PTSO’s Just Think Expo draws teens and families to learn about community resources

Exhibitors, volunteers, planners, and speakers brought their “A game” to create a dynamic and upbeat Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices Expoon January 8. Thank you to the everyone who helped create the 9thannual expo!

The expo, sponsored by the NNHS PTSO, took place in two parts. During lunch blocks, interested Newton North students had conversations with representatives from non-profits about numerous topics including sun safety, dating safety, pedestrian and bike safety, mental health support, e-cigarettes and vaping, and marijuana myths and facts. They also had a chance to learn about local agencies with teen programs, including John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club, Newton Free Library, and West Suburban YMCA. In the evening, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and parents/guardians gathered at Newton North to visit with non-profit representatives, attend an educational session about vaping, listen to musical performances, watch yoga demos, bask in henna tattoos and mini-massages, and enjoy light refreshments. 

Thank you to all of the non-profits (see the exhibitor list here) who attended the expo, and thank you to the many other people who helped in various ways! Please pardon any omissions.

See photos on the NNHS PTSO Facebook page. 

Planning: Sally Brickell, Patty McCabe, and Valerie Pontiff

Documentation: Michelle Markert

Tech support: Agi Sardi and Paul Zagaeski

Outreach, food: Patty McCabe

Treat bags: Meghan Smith and Jennifer Conley

Water: Shiri Katz-Gershon

Purchasing and money management: April Stein

Preparation and day-of set up, staffing, and clean up

Danielle Ahite, Joel Bloom, Kim Buckton, Johanne Campbell, Jennifer Conley, Jeff Dagostino, Dana Davis, Jennifer Davis, Teri Deodato, Alice Fink, Alyssa Kaplan, Bennett Kaplan, Jeff Kaplan, Andrea Katsenes, Lori Knowles, Kathy Larsen, Millicent Lawton, Rosa Marzen, Patty McCabe, Alison Montague, Valerie Pontiff, Brian Redmond, Elizabeth Reilly, Claire Robertson, Agi Sardi, Vani Sayeed, Betty Sierra, Ursula Steele, Lexi Turner, Cyrus Vaghar, and Ted Vahey.

Publicity support: Laura Marks and Una Simmons

Newton North support

Henry Turner, Amy Winston, Alison Malkin, Tom Donnellan and Graphic Communications, Anna Ford and main office staff, Tim Keefe and custodial staff, Chris Murphy, Beth Swederskas, Michael Barrington-Haber, Adam Brown, and Todd Young.

Newton South support: Dan Rubin


Jodie Cohen, science teacher

Alison Malkin, prevention/intervention social worker

Prize drawing

Thank you to Linda Hanusaik, Elizabeth Reilly, and Vani Sayeed for procuring the prizes and running the drawing. Special thanks to Ted Vahey for jumping in to draw and announce the winning names. Here are the prize winners. 

Riquelme De Aguiar – Tiger’s Loft gift certificate 

Alex Katz – school spirit bag

Sophia Arkhitekorova – Starbucks basket

Henry Chow – Movie basket

Adriana Dukakis – Beats headphones 

Lasya Thavanati – Junior semi-formal ticket 

Emiliya Aleksanyau – Junior semi-formal ticket

Business supporters

D&A House of Pizza, Girl Fit Physical Therapy, Honda Village. Russos, Sodexo, Star Market, Teen Life, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Wellbridge Physical Therapy, and Whole Foods Market, Newtonville.

Yoga: Barbara Perlo


Jesse Trepiak and West Suburban YMCA Center for Creative Arts



Northern Lights

Henna tattoos

Newton South and Newton North South Asian Student Association members Emi Aleksanyan, Jai Khurana, Iman Sayeed, Shivani Shah, Natasha SharmaLasya Thavanati, and Jennifer Weng.

Table Tennis Challenge

Daniel Chao