By Brianna Dreger and Lindsey Clark
Do you have a passion for arts, crafts and creativity? The National Art Honor Society (NAHS) is a club that will help young artists’ artistic and creative skills flourish. They use their creativity to make the Wethersfield community bright and colorful. The club is advised by Andrea Haas, an art teacher for Level III and AP art classes.
The club meets every Wednesday after school for a get together to plan for upcoming projects or community service opportunities, and to build their present projects. At the last meeting, November 14, they continued to make simple, yet stylish jewelry that they will be selling in December.
The members of NAHS recently had an event known as Paint Night which was on November first. It was an event where anyone can attend and paint, no matter what artistic skills you have. There were even snacks and drinks. The Paint Night was a huge success as eighty people attended the event.
“Paint night was a huge success and 80 people were in attendance. This includes parents teachers and students! We are planning another Paint Night for January or Februar,.” Haas said.
Paint Night is not the only event that has planning underway. There is a national exhibit where students of the NAHS can show off one piece of their artwork by submitting their piece by December fifth.
“Students are invited to participate in a national exhibit where anyone from all over the country who is a member of NAHS submits one piece of artwork and writes a brief summary about their artwork.” Haas said.
The members are even planning to have the Empty Bowls project which will take place in the spring and the NAHS will eventually culminate with a soup dinner event with all proceeds to benefit the food bank.
The members of the NAHS are also thinking about volunteering at Highcrest and Charles Wright to help out by hanging and taking down exhibits.
The NAHS members are working hard and bursting with ideas to help the community for this year and next year. Having the NAHS at Wethersfield High School allows artists to share their artistic qualities and uniqueness with the others while supporting the local community with different fun events and projects.
By Isabel Correa
On April 3, the Wethersfield High School’s Pieces Literary and Art Club is hosting a poetry slam. An event where writers and artists can come together and share pieces they have been working on throughout the year, however, you do not have to be a member to attend this event.
The poetry slam is called the Word of Mouth Poetry and Art Slam, and is being held at the local Wethersfield Public Library where doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the slamming starts at 6:30 p.m.
The newly named Pieces Literary and Art Club, formerly known as Pieces Literary Magazine, is run by current Wethersfield High School students, as well as their in-school adviser the librarian Ms. George. This year's presidents McKayla Dreger (president of the writers) and Christine Gallares (president of the artists) are not only glowing in pride but are very jubilant for this even being able to take place especially the new freshman members who have never experience an event like this before.
For those who do not know, Pieces is a club where writers and artists create pieces that will be shared with their peers to inspire others to create more artwork or poetry. Once one writer and an artist agrees to combine their work, they will ask Ms. George to edit their work as well as place both pieces on the same page in their magazine. Before the school year ends, the club produces a yearly magazine showing the amazing skills of the drawers and writers of the club, as well as how teamwork is used to create the stunning and colorful combined magazine that is distributed amongst club members, teachers and other students at the high school.
When being asked about the club and poetry slam in general, the president of the poets McKayla Dreger joyfully stated, “It’s a great opportunity for students to build their confidence and share their creativity with the community”.
Pieces is not only an after-school club but an experience for the diverse student body that takes place at Wethersfield High School. For the members who all come from different backgrounds, they learn to grow confidence in their work, as well as teamwork and learning how to place their emotions and daily struggles into artwork that others can experience as well.
So, if you are free tonight feel free to attend this public event at the Wethersfield Public Library, 515 Silas Deane Hwy, starting at 6:30 p.m. Do not forget to bring any writing or works of art to the event of you feel brave enough to slam. However, if you cannot make it to the event no fear because the pieces that will be slammed will in their Pieces Magazine, which is coming out in May or early June be sure to keep an eye out for the magazine and grab one to support the Pieces Literary and Art Club.
Good Luck Slammers!!!
By James O'Conner
Journalism student James O’Connor sat down with Mr. Tom Brown, a science teacher at Wethersfield High School, and passionate bike rider to give us some insight on what it is about the activity that so many find interesting based on his experiences.
The most rewarding aspect of the sport, according to Mr. Brown, is the meditative effects that are foregrounded when one takes the opportunity to expose themselves to the elements. Unlike the confines of a car, being on a bike stimulates all of your senses. You attain a much better view of your surroundings, besides just seeing them, and you are able to hear the sounds of the trail or town you are riding through. You can feel the air as you cruise through it, and you may even notice some pleasant smells in the air, especially in the coming season of barbecues.
The more personal exposure to nature can help to clear your mind of stress, and serve as a kind of reset button for your thoughts, Mr. Brown explained. He says that after riding he feels better emotionally, and usually ends up in a good mood. He also gets a better night’s sleep after a good ride. “[That] sensation of flying, as long as you’re in control, is a good feeling.”
Mr. Brown also noted how cyclists are usually friendly people. He recalled his tour of the UK, during which he rode from the top of Scotland to the bottom of England. All throughout his journey he would be cheered on and encouraged by other bikers who realised the significance of what he was doing. Even back in Wethersfield, he always shares a smile with passing-by bikers because they are aware of the fun that their sport brings them.
Mr. Brown believes that biking is a good introductory sport, being low-risk for injury and easy to maintain. Those who might not be comfortable with running as a primary exercise may find biking can provide the same physical benefits while also being more comfortable to adjust to. He has previously worked with students to help acclimate them to a point where they could ride comfortably and confidently.
Of people who are skeptical about taking up bike riding, Mr. Brown said he understands that the sport can seem intimidating. Some may be scared or discouraged by the hazards associated with the activity, or have had poor experiences in the past and are no longer open to the idea. But he is adamant that the beneficial qualities of bike riding far outweigh the bad.
Even for people with disabilities, Mr. Brown is assurant that they can experience the thrill of taking out a bike. He mentioned that he is looking to make plans with an organization that specializes in bicycle modifications for the disabled. “Even with severe impediments, you could get a bike that could work,” he said of the idea. He stands by the adage that a positive attitude helps instill you with the energy necessary to take on any such task.
The WHS Bicycle club meets on Tuesdays and Fridays in room 401. With Spring on its way, the club will be riding soon, so don’t hesitate to take the opportunity.
By: Lorien Touponse
“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger.” These words spoken by Nelson Mandela illuminate the reason why we debate. The Debate Team is a club at Wethersfield High School that teaches and develops public speaking, curiosity, organization, leadership, and so much more.
Mr. Pryor has been the WHS Debate coach for six years and absolutely loves it. He enjoys watching the students engage with one another. “I work with a fine group of young men and ladies. They want more than just what the classroom offers.”
Students commit their time and minds to this club. Usually they will spend one or two afternoons, during the week, discussing what they can continue to improve on and they ask questions. They also spend one full Saturday every month debating at another school. Mr. Pryor says, “They don’t get paid and they don’t get extra credit, but they do get the satisfaction of being part of an intellectual community to share ideas and to discuss major issues of the world today, in a civil environment.”
He also explains that this club does so much more for you than you might think. It is a good extra curricular activity to have on your college resumes, and it is also a great way to improve public speaking skills and ability to lead with an open mind. But beyond that, it instills values in students. “Never give in and never limit yourself. I think that is one thing that debate really helps young people realize and understand. The core values of debate are curiosity, courtesy, organization, and collegiality,” says Mr. Pryor.
According to Mr. Pryor, there are some common misconceptions that go along with debate, such as the idea that everyone in debate is a “geek”. But Mr. Pryor says that it couldn’t be further from the truth. “This year we seem to have more athletes on our team than anything.” Mr. Pryor encourages all to join because, “You never want to look back and say, ‘I wish I had …’.” Debate Team is a fantastic club filled with fantastic people and those who join get a lot out of it. Their next meeting is Tuesday, February 13, and their next debate is Saturday, March 3. If you are interested, come to the next meeting or email Mr. Pryor with any questions using firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a previous student at Wethersfield High School, it was clearly evident that Mrs. Griffin was passionate about her after school activities.
Being a female, sports weren’t exactly an option at WHS. Neither was wearing pants, which she describes as being “a huge change”, as skirts were mandatory. “Things changed quite a bit” she says.
Most females would spend their time after school in clubs. In Mrs. Griffins case, the Phoenix magazine was one of her outlets. Being a staff member of the Phoenix, she describes the process of how much effort went into the yearbook and the magazine.
Done on a real newspaper press, the magazine and yearbooks were printed in house and cut out by hand to look perfect. A full print shop was opened and the amount of work described to make the old yearbooks was immense.
The Yearbooks are now completed online through simple templates, that are described as “a piece of cake” compared to the old system. Students used to have to handwrite entries, and had most of their time consumed as a yearbook staff member.
Griffin graduated from the University of Hartford and got her degree in Instrumentation (automation and running factories).She transferred into United Technologies for her first line of work. Working in the plating lab and designing prototypes from huge sheets of acetate, down to simply designing onto computers was a massive change, and one that occurred right in front of her eyes.
Brought by United Technologies, Mrs. Griffin took an IT approach and landed herself a career at Wethersfield High School in 1998, working in the computer lab.
Although you can catch her behind a desk at the library most days, her love for computers is unmistakeable. Shown in the interview below, she has a passion for code and for making sure everything gets done on time.
Her other passions outside of the workplace include an active gardening life, tending to her birds, and sailing with her husband down in Old Saybrook.
There is no doubt that Mrs. Griffin is the right candidate to run the yearbook. Here is an interview with her about her career.