Petersen & Dimicale receive PTSO scholarships

Claire Petersen of Hubbardston
Toby Dimicale of Ashburnham

In June, Sizer School Seniors Claire Petersen of Hubbardston and Toby Dimicale of Ashburnham were both named recipients of the Sizer School PTSO scholarships for 2020.

Scholarship recipients were selected based on their transcripts, extra curricular activities and on an essay. Students considered for the scholarship were asked to write an essay about when they challenged, or did not challenge a belief, idea or behavior and would they make the same decision again.

Petersen, who attended Sizer School from 7th grade until her senior year, wrote about her experiences on the Sizer School Soccer Team.

“There is an amount of healthy competition needed in sports, but looking back at my old teams there was too much competitive nature along with a string of bad coaches that pitted girls against each other,” wrote Petersen. “…The first day of Sizer sports was very intimidating for me. I was ready to be picked on and whispered about because I knew my abilities would fall short of how good the seniors on the team were. But on that first day I was treated kindly. For the first time there was no group of girls looking down on me and judging me; there was just a positive and happy team of girls who resembled a family.”

Petersen goes on to say that her teammates on the Sizer team, helped teach her a new way of looking at sports.

“This idea I held of winning being the only thing that mattered was challenged by the rest of my team’s calm attitude towards losing. … Sizer soccer challenged my overly competitive beliefs and the idea that sports teams are cut throat and only about winning. This happened through the kindness and environment of my team as they embodied the Sizer Six in showing me what a real community should be. My team showed me compassion, how to treat others with support, and how to work as a team.”

Dimicale’s essay focused on the relationships and friendships they formed while at Sizer and how relationships can teach everyone involved.

“I taught one of my closest friends that it’s okay to step back and let some things be out of control. They were so consumed with anxiety that they had to be in control of everything. And when they weren’t, they’d freak out. This friend still has a lot of anxiety, but we get through it together,” wrote Dimacale. “These are all things I’m proud of. I pride myself in being able to learn things from others while teaching them as well.”

As for plans outside of Sizer, Petersen said she plans to study Bioengineering at Umass Dartmouth, Dimacale will be attending Salem State to study psychology.

Sizer School, a North Central Charter Essential School, is a free public charter school located in Fitchburg serving students in grades seven through twelve from 25 local towns and cities. At Sizer School students are known personally, challenged intellectually, and participate actively in their learning. Guided by its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, the school seeks to send graduates into the world who THINK for themselves, CARE about others, and ACT creatively and responsibly. To find out more, visit