Category: Featured

Photos: Spring Fling 2018

Surprise! We had our Spring Fling last week instead of classes. Per tradition, advisory groups engaged in some friendly competition (water balloon tosses, donut-eating contests, Twister, and blindfolded makeup application, to name a few) and capped off the day with a newspaper fashion show.

Thank you to everyone who helped organize this day of all play and no work!

NE Prep School Dance Fest

This weekend our dancers attended the New England Prep School Dance Festival at Northfield Mount Hermon. This student-organized event gives area private school dance programs a chance to get together and to both learn from and share ideas.

Twelve schools participated, and four students from MacDuffie attended. They took three classes across several genres and performed in an informal concert; Ms. Muzzy taught two classes, contact improvisation and yoga.

Bravo, dancers!


Winter Sports Awards

Our Mustangs had another season of impressive achievements!

Boys’ Prep (18-12), Boys’ Varsity (12-9), Girls’ Varsity (14-10), and Boys’ 3rds (8-4) had winning records this season, and Girls’ JV faced some challenges this season because some of the top players were called up to Varsity. Swimming participated in 7 meets with a number of individual accomplishments.

Postseason team achievements include:

  • Class AA NEPSAC Playoff Qualifier #5 Seed (Boys’ Prep)
  • Class D NEPSAC Playoff Semifinalist #3 Seed (Girls’ Varsity)
  • SENE Champion #1 Seed (Girls’ Varsity)
  • SENE Semifinalist #3 Seed (Boys’ Varsity)
  • Prep 6 Semifinalist #3 Seed (Boys’ Varsity)

We also had several athletes make All-League Honors: Dana Tate ’18 (NEPSAC)
Ismael Massoud ’19 (NEPSAC), James Bouknight ’19 (NESPAC Honorable Mention), Tanahj Pettway ’19 (NEPSAC Honorable Mention), Kacey Deecher ’20 (NEPSAC), Jocelyn St. Onge ’18 (NEPSAC), Jayden Holder ’20 (SENE and Prep 6), and Mehmet Tuncer ’20 (SENE and Prep 6).

The Athletics Department also honored individual atheletes at the Winter Sports Award ceremony. Congratulations to the following:

Most Valuable Player
Jocelyn St. Onge ’18–Girls’ Varsity
Khaylen Mahdi ’18–Boys’ Prep
Mehmet Tuncer ’20–Boys’ Varsity
Mikhail Galaktionov ’19–Swimming

Most Improved Player
Ryleigh Cauley ’18–Girls’ Varsity
Ismael Massoud ’19–Boys’ Prep
Jola Oke ’18–Boys’ Varsity
Mo Hua ’24–Swimming

Coach’s Award
Sarah Scott ’19–Girls’ Varsity
Dana Tate ’18–Boys’ Prep
Daniel Co ’18–Boys’ Varsity
Dima Aboukasm ’21–Swimming

Players’ Choice Award
Ryleigh Cauley ’19–Girls’ Varsity
John Bella-Hunter ’18–Boys’ Prep
Zorbey Tarhan ’18–Boys’ Varsity
Paul Oh ’18–Swimming

Well done, Mustangs!

(And thanks to Mrs. Cauley for the photos!)

The Arts Department Presents: THE ADDAMS FAMILY

On March 2, 3, and 4, there was something creepy, spooky, mysterious, and kooky going on in Little Theater…

The Addams Family, based on the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, was this year’s Winter Musical. Ms. Becky Beth Benedict directed, Mr. Steve Kaminski served as musical director, and Ms. Angie Muzzy did choreography.

The idea for the production came from a conversation between Ms. Benedict and Ms. Tew, theater teacher and Residential Advisor, about how to use Ms. Benedict’s bear rug in a show. Ms. Tew suggested The Addams Family. “As I spent more time looking into the story told in this musical, I found it very entertaining and a good fit for the MacDuffie students,” said Ms. Benedict. “The characters are distinct and likable.  The comedy and dialogue are written in such a way that it registers well with our contemporary sensibilities.”

In addition to the acting, dancing, and musical aspects of the production, the Arts department engaged in creative activities to enhance the staging and makeup aspects of the show. Michael Budnick, owner of Mad Science, visited early on during the rehearsal period. He trained the stage crew on the handling of dry ice, which was used to make the fog effect and the bubbling brew coming out of Grandma’s cauldron.

Ms. Tew oversaw the hair and makeup design for the show, jump-starting the effort through a CAP. They began by researching previous productions of The Addams Family as well as other makeup-heavy Broadway shows and by learning about makeup artists who have designed for shows like Shrek the Musical, Wicked, and Cats. The all-girls makeup team then created design palettes for each character, based in part on what the costume crew was designing. “They also collected the necessary wigs (some of which were loaned to MacDuffie by Exit 7 Theater, like the costumes) and styling tools,” said Ms. Tew, “so the girls learned about wig care and maintenance.” In the week leading up to the show, the girls applied the makeup daily, made changes as needed, and became proficient enough to add last-minute details to make the Addams ancestors distinct.

“The students have gained confidence on stage and in life during our two-month rehearsal period,” said Ms. Benedict. “They have found that they are capable of more than they knew.  I am incredibly proud of their dedication and talent.”

Thank you to Carrie Lu ’19 and Ms. Tew for the photos.

Congratulations to all who participated and helped put on the show!

Students Participate in UMass ASPIRE

For the second consecutive year, several of our students were selected to participate in a STEM program at the University of Massachusetts MRSEC (Materials Research Science and Engineering Center). May Minh Quynh Le ’19, Ziqi He ‘19, and Jonah Abrams ’19 were chosen to take part.

ASPIRE (A Student-led Program in Research and Education) is a research opportunity in which UMass graduate students, with faculty supervision, mentor high school students in a laboratory setting. As part of the 5-week Saturday morning program, students performed hands-on polymer laboratory experiments in synthesis, molecular modeling, 3D printing, and mechanical testing. Students also completed an independent project.

Chemistry teacher Mrs. Styspeck coordinated the application process. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the students to participate in inquiry based labs in a well-equipped, state-of-the-art facility. I believe the program is a tremendous opportunity to build their science skills and provides visibility of what graduate research looks like,” she said. “As a result, graduate research then becomes an attainable goal. By the end of the program, I saw an increase in their confidence, their lab technical skills, and an interest in the pursuit of studying science in college.”

Congratulations to our “aspiring” scientists on this much-deserved honor!