Seniors dress up for Halloween

Dressing up on Halloween is a senior class privilege.



Author Visits Middle School to Discuss Novel

Author, Ji-li Jang visits MERHS middle school to discuss her novel, the “Red Scarf Girl”, and share her experiences in the Chinese Cultural Revolution.


Student teacher assists photography class

Emily Arntsen Photo


By Emily Arntsen



Montserrat College of Art graduate and aspiring photography teacher Debbie Gray is taking her first step at fulfilling her dream by shadowing current photography teacher Caroline Epp.

Though Gray knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher, she said she originally thought she was going to college for graphic design. After comparing photography classes to graphic design classes, she said she was definitely “more passionate” about photography.

When she was younger, Gray said she imagined teaching as being “easier.” She “didn’t realize how much work and preparation goes into it.”
 As an extension of her education, Gray will shadow Epp and eventually take over the position of photography teacher temporarily.

 Once she has a class of her own, Gray will continue to use Epp’s lesson plans, but put things “in her own words.”

 Epp describes Gray as bringing “fresh, new ideas” to the class. “Having another teacher in the class makes me reflect on my own teaching,” Epp said.

So far Gray has picked up some tricks from Epp such as being “friendly but firm,” especially with middle school students.

 According to Epp, having a student teacher makes her “feel better about some of the things I do, and realize I should change other things.”      

“Since our class is so big it’s helpful having two people you can ask for help,” sophomore Photography II student Perry Burnham said.


Middle school interacts with robots

Seventh grade science teacher Paul Pennoyer is in charge of the middle school robotics club which meets every Friday from 2:15 to 3:45 after school. So far there have been only a few meetings. The students are taught how to program robots and build structures out of Legos that the robots will be instructed to move around in. There are wooden platforms that the middle school students run the robots on and they construct objects out of Legos on them as a sort of obstacle course. After Pennoyer prepares the students, there is a competition in Topsfield towards the end of January. At the competition, they have to program the robot to travel through a specific course that the other teams will also have to solve. This year the competition is a “food challenge”. Therefore, the tasks the robots are to complete include food items.


Fall musical switches from ‘Curtains’ to ‘1776’

By Sofia del Valle



This fall drama students are preparing to perform the musical “1776,” directed by English and creative writing teacher Gloria Tanner.

According to Tanner, with the success of last year’s play at Drama Fest, there wasn’t enough time for a spring musical, and for the first time, the annual production was moved from spring to fall. The show was also changed for the sake of the students. Since many of the current drama members are seniors, they wouldn’t be able to participate in a final spring musical due to SCORE projects, which occur at the same time.

The school’s first choice, “Curtains,” was switched to “1776” due to lack of male participants.

“It is a musical that is not done very much. The book, (the script) is fantastic, it’s really well written, it’s historically accurate,” Tanner said.

Since there are only two female characters in “1776,” girls will portray male roles, such as Thomas Jefferson, in the high school’s production.

Cast member senior Morgan Kennedy, who plays Richard Henry Lee, said, “It’s easier for us to play males in this show because in “1776,” the gender is less of a barrier in portraying the character than in ‘Curtains.’”

Seniors Emmett Snyder and Allie Freed, who have both been involved in several drama performances, shared bittersweet emotions towards their final high school production.

“I’m sad about my last musical performance because I really like performing,” Snyder said. 

 “I hope that this musical is the best musical I’ve ever been in. I hope that I can look back on it and say that was the best way to go out,” Freed said.

Auditions took place earlier this month, and the rehearsal process, which entails learning harmonies, dance steps, and lines, has begun.

“I’m looking forward to a fun time, hanging out with friends, and doing what we love to do,” Snyder said.


New athletic trainer enjoys position

By Maya Shnider



Jill Levine, the new athletic trainer, previously worked part time at Georgetown High School.

Levine Graduated from Endicott College in 2010 majoring in athletic training. “I enjoy working here a lot. The coaches are great and so is [athletic director] Kelly Porcaro,” she said.

Porcaro is pleased with Levine’s adaptation to the school. “She is doing great, her office is always very busy which tells me that students feel comfortable around her and even outside at games students approach her and ask her questions,” she said.

Levine found Manchester Essex because the previous trainer, Carl, was a friend of hers and told her to apply to the company

Previous trainer Carl Gentile resigned, the school received Levine’s résumé. “She is an employee of Physio Therapy Associates, whom [the school] has a contract with.”

“Jill is awesome, she really knows what she is doing and is very friendly, and is very good at figuring out what is wrong. ” junior Ivy Silag Stearns said, “She doesn’t just fix it, she explains what it wrong and what you can do to fix it.”  

According to Levine, the process of going about helping a student is very personal and is something that an individual acquires throughout the four years of studying in college.

“I go about evaluating an athlete from the moment they step into my office until the moment they leave,” Levine said.

According to Levine, she is very busy compared to her job at Georgetown but that’s a good thing because she is getting to know her fall athletes better.


Class of 2012 works to raise money for senior year activities

By Maggie Lehar


Ensuring that they will have sufficient funds for a great senior year, the class of 2012 has already begun raising money and has many more fundraising events planned, according James Walliman, the new senior co-adviser.

“I guarantee that we will have at least $35,000 by the end of the year,” Walliman said.

According to senior Kevin Tofuri, despite this guarantee, some seniors are skeptical that they will be able to reach that goal by the end of the year because of the past years where little has been done to raise money.

“In terms of our goals this year, the other class officers and I would like to raise as much money as possible in a relatively short amount of time,” said Andrew Randall, the senior class president. The senior class plans on reaching that goal through fundraisers that are both successful and enjoyable for everyone according to Randall.

The class of 2012 has already run a raffle, which raised enough money to be considered a success according to Walliman. He said the senior class has many more fundraising events planned in order to reach their goal for the year.

The seniors are planning on selling pizza every Wednesday after school, selling senior T-shirts, running a 50/50 raffle at the Annual Essex Clam Fest, and organizing the Homecoming dance, and along with otehr activities, according to Walliman.

“We have many really unique and fun activities in mind for this year,” said Elizabeth Edgerton, the co-adviser of the senior class.

 “(The class of 2012) may have been unmotivated before, but I think that senior year has kind of kicked them into gear,” Edgerton said. She said the members of the class of 2012 are excited to be seniors and they are ready to work hard in order to reach their goal and have a great senior year.

The seniors also have some new and interesting projects planned, according to Walliman. “I have a group in Film Club working on a video yearbook,” he said.

These activities are expected to help the seniors have the senior year they want to have, according to Walliman.

“Senior year should be an unforgettable year for everyone, the best year of out high school career thus far, and I feel that it’s my responsibility to make that happen,” Randall said.


Summer volunteering provides experience in health science fields

By Morgan Kennedy 


Throughout the summer months, nine students gave their time to Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals as summer volunteers. 

According to Jane Karaman, manager of hospital volunteer services, seniors Maddie McNamee, Melanie Tognazzi, Eliza Rohner, Kirsten Coale, Lucia Ansara; juniors, Maggie Lehar, Ella Silag Sterns and Ivy Silag Sterns were among 90 student volunteers this summer.

McNamee volunteered to experience the health science work force.

“I am hoping to go into nursing or speech and language pathology, so it was a great opportunity for me,” she said.

Students volunteered three days per week covering 30 different departments, according to Karaman.

Tognazzi worked in a range of different units this summer.

“My favorite department was the child development center,” she said. “There was never a dull moment.”

Students who volunteered as patient assistants were sometimes faced with challenging situations, according to Karaman.

“They work the floors, talking and sometimes playing cards with patients. Some of the people they run into are very ill, which can be difficult, but I’m always touched with the stories they bring back,” she said.

McNamee was also challenged in Addison Gilbert’s senior adult unit.

“It was challenging to work with patients who were unsure of where they were or patients who had you trying to call family members for them,” she said. “Most of the time they didn’t know the phone number for their family or friends, so I would have to tell them I couldn’t get a hold of the person at the moment.”

Karaman enjoys seeing volunteers return year after year.

“I have some students for all four years of high school,” she said. “It’s fun to watch them grow up. A few students even volunteer during the school year if they’re not playing a sport at the time.”

Karaman encourages students to sign up in advance, as volunteer spots fill up quickly.

Tognazzi continues to volunteer a few hours a week after school, and McNamee plans to volunteer again next summer.

“It’s pretty difficult to fit it into my schedule now that school has started and I’m focusing on college applications, but I definitely plan on helping out next year,” she said.


Green Team Members Re-organize Lucidomatic

Green Team members Shauna Rice and Nicole Bradley reorganize the Lucidomatic during their Green Team Scholar class. The Lucidomatic has a new format this school year. Compost and paper products are now combined into one section of the Lucidomatic.


DECA Seniors host mock competition for first-year DECA students

MERHS DECA seniors provide a mock competition for the juniors involved in DECA. This is the first time junior DECA students are introduced to role plays with a judge and a written exam.