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Wayland Resident Wins Scholarship for Promoting LGBTQ Inclusion and Acceptance in School

The following was submitted by Greater Boston PFLAG

Greater Boston PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people) is pleased to announce that Wayland High School senior Abigail McCarthy was awarded the 2017 Elsie Frank Scholarship Award at Pride & Passion 2017, the organization’s annual benefit and auction held April 27 in Boston. The scholarship is awarded annually to high school students who have demonstrated leadership in improving their school climate for LGBTQ youth and their allies.

McCarthy led a successful campaign by students to create a gender-neutral bathroom at Wayland High School to ensure the safety of transgender and gender non-conforming students. McCarthy did outreach to teachers and administrators to explain how the facility would create a safer atmosphere at the school, educated classmates, and when a group of parents voiced opposition to the proposal, McCarthy penned an op-ed for the school newspaper reiterating the case for the transgender-friendly restroom.

“I recognized my privilege to use the bathroom in safety and I knew it was my responsibility to help others who lacked that privilege,” McCarthy wrote in a scholarship application essay.

McCarthy has been accepted to several colleges and intends to double major in English and Environmental Analysis. McCarthy would eventually like to work as an editor or publisher.

“We were pleased to honor Abby for working to create a safer environment for transgender and gender non-conforming students at Wayland High,” said Val Frias, Greater Boston PFLAG Executive Director. “Students learn best when they are acknowledged and accepted for who they are, and when they can safely access all school facilities in the same manner as their peers. We commend Abby for making LGBTQ inclusion and acceptance a priority at school, and we’re inspired by Abby’s leadership.”

Greater Boston PFLAG’s Elsie Frank Scholarship is named in honor of the late mother of former Massachusetts congressman and openly gay man Barney Frank. Mrs. Frank, who died in 2005, was a member of Greater Boston PFLAG’s Honorary Board and a lifelong advocate for the rights of marginalized people. The organization began awarding scholarships in 1998 and renamed them for Mrs. Frank in 2007. Greater Boston PFLAG annually awards a total of $15,000 to Massachusetts high school seniors for their education.

McCarthy was honored with three other Elsie Frank Scholarship recipients at the 15th annual Pride & Passion, which drew more than 1,000 attendees to the Boston Marriott Copley Place. At the event, Greater Boston PFLAG also honored Josh Kraft, Nicholas President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, with its Cornerstone of Equality Award.

Wayland once again named a Best Community for Music

For the 8th year in a row, Wayland was selected as a “Best Community for Music” by NAMM Foundation. Wayland was one of 15 school districts in Massachusetts, and 527 selected nationwide.

Wayland resident earns award for outstanding citizenship

Boston Globe 4/20/17: Wayland resident earns award for outstanding citizenship. The Wayland Public Ceremonies Committee has named Anne Becker, leader of the Wayland chapter of the Neighbor Brigade, as the recipient of the 2017 Lydia Maria Child Award for outstanding citizenship.

Gilmore honored at TD Garden

Wayland Town Crier 4/21/17: Gilmore honored at TD Garden. Exactly a month after her high school career ended in heartbreaking fashion, Rebecca Gilmore got to go back rinkside and have one final rewarding moment under the lights. But instead of being at Flood Rink in Dedham on her campus at the Noble & Greenough School, the Wayland resident was on Causeway Street on the Garden ice, accepting the John Carlton Memorial Trophy from Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.

Wayland’s Bernie Weichsel inducted into ski hall of fame

Boston Globe 4/13/17: Wayland’s Bernie Weichsel inducted into ski hall of fame. The United States Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame is best known for its competitors – Olympians such as Phil and Steve Mahre, Bill Johnson, Billy Kidd, Diann Roffe, and Donna Weinbrecht. But the US Ski Hall also recognizes the pioneers of winter sports, from resort visionaries like Killington founder Preston Leete Smith and freestylers like Wayne Wong to groundbreaking filmmakers like Warren Miller. This month the honor goes to Wayland’s Bernie Weichsel.

His listing on the Ski Hall of Fame site (class of 2016) is online here.

Wayland High graduate wins Kleban musical theater award

Photo from

Wayland Town Crier 3/24/17: Wayland High graduate wins Kleban musical theater award. Daniel Zaitchik (WHS ’98) can trace his love of music to writing and playing songs as a child. His family includes musicians and music lovers, and growing up he listened to a variety of genres including gospel, oldies and classical. And, Zaitchik participated in the Wayland High School theater program under the leadership of teacher Richard Weingartner.

Megan Pierce (WHS ’13) wins national championships in 400 IM and 200 yd butterfly