Amazing Race allows students to explore historical Boston

With the creation of a new social studies curriculum, tenth grade students will have the opportunity to apply classroom studies to a visual, hands-on scavenger hunt in Boston that the history department already tested out.

By Morgan Kennedy

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  With the creation of a new social studies curriculum, tenth grade students will have the opportunity to apply classroom studies to a visual, hands-on scavenger hunt in Boston that the history department already tested out.

  The history department recently used a professional development day to conduct a trial run for the scavenger hunt. According to Jewett, the trial was successful overall.

  “The experience gave us insight into logistical issues like transportation, clue design, and site locations. It gave us great ideas on both pre and post field trip classroom curriculum,” he said.

  According to Department Chair Daniel Jewett, a curriculum focused on colonial America will be created and taught in tenth grade history classes during the fall of 2011. 

  After the classroom material is covered, students will take a field trip to Boston. Participating in this activity based on the television show “The Amazing Race,” students will break into teams and compete against each other in a race to locate and document historical landmarks around the city.

  Such sites include Paul Revere’s house and the USS Constitution. The curriculum will close with a final assessment including content from the classroom as well as the field trip.

  After receiving a clue, each group will locate a specific landmark using a GPS device where they will take pictures and videos of the site. They will be able to recognize its significance based on studies previously completed in the classroom. 

  Jewett said the Amazing Race will benefit students by combining the classroom with Boston’s historical background.

  “This would take something off the textbook page and fuse it with a city of amazing American history, a city that the students are so connected to,” he said. 

  History teacher James Wallimann said the experience will help students with different learning strategies to better absorb and understand the content of the curriculum.

  “The fact that it is an interactive project will keep them more interested in the topic, and visual learners will be able to retain the information a little better,” he said.

  According to Wallimann, a pilot program will be put together for current tenth-graders to be run in the spring, before introducing the first full program next year. 

  Freshman Lizzi White is looking forward to the trip to Boston.

  “I am really excited about the new curriculum. It will give us a chance to explore the city,” she said.

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Seniors gather for annual class breakfast

Before leaving for break, seniors gathered at the school for their annual class breakfast.  The students enjoyed a variety of breakfast foods including pancakes, sausage, eggs, and cinnamon rolls.

Performing at the breakfast was 24 Strings featuring spanish teacher Robert Billsbury. After breakfast the seniors joined the rest of the high school in the auditorium for the Holiday concert where the band, chorus, and Sound Waves performed.

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Hornets Take Tough Loss against Georgetown

The Lady Hornets put up a good fight but couldn’t stop the powerful offense of Georgetown. The Lady Hornets hope to beat them on their home floor later this season.

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MS/HS start winter break with a celebration

Both middle and high school students gathered in the gym on Dec. 23 for a holiday assembly. There were several musical performances, including a couple selections from the a capella group, the Soundwaves; several students bands; teachers; individual students and band members. In addition to these performances, there was an “Ugly Holiday Sweater” contest where students voted for the teacher wearing the gaudiest sweater. The assembly was held during the last block of the day as a winter vacation send-off for students.

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School hosts luncheon for senior citizens

Manchester Essex Regional High school held a senior citizen holiday luncheon on Saturday December 18, 2010. About 60 people attended the event held in the high school dining hall.

Student council members acted as waiters and waitresses and served the citizens throughout the luncheon.  Meanwhile the high school band and chorus members provided great holiday music.

One major highlight of the lunch was when the chorus lead a Christmas sing-along  with the citizens and staff. It was an event that was filled with holiday spirit and enjoyed by all.

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DECA hosts ‘winter-wonderland’ themed semi-formal

DECA hosted its annual winter semi-formal with a “winter-wonderland” theme in the cafeteria, and according to senior DECA officer Heather Burgess, the dance was largely successful.

By Kyle Marsh

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  DECA hosted its annual winter semi-formal with a “winter-wonderland” theme in the cafeteria, and according to senior DECA officer Heather Burgess, the dance was largely successful.  

  “At the last minute we were having a little trouble deciding whether to have [the dance] or not because we weren’t selling tickets right away, but it turned out a lot better than we imagined,” she said.

  Tickets were sold for $15 in school, and 131 students attended the dance. Students were automatically entered into a $10 iTunes gift card raffle when they purchased their tickets.

  According to DECA teacher Dean Martino, DECA raised $800.

  “I thought the dance was very successful because of the number of people who ended up coming.  A lot of people bought [tickets] at the door,” senior Alex Carr said.

  When students entered the dance, they were given a stamp on their hands and a water bottle.

  “I thought it was awesome how they gave [water] to you when you got there and put numbers on the caps.      

  They were able to reduce their resources, and everyone was able to quench their thirst,” senior Hannah Beardsley said.

  DECA decided on the theme of “winter-wonderland,” but according to Carr, Burgess led the planning and decorating.

  “I knew I wanted to do a lot of white and blue with a lot of snowflakes,” she said.

   The cafeteria was divided into two separate areas in order to create a divided section to create privacy for students, according to Burgess.

  DECA created a “Facebook corner” so students could have a place to take photos, complete with snowflakes and Christmas trees, she said.

  “It was really nice to have an area for dancing and an area to chill,” senior Joseph Mussachia said.

  In addition to the set up, students enjoyed the disk jockey, DJBJAY.

  “I liked how the DJ set up a dance off between the boys and the girls,” freshman Brittany Smith said.

  The winners were senior Molly Friedman and junior Jeff White. They each received a T-shirt, crown, and a $10 iTunes gift card.

  “I liked the song selection, and the DJ was very energetic,” White said.

  DJBJAY played mostly hip-hop, pop, and techno songs, including songs to get the crowd involved, such as “ChaCha Slide” and “Teach Me How to Dougie.”

  “Overall I thought it was a lot of fun; I would definitely say this dance was better than the other dances we have had in the past,” junior Kathleyn Carr said.

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Art teacher is one of 19 artists selected in seARTS show

Art teacher Marion Powers was one of 19 artists selected to have a piece of artwork showcased in a show sponsored by the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (seARTS) at the Cape Ann Medical Center in Gloucester.

By Kyle Marsh

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Art teacher Marion Powers was one of 19 artists selected to have a piece of artwork showcased in a show sponsored by the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (seARTS) at the Cape Ann Medical Center in Gloucester.

  The show was established in July, but the open house was held on Nov. 20.

  SeARTS is a non-profit organization devoted to “re-establishing Cape Ann as a world-class center for working artists,” according to the organization’s website.

  Powers said her piece will be up for a year in the existing show, and then the work will be replaced by new artwork.

  “It’s the start of something new because they will have it annually. SeARTS is trying to connect with multiple businesses, and the medical building was the perfect place to start,” she said.

  A committee of three jurors chose the 19 pieces of art.

  “I called the piece I submitted ‘Green Circles;’ it was inspired by Malaysia,” she said.

  The painted piece contains various golds, yellows, and greens in a somewhat abstract orientation of circles.

  “I am currently doing a colorful series right now on circles of paint. To me, the colors represent different countries that I have been to,” Powers said.

  She said her art has always been inspired by travel; Powers has traveled to Greece, Bosnia, Japan, Ireland and India, among others.

  According to Powers, she enjoys creating art outside of school.

  “I like having the balance between professional work and teaching. If you want to be a better teacher, you have to keep working at your craft,” she said.

   Her students admire her accomplishments in art outside of school.

  “I think it’s really great that her passion for art extends beyond of the classroom; it is really great to see that she is doing free-lance work as well,” senior Olivia Rice said.

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Parking spaces: Drivers in wrong spots create domino effect

Before the school year started, student drivers purchased parking spaces for $70 in the upper parking lot. Teachers are unfairly parking in these spaces, which is frustrating students.

By Laurel Edington

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Before the school year started, student drivers purchased parking spaces for $70 in the upper parking lot. Teachers are unfairly parking in these spaces, which is frustrating students.

  Every student who purchased a spot, as well as every teacher, is assigned specific spaces.

  According to Principal James Lee, “All teachers have their own assigned parking spots. There is no need for them to park [in students’ spots.]”

  Students are becoming agitated with this parking situation.

  After spending $70, students find it obnoxious when other cars are parked in their spaces, especially because teachers already have parking spots of their own. Just because it might be easier to park in the upper lot does not mean that teachers should take students’ spots.

  According to Lee, between both lots, 10 parking spaces are open for guests.

  “When somebody takes a student’s spot, [the student] should park in an available parking spot. Then tell [high school office administrative assistant Mary Lumsden] either the type of the car, or preferably, the license plate number,” he said.

  What makes the situation more confusing is the lack of anything that marks or designates the parking spaces for certain people.

  Teachers, students, and guests don’t know exactly which parking spots are assigned for whom. A space that is noticeably empty for a week could be for a guest or a student who has been out sick.

  Lee said that the school is going to “better assign guest parking spots because it becomes a domino effect.” When a parent or teacher parks in students’ parking spots, students then park in teachers’ parking spots, and the cycle continues.

  In order to fix this problem, signs need to state who can park where. It should be mandatory that drivers park in their assigned spots so this confusion doesn’t continue.

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Manchester Essex will be well represented at State DECA Conference

The DECA District Competition was held in Danvers on December 16, 2010. Many Manchester Essex DECA students met their goal of qualifying for state competition, which is March 10-12, 2011 for planning purposes, while other may find themselves in alternate position.  The school had nine first place, ten second place, thirteen third place, nine fourth and two fifth place finishes.

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