Authors Posts by Siobhan Richards

Siobhan Richards


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The Hawks appear frustrated after Assabet recovers another fumble. | by Siobhan Richards

by Siobhan Richards

On Friday, September 8, the football team opened their season under the lights against longtime rival Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. They were the first team to play on the new Assabet Field, but lost to the Aztecs 42-14.

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Matt Burke shown on the field holding a football during the Dolphins game against the Steelers. | Submitted photo by Peter McMahon (Miami Dolphins)

by Siobhan Richards

For New Englanders, the football season was a time to root for the Patriots, especially when the Patriots played one of their AFC rivals, the Miami Dolphins, in Week 17 last year. In that game, however, Hudson football fans had to root for both teams.

Matt Burke, an HHS graduate and football captain from the Class of 1994, has climbed through the ranks of both collegiate and professional football to become the current defensive coordinator for the Dolphins.

Burke played football for most of his high school career as a safety and at quarterback his senior year. Burke also excelled in the classroom. He was the Class of 94’s valedictorian.

“That’s [Hudson] where it really started. I played other sports [basketball, baseball, and track],” Burke said, “but when I went to college, I knew football was the sport I was most passionate about.”  

Burke attended Dartmouth, where he played safety, and he was a part of an undefeated Ivy League championship team in 1996. At the time, coaching had not crossed his mind as a possible career.

“I took kind of a convoluted path to coaching,” Burke said. “When I left Hudson, I went to Dartmouth, and I kind of thought I was going to be a doctor or something. When I was in college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew I loved football.”

Burke began his coaching career at Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine. From there, he worked as a graduate assistant coach at Boston College, where he received his masters degree. There, he also realized his passion for coaching and was determined to make a career out of it.

“Over the course of my time at BC, I was like, ‘All right, this is what I want to do.’ I don’t know if I ever really made a conscious effort to coach, but it just kept happening, and at some point I looked up and said, ‘Man, I want to make a career out of this,’” Burke said.

As he continued to coach, more opportunities opened up. While working as the assistant secondary coach at Harvard, his big break came.

“You never know when your break is going to come or when opportunity is going to rise, so you can’t really plan for it. But I told myself, ‘I’m going to work hard and be a good coach, and whomever I was working with would hopefully recognize that when a break did come,'” Burke said. “I told myself that I was going to coach as hard as I can and be as good as I can and let the breaks happen when they may. I just happened to get very lucky.”

Burke’s hard work paid off when Harvard recommended him for a coaching position at the Tennessee Titans. They hired him as the defense quality control coach, beginning his NFL career.

He moved around to three different teams, slowly moving up in the ranks to linebacker coach. This past January, he was promoted to defensive coordinator of the Dolphins.

As the linebacker coach, he worked closely with parts of the defense and, specifically, with linebacker Mike Hull.

Hull spoke highly of his coach, saying, “He’s a very intelligent coach. He knows everything about the defense, and he’s going to give you straight answers so you know what your job is.”

Burke can find the specific strengths in each player and highlight them on the field. Under Burke, Hull had a breakout season, more than tripling his tackles, with 18 tackles in 16 games.

“[Burke] lets you be a football player and really lets you thrive in whatever your niche is or whatever type of player you are. He doesn’t try to make you too mechanical and really works with you,” Hull said about Burke’s coaching style. “I love working for him. I think I speak for every linebacker in the room. He’s a great coach.”

Some of Burke’s coaching success can be traced back to his time at Hudson under former football coach Victor Rimkus.

“I definitely experienced a lot there [at HHS],” Burke said. “Looking back I ended up experiencing a lot of different things in my early football career, and it was a good foundation of experiences of both highs and lows.”

His relationship with his former coach and teacher has stayed strong throughout the years. The two have met up on occasion when Burke is in town, and Rimkus even went to see some of his games in college. He still recalls much of his time with Burke in high school, even though Rimkus retired after Burke’s junior year.

“I coached him 25 years ago, but he always had a place in my heart. He was such a great student and athlete,” Rimkus said. “Matt was an outstanding student, an outstanding athlete for a tall spindly kid, and boy, he could really run.”

Rimkus has followed Burke’s career wherever he went, and as a former coach, is very impressed by his career path.

“Well I’d like to think I did [inspire him to become a coach],” Rimkus said with a chuckle. “During the years I have always watched for him on the sidelines, until his father told me he’s always up in the press box. He’s so intuitive and really knows the game. I hope they have a great season down in Miami, and he’s got a lot of work to do down there on defense.”

Burke has been working with the team throughout the offseason and addressed some of his ideas for the season at a press conference in May.

“I could see all kinds of success stories from Matt Burke. He’s going up, and I wouldn’t be surprised some day if he becomes a head coach in the NFL,” Rimkus said. “I think someday you might even be reading about him as a head coach tangling with the Patriots.” 

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Media teachers Dan Donahue and Cam Ciesluk, along with friends Jesse Tolan and TJ Provencial pose at their junior prom at Hudson High School.

by Siobhan Richards

As the prom season comes to a close, HHS teachers reflect on their prom memories throughout the years.


Media teacher Lynda Chilton at her prom at Burncoat High School, Worcester, MA.
Media teacher Lynda Chilton at her prom at Burncoat High School, Worcester, MA.
“Our theme song was “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. My date’s friend drove, and we broke down on the way there. We walked to the gas station to call from a pay phone. My sister came and picked us up, and my date was crabby and made fun of her car. She never let me forget that. “


Social Studies teacher Caitlin Murphy at her Senior Prom at Conval Highschool Peterborough, NH
Social Studies teacher Caitlin Murphy at her Senior Prom at Conval High School Peterborough, NH
“One interesting thing about my prom is that my date was so tall I had to stand on a stone wall when we had pictures taken.”


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“It was an overpriced night in Boston filled with food, fun, friends,  and I remember feeling awkward while taking this picture because I am so short and my date was so tall. We had to do a couple takes. LOL”

Guidance Counselor Karen Botcheller at her junior prom at Lake Zurich High School in Lake Zurich, IL.
Guidance Counselor Karen Botcheller at her junior prom at Lake Zurich High School in Lake Zurich, IL.
“I was the only one at my junior prom in a bright color! Pastel colors and black/dark blue dresses were popular in the late 90s, but purple prom dresses were rare at my school. I’m glad I took a risk and wore something that stood out. (Thanks to my mom for encouraging me to try this one on!) Our after prom party was an Odyssey Cruise in Chicago’s Lake Michigan, but it rained so hard that night that the boat never left the dock. Also, fun fact: My junior prom date styled his hair with Elmer’s Glue and it was usually standing straight up like Guy Fieri’s hair.”

Social Studies teacher Pamela Porter at her junior prom at Hudson High School.
Social Studies teacher Pamela Porter with her date at her junior prom at Hudson High School.
“My aunt, mom, and I made my dress. Puffy dresses were all the rave that year! I went with my high school boyfriend and friends. I was on Prom committee and remember our theme was “Once Upon A Dream,’ and our class song was ‘The Promise’ by Tracy Chapman. We danced and laughed all night.”

Media teachers Dan Donahue and Cam Ciesluk, along with friends Jesse Tolan and TJ Provencial pose at their junior prom at Hudson High School.
Media teachers Dan Donahue and Cam Ciesluk, along with friends Jesse Tolan and TJ Provencal pose at their junior prom at Hudson High School.
“I remember Cam Ciesluk owned the dance floor that evening. It was as if everyone stopped and stared whenever he took to the floor. He was as graceful as Michael Jackson. He kicked and leapt through the air like Michael Flatley. He was the 2009 Prom.”
Teachers Cam Ciesluk and Arianna Silva at their junior prom at Hudson High School.
Teachers Cam Ciesluk and Arianna Silva at their junior prom at Hudson High School.
“This was a special night. It was our first date.”
Now eight years later, Ciesluk and Silva were chaperones at the 2017 junior prom, where Ciesluk proposed to her at the same place they had their first date.

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by Siobhan Richards

Hudson track and field had their first home meet against Quabbin on Thursday, April 27. The girls team pulled out a close win of 77-68, however the boys team fell to Quabbin 100-45.



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by Siobhan Richards

Despite being tied at the half, the Hawks fell to Bromfield 41-34 on their senior night game, February 16. Senior Nadia Doherty was the top scorer of the night with 10 points. Their final record was 3-17.


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by Siobhan Richards

Under new leadership, the library is embracing a newly enforced policy — no lunches are allowed. This policy denies students who do not feel comfortable in the cafeteria access to their lunches during their designated lunch break, a problem that needs to be addressed.

Jes Caron, the new librarian, has been making changes to the library. While the policy of banning lunch is practical in keeping the library clean, it does not allow students to eat.

It has always been a school policy to not allow food anywhere but in the cafeteria and especially not in carpeted areas, such as classrooms or the library, but because it is open during lunch, students used to be able to bring food in and eat as long as they cleaned up and were not near the computers.

Now, the librarian has been strictly enforcing this policy and has even put up multiple signs and posters around the library.

The concerns over food in the library are valid, such as not allowing lunch near the computers due to risk of spilling, and it is also not in the librarian’s job description to clean up after students.

Small tidy snacks have been allowed thus far; however, students cannot be expected to eat a few snacks and call it lunch.

Nonetheless, students need a place to go if they are uncomfortable or intimidated by the loud and noisy cafeteria. The library is the only safe-haven for students at lunch time, and because of the lunch policy many students are sacrificing their health.

“Lunch is extremely important for high school students for a number of reasons. Students need to maintain their nutritional value throughout the day,” said Wellness teacher Wayne Page. “It’s not good to not eat for a significant portion of the day. A student needs breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as everything in between, especially for students at this age group of eighth to twelfth grade.”

As a teacher who also has lunch duty, Page understands the concerns of eating in the cafeteria saying, “I can see how some students would be a little intimidated by the number of kids that are in the cafeteria.”

He later added that there are lots of tables for students to choose from within the cafeteria, which also raises the concern of friend groups and cliques inside school. For some, the cafeteria is a struggle as students search for a group they fit in with in order to find a seat at a table.

There should be another room in the school that is available at lunchtime for students, and in the past, that place was the library. It is a nice and somewhat quiet area for students to do schoolwork, and there is a section of tables that could serve as lunch tables.

We should find a compromise on this issue.

Students should not be able to eat while at the computers to keep the school’s property clean as well as reserving resources for students. Those other tables, however, should be open for students to eat their lunch. Students who clean up after themselves pose no problem to the library or its staff.

The library should regulate food more strictly than the cafeteria does. For example, students should not bring soup or greasy foods to the library, but the average sandwich should not be a problem.

In terms of the clean up effort, students could clean those tables just as a group of students cleans the cafeteria tables every day.

Lunch should not be approached as all-or-nothing issue. That policy hurts the students that the library is supposed to help.

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by Siobhan Richards

As the winter sports season begins, the All-Stars for each fall sport were announced by Midland Wachusett League C. Every year the league chooses a few students from each sport due to their outstanding performance during the season.

Cross Country 

Junior Jake Doherty Munro is the only All-Star for both cross country teams. He has been a top runner for HHS in both cross country and track.




Senior Megan Miller is volleyball’s sole Mid-Wach C All-Star. Their record this season was 3-15.




Seniors Liam Marsh and Dan Morton as well as freshman Bailey Watts are the All-Stars for the golf team. The team made it all the way to districts and finished the season 9-9.



Field Hockey 

Sophomore Emily White is one of two All-Stars for field hockey. She was a key player this year starting almost every game and scoring the most goals on the team.


Junior Elizabeth Cautela was one of the captains of the field hockey team this year. She had the most saves of any goalie in the Mid-Wach C league.



Senior Stephen Miranda was chosen as an All-Star for football. He played almost every game of the season at quarterback and scored many touchdowns himself. He also received the MVP Award at the Turkey Day Game.


Junior Connor Nemerowicz is the defensive player selected as a Mid-Wach C All-Star. Their season record this year was 3-8, but he hopes to do better next year and maybe make it to playoffs.



The girls soccer team had a great season this year with a 9-7-2 record. They made it to playoffs. Five starting varsity players, including all three captains, were selected as All-Stars.

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| by Mike Burton

by Caleb Brush

The main claim for paying college athletes is that, at colleges with high ranking athletic programs, players earn a tremendous amount of money for the schools through their elevated level of play.

According to research from Business Insider, the average college football player at a Division I-A school is worth $149,569 per year, while athletes are worth much more to top athletic programs. The average athlete at the most profitable schools, such as the University of Texas, is worth up to $622,104 per year.

Why doesn’t any of that money go to the athletes themselves? After all, they are the ones generating the income.

Some may argue that the athletes are in fact paid, not with money, but with substantial scholarships to receive a top-notch education. While the majority of athletes do receive scholarships, the majority of them do not gain a top-notch education.

To be an NCAA athlete, it takes hours upon hours of work in the gym and at practice each and every week. On average, a Division I-A NCAA football player practices over six hours per day.

With such hectic schedules, how much studying can they actually fit in? Is it enough to merit the use of degrees as payment?

Spending hours practicing, traveling, and competing severely impedes the ability of collegiate athletes to make it to class and study. In 2010, the average student athlete missed about two classes per week, which is a serious setback for college students.

The lack of focus on education is especially apparent when examining what types of degrees athletes are encouraged to pursue, with many of them being easy to attain, but not sought after by employers.

A prime example of this is the University of North Carolina’s use of “paper classes” to artificially inflate the GPA of athletes to keep them eligible for competition by the NCAA’s set standards. While these “paper classes” were an issue at just one university, the mentality behind instituting them is one that is shared among many others. The universities aren’t aiming to give athletes the quality education that they boast of; they just use education as an excuse to not pay students.

Since the majority of student athletes don’t go into the NFL, NBA, or any other professional sports league, there is no reason a practically useless degree should be considered fair payment.

The debate stretches far beyond just the low quality of education for student athletes. Not only are the college athletes not getting commensurate educations, but they also are risking severe, life-changing injuries, especially for those who wish to pursue professional athletics. Many of these incredibly gifted, athletic young adults have been training their whole lives for careers in athletics, but one injury can end their chances of competing at that next, professional level.

Though payment at the college level would not be high enough to offset the magnitude of the losses caused by possible career-ending injuries, at least the athletes would get something for their hard work and dedication.

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by Siobhan Richards

Photos by HHS photography students Sophia Proia and Sabrina Braga

Teachers from each department select students to be recognized as the student of the month. Below is a photo of each student with a description of why they were chosen.


Drew Patel ~ Wellness Department

“Our department has chosen Drew for a number of reasons. To begin with, he is always a positive light in any of our classes! He works well with ALL types of people and all ages. Drew is soft spoken, polite, and works very hard to do well. He is always willing to try new sports, and is an extremely good listener to adults and peers. His smile and kindness are one in the same. Drew graduates this year, and we wish him lots of luck in his future endeavors. Always stay true to the wonderful young man you have become.”


Emily McLaughlin ~ Science Department

“Emily has been a solid student in all science courses she has taken, but in addition to that scholarship, she has exercised significant leadership responsibility regarding this year’s Haunted Physics Lab. She has recruited and trained fellow Honors physics, astronomy, and AP physics students to build and present demos. She managed all the logistics for the event, only occasionally seeking input from Ms. Whitesel and Mr. Prior as needed. Finally, while undertaking this project, Emily earned great respect from faculty, staff, community members and her fellow students. All have been eager to follow her lead as the project moved toward the big day!”


Ben Plucinski ~ Business/Technology Department

“Ben is currently taking Introduction to Engineering Design and Engineering Development and Design. He has been consistently at the top of his class in all aspects of the courses. In addition to his own academic success this year, he has been very helpful to several younger students in class, helping and monitoring them in the Introduction to Engineering Design course.”


Danielle Joubran ~ English Department

“Danielle Joubran is an insightful student whose regular contributions to classroom discussions encourage others to think deeply about literature. In particular, her thoughtful questions demonstrate that successful students of literature go beyond easy assumptions and interpretations. Her annotations of classroom texts are nuanced and deliberate, and she is a model of effort and enthusiasm for her classmates.”


Ben Chaves ~ World Language Department

“In addition to being a diligent and hard working student, Ben regulary employs circumlocution tactics in the classroom to communicate his meaning in the Spanish language. He uses the language that he knows to express his thoughts, beliefs, and opinions in Spanish and to make himself understood. In addition, Ben demonstrates knowledge of and an appreciation for Spanish-speaking cultures and seeks to make meaningful connections to cultural information as well as to ask thoughtful questions. Furthermore, Ben demonstrates the attitude of a linguist in his willingness to rephrase, reiterate, and repeat his thoughts for his classmates while continuing to use Spanish.”


Seema Patel ~ Math Department

“Seema is a model student and representative of the math department Student Achievement Award. In class, Seema ask thoughtful questions, participates actively in discussions, and cooperates well with her peers. Outside of class, Seema comes after school on a regular basis to clarify her own understanding and persevere through problems with which she is struggling. She also voulunteers her time to help other students with their math learning by being a co-leader of the Math Center, giving her own time, and coordinating the schedules of her other student helpers.”


Emily Figueiredo ~ Social Studies Department

“Since the start of the year, Emily has taken a leadership role in her eighth grade social studies course. Emily regularly pushes class discussions to a higher levels with thoughtful questions and insight about the lesson material, often bringing in her own background knowledge or making connections to what students have learned in other courses. She also is a strong presence in the classroom, demonstrating sincere effort and focus in all of her work. Her peers know that they can always look to her for guidance, and she will clarify difficult concepts or instructions with patience and ease.”


Alicia Sagastume ~ Performing Arts Department

Alicia is the type of student who will go the extra mile for anyone. On several different occasions, I have watched Alicia seek out new students and invite them into her social circle, allowing them to feel welcome in their new environment. In class, her hard work and dedication inspires others and, in turn, makes their work that much stronger. She has performed in our after school program since she was an eighth grader. In fact, she has participated, in some way, with every show since her sophomore year. Through the arts and community service, Alicia has learned how to focus on the now while preparing for the future.”


Daniellen Fonseca ~ Visual Arts Department

“Dani was chosen not only because of her creative talents as an artist but also because of her ability to create a positive studio environment. Last year, Dani was an eighth grade Art History student mixed in with several upperclassmen. However, this did not hinder her ability to confidently volunteer, as she consistently shared invaluable insight to all of our class discussions. She has proven to be more than an intelligent and hardworking student in Introduction to Creative Fashion Design with her drive to create unique and beautiful works of art. The passion she shows while enthusiastically completing each assignment, not only helps inspire her peers but energizes Mrs. Johnson’s teaching practices as well.”

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by Dakota Antelman

The football team won its first home game of the year Friday, beating the Burncoat Patriots 33-14 after jumping out to a 13-0 lead early in the first half.

Quarterback Stephen Miranda completed seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdown passes against the Burncoat defense in his first game back from a shoulder injury. His teammate Tony Francolini rumbled for 55 rushing yards for the Hawks, carrying the ball 13 times in the victory.

The Hawks jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run by Miranda and extended that lead in the second quarter when Miranda again scored on a short run play from inside the Hudson 5 yard line.

Miranda and the Hudson offense continued to pick apart the Burncoat defense in the second half with Miranda hitting Thomas Di Battista with a 23-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and following that up with a 54-yard strike to Adam O’Niell in the fourth quarter.

While Burncoat was able to cut into Hudson’s lead with late game touchdowns, Hudson running back David Nugent was able to seal the victory for Hudson when he scored his first varsity touchdown on a 10-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks now get next Friday off before they head to Kelleher field on Thanksgiving morning for their annual Turkey Day game against Marlboro.