by Siobhan Richards
Despite the snow, Drama Society held all four performances of Bye Bye Birdie, on March 9, 10, and 11. The show tells the story of a famous rock and roll star that has been selected for the draft and his songwriter’s creative idea to end their career with a final hit song, and a kiss to one of his fans.
by Lily Clardy
Secretly traveling undercover, day and night, through heat waves and treacherous conditions, 8-year-old Susan Sin Myong and her family eventually made it past the armed guards and crossed the 38th parallel, then safely made it to Seoul, South Korea, in 1946.
Seventy-two years later, Hudson High School science teacher Julie Snyder is still amazed by what her parents had to do to survive.
Myong and her family lived in North Korea where they ran a successful business. One day her father learned that the Communists were going to take over their business and kill the owner of the company, him.
After finding this out, the family left as soon as possible without looking back.
Myong’s father got on a fishing boat and hid, until he made it across the border of South Korea.
Myong’s mother made the decision to split the kids up, so it would be less likely for them to get caught. Myong, her sister and brother, hid on a truck filled with bags of charcoal. They laid concealed in the bags for days, not making a sound.
The oldest two and Myong’s mother traveled to the shore line and pretended to be clam diggers. They dug deep trenches and hid in them during the day, so they wouldn’t be seen.
Once Myong and her sister and brother arrived at the border, they met a guide, where he gave them directions on how to go through the mountains without getting caught. It took them about three days to get to a refugee camp in Seoul.
After a week of living in the refugee camp, Myong and her two siblings found their mother and oldest siblings. They waited to leave until they received a letter from their father, saying it was safe to leave.
Myong and her family all took a train to Seoul and bought a small apartment to live in.
To make money, Myong’s father bought gold and jewelry from North Korea and sold it in South Korea to start a textile business, which then became the largest in South Korea.
After years of living in Seoul, Myong met Irwin In Young Soeg, and they eventually got married.
Seog was a naval architect and mechanical engineer. In January 1970, Soeg got a job offer from the richest man in the United States at the time, to work at a large bulk carrier shipping company in New York City.
While living in the United States, Myong was a production pattern maker and worked for Oxford industries. Myong helped design clothes for Macy’s, Target, and famous designers, such as Karl Lagerfeld and Jimmy Choo.
About ten years ago, Seog worked with a Korean church that helps children who have escaped from North Korea. The church set up a refugee camp, so when the children escape they have a place to go to receive food and education.
“The fleeing from North Korea and their immigration into South Korea, along with their struggles has shaped who I am today,” Snyder says. “Our faith has become stronger, and we now understand that we are not alone in these struggles.”
by Clement Doucette
Changing the Hudson High School schedule has always been a rocky and difficult process.
A previous schedule change, conducted in 2013, introduced the current, five-block rotation. However, since the implementation of this schedule, a committee of concerned faculty members has noticed an increasing divide in our school’s culture. Teachers June Murray and Lonnie Quirion lead this committee, known as ARC (Academics, Relationships, and Community). Their work began with a desire to mend this cultural divide.
“It felt like we were moving farther and farther away from things that were always really important to me, like service and relationships,” said Murray. “We decided the best way to start this process was by creating a survey and trying to figure out where students and staff landed regarding how things had shifted in our culture.”
The results of the survey confirmed the ARC committee’s beliefs. Using the survey as a basis for their work, the committee pondered various ways to address the increasing problem.
“The idea began with the concept of perhaps having an advisory program,” said Murray. “However, we have a history at Hudson High School when we tried a program similar to an advisory period called “clustering” that didn’t necessarily work as well as we had hoped.”
School administration implemented clustering after the construction of the current Hudson High School building in the early 2000s It involved students meeting once weekly to participate in a teacher-monitored activity of their choice. Students and teachers would pick their activities at the start of the school year.
Although the program functioned in theory, a lack of student participation marred the effectiveness of the program. Many did not take the programs seriously. Clustering continued for several years until it was finally discontinued, leaving many faculty members with bad memories. Still, the ARC committee insists that their advisory program would not face the same struggles that clustering faced.
“I did a lot of talking to people and there was this woman, Rachel Calder, who is probably one of the most cutting edge people who works with schools to help them change their structure,” said Murray. “One of the things she said to me was to contact the ConVal High School in Peterborough, New Hampshire, because they were doing something interesting.”
At Contoocook Valley Regional High School, frequently shortened to “ConVal,” students participate in a daily, 40-minute advisory period called TASC, intended for academic support and enrichment. At the start of the week, students work with a “home-base” TASC adviser to arrange their schedule for the following four days. For example, a student struggling with math may choose to work with their math teacher during one of that week’s advisory periods. During these TASC periods, teachers work with no more than fifteen students at a time.
Although it may seem difficult to track students during the period, a high-tech solution amends this problem. Teachers conduct scheduling through a custom-made computer program designed by a ConVal staff member. ConVal offers this program to other interested schools at prices ranging from $1,500 to $3,000, depending on features, and comes with an app that would allow students to access their schedule through the week. If students do not show up for their advisory period, they face discipline for skipping class.
Gretchen Houseman, a Spanish teacher and member of the ARC committee, sees this scheduling system as a benefit to her students.
“In terms of scheduling, it really calls the students to take ownership of their own schedule, and I really liked that,” said Houseman. “The students could decide what they were interested in, who they would be with, and where they would go during that time.”
Principal Brian Reagan also appreciates these aspects of the schedule. He has worked with the ARC committee throughout the program’s development and is a crucial link between ARC teachers and school administration. Reagan would play a leading role in contract negotiation procedures, the next step in the program’s implementation.
Faculty conduct contract negotiation whenever there is a school change that could alter working conditions. During this procedure, teachers and faculty meet during labor negotiation meetings to determine if there is a significant change in working conditions that would require amendments to the employee contract.
“It all depends on how it gets presented from our side and received by the labor side,” said Reagan. “We did a survey, and we have a decent amount of support among faculty members, so I feel like there is a positive momentum behind it. I’m hopeful that that isn’t where we get caught up.”
Despite the uncertainty of the contract negotiation process, Murray still believes that the committee could implement the program in a timely manner.
“We’ve created a fact sheet that has answers to staff questions that will be sent out to them, in addition to a mock schedule and a description of what an ARC advisor does,” said Murray. “Upon feedback from them, the hope is that by second semester of next year, we might be looking at a transition. That’s the hope.”
Still, the ARC program has its critics. Some teachers have expressed fears that the block would cut precious time out of their classes. AP teachers, already subjected to tight testing schedules, could feel the time reduction the most. They fear losing seven to nine minutes of class each day. Spanish teacher Gretchen Houseman prefers to look at this time reduction differently.
“Instead of seeing it as time lost, I am thinking of it as time reallocated for another purpose,” said Houseman. “For example, a student who is strong in English maybe doesn’t need those seven minutes of English instruction, but needs an extra thirty minutes of math instruction.”
Despite the positive outlook of committee members, there are some drawbacks to the program’s implementation. In addition to the reduction in class time, teachers have also expressed concern with the number of students that they would instruct during this period. From an outside perspective, helping fifteen students during a forty-minute period may seem manageable. However, this would leave teachers with a mere two minutes and forty-five seconds per student.
While student numbers could be managed through the use of the computer program, the software implementation would impact the tight school budget. Declining school choice figures have hit Hudson hard, and finding an extra $1,500 to $3,000 may be easier said than done.
Even if there were ample funds in the budget, Hudson’s history with the failed clustering program could hamper implementation. Some long standing Hudson High staff members remember its failure and are cautious of implementing another advisory program.
Still, there is a clear and pressing decline in school culture. Using an advisory program may be a resolution to this decline, although it must be implemented cautiously. The precedent of clustering shows that changing the school schedule never has been and never will be a simple and controversy-free process.
The school can take steps to reduce these hurdles. Beginning with a semester-long pilot program would allow for students and staff to get a sense for the program without risking the potential drawbacks of long term implementation. If there are flaws, staff could redesign the program based on what they learned during the pilot period.
Advisory programs are a fixture of many American high schools. It is time for Hudson High School to step up by providing a program that meets the needs of both students and staff.
by Dakota Antelman
Hudson police arrested resident Michael Driscoll for a “civil rights violation” mere moments after he spray painted a Nazi swastika on a jersey barrier on Pope St. in mid-November of 2017.
Three months later, a Big Red investigation has documented the existence of at least four similar symbols in Hudson High School (HHS) bathrooms. Those, however, have gone unreported to administration, joining a larger list of hate speech issues facing the school after the political and cultural upheaval of the 2016 election.
“That makes me worry that if this is happening more regularly,” Principal Brian Reagan said after seeing the Big Red’s reporting. “If this is in more bathrooms and being seen by more students, is somebody not saying something?”
Over the course of four weeks in January and February of this year, the Big Red surveyed every bathroom in the high school and found two complete swastikas etched into stalls walls. In addition to those symbols, the Big Red documented at least one racial slur, one homophobic slur, and two partially erased swastikas also scratched or drawn in bathrooms.
Reagan said the school has a clear procedure in place for documenting and removing these instances of vandalism. If a student or staff member reports the sign or slur, administrators themselves take photographs of it before asking custodians to remove it. If a custodian finds such a sign or slur first, Reagan said he expects them to take a photo or notify administration before taking further action.
“If we see that, then we want to memorialize that in some way…before [the custodians] get rid of it,” Reagan said. “But they do that pretty quickly because they want to get that off the wall.”
That process, however, Reagan said, had only taken place once as of February 15, leaving the four complete swastikas or slurs clearly written on bathroom walls.
While Reagan raised the concern that custodians are not seeing or reporting vandalism, custodian Kevin Blanchard echoed Reagan’s description of the procedure for dealing with such problems. Likewise, he expressed similar frustration with the presence of graffiti on walls.
“I don’t know why people do stuff like that,” he said. “It’s defacing the school, and the swastikas and stuff like that are a part of history that we want to move past.”
Beyond the hate symbols and hate speech documented by the Big Red, however, Reagan said such problems crept out of bathrooms and into classrooms especially in the wake of the 2016 election.
He said he and fellow administrators addressed two cases of students drawing swastikas in their classes. In one, a student “doodled” the symbol on the corner of their paper, prompting a discussion between administrators, the student, and their parents.
“[It was] sort of an education piece for that student and the parent about the power of that and the ramifications of doing such a thing,” Reagan said.
The other case, which Reagan described as much less discrete, prompted a suspension.
“[It was] done in a way that other kids saw it, and [the student] was sort of making a big deal out of it so in that case there was discipline,” he said, later adding, “You would be hard pressed to find a young person in the building who doesn’t understand that that symbol in particular is problematic, but I think we have a lot of younger students who don’t understand exactly how that can impact people.”
Lack of understanding, Reagan said, extends beyond students, even prompting arguments between administrators and parents from time to time.
“We have very heated arguments with parents who disagree with putting a student out of school for two weeks for making a comment like that,” he said. “Our position has always been very firm on that. They can disagree with us, but we’re really trying to set a strong message to students and their families that this behavior is completely unacceptable and that, while it leads to a suspension when you’re 13 or 14 years old in school, it has even bigger consequences when you’re an adult out in the world.”
Within the even larger context of classroom discussion, Reagan said, teachers have observed students emboldened by the current political climate saying once taboo things.
“Whether it be anti-semitic or homophobic or misogynistic, I hear from history teachers all the time that they’re in awe that this might come out of the mouth of a student,” he said. “Two years ago they would not have heard a student say something like that.”
In response to those comments, Reagan said Humanities Curriculum Director Todd Wallingford led multiple meetings with social studies teachers to plan responses to offensive speech in class discussions.
“How do you turn it into an academic moment?” Reagan said of the meetings’ focuses. “You don’t want to overreact, but you turn it into a moment where we all learn from the comment that was just made?”
He said the problem has improved slightly in recent months but added that he feels the presence of eighth graders in HHS made it particularly severe here. He noted that both cases of students drawing swastikas in classes that rose to administrators’ attention occurred in eighth or ninth grade classes.
“There are a lot more immature 13 year olds that are here,” he said.
Overall, Reagan said he fears the current political environment helped foster the rise in hate speech, particularly in young students. As he and his fellow administrators navigated classroom hate speech, however, he noticed the same political climate also prompted an urge to speak up that he had not seen before in his work with students.
“If there’s a plus to what we see happening in Washington, what I’ve seen as a person working with teenagers is that there is this drive among so many of them to be much more socially aware,” he said. “As a result, they say, ‘Feeling like, as a citizen, I need to tell you that this is happening, and it’s not right.’”
Elizabeth Cautela contributed additional reporting.
by Dakota Antelman
Katherine Neff remembers attending meetings at the UN.
She remembers her awareness of the bureaucracy of it all.
She remembers the scheduling conflicts which that bureaucracy beget.
And she remembers that, while those conflicts played out, bloody ones raged a world away.
“To know that there are children being abducted by Al Qaeda while we are trying to have a meeting…that part was frustrating,” she said.
Now a Hudson High School social studies teacher, Neff traveled around the world during and after college, holding jobs at four different organizations all loosely unified around the principle of helping war or poverty stricken communities advance. Her work acquainted her with Haitians recovering from the earthquake that devastated their country in 2011. It introduced her remotely to the plight of laborers in Zambian and El Salvadorian sugar fields and to humanitarians in Malawi opening opportunities for girls to go to school. Then, her work sent her to war torn Ugandan communities where she helped plan access to clean water.
She also landed behind desks in Washington, D.C., and New York and specifically, in meetings at the UN and supporting attendees of meetings at the US Capitol Building among other places.
Neff left international aid after years spent both stateside and abroad. But, before she did, she learned lessons that she applies to her new career as a Hudson High School history teacher.
Much of Neff’s international work focused on helping communities and their members see beyond their often restrictive circumstances to get educations or to improve their health.
In Hudson, she continues to employ that philosophy, now helping her community of students see beyond the circumstance and stereotypes that life in a free and comparatively affluent society gives them.
Early in her career, Neff collaborated with schools in Malawi working to break cycles of child marriages to get young girls into schools and careers.
These communities had, for generations, effectively sold their young daughters into those marriages. Few girls went to school. Many simply stepped from childhood into the homebound lifestyle deemed traditional for women.
Neff’s organization, Advancing Girls Education in Malawi, wanted to change that. In doing so, they set a goal to get 14 year old girls into school and, within five years, see 80% of those girls graduate and/or enter careers.
“They had good numbers of girls who were able to go to school, stay in school and go into some sort of career beyond the traditional roles that women play in Malawi,” she said. “There was enough buy in on the ground from people.”
But, she added, in seeing generations of tradition challenged, some in those communities pushed back.
“There can be backlash where people have these entrenched roles,” she said. “That is a big topic of discussion in the field of international development.”
Changing those entrenched roles proved to be a line running through much of Neff’s time in Africa.
Later in her career, while working with the Clearwater Initiative, a Ugandan NGO, Neff and her colleagues served as educators, pushing a local community to practice better hygiene with their water usage.
Waterborne illnesses ran rampant in at least one community. The stream from which they were drinking was to blame. But the community members would not stop drinking from it. It was the same stream from which their ancestors drank.
Knowing that, Neff, her organization, and the community sought solutions that kept the community drinking out of the same stream without getting sick.
In other places, Neff and her organization taught communities to keep their animals away from clean water supplies and wash their hands before using wells among other things.
“Clean water is great, but if you do not have the hygiene and sanitation and education parts down, too, clean water is ridiculous to have,” she said.
All through her international aid career, Neff taught people to look beyond the traditions and lifestyles with which they were familiar.
In Uganda and Malawi, those were generations-old traditions of drinking from the same stream. They were habits of letting livestock walk right up to riverbanks. They included an expectation that girls would skip education, marry young and never work.
In Hudson, meanwhile, most girls not only go to school, but attend college. Clean water runs from a tap. And food comes from the supermarket, rather than from a live animal by the local river. Traditions and lifestyles here clearly differ from those Ugandan ones. Their strength in shaping perceptions of the outside world, however, is just as strong.
Many she met in Uganda, Neff remembers, believed stereotypes about the outside world.
“They think the U.S is a bunch of fat people eating McDonald’s, which is not the case as all,” she said. “It’s much more complex and different than people think.”
Likewise, some of Neff’s current students hold stereotypes about the corners of the world they’ve never seen.
“Isn’t Africa just desert?” one student once asked Neff.
Using moments like those, Neff now hopes to, with her lessons, break those stereotypes American students have about the very countries she saw first-hand.
“It is just misconceptions because those are the stories we are fed growing up,” she said.
She shares pictures of Africa’s sprawling cities to show students the differences of culture, lifestyle and geography even within the continent. From time to time, she shares stories of her time there.
“I think at 14 years old, you are thinking that a lot of places are strange and far away,” she said. “They don’t have exposure to it.”
Near the end of Neff’s career abroad, tensions in South Sudan ignited into armed conflict. Roughly an hour’s travel away from such active violence, Neff began reevaluating her career path from a personal perspective.
“We were a little nervous while we were there,” she said. “Thinking about it long term, what was my career going to look like? What was my life going to look like?”
The answers to that final question continue to unfold. Neff met and married a man who, like her, saw the impact of human tragedy first hand — he is a veteran of conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
She then left Africa and came to Hudson. Neff is teaching now, her life contextualized not by systemic violence, subjugation, and inaccessible education, but by the hallmarks of suburban America.
6,500 miles removed from her informal classrooms in Uganda, however, Neff still teaches with the same mindset about broadening students’ worldviews. She finds the same joy in doing that she did in Africa.
“Being in the classroom, I am getting that same sort of feeling that I had on the ground in Uganda — the one on one, working with kids is amazing,” she said, later adding, “I love it.”
3.1.18 – 7:33 A.M – An earlier version of this article incorrectly represented Neff’s work at the UN and the US Capitol. She attended meetings at the UN and supported people who attended meetings at the US Capitol but did not technically work at either location.
by Dakota Antelman
Both teams celebrated when time expired on Saturday’s hockey matchup between the Hawks and Marlborough Panthers.
With a 1-1 tie, Hudson punched its ticket to the playoffs by clinching the second seed in the Quinn Conference. Marlborough, meanwhile, kept its own playoff hopes alive with their late comeback in an at times tense rivalry matchup between the teams.
“It’s unreal [to qualify for the playoffs],” said Hudson junior and forward Jameson Fecteau. “I’ve been there before, and the atmosphere is just crazy. I’m just happy that the team gets to experience it for once and actually realize that it’s not all talk and that it actually lives up to what we say it’s like.”
Hudson jumped out to an early lead when sophomore Anthony Carlman jammed a puck past Marlborough’s Owen O’Brien just over eight minutes into the game.
From there, however, O’Brien ignited frustration on the Hudson bench and in the stands when officials called off what would have been a second goal for Hudson early in the second period. As senior Kyle Lally rifled a shot past him, the Marlborough goalie kicked the net slightly off the goal line.
Officials blew the play dead against Hudson’s argument that O’Brien intentionally dislodged the net. Adding insult to injury, Hudson Head Coach Mike Nanartowich said he remembered the net coming loose at least eight times during his team’s last meeting with O’Brien and the Panthers.
“I had already spoken to the official and said, ‘Hey, in the past, he uses the post to push off, so he kicks the net off,’” Nanartowich said. “I think [the officials] were being a little too technical on that, but the call is the call. I made my point.”
Moving on from the reversed goal, Hudson held its lead through the rest of the second period and the first half of the third period before Marlborough’s Tino Pizzarella scored to tie the game.
Both teams locked down defensively in what became a highly physical conclusion to the game as the Panthers and Hawks both battled to preserve at least a tie. Nanartowich noted that he pulled at least one forward back into a defensive position on the majority of shifts in the game’s final minutes.
Marlborough’s players matched that, pushing play to the corners as time ran out.
“We didn’t want to press as much and put ourselves in a bad situation,” he said. “So we just had to shorten our bench and play three defenders down the stretch. We just wanted to be smart and manage the puck well.”
As time expired, both teams stormed the ice with Hudson’s players excitedly celebrating with goalie Ryan Gonzalez despite settling for a tie in a game they led moments earlier. After all, the team was headed back to the playoffs with many of its players now set to make their postseason debuts there.
Hudson missed the playoffs a year ago, last seeing postseason ice in a 2016 loss to Algonquin. That year’s team featured a sampling of this year’s leaders, including Fecteau, who saw considerable playing time in what was a promising freshman season.
Though excited to make that return, Fecteau said he and his team are focused on their remaining games as they work to ensure they finish the regular season in the best position possible.
“We want to get better seeding, so we’re going to just keep treating these like they’re every other game,” he said. “[We will be] trying our best, trying to win these games and pull out some more points.”
by Clement Doucette
Hudson High School celebrated school spirit and winter athletics during a pep rally on Friday. Friday’s rally featured performances by a faculty choir, the jazz ensemble, and the cheer team. The rally concluded with lip-sync performances by members of the hockey and basketball teams.
by Veronica Hayward-Mildish
Next year several courses will be added to the 2018-2019 program of studies. These courses range from technology to art.
These new courses represent subjects that interest students.
“We try and listen to what courses the students want,” says Principal Brian Reagan.
The teachers choose the courses that they think will interest students. Teachers may get these ideas from what students say or what they feel will be a good selection for the students.
The new classes available for next year are as follows:
Computer science is a Project Lead the Way-based class offered to eighth graders and freshmen. In this course students will study mobile apps, programming, and the basics of computer science. This is the first level for computer science courses offered, and it is worth two credits.
Public Speaking will be available to all grades next year. This will be a project-based class where students will learn how to become better public speakers. They will use visual aides to help strengthen presentations, and there will also be a focus on ways to lessen speaker anxiety. This class counts as an academic elective and is worth two credits.
“This course will teach students that with a little hard work and prep, anyone can speak in front of people,” says Drama teacher Kathleen McKenzie, “and that it really isn’t as scary as they may think.”
Another course for all grades is Songwriting and Music Technology. This course will study many music types and how they were composed using computers. Students will study songwriting and how music is formed. This class counts as an academic elective and is worth two credits.
The school wanted to add this course last year but could not because of the high price of the equipment needed for the course, such as computers and keyboards.
Students who are going to be freshman and sophomores can take another Project Lead the Way-related course called Principles of Biomedical Science. In this course students will study ways to determine health conditions, using biology and medicine. This course is an academic elective, and it is worth four credits.
If there is a high interest in this class, then more courses may be added in the future to further students’ studies in biomedical science.
Adobe Illustrator is an elective offered to students who are freshman or older. In this course students will study how to use Adobe Illustrator, and they will be able to create art using the program. This class counts as an academic elective and is worth two credits.
“For the Illustrator class next year,” says technology teacher Arianna Silva, “we’ll be examining how we can use Illustrator to digitize sketches, doodles, and drawings.”
AP Physics 1 is a new option that juniors can take. They will study both the basics of physics and go more in depth. This counts as a lab science, and to be eligible for this class students must have a grade B or higher in Honors Chemistry. They must also have a current enrollment in Honors Precalculus, Honors Calculus or AP Calculus. The course is worth four credits.
The course Mindfulness and Movement will be offered to juniors and seniors. This course will consist of exercise sessions that focus on flexibility, balance, and body alignment. Students will learn breathing and relaxation techniques for stress management. Students expressed an interest in this class through a survey that they took. This counts as an academic elective and is worth two credits.
An H. Adv. Portuguese for Heritage Speakers IV course will be added for those that are eligible. It will count as an Honors language course with four credits. This course will encourage language, not only within families of those that speak Portuguese, but in the Portuguese speaking community as well.
To find more information about these courses go to the HHS Program of Studies.
by Siobhan Richards
The co-op swim team held their senior night against Bromfield on January 26. The girls team lost to Bromfield 117-59, and the boys lost as well with an overall score of 94-77. Despite the loss, swimmers from both the girls and boys teams qualified for sectionals.