MARCH 12, 2023

Happy Women’s History Month!

Resources abound for celebrating the contributions and experiences of women. For a start, check out the exhibit on the 19th Amendment and related events at the National Constitution Center, or read the Inquirer’s roundup of Philly women’s history destinations.

Meanwhile at Masterman, there is a lot to do this week. See below for information about:

  • the AUCTION this coming Saturday
  • two important meetings about school affairs
  • the call for members of a nominating committee for the upcoming HSA elections

Please engage and help support our school!

Yours in community,

The MHSA Board

The Auction is NEXT WEEKEND!

Do you have your tickets yet?!

Saturday, March 18

5:30–10:00 pm

Rodeph Shalom, 615 N Broad St.

Reserve your tickets now!

Tickets: $50

($60 at the door, subject to availability)

The ticket price includes delicious food and drink, including a wine tasting all evening, as well as performances by Masterman student musicians and the Sweet 16 a cappella choir.

The auction catalog has over 70 fantastic items and experiences, from weeklong stays around the world, to tickets and gear from Philadelphia’s professional sports teams, to lessons from flight and dance instructors, to gift certificates from a long list of local venues and restaurants. And don’t forget that all proceeds go to the many Masterman activities funded by the HSA, such as teacher, grade-level, and club grants, facilities improvements, staff appreciation events, and initiatives in music and the arts.

Purchase your tickets on the auction website by clicking on “Buy Sponsorship or Tickets.” While you’re there, don’t forget to scan through the catalog items.

Masterman’s hardworking teachers and staff will be provided complimentary tickets, and generous donors have also made a limited number of complimentary tickets available to parents for whom the ticket fee is a barrier to participating. Please email with your requests.

If you'd like to help out with your time instead of money, you can do that too! Sign up here to volunteer at the event.

Thanks and see you there!

-Masterman HSA Auction Committee

Huge thanks to our generous sponsors for their support: Hatch & Coop (Gold), Center City Pediatrics (Silver), Neha Vapiwala and John Plastaras (Silver), Ivan Dmochowski (Bronze), and Leah Snyder Batchis (Bronze).

Meetings This Week: Your Chance to Engage

If you want to have a voice in important budget and planning discussions, it is imperative that you attend the school budget meeting and/or the SAC meeting planned for this week.

The administration raised the possibility of foundational changes to the bell schedule at the February SAC/HSA meeting, with unclear curriculum implications by grade. Based on community feedback, the HSA has asked the administration and district to pause changes without first soliciting community input through a full and transparent process.

Monthly SAC Meeting

Wednesday, March 15, 6:00 pm

SAC is an appropriate forum for discussions of curriculum and academic concerns.

Click here to join

Dr. Payne has also scheduled time separately with teachers and parents to discuss the proposed budget for next year in advance of a final budget submission deadline of March 24.

School-Wide Budget Discussions

Thursday, March 16

For parents: 5:00–6:00 pm On Zoom

For teachers: in person, 3:30–4:30 pm

We are told that this meeting will also address:

  • Bell schedule 
  • Arts/Music
  • 9th grade schedule 
  • Course offerings
  • Enrichment opportunities 

Among the proposals are the change from an 8-period to a 7-period day, and the addition of two resource staff to the administration.

Please come and ask questions if you can.

HSA Elections:

Call for Nominating Committee Members

Masterman HSA is in the process of forming the Nominating Committee that will interview candidates for the upcoming HSA Executive Board biennial elections in April. Two general members are part of this committee.

We ask any HSA member who is willing to serve on the Nominating Committee to submit interest to and by Friday, March 17, at 5:00 pm.

Please include your name, your student's grade, and one to two sentences about why you would like to serve on the Nominating Committee. We hope to have a representative and diverse group on this year's Nominating Committee. 

As a reminder, this is a regular HSA election to choose an Executive Board that will serve for two years. The current Board was elected in a special election this past fall, to serve out the remainder of the term of the previous Board.

Per our bylaws, the elections process will proceed as follows:

  1. A nominating committee will be formed according to a vote of the Executive Board. The nominating committee is to include at least one Officer (a member of the Executive Board other than the President), two Directors (Standing Committee Chairs), and two general body members. 
  2. The full committee will be announced on Monday, March 20, along with a call for nominations to the Executive Board for the following Officer roles: President, Vice President 1, Vice President 2, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary. Individuals may be self-nominated or nominated by others.
  3. The Nominating Committee will confirm School District-mandated clearances and background checks and interview each nominee to affirm interest and qualifications.
  4. In the case that there is more than one candidate per office, a ballot will be created, and an election by secret ballot among HSA members will be held in April.
  5. The new EB will be installed at the May HSA general meeting.


Could your Masterman swag use a refresh?

Gear up for Spring at SquadLocker and take advantage of 10% off all orders placed from 3/10 to 3/24 with the code MASTERMAN10.

Check out some new styles here!


March 15: SAC Meeting

March 16: Budget Meeting

March 18: Masterman Auction

March 24: Sixth Grade Student Social

March 29–31: Parent-Teacher Conferences


Friday, March 17: HALF DAY

Weds–Friday, March 29–31: HALF DAYS


April 11 | 7:30 pm | Zoom

May 9 | 7:30 pm | Zoom


Legally Blonde

We don't know about you, but we're still beaming with pride over the Masterman musical. Here's one more shot, with thanks to all the staff, teachers, and parents who supported this effort and support our students every day.

Pictured: Ms. Fennell and Ms. Harrison showing their Masterman and Masterman musical pride!

Athletics Update

Girls Basketball played in their final game on Friday with a loss at New Hope Solebury High School in the state tournament. It was an exciting game with a sold out crowd and a proud moment for our seniors who have never previously qualified for state tournament play. A special shout-out to all the Blue Dragon fans for their support this season! The team has not lost a home game at the Masterdome in over 3 years. Let's keep the streak alive next season! 

Two swimmers from our Girls Swim Team have qualified for state level competition. Shout out to Krisitna Kitsul and Isabelle Trieu who will be representing Masterman at Bucknell University later this month!! Gooooooo Blue Dragons!

Spring Sports started last Monday!

Coaching contact information is provided below if you have any questions.

Track & Field = Mr. Comfort -

Boys Volleyball = Ms. Jones -

Softball = Mr. O'Neill -

Baseball = Mr. Otarola -

Boys Tennis = Ms. Tooke -

Boys Lacrosse = Mr. Gilken -

Badminton = Ms. Tomlinson -

Girls Lacrosse is a "co-op" and plays for a combined team of SLA, Masterman, Palumbo, and Ben Franklin students. For more information, contact Mr. Gilken (

Reminder: NHS Tutoring Always Available!

Students in all grades can drop in as needed for help from Masterman HS student members of the National Honor Society during these hours:

Mondays, 7:30am – 8:15am in Room 214 (for everyone)

Tuesdays, 8th Period in Room 312 (for HS students)

Wednesdays, 8th Period in Room 305 (for 5th- and 6th-grade students)

Thursdays, 8th Period in Room 312 (for 7th- and 8th-grade students)

This is a free resource for everyone! If you have any questions please contact the HS Dean, Mr. Gilken, at


ICYMI: Kooth

Last week the SDP officially launched Kooth, an online mental health and well-being platform designed to provide high school students with access to personalized, digital mental health and wellbeing resources. Kooth will be available 24/7, at no cost, to high school students District-wide. Students can visit to find more information and to sign up. 

Mental Health Corner

The counselors wanted to share this message from the Inner Strength Foundation, an organization that teaches mindfulness and meditation to high school students in Philadelphia:

Inner Strength VIBE is a free mindfulness app to help you wake up to your power and potential.

Life can feel like a lot… So many of us sometimes feel overwhelmed, stressed out, or just blank because it all feels like too much. With VIBE, you can find new ways to access your inner strength, have some fun, and even make sense of what’s going on all around you!

Download the app for FREE here.

Career Event at CHOP

To HS students who want to learn more about physical therapy, occupational therapy or athletic training as a career, there is an event coming up at CHOP. See flyer for details!

Paid Research Opportunity

Thanks, Ms. Marcus, for sharing this notice from the SDP office of Prevention and Intervention:

The Mood and Cognition Lab at Temple University (PI, Dr. Lauren Alloy) is looking for teens age 13-16 to participate in observational, no-medication research studies aimed at learning more about teen development and how this may be related to teenagers' moods. Teens are compensated up to $750 for Project RISE and up to $1,075 for Project CREST. 

To learn more about the studies and determine whether they are eligible, the teen should scan the QR code on the flyer and complete the 5- to10-minute, online screening survey.


Spread the Word

Do you have news or announcements that you want to share with the school community? Is there information you'd like to see featured here?


Connect others with the HSA by forwarding this email or sharing this link to subscribe to the newsletter!


There are many ways to give to the Masterman community. Here are a few.


Donations fund the many programs and initiatives of the HSA that support our school, teachers, families, and students. Whether you are able to give $5 or $500, your gift is meaningful, and signals your commitment to our community.


Want to give direct support to specific teachers or your child’s classroom? Masterman teachers have updated their Amazon Wish Lists with the items they need to supplement the HSA’s Teacher Grant program.


Get your Masterman-branded hoodies, hats, tees, and athletic wear--and support the HSA.

And don't forget to become a member of the HSA today!


We need each other.

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