MARCH 19, 2023

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to making this year’s HSA auction a great success, not least Fundraising Chair Richard Moore, all the volunteers, Dr. Payne and her team, the Gay Street Band, and the hundreds of families who participated.

This week, we are working with the entire Masterman community to understand and provide feedback on the plan for 2023–2024 that the administration presented last week. See below. In addition, there will be a rally organized by Racial Justice Philly to confront the problems the school selection process has created at magnet schools throughout the District.

We appreciate your continued engagement as we navigate these tumultuous times in partnership with all those working to improve this city’s schools. Together we can make a difference!

Bell Schedule and Curriculum Changes

Last week, the school administration shared a plan for impactful changes to the Masterman schedule and curriculum, to be finalized this week and to take effect next fall.

Please read about the changes as the HSA understand them and provide feedback here, in advance of HSA leadership meetings with Dr. Payne on Tuesday and with Dr. Hanna, Associate Superintendent for Secondary Schools of SDP, on Wednesday.


March 24: Sixth Grade Student Social

March 29–31: Parent-Teacher Conferences


April 11 | 7:30 pm | Zoom

May 9 | 7:30 pm | Zoom


Weds–Friday, March 29–31: Half days

April 3–7: No school (Spring Break)

April 14: Half day

April 21: No school

May 5: Half day

You can find the full SDP calendar here. Note that the 2023–2024 and 2024–2025 calendars have now been announced.

HSA Election Update

Last chance to sign up to serve on the Nominating Committee! We want YOU! The committee will include Leon McCrea, Stacy Koiler, and Erica Vanstone plus 2 HSA members TBD. If you’d like to join this important committee, please email [email protected] or [email protected] to signal your interest.

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

In compliance with our bylaws, the elections process will proceed as follows:

  • The members of the Nominating Committee will be announced as soon as we fill these remaining two positions, 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. The deadline for nominations will be March 31.

  • The Nominating Committee will confirm School District-mandated clearances and background checks and interview each nominee to affirm interest and qualifications. 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.


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!

City-wide Rally for Changes to the School Selection Process

We are learning more every day about the disastrous effects of the current SDP school selection process on students and magnet schools across the city.

The Racial Justice Organizing Committee is rallying educators, parents, and students to demand change at the School Board meeting this Thursday, March 23, 3:30 pm at 440 N. Broad St.

Thank you for a successful auction last night!

Collectively, we raised tens of thousands of dollars for the school, built community, and restarted an HSA tradition that will continue to grow.

A few exciting experiences were overlooked by yesterday’s bidders and are still up for grabs! If you hurry back to and place your bid before midnight on Friday, March 24th, you can still walk away with some great deals while supporting the HSA.

You will also have another chance to help us reach yesterday’s paddle raise goal of $9,000 to buy and install seating, storage, and play gear for our students to enjoy on Masterman’s refurbished roof! We’re two-thirds of the way there, so your bid might push us over the finish line.

If you missed it, we'll see you next year!!


National History Day

Congratulations to all of the members of Masterman's National History Day team, and thanks to Ms. Taylor for facilitating another successful year! All students competed beautifully on Thursday, March 16.

The following students won awards at the contest: 

Historical Papers

Honorable Mention: Elina Chen, "From Slavery to Colonies: Paul Cuffe and African American Colonization of Sierra Leone"

Third place: Ciaran Yudiono, "Frontiersmen of the American West: The Untold Story of Black Cowboys"

Second place: Tori Okorodudu, "Race Films and the Reclamation of Identity"

First place: Zephyra DeVine, "In Search of The Promised Land: The Frontiers Of Revivalist Christianity And The Black Church"

Group Performance

First Place: Cyrus Fisher and Jason Zhang, "'The Category is… Frontiers': How the Harlem Ball Scene Redefined Queer Black Power"

Individual Exhibit

Second place: Laura Dragomir, "A Voice That Reached A Nation: How Marian Anderson's Lincoln Memorial Performance Expanded Frontiers in the Civil Rights Movement."

First place: Jessica Zheng, "When Legacies Are Questioned: James Marion Sims, the 'Father of Gynecology'"

Individual Website

Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Sevrukov, Rediscovering Ann Lowe: "Society's Best Kept Secret"

Third place: Catherine Jonathan, "Loving Is Colorblind: Loving v. Virginia and the Frontier for Interracial Marriage through Legal Change"

Second place: Aiden Rubin Sanxhaku, “'Emerging from the Event Horizon and Beaming for the Future': How a Student Organization Paved the Way for African-American in Physics"

First place: Mustafa Elabd, "Liberia: An Asylum from the Most Grinding Oppression” 

Group Website

First Place: Nathanael Kassahun, Daniella Liang, Hannah Paez, Margareth Tanusaputra, "The Students Who Integrated Public Schools: How the Little Rock Nine Pushed the Frontier of Desegregation"

Individual Documentaries

Honorable Mention: Jocelyn Goldstein, “'Imitated But Never Equalled': How the Harlem Globetrotters Opened Basketball’s Modern Frontier"

Third place: Mariacristina Calcagno, "Balanchine and Mitchell: An Unprecedented Collaboration Dancing toward Diversity in Ballet"

Second place: Sarah Zdancewic, "Beam Me Up to Equality: How Nichelle Nichols Shaped 'The Final Frontier'"

First place: Ray Eggerts, "All Aboard: The Pullman Porters' Fight for Unity"

Group Documentary

Second place: Rory Gonzales and Ana Sorrentino, “'The Youth We are Feeding Will Surely Feed the Revolution'”: The Black Panther Party and the Frontier of Free Breakfast"

First place: Quentin Charriez, Kaddy Ren, and Valeria Schuster, "Profits Over People: Redlining and the Residential Displacement of Minority Communities in Philadelphia"

Great job everyone! History on, two, three: HISTORY!

All-City Musicians

Congratulations to the 30 Masterman high school musicians who performed at the annual All-Philadelphia Music Festival on Tuesday night at the Kimmel Center. The concert included beautiful performances by the All-City band, orchestra, and choir and many special recognitions made to Masterman students throughout the night. A special congrats goes out to Masterman senior, Tristan Bouyer, who, as the winner of the All-City Concerto competition, performed as soloist on a 5-foot marimba. You can watch a clip of Tristan’s performance here

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 [email protected].


ICYMI: Kooth

Kooth is 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!


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?

Email [email protected].

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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