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Grey Matters, May 26, 2014; Volume 2, Number 35

posted May 26, 2014, 5:53 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:07 AM by James Marcotte ]

We had dinner with my in-laws on Saturday night, and as Henry was telling me how he won an auction for some great Red Sox tickets and was going to take my oldest son, the Red Sox themselves were in the process of losing their 9th straight game.  Regardless of their win-loss record, my son will be excited to go, as he’s very much enjoyed his experiences playing baseball this Spring.  Given how many little league games I’ve attended lately, I read with great interest an article about how the city of Holyoke has started to hang up signs on the recreation fields that provide reminders to the adults about the importance of maintaining a positive atmosphere and modeling good sportsmanship.  Click here to see the article and the picture of the sign.  I should say, however, that the parents involved in my son’s league have and continue to be great supporters of all the kids, and we all cheer through the occasional 45-minute innings that usually involve a strike to ball ratio of about 1:44, 1-2 hit batters, and inside-the-park home runs that start out as a bunt.

For the next four days, 8 Red, under the steady guidance of Mr. Nolan, will be hosting a food drive for the Acto Food Pantry.  This has been an annual event, and something where our students can see how, collectively, we can make a difference.  The Food Pantry has indicated to us that they are especially in need of pasta, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, mac and cheese, jelly, juice, sardines, canned fruit, rice, cereal, baked beans, bars of soap and other toiletries, and diapers.  For those who might be in a position to contribute, students (and/or families) can drop off donations to the RJ Grey lobby - there is a table set up by the Counseling Office (to your left as you enter the building) where items can be left.  Thanks in advance for your support. 

A friendly reminder about two things that are a bit time sensitive:

  • Field trip forms for the end-of-year trips have gone home (by way of students). The 7th grade class goes to Kimballs, and the 8th grade class goes to Canobie Lake Park. Please make sure you submit these forms (and payment) this week.  If you have questions or would like to request some financial assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Allison Warren (  

  • This Wednesday, May 28, RJ Grey’s Girl Up club will be hosting a special screening of the film Girl Rising, and the event will also include musical performances and guest speakers on education and opportunity for girls in developing nations.  The event begins at 6:45pm, and there is a suggested $6 donation for students and seniors, and $10 for adults.  Click here to view the flyer for the event, and click here to learn more about the Girl Rising campaign.  

At the end of every school year, we send off our 8th grade students and wish them well as most of them make their way down the street to the high school, while others join private schools, enroll in Minuteman Tech, or are moving out of Acton or Boxborough.  This year, we are also preparing to bid farewell to six retiring members of the RJ Grey staff, as they begin new chapters of their lives as well.  
Allen Warner (Science), Amanda Finizio (Science), and Dot Keyworth (Math) are completing distinguished careers as educators.  In addition, our front office staff - Betsy Bollier, Ann Decker, and Marcia Charter - the ones who make the trains run on time, and pass along messages, and lunches, and take care of everything in between - are retiring after many years of service to our staff, students and families.  And yes, I’ll say what you’re all thinking, “man, if the whole front office staff is retiring at the same time, Andrew must be a real bear to work with.”  They tell me that’s not the reason, though sometimes I think I see them winking when they say it.  Celebrating the retirements of our colleagues is always bittersweet; we are happy they’re in a position to pursue other interests, and we’ll also miss them deeply.  If you and/or your children have some fond memories of working with any of these teachers and staff members, I would encourage you to drop them a quick note and join us in thanking them for their years of service to RJ Grey and all of its students.  

I hope all of you are having a restful and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.  One more week until June! 

Have a great week, everyone.