By Katie Galusha, Manager of Choralaires
Most people know about what the Choralaires are up to during the months of December and the last couple months of the year. But what do we do in between? In short, a lot of music is involved.
Let us start with the general description of Choralaires: An auditioned-entry choir with 23 (6 basses, 6 tenors, 6 altos, 5 sopranos) spaces available. This is an honors choir, so with membership in the choir, you gain an honors credit. By being a Choralaire, you are also a member of concert choir. We’re also the choir with the infamous field trips for an array of concerts we have been asked to perform.
So, the Choralaire literature that is performed is usually a Capella. In the Christmas season, we have staple songs that you must learn and memorize for the rest of the years as a Choralaire. The rite of passage is when you learn “We Wish you a Merry Christmas.”
On a day-to-day basis, we rehearse all of our music. With the amount of music we perform, it is strongly suggested to practice in some way at home as well. When we are first handed music, the group tends to sight-read the music. This year’s phantom of the opera medley had a full sight-read run through, the first day it was handed to us.
This class gives you an opportunity to make some of your closest friends, as the chemistry within the group grows as the year progresses. On the rare occurrence that we have a substitute, you find the Choralaires rehearse at least one song, and then continue to play music in some way, or continue to sing from their literature. You form a great appreciation for music of all genres.
The audition process for Choralaires is the key component in order for you to be enrolled. You are able to audition in June. Your first opportunity to audition is freshman year. If you audition and make it in, you are a member in the group for the rest of your time at the high school. You obtain/accept the responsibility and demands of choralaires when you audition for the group in June.
Senior, Mackenzie Stevens (Alto II) states, “We are all so close that I think when you get put into the group, you’re at first saying ‘what is going on, what are these people doing?!’, because there are so many inside jokes [made] and euphemisms [that we all use in conversations now], its all really good.”
After the first couple of months, the group as a whole, make memories that we all cherish and laugh with one another about.
“We all work really well together. We know when to crack down when we need to, and we know when it’s okay to goof off with one another, so we can mix those together and still get a lot of work done” said Senior Alto II, Emily Raffalo.
The audition is nothing to be afraid of either. You sing the National Anthem for Mr. Scott P. Rioux (Choral Director) and all of the members of the same gender. Then, you sing with some of the members, display your vocal range, and get tested on sight-reading, along with pitch matching capabilities. All auditions within the group are never discussed with others.
We are never allowed to discuss auditions. At the end of the day, Mr. Rioux makes the decisions for the group.
“No one talks badly about you. No one will insult the way that you sing, so if you think that as soon you leave, that is not the case. We really appreciate people who come because it’s scary. We’ve all been in that position so we know what it’s like. So, yeah don’t be scared. We’re not [there] to judge you, and we know exactly how you’re feeling [while you audition].” states Raffalo.
My biggest advice is to audition! You will not regret it. You do not even have to have been involved in any choral group prior to your audition. Auditions are held in early June, so keep an eye out!
By: Tanya Messenger
ELL stands for English Language Learners, a program that is given to students at WHS that come from different countries, who speak different languages and English is their second language.
We have amazing teachers that teach this program, Mrs. Malizia and Mr. Mirizzi. Mrs. Malizia has been teaching for five and half years at Wethersfield High School and Mr. Mirizzi for five years. Mr. Mirizzi was quoted saying “I love this job. I feel that I am not only helping students with their homework, I try to help them beyond academics.”
Most of the time the students that Mr. Mirizzi and Mrs. Malizia will work with have parents that do not speak English, and they need help with personal issues as well. The parents of the kids may ask them questions such as, what doctor they can go to, where they should go to get glasses or find a dentist. Mrs. Malizia has also assisted students in filling out job applications, as well as college applications and more.
In this program, both teachers help students complete their homework assignments, check to see what assignments were not done and need to be completed, they love helping their students. Mrs. Malizia especially loves it when her students show that “They understand something that they hadn't understood before they came to class.”
In this program, they do a lot of fun activities such as a Cultural Feast that takes place twice a year, where most of the students participate and bring in a favorite dish from their own culture. They also have a gingerbread house decorating day which students enjoy. Mrs. Malizia said “Once we had a group of students teach their native dances to each other and (us) after school in our auditorium.”
This program is important to the WHS students who come to the school with very little English language skills. These students only have few years to learn English when other students have been learning English since birth. These students are learning the basics of English, and are expected to understand what is going on in their classes.
Many teachers do not realize how fast they talk and that these students are not proficient readers. That is where ELL teachers come in and try to break down the lessons so that their students can understand them. “Every student should have a chance to succeed and they try to give them the tools to do that!” said Mrs. Malizia
By: Sedina Begic and Nyah McCall
Seniors and teachers of Wethersfield High School were asked if they preferred the shorter period schedule during the 2015-16 year or the current block schedule we have now. They answered why they prefer one schedule over the other and whether or not it was hard to adjust to new schedules.
Senior Lejla Mustabasić was asked which schedule she preferred. “Definitely the schedule we have now because we get an extra day to do our homework and it makes the day go by faster.” She also stated that, “I much rather prefer to not see every teacher every day. It’s good to have a break”
On the other hand, senior Cenia Diluvio had a different opinion on which schedule is better. When asked which schedule she preferred she said she liked our freshman year schedule better simply because “it was easier for me to pay attention because the class period wasn’t so long. I found it easier to do homework because there wasn’t as much and it was more convenient to see teachers everyday especially for classes like math.” she said.
English teacher at Wethersfield High School Mr. Martin also had a few words to say about our current schedule. He said that he prefers the current schedule. “The 84 minutes helps me do multiple activities with my students everyday.”
Next year, Wethersfield High School is planning on adding 15 minutes to the school day which will make school days longer. Although the periods are very long, it should be seen as beneficial because it is preparing Wethersfield High School students for how long classes will be in college. Whether you prefer this schedule or the old one, at the end of the day it is only benefiting us.
by: Jake Lepore and Zeeshan Haider
Through the Wethersfield Education Foundation, Monaco Ford donated a 2003 Ford Explorer to Wethersfield High School on September 19, 2018 so that students can learn basic automotive skills and have hands-on experience with a car.
The car is used in the Transportation & Alternative Energy class taught by Mr. Behn Sikora. Mr. Sikora is known in the school for teaching Tech-Ed electives like Robotics and Construction Technology.
Although it is a half-year class, Transportation & Alternative Energy covers all four modes of transportation, that being by air, water, space, and land. In each subsection of transportation, students learn about the different parts in vehicles that make transportation possible and the many ways that each section has changed over the years.
Thanks to the donation by Monaco Ford, the class now features a hands-on learning experience with cars. Students learn how to perform basic car owner tasks like changing the oil and they even get to rotate the tires as a group.
One of the most well received in class projects that students work on is the lawn mower disassembly. Students take apart lawnmowers in the automotive shop to see the many mechanisms that make the everyday tool so efficient. Personally, this was our favorite part about the class (car aside) because it was really interesting to see all of the parts and how they work together.
Mr. Sikora also shared his opinion on his favorite part of the class, and it is very similar to the thought of the students. “As with all the classes I teach, I love the hands-on nature of the class. I enjoy the different activities we complete in the class. I feel very fortunate to have students that want to work with tools and machines, a great facility and the ability to facilitate students learning. I enjoy learning with the students.”
When asked about the importance of the class, Mr. Sikora had a lot to say, and it showed how much he cared about this class and what he wanted students to get out of it.
“I do believe automotive skills are important because cars are a big part of our culture. I think it is important for everyone to know how to do basic maintenance on their car, including changing a tire, filling a tire, and changing oil. Even though cars are getting more advanced and more technological, there are still basic skills car owners should know.”
“There are so many career opportunities related to the automotive field, including sales, maintenance, engineering, technicians, welding, robotics, and programming, just to name a few,” Sikora said.
Senior Matt Accarpio, who was in the transportation class last semester, told us all about his experience in the class. “It was one of the best classes that I have taken in the school. It not only teaches you basic car knowledge, but it also teaches you how to use that knowledge and physically work on your own car”.
Another great part about the class is the attention that it’s getting. Shortly after the Explorer arrived at the school, a family donated a barely used Honda Civic and so now, future students have two cars to work on.
With the addition of the donated cars, the Transportation & Alternative Energy class is even better than it was before. This class is available for all students in the high school and you can take it in either semester, making the course a very attractive option for all students.
by: Megan Keleher
During the week of February 13-February 19, 33 Wethersfield students took a journey to Belize, arriving at the airport at 4 in the morning on the 13th to getting home at 12 at night on the 19th. Being 6 days you may think this trip was short but waking up early each morning and going to bed so late, these 6 days were the longest days of their lives, in the best possible way.
This trip was action-packed, there was never a dull moment from the second we got off the plane in Belize and took our first steps in the 85 degree weather to almost missing our flight back home to Hartford.
The first full day we were there, we traveled by boat to the New River Lagoon and took a tour of the Lamanai Ruins (a Mayan temple), then came back and went to the pool.The second day we traveled to the Cayo Region and enjoyed cave tubing and ziplining through the trees in the jungle.
The third day, still in Cayo Region, the group visited the Xunantunich Ruins, similar to the Lamanai ruins but with a much more breathtaking view. On this day we also visited the Chaa Creek Natural History museum, where we saw beautiful butterflies and learned so much about them.
One more amazing experience we had on the third day was visiting a local elementary school. From giving out school supplies to dancing to blowing bubbles and playing soccer with the kids, it was truly an experience of a lifetime that many WHS students will look back on and never forget.
Day 4 was a full-on traveling adventure. This day was exhausting journey by bus, by boat, and by van; but it was all worth it in the end because we made it to the beach in Ambergris Caye. Seeing the light blue sparkly water finally made it seems like we were on vacation.
Day 5, was easily one of the best days. At the beach in Ambergris Caye the group went snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve where we saw all sorts of fish, barracudas,stingrays, and some even saw dolphins. Later that day, we went snuba diving in the same spot. It was so amazing and a once in a lifetime experience for many of the students on the trip.
Erin Nargi says her favorite part of the trip was “Snuba diving because it was so cool and an amazing experience”. One thing she did not like about the trip was “The freezing cold showers in each hotel, that was the only thing I would change everything else was perfect.”
by: Logan Miller
Our school library is a great place for students to get work done while meeting up to talk to friends in a comfortable environment with many resources at their disposal, but there are many things some students may not know about it.
Location, Location, Location!
Since the school’s renovation there have been many major changes. The library used to be located in the English wing, but now resides beside the pool entrance, across from the fitness room.
The new area is a much brighter and more welcoming environment with a relaxed atmosphere. Maintaining this kind of environment is very important to our librarians, but it’s important for students to come here to get their work done while they meet with their friends. “I want it to be a comfortable environment, but I want it to be a productive environment” says Nella Szilagyi, our Teacher/Librarian.
Here to Help
Along with providing a safe and productive workplace for all students, there are many resources available. However, the focus of the LMC has changed from the stacks of books to technology, with a lot of energy goes into servicing chromebooks and helping students with printing.
When Mrs.Szilagyi first got here, she said that they were switching a lot of their media from VHS to DVD, but that only lasted a few years due to an increase in streaming. With online sources like United Streaming, over 90% of the LMC’s collection is online, and because of this the library is no longer buying reference books.
Even teachers are counting more on these streaming sources like Netflix and Youtube; thankfully our librarians are here to help them if they need subscriptions and such.
What’s on the Shelves?
Recently there has been an increased circulation of fiction being checked out. The same can’t be said for non-fiction, “For non-fiction, it’s hit or miss depending on if teachers require it for research.” said Mrs.Szilagyi.
Much of the books added to the collection over the past few years have been high interest non-fiction like Melaine’s Biography, and Tanisha Quarter’s The World and Me, also including national book award winners, but why has fiction been of such high interest?
Kids are into stories and many new novels have more diverse characters, like in the book by Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give, a title that’s been very popular amongst our students. This diversity connects to the high school population; which also has a growing diversity.
Some people say we don’t read as much as we used to, but is that really true? I asked Mrs.Szilagyi this question and she said, “A lot of articles I’ve read have said that students don’t read as much, but honestly I think they read just as much, it’s just different types of things they read.”
But as important as it is for kids to enjoy what they read, the role of the school library is to guide students to things they are interested in, but also to things they typically wouldn’t pick up for themselves.
Whether you’re trying to catch up on some missed work, or simply want to read a book during your study hall, being an open space with plenty of seats, our amazing library is the place to be for all your academic needs!
By: Katie Galusha, playing the role of Jane Banks in Mary Poppins
Reason #1: Expectations are going to be met, if not exceeded.
The issue with Mary Poppins as a show is the expectations that audience members have. It is also very cool to see the magic from your childhood come to life, which makes that a big demand for special effects.
But WHS English teacher and director Jeff Roets has been aware of this problem, yet was very crafty with fitting it onto our stage.
“We are limited to our stage. Projections for the scene landscapes, and the peninsulas on each side of the stages create space. The need to have levels on stage in order to create some magic and come underneath places for entrances, also make some space backstage. We cannot make big pieces unless they stay on stage the entire time.”
Senior Jared Kauffman has the amazing opportunity to use his talents to portray the narrator of the show, Bert. The role of Bert calls for a lot of energy and expectations that are set by audiences as well.
Senior Katie Ginter will play Mary Poppins and was willing to share her thoughts with playing the lead role.
“In a regular show, if you are a lead, you hang out in the wings and are in the show half of the time. But in this show, these particular leads [Mary, Bert, Children] require a lot of stamina, because you need to be on stage quite a bit.”
The children and Mary are in almost every scene, and Bert coming in a close second. The task of being ‘on’ is quite daunting.
Much like Bert, Mary Poppins requires a lot of energy, and has many expectations. Neither Kauffman nor Ginter disappoints, even for a Disney fan like me.
Ginter has acquired the persona of Mary with the sass and strictness that Mary Poppins is known for.
“Definitely both [sassiness and strictness are important to Mary]. To be a little sassy and kind of poke fun at the Banks parents. But I think they [sassiness and strictness] are both are quintessential to her being.”
Junior Hailey Baranowski gets to play one of the two kids, Michael Banks. As we’re teenagers, the transition from teen to child can be difficult.
“It can be a little harder sometimes because [Michael is] a boy. So, switching into that mindset too when you’re on stage, and acting the way a person in a different country of that age would, while still being appropriate, is challenging. I just need to try and get rid of that teenage mind while doing lines, and really become a child.”
Baraonowski went from long, run-on-sentence lines as Yente in Fiddler on The Roof, to quick, witty, and humorous responses as Michael this year.
Reason #2: An opportunity to see some ‘on stage magic.’
The stage effects within the show are simply amazing. The stage crew have a lot of responsibilities for the ‘magic’ to come to life. Thus far, they have not disappointed.
There are still some finishing touches regarding props, but it will be worth the wait.
“The tech guys that we have helping us are really good figuring things out hands-on, but they needed to see something first, and as did I. I saw what I wanted in my head, but had no idea how to get it there. So we watched a lot of Youtube video, a lot of other schools and companies that have been really good about putting stuff up. That’s been really helpful [with designing the set and stage effects]” said Roets.
Along with the ‘magic,’ the scene changes will be very quick making the show run with fluidity that a broadway performance has accustomed to.
Reason #3: Iconic Music That EVERYONE knows.
Mary Poppins has all of the songs you know and love from the movie, plus some beautiful and fun additions. My personal favorite additions are “Brimstone and Treacle,” and “Being Mrs.Banks”.
The pit, with Dave Dion conducting, is full of very talented individuals. The introduction of the pit was a difficult addition in our 9-hour rehearsal during the last day of February Break, yet very flexible and adaptive for the needs of everyone within the pit and on the stage.
Many lines in the show are spoken over some music, so the majority of the show relies on trust between the actors and the pit.
After speaking to Ginter, Baraonowski, and Roets, make sure to watch out for the musical numbers “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Being Mrs. Banks” (Sung beautifully by Junior Lauren Lesser), and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”.
Come see Mary Poppins, March 8th and 9th, at 7:30pm, and Sunday, March 10th, at 3:00pm, to see all the magic you love and all the numbers that you never saw coming in that show.
Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.showtix4u.com/events/215 , $10 for students/Seniors and $14 for adults. If you do not buy your tickets online, you can purchase tickets at the door, however prices may vary.
by: Kenan Mujic and Matt Zapata
The annual Hoops for Heart basketball tournament is set to happen after school on Wednesday, March 13 after school in both gyms at Wethersfield High School.
Hoops for Heart is a double elimination 3v3 basketball tournament with a winners and a losers bracket. The cost per player is $5.
The competition level will be very high and students are looking to take over the teachers success. A team of three students is out there trying to take over the big three of teachers, who have won the tournament three years in a row.
Head of Student Council and Physical Education teacher, Mr. Richard Scopetto, said that all the proceeds go to a good cause.
¨All the proceeds will go out to the American Heart Association. The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease,¨ Scopetto said.
Although this tournament is for a good cause, don’t be fooled! There has been trash talking going on around the school, whether it is between students, or even students and their teachers. This tournament is meant for people to just come out and have a good time, as Sco said.
¨It's a good cause number one, but it's also a good chance for people to get together and have a good time in spite of the cause.¨
People can come out and take the focus off of their problems, and just play ball and compete for a few hours, and bring your talking and prove it on the court.
You can talk all you want, but your game on the court will do all the talking for you once the stage is set, and that's exactly how Sco explained it.
¨There's a lot of ya ya, at the end of the game there is no more ya ya, you can't talk bad to kids that beat you in the previous game!¨
If you are not coming out to play, make sure you come out and support the teams vying for the win this year.
Eagle Nation is excited for this tournament, and everyone is anxious to finally find out who will come out on top.
By: Dillon Aldabarca
On Friday, March 1, people wore green during the school day to represent a organization called Sandy Hook Promise so that people are reminded about what happened only a little over 6 years ago.
Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit organization that was put together to try and prevent gun violence in the future so that no other family or friend had to deal with the feeling of loss due to gun violence.
It's unbelievable to think about how recently this tragedy happened, and WHS wants people to stop and think about how much people are still affected.
The “faces” of this campaign at Wethersfield High School are two current students: sophomore Audra Saladin and freshman Christyan Cimino.
“We want this to be long lasting.” sophomore Audra Saladin at Wethersfield High School said.
“We want this whole campaign to last longer than one week,” he stated.
This campaign does last this week however they want the effects of it to last a lifetime and their biggest goal is to spread awareness and be able to not be afraid to have a voice.
“If you have a problem you can come talk to you,” freshman Christyan Cimino said. These words showed just how much they care about this cause because they took it to a personal level.
This truly shows how genuine of a community we have here at WHS and everyone should know that no matter who you are, you always have someone you can go talk to no matter what the problem is.
“We are definitely looking for more people to spread the word,” Saladin added towards the end. If you have any interest in being a part of this cause, helping with future campaigns or even have questions about this campaign, don't be afraid to talk to Ms. Coco or your peers Audra Saladin and Christyan Cimino.
By Logan Miller & William Malizia
On December 18, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, made an announcement stating, “I am officially declaring e-cigarette use [vaping] among youth an epidemic in the United States.”
The amount of students who vape is increasing at alarming rates. It was reported by the FDA in 2018 that 3.26 million highschool and middle school students were currently using e-cigarettes.
What’s the Purpose of Vaping?
Vaping is supposedly meant to be an alternative to smoking regular combustible cigarettes. With claims like having less chemicals than an ordinary cigarette, but less chemicals is not the same as having none.
To further counteract vapes “anti-smoking” ideal, it has been found in studies that people who vape actually have an increased chance of smoking regular cigarettes. As stated by Yale Health Researchers, “Vape devices have not been proven to help adults quit smoking.”
Why is this so Bad?
One word. Nicotine. Between 2017 to 2018, the amount of high schoolers vaping has increased 78% (11.7% to 20.8%), and the amount of middle schoolers vaping has increased 48% (3.3% to 4.9%).
Within a one month period, 11% of high school seniors, 8% of sophomores, and 3.5% reported using nicotine with a vape device. These teen epidemic of e-cigarette abuse is similar to the regular cigarette use of teens in the 1940’s and 50’s.
One of these e-cigarette companies, Juul, are under a lot of pressure by the FDA for “marketing and sales practices that seemed aimed at teens and young adults” These devices with their sleek design and colorful lights, how can they legitimately say it’s not marketed towards children? And with a harmful and addictive chemical like nicotine, it is dangerous to say the less.
How it Affects Us
Our young brains are very sensitive to the effects of nicotine. Nicotine can be very damaging to a young individuals brain development, it can impact one's own memory and attention processing. Unlike with cigarettes there are many “health unknowns” with e-cig use.
Another serious problem with nicotine is the addiction that quickly follows suit. Becoming an addict is like losing your freedom of choice. You’ll quickly find yourself under the control of your vaping device, not your own free will.
As warned by the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, “We cannot allow a whole generation to become addicted to nicotine” but with companies like Juul, with one pod having the same nicotine content as a pack of cigarettes, the problem has only just begun...
WHS and Vaping
Vaping at our school is not tolerated. As it states in the student handbook on page 33, it is a second level offense for the “use of tobacco products including e-cigarettes.” So don’t think that the rules only apply to combustible cigarettes, you will still get in trouble.
If you’re caught vaping the first referral is two extended detentions, second is two days of in-school suspension, third is a five-day suspension, and getting a fourth referral brings you into the third level disciplinary category which consists of another five day suspension just for the first referral.
Any student should also keep in mind that all vape paraphernalia found is confiscated and not returned to the student and/or family.
The Law and Vaping
After a brief interview with our School Resource Officer, Officer Knapp, the law says that any violation of the law for anyone 16 and under is an arrest. 15 and under is an arrest or the individuals are sent to the Community Review Board (CRB).
Students who are the ages 16-17 recieve a $50 fine their first time, but from then on the fine is worth $100. Students that are 17 can be offered to see the CRB. once there it’s up to them what happens. Usually they must do some kind of P.S.A., but they could also be required to do community service, counselling, and drug tests.
Students the ages 18 and up are not within any violation of criminal law, so they face school discipline.
The biggest advice I can give? Just don’t start. If you have and want help, there are many resources to help you, simply speak to your school counselor, nurse, administrator, or resource officer.
By: Lauren Christie and Maddie Bradbury
Kids wear headphones around the halls, and in class, and it can be an amazing way to focus and essentially make you more productive and efficient. But on the other hand, they can be a major distraction and a way to tune out important information during school.
This prompts the question whether headphones should or shouldn't, be allowed in school. How can something like wearing headphones be both beneficial and distracting?
Some students argue that headphones increase their focus and attention. In fact, according to the Chicago Daily Herald, “79% of students listen to music to increase their productivity, by keeping them focused on their job. Music keeps the environment you are working in quieter.”
To understand these statistics better, we conducted a study and asked a variety of students who wear headphones, how beneficial it is for them.
Ariana Tessier, a senior at Wethersfield High School states, “Headphones help me work in a noisy environment”.
If students claim headphones help them focus, why do teachers often to tell students to remove them? When kids are seen with headphones, the most common response from a teacher is to put them away, but why? To answer our question, we asked someone who enforces the rule with no exceptions.
Mr. Scopetto, P.E. teacher at Wethersfield High School said, “Do I have headphones on when you talk to me? It is not a personal relationship when you have your headphones on.” Sco emphasized that having headphones on during school is unprofessional and rude.
Headphones can be an useful getaway and put you in exactly in the right mood to get work done. Evidence shows that music helps with productivity and blocking out a distracting environment.
However, there is an appropriate time and place for headphones. If it isn't a safe place to wear them, you shouldn't, and if your teacher isn't comfortable with you wearing them, you could be potentially missing valuable information.
By: Justin Biraci
Students are constantly walking in after the bell in the morning with a coffee in their hand. Teachers tend to get the wrong impression, and think the students do not care about their class.
Many students who take the morning stop to a place such as Dunkin Donuts are often tardy to class. The coffee in the morning can wait, or you can try waking up earlier. Their craving for coffee gets them on bad terms with their teacher.
From the teacher’s perspective, the student could’ve had a better chance of arriving to class on time, if they did not stop for coffee. It makes the student look disrespectful and sends the teacher the wrong message.
“If you come to my class late, with coffee, you must leave it at the door” said Marc Pfister, English teacher at WHS.
Not only is it disrespectful, but it is interrupting the class when they show up late and walk through the door in the middle of a lesson. By coming in late, the student is saying that they prioritize their breakfast stop over their academic learning for that class.
Teachers understand when there is an emergency, or if you just accidentally did not wake up on time. However, if you are purposefully and perpetually showing up late, then it becomes an issue.
Some teachers will resort to punishments such as detentions or not letting them in the classroom. Bottom line, try to avoid getting into a bad habit of showing up to class late with a poor excuse such as your coffee stop.
If you want to succeed in class, then it is beneficial to have a good relationship with the teacher. The amount of respect you give to the teacher will be the amount you receive in return. Make sure to be on time in order to present yourself as someone who is willing to be engaged in learning.
by: Scotty Giannini
On Monday, January 28, the Career Advisory Board (C.A.B.) had its first meeting since November in the Library Media Center. At this meeting members brainstormed ways to get students more involved with the school and career planning.
The meeting began with a quote from Ken Lesser, the Lead Organizer for the C.A.B.. The quote was from a Martin Luther King Jr’s sermon and talked about the ‘fierce urgency of now’. According to John Martin, an English Teacher at WHS, Mr. Lesser frequently begins these meetings with a quote to think about to get them started for the day.
New and exciting opportunities for students this year, there has been talk of bringing a forensics expert for the next in-school field trip and a careers fair in May which could have 30 or more employees, so keep your calendars open. Additional to this a newer member, Steve Bobbin opened up the idea for more field visits for students. Bobbin, an IT Network Administrator for CNC Software Tolland mentioned that they would love to send people over to get kids involved.
Santo Perrata, the VP of Sales and Marketing at United Tool And Dye here in Wethersfield has working opportunities for young adults in the area. According to Perrata, many of their current workers are retiring and their labor pool is changing. Opportunities like this can help create jobs for young workers in the Wethersfield area.
Superintendent Michael Emmett also mentioned that the high school is looking to bring WHS students dual credit opportunities by partnering with Goodwin College in manufacturing classes. Students would receive college credit from Goodwin college as well as the elective credit from WHS. Chairperson of the Board of Education, Bobbie Granato also had something to say about this, she said, “[The State of CT] is looking to grow manufacturing in Connecticut, and they are looking for educators and students to move students forward in all careers.”
Also don’t forget, this Friday, February 8th, 20 students will be going to Travelers for a job shadow experience. Students will spend the day touring and working the catastrophe vans that tour disaster areas for processing as well as exploring more careers within Travelers Insurance. For students interested in the insurance field or the van driving industry, this one’s a win.
by: Logan Miller
Curious about the Art Department, I interviewed one of the High School teachers, and asked some questions about any important dates, recent happenings, and generally how it’s doing.
To start off the art department has been doing very well lately. Some students have won some awards in the Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards. Their work will be hung up at Capital Community College as a part of the National Art Program.
Teachers are very proud of their students who are in the Scholastic Art Awards, and the Gold Key work will be judged nationally.
Some upcoming art events include a Winter Paint Night planned for February 21 and then an Art Extravaganza with performance, art making, and exhibits on display of student work for the Youth Art Month. This will be on March 27th.
There will also be a National Art Honors Societies members exhibit at the Wethersfield Public Library, there will be work on display also at CCSU for the statewide art celebration, and a district wide art show in May, but those dates are yet to be confirmed.
By: Auna Foster and Melanie Cohen
On February 28 during Period 4, Mrs. Duggins and the Brothers and Sisters United (BSU) are holding a “Hair Show” at Wethersfield High School. This show is one of the many segments being held at the school to celebrate Black History Month.
This show is meant to inform the students of Wethersfield High School of the history of black hair in America, and the many different hairstyles that are popular in the African American community. Not only will students be able to see all the unique hair designs, but they will also be informed on different “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to addressing black hair and asking questions about it.
According to Time Magazine in 2017, a 17 year old Massachusetts high school student named Jenesis Johnson was told by a school administrator that she could not wear her hair in an afro because it was “extreme and faddish and out of control.” Another occurrence happened within the same year in Kentucky, where a school attempted to ban dreadlocks, cornrows and twists but never succeeded.
There are many positive outcomes with this show. Not only will the show address hairstyles but also share the history behind them. This is a great way to bring awareness to students about embracing your natural hair, especially with it being a way to break the stigma many people of color face.
Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to come to this event, in hopes of both educating the bright student of WHS, and building a bridge when it comes to culture shock, and diversity.
by: Kenan Mujic and Matthew Zapata
The Journalism Club, led by Bryce Cox and Kayla Platania, is a club that writes for the Eagle Eye, the school paper and meets after school every Monday from 2-2:30 pm in Room 30.
Sophomores Platania and Cox, graduating in 2021, created the Journalism Club at the beginning of 2018-2019 school year as they were very interested in writing for the school paper, so they turned to Mr. John Martin, an English Teacher at Wethersfield High School, to help them create and run the club smoothly.
Cox describes this club as an opportunity to learn more about Journalism without any academic school work or stress outside of school grounds. It gives students the opportunity to take the class without actually taking the class.
Cox also mentioned that this club gives underclassmen and juniors the opportunity to do some sort of journalistic writing without taking the actual class, as Journalism is only offered to the seniors and not underclassmen and juniors.
Co-Leader Platania is currently urging students to join the Journalism Club as it gives students a voice and the club gives them an outlet to speak their minds. The club gives students the opportunity to promote events and issues that are currently present in the school.
There are currently about eight to ten members of the Journalism Club, and Cox and Platania are always looking to bring in more members to the club to add more depth and stability.
Be sure to be on the lookout for flyers posted around the school containing information about the club and who you should contact if you are interested in joining or have any questions.
If you are interested in joining the club or have any questions about how it works, please be sure to stop by Room 30 or contact Sophomore Co-Leaders Cox and Platania at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Cox and Platania look forward to seeing new and motivated faces next Monday, February 4th, 2019 in Room 30 right after school!
by: Dylan Gutierrez, Mike Messina, and Kavi Khadar
Students at Wethersfield High School now have a variety of healthy and tasty foods during lunchtime thanks to surveys and studies done by the school. To decrease rates of childhood obesity, the school has implemented a system on creating a full and nutritious lunch for everyone.
The school takes an extra step to promote healthy eating by providing a free milk box and fruit of the students choosing to go with their lunch. This method makes sure students are getting key parts of daily nutrition on their palette.
Students can get most of their dairy and fruit needs from these simple snacks.
WHS also made a huge effort in getting a good protein source to the lunch room by providing Boars Head meats at the sandwich area. There's a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables which knocks out a good part of the pyramid.
When it comes to the junk foods, there are some choices in the cafeteria to balance out cravings but, they’re all made with wholesome ingredients. All bread and tortillas on sandwiches and wraps are whole wheat. The pasta and pizza dough are completely wheat, the pasta also usually comes with asparagus, green beans or mixed steamed veggies. Fried foods like the chicken tenders are also made with lean white meat.
As far as beverages go, WHS never serves sugary sodas to its students. Instead they’re offered zero calorie carbonated drinks and fruit juices/smoothies that help students get necessary vitamins.
Having healthy foods accessible to you at schools is a game changer in student health. I know for my friends and I, we never have time to pack healthy lunches which takes awhile to put together. So it’s definitely nice to be able to rely on healthy foods from the school cafeteria.
We believe having healthy choices at lunch is important because our high school is always trying to set a perfect example. So instead of having junk foods with no healthy options, we are trying to set good examples that you could hopefully carry on at home and in the near future.
Overall, we wanted to address this topic because we believe it’s not brought up enough. We hope from the following article that you have found ways to increase your health to not only look good but also feel better!
by: Alexis Szymecki and Matt Iallonardo
Students all around the country struggle to keep themselves on track after winter break ends and the new semester starts. Using these five simple tips, however, can make your life a lot easier, allowing a much less stressful half of the year.
Get yourself Organized
Organization can be one of the most difficult, but most helpful aspects to a successful semester. Having a color coded folder and notebook for each class is a great way to keep your work in safe places so that it doesn’t get lost. Having the colors for each class makes it easy to find what you need while searching your backpack.
Along with organization, time management is an important factor, not only in your teenage life, but throughout life. If you are ever feeling stressed about your work, it is very helpful to take a step back and make a list deciding most important to least important. Using that list create a schedule for your day, and check things off as you go. Knowing you are getting your work completed helps relieve stress.
Get Assignments Done Early
Keeping track of your assignments using a list can lead to extra time in your day. Use that time to get assignments done early and then reward yourself with a relaxing break. Getting assignments done early not only ensures no late penalties from your teacher, but it also creates a relief knowing you won’t be pressed for time the night before it’s due.
Outside of school, it’s important to have times with friends allowing yourself a break. The second semester is always hard work, so it’s good to go out and let off steam while having a good time with friends. Being able to get your mind off of your work for a few hours can be very effective, because you can come back, and be ready to go.
Get Some Sleep
As teens we are overworked and often times don’t allow ourselves the amount of sleep we need. Getting a good night’s rest can help to refuel your body and allow you to start the next day feeling new and ready to take on your tasks. Again, resting your mind allows you to have a fresh look on your assignment when you come back to it.
These five tips will help you stay stress free during your second semester. Allow time for yourself, while staying organized and completing assignments early by managing your time. We hope you enjoy your last semester before summer begins.
by: Valentino Fazio
At WHS, I am an ALS Aide which gives me an opportunity to help kids with learning and physical obstacles in their classroom everyday.
I really enjoy being an aide because it makes me feel really good to help someone out that needs it. Everyday when I walk through the door and see the smiles on the kids’ faces it puts me into the best mood.
ALS aide and WHS senior Maddy Johnson said, “Being an ALS helper is fun but educational at the same time because you’re learning more than you would in other classes. It helps you learn responsibility and patience which are good skills to have in the real world. I love having it in the middle of the day because it breaks up my other academic classes by having somewhere to go that brings positive vibes to the day. Everyone is always smiling and welcoming. They are their own little family within the school and I love being apart of it and it really shaped my senior year and helped me.”
Senior Mark Accarpio added, “Being able to help out at the same time while having fun with these kids really brings joy to my day. Taking this class during my senior year has been one of my best decisions as it teaches me responsibilities that could be used throughout a lifetime. There is always positivity spread throughout our school and huge part of it is because of these kids in ALS.”
Being an ALS aide for me is fun and teaches me life skills at the same time. I enjoy my time helping out the kids and would recommend everyone to take this class if they get the chance.
by: Grace Detrick
So far this 2018-2019 winter season, WHS hasn't had a snow day and it brings the question, does our senior class even want a snow day knowing it would push back the date of graduation?
With a few more cold months approaching, it gives us a chance for some snow days. Some students see snow days as exciting because we get a day off from school to relax and stay in. However, other students would rather be in school during the cold weather and enjoy the day off in the warmer months.
Not having a snow day yet this winter season is surprising to most students and faculty since we usually get many days knocked off our summer due to snow days. I used to want snow days and enjoyed the time off in the winter since obviously we don't have any huge breaks like we do in the summer.
As a senior this year and having snow days push back the graduation date, I can say I don't feel the same way about snow days anymore. I asked some more WHS seniors their thoughts on the situation and these were their responses.
Senior Megan Keleher says, “I think I would rather have a snow day now and push back graduation even though I want to graduate because in the winter you want to have more time off.”
Another senior, Maddie Bradbury has a different opinion. She said, “I do not want any snow days because I would rather graduate sooner and have a longer summer.”
Senior Kylie Judson said, “I would rather get out of school earlier and not have any snow days.”
Senior Maddy Johnson said, “I would not want a snow day at this point because I want to have a longer summer with my friends before we all leave for college next year.”
Finally, senior Valentino Fazio said, “I personally don't want any snow days because all it’s going to do is push back graduation. Yes, maybe a day off here and there is nice, but I'd rather get out of school sooner.”
After asking five seniors, four of them said they would rather have no snow days and graduate on June 13, which would be pretty early for us. Hopefully the snow will continue to hold off!
by: Amanda DeJesus and Jenna Colon
School ID´s can be a hassle to some people, but there are upsides and we're here to tell you what they are.
1. Safety Reasons
Student ID´s allow people to know who attend Wethersfield High School, they allow them to feel safe since there aren't any unknown intruders. If someone isn't wearing an ID it is assumed that they don't attend that certain school, yes this may not always be the case but most of the time it is. Staff and other students should be allowed to question whoever does this.
2. You get to know people
You ever want to know who some people are but you´re afraid to ask them because you don´t want to offend them? Wethersfield High School and many other schools help out with this by including the names on the ID´s. In WHS you're also able to see the grade level depending on the color on the ID, green is freshmen, red is sophomores, yellow is juniors, and dark blue is for seniors.
3. You have to get used to them
Many careers require people to wear ID´s once you get a job there or visit the building. You can object, but there isn't any point because everyone would be wearing them. An ID will allow access in and out of the building with no problems and WHS became very strict about this, this year.
4. Some students have different opinions
Current senior, Kailey Guancha feels that, ¨Student ID´s are unnecessary because many situations that make people want ID´s are because of the students at that school.¨ Although another senior, Morgan Pacheco has totally different views and stated, ¨They keep us safe and their intentions are good, but sometimes they take it too seriously when they don't allow people they know go to the school into the building without an ID or at least temporary one.¨
Whether we like it or not, it is our best interest in safety to wear them. Wear your ID’s today!
By: Caleb Skowronek and Jacob Malicki
Many students tend to forget that teachers have personal lives outside of school. Contrary to popular belief, teachers are often into the same things that the students are into.
They watch movies, they play video games, go to the gym, binge on Netflix, and many more relatable things. Teachers are always seen as the ¨bad” guys when it comes to school, because they’re the reason some of us fail or pass. They control whether our parents yell at us or not. In reality, teachers are a lot like us.
We interviewed several teachers around Wethersfield High School and asked what they do in their free time.
We interviewed Mr. Martin, an English teacher on the first floor in room 30. This is what he had to say when we asked what he does in his free time: ¨I do a lot of reading, I watch T.V., like everybody else. I think I have watched "The Office" like seven times. I'm really into playing and listening to music." He also said, “I'm guilty of playing video games like everyone else.” Martin finished the interview by saying, “Teachers don't get a ton of free time, our time is largely dedicated to you guys as students.”
Another teacher we interviewed was Ms. Horvath, a math teacher on the 5th floor. “I like to play volleyball, I like to go to the gym, and I love going on hikes with my dog.” She later added that she coaches the offseason girls Husky volleyball team.
Mr. Rioux, the choral director said, “Well I play with my bird, it's a grackle, and I’ll fly him around which is fun. I like trying different restaurants and I like eating out. Movies are great as well.”
Lastly, we interviewed Mrs. Kapalczynski, a math teacher in room 504. “One of my favorite things to do is to go hiking, she said. “I also really enjoy board games, and I play in a rec volleyball league.” We later found out Kapalczynski’s favorite board game is called “Ticket to Ride.”
At the end of the day, teachers are still kids at heart. They all have relatable hobbies outside of school, between flying around their grackle, binging "The Office", coaching, and playing board games.
By: Dimitri Shaposhnikov and Ryan Zwick
Sometimes, students at Wethersfield High School have a tough time getting to school in the morning on time. With traffic at an all time high and full parking, everyone is rushing to get into the school.
We have investigated and found that getting to school on time can be quite rough based on several factors. Students in their parent’s cars are waiting to be dropped off near the school in the long traffic line. We have investigated and found that on average, it can take about six minutes just to drive up to the school.
We can solve this problem by having everyone wake up at least 5 minutes earlier. There will still be traffic, but if everyone gets on time, then everyone can make it to class. No matter how long traffic takes, driving earlier can solve the problem.
While WHS has 185 students registered to park at the school, not all students are registered and still park where they aren't supposed to. Students who arrive to school later are forced to park in a dirt parking lot, another 4 minute walk from the school.
To solve this problem, we need to make sure that people who are parking in that parking lot get checked to see if they have their registration, as that would make it more fair. If you would like to get a registration, it is super easy. Go to the office and register, which is completely free.
Let's get this straight, everyone knows that the bell sometimes doesn't always ring at 7:40am, but sooner. Sometimes it is possible that the bell rings at 7:38 or even 7:37, which is another reason to try to get to school a bit earlier.
Basically, it all comes down to having the students make a change. If the traffic is to be improved, you need the majority of people agreeing to try to solve the problem.
By Bryce Cox
On May 15, 1988, Richard F. Reihl, a 33 year old gay man, was robbed beaten to death by high schoolers Sean G. Burke (19) and Marcos J. Perez (17), at his Wethersfield home, an event so significant that there was a piece on it in the New York Times.
Ten years later, in Laramie Wyoming, 21 year old Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten to death by Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. The death of Matthew Shepard changed America, shaping the way communities responded to hate speech and LGBTQ rights. The impact, while great on a national level, was astronomical on the town of Laramie, just as it was on Wethersfield over twenty eight years ago. We today, being high schoolers in a generation where we haven’t witnessed the effect of these hate crimes first hand, often overlook their importance and significance.
By Jane Rumley
In life you come across a small portion of people who make a huge impact on others. For many students that person is Stephen Carr, a social studies teacher at Wethersfield High School. Not only is he a teacher but a friend who is easy to talk to and due to his young age of 34 he understands a lot of things that kids might be going through.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.