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Starbuck Reading Buddies
By Alphonse Renzi Children are young, energetic, and free-spirited. They are able to live their lives, without the continuous stress of the world; however, these same children will someday grow to become the future of the world. While that is indeed a scary path, with countless challenges ahead, it does not hurt to have some fun and assistance along the way, and that is where the Starbuck Reading Buddies Program comes into play. The Starbuck Reading Buddies Program is a co-operation between Watertown High and Starbuck Elementary in which high school students come to Starbuck Elementary to help young children with basic school work. Teenagers are paired up with elementary students and provide assistance to their buddies in reading, math, and science. Buddies even play cards and board games. Academically, the program is similar to “Big Brothers, Big Sisters”. Both sides (teenagers and children) learn from each other: elementary students gain self-confidence, while the teenagers gain a sense of responsibility, and an understanding of how good it feels to help someone else. Mr. Taylor, the principal of Starbuck Elementary School, explained that the program was derived from another called Reading Across America. At first, like Reading Across America, the Starbuck Reading Buddies Program only occurred once a year on or around March 2nd, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Now, however, the program occurs six times a school year, which helps to strengthen the bonds between the students. Mr. Taylor even admitted that on one of the days when the high school stu-
Friday, June 8, 2012
WHS YEARBOOK STAFF
WHS students who serve as Starbuck Buddies.
dents could not come to Starbuck, due to bus difficulties, the children’s excitement quickly turned to disappointment. Watertown High School student Megan Donato describes the experience as “a nice way of helping a child open up and want to listen and the elementary students seem to find it cool to have a friend in the high school.” It seems safe to say that on the six days of the program’s events, there was never a dull moment inside the Starbuck music room, art room, or library, which is where the students are paired up. Though this may not seem like much, one little moment or bond between these two different sets of students seems to have a significant impact on everyone involved: each student grows in terms of self-confidence, responsibility, and just plain fun. It is obvious that the high school students are passing the torch of the enjoyment of learning from one generation to another, and there is truly no greater gift that they could give to their younger counterparts.
WHS YEARBOOK STAFF
Andrew Coronado and Alyssa Jefferds work with their Starbuck Buddies
2 Friday, June 8, 2012
Advice from Seniors
Congratulations Class of
Watertown Daily Times
By Tori Butler As the current school winds, students are already beginning to anticipate the next school year. Freshmen and sophomores are worrying about the changes that will come in the curriculum and in state testing before they graduate. Juniors are growing excited about the fact that they only have one more year of high school, and seniors are preparing to leave high school and to begin the rest of their lives. Most of these seniors are also taking the time to reflect and consider what they have done well and what they wish they could have done differently. These seniors have graciously provided some advice for those students who will remain behind in the hopes that they will listen to their counsel and avoid some of the more common mistakes. Many seniors gave the same bit of advice, “Don’t let school become overwhelming, but don’t make it important. Do your homework and show up in class.” Another senior added, “Do what you are supposed to do because struggling to pass in your senior year is not fun.” Your senior year should be the best of your high school years. You don’t want all of the work that you failed to do in the other four years coming back to haunt you.” Another senior offered this bit of guidance, “You have to keep moving if you want to get somewhere that you’ve never been. In relation to school, you have to keep doing your work if you want to make it through your high school career.” Most seniors also added this bit of advice, “Stop acting so immaturely. Entering high school should serve as a reminder that it is time to grow up. Immaturity will get you nowhere in life so start preparing for what comes after high school.” Another senior admitted that he wished that he had not procrastinated in his earlier years of high school because he could have done much better. He suggested that students should work hard and get everything done. He also reminded underclassmen that “each individual only gets one shot at high school so he or she has to take that opportunity seriously.” Still another senior left these words of wisdom, “Always put forth your best effort and try your hardest. Even the smallest screw up will affect you”. Many seniors suggested that everyone in high school has to worry less about all of the drama because the silly little squabbles between friends and peers will have little effect on a person’s future. So if you will be returning to high school in the fall, consider taking this advice from the upperclassmen. After all, they have finished the journey through high school and are well on their way to the future.
Editor- Brendan Cooley Assistant Editor-Nick Cavaliere Photographers- Amber McAllister, Maggie Ackerman Advertising Director- Michaela Castillo Journalism Advisor- Mrs. Shear
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Mason’s Corner: Role Models
By Mason Phillips What is a role model? A role model is defined as “someone to be copied or a worthy person who is a good example for other people.” The only problem is that many high school students don’t know how to pick that role model and almost every athlete, young or old, has once chosen to look up to a professional athlete. Unfortunately, this past year may have been the worst time for anyone to pick an idol. The Syracuse University and Penn State sex abuse scandals seem to have started this era of despair. Not long after those startling revelations, Bobby Petrino (the Arkansas College Head Football Coach) cheated on his wife; and then, fell from motorcycle, which had his mistress on the back. In addition, both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams at Baylor University have been placed on three years’ probation because of recruiting violations. Professional athletes, however, did not fare any better. For example, the New Orleans Saints Football Team had a bounty system, which was intended to deliberately hurt the players of other teams in exchange for pay raises (as if an NFL player needs more money). In the world of professional basketball, Metta World Peace elbowed James Harden in the head, Rajon Rondo bumped a referee in aggravation after a “bad” call, and Amar’e Stoudemire hurt his hand after punching glass in the frustration that followed a loss. Is it necessary to go any further? Are these the people we want younger athletes to follow? So, in this world of badly behaved college and professional athletes, whom should we choose as a role model. The answer can be found inside the walls of Watertown High School. Individuals, young and old, should choose someone like our own Matt Netto. Matt is a four-year Varsity Athlete in football, swimming, and lacrosse. Matt has been a participant in five Frontier League Championships and has been a Frontier League All-Star in all three. Matt not only excels in sports, but also, in the classroom. Because of his hard work in both academics and sports, coaches from Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Harvard, and Hamilton have contacted Matt to discuss his college plans. (Most people would not know this because Matthew is also a modest young man.) Matt is not a typical cocky athlete: he sticks to his morals and will go out of his way to help someone else. I recently asked Matt if he realized that he was a role model, and he explained, “I just try to do the right thing…that’s how I was raised.” Matt Netto is not the only athlete at Watertown High School who could be viewed as a role model. Caleb Bettis, Mia Capone and Brianne Arthur are also great examples. If professional and collegiate athletes acted more like our young athletes, it might start a trend: athletes would once again be in the news for good rather than their unsportsmanlike and illegal activities. “Role models” in the sports world are getting recognized for ridiculous actions and poor behavior. Younger Athletes: choose your role models wisely. Varsity athletes: Be a role model for younger athletes to look up to. John Wooden once said, “Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating.”
By Isabella Sofia A huge problem in schools today is attendance. Many students neglect the privilege of attending school on a regular basis. This means that they are not receiving an education and are not being responsible. Most kids who skip school are not doing it to go to work, but are doing it because they are lazy or because their parents do not enforce the rule that requires them to attend. The truth is, however, that it is important to go to school in order to be able to graduate and go to college or to be able to get a job. Most jobs require at least a GED or a high school diploma. Because of the problems with student attendance, the Watertown City School District has created a truancy intervention program. This program was created especially for freshman in order to enforce laws that require an adolescent to attend school. This is necessary because many students need a little extra push to get them through high school. The emphasis is on high school because this is when many individuals start to figure out what they want to do with their lives. High school is important in preparing students for the world of work and for what is yet to come in life. Frequent absences pose a problem for students because when they finally choose to return to school, they often come back feeling lost because they are so behind. This makes them want to skip school even more. When students make the transition to high school, they need to understand the laws concerning attendance and the consequences for not attending. School officials believe that from the first day of high school, students need to understand the consequences of missing school. They also believe that good attendance should be rewarded; and for those reasons, they have created a program that will celebrate excellent attendance and deter attendance patterns that are less than stellar. In order to help implement this program, three leaders have been chosen: Carmen Wilber, supervisor of HAPI, Deborah Cavallario, from ADHD educational services, and Stacey Eller, from PIP. They all want the best for every student and believe that this is possible through good attendance. When kids miss school, they think that no one cares and that it is not a big deal. They do not realize that their teachers worry about them because they want their students to succeed. The leaders of this program intend to do many wonderful things for this school. When a student misses school, his or her parents will be notified. One of these women will go to the student’s house and assist his or her parents if they do not know what to do. If needed, they will have an intervention with the parents and the student to explain that truancy will not be tolerated, and that good attendance is a requirement for success. Some parents do not even know that their child is missing school. They see their child going on the bus, but do not know that they get off the bus once they get to school and leave. Also, some students leave without a legal pass. Starting next year, they will not be able to do this. There will be officers outside of the school to catch students, unless they have legal permission to leave. The community is also getting involved with these actions. When students skip or leave school, most of them go to places across the street to eat or buy things. This will be stopped because businesses will now have signs out front saying that students cannot buy anything if it is during school hours. Good attendance is important; and hopefully, with the help of the Truancy Intervention Program, more of our students will develop good attendance habits and find success.
Was it Bullying?
By Amber McAllister Recently, Watertown High School experienced the loss of a student. Shock and sadness quickly spread throughout the building; and unfortunately, the emphasis quickly shifted from the young woman to a group of individuals who used her death to focus attention on themselves. Although it is acceptable to feel sadness and anxiety at a time like this, it is never acceptable to exploit someone’s death in order to be a part of a crowd. While it is possible that the young lady in question may have been teased or aggravated by other students; the truth is that no note or other form of communication left behind gave a reason for her actions. Even her best friends say that she never mentioned being bullied. And while we are speaking the truth, many of the individuals who participated in the “anti-bullying” rally did not even know Erin Foley. And while we are speaking about the anti-bullying movement, why were students playing kickball and sunning themselves during the event? Is it possible that many individuals used the day as an excuse to get out of school? Were they concerned at all about the individuals in question or the about the idea of bullying? Some of these individuals were also never active in fighting bullying before that rally, and some of those rally participants were actually active in making other students feel very uncomfortable during their time at Watertown High School. Another truth is that Watertown High School is an excellent school that is often the victim of misjudgment. The majority of the students in this building are hardworking and compassionate persons, who would impress even the harshest of critics. It is insulting to even insinuate that any of the students in this building were the cause of Erin’s death, and it is ludicrous to believe that such extreme bullying would go unnoticed or allowed to continue. The very idea of this bullying issue started on a social networking site and rapidly expanded throughout the community. The next step, therefore, is to ask ourselves these questions, “Is everything that appears on a social networking site the truth? And, should we believe something that has no factual basis just because someone writes it on a computer site?” At a time like this, it is understandable to want concrete answers, and it is easier to pinpoint a single explanation, like bullying. In any suicide, there are multiple contributing factors, and the truth is, however, that without Erin, we will never truly know the cause. Whatever the reason, we have lost someone who had the potential to be very successful and who was a caring and kind member of the school community.
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A Commentary on the Arts
By Maggie Ackerman The word attitude is defined as a settled way of thinking or feeling, which is typically reflected in a person’s behavior. Synonyms for attitude include words such as, pose, stance, and position. These words are all linked to dance in one way or another. Fellow “bun heads” or dancers are familiar with an attitude in dance. Attitudes are graceful and take time and dedication to perfect, but perfection can be achieved. Achieving this, however, requires having a positive attitude about yourself and your life. The moment a dancer steps into the dance studio or onto a stage, his or her attitude must be a positive one. This means that one must learn to let go of the worries of the day and concentrate only on the dance, which is a difficult skill to master. A dancer, who is also an artist, simply has one job: to not only perform, but also to paint a picture at the same time. Although each dancer is painting an individual portrait through his or her movements, she must also mesh with the movements of the other dancers to create a masterpiece. If this is successful, the stage is transported into one sinfully graceful image. Movement alone, however, does not create a masterpiece; costumes and lighting add the final touches to the portrait. Whether the performance involves a delicate lyrical dance or contemporary movement set to Tori Amos’ “Precious Things, “ the lights and costumes are critical. A flowing, whimsical watercolor dress with light blue lights can set a carefree mood; while dark purple and red lights with a witch-like black dress and black lace tights will create an eerie and mysterious tone. Dancing creates a breathless hope and allows the dancer to perfect the art that she loves. During the weeks before a performance, there are countless hours of preparation. When an individual’s dance is not being rehearsed on the stage, she is rehearsing somewhere else. This constant rehearsal is to calm the constant fear of mistakes and flaws during a performance. Johnny Nevin, a writer for the Huffington Post, describes the art of dance as a craft, “…set in a bygone world where choice in love is limited to a few precious moments, where happiness can sometimes only be borrowed for as long as the next dance can last.” When the dance has ended, all of the dedication and discipline has finally paid off. The never ending foot cramps are all worth it, and the dancer has stayed strong like a dancer should- - held up by that string through the top of her head that pulls her toward the sky and up onto re•le•vé with every turn that she takes.
Rehearsal is required for every dance performance.
The Importance of the Classics
By Julia Fox In the school library, the books that are most untouched are the classic books, the very same books that possess in-depth meaning and that teach true moral lessons to the reader. These are very same books that should be read and cherished, without the whining and complaining that is often prevalent among high school students. The Scarlet Letter is a book that everyone reads in high school. However, for some unknown reason, someone in Watertown High School has decided that it is a book that only enriched students can read and comprehend. It amazes me to realize that some of these “gifted” students did not even want to read this book and chose not to finish the book because they found it boring. This is ironic because almost all of these students loved the movie Easy A (which was about a teenage girl, who tries to act like Hester Prynne, the protagonist in The Scarlet Letter.) The truth is that although most teenagers understand and like classics, including Shakespeare, movie makers often feel the need to adapt these classic stories in order to make them attractive to teenagers. In addition, modern authors somehow feel the need to take wonderful and powerful books like Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Little Woman and turn them into stories about zombies, vampires, and werewolves. This is an insult to intelligent young readers and usually destroys both the meaning and the value of the book. So, as this school year comes to an end, perhaps those individuals in charge of curriculum should consider one fact: the classics have value for every student and believe or not, most of us want to read them!
“MCA” is MIA from music
By Nick Cavaliere The controversial and trouble making trio, known as the infamous Beasties Boys, endured tragedy when member Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away in May of 2012 after a difficult battle with salivary cancer. His tremendous involvement with the Beastie Boys led the group to deliver rap and hip-hip to millions of fans. Together these “cool white boys,” transformed America’s mainstream and launched a musical legacy. Belonging to the streets of New York, the Jewish-born Yauch joined good friends Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz to form a contumacious rock group. Eventually the uptown sound of mid-1980s rap infused itself with the interests of the group’s downtown style. The rebellion of punkrock and the swagger of hip-hop charged the boys to create chemistry with beats, rhymes, and heavy guitars. With assistance of legendary producer Rick Rubin, the Beastie Boys were able to inflict their fresh experimental twist on the sounds of an angst-driven generation. Songs, such as the housethrashing and parent-disobeying “You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party,” gave a voice to the youth of the 1980s, while songs like “Intergalactic,” and “Sabotage,” broke the barriers of what is expected or appropriate for musical artistry and served as a form of protest to the popular radio of the day. Adam Yauch, frequently known by the stage name MCA, will forever be known as a gigantic reminder of why music has an everlasting effect on society. His kind heart and liberalistic tendencies epitomize a struggle within our nation and throughout the world. Yauch is credited on being a pioneer for the expansion of rap music along with fellow band mates Mike-D and Ad-Rock. In April 2012 the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Fame and by selling over 40 million records, worldwide, they became revered as the “biggest-selling rap group” of all time. Although MCA is MIA from the music industry, his voice and his message is still clear: party hard and stay true to what you believe in.
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Watertown High Students Visit the United Kingdom
By Michaela Castillo One of the best things about traveling is its invisibility. For a short amount of time you’re able to immerse yourself in another place and it’s culture, without the restraints of normal day routines. Amidst hundreds of other strangers you are able to experience new things. Walking among the Cliffs of Moher, seeing Stonehenge, and sightseeing in London made this concept all the more true in my mind. Over Spring Break I traveled with several other students from Watertown High School to England, Ireland, and Wales with our experienced chaperone (and teacher), Mrs. Cindy Rowe. Although the trip was only twelve days in length and filled with tours and long bus rides, the trip itself felt almost like it lasted a lifetime. The majority of our stay was in the Republic of Ireland, and immediately upon landing in the Shannon Airport, our tour guide, Chris, had us on the go. The United Kingdom is five hours ahead of the time in Watertown, New York, and combined with the seven hour trip across the Atlantic, there is little doubt that most of us wanted to sleep more or take a shower rather than go walking. However, the Cliffs of Moher, considered one of Ireland’s most popular and beautiful sights, had a redeeming quality about them that made the journey to see them worth it. One of the things about Ireland and England is that there is so much history scattered about country, going back to hundreds of years, that it’s hard to see everything. For example, in Ireland, ancient stone walls and ruins of abbeys and castles dot the landscape, reminding the current residents of the past. Also, in England cobblestone streets and thatched roof cottages are still present, among the modernism of London. Many individuals think that Ireland is simply a nation of sheep, rocks, and lots of green grass; however, our journey proved them to be very wrong. Along with our stop at the Cliffs of Moher, over a six day period, the Watertown High School group made its way to Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Galway, and Dublin. During those times, we were able to explore the cities, go to a sheep farm, see the Book of Kells and explore the castles of Bunratty and Blarney. Although sheep were quite adorable by themselves, the castles and our visit to Trinity College were the most interesting. Blarney Castle, which is famous for the Blarney stone and its gift of gab, also had acres of gardens, including a poison one, and a small waterfall. Along with kissing the Blarney Stone, one of our students was also able to successfully complete the Wishing steps. Completing the Wishing Steps was a process that entailed climbing a set of stairs backwards and forwards, eyes closed, and completely focusing on your wish. The Book of Kells and the largest library I have ever seen is housed there. The Book of Kells is a beautiful and illuminated manuscript of the four gospels, which was written by monks, that incorporates both striking calligraphy and religious text. Along with this enormous library, complete with hundreds of books, sliding ladders, a spiral staircase, and an old musty book smell, was Trinity College. It was perfect. After our stay in Dublin we moved on to Wales via ferry. Apparently, as our tour guide explained, when the Irish Sea is angry one can definitely feel its wrath, which was unfortunately true for the Watertown High School group. We were faced with a three hour trip that consisted of constant rattling
The London Fog, which gives travelers a view of the entire city
The view from the Irish countryside.
and waves crashing against the boat. Walking was impossible and those that attempted it, usually ended up throwing up (as I soon found out.) As a result, the inside of the ferry looked like a fall out zone; people were sprawled out on the floor and couches. Most of us had probably never been so happy to see land. Wales is a small part of the United Kingdom, that’s famous for the longest named town in Europe, which is called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllantysiliogogogoch. In Welsh, this means the church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the church of Tysilio by the red cave. After visiting this town, we moved on to Shakespeare’s birthplace: Stratford and then, to Oxford. Shakespeare’s birthplace and his wife’s cottage were both beautifully restored, and demonstrated what life was like in Elizabethan times. Very often, during our visit, random actors would appear spouting off parts of Shakespeare’s plays. Oxford, which is home to the prestigious Oxford University, was both interesting and intimidating at the same time. With its classical style and enormous columns, the city and university both seemed to embody intelligence and respect. It was this aspect though that made many of us consider the option of studying abroad. It was after Oxford that we moved on to the most anticipated and one of the last events on our trip: London. London is massive, and like Ireland, filled with history .During our tour the Watertown High School group saw Big Ben, (which is actually the bell inside the clock tower), the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the London Bridge, and the Tower of London. All were exciting to visit. At Buckingham Palace, we were able to witness the
changing of the guard, and at the Tower of London, we were able to see the Crown jewels and the places of torture. During our stay in London, we also were able to make our way to Stonehenge and the city of Bath. Stonehenge is an ancient circular structure that is still unexplainable today. The sheer force of transporting millions of tons of stone onto Salisbury Plain, and then constructing the symbol- like structures must have taken years and lots of manpower. People still debate its purpose and origin, but it still remains one of the oldest monuments in the world. Bath was not only home to the Roman Baths; but also, Jane Austen’s former dwelling. The Roman baths were ancient and massive, and demonstrated the technological advancement of the Romans, who used a geyser as a way of sanitation although we were not advised to touch the water, since it hasn’t been cleaned for years. We were able to try a sample of the purified water, and according to one of my friends, one could taste all the minerals and purity. Along with this, we were able to go on a Thames River Cruise, and on the London Eye. The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel that puts you in a capsule for thirty minutes: it offers panoramic views of London. For most it’s an exciting experience and offers different views of London, but for others who are afraid of heights, the whole experience was just downright frightening. Surviving the London Eye though, allowed the members of our group to enjoy the rest of the short stay in London and return home. Going to Ireland, England, or Wales is a trip that we highly recommend. As Meredith Griffin, a student that also went on the trip said “It was really cool to go to Europe with my friends; I’d definitely go there again.”
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My Trip to Oswego Fest
By Kenneith Teamoh I must admit that I do not like traveling: usually when I go on a trip it turns out to be an unpleasant experience. Sometimes, however, things turn out differently. I have to say my little excursion to the fifty-third annual Oswego State Drama Festival proved to be a delightful one. Each year an event, known as Oswego Fest, is held at the State University of New York at Oswego. A great number of schools participate in this event, and there are a number of activities for students, including skits and workshops. As soon as we arrived there (the Watertown High School Drama Club and Acting Class), we were given a gracious welcome by the administrators. Then we just sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed a series of performances. Most of these skits were excellent and lasted about twenty minutes. One particularly interesting skit was one called Noodles, which was about a gay couple, who discovered that their son was Korean, despite the fact that he looked like a black person. The most positive thing about the Drama Festival is that, as young actors, the audience is able to appreciate the effort that performers put into the art of theater. Another of my favorite performances was done by Auburn High School in a skit called The Election. It involved a teenager, who was competing with another student in order to become class president. However, things go awry and both use hilariously devious tactics to undermine the other’s campaign. It was very enjoyable and helped to make the entire day a successful and splendiferous occasion. After the school performances were completed, everyone headed off to one of the diverse workshops that were available. There were workshops for stand-up comedy, creating masks, improvisation, costuming, storytelling, and audio production. (It is almost impossible to attend Oswego Fest, without learning something.) Most people attended the standup comedy workshop and proved to be quite adept at telling jokes. For those who may be interested in attending next year, remember to get to the workshops early since each workshop only accepts a certain number of individuals. After everyone was done with the workshops, dinner was served in the Hewitt Union Ballroom. The meal consisted of pasta, chicken, fruits and vegetables, and some wonderful confections. The food was delicious, and everyone seemed excited to share what they had learned. Dinner, however, did not signal an end to the day. At 7 p.m., the university’s theater department presented the full-length play, Much Ado about Nothing. At first the plot seemed a bit unclear and confusing due to the way the actors were speaking; however, soon everyone began to understand the plot of the play and what the actors were trying to portray. Although, at first, I did not enjoy the presentation, but by the end of the night, I was able to appreciate the quality of the performance. The Drama Festival at Oswego was a fun one and since it happens every year, the underclassmen at Watertown High School should consider attending. The festival is a place full of open-minded people and proves to be an educational and enjoyable experience for all.
The American Dream: Does It Exist?
By Cheyenne Hutchinson In 1931, James Adam’s coined the term “American Dream.” This term represented the belief that wealth and social prosperity were largely attainable through hard work and dedication; and in the past, the American Dream seemed to be attainable by numerous American families, who worked vigorously at the careers. These
honest and hard-working individuals were able to care, support and purchase homes for their families. Today, however, hard work does not always bring suitable rewards. In fact, maintaining a comfortable lifestyle has proven to be a difficult task in this struggling economy. Companies have faced the difficult decision of either dismissing devoted and diligent employees or closing their doors. Either choice has led to many jobless, hungry, and disappointed Americans and leaves us with this question: where is the American Dream? Nearly every generation before ours had one basic goal: to ensure that the next generation was able to accomplish more and prosper more than they had. For example, if your grandparents were immigrants, who began their lives in America with very little, they wanted their children (your parents) to make a respectable living, purchase a home, and have a better lifestyle. Your parents want the same for you, but is that an impossible desire? The dream has become nearly impossible for many individuals in recent years. The economy has faltered and many Americans have lost their jobs. Even the idea of college has flown out of the window for many capable and deserving students, who cannot afford the rocketing cost of tuition. In addition, recent college graduates find themselves at home with their parents because they cannot find a job. To add to this suffering, the increase in the price of goods has proven to be merciless adversary for those who already struggle to pay bills or to feed their families. Although analyzing the economy may not be a favorite pastime of high school students, it is very important. Teenagers need to take all of these economic factors into consideration, especially when they are considering leaving their parents home or leaving for college. They must consider the question that is on all of our minds: is the American Dream dead or living dormant?
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Friday, June 8, 2012 7
School Committee Strives For Better Health
By: MaKenzie Rogers At a time when approximately seventy-four percent of the population is overweight, the Watertown City School District is striving to improve the health and wellness of both its students and its staff. The motivating force for this lofty goal is the Health and Wellness Committee, which is designed to make our lifestyle healthier and more active. Susan Lauraine, a Family and Consumer Science Teacher at Watertown High School, is a part of this hardworking committee, along with Sheryl Foan, Cathy Moore, Jackie Lavarnway, Nadine Britton, Vicky Kolb, Mark Taylor, Jessica VanCoughnett, Craig Orvis, Krista Charlton, Alicia Bacsik, Stephanie Young, and Mike Lennox. The group meets once a month and is hoping to make the Watertown City School District a safe and healthier place. Recently, the group met to discuss the need to make school lunches healthier. One idea discussed was that of using more fresh vegetables. The group also discussed the need to mandate healthier snacks in the classroom, especially when celebrating birthdays. The group plans to discourage the use of cupcakes, ice cream, and other unhealthy treats. Instead, parents would be asked to replace these unhealthy rewards for a healthy snack that would encourage good eating habits. In addition, the Watertown City School District plans to implement a school-wide policy to protect students with allergies, especially those with peanut allergies. The school also plans to pay close attention to a proposal by the United States Department of Agriculture, which is the government agency responsible for supervising what children eat while in school. The proposal calls for regulation of all snacks, including concession stands, bake sales, classroom snacks, and fundraisers. Another issue that the group has involves the lack of physical activity for both students and staff. The committee has discussed the availability of the high school pool in the hopes of opening it for free swim, which might encourage more physical activity. The weight room at the high school was also discussed. This weight room is available to all students and school employees from four o’clock in the afternoon until seven in the evening. Unfortunately, this facility is not yet available to the community at large. The committee would also like to encourage students and staff to exercise by providing maps of walking routes, which include indoor and outdoor paths. School Safety is also a critical issue. Right now, many Watertown High School employees do not know cardiopulmonary resuscitation or how to use the automatic external defibrillator, which is also known as the AED. The group recommends that all school employees receive training for both. This is important since the use of CPR or the AED can save a life during an emergency. Furthermore, the group feels that it is essential to develop a response team which would respond to emergencies within each building. On another note, there are several other issues being discussed. Mrs. Lauraine is currently working on a school garden or greenhouse, which would be maintained by students and staff and used by the Watertown City School District. Committee members are also talking about a Concussion Management Program. By August 1st, 2012, each school must have such a program in existence because of the serious health threats associated with head trauma. Sheryl Foan seemed to summarize the goals of this worthwhile and ambitious committee with these words, “. . . we strive for a better health and wellness for all of our students, as well as our staff.” There is little doubt, with all of the hard work that is being done, that the entire school community will be happier and healthier in the future.
Problems with the Dress Code
By Kenneith Teamoh As I leave high school, I am left wondering about certain aspects of high school life. One is the dress code. It makes no sense to me to have several pages of school rules, including one concerning appropriate dress, and then, do nothing to enforce these rules. In my opinion, the dress code was never really enforced in any of the years that I have spent at Watertown High School; and that is a problem. I find that quite a large number of people, especially girls, have a tendency to ignore this dress code. Personally, I do not feel that is necessary for these young woman to reveal those parts of their bodies that would be better covered up, and to be honest, there seems to be a good number of female parts just bursting out for everyone to see. Someone should tell these girls that no one wants to see that. Sadly, however, these young women seem oblivious to the amount of flesh that they are showing or to how indecent they look. And some feel that they aren’t showing enough when their short shorts look more like underwear than shorts. It doesn’t even matter what the outside temperature is: some individuals wear short skirts and tank tops when it is 45 degrees outside. And while we are considering inappropriate dress, let us address leggings. Strangely enough, some girls have gotten the idea that leggings are pants. They didn’t get the memo that leggings are not pants; they are meant to be worn under other clothing. The boys are also not following the code. They certainly like to keep their pants down on the ground. Perhaps, it is a fashion statement, but to be blunt, it is not pretty. I see a lot of this trend going on and I am very sure that no one wants to see anyone’s underwear or butt! These guys think that they have “Swag,” but the truth is that they need to pull up their pants. The school administration needs to prepare students for the real world. Not enforcing the dress code doesn’t prepare students to dress appropriately for job interviews, for work, or for more formal social occasions. A little more surveillance of student dress wouldn’t hurt, and it might just serve as a teachable moment for our students.
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8 Friday, June 8, 2012
Tori Butler, Morgan Stevens and Mason Phillips hard at work during the visit.
A Visit to Newhouse School of Public Communication
By Brendan Cooley On May 14, members of both the Watertown High School Journalism Class and Journalism Club had the opportunity to view journalism from an entirely new perspective: the opportunity to attend High School Press Day at the Newhouse School of Public Communication. The annual event brings together the members of high school newspaper staffs from throughout Onondaga County and recognizes the accomplishments of those papers that have excelled in certain areas. For the first time, Watertown High School was invited to participate, which gave us an opportunity to attend a variety of workshops and to explore ways that we, as a newspaper staff, can grow. The experience started with a memorable and informative speech about avoiding the trend of irresponsible journalism, which was provided by Michael J. Connor, an editor at the Syracuse Post Standard. He also discussed the idea of “perceptual blindness, “ which is a phenomenon in which individuals do not see what is right in front of them, but instead, choose to see what they
Maggie Ackerman and Ken Teamoh WHS students were both well dressed and prepared.
One of the many scenic views across the Syracuse University campus.
want to see.” Mr. Connor also warned us that we need to pay attention to what we actually know (the facts) and not
worry about who gets the story on the front page first. He warned that many of today’s journalists are far too worried
about getting a story out to the community; and therefore, negligent about taking the necessary time to discover the facts or the truth. He explained that it is far better to have a “continuing story” than it is to have one that is filled with false information. He warned all of the young journalists present that “quick journalism” often overrides the accuracy of many stories in today’s newspapers. He further explained that the root word of journalism is “journey,” which means “to shine.” Journalism, therefore, should and can shine a light on any problem or injustice, which can lead to major changes. Reporters, who do a good job of shining on a light on a situation, can have a major impact on the lives of others. The Watertown High School Cychronicle received an Honorable Mention for its fledgling submissions to the high school journalism competition. More importantly, our entire group gained a better understanding of what good journalism is, and of the future of journalism. We also learned the importance of providing our readers with accurate and enjoyable information.
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