HHS Updates, News and Events: The Herald interviews Mrs. McKenna for the inside scoop



Holyoke High School, Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

Patrick Sweeney, Editor-in-Chief

The end of the 2022-23 school year is right around the corner at HHS. The school has many upcoming events for Seniors and underclassmen alike. The end of the winter sports season is drawing closer, which means that spring sports are right around the corner. This week, Mrs. McKenna sat down with The Herald for an interview about the current state of affairs at HHS. She also spoke about recent events and how to keep students on track for the rest of the school year. 

To begin the interview, Mrs. McKenna was asked about the Senior-Faculty Basketball Game that took place before February vacation. She was extremely optimistic about the event, saying that it “was great and fun.” McKenna also expressed surprise about the outcome of the game, saying that she did not expect the faculty to win. 

McKenna also gave a sneak preview of an upcoming Student-Teacher Volleyball game, which is tentatively scheduled for the Friday before April vacation. She is extremely excited, saying that it is sure to “bring the school together.” McKenna also added that more time will be given to introduce each player, saying that she “will be participating” in the event. 

More details will follow in the coming weeks about when and how to sign up for the volleyball game.

The annual Holyoke High School Acceleration Academy was held once again during February vacation. Students who attended were given the opportunity to achieve 2.5 credits and take various creative courses. Mrs. McKenna was very happy with student turnout at the event, citing 71 students who attended at least one day and 58 who attended every day. Turnout was much higher than last year, with the number of students who attended at least one day being up 90%. 

McKenna also emphasized the upcoming April Break Acceleration Academy, saying that it gives students the opportunity to buy back or earn credits. Those interested in attending should speak with Mr. Cotto or their school counselor for more information. 

As we approach the end of the school year, there are many events that Seniors should be aware of, such as Senior Prom, Class Day and Honors Day. Mrs. McKenna stated that the administration team has “shifted some of the dates,” adding that more details will be released by the end of the week. The Herald will be sure to keep the HHS community posted on all dates and times. 

Many Seniors have been wondering where graduation will be held since new turf is being laid at Roberts Field this spring. McKenna addressed this issue, saying that graduation will now be held at McKenzie Field on Sunday, June 4th at 12:00 PM.

McKenna also emphasized the need for Seniors to stay on track for the rest of the school year, saying that they need to start having conversations “with families and the school about their plans for next year.” She also added that Seniors should “stay strong and…committed to doing well this year” since it is “important to finish Senior year strong.” 

Recently, a plethora of surveys were sent to all Holyoke High students in order to analyze the performance of the school. Mrs. McKenna emphasized the importance of completing the Panorama Survey, which was sent out last week. All students will be taking the survey on Friday, March 10 during their third period class. 

McKenna encouraged all students and families to take the survey, saying that it helps HHS “[get] feedback and do something about [the issues raised.]” So far, 15 students and 38 families have filled out the survey, which is also available on social media.

McKenna also had words for each grade as we approach the second half of Term 3 at the high school. She stated that Freshman need to “finish the year strong” and “think about how many credits they are earning” in their first year.

Sophomores need to start thinking about their math, science and English MCAS exams. McKenna stated that they should “be confident in their work” on the exams, adding that they should “get their head in the game.”

As for Juniors, McKenna reminded them that they “are Seniors soon,” going on to say that they should “take advantage of everything [HHS has to offer]” to maximize their high school experience.

McKenna wrapped up the interview by saying that it is “a bittersweet time for Seniors,” adding that they have known HHS for four years and it can be hard to leave.” She ended by reminding them to “enjoy their last few months as being Purple Knights.”