, Oct. 6-8, 2017.

Plan now to celebrate with us the 135th anniversary of South Lancaster Academy at our next Alumni Weekend, Oct. 5-7, 2018. Invite your friends. Bring your family. We want to see you!

Class of 1992 celebrating their 25th reunion at Alumni Weekend, 2017.

Class of 1992 celebrating their 25th reunion at Alumni Weekend, 2017.

Being a good role is aim for 1st grade teacher

Rebecca Raposo, new first grade teacher.

Rebecca Raposo, new first grade teacher.

Rebecca Raposo was doing her student teaching in a high-poverty area and saw that the community subtly pressured the children to only be as good as their surroundings and discouraged them from aiming toward higher goals.

“That was the first time I realized I could be a positive role model in those kids’ lives and I could do something. Help them push past their social standards,” said Ms. Raposo. “That was when I fell in love with teaching and ever since then that has driven me. With God’s help I can make a difference.”

Rebecca is our new first grade teacher but is a familiar face on the campus at South Lancaster Academy. “A lot of the people I work with now were my teachers in high school,” said Ms. Raposo, who is a 2009 graduate. “In my mind they’re Mr. Lambert and Mrs. Robidoux, but now they’re like, ‘Call me Jeff. Call me Theresa.’”

Rebecca came to SLA as a sophomore and attended through her senior year. She was a member of the National Honor Society and enjoyed running in cross country.

“I had a great time,” said Ms. Raposo. “I still have friends to this day that I made back then.”

Ms. Raposo went to earn an education degree from Washington Adventist University. You will most likely find her at school early in the morning and working late in the evening as she’s establishing her classroom, grading papers and preparing for the next day of learning.

When she can fit it in, Ms. Raposo enjoys travel and anything outdoors, including hiking, biking kayaking and camping. She spent this last summer on a backpacking trip through Europe with five other female friends. She’s been to 15 countries so far.

Ms. Raposo is eager to see her students develop spiritually and academically while enjoying their experience at SLA. “I like knowing that my kids are learning and having fun at the same time,” she said.