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Maddie Haufe swings on a pitch during the game. Haufe would later tie the game with a two run double in the seventh inning. | by Siobhan Richards.

by Dakota Antelman

After forcing extra innings with a six-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Hawk softball team lost one of its longest games in recent memory on Saturday, May 20 by a score of 10-6 in the tenth inning. The late season loss now amplifies the pressure on the Hawks to secure a spot in next month’s playoff tournament.

“That’s a stinger,” said head coach Laura Bowen after the game. “That’s a stinger of a loss.”

The Hawks fell behind early thanks to a three-run Tantasqua first inning. Lindsey Zac started the scoring for the Warriors with a sacrifice fly with no outs in that inning. Kelsey Emrish and Marie Stewart tacked on RBIs of their own as the Warriors sent all nine of their batters to the plate before Hudson could get off the field.

“I think that we put ourselves in a hole,” Bowen said. “When we came out in the first inning and let up three runs, we put pressure on ourselves before we even got a bat in our hand which stinks.”

The score held until the fifth inning when Zac and Emrish knocked in two more runs for Tantasqua, giving them a 5-0 lead. Abby LaFountain batted in Tantasqua’s sixth run in the top of the sixth inning.

As the Warrior offense thrived, the Hawks had just two hits and a walk as they entered the seventh inning trailing 6-0. Two walks and two singles to lead off that inning, however, seemed to turn things around.

“A lot of teams down 6-0 in the seventh inning are going to go up and give up,” said Bowen. “But we brought the next batter up and had quality at bats.”

As Tantasqua batted around in the first inning, the Hawks did the same in the seventh inning, scoring six times during ten individual at bats. Amanda Doucette managed to break the Tansatqua shutout with an RBI single with no outs. Jordyn Safranski then scored from third base on a wild pitch, and Megan Miller chipped away at the lead with a two-run single with two outs. Maddie Haufe finally tied the game with a base clearing two-run double.

“It’s just the momentum that’s going through you [that keeps you going],” Haufe said of her team’s ability to come back. “We were getting pumped up, thinking we can win when we came back with all those runs.”

The game remained deadlocked after the seventh inning, however, dragging into the tenth inning before the Warriors revived their offense. They scored four times in the top of the tenth inning and stifled Hudson’s attempt at a second comeback in the bottom of that inning, winning the game.

While she celebrated Hudson’s ability to force extra innings, Bowen said she wished her team scored earlier in the game.

“We kept saying, ‘Make an adjustment from your at-bats; learn what the umpire is calling; learn what [the pitcher] is throwing,'” she said. “I think that definitely helps. She was a good pitcher, I’m not taking any credit away from her, but, like I said, we have to make adjustments earlier than that.”

The Hawks now sit in third place in the MidWach B league. They need at least two wins out of their last four regular season games if they are to return to the playoffs. Though she said that path will be difficult, Bowen vowed after the Tantasqua loss to “go down fighting.”

“We’re putting a lot of pressure on ourselves for sure, but it’s absolutely doable,” she said. “These girls have it in them. It’s just a matter of if they want it or not.”

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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.

1985

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. “

1991

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.”

1994

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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”

1997
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.”

2002
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.”

2009
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 Alex McDonald and Serena Richards

Hudson High hosted their annual pre-prom reception on Friday, May 12. Check out our gallery.

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Winners of this year's Big Red prom pictures contest.

by Big Red Staff

Juniors attended prom on Friday, May 12. More than 100 of those juniors submitted their prom pictures to the Big Red’s prom pictures contest using the hashtag #HHSPromPics2017. Members of the Big Red staff met Monday and selected winners in seven categories.

The winner of “best picture” wins a $10 Dunkin Donuts gift card.

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Students thank their teachers during teacher appreciation week. | Photos by Dakota Antelman and Jordan Cullen

by Big Red Staff

Last week was teacher appreciation week across the country. Hudson High School students were happy to participate, thanking and praising their teachers in interviews with the Big Red.

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by Cheyenne McLeod

Principal Brian Reagan proposed an incentive for rising seniors to the school committee on April 11. His proposal would allow students with rigorous schedules to have a free “X’ block if they meet certain criteria. On May 9, the school committee voted and approved this schedule change for seniors starting with the class of 2018.

In the following weeks after Advanced Placement exams, qualified rising seniors will be notified and given the option to add an “X” block to their schedule for next year.

The criteria of a rigorous schedule is under discussion, but Reagan says that they will consider the amount of AP and Honors classes students take and their participation in activities.  

Since the introduction of the block schedule four years ago, Reagan said that many parents have become concerned about students’ course load.

Reagan supports this proposal.

“We don’t have a lot of incentives for seniors like a lot of high schools do. There’s not a whole lot that seniors get for almost making it to the finish line. If we put something like this into place, this can help promote academic rigor, excellence and responsibility among our student body.”

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To qualify for this opportunity students must meet the following criteria: a daily attendance rate of 95%, a GPA of 3.5 or higher on the 5-point scale, no disciplinary offenses, and as expected, a signed parent permission form*. Administration will be focused on the student’s junior year to determine eligibility.

 

Students have the option to choose “X” block as either a year-long or a semester course, and “X” blocks are not credit-earning electives. Senior students with an “X” block will be able to leave campus for that 70-minute block period, and on some days that includes coming in late or leaving early. Seniors are also given the freedom to work quietly in the library or receive extra help from a teacher during school hours.

Seniors with an “X” block must carry their student ID with them when they leave and return to campus, and students must sign in and out of the office, as well as comply with all of Massachusetts Junior Operator Licensing regulations. If any rules are broken, the administration can revoke a student’s “X” block privileges.

*Criteria for senior privileges are subject to change.*

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Sample layout for seniors with an “X” block

 

 

Since the approval of “X” block, this raises questions about the junior class. They take rigorous courses, too. Should they be able to have an “X” block?

“If it goes well next year for the seniors,” Reagan says, “we’ll consider a similar option for juniors.” Juniors would not be able to leave campus, but if they qualified, they could have a study hall period.

As for the underclassmen, Reagan has hope that this change will “encourage underclassmen to work hard” and earn better grades to eventually qualify for this opportunity.

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Rodrigues saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the 5/2/17 Committee Meeting, where he signed his contract. By| hud TV Live Stream

by Serena Richards

Marco Rodrigues was named the new Superintendent of the Hudson Public Schools on March 24. He will replace Dr. Jodi Fortuna for the upcoming 2017- 2018 school year.

Rodrigues is currently working within the Worcester school system. During his time in Worcester he developed what he believes would eventually win him the Hudson job: an increase in parent involvement.

Having a background with this type of work, being Chief Academic Officer in Worcester and the Manager of Special Education and Intervention Services for the district, Rodrigues says he is “very familiar with service delivery and instructional practices.”

“The first step toward creating greater parental engagement is for district personnel, at all levels, to have a collective understanding with a set of expectations that bridge the communication and interaction between schools and families,” he explains.

Along with how similar the demographics are between Hudson and Worcester, they have prepared him for taking this job, saying that “[Worcester is a] diverse community with complex issues and great assets. To that end, having had a vast array of experiences allowed me to expand my knowledge and skills, and it has prepared me [for Hudson].”

Along with these experiences in Worcester, Rodrigues brings his knowledge of foreign languages. He is trilingual. He is fluent in English as well as Spanish and Portuguese. Rodrigues sees this as one of his strengths coming in to a school system where many parents speak these languages.

“[The] language barrier is a major issue in education as we thrive to engage parents in the education of their children. I hope to expand family engagement and reduce the language barriers in Hudson, so parents fully participate and have a voice in the education of their children while in Hudson Public Schools,” Rodrigues explains.

Rodrigues also plans to work more on helping our students with disabilities because they “seemed to be the student sub-group with the lowest level of academic achievement. As I transition into Hudson, this will be one of my top issues to learn more about the district’s practices related to servicing students with disabilities.”

Rodrigues also touches upon the growing concern around the mental health of students.

“Mental health issues are a growing concern in every school district in the state and in the nation. Hudson is not exempt from it, and before we develop a course of action, it is extremely important to thoroughly understand what the student population in Hudson is experiencing and what trends in behavioral health have emerged,” he further explains.

He hopes to evaluate the situations as they come and find the best course of action involving all the members of our school system, to further help our community.

“I was very particular about applying to positions for which my skills and abilities would be a match to the district’s needs. Considering my experience in special education, English learners, and district turnaround, I felt that Hudson would be a great match for me. I am honored that the Hudson School Committee has chosen me to be the next superintendent,” Rodrigues says.

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|by Brianna Cabral

The 2017 annual Washington D.C. trip was 5 days and 4 nights long. The Freshmen left on Tuesday, April 25 and came on Saturday April 29.

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A Hudson firetruck waits outside Hudson High School as students leave after dismissal. The last of the firetrucks to respond to HHS left shortly after 2pm. | by Dakota Antelman

by Dakota Antelman

A lightbulb in the HHS auditorium malfunctioned on Monday afternoon, prompting a full evacuation of HHS and disrupting students taking the AP Psychology exam at the time.

The malfunction took place just after 1:15 p.m. during a drama class held in the auditorium at the time. A district electrician reached later Monday afternoon said he saw smoke when he entered the auditorium shortly after the incident.

Firefighters also immediately responded to the school while students and their teachers gathered outside. Though the evacuation lasted roughly 15 minutes, at least one firetruck lingered at the school until shortly after 2 p.m..

“Everything is safe and fine,” Principal Brian Reagan said in an announcement to the school after the evacuation ended. “We appreciate your cooperation.”

The malfunction did snarl a variety of specific activities throughout the afternoon. Students already more than an hour into their AP Psychology exam had to leave their testing room when the smoke triggered fire alarms.

According to Sophia DiPlacido, a student taking the exam at the time, her test proctor calculated the time students missed due to the evacuation and added it onto the previously scheduled end of the test to allow students to finish.

“All the test scores should still be valid,” she added. “They didn’t say otherwise.”

Director of Guidance Counseling and AP Test Coordinator Angie Flynn confirmed that the scores will not be invalidated Tuesday morning in an email.

Though her score will count, DiPlacido said the evacuation did still impact her.

“It was stressful when we were outside because we had no idea if we would be able to make up the time we missed,” she said.

The additional time also caused problems for AP Psychology students and their extracurricular activities. DiPlacido said that, since they were not allowed to leave the testing room until the test was over, even some students who finished early were late for work, sports practices or other after-school commitments.

In addition to AP Psychology, the malfunction briefly raised concerns about the town meeting scheduled to take place Monday evening at 7 p.m., roughly five hours after the incident. Firefighters and facilities staff were able to disperse the smoke and a faint chemical smell long before the meeting, however, allowing the event to proceed as scheduled.

Monday’s incident also marks the second time in two years that a fire alarm has disrupted standardized testing at HHS. Last April, during the 10th grade English MCAS exams, alarms prompted the evacuation of the school.

Like this incident, however, students who were still testing at the time were able to complete their tests.

“Students need to stop testing, the proctor needs to secure the room after it is emptied, and then students can simply resume testing when they re-enter the building,” Reagan explained of the MCAS protocol for evacuations in an email. “Because MCAS is untimed, there are really no issues with losing time for a fire alarm.”

After the smoke and the chemical smell had subsided, the district electrition lingered in the auditorium testing lights and speaking with drama teacher Kathleen McKenzie about what happened. This incident, he said, was the first of its kind to take place in the now 14-year-old new high school building.

He added that a “thermal overload” sensor normally prevents malfunctions like the one that triggered Monday’s evacuation. The sensor, he explained, is designed to shut off a light before it gets too hot. “It seems like that failed today,” the electrician concluded.