By: Alexis Szymecki and Matt Iallonardo
On Tuesday March 5, the 28th ranked Wethersfield Boys Basketball team played fell to the 5th ranked Amity High School.
The Wethersfield boys were coming off an exciting win over the Rocky Hill Terriers, earning the last spot in the State Tournament.
Eager to earn another win, the Wethersfield boys came out with heart. By halftime, the Eagles were down 24-21, but still in the game.
Derek Tenney, senior captain for the Eagles, said “At the end of game we settled for some bad shots, and they made their free throws and we didn’t.”
The boys continued to battle in the second half, and were leading 42-40 in the beginning of the fourth quarter, but their lead slipped away due to Amity’s fast-paced offense. The final score was 57-48, and Wethersfield was eliminated from the tournament.
Senior captain Dante Burgos said, “Some things I would change in the final game was definitely execution and plays and being able to finish easy shots. I feel like defensively we played a really good game and offensively we played good but just didn’t play good enough.”
This year the team was thought to have a successful season. “We made playoffs so that was a success, but we definitely could have been better. We lost some close games that we should’ve won, so overall it wasn’t a bad season but it could’ve been better.” said Tenney.
Burgos was proud of the team on and off the court. “I believe that throughout the season there was a lot of growth and maturity from my teammates and I. We made a lot of progress and had a lot of kids step up during the right times...obviously the season didn’t end the way we wanted to but I do think there was some success during the season.”
It was a hard fought season, and we wish the best of luck to our three senior players who played their last game on Tuesday. We look forward to having an exciting season next year, with Luke Latina leading the way.
By: Grace Detrick and Valentino Fazio
Josh Malizia and Riley Grenier play for the Volleyball team at Wethersfield High School and are excited for the upcoming 2019 season, starting up in the next couple of weeks.
WHS seniors Riley Grenier, Josh, Malizia, Kevin Rascius, Mason Sunquist, and John Schiavone will be returning this season, joined by seniors John Tine and Luke Kelleher, who will be trying out for the team this year.
“My expectations for this season are to work as a team and make states and go decently far.” Grenier said. This seems like a very good goal for them to try and achieve this year after making it to the quarterfinals last season.
When we asked Grenier what he was most excited for this season and why he enjoys being on the volleyball team, he said, “I’m most excited to just start playing again and I love the team and the vibe we put off.” This team seems like a really fun one to be on and it would be a good time to try out since the team will be losing possibly seven seniors when they graduate this year.
Malizia told us about what seniors graduated after last season and what affect that will have on the team. “Camden Johnson, Matt Amoddio and Kieran Senk graduated last year and I will especially miss Kieran because we would always would fool around last year and have a good time.” Grenier added to that by saying, “Losing people has some effect on us but if we have the right pieces to replace them we’ll be ok.”
“I talk to Riley and Kevin about the upcoming season all the time and I think we are going to win the state championship, or at least be in the state championship game. That's been our goal since sophomore year when most of us joined the team. I think we should go 15-5 and have a fantastic season”. Malizia said. Grenier and Malizia both had similar goals and expectations for this season so we hope it will be a successful one for the team!
To sign up and be a part of the team, tryouts are March 16. You can get your yellow card as soon as possible before tryouts. Make sure to be there for the first game on April 1!
by: Amanda De Jesus and Jenna Colon
Wethersfield High School has many electives for juniors and seniors, one of them for seniors is Journalism.
Journalism, which is taught by Mr. John Martin, involves writing for newspapers, magazines, and online. We interviewed him on the basics of his Journalism class.
¨They're going to learn everything I know about journalism,¨ Martin said. “In this course, students will learn how to write for the web, design the web, and write in different styles for many different readers. They will even learn how to write a multitude of articles from short pieces to long forms.”
¨If a student hates writing, I hope that this might be the first class where they actually enjoy it.¨
Martin enjoys hearing about what his students write about because it varies from some things he knows nothing about, and can learn about, to things he loves too.
¨I want to give every student the opportunity to try this class and then decide if they want to do this sort of job or not,¨ says Martin when asked about the effect this class has on students and his role towards that. He went on to say that even if they don´t want to succeed in journalism he still loves that feedback, but also when they do want to continue with their journalism career.
This course can really help students discover more about themselves. Whether it's that they absolutely love writing articles about topics they love or that it's not for them and they don't want to do anything in that field. We highly encourage you to try it out and see how you like it, who knows you might find your future career!
By: Sedina Begic and Nyah McCall
Seniors and teachers of Wethersfield High School were asked if they preferred the shorter period schedule during the 2015-16 year or the current block schedule we have now. They answered why they prefer one schedule over the other and whether or not it was hard to adjust to new schedules.
Senior Lejla Mustabasić was asked which schedule she preferred. “Definitely the schedule we have now because we get an extra day to do our homework and it makes the day go by faster.” She also stated that, “I much rather prefer to not see every teacher every day. It’s good to have a break”
On the other hand, senior Cenia Diluvio had a different opinion on which schedule is better. When asked which schedule she preferred she said she liked our freshman year schedule better simply because “it was easier for me to pay attention because the class period wasn’t so long. I found it easier to do homework because there wasn’t as much and it was more convenient to see teachers everyday especially for classes like math.” she said.
English teacher at Wethersfield High School Mr. Martin also had a few words to say about our current schedule. He said that he prefers the current schedule. “The 84 minutes helps me do multiple activities with my students everyday.”
Next year, Wethersfield High School is planning on adding 15 minutes to the school day which will make school days longer. Although the periods are very long, it should be seen as beneficial because it is preparing Wethersfield High School students for how long classes will be in college. Whether you prefer this schedule or the old one, at the end of the day it is only benefiting us.
By: Paige Contenta and Kaitlyn Swoverland
The Wethersfield Boys Swim & Dive Team are entering states, Saturday March 9 with a 11-1 record in Division M.
The Swim & Dive team came out of an undefeated season last year in hopes for the same results this season, but team fell to Hall this year, their only loss of the season with a score of 93.5 to 92.5, which Co-Captain and senior Caleb Skowronek said was their hardest meet by far.
Skowronek said, “None of our other meets were that close because a lot of top tier swimmers graduated and we were coming out of an undefeated season. I think some people weren’t ready for a meet that close, and the team was very different after that meet.”
He feels his team has grown from this loss and has came out as a stronger and better team. “Obviously I would have liked to have gone undefeated, but I feel the season was very successful. We put in a lot of hard work at practice, averaging 6500 yards, which is about 4 miles, 6 days a week. I think we’re really going to see the benefits from that at states,” said Skowronek.
Wrapping up the regular season, Skowronek hopes to see improvement for each individual swimmer swimming at prelims and states.
The boys swim team has put up so much work in order to get to states, and they want to give it their all. Skowronek says, “I think we’re at a very good place going in but we won't know for sure until the meet actually happens.”
States is a very competitive and exclusive event in swimming. “The top 36 swimmers in every event in each respective class swims at prelims, and the top 26 swim at finals on monday.” said Skowronek.
When you make the state cuts there is a lot the boys have to do to prepare for the big days. Every boy shaves all the hair on their body and tapers themselves. “We shave as well which reduces the amount of drag and it makes the water feel very different, which is a huge advantage.” said Skowronek.
They want to make sure they are prepared for the big day, so when they taper they dramatically decrease the amount of yards they swim in practice each week. This allows for their muscles to repair and rest before they work them to their max during states.
By: Emily Litke
As a member of Environmental Club, you will help out with activities such as Earth Day cleanups, field trips, fundraising, Source to Sea, and so much more.
The goal of this club is to promote environmental welfare in the school and outside in the community. In the past, the club have started recycling campaigns to get people to recycle more in the school. They also participate in the Source to Sea clean up at the Wethersfield Cove every fall to help ensure a cleaner Connecticut River.
Sydney Ouellette, senior and vice president of Environmental Club, said, “Eco club is planning a lot of exciting projects this year, including the annual Earth Day clean up with the Connecticut River Conservancy.” She also mentions, “We are currently selling Earth Day t-shirts to raise money for the Eleanor Buck Wolf Nature Center, who will use this money to upgrade enclosures for the animals, buying food, veterinary bills, and so much more!” The t-shirts are pictured below and are only $15.00, so make sure to get yours!
It is also mentionable that the club is planning a possible field trip and if it happens, they will be going to Boston in late spring to participate in a whale watch and learn more about the environment around them. The Environmental Club is fast growing and always welcome to new members, see Ms. Norris in room 410 for more information.
by: Jake Lepore and Zeeshan Haider
Through the Wethersfield Education Foundation, Monaco Ford donated a 2003 Ford Explorer to Wethersfield High School on September 19, 2018 so that students can learn basic automotive skills and have hands-on experience with a car.
The car is used in the Transportation & Alternative Energy class taught by Mr. Behn Sikora. Mr. Sikora is known in the school for teaching Tech-Ed electives like Robotics and Construction Technology.
Although it is a half-year class, Transportation & Alternative Energy covers all four modes of transportation, that being by air, water, space, and land. In each subsection of transportation, students learn about the different parts in vehicles that make transportation possible and the many ways that each section has changed over the years.
Thanks to the donation by Monaco Ford, the class now features a hands-on learning experience with cars. Students learn how to perform basic car owner tasks like changing the oil and they even get to rotate the tires as a group.
One of the most well received in class projects that students work on is the lawn mower disassembly. Students take apart lawnmowers in the automotive shop to see the many mechanisms that make the everyday tool so efficient. Personally, this was our favorite part about the class (car aside) because it was really interesting to see all of the parts and how they work together.
Mr. Sikora also shared his opinion on his favorite part of the class, and it is very similar to the thought of the students. “As with all the classes I teach, I love the hands-on nature of the class. I enjoy the different activities we complete in the class. I feel very fortunate to have students that want to work with tools and machines, a great facility and the ability to facilitate students learning. I enjoy learning with the students.”
When asked about the importance of the class, Mr. Sikora had a lot to say, and it showed how much he cared about this class and what he wanted students to get out of it.
“I do believe automotive skills are important because cars are a big part of our culture. I think it is important for everyone to know how to do basic maintenance on their car, including changing a tire, filling a tire, and changing oil. Even though cars are getting more advanced and more technological, there are still basic skills car owners should know.”
“There are so many career opportunities related to the automotive field, including sales, maintenance, engineering, technicians, welding, robotics, and programming, just to name a few,” Sikora said.
Senior Matt Accarpio, who was in the transportation class last semester, told us all about his experience in the class. “It was one of the best classes that I have taken in the school. It not only teaches you basic car knowledge, but it also teaches you how to use that knowledge and physically work on your own car”.
Another great part about the class is the attention that it’s getting. Shortly after the Explorer arrived at the school, a family donated a barely used Honda Civic and so now, future students have two cars to work on.
With the addition of the donated cars, the Transportation & Alternative Energy class is even better than it was before. This class is available for all students in the high school and you can take it in either semester, making the course a very attractive option for all students.
by: Megan Keleher
During the week of February 13-February 19, 33 Wethersfield students took a journey to Belize, arriving at the airport at 4 in the morning on the 13th to getting home at 12 at night on the 19th. Being 6 days you may think this trip was short but waking up early each morning and going to bed so late, these 6 days were the longest days of their lives, in the best possible way.
This trip was action-packed, there was never a dull moment from the second we got off the plane in Belize and took our first steps in the 85 degree weather to almost missing our flight back home to Hartford.
The first full day we were there, we traveled by boat to the New River Lagoon and took a tour of the Lamanai Ruins (a Mayan temple), then came back and went to the pool.The second day we traveled to the Cayo Region and enjoyed cave tubing and ziplining through the trees in the jungle.
The third day, still in Cayo Region, the group visited the Xunantunich Ruins, similar to the Lamanai ruins but with a much more breathtaking view. On this day we also visited the Chaa Creek Natural History museum, where we saw beautiful butterflies and learned so much about them.
One more amazing experience we had on the third day was visiting a local elementary school. From giving out school supplies to dancing to blowing bubbles and playing soccer with the kids, it was truly an experience of a lifetime that many WHS students will look back on and never forget.
Day 4 was a full-on traveling adventure. This day was exhausting journey by bus, by boat, and by van; but it was all worth it in the end because we made it to the beach in Ambergris Caye. Seeing the light blue sparkly water finally made it seems like we were on vacation.
Day 5, was easily one of the best days. At the beach in Ambergris Caye the group went snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve where we saw all sorts of fish, barracudas,stingrays, and some even saw dolphins. Later that day, we went snuba diving in the same spot. It was so amazing and a once in a lifetime experience for many of the students on the trip.
Erin Nargi says her favorite part of the trip was “Snuba diving because it was so cool and an amazing experience”. One thing she did not like about the trip was “The freezing cold showers in each hotel, that was the only thing I would change everything else was perfect.”
by: Logan Miller
Our school library is a great place for students to get work done while meeting up to talk to friends in a comfortable environment with many resources at their disposal, but there are many things some students may not know about it.
Location, Location, Location!
Since the school’s renovation there have been many major changes. The library used to be located in the English wing, but now resides beside the pool entrance, across from the fitness room.
The new area is a much brighter and more welcoming environment with a relaxed atmosphere. Maintaining this kind of environment is very important to our librarians, but it’s important for students to come here to get their work done while they meet with their friends. “I want it to be a comfortable environment, but I want it to be a productive environment” says Nella Szilagyi, our Teacher/Librarian.
Here to Help
Along with providing a safe and productive workplace for all students, there are many resources available. However, the focus of the LMC has changed from the stacks of books to technology, with a lot of energy goes into servicing chromebooks and helping students with printing.
When Mrs.Szilagyi first got here, she said that they were switching a lot of their media from VHS to DVD, but that only lasted a few years due to an increase in streaming. With online sources like United Streaming, over 90% of the LMC’s collection is online, and because of this the library is no longer buying reference books.
Even teachers are counting more on these streaming sources like Netflix and Youtube; thankfully our librarians are here to help them if they need subscriptions and such.
What’s on the Shelves?
Recently there has been an increased circulation of fiction being checked out. The same can’t be said for non-fiction, “For non-fiction, it’s hit or miss depending on if teachers require it for research.” said Mrs.Szilagyi.
Much of the books added to the collection over the past few years have been high interest non-fiction like Melaine’s Biography, and Tanisha Quarter’s The World and Me, also including national book award winners, but why has fiction been of such high interest?
Kids are into stories and many new novels have more diverse characters, like in the book by Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give, a title that’s been very popular amongst our students. This diversity connects to the high school population; which also has a growing diversity.
Some people say we don’t read as much as we used to, but is that really true? I asked Mrs.Szilagyi this question and she said, “A lot of articles I’ve read have said that students don’t read as much, but honestly I think they read just as much, it’s just different types of things they read.”
But as important as it is for kids to enjoy what they read, the role of the school library is to guide students to things they are interested in, but also to things they typically wouldn’t pick up for themselves.
Whether you’re trying to catch up on some missed work, or simply want to read a book during your study hall, being an open space with plenty of seats, our amazing library is the place to be for all your academic needs!
By: Katie Galusha, playing the role of Jane Banks in Mary Poppins
Reason #1: Expectations are going to be met, if not exceeded.
The issue with Mary Poppins as a show is the expectations that audience members have. It is also very cool to see the magic from your childhood come to life, which makes that a big demand for special effects.
But WHS English teacher and director Jeff Roets has been aware of this problem, yet was very crafty with fitting it onto our stage.
“We are limited to our stage. Projections for the scene landscapes, and the peninsulas on each side of the stages create space. The need to have levels on stage in order to create some magic and come underneath places for entrances, also make some space backstage. We cannot make big pieces unless they stay on stage the entire time.”
Senior Jared Kauffman has the amazing opportunity to use his talents to portray the narrator of the show, Bert. The role of Bert calls for a lot of energy and expectations that are set by audiences as well.
Senior Katie Ginter will play Mary Poppins and was willing to share her thoughts with playing the lead role.
“In a regular show, if you are a lead, you hang out in the wings and are in the show half of the time. But in this show, these particular leads [Mary, Bert, Children] require a lot of stamina, because you need to be on stage quite a bit.”
The children and Mary are in almost every scene, and Bert coming in a close second. The task of being ‘on’ is quite daunting.
Much like Bert, Mary Poppins requires a lot of energy, and has many expectations. Neither Kauffman nor Ginter disappoints, even for a Disney fan like me.
Ginter has acquired the persona of Mary with the sass and strictness that Mary Poppins is known for.
“Definitely both [sassiness and strictness are important to Mary]. To be a little sassy and kind of poke fun at the Banks parents. But I think they [sassiness and strictness] are both are quintessential to her being.”
Junior Hailey Baranowski gets to play one of the two kids, Michael Banks. As we’re teenagers, the transition from teen to child can be difficult.
“It can be a little harder sometimes because [Michael is] a boy. So, switching into that mindset too when you’re on stage, and acting the way a person in a different country of that age would, while still being appropriate, is challenging. I just need to try and get rid of that teenage mind while doing lines, and really become a child.”
Baraonowski went from long, run-on-sentence lines as Yente in Fiddler on The Roof, to quick, witty, and humorous responses as Michael this year.
Reason #2: An opportunity to see some ‘on stage magic.’
The stage effects within the show are simply amazing. The stage crew have a lot of responsibilities for the ‘magic’ to come to life. Thus far, they have not disappointed.
There are still some finishing touches regarding props, but it will be worth the wait.
“The tech guys that we have helping us are really good figuring things out hands-on, but they needed to see something first, and as did I. I saw what I wanted in my head, but had no idea how to get it there. So we watched a lot of Youtube video, a lot of other schools and companies that have been really good about putting stuff up. That’s been really helpful [with designing the set and stage effects]” said Roets.
Along with the ‘magic,’ the scene changes will be very quick making the show run with fluidity that a broadway performance has accustomed to.
Reason #3: Iconic Music That EVERYONE knows.
Mary Poppins has all of the songs you know and love from the movie, plus some beautiful and fun additions. My personal favorite additions are “Brimstone and Treacle,” and “Being Mrs.Banks”.
The pit, with Dave Dion conducting, is full of very talented individuals. The introduction of the pit was a difficult addition in our 9-hour rehearsal during the last day of February Break, yet very flexible and adaptive for the needs of everyone within the pit and on the stage.
Many lines in the show are spoken over some music, so the majority of the show relies on trust between the actors and the pit.
After speaking to Ginter, Baraonowski, and Roets, make sure to watch out for the musical numbers “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Being Mrs. Banks” (Sung beautifully by Junior Lauren Lesser), and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”.
Come see Mary Poppins, March 8th and 9th, at 7:30pm, and Sunday, March 10th, at 3:00pm, to see all the magic you love and all the numbers that you never saw coming in that show.
Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.showtix4u.com/events/215 , $10 for students/Seniors and $14 for adults. If you do not buy your tickets online, you can purchase tickets at the door, however prices may vary.
By: Ashley Anduha and Mark Nieves
Career Preparation is a class at Wethersfield High School that involves planning for your future. It is a class available to any grade and it is taught by business teacher Mr. Chris Palazzo.
Palazzo describes this class as, “Providing students with the opportunity to learn about future careers, the opportunity to gain experience with interviews, gain experience with potential employers. It gives students the opportunity to dive deeper into their interests.”
It is an amazing class for every student’s future, even if you know what you want to do after high school. Career Prep still prepares you for your career because you learn things that are very important.
Palazzo recommends that every student at every grade level take this class. He says it can be very good for freshman who have never thought about what is next after high school but also for seniors because you are on your way to graduating and this class can put you a step ahead in your next path in life.
It is an eye opening class for anyone who hasn’t really gotten involved with school because you realize the importance of things like extra curricular activities so it pushes students to get more involved.
In this class, you learn things that are very important for when you go to interview for a job and Palazzo describes this as a major benefit to this class, “All students get the opportunity to develop a resume, write a cover letter, a follow up letter, having the experience of talking with potential employers, learning about careers that will one day provide them with a paycheck and help them make sure that their happy with their future.”
In this class there is a segment called “Mock Interviews” that you prepare for throughout the semester. Before you start your mock interview, you build a resume full of information about your job experiences, skills, awards education etc. as well as a cover letter and with this you meet with a mock “interviewer” and you get a grade based on how you do in the interview. It is a good way to work on and realize any struggles you had with the interview.
Many students who have taken the class can agree that it is very helpful for them especially because they learn things before that nobody has taught them before. Not many people know how to make a resume, many don’t know what a cover and thank you letter are, and a lot have never gotten the experience to practice in a mock interview.
In conclusion, we highly recommend this class to every student who attends Wethersfield High School, It will be a great help in the future. You will not be disappointed after taking this class, in fact you'll thank us.
by: Isiah Timmons
One of Wethersfield High School’s most recent class music production. Being taught by WHS teacher Michael Bowles is definitely worth your time. Here’s why:
Music production gives in-depth lessons about the composition of melodies and workings of sound and production. The amount of creative freedom in this class is endless. As a music creator this class definitely gives the best fundamentals of mixing, EQ’ing, and the musical process with the addition of fun.
Music Production prepares a great space for you to enter your creative process and to stop stressing about other classes and just create.
WHS student Katie Galusha said, “Music production for me was a lot of creative freedom. I didn’t feel like I was limited to do whatever the teacher said, because it was just like a general outline and then he said ‘take it and run’ and you could literally make whatever you want.”
Music Production students are greeted with a Mac computer, piano, and three different usable softwares Logic Pro X, Pro Tools and Garageband.
Music Production will help you improve your tracks and help you explore more into the field of music production. This class is definitely worth your time because it shows you the fun of sound mixing, chopping, folleying and creating sentences with different pieces of audio. Katie Galusha said “I’ve always gotten the music handed to me I never got to create anything, which was like, very cool.”
One of the most interesting projects I’ve done in this class is changing the mood of a movie trailer. This is done by changing the key of your music in the background from major to minor or visa versa. Major creating a more happy feel, while minor creates a sadder or fearful mood, using different sound effects and changing the entire ambience. For example turning a comedy movie into a horror movie, or turning a love story to a sci-fi movie.
Music Production holds many career choices, from foley artist, to music producer, sound designer, digital audio editor, radio broadcaster, or a digital audio editor. If you’re interested in any career involved with sound?
Music Production is definitely a class you should consider!
by: Danielle Colbath and Shantall Teran
Whether you graduated long ago or are in school now, homework can be remembered as a staple of the high school experience. For something that has been around for so long, the question of its usefulness and impact on the students is still up for current debate. Teachers around Wethersfield High School were questioned to get a closer look into homework and their thoughts.
Science teacher Ms. Alexopoulos was asked about her thoughts on homework, “I don't give homework often, if an assignment is not finished in class I will asked them to finish it in class”. Alexopoulos also brought up an interesting point that she includes homework as classwork grades. By doing this she allows for your grade to not be solely impacted by just homework, but instead their overall effort in the class.
Mrs. Duggins builds onto this idea. “I hand out homework to all of the classes as necessary, it's not a set schedule, but it's either going to introduce an idea, or inforce an idea that hasn't been completed in class and needs to be finished.”
Mr. Sand shared, “I'm not a big fan of very long drawn out homework assignments I understand kids often have 7 classes, if they get an hour of homework from each teacher it can be very overwhelming.” It seemed as though our teachers noticed that prolonged homework isn't beneficial.
The four teacher we question told us that in the past years they have changed their policies for homework. Mr. Mangino tell us “I give much less homework for most of my classes than I used to”. Mrs. Duggins also points out an important factor as to why her homework policies have changed. “I think that a lot of high school students are working, watching siblings, have a lot of courses, they have a lot going on in their lives as oppose to years past.”
The teachers that were questioned seem to share the idea that the amount of homework depends on the subject. Spanish teacher Mr.Mangino tells us “It's hard to acquire a language unless you're engaged in active conversation or reading.”
Time spent doing homework can be tedious and overwhelming. However with the right teacher, understanding of purpose, and a little extra time, it can be done to the benefit of your education. “in college you're not going to have to do homework so it creates the mindset of what does it take to do well in a class” is what Ms.Alexopoulos puts in perspective. What are your thought on homework as student? Let us know!
by: Erin Nargi and Taylor Pitchell
On Wednesday, February 13, 33 Wethersfield High School students embark on a journey to the beautiful country of Belize. The journey begins by arriving at the airport at 4:15 a.m. and taking off by 6:00 a.m. from Bradley Airport. After a three hour flight to Miami and then another two hour flight to Belize City, the group will reach their initial destination at the first hotel.
While there, the group will be staying in three different hotels scattered along the coast of Belize. The second hotel is even located in the middle of the jungle.
There will be lots to do including zip lining, cave tubing, scuba diving, hiking, and more. These will all ensure a very busy week for students and their chaperones.
A couple days in, the group will travel to a school and bring lots of school supplies for the young kids to use in their school day. They will play games and interact with the children for the majority of the day.
Belize is located on the eastern coast of Central America on the Caribbean Sea . The small country has a population of around 375,000 and can be compared to the size of Massachusetts.
Although the country is tiny, it contains a dense jungle with thousands of wildlife species and hundreds of offshore islands called cayes. Belize also has centuries of ancient history sourcing back to the Mayans, including several ancient ruin sites.
The students attending are very lucky to be able to have this experience and we wish them the best!
By Logan Miller & William Malizia
On December 18, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, made an announcement stating, “I am officially declaring e-cigarette use [vaping] among youth an epidemic in the United States.”
The amount of students who vape is increasing at alarming rates. It was reported by the FDA in 2018 that 3.26 million highschool and middle school students were currently using e-cigarettes.
What’s the Purpose of Vaping?
Vaping is supposedly meant to be an alternative to smoking regular combustible cigarettes. With claims like having less chemicals than an ordinary cigarette, but less chemicals is not the same as having none.
To further counteract vapes “anti-smoking” ideal, it has been found in studies that people who vape actually have an increased chance of smoking regular cigarettes. As stated by Yale Health Researchers, “Vape devices have not been proven to help adults quit smoking.”
Why is this so Bad?
One word. Nicotine. Between 2017 to 2018, the amount of high schoolers vaping has increased 78% (11.7% to 20.8%), and the amount of middle schoolers vaping has increased 48% (3.3% to 4.9%).
Within a one month period, 11% of high school seniors, 8% of sophomores, and 3.5% reported using nicotine with a vape device. These teen epidemic of e-cigarette abuse is similar to the regular cigarette use of teens in the 1940’s and 50’s.
One of these e-cigarette companies, Juul, are under a lot of pressure by the FDA for “marketing and sales practices that seemed aimed at teens and young adults” These devices with their sleek design and colorful lights, how can they legitimately say it’s not marketed towards children? And with a harmful and addictive chemical like nicotine, it is dangerous to say the less.
How it Affects Us
Our young brains are very sensitive to the effects of nicotine. Nicotine can be very damaging to a young individuals brain development, it can impact one's own memory and attention processing. Unlike with cigarettes there are many “health unknowns” with e-cig use.
Another serious problem with nicotine is the addiction that quickly follows suit. Becoming an addict is like losing your freedom of choice. You’ll quickly find yourself under the control of your vaping device, not your own free will.
As warned by the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, “We cannot allow a whole generation to become addicted to nicotine” but with companies like Juul, with one pod having the same nicotine content as a pack of cigarettes, the problem has only just begun...
WHS and Vaping
Vaping at our school is not tolerated. As it states in the student handbook on page 33, it is a second level offense for the “use of tobacco products including e-cigarettes.” So don’t think that the rules only apply to combustible cigarettes, you will still get in trouble.
If you’re caught vaping the first referral is two extended detentions, second is two days of in-school suspension, third is a five-day suspension, and getting a fourth referral brings you into the third level disciplinary category which consists of another five day suspension just for the first referral.
Any student should also keep in mind that all vape paraphernalia found is confiscated and not returned to the student and/or family.
The Law and Vaping
After a brief interview with our School Resource Officer, Officer Knapp, the law says that any violation of the law for anyone 16 and under is an arrest. 15 and under is an arrest or the individuals are sent to the Community Review Board (CRB).
Students who are the ages 16-17 recieve a $50 fine their first time, but from then on the fine is worth $100. Students that are 17 can be offered to see the CRB. once there it’s up to them what happens. Usually they must do some kind of P.S.A., but they could also be required to do community service, counselling, and drug tests.
Students the ages 18 and up are not within any violation of criminal law, so they face school discipline.
The biggest advice I can give? Just don’t start. If you have and want help, there are many resources to help you, simply speak to your school counselor, nurse, administrator, or resource officer.
By: Lauren Christie and Maddie Bradbury
Kids wear headphones around the halls, and in class, and it can be an amazing way to focus and essentially make you more productive and efficient. But on the other hand, they can be a major distraction and a way to tune out important information during school.
This prompts the question whether headphones should or shouldn't, be allowed in school. How can something like wearing headphones be both beneficial and distracting?
Some students argue that headphones increase their focus and attention. In fact, according to the Chicago Daily Herald, “79% of students listen to music to increase their productivity, by keeping them focused on their job. Music keeps the environment you are working in quieter.”
To understand these statistics better, we conducted a study and asked a variety of students who wear headphones, how beneficial it is for them.
Ariana Tessier, a senior at Wethersfield High School states, “Headphones help me work in a noisy environment”.
If students claim headphones help them focus, why do teachers often to tell students to remove them? When kids are seen with headphones, the most common response from a teacher is to put them away, but why? To answer our question, we asked someone who enforces the rule with no exceptions.
Mr. Scopetto, P.E. teacher at Wethersfield High School said, “Do I have headphones on when you talk to me? It is not a personal relationship when you have your headphones on.” Sco emphasized that having headphones on during school is unprofessional and rude.
Headphones can be an useful getaway and put you in exactly in the right mood to get work done. Evidence shows that music helps with productivity and blocking out a distracting environment.
However, there is an appropriate time and place for headphones. If it isn't a safe place to wear them, you shouldn't, and if your teacher isn't comfortable with you wearing them, you could be potentially missing valuable information.
By: Justin Biraci
Students are constantly walking in after the bell in the morning with a coffee in their hand. Teachers tend to get the wrong impression, and think the students do not care about their class.
Many students who take the morning stop to a place such as Dunkin Donuts are often tardy to class. The coffee in the morning can wait, or you can try waking up earlier. Their craving for coffee gets them on bad terms with their teacher.
From the teacher’s perspective, the student could’ve had a better chance of arriving to class on time, if they did not stop for coffee. It makes the student look disrespectful and sends the teacher the wrong message.
“If you come to my class late, with coffee, you must leave it at the door” said Marc Pfister, English teacher at WHS.
Not only is it disrespectful, but it is interrupting the class when they show up late and walk through the door in the middle of a lesson. By coming in late, the student is saying that they prioritize their breakfast stop over their academic learning for that class.
Teachers understand when there is an emergency, or if you just accidentally did not wake up on time. However, if you are purposefully and perpetually showing up late, then it becomes an issue.
Some teachers will resort to punishments such as detentions or not letting them in the classroom. Bottom line, try to avoid getting into a bad habit of showing up to class late with a poor excuse such as your coffee stop.
If you want to succeed in class, then it is beneficial to have a good relationship with the teacher. The amount of respect you give to the teacher will be the amount you receive in return. Make sure to be on time in order to present yourself as someone who is willing to be engaged in learning.
by: Scotty Giannini
On Monday, January 28, the Career Advisory Board (C.A.B.) had its first meeting since November in the Library Media Center. At this meeting members brainstormed ways to get students more involved with the school and career planning.
The meeting began with a quote from Ken Lesser, the Lead Organizer for the C.A.B.. The quote was from a Martin Luther King Jr’s sermon and talked about the ‘fierce urgency of now’. According to John Martin, an English Teacher at WHS, Mr. Lesser frequently begins these meetings with a quote to think about to get them started for the day.
New and exciting opportunities for students this year, there has been talk of bringing a forensics expert for the next in-school field trip and a careers fair in May which could have 30 or more employees, so keep your calendars open. Additional to this a newer member, Steve Bobbin opened up the idea for more field visits for students. Bobbin, an IT Network Administrator for CNC Software Tolland mentioned that they would love to send people over to get kids involved.
Santo Perrata, the VP of Sales and Marketing at United Tool And Dye here in Wethersfield has working opportunities for young adults in the area. According to Perrata, many of their current workers are retiring and their labor pool is changing. Opportunities like this can help create jobs for young workers in the Wethersfield area.
Superintendent Michael Emmett also mentioned that the high school is looking to bring WHS students dual credit opportunities by partnering with Goodwin College in manufacturing classes. Students would receive college credit from Goodwin college as well as the elective credit from WHS. Chairperson of the Board of Education, Bobbie Granato also had something to say about this, she said, “[The State of CT] is looking to grow manufacturing in Connecticut, and they are looking for educators and students to move students forward in all careers.”
Also don’t forget, this Friday, February 8th, 20 students will be going to Travelers for a job shadow experience. Students will spend the day touring and working the catastrophe vans that tour disaster areas for processing as well as exploring more careers within Travelers Insurance. For students interested in the insurance field or the van driving industry, this one’s a win.
by: Logan Miller
Curious about the Art Department, I interviewed one of the High School teachers, and asked some questions about any important dates, recent happenings, and generally how it’s doing.
To start off the art department has been doing very well lately. Some students have won some awards in the Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards. Their work will be hung up at Capital Community College as a part of the National Art Program.
Teachers are very proud of their students who are in the Scholastic Art Awards, and the Gold Key work will be judged nationally.
Some upcoming art events include a Winter Paint Night planned for February 21 and then an Art Extravaganza with performance, art making, and exhibits on display of student work for the Youth Art Month. This will be on March 27th.
There will also be a National Art Honors Societies members exhibit at the Wethersfield Public Library, there will be work on display also at CCSU for the statewide art celebration, and a district wide art show in May, but those dates are yet to be confirmed.
By: Kareena Khadar
Have you ever set eight alarms just to snooze all of them in the morning? As much as waking up before sunrise should be illegal, there are a surprising amount of ways to help yourself wake up easily and on time. Here are some tips:
Have a Better Sleeping Environment:
Getting the right amount of sleep is very important for your body's health so it just might be a good idea to adjust your sleep schedule to tie in some of these tips and tricks.
By: Auna Foster and Melanie Cohen
On February 28 during Period 4, Mrs. Duggins and the Brothers and Sisters United (BSU) are holding a “Hair Show” at Wethersfield High School. This show is one of the many segments being held at the school to celebrate Black History Month.
This show is meant to inform the students of Wethersfield High School of the history of black hair in America, and the many different hairstyles that are popular in the African American community. Not only will students be able to see all the unique hair designs, but they will also be informed on different “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to addressing black hair and asking questions about it.
According to Time Magazine in 2017, a 17 year old Massachusetts high school student named Jenesis Johnson was told by a school administrator that she could not wear her hair in an afro because it was “extreme and faddish and out of control.” Another occurrence happened within the same year in Kentucky, where a school attempted to ban dreadlocks, cornrows and twists but never succeeded.
There are many positive outcomes with this show. Not only will the show address hairstyles but also share the history behind them. This is a great way to bring awareness to students about embracing your natural hair, especially with it being a way to break the stigma many people of color face.
Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to come to this event, in hopes of both educating the bright student of WHS, and building a bridge when it comes to culture shock, and diversity.
by: Tanya Messenger
In Super Bowl LIII, the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will battle it out on CBS Sunday, February 3 at 6:30 pm. I interviewed students and teachers from WHS to see who they will be rooting for in Super Bowl LIII and how they are preparing for it.
Marc J. Mirizzi is a WHS staff member who is rooting for the Patriots at his house on Sunday. He is hoping that if Patriots win, Tom Brady will retire. Mirizzi will be “relaxing on the couch with chips and salsa and soda” to watch the football game.
Staff member Jacklyn Malizia told me in her interview that she is rooting for the Rams at her house in Wethersfield this weekend. Malizia’s husband and “his friends were Rams fans through thick and thin.” Mr. Malizia’s friends will come over on Sunday and they will have stromboli, chicken wings, and drinks to watch the big game.
Stephanie Breglio (class of 2020) is rooting for the Patriots at her friend’s house in Wethersfield. She watches the Super Bowl because it is a tradition, she has been watching it “since she was a little girl.” They will have appetizers and soda.
Interviewing senior Maddy Hickey, she was so excited to talk about the Patriots. She will be with her friends at First Church of Christ in Old Wethersfield watching the game and she said, “I’m going to have an emotional breakdown because the Patriots need to win again.” She watches the game because she has been a Pats fan her entire life. Maddy will be watching it on the big TV with all her Pats gear this Sunday.
My third interview with a student was Devon Sienna, who will be rooting for the Patriots. He will be watching at home in Wethersfield, CT. He said, “The only reason I watch it is because there will be food.” His dad will be watching it too, Devon probably will watch it on his computer.
Most students and WHS staff members will be rooting for the Patriots. If you enjoy playing or watching football, then this weekend on CBS at 6:30 pm get your friends and family to watch the two best teams battling to win. Who do you think will win?
by: Jimmy Luiz, WHS Basketball Guard
We have had a solid run the last few games, but these next are the most important by far, We have 5 games left and we need to win 3 out of the 5 to get into states. If we win all 5, we have a chance at CCCs, but our goal is states.
We have Rocky Hill and Newington still to play for the second time this year, We have beaten Rocky Hill before and Newington we have not beat yet. If it comes down to it, Newington is the last game of the regular season. Hopefully we get 3 wins before we play them but if we have 2, that last game we will need everyone at that game, These games are so important, we need everyone talking about it and as many people as possible at those games cheering us on.
I remember playing against Windsor this year and when we had the crowd we were able to keep up with them and actually have the lead against them for a really good amount of time. Windsor is considered the best team in the state right now and that crowd helped us stay in that game.
What I’m trying to say is that with a big crowd anything is possible and especially against the teams that we are supposed to win against, blowing them out makes a statement and that’s what we need going into these last 5 games.
by: Kenan Mujic and Matthew Zapata
The Journalism Club, led by Bryce Cox and Kayla Platania, is a club that writes for the Eagle Eye, the school paper and meets after school every Monday from 2-2:30 pm in Room 30.
Sophomores Platania and Cox, graduating in 2021, created the Journalism Club at the beginning of 2018-2019 school year as they were very interested in writing for the school paper, so they turned to Mr. John Martin, an English Teacher at Wethersfield High School, to help them create and run the club smoothly.
Cox describes this club as an opportunity to learn more about Journalism without any academic school work or stress outside of school grounds. It gives students the opportunity to take the class without actually taking the class.
Cox also mentioned that this club gives underclassmen and juniors the opportunity to do some sort of journalistic writing without taking the actual class, as Journalism is only offered to the seniors and not underclassmen and juniors.
Co-Leader Platania is currently urging students to join the Journalism Club as it gives students a voice and the club gives them an outlet to speak their minds. The club gives students the opportunity to promote events and issues that are currently present in the school.
There are currently about eight to ten members of the Journalism Club, and Cox and Platania are always looking to bring in more members to the club to add more depth and stability.
Be sure to be on the lookout for flyers posted around the school containing information about the club and who you should contact if you are interested in joining or have any questions.
If you are interested in joining the club or have any questions about how it works, please be sure to stop by Room 30 or contact Sophomore Co-Leaders Cox and Platania at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cox and Platania look forward to seeing new and motivated faces next Monday, February 4th, 2019 in Room 30 right after school!
by: Dylan Gutierrez, Mike Messina, and Kavi Khadar
Students at Wethersfield High School now have a variety of healthy and tasty foods during lunchtime thanks to surveys and studies done by the school. To decrease rates of childhood obesity, the school has implemented a system on creating a full and nutritious lunch for everyone.
The school takes an extra step to promote healthy eating by providing a free milk box and fruit of the students choosing to go with their lunch. This method makes sure students are getting key parts of daily nutrition on their palette.
Students can get most of their dairy and fruit needs from these simple snacks.
WHS also made a huge effort in getting a good protein source to the lunch room by providing Boars Head meats at the sandwich area. There's a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables which knocks out a good part of the pyramid.
When it comes to the junk foods, there are some choices in the cafeteria to balance out cravings but, they’re all made with wholesome ingredients. All bread and tortillas on sandwiches and wraps are whole wheat. The pasta and pizza dough are completely wheat, the pasta also usually comes with asparagus, green beans or mixed steamed veggies. Fried foods like the chicken tenders are also made with lean white meat.
As far as beverages go, WHS never serves sugary sodas to its students. Instead they’re offered zero calorie carbonated drinks and fruit juices/smoothies that help students get necessary vitamins.
Having healthy foods accessible to you at schools is a game changer in student health. I know for my friends and I, we never have time to pack healthy lunches which takes awhile to put together. So it’s definitely nice to be able to rely on healthy foods from the school cafeteria.
We believe having healthy choices at lunch is important because our high school is always trying to set a perfect example. So instead of having junk foods with no healthy options, we are trying to set good examples that you could hopefully carry on at home and in the near future.
Overall, we wanted to address this topic because we believe it’s not brought up enough. We hope from the following article that you have found ways to increase your health to not only look good but also feel better!
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.