By J’Von Cooper
What is art?
That’s a loaded question, with many ways to answer it. Yet, considering the sizable amount of students participating in the arts here at Wethersfield High Schools, it begs the question.
With art existing in so many forms, is there any way to define it?
Well, according to the people participating in those programs, there are just as many answers as there are people being questioned. However, there is at least one constant within all of them: Emotion.
As Andrea Haas, one of three art teachers at WHS put it, “Art is whatever you want it to be.” She continues to specify, “I see art as a means to send a message. Make an emotional change in the person viewing it.”
That’s how many of her students view art. As Senior Brianna Boucher said, “Art is meant to mean something”, or in other words, elicit enough emotion to be meaningful. This theme of eliciting a reaction echoes through many of the people interviewed, including an unexpecting source.
Jeffery Roets, the current play director and English teacher, had a similar response to the aforementioned people interviewed, and a little more.
“Arts not only reflects our emotions, but makes us question them.” he said. “It makes us feel something.”
Well, if so many people feel so many different ways about art, what is concrete?
Well, as seen by the people interviewed, art means something. What that something is may be different depending on whomever you ask, but it means something to somebody, with everyone saying something.
By: Natalia Travaglini & Eliza-mely Martinez
Studying can be a very hard thing to do for students. There are so many different techniques, tips, and methods to studying. Students are told they need to study for a test, but they are never really taught how to actually study. We were given different techniques, but most of the time they dont really work for us.
Depending on the type of learner, for example being a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner, some studying methods will work amazing and others will not work at all. We interviewed two seniors at Wethersfield and asked them about their studying habits and any tips they have for others.
When talking to Haley Dellafera, a senior at Wethersfield High School, about her studying habits, we asked how she studies and it varies depending on the topic she is studying for. For math, she studies by doing problems but for English, she studies by using Sparknotes and Quizlet.
Many students struggle with studying, Haley Dellafera struggles with finding the motivation to study. During our interview she said, “Actually finding the motivation to get up and studying for my test has always been a problem for me.”
This problem has taken a toll on her grades at certain times in her high school career. Haley mentioned it would be a lot easier to study if she enjoyed the topic, so she tries to find interesting subjects within the topic she is studying to make the process just a bit easier.
Since she studies differently for each topic, we wondered if she would keep the same studying habits from high school into college. Dellafera said she definitely wouldn't keep her habits. Most of the time she just tries to get by without reading the book or notes but in the end she can get by without it. In college, she thinks it's going to be a lot different and she has to read, learn, and retain the subject.
We interviewed another student from Rocky Hill High School when we asked Ianna Pagan if she believed her studying habits were good she said yes. Ianna explained that she had a good idea as to how she should study.
She usually starts by making sure if she is comfortable she has snacks to eat while she is studying. Then she starts to make a study guide that will make it easier for her to know what to study. In this study guide she writes example questions, tips to help her remember, and the hardest topic she struggles with. Ianna Pagan said “I think I will use my studying habits in college because it has never done me wrong, everytime I use this method I get a pretty decent grade”
We made sure to get more than one perspective about studying habits in high school and interviewed senior, Kassandra Vazquez as well.
Kassandra finds studying using youtube video explanations is the best way for her. A tip she has for other students who are struggling to find good studying techniques is studying for 30-45 minutes and then taking a break to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Although finding the perfect studying technique can be difficult, we hope that the tips and experiences shared by two of our high school students could possibly make the task easier.
By: Gabby Amoddio
Accounting is a full-year course offered at Wethersfield High School that is available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors and is taught by Joanna Griswold, who has taught multiple business classes over her years working at WHS.
In this course, students learn a variety of skills that are used by accountants. They focus on the bookwork for a service business in the first semester and switch to a merchandising business in the second semester.
If you plan on becoming an accountant when you’re older, this is a great opportunity for you. You get to experience the ins and outs of accounting without the stress of being in the actual work environment. It’s helpful to learn, in depth, the process of accounting and the basic terms that go along with it.
Even if you’re unsure about your future plans, taking Accounting can help you get a feel for what the career is like. After taking the class, you can decide if accounting, or any other career related to business and finance, is a good fit for you.
Another benefit of the class is that it is an official Capital Community College course. This means that passing the class can actually give you a college credit. All you have to do is fill out an enrollment form before a certain date and get above a C average.
The fact that it’s a college course can make the class difficult at times but It's good to get a feel for what college will feel like.
However, it is not a class that you can go into unprepared, as it asks a lot of students.
“Accounting is the type of class where you have to study 4 days before just to get a B,” says Kyle Martinez, a senior at Wethersfield High School. Martinez is currently enrolled in the class and just started the second semester.
Accounting is known as the language of business because it is how managers communicate the financial information of a business to people who will use it like shareholders and creditors. It is important to understand accounting first so you know how to properly run and improve your business.
Think Accounting may be for you? Make sure to sign up for it next year!
By: Dzenita Korkutovic
Myths and Legends is a semester course that is part of the English department. To learn more about this exciting class, I interviewed Mrs. McKenna, teacher for Myths and Legends and English department liaison. Here is a few questions I’ve asked her and her responses:
According to Mrs. McKenna, the class is “a semester long class that seniors take for half a credit and goes towards the English requirement for graduation. We study mostly Myths and Legends. We look at Myths from all over the world and look at the meanings behind them. We don’t look at just Greek mythology or Roman mythology, which a lot of people are aware of. We look at the deeper meaning of myths in general. As for Legends, we do a lot of real life legends meaning we look at how real life people become legends or become their own story.”
I asked if she would recommend kids to take the course and why. She said she would course recommend kids to take it. She mentioned they do lots of different things, students have a lot of choices within it. Even if you aren't a big fan of mythology, everyone can find something interesting in the class.
I wondered what kinds of activities or projects she did with the class. She named a few things that they do. She said they watch videos or read short selections of myths, legends, fairy tales and other things. All of this culminates in a big essay that they end up doing in real-life legends, or kids can pick someone within the topic to research.
When asked what students should know, McKenna said that she would want kids to know that it's not just about one culture or group of people, it's about many different ones. Also, you would look at American cultures because not many people know about them.
As you can see, the course Myths and Legends is an interesting class to take. From researching one culture to watching movies on a whole different culture, all students get to experience multiple cultures within the class.
Personally, I’ve been in the class for only a few weeks now and I love it!
If you have already taken the course, comment down on what you thought of the class!
By: Emily Karwic
Wethersfield Studies is a half-year English class where students learn about the history of their town. This class, taught by Ms. Krawczyk, discusses the town’s geological formation, Native American history, Puritans, witch hunts, and more.
Ms. Krawczyk highlights that the course focuses on the students’ impact on the town, not just the past history. She outlines in her course information that, “Your past and current experiences in this town are contributing to the future history of Wethersfield”.
A class like this allows students to see further into the history of the town they’re a part of. Aside from learning about the town, the students complete projects and activities related to its history. Students also make posters about their own history in the town so that Ms. Krawczyk and their classmates can learn more about each other.
Throughout the semester students perform one-act plays, write a letter to the editor regarding an article in Wethersfield Life, and look at past yearbooks to see how much the school has changed.
Another thing students do to expand their knowledge about the towns past is attend either a Board of Education meeting or a Town Council meeting. In these activities, students will, “Compare and contrast what we learn about Wethersfield’s past, with our towns current issues of interest and concern.”
In asking more about the class, I learned that one of the most interesting things for Ms. Krawczyk is learning about her students and she enjoys them learning about how much the town has changed over the years.
This class poses a unique opportunity for the students to learn more about the town they live in. It’s available for seniors to take every semester.
by: Jillian Gray
With graduation right around the corner, seniors are starting to make one of the toughest decisions of their high school career. Seniors are getting their acceptance letters, and now it’s time to pick where they will spend their next couple of years.
There are many factors that students are looking at while they decide which college they want to go to, from looking at how nice the campus is to how much money it costs per year. With these decisions so close, I decided to interview a few of the seniors here at Wethersfield High school, to see how they are determining what college they want to go to.
Senior Mya Pellegrino is thinking of her living situation, saying, “I think the campus matters and how the dorms are. I don’t like using public bathrooms, and I also need an AC. That's why I chose my college”.
Although many people may choose their college based on the dorms, I got the chance to talk to Jacob Rivera. He expressed, “When I was going through the process, my main idea was to pick the college that was less money-wise. Since I would be in school for such a large amount of time, I knew the money would accumulate”.
When it comes to college, money is indeed a big aspect of choosing where to go in my eyes. With saying that Ellie Kieselback described how money and time was a big factor for her. Ellie said “I don’t want to spend years in a college, I wanted cosmetology school because it’s only one year.”
People may think of the cost, budgeting, and all the complicated aspects. When interviewing Kyle Edman he simply said, “I look at how nice the campus is.”
Graduation is coming up fast, and decisions are going to have to be made. There are many aspects that people think about while choosing where they want to spend the next couple years of their lives.
At the end of the day, you will make your decision based on how money, time, the campus, or even if you want to go to college at all. Comment below if you have chosen your college already, and what made you choose it?
By: Audrey Mainville and Kadin Joyce
In a recent WHS advisory, students were informed of the school’s Skills21 #EaglesBreakBoundaries movement.
However, many classes were left with little understanding of what each grade is supposed to do to exemplify it. In response, here is what #EaglesBreakBoundaries is, and what each student can do to be a part of it.
#EaglesBreakBoundaries is a media campaign that has been created by students in the Skills21 group here at WHS to push people out of their comfort zone. Every year, the group releases a theme that students have to incorporate into their project. This year's theme is Breaking Boundaries.
“Breaking Boundaries” is designed to motivate WHS students to gain a sense of independence, as well as responsibility. Ms. Coco, advisor of this campaign states, “Our group uses this program [Skills21], along with BlueEagle News, to reach our audience and try to create community by working towards a common goal.”
With that, here is what each class can do to participate in this campaign:
Freshman and Sophomores: The goal for the Freshmen and Sophomores is to reach out to the community. Volunteering and participating in town events are just some ways these underclassmen can exemplify this. The Skills21group wants them to reach out of their comfort zone, and make connections.
Juniors: The goal for juniors is to learn how to be financially responsible. Getting a debit card or learning how to budget money are examples of this. The Skills21 group wants juniors to focus on becoming more financially independent, and not always rely on guardians for money.
Seniors: As seniors approach adulthood, their goal is to take steps towards their future. This can include, applying and committing to a college, joining the military, setting up their own appointments, looking at places where they may be interested in living. All of this they believe shows independence and responsibility.
Students and people in the community are encouraged to take photos of themselves carrying out these activities! Show how you broke boundaries! Submit photos to firstname.lastname@example.org OR post pictures to social media with the hashtag #Eaglesbreakboundaries as well as a tag of your advisory teacher’s name and the year of your graduation.
For more information contact Ms. Coco at email@example.com or BlueEagle News at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Antonia Vardal and Hailey Hodsen
An ECE humanities course titled “American Studies” may be coming to WHS in the next few years. This half-year class and half-credit course is described by UCONN as a “multi-disciplinary inquiry into the diversity of American societies and cultures.”
History teacher Courtney Bradley and English teacher Kristen Mucinskas plan to collaborate to teach students about history by applying it to modern literature.
Bradley says the history and English classes will eventually combine to form humanities classes. “I like the idea of having more of a humanities approach, which is not only how the world sees itself, [but also how] people just look at the world with a more holistic attitude.”
Currently, she has several students taking this class as an independent study, which starts its initial steps in becoming an official course. Bradley says that by doing this, she’s able to get feedback from them about the assignments and readings to improve the class.
Although it’s labeled as an ECE course, Bradley doesn’t want kids to assume they have to be an honors student to take it.
“[We’re] trying to pull more people in and show more people that you can do really good, amazing, interesting, academic work without the AP, ECE, or honors stamp.”
She plans to start off the course by connecting American citizenship and immigration to The Hobbit, which will be the anchor book for the rest of the course.
“Even though it was a book written by a British soldier after World War I about the war, we’re going to take a look at how that applies to American citizenship. That’s a totally different text than you might’ve expected, and we’re going to try and pull in a lot more kids from a bunch of different kind of social groups, almost regardless of whether or not they see themselves as top end kids for academics.”
If students are interested, they should talk to Mrs. Bradley or Mrs. Mucinskas about taking it as an independent study until it becomes an official class.
By: Bella Rende and Olivia Morais
Caps and gowns have been a topic of debate for years on end. Many believe caps and gowns should symbolize unity and be one color.
Another reason many believe it should be one color is to help many students feel comfortable identifying their gender. Although students have various opinions on the caps and gowns, teachers do too. To get a teacher’s perspective, we interviewed teachers from different departments in WHS.
When asked if she was aware of the cap and gown change, senior class advisor and math teacher Mrs. Belanger said, “Of course I'm aware of the cap and gown change as your advisor. We have changed colors from royal blue and white to a solid navy blue cap and gown. There was a long conversation about why it was a royal blue to begin with, I don’t really know because that’s how it’s been since I started here, but I think It’s a good change.”
Comfort and mental well-being is important in the school system. “I think it was changed to promote the comfort, well being of all students.” Said Mrs. Niemic.
When asked about the importance of the change, Belanger said, “I think it’s important to make sure that all students have equal rights and that no one feels marginalized. [Graduation is] a very important day, you have worked so hard for graduation.”
When I asked him if he agreed with the change, senior English teacher Mr. Pfister said, “Yes, I agree with the change, I think it was a perfect decision to make, especially because of students and their willingness to want to identify with a specific gender. It includes those students, and again it brings the senior class together and has them do something as a group for the final time.”
Many of the teachers have similar views on the cap and gown topic, that it is an important and necessary change to bring together the senior class and make all students feel comfortable on their special day.
by: Hannah Sullivan and Reece Skelly
Quarter Two has been a historically dark period of time for students all throughout the school. This can most likely be attributed to gloomy, frigid weather and an abundance of days spent out of school on breaks.
Throughout the quarter, we miss a whopping 10 days of school, excluding the inevitable days spent sick in bed brought on by the cold temperatures. As grades sink lower and lower, many students begin to question whether it’s even worth it to try to get them back up, or if they’d be better off going back to the comfort of their own bed.
The reality is, the quarter always ends, and things will get better. The best thing you can do is keep a positive attitude and try not to slip too far down. One way to do this is making sure you get to bed as early as you need to to avoid being tired the next day. Dragging around school only half awake is not going to help you learn and keep up your grades.
A healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables paired with 30 minutes of exercise a day can also help you stay energetic and alert throughout the day.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your teachers know this is a hard time for students and are always available for extra help. Communicating with your teachers will help them understand why grades may be slipping, and it will help you feel more accomplished. They will help you bring your grades up and get you back on your feet.
According to journalism teacher John Martin, “The most important thing is communicating with teachers, because if you use those breaks to get extra work done, you can be successful.”
So yes, we know it’s hard. We’ve all been there, in the heart of quarter two, wondering how you could have possibly gone from having straight A’s to failing half your classes. But don’t worry; you will get through this. Take care of yourselves and take advantage of the resources you have at this school, and before you know it, you’ll be back to getting the grades you know you deserve.
by: Cole Nocida and Andrea Martinez
The Career Advisory Board? Are they the ones that organize our advisory? No, the CAB is the organization that puts together all the exciting things that happen around the school that you may not even know about.
They are the ones that bring lunch and learns, like our most recent with a physical therapist. They have programs that allows students to dip their toes into the real world of career and career readiness. They are here for the benefit for us!
They meet once every month and their next meeting will be November 25 in the Media Center. Chairperson of the Wethersfield Board of Education Bobbie Granato plans on talking about some specific goals in their next meeting with the members of the committee, which includes business leaders and members of the town and school communities.
By: Logan Lichatz
We all stress out for the one day where our score on a three hour scantron test can determine the next part of our life. SATs have become a huge selling point for you to get into college: if a college sees good test scores on your resume the chances are good that your going to get in.
But how do you prepare for the biggest test of your high school career? These five steps can help!
1. Practice SAT problems.
Make Khan Academy your best friend and use this site all the time to help you get used to the type of questions asked on the SAT. Also, use the SAT time in your classes to get used to the timed portion of the test.
2. SAT preparatory classes (through the Wethersfield Adult Education Program).
There's nothing better than getting professional help from a trained SAT teacher. Although it may cost a little money, it's worth it, they teach you how to approach each question and give you good strategies. The SAT classes are also not that time consuming sometimes they’re only once or twice a week.
3. Prepare yourself the night of and morning before your SAT.
Use the night before to do some last minute studying and have a good dinner. After having a nice dinner get to bed early enough to between 8-10 hours of good sleep. Wake up an hour before the SAT doors open and make sure to have a good breakfast.
Although this will be one of the most stressful times, you need to take a mental moment to relax. Don't stress yourself out too much. Stay relaxed and comfortable throughout the test and remember that you can take the test multiple times and “superscore” (combining your best English and Math scores).
5. Assemble everything you need for the SAT.
Make sure you have a calculator and two #2 pencils. Also it would be ideal for you to bring a little snack or two, there's nothing worse than getting hungry throughout the test and not being able to go get something to eat.
Doing these steps won't guarantee that you'll have the best score but you will most definitely feel more prepared to take the test if you do.
By:Jacob Rivera and Kaitlyn Fischer
Transitioning from a student teacher to a full time teacher is stressful yet very rewarding. We set out to interview our new Spanish teacher Ms. Martins to see how her transition is going at WHS.
“This community has all been very supportive, so I’m very grateful for that. Now as a [full-time] teacher, I get that support and level of respect.”
When asked if she was being treated differently now that she is an official teacher, her response was gratifying. She felt as if she fit in and was being treated well by the Wethersfield High School community is amazing to hear.
“I’m very grateful to have done my student teaching here. I think it really helped out knowing the community and knowing my students. It was really helpful with the transition, knowing how the school works, knowing how my department works, being familiar with many students and having good connections with them made it definitely an easy adjustment.”
Transitioning from a student teacher to teacher, she seemed very comfortable and honest with her answer. From what we were told, it was clear that being a student teacher made this whole process very tranquil.
The reason of which Ms. Martins fits into the Wethersfield High School community so well has many answers. Being able to have a connection with her students and learn the environment and culture at WHS while she was a student teacher helped prepare her for the full thing. Ms. Martins is a great addition to the WHS staff and you can go see her in room 303!
By Stephanie Breglio
As many know, September 11, 2001 was a turning point for national security procedures in airports, government buildings, along with other locations of importance all around the world. There were 2,753 deaths, 343 including firefighter,s at the World Trade Center site that day. When students visited the actual site of these terrorist attacks they were stopped in their tracks by the sadness that still lingers in the air.
On October 23, 2019 students of Mr. Sand’s Current Issues classes visited the 9/11 Memorial/Museum in New York, along with the Tower Ladder 1 Firehouse. The field trip was an all-day expedition, where students were on the bus at 6:30 am and got home around 5:00 at night.
In Current Issues, Mr. Sand aims multiple lessons, assignments, and classwork around the tragedy of 9/11. By teaching about the events about this day in history, students are able to gain more of a perspective about it and the feelings of the victims are heroes. Although the lessons give students more of an insight, they are not quite enough. The field trip is what ties everything together.
Mr. Sand believes that the action of actually visiting the museum is … “important for young people, especially those who don’t remember that day, to gain a first hand experience to help them truly understand the events of 9/11.”
Since the students attending the trip were the first generation to barely experience the actual day of 9/11, it was important to visit the museum to learn more about the occurrences of this day. Mr. Sand teaches about the victims and heroes that were killed and the actual events leading up to the attack, however he makes a point to highlight the good that came out of this large event in history, which is showcased through meeting some of our heroes-the firefighters.
The day of the field trip started with visiting the Tower Ladder 1 Firehouse, where students were able to go inside the only firehouse in New York that did not lose any firefighters during the attack. Students also had the opportunity to see the firehouse in action when they got a call and had to leave. Some students even purchased shirts from the firehouse signed by the firefighters that day!
After taking a quick lunch break at McDonald’s, students and chaperones migrated to the World Trade Center site to view the fountains/pools of water where the towers stood, which included all the names engraved into the sides of the people who died. The next stop was the museum itself, which is located right next to one of the original tower sites.
The museum was a moving experience. It included the original phone calls and messages from family members and from people who died on that day. There were multiple exhibits, some including artifacts, and others including rooms with presentations on what really happened that day. A technologically advanced part of the museum was the iPads, which students were able to use to search any person that died that day and to find information on them.
A student present at the trip, senior Leah Ayers said, “One benefit is that you get to see all of the artifacts and relics in person rather than on a screen. It gives it a more realistic feel, and you can relate to the experiences better when you see it up close.”
The museum created a closer connection between the students and 9/11 through the exhibits. Students were able to relate more to the events that occurred, which was extraordinary because they weren’t even alive when it happened. After visiting the museum, students got back on the bus and took a moment to reflect on what they had seen before returning home around 5:00.
Mr. Sand said, “I think the trip is just the right length. Students are able to process only so much on any one day so I’m very comfortable with the time we have there.”
Students were appreciative that they got this wonderful opportunity to visit the firehouse and the museum. It was a real experience for all the students and chaperones that helped out. Students give a special thank you to WHS, Mr. Sand, the chaperones, and everyone who took steps to help organize the trip.
By Jake Whitaker and Johnny Orsini
On Wednesday, October 16th the Wethersfield High School football team had a new practice schedule on the daily agenda. Instead of taking to Cottone Field for practice, the Eagles went to Highcrest, Webb, and Hamner elementary schools for their newest campaign, Tackle Literacy.
Most classes in each school participated and each class had 1-3 players in each room. The players read aloud to the students, had students read to them, did classroom activities, and focused on expressing how important schooling is starting at a young age.
The players really wanted to emphasize being role models for the kids. Senior Tyren Watt said “The football team wanted to be a part of the Tackle Literacy campaign to be good examples to the younger students to keep reading books for the rest of your lives.”
To Tyren, it was more than just going and reading to the kids, he said, “The point was to show how important the reading was and how important it is throughout life.”
Senior Nathaniel Estifanos agrees that the campaign was more than just something to do during the bye week. “I think it was ‘let's go help out the kids and be good role models’ because that's our responsibility''. When asked if he would do it again, he kept it short,“for sure."
Many players agreed that it was awesome to go back but a little bitter sweet. Shortly after leaving the schools, Senior Kyle Edman said, “That was lowkey sad, we are about to graduate high school."
Junior Zak Zurzola followed up with a similar feeling, “We should do that again, I’m reminiscing." The team is hoping to be able to get another opportunity to do this again this year and are hoping that even more schools will participate next time around.
Attention Incoming Sophomores, not sure whether to take AP Biology? Read this to make your final decision!
By Mark Zocco and Megan Kelleher
All students like to think of themselves as the top of their class. One way of demonstrating this is at the end of freshman year, all of the students ask around to see who will be taking AP Biology and who is not.
AP Biology has a reputation for being a class that is too difficult to take and will make one pull all nighters which is just false information. Do not let the rumors you hear about AP Biology sway your decision whether or not to take the class. The gossip one hears around the school should not be used as a reliable source when making such a decision.
You might be wondering what type of information and from who should you trust when you are in the midst of making your choice for next years science class. Look no further because we sat down with the current and most qualified AP Biology teacher for the high school Dr. Gorton. We then asked him a few frequently asked questions about the course.
“One requirement that the incoming AP Biology students need to have is self motivation. They need to be willing to do the work on their own.” says Dr. Gorton. He also goes on to say that “taking this class does have its advantages. AP Biology will help them learn how to learn. It will teach them what ways for them individually are the best ways to study and learn new material.”
He also said “The major difference from say an honors biology class versus the AP Biology class is the speed and rigor. It is much more rigorous and there is simply more content to cover. AP Biology requires a much higher level of thinking and problem solving then say an honors or level one class.”
When presented with the question “what are some fun and exciting activities that students will be able to partake in?” His immediate response was “We don’t do fun”, but quickly rescinded and followed by “Rather than fun, the students will find the class and what they are doing to be quite enjoyable. They have the opportunity to build a family type relationship with their peers in the classroom. They have the opportunity to investigate scientific principles that they otherwise wouldn't normally have in their other classes.”
The last question has to be the question students are most curious about due to the fact that it is not uncommon to have a bad grade in an AP class. Dr Gorton went on to say that “students need not be shy when not understanding the material. I encourage students to ask questions and seek extra help after school when struggling.” Dr Gorton concluded the interview by saying “this class is like a marathon, you can’t fall behind but you need to maintain a steady pace.”
If at the end of your freshman year you do indeed decide to take AP Biology, you will need to stop by Dr. Gorton’s room and pick up a textbook and a test prep book. With these you will need to complete a summer assignment by taking notes on the first five chapters of the textbook because you will have a quiz on them the first week of school so be prepared! This also gives you an opportunity to go and introduce yourself to Dr. Gorton. Remember, first impressions are very important!
Don’t think if you don’t have straight A’s and have a 4.0 GPA you won’t be successful in this class. If you are willing to put in the time and effort I think that you will fit right in in AP Biology. If you still have questions or concerns feel free to email Mark Zocco or Megan Kelleher at Zoccomark@wethersfield.me or Megankelleher@wethersfield.me.
by: Katie Bridges
It’s the end of the first quarter of the year and for students who may not have the most secure grades, here are some tips for you.
Firstly, all of this depends on your teachers and their policies. Make sure to read the syllabus they give you on the first day. It may seem like a useless piece of paper, but there may be important information on it if you read it more closely.
If your grade isn’t where you would like it to be, try talking with the teacher to see if there is any extra credit work or just ask them for help on topics in class you didn’t understand 100% the first time.
None of these tips are easy one and done steps, getting the grades you want takes work, effort, and tenacity. No one is going to hand you the grade you want, you need to go and get it for yourself.
Make sure that if the teacher takes late work that you get every missing assignment in that you can, half credit is always better than a zero. Take any opportunity to turn in missing assignments, not all teachers will offer this chance, and even if they do, don’t rely on this, it’s really important to turn your work in on time.
With this tips, I hope you have an excellent end to your first quarter and remember, next week marks a brand new slate and opportunity for all of us to improve!
by: Mark Zocco and Megan Kelleher
At the end of students’ junior years, NHS is the talk of the academic world. Everyone goes around asking with anticipation if their peers received that incredible opportunity and letter inviting them to apply for the National Honor Society.
Many stop and ask around, what are some of the requirements for the NHS? Look no further, because we sat down with a teacher who is also a council member for the NHS, reads over, and decides who gets accepted or rejected into the NHS.
We sat down with Mr. Moger, and spoke with him about a few frequently asked questions about what the council members are looking for in a model NHS student. “I believe that NHS members are students who are the leaders of the school, whether that be in or out of school. They should be the role models in the classroom, on the sports field, in the library, and everywhere for that matter,” said Mr. Moger.
He also said, “As school-wide leaders, the students need to take the initiative to help solve problems before having to get a teacher or administrator involved with certain school-oriented or personal issues.”
Now to the question that comes across most kids minds when it comes to the admissions process, what kinds of grades do you need in order to be considered for the NHS? You need to have at least a 3.5 GPA to be considered for the NHS, which is a B+ overall average. This means that you need to start working hard early on in high school to get your GPA where it needs to be to be invited.
Mr. Moger also went on to say that, “NHS members should be honest, hardworking, and perform to the best of their abilities. Granted we all have our bad days but as a general rule they should be putting forth their best effort academically as well as socially.''
After receiving a letter stating you meet these academic requirements, your next step is to complete an application packet along with a personal essay in order to be a full fledged member. First, to get this packet, you will have to go to Mrs. Neimic’s room and pick up the application along with any other handouts that she may have, she is located in room 110.
Next, your personal essay should be about you and either your academic, social, or personal life experiences could be compared to the four pillars of the NHS. The four pillars are scholarship, leadership, community service, and character. Together, the essay and application will be the two deciding factors on you getting accepted into the Wethersfield High School chapter of the National Honor Society.
Want more information about NHS? Talk to your school counselor or any of the NHS faculty advisors for more information.
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: 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: Mrs. Kristen Mucinskas, UCONN ECE Site Representative
The internal deadline for the UConn ECE assisted application and enrollment process ends May 24th. If you have not completed your application yet, and need help, please see Mrs. Mucinskas in room 338.
Any students intending to take a UConn ECE course next year must complete the online enrollment process prior to June 7th in order to meet the enrollment deadline this year.
ALL applications and NETID activations need to be completed by Friday, June 7th, or you will incur a $25 late fee when the system re-opens in the fall.
See Mrs. Mucinskas in room 338 with any questions.
By: Kavi Khadar
Coming this fall, Mrs. Campbell will be teaching a brand new UCONN ECE digital imaging course open to next year's students.
As a college course, the workload will be a bit more intensive; however, Campbell has her syllabus outlined for what the course will bring.
“There are a lot of team projects, problem-solving, and cross-curricular activities. I have already met with the professors at UCONN and they are very enthusiastic about WHS joining the faculty,” she said.
Taking this ECE course can prep you for college, and if you're looking to major in anything involving graphic design, this is the class for you!
It’s necessary to take the regular Digital Imaging class prior to taking this course so here’s what you can expect. The class involves taking your own photos with cameras that Campbell provides. You'll then take those photos and bring them into Photoshop or Illustrator and edit them to perfection.
It doesn't stop there. After editing the photos, you’ll have the opportunity to put these photos on various items like shirts, mugs, tiles, posters, stickers, key chains, etc. As a student that took the normal digital imaging class, I wish I could have had this great opportunity to take an ECE class in Campbell’s classroom.
I asked why students should consider taking this class after Digital Imaging and Campbell said, “This will give the students opportunity to earn college credit and advance their skills and understanding of various tools of communication.” I can confidently say that these attributes are going to be and important in life and especially college.
You can find out more about this course by stopping by and talking to Mrs. Campbell in room 23A down the tech hallway or Mrs. Mucinskas to get the sign up sheet for UCONN.
By: Shantall Teran
Seniors in most schools including Wethersfield High School have the opportunity to graduate early. This is only allowed if the said senior has enough credits and will be able to meet their required credit by the first semester.
What we don't see when our seniors graduate early is if they enjoy it or find it meaningful. Is it beneficial to them and do they regret their decision. Same goes with our seniors who had the opportunity but didn't take it.
When a senior decides to graduate early, they are not allowed to participates in any sports of the next semester but they are allowed to participate In senior activities like prom and senior picnic. To be able to graduate, you have to be meeting the credit requirements by the end of the first semester to be able to graduate at the end of the semester.
This year, it has not seem that there were many students that had graduated early. I spoke with school counselor Mathew DeGuire. He told me that typically there are at least five kids every year who graduate early, “We typically have 5-8 seniors graduate early per year, but that could change by the year.” He had also told me that kids graduate for many reasons. “This depends on the student. There is a wide range of reasons for a student to graduate early including work, start college early, travel, etc.”
I spoke with two seniors of 2019 who have decided to graduate early. Arelis Herrera said she initially decided to graduate because she had enough credit but also because she had a plan for herself. ”Everyone’s different but for me personally I already know what I want to do with my life and never really cared for the high school experience so I knew it’d be a waste of time when I can instead be spending time doing what I love and working”.
Senior Rachel Hall had a different reasons for graduating, “School always stressed me out, there was a period of time when I would throw up everyday before school because I was so anxious and couldn’t control it. I figured instead of being in class all day I could work and learn communication skills and e-commerce and other things while getting paid and saving for my future.”
I asked both the seniors on how they felt while in school knowing that they had to graduate earlier than most of their peers. Herrera said, “I didn’t feel like I had more on my plate than students not graduating early, if anything I had less academically. It was stressful knowing that adulting was coming sooner for me so decisions had to be made quicker but other than that it was a relief”.
Hall also expressed the same feelings, “I didn’t feel like I had more to worry about becasue I feel like everyone worries just about the same when it comes to passing but I did worry a lot just to make sure I got all the credits I need in time”.
Now that they are graduated, I wanted to see how their life is now and it’s generally all good. “My life’s been so much more enjoyable since I graduated. My whole life changed due to personal life issues but it was perfect timing because I got to take a break and gather myself before working. Now I’m really focused and ready to start college in the fall.” Herrera says.
She also talks about how shes able to persue her carrer now, “I definitely have more time and freedom to do what I want. I love having more time to focus on modeling and music”.
Hall says “It’s been good since I graduated early, I’ve been working full time, saving money and since I have no test or projects or exams I can have fun and enjoy myself after work and what not”.
Both of these graduated seniors don’t regret their decision they are happy that they chose this but Hall did express missing her friends “I don’t regret it one bit, however I do miss my friends and I miss being around people my age and all the goofy fun moments high school had with it”.
Herrera wants to tell upcoming seniors “If you know what you want your future to look like already and are able to work on it now then graduate early if you can and stay focused! Don’t slack off just because you’re almost at the end but have fun.”
Hall also had some advise for upcoming seniors “High school is like your last chance to have fun before u go out and become an adult so enjoy it!”
Senior Auna Foster and Danielle Colbath are seniors who decided to not graduate. Foster decided to stay to have the “senior” experience, “I didn’t want to miss out on other school activities/ experiences that happen later in the year”. Foster does not regret her decision.
Colbath wants students to figure out what’s best for them, “Do what feels right for them, if they have a plan in place after or school isn't their best strong suit, then graduating early then that might be the best option”.
Foster needs you to know that the last semester isn’t even the hard part. “It’s not as hard as you think, just don’t slack. Keep working/keep yourself busy , so you don’t have room for procrastination or laziness”.
These seniors are just some examples of what you could experience if you decide to stay or graduate early. It is important to realize that were all different with different circumstances.
If your someone who would rather work or start you college education earlier than it could be a decision for you to consider. If you want to take more classes, be around friends and have the senior experience than you might want to stay. Make sure to stay focussed in what ever you decide to do its okay to not have a plan but it can be very detrimental if you decide to procrastinate your life.
By: Ariana Tessier and Calista Margiotta
Being two seniors here at WHS, there are many classes that we have had to take. However, there are many classes that seniors have taken that they enjoy going to and enjoy taking. Students LOVING a class...yeah, weird right?
Eight seniors who shared with us their favorite classes and why they enjoy these classes so much. This will also give the upcoming seniors and other students here at WHS to hear about classes that they may be interested in taking in the future.
WHS senior Lauren Christie’s favorite class is Current Issues. She said, “I get to learn about things that are beneficial in real life.” This class benefits Lauren and she always is looking forward to going to spend time in that class. With other students we polled naming the same class, it’s safe to say this is a popular class amongst seniors.
Dante Burgos had a lot to say about Speech, saying “I feel as though it’s a great class especially for students who have problems speaking in front of large groups. It is also a great class before you go off to college because it is a good tool to have to be comfortable talking in other groups.”
Paige Contenta´s favorite class is Journalism which is a class we both take and enjoy.
Matt Iallonardo talked about his Calculus class and said, “This is my favorite class because I enjoy the teacher.”
Dino Alihodzic is taking AP Psychology this year and although it is an advanced class and very hard, he said, “This is my favorite class because I love Ms. Niemiec and the class is always fun.”
To conclude the portion of this article with interviews, we end with Grace Amoruso who’s favorite class is the challenging Uconn ECE Composition and Rhetoric. One of the benefits of going to Wethersfield High School is being able to take college level classes and using those credits in college.
Entering senior year can give you a great opportunity to take the classes that you have been interested in throughout your other high school years, but haven’t had the chance to take.
What's your favorite class? Did it make this list? Comment below!
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.