Senior will be missed on beam, around gym

After three years competing on the gymnastics team, sole Manchester-Essex senior Vicky Nicholas’ gymnastics career has ended with her becoming a strong team competitor, coach Rich Healey said.

By Melissa Moore

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  After three years competing on the gymnastics team, sole Manchester-Essex senior Vicky Nicholas’ gymnastics career has ended with her becoming a strong team competitor, coach Rich Healey said.

  Nicholas will be greatly missed, Healey said.  Not only will her high beam scores need to be replaced immediately, but her good attitude and supportiveness will be missed as well.

  “Vicky is a really good kid and lots of fun,” Healey said.  “She is a good teammate, and the kids on the team will miss her.”

  According to Nicholas, she will miss not only the sport but also her teammates.

  “I’m really going to miss all my friends on the team,” she said.

  Making lots of progress over the years, Nicholas is happy with her gymnastics experience, she said.

  “I was able to accomplish a lot and refine my skills,” she said.

  Healey agreed that she improved greatly.

  “She did really well for the amount of time she put into it,” he said.

  Nicholas’ score on her main event, beam, was a competitive score throughout the team’s league this year, Healey said. 

  “She was a very strong beam competitor,” he said.

  According to sophomore captain Katherine Hennigan, Nicholas was a very graceful competitor on this event.

  “She can do beam without making a sound,” she said.

  Nicholas has especially enjoyed the companionship of the sport.

  “I was able to meet lots of different people I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” she said.

  “Vicky is very nice,” Hennigan said.  “I will miss…having her at practice, never being in a bad mood, and bringing a happy vibe.”

  “She will be very successful in whatever she does,” Healey said.  “She has a good head on her shoulders.  I’m sure she will do well.”

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11 DECA students qualify for Internationals

After attending the DECA State Development Conference, 11 of 41 students have qualified for the International Conference from April 29 through May 4 in Orlando, Fla.

By Kyle Marsh

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  After attending the DECA State Development Conference, 11 of 41 students have qualified for the International Conference from April 29 through May 4 in Orlando, Fla.

  Juniors Meghan Azadian, Caroline Bernier, Anya Ciarametaro, Kelly Dodge, Nick Douglas, Megan Gardner, Eliza Rohner, and seniors James Caviston, Miranda Johnson, Reed Parkhurst, and Ian Towle qualified for Internationals.

  DECA teacher Dean Martino particularly commended the work of Johnson.

  “She may have set the state record. She scored first place in her written exam, first place on her second exam, first in her first role-play, and second in her second. She ended up being first place in the state,” he said.

  Although 11 students qualified, the DECA program finished with 24 individual medals, which recognize students’ individual work. Thirty-one students also made the “top 10” in their events.

  Senior Corey Bradley was one of these students.

  “Even though we did not initially qualify, if another team decides not to attend Internationals, we have a chance of going,” she said.

  According to Martino, individual students have to take a combination of written exams and “role-play” situations, in which they have 10 minutes to read a hypothetical business case situation and prepare their presentation. The students then have 15 minutes to present their project and answer questions from the judges.

  Students in teams of two have 30 minutes to prepare their role-play.

  According to Martino, the level of competition was extremely high.

  “Overall, the competitive nature of this year’s state conference saw a lot of very good performances from students across the state,” he said. “We did very well.”

  Martino also said the resources for role-play were challenging.

  “We tend to use as many graphical representations as possible, but the type of indicators that they were left with had little information to make graphical representations,” he said.

  Martino was happy with the amount of students who qualified for Internationals; however, he wishes more   students are able to attend.

  “I would love to qualify all the students that could have made it. It would be a fantastic opportunity to have the whole team travel. They put a lot of effort into it; the competition is tough,” he said.

  Martino said the main accomplishment of the conference was the DECA program’s performance on the competency test, which is a written exam. All 41 students passed the exam.

  “It was great that everyone met competency,” Towle said.

  Seniors Alex Carr and Marc Shields, and juniors Lili Shotwell and Jeff White also attended States, although they did not qualify. They attended the conference and competed in the “Quiz Bowl” competition, which “is jeopardy for marketing and management,” Shields said.

  Overall, Martino was extremely content with the outcome of the event.

  “I am very proud of our competitors. They always represent our school with dignity and class,” he said.

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Students line up to donate blood to the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross set up a blood drive in the gym at the High School on Friday, March 18. Students 16 years old and over could sign up to donate blood throughout the school day. Faculty and staff members could also donate blood […]

The American Red Cross set up a blood drive in the gym at the High School on Friday, March 18. Students 16 years old and over could sign up to donate blood throughout the school day. Faculty and staff members could also donate blood. The blood drive lasted the majority of the school day, and once students were finished giving blood they were able to relax for a few minutes and eat the snacks provided by the Red Cross to gain energy back. 27 pints total were collected during the drive.

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Nook rivals Kindle in growing online market

New technologies have provided many useful benefits such as faster Internet, higher quality pictures, and now e-readers that have made it easier to buy and read books.

By Molly Friedman

INDPENDENT EDITOR

  New technologies have provided many useful benefits such as faster Internet, higher quality pictures, and now e-readers that have made it easier to buy and read books.

  The Amazon Kindle $149-$199 was the first e-book reader to hit store shelves and raised the standards of other competitors.

  This new way of reading books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs made it easier for avid readers to browse their own library with the click of a button or a swipe of a finger.

  A wireless Internet connection allows readers to easily download their desired books directly to their kindle. Most e-books cost around $10. E-ink electronic paper display gives off 16 shades of gray allowing for a longer battery life and makes it feel as if you are reading paper.

  The Kindle itself is constantly improving and is now up to its third design, which offers better e-ink technology. The Kindle DX line has a larger screen, making it easier to view textbooks and newspapers.

  With nothing else like it, other businesses raced to create their own e-reader.

  Competing against the Amazon Kindle is the Barnes & Noble Nook.

  The original Nook $149-$199 has a black and white e-ink display with a color “additional content” touch screen where the reader is able to browse through his or her purchased books.

  The Color Nook provides a color LCD screen larger than the original Nook and has arrow buttons on either side that turn the page of the book to make it more realistic.

  Both the Nook and Kindle allow book lovers to directly download their desired reading material, deciphering between the two depends solely upon personal preference.

  A reader who is only interested in the reading aspect and has no preference if it’s in color or not, would more likely choose the Kindle, but someone who reads more blogs and magazines would need the color provided by the Nook.

  The cost to download a book, newspaper, or magazine is the same cost as if purchased at Barnes & Noble.

  The price of both devices may be increased, depending on which version and any added accessories such as games, apps, and higher quality Internet connection.

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Swimming relay team, diver advance to Sectionals, States

After finishing their first regular season at varsity level, the ski team sent four of its members to the State Alpine Championships.

By Morgan Kennedy

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  After finishing their first regular season at varsity level, the ski team sent four of its members to the State Alpine Championships.

  Senior captain Molly Friedman, sophomore Megan Jones, sophomore Brian McAuliff, and eighth-grader Alex Marshall raced the slalom and giant slalom at the state competition on March 1, at the Berkshire East Ski Area in Charlemont, Mass.

  Being eligible to compete at States, each of the four racers was ranked in the top 12 in their league, according to coach Chris Ahearn.

  According to McAuliff, the racers prepared for states by skiing a giant slalom course 3-4 days a week at Bradford Mountain.

  At States, three racers constitute a team, allowing the girls to compete for the team title as well as individually, but restricting McAuliff to individual scoring only, according to Jones.

  Ahearn is pleased with the racers’ performances.

  “Molly rallied and put on a great time in the slalom after unfortunately crashing in the giant slalom. Alex put together great times in both runs, and our best result was a seventh place finish, out of 135 girls, in the giant slalom for Megan Jones. The girls finished 12 out of 25 teams,” he said.

  According to Ahearn, McAuliff crashed during both runs due to an unfavorable course.

  “He had an unlucky bib number of 100, meaning 99 racers went through the course before him, leaving it rutted and icy. The course was also three time longer and much steeper than that of Bradford,” Ahearn said.

  Jones was also challenged by the course.

  “It was definitely more difficult than what we are used to, especially because we didn’t race slalom during the regular season, but difficulty is to be expected at such a big event,” she said.

  Overall, Ahearn said the ski team met its goals for the season.

  “They exceeded all possible expectations. These kids sacrificed countless hours for the team, and they deserve every accolade possible,” he said.

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Unique bottles provide affordable costs, durability

With people constantly disposing of plastic water bottles, polycarbonate, aluminum, and stainless steel reusable water bottles are inevitably better alternatives.

By Hannah Daley

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  With people constantly disposing of plastic water bottles, polycarbonate, aluminum, and stainless steel reusable water bottles are inevitably better alternatives.  

  Although many water bottles provide excellent components, three of the cheapest, feature-inclusive are CamelBak’s “Better Bottle,” Polar Bottle’s “Insulated Water Bottle,” and SIGG’s “Lifestyle Water Bottle.”

  Sold in three sizes and 14 colors with prices ranging from $12 to $15, CamelBak’s plastic Tritan “Better Bottle” provides several choices that all consist of the same features, according to Camelbak.com.

  The “Better Bottle’s” distinct feature is its Flip, Bite-N-Sip valve, which doesn’t require any tilting due to the thick straw attached to it. It also has a handle that makes it easy to clip a carabiner on it.

  Simple to carry, easy to fit in cup holders, dishwasher-safe, spill-proof, and free of Bisphenol A (BPA), a dangerous chemical that is produced from the production of polycarbonate plastics, the bottle provides everything most water-guzzlers look for.

  Supplying ideal elements for active people, Polar Bottle’s BPA-free plastic “Insulated Water Bottle” combines a thermal barrier of air that traps cold in and a foil layer that reflects solar rays.

  It fits in standard bicycle water bottle cages, has a removable carrying strap, and is dishwasher- and freezer-safe, according to Polarbottle.com.

  The wide mouth allows ice cubes effortlessly into the bottle and makes cleaning easy.

  Sold in silver, green, blue, and red for $11(20 Oz.) and $12 (24 Oz.), the “Insulated Water Bottle” is affordable but still durable.

  Blending functionality and design, SIGG’s BPA-free “Lifestyle Water Bottle” is made of aluminum and available in a wide array of colors and designs for $22 to $25, according to Mysigg.com.

  The bottle is coated with semi-transparent non-toxic paint that ensures a fresh, clean taste with every sip. It also contains a plastic liner that resists leakage and is dishwasher-safe.

  Although it may be heavier than most bottles due to the aluminum, it still acts as a mobile water-transporter that keeps water chilled.

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English students actively participate in studying ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’

English teacher Elizabeth Edgerton instructs her freshmen students how they will play the roles of four different soldiers from the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

English teacher Elizabeth Edgerton instructs her freshmen students how they will play the roles of four different soldiers from the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. The students posted paper helmets on the bulletin board, or in this case the World War I trench, to represent their military company. To advance their company to the next trench or section of the board, the students must pass quizzes on chapters they read from their All Quiet on the Western Front books.

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Senior Cam Smith ends varsity Viking hockey career

Ending the season with an 11-5-3 record, the boys’ Rockport, Ipswich, and Manchester-Essex co-op hockey team lost to Wayland, 4-1 during the preliminary game of the state tournament.

By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Ending the season with an 11-5-3 record, the boys’ Rockport, Ipswich, and Manchester-Essex co-op hockey team lost to Wayland, 4-1 during the preliminary game of the state tournament.

  “We had a lot of dumb penalties and were never really able to get into a flow,” senior co captain and only Manchester-Essex player Cam Smith said.

  According to Smith, the team was more disappointed than anything else. “We should have won but we never gained our composure.”

  Senior Olivia Peterson who attended the game said, “The loss was a real bummer because we scored the first goal and the team was really feeding off the energy in the building.”

  If the team beat Wayland, they would have moved on to the semifinals and played Shawsheen Tech. They previously played Shawsheen and lost 3-2 but played a “really great game,” Smith said.

  Looking back on the season coach Derek Papalegis is “happy with the season’s record and how it improved upon last year, which was the best record in the program’s history and is now replaced by this year’s record.”

  The team will be losing five-year varsity player Smith.

  “The team is losing a great player both on and off the ice. He scored us the most points this season and is a big part of the offense,” Papalegis said.

  Smith is undecided about his future but knows he will definitely play hockey either on a varsity or club team.

  “I may do a post-graduate year at Bridgeton Academy or join a junior league where I would only play hockey and not go to school,” he said.

  Papalegis said he is looking forward to next year and hopes to make it to the tournament again and hopefully go further than this year.

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11 DECA students qualify for Internationals

After attending the DECA State Development Conference, 11 of 41 students have qualified for the International Conference from April 29 through May 4 in Orlando, Fla.

By Kyle Marsh

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  After attending the DECA State Development Conference, 11 of 41 students have qualified for the International Conference from April 29 through May 4 in Orlando, Fla.

  Juniors Meghan Azadian, Caroline Bernier, Anya Ciarametaro, Kelly Dodge, Nick Douglas, Megan Gardner, Eliza Rohner, and seniors James Caviston, Miranda Johnson, Reed Parkhurst, and Ian Towle qualified for Internationals.

  DECA teacher Dean Martino particularly commended the work of Johnson.

  “She may have set the state record. She scored first place in her written exam, first place on her second exam, first in her first role-play, and second in her second. She ended up being first place in the state,” he said.

  Although 11 students qualified, the DECA program finished with 24 individual medals, which recognize students’ individual work. Thirty-one students also made the “top 10” in their events.

  Senior Corey Bradley was one of these students.

  “Even though we did not initially qualify, if another team decides not to attend Internationals, we have a chance of going,” she said.

  According to Martino, individual students have to take a combination of written exams and “role-play” situations, in which they have 10 minutes to read a hypothetical business case situation and prepare their presentation. The students then have 15 minutes to present their project and answer questions from the judges.

  Students in teams of two have 30 minutes to prepare their role-play.

  According to Martino, the level of competition was extremely high.

  “Overall, the competitive nature of this year’s state conference saw a lot of very good performances from students across the state,” he said. “We did very well.”

  Martino also said the resources for role-play were challenging.

  “We tend to use as many graphical representations as possible, but the type of indicators that they were left with had little information to make graphical representations,” he said.

  Martino was happy with the amount of students who qualified for Internationals; however, he wishes more   students are able to attend.

  “I would love to qualify all the students that could have made it. It would be a fantastic opportunity to have the whole team travel. They put a lot of effort into it; the competition is tough,” he said.

  Martino said the main accomplishment of the conference was the DECA program’s performance on the competency test, which is a written exam. All 41 students passed the exam.

  “It was great that everyone met competency,” Towle said.

  Seniors Alex Carr and Marc Shields, and juniors Lili Shotwell and Jeff White also attended States, although they did not qualify. They attended the conference and competed in the “Quiz Bowl” competition, which “is jeopardy for marketing and management,” Shields said.

  Overall, Martino was extremely content with the outcome of the event.

  “I am very proud of our competitors. They always represent our school with dignity and class,” he said.

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Seniors explore Costa Rica on horseback, ziplines, kayaks over February vacation

Using travel vouchers received after the cancellation of last year’s Spain trip, six seniors vacationed in Costa Rica over winter break.

By Morgan Kennedy

INDPENDENT STAFF

 Using travel vouchers received after the cancellation of last year’s Spain trip, six seniors vacationed in Costa Rica over winter break.

  Spanish teacher Eric Magers chaperoned the students on the 10-day vacation, even though it was not a school affiliated trip.

  Seniors, Abbi Biggar, Hannah Daley, Maura Driscoll, Olivia Peterson, Sam Cushing, and Michael McCollum, spent the week traveling across the island, moving to a different city about every two days, according to Driscoll.

  The group started in San José and traveled to the Arenal Region, La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Joca, Driscoll said.

Excursions included horseback riding and a canopy tour through the Costa Rican forest.

  “The zip-lining was ridiculously awesome. Every day was packed full of fun,” Magers said. “The Tarzan swing was incredible too.”

  The students were attached to a rope about 100 feet long and jumped off of a high platform, flying back and forth like a pendulum, Magers said.

  According to Driscoll, the group faced obstacles while traveling to and from the island. Due to overbooking, they were bumped from the flight there and put up in a hotel in Dallas.

  On the way home, the group planned to spend a night in a Miami hotel due to an overnight layover; however, the hotel cancelled their reservation, forcing the students to sleep in the airport.

  As a result, all travelers were given a $500 check when they were bumped from the flight to Costa Rica, as well as a $100 check for the cancelled hotel reservation, Driscoll said.

  “Because the trip was free with the travel voucher, I actually profited $600 from going,” Driscoll said.

Peterson agreed the trip was worthwhile.

  “Costa Rica was such an experience,” she said. “It was so fun and exciting, even sleeping in the Miami airport.”

According to senior Laurel Edington, another group of seniors also used travel vouchers for a Costa Rican vacation over winter break.

  The second group included Edington, Olivia Dumont, Maggie Cellucci, Christine Walder, Tatiana Lyne, Caroline Kiley, Phoebe Thorne, Noah Prince, Will Curatolo, Peter Barth, and chaperone Trey Barth.

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