By: Ava Minichino and Carsyn Viner
School lunch has been a controversial topic for seemingly forever. The lunch period itself is an important part of the day to wind down from the rigor of school to eat and chill with your friends. Students in schools either receive quality lunches, or the equivalent of prison food. The latter isn’t the case for Wethersfield High School.
Many students enjoy the lunch provided by the school, and opt for it instead of a home-packed meal. “Considering the lines that we have in each lunch, I do believe that a lot of students do choose to buy lunch and I see a lot of kids enjoying it, and not a lot gets thrown out. It seems like there’s a lot of kids in the sandwich line and the burrito line everyday.” says Megan Kelleher, a senior at Wethersfield High.
Things like the burritos and sandwiches are things kids typically get for lunch. Both lines are similar to restaurants like Subway, where your meal is fully customizable, there’s even a panini press to grill your sandwich or wrap. Kids will go as far as waiting 15 minutes for this delicious food; which is half of our lunch period.
Students also think the cafeteria food is healthy. “I would say that most of our options in our cafeteria are more health-based rather than junk food, there’s still many appealing things to teenagers. I do believe that most of it is geared toward health,” says Megan Kelleher.
In our cafeteria, we serve exceptional breakfast and lunch that fuels up the students. From yogurts to salads, the food being served prepares kids for the day ahead of them; whether it be class, sports, or other extracurricular activities. While we do serve chips at our school, they are reduced fat and are still delicious regardless of their nutritional facts.
The students also weighed in on their favorite meal at school. Senior Mark Zocco said, “My favorite food here in the cafeteria would have to be the chicken tenders with either the curly fries or tater tots.”
Megan Kelleher said, “One of my favorite foods here is definitely the burrito, there are so many different choices, it's always good.¨
If you’re considering buying a school lunch, those are a few options to keep in mind while you scan the wide variety of meals in our cafe.
Thanks to the delightful cafeteria staff, these tasty meals are prepared for us everyday. Without them, there would be no sandwiches, no burritos, no hot lunches to keep us moving.
What is your favorite food from the cafe? Let us know in the comments!
By: Paige Melillo and Abby Malizia
We interviewed some of the group leaders of our international trips at WHS to find out what it really like to travel and be a leader of one of.
Ever wanted to go on one of these trips? Are these trips for you? Here at WHS, there are multiple amounts of trips with some of your favorite teachers. Our school works with Education First Tours or EF Tours to help plan and make these trips a once in a lifetime experience. Some teachers that have led these trips are John Sand, Drew Nicholas, John Martin, Shannon Belanger, and Patricia McGrath, just toname a few.
Over the past 15 years, WHS teachers have taken students to Costa Rica, Greece, Belize, Ireland, Spain, England, France, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand, plus many more to come.
Mr. Nick is an English teacher at WHS and has been working with EF tours for over ten years and has gone on 12 trips. He has been to France, Spain, Italy, London, Costa Rica, Ireland, and Greece. I interviewed Mr. Nick last week to find out more about these trips and what's it like to be a leader.
When asked about what types of students he looks for, Nicholas said, “Students who have an intellectual curiosity, someone who wants to broaden their horizons opens their world view and wants to go and learn, different from book learning in school, experiential learning not something you would necessarily see in a museum.”
Being a leader of these trips for so long, Mr. Nick has definitely gotten the hang of it. “It’s a lot to do, but you have months to do it.”
Shannon Belanger is a Math teacher at WHS and has been involved in the EF tours as a chaperone for one trip to Australia/New Zealand and has taken trips with them as a student as well. She has now been on both ends, the stressful chaperoning and the fun as a student. I got together with Mrs. Belanger last week to discuss the trip altogether, fun parts, stressful parts, and the experience.
During the interview, I asked Belanger what makes her want to go back on more trips, and she said, “Sharing my experience with not just the culture but the memories. There is so much more to it than just going and seeing and doing things.”
Belanger enjoys the bonds she is able to make with fellow students when it comes to plane rides, bus rides, and just free time around the resorts.
Though there is stress that comes along with the beautiful trips. These teachers volunteer their time to let us students enjoy the trip while keeping it as safe as possible. When asked the main fear fellow chaperones have experienced, Belanger said, “I think the hardest part is the unknown.”
Mrs. Belanger is planning an upcoming trip to Germany and Switzerland for all grades in Summer 2021.
With all the feedback given from chaperones themselves, what would make you not want to experience these trips? The bonds you create, the things you get to experience, they are all once in a lifetime. From warm sunshine to brisk cultural experience, there are so many trips available that could fit your preference. What’s stopping you?
By: Kaitlyn Fischer and Ryan Koplin
Being captain of a high school sports team is something every athlete strives to be. It is an important role and a hard one to accept. We set out to interview captains of sports teams here at WHS for an inside look at their experience.
“Being captain means to me that I was recognized as not only a strong athlete but also a strong leader, and it means that a lot of the girls look up to me as a positive figure and leader of the team and I just really appreciate this position my senior year.” said Megan Kelleher, senior captain of the girls volleyball team.
Being a captain of a team with a lot of players could be seen as stressful. Here at WHS there are about ninety players in the football program.
“No [it’s not stressful] because in all honesty, I’ve always been the type of guy to be a leader, so me just having the nametag kind of hasn't really changed much, but it’s just simply having the nametag of being captain, said senior captain of the football team, Jacob Rivera when asked about the added pressure with being one of just three captains of a ninety player program.
If your school’s hockey team is like the team here at WHS, then your team has four towns playing on just one team.
For those who don’t know, the WHS hockey team is called WMRP, standing for Wethersfield, Middletown, Rocky Hill, and Plainville. And if you’re captain Trevor Piecewicz, then being the captain of people who you don’t see in school everyday could be hard, especially when he was named captain as a junior.
That’s not what Piecewicz thinks.
“I’ve been a leader since freshman year, it’s kind of the same, just with a “C” on my jersey.”
Being a captain is something everyone should strive to be. As you can see by these interviews, it's a very rewarding title. You take on leadership as well as being the person many younger players look up to. You learn how to deal with and overcome certain situations that many other people would not be exposed to.
By Stephanie Breglio
WHS business courses are crucial in preparing students for the future and building basic life skills that may not be taught in other core classes or electives. New WHS students or even any student may wonder what the benefits of business courses are, or if they should be enrolled in one. The answer-- according to WHS students and teachers, is yes.
Senior Rachel Gopaul is one of these students who says “yes.” Rachel stated that taking Career Prep and Personal Finance was, “Eye opening in terms of looking for college stuff, getting used to gpa and looking into future careers.”
WHS offers many options for business courses amongst the 3 teachers; Mrs. Griswold, Mrs. Ricardi, and Mr. Palazzo. The courses include Intro to Business, Career Prep, Personal Finance, Marketing I, Marketing II, and even more.
Basic and fundamental skills needed for the future that are taught in these classes, especially Career Prep and Personal Finance, may be surprising to some. They include resume writing, financial goal setting, learning how to save money, filing tax returns, learning how to use the program Excel, and even learning how to fill out a check and the parts of the check.
“I absolutely encourage students to take multiple business courses throughout high school because no matter what field they end up in, there will be things that they learn in the business courses that will apply, whether it’s soft skills or the math that we us,” said WHS Business Teacher Mr. Palazzo.
Mr. Palazzo mentioned that one of his graduate students came to him years later talking about what they learned through Excel and they said, “I was one of the first people who when I got the job was able to teach others how to use it.”
People who don’t take many business courses/business courses at all may not realize how much they really help students. I encourage all students to take business courses if they have the choice. It may help you in the future even if you are unaware of that right now.
By Shandaly Benjamin
There are so many responsibilities that come with becoming a senior in high school. There’s not only having college stuff to worry about, but also having to set an example for the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.
Us incoming seniors are very overwhelmed with the responsibilities given to us. On top of having to apply for college, we have to keep up with our classes.
Our WHS counselors and teachers have been a big help towards us seniors and our college decisions. They have been by our side, taking us one by one and going over the college application process. They have shared all the deadlines, requirements, opportunities for financial aid, and more. In addition, they are always willing to fit us into their schedule to help us even when their super busy.
“My counselor Mrs. Conoscenti, helped out so much. She wants to hold my hand through all of this and I’m actually thankful because I got really overwhelmed in the beginning of all this.” Said WHS senior Shaniya Menns. “I cried actually. I had a mental breakdown, it was like really bad because I got overwhelmed about where I should go, tuition, [and] financial aid.”
Not only have our counselors offered to walk us through the college application process, our teachers have been a big help too! They willingly take the first couple of classes to explain the Common App, Naviance, and FAFSA. Our counselors and teachers work together to introduce more ways in which the application process can go smoother.
“Mrs. McKenna helped me out a lot, she helped us sign into Common App. She helped us get started with that. She also had my counselor Mrs. Conoscenti come in and speak to everybody else about both the Common App and Naviance.” said Shaniya Menns
Being a senior also makes you at the top of the school. Us seniors have to set an example for the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. We try to keep the school spirit alive and show other students that it’s okay to ask for help when it’s being offered at school.
I asked Shaniya how it felt being at the top of the school pyramid, she said, “I don’t look down on people below or younger than me, but I do try to give them advice if they ask me for it.”
Wethersfield High School teaches us that we shouldn’t look down on anyone, especially if they’re new to the school. They teach us responsibility, courage, respect, support, and unity.
Shaniya Menns offered the following advice to seniors, “It will be overwhelming, it’ll be so overwhelming, you don’t even understand. But if you have a good guidance counselor and your mom or dad have been to college and they can help you through, ask them. It’s a lot to take in by yourself.”
School Counselor Mrs. Jennifer Lindsay also offered advice, “Senior year it’s really more of an individual look. We schedule senior interviews with students to get an idea of what their plans are, what they’ve decided to do. We offer help sessions with students on creating a common app account, completing a common app. We help students edit their essays, we write letters of recommendation, work with students about narrowing down their list about colleges they want to apply to. It depends on the need of the students. Sometimes students are very independent, they feel like they want to do this on their own, they got this, and some other students are more nervous and so they spend a little more time in my office and whatever works for them works for me.”
She also explained how each counselors goal is to make sure each and every student has a plan. A plan after high school in which the counselors are willing to help us prepare for. No matter if the student is going to community college, 4 year college, marines, etc. The counselors at WHS want to help us plan our next step and make our transition into young adults easy.
We couldn’t thank our teachers, counselors, and others, enough for the amount of support they have given us seniors during such an important time of year.
The beginning of your senior will be overwhelming. You will cry, you will lose sleep, and worse of all, you will stress. But without a doubt, Wethersfield High School will prepare you for the real world.
By: Logan Lichatz
“It's tough to comeback this year, it's tough to even play any soccer after that game.”
After a heartbreaking loss to Daniel Hand in the semifinals last November, the Wethersfield High School boys soccer team has come back stronger than ever. Starting 7-1 in the first 8 games of the season; this team has had one of the most dominant starts this school has seen in years. Playing with a chip on their shoulder would be an understatement after the hopes of a championship appearance slipped out of their hands last year.
Having only seven seniors this year compared to 17 last year has been one of the many challenges to overcome. Max Karkos, senior captain, had this to say about it, “Regaining the chemistry with the younger and up and coming players is very important in order to be the team we want to be.”
With all their hard work, it seems as if the chemistry was quickly regained between older players and the young bucks. One of their biggest tests this season came when they played Plainville, the Class M State Champions, on September 17. The game went down to the wire, but the Eagles came out with the win in 2-1 Double OT thriller.
“Coach makes sure we stay calm and collective and helps us adjust how we play in order to minimize mistakes down the stretch,” Karkos said about how his coach helps the team stay focused throughout tight games.
When asked about coming into this season as a captain, Karkos said, “I feel like I have a responsibility to carry on where the seniors last year left off, and hopefully lead us to a state championship.”
It shows throughout the whole team that they have one goal in mind, which is to make a statement in the regular season and shock the world in the playoffs. Catch Karkos and the Wethersfield Eagles in action this Friday October 11, against South Windsor and Berlin on Tuesday, October 15, looking for their eighth and ninth win of the season. #therevengetour
By: Christopher Light
Everyone has their group of friends, everyone has their high school years planned out but then there is me and the few other transfer students who’ve got a lot more to figure out, even the teachers know that school isn’t where every student wants to be this.
Mr. Martin, an English teacher at WHS said, “Not only are they navigating the after-high school planning process and the process of taking my class but their also navigating the process of being a new student with a new schedule, new faces, new social constructs, new set of rules”.
As a transfer student, you have to adjust to everything, WHS works much different than my previous school and other transfers could have the same situation. For example WHS is much bigger and the schedules work completely different, where WHS has the A/B days, my old school had 2 hour days with 3 classes and regular days with 5 classes.
The hardest thing for me to adjust to was how the teachers gave work. At WHS, many teachers use Google Classroom to give assignments to their students. This was really difficult to adjust to at first because throughout my years at school I never used Google Classroom or even had a laptop/chromebook given to me by a school and many other students that transfer could deal with the same problem.
There are things that transfer students may love about WHS, like the options you have for classes. At my previous school, your biggest choice between classes was if you wanted to take the normal level class or the AP version, it was very boring and straightforward. But here at WHS I have so many choices, my favorite class being journalism instead the same old English class I took every year prior.
The other thing that any student that transfers to WHS can look forward to is the teachers. The upperclassmen teachers that I have this year are far better than any teachers that I have had in my prior years of high school for one reason. They try and connect with the students they realize school isn’t fun, it’s boring at best, so they connect and joke with students to make the classes more enjoyable and they are able to build a better connection and which makes the class a better experience to be in especially as a transfer student to have a teacher trying to get to know who you are.
The worst part by far about transferring schools for anyone at any point in their life is the high chance you don’t know anyone, which in my case is true. I have zero friends in the school so far no one to talk to no one to hangout with at best I pass by people in the hall and they say hi.
I think Mr. Martin said it the best because he too had experience as a new kid. “You have the academic pressures, social pressures, the pressures that come with age in general and when you throw on the fact that your trying to build a brand new social circle on top of that, that can be really daunting.”
But overall, WHS is a great school, it’s much more of a stress free environment compared to my old school where you felt like every assignment was a competition and the school is filled with students so eventually I will find some people I can relate to even as the new kid and on behalf of all new kids out there have someone say hi in class to try and get to know is really nice and it gives us a bit of confidence to talk to more people.
By: Sammy Ritter and Jade Iaco
Marketing is one of the most popular career choices. In Wethersfield High School, the perfect club for that is DECA, which stands for the Distributive Education Clubs of America. This club is an organization for students who are interested in marketing, management and other business careers. Members can develop career and leadership skills while building self esteem and learning better team skills.
Most of the Wethersfield High School DECA students love being in it because it is an amazing opportunity for them to get a head start in the business world. “DECA was previously an upperclassmen club, however, this year it is open to underclassmen, who are taking a business class." says DECA Coordinator for WHS Mrs. Ricardi
You do need to be a current member of a marketing or business class to join. DECA holds fundraisers for the club so they can go to the different events for a lower cost. They get together after school on Mondays for meetings and they plan for competitions, fundraisers, field trips and events such as the annual WHS food drive. They get to learn how to make each of their marketing ideas even better and they get to see how everyone has a different idea and a different sense of style with their projects.
DECA events are aligned with the National Curriculum Standards in the careers of marketing , business management, finance, and hospitality. They competitive events are composed of a written component for example an exam or report and an interactive component with an industry professional judging. There are many different marketing categories that the high schools can choose from. Some include Career Development Project, Community Giving Project, Sales Project, Integrated Marketing Plans, and Entrepreneurial Plans.
This is a positive club with a lot of benefits. One of the benefits includes the trips. The DECA club has been to many places for the competitions such as Utah, California, Florida, and Tennessee. “My favorite place that we went to was Salt Lake City because I would never had gone there on my own, so it was a great experience.” said Mrs. Ricardi.
DECA competitors come up with the themes and and how the projects will be organized for competitions. Mrs. Ricardi is only there to help them with any questions that they may have and give guidance. Some of the competitions require them to come up with an invention and make a three minute video presentation.
The main DECA challenge is called Entrepreneur of Tomorrow Challenge, this asks you to create entrepreneurial proposal of a new product idea that goes with a specific market. The competitions involve people from all different schools from different cities and states. They all come together in one state or city to compete for a prize.
If you have any questions about anything to do with DECA or even just the marketing classes then go see Mrs. Ricardi in room 217. She will give you all of the information that you need to join the club that will prepare you for your future in marketing.
by: Cole Nocida and Andrea Martinez
As WHS students, we all know and love BlueEagle News, our twice-weekly news broadcast.
We took the time to interview some of the director and the cast of the program. They wanted to share their experience in BlueEagle News and how it became known in Wethersfield High School.
“I think It’s valuable for a student to get information in a way that they can absorb it., What better way to do it then have students present that information to students? We have had a successful program at my other school and here it is just becoming better.” said Susan Coco director and faculty advisor for the show.
BlueEagle News wants to inform students and their community about everything going on in the district and more importantly, the school. With the help of these students, that information gets across to everyone and can be heard throughout.
“BlueEagle News is a community show to inform people about what is going on in the town and more specifically the school. It presents information to our community,” said Kadin Joyce, one of the crew members.
Having something students can connect to when they are new is a good opportunity to meet new people and make friends. A handful of students have made strides through this program both socially and academically.
“As a Freshman, I came in the first day as a new transfer student so I had no clue what the school was about. The first day of school I saw an episode of BlueEagle News and wanted to be apart of it.” said Mia Sommers, who often hosts the show.
The Blue Eagle News team works hard to be at the scene and on top of the game. They are very passionate about what they do to contribute to the school. They spend time after school to film and make sure that all teachers have an opportunity to get their information out there while going as quick as possible.
“It really depends, we try and be as efficient as possible. Sometimes it goes a lot quicker than other times. We could have a problem with whatever. It could range from around ten minutes to thirty,” said Christian Cimino
BlueEagle News consists of students who are passionate, hardworking, and intelligent. They will do whatever it takes to make sure their voices are heard throughout the school and community. New members are welcomed and can make new friends when joining. They meet up Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This program is developing into something extraordinary and will only get better as the years go on. The students are what blend this program together, and without their skills, it wouldn’t be the same.
by: Emma Fahmnestock
Many high school students undergo tons of stress, just ask Freshman student Abigail Albright. She states that lots of homework and studying is thrown on you, “Sometimes it would get overwhelming,”
She also explains that “If you mess up, your grade is ruined.” Abigail Albright isn’t the only one who's been feeling huge amounts of stress.
Another student has stated that friends stress them out because “I sometimes have to pick between them and it makes me feel bad.” To help out these students, and hopefully many others, school counselors Mrs. Coffey and Mr. Deguire have given us some advice.
“Don’t save your homework until the last minute and utilize study hall,” said Mrs. Coffey. Additionally, If you “do the hardest first,“ you will be able to focus better on the stuff you don’t know, and use your leftover energy on the stuff you are already good at. “A ten to fifteen-minute clarification could save you an hour at home.”
Mrs. Coffey admits that she tends to procrastinate as well and that you need to do little bits at a time, practice rewriting your notes, and study. You don’t want to “study to get it done, you want to study to understand it.”
She also said slipping up isn’t always a bad thing, “You learn the most when you face adversity.” Mr. DeGuire reveals that you shouldn’t be afraid to fail, If you are prepared, you won’t even have to worry about that.
Mr. DeGuire also says to, “Find things you are passionate about and these are the friends you will gravitate towards.”
It's important to devote time to each of your friends. Adding on to this, Mrs. Coffey communicated that “A good friend will understand that you have other friends.”
In the end, stress is always going to be a part of many students' everyday lives, but if students can find ways to reduce and cope with that stress, their lives will result in much more joy and fewer issues. So next time you’re facing a lot of stress, take a deep breath and know you're going to be okay.
How do you deal with stress in school? Comment below!
By: Caitlin Nardella and Abbey Keane
With the team under a new coach, Tony Leone, the Girls Varsity Soccer team has adapted well. Along with many athletes moving up for last year’s JV team and losing the seniors of last year, the team has needed to bond quickly in order to get what needs to be done on the field.
This year’s varsity team has four captains including Grace Connelly, Mya Pellegrino, Gabi Villagra, and Sierra Judson leading the this year’s team.
Mya Pellegrino speaking about her other captains, ̈I think us four captains are definitely really good leaders and we really hype up the team and give positive vibes .”
The team started their season off with a losing streak but were quickly able to turn that around winning the next three straight games. Many of the girls have stepped up to a high level in order to make this team as good as it can be.
When asked about any future game that will be hard or bring any worries, Judson added they had, “We have big week coming with Southington, then Newington, and RHAM. Those are all big games that we need to give our best fight to and play our hardest because they mean the most ̈.
When asked about how the relationship on the team affects the game play on the field, Sierra Judson says, ̈We need to stay positive at all times and encourage one another no matter what.”
The bond of the girls had played a huge part in any team play especially on the soccer field. Wish the best of luck to the Wethersfield Eagles in this coming season with a big home game on October 4 at 3:45 against Southington!
By Katie Bridges
Wethersfield High School was proud to host our seventh Red Cross Blood Drive on September 25. Students, staff, and parents met in the gym to donate a pint and save three lives.
Technology teacher and head of Blue Eagle News Ms.Coco helped to organize our fall blood drive, and this has been her 25th year running blood drives for schools and students.
Ms. Coco said, “I was looking to get involved in some activities at the high school and I joined on.”
We are excited to have Ms.Coco running upcoming blood drives at Wethersfield High School
Along with Ms.Coco, we have student coordinators. They, along with more student volunteers, help sign in students and monitor them as they process through the drive. They are an essential part of the drive along with the Red Cross workers.
Their goal for the drive was to have 40 donors sign up to donate blood. To become a donor for the any blood drive, you can sign up by seeing one of the volunteers or coordinators during the lunch waves. Donors must be over 17 by the time of donating and must be in good health.
Due to recent rash of illness going around many students were not able to donate, even having a cough, cold, or showing allergy symptoms was enough to turn donors away.
The fall is always a tricky time to hold drives at the high school. There aren’t as many students over 17, and it is the flu and allergy season. Even with that, this fall’s blood drive was able to save 75 lives through 25 pints donated by students or staff.
Senior Alexis Almada said,“We usually exceed the number of sign ups for our blood drives.”
They hope to have even more students participate in upcoming drives this year. Keep tuned to Blue Eagle News and announcements for the next blood drive and sign up to donate.
by: Brianna Garcia
After watching the Jonas Brothers’ documentary Chasing Happiness about how they became the Jonas Brothers, I feel like I really got to know more about the band and each of the brothers as an individual. The movie didn’t get as much fame as it should have gotten, because it was really a masterpiece, showing how they got to where they are now.
The documentary Chasing Happiness really told us more about the brothers, and it really added nicely to their new album Happiness Begins. Fans of the Jonas Brothers were all in awe that the band got back together, and I’m sure many of the fans loved their new album and movie.
I asked English teacher Mrs. McKenna if she knew that the Jonas Brothers got back together and about them, she said “My daughter was obsessed with them when she was a child!”
This makes me believe that the Jonas Brothers appeal more to younger listeners, since her daughter was loved their music. But who wouldn’t love their music? Their songs are so upbeat and catchy, and Mrs. McKenna must’ve liked their songs too, since she knew a bit about them.
Lots of the songs on this new album have lyrics were they talk about finding where “happiness begins”. Could this repeating lyric and album name have a deeper meaning for the Jonas Brothers?
Well, if you’ve seen their movie, you’d know that they say “happiness begins” because they’re referring to how music impacted their life, and would begin their happiness later on when they became a band. Although there were times when they weren’t happy with making music together (which was when they split up), they still continued to pursue music in their own lives.
It seems like music is something that’s just a large part of the Jonas Brothers’ lives. Even their younger brother, Frankie Jonas, who isn’t in the band because he’s so young, is still involved in producing and writing music. Music definitely runs deep in the Jonas family.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.