Dear Upham and Hunnewell Parents,

Happy Break, Everyone! For those traveling, please enjoy your family time and be safe.

For those of you remaining in Wellesley for a “staycation,” please take some time to take a break and enjoy some downtime. It is always an adventure at Upham to find out the different destinations families are going to visit. We have families traveling from Wellesley to Paris (that’s France), going on an African safari, and attending soccer camps in San Deigo, CA. We’ve almost covered the globe. Please, someone, plan a trip to the North Pole! In all seriousness, please enjoy your family and be safe.

I want to share two stories with you.

Story One

I am happy and simultaneously sad to announce the retirement of one of our outstanding teachers. She has been teaching for 30+ years (I do not want to be specific because age can be a funny thing). After performing some math, this spectacular teacher influenced nearly 1,000 students during her career. That is just the students assigned each year. I have left out some adults, students not assigned, and support staff. This leads me to the next point and, from my perspective, the essential piece. In my eleven years, I can, without a shadow of a doubt, tell you the greatest strength of this outstanding teacher is her belief that a child is a person first. According to Lucy and Mahalia, “Mrs. Whitehouse is crazy nice and strict in a good way.”  Alanah said it best, “I know Mrs. Whitehouse loves me…no matter what!” Those wonderful sentiments are echoed by every student that Mrs. Whitehouse has influenced. You will notice the students did not say, “I remember Mrs. Whitehouse teaching me to multiply! They remember Mrs. Whitehouse because Mrs. Whitehouse loves what she does and the young people she influences. I have witnessed her love each school day for the last eleven years. So, as you can see, Mrs. Whitehouse will be retiring from teaching at the end of this year. Mrs. Whitehouse cannot be replaced, and the world of education will experience a loss with her absence.

Thank you, Mrs. Whitehouse, for your unbelievable love for the students you have influenced. You are…AMAZING!

Story Two

It is with trepidation and some sadness that I share the next story. I have been selected as a finalist for the Mary Rowlandson Elementary School in Lancaster, MA. This does not mean that I have been offered the position. I am a finalist with two other candidates. We will resume the interviewing process after the break, and a final decision will be made by the second week of March.  I also met with the Upham staff yesterday afternoon to let them know. We have yet to meet with the students, and I will only mention this once a decision has been made. There is no need for more unneeded stress.

What does this mean for Upham? The PTO co-presidents and School Council will be working together to put plans in place for a transition. I am honored to be the leader for Upham, and I will continue to move forward positively for you and your children. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Dare to Dream,

Mr. Dees

Important Dates

Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24 – February Break, NO SCHOOL

Wednesday, March 1 – METCO Stay Day

Wednesday, March 15 – Principal Coffee, 8:45 am in the Library

Monday, March 20 – 5th Grade WMS Orientation

Tuesday, March 21 – METCO Late Day

Monday, March 27 -Friday, March 31 – Book Fair (more info to come!)

Tuesday, March 28 – Early Release, Parent/Teacher Conferences

Thursday, March 30– 5th Grade MCAS ELA

Friday, March 31– 5th Grade MCAS ELA



Principal’s Message
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