Aspiring Commercial Pilot Builds Simulator in home

For a high school student, contemplating what they want to do in their adult life can be stressful.

Junior Tyler Duda has known since sophomore year in his high school career that being a commercial pilot is something he will pursue as he searches for colleges next year.

After Duda noticed his wide interest in the field of engineering, he worked for a long period of time to assemble a flight simulator in his own home.

Duda enjoys using equipment to build parts for airplanes.  He first became interested in engineering when he visited his uncle at Delta Airline in Atlanta and was taken to see the simulators, which motivated Duda to pursue this project.

“It’s definitely a large project. The process was a lot of buying panels, other components, and the actual building. The fabrication is still in the process, but it will take only about four months to complete,” Duda said.

Unaware that he wanted to make being a pilot a career, Duda has always been fascinated in planes and the process of assembling them, but it was that trip with his uncle last February that made that interest into reality.

“I think it’s really cool that he made one instead of buying it because it shows dedication,” sophomore Kate Thomsin said about the project.

Taking more than a year, this project has been a rewarding yet laborious development, according to Duda, and he’s uncertain if he wants to pursue another project similar to a simulator.

“He’s worked hard on the simulator and put a lot of money into it. It has three screens on it and someone can set exactly what they want the airplane to be like, what kind, color, what weather condition they’ll be flying in, and where they’ll be flying from and to. He can basically control everything about the plane and its environment,” junior Mariah Litka said.

Although Duda says that the process was a slow one with purchasing the individual pieces and waiting for the equipment to come in, the overall result has left him feeling accomplished.


Boys’ Lacrosse Team Hopes to Come Back From Rocky Start

After a slow start to their season, the boys’ lacrosse team hopes to move forward and produce a winning record. The team currently stands at 1-4, after losing their first four games of the season.

Despite the team’s disappointing start, hope remains for the team after they snapped their losing streak with a 4-3 win over Whittier on April 12.

The team has been looking at the positives and hopes to carry the energy from their win into their upcoming games.

“This hasn’t exactly been the start that we hoped for, but I believe in our team and I think that after Saturday’s win we can really turn it around over the next couple weeks,” senior captain Chris Dumont said.

Though the losses have been frustrating for the players, the boys still remain optimistic about their season.

“It’s been tough losing the first few games, especially the games that have come down to a couple of plays in fourth quarter.  I think that these next few games will go our way, though, as long as we keep playing hard and stay focused,” sophomore midfielder Jack Hennigan said.

With this rough patch behind them, the team is hoping to come in especially strong in their next few games, particularly when facing CAL rivals Pentucket and North Reading.

“I think it’s important for us not to dwell on the past.  We need to keep practicing and always stay focused on the next game,” Dumont said.

Both the players and the coaching staff are working hard to help the team improve and help the boys’ post a winning record.

“Our assistant coach, Steve Driscoll, has done a great job of coaching the younger kids and shaping a lot of our younger talent.  I think that with young players developing like that, it really bodes well for the team’s future,” Coach John McCavanagh said.

With the season now underway, the team will hope to improve upon last year’s 2-15 record.  They have upcoming home games against Pentucket and North Reading on April 15 and 17.


Updated Prom Article

By Sarah Williams

Prom is getting closer every day, and students of Manchester Essex are getting ready with dresses, proposals and spirit.

Prom is on Friday May 30 at the Black Swan Country Club in Georgetown. The tickets will be $25 for seniors and $50 for juniors and guests.

Music-wise, Jennifer Coleman said, “There is going to be a DJ. We hired Mr. Cook who used to work here,” which she said, “should be significantly better than the DJ last year.”

The food at this years prom will be buffet style with a choice between chicken piccata and fettuccini alfredo in addition to salad with a choice of sides.

There is not a particular theme this year, but the Prom Committee picked theme colors silver, gold, and black for the decorations.

  Students are excited for this year’s prom for a variety of reasons. Senior Hannah Parker said, “I am most excited for the pictures and the dancing at prom!”  The dresses this year are a wide variety of colors from soft pastel floor length dresses to frilly vintage.Prom Dress Perry Burnham   A majority of the girls will be wearing their hair up this year, whether to show off the backs of their dresses as senior Olivia Bean said or to keep hair in place throughout the night of pictures and dancing.

Prom Dress Ella Rodier


Parker as well as many other girls see the pictures as the best part. “I’m most excited to get ready and take pictures,” senior Ella Rodier said.

“The prom pictures make me feel like I’m going to the Oscars,” Parker said.

prom Black Swan Country Club

Prom-goers are excited for other reasons too.  “I am most excited for this year’s prom because it is my senior prom and the venue is going to be so nice,” Bean said.

The Black Swan Country Club is often used for weddings with a grand dance floor, plenty of seating and colorful lights.

Senior Alexandra Valenti said she was most excited about, “just spending time with friends.”


Media disrespects families and victims of Malaysia Flight 370

  Following the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370, the media has taken advantage of yet another tragedy by reporting any and all lurid theories in hopes of gaining more viewers.

 Breaking news: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may have landed in Kazakhstan! Officials say a meteorite may have hit it in flight! Flight 370 is reported to have been hijacked by Jihadist terrorists!

 While these preposterous conspiracy theories that have been circulating on every media outlet seem harmless to most viewers, the feelings of the family and friends of the victims seem to have been forgotten amidst the chaos.

 Similar to almost any other tragedy, the fate of Malaysia Flight 370 has been subjected to speculation, false leads, and nonstop media coverage.

 With all of the news stories and talk of crazy conspiracies, much of the world has forgotten what this story is at its core: a tragedy and loss of human life.

 While relatives of the victims sit in relentless anguish waiting for closure, newscasters apathetically report anything that comes their way without giving much thought to the validity of it.

 News stations have even played with the alien abduction theory, a conjecture so ridiculous that Flight 370 is beginning to feel more like a show on the SciFi Channel than it does a tragedy.

 I can’t even begin to imagine how the families and friends must feel when they hear such stories on the news.

 Additionally, as these poor people are going through the hardest, most trying time of their lives, the media has the nerve to fling flashing cameras, microphones and film equipment in their faces as they struggle to say a few words in between their wracks of sobs.

 When I see videos of crying widows, hysterical mothers and solemn fathers all waiting to hear the ultimate fate of their loved ones, I cannot believe that anyone would want to watch this footage.

 The media needs to find a way to handle the matter more respectfully.

 No more absurd theories. No more painstaking clips of loved ones crying. No more false information; just the truth.

  If that’s not enough to win viewers, then I don’t know what is.


Band and chorus perform at Spring Concert

  At the annual Spring Concert, during which seniors usually bid their farewells to the programs, the chorus, SoundWaves and band performed, but this year the concert also ended with a surprise.

  The performances, which took place in the auditorium on April 10, started with the chorus, which was conducted by music teacher Donna O’Neill.

  The chorus sang “Alleluia,” “Ching-A-Ring Chaw,” “Danny Boy,” and “Make Them Hear You.”

  The SoundWaves, the a cappella group also led by O’Neill, then performed “Cecilia,” “The Parting Glass,” and “1,2,3,4.”

  “I thought both the chorus and the SoundWaves did beautifully with challenging material, and I’m going to miss all our seniors dearly,” O’Neill said.

  After a 15-minute intermission, the band, led by director Joe Sokol, took the stage, starting off with the traditional “Star Spangled Banner.”

  Next the band played their medley of three classic military songs in “Those Magnificent Marches,” “Summon the Heroes,” “Highlights from Grease,” “Be Our Guest,” and “New York, New York.”

  “I think we played exceptionally at the concert. We’ve been preparing for this concert for months, and we really wanted to play a good one to thank Mr. Sokol for the amazing trip to New York City some of us went on,” junior Libby Dulski said.

  After the band finished with “New York, New York,” Sokol announced where all of the senior band members would be attending college and wished them well.

  Seniors Julia Paccone and Chris Dumont then expressed the graduating class’s gratitude for having Sokol as “an amazing” band director, and at the end they presented him with a gift of two tickets to a Bruins’ game.

  “The gift they gave me was very thoughtful, and overall the concert went very well. It’s never easy combining the night band and day band, but I think that we did so successfully this time,” Sokol said.

  At the very end of the concert, once he was done speaking about Sokol, Dumont pulled a red rose out of his jacket and asked his senior girlfriend and chorus member Hannah Parker to prom.

  “I was very surprised and had no idea that he was planning on asking me that night! I figured out later that everyone knew but me. I’m very excited to go to my senior prom with Chris,” Parker said.


Robotics team competes in BU regional competition

  As students attended classes both Thursday and Friday, the robotics team was in Boston prepping for the regional competition.

  They participated in three days of robotic head to head competition at Boston University on April 11, 12, and 13. All 54 regional teams qualified to compete against each other based on their performances at previous events.

  The events consisted of two days of qualifying matched followed by elimination rounds with the top eight teams competing in the final round, according to sophomore Alexei Goldsmith-Solomon.

  “We finished 45th overall and did not make it to the finals,” he said.

  Building the robot required sponsors such as the Society of American Military Engineers. “Overall, we had a budget of around $10,000, but even then we are tight on cash between the very high cost to enter the tournaments and also building the robot,” Goldsmith-Solomon said.

  The objective of this year’s competition was to build a robot that could pass and catch a 25-lb exercise ball or throw it in a net. “It’s kind of like basketball with robots,” said sophomore member Ben Wolsieffer.

  The team chose not to have the ability to throw the ball in the high net and instead focused on throwing and catching because they di8dn’t “have a big enough team to do everything,” Wolsieffer said.

  “Our design was based around catching the ball and passing it to teammates in order to rack up as many assist points as we could while most other robots were focused on shooting the ball into the high-value goal,” said Goldsmith-Solomon.

  Many materials went into the making of the robot. Most of the robot was made of aluminum, but we also had a wooden ramp in the middle, along with a steel axle on as our mechanism to pick up the ball,” said Goldsmith-Solomon. They also had a net made of green spandex to catch the ball, he said.


Girls’ tennis accumulates strong record at start of season

Following their first few matches, the girls’ varsity tennis team has articulated their goals and updated their expectations for the remainder of the season.

On Friday, April 4, the team lost 2-3 against Masconomet in a non-league match played at home. Last year, the team went undefeated in the regular season with a record of 22-0; senior Rachel Daley said that starting the season with a loss was “tough,” especially as the winners of last year’s Division III state title.

Coach Philip Logsdon said that large schools like Masconomet can often be the most difficult to defeat.

Daley lost at first singles to Masconomet’s Danielle Dunn, who Logsdon said is likely to receive league MVP.

“Her [Daley’s] approach and athleticism came to the fore in the second set, as she drove many long battles into extended games,” Logsdon said.

Senior and captain Kendall McCormick won at second singles. “She moved up from No. 3 singles last season and is settling in well to the new position,” Logsdon said.

McCormick remained optimistic after the team loss. “It was a pretty close loss, so I think it just made us more motivated to  beat them the next time we see them, which is later in the season. We’ve been working hard to make sure we redeem ourselves,” she said.

During the first week of league matches, the team played Amesbury twice: once in a league match on Wednesday, April 9, and once in a non-league match on Fri., April 11. The team won both matches, which McCormick said helped them achieve the redemption she mentioned, and to get them ready for crucial, upcoming matches.

Players continued their two-match winning streak when they triumphed over Rockport on Mon., April 14. Daley said that despite windy weather, the “girls were able to stay focused.”

Liz Warren, senior captain and second doubles player, said that she expects success during the season.

“I personally need to improve on my serving and net play, but I think with the past wins, this upcoming season will be a lot of fun,” she said.

Captains and players anticipated matches against rival teams such as Lynnfield, citing confidence from their wins as a boost to team morale.

“We still know who our toughest matches are going to be against. Lynnfield and Masco are the strongest teams we’re going to play. We really need to beat Lynnfield to make the state tournament this year,” Daley said.

Logsdon said that the team has several goals for the remainder of the season, and that it will aim to “get stronger with each stroke, to think ahead to each placement, and to move quickly to winning opportunities in the forecourt.”


Global Issues class hosts Teacher Talent Show

teacher talent show 1As one of their last  major fund raisers for the school year, the Global Issues class held their annual Teacher Talent Show on March 14.

Although the event was not as successful at raising money as it was the year before,  the Teacher Talent show managed to bring in $2,000 for the Stop Hunger Now, campaign according to Global Issues teacher James Walliman.

“Although we were a bit disappointed with the turn-out this year, we still had a really fun time and raised money for an incredible cause,” Walliman said.

The show was run by Walliman’s E block Global Issues class.  Every student in the class was assigned a job ranging from backstage work to publicizing the event.

Hosted by seniors Chris Dente and Liam Logue, the show began with a demonstration of how the meal packs that will be purchased from the night’s donations are put together.

Spanish teacher Robert Bilsbury and his wife Kate Bilsbury, accompanied by sophomore Tyler Quade on the viola, were the first act of the night. They performed the songs “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hasard and “Kathy’s Song” by Simon and Garfunkel.

The social studies department then entertained crowds by playing a game of charades on stage. The team “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink,” consisting of social studies teachers Alison Wright, Jennifer Coleman, and math teacher Sarah Deluca won the game and then celebrated with confetti.

This act was followed by a rendition of “The Element Song” by Physics teacher Philip Logsdon. Then physical education teacher Thomas Durfee performed a self-written rap chronicling the entire Star Wars series.

The English department provided a surprising twist to the evening by showcasing a video parody of TV show “Breaking Bad” called “Breaking Badly.” In a spoof on the original series, teacher Dan Koughan portrayed a teacher selling lines of poetry on the streets.

“I thought all of the teachers did a good job of bringing their own personality to the stage. It was definitely a fun night,” junior Alicia Setzer said.

The night ended with a performance by Walliman, Bilsbury, and math teacher David Alger that eventually brought all Global Issues students who worked on the project to the stage for a round of applause.


The College Board elects drastic changes to the SAT

Due to recent research done by The College Board, the SAT test will be altered for the spring of 2016.

According to The College Board’s website, this new SAT test should be more focused on assessing a student’s readiness for college life and more useful to schools attempting to evaluate prospective students.

The most major changes relate to the scoring of the SAT. The exam is once again going to be on a 400-point to 1600-point scale, and the essay will be optional and given a separate score.

With this change in scoring, the three sections of the exam will be evidence-based reading and writing, math, and the essay as opposed to the previous format with separate sections for critical reading and writing.

The new evidence-based reading and writing section will focus more on the interpretation of evidence than in past exams and is also limiting vocabulary to the examination of “relevant words in context” as opposed to a long list of enormous vocab words.

The essay will also be experiencing some changes. Aside from being deemed its own section, the essay will focus on analyzing a source in order to explain the way in which the author builds his or her argument.

Both the essay and the evidence-based reading and writing sections will be filled with questions and passages grounded in real world situations that often include the application of the sciences or of social studies. For example, every student who takes the SAT will encounter either one of the founding documents or a document related to global conservation, according to The College Board.

Though most changes will be seen in the passage-based sections, the math section will also encounter a new focus. According to The College Board, the exam will focus on the three “essential” areas of math: Problem Solving with Data Analysis, The Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math.

Other changes that will take place in the spring include the ability to take the SAT on a computer in select locations and the removal of any penalty if an answer is given incorrectly.


Self-diagnosis presents both dangers and benefits

Even the most extrospective among us have indulged in some form of self-diagnosis. You’re lying if you say you have never woken up feverish in the middle of the night and rushed to Web M.D. looking for answers.

Due to the availability of information about every disorder in a fourth-year medical student’s textbook, playing doctor and therapist is just too easy these days.

The ubiquity of medical advice proves useful when treating a bee sting or nursing a common cold. In fifth grade I even correctly diagnosed a friend with appendicitis with some help from the Internet and recollections of stories my dad told me about his appendix bursting before I was born.

Beyond queries about physical illness, the curious and self-reflective have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips when it comes to personal psychology and mental health.

Well established metrics like the Myers-Brigg Personality Test, which draws from the theories of modern psychology’s pioneer Carl Jung, allow those interested to find out into which of the 16 personality types they best fit.  For an everyday journey towards self-discovery, the Internet’s resources are invaluable.

When it comes to mental health, however, the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. A multitude of websites offers quizzes that result in a tenuous diagnosis of mental illness.

Simply by indicating a preference for spending time alone and a tendency to feel fatigued, a completely healthy person could be flagged by psychology websites for depression or bipolar disorder.

Most Diagnose It Yourself websites display disclaimers encouraging users to seek professional help. In terms of treatment, this is especially important.

Easy self-diagnosis may be just one of the many factors contributing to increased misdiagnosis of conditions like ADD; patients can turn into minor hypochondriacs just from relating to bits and pieces that make up several common illnesses.

Nonetheless, when professional help is not an option, free information can save lives. Suicide hotlines, though still functional, can be too personal for many teenagers accustomed to the blanket of anonymity that the Internet provides. Chat rooms and written resources can provide genuine help for people who are quietly struggling.

Between public information, medical advice, and emergency mental health resources, a combination of professional and self-help can work wonders.