High school band, chorus, and Sound Waves perform in Spring concert

The music department prepares all year for its annual spring concert. Performances include chorus, the A cappella group Sound Waves, and the school band.

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Seventh graders act out stories for drama unit

Seventh graders in teacher Abby Whittredge’s English class practiced and performed a number of different story books for the drama unit in their class. Students were graded on performance and the way interacted with each other.

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Varsity girls lacrosse defeat Pentucket

On Monday April 23, the varsity girls’ lacrosse team played their first night game under the lights against Pentucket. Both teams played very hard, but in the end Manchester-Essex came out on top with a score of sixteen to eleven.

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Girls varsity lacrosse practices for upcoming games

Manchester Essex Girl’s Varsity Lacrosse team currently has a record of 4-2-0. Practices are held every day for two hours which condition and prepare the team for victory.

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Global issues class fundraises for well in Haiti

H2O for Life, an organization that provides developing countries with clean water, and the Global Issues class taught by James Wallimann’s Global Issues class have partnered to raise money for the St. Pierre School in Mirebalais, Haiti.

“The school has about 2,200 kids, four toilets and no water, so we’re raising money to build a well so they can have access to fresh water,” Wallimann said.

After completing their fundraising, the students will give the money they raised to H2O for Life, who will then match the amount and organize construction in Haiti.

Currently with about $3,300, the class has a $6,500 goal in mind for the end of the year.

To spread awareness about water deprivation in developing countries, the Global Issues class “taped statistics in the hallways and handed out facts concerning fresh water and conservation,” senior Savannah Repucci said.

The class recently held two in-school fundraisers:  the dodge ball tournament, which made around $750, and, with help from the National Art Honors Society, the class sold student-decorated backpack cards for $1 each, bringing in $60 so far.

“The dodge ball tournament was very successful! It was great to have a fundraiser that so much of the student body wanted to be a part of,” senior Kaitlin Cochand said.

As for outside school fundraisers, the class held sponsored restaurant nights at The Landing, Not Your Average Joes, Jalapeños, and Texas Roadhouse, with all proceeds going to the class.

Coming up the class will hold another restaurant night at the Hale Street Tavern and a rummage sale.

They’re also selling “water droplets” and T-shirts at local stores, according to Repucci.

Other than helping a community in Haiti, the H2O for Life fundraiser is also teaching students “compassion, money management and conservation of resources,” Cochand said.

“I think the students have learned empathy towards people who are lacking such basic needs,” Wallimann said.

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Should high school students own cars? Con

By Melissa Moore

Though owning a car can provide some freedom, the associated liabilities and costs outweigh any advantages.

Purchasing a car is expensive.  Pre-owned cars can cost anywhere from $1,000-$400,000, with the average price around $10,000.

Today, gas in the United States costs an average of $3.867 per gallon, and the price is only climbing. Especially while saving up for college, paying money for expensive gas is a waste.  Many high school students can spend up to $50 a week on gas.  If, instead, he/she saved that money over a year, he/she would have an extra $2,600. 

Besides gas, owning a car is expensive.  The average cost for insurance in Massachusetts is an average of $1,113 each year. For someone who owns a car junior and senior years, he/she spends an extra $2,226.

Adding up the above costs, this person has spent almost $15,000.  Tuition at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is $12,991 for the 2012-2013 school year.  If that person did not own a car, he/she would have saved enough to pay for his/her first year in college.

Even discounting finances, owning a car can be a hassle.  High school students are still able to go places and have fun.  Do they really need to have their own car to get to the movies or to their friend’s house?  Often, another friend will be going to the same place, and the two can carpool.

Carpooling also prevents greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere and keeps the world a safer place.

In the summer, typically the time when teenagers most desire the use of a car, alternate ways of travel do exist.  Many times, kids can actually walk to their desired destination and, especially during the summer, avoid the inevitable beach traffic.

For farther distances, kids can bike to their destination.  Biking is a fun, simple way to get from one place to another while also getting a bit of exercise.

When one wants to travel farther than a bike will allow, the train is nearly always an option.  With the student discount, the train is a cheap, fast way to get to downtown Rockport or Boston and has a variety of times to return.

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New homework policy affects freshman, sophomores

During the month of March, the debate classes took part in a March Madness Tournament as a new way for the students to practice debating the month’s topic of whether or not the United States should suspend all aid to Pakistan.

“It was Mrs. Tran’s idea to do some type of tournament with the students as a fun and different way to practice the March topic,” history and public forum debate teacher Jennifer Coleman said.

The tournament was a public forum debate activity, which calls for students to work with a partner, Coleman said.

“Typically the students have the same partner through the whole year to go to tournaments, but for March Madness, since it was mad, they had to pick a different partner.”

The tournament took about six class periods, two for preliminary debating and four for the elimination round, according to Coleman. The debaters competed in two preliminary rounds, and then the teams were ranked one through 16.

After the preliminary round, the teams debated in single elimination rounds. “We started with the Sweet Sixteen and worked our way down to the Elite Eight, the Final Four, and we had our final round on April 2,” she said.

All four of the debate classes meet during A block, so they all took part in the tournament, according to Coleman.

“There are two public forum classes, which were the ones doing the actual debating, one Lincoln Douglas class and one Congress class,” she said. “We brought all the classes together and used the Lincoln Douglas and the Congress students to be our judges for the two preliminary rounds and the first elimination round.”

Senior Allie Freed was a judge from the Lincoln Douglas class.

“I think this tournament was a nice way to match up novice debaters with experienced debaters in a way so that both debaters can hone their respective skills,” Freed said. “It was also a chance for debaters who don’t do public forum to see what that realm of debate is all about.”

Sophomore Quinn Andersen thought the tournament was “fun and a good way to help kids get out of their comfort zones.”

Coleman hopes to have another March Madness Tournament next year.

“It shows all the teachers working together, it shows all the students working together, and I think it really shows the unity of the team,” she said.

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Library orders new E-Books thanks to Rotary grant

After receiving $2,700 grant from the Rotary Club, the library plans to update the 2005 World Peace and Understanding Library Project with new technology, such as E-Books.

“Back in the old building, the Rotary Club gave us money and bought books, and had the shelving [located in the printer room] made especially for us,” library teacher Sue Krause said.

According to her, the shelf was part of the World Peace and Understanding Project and contains books with topics in areas such as bullying, peace, social tolerance, and conflict resolution.

“In the fall, Debbie Marcus from the Rotary contacted me and said she wanted to add to the collection of books on that shelf,” Krause said. “I suggested that instead of ordering more books, to order E-Books, and she thought it was a great idea.”

A few weeks ago, Krause received news that the Rotary grant application to provide funds to update the project had been accepted, and the library received $2,700 worth of E-Books, she said.

“The grant proposal includes that Rotarians have to be involved somehow,” according to Krause. “ So there are plans for creating an E-Book club for middle and high school students, promoting outside reading, discussion, and mentoring.”

Krause will order the E-Books and educate students about availability of these online resources.

“There are two ways students can access these E-Books,” she said. “From home computers, students can go to the high school website, go into the library website and find Follett Shelf.”

According to Krause, student can log in using the username and password, both are “hornets,” to view the library’s collection of E-Books.

“So far we have 89 E-Books,” she said. “We will be adding 146 more because of the Rotary.”

Most of the E-Books are up-to-date fiction stories that kids want to read, such as “The Hunger Games” and “The Help,” as well as books that are part of the curriculum, such as “The Scarlet Letter” and “Moby Dick,” according to Krause.

“We also have books that contribute to the topic are of social tolerance and bullying, such as “Handling Peer Pressure” and “Living with Peer pressure and Bullying,” she said.

Senior Savannah Repucci said the online access from home gives students better opportunities for outside reading and schoolwork.

“The fact that we can access books for school online on our home computers will make our lives easier,” Repucci said. “As for outside reading, if there is a book I want to read, but my local library does not have it or the price at a bookstore is too expensive, these E-Books will allow me to read them at my own pace and in my own home.”

Senior Max Gove agrees the “opportunities for future students and the easy access to the E-Books, on home and school computers, are endless.”

According to Krause, access to the E-Books on the school computer is just as simple as accessing the books on a home computer.

“On the school computer, go into your favorites on Internet Explorer and open up the school library search. Click on middle/high school and search for any E-Book based on material type, keyword, author, etc,” she said.

If any students have questions or would like to give their input on the new E-Books, see Mrs. Krause in the library.

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Students, faculty give blood to save lives

By Marian Siljeholm

Each year, the blood drive allows students and faculty the opportunity to individually save three lives by donating one pint of blood.

This year, 39 pints of blood were collected. Fifty two volunteers registered to donate; however, 12 had to be turned away due to a lack of proper identification, a deficiency in the height versus weight requirement, low blood-iron level requirements, or their having travelled to certain other countries in the past year.

Marian Siljeholm Photo

Despite such setbacks, “It was great to see how many students were interested and enthusiastic about giving blood, even if not all of them were able to because of technicalities,” said senior volunteer and three-time blood donor Madeline McNamee.

Faculty member and Student Council adviser Sarah Deluca has been organizing the drive since it began three years ago. Deluca donated blood for the first time in high school and several times since, especially after her sister became quite ill. As well as for the purpose of saving lives, Deluca sees the drive as a great chance to expose students to important community service opportunities that do not involve fundraising or monetary donations.

Despite difficulty finding a time when students could donate without interfering with sports or other major events, overall Deluca said the drive ran smoothly, with the minor issue of too few Red Cross staff to administer to the donors.  

Senior donor Taylor Coons was especially determined to help, yet nervous because of having fainted the previous year. “I’m not going to die if I give one pint of blood, but my actions have the potential to save three lives. That is what made me decide to donate,” Coons said.  

Senior Leanne Ciccone also donated with the greater good of saving lives in mind.  “I donated last year and felt really good knowing that my actions could have helped save lives; that was really what made me decide to donate this year. That of course and the free apple juice,” Ciccone said.

Looking to next year, Deluca hopes the number of students willing to donate will continue to increase as it did this year. It’s such an important part of the medical miracles that happen every day,” Deluca said.

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Music, fundraising combine at A Cappella Night

By Carolyn Heslop

Joining together to organize an A Cappella Night that will help to raise money for Senior Week and gain recognition for the Sound Waves, the senior class and high school a cappella group, the Sound Waves, have scheduled a concert for April 26,  senior group member Katerina Eichenberger said.

According to Sound Waves director Donna O’Neill, there has been a Sound Waves concert the past two years. At their past concert, the group raised around $1,000. However, this is the first year that the group has decided to invite other schools to perform at and attend the concert, O’Neill said.

O’Neill said that the Sound Waves will be performing as the headline group of the night, but they will also be joined by the Wellesley High School’s a cappella group, the Renegades, and the Spectrum Highlights from Pingree.

The goal of the event is for the peers and parents of the students from other schools to come as well, which will hopefully add to the fundraising effort, O’Neill said.

“It will be a fun way to make our a cappella group more well-known among other towns and allow us to share our passion for music with others who are just as passionate,” Eichenberger said.

Senior class adviser James Wallimann added that there will also be a bake sale during intermission that will be run by the senior class, with the hopes of gaining some extra money for Senior Week activities. The class wants to add a trip to an indoor laser tag/go kart center, as well as a trip to the restaurant Fire and Ice in Boston, he said.

“I think that this is a great idea; the students are showing an immense amount of enthusiasm and commitment, and the class officers are displaying their responsibility in planning this event,” O’Neill said.

For four years, the Sound Waves have been performing at various community events, according to O’Neill, and this concert event will give them the opportunity to perform with talented students of their same age.

Wallimann said that he and the senior class are really looking forward to this final fundraising event and hope that there will be another huge turnout this year.

In addition to benefitting the senior class, this concert will also serve as a way to recognize the Sound Waves a cappella group, Eichenberger said.

“Nine of the fifteen members of the Sound Waves are seniors, and over the years, they all have become a very close-knit group, creating a very special sound of their own,” O’Neill said. “This concert is a very exciting way to celebrate the seniors last year in the Sound Waves.”   

 

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