Adults and teens gather at Just Think Expo to learn about community resources

The NNHS PTSO’s 10th annual Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices Expo on January 7, 2020, featured local non-profits and, in the evening, teen-friendly attractions that drew middle schoolers, high schoolers, and parents/guardians. Thank you to all the exhibitors (see list here), volunteers, and speakers who worked together to help create this year’s expo!

The expo took place in two parts. During lunch blocks, interested Newton North students had conversations with representatives from non-profits about sun safety, dating safety, pedestrian and bike safety, mental health support, e-cigarettes and vaping, and marijuana myths and facts, along with numerous other topics. They also had a chance to learn about programs for teens at John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club, Newton Free Library, and West Suburban YMCA. In the evening, attendees gathered at Newton North to visit with non-profit representatives, attend an educational session about vaping, and listen to musical performances. The expo also featured a LigerBots demo, henna tattoos provided by students, cookie decorating hosted by Andrea Hemment of Tortissima, a yoga demo by Johanne Campbell, a boxing activity presented by the new NNHS Boxing Club, and science demos provided by student club STEMentors. See the evening schedule here. 

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

Documentation: Michelle Markert

Tech support: Kim Buckton and Ted Vahey

Treat bags: Suzanne Buchko

Purchasing and money management: April Stein

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

Danielle Ahite, Jake Auchincloss, Joel Bloom, Kim Buckton, Alberta Chu, Joana Canedo, Josh Cooke, Jeff Dagostino, Lou Gardner, Alyssa Kaplan, Forrest Kaplan, Teri Ginsburg, Linda Hanusaik, Patty McCabe, Ning Pan, Valerie Pontiff, Brian Redmond, Elizabeth Reilly, Stacy Schwartz, Betty Sierra, Jean Takamatsu, and Ted Vahey. 

Publicity support: Teri Ginsburg and Laura Marks 

Newton North support

Henry Turner; Alison Malkin; Tom Donnellan, Stephanie Mamis, Sean Walsh, and Graphic Communications; Anna McKeown and main office staff; Tim Keefe and custodial staff; Beth Swederskas; Michael Barrington-Haber; Adam Brown; and Todd Young.


Jolleen Filio, prevention/intervention counselor

Prize drawing

Thank you to Elizabeth Reilly for procuring the prizes and to Ning Pan for running the drawing. Special thanks to Seamus Bruno (West Suburban YMCA) for jumping in to announce the winning names. Here are the prize winners. 

Olivia Freedman– Tiger’s Loft gift certificate 

Mia Hreczuck – school spirit bag

Sofia Dukakis and Lauren Robb – Starbucks basket

Tamara Crawford – Movie basket

Subomi Soyoye– AirPods

Jess Leahy and Chika Udemagwuna–Junior semi-formal ticket 

Business supporters

D&A House of Pizza, Russo’s, Shaws/Star Market, Teen Life, Tortissima, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Whitsons, and Whole Foods Market, Newtonville.

Yoga: Johanne Campbell.


Forte (NNHS), Newtones (NSHS), and Northern Lights (NNHS).

Henna tattoos

Newton South and Newton North South Asian Student Association members Emiliya Aleksanyan, Keshav Desibhatla, Veer Gadodia, Jai Khurana, Nidhi Krovi, and Lasya Thavanati.

LigerBots demo

Caleb Cornelius, Nicolai Graves, Mitchell Healey, Maggie Needham, and Lasya Thavanati.