By: Grace Cook
Wethersfield High School is putting on a production of Our Town, a play by Thornton Wilder on November 10-13 in the WHS auditorium.
Our Town takes place in 1910’s Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire and explores George Gibbs, Emily Webb, and their relationship together. Their relationship, which grows from friendship to romance and ultimately ends up in marriage, is meant to teach the lesson that we live life without appreciating what it really has to offer.
This play won’t be the exact same as the original though. Senior Aidan Cook, who plays Constable Warren, had this to say about the changes made: “I think the audience will appreciate the changes that we added to the play so that it's more like our town, like Wethersfield”. Cook wasn't able to share the specific changes that were made, but he did give us a hint about what the play will look like. “All of the props are imaginary”, he said ominously.
The drama department is looking forward to drawing in large crowds. Liv Hammer, who is also a senior and plays Joe Crowl Jr. said, “This is a play about ordinary people and it shows an ordinary life so it can reach all audiences.”
The students and teachers who are part of this production have been working tirelessly and they are excited to present the show. Tickets will be available to purchase soon. Our Town will be performed on November 10th to the 13th in the WHS auditorium.
You can purchase your tickets here to enjoy the show!
by Lana Saccuzzo
The Literary Magazine art club gets together every Friday, where more than 30 students from all grade levels show up to showcase and talk about their creations. Why is this club so important to the school and its students? I talked to Yazmin Pereyra who has been a part of the club since freshman year in Wethersfield High School and she talks about her experience.
Pereyra said, “This is my fourth year in the club. I originally heard about it from my sister's friend and I've been attending it since. The bonds and connections I have with people I've met there are very strong and special to me.”
Not only is this a club solely for the purpose of showing your creations to your peers, but making new friends and connecting with people who have the same interests as you. May I add, I am also a member of Litmag and I have made very close bonds with so many people in the club.
It's a very fun and bustling atmosphere with lots of socialization and very positive people. We have a new president this year as well as a vice president, secretary and officers. Yazmin is also an officer, or art consultant this year, and she says that being promoted to such a position is new but very fun and it's a good way to interact with people that might be shy to show their work.
Every year, Litmag hosts a slam at either Barnes and Noble or the Wethersfield Public Library to showcase the best works members of the club decide to present. It brings our peers and group together because we're all doing something together.
“It's a lot more than presenting to just your group and people you know, because you're showing your work to a bunch of unfamiliar faces. It's really helpful to have your friends there as a support system though, it eases the stress.”
Presenting is always optional but recommended for being in the club. Mrs. George, the head of the club, always pushes the members to do their best and step out of their comfort zone to try something new. Of course, no one HAS to present but having members show their work helps other people get more comfortable and involved. We also have an art booklet that is made after every school year to show everyone's progress and pieces. Litmag is a great club and if you're interested in literature and arts/photography, you should definitely check it out!
The weekend of March 13, the WHS Drama Department put on their annual spring musical with their performance of “Cinderella.” Across the three performances, students wowed with their acting, theatrics, singing, dancing, and hard work. This is just a small account of the experiences of the audience and the cast and crew.
Katie Lombardo, Junior
While watching the musical, I had a smile on my face throughout the entirety of it. It was funny, yet heart-warming at the same time. It was truly a beautiful experience, would love to see it again.
Christian Bonvisuto, Junior
A wonderful Cinderella story from start to finish. Great acting by each and every one of the actors. Beautifully choreographed, amazing music, costumes, and dances. Had a great time going with my family.
Gabriella Cicero, Junior
It was great to see this Cinderella musical. You can clearly see the hours of hard work and dedication that went in through the songs, dances, and music from the actors to the musicians and backstage crew.
Abigail Montes, Junior
As one of the pit members of the musical, it was the best experience I have had as a musician. To go through multiple practices and repeating songs to get the cues just right, it helped me grow a lot and learn more about the music world.
Adriana Cruz, Senior
WHS drama club has put on yet another amazing production. This year’s performance of Cinderella had beautiful singing, phenomenal costumes, and incredible actors/actresses. This musical was enjoyed by all ages and was a great way to spend the weekend!
Erika Mayzenberg, Junior
I went to the understudy show and I was extremely impressed with how the cast did. They really brought out the characters they were playing and even without a lot of practice for their parts, they were able to put on a funny, exciting, and absolutely spectacular show.
Holden Escabi, Junior
Watching Cinderella, it was clear just how much hard work and talent went into the show! The whole production had great energy and was a reminder of the amazing things that the WHS community is capable of achieving.
Gabriella Szwed, Junior
I was able to make the understudy portion of the play on Tuesday and all of the characters were so talented. I thought that it was very impressive how they were able to put on a full play before the final show with all of their lines memorized and dances learned.
Megan Lipka, Junior
The WHS Drama production of Cinderella was amazing! The acting and singing were amazing and the dance numbers were really cool too. The Prince is Giving a Ball and Ten Minutes ago were two very cool numbers in the show. Also, the pit and the backstage crew were pretty cool too!
Sarah Wrona, Junior
I enjoyed the show, especially seeing my friends on stage and hearing everyone sing. My favorite parts were watching the dress transformations and watching the remote control mouse hit a prop and then go back off stage.
Vanessa Venditti, Junior
I thought the musical itself was really good, I liked how they took the stage to our seats and I thought the slide behind them changing settings was cool and easier. Found myself laughing at some of the lines which were good. Only thing is, I was looking forward to seeing if Mr. Pfister is a good actor... wanted more from him.
Kareena Khadar, Senior
The school play was a wonderful production of the classic tale Cinderella. The cast was energetic and full of spirit. It was a great way to spend time with friends this weekend and I was especially blown away by Mia Sommer's and Olivia Krout's Voices
Karima Hasan, Junior
This show was super fun and I got so much closer with my friends and we became a little family. It was a lot of work and super hectic but it helped build a lot of skills from balancing school, work, and rehearsal.
Charlotte Daigle, Junior
Being in this show is such an important experience because we become such a tight group because we are with each other all the time. We are bonding over the inside jokes and hanging out just singing songs from the show. The people in the show became my closest friends, it made me feel like a family and I will miss it so much, I can't wait for next year.
Angel Sotelo Sanchez, Senior
This was the first play I attended and I really liked it great voices for singing.
Samantha Coty, Junior
This was my 5th production overall with WHS (I've been in two plays, this was my second musical, and a cabaret), and it was an amazing experience. Being Madame (although I felt was slightly typecasted, thanks Roets) was such a fun experience, because I got to be funny but at the same time let out some anger. I think the entire cast did an amazing job, and I couldn't be more grateful for the time that my castmates, crewmates and staff have spent putting on this production. I think we did an amazing job, and I'm so proud of all of us. Thanks to everyone who came out to support us!
by: Taylor Moran
WHS junior Erika Mayzenberg, vice principal Mrs. Tara Yusko, and delegates from the Wethersfield High School chapter of Amnesty International have teamed up to raise funds for medical supplies to send to Ukraine.
Donations are being collected every day during lunch, beginning Wednesday, March 9th, at a designated table in the cafeteria. Individuals who donate will be given a blue and yellow pin, representing the Ukrainian flag.
When asked how wearing pins can benefit the effort to support Ukrainians and Ukrainian students at WHS, Mrs. Yusko said, “I think it’s important to acknowledge the emotional toll, and sometimes physical toll, this is going to take on people, and just having a visual to say, ‘We know and we understand.’”
WHS junior Erika Mayzenberg has special connections to the cause. “I was born in Ukraine, and I immigrated to America in 2010.” Erika went on to say that she has been keeping up with updates about the war and she is passionate about contributing to the effort of helping her home.
Mayzenberg said, “I don’t have any political power, I don’t have anything, but the most we can do is just help organizations that are willing to help the cause to help Ukrainians.” Erika and her mother have researched and been helping the local organization Maidan United, which is where Wethersfield’s donations will be sent.
Maidan United, which is based out of Hartford, Connecticut. Since being founded in 2014, their mission has been to support Ukrainian citizens impacted by Russian attacks.
Today, the organization is using cash donations to contribute to the purchase of medical supplies, including but not limited to knee braces, antiviral drugs, first aid kits, and medical scissors. On top of donating cash gathered at WHS, Maidan United has an Amazon Wishlist accessible through their trending Facebook page.
While donations are immensely appreciated, leaders of the effort understand that not everyone can afford to donate. “Just supporting the work, right, and helping us spread the word, especially if you can’t donate, would be wonderful,” says Mrs. Yusko.
Wethersfield Athletics has also published information about volunteering at the Ukrainian National Home of Hartford to help move items. If interested, call (860)-256-5702.
Moving forward, make sure to stop by the designated lunch table in our cafeteria to donate to Maidan United, and wear your Ukrainian flag pin with pride.
See Maidan United’s Facebook page for more information.
Wethersfield High School’s National Art Honors Society is gearing up for a grandiose art exhibit.
By Sarah Gurskis and Tea Tola
To celebrate Youth Art Month, Wethersfield’s National Art Honors Society (NAHS) has its members (ranging from grades 9-12) creating and displaying their art for the annual art exhibit. From pencil-and-paper to digitally-created iPad creations, unique art mediums will be put on view for the school to view and appreciate.
The creative-driven members have been working hard on their pieces, and are excited to show what they have made. The event will be located in the WHS art exhibit right outside of room 20, and the art will be hung between the dates of March 21-24.
Vice President Andrea Moyano shares her ideal piece in the show: oil pastel. She is looking forward to seeing this medium skillfully used on a canvas due to her lack of knowledge of the medium.
“It’s going to be a variety [of art pieces],” event planner and advisor Andrea Haas said. “It’s going to be a variety [eclectic] vision of the different, individual members.”
Members of NAHS are eager to express themselves through their artwork, saying that there is more to their art rather than just a still display. Senior member Martina Carbone says, “Art is a language for some. It’s their outlet to how they communicate their views on the world.”
Fellow member Alex Jara says, “Art shows what I’m thinking and it reflects on my personality.” Collectively, members agree that their artwork is meant to embrace the views of those who depend on their artwork, and to be heard is something to be celebrated.
The artwork displayed will mainly be by the junior and senior class, with underclassman art sprinkled throughout the exhibit on March 21-24 outside of room 20
If you are interested in joining the National Art Honors Society, a fee of ten dollars is required and will promptly be donated to all NAHS future activities. See Mrs. Haas in room 20 for more details.
by: Lexie Rodrigues, Arianna Shink, and Evan Munger
Come see Wethersfield’s Drama Club production, a spinoff of the classic play Cinderella, on March 11, 12, and 13, 2022 in Wethersfield High School’s auditorium. On March 11 and 12, the play will go on at 7:30, however on the 13th the show will begin at 3:00. Tickets can be easily purchased online at https://www.showtix4u.com or can be purchased at the door with a slight increase in price.
The picture above shows how the play is advertised, you will see these posters posted around the high school or even around the town of Wethersfield.
Director/teacher- Mr. Roets explained how this version of Cinderella is not your typical Disney fairytale. There are four different versions of Rodger and Hammerstein's Cinderella, this play is the latest one to be released.
He went into more detail about how this version is different, for example he states that only one of the step sisters are evil instead of both. In the play, you will see the actors sing and dance.
A question we asked Mr. Roets was “What are you most excited about?” and his response was, “It depends on any given day, something else is different in a great moment, like lately it is the song ’A Lovely Night,’ which is about step sisters, step mothers, and Cinderella.”
There are many different reasons why you should come see this play. Our actors will be performing dances which, according to Mr. Roets, “it is funny to watch men dance”.
There are going to be amazing special effects but we do not have any specific details for the reason that it is supposed to be a surprise for the audience. Therefore, if you would like to see some cool effects please come and be a part of the audience!
Our drama club is going to try to make this play very believable and give their audience real emotion. There are going to be three real kissing scenes throughout the play which Wethersfield High School has never done before, that will be exciting to see.
Over this weekend if you are in the mood to watch something, come down to Wethersfield High School and watch this beautiful play.
You can purchase tickets for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s shows at www.showtix4u.com
Feminism Club at WHS
By: Elena Rivas
The WHS Feminism Club was started by juniors Veronica McKenna and Mia Gugliotti and senior Ava Heimgartner, with the intention of talking about feminist issues and taking action in their community to make a difference, and providing those opportunities to young women.
Last year, the Feminist Club held a charity drive for a shelter called My Sisters’ Place and they collected donations of over 1,000 pads, tampons, and diapers. This year, the Feminist Club has been putting feminine hygiene products in the bathrooms here at WHS for menstruators to use.
The bathrooms at our school don’t have a pad and tampon dispenser, so the Feminist Club has been collecting donations of pads and tampons to have in the bathrooms. Having these items in bathrooms have been a big success and have been very helpful for many.
Mrs. McKenna said, “I've had lots of students and teachers say that it's been very helpful having it there and comforting knowing it's there just in case there's an emergency.” Principal O’Connor is working with the town of Wethersfield now to get the pad and tampon dispenser installed into the bathrooms so that people who menstate can have access to these items.
There's a group of Connecticut state legislators who want to create menstrual equity in Connecticut and part of that work would be to provide period products to public schools, state colleges and universities, jails, prisons and shelters.
Mrs McKenna said, “Who knows if it would go through or not, but the fact that people are talking about it, and I think that what we did here brought awareness in our community that this is something that's needed. I think most women can relate but it's not something that people talk about and there's nothing to be ashamed of.” She continued to say, “I think that if we talk about it more and make it more of a common conversation it takes away that sort of stigma.”
If you want to get involved with the Feminism Club, see Mrs. McKenna for any additional information in room 336 and feminine hygiene products can be donated in room 336.
The legislation meeting March 9th- https://ctmirror.org/2022/02/18/we-can-end-period-poverty/
To learn more about My Sisters’ Place visit- https://sistersplacect.org/
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!
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: Jack Freitas
This weekend at Castle Craig, the Hiking Club at Wethersfield High School partnered with the University of Connecticut to raise money for the Connecticut Children's Hospital. The club raised money all week leading up to the hike, finishing with a total of $611, it was more than a successful weekend for the Hiking Club.
Sean Dunn, a senior at Wethersfield High School and the president and founder of the Hiking club, had this to say on why this hike was so special and important to raise money for the children in the hospital, “It was very important for us as a club because we had been researching ways to positively ignite change in the community and give back. Being able to use hiking as a means to raise money for children who are less fortunate in our own state meant a lot for all of us and we were blown away at the outpouring support.” Sean was a big part in helping raise this money by promoting and getting people involved.
This hike was not only important, but very fun and had a high number of people came out. Joe Bellas, a senior in high school and a member of the Hiking Club shared his thoughts on the hike this weekend. “I had an excellent experience alongside my friends. I think that Sean Dunn did an amazing job leading the group and I thought the hike was very fun.”
This hike turned out to be on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and gave the hikers some astonishing views. They hiked up to the top of Castle Craig and were joined by other hikers doing it for the same cause.
This club was one of the fastest growing clubs ever at WHS, already starting off with 68 students. You can join this club by talking with Mrs. Russo, Sean Dunn, or Sam Johnson. Although spots are rare and you might need to wait to be able to get in because of how many kids there are, it's an amazing club.
The Hiking Club meets every other Tuesday in Mrs. Russo room to discuss the future of the club and hikes they may attempt later in the year.
This is not the only fundraiser Sean and the club are planning. An exciting one that is upcoming is the dodgeball tournament they are hosting in winter. Since it is too cold to hike, Sean and Mrs. Russo still teamed up to find a way to raise money for the children in the hospital.
By: George Zack
One of the latest and greatest additions to the WHS extracurricular scene is none other than our very own Chess Club.
This organization was officially added to the extracurricular roster in early 2021 by students Haley Day and Anne Hart. The faculty advisor of the club is Italian teacher Mrs. Becker.
Forged out of the fire of the pandemic, the Chess Club initially held all meetings completely virtually. According to Google Classroom posts from March 12, 2021 and Oct. 4, 2021, all virtual meetings were held on Google Meet, with games and activities on the sites Chess.com and Lichess.
Today, the club meets every other week, alternating between meetings in person in Mrs. Becker’s room (403) and virtually on the club’s Google Meet. According to Haley Day, this decision was made predominantly to reduce the risk of spreading COVID while still meeting on a regular basis.
The schedule is also designed to be more accommodating for those taking part in other extracurricular activities that may conflict with one of the time slots. If members cannot attend the 2:30 meetings after school, there are always the remote 6 PM meetings and vice versa.
For more insight on the club, we spoke with Day who shared that the club was founded largely with the intent of being a place where, “People who like chess can get together, hang out, play chess, share things they think are interesting, and have fun“. Since its conception, the club has grown to be 27 students strong.
The Chess Club invites new members of all knowledge and skill. A large number of the group are students who originally had little to no knowledge about chess, but are eager to learn. Multiple posts can be found on the Google Classroom page directed specifically for these burgeoning chess players, ranging from a simple chess tutorial posted on Mar. 16, 2021, all the way to a slideshow on how to use the Fried Liver Attack and Traxler Counter Attack.
According to Day, “[The club] is open to anyone. I was really worried that people would be intimidated to join because they thought ‘I don’t know anything about chess’“. She wants the club to be a learning opportunity for all members, regardless of knowledge and skill.
The events of each meeting can widely vary. Aside from just playing games online or against each other, club members also work together to solve chess puzzles, beat up some AI opponents, and even talk strategy.
If you are interested in joining, the club’s Google Classroom class code is BNQF64U. If you have any questions, reach out to Mrs. Becker, Haley Day, or Anne Hart.
Saving Lives One Pint At A Time
By: Lena Uccello
In 2015, Wethersfield High School teacher, Susan Coco, introduced the blood drive. Held annually three times a year, the school continues to make a difference by collecting blood and saving lives.
Before coming to Wethersfield, Coco taught at Cheshire High. It was here that she first got involved with the event and officially began helping out.
“I really wanted to get involved with the school environment, so that was actually my first extracurricular activity I got involved in,” said Coco.
Though the drive was a way for her to make a difference within the community itself, the real reason behind Coco’s involvement was much more personal.
Her father, a life-long doner, would donate blood every 56 days. At a young age, Ms. Coco would accompany him to these drives and embrace the good deed he was committing. He set an example and gave her the motive to give back.
“He’s probably one of the main reasons why I thought the blood drive was a worthy cause, a worthy reason to get involved,” she said.
After her transfer to Wethersfield High, Coco realized the school did not host an annual blood drive, so she took a stand, got permission and made it happen.
Wethersfield High School senior Anisa Zoto has been working alongside Coco, at the front line of this event, for the last three years. With her love of the medical field and the help of her science teacher Mr. Chatfield, Zoto knew she had to take part in this cause.
“The blood drive isn’t necessarily me doing anything medically involved, but it’s still helping people which is all medicine is really,” said Zoto.
It was after the pandemic hit in 2020 that this event became nearly impossible. Blood banks became super low on supply and with that, the lives of all those in need became at risk.
“According to the New York Blood Center, which provides blood to hospitals in the greater New York City area, the gap between blood needed and what's being donated is now averaging around 8,000 donations per month.”
But this news didn’t stop Coco or the other coordinators at WHS from making it happen.
They found ways to hold the drive, no matter what it took. Instead of taking place during the school year, the team redirected to the elementary schools through summer break. It was important that they still be able to make a difference, even amidst the rising COVID-19.
With her passion and determination, Coco has already scheduled this year’s drive. As of now, it is planned to be held on December 15, 2021 from 7:40am-2:00pm. If you are interested in donating or volunteering, students, or teachers can sign up during lunch waves or email Ms. Coco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Until you try it, you shouldn’t say no. Little reasons like I’m afraid of needles is not a good reason because if you were on the receiving end of needing blood, then you’re hoping that people are going to give,” said Coco.
As the saying goes, “you’ll ever know until you try,” so reach out and help. Don’t want to or cannot donate? Volunteer. There are always multiple ways to make a difference and you can be one of them.
As Zoto said, “It’s easy, it only takes a couple hours, and those couple hours save hundreds of people.”
The GSA Club
by: Grace DeMonte
The GSA, or Gay Straight Alliance Club is a place where students can discuss LGBTQ+ issues in our school and work to change them. The club is open to all students and is a place where LGBTQ+ students can feel safe and talk to others in the community.
Mrs. Lindsay, the club advisor, said, “The GSA is a group that was formed to create a safe space for our LGBTQ+ students and allies, and to work toward creating a school environment that is respectful of all students and advocate for change to create an inclusive school environment.”
The first meeting was held on September 23, but students are still welcome to join! At this time, club meetings are held every Thursday after school in room 110, but meeting times are susceptible to change. While the club discusses LGBTQ+ issues, you don’t have to be part of the community to join, all students are welcome.
The club was formed in 2016 by two students who wanted to create a safe place for LGBTQ+ students to talk about issues they face regarding their sexuality or gender identity. Since then, the club has achieved many accomplishments, such as participating in the National Day of Silence and petitioning to have WHS graduation caps and gowns be one color, regardless of gender. The GSA also attends the True Color Conference, the largest LGBTQ+ conference in the Northeast, where students can attend workshops on LGBTQ+ issues.
If any student is interested in joining the GSA Club, please reach out to Mrs. Lindsay and listen for the next meeting time in the school announcements or on Blue Eagle News. Mrs. Lindsay says, “The GSA is a wonderful, safe and inclusive environment. All students are welcome to attend. Our goal this year is to not only serve as a safe space but also to continue the work of making necessary changes so that all students feel welcome and safe.”
Hiking Club at WHS
by: Tommy Aglieco and Dominic Butler
Wethersfield heroes Sean Dunn and Sam Johnson have started a Hiking Club so students can get outside and spend time with others during the Coronavirus pandemic.
WHS juniors Sean Dunn and Sam Johnson had a vision for helping people get outside and enjoy nature during the pandemic and have brought it to life swiftly and elegantly.
Back in March, they pitched the idea to some teachers and got them on board. Shortly after, they opened it up for students to join and were “pleasantly surprised” by the number of people on the list. According to Sean, there were around 70 applicants within the first two weeks.
Their first hike in late March at Quarry Park in Rocky Hill was largely a success besides the fact that it was a little cold and the second hike is scheduled for May 2 and they are expecting the best.
If participation continues at this rate, then who knows where this will go, Sean said that they have already designed and ordered the Hiking Club shirts and that they plan on continuing the club in Fall 2021.
So sign up using the google classroom code, fz6gw2p. Get some exercise, have some fun, maybe even meet some new friends.
Clube Português de WHS
by: Sally Jorge
WHS is introducing a new club, Clube Português de WHS, our Portuguese Club! This club meets once a month in room 304, and is run by Mrs. Russo and Ms. Martins.
They started this club to introduce this wonderful culture to more people. They are both 100% Portuguese and want to share their knowledge, experiences, and culture with anyone that wants to learn more about it.
The first meeting was last week, Anyone who went to the meeting was able to share a little bit about themselves. Both Mrs. Russo and Ms. Martins expressed their goals and ideas for this club and wanted to cater to the students' wants and desires for this club.
In a recent Interview with Ms. Martins, a WHS spanish teacher, she said “We started this club because we want to teach people about the Portuguese language and culture. We both have personal experiences and both are fluent in the language.”
Mrs. Martins is very involved in the Portuguese community. She enjoys traveling and learning about other languages and cultures and she said “I would love for students to feel that same passion. We would love to pass on the knowledge and experience to others”.
I also had the opportunity to meet with Mrs. Russo, who is also a WHS spanish teacher. She expressed her thoughts on what the club's goals are. “The Portuguese club is open to everyone and we will explore and highlight the culture of Portugal.
Some of the interests that were expressed were food, share recipes, music, dances, celebrations, history, famous places to visit and learn basic words so you can have dialogue exchange. We want students to make connections to real life experiences and leave with something they can use in the future. I want this to be a fun, non-threatening program, where everyone can feel welcome.”
Mrs. Russo said, “I encourage everyone to get involved and to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. Be a part of the Portuguese Club and have fun! ”
You can too be a part of this club at anytime, just email Mrs. Russo or Ms. Martins and let them know you are interested in joining the club.
Clubs during Covid: What changes are implemented with health and safety in mind?
By: Noah Haskins and Quinn Shive
The whole world has been changed by the global pandemic and it’s undeniable that our way of living has been completely uprooted by this change. For many students, the way they go through their day to day basis is completely alien to them.
One of the biggest parts of high school are the clubs you have access to. You can join a group of likeminded people and have fun and interact with people who have the same interests as you do. At WHS in particular, we have all sorts of clubs from robotics to drama to biking and everything in between.
Nowadays, COVID-19 has changed the way students participate in these clubs. We interviewed Mr. McKinnon, the advisor of the weightlifting club, about these changes. He told us a little about his club, he said, “Weight lifting club is where any student can come and learn the proper way to strength train.”
When asked about what changes have been made due to the virus, Mr. McKinnon said, “COVID has altered how our club will operate. For one, we are going to assign lifting groups per squat rack, this way the same students will workout together each day. Also, we will be completing a self-assessment google form each day. This form allows the student to recognize if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID. During our workouts, we are required to wear masks to help prevent any spread.”
One of the clubs completely flipped on its head is our drama department, run by Mr. Roets. We asked him the biggest negative aspect of the situation that's affected his club, he told us, “Not being able to rehearse together. Due to social distancing, we have to rehearse from home.”
When asked about the participation rate this year, oddly enough they both had opposite responses with Mr. McKinnon saying, “At this time, we have not had any changes in our participation rate. The occasional absence from a student still happens if they get called into work or something comes up.”
Mr Roets had a different experience, saying, “Yes, mainly because we have to do it online and people are tired of being online”
Both clubs have had to change how they operate significantly, but it goes to show how much these clubs mean to the students and teachers, continuing to do what they love no matter the barriers in the way.
When asked about overcoming these boundaries, Mr. Roets told us, “It has pushed us to become more creative than we have ever had to be. We are releasing an episodic play instead of one large-scale production.”
Mr. McKinnon put our lives in the midst of a global pandemic best, saying, "When adversity hits, there are only two options...fold and quit because that's easy, or take it head on and get better! We teach our student-athletes to take it head on. This is a huge life lesson, and they are conquering it!”
To find more information about clubs, click this link, which brings you to the club page of the WHS Website.
CoronaVirus isn’t holding the Addams Family back just yet, just adjusting plans
UPDATE: All performances of the WHS production have been cancelled and are hoping to reschedule. Stay tuned for more information.
by: Serf Piedrasanta
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 or the CoronaVirus, a lot of precautions are being taken. A state of emergency has been announced in Connecticut by governor Ned Lamont, and panic is large as of right now. The CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) has cancelled all winter sports that have currently been going on, and most activities are cancelled as well.
However, Wethersfield High School’s 2020 production of “The Addams Family” is still running. The superintendent has made precautions, and only 100 people are allowed to attend each show to lower the risk of infection.
This impacts the show in many different ways, however. While the show is still on, it has been decided that three extra shows are available to the public. There is a Thursday dress rehearsal available for parents of those in the cast, with a limit of 2 people per student. There is also a Saturday matinee added in the afternoon at 1:00pm, as well as a Monday evening show being planned.
Ticket sales are currently closed, as online ticket sales reached over 500 people before the 100 person cap was announced. It is very unlikely that any tickets will open up, but there will be door sales if the 100 person maximum is not met for a show.
This is affecting every single cast member and has added an extra layer of stress, but we will update as we have more information as it becomes available.
Leap into spring with paint night!
By: Alexis Almada and Andre Jorge
“Come to paint night and flex your painting muscles” -John Martin
Wethersfield High School’s National Art Honor Society (NAHS) will be hosting its fourth paint night, “Leap Into Spring” on Thursday, February 27th. Paint night will take place in the art rooms located near the pool entrance. No painting experience is required!
The NAHS has been selling tickets ($7 ea.) since February 10th, and will continue selling at the door. The event starts promptly at 6pm and ends around 8pm. To start off the night, guests will have the opportunity to sit in one of the two art rooms and learn to paint a spring themed canvas, instructed by two of the NAHS members.
Instructing this year’s spring paint night will be WHS seniors Alexis Almada (room 22) and Kiara Lazu (room 20). Both instructors will be teaching how to paint the same image. This will be their second time instructing paint night!
The schedule for the night is as follows, painting is taught from 6pm-7pm and then a quick intermission for pizza and other refreshments will be served from 7pm-7:30pm. After that, everyone will return to painting and deserts will be handed out.
Although Alexis and Kiara will be teaching everyone how to make a spring painting, guests are not required to follow along. If you would like, you can paint whatever you want. All supplies will be provided. In each room, painting jockeys will be replacing paint waters, paper towels, and paint as needed.
Everyone is welcome to join us for paint night! It’s a really fun event and everyone is encouraged to come. Please come out and help support the NAHS.
by: Serf Piedrasanta
Wethersfield High School’s very own drama club has been rehearsing for their spring production of The Addams Family. Students in the musical started their rehearsals in January, and they continue weekly until March, where they perform for three days.
What is The Addams Family? It is a musical following the iconic clan of misfits as they have to handle change.
The plot surrounds the daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams, Wednesday Addams, as she handles her new relationship with a “normal” person.
What is a typical week like for these students? We asked two students who have lead roles in the musical, Zane Tinker and Hailey Baranowski, about what they go through each week.
Hailey Baranowski, class of 2020, was asked about what her role of Wednesday Addams and her contributions to the overall story of the show.
“Wednesday is this 17 year old girl and she has this fiance her parents never met and a lot of the story is based around the conflict of Wednesday keeping her marriage a secret from her mother.”
Uncle Fester acts as a narrator of sorts, as he is the only character that speaks directly to the audience and summarizes small parts of the show. We asked Zane Tinker, class of 2020, about what Fester does for the show.
He said, “Uncle Fester is the weird uncle who simultaneously acts as the narrator of sorts. He talks to the audience and keeps them updated on what’s going on.”
“I spend about 20 hours a week, especially at the beginning when you’re just learning all the songs and dances” Baranowski said about how much time a week they spend practicing.
All this time spent in school rehearsing takes a toll on their lives outside of school, and when we asked Zane, he said, “Oh it’s rough, especially when I have another job. I have zero free time,” showing how busy these performers are each and every week.
“I really only can spend time with other people who are in the musical.” Baranowski said when asked how exactly this huge time commitment affects her life. This being said, the leads all interact frequently, with members of one group or family being on stage with each other a lot more.
But sometimes, outside relationships can make some scenes a bit awkward for the performers. “Getting comfortable on the stage with everyone while saying your lines is very important.”
Hailey said when asked about chemistry on stage, but it isn’t as bad as it sounds.
“It’s like hydrogen and oxygen. It depends on the people though, and those who tend to stay more focused bounce off each other a lot better than those who don’t,” Zane said when questioned on who on stage bounces off one another well. This shows that when these students put in the effort and focus, they perform a lot better, and get more done.
WHS’ musical productions are not your typical high school production. Not only do they try to stick to Broadway levels of formality with complicated harmonies and more singing parts then typical, there are also things that make these productions important to the performers.
There are numerous unique traditions special to the high school that make these productions special, and it shows the bond that these students have with one another. “Before we go on stage and before performance,s we all sing songs in a circle and everyone cries on the last day.” Baranowski said when asked about what traditions WHS has that aren’t seen anywhere else.
The Addams Family is a drastically different show than last year's production of Mary Poppins. When asked about how this show is going to stand out, Zane said “I think the songs and the show is a lot funnier than Mary Poppins, so it’s going to be a fun show to watch.”
The Addams Family is a lot more contemporary than last year’s production, and people who want a more comedic and brash show should definitely be sure to get tickets for a showing.
JETS Looking To Fire Back
by: Samuel Garcia and Jordan Hickey
Wethersfield High School has so many amazing clubs that people don’t even know we have. One of many is JETS club.
We wanted to learn more about what JETS is and what is consisted in this club. We tried to find someone who had first-hand experience with JETS club and who would be better to interview than captain of JETS club. First, let's talk about what JETS is.
JETS stands for Junior Engineering Technical Society. JETS is an engineering team, where a group of students makes devices for people who can’t perform the daily maneuvers they need everyday.
Who is eligible to join? Any student who is interested in hands on building, willing to work for those in need is eligible.
Where do you go if you want to join? Students willing to participate will typically meet in room 24 on the west side of the school with Mr. Sikora. JETS club meets every week on Monday after school.
Why is JETS a good club to get involved in? We asked JETS captain Rachel Gopaul and she said, “JETS is a great club because it teaches students how anyone can help those who are in need and can’t help themselves.”
Another thing Rachel mentioned was, “JETS is a great opportunity for students to work with tools in the woodshop, learn how to 3D print, and lastly work with something that can help those who aren’t able to complete certain activities.”
Last year, our JETS team competed in the competition and tried to help a man named Mooch. Mooch isn’t able to use his hands and must be remained in a chair. Mooch’s job was to pack binder clips in boxes.
The JETS team wanted to develop a way to make it easier for him to do his job. The JETS team created a machine that attaches to Mooch’s head so he could push the clips in the box. This was able to help him perform his job and was a great help!
This year, the team is trying to come back stronger than ever. This year, they have split into groups to work on separate projects. This year they have one group 3D printing a tray for someone to eat due to the fact that his hands don’t work. Another group is working on putting chains in earplug cases used in the military.
JETS club is working on a lot of great projects for a lot of great people so if this sounds like something you would be interested in, make sure to talk to Mr. Sikora in room 24 after school to join the club.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.