by: WHS Journalism Students
A note from Mr. Martin: With this week marking our Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to give students the space, time, and opportunity to speak to those both in and outside of the school community in a show of gratitude. Please read, enjoy, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.
I'm thankful for my sister, Abby. She is able to make me laugh when I am sad and is always willing to watch a movie with me. She is so fun to be around and understands my humor unlike anyone else. Thank you, Abby!
- Ella Alger
I am thankful for Mrs. Fitzgerald. She has helped me since freshman year to make sure that I pass with good grades. She has always helped me and was willing to help me before or after school as well. Thank you for your hard work and gratitude.
I am thankful for my parents because they help me with anything I need help with and they teach me things. My dad and I do projects together and he teaches me about the different tools. Thanks, mom and dad.
I am thankful for Mrs. Becker. Not only did she grow my love for Italian culture, but treated myself and fellow classmates as much more than just her students. She is that one teacher I feel I can turn to when in need of advice or simple words of encouragement. So, thank you Mrs. Becker for all you have done and continue to do as the amazing person and teacher you are.
I am thankful for Mrs. Niemic. Though I've only had her as a teacher for four months, it is so easy to tell the kind, generous and warm hearted person she is. The way she is understanding and patient with her students is a wonderful quality and one that can be hard to find. Psychology may be hard to learn, but somehow, in someway, Mrs. Niemiec has a way of making it fun. So, I thank her for constantly resonating positivity within the classroom and bringing light into each and every day.
I'm thankful for Mr. Sand. He makes his students feel like family and creates a safe environment where everyone's free to experience the way they feel. His jokes are always good for putting you into a good mood and he is an all-around amazing guy.
I’m thankful for my mom. She cares for me and checks on me every day even when she’s the one who I should be checking on. I don’t mean this with any disrespect; you can sometimes be frantic, but it goes to show your love for me. I’ll forever love you and will never be able to truly show you my full appreciation for you.
I am thankful for Mrs. Foley! She not only taught me a lot of school-related things but helped me out with lessons in real life. Mrs. Foley is always someone I can go to cheer up and have a good time. Thanks, Mrs. Foley!
I'm thankful for my family. My family has been with me through the good and bad times. They have made many sacrifices for me and my brother so we can succeed in life. And I am really thankful for this and to have them in my life. Thank you for everything mom and dad.
I'm thankful for Mrs. Conoscenti. Throughout high school, she has helped me so much, whether it was with my schedule or any other issues. She has also been extremely helpful this year during my college application progress. Mrs. Conoscenti has guided me through this process and answered any questions I have had along the way. Thank you for all you've done, Mrs. Conoscenti!
I’m thankful for my best friend, Sky. They are always there for me, at my best and worst times. I don’t know where I’d be without them.
I’m thankful for Mr. Moger. He always helped me whenever I needed it, and helped me to get grades I was proud of. He’s a great teacher and one of the best I’ve had.
- Liam Stec
I am thankful for everyone in my life. All the struggles I have endured and each person has had such a profound impact on my life. To my Dad, he has been my rock for life and the work he does for me brings me to tears. To my teachers and coaches, thank you. Mrs.Becker, Mr.Martin, Mrs.Troy, Mrs.Ryba you all have had an impact on me that words can not express. To Coach Bagdasarian by sticking by me during my worst times on and off the field. Thank you all.
I’m thankful for my family. They have been supporting me and unconditionally loving me for my entire life. We always stick together through good and bad times.
I am thankful for Mrs. DeGray. She is always there for me when I need someone to talk to and genuinely cares and listens to me. I can always talk to her about things that interest me like Marvel movies and my favorite actor Richard Madden. She is also an amazing teacher who helped me a lot when I had her junior year.
I am thankful for the opportunities that soccer has given me. All through high school soccer has been a place to go whenever I needed to, I have met great people through the sport that have made lasting effects on my life and will continue to in the years to come. This year especially being a part of the High school team really showed the brotherhood and community that we built up throughout the year, if it weren't for soccer then none of these relationships and experiences would have been possible. Thank you soccer for all you have taught me and given me.
- Michael LaPerriere
I'm thankful for my classmate David Gregorian and him allowing me to have his Chromebook charger. Without his assistance, I would not have been able to complete my work in a timely fashion. He helped me in a tricky situation and I appreciate his assistance.
- Liam Stec
I'm thankful for my classmate, Liam Stec. I honestly never got particularly close to Liam but I knew of him and I knew he was a good stand-up guy but that was all. Recently he wrote a thank you letter to me about how I helped him recently. I think that just saying thank you for the little things in life goes a very long way. Thank you, Liam.
I'm thankful for Mr. Sand. Not only is he an amazing teacher but he makes every day better with his jokes and personality. U.S History was always my favorite class and the highlight of my day. We learned so much in his class, besides learning about U.S. History, we learned how to be better overall humans and show empathy.
I’m thankful for my Journalism teacher Mr. Martin. I'm thankful for him because he's always full of energy which can make anyone's day better. He is also very understanding that students have lives outside of school, and is always willing to help. He genuinely cares about his students and passing his class. He can joke around and take jokes, which not many teachers and people can do. He also has an amazing shoe game. But overall, he is a very kind and nice person, and I'm happy to have him as my teacher.
I'm thankful for Mr. Baggs. Not only is he a great coach, but he’s also like a second father to me. When I was stressed out about the college process, he calmed me down and explained that I had plenty of time for an opportunity to present itself. I also know that I can talk to him about anything that doesn't relate to school or Baseball. I just believe that he's a very reliable and trusting person. Thank you, Coach!
I am thankful for my family, as is. They are the reason I have what I have, and how far I have gotten. It's just a simple thing like this, I am just glad to be here, and be alive.
I am beyond thankful for Mr. Spessard. Yesterday I won a state championship and the last thing on my mind was studying for my physics test the next day. But thanks to Mr. Spessard I had a note card to use on my test so I did not need to study and I was able to celebrate with my team.
I'm thankful for my family, always being there and always proud of me for the things I accomplish. Especially for pushing me to be my best and try my hardest. Thank you for everything you do!
I am thankful for Mr.Carr. He was my international studies teacher last year. Coming to school in September for the first time since March of 2020 was very nerve-wracking. I had Mr.Carr's class first period, and walking into his room on the first day and getting a big hello was reassuring. I was often the only student in the classroom while the rest of the class was learning from home, but Mr.Carr always made me feel welcomed! Thanks for everything, Mr.Carr!
I'm thankful for Mr. Kess. I'm so glad I was able to have him as my computer science teacher and mentor while he was here at WHS. He largely shaped who I am as a developer, and what I learned from him through his CS classes and clubs is invaluable. Thank you, Mr. Kess! Wishing you a long and wonderful retirement!
I am thankful for Ms. McLaughlin, who stepped in as coach mid-season my freshman year and has continued coaching ever since. She has continued to push us in every single practice, which pays off both on game days and at competitions. Thank you again for everything that you do for our team Ms. McLaughlin!
Thank you for always understanding when you need a due date, and always allowing me to write about what I want. Thank you for being understanding.
I'm thankful for my friends, they help me through lots of things and keep me up and positive. This year I'm glad I grew closer to them. Growing closer and hanging out with them more has been really fun and made new memories and can't wait to make new memories this year!
I’m thankful for the lunch aides. They prepare hundreds of meals for the school 5 times a week. They put up with all the chaos that is in high school lunch. If you treat them with respect they will do the same back for you. Thank you lunch aids!
Im thankful for my mom because she is so helpful in any situation. She takes care of our family and feeds us every night. she also one of my best friends and I will cherish that forever.
by: Jessica Bianchi
Senior year is an exciting yet stressful time, especially when applying to college, which includes writing a college essay. The college essay is a narrative writing piece that helps college’s get to know you beyond your grades and achievements. Though, writing about yourself isn’t easy, so here are some tips to help write a great essay:
1. Your topic does not need to be something out of a coming of age movie. Students tend to think that they need to write about something life-changing, but that’s not the case. Pick one of 2021-2022 prompts that seems most fitting to you. You can pick a small moment from your life that describes your character well like a soccer game or dance recital.
2. Read other college essays. Not only can they give you some inspiration on what your topic should be, they help you get an idea of what the essay should look like. Specifically, some guidance on how to start and end your essay.
3. Don’t worry about sounding formal or rigid. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have proper grammar or correct spelling, but you can allow your voice to shine through. This is a chance to be yourself. Mrs. Lindsay, a guidance counselor at Wethersfield High School, said, “It should be an authentic replication of who you are” and “people who read it should know who you are and see you in it.”
4. Write and rewrite. Allow your first draft to be a practice run. Let your mind run wild with the topic you chose and write whatever comes to your head. Then you can dig through your piece and find the things that stand out to you. It could be something a friend said to you, an important object; make sure it represents or describes something significant about you.
5. Have others read it. You may read over your essay dozens of times and find no errors, while your friend finds five. Your brain fills in the missing pieces, leading you to believe that no edits need to be made, that’s why it's important to get a second pair of eyes. They can tell you when something doesn’t make sense, or even if a sentence may not be necessary.
The essay helps colleges know you. It’s a first impression that you get to redo and edit. So, show off your writing skills, but also express yourself.
by: Annika Brown
Here at Wethersfield High School, the students go to class, listen, and engage with their teachers, but no one ever questions why and how those teachers got to this point. I sat down with three well-known teachers and discussed the reasons they chose their profession and how they managed their way into the classrooms of Wethersfield High School.
The first person I sat down with was Mr. Chatfield, who teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology as well as Integrated Science. When asked, “What made you realize you wanted to become a teacher?” Chatfield responded, “At a young age I fell into the role of being a teacher, as I had a younger sister who I wanted to help with everything.”
He later goes on to say that in high school, he realized he wanted to be a teacher because he could “help people in the subject matter that he loves.” His goal was to be a role model and help others. He also went on to explain that he had thought of other career options like a vet, but ultimately that did not fit his personality, but to be a teacher he said, “you get to be nice, caring, you get to help others, you get too coach and it was just the type of environment I felt I could best fit.”
In order to pursue this passion, he got his undergraduate degree in a subject he was passionate about, which was biology. Then he went on to further his education by obtaining his masters degree in education because as he puts it, “This was my way of saying, I really want to be a good teacher, and not only be the type of teacher that knows his subject matter, but be a teacher who reaches students and knows what to do, to be their best teacher.” He not only wants to be able to teach a subject that he is passionate about, but also reach students on a personal level and be there for them as a coach and mentor.
The second teacher I sat down with was Mr. Sand. Sand teaches primarily upperclassmen in Civics and Current Issues. When asked, “What led you to want to become a highschool teacher?” His initial response was, “Uhhh, I have no idea.”
Initially, I was confused by his response, but then he went on to explain that he had no intentions to become a teacher in high school or the first two years of college. He first thought he wanted to become a physical therapist, but then he said, “It kind of dawned on me that maybe this is something I should do. My dad was a teacher so it kind of just happened naturally.”
I then went on to ask him “ Do you have a passion for what you are teaching?” and he said, “I have a passion for whom I am teaching. I try to use history to help kids grow, help kids be better citizens, and to help them with some of the issues they have. It’s all about the kids. Always.” Mr. Sand has a clear passion and love for his students and wants to improve their lives in any way he can.
The last teacher I sat down with was Mrs. DeGray, who teaches America Through the Eyes of Women and Journalism. When asked, “What led you to want to become a teacher?” DeGray had said that she originally didn’t want to be a teacher. “Plan A was that I was going to be a Journalist. I was going to travel the world and be a reporter for a warzone, make a difference,” she saids. She later went on to say there were not many jobs available for what she was looking for and the jobs that were available, she would have to move across the country for.
This was not something she was interested in because, as she puts it, “I had already met my husband. We were already engaged and trying to start a family.” Because of this, she started to volunteer here at Wethersfield High School. She helped several teachers with the school newspaper and technical things around the school. She goes on to say, “One day someone asked me, ‘Hey! Why don’t you go back to school and become a teacher?’ So I did.”
She applied to the University of New Haven and did her teaching internship here at Wethersfield as a building sub. When asked, “Would you say you found a passion for teaching your subject area or the students?” Degray replied, “I think both because even though my background was originally in journalism and broadcast news, I was kind of on a stage wanting to inform people everyday, and I think that’s a lot of what teaching is. It’s helping others to recognize their potential.”
She even goes on to say, “I feel like I'm on a comedy show trying to sell my curriculum and content in the most entertaining way possible but also trying to help kids realize their potential and what they want to do with their lives.” DeGray went on to say that she couldn’t imagine doing anything else but teaching. Her ultimate goal was not to be a teache,r but she knows that this is where she was meant to end up. DeGray uses her knowledge of literature to teach kids and try to inspire them in any way she can.
These are just a few of the many teachers we have at Wethersfield High School. Each one of them had a different journey getting to where they are today, but what they all have in common is that they all care about the well being of their students and want them to succeed. Chatfield, Sand, and DeGray are all great examples of what it means to be an amazing teacher.
by: Andrew McDonough
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to move to a new country? In our own Wethersfield High School community, there are many students who have experienced the immigration process first-hand. Dennis Gega, a junior here at WHS, grew up in Rimini, Italy, and came to Wethersfield at the age of 13 in 8th grade.
At first glance, Wethersfield was a foreign place to Dennis. Though the people seemed nice, the wide array of houses, neighborhoods, and roads designed strictly for cars contrasted deeply with the pedestrian oriented, apartment lifestyle Dennis was used to back in Italy.
As time went on, and Dennis’s English developed, he would learn to adapt to “American culture.” When asked to discuss his overall experience in Wethersfield, he said it was “pretty positive.” He grew to like the area as a whole, and appreciated how people in town and at school were supportive toward his learning of English, and how everyone was quick to lend a helping hand.
Dennis still misses certain aspects of Italy, such as the food. When asked to comment on American pizza, Dennis went on to rate “Frank Pepe’s pizza a mere 6/10.” It’s “different,” he said. He commented on the struggle to “observe” and model others' behavior when he was trying to figure out how to orient himself in our community.
Learning how to speak, act, and even think like an American was something Dennis had to pick up along his learning process. While Dennis admired some nuances in American behavior, he did admit one key cultural difference that was somewhat of a shock to him, “People are more cocky in general in the US,” Dennis said. While he did note that there are benefits to having confidence, Dennis added that overestimating oneself was a quality that can have a negative effect.
Dennis had advice for teachers in approaching new students, “Just treat me normally.” Dennis added that he wished some teachers would treat students new to this country just “like the others,” and not make so much of an effort to go easier on them just because they are new. If you see Dennis in the hall, make sure to say hi. He’s a great, funny kid, just make sure not to talk pizza.
The purpose behind school IDs
by: Christyan Cimino, Josh Barbara, and Chris Daley
School IDs, they are the big talk around the school. Do they have a purpose? Do they really work? Are they really keeping our school safe?
We had an interview with Wethersfield High School Principal Mrs. Siobhan O’Connor and Head of Security Mr. Mike Baribault to discuss the ID rule in our school. We asked where the idea for IDs originated. “It got a really big push after the Sandy Hook tragedy and different school security and violence incidents that happened across the country. Because before then we had no way of identifying students that came in, ID policies went throughout the country to show who belongs at schools and who does not,” said Mr. Baribault
Since then, WHS has been trying to increase the level of security in all schools and started with the IDs there. Mrs. O’Connor mentioned that she’s been wearing IDs since 1997 because of her job and that it will help us learn and get in the habit of having one in the future. In the student handbook it states, “All students are required to wear their ID on a lanyard on their person at all times.”
As an eye witness in past years, students walk into school with different colored IDs, other kids IDs, and even other schools IDs. This is a real problem that needs to be solved. We are told that the IDs are for our safety, but if I can get into the school with an invalid ID, then who else can?
The ID policy is not perfect, but WHS notices that and is making measures to adjust. This year, they made significant cosmetic changes to the IDs. This year they made the background color of them blue. Principal O’Connor said, “The IDs are blue this year so it identifies that you are supposed to be here this year. Some of the school shooting incidents were involved with students wearing IDs from past years that have gotten in.”
We know that the kids don’t like to wear our IDs because “It’s annoying,” or “it doesn’t go with our outfit,” and Mrs. O’Connor understands that. She is not trying to harp on us too much because then we won’t want to wear them even more. The administration would like us “to play a part in your own safety and security,” said Mr. Barabault. It’s a team effort.
To that, we started talking about what they were going to do to help fix these issues. They started to talk about how the IDs go much further than just to make sure that you go to the school. The IDs are also used just in case a tragedy occurs, the authorities can identify us.
All we wanted to show in this article is that we may not show it but we care about the IDs, we want to be safe, and we want to help. We want to inform the students about what the administration wants to do and we want to bring the student’s opinions to them too. There needs to be more communication between us and then more will be able to get done.
by: Connor Swanson, Brian Bianchi, and Shane Mazur
The United States is currently going through what is being considered a mental health crisis. Over the past 8-9 years, rates of depression and suicide have increased steadily, with little outreaching effort to stop it. A teacher from the Wethersfield High School social studies department, John Sand, has been vigorously at work, trying to implement a way to help young adults in Wethersfield Public Schools system.
These past few years have been an increasingly scary time, with now 4.58% of adults considering suicide. This number has increased every year since 2011-2012 and does not seem to be slowing down. This starts out in the youth years, and as a country, we would hope that there are people treating this and helping people with these thoughts but in reality, it is the exact opposite. According to Mental Health America, over 60% of this nation's youth with severe depression do not receive any mental health treatment.
This is where Mr. Sand comes into play, he has reached out to each of his classes, figuring out who would like to come together to help kids in the school get the help they need. When asked about this group, Mr. Sand described it as, “An informal gathering of students interested in helping the school address the rising mental health crisis that is gripping young people nationwide.”
He has support from Assistant Principal of grades 10 and 12, Tyler Webb. Webb has communicated with students as well, discussing ideas on how to improve mental health throughout the building.
The Mental Health Group would be a great addition to WHS because it provides help if they are struggling with their mental health or they have ideas that could help others in the school. Especially with our generation suffering through the COVID pandemic, a lot of people struggle with mental health concerns.
Mental health will always be a factor in our world and Mr. Sand created a group to limit this struggle with the students of WHS. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Mr. Sand or Mr. Webb!
By: Jordan Schenkel and Ryan Mazur
Mrs. Lyth is more than just a normal, every day teacher, she focuses on helping kids who are struggling to manage their work loads during high school. She gives assistance on homework if needed and helps students create templates to organize their work and make their thought processes clearer. And no matter what she does it all with a smile and happy attitude, even on Mondays.
Mrs. Lyth sets a very good example on how to be proactive for yourself whether you need help with things in school or out of school. Mrs. Lyth also sets a very good example of how to work efficiently and save time. She will also read over any essays and will give suggestions as to what you should edit to make your essay even better.
After years of teaching at Wethersfield High School, her kind and helpful attitude has built up many friendly relationships between the teachers and students. In an interview with Mrs. Lyth, she told how she enjoys teaching here saying, “I love teaching here, I like the high school level because I feel like students can be more independent and take ownership of their learning.”
These opinions of Mrs. Lyth are not just from other teachers, the many students she helps to succeed all think very highly of her, especially her dedication to her job and her interest in teaching; which enforces this helpful attitude that creates these positive reactions from students. When asked why she wanted to become a teacher Mrs. Lyth responded, I wanted to become a teacher so that I could help people, students, young adults, be contributing members to their community and do the best that they can do.”
The evidence is clear, Mrs. Lyth is one of the nicest teachers you could meet. She is helpful and likes to inspire kids to do their best and sucede in their futures and her drive to help people be the best that they can be only enforces this. She is liked by the fellow teachers she works with and by the many students she takes care of. So I think I speak for us all when I say thank you Mrs. Lyth for everything that you have done for us and this school.
By: Ella Alger, Grace Lisella, Bella Tomaino
With the start of the upcoming high school basketball season upon us, players and teams are beginning their preparation. Exciting news from the CIAC on Oct. 29 stated that vaccinated players and coaches will not be required to wear a mask on the court.
This differs from the modified season teams saw last year, in which they were required to wear masks at all times with “mask break” timeouts implemented into the game. Sitting down with a few members of the Wethersfield High School basketball community, we were able to discuss how the upcoming season will differ from what we saw last season and how they will continue to stay safe this winter.
Jeffery Russell has been the head coach of the Wethersfield girls basketball team since the 2016-17 season, where he has helped lead his team to the state tournament each year and is no stranger to unusual circumstances. Back in March of 2020, his season was shut down due to the pandemic right before heading to the quarter finals of the state tournament.
Last year, the team was able to play a modified season that included the requirement of mask-wearing. When asked about his preparation for last year’s season, his goal was about getting “back to being a team again” and easing into the season, rather than the intense practices he has led in the past.
Additionally, when we asked how he would feel if masks were a choice again for this upcoming season, he told us, “My personal choice is yes. My youngest son still has some immune issues, so I mean I do just from a safety standpoint. They’ve never bothered me.” Masks or not, the girls basketball team is hoping to perform their same intensity on the court as we’ve seen in past years.
We also spoke to Coach Mark Bagdasarian, the assistant coach for the Wethersfield boys basketball team. Last winter, the boys already shortened season became even shorter due to a COVID outbreak on the team. They were forced to quarantine due to positive tests and close contact, which ended their season prior to the tournament.
For his preparation last year and this year he said, “How does it affect our preparation? It doesn’t.”
So it's just the same old season for Bagdasarian, no adjustments or alterations to the game plan, just play basketball. Furthermore stating, “I don’t like having kids wear masks, but I understand the reason for it.” Seeing that masks will not be in effect this season, Coach Bagsdasarian seems to be ready to bring the heat to the court.
Along with two of the Wethersfield basketball coaches, we also sat down with some players to receive their input on mask requirements from the past year and how they will feel having more breathing room outside of the mask this year.
We first met with senior Jack Frietas, who has been on the boy's basketball team since his freshman year and has played varsity since his sophomore year. When asked about masks affecting performance on the court, Frietas told us “I don’t think [masks] impact us at all, you just need to be in shape.” Frietas feels that masks do not affect a player’s performance during a game, instead “it’s just more annoying to have it on.”
From a players standpoint, running around at high intensity for 32 minutes with a piece of fabric on your face is not the most convenient experience in the world, so when players found out that masks would not be required for vaccinated players and coaches, they were most relieved rather than nervous. With COVID still being a present issue, taking other precautions will still be a priority. However, it puts players at ease to know that they will be able to get back to the game they always loved in the way it’s meant to be played.
WHS presents: "Almost Maine"
by: Roshini Gopaul and Maddy Wickens
Wethersfield High School’s Drama Club is producing Almost Maine this fall, which is running on Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 13 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, November 14 at 3:30 pm in the auditorium of Wethersfield High School.
After talking with Jeffrey Roets, the director of Wethersfield High School’s drama department and Almost Maine, we learned some interesting facts. “There are 9 scenes, and each scene takes place at the same time, a Friday night in January. It is all moments of awkward love. Each scene deals with the possibility of new love, the complications of existing love, envy, it has little magical realism.”
This show is produced by the WHS Drama Club, which is not just an ordinary club, it is a production for everyone to watch. They do auditions and get ready for showtime, which means they rehearse constantly.
One of the challenges that they faced so far with getting ready for showtime is the lack of participation. Many, including the director, have expressed their concern with the lack of males in the production. With this, they had to adapt and have some females playing male roles and changed some of the scenes to have females together in romantic love. When asked about how the rehearsal is going, sophomore Thalia Black, who plays Shelly said, “The show is going great, even though we look serious on stage, we crack up all the time.”
Another obstacle is there are kissing scenes with COVID and the regulation to wear a mask, which makes things difficult to do. So to convey that, they had to adjust and had the actors do shoulder and head blocking so the audience can assume there’s kissing when there is not. Senior Mia Sommers, who plays Sandrine and Rhonda said, “Wearing a mask has been a little struggle, glad to still do something like this even though it’s, fun process, I’m excited about the show.”
They are also working on cool special effects. One of them includes the Northern Lights. Kade Lippitt, a senior and sound technician for the show, said, “The audience can look out for stars during the nighttime scene and a shoe falling onto stage.”
Excited to watch the play? Get tickets on https://www.showtix4u.com as no tickets will be shown at the door.
The production dates are Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 13 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, November 14 at 3:30 pm.
by: Molly Bowers
New this year at Wethersfield High is the Culinary Arts class, and it is unlike any of the other cooking and nutrition class the school offers. This class is for students that have completed both Nutrition Ⅰ and Ⅱ, but instead of simply just cooking in this class, it focuses more on the hospitality and business side of the cooking industry.
This new elective addition is taught by Andrea Leuschner, who has been teaching nutrition at the high school for 5 years. She studied fashion and merchandising at West Virginia University and then went on to work in the garment industry for more than 20 years, then working in every facet of the restaurant industry prior to teaching at WHS.
The Culinary Arts class is only open to students that have completed both Nutrition Ⅰ and Ⅱ. This class will last the entire year and is centered around the business and preparation behind cooking. The itinerary for the class this year starts with selling ready-to-bake and pre-prepared treats to the staff around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. With the prolonged class, the students will have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the hustle and bustle of the cooking industry with possible field trips to test kitchens, but also the less glamorized portion of the industry. Like planning, budgeting, and even creating a logo.
With the class being a full year class instead of a one-semester course, there is a lot more time for the class to go through more content and complete more intensive projects. Leuschner said, “There are so many things I want students to learn in the class, but I think the main thing is to develop confidence in their culinary techniques so that students are able to make a variety of food for themselves and their family. Learning how to cook requires so many skills; problem solving, math, science, reading and creativity.”
Leuschner has a number of things planned for the students and class. Starting with fundraisers, and teaching the students the basics of food business and menu planning; Then around March there are plans for the class to run a mock restaurant within the nutrition room, to help the student practice and learn the different aspects and roles within a restaurant.
Want to try out the culinary creations at WHS? Click the following link to order apple crisp or pumpkin pie for the upcoming holidays!
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.