image of colorful school supplies and text of FLRSD Sunday Message, April 30, 2023

Good afternoon FLRSD

This coming weekend, May 5 at 7pm and May 6 at 2 and 7  the ARHS Drama Dept is putting on the  production Little Mermaid- make sure to come out and support these amazing artists. Their talents were on display at both FES and AES as the cast gave a live short performance to an enthusiastic crow. They were also visited by all of GRAIS at the HS 

The ARHS Art Show took place on Thursday .Incredible work by our students without question and we must thank our amazing art teachers who support our students every step of the way. Ms Lima, Ms Feiteria, Ms Erwin are outstanding artists and remarkable educators who continue to shine a light on the beauty and educational necessity of the arts.

18 of our ARHS  DECA students traveled to Orlando from April 21th - April 26th to attend the International Career Development Conference. 20,000 students from all over the country and world competed through role plays, written events, testing and presentations and participated in leadership academies.

Abigail Menendez and Sophia Kyranos qualified to compete in the Buying and Merchandising category. 

Rowan Baptista, Shea Garland, and Alexander El-Ghadi qualified to compete in the Finance Operations Research category. 

Lucas Quinn qualified to compete in the Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling event. 

Max Anderson, Damon Defaria, and Jack Macphail qualified to compete in the School-Based Enterprise category.

Nikhil Barnick, Callie Jackson, Kallie Fournier, James Lenza, Corey Swenson, Austin Pelletier, Jared Freitas, Eugene Jung, and Nicholas Connolly all participated in Leadership Academies to develop leadership skills, network with other students, and grow our DECA chapter.


On Thursday the 10 South Coast Conference schools presented their High School Academic All stars and had a luncheon for each school's top 5 students.  Mrs Ferreira, our NHS advisor and Principal Desert introduced each student and presented certificates.

Congratulations to:

Elizabeth Ashley

Jocelyn Carvalho

Eion Gallagher

Lucas Quinn

Amirtha Santhosh

Congratulations to the following students who have committed to their academic and athletic future by signing letters of intent

Ethan Brown - Bridgewater State -Criminal Justice, Football

Brian Vale - Husson College - Exercise Science, Track & Field

Emilia Keane - Univ. of New England - Physical Therapy,Lacrosse

Luke Richards -Franklin Pierce -Sports Management, Golf

Justin Tavares- Dean college, Psychology, Soccer

Congratulations to Nathan Levesque for throwing a no hitter over April break vs Dartmouth.

May 5th is a half day for all students as there is Professional Development. Remember that breakfast is now served on half days at AES, FES and GRAIS.

Wednesday was National Administrative Assistant day.Thank you to all of our wonderful secretaries who truly help run each school! I ask that the next time you are visiting your student’s school that you give an extra big thank you, for all they do!

Good luck to all ARHS students taking their AP exams the next two weeks. The AP program is an opportunity for students grades 10-12 to take college level courses with the opportunity to receive college credit with a qualifying score from the AP administered at  the end of the school year. 

As we enter in May it is natural that end of year activities, celebrations, graduations and events are at the forefront of many people’s minds. Similar to the first day of school, there is an undisputed excitement in the eyes of all of our students of what is coming in the next 35 days( far less for seniors) or so (beyond vacation of course).  From our seniors who are eagerly and possibly nervously getting ready to follow a new journey,  to those who are transitioning from AES/FES to GRAIS, from GRAIS to FLMS and FLMS to ARHS, or even those attending a new school for vocational opportunities or from moving, May and June bring much excitement and also some angst.  It is important however that we finish the remainder of this year strong, engaged and in class. Every opportunity is an opportunity to learn while reinforcing positive habits of focus, engagement and working until the day is over. 

The story below by Paul Smith is one of my favorites, that a captain of mine shared with our state championship caliber team which was loaded with seniors who were trying to “not think about their next journey while working to win a state championship”. It is a microcosm of the life that is coming for all of us - either finishing what we start with as much effort as we can or choosing the opposite - the easy way. And a way that will become our life habit if we do not work diligently to change it.  I hope it resonates with you in some way.

Written by Paul Smith “Mexico City is a world away from the East African country of Tanzania, where John Stephen Akhwari lived. But that’s exactly where he found himself representing his country in the Summer Olympic Games as a marathon runner.  Unfortunately, Akhwari suffered a fall during the race. And it wasn’t a gentle tumble on a grassy knoll. He fell hard on rough concrete, badly cutting his right leg and injuring his knee. Medical personnel arrived quickly and bandaged his wounds. But the knee required more treatment than they were prepared for in the street. He needed to go to the hospital. Against their advice, Akhwari instead stood up and started off down the road behind the rest of the runners.

Given the severity of his injuries, he couldn’t run at his normal pace. With a combination of jogging, hobbling, and walking, he pushed ahead. At 2:20:26 into the race, Mamo Walde of Ethiopia crossed the finish line in first place. Most of the remaining competitors finished within a few minutes. Akhwari was nowhere close.

An hour later, the Olympic stadium had only a few thousand people left in it. The marathon was the last event of the day and the sun had already set. Mexico City was brutal on the marathon runners. At over 7,400 feet in altitude, the air has 23 percent less oxygen than at sea level. As a result, 17 of the 74 runners failed to finish the race that day. Akhwari, bloodied and injured, was determined to not be one of them.

Followed by a police escort, and clearly in great pain, Akhwari finally arrived and limped his way onto the track, his loosening bandages dangling from his leg. As the diminished crowd cheered in awe and disbelief, John Stephen Akhwari made his way around the track and crossed the finish line at 3:25:27, in last place. The few remaining reporters rushed onto the field to ask him why he continued running in his condition. He responded simply,  

My country didn’t send me 5,000 miles to start this race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish it. Whatever we do we “must finish strong”

Despite coming in last place, it was Akhwari’s picture that was in the paper the next day. And it was his story that was being talked about all over the world. His dedication became an inspiration to millions, and earned him the title “King without a crown.” To this day, his story is legendary among Olympic athletes and non-athletes alike.

The Lesson -  “Yes, it’s an inspiring story,” you might protest. “But I’m not running a marathon. How can that story help me?” “I’m not a marathon runner, either.” But I use it all the time. Here’s one example. People make calendars and count down days or find out what their next situation will be two or three months in advance. Inevitably, when that happens for some, they begin to emotionally and mentally detach from their current responsibilities and start thinking about what’s next. Facing the challenge of keeping focused on their current situation until it’s time to leave is not difficult for those who are invested, but very difficult for others.

Having faced that challenge many times, I often tell the story of John Stephen Akhwari. The point I explain afterward is that once your mind is only on the next journey, or next vacation, others know you’re emotionally compromised. They know you’re “running injured”. But they also know the difference between a starter and a finisher.  If you slack off these last six weeks, very few people will say anything to you, but everyone will know. We might think we deserve it, and sometimes we do.  But if you want to build a life and positive reputation that will last a long time, finish strong. People always notice and more importantly you learn to finish strong  forever.”  

Our students need to finish these last 6 weeks strong!

Thank you to all of the Principals, Assistant Principals, Faculty, Administrative Assistants,  Secretaries, Counselors, School Psychologists, Coaches, Advisors, Nurses, IT and Library Staff, SRO, Maintenance, Custodial and Food Service Staff, as well as  Central Office, School Committee, Town Officials, First Responders and our Community Partners who are modeling excellence for our students by remaining invested everyday and ensuring we finish what we started this year, strong.

May your week be filled with warmth, kindness and laughter.

Be healthy, be happy and be… in peace


Alan Strauss, Superintendent

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