CATS Academy Courier

"A Trusted Students News Source with an International Twist"

CATS’ Fall Play “She Kills Monsters” 

By Norah Laoui

The 2018 Fall play at CATS Academy started in the middle of September with auditions that lasted for about two days.  Students read the introduction monologue and acted out scenes with other students. In this way, our cast was formed!

We then began our production of “She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen. The play follows an average girl named Agnes who tries to learn more about her little sister, Tilly, through a Dungeons & Dragons game that her sister created. The story jumps in and out of the imaginary world that her sister has created. Filled with awesome sword fights and all things geeky, the story is exciting, but, more importantly, it explores the relationships (good and bad) between each of the characters. The play is an amazing story that can make you laugh and cry or perhaps even empathize with the characters to understand deeper messages that theater can sometimes teach an audience. 

With the show fast approaching, our cast worked hard, along with the play’s director and stage crew, to bring this story’s powerful message to life. The cast met after school every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 4:00 to 5:45 and, at times, even on the weekends from September through the end of November.

       Photo credit to Noah Ellegood

There’s a saying: “A cast can become like a small family within a community.” Our cast proved this saying true. At the beginning of rehearsal most days, we played a fun team-building exercise like the game Ninja to get to know each other better and to shake off any stresses from the day. No matter how good or bad our day was, play rehearsal always made us smile, laugh, and just have fun together. We can’t thank Mr. Punches our amazing director enough for all he’s dedication and hard work to help us prepare to present this production of “She Kills Monsters” and all his hard work on building the set. We also want to thank Mr. Napier, Mr. Archer, Mr. Phelan and Mr. Lewan and everyone else who helped us for their amazing work on the props and set designs and music which gave the show a professional aura.

From the cast and crew, we hope you enjoyed the play as much as we enjoyed performing it for you!


October Student of the Month

Lezhenying Wen (Bertha)

The New Morning Anouncements

By Anastasia Dvoryanchikova

If I ask you what your favorite day of the week is, Monday will most likely be at the end of your list. Mondays can be difficult; they always seem to be gloomy days of recovery and adjustment from the freedom and fun of the weekend. Your Monday probably starts with an alarm abruptly ending your sleep, outfit confusion, and a rushed breakfast in the cafeteria. By the time you reach homeroom, you may not feel like you are ready for school. It is not a surprise that most people do not look forward to Mondays. Daniel Huerta and I wanted to change that.

We are the new hosts of CATS Morning Announcements, which air every Monday morning in Homeroom. This year’s Monday Morning Announcements grew from the idea that we wanted to brighten an otherwise difficult day of the week. Students now watch a video version of the Morning Announcements every Monday to learn about what is happening on campus, which adds a bit of fun to the start of the day. Guest speakers often appear in the videos to help deliver laughs and information to the CATS community. Our goal when creating every video is to help start Mondays with a fresh and energetic mood.

The purpose of our Monday Morning Announcements is to engage students, teachers, and school administration and make everyone feel like Mondays are not as bad as they might seem. If we earn your smile, our mission was successful!

If you have any announcements on behalf of clubs or activities that you would like included in the weekly broadcast, please email the information to Ms. Doyle at by Wednesday, as the Morning Announcements are recorded on Thursday each week.

CATS Morning Announcements were started as a way to create a more engaging way to learn about what is happening on campus each week. This year the show is hosted by Daniel Huerta and myself. We decided to try to inject a bit of fun into the start of the week by airing the announcements on Monday Mornings.

Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

By Jim Nguyen

Are you an art enthusiast, or do you simply want to explore a new place in the city of Boston? Then look no further, as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum should be the next place on your Boston travel list!

Situated not far behind the grand Museum of Fine Arts and the residential campus of the Wentworth Institute of Technology, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was one of the first museums in Boston. Since the 15th-century Venetian palazzo (“palace” in Italian) doubled as Isabella’s home from the museum’s grand opening in 1903 to her death in 1924, it contains not only Isabella’s artwork collection, but also many of the things Isabella owned in her lifetime. When you step inside the museum, you get a real glimpse into Isabella’s world–including just how much of a die-hard Red Sox fan she was. Anyone who wears Red Sox apparel receives free admission, so be sure to wear your Red Sox jersey when you visit.

When you enter the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, you are greeted by the grandness of the courtyard. Isabella was correct in saying that the courtyard is “a place where human imagination can thrive.” The architecture in the courtyard is a combination of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Gothic styles. There are Greek statues, and the Roman sarcophaguses, which are in near-perfect condition and date back more than two thousand years ago. At the center of the courtyard is a peaceful garden. Although no visitors are allowed to step inside the courtyard garden, the view is magnificent. My personal favorite time to visit the museum is between mid-April to early May, when the flowers are in full bloom.


The Museum Courtyard from the ground, September 15th 2018 The Museum Courtyard from the balcony of the Titian Room, April 15th 2018

Surrounding the courtyard are fifteen themed galleries housing Isabella’s full personal artwork collection. Called “Rooms” (with the exception of the Spanish Cloister, the Chinese Loggia, and the Little Salon), the themed galleries in the museum were designed to complement the artists and their artwork on display in each one. For example, the Titian Room, home of Europa, was modeled after Isabella’s favorite place on Earth: Venice, Italy. The Dutch Room, in which Rembrandt’s stolen work Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee was located, spotlights Dutch artists and is designed like a house of a Dutch aristocrat.

The Dutch Room with an empty frame, symbolizing one of the thirteen stolen artifacts from 1990.

John Singer Sargeant’s El Jaleo (1882), currently on display at the Spanish Cloister of the Museum.

The Tapestry Room and the Long Room are two of the greatest attractions at the museum. Isabella’s extensive collection of tapestries (tapestry enthusiasts, take note) can be found in the Tapestry Room. The Long Room is known for the unique shade of Bardini blue on its walls, a color that was hand-picked by Isabella from her admiration of Stefano Bardini. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the only museum outside of Florence, Italy to have the Bardini blue color on its walls. Along with the rare color, the Long Room also features Isabella’s collection of letters and writings from her idols at the time.

In addition to the great artwork, three paintings of Isabella are on display at the museum. Painted by her friend John Singer Sargeant, the paintings of Isabella portray her at different stages of her life, highlighting the woman and her vibrancy. I highly recommend a visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; there is much to see and enjoy.

Boo Grams

Boo Grams

By Jennifer Lee, Member of the Community Service Club

Boo Grams were sold this year a week before Halloween as a fun way for the Community Service Club to raise money to help the Massachusetts General Children’s Hospital.

What are Boo Grams? Boo Grams are lollipops dressed up like a ghost that can be sent to anyone at CATS Academy as a small gift in celebration of Halloween. Our club decided on this idea, because we thought the CATS community would enjoy sending and receiving these fun candy treats while helping an important cause.

We raised $375 from selling Boo Grams for two days. $325 will go to support the Holiday Toy Drive at the Massachusetts General Children’s Hospital, which helps make sure that every kid staying in the hospital overnight has presents to wake up to on Christmas morning.

We had great fun making the Boo Grams, which were delivered during homeroom on Halloween.

A big thank you to everyone who ordered a Boo Gram and helped us raise money for this important cause!

Scholars Trip to Emily Dickinson Museum

Scholars Trip to Emily Dickinson Museum

By Maya Stoilova

Scholars students and their advisor, Mr. O’Donnell, toured the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. Students had the opportunity to visit the home of the famous 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson and learn more about her life.

I am standing under the oak tree, fall leaves dancing around my feet. It’s a nice afternoon in Amherst, western Massachusetts. The other CATS Academy Scholars are in the Emily Dickinson museum while I sit in the garden, hiding from them, the same way Emily hid from the world. I am alone with her poetry, her “Success is Counted Sweetest” laying in between my fingers. She writes, “Success is counted sweetest / By those who ne’er succeed.”

Shortly before I finish reading the poem, Mr. O’Donnell manages to find me. “Trouble,” he says (probably for the tenth time this week) before he makes me get back to the house.

Minutes later, a friendly tour guide shows us around Emily’s home (now a museum). We learn about Dickinson, a poet who lived her life in seclusion, sharing her deepest desires with her one and only true confidant—her hidden poems. Her lines–oftentimes separated by dashes–tell stories of life and death, sorrow and joy.

After the tour, we walk out into the sunny October afternoon. Stunned, surprised, shaken, our conversations revolve around Emily Dickinson and her lonely life as we walk toward Amherst College, one of the top liberal arts schools in the United States. I sigh, releasing a breath along with the hope to ever get into that school. We stroll around the college campus taking pictures and laughing out loud.

Before we know it, the night rolls on just like we rolled down the Amherst hills. Literally. The big white van takes us back home as we laugh (almost hysterically) and talk about our day–how great it was!

Braintree Historical Society

Braintree Historical Society

By Jennifer Lee and Maria Eduarda


Originally settled in 1625, Braintree is a place that dates back to the founding of the United States of America. Few people know that there are many historical artifacts kept in this town by the Braintree Historical Society, an organization responsible for preserving many one-of-a-kind artifacts that are still in perfect shape. The CATS Community Service Club had the opportunity to see some of the collection during a tour of the Sylvanus Thayer House on October ____.

Our Club has offered to help the Historical Society catalogue their collection and to assist them with their October 18th re-opening event. Over the past couple of weeks, we have worked to repair some items and helped move some artifacts to where they belong. The Historical Society plans to show more of their collection to the public, and we, the CATS Community Service students, have come in to help them do it.

The plan is to help the Historical Society reorganize their artifacts. Some historical objects have been guarded from the public view, but, now, they are going to be shown. These objects include many common household items from the Thayer House like clothes, cutlery, porcelain, historical documents, furniture, and even an ancient teapot from a thousand years ago. Our club’s goal is to photograph, clean, organize, and make notes about the objects and furniture under the supervision of the Historical Society. Our cooperative group of students are excited to start the work and help this society achieve their ambitions.

On October 18th, the Community Service Club was able to come and help The Historical Society with their reopening event, which was also attended by our Head of School Mr. Angel. We set up food and drinks for the guests and members. While helping, we were able to talk with many current and previous members, and we enjoyed hearing their stories.

Overall for us, the Community Service Club members, the experience of helping the community where our school is located has been very gratifying. We have several different projects with the Historical Society coming up and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of something so important and helpful to our community.

CATS Homecoming Dance

By Nuray Salina

On Friday, October 12, 2018, CATS celebrated Homecoming, a popular event in American high school. Professor Mike and the Student Government had been planning the James Bond-themed dance party since September, and they worked hard to get every detail right. The organization, the music, the decorations – everything was just amazing! For 3 hours, students enjoyed taking pictures, eating snacks, and, of course, dancing in the festively decorated gymnasium. Students could also buy VIP tickets for the dance, which gave them access to comfortable chairs with free delivered pizza and drinks.

Many students who attended the dance were dressed very elegantly. Girls wore fancy dresses, and most of the boys were in tailored suits. Everybody looked gorgeous! Throughout the night, spotlights pointed at crowds, showing off their clothes and their dance moves. At the end of the evening, the cheerful, energetic vibe switched to a more romantic atmosphere as students enjoyed slow dances and sweet conversations. Everybody seemed to enjoy the excitement of dressing up and having fun on the dance-floor.

The party was so successful that even now, a week later, students are still talking about it, sharing photos, and posting pictures on Instagram with the #homecoming2018 hashtag. The night certainly lived up to expectations!
The Student Government is already busy planning the next exciting event for the CATS student body, so check your email and watch for posters announcing the next big event!

CATS Academy Girls’ Soccer Team

By Joao Massimo

Our CATS Academy Girls Soccer Team competed in the Girls Independent League (GIL) Playoffs this week. Although they lost in the semi-finals to Bradford Christian Academy, 5-1, the team and its coach feel this was a successful season. Team sports is not just about wins and losses. There were 28 girls on the team this year and most had never played competitively before. CATS Academy Director of Athletics and Activities, James Wilkins, observed, “ Not only did they compete for a GIL title, but they also learned how to play a new sport, how to work as a team, how to communicate and how to help each other along.….I am very proud of the way this team came together and how they finished the season.”

” Soccer is more than just a game, it provides experience and learning opportunities that can help you in life.”, according to Julia David, the Girls Soccer Team Captain, who is Brazilian. Last year was her first on the soccer team and she was a major contributor. This year Julia was pleased to be invited to be captain of the team. “What really matters is that we are learning things like any class or teacher might teach us”, she said. In a game, when our emotions are really high, we learn teamwork skills and how to be successful as a group. Maybe that’s an important reason for playing sports at school. Not to win big championships or acquire gold medals.” But, Julia said, “Sometimes sports are also about just having fun!” Maybe that is the whole point of being on a sports team: Learning how to work and be successful together.

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