Four students from Manchester Essex Regional High School will compete in the National Catholic Forensic League's Grand National tournament.

Junior Max Rodier, sophomore Jacob Martz, and freshmen Anne Gonzales and Fiona Davis qualified for the tournament after competing in the Boston's CFL tournament in Shrewsbury.

Six students from each local league compete in categories from dramatic interpretation to congressional debate. Manchester Essex took the majority of Congressional Debate categories.

"Qualifying four of the six congress slots is a major triumph," said William Cooper, director of the high school's debate program.

Battling bullying

Dr. Elizabeth Englander, a state expert on bullying and violence among students, will speak Monday at the regional high school auditorium at 7 p.m.

Englander will speak about teachers, parents and all who have contact with children, and pose ideas as to what they can and should do to minimize bullying in school.

She will also define bullying and discuss aspects of the state's new anti-bullying law.

School staff members who heard Englander speak earlier this year said her talk was humourous, down-to-earth and memorable and gave it a thumbs-up.

Trashing hazardous waste

It's that time of year again; the time where families clean their homes of waste that can't be disposed anywhere else.

Next month, on April 9, the Manchester Board of Health will hold a hazardous waste collection day.

People looking to make use of the day are encouraged to call the town health office to register, as the cost of the event is based on the number of cars attending. Residents can bring 25 pounds, or gallons of hazardous material.

Travelers wanted

From March 22 to 25, students studying French and Spanish at Manchester Essex Regional Middle and High School will be celebrating International Week.

Each day, a different country's culture will be celebrated in the schools. During these four days, students will listen to a variety of speakers from the Cape Ann community who will discuss their personal experiences of other cultures. Speakers talk to students about their pleasure trips to foreign countries, volunteering experience or work-related travel experience.

Last year, students in the foreign language classes enjoyed presentations on Argentina, Burma, Chile, Cambodia, Thailand, Haiti, India and many other countries.

If you have traveled recently to a foreign country for pleasure, business or volunteering and would like to share your experiences with our students, please e-mail Michelle Magaé±a at maganam@mersd.org.

Help for health programs

The Essex Health Department is looking for residents to volunteer and help out with this year's health programs, including the Essex Youth Triathlon and town emergency preparedness plan.

If you're interested, call the Health Department at 978-768-7614 or write via e-mail to boh@essexma.org for more information.

Steven Fletcher compiles information about events, services and programs in Manchester and Essex. If you have a submission for the weekly Town Talk column, you can reach him at 978-283-7000 x3447 or gt_reporter@gloucestertimes.com.

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