By: John Schiavone and Jack Blaisdell
Last Thursday on October 25th, Mr. Sand took his first semester Current Issues classes to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan. Mr. Sand has been doing field trips to the 9/11 Memorial for many years and continued to do that with his classes this year towards the end of his 9/11 unit.
When asked to summarize this field trip in one sentence, Mr. Sand said that “The trip was very emotional as it reminded me vividly of all the lives lost on that day.”
This means a lot coming from Mr. Sand because 9/11 is one of those things that American adults who experienced that day will never forget, and as a social studies teacher Mr Sand has been teaching about the event for many years.
It’s good that the Current Issues classes continue to go on these trips because it’s important for students to pass the story and the history of this tragic event on to the next generation.
By: Raul Rodriguez
The boys varsity soccer season is coming to an end and with it comes the beginning of the state championship. As the last chance to win states for many seniors approaches, I asked seniors on the Wethersfield boys varsity team how they plan to get ready for the tough road ahead of them.
Jimmy Errickson said, “I want to work on my touch so that I can get into better positions to score goals and get assists.”
Luke Johnson said, “I want to work on my finishing so I can score more goals.”
Everyone is trying to improve themselves but no matter what everyone is working on they all share the same goal, to win states.
If you can please support the Wethersfield boys varsity soccer team when they compete on Tuesday, November 6th.
By: Chit Po
Eating lunch provides energy and nutrients to keep the body and brain active throughout the day. From packed lunch to school provided lunch.
Eating in between school can benefit students. WHS have many options for students to choose. Some of the food served during lunch includes chicken stripes with fries, salads, sandwiches, wraps, burritos, pasta with meatballs, noodles, fresh made sandwiches etc.
As a current student at WHS, I would like to know more about the food we serve here at WHS and how we can improve the food for not only students but also for staff.
Once a week I will be trying different food and asking students and staff questions about the meal. I will be asking them If they like the food and what ways we can improve school lunches.
Wethersfield High School does have varieties of school lunches students and staff can choose from. Lucky for us students and staff if we get tired of eating the chicken tenders we can always try something new. Today October 29, I decided to try rice, string beans, chicken, cauliflower and fries.
Overall, the food was very tasty. Better than I expected. I don’t usually like cauliflower but for some reason the ones they had was very delicious.
This is a good way of getting students to eat their veggies. It is highly recommended to try the school food.
By: Jake Peckrul
The boys swim team exceeds expectations year after year, but is this year THE year? I sit down with Jack Blaisdell, a senior who is running for a captain spot on the team, to try to get some answers about this year's team.
To start off, last year’s team was one for the books, as when asked about the teams past year record, Blaisdell said, “We went 12-0 in the regular season and came in 3rd in the Class M State Championship.”
With a 12-0 record you would guess that there must have been some unreal seniors that they lost but it turns out that they ended up losing just three swimmers and one diver. This means they are really returning a lot of those hard working and very talented core swimmers. Just to name a few- seniors Holden Hoon, Shane Bresnahan, Caleb Skowronek, and Sophomore Rory Stickley. Be on the lookout for these boys in particular to have a breakout season.
When asked what the expectations Blaisdell has for this year, he responded with “The goal we have is to go undefeated, that would be ideal. But if we were to lose any meets, it would be to teams that are out of our conference.”
Those out of conference games can always be tough, one race alone could be the deciding factor. With that being said, I asked Blaisdell what meets he thinks the fans must attend and pack the pool. He said, “ The 1st meet of the year vs. South Windsor on 12/18 @ 5pm as well as senior night on 2/12 vs EO Smith @ 5pm.” Both of those meets will be held right here at the Wethersfield High School Pool.
The team looks to be quite good this year, and I encourage you to come out to the pool and support these swimmers.
By: Rachel Hall
After spending an afternoon with one of Wethersfield High School’s knowledgeable school counselors, Mrs. Lindsey, we learned many of her tips on how to make in through college. Along with having an outstanding college experience along the way, such as reaching out!
Mrs. Lindsey says that getting to know people is the first step to having a great year. As simple as it sounds, Lindsey suggests to ¨keep your doors open.¨ At first I was concerned with her reasoning, however she explained and I think it is an outstanding idea. It may invite some people to stop by and get to know you. An open door makes you seem trusting and open which is something that may draw people to want to become friends with you.
Additionally, joining clubs and school activities is a great way to make friends and enjoy being on campus even more. Also being a part of clubs and sports helps you feel part of a team along the way. Its overall a good feeling and can open many opportunities. Just step out your comfort zone and get yourself out there!
Although, college is not all fun and games, it’s much different compared to high school. You don't have teachers reminding you constantly about due dates and guiding you through class. Get your work done and have multiple resources such as teachers, books, or even friends so you don't get stuck.
In college, there are no babysitters so get out of your comfort zone and have fun. However, stay responsible and get the work done you need to. Don't let money go down the drain make an experience out of it!
By: Craig Elliott
On Tuesday October 30, there was an assembly held for all the students who take the class Current Issues. Mrs. Keane came to talk about how September 11th impacted her life in many different ways. She explained how she dealt with the loss of loved ones, and how she went through her whole day. It was a very moving talk that really could have been for everyone in the school. She did an amazing job telling us how that day impacted her from the second it happened to today. More people should have to learn about 9/11 because there is a lot more to learn about this day that many people don’t know.
By: Afton Dyjak and Maria Kelley
When you look at your television or scroll through social media you can see the latest news. With our current news, comes the feelings of stress and/or aggravation. School shootings, police brutality, mass murders, and much more are the prominent causes of our societies hatred. In 2018, politics have made you one of two people: right or left. You are no longer looked at as a person, yet defined as your political stance. With the position you take comes aggression, hate, and anger. How do we as people try to make the world a better place or at least make yourself happy in such a hostile time?
The simple answer is kindness. If you look up the definition of kindness, it says, “kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”.
So how can we be kind to one another? This could be as little as holding the door for one another, or maybe even as generous as giving to someone in need.
Kindness isn't just one thing. There are many ways to show kindness, whether it’s through words or actions. Whatever it is, you can positively make a change in someone’s life, and in society.
The statistics for depression in teens is 20%, while anxiety is at 25%. In addition, suicide is the third-leading cause of death for boys and girls ages 15-24. The numbers are frightening, and will surely increase as time goes on. With tragedies happening everyday, it's almost guaranteed that someone will have or encounter someone with a mental illness.
We talked with Wethersfield High School’s social worker Lauren Kremer and asked her several questions about kindness. One starting with “Why do you think kindness is important?”, and she responded with, “I think kindness is important because you just never know what someone is going through in a day. They could look like they’re smiling or have it all together but when they get home it could be a totally different picture.”
Along with her insightful thoughts, she had stated, “And I also think when you are kind it makes you feel better about yourself. I feel like when I sit down with students who are really struggling, I try to empower them, (and) do something that makes them feel good about themselves.”
Not only did she give examples of how to be kind, but she gave real-life experiences. One being how she had a gut feeling to help a family that was stuck on the side of a busy road. She stated, “I think they made my day probably more than I made theirs.”
Ms. Kremer also shockingly brought up Ellen Degeneres. Kremer mentions how Ellen is able to inform you with many things currently happening but still maintain a ¨light and positive¨ mood. This shows how someone is able to take the often stressful and negative world around us and make it more positive.
Kremer had also brought up the news and how she likes watching Ellen Degeneres. Not only does she keep you informed with the world, but also keeps it “light and positive”.
All in all, being kind isn’t a behavior, yet more of a mindset. You have to kind to yourself in order to be kind to others. As said before, the hysteria (more or less) of 2018 has caused a lot of hate and anger, but with a little bit of kindness and Ellen Degeneres- we could make lives a little bit better. There is no perfect answer to why kindness is important because there are just so many reasons to give. But if you could take away one thing from this article it should be that kindness is not needed…. but essential.
By: Amber Dawkins
Pam Harrison, a school psychologist at Wethersfield High School, knew she wanted to work with kids because she knew she could not be a teacher. Mrs.Harrison said “I felt as though I wouldn't like being in one room with the same 25 little faces staring at me all day long for an entire school year!”
She went to Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and SCSU in New Haven. She attended college for 7 years. Her favorite part of her job is being able to see students change their behavior and become better people. The worst part of her job is that she hates the paperwork, writing IEPs and doing reports.
Mrs. Harrison is so kind and generous to many students, she treats them with respect and helps them. She makes many smiles pop up on everyone's faces, and is an inspiration to many people.
By: Aliyah Colon
If you didn’t get the chance to attend the PSU meeting on October 25th here is what you missed, Plymouth State University or PSU is located in Central New Hampshire. Plymouth State was founded in 1871 as what was a teacher training school,and then in 1948 there Graduate program started. PSU is only down the road from some great activities such as, Ski resorts, lakes, parks and more. Did you know they are 2 hours away from Boston also ? At PSU they offer their students a 4+1 program, gives you the opportunity to earn your Bachelor’s degree in four years then go into a graduate program and earn your Master’s in a year. PSU is home to 4,148 undergraduate and 1, 758 graduate students. They offer 53 majors and 60 minors. If you’re interested they offer 85+ clubs and organizations.
At PSU “All paths lead to opportunity”.
For Campus Tours they are student- led, available Monday-Friday. They are from 10:15 am to 1:45 pm. Register on there site to visit.
If you didn’t get the chance to attend the SCSU meeting October 25th here is what you missed, Southern Connecticut State University or SCSU is located in what’s known as “ The Heart of New Haven”. SCSU is a diverse university, that is committed to its academics, social justice, service and more. Currently this year they’ve celebrated 125 years as they were first founded in 1893. SCSU has 181 undergraduate majors and minors. They have so many opportunities for a variety of things; Volunteer in hospitals or schools, internships, Kayak in long island sound, Taste legendary and famous foods, take a train to NY or Boston, visit nearby museums and plenty more. If you’re interested in athletics they offer 7 programs for men and 10 for women.
For Campus Tours they are led by Southern students during the week and sometimes during Saturday mornings. Tours are 90 minutes. Register on there site to visit.
By: Edisa Cecunjanin
If you want to be noticed in your new school, there are a few things you should take into consideration. It might seem hard to achieve, but with my professional view, you'll be just fine.
The first step is obvious, you need to look fresh. Look at a few pictures online of the latest trends, and if your old fashion, grab a magazine.
You don't want to be known as the “annoying new kid” so do as my sister said in our interview “be normal”.
If you want people to notice you, get more involved in school. Join a sport or a club or both. This will help you meet new people and possibly make long lasting friendships.
Learn the layout of your school and study your schedule. You should also check to make sure the classroom number matches the one on your schedule so your not awkwardly walking into the wrong classes on the first day like I was.
The way you walk can also help you be noticed. Sway your shoulders side to side while chewing gum. Never, I repeat never have your backpack fully on. Always have only one strap on or even better, don't wear a backpack. Also make sure to always use your phone in class and talk back to your teacher when they tell you to get off of it.
You have a 99.9% chance of being cool in your new school if you follow all these helpful tips. Good luck!
After voting our senior class for superlatives, and rushing to find a senior yearbook quote, it’s now time for seniors to buy our very own Wethersfield High School Yearbook. You can buy it with this linkhttps://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1037371/Wethersfield-High-School/ (this link also includes the School Store and Class Jewelry) Just don’t forget the longer you wait to purchase this Yearbook, the price gradually goes up.
By: Summer Acosta
It’s that time of year juniors and seniors, college is right around the corner. The guidance counselors from Wethersfield High School recommended students use Naviance when searching for colleges. Naviance is a free website built to help students apply for college. Naviance allows students to build their resume, or make one, helps students to request for recommendations, and helps find the perfect matches for schools to apply to.
The SuperMatch on Naviance allows students to put their SAT scores, type of student life, diversity, cost, GPA and more, it helps students to decide which colleges would be the best fit for them to apply to. Naviance even show a chart of people who have similar scores and tells if they have got accepted into the school, and even if they have dropped out.
Naviance opens up the playing field for students to start thinking about college and helps students to stay organized in process of applying for schools. Naviance has made it so students can put a heart next to schools they would like to go to, and even match and search careers. Naviance wants to make searching and applying for schools more fun and less work.
Here are some tips from guidance :
By: Sydney Dillon and Bryanna Scalora
When interviewing Wethersfield High School’s choir director, Mr. Rioux, we’ve been able to pinpoint why having music and arts programs are important in schools. While discussing his passion for the choir, he described how being a choir student teaches you important life skills. He said, “There’s so many things that choir teaches that have nothing to do with music that I think are absolutely important.”
In Wethersfield choir kids are expected to learn and memorize multiple songs and eventually perform at a concert. Students are given copies of music to practice and learn their notes, as Mr. Rioux teaches the correct pitch and vocal techniques to use while singing. This requires lots of focus and patience. When asked about the benefits of music, Rioux said, “...it gets people to have the ability to focus, to become a better person, to learn about goals, working in a group, being courteous, respect...”
There are periods of time when Mr. Rioux has to teach vocal parts to other sections, and kids must remain patient and listen. They are expected to have responsibility and practice as well as be prepared for concerts. These are all important skills to have for the future as well. Mr. Rioux said, “We need to have the skills that choir teaches outside of school.”
The word choir means “to sound together” and the goal within a choir is to sound like one voice. When signing it’s important to first learn the correct pitches and notes as well as which octave to sing in. This means students can’t just look at sheet music and sing it right away when first learning. Practice is needed to achieve the proper sound. Much like learning to play an instrument practice is key to mastering the art.
Although Mr. Rioux feels strongly about the benefits of being in a choir, this is also what he’s passionate about. During brief interview he said, “The thing that I love about this is that I’m getting kids to sing Mozart who probably would never do anything other than rap.” Everyday he gets to teach kids classical and other types of music students normally wouldn’t choose to listen to, and sees them grow fond of it. “That’s a passion of mine is giving music to young people,” he said.
It’s no surprise that Wethersfield High has a great choir program, but it’s always nice to see a teacher who’s passionate about the art, and students who are able to learn life skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives.
By: Natalie Casertano and Scotty Giannini
Would you be creeped out if you learned that your teachers can see everything you’re doing on your chromebook while in the classroom?
Hapara is a computer software Wethersfield High School teachers have been trained to use. One of the professional development days at the beginning of the school year was devoted to teaching teachers how to use Hapara. “I see it as a positive tool to push out sources to students,” said Nella Szilagyi, who ran Hapara training for teachers, “It helps refocus students.”
When teachers open it, it shows every student in the class, and what window they have actively opened. Teachers have the ability to close tabs if students are off task, but can also feed students tabs. They also can lock the screen for a certain amount of time, this is called focused browsing, and students can only access one tab. Usually this is used for quizzes, because it prevents cheating due to the fact that you cannot search anything else on the computer, or open tabs that have notes etc.
Although this may seem like its crossing into “Big Brother” territory, teachers cannot use Hapara after school hours, and can only use it when students are actively on the computer while in their class, connected to the wethersfield.me account, and on the school wifi.
Ms. Norris said, “I definitely use it and it’s great for people who don’t have a good sense of what they’re supposed to be doing. It will be a good day when we don’t need it, and kids don’t need that incentive, but we’re not there yet.”
I am in Ms. Norris’s Botany class and I can say she has indeed used Hapara to check and make sure we are working on our Botany Plant Kingdom Books, and not playing games or working on work for other classes.
When I entered Mr. Roets classroom to ask whether or not he uses this software, all of his students were on their chromebooks. When I asked if he uses Hapara he looked at a student and jokingly said, “I kick him off of games all the time.”
But on a more serious note he said, “I check to make sure they are on what they’re supposed to be on, and doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
I walked across the hall to ask Mr. Pfister the same question and he said, “Yes, to catch students cheating.” I asked if he had any funny stories relating to the software and he explained that once he was giving a quiz to his Film as Literature class on the computers and set up Hapara to have a timed focus tab. This means that the students can only use that tab for the amount of time allotted, and once the time is up the tab closes itself. “The time kept running out before the students were finished. I had to restart the quiz twice.”
So Although Hapara isn’t a flawless system yet, it is a great tool for teachers to use to make sure the class is on task.
Although most teachers are finding it useful, some have issues with it. Ms. Alexopoulos said “The interface isn’t as user friendly.” However, she still continues to use it for her classes, “It makes it easy to send information out to students. My favorite thing about it is seeing all the students at the same time.”
Despite any issues some teachers have, a lot of them are very passionate about Hapara. Mr. Walsh said he loves Hapara. “I like it because I can see what kids are supposed to or not supposed to be working on and so I can click them out of tabs they shouldn’t have open.”
Across the board, Hapara has come in handy for many teachers, and will continue to be a useful tool used by many.
By: Emma Moore
Sometimes students don’t realize their teachers and the staff around them have had interesting lives and the craziest stories and interests. This segment is to help get to know your teachers a bit better and help create a personal and comfortable relationship. Every week I’ll be asking 5 random teachers 1-3 questions about their lives.
This week’s topic: College
Where did you go to college? Plymouth State
What degrees do you have? BS in Mathematics Education and a MS in Educational Leadership
What did you love about college? “I can’t answer that”
Where did you go to college? Luther College
What degrees do you have? BA in English, MA in English, and 30 credits in higher education
What did you love about college? “Everything”
Where did you go to college? Central Connecticut State University
What degrees do you have? BS in Education and a MA in Spanish literature
What did you love about college? The classes, the maturity, and being able to travel and getting Masters in Spain
Where did you go to college? UConn
What degrees do you have? BS in Microbiology and a PhD in Microbiology
What did you love about college? Working in the labs
Where did you go to college? Plymouth State University
Fun Fact: Had a long chat with Mr. Weber when he was a junior in high school about Plymouth State
What degrees do you have? BFA in Graphic Design, Teaching certification, and MS in Structional Design and Technology
What did you love about college? The freedom of figuring out who he is, without judgment and being on his own
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.