Academia on display

by Town Reminder

Community invited to SHHS’ Academic Achievement Night

By Kristin Will
Staff Writer

SOUTH HADLEY – It’s usually sports and art programs that receive regular recognition, but if it weren’t for the academic institution in which those programs were fostered, they wouldn’t exist.
With that in mind, teachers at South Hadley High School will host an Academic Achievement Night Thursday, April 11, to which the entire community is invited.
Classrooms will transform into stations where students will present what they’ve been working on throughout the school year.
For two hours from 6 to 8 p.m., various hands-on activities will encourage interaction between students and parents and with the rest of the community.
“The kids are really excited about being able to show off all the amazing things they are doing,” said English Teacher Tina Lesniak.
One Advanced Placement [AP] English classroom will host a Jeopardy game to test the community’s vocabulary. A science class will demo labs and perform a DNA analysis.
“It should be a really entertaining time,” said Lesniak.
Every department will showcase student work in some form.
Lesniak emphasized the Academic Achievement Night is not modeled after the run-of-the-mill open houses schools typically host. Residents can meander though the hallways and pop their heads into whichever classrooms they please.
“I think a lot of times, residents who do not have kids in the school system don’t know what goes on in the schools academically,“ said Lesniak. They don’t really get to see what an AP class looks like.”
This is the first year an Academic Achievement Night will be held at the school.
And the event is just another step in a goal of connecting the at-large community with the school community.
“These kids are the ones who are going to be making decisions” in the future, said Lesniak. “The community should definitely come out and check on things they are doing.”
The students are thrilled to show off what they’ve been learning and are anxious to get their parents in the classrooms. One student, Lesniak said, told her, “I don’t think my parents really know what we do” and an opportunity to provide tangible proof of hard, dedicated work is exciting.
“They work so hard in those classes,” said Lesniak. “To see the level these kids are working to, I think they’d [residents] would be really impressed.
Last year, South Hadley High School was named to the College Board’s Honor Roll for its working expanding the number of qualifying AP test scores.
The first-ever Academic Achievement Night will be held next Thursday, April 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at South Hadley High School.
For more information, contact South Hadley High School at (413) 538-5063 or email Tina Lesniak at