by: Kevin Rascius
We seniors are in the final week of our high school career, but there is still quite a bit on the itinerary in the next 7 days. Senior prom is tomorrow, June 8th, finals week is all of next week, then there are 2 grad rehearsals, graduation and safe grad. Here is everything you need to know to successfully navigate through your last week of high school.
Senior Prom is June 8 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, Connecticut, it goes from 6:30 - 11:30. As usual, there will be pictures at the green beforehand. Remember to bring your ticket!
The Yearbook Banquet is on Monday, June 10 at the WHS cafeteria. You will be able to pick up your pre-purchased yearbooks there. Didn’t order one? Students can purchase one for $110 at the event.
Finals week goes from Monday-Friday of next week, but for seniors, the schedule is slightly different. On Monday of next week, seniors will be taking their period 6 and 8 finals in their period 6 and 8 classes. Periods 2 and 4 will be normal classes on Monday and seniors will be taking those finals on Wednesday of next week. Tuesday will be periods 1 and 3 finals and periods 5 and 7 will be on Thursday.
The first graduation rehearsal will take place on Thursday of next week at 12:30 PM in the gymnasium, and it is MANDATORY for students. The second rehearsal will take place on Friday June 14th at 12:00 PM at the Wethersfield Cove. This rehearsal is mandatory as well.
Graduation will be on Friday June 14th at 6:00 PM at the Cove. DMV parking lots will be available for parking for graduation. Proper attire is required, think a shirt and tie with pants or a dress or blouse.
Safe grad will take place the night of Friday June 14th at the Wethersfield community center. It will start at 10:00pm, and go until 5:00am.
With all of these activities, the end of the senior’s time at WHS is sure to be memorable.
By: Ashley Anduha, Gabby Lomonico and Mark Nieves
Spotify and Apple Music are streaming services where you can have access to around 30 million songs right at your fingertips, but there is a debate that has been discussed between anyone who is a daily music listener, which is better? They both have their perks, but it’s the little things that separate them and cause this dispute.
One perk of Spotify is the free version that Apple Music doesn't offer. Of course, it doesn't involve all the benefits like unlimited skips, but it’s a better option for those who don't have the luxury of purchasing a subscription. With Spotify's free subscription, you only get the option to shuffle music with only 6 allowed skips with ads.
Both Apple and Spotify cost a total of $9.99 for a monthly subscription. With these subscriptions, you have access to play any track, listen offline, no ad interruptions, unlimited skips and high quality audio. You also have the ability to share playlists with your friends on both apps.
There are only a few differences between the two. For example, when you sign up with a Spotify subscription, you get Hulu and if you are a student you get a discount. Spotify is very personalized, they alter and suggest music to your taste and it's a fun way to discover new music.
Spotify also makes customized playlists to the songs you listen to most, Christina Bean (junior) mentions this is one reason she likes Spotify because they make playlists for you. They take the songs you've listened to the most throughout the year and they make “your daily mix,” which is a playlist of songs you listen to the most.
Apple Music seems to attract people in a different way. Unlike Spotify where you get a free version of the app, you instead get a free three month trial to Apple Music. It can be argued which one is easier to use but one student Adylene Andino (sophomore) says, “I prefer Apple Music because of the design of the app and it seems easier to use than Spotify.”
Apple users also might just prefer Apple Music because of it being synced into their iPhone already. Student Jordan Griffin explains how he enjoys Apple Music better because it can track his music history and is an Apple application.
Both music parties have their own side and choice, but many artist don’t put their music on Spotify, big names like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Aaliyah, and more. They prefer their music on the Apple platform than just having it on both. Unlike some underground artist don't use Apple music.
In general, from what we have found, the results seem nearly 50/50. Overall, they both offer the same kinds of features, but they both have their own different benefits; it all depends on your personal preference. For example, if you don't care about ads as long as it is free, go for Spotify. Or if you want free Hulu and personalized playlists, then Spotify Premium is for you. But if you'd rather use something that is right in front of you with music that has previously been bought by you, then Apple Music is the obvious choice.
What’s your favorite? Comment below and let us know!
By: Kenan Mujic and Matthew Zapata
The second leg of the UEFA Champions League Semi Final matches kicked off last Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7 and 8, at 3:00 p.m., and Wethersfield High School is filled with supporters scattered around the school, hoping that their team goes through to the final in Madrid.
The first finalist with be confirmed Tuesday, as Liverpool and Barcelona fight for a trip to Madrid.
Although Barcelona took the first game with a scoreline of 3-0, you can never count Liverpool out at home, and that is exactly how Liverpool supporter, and WHS junior Rei Koni described it.
“Liverpool is a different animal at Anfield, and they will surprise a lot of people with their performance on Tuesday,” Koni said.
Liverpool dug themselves a huge hole, especially against a giant like Barcelona. However, if they can somehow pull this miracle off, it will cause shock across the entire soccer nation at Wethersfield High School.
The second semi final game is the battle of the two underdogs, as Tottenham Hotspurs travel to Amsterdam to face Ajax Wednesday night.
Ajax grabbed a key away goal and took the first game with a scoreline of 1-0 in a hard fought game.
However, if Spurs can continue the dominance that they showed in the second half of that first game, they can come out with the victory, but it will take a lot of work and that is how WHS teacher and Tottenham Hotspur supporter, Mr. John Martin, views it.
“We know when Tottenham plays open, and gives Son and Dele Alli space, that’s when they’re at their best, and that’s their only hope to come out on top,” Martin said.
It will be an interesting match between two very evenly split teams, but only two teams can book a ticket to Madrid. Wethersfield High School soccer nation is anxious to see who it will be.
Various reactions lead the way through the halls of our very own Wethersfield High School, varying from Liverpool supporters chanting “You’ll never walk alone” to Barcelona fans whining themselves to class with their heads down in pure disbelief.
Liverpool has actually done it; they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history, overcoming a 3-0 deficit to go on and win the second leg 4-0 and advance with the final score line of 4-3 on aggregate.
Liverpool fans wander the halls with a bright smile on their face, while Barcelona fans walk in misery as they can’t hear enough of it. Bragging rights are a huge thing at this school, and Liverpool sure has to the right to brag, just like how Koni described it.
“It feels amazing being able to walk up to your friends who have been on you about losing 3-0 and get back at them. It’s a feeling every soccer fan wants to experience,” Koni said.
As Wednesday hit and soccer fans were still reacting to Liverpool’s incredible comeback against Barcelona, it was time for the other Champions League semi-final match. The Tottenham Hotspurs and Ajax were set to kick off with millions of fans watching, including many from Wethersfield High School.
Ajax was up 1-0 after the leg and after 30 minutes of action, they were up 3-0 on aggregate. Everyone thought it was over, but as the second half hit, Tottenham Hotspurs did not agree, they came out and went completely lights out, as brilliant build up led to Lucas Moura’s second half hat trick, tying the aggregate scoreline at 3-3 but nodding Tottenham past Ajax on away goals in an incredible comeback performance.
Many Tottenham fans cannot believe that their team pulled this off, including Martin, as he expressed his emotions to us the next morning. “I had a real thought of turning my TV off after the first half,” Martin said, “But as they scored one, and then two, and when they scored the third in the 95th minute, I as more than okay. That was one of the most incredible games I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Well Mr. Martin, you weren’t the only one. If you cheer on Barcelona and Ajax, school will be miserable for a very long time, but if you cheer on Liverpool and Tottenham, you are one lucky supporter.
However, in June, there will be only one team standing, and we’re anxious to see which supporter at Wethersfield High School remains standing as the final whistle blows in Madrid.
By: Sedina Begic and Nyah McCall
Every day, I start my morning by grabbing a snack and water bottle. However, now that it’s Ramadan, I have to remember to refrain myself from drinking or eating.
Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims all around the world. During these 30 days, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and pray. Ramadan started on May 5th this year, and moves back 10 days every year. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid; this is a holiday that lasts three days.
For me, fasting during school isn’t as difficult as some may think. I actually find it easier to go fast while in school because it helps the long, hungry hours pass more quickly. By the time I get home, I only have 4-5 hours before I can break my fast.
Experiences during Ramadan are different for everyone, so I decided to interview a fellow student at Wethersfield High School to see if her experience is similar to mine.
Lejla Mustabasic is a senior that is practicing Ramadan this year. When asked if fasting during school is tough for her, she said, “Definitely. I’m extra tired at school not only because I’m hungry, but also because when I wake up for Sehur, I lose even more sleep.” Sehur is the time at which Muslims wake up to eat before sunrise. This way they won’t be as hungry during the day.
I asked Mustabasic what the hardest part about fasting in school and she said, “Lunch time is the hardest to get through. Everyone around you is eating or drinking something and you never realize just how hungry you are until people around you start eating. Some people even forget that you’re fasting and offer you food and it makes your temptations even worse. Once lunch is over though, the rest of the school day is fine.”
When asked if fasting makes it harder to focus during tests or quizzes Mustabasic said, “I don’t find it to be that difficult but I’m sure for some students it's difficult because breakfast is really important and eating a good breakfast can help you focus better during a test. I don’t seem to mind it though.”
Although Ramadan may seem impossible for those who don’t participate, it actually isn’t that bad. Not only is fasting a religious experience for Muslims, but it also shows us how fortunate we are. There are people who truly don’t have anything to eat or drink during the day. We forget how blessed we are to be able to drink or eat at any time of the day and we don’t know the daily struggles of those who have nothing. If you have a Muslim friend who’s fasting, don’t be afraid to ask them questions about it. They’ll probably be more than happy to tell you about it.
By: Emily Litke
The Pulsera Project is a non-profit organization that works to educate, empower, and connect artists in Central America with students all over the United States. These students, specifically those taking Spanish, sell colorful, handwoven bracelets and bags made by artists in Nicaragua and Guatemala.
At Wethersfield High School, students who are a part of the Spanish National Honor Society are selling bracelets, or “pulseras,” and bags.
Leah Lin, a member of the SNHS, says “Wethersfield High School has been participating in this project for two years now.” She adds that, “People should purchase a pulsera because the funds go back to Central America to help the artists and their families to be able to afford everyday necessities.”
The most important part about these bracelets is that when you purchase one, it comes with a tag that shows you who made your bracelet or bag, as well as a little information about the artisan. This gives you a personal connection with the bracelet.
If you purchase one of these bracelets or bags, you will be providing employment for nearly 200 artists, as well as funding educational programs, scholarships, women & youth programs, fair trade advocacy, social enterprise, and artisan benefits such as housing & healthcare.
Katie Galusha, Vice President of the SNHS, says “The Pulsera Project supports a lot of students, especially ones our age, with scholarships and higher education. The money also reduces the likelihood that people in Central America will have to work in sweatshops.” Galusha also adds that, “You could spend $5 on anything, why not spend it on something to do good for others, and you'll get something good out of it too. People should help others, especially those who aren’t as fortunate as us.”
As you can tell, the Pulsera Project has been around for a very long time and has been educating and empowering artists in both Nicaragua and Guatemala over this time. They have raised over 4.5 million dollars since they started in 2009, for artists in Central America and continue to do so today.
Make sure to purchase a bracelet for $5 or a bag for $10, at lunch or from any SNHS member, to show your support for these phenomenal artists throughout Central America. The Pulsera Project ends on May 13th.
By: Jake Lepore and Shane Bresnahan
SPOILERS AHEAD, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
Game of Thrones, Season Eight :Episode Three was released this past Sunday, leaving fans with very mixed emotions. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t read any further.
The entirety of the episode surrounded the battle of Winterfell, which put the living against the dead in an epic war. The duration of the 80 minute battle makes it the longest fight scene in any TV series or film ever!
The story line with the Night King and the army of the dead has been a crucial part of the show since the very first episode, as he was perceived to be the big villain in the show. Season Eight: Episode Three was meant to be the big payoff for this plot in the show.
Overall, WHS students and staff members were satisfied with how the fight played out and how the Night King was finally defeated. However, there was some major criticism surrounding it.
Senior Riley Grenier said, “The fight was great, but it could’ve been better, I was wishing for more action and important deaths in the 80 minutes of straight chaos.”
When asked if she enjoyed the episode, psychology teacher Mrs. Niemiec said, “I definitely enjoyed it!” Although she said that there were amazing moments of excitement, there were some moments of frustration, including the lighting used throughout the episode.
A main complaint among WHS members and thousands around the world was the darkness of the episode. The battle takes place in the middle of the night so it was very dark and hard to see at times.
However, something that most of the interviewees were ecstatic about was the moment when Arya Stark plunged her Valyrian steel dagger into the heart of the Night King, obliterating the army of the dead and winning the war for the living.
Senior Luke Johnson said, “It was a fantastic moment because it seemed as though the war was lost for Jon Snow and his army, and then out of nowhere, there’s Arya ending it all. I never saw it coming and that’s what made this scene so good”.
Not everyone was incredibly pleased with this villain’s ending though. Seniors Holden Hoon and Shun Wong knew that the Night King had to die, but they both thought that it was a little rushed.
Holden said, “When Arya stabbed the Night King, I was happy that this part of the show had finally been resolved, but then I thought about the fact that we still have no idea who he was and why he was trying to kill everyone and that made me a little upset”.
Shun stated,“I just wish that the show elaborated on his story a little more and maybe gave him an actual speaking part so the viewers could know his identity”.
Overall, everyone agreed that this episode lived up to the hype and delivered the experience that the viewers were looking for.
The excitement has quickly shifted from the Night King to Cersei as the show closes out on the final three episodes. The students and staff at WHS couldn’t feel more bittersweet about it, as they are excited to see what happens, but are sad to see the show end, since it has been around for nine years of their lives.
What did you think of this episode?
By: Megan Keleher and Dante Burgos
Stripes over checks... there is always so much controversy between Nike and Adidas and which brand is better, nobody can ever agree. This week, we interviewed students and staff around the school to get their opinion.
Nike is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services.
Adidas is a multinational corporation, founded in Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world compared to Nike.
Both brands being the top sportswear manufacturers in the world means that the competition is very high. So many people could argue all day about which is better. We wanted to find out from a random selection of students and staff which brand is actually better. Going into the interviews we asked each person three questions and they were, Which do you prefer Nike or Adidas? Why? What makes this brand better than the other?
When asking senior soccer player Lucas Villagra he said “Nike, I like the clothing and they have a better fit.”
However when we asked security guard Mr. Rumley, he had a different answer claiming, he hasn't owned a pair of Nikes because they don't fit his feet the right way, he definitely prefers Adidas in this debate.
When asking teacher Mr. Roets he had a very specific answer and he seemed very prepared. We asked him what he prefers and he simply said “Neither.” He then went on to say, “Brand loyalty isn't based on any factual information, it's based on whose shilling the product.”
We got a variety of responses from the students and staff around the school, and we were not surprised when many of the answers were Nike.
By: Isiah Timmons & Katie Galusha
Last Saturday, Junior Prom was at the Glastonbury Country Club. Despite the cool breeze and muddiness of the green, everyone was still elated to be there.
Compared to years past, the attendance on the green was sparse due to the rain earlier in the day, but the support of the community was still present and strong.
As soon as everyone arrived at the event, the music was so enjoyable that everyone had already started dancing.
WHS juniors Becca and Bella shared their thoughts about prom, “I thought it was going to be fun.”
The DJ had to call the students back to their table in order to start dinner as everyone was on the dance floor. The food was in buffet-style, as it was last year.
There were many mixed opinions on this prom’s food choice. However, the majority of juniors enjoyed the music compared to last year because it was more music they were used to. WHS Junior Abby Malizia agrees with this, she stated “The music was a lot better [this year] than last year.”
After talking with senior student council member Angelica Velez, senior prom seems it will be very enjoyable as well.
“One of the things I’m excited about this year is [the] Aqua Turf itself. I know some people have been there, but it’s just such a big venue and the scenery is gorgeous, so that’s something that I personally am looking forward to. This year they have a photo booth so rather than getting a key chain, you get a cute slip with a couple of photos, so that’s nice. I also think that senior prom will be the one to remember since it is one of our last big nights together. It’s just going to be unforgettable and I can’t wait!”
Senior prom is located at the Aqua Turf in Southington, CT, with food choices of roasted sirloin, chicken ala Kathryn, chicken francaise, or a vegetarian eggplant parmigiana.
For food, it will be served to you rather than buffet style, which may help with food quality. The Aqua Turf is notorious for its food, as it is usually very good.
As for DJ, it will be the same as last year, so as seniors, we definitely look forward to something enjoyable.
You can now buy tickets after school, see Mr. Miller in room 506 to take care of dues and payment. Prom tickets are being sold this week, April 29th. Before buying a ticket, you must pay your class dues.
Senior prom will be Saturday, June 8th. You do not want to miss it!!
by: Natalie Castertano
It’s far too common that someone has a connection to suicide. Whether you’ve personally been affected by it, or know someone who has, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. In order to make this message apparent to WHS and the town of Wethersfield, National Honors Society is hosting a suicide prevention walk at the school on May 4th. Check in begins at 9am, and the walk starts at 10am.
The walk will be held at the WHS track, with a table for registration. There will be a table where each attendee can pick out beads to wear during the walk that relate to their connection to the cause. There will be several colors that represent several different circumstances and associations to suicide. There will be a time during the opening ceremony where attendees will be asked trade beads with another person, as a representation of support.
Sometimes all a person need is to know that there is someone out there who cares about them, and who is willing to help them. Our goal for this walk is to provide everyone with a sense of security and unity.
Come out and walk to show support to others, but most importantly to yourself!
By: Taylor Pitchell & Erin Nargi
Over spring break, WHS students embarked on international trips including trips to Ireland, Italy, France and Spain. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for these students and it is something that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Mrs. McGrath and several Wethersfield High School students traveled to Italy during this past spring break. They had an 8 hour flight over the Atlantic and spent all of spring break in the beautiful 70 degree weather. They visited cities like Florence, Assisi, and Roma where they visited old historic sites, museums and other locations that allowed them to soak in the Italian culture and history.
Students also had the opportunity to test their knowledge on the Italian language while eating unlimited amounts of pasta. Some students have been learning Italian since freshman year so this was the perfect time to put their Italian to the test. Students enjoyed their time and said the trip was 100% worth it. WHS is considering planning the trip again in the near future.
The other group, led by Mr. Roets and Mr. Nicholas, traveled to Spain over spring break. Lindsey Clark, a senior at Wethersfield High School said her favorite part of the trip was “walking along the beach in Barcelona, and later on being able to just sit on the beach and talk with all my friends from WHS but also having that time to be able to create a friendship with students from Washington state that traveled with us.”
In Barcelona, there tried many different foods, including flammekueche which is similar to pizza. “It is a really thin piece of dough that has a creamy sauce on top, with additional toppings such as ham,” says Lindsey Clark. It was a favorite of many of the students on the trip.
Clark described the trip by saying “Everyone had a smile on their face!” I think it’s safe to say everyone else who went on the trip could say the same thing.
Keep your eye out for posters for upcoming trips to create your own once in a lifetime experience.
By: Maddie Bradbury and Lauren Christie
Wethersfield High School recently held an appellate court , and I had the opportunity to attend. Going into the court case, I had a lot of questions and didn’t know what to expect because I have never been to anything like this before.
It was very serious; we had to go through a metal detector, and there were several police officers in the auditorium making sure everyone was attentive and appropriate. We sat quietly and engaged in our seats, while listening to the case unfold.
Holding the court case at the high school was a great opportunity to learn first hand about the judicial system. While listening to the lawyers present their sides, I was able to learn how to set up good arguments, which could be very useful for me in my later life. It fascinated me how much knowledge the judges had about not only the case at hand, but they also referenced dozens of cases from the past.
One of the cases involved a milk delivery man who slipped and fell while delivering the milk to the school. He slipped on the icy pathway that he claims should have been cleared off, and is trying to sue the town for his injuries. He lost the initial court case because the town had immunity, but due to his contractual obligation to be at the school, he appealed the case and was given the opportunity to present it at the appellate court.
My biggest question was how would I feel if this was one of the teachers at the school who fell and got hurt? I was curious if teachers would face a similar result in court, so I asked one of the men who helped organize the court, and he said “Unfortunately, the teachers are not obligated to be at school, so they would not be able to sue the school either. The only people allowed would be students, because by law they have to come to school.”
It was these questions that helped extend what we saw at the appellate court that made it so interesting, it was a chance for the “real world” judiciary system to come to a high school and give us all some authentic learning experiences. Thank you to the State of Connecticut and to Wethersfield High for bringing this experience.
By: Justin Biraci
On Sunday, 14 April 2019, the Game of Thrones Season 8 episode was released nearly after a year and a half wait. Everyone has been awaiting the new season as it left a major question mark in the last episode of Season 7.
The episode took the same format as the first ever episode of Game of Thrones. The similarities were clear and bold between the two episodes. For the most part everyone enjoyed the episode.
Luke Johnson, a student at WHS, said “The episode modeled the first episode completely, you could tell off the bat when the kid was climbing the tree like Bran used to.”
This was one of the many scenes that showed direct correlation to the first episode of the show eight years ago. There were also a lot of plot developing that took place in the episode. The episode almost served as a a set up for the rest of the season.
Johnson also said, “The episode may have been a little slow, but there were a lot of conflicts that were ignited in the episode”.
The show is most likely going to have an upsetting end with many dying, so in the next few episodes many characters are going to die. There are also many possibilities as to who is gonna end up on the iron throne.
Johnson stated, “As long as anyone but Bran ends up on the throne, then I’ll be happy”.
People are avoiding social media to avoid spoilers. Some have been waiting almost 1.5 years and they finally got their relief. It was the most watched television episode, with 17.4 million views.
This show has the entire school buzzing and talking about the possibilities of the show. Some are still wondering about what the first episode entirely means. Or, in what episode will the Great War happen?
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: Isaac Santos (Vote for Isaac for Class President 2020!)
In case you missed it the biggest game in football happened last week. Super Bowl LIII was victory royale for the Patriots. Mid-way through the matchup between the Patriots-Rams game, Marvel Entertainment released a teaser to their brand new Avengers Film.
The Teachers at Wethersfield High School were all over the place with their reaction. Here’s what some of them had to say:
John Martin, an English teacher at Wethersfield High School said about the trailer, “It seems super dramatic”, But he’s past experience with superhero movies “are usually overblown.” Now with this one it seems “more grounded in reality”. Although he has barely seen any of the movies in the timeline, he feels that he would have to watch the rest before going to see this one.
Matthew Mangino, a well-known Spanish teacher at Wethersfield High School had a similar response to the teaser trailer. At first he was excited to see the movie, but when asked if he had seen the previous films, he response was a mix saying “I’ve seen some of the movies but not all of them”. Unfortunately he will not be seeing the movie when it hits theaters this April because of his children, So he will just have to wait for when it comes out on all streaming services.
George Horan, A former chemist and now a Chemistry teacher at Wethersfield was not wowed by the trailer. He thought that “It wasnt that clear on what the movie it was about.” Yet again the only other movie he has seen in the MCU timeline was the original Iron Man. When asked if he will be going to see this film he answered with a “Probably not, it didn't strike me as being too interesting.”
Will you be watching the movie? The end to a decade long cinematic universe that comes out on April 26th! As of now no one really knows anything about the storyline Marvel and the directors Joe and Anthony Russo have kept it completely secret. Will it be better than Infinity War? Is it being overhyped? Only time will tell when the movie is released to the public.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.