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NEWS

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THE PATRIOT November 2013

Congress closes door for first time in nearly 20 years


by Dylan McDevitt From October 1st to October 16th, 2013 the United States government experienced its first shutdown in almost 20 years. The possibility of a shutdown occurred after Congress failed to authorize a budget for fiscal year 2014. The battle was fought over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare. Tea Party senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee pressured the Republican-favored House of Representatives to delay the implementation of this legislation. As a result of this delay, the government was forced to shut down due to lack of necessary funds for 2014. This closed all non-essential governmental agencies. 800,000 government employees were furloughed, and another 1,300,000 government employees were expected to report to work without the certainty of knowing when their next paycheck would be received. The shutdown had drastic economic effects on the United States. In total, when the government was not functioning, approximately $24 billion was lost in revenue. This caused the projected fourth-quarter growth of the GDP to fall from 3.0 percent to 2.4 percent. According to Time, the breakdown of how this money was lost was about $3.1 billion in lost government services, $152 million per day in lost travel spending, $76 million per day lost because of National Parks being shut down, $217 million per day in lost federal and contractor wages in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area alone. The United States was approaching its debt limit restricting the amount of money it could borrow. The House of Representatives and the Senate came to a last second deal to fund the government temporarily for the next few months. Local Congressman Leonard Lance voted to reopen Congress putting in place as he put it, long overdue budget negotiations between the House and Senate. As a part of the agreement, a conference committee comprised of several Senators and Congressmen was appointed to forge a comprehensive long-term budget plan by the end of 2013. It is chaired by former Vice-President candidate Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray.

New Jersey updates phys ed


by Irene Margiotta The new state mandated changes to physical education class this year have earned mixed reviews from students. All students, not just freshmen as it has been in previous years, must be evaluated at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year in the sit-and-reach and mile run. Also, before each class students must complete a circuit that includes a six-minute run and at least six exercises- for example jumping jacks or push-ups. A written component has been added, where students have to take quizzes on the activity in which they are participating in. Perhaps the biggest change, however, is the weekly fitness day. Once a week, all students are pulled out of whatever activity they normally do to complete the fitness day: walking the curve, running the straight parts of the track, or a series of sprints on the turf. With the new curriculum, students are expected to improve their beginning of the year mile and sit-and-reach scores. Junior athlete Grace Tino does not like the new changes to the physical education program this year. She questions the purpose. The exercises and activities are unnecessary, and it doesnt help me get in shape at all even if they think that it does. Tino also voiced her opinion of participating in her after school sport plus the fitness days. The fitness days make me worry about getting hurt. Running on the track on a game day is definitely not ideal. On the other hand, sophomore Katie McDonald does not have such a negative opinion. Its okay, but it used to be more fun. The major issue this sophomore has with the new gym class is that it is not what it used to be. Gym is supposed to be fun, like playing games with your friends, not working out together. Despite the mixed reviews from students, physical education staff members like the change. Phys ed teacher Robin Meyh likes how the new updates are focusing on wellness and fitness, which we have strayed away from in the past. Colleague Jennifer Stevens agrees, The changes are about health, well-being, and lifetime wellness that you can carry with you throughout your life. Addressing the negative comments from students, she adds, Its not a punishment. Of course, kids are going to think that, but in class we havent gotten much resistance to it. We are proud of how well the kids are doing.

Tornadoes rip through Illinois


by Irene Margiotta At least 16 tornadoes struck Illinois and a small part of northwest Indiana on Sunday, November 17th, leaving mass devastation in its wake. The tornadoes ranged from levels EF-1 to EF-4, just one short of the strongest on the charts. The strongest EF-4 tornado hit Washington, Illinois in the early afternoon and lasted ten minutes. It had winds of up to 190 miles per hour, and its path of destruction stretched for more than 46 miles. The death count is currently confirmed at five, but several dozen are injured. The American Red Cross has set up six shelters across central Illinois, and many organizations are trying to provide relief through donations of food and clothing as hundreds of homes were destroyed.

Typhoon Haiyan levels 80,000 homes


by Meghan Power On Friday November 8th the most powerful typhoon ever recorded cut through the Philippine islands leaving a destroyed and devastated population in its wake. When the Philippines were alerted by the Red Cross of Typhoon Haiyan, immediate action was taken. Evacuating as many as 800,000 people from Leyte and Eastern Samar islands, thousands were still left behind, terrified and fiercely searching for sanctuary. When the storm finally blew through, the two islands acted as ground zero. With record breaking conditions of 175 mph winds and waves peaking at 45 feet, Haiyan reduced these coastal, provincial cities to nothing more than a pile of debris and decomposing bodies. Now as days pass and anxiety rises, the rates of missing, dead, and injured have been rapidly escalating. Distraught families desperately search the ruins corpses of their loved ones to protect them from the mayhem enveloping the area. These thousands of families are not only left with the scent of death in their nostrils, but also the idea of having no food, water, or shelter. The Philippines population, now in a state of apocalypse, are in need of aid, but also hope to restore calm after the storm.

Sophomore Jack Dugan prepares to serve the birdie (Photo by Emma Boyd and Paige Haggerty)

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THE PATRIOT November 2013

SCHOOL NEWS

Holocaust speakers share their experiences with seniors


by Raymond Jackson Holocaust survivors Ed Bindel and Ruth Ravina spoke to seniors and faculty members in the auditorium on October 29 to share their experiences of living through the Holocaust. Both members of the Holocaust Council of Greater Metrowest Survivors Speak Program, Bindel and Ravina are child survivors who had amazing, life-affirming, and often touching stories to tell about their childhood and the people and incidents that shaped them into who they are today. Bindel opened the proceedings with his time as a young boy in Poland, before the Holocaust. His recollections of how his previously normal life turned upside down when the Holocaust separated him from his parents had the audience glued to their seats. Bindel particularly captured the audiences attention with his narration of how a nanny by the name of Jozia Remus took him in and protected him from the harsh reality that life for a young Jewish boy in Poland had become, often risking her own life in the process. By turns both uplifting and moving, his anecdotes about how Remus saved his life and how he managed to survive in such appalling conditions captivated the audience. Ravina also told her story of imprisonment in Polish concentration camps, and how she broke into these camps to be with her mother. She gripped the audience with her tales of managing to survive the Holocaust as a young girl, barely escaping certain death on numerous occasions, and how her family and friends helped her survive. Ravina also told of a particularly shocking anecdote in which she befriended an S.S. officer, who treated her as little more than a dog; indeed, he had his own dog sit in one corner and she in another, taking turns to feed them scraps of meat. Although many seniors already knew about the Holocaust through history lessons in school and reading memoirs and novels on the event, such as Primo Levis Survival in Auschwitz and Elie Wiesels Night, nothing had brought to life the true horrors of the Holocaust as vividly and as eye-openingly as this Holocaust assembly. After hearing such atrocities being told firsthand from actual Holocaust survivors, everyone in the audience left with a profound experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.

From left, Julia Drozle, Julia Doyle, Tori Hey, Graham Helfrick, and Nicky Fraebel get into character in the fall drama. (Photo courtesy of The Journeyman)

Mendham Players debut with Dont Drink the Water


by Katie McDonald Formerly called simply the Drama Club, the Mendham Players made their debut with Woody Allens Dont Drink the Water . English teachers Molly Oehrlein and Joseph Braccino, along with Tony Ross, brought Allens quirky romantic comedy to the Mendham stage in early November. Over 50 students auditioned for the 14 member cast. Currently the newly named club has 60 members. Teaching students how to do theater on both sides of the curtains, Braccino states is the main focus of the club. The students create the props, do the advertising, technology, social media, and choreographing. My favorite thing, Braccino adds is their creativity. They have accomplished such amazing work in such a short period of time. Club advisors are impressed with the students hard work and determination. The first audition attracted 50 students for Dont Drink the Water a play set in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. This a very independent program and students are very excited about it, Braccino adds. They are bringing theater back in a big way. In the spring the players will stage Footloose , Braccino enthuses. We are the Mendham Players and we play hard.

Option Two for physical education offered at high school


by Grace Tino The Mendham Board of Education allows an alternative to the normal physical education classes called Option Two, a policy approved by the Department of Education of New Jersey which permits athletes who train outside of school the ability to opt out of gym as long as state standards are met. The Department of Education of New Jersey has established a policy called the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS). According to the Department of Education of New Jersey, this set of regulations requires students across New Jersey to complete a body of classes that will develop fitness, motor skills, integrated skills, and education to lead to a healthy and active lifestyle. New Jersey has offered another policy, known as Option Two, that allows students alternatives to the typical physical education curriculum. Option Two allows students to graduate with physical education credit through an alternative activity. Such alternative activities are required to meet the standards set by the Core Curriculum Content Standards. The local District Board of Education decides on the individual students by evaluating the ways the alternate activity meets the standards. Students considering doing Option Two next year have several requirements to consider. Any alternate study must be a year-round activity that is individual (not team). This independent study must include a difficult training program in preparation in a sport that is high level and not sponsored by the high school. Eight hours of rigorous training with a certified personal trainer is required with the activity. The independent study must achieve equal or greater development to the study provided by the school. Also, brief attendance of school physical education is required at the start of the year in order for any students in independent study to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the class. Attendance at one marking period of health education is required. Many student athletes believe anyone who plays any sport outside of school should have the opportunity to take Option Two. A majority of the student body claims that students who participate in team sports outside of school work equally as hard as students that train individually. Irene Margiotta participates in a year-round travel softball team. I dont think its fair that students who spend a lot of time outside of their school sport dont get to get out of gym, she states. We do a lot of physical activity. We fulfill what we would do in gym- and much more than that. Her numerous hours of softball make it hard to balance school work, sports, and college recruitment. I spend 10 hours playing outside of school- playing in tournaments, practices, and individual training, she adds. If I had study hall from Option Two, I would be so much more comfortable with my workload. Sophomore Katie McDonald who plays lacrosse outside of school agrees. Option Two is a good idea, but they should offer it to the other athletes. Marissa James, who currently participates in the Option Two independent study claims it is a major help in reducing stress and making the school workload more manageable. Last year I didnt have it, and I was falling asleep in classes after gym, she says. I had no other time to do homework either. The study hall lets me get work done. Many students believe that Option Two should now be considered for athletes participating in team sports outside of school because of its ability to reduce stress and make homework manageable.

From left, Andrew Broderick, Blake Chernin, and Brian Carrera poses in the embassy. (Photo courtesy of The Journeyman)

Cafeteria changes providers


by Liam Diana One month into the new school year, students and faculty members have taken notice of the difference in the cafeteria menu. This year, the food supplier has changed from Pomptonian Food Services, to Aramark Corporation. freshly baked goods every day and focuses on controlling the variety of the foods that they serve. Freshly baked pizza, fruit cups, pudding, muffins and various other products are available every day. The new menu has received generally positive reviews from students and faculty members.The cost of the food from this year to last year is the same. The only aspect of the new menu that has been critiqued heavily is the new pizza. Many want to buy pizza from Dantes, and more students have found themselves bringing lunch to school more often. Surprisingly, the decrease in pizza sales has not impacted the revenue. This year, sales in food have increased slightly. This is due to the variety the cafeteria offers, and just because the pizza isn't selling, doesn't mean that there arent other products to be sold. Aramark offers a suggestion box providing students and faculty and opportunity to add favorites to the menu. Typically this year, there are more healthy choices than last year.

Even though the company is new, relatively all of the staff has remained. Aramark provides food for other schools, businesses, educational institutions, sports facilities, and healthcare institutions. Aramark strives to create

SCHOOL NEWS

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THE PATRIOT November 2013

to Mendham staff
Viola finds a great fit
by Grace Tino Victoria Viola joins the staff in her first teaching job this year, bringing with her determination, work ethic, and fun as she fulfills her dream of becoming an English teacher. Viola first dreamed of becoming a teacher in her junior year of high school when she was inspired by her English teachers. I had really amazing teachers in high school, Viola says. I wanted to help kids like my English teachers helped me. Viola continued to pursue her dream when she attended The College of New Jersey. There, she studied English and secondary education. Mendham High School, along with other schools, visited TCNJ to recruit for the teaching staff. It was there she heard the promising qualities of the school and decided to visit herself with hopes for the perfect match. The second I stepped into this school, I knew it was a great fit! she exclaims. Currently, Viola is teaching one English I Studies class, three English I Advanced classes, and one Honors/Pre-IB English I class. She enjoys working with the staff and students. The kids and teachers are all so nice, she says. Its a great work environment! Viola is particularly passionate about working with her students, who can always brighten her day and make class fun and memorable. They make me smile and say funny things! she adds. Viola hopes to get involved with activities as well. In high school, she ran track, played soccer, and was even President of the National Honor Society. She hopes to either coach soccer or track teams. She is also looking forward to positively influencing her current and future students to become determined, hard-workers. I consider myself to have a good work ethic she explains. I hope that it will rub off on my students. Viola is looking forward to being a part of the WMMHS staff and changing the lives of fellow students and teachers. If youre trying, youre going to succeed, Viola confidently promises.

Language department welcomes Sanches


by Paige Haggerty New world language teacher Priscilla Sanches dives into an exciting new start as she begins the year teaching Spanish two and three. With a first degree in journalism, Sanches says she was always very committed to education I felt like I was very fortunate to come from a family that could give me an opportunity to educate others. Sanches was able to put this opportunity to use as she tutored children in orphanages in Brazil. This fascinating experience helped her not only give back to her community through education, but also to learn and grow within herself. Sanches feels this way about her students at Mendham as well. I always learn with my students. by Chandler Avallone As the newest addition to the world language department, Melissa Hargis is excited to start working with her students, fostering a better understanding of the origin of the English language. Hargis was raised in the Tallahassee area of Florida, where she attended Florida State University and earned a Bachelors degree in Classical Archeology in 2004. This does not seem to be the ideal major for a future teacher, but Hargis knew that she would eventually become a teacher because teaching is deeply involved with archeology. She then earned her Masters degree in that major as well as Museum Studies in 2007. Hargis eventually travelled to the home of the Latin language, Rome, where she studied for a summer session in 2009. Rome has always been a favorite of Hargis, travelling to the Italian capital city eight times for a combined total of three years. by Dylan McDevitt John Cassidy joins the math department after spending several years teaching at Central. Cassidy has been a native of New Jersey for the vast majority of his life. He was born in Jersey City, and grew up in Iselin. After graduating high school, he continued his education at Lehigh University receiving an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. Cassidy then received his masters in finance at Rutgers University. Cassidy has not always been a teacher. He originally spent time working in sales and eventually became an entrepreneur. Cassidy owned and operated his own business, World Wide Express, which dealt with sales and distribution selling its services to DHL. After selling his business, by Irene Margiotta Solange Sandel, one of the new additions to the world language staff this year, teaches Spanish levels 2 and 4. Sandel has a unique background, moving to the United States only nine years ago from her home country Venezuela. Her twin sister also made the move to the States and decided to live in New York City, while the rest of her family still resides in Venezuela. She attended Seton Hall University in South Orange, where she was an active member of the Latino Institute. Sandel completed her student teaching in middle schools in South Orange, but this is her first teaching job. Moving from Seton Hall to the Mendham area is a big change, but she says, The first time I stepped in here for an interview I loved it. What drew her in was the schools reputation for academic Among her travel experiences, she has been to many unique destinations including Turkey and Egypt. Sanches is enjoying her time at Mendham and is impressed with how dedicated and academic her students are. She says that for now, adjusting to the new school is her priority, but being involved in the Spanish Honor Society at Mendham is something she is interested in. Her hobbies outside of the classroom include frisbee and the practice of yoga. Advice for her students involves keeping an open mind and challenging themselves to learn and grow. Sanches looks forward to a wonderful and exciting year at Mendham with her students and colleagues. The job that Hargis originally pursued was being a paleontologist, but she settled on teaching. She previously taught in Chicago at Lincoln-Way for a year and also back in her home state in Okeechobee, Florida before making her way to Mendham. Hargis will be both introducing new students to the language and building on what her second year students already know. Well start at the beginning, Hargis says when describing her approach to teaching this lost language. The class will not be only about the language, though, as her background in Classical Archeology and her knowledge of the history of Latin will be included into the course. Language and history go hand in hand, she adds, making the class two subjects in one with both. Hargis is enjoying the school and she is optimistic that she can fit in well, saying I hope that I can stay for a long time. Cassidy pondered where he should take his vocation. He credits his wife who is also a teacher as the inspiration to become a teacher. Cassidy began his teaching career at Hillsborough High School and eventually began teaching at Central High School. He spent three years at Central, and this is his fourth year teaching in the school district. Cassidy will teach calculus, statistics, and Algebra II this year. There is not that big of a difference between Mendham and Central for me, Cassidy notes. The only difference I have noticed is that I am not familiar where all my classes are. Cassidy currently resides in Bridgewater with his wife and four children. In his free time he enjoys keeping active by biking and running. He also coaches his sons sports teams. excellence, and she also loved the number of graduates that continue on to college each year. Sandel predicts that her biggest challenge is going to be motivating students who are not as eager to learn. She is certainly up for the challenge, however, and is ready to take advantage of this opportunity. She attended the first Mendham football game and was amazed at the student spirit and feeling of community. Theres so much I still have to learn, Sandel notes, but once I got here, I felt like I knew everybody. She hopes to see more school events in the future and learn more about the culture of the student body. Even though she is a long way from home, Sandel loves the way she can already fit into the Mendham High School community.

Hargis combines history and Latin

Mr. Marold leads Algebra Two class (Photo by Olivia Spathakis)

Marold returns to his alma mater


by Nick Agoglia Chris Marold has spent eight years in the West Morris Regional School District as a mathematics teacher, but this is his first year teaching at West Morris Mendham, his alma mater: class of 2001. When asked what made him want to come back to teach here, Marold said that he had a good experience during his high school years at Mendham. Also, he had a strong desire to teach math and coach wrestling, and he lives in the area of both schools. He said that based on his first few weeks of teaching at Mendham, the school seems very much the same as it was in 2001. After his high school years, Marold attended Rider University where he wrestled and originally studied for a business major. However, he decided to change from a business major and go for a double major in both mathematics and education. I like that math always has a solution, something you can check, whereas other subjects might be more abstract, Marold notes. After wrestling at Rider, Marold decided to coach wrestling at Central, along with coaching the girls JV soccer team; however, wrestling is his main passion. Although he has started teaching at Mendham this year, Marold splits his day between teaching here in the morning and Central in the afternoon. Even though he enjoys coming back to Mendham, he does say that the trips between the two schools can be stressful. Getting everything ready and prepared for each class at two different schools is challenging. After teaching his first few weeks at Mendham, Marold notes that the schools seem pretty similar. In regards to the classes he teaches, Marold said that students in any of his math classes just need to give me the best effort and work hard in order to succeed.

Cassidy transfers skills to Mendham

Jiang eager for the coming year


by Marissa James Cherry Jiang joins the world language department teaching Chinese one and two. Jiang earned her B.A. degree at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. After graduating, Jiang moved to the U.S. and worked as a human resource specialist in business management. I wanted to study here...I came to give myself the opportunity to see the world and learn about western culture, Jiang says. I was so curious about the world outside of China. Soon Jiang realized she liked the training aspect of her job and started teaching instead. I really like teaching; its very rewarding. Its really a fabulous job, and its what I really want to do, Jiang claims. The reason I teach is because its my passion and I love watching my students as they accomplish their goals in Chinese. Shes excited to note the growth of the Chinese program as an rising U.S. trend that provides opportunity and an advantage in a global community. Jiangs goals for the year are fitting in to high school culture: high expectations for her students, as well as the opportunity to introduce her students to Eastern culture. She has lived in New jersey for eight years and explained the difference between high schools here versus those in China. The students dont have much, if any, say in their classes, and not nearly as many electives. They sit in the same room, and the teachers go class to class instead. They attend morning, afternoon, and evening classes that go until about 9:30 at night, however, Jiang says they have a longer study time. She looks forward to fitting into the high school culture here.

Sandel joins the language department

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THE PATRIOT November 2013

SCHOOL NEWS

Hellos and goodbyes


Rosen reflects on successful career
by Kirsten Eversen Guidance counselor Joan Rosen retired at the end of September, leaving behind her legacy of 22 years at Mendham and her impact on thousands of students. Rosen always held a position as guidance counselor within her 35 year long career. Though certified to teach in the sciences, Rosen loved having a direct impact on students futures and preferred the one-on-one interaction with students a counselor position allowed. Its a much different experience working with students individually, Rosen explains. You get to know them personally rather than in the classroom setting. The role of guidance counselor also left little slack time, an aspect Rosen eagerly anticipated and enjoyed. Constant innovation and intellect were requisite in dealing with the problems at hand. Many times an expected routine and plan for the day would be interceded by a crisis needing immediate attention. There was no monotony, Rosen remarks. Every day was a different day. by Emma Boyd Child study team consultant Dr. Francesca Plain decided to leave to pursue other opportunities, taking a new position at a private special education school. Although she leaves behind many memories and friends, Plain is eager to begin her new job, I know the people; I know the school; some people I have known for 25 years! Plain shares how she will miss Mendham, but the timing and opportunity convinced her to take the new job and to continue to aid children. Plain shared some of her favorite memories while working here, mostly about the staff whom she has gotten very attached to. It becomes a second family. By spending her time working with the child study team, she has had the opportunity to work with many new students who perhaps need to be classified or And I loved that. Working in three districts and two states at both the middle and high school level over 35 years gave Rosen plenty of experience, but it was Mendham High School where she refined her passion for the job. The focus on college was very exciting, states Rosen. As a guidance counselor, I was able to help kids with adult concerns and watch them mature over their high school experience. Rosen also assisted with other issues such as domestic, financial, and family conflicts. Handling the scheduling of high school courses was also an annual highlight. With about 200 students to manage a year, Rosen certainly affected the lives of many. Her commitment and hard work to ensure a better future for each student mark her time here at Mendham. As Rosen transitions into retirement, the lack of daily interaction with students will prove to be a readjustment. I will miss working with the students, parents, and colleagues the most, Rosen notes. Although I am looking forward to no 5:45 alarm, she jokingly adds. working with classroom teachers and parents. So whether she was working with students, teachers or even parents, Plain definitely enjoyed her time at Mendham. Plain also shared her interesting story of how she began to work in the the child study team department. She started out as a music teacher! She tells her story of how she began to teach music to special education students, despite having no experience with these types of students.Special education was never even mentioned, and that got me interested. Plain has some advice for not only her students but all students. She advises, I want them to be the best they can be, to have confidence in themselves and to make me proud! Plain definitely is looking forward to continue to work with children and start making new memories at her new position.

Ms. Angelastro in her (Photo by Grace Tino)

Angelastro ready to help


by Liam Diana Former Villanova cheerleader and alumna Kara Angelastro is eager to work with sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as her first year at Mendham High School begins. Previously an academic advisor at the University of New York, and with over 700 hours spent as an intern at West Morris Central, she is looking forward to working with the students and doing whatever I possibly can to help. Angelastro loved her time spent at Villanova, where she graduated with her B.A in communications. When asked what led her to become a guidance counselor, she states that the ambition is something that developed over a period of time. Having grown up in Randolph, New Jersey, Angelastro is familiar with the West Morris area. In these first few weeks, Angelastro has set her sights for the future, but she has also set short term goals for the upcoming year. In the pending months, she hopes to assist the seniors in completing their college application process before holiday break. Later, she hopes to participate in more school clubs such as the gay/straight alliance.

Dr. Plain bids farewell

Eslam brings different perspective to position


by Christina Rentschler New Student Assistance Counselor Tamera Eslam joins the guidance department aiming to change the student perception of her role and bring awareness to the multitude of problems adolescents may face in high school. Eslam has been working as a counselor for six years, although this is her second year as a SAC. Prior to her years as a SAC, she worked at a halfway home as well as in school-based youth services. Eslam became interested in counseling due to her desire to assist and guide younger people through difficult situations. Its important to have support through high school because it can be tough, Eslam says. I love working with students so they can beby Katie Schultz New history teacher Emma Hart takes on advanced and honors US History I here having previously taught at Central full-time. Wake Forest graduate Hart chose to study history partly because she grew up in a historical area in Massachusetts. Hart attended a high school where the graduating class totalled 90; the idea of a small environment was furthered upon her graduation from Wake Forest. This southern campus allowed Hart the chance to explore Europe through a semester in Copenhagen. To incorporate her interest in hisby Kirsten Eversen English teacher Maura Fitzgerald splits her time this year between Mendham and West Morris, extending her skills to a variety of levels and students. As a teacher within the district for seven years and a graduate of West Morris, Fitzgerald proves no stranger to the ways of the school system. Teaching honors English I at West Morris and academic English III at Mendham, Fitzgerald understands the subtle differences between students and schools. There is really no huge difference between the two schools, Fitzgerald remarks, but some of the material read and taught differs. Fitzgerald describes her midday commute as a bit hectic. Some days it is hard to find time to eat lunch or meet with come resilient and tough. To many, the SAC is only the drug abuse and awareness counselor. Although Eslam does have experience with counseling for drug abuse, her position deals with more than only substance awareness. The role of the SAC is to assist students with the nonacademic aspects of high school, such as social situations and mental stress. Her goal is to bring awareness to the role and break the drug stigma, allowing her office to become a more comfortable place for students to reach out for help. Elsam is enjoying Mendham so far, commenting on the welcoming atmosphere, supportive staff, and outgoing students. Eslam is advising the Peace Project as well as the Alliance for Acceptance and Understanding. tory and passion for mentoring a younger age, Hart teaches at both West Morris Regional high schools this year. While her teaching covered only Central last year, this school year Hart splits her time between the schools and enjoys teaching sophomores as she has never before taught that level. In her free time from teaching, Hart enjoys eating out at new places from food trucks to nicer locations to explore the area. Hart hopes for her three sophomore classes at Mendham this year to take away the idea that everyones strengths differ in a sense of history and life, from what one student finds interesting to anothers talents. students, she explains. With a degree from Penn State University and a Masters degree from Centenary College, Fitzgerald expresses a genuine interest in teaching as well as learning. Always a reader, Fitzgerald decided to teach English. I knew I wanted every day to be different, Fitzgerald enthuses. I was not interested in office jobs. I wanted to interact and learn from students. To succeed as a student and possibly pursue a career in English, Fitzgerald encourages gaining as much exposure as possible. Read a lot and you will become a good writer. Fitzgerald aims to foster an appreciation for literature in her students and help them to understand the modern day connections in seemingly antiquated works.

Hart joins the history department

McGinley takes on Mendham


By Katie McDonald Fresh out of the University of Maryland, English teacher KC McGinley joins the English department. As a first year teacher, McGinley states she would like her English students walk out of the room in June, as better readers, writers and thinkers. This is the goal she wishes to accomplish by the end of the year. McGinley enjoys the school so far and the the level of interaction among high school students. McGinleys favorite aspect of teaching is the students. The students here are respectful and insightful. She works at being flexible with her students, noting that being flexible and having a positive attitude is key in learning and teaching. McGinley states she wants to be herself around her students. From McGinleys college experience she shares advice with her students. Dont let the big picture overwhelm you, Mcginley says. Take everything one step at a time.

Gregory-Thomas joins special-ed staff


by Alessandra Johnson Daphne Gregory-Thomas started helping history teacher John Church and English teacher Vicki Viola in freshman studies classes this September. After attending Montclair University, Gregory-Thomas attended Kean University and received her BA. Even at a young age I wanted to be a teacher, she said, I cant explain why. She then went on to teach at various schools, one of which was Millburn High School in the Bronx, where she spent her longest teaching period. While there, Gregory-Thomas developed and internship program that helped to encourage and prepare students to get jobs. Gregory-Thomas has made a quick adjustment to Mendham. The students and staff are great, she says. She would also like to get involved in student activities and would like to see a yoga and meditation club created to help students deal with the ever-increasing stress levels. Outside of school GregoryThomas likes reading, going to the theatre, and spending time in New York City. She also has been doing yoga for over 25 years, and can actually stand on her head. She is open to many things and says, I enjoy the challenge, because Im learning something new every day.

Fitzgerald commutes between schools

STUDENT VOICES

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THE PATRIOT November 2013

Gay marriage law lacks equality


by Christina Rentschler Governor Chris Christies opposition to the recent same-sex marriage ruling illuminates issues of inequality for homosexual couples in New Jersey, as well as the benefits of gay marriage. Until 1967, interracial marriage was illegal in the United States. Although some states chose to legalize the miscegenation prior to the Supreme Court ruling, interracial marriage remained taboo for years afterwards. Even today, some people frown upon interracial marriages. However, after the 1967 Supreme Court case of Loving vs. Virginia, the prohibition of interracial marriage was deemed unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, which states that no individual may be denied his rights based on race. Despite the prohibition of homosexual marriage being deemed by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional twice, it is still illegal in 37 states. The New Jersey state Supreme Court ordered the legalization of marriage equality late September, yet one mans opposition has hindered the legislative process. Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill last year that would have allowed same-sex marriage and is currently pressing for an appeal of the latest ruling. This is the second in ten years, as a 2006 New Jersey state Supreme Court ruling also ordered the legalization of gay marriage. Legislators responded by permitting civil unions within the state. However, if a Supreme Court, whether national or statebased, makes a ruling based on a Constitutional amendment, the corresponding government should respect the decision, especially if it involves the rights of oppressed individuals. Christies bias against gay marriage is strongly rooted in his Christian religious beliefs; however, marriage is a secular right. If it were strictly religious, then marriage could not be legally recogby Katie Schultz The state has established educational changes that affect both teachers and students alike. Math teacher Bob Acker explains the advancements made in math. The growth tests many students have experienced are required not only as a baseline for student growth and progress but also as an evaluation of teachers. Each student is tested at the beginning of the school year and similarly in the spring. Holding teachers accountable is a good thing, Acker claims as he takes on his 15th year teaching at the high school level, but the evaluation must be fair, not biased. Acker believes teaching as a whole has changed throughout the past decade due to technology like the smart boards and new softwares; he also notes that technology should support lessons rather than be the basis for them. English courses must similarly record student progress throughout the school year. All teachers are required to include informational texts in attempt to help prepare students for standardized tests. Teachers and core content are becoming more uniform, teacher Deborah Jacobson says. Having taught for 31 years in the district, she notes the necessity, to ensure consistent basic skills. In chemistry (and science) because we anticipate PARC testing, reading and writing is being emphasized, science teacher Michael Scoblete claims. Other aspects of science education are in retreat. Scoblete acknowledges that change is nized, government-based marriage benefits could not be given, and judges would not have the ability to marry people. Christianity does not need to recognize gay marriage for the United States. The concept of traditional marriage is outdated today. Although Christie believes marriage should be between one man and one woman, divorce is legal in the state of New Jersey. If homosexual marriage is illegal based on Christies standard of traditional marriage, then divorce should be as well. Traditional families, based on Christies idea of traditional marriage, are outdated today as well. There are single-parent families, unmarried couples having children, and teenage families. In the 2000 census, only 51% of all households were married couples. Although Christie personally believes in traditional marriage, he believes the states citizens should make the ultimate decision through a vote. A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that 61 percent of likely voters want Christie to drop the appeal of the judges ruling. In addition, 59 percent want the state legislature to override Christies veto on the previous bill that would allow gay marriage. The projected statistics reflect the desire for homosexual marriage. Even if the majority of voters are against gay marriage, it is the responsibility of the government to protect the interest of a minority group. Christie is allowing a personal opinion to cloud his judgment, preventing him from choosing the welfare of his states citizens over himself. Homosexual marriage is more than a matter of legality. The ban on marriage provokes social discrimination, which can often push individuals towards psychological disorders. In addition, the increase of married homosexual couples would promote adoption, as well as ease the adoption process, providing more kids with stable homes. desired quickly in fear that slow changes become no changes. The education system may, in fact, be moving toward a society where the individual is expected to do for himself without training or teaching, and Scoblete hopes the benefits of the new thinking outweigh the transition costs. Perhaps we will mutate the program of education so far that it will cease to be viable, Scoblete says, and a generation of students who look good on paper and yet cannot achieve in real life will be formed. History teacher Christopher Zegar explains there have not been too many changes especially in practice as the states changing curriculums have always been put in place in the district. Education in New Jersey is and will continue to be at a very high level. The adjustments this year have primarily formalized what teachers do. In recent years Zegar has noticed the trend of increasing amounts of formalization in teaching with lessened amount of time for experimentation. This is a trend that may be expected to increase, especially given the mandates added this school year. There has been some anxiety among teachers throughout the state, Acker acknowledges, and particularly in our school district regarding the recent changes. An overall opinion for more gradual implemented changes is shared among teachers and likely students who are bombarded by change as well. However, all the changes present within the school have been put in place for the betterment of Mendham.

Students find pressure overwhelming


by Marissa James and Ray Jackson Teenagers are drowning in increasing work loads and heavy pressures of education as they strive towards a perfect GPA, as well as high test scores. For many students, more homework is given out than they have time to complete. With tests, assignments, and projects, students never get a break. The work load now being added from younger grades trains kids to hate homework by the time they reach middle school, let alone high school. Schools are meant to create a safe environment where every student can learn to enjoy and gain knowledge. Instead, standards and expectations of academic perfection are set, and they cant enjoy much more each day than going home. Many students have noticed the work level increasing. The school gives out a lot of homework, says junior Peter Fojtu. The stress levels are manageable, but very tough." As well as academic challenges, many students are involved in multiple after school activities. From jobs, religious obligations, sports, clubs, and other activities, schedules are already booked full. I don't think it's very fair to have to balance out stress from academics, or stress from athletics or activities, says sophomore Jazel Barbrack. Social lives are also a big stress factor in a teenager's daily life," he adds. When students must add in hours of work, their health is impacted. Multiple studies have proven sleep hours to drop, and anxiety and depression levels to dramatically increase. Guidelines recommended by the National Education Association state that students should be given no more than ten minutes per grade each night. In other words a freshman should have about 90 minutes, a sophomore 100 minutes, and so on. To many students, these numbers are easily doubled daily. Policies should address the purposes of homework; amount and frequency; school and teacher responsibilities; student responsibilities; and, the role of parents or others who assist students with homework, the NEA research review of education states (nea.org). Students are at school for about seven hours, then they go home to do often more than three hours of work a night. That adds up to a minimum of 40 hours of work every single week. The heavy load is coming from many sources. Parents, teachers, and the administration have a big contribution to these rising concerns. Though, various countries such as Japan or Denmark have higher-scoring students, they do not give out nearly as much homework as in the U.S. Researchers also made note of the fact that while the United States has one of the biggest gaps between highand low-performing students in an industrialized nation, Finland has one of the smallest. Students in Finland perform remarkably well, regardless of the school they attend, a recent global study found (greatschools.org ). Students there have light homework loads and few standardized tests. Students do not begin school until the age of 7. Learning can be an adventure, according to Stanford University Dean Deborah Stipek, but instead of an adventure, its about the test. They (students) are not enjoying what can be the incredible satisfaction of learning and developing understandings and skills. In a recent interview Stipek added, One of the things that schools are doing that were working with is doing yearly surveys of students to find out what their sources of stress and anxiety are and get their ideas on what the schools can do, what kinds of policies can be supportive of them. And this has been amazing, because weve gone into schools where they say this isnt a problem and then they do a survey of the students and they are blown away by what the students say when they are actually asked.

State enforces educational changes

Freshman Voices
We asked freshman students how their adjustment to high school is going.

Everything is better. -Alex Moczulski Theres more freedom and more sports are offered. -Allie Abramski I love it! Not as much work as expected and its better than middle school. I felt prepared.

-Shane Daneyko
There are a lot more people to branch out to. -Elise Sprouls I was very prepared, almost over prepared. I expected much more work. -Haley Goldstein Once you get used to it, its easy,easier than I thought...More studying than middle school but the workload is about the same.Be organized and it is easy. -Brigit Fong The freedom and the independence are great. I love it. -Sophia Colannino The transition was a lot easier than what people make it seem. I mean at first its hard, yeah, but then you realize it isnt. -Camellia Bisignano Meeting new people is making me more open-minded. -Sam Barker

Page 2

THE PATRIOT November 2013

EDITORIAL

School changes appear overwhelming


by Kirsten Eversen As changes from both the state and school levels continue to increase, students and faculty alike find the adjustments overwhelming. Improvements, updates, advancements, changes, whatever you call them, seem to be numerous and never ending. Governor Chris Christies statewide educational reform policies seek to challenge New Jersey public schools in order to achieve better results. These efforts act in correlation with the districts new implementations, resulting in a whirlwind of immediate transformations. The classroom proves primarily affected by the new system. With student population rising, class size has been forced to increase as a result. Chester middle school students are even being offered the opportunity to opt to attend West Morris Central, with the intent to decrease student congestion at Mendham. Many of the new staff this year split time between the two schools, commuting during the middle of the day. Academically, teachers administer mandated growth tests in math courses in an effort to evaluate the progress of students and their teachers over the span of the year. English also requires students to be assessed with the use of an in-class writing assignment at the start and midway through the school year. Anticipated new standardized testing influences material taught throughout the year, and preparation for such tests is incorporated into the curricula. Physical education evolved this year, focusing on the lifelong application of valuable health and fitness routines. Every gym class begins with a six minute run and a circuit of various exercises to prepare students for the upcoming activities. The now notorious Fitness Days earned a reputation among students for their weekly sweat-inducing routine. This type of class typically consists of running on the track or participating in an advanced circuit session. Written assessments on sports and activities also make up the new health initiative. Similar to the core course evaluations in math and English, physical education calls for a timed mile run and measured sit and reach test at the beginning and end of the year to track student progress. The school attendance policy also increased in severity, cracking down on students who abuse both class and full day requirements. Technology plays a major role in the shaping of the new era for Mendham High School as well. A strict technology Responsible Use Policy was instituted, requiring a student and parent signature from every pupil on the school network. The school issued Google accounts for each student which includes access to over 50 educational apps including the popular Haiku Learning Management System which helps teachers digitalize learning material and assign homework. Through these accounts, generic email addresses make correspondence and mass distribution of news with students simplified. Despite these extensive measures, students see some of the changes as beneficial. The Bring Your Own Technology policy eases student note-taking through the use of a laptop or tablet; however, each teacher reserves the right to revoke this policy in his or her classroom. An upgraded Wi-Fi system adds to the enhancement of student learning, making it easier to access information from a wireless or mobile device. The integration of Chrome Books for in-class projects facilities research and increases efficiency. Text notifications sent out by teachers also helps alert students of an upcoming test or assignment change. New class offerings, such as Computer Science and Sports and Health Exercise, are yielding a popular response with the student body. Online Financial Literacy and IB Philosophy among other subjects provide students the opportunity to explore their educational interests outside of school while still receiving credit. Outside of the classroom, Mendham Football is having one of its best seasons, the recently formed Mendham Players debuted a successful showing of Dont Drink the Water, and the Mendham time zone has been officially abolished, ending its tyrannical reign of confusion and chaos. In short, Mendham continues to be an excellent school. Numerous AP and Honors courses give students the chance to shine. As one of 12 IB schools in the state, Mendham undeniably has a reputation for academic excellence. Every year, Mendham graduates attend top tier schools and carry with them the skills they gained from their high school experience. The changes may be stressful, but you are still being given an amazing opportunity simply from being here. The weight the Mendham name holds looks great on transcripts and resumes. Teachers always provide help if you are willing to take advantage of it, and though the workload may be stressful at times, you have to believe it will help you in the long run. It is instinctual to be adverse to change; especially if abrupt. And while the improvements seem overwhelming, one thing at Mendham remains consistent: You have the power to make this experience what you want.

Where are our clothes made?


by Olivia Spathakis Clothing labeled made in U.S.A proves no longer common as it was 20 years ago, as now most articles of clothing are manufactured within foreign countries including China, Vietnam, Honduras, and Bangladesh, providing a cheaper production cost for the clothing companies and consumers with a more affordable cost. Ever since the exporting garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed in April 2013, Americans began to question where and why their clothes are being made in countries with poor working conditions. Many clothing companies manufacture in underprivileged countries in order to avoid high working wages, which leads to why certain discount designer stores cater to affordable fashion. Additionally, this benefits their customers because it allows the customers to say that they bought something of good quality for an inexpensive price. Currently China is one of the dominating countries for manufacturing and exporting clothing, as entire towns focus on producing one article of clothing. For instance, Datang, China is well known for their large contributions in sock production, and one of the reasons behind their success is the fact that a majority of the households in the town serve as small factories. In 2007, China shipped $35 billion worth of textiles and apparel to the United States as reported on Forbes Magazines www.forbes.com, a 16% increase from $30.1 billion in 2006. Thats almost six times more than Mexico, which came in second with $6.1 billion worth of goods, an 11% decrease from the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, as China holds responsibility for being the top manufacturing company, the Chinese government is starting to maintain labor regulations and the middle class workers call for higher salaries, causing low- end clothing brands to take their businesses to poorer countries where manufacturing is much cheaper. This is a leading factor as to why so much of clothing once made in the United States is produced in poorer counby Paige Haggerty and Emma Boyd The dress code at Mendham causes controversy between students and faculty members regarding poor choices. The dress code states, Clothing that creates a needless distraction from the educational environment will not be permitted. Assistant Principal Janet Slover views a needless distraction as being related to the way a person presents their clothes, and its related to skin exposure. Slover also says that people need to take body type into consideration. Other faculty members opinions of what the distraction means to them and the dress code itself vary. These faculty members include Melanie Chernoff, Steven Santucci and lead counselor, John McGoldrick. Chernoff deems the distraction as something that draws unnecessary attention to oneself. Chernoff also admits that the dress code is in fact loosely enforced, and states that in terms of awkwardness, yes I do feel violated. History teacher Santucci also agrees. From my own experience I cant say that it is enforced. He believes that the way students dress is sometimes inappropriate for the school environment. Santucci also believes that inappropriate clothing choices is a form of non verbal harassment.

Consider this...

tries in southern Asia including Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Because clothing brands and businesses try to find the lowest manufacturing companies, these are mostly found in the poorest countries, causing businesses to constantly switch their manufacturers in order to find the corporation with the lowest labor costs. As the manufacturers raise their salary wages, however, the stores that are less expensive are generally the ones to find new sites for production. As a result, these retailers may not contain as much of a quality- based inventory as those that manufacture their items in higher paying salary countries. For some, manufacturing clothing in United States for Americans is a sign of patriotism and pride. Consequently, in the 2012 Summer Olympics located in London, England, fashion designer, Ralph Lauren designed the United States opening ceremony uniforms; however, he was reprimanded for having manufactured the clothing, that symbolized American patriotism, in China. Popular retail clothing store, American Apparel, is well known for being able to manufacture their clothing within the United States. . Manufacturing outside of the United States can be dangerous if the proper working code laws are unknown. In April of 2013 a Bangladeshi clothing factory collapsed, killing around 300 people. This event captured the attention of stores whose brands are produced in poorer countries. As a result, the United States, as well as other countries, is working together with Asia to ensure new working laws and providing safety for the factory workers in these countries. Lead counselor McGoldrick adds, I consider a distraction when other students or teachers are noticing that this students clothing is so revealing and everyone is noticing. McGoldrick admits that it is awkward for any male staff to have to point out to a female that her clothing is too revealing or inappropriate, from experience. Students also believe that the dress code is not enforced as much as it could be. A group of freshman girls gave their opinions on the matter. Overall, they think that the some girls take advantage of the dress code regarding their particular choice of limited clothing, for example, short shorts and cropped tops. They also find that boys take advantage as well. One girl advises, A lot of the guys should get belts. Generally, sophomore girls agreed that the dress code was not enforced and are not violated by their peers, but embarrassed. Many juniors agree, People dressing inappropriately makes me very uncomfortable. People wearing shirts that are not even shirts and pants that are not even pants are distracting, Junior Duke Chiotelis says. One anonymous senior takes a casual view of the clothing choices of his peers, and says I embrace it and I do not particularly care of what others choose to wear.

Dress code: A question of choice

The Patriot Staff


Editor in Chief Kirsten Eversen Section Editors Dylan McDevitt, Olivia Spathakis, Ian Tanaya Photo Editor Grace Tourville Layout Editors Kirsten Eversen, Olivia Spathakis Staff Nick Agoglia, Chandler Avallone, Daniel Blomster, Emma Boyd, Liam Diana, Paige Haggerty, Ray Jackson, Marissa James, Ally Johnson, Irene Margiotta, Katie McDonald, Meghan Power, Christie Renschler, Katie Schultz, Grace Tino Advisor - Dorothy Palme

FEATURED ARTICLES:

Issue 1 Vol. 21

The Patriot
Mendham High School, Mendham, N.J.
7 - NEWS 8 -9 - DISTRACTED DRIVING 10 - CULT 2 - EDITORIAL 4 - STUDENT VOICES 5 - FEATURE 13 - SCHOOL NEWS 14 - SCHOOL SPORTS 16 - FUN PAGE

November 2013

Carpluk makes a promising return to coaching


How much of our clothing comes from the United States? Olivia Spathakis investigates. (Page 2)
by Dylan McDevitt Returning as head coach after a seven year hiatus, Dr. William Carpluk hopes to take the football program in a new direction Retiring seven years ago, Carpluk decided he was eager and ready to resume his coaching career this season. His taking a break primarily focused on his desire to advance his career. In the seven years away from coaching, Carpluk earned his doctorate degree noting, I had to walk away from the game for some time to pursue things in my life that I wanted to do, but did not have the time for. When the head coach spot was vacant, Carpluk did not originally consider it, but he saw it as a great way to give back to the school and the community. He missed football as well, and he believed that he accomplished everything he had hoped to during his time off. Although he is happy to be back, there are some hardships he has experienced since returning. Carpluk mentioned that most people do not understand the time consuming aspect of coaching because it is a seven day a week commitment, and he is constantly preparing for each game. Since Carpluk has coached before, he said that he understood that this was a part of the job. The schedule has been completely revamped since Carpluk last

Mendham welcomes new staff (Pages 4 and 5)

coached. As of the 2010 season, the football team has been playing entirely new schools. Carpluk has seen this as a struggle, but understands why the football team was put in one of the most competitive conferences in New Jersey. We are a larger sized school now, and that is why we are playing larger, more competitive schools. Carpluk hopes to build the reputation of the football program, and he hopes to increase interest levels in playing high school football in our community. By increasing interest levels, he hopes to match the football reputations of the schools the team plays. Carpluks main goal for this season was to be competitive in each game. After the first couple of games, he noticed that his team was competitive and transitioned his goal from being competitive to winning games. Carpluk understands he has a young team, but credits his senior class for

Carpluk coaches his team (Photo by Grace Tourville)


being hardworking,talented players. In the long term, Carpluk hopes that interest levels will increase, allowing him more depth on the roster.(He also wants to see lights in stalled on the football field). About the new rules in football, especially regarding player safety, Carpluk said he believes the rules have not changed too dramatically. He does feel, however, that the rules are all beneficial towards the safety of players and that the equipment provided to the players is of better quality than in the past. Carpluks return to coaching has ignited a renewed interest and confidence among football fans. Through hard work, Carpluk believes he can make the program prominent again.

Distracted driving proves to have disastrous results (Pages 8 and 9)

Laura Pereira takes on a new role


by Irene Margiotta English teacher Laura Pereira takes over as the new IB Coordinator this year, adding on another item to her list of responsibilities. As the IB Coordinator, Pereira registers diploma candidates for their exams and is a source of support for anything IB related. She also helps the diploma candidates organize their individual program and works with certificate candidates. One of her main responsibilities is to educate underclassmen about the program to help them decide whether they would be a good fit as an IB learner. Teaching three classes during the day, serving as the Relay for Life advisor, and working towards her Doctorate degree, Pereira already had a full plate. Considering do. After making that decision, Pereira had to spend three days in October for training in Houston, Texas. One of her biggest challenges was learning the ins and outs of the program so quickly. Being an English teacher, she had little trouble understanding that aspect of the program, but she confesses that learning about all the other disciplines and nuances of the program so fast was overwhelming. However, she is enjoying it, and she credits the staff for helping her out. I took a risk by applying, and I am learning how to be balanced, which are traits I look for in the IB learner. The experience so far has given a new outlook, It gave me a fresh perspective on my own classes, the IB program itself, and also how the high school works.

Thinking of dining out? Check out Piattino Neighborhood Bistro (Page 12)

the new opportunity, I had to think about it, she said. I wanted to make sure I had the time and energy. She ultimately decided that helping students and maintaining the IB program was something she wanted to

Homecoming 2013

Girls Cross Country captain Mackenzie Barry takes home another win. See fall sports. (Pages 14 and 15)

Look for updates on the security changes in our next issue!

Homecoming Court, from left Alex Jacobs, Sarah Zimmerman, Aidan Williams, Samantha Smith, Sam Button, Alexa Zigenfus, Dylan Ferri, and Kristel Gallagher