Donnelly strives to make history fun

Teacher aims to get to know students, raise school spirit

By Melissa Moore

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Intelligent, knowledgeable, and reflective, Abby Donnelly was the most qualified history applicant for the job, department chair Daniel Jewett said.  Donnelly teaches US History II and World History II.

  “Ms. Donnelly is very knowledgeable and has a good sense of humor,” Jewett said.  “I hope students will see her passion for teaching history.”

  Donnelly grew up in Haverhill and attended Brandeis College before returning to her hometown to teach at Hunking Middle School in Haverill for two years.  Teaching at Hunking gave her experience before teaching at Manchester-Essex, which has helped her, junior Jamie Rynkowski said.

  “At first students tested her,” Rynkowski said, “but she knows how to handle students.”

  “I really like her class discussions because my class has a lot of opinions,” she said.

  Donnelly’s classes consist of class discussions in which she writes notes on the board to help students comprehend the information, Rynkowski said.

  She hopes to get to know her students, raise school spirit, attend games, and help students learn as much as they can, she said.

  “I want to make history a fun, interesting class students look forward to,” Donnelly said.

  Donnelly wanted to be a fiction writer when she was younger.  Her favorite movie has not changed from “Sleeping Beauty.”  She said it always makes her feel better despite the fact that her celebrity crush, Brad Pitt, has no role in it.

  “I just love him [Pitt],” Donnelly said.

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Large class sizes pose problem for students, teachers

With 35-40 new students this year, increased class sizes have challenged teachers and students.

By Rebecca Lynch

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

With 35-40 new students this year, increased class sizes have challenged teachers and students.

  “I have so many huge classes. They become overpowering. I find it really difficult to concentrate because the teacher’s attention is so divided with a large group of people,” senior Christine Walder said.

  Other students have also noticed the abnormally large class sizes this year.

  “It’s different because last year my grade had fewer people, and we were all pretty close. Now we have [124 people in our grade, and a lot of my classes have 30 kids. It’s hard to get your opinion in during a discussion because so many other people are raising their hands too,” freshman Ellie Zwart said.

  According to Principal James Lee, the increase in class size results from different factors.

  “The primary reason is an increase in students. This year we have 35 to 40 new kids, and each grade has gotten larger. The increase plays a huge piece in shaping the larger classes,” he said.

  Lee said the addition of the sixth grade creates scheduling conflicts among the teachers, especially concerning electives. Fewer high school teachers are available, and the conflicts are solved by putting more students into one available class.

  The disadvantages of a large class are also felt by teachers.

  “From a social studies perspective, it makes it more difficult to do different things. Group work, activities, and discussions are [affected]. It’s harder to have a discussion when there’s not enough time to allow everyone to contribute,” social studies department head Daniel Jewett said.

  “Coming from an English standpoint, it’s not an issue of class management. There’s less opportunity to do writing assignments because it’s hard to have to grade so many papers and return them,” English department head Debra Isensee said.

  According to Lee, administration has started working to solve the problem. For example, three teachers were hired this year for the history department, but the school budget poses the most difficult problem.

  “The budget is already tight, which makes it difficult to add hiring more staff on top of everything else,” Lee said. “But because it is [a concern] for the students, we have to work it in.”

  Lee said other solutions include evaluating the teacher-student class selection process in order to reduce the number of students whose schedules are altered at the start of the year by changing the level of a class.

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Simple changes to improve diet

The word “diet” usually conjures up an idea of painful deprivation and weeks of longing for food you tell yourself you can’t have. The truth is, a diet doesn’t have to be painful or un-fun. It’s simply about making better choices and re-learning some interesting stuff about food.

By Piper Browne

INDEPENDENT STAFF

The word “diet” usually conjures up an idea of painful deprivation and weeks of longing for food you tell yourself you can’t have. The truth is, a diet doesn’t have to be painful or un-fun. It’s simply about making better choices and re-learning some interesting stuff about food. 

  Diet is merely defined as “a person’s usual food or drink.” Here are some simple tips to help you improve your diet so you’ll have more energy, better health and a healthy weight without obsessing about food and going on crazy diets that, in the end, prove to be unhealthy.

Tip Number 1:

Food is energy for our bodies, and we need a lot of energy to take care of business: school, sports, relationships, etc. Make sure you’re giving your body the best fuel you can every day. Concentrate on fruits, veggies, whole grains and low-fat milk products and protein. 

If you eat these first, you’ll be less likely to crave unhealthy snacks. Don’t deny yourself sweets or snacks completely, or you’ll feel unhappy and could react by going crazy and gorging yourself. Treat yourself occasionally with some “junk” food, but concentrate on that healthy stuff first.

Tip Number 2:

Never skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day and it gets your metabolism revved-up for the rest of your daily activities.  If your metabolism is working as it should, you’ll be burning more calories simply by partaking in your normal activities. 

 You can have something as simple as a piece of whole-wheat toast with some melted cheese or peanut butter, a quick bowl of healthy cereal with fruit, or some yogurt with granola.  Eat it on your walk to school if you have to (peanut butter wraps up well), but do not skip breakfast.

Tip Number 3:

Give up sugary drinks and sodas.  If anything is a complete waste of calories, it’s sugar-loaded drinks.  Nobody needs them and most people, particularly teens, would be stunned if they actually added up how many calories they consumed in one day just from what they drink.

 Drink water or beverages with a low calorie count, like 100% fruit juices or smoothies, and save those important calories for something that’s good for you, or at least for a snack that has some substance to it.

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Bloated with predictability, monotonous gags, ‘You Again’ fails to impress

Not even the beloved Betty White, in all her sassy, grandmotherly glory could save “You Again” from becoming a miserable failure of a romantic comedy.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Not even the beloved Betty White, in all her sassy, grandmotherly glory could save “You Again” from becoming a miserable failure of a romantic comedy.

  This supposed comedy about reformed nerd Marni’s (Kristen Bell) mission to reveal her brother’s fiancée, Joanna (Odette Yustman) for the mean girl she really is, proves to be about as funny as the flashbacks to Marni’s victimization and torment during high school.

  Stuffed to the brim with poorly executed slapstick, predictable storylines, and cringe-worthy moments, “You Again” fails to even scrape the surface of the comedy genre.

  Directed by Andy Fickman, the terrible writing and a plot filled with holes make for both a confusing and boring movie, as “You Again” jumps from one subplot to another, without resolving many aspects of the movie.

  Introductions to storylines such as Marni’s unrequited love for her brother’s best friend, Charlie (Sean Wing), a promotion requiring Marni to move to New York from California, and why exactly everything works out in the end all remain unanswered.

   Even the revered, veteran actors featured in this film such as Sigourney Weaver (Mona), Jamie Lee Curtis (Gail), and Victor Garber (Mark) all flounder as a result of forced jokes and a script comparable to the mess that Marni and Joanna make in a predictable, lackluster food fight.

  Despite these talented actors, the horrible miscasting of “You Again” was the only laughable aspect of the entire film.

  Yustman was nothing more than a pretty face, evidenced by her unbearably awkward and emotionless performance as Joanna, and the usually effervescent and delightful Bell also fell flat in her role.

  With such a talented cast, “You Again” had the potential to be an entertaining and heartwarming comedy about putting the past behind us; however, it simply couldn’t meet those standards.

  Needless to say, “You Again” featured far too many uncomfortable and tiresome attempts at comedy, and far too little Betty White.

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Risk games teach place value and addition

Jane Foye’s 3rd Grade class focused on different math games to teach the students addition and place value

Photos by Misha Berkrot and Rachel Jones

On Wednesday October 20th,  elementary teacher Jane Foye’s 3rd Grade class focused on different math games to teach the students addition and place value, while also taking risks and depending on reasoning or luck.

The first game played by the 3rd graders consisted of Foye rolling a dice with number 1 through 9. The students had six spaces they could fill with numbers and their goal was to get the largest or smallest number depending on instruction. After the dice is rolled, depending on the number, the students must decide where to place the number depending on its value. One student, Ben, was very excited about the game because he was “going undefeated.” The winners of the round won a raffle ticket to be used later for a prize.

The second game played was called “101 and Out.” Students are given a number consecutively , that is rolled from a dice, and must add the numbers at the end without going over 100.  Student Bella said, “I will get near 100, I will take risks.”

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DECA prepares with a ‘mini’ mock competition at the high school

Photos by Maggie Cellucci

10/26/10

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Bilingual Biology lesson in second grade

Second grade students learn about the life cycle of a butterfly in both English and Spanish

Photos by Alex Filias and Dana Filias

Teacher Eileen Cellucci’s second grade students participate in Spanish class with teacher Maggie Sears. The students have been learning about the life cycle of a butterfly in their regular classes, therefore Sears incorporated it into their Spanish class. The kids first colored pictures that showed the different stages of the cycle with Spanish captions. After they finished, they performed a song and dance showing the life of a butterfly starting as a caterpillar. As said by student Courtney Dellicker, “Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly.”

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Full Pep Rally Gallery

Fully gallery of images from Spirit Week Friday and the

MS/HS Pep Rally

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