The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of September 16 to September 23, 2021

Sizer Returns to Full-Time In-Person Learning, Welcomes New Staff

Sizer School new staff
Interim Principal David Uminski
Photo Credit: courtesy of Sizer School
Sizer School new staff
Assistant Principal Philip Banios
Photo Credit: courtesy of Sizer School

On August 30th, Sizer School students returned to full-time, in-person learning.

After over a year of remote, hybrid and alternating cohorts, students at Sizer School: A North Central Charter Essential School in Fitchburg, are settling back into a 'normal' school routine once again.

"It has been a joy to see all of our students back in the building. Their energy and enthusiasm has brought life into all of our planning and preparation for this school year," said Executive Director Michelle Paranto Ed. D. "The teachers are happy to be back, and we are all looking forward to a year filled with learning and reconnection to our Sizer community."

Sizer's 2021-2022 school year has also begun with a myriad of new staff members including several new administrators. While Sizer seeks a new Principal, David Uminski, former Principal at Oakmont Regional High School in Ashburnham, is leading Sizer into its newest school year.

"I officially retired in June after 14 years as the principal at Oakmont Regional High School. When I heard that Sizer needed an interim principal, I felt that my experience could help the school start the school year and transition to more permanent leadership," said Uminksi. "I have always heard good things about Sizer School. The values of the school are very similar to my previous school."

Before serving as a principal, Uminski was a history teacher for 19 years and the assistant principal for 2 years, all at Oakmont.

"My goals [this year] are to help the school have a positive start to the school year and help with the transition. I also want to support the faculty and staff in their mission to serve the students in our school community," said Uminski.

So far, Uminski says, "I have truly enjoyed my time at Sizer. The faculty and staff have been professional and welcoming. The students have been positive and respectful. I asked as many students as possible during the first week of school what was their favorite thing about Sizer, without hesitation, nearly all replied, 'the teachers.' I also asked them if they could change one thing about Sizer, what would it be? Again, nearly all could not name one thing."

In a new position at Sizer, Philip Banios joins Sizer's leadership team as Assistant Principal.

Sizer School new staff
7th grade student Davis Hawkins of Gardner uses sidewalk chalk to make his vocabulary word "character traits" come to life!
Photo Credit: courtesy of Sizer School
Banios has 20 years of educational experience as a charter school teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal. He has a Bachelors in Communication from UMass/Amherst, M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Cambridge College, and became certified as an administrator from the Massachusetts Principals Association.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to join a school faculty and climate that supports personalized, progressive education," said Banios. "Our students and staff share a mutual respect leading to high levels of learning."

Also new to Sizer this year is Nurse Leader Karen Richard. Richard has been a substitute School Nurse at Sizer since 2019. Prior to joining Sizer, she was an RN on the Medical-Surgical/designated COVID Unit at HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster - a position she held for the last 11 years.

"The Sizer community has always been very kind and supportive and I welcomed the opportunity to come to work at Sizer full-time. My goals for the school year are to provide education and resources to promote the health of all the students and staff here at Sizer," said Richard. "I believe that we are at our best when we feel our best and I'm happy to join the Sizer community on this new adventure!"

New staff also include Sandy Berry, 11th Grade Learning Specialist; Thaddeus Ciras, Math Intervention Specialist; Katherine Dear, Spanish Teacher; Mary Egan, Paraprofessional; Kelly Fuhs, Food Service Chef; Claudia Goodwin, Food Service Associate; Noelle Grudziecki, Grades 7-9 School Counselor & 504 Coordinator; Christoph Knoll, 8th grade ELA; Richard Krinsky, 10th Grade Learning Specialist; Jennifer Laliberte, Assistant Special Education Director; Steve Malandrinos, Director of Technology; Madison Tew, 9th Grade Biology; Jonathan Webb, Paraprofessional.

Sizer School will be holding an information night on October 13 at 6 p.m. It will be virtual. Visit for more information. Sizer will be enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year starting November 1.

SNHU Announces Summer 2021 President's List

MANCHESTER, NH (09/13/2021)-- It is with great pleasure that Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) congratulates the following students on being named to the summer 2021 President's List.

Full-time students who have earned a minimum grade-point average of 3.700 and above are named to the President's List. Full-time status is achieved by earning 12 credits; undergraduate day students must earn 12 credits in fall or spring semester, and online students must earn 12 credits in either EW1 & EW2, EW3 & EW4, or EW5 & EW6.

Rita Harman of Rindge (03461)
Krista Redfield of Fitzwilliam (03447)
Ashley Monroe of Athol (01331)
Betty Ann Coolidge of Winchendon (01475)
Trevor Williams of Rindge (03461)
Kathryn Whitaker of Jaffrey (03452)
Riccardo Dentesano of Rindge (03461)
Arissa DeVries of Athol (01331)
Kevin Canty of Jaffrey (03452)
Victoria Meuse of Athol (01331)
Porcha Lewis of Templeton (01468)
Olivia Patch of Fitzwilliam (03447)
Mercedes McNamara of Jaffrey (03452)
Toni Diaz of Athol (01331)
Karla Sund of Athol (01331)

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, nonprofit institution with an 89-year history of educating traditional-aged students and working adults. Now serving more than 150,000 learners worldwide, SNHU offers approximately 200 accredited undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, available online and on its 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH. Recognized as the "Most Innovative" regional university by U.S. News & World Report and one of the fastest-growing universities in the country, SNHU is committed to expanding access to high quality, affordable pathways that meet the needs of each learner. Learn more at