Swimming and diving team receives awards for best swimmer, diver and coach

With their best record since 2009, the swimming and diving team has improved as a whole with a record of 4-5, and individually with almost every swimmer beating his or her fastest time.

“Individual improvement has added up to improvement of the entire team,” senior captain Peter Cottingham said.

At the Cape Ann League Championship on Feb. 2, head coach Shannon Alger was awarded Best Coach, senior Michael Phelan won Best Male Swimmer of the Year, and Cottingham won Best Male Diver of the Year.

Overall the team placed fourth out of eight teams.

“Winning against North Reading and getting fourth place at CALs was not only a great way to end the season, but it’s also the best we’ve ever done, so that was really exciting for everyone to experience,” senior captain Lila Hughes said.

The team also sent three relay teams to sectionals on Feb. 8 and 9.

Representing the girls’ 400 freestyle relay is junior Olivia Painter, freshman Amber Shaw, freshman Zanny Lee, and eighth-grader Annalia Laino.

The second team, Phelan, senior captain Easton Ehlers, sophomore Nate Rautio, and sophomore James Phelan qualified to compete in the boys’ 200 IM relay at sectionals.

Hughes, Laino, sophomore Erin Carlson, and Lee swam the girls’ 200 IM relay at sectionals.

“Because we’ve been consistent with practices, including morning practices and Friday workouts, and worked really hard, the team has had great success,” Alger said.

The team will also send six swimmers, Michael Phelan, James Phelan, Laino, Ehlers, eighth-grader Coleman Komishane, Rautio, and one diver, Cottingham, to the State Championship on Feb. 16.

Michael Phelan will swim the 100 butterfly, 100 breast stroke, and the 50 freestyle, James Phelan will swim the 100 butterfly, Komishane will swim the 500 freestyle, and Laino will swim the 100 backstroke.

“The official end of the season will be sad because so much of the team is seniors, and it’s our last season together,” Ehlers said.


Samsung produces Galaxy Gear, iconic cellphone watch

Historically only the coolest people possessed technology such as the iconic cellphone/wristwatch machine – James Bond, Buzz Light-year, Inspector Gadget – but as of Sept. 25, 2013, any commoner can be the proud owner of the Samsung Galaxy Gear, a modified smartphone compressed into watch form.

The watch’s capabilities include sending and receiving calls, email and text notifications, weather updates, voice memos, calendars, voice controls and, of course, keeping time.

One of the main luxuries of the watch is that everything can be controlled hands-free, making it accessible while on the go.

Ringing up at $299, the watch is the same price as Samsung’s new smartphone, the Galaxy Note.

The Galaxy Note and Galaxy Gear were advertised together with the suggestion that the smartphone and the watch would complement each other.

An advantage of having both devices is that the user can manage the watch’s settings from the phone. For example, setting calendar dates on the phone is easier than on the watch, but the watch is more convenient for calendar reminders.

If the watch and a Samsung Galaxy cellphone are connected, the watch will sense when the cellphone is unlocked and unattended and will automatically lock the phone to protect privacy.

The watch also comes with a feature that can locate a Samsung cellphone by activating the cellphone to make noises or vibrations, and if the watch is lost, the Samsung phone has the same feature to locate the watch.

Galaxy Gear comes in a variety of colors: black, lime, gray, pink, beige and orange.

The face of the watch is a medium square with a black screen background.

The S Voice aspect of the watch allows users to voice activate calls and other commands such as alarms, messages, and calendar updates.


Tattoos: PRO

  By Emily Arntsen

Look at it this way: if 11% of the U.S. population has tattoos then 11% of the U.S. population is going to grow old with tattoos. And if 11% of the U.S. population grows old with tattoos, you’ll be in good company when your skin sags.

  Still not convinced? Put away a couple grand for laser tattoo removal when you’re 65. You’ll be fine.

  Sarcasm aside, I do believe certain people look exquisite with the right tattoos. There’s nothing sexier than a sailor with nautical ink or a coffee shop girl with pin-up tattoos.

  Sure, I’ve seen some ugly tattoos, and yeah, there are a lot of stupid ones out there, but I applaud the person who can rock full sleeves. Let me paint you a picture.

  If I look closely, I can see muted colors and shapes underneath her pale pink tights and her light tulle skirt. When she swings her back, pictures dance across her shoulder blades. On her arms, constellations are drawn between freckles. Boston Dance Company’s principle ballerina, their Sugar Plum Fairy, has tattoos from her neck to her ankles. Perfect.

  It’s outrageous, and I admire it. The contrast between the harsh, black ink and her flawless, ivory skin is beautiful, and startling. How off-putting it is to see a tutu alongside tattoos. 

  Though her tattoos are edgy and interesting, some people’s are not as successful.

  Tattoos can be categorized into six sections: meaningful; beautiful; meaningful and beautiful; meaningless; ugly; and meaningless and ugly. The first three types are acceptable, sometimes even cool; they’re unique, intentional, witty, and/or aesthetically pleasing.

  The last three categorizes are home to the Asian characters with their English translation written in script underneath them. They’re home to the butterflies, the dragons, the dates of deceased grandmothers, the names of previous lovers, the “I just turned 18” rebellion, the “I had a rough night” regrets, the religious symbols, the astrological signs, and the flags of distant nationalities. These aren’t so cool.

  Even though I don’t think I’ll ever get a tattoo, I do think they’re attractive on the right person. It’s the beautiful, pale-skinned, heavily-tatted, 20-somethings, the walking, talking art exhibits, the gypsies and the pirates, who convince me that sometimes tattoos rock.


Girls’ lacrosse prepares to defeat rival team, Ipswich

Concluding last season with a 10-6 record, this year’s girls’ lacrosse team is excited to get back on the field.

  Head coach Sarah Holch predicts the team will “play a more sophisticated game” and is eager to “continue on a path of great lacrosse playing.”

  Last season the team made it to the second round of Tournament, beating Newburyport in the first round and losing to Ipswich in the second round by two goals.

  Senior captains Carolyn Helsop and Olivia Mastendino, both “terrific leaders” according to Holch, are looking forward to a re-match against their rival, Ipswich.

  “Generally, we just want to win as many games as possible, but we all really want to make it to the third round of tournament this year,” Mastendino said.

  It’s a little too soon to tell who will be impact players, but Heslop said, “Taylor Meek will obviously be amazing, along with Brittany Smith and our goalie, Katie Furber.”

  “Lacrosse is such an up-coming sport, so we have a lot of young player that we can train for the future,” she said.

  “We have an amazing group of seniors and juniors who have been key players for past seasons. Our sophomores are extremely athletic and enthusiastic as well as some freshmen. Specifically, our captains, Carolyn and Olivia, will probably be key players,” Holch said.

  The beginning of this season will be focused on re-building the team and regaining the team’s cohesiveness since two out of the three starting defense players graduated last year, Heslop said.


S.C.O.R.E projects encourage students to experience the real world before college

  Each year senior students are required to participate in S.C.O.R.E, Senior Choice of Related Experience, where students choose an internship that interests them and will prepare them for future jobs.

  Roughly a one-month program, internships start April 8 and finish at the end of May.

  Students must complete 30 hours of work a week at their internships and conclude their experience with a 15- minute presentation and a 12-page essay.

  S.C.O.R.E counts for 25% of senior’s final grades and is necessary to graduate.

  This year, S.C.O.R.E leader Daniel Jewett is encouraging students to find projects outside of school and family businesses, but there are no formal changes to the overall program.

  As a result there are fewer students who will be working in the high school, according to Jewett.

  Projects range from internships at the Trustees of Reservation, animal shelters and hospitals to radio broadcasting, theater and web design.

  “There are still several students who need to re-submit paperwork, but generally, everyone is on track,” Jewett said.

  Many seniors are interested in their projects. Of them, seniors Riley McCarthy, Megan Jones and Kurt Statz-Geary are particularly excited.

  McCarthy will work for the WindRush Farm in Boxford, Mass. “I’m going to be helping kids with special needs through therapeutic [horseback] riding. I’m going to work alongside a specialist to learn more about the kids’ needs,” she said.

  Restaurant Latitude 43 in Gloucester is employing Jones as an intern manager and chef.

  “I’m basically just going to be shadowing the manager and learning the ropes of running a business. I would love to go to culinary school after I go to college. I want to learn about the business side of restaurants along with the cooking side of restaurants,” she said.

  Statz-Geary is working for a small business out of Beverly called Imagine an Ocean. “I’m going to grow coral in a variable habitat and change the water content to see how the coral reacts,” he said.

 Jewett thinks S.C.O.R.E is important because it “gives kids the opportunity to pursue hobbies, explore possible careers and get out of the building.”

“A lot of the best learning happens outside of school,” he said.


Art student creates dress out of grass, rope

  For the month of October, a typical mixed media class wasn’t much different from what someone would see on the television show “Project Runway.”

  Teacher Marion Powers assigned students to create articles of clothing using unconventional or recycled materials.

  Junior Julia Paccone surpassed expectations with her mini dress constructed from rope, a rug mat, wire hangers and sea grass, according to Powers.

  “I had no idea such a beautiful dress could be made out of those materials,” junior mixed media student Hannah Parker said.

  Paccone was inspired by the sea grass plant in front of her house and rough rope she found at the hard-ware store to create her dress.

  “The contrast between the coarse rope and the fluffy plant is the piece’s strength,” Powers said.

  Paccone described the process: “I weaved and braided the rope to make the top then layered and glued the sea grass to the rug mat to make the skirt.”

  The dress took her roughly a month to complete.

  “I would definitely wear it if it wasn’t so itchy,” Paccone said.

  Powers further praised Paccone for her hard work. “It’s not your typical high school project. There’s no question this is college level work. It could get her into any art school,” Powers said.

  The monochromatic dress is “a work of art in texture,” Powers said, “The vision, the craftsmanship, everything was executed so well.”

  Paccone plans to bring her dress to National Portfolio Day in Boston to have it, as well as her other artwork, critiqued by portfolio judges.

  She will also submit a picture of the dress to the Boston Globe art contest.


Cross country surpasses goals and has best boys’ team in history

By Emily Arntsen

  Concluding the regular season on Oct. 18, the cross country team is pleased with the achievements they made and the goals they reached this year.

  “We’ve done a lot better than we thought we would have. We were more competitive, individually and as a team,” junior captain Erik Rajunas said.

  “I’m really proud of the whole team for working cohesively. Specifically, I’m proud of Fiona Davis. She’s in great shape and will probably qualify for the state meet. Only a few people can beat her,” coach Andrew Migonis said.

  The team’s record is the best it’s ever been since Migonis has been at the school. Before their meet against Ipswich they were tied for first for the Cape Ann League Small School Championship.

  On Oct. 18 the team was awarded second, missing the first place title by three points to the Ipswich cross country team.

  The girls’ team is 2 – 10 “which is the best they’ve ever done since there’s hardly been a girls’ team in the past,” Migonis said.

  On Oct. 27, the team participated at CALs where the boys came in first for the Cape Ann League Small division, beating Ipswich and placing fifth overall.

  The girls we selected by coaches for the Sportsmanship award because they are supportive and helpful to other teams.

  They placed eighth out of 11 teams.

  Sophomore captain Cameron Holley came in second place and junior captain Fiona Davis came in seventh place overall making them Cape Ann League All Stars. 

  “The boys are trying really hard to make the All-State Championship this year. They have the best chance of making it,” she said.

  The team is still preparing for the state qualifiers on Nov. 11 where ten people will move on to the Divisional Qualifiers.


Cross country focuses on qualifying for state championship

By Emily Arntsen

    Cross country runners this season share a universal goal of qualifying for the cross country state championship and improving their scores at the Cape Ann League Championship.

  Junior captain Fiona Davis believes the girls’ team has “never had a better chance of making it” because of the growth of the program.

  Currently 11 female participants and 33 male participants are on the team, almost doubling the size of the team since last year, according to junior captain Lindsey Duff

  Aside from the state qualifiers, which the team has never participated in, the runners are also excited for the Cape Ann Cross Country Championship on Oct. 27.

  “Cape Ann League Championship (CALs) is what we’re looking forward to the most; we’ve all set personal goals for ourselves at CALs as well,” Duff said.

  As for the team record so far, the boys are undefeated 2-0 and the girls are 0-2.

  “We’ve never started out the season with two wins (for the boys’ team). This made us realize that our boys’ team has a good shot at being the Cape Ann League Small Champions, which would be unprecedented,” Davis said.

  Sophomore captain Cameron Holley thinks this season will be one of the best because “the whole team did extra training over the summer.”

  The key to success is to “run in a pack – when we do that, we push each other to run faster and help each other out,” he said.

  Coach Andrew Migonis also believes that the team’s cohesiveness this season will lead to success. “Rather than just one guy out front and one guy lagging behind, we have packs of runners who can race together,” he said.

  As for personal goals, freshman captain Charlie Davis wants to “in general run faster, but specifically beat my record of 18:30 for a 5K race,” he said.


Medical Marijuana: Pro

By Emily Arntsen

  Medical marijuana has already established itself as an effective aid for nausea, headaches, anxiety, vomiting and other symptoms caused by cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis, so why not legalize it?   

  Instead of rejecting marijuana as a hippie-gateway-good-for-nothing drug, society should try to understand the benefits of medical marijuana and use it to its full potential.

  One effect that needs no further testing is marijuana’s ability to increase appetite in patients undergoing chemotherapy; people don’t call it “the munchies” for nothing.

  To be more scientific, THC, the chemical in medical marijuana, connects to the THC receptors in the brain and spinal cord which ultimately impacts the patient’s anxiety and metabolism levels, i.e. creating appetite and eliminating stress.       

  During the age of “all natural,” wouldn’t it make sense that medical marijuana is the answer for patients seeking a more organic recovery? 

  Just because a doctor prescribes a medication doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest choice. Blood-thinners, opioids and various steroids are common remedies for pain, but most of these drugs are more toxic and have dangerous side effects than that of medical marijuana.

  The most common opioid, morphine, is a depressant that slows brain functions and psychologically numbs pain. Medical marijuana on the other hand, releases serotonin into the bloodstream which creates a euphoric feeling.

  Contrary to popular belief, medical marijuana is not chemically addictive meaning there are no possible withdrawal symptoms unlike morphine and oxycodone, which are chemically addictive, according to the New York Times.

  According to the New York Times, not only is medical marijuana used to battle nausea and anxiety, it’s also used as an anti-depressant. 

  Medical marijuana should be legalized for the benefit of cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis patients searching for an effective pain killer but also for people struggling with depression.

  Of the 17 U.S. states that have legalized medical marijuana, there is an 11 percent decrease in suicides, which is said to be an effect of medical marijuana.

  The benefits of medical marijuana clearly surpass the negative effects.


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.