Welcome to... The Eagle Eye, your source for all Wethersfield High School news, curated and created by WHS Journalism students.
A Letter to Incoming Freshman... From a Senior
As I near the end of my high school career and I’m about to walk down the halls for the last time as an Eagle, I started to reflect on my time at Wethersfield High. Looking back at the experiences and the lessons that happened inside and outside the classroom, I wish there was some sort of list of things to prepare me for the rest of my years of high school. So to the incoming class of 2022, here’s some ; sincerely from me to you.
Whoever you are walking in with is not necessarily who you will be walking out with
Yes, I understand you promised each other you would be best friends forever, but wait until you have completely different classes and on top of that aren’t even in the same lunch wave. No worries though, imagine all the new friends you will make with the people that are in your classes and lunches. Obviously this isn’t the case for everyone, but don’t rely on that middle school relationship surviving the ride that is high school.
2. Create strong relationships with your teachers You’ll appreciate the connections that you make with your teachers when it comes down to letters of recommendation or simply when you need a little help. Remember, teachers are people too, heck they even went to high school just like you, so they understand that life gets a little hectic. They won’t exempt you from a test or anything major like that, but if you have several tests coming up plus a huge game and a 6 hour work shift they might give you a couple of days to finish a project.
3. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE Coming from a senior, this is definitely a habit that you do not want to acquire. If there’s one thing I can tell you is to get your work in on time. Some teachers are less lenient on late work and I can promise you it will hurt your grade. All my best assignments are ones that were not done less than 24 hours before they were due.
4. Don’t get overwhelmed I know it might be tempting to load up your college application with a large amount of extracurriculars, but it's all about quality over quantity. Don’t feel like you have to be a part of every single club that there is. Pick 2 or 3 clubs that you are really into and stick with them all 4 years. Also this applies to other commitments you make such as jobs and sports. You shouldn’t be burn yourself out halfway through sophomore year.
5. Enjoy, it will be over before you know it Trust me, one day you’re walking into the high school as a first time Eagle and the next day you’re walking out for the last time. Go grab ice cream with your friends on aTuesday; take a personal day just cause you need it; and every so often take a look at where you are and say thanks to those who have gotten you here.
As Ferris Bueller famously once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” High school is a rollercoaster full of ups and downs, but when you finally reach the end, you are left speechless. So these are my words from me to you class of 2022, best of luck and make some memories that will last you well past your time in these halls.
Sincerely, A Senior
The Destined Wethersfield Country Club Pro
It’s early in the afternoon on a Saturday at Wethersfield Country Club (WCC) and Ron Dellostritto is in the pro shop helping a member who is ordering clubs. This is a common sight for anyone who is to walk into the WCC pro shop. Dellostritto always makes time to help members and make their golf experience the best it can possibly be.
Dellostritto is wearing a dark colored windbreaker on the cool, windy end of March day which so happened to be the first day that the country club was open for the upcoming season. In the clean and organized pro shop Dellostritto can be seen daily going out of his way to make Wethersfield Country Club one of the top clubs in Conn. Dellostritto is one of the many reasons why WCC is such respected and revered golf club in Conn. Ron Dellostritto truly knows what it means to be a PGA Professional. It was a long journey to get to where he is today but Dellostritto truly was meant to be the head golf pro at Wethersfield Country Club.
Ron Dellostritto has been playing the game of golf for pretty much his entire life. “My Dad got me started in golf immediately. I played my first 9 holes when I was five years old and loved every second of it.” Dellostritto said as you can see the joy on his face as he remembered the start of his golfing career.
Starting golf had a great influence on the life of Dellostritto for it would lead him to a career in golf and to becoming the pro at one of his favorite courses as a teenager in Wethersfield Country Club. “I came here [WCC] in the late 70s four years in a row on my high school team with Maloney high school and it was our favorite day of the year.” Dellostritto said as he recalled his early memories of playing at Wethersfield Country Club former home of the Greater Hartford Open, now known as the Travelers Championship.
pros in Conn. wanted to work at. So at the age of 28 he enrolled in classes to become a PGA Professional. When asked about the schooling to become a PGA Pro Delistritto explained “It's difficult, the schooling is difficult but when you know it's something you want to do you just buckle down and work as hard as you can.”
This hard work paid off in the end as Dellostritto got a call to interview for a job at one of his favorite courses. “When I got a call to come to an interview here [WCC] it was like a dream come true.” Dellistitto went on to say why it was so exciting to get an interview call from WCC “The tour event being here made everyone want to be here whether it was to work here whether it was to play here. You just wanted to come to Wethersfield.”
This was just the start of Dellostritto realizing his dream when he became the third assistant pro at Wethersfield Country Club. Dellistritto was estatic when he got the job even though the third assistant is more or less being apart of the bag staff but, this worked out because of the guidance he got from the head pro at the time. “They [WCC] hired me as a 3rd assistant which is almost just like a glorified bag staff person but it didn't matter because Mike [Bailey] was such a great mentor he taught me everything about the business.”
Having Bailey as a mentor helped make Dellostritto learn the golf business and gave him the tools necessary to be able to work his way up to becoming the head pro of Wethersfield Country Club.
“I am really lucky I have only worked at two places” Delistritto said when asked about if he would ever change anything along his career path.
Today Dellostritto can be seen at Wethersfield Country Club daily doing his best to make the golf experience better for every member and guest. Dellostritto worked hard to become the head pro at WCC and all the members are always proud to say that he is the head pro at the prestigious Wethersfield Country Club.
A Taste of Mexico: Juan Rodriguez gives a look into the life of a business owner and a father
Young and thrilled to start a new life in America, Juan Rodriguez moved to the U.S. from his beautiful hometown of Jalisco, Mexico when he was just 14 years old. Eager to work and adapt to his new life here, Juan worked intently on fields in California and Washington State, but he knew it wasn’t what he wanted to pursue. Later on, Juan and his brothers decided to move to Oregon, where they worked in a few nearby restaurants working late hours and bussing tables.
Esaul, Juan’s brother, and himself decided to take on one of their lifelong dreams; open their own authentic Mexican restaurant named after the beautiful city itself, “Puerto Vallarta”! Located in Coos Bay, Oregon, “Puerto Vallarta” quickly gained the hearts of the community, bringing together all types of people with the freshest food around in a dazzling, vibrant atmosphere. Juan says he had no idea of how large this business would blossom into.
It was certainly not a walk in the park for Juan to get to where he is today, as he spent 10 long years in Mexico building his dream house, which he eventually sold to move to the states. July of 2000, Juan made his dreams a reality and moved to Connecticut to open his own “Puerto Vallarta” here. Juan’s intentions were clear: Open a restaurant in Newington to gain business in the area which would lead to more locations.
Since then opening six other locations in Connecticut alongside his brothers, Juan made it clear that this did not come without years of work. “I don’t have a problem working the hours that I work or what I’ve done. It’s just that you sacrifice and the family sacrifice[s] because you put up so many hours [to] compare.” // “I’m the boss, doesn’t mean I can stop or I can just stop in and out. I like to show presence for the employees, for the customers, [and] if anything comes up I’m there to fix it,” Rodriguez said.
With the successful business the restaurant has gained comes difficulty with making time for family and work. Mondays and Tuesdays have turned into weekends for Juan; whether he takes the day to rest, or go see a movie with his loving family, he tries to enjoy every second he’s not working with them. As restaurant owners, almost all weekends and holidays are sacrifices needed to make in order to be successful in the restaurant business.
Juan still makes time to give back to the community, donating to surrounding school fundraisers, as well as events across CT. He likes to give back to the schools that have provided his children with excellent education and likes to make himself more involved in the community. As Juan describes it, “It’s a big circle; you help, word to mouth gets around, at the end, the restaurant benefit[s] , the customer[s] benefit, with the fundraising, everyone benefits.”
With last year making over $70,000 in sales for fundraisers, it is only going up from here. “Puerto Vallarta” hosts fundraisers for cancer twice a year, for Newington and Wethersfield Public Schools, The PTO, uniforms for football players, cheerleaders, and books for kids, as this is what Juan loves to do, sponsor and help out as much as he can. 20% of all sales made are donated back to all of the fundraising companies! “Everybody wins,” Rodriguez says.
Rodriguez describes that the best part of the job is playing everyone’s favorite role; the boss. From meeting people all over the world to forming close relationships with regulars, Juan has had an incredible experience ever since he came to the United States. He often likes to go back and reminisce where he grew up and see how Union de Tula, Jalisco has changed.
“Puerto Vallarta” now has seven locations in California, one in Oregon, and six in Connecticut that all share one common goal; hospitality and warmth. With compelling atmospheres to colorful personalities, this restaurant provides authentic, fresh Mexican food that makes you feel comfortable of any and every descent. Juan has made this restaurant a little piece of the place he calls home.
Everyone's Favorite Manager
Olivia King attempts to break the language barrier as she communicates with a Spanish speaking customer who is looking for “camisetas para hombres”. As a non Spanish speaker, this proves to be difficult for King, but through various body gestures, some guessing, and admittedly some help from a coworker, she is able to show the customer where Plato’s Closet houses their men’s t-shirts.
King is the store manager of the consignment store Plato’s Closet on the Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield. She’s had her position at this specific location for around eight months, previously working at the store in Enfield.
Her friendly relationship with customers is sure to get people to keep coming back. There are a number of people who simply come to shop, yet they know her name and stop by the front counter to have a conversation. Sitting in the back room of the store filled with towers stacked seven-high of bins full of clothing, King recounts her past job experience. Prior to working at Plato’s, she worked for a family-owned entertainment center/bowling alley. She was in charge of making reservations and ensuring customer satisfaction. However, when she grew too large for that pond, she wanted a new challenge.
King switched over to her job in retail five years ago and has only been moving up. Of her years at Plato’s, three of them have been as manager. She said, “The responsibilities are different from an Assistant Manager or Supervisor since I need to oversee them along with all of my employees.” Some of the traditional responsibilities that come with working in a consignment store are being on register, putting out clothes, cleaning the store, and buying new product. In addition to that, she has to make the schedule, deal with the district managers, and keep everyone in line.
These extra responsibilities are not to be taken lightly, yet she approaches them in a very casual way. Nobody who works there sees her as some intimidating boss. King has formed close relationships with all of her employees and sees them regularly outside of work. She’ll go out to eat, go to the gym, or even just hang out at her apartment with friends from work. With the new store appearance on its way, maintaining the same level of service has been difficult for the employees, and King is not immune. “[The construction] has been a lot harder to get everything that I need to get done, done. I feel like I’ve been multitasking between helping them out and trying to run my store.”
The regular hustle-bustle of the store has been amplified with everything else that’s been going on. Cutting the store to half of its previous size has certainly impacted the functionality of Plato’s Closet. Opening late because the computers stop working is stressful enough without the sometimes bitter response from customers. “I can’t blame people for being upset with the construction” King said with regards to difficult customers, “However, it is the customer’s choice on whether or not to shop during it.”
Her attitude towards shoppers has not changed, despite some of their alterations in attitude, and she continues to offer helpful advice and make everyone’s experience as pleasant as possible. When people have questions about the construction and the new stores moving in next door, she is always happy to answer them and explain specifically what is going on. Many of the regulars who have come in through all of the stages of construction are very understanding, and King empathizes with them about the constantly moving around, dust-filled air, and tight aisles. The store certainly isn’t ideal for anyone at the moment, with registers set up on folding tables and some fitting rooms without door handles, but everyone is making it work.
Of course, working at Plato’s is not King’s dream job. Her goal is to take her long-developed skills in retail and put them towards selling property. She wants to be a real estate agent to take her passion for her current industry to the next level. While Plato’s Closet is going to miss her when she decides to leave, King will always come back to visit her employees and will strike up conversation with any familiar faces she sees in the store.
Get Your Passports Ready for Cultural Night
Wethersfield High School, like most other schools, is made up of students from diverse backgrounds. From Uruguay to China, from Albania to India and everything in between WHS student’s express and embrace their cultures in everyday interactions, but on May 15th students will express their culture in terms of dance, food, and clothing for all to see during Wethersfield High School’s first ever Culture Night.
Culture Night was an idea that started out in student council and is created by students volunteering, now this night is a reality for WHS as it is for most high schools.
One of the teachers who is helping to organize this event is Ms. Rajan, a WHS history teacher, and student council advisor. When being asked, What inspired student council to created Culture Night? She states, “When I taught at Bloomfield High School, the Foreign Language Department held a Cultural Night where students and staff represented their heritage through food, fashion, and performances”.
She continued, “It was a great night and brought a wonderful sense of community to the school. Since taking over Student Council I have tried to run it here, and this was the first year students actually seemed interested to do it”.
When being asked, What will students and parents do during Culture Night? She said, “When people attend Cultural Night, they will receive a Passport. As of right now, we have 32 different cultural groups that will be set up around the Cafeteria with informational posters and food for people to try. Students can ask questions at each table or view the information posters to understand the culture better”
Besides the amazing food and fashion show, you can expect 3 dance performances from the countries of Armenia, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic. Students will be performing a traditional Armenian dance, a tentative Portuguese dance and a Bachata dance tutorial.
Some countries you can expect to see during Culture Night include, St Lucian, Guyana, Chile, South Korea, Sweden, Lithuania, Iran, Ireland, Norway and 20 different other countries that will be represented that night.
If you are interested in presenting a Culture Night today is your last day to sign up with Ms. Rajan in room 115. However, if presenting is not your thing hopefully eating exotic foods and dancing is. Culture Night takes place at WHS on May 15th at 6 pm to 9 pm, get your passports ready. Hope to see you there.
Throwing Punches With Poetry
On April 3, the Wethersfield High School’s Pieces Literary and Art Club is hosting a poetry slam. An event where writers and artists can come together and share pieces they have been working on throughout the year, however, you do not have to be a member to attend this event. The poetry slam is called the Word of Mouth Poetry and Art Slam, and is being held at the local Wethersfield Public Library where doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the slamming starts at 6:30 p.m.
The newly named Pieces Literary and Art Club, formerly known as Pieces Literary Magazine, is run by current Wethersfield High School students, as well as their in-school adviser the librarian Ms. George. This year's presidents McKayla Dreger (president of the writers) and Christine Gallares (president of the artists) are not only glowing in pride but are very jubilant for this even being able to take place especially the new freshman members who have never experience an event like this before.
For those who do not know, Pieces is a club where writers and artists create pieces that will be shared with their peers to inspire others to create more artwork or poetry. Once one writer and an artist agrees to combine their work, they will ask Ms. George to edit their work as well as place both pieces on the same page in their magazine. Before the school year ends, the club produces a yearly magazine showing the amazing skills of the drawers and writers of the club, as well as how teamwork is used to create the stunning and colorful combined magazine that is distributed amongst club members, teachers and other students at the high school.
When being asked about the club and poetry slam in general, the president of the poets McKayla Dreger joyfully stated, “It’s a great opportunity for students to build their confidence and share their creativity with the community”.
Pieces is not only an after-school club but an experience for the diverse student body that takes place at Wethersfield High School. For the members who all come from different backgrounds, they learn to grow confidence in their work, as well as teamwork and learning how to place their emotions and daily struggles into artwork that others can experience as well.
So, if you are free tonight feel free to attend this public event at the Wethersfield Public Library, 515 Silas Deane Hwy, starting at 6:30 p.m. Do not forget to bring any writing or works of art to the event of you feel brave enough to slam. However, if you cannot make it to the event no fear because the pieces that will be slammed will in their Pieces Magazine, which is coming out in May or early June be sure to keep an eye out for the magazine and grab one to support the Pieces Literary and Art Club.
Good Luck Slammers!!!
How Biking Can Improve Your Life
Journalism student James O’Connor sat down with Mr. Tom Brown, a science teacher at Wethersfield High School, and passionate bike rider to give us some insight on what it is about the activity that so many find interesting based on his experiences.
The most rewarding aspect of the sport, according to Mr. Brown, is the meditative effects that are foregrounded when one takes the opportunity to expose themselves to the elements. Unlike the confines of a car, being on a bike stimulates all of your senses. You attain a much better view of your surroundings, besides just seeing them, and you are able to hear the sounds of the trail or town you are riding through. You can feel the air as you cruise through it, and you may even notice some pleasant smells in the air, especially in the coming season of barbecues.
The more personal exposure to nature can help to clear your mind of stress, and serve as a kind of reset button for your thoughts, Mr. Brown explained. He says that after riding he feels better emotionally, and usually ends up in a good mood. He also gets a better night’s sleep after a good ride. “[That] sensation of flying, as long as you’re in control, is a good feeling.”
Mr. Brown also noted how cyclists are usually friendly people. He recalled his tour of the UK, during which he rode from the top of Scotland to the bottom of England. All throughout his journey he would be cheered on and encouraged by other bikers who realised the significance of what he was doing. Even back in Wethersfield, he always shares a smile with passing-by bikers because they are aware of the fun that their sport brings them.
Mr. Brown believes that biking is a good introductory sport, being low-risk for injury and easy to maintain. Those who might not be comfortable with running as a primary exercise may find biking can provide the same physical benefits while also being more comfortable to adjust to. He has previously worked with students to help acclimate them to a point where they could ride comfortably and confidently. Of people who are skeptical about taking up bike riding, Mr. Brown said he understands that the sport can seem intimidating. Some may be scared or discouraged by the hazards associated with the activity, or have had poor experiences in the past and are no longer open to the idea. But he is adamant that the beneficial qualities of bike riding far outweigh the bad.
Even for people with disabilities, Mr. Brown is assurant that they can experience the thrill of taking out a bike. He mentioned that he is looking to make plans with an organization that specializes in bicycle modifications for the disabled. “Even with severe impediments, you could get a bike that could work,” he said of the idea. He stands by the adage that a positive attitude helps instill you with the energy necessary to take on any such task. The WHS Bicycle club meets on Tuesdays and Fridays in room 401. With Spring on its way, the club will be riding soon, so don’t hesitate to take the opportunity.
Behind the scenes of "Fiddler on the Roof"
This year’s musical at Wethersfield High School is titled “Fiddler on the Roof”. It’s based on the short stories of Sholem Aleichem with a strong focus on his character, Tevye the dairyman. Tevye is a Jewish father with five daughters that live amongst Russians in the early 1900s of Imperial Russia. The play revolves around his struggle as three of his daughters challenge his traditions.
An interview with Play Director/English Teacher Jeffrey Roets at Wethersfield High School gives insight into the cast’s preparations for their performances.
When asked why he chose “Fiddler on the Roof,” Roets said, “I didn’t even really want to. I’ve been resisting this one for years.” He continued, “Mainly this year it got chosen because one, we had more guys so I felt like we could pull it off. Two, if we needed to if the stage budget had completely failed, and we had no money to put on a show, I could have done a real scaled back, bare-boned version of “Fiddler” and done well with it.”
He then explained the aspects of rehearsals that need to be fine-tuned before their first performance. He said, “The hardest part, honestly, is getting kids to remain in character for more than thirty seconds because being an incredibly poor Jewish individual in the Pale of Settlement Russia in 1905 is so foreign for a 21st century Wethersfield kid.”
With rehearsals coming to an end, time is spent getting the cast ready by fixing the details that can make or break a performance. This includes tightening the acting up, having all lines, songs and dances memorized and getting the time down. One of Roets’ main concerns is the show’s running time. He said, “A week ago, we had our first rehearsal with the pit orchestra, and it took us six hours to run Act One.”
Though there are aspects that the cast still needs to work on, the show’s backbone and strongest areas are found in the songs. The ensemble, solos, and duets are the highlights of the show. Because the cast is so musically talented, numbers such as “Sabbath Prayer,” a song that showcases beautiful harmonies, were easily encompassed and brought to life. Roets said, “We’ve got a really strong musical tradition here. We’ve got a lot of powerful singers. Excellent choral singers as well as solo singers.”
Director Roets and his cast have been putting this show together since January. With their final rehearsal days among them, the cast has faced many challenges, but will hopefully be able to overcome them. “It always seems to come together, but it’s not magic. It comes together because we put in all that hard work because we went through all that frustration. Then we get to where we need to be.” Roets said.
Support the cast by coming to see a performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The show runs on March 9 and 10 at 7:30 PM as well as March 11 at 2:00 PM in the Wethersfield High School auditorium. Advanced tickets are on sale on ShowTix4U.com at a price of $14 for adults and $10 for students. To purchase them, all you have to do is type Wethersfield High School into the search bar and select “Fiddler on the Roof.” We hope to see you there!
Running Through The Life of Stephen Carr
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.
Being a teacher at Wethersfield High School since 2010, he has had two generations of freshman work their way up to becoming young adults and has watched them adapt to the ever changing world. “I think over the course of time with renovations school has changed in a positive way, student wise I think it’s a different generation of kids who are coming through who need more supports. I think that school moral and school spirit can improve because you know a lot of time there's not as strong of a bond among groups.” Carr hopes that this progression continues and has great hopes for the future generations of Wethersfield High.
Mr. Carr better known as just Carr has a exuberant personality that lights up the room and the ability to turn anyone's frown upside down. When asked why he chose to pursue to career of an educator and how got into the profession his answer was plain and simple, he needed something more fulfilling in his life besides just being a sales manager, he wanted a “noble profession.” “I felt like doing sales, I was impacting no one but myself, and I think this is something you can have a lasting impact on and you relate with people and could change somebody's life.” Our youth represents the future of our society and our educators are tools used to help guide those students towards the path to success. The quality of the education one receives can change their entire outcome of life and our teachers are a huge part of that educating the future of the world. Many teachers don’t understand that however Mr. Carr does.
Carr holds himself to very high standards not only as a teacher but in his day to day life. He believes honesty and the ability to make someone laugh and be happy are the keys. To living, to achieve this he says he tries to do one nice thing each day for a new person and hopes his students do as well. Aside from teaching social studies, Carr also coaches the girls cross country and long distance track teams leading many girls to all conference/state titles. He pushes his runners to do the best and most they can do, often times completing their workouts or runs right along side with them motivating them every step of the way. He is able to push the girls he trains to potentials he knows they can have. From experience under his coaching he has taught me proper techniques on how to run faster and more efficiently and has boosted my confidence tremendously. Just as a teacher, when he coaches, Carr works to establish strong relationships with his students. He wants kids to see him as someone in the school they can go to for support, advice, help or simply just to have a person to laugh with.
Not only is he a teacher and a coach he is a man with an open mind wanting to explore the world and all the world has to offer. When asked if he could change one thing and what it would be he responded with this, “I wish more people communicated and tried come to common ground as opposed to just being strong within your beliefs that you can’t see anybody else's side.” Continuing on he said, “That would change the way that people view the world. And that goes along with my idea of travel, I think by traveling you break down barriers and your sort of allow yourself to see somebody else's perspective and not be so narrow minded.”
Carr is the teacher students go back after graduating to specifically visit, he makes lasting impressions and always makes sure to keep in touch with those he builds connections with. Whether he is running around the streets of Wethersfield with his track team or simply walking his dog Cinnamon, Carr is the teacher you hope to run into on a bad or good day. He has a sweet cherubic smile and is certainly one of the most stylish teachers at Wethersfield High School. He has made a huge impact on many people’s lives.
Ms. Mclaughlin Interview
“It’s something I’m not used to doing, and I wanted to challenge myself by doing something I have never done and that’s why I became a track coach.”
That was the response I got when I asked Ms. Mclaughlin what she thought about becoming the new throwing coach for the WHS track team. Mclaughlin, who has no previous track experience, has shown tremendous confidence even though she is being tossed into the fire with a very inexperienced group of throwers, on a track team with high hopes for the season.
“It’s obvious that the team we have here is an inexperienced group, but I believe with every day of practice, we all take a step in the right direction, and that includes me as a coach. Every day I think about the steps we need to take to become a better team individually, and as a team. Our goal here is to improve throughout the season obviously, but we can’t do that unless we get the most out each other every single day we step onto the track.”
Mclaughlin is determined to be a coach, and it’s easy to tell by the way she prepares on a daily basis. It’s clear to see that she doesn’t want the throwers on the WHS track team to be considered the weak part of the team. She wants everybody to put in the same kind of effort she puts into the team on a regular basis.
To add onto the effort she puts in on a daily basis for the throwing team, she also is a Physical Education teacher at WHS. So I asked if her teaching abilities help with becoming a coach. Here’s what she had to say:
“Absolutely, in school I have to teach kids from a variety of ages, some are easier to teach than others, but it definitely helps that I get to coach the same kids that I teach in Gym class. Obviously some of the kids I coach are little difficult,and don’t always listen, but most are really good, and are fun to be around.”
When it comes to coaching, some days are a little more difficult than others. With this being Mclaughlin’s first year being involved with track, she really had to learn on the fly when it came to throwing.
“I look forward to coaching about 95% of the time, most days are really fun and I learn a lot, but some days can be harder than the others. Overall I enjoy coming here to have a good time with the same kids I’m used to having in class, and I learn a lot in the process, so it’s a plus plus.”
It is still early in the season for the WHS track team only having played in 2 meets so far this season, and recording 1 win and 1 loss. So, there is definitely a lot of time left in the season for WHS and plenty of room to improve. Mclaughlin has shown that she truly enjoys being a coach, “So, far I have really enjoyed being a throwing coach, mostly because I am learning so much about a sport I have never done before, and that I get to spend some time with kids outside of school.” and she addressed whether or not she will continue to coach after this year. “As long as they let me!” Mclaughlin said jokingly, “I really enjoy coaching you guys and I would definitely do it in the future.”
It is a challenge that Mclaughlin loves to face on a daily basis. She has proven to be a determined person, I mean it’s hard enough to coach a sport you have played, but to coach something you have near no experience with and enjoy it, now that’s a challenge, and she is willing to face it every single day.
WHS Personal Profile: Mrs. Ryba
How Wethersfield Has Changed, As Experienced By A Former Resident Wethersfield has seen a considerable amount of change in the last few decades. Before it became the busy setting for multitudes of stores, corporations, and restaurants, it was a relatively quiet suburb, full of farmland, a few local businesses, and rich with historical relevance which its citizens revered. The difference the evolution has made on the town is especially noticeable to those who return to it as adults. One such individual is Mrs, Cheryl Ryba, who spent most of her childhood here, and now works as a teacher in the english department of the town high school.The change in Wethersfield’s atmosphere is quite apparent to her.
Originally from California, the Simoni family moved to Canton, CT when Cheryl was three. They moved to Wethersfield not long after, in time for Cheryl to start kindergarten at Hanmer elementary school. In the 6th grade, she took up running, the town’s flat and, at that time, open landscape providing easy travel and large swaths of terrain to explore. Particularly enamoring were the great meadows, which even today remain some of the few open plots of farmland in the town still untouched by industrialism. Biking was another typical method of transportation through the streets, as most places were fairly close and easily accessible. Cheryl herself never felt she needed a car until after she had graduated college. She continued the rest of her education in the town school system. She moved up to the Silas Deane Middle School, or “Junior High” as it was then referred to, and a label she still loyally maintains when mentioning it, and then to the High School. Following her passion, she took track and cross country, and took part in a number of races in many different parts of the country.
When the avid athlete wasn’t out exercising, she would hang out with friends at some of the old shops and restaurants that were around then. The plaza that used to be the old apartment complex building on Main Street once incorporated an ice cream shop called “Sweet Gatherings”, which Mrs. Ryba had a particular liking of, as it was initiated by two teachers she knew. A soda shop was further up the road. There was a fruit market in the building that is now Village Pizza. On Wolcott Hill Road was the Bliss Market grocery store. There was a Carvel on the Silas Deane Highway, as well as a Friendly’s, which were amongst the few businesses operating on the otherwise barren stretch of road at the time.
Her first job was at the gift shop of the Comstock and Ferre seed company, where she remembers making holiday-themed ornaments and supplies like wreaths and bows, for which the company was a major source of before the onset in popularity of dollar stores. She made so much fudge, she recalled, that to this day she will no longer eat it.
The Memorial Day Parade was still a central town event, and in this time it was followed with a fair at the Hanmer grounds. Before the Corn fest, there was the Old Brick Church Fair, where people would make and sell produce and crops, and rides would be set up. Among such things sold were cheese and apple butter, which would be made in a large pot and stirred in a way that amused Cheryl as resembling a Witch’s cauldron.
The most impactful aspect of Wethersfield on her life, though, were the people. Cheryl embraced the acquaintanceship prevalent from living in a smaller community, having good relationships with her classmates, teachers, and neighbors. Getting to know the town and its people had an indelibly positive effect on her, and she has remained grateful for the opportunity ever since. “Some of the best people I met were from here,” she stated fondly, “I made sure they knew it. They inspired me.”
After graduating in 1984, Cheryl attended the Manhattan College in the Bronx, NY, where she double majored in English and history, and double minored in psychology and religion. After college, she returned to Wethersfield for another couple of years before moving to Cape Cod, where she stayed out the rest of the nineties. She began looking for teaching jobs around the turn of the century. The deaths of both of her parents in 2001 prompted a return to the town. The reintroduction to the sense of community in such a desolate state developed into an obligation to re-contribute to the town, and she decided to make an attempt at a position in her old high school.
Although there were still many parts of the town familiar to her, Wethersfield had undergone many additions and changes since she had last resided there. The Silas Deane Highway, once host of a sporadic series of local businesses, had since earned the description of ‘highway’, now sporting leagues of buildings across either side, attracting traffic in levels previously unimaginable. Chain businesses particularly had increased their presence immensely.
Drug stores had begun springing up every few blocks, and the number of restaurants had escalated to such a point where one began to wonder if families ever sat down to eat a meal at home together anymore. “That, to me, shows a big change in time,” Mrs. Ryba noted as she recalled her initial reactions. Having grown up in a time where families customarily met at the dining room table just about every night, the growing practice among people to eat out is quite a deviance from what she used to expect.
The Silas Deane was not the only area of renovation. Mirroring the population rise, almost the entirety of the western side of town, formerly plentiful with vacant farmland, had taken on residential expansion and was now largely housing. The same was true to an extent for Old Wethersfield. Although being a historic district has prevented the wing of the town from losing its characteristic timelessness, many of the sites she knew had changed hands or closed altogether. The Main Street Creamery was now the mascot ice cream shop, the fruit market was now a popular pizza place. While the town had certainly evolved considerably since her childhood, it was evident that it still maintained its core trait as the home of a social community, even if vast multiplication of the population had made it harder to know your neighbors as well as before. After being hired as an English Teacher, she was also tasked with taking over the Wethersfield Studies class. Seeking to reinvent the course from what was a simple overview of the town’s history with a few movies and field trips for reference, she “Took things to the nth degree”, encouraging kids to become active in the community by having them write pieces to submit to the town newspaper, and emphasising the importance of understanding and connecting with the town’s history. The field trips to many of the significant places in the town such as the Meadows,as well as the Green and the Cove, seemed to really draw students’ attention to its history, as well as make them aware of the fact that they themselves would become a chapter in Wethersfield’s timeline.
The course proved to have its challenges, however. A mixed-level class, more prestigious students would be grouped with others whose interest in the subject at hand could not always be relied upon. This caused a rift in the productivity of the students. In theory, a mixed-level course, by exposing lower-level students to those at a higher level, should inspire the lower-level to increase their academic application. In contrast, Mrs. Ryba noticed that adverse behaviour from the less committed students often detracted from the ability of upper-level kids to concentrate and advance. Although she managed to juggle this issue throughout her tenure of teaching the course, there were occasions where some students’ behaviour had negative effects on the experience.
This friction became even more prevalent into recent years, as disinterested students began to turn their lack of enthusiasm into obstructive behaviour. The misguided notion of the faultlessness of youth prominent nowadays led to teachers becoming scapegoats for student underperformance. As a result of this, Mrs. Ryba started to struggle with how to properly reprimand unruly kids as it became clear that not all parents are ready to accept that a child can be responsible for their own flaws and mistakes. She surely spoke for many of her profession when she lamented how too often immaturity guides even seniors to make poor decisions that bring negative consequences to seemingly all but the perpetrators.
In a pinnacle of this unfortunate pattern, the Wethersfield Studies field trips, a highlight of the course and an effective and primary instrument to educate in a firsthand manner, were canceled indefinitely after a class had been purposely misusing and mistreating town-owned equipment, and refused to take responsibility. Mrs. Ryba has since decided to move away from the course after this semester, and hand the reins to someone else. Though disappointed at the circumstances that led to her leaving the course she’d been teaching for so long, she is excited for a new challenge. There is a new course being proposed called “Myths and Legends” that she is looking forward to. A freshman-level class, she anticipates that teaching ninth-graders will be less of a stacked battle, as to her freshman tend to be easier to work with because they are less domineering, a detracting trait that exhibits itself often in seniors.
The town still retains many of its reputable qualities despite the elongation of acceptance toward youthful immaturity. There are still several fields, parks, and reservations of land that still allow for the experience of knowing the raw, natural state of the environment, especially the Great Meadows. The Broad Street Green is still a popular frequent for residents of all ages, its spacious and levelled surface lets it serve as a large playing field or walking grounds, and its circular layout is sought out by runners and bikers as ideal for laps. It attracts many for having been the stage for various historical scenes, and is sure to continue as a hallmark feature of the town. The Cove is also an enduring remnant of the town’s past that has survived because it bestows an undisturbed connection with Wethersfield’s roots that even newer generations admire. The accompanying park is also an adequate site for sports, and the chosen location for high school graduation, fittingly acknowledging the legacy of the town as the next portion of its future is begun, and ensuring the significant and meaningful relationship people have with the town lives on.
Although she now lives in Berlin, Mrs. Ryba continues to be an important member of the Wethersfield community, her eagerness to promote and instill worthwhile values to her students and introduce them to the benefits of learning set up incoming kids with a promising path to understanding literature, history, and community. She works closely with them so that she gets to know them on an individual basis, which allows her to find how best to encourage a student to achieve their full potential. As she affirmed,“I like to find a person’s strengths and see what they can do.”
While the culture will continue to shift, and with it the dependability of student’s attitudes, Mrs. Ryba is assured that Wethersfield has already experienced more changes than it will see in the future. She does expect the town will keep growing, as it boasts an inviting, sociably auspicious population and geographically pleasing situation, even if the housing is getting more expensive. She thinks it very fortunate that the historical district preserves all of the markers of the town’s story so that they will remain sacred to future generations as well. A “Quintessential New England Town”, Wethersfield can be expected to have as much of an impact on its people in the future as it did for Mrs. Ryba.
Mrs. Conoscenti: She Grows With Us
Every morning, school counselor Christina Conoscenti pushes past the heavy doors of Wethersfield High School at around 7:15, carrying her bags, and occasionally fumbling with her keys. Even at this ungodly hour, she manages to greet students and coworkers with a bright smile, her kind and youthful demeanor radiating as she makes her way to the guidance office.
Her office is bright even on cloudy days; a large window overlooking the school’s main entrance allowing a generous amount of light in. There is cute art drawn by her children decorating the walls; pictures of her family spread throughout the small room. But what makes her students feel welcomed are the posters showing her support for different communities. Among the ones that stand out is a yellow equality sign on a blue background from the Human Rights Campaign, a widely popular symbol that is used to represent the fight for equal rights for the LGBT community. The other is larger in size with white bolded and capitalized letters from the Connecticut Students for a Dream organization that advocates for undocumented immigrant students in the state.
Seeing her so comfortable in her work environment gives off an aura that she’s had her life figured out, that she has always known she would end up being a counselor. But, that isn’t exactly the case. In fact, she was in the same boat as many current high school students: she had no clue what career she wanted to pursue.
“I floundered a lot in college to figure out where I was going to land.” Then, she laughed. “It was a mess, such a mess,” she mumbled, shaking her head. It’s difficult to picture Conoscenti anywhere that isn’t a guidance office. Despite this, she spent ten years reading, writing, and editing manuals for jet engines and hydrogen fuel cells prior to becoming a guidance counselor. She reached a turning point when she took a human development class, “I was like, I don’t want to work with adults, I want to work with younger kids,” she said. “That’s really kind of where I feel I would be best served.”
Although it was a rocky path to where she is now, having to take substitute teaching and counseling positions to build her resume, finding her first full-time counseling job at a school an hour away from where she and her family lived, she has found her home in WHS and in her students as well. Conoscenti said, “I had ten years in a job I hated, so to be in a job that you really like and that is meaningful to you is life changing.” So, what does she love most about being a guidance counselor? She only had to think about it for a moment, perking up as she responded. “Any time someone walks through the door I have no idea what it’s going to be, that’s what I find most interesting,” she said. “It could be someone’s good day and we could have a great conversation or they could come in, close the door and start crying.” She pursed her lips into a straight line and nodded, “As hard as that is emotionally, I love that it’s so different every single day.”
The emotional stability needed for a career in guidance counseling isn’t often thought of by people outside the profession. Guidance counselors typically build relationships with their students from freshman year all the way to senior year. They are people who many students are able to find trust and reliability in, and sometimes they are the only adults that students can confide and tell personal details to.
Conoscenti makes this relationship between counselor and student extremely easy to build. She is warm and empathetic, almost always has her door open, and is willing to listen fully to any issues a student may be troubled with. However, with this closeness comes concern, and oftentimes she finds herself thinking about her students outside of work, “I care about you guys and I want you guys to all do well and when things aren’t going quite right I worry.” She sounds like she’s on the verge of tears. She continues, “That is definitely one of the most challenging things about this job for me because I’ll be home with my kids and thinking about my students, and I really have to try and separate that and be more present for my family.”
One would think that after years of being a guidance counselor the job would get emotionally easier, but it doesn’t. Regardless of this, Conoscenti is able to turn these difficult experiences into productive self growth. She is always finding ways to better herself as a person so that she can connect more deeply with her students. In doing this, she not only watches as her freshman become seniors, but she grows with them as well.
A perfect example of this returns to one of the previously mentioned posters hung on her wall, a poster that has helped undocumented students open up to her about their status. The poster hasn’t always been there, she acquired it two years ago at a workshop for undocumented students, making it a relatively new addition to her office. “It was really eye opening for me because I went in with all these preconceived notions of what I thought it was,” she said, “I became informed, I became an advocate. It was life changing.”
Since then, Conoscenti has seized every chance to attend a workshop for the sole purpose of learning more and educating herself on different topics and issues. This mindset helps her constantly evolve into a well-rounded individual, a guidance counselor who is able to provide even more assistance and comfortability for her students. She said, “Now anytime there’s an opportunity to go to a workshop and get more information I go because I want to hear more.”
Conoscenti is an asset to the WHS student community. She is constantly working to make her students feel as comfortable and prepared for life outside of high school as she can, and it shows. Her love for her job is evident to those that surround her and she pours passion into everything that she does. She was truly made to do this job, and she thrives in it.
For any student who is about to graduate and doesn’t know what they want to do in life, Conoscenti offers a bit of advice, “As long as you’re working towards something that’s a goal or is something that you enjoy, it’s okay if it changes because you’re always working towards bettering yourself. Who cares if you start in computer information systems and end up in school counseling? That’s your journey.”
Though everything may seem stressful now, there will be a day where life seems to figure itself out. Eventually, your path will emerge, just as guidance counselling did for Conoscenti.
Thank you, Mrs. Conoscenti, for everything that you do.
"Say No" Heroin and opioid and their raging effects on society
By Bryce Cox
Wethersfield High School students attended a heroin and opioid awareness assembly during periods 1 and 3 on April 3, 2018. This assembly was made possible by HEAT (Heroin Education Action Team); guest speakers Carolyn Ikari and Vanessa Avery, assistant US attorneys, and Reverend Williams, father of Jesse Williams, a victim of an oxycodone overdose.
Ikari first addressed the significance of opioid and heroin addictions. In 2017/2018, overdose was the top cause of accidental death, rocketing above the number of fatalities that were the result of car crashes, suicides, and homicides combined. Opioid and heroin substances are becoming more easily available due to exposure at concerts, parties, etc. as well as their continual appearance in counterfeit drugs.
One of the biggest problems stressed with the production of counterfeit drugs is not only the simplicity of the process, but the fact that in some cases, the seller is not aware of what he is selling. While only 25% of opioid users use pills from their own prescriptions, 55% obtain them from friends or relatives.
The abuse of these prescription drugs is often due to their “perceived legitimacy” and availability, as is the case with oxycodone, one of the most addictive drugs available.
Oxycodone is a pain killer that, when taken even slightly more than the amount prescribed, can quickly form a serious and sometimes lethal addiction. Oxycodone is made even more dangerous by its vast availability, as it is often prescribed to people of all ages and can be found in medicine cabinets, making it easily accessible.
“[In Connecticut] 3 people died yesterday, 3 people will die today, and 3 people will die tomorrow.” Guest speaker, Reverend Williams celebrated the 11th anniversary of his son’s death today on April 3. He lost, not only his son, but his sister to an oxycodone overdose. Drug addiction is a serious issue which many people, including high schoolers, are often susceptible to. 1 in 5 high school seniors have admitted to drug misuse at least once in their life, and misusers aren’t necessarily the students with difficult home lives or bad grades but frankly quite the opposite.
Drug addictions, as mentioned previously, are often a result of the simple way in which they can be obtained as well as the way students are pressured to fit into society. Unfortunately, it only takes one false move to being the spiral down the rabbit hole of addiction. Many addicts admit that they continue taking drugs as a part of their continual effort to reach the “first high”, and as this becomes farther and farther away they increase their dosage and the number of substances they use in an attempt to obtain that. In addition to “chasing the high,” addicts then use drugs to avoid the sickness they are met with every time the high begins to slip away.
Especially as high school students, we are entering a part of our lives in which we feel invincible to the effects of the world and therefore entitled to experiment with different aspects of the world around us; however, drug addiction is one experiment in particular that can be nearly impossible to escape from. “It will destroy your life” *(Melissa, former addict “Chasing the Dragon”). It begins a part of your routine from the moment you fall asleep to the millisecond you wake up, draining money and destroying relationships until you’re alone in the world with your addiction.
When asked what he believed significant about this assembly, senior Nathaniel Sommers said, “The assembly, if anything, was a message for everyone on the true dangers on opioids, heroin, and other illicit drugs. It focused on the extremely sad reality of what these drugs do to you as an individual, as well as your family and friends. I myself gained from this assembly a working knowledge of why illicit drugs are such an issue in the United States, and why opioids need to be understood. What’s most important to understand is that for those who are using opioids and other illicit drugs is [that] it is never too late to seek out help; it’s never too late to save your life or a life of someone else who uses these dangerous drugs.”
Biological signs of an overdose includes shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, inability to be awakened, blue lips, and clammy skin. Ikari stressed the importance of reaching out for help should we see these signs in someone around us, because people often fear the legal consequences too much to save a life. In no circumstance will legal consequences be more significant than the death of a loved one or even a short lived friendship.
Drug addiction is so powerful that even after 7 months clean, it only takes 6 days to overdose and die, as happened to the daughter of Trish, another interviewee in the documentary “Chasing the Dragon”, which highlighted several people and their struggle with drug addiction (direct and indirect).
If ever faced with the struggle of drug addition or when asked to try obtaining a high under the pretense that ‘there won’t be consequences’, remember some of their parting words. “Every good part of my life was when I wasn’t high” (Julia), “It affects everyone in your life” (Trish), “If I could go back I would do it all different. Starting with that first pill… I wouldn’t touch it” (Cory). “Say no.” For more information on the opioid crisis and the Heroin Education Action Team, please visit their website athttps://www.justice.gov/usao-ct/heat.
The Debate Club
By Lorien Touponse
“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger.” These words spoken by Nelson Mandela illuminate the reason why we debate.The Debate Team is a club at Wethersfield High School that teaches and develops public speaking, curiosity, organization, leadership, and so much more.
Mr. Pryor has been the WHS Debate coach for six years and absolutely loves it. He enjoys watching the students engage with one another. “I work with a fine group of young men and ladies. They want more than just what the classroom offers.”
Students commit their time and minds to this club. Usually they will spend one or two afternoons, during the week, discussing what they can continue to improve on and they ask questions. They also spend one full Saturday every month debating at another school. Mr. Pryor says, “They don’t get paid and they don’t get extra credit, but they do get the satisfaction of being part of an intellectual community to share ideas and to discuss major issues of the world today, in a civil environment.”
He also explains that this club does so much more for you than you might think. It is a good extra curricular activity to have on your college resumes, and it is also a great way to improve public speaking skills and ability to lead with an open mind. But beyond that, it instills values in students. “Never give in and never limit yourself. I think that is one thing that debate really helps young people realize and understand. The core values of debate are curiosity, courtesy, organization, and collegiality,” says Mr. Pryor.
According to Mr. Pryor, there are some common misconceptions that go along with debate, such as the idea that everyone in debate is a “geek”. But Mr. Pryor says that it couldn’t be further from the truth. “This year we seem to have more athletes on our team than anything.” Mr. Pryor encourages all to join because, “You never want to look back and say, ‘I wish I had …’.” Debate Team is a fantastic club filled with fantastic people and those who join get a lot out of it. Their next meeting is Tuesday, February 13, and their next debate is Saturday, March 3. If you are interested, come to the next meeting or email Mr. Pryor with any questions using firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Best Smile In Wethersfield High School
Throughout the numerous renovations, multiple principals, and dozens of graduating classes, there’s one thing at Wethersfield High School that has never changed and his name is Sco. Richard Scopetto graduated Rocky Hill High School with the class of 1966 and has been working for Wethersfield Public Schools for 45 years. It can be said with great confidence that he is the most indispensable member of the WHS staff. When you roam through the collection of yearbooks in our library, you can always count on Sco’s lighthearted smile being on at least one of those pages. Scopetto chose to work in education because he says, “I figured where can I go where I can see a lot of smiling faces early in the morning and a lot of them?”, and what better place to find that then a school. When asked why he chose to teach high school physical education, he replied with a little chuckle, “Because high schoolers don’t pay attention, so can you imagine what first grade is like.” He has a bubbly outgoing personality and always has a joke waiting to be told. When he isn’t teaching multiple physical education classes, Scopetto also coaches freshman boys soccer in the fall and girls tennis in the spring and in his past has coached wrestling, cross country and both indoor and outdoor track.
As a coach, his players, like female tennis double player Kendall Cathcart, say “Sco is a positive influence to everyone who plays for him. In stressful situations or if people are tired of practice, he finds a way to make us laugh.” And it has worked, last year the team finished with a winning record of 15-3 and the conference championship title. In the present season they hold a 4-2 record and just recently had a great win over top ranking Simsbury. Scopetto uses his practices to teach his players more than just tennis skills but life skills. Cathcart says she’s learned to think less and just play, which is a metaphor one can transfer into their day to day life, “He always tells us that if we over think the game we mess up more and don’t have as much fun. And to always smile, no matter what the turn out just smile and have fun.” How Mr.Scopetto lives his life can be summed up in that quote, no matter what just smile.
As a senior and captain of the tennis team, Cathcart has spent the past 4 years playing for Scopetto and when asked what her favorite memory of him, she says there are just too many to hone in on one specific moment. Instead she says, “My favorite memory is him just cracking jokes about the other team when we are down to try and motivate us. He also takes players who win a tough match like Glastonbury or if no one wins, the players that win the most games in their match out to dinner to a nice restaurant like Bricco or Jay Gilbert’s. At the dinners, I love hearing his life stories, dumb stuff he did and funny stories he tells us.” Scopetto’s dedication to his players goes beyond the tennis court, he works to establish lasting and trusting relationships with his team. If Scopetto wasn’t a high school teacher he says he “Would probably be an astronaut.” Whether that is a genuine passion of his or just a joke, we will never know. That’s the thing about Mr.Scopetto, he jokes so much you can never be quite sure when he is being serious, but he would surely be an interesting addition to the NASA team. This being said, his sense of humor and laid back attitude makes him a favorite among students and a teacher I for one will never forget.
Journalism Students Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week 2018
Have you said thank you to any of your teachers this week? If not, then you should because this week is Teacher Appreciation Week!
Journalism students at Wethersfield High School have written their favorite memories about their favorite teachers. Their goal is to let teachers know how much they have contributed to their high school careers and lives.
Theses stories are memories that will always be remembered. Whether it’s a funny or empowering memory, we all appreciate the teachers here. This article is our simple way of saying thank you to the teachers at WHS.
Mr. Carr One person that I will always remember from Wethersfield High School is Mr. Carr. Before I met Mr. Carr, I heard many good rumors from my brother and his former students, so I was so excited to become one of his students. After that year, we became really good friends and created a great friendship that has lasted until now, my senior year. Mr. Carr is such an outgoing, intelligent, approachable and helpful guy. He has helped me with what I needed to know about college, told me stories of where he has traveled and talked me through tough times with school. Mr. Carr also has another side to him, a hysterical and amusing side. He isn’t afraid to joke around with his students and make class a fun time. Every morning before first period, I visit his room. When I walk in, he is always playing his music and singing, he is always in a great mood and can always cheer me up. He has taught me great life lessons, gave me good song suggestions, and great memories throughout my high school career. Madelyn Barone
Mr. Moger A teacher at WHS that had a great effect on my life was Mr. Moger. During my sophomore and senior year, he made history fun and everyday I enjoyed and looked forward to going to his class. Not only is Mr. Moger a fantastic teacher, he also knows how to entertain the students and have a good time. Celebrating holidays like Zheng He Day and Reformation Day are holidays I will never forget and enjoy celebrating the rest of my life. In addition to this, Mr. Moger is just a good person. He is always kind and willing to help students do the best that they can. Mr. Moger’s passion for what he teaches is very clear and as a student this makes me want to do better in the class. I have a love for history, especially European history, because of Mr. Moger. Also, the difficulty of his classes will help prepare me for college courses and this is something I will come to appreciate and be thankful for once my college career starts. Mr. Moger is one of my favorite teachers I have ever had. Not only do I feel this way buy my brother and cousins who have had him also feel the same way. Once I graduate, I will miss seeing Mr. Moger everyday but the love for European history and memories he gave me and many other students is something we will remember forever. Alex Tawrel
Mr. Scopetto Sco has been here seemingly since the foundation was put in. He's made so many friends while working his 100 year here. Honestly, Sco has been working for more years than some teachers have been alive, that's the second coolest fact about him. He has the least amount of missed days in the history of teaching at WHS. Not only is he a great teacher but he is also a great guy and that why he is the most loved person in the school. Jack Patrizzo
Mrs. Troy The most inspiring person I’ve met while here at WHS has definitely been Mrs. Troy. I only had Mrs. Troy for one year, but she taught me life lessons (and Chemistry) because she actually cares about us. Mrs. Troy is one of those people that you see beyond a teacher and inspires the students she’s in touch with. She doesn’t only teach us about bonds and compounds, but she connects herself with each student to make sure they’re okay in school and outside of school. She is kind, passionate about her teaching, and caring in the ways that she cares for her students as they are her kids, and she wants us to succeed. Mrs. Troy loves her chemistry and inspires us because of that. We had a pretty rowdy class and I can imagine it wasn’t easy to deal with everyone. Even if she didn’t know it, she would brighten our days with her huge heart and her desire to be there with us. Even though I didn’t have the highest grade in her class, Mrs. Troy still made me feel strong for being in her class and even more so as a person. I saw Mrs. Troy recently and she told me something that kind of changed my view about going to college. She said “You’re going to love the world outside of here.” and that is what my favorite memory with Mrs. Troy will be. She is a great teacher more importantly, an awesome person! Thank you Mrs. Troy Danielle Elliott
Mrs. Mucinskas One person who had inspired me a lot was Mrs. Mucinskas. Even though I met her in the beginning of my senior year, she has a big impact on me, having such motivation and being able to talk to someone who you can trust who is a teacher is such a good feeling. She can turn a cloudy and dark day into sunshine and that’s the type of teacher everyone needs. Need help planning? Need help knowing what your going to do with your life? Mrs. Mucinskas is the one you can ask, she is the best person to help you with planning out a good schedule, helping you with college plans, and gives good “mom advice.” I’m taking speech this semester, and the class is making me comfortable and has made me overcome my fear of speaking in front of people. I only have two more speeches to get through and am ever closer to the end of the year, which makes me upset because I gained a great relationship with her, my best friend. Almira Beganovic
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin has been one of the more inspirational teachers at WHS. This is my second year with him in both Senior English and Journalism. When I decided at the beginning of this year to change from the path of tech school to college, Mr. Martin was here to help me with my college essay. For two weeks, I would come in every day after class to work on it and make sure it was perfect. But in this time, we did more than just work on my essay. We had talks about life beyond high school and it was as if he was just a close friend. Mr. Martin has been a good influence on myself and I'm sure many others, and any person who has the pleasure to have him for class should be grateful. Dominic DiMarco
Mr. Miller This year as a senior, I met THE Mr. Miller, a huge Red Sox fan. (I know that because he told me to “throw out that rag you have on…” I was wearing a Yankees shirt). The first day of Pre- Calc, I remember him giving me the nickname “Maddie B”, which never gets old. The amount of nicknames I have in the class is countless, but “Maddie B” will always be the OG. His outgoing, bright, honest and hilarious self boosts my mood every time I walk into his class, even if it’s doing math last period. Mr. Miller is a great teacher who is always willing to help you. He has made my last year of high school fun and entertaining, like when he says “ight”or “yo” trying to “fit in” with all his students, it always makes me laugh which is something that is awesome about him. He is one of the funniest teachers I have had. Whenever someone raises their hand and says they have a question, he lowers his voice and says “okay” (if u had Miller as a teacher you would know) and it gets a good laugh every time. To keep the class light and focused, he has his “bad joke time” before the lesson starts, he loves it. Everyone loves it.
Mr. Miller is someone I can joke around with, yet rely on for help. I’m sad I didn’t meet him earlier on in high school, but I’m thankful I can end it with him, making me laugh. Thank you for being a teacher and a friend all in one, we will miss you next year. But hey, maybe I’ll see you when I decide to become a math teacher and be your student teacher! Lol. Thanks again bro!!! Madelyn Barone AKA Maddie B, Ma, Mala
Mr. Gallivan I wouldn't say Mr. Gallivan has inspired me in any way, but it's not his inspirational demeanor or his above-average English classes that kept everyone coming back; it’s his ability to connect with every student on a personal level. He’s often the teacher in school kids flock to vent their problems and gossip to because everyone knows his door is always open to advice and someone to talk to. Since sophomore year, we've had a running joke where I try to figure out what movie he was in. Two long years later, I still don't know but the almost infinite amount of movies out there has not stopped me guessing. One of the best memories I have with him were the countless anecdotes he always shared with us. From his weird college roommate who wouldn't brush his teeth alone to meeting Sen. Blumenthal, he always had an entertaining and engaging story to tell us. This is just one example of Mr. Gallivan being able to connect with other students. Using his dry, tongue and cheek humor, he has always had the ability to stand out amongst a plethora of teachers I’ve had the opportunity to had. Sam Reichelt
Mr. Nicholas When you want an inspiring, charismatic, and adventurous teacher who travels the world and goes to all but four Patriots home game in the last several seasons, Mr. Nicholas is the teacher for that job. Mr. Nick is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. He understands the way that students enjoy learning and applies it to the lessons that he teaches every day. He is very funny and jokes about a lot of things even when the situation might be a little stressful just to lighten up the mood. He has taught me many things including if you have the opportunity, explore the world and see the various things it has to offer. You only have one life so make the most of it even if that includes playing a character in a play that’s the opposite sex of you. He taught me to push past the hard times even if it’s a double lung replacement and going to a Patriots game a couple days after so you don’t miss it. it. I would always look forward to his class even if we had one of those brutal vocab quizzes. Mr. Nick is an awesome guy honestly, he has a heart of gold who can put a smile on anyone's face, especially Patriots fans when he would show us pictures of him in the background with his neon colored gloves that made him stick out behind the field goal posts. I will miss him and his enthusiastic personality next year, he had definitely left a positive impact on my life along with many other individuals and I will remember him as being one of my favorite teachers of all time. Jane Rumley
Mr. Roets One teacher that has inspired me is English teacher Mr. Roets. For me, he was not only just my junior and senior year English teacher, he was a person that continued to show me how to join “the conversation”. He’s also such a “dad” teacher, but he was a “cool dad”. He helps his students with their work by having a simple conversation that engages them, he doesn’t hand out ideas but he helps you come up with them. He also doesn’t treat his students like children or try to go around certain subjects, instead he joins the conversation with students… up until he gets uncomfortable, but that’s always funny. When I first started writing for his class, my essays were horrific. Senior year, they still sucked but a little less. And now, he’s helped me find passion in my writing that helped my essays in many ways, such as doing research and supporting my arguments with facts. I’m still a little rough, but baby steps. I know many of us appreciate his sarcasm, his ideas, his sweater vests, his LL.Bean catalog look, and much more. As Mr. Martin would say, “he is aCanadian God”. Jacqueline Reategui
All of my fondest memories of Wethersfield High School have occured in the room of English teacher Mr.Roets. Mr.Roets is a passionate and dedicated educator who takes the well being of his students very seriously. For me, Mr.Roets has become almost like a second father and someone I will never forget. We are able to connect over a similar sense of humor and admiration for quality writing. He takes time to understand his students on a personal level and position himself as an individual that students can confide in. In my senior year ECE Composition clas,s Roets encourages productive class discussion and challenges students to think outside of the box. As this was my second year taking a class of his, I have become accustomed to his way of teaching. His classes are structured around the students and he praises individuals that have a forward way of thinking. Often times we will spend full class periods discussing social issues that correlate with our topic of study. He always has insightful views that help inspire us to change our minds and read more deeply into works of literature and film. He is a teacher that sets the bar very high for his colleagues and goes above and beyond the standards. He inspires me to immerse myself into my education and has always been a supportive role model for me. On the days when I didn’t have any motivation to come to school, his class has always been what gets me through the day. The 90 minutes I spend sitting in the chair closest to his desk are the most cherished moments I have enjoyed in my high school career. Atlee Myers
Mr. Chatfield Although I haven't had Mr. Chatfield since my sophomore year at Newington High School, he is one of the many teachers that continues to inspire me. My first few days of junior year at Wethersfield, I saw him walking through the halls and was shocked when I found out we ended up at the same school after Newington. Mr. Chatfield is only on his second year of teaching at Wethersfield teaching Anatomy and Integrated Science. He works very hard and always puts his students before him. Coming to school with a smile on his face, he puts a lasting impression of motivation and determination on students. His enthusiasm brings personality and life to his classroom. He can be sure to get a loud, “Waddup Chatfielddd!” after time I see him in the halls but like… I was his first student ever so it is given that I need to be obnoxious about it. Aniela Zawisza
Scott Applebaum Over the last for years, I have spent extensive time with Athletics Trainer Scott Applebaum and it's fun every time. Not everyone can appreciate his dry humor, but I always find it funny. He's always very welcoming even if can you tell he's agitated. To go on top of things he's done here at school, he's done a lot for me outside his job here at the school as the trainer. When I broke my leg he made sure I got all the correct X-rays and MRI’s. Then, only weeks later when I got a concussion, he set me up with one of the best doctors around in that field. Hes helped me rehab from various injuries and has even taken his own time to come help the baseball team with agility drills. Thanks Scott! Tim Blaisdell
Mr. Ferrett The teacher who had the greatest impact on me by far was Mr. Ferrett. I came into his class the first day knowing I loved history, but lacked confidence in myself as a student. Throughout the year, Mr. Ferrett made lessons easy to understand and engaging. I found myself always looking forward to his class because it was evident he enjoyed teaching, seeing Mr. Ferrett without a smile was a rare occurrence. I learned so much in his history class which opened my eyes to the future opportunities I have in my education/career involving history and politics, thanks to a very well written letter of recommendation. Even though I no longer have him as a teacher, any time I see Mr. Ferrett in the hall he always greets me with the same smile and asks how I am. It is evident that Mr. Ferrett loves his job and cares about his students which makes it very easy to appreciate him. Jillian Amoroso
Mrs. Leuschner With this being her second year, Andrea Leuschner fits in to the Wethersfield Family perfectly. She specializes in FSC classes (Family Consumer Sciences) which includes Fashion Design, Culinary Art, Childhood Development, and others among the subject. The best part about her is that she really, truly teaches about the class you take. It isn’t a note taking class, its a hands-on learning experience. Mrs. L, which most students call her, is an inspiring leader that has had so much background in the industries about her teachings. Being a second year student of hers, I have had the chance to befriend Mrs. L and learn so much from her. She cares about her students beyond the classroom and will do whatever she can to help them out in any way she can. From altering students’ prom dresses to taking care of breakdowns during finals weeks, Mrs. L is someone you can 100% go to if you need any advice. She is someone who will be near and dear to my heart forever. Chelsea Pinchera
Ms. Byrnes One of my favorite teachers is Ms. Byrnes. I had Ms. Byrnes as a Freshman and a Senior. Freshman year she had to fill in for another teacher who had to leave mid-year, it was her first class she ever taught and she handled it great. To this day, it is still one of the best classes I’ve had at Wethersfield High school. I also had her this year as a senior and although I did little to no work in her class, she rarely got mad and didn’t assign a lot of homework which was cool. Brendan Dowd
Ms. Coco One teacher who’s had a significant impact on my life over the past two years would have to be Ms. Coco. She can come off as crazy and hyper sometimes, but when it comes down to business she’s spot on with how she gives direction. When I first met her last year, I took her class looking forward to learn more about video editing, photography and film editing. I had some experience with the software already but she showed features I never knew existed and opened a lot of brand new opportunities to use my skills. I ended up starting a YouTube channel which grew significantly, on top of that I’ve built up a lot of experience with Photoshop and Premiere. I started to help her out with Blue Eagle TV the following year. But what she taught wasn’t the only thing that made her an inspiring teacher. Over the course of last semester, when I was having a rough day she pulled me aside and made me talk it out with her, and it made me feel a lot better. She was very understanding and knew how to handle these situations and she really helped me out that day. Ever since then whenever something was on my mind I always told her and she’s really help me guide myself to be a better person. Johnny Gregory
Mrs. Campbell A teacher who I admire, respect and consider a good friend is Mrs. Campbell. I had her for both Digital Photography and Design Engineering my sophomore year which allowed me to have a really close relationship with her. Because of her open and kind nature, I can talk to her about anything and she can do the same too which is a very comforting feeling to have despite not having her as a teacher anymore. She is deeply caring and connected with her students both inside and outside of class, and has even attended some of my track meets as well as other school sporting events. Because of her outstanding way of teaching and all the interesting and useful information I have learned from her, I am taking the advanced digital imaging class next year and I cannot wait to walk into her classroom and be greeted with a big smile and hug from her. Ajla Ahmetovic
Mr. Mangino Mr. Mangino is not just a great teacher, he is a man of his word, he is the right wing of the third floor, he holds the whole floor together like glue. Mangino is a great man, and his job reflects his care for educating the future of our world. Language may not be everyone's main priority when it comes to school but I think when you take Mangino's spanish class, you start to value a second language. I took Spanish for 4 years and only one of those years was enjoyable, thanks to Mr. Mangino’s love and care for his students’ education. Adam Assi
Mr. Jensen One teacher that I want to show my appreciation to is Mr. Jensen. I can honestly say I’ve never learned so much in a single class before. I definitely didn’t expect to learn about myself while simultaneously learning the principles of calculus. Since elementary school, I never really had a strong arithmetic base and my skills also weren’t ideal. Math was always a subject I have struggled with, and though I do struggle in Mr. Jensen’s class, he teaches in a way that I can understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. In prior math classes I was always told, “This is how you’re going to solve this because that’s the way we solve it.” Not in Mr. Jensen’s class. Whenever we start something new, he shows us how it originated and why the shortcuts we take work the way they do. One of his infamous quotes goes something like, “The three principles of Calculus are algebraic manipulation, algebraic manipulation, and algebraic manipulation.” I can’t stress how right he is. I have learned more algebra in Calculus than I ever learned in Algebra. I’ve had to relearn many things this school year because I didn’t have the strong Algebra One base I needed. Mr. Jensen made the process easier, showing me how to manipulate problems to be able to solve any type instead of saying, “Here’s this type of problem and these are the steps you take when you see it.” Although my successes in his class are based on how much I practice at home, I want to thank Mr. Jensen for giving me the foundation and the help. Thank you for teaching me so many useful mathematical and personal skills. I’m truly grateful. Micaela Pereyra
Mr. Sand(man bring me a dream *bung bung bung*) By Jay McGuire One teacher who inspires me is Social Studies teacher Mr. Sand. I have been in two of his classes — US History and Current Issues — but Current Issues has by far been my favorite. As an LGBT student, it is very important to me that I feel safe and accepted in the classroom. Mr. Sand has always made an effort to be sure that happens and has been greatly supportive of myself and other LGBT students. It’s not just us though: Mr. Sand is always careful to be sure all students feel safe and accepted in the classroom, which I think is pretty cool. Students feeling safe in the classroom wouldn’t mean anything if Mr. Sand wasn’t a great teacher, but luckily, he is! Obviously, certain classes can be boring, but never Mr. Sand’s. I don’t think I’ve ever had a class with him in one and a half years where I’ve been all that bored or unengaged. Even the seemingly blandest lessons were made interesting with Mr. Sand; I never thought I’d find a way to care so much about farming or the stock market, but he found a way. There is only one negative thing I can say about Mr. Sand: every single time I see him without fail I get “Mr. Sandman” by the Chordettes stuck in my head. All my friends hate me because I see him at lunch very often and I just start humming that stupid song. This man is a wonderful teacher, but getting a song from 1958 stuck in my head every single time I see him is painful. Jay McGuire
Mr. Bourque Although he’s been our student-teacher for only a semester, Mr. B has helped me understand so many topics. He was able to teach the class information that we’ve never learned before like how to take a proper picture and was able to make it interesting. Considering how new of a teacher Mr. B is to teaching, he makes it seem like he’s been doing it forever. He manages to make boring lessons exciting and I wish I could have him longer. Ryan McCarthy
Mr. Horan Mr. Horan was one of my favorite teachers I had during my high school career. Every single day he would have a new lab for us to accomplish, and every single one was unique and fun. Not only is he a great teacher, he was a great entertainer, he always had a joke, and he never let our class get bored. Most importantly, he is a really nice guy, when I asked him to write my letter of recommendation for college, he said absolutely. That’s why I chose to say thank you to Mr. Horan for Teacher Appreciation Day. John Hopkins
Mrs. Kapalczynski One of my favourite teachers at WHS is Mrs. Sunbury. She is one of the most understanding and kind person I have ever met. She can handle the class really well even with her calm voice. I really understand the way she teaches and whenever I need her for help, she is always there being kind and understanding as usual. She always helps me catch up if I'm absent without being mad about it or frustrated. Thank you Ms. Sunbury for everything you do. Lorna Kalluci
Mr. Bagdasarian Bags is a WHS legend. He does everything he can to make sure all of his students have a good day. Bags has inspired me to become a gym teacher and coach. I want to live my middle aged years the same way he does. He’s a great guy and everyone in the school likes him. He’ll take time out of his day to text me and other players on the team to ask how we’re doing, or to see what our thoughts are on the team or practices. He’s taken the team out to breakfast and paid for most of the whole team’s check. He's taken us to Jordan's Furniture so the team can hit up the ropes course in the back. Mr. Bags has even taken the team to bowl on one of rainy days off and at that moment bowling, became my favorite sport in the world. Joseph Luiz
Ms. Ledoux One teacher that had made a strong impact on me is Ms. Ledoux, she has been one of my teachers for all four years here at WHS. Ms. Ledoux is a teacher that always cares for her students, makes sure they’re safe and never in harm's way. She has dedicated her life to the ALS students and community. Ms. Ledoux has taught her students how the outside world works, she has taught her student helpers to understand others ways of life and patients. In any situation Ms. Ledoux is calm and respectful, she never panics or worries, she’s got it all under control! Ledoux is a teacher who truly cares for everyone that steps into her classroom, she only wants success for everyone. She truly loves all the paraprofessional she works with, and of course all the students & student helpers. I will miss the ALS classroom and ALS staff SO much next year. Ledoux is memory maker with the best sense of humor! LOVE YOU, MS. LEDOUX! Lianna Montalvo
Mr. Brown Mr. Thomas Brown has been a part of my high school experience since freshman year, when I first joined the bike club. Nervous and intimidated by the domineering atmosphere of the much larger new school, I found Mr. Brown’s hospitality and wit a welcome introductory essence that helped me adjust to the different environment. Helpful and compassionate, I have seen him personally guide new members of the bike club as they learn how to ride for the first time, as well as in the classroom, willing to put in the extra time to explain and go over assignments for students who need it. He is very enthusiastic about what he teaches, prone to getting excited as he discusses particularly interesting concepts, and intent on making his lessons as fun and engaging as he can so that he can share that excitement with his students. Mr. Brown was a big help to me in many ways, and for that I owe this dedicated man of many talents a due thanks. J.E.O’Connor
What Will You Miss About WHS?
We are less than a week away from the most exciting time for seniors enrolled in high school across the nation, national college decision day. This unofficial holiday, but most anticipated holiday takes place on May 1 and is important for high school seniors because it marks the deadline for students to place their college deposits for the colleges they wish to attend. Wethersfield High School is no different, college fever has spread amongst the seniors and as the graduation date of June 22 is approaching I have one question for the graduating seniors: What will you miss about Wethersfield High School?
First I asked the some WHS seniors who played or are currently playing a sport, because after years filled with stress and excitement we will always remember our first high school game, whether it be our notorious football games or track meets, and everything in between.
Former cheerleader, Marina Zocco who is attending Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) says, “I’m going to miss my friends and I hope to see them after high school, whenever I’m on college break or something”.
Color Guard member Sabrina Berry, who is attending Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) joyfully says, “I’m going to miss all the construction and fire alarms going off, along with the many freon leaks. They added excitement to our days”.
Track member Victor Rodriguez said, "Nothing much I'm ready to get out of this place and starting being on my own. I'm ready for my independence from high school".
Sports are not only the only thing that represents WHS, Wethersfield also has a large performing and visual arts scene. From performances like Fiddler On The Roof to the AP Art murals, and the upcoming WHS Culture Night on May 15th.
Member of the National Art Honors Society, Christine Gallares who is attending The University of Hartford says, “[I’ll miss] the relationships with friends because in a way we did grow up with each other. Oh and I’ll guess I’ll miss some classes but it’s hard, how do you miss something you hate”.
Ap art student Brian Diaz had this to say, “There is little to miss since the person I miss is already gone. Mrs.Reardon was G.O.A.T.”
Other students who attend WHS, who are not in a sport or a club, have many words to say about their last for weeks at the high school they grew up in.
Current WHS senior, Micaela Pereyra, an Uruguayan immigrant who is attending ECSU claims, "I’m going to miss my teachers, my guidance counselor and memories I have with my friends”.
A student who is attending Central Connecticut State University, Sara Scott states, “I think I’ll miss the nice atmosphere and the support that most teachers would give us, and how understanding most of them were”.
I’ll be going to Wingate University and I’ll miss the funny loud classes that I had this year. Where else can I get away with outlandish rants and seeing a whole class get legal advice from a high school teacher.
As you can see many of our fellow WHS seniors have very different things to say about what they will miss, or not miss, about the high school. But we all can agree that we will be missing the memories that we made during our time at WHS and we will be enjoying the final weeks of experiencing those moments with our peers that we grew up with since elementary school.
We decided to interview president Emma Murray to get more details about fashion club and what to expect this is what she said...
What excites you the most about the club “I’m excited for our school to express themselves through fashion, we are also going to do a few community service projects so i’m excited for that.”
What do you hope to get out of this club “ To meet new people who share the same passion as me, also to have people express, and be themselves.”
What is on the table for the first meeting “ We are going to create mood boards to get to know each other kind of like an ice breaker but with your personal style.”
What is it going to be like “Every week is going to be different, it's going to be very laid back, and chill.”
When is the first meeting and how often will you meet “Mrs. L and I still have to decide when the first meeting is, it is definitely going to be in October though, we will meet at least two times a week. I will get the word out when we decide a date.”
A Big Night for Wethersfield Soccer
By Grant Anderson and Kenny Harrison
The boys and girls soccer's teams took on two difficult opponents this past Thursday. The boys took on the Farmington Tomahawks at Tunxis Meade Field while the girls team played the Glastonbury Tomahawks who are also a very tough opponent. The Farmington team and the Glastonbury team are both ranked in the Top 15 for the state according to Maxprep.com rankings. There was tension in the air as the girls team prepared to take on the Glastonbury. The team knew it would take their best to beat that team. The Tomahawks are ranked at #3 in the state according to Maxprep.com and the Eagles are ranked 35, so clearly the odds were stacked against Wethersfield. The girls game started with both teams getting a feel for each other. Each team was making plays but nothing that was really leading to any chances on goal. The momentum seemed to shift towards Wethersfield and it felt like Glastonbury was playing as if they has already won. The Eagles then made a chance at goal, and scored a goal that sneaked over the goalies hand and slide into the top of the goal. The Eagles were electric and celebrated but Glastonbury suddenly looked like they were ready to play. After about 10 minutes Glastonbury had a break away and made a great pass that set up the striker with a 1 on 1. She finished the shot into the left corner leveling the score. After that the Eagles made a bad tackle right outside the box, setting up a free kick. The Glastonbury player struck the ball into the top right corner making it 2-1. It was a downhill slope from there as Glastonbury took control and ended up winning 4-1.
As for the boys team, they fell to an early lead within the first 20 minutes. They had to step it up on defense for the rest of the first half. With 5 minutes left in the first half, Farmington scored to make it 2-0. At the start of the second half the tension was high. Wethersfield was putting more pressure on the Farmington defense getting more shots off but nothing was getting in behind their goalkeeper. In the end the challenge was too much and the boys lost the game after a good effort.
Senior captain, Christian Labella was asked what his thoughts were on the Farmington game? He said “I thought we could of been less direct on attacks and if we played them again we would win”. The next question was, how do you think the rest of the season will play out? He said “ I think we have only gotten better and smoother since game one and we will end with a winning record and make states if we all work hard enough”. Finally, we asked Labella how close is the team? Do you think you play well together? He said “ we are very close, our team chemistry is high on and off the field”.
Mr. John Walsh: Former Paramedic and Current Science Teacher at WHS
Wethersfield High School science teacher, John Walsh was once a former paramedic. Walsh teaches integrated science and is also an assistant track and field coach at WHS. He also taught science at Silas Deane Middle School. He has been a teacher for over 23 years. Prior to becoming a teacher Walsh, was a paid paramedic in the Hartford area for about 6 years. Walsh said, “I originally thought of becoming a fireman and thought becoming an EMT would give me an advantage on joining a department. I also thought of going to school and becoming a doctor or a physician assistant”. But when he got married, he decided to become a teacher. While he was getting certified as a teacher he continued to work part time as a Paramedic, but once he completed his teaching certification, he never went back into EMS. Walsh shared this story about his most memorable call, “My most memorable call was when I saved a three year old boy from choking to death. I performed the heimlich maneuver on him and the piece of candy became dislodged and he started to breathe again which was very gratifying knowing I saved the life of such a young person and gave him a chance of eventually fulfilling his dreams in the future.” Walsh said that his favorite part of being a paramedic was, “It was always something different from day to day and you never really know what to expect from one minute to the next”.
The Terror's of Distracted Driving
By: Elena Lapa
With summer approaching fast, as well as the junior and senior proms, the Wethersfield Volunteer Ambulance Association in conjunction with the Wethersfield Fire and Police Departments staged a mock car accident with staff and student actors to show students at Wethersfield High School the dangers of distracted driving.
The entire school was witness to the production on April 23 on a brisk morning. There were two motor vehicles smashed into each other, one car containing a mother and son who were hit by an oncoming car with four passengers in which the driver was intoxicated. Senior Jane Rumley, the actor in the passenger seat, passed away because the driver of the car decided to make the wrong choices. One bad choice made by the driver (played by junior Jarrett Livingston) caused so much chaos not only in the victims lives, but their families and friends as well.
The goal of the mock car crash was to help bring awareness to students to help them make the right decisions and to think twice about being distracted while driving.
During the incident,Wethersfield Fire Chief Richard Bailey spoke to juniors and seniors to help them understand that this could happen to any of you if you make the wrong decisions. He wanted to speak directly to the crowd to help them to understand what can occur if you make the wrong choices while driving.
As the Wethersfield Fire Department was breaking apart the car to get each victim out, Chief Bailey spoke to the students and said, “You could be the one in that vehicle. You could be the one in that body bag or on that stretcher. Think twice before you get behind the wheel.”
Senior Lily Langdon described the scene as “Very overwhelming. This whole thing has become eye opening to see how law enforcement responds after an accident.”
This mock car crash is something that is very real and can happen to anyone. Adnan Fejzic described it as, “Something that started off as a joke, turned real in just a matter of seconds.”
Mrs. Kelly Clark, the assistant chief in Wethersfield, followed by her team, spoke about what the mock car crash was meant for. It was in that room where the juniors and seniors became silent and began to understand why this is such a serious matter. It is important to understand that this exercise will be used as a lesson to use good judgement, and to not drive distracted. None of us want to see our friends get pulled out in a body bag, and none of us want to be in that body bag. It’s up to us to try and make the right choices not just for ourselves but for everyone around us as well.
As a previous student at Wethersfield High School, it was clearly evident that Mrs. Griffin was passionate about her after school activities.
Being a female, sports weren’t exactly an option at WHS. Neither was wearing pants, which she describes as being “a huge change”, as skirts were mandatory. “Things changed quite a bit” she says. Most females would spend their time after school in clubs. In Mrs. Griffins case, the Phoenix magazine was one of her outlets. Being a staff member of the Phoenix, she describes the process of how much effort went into the yearbook and the magazine. Done on a real newspaper press, the magazine and yearbooks were printed in house and cut out by hand to look perfect. A full print shop was opened and the amount of work described to make the old yearbooks was immense. The Yearbooks are now completed online through simple templates, that are described as “a piece of cake” compared to the old system. Students used to have to handwrite entries, and had most of their time consumed as a yearbook staff member. Griffin graduated from the University of Hartford and got her degree in Instrumentation (automation and running factories).She transferred into United Technologies for her first line of work. Working in the plating lab and designing prototypes from huge sheets of acetate, down to simply designing onto computers was a massive change, and one that occurred right in front of her eyes. Brought by United Technologies, Mrs. Griffin took an IT approach and landed herself a career at Wethersfield High School in 1998, working in the computer lab. Although you can catch her behind a desk at the library most days, her love for computers is unmistakeable. Shown in the interview below, she has a passion for code and for making sure everything gets done on time. Her other passions outside of the workplace include an active gardening life, tending to her birds, and sailing with her husband down in Old Saybrook. There is no doubt that Mrs. Griffin is the right candidate to run the yearbook. Here is an interview with her about her career.
Q: What does working in the media center at Wethersfield High School entail? G: Mostly just helping the kids with whatever they need. There’s paperwork and all those kinds of things but we’re mainly here to direct and help the students.
Q: Is there a lot of organization of books? G: Mainly just following the Dewey decimal system and organizing fiction from non-fiction. It’s not a lot of work.
Q: What do you think about the newer students and how they learn? Are you seeing a decrease in book checkouts? G: I’ve only been in the library for two years actually, but we take out a fair number of books. Mainly fiction. Now when there’s projects there’s actually a requirement for there to be a book component, not just look it up online. So we’ll have some come down and check out some non-fiction. It’s driven mostly by the assignments.
Q: What do you think about the decrease in book checkouts? G: Well being a computer science person, I deal mostly with the computers. My focus is all about finding the resources online rather than a book. I’m more on the technology side.
Q: What’s your opinion on the school becoming more technologically driven ie: iPads and Chromebooks? G: Totally my opinion. I’ve been with computers since the beginning and came along with them. I unfortunately see that students are understanding computers less and less. They expect things to be done at a touch of a button. It’s a mobile thing. They have difficulty formulating a good search. They’re letting Google take over everything. It’s about digging deeper. Pretty soon we won’t even have to type, it’ll be all speech.
Q: What made you decide to work at Wethersfield High School? G: Quite honestly because my kids are in school haha. Only reason I’m here.
Q: Is there anything this job entails that you wouldn’t have expected? G: Just that there’s so much repetition. That I have to tell some of the same people over and over again the same things. Talking to a whole group becomes difficult because a lot of students aren’t tuned into it. I just expected it to be different. Students are used to multitasking, a lot of retention isn’t there. That worries me.
Q: What does being in charge of the yearbook entail? G: Deadlines. Deadlines. Always deadlines. The book is printed in sections because the company that prints them does so many different schools, and that means deadlines. It’s something that students don’t know about. Hard deadlines. With teachers extending deadlines for projects the yearbook isn’t quite like that. When the deadline is due the section goes to the printer that day. You can’t have another week. The hard deadlines are something that can be difficult to deal with.
Q: Any challenges with running the yearbook? G: Besides deadlines, getting students to participate. Not just those on the yearbook committee, but the students. I have some students who haven’t even gotten their senior picture taken yet. Senior quotes are due too, and there’s a deadline for that. Sometimes getting the information out to the students can be difficult because no matter how many announcements, emails, teachers, or advisory classes tell them about them, there’s always some who don’t pay attention. It’s the kind of challenge that happens with every yearbook. It’s that it’s YOUR yearbook. I need your pictures, quotes, candids, family pictures or anything you want to put in. The problem is that students don’t do this and I never get submissions. My job is pretty much all the boring work but it’s important. It’s something that has to be done.
2017 Soccer Season Opener Recap
The girls and the boys soccer team took on the New Britain Hurricanes on Friday, September 8th. The girls played a home game on Cottone Field, while the boys went on the road to New Britain. The girls won 7-0 and the boys took home the win with the final score of 4-0 with winning goals from Brendan (Senior), Dino (Junior), Ben (Senior) and Christian (Senior). From the very start of the girl’s home game, it was clear that they were in control. New Britain could not move the ball past the 50-yard line and the Eagles were making constant runs and shots at the goal in the very beginning. An out of box goal was scored by Chloe Troy. The game plan for the second half was to stop the simple mistakes and make the goals in the box. The defense stood strong and anytime the ball even came close to half field, it was quickly intercepted and passed forward starting a sequence for another goal.
The game ended in total domination by the Wethersfield girls and the final score was 7-0 giving the Eagles a win in their season opener. Madelyn Barone was asked about what changed between the first and second half and she said, “We played a lot better in the second half because we finished crosses and took more and better quality shots. Because of this, we scored four times in the second half and only three in the first.”
The boys and girls take on their next game against Rocky Hill on Tuesday, September 12th.
The boys are looking for revenge from last year’s game against Rocky Hill which resulted in a loss. The boys are ready for a win to eliminate last year's loss from their minds. The girls will play at seven o'clock in Rocky Hill and are also looking to get another win this year after a solid victory last year.
Looking further down the schedule to Friday, September 15th, the girls will take on RHAM on the Cottone Field at 6:30 p.m. The game is set to be huge with rumors of many RHAM students coming to WHS to support their team. The boys go on the road to take on South Windsor and are hopeful for another win.
Legends at Wethersfield High School
At Wethersfield High we have a fantastic staff teaching us more than academics in the classroom. Out of the 91 current teachers I interviewed some of the most tenured in the building. Richard Scopetto (40 years of teaching experience) Mr. Scopetto, often referred to as “Sco” by the students, is currently our only teacher who has been teaching at Wethersfield High since the late 1970’s! He has previously taught at Silas Deane Middle School and Webb Elementary as well. Sco is currently one of our physical education teachers, as well as the coach of girl’s tennis and boy’s wrestling coach. In the past, he taught Math at Webb Elementary. I asked Sco about his teaching experience, and he responded by saying, “I come to school everyday to learn. I learn from the kids everyday.” Sco was eligible for retirement five years ago, and he said to me, “I come to school to have fun. Who’s gonna pay me to have fun? I get to interact with humans and I really enjoy it. Till this day”. Sco is a very positive and enthusiastic teacher. He comes in everyday with a positive attitude that not only uplifts himself, but the students as well.
Joseph Kess (32 years of teaching experience) Mr. Kess has been teaching at Wethersfield High School since 1985! He is currently teaching Physics, Computer Science, and AP Computer Science. In the past, Mr. Kess has also taught Algebra, Tech Ed, Math, AP Bio, and Anatomy & Physiology. He has been apart of the Wethersfield School District for over 30 years! I had previously asked Mr. Kess what his first day of teaching was like and he said, “I was very young looking at the time, so I sat in the back of the room and let the students think I was another student until class started”. Mr. Kess is the kind of teacher who wants students to be able to earn their grades in his class, so he tries not to do too much for them, but rather have them work for their grades on their own.
Jeffrey Moger (25 years of teaching experience) Mr. Moger started his teaching career at the high school in the Fall of 1992. He has been a part of the Wethersfield Community for 25 years! He has mostly taught International Studies grade 10, and AP European History grade 12. Moger has always been excited to teach new students and to learn more from the students. I had asked Moger what he would recommend to future teachers and he said, “Teaching has to be enjoyable and purposeful or it becomes drudgery. Don't teach during the summers or you risk burnout. Though it is a great job, you need a break to be an adult and hang out with adults. Keep learning your subject and your craft. You can always know more and do better.” It’s important to connect with your students and create a bond with them so that not just the students, but the teachers can enjoy their time as well.
We appreciate every teacher that help us succeed and move on in our lives. Their teachings have inspired us to do good in our academic lives and we appreciate them each and every day.
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