Features

Hannover City Hall in Lower Saxony is one of the many sites students will visit this spring. | photo credit: HHS File Photo, 2012

by Alicia Chaves and Julia Gigliotti

For almost twenty years, the German Exchange program has been a vital part of the Hudson High Community. Recently, Hudson High students and families hosted 20 German students for two weeks.

The program began in 1999 when Hudson High offered German as a foreign language course. Library paraprofessional Ms. Alexandra, who grew up in Germany, started the exchange because of her German background.

“The program is still going on; I’m happy.”

The German students came to stay with their host families in September and the Hudson High students go to Germany in April. They will stay for around ten days. “It’s the only exchange we have at HHS that allows students to stay and live in another country, and to go home with the student hosting them.” says Emily Smyth, one of the current teachers in charge of the program.

Germans and their host families visited sites, such The New England Aquarium, the Boston Museum Science, The Prudential Tower, Lexington and Concord as well as toured the Hudson Fire Department and Hudson Historical Society.

When HHS students go to Germany they will immerse themselves in the culture by touring major cities like Berlin and Hamburg as well as hike through the mountains. They will visit castles, Medieval Cathedrals and the German Reichstag (Congress) building. Students’ will also walk along the former East-West Germany Border and learn more about the Berlin Wall and the concentration camps.

Smyth, as well as Gretchen Houseman and Whitney Nielsen are now in charge of the German exchange program. They have lead the charge for the past few years.

“It’s an important program that helps HHS students built meaningful connections with real people in another country.” Nielsen said. She continued, “Traveling like a tourist is great too, but staying with a family and sharing their everyday experiences help students get to know a culture in a meaningful way.”  

The 2018-2019 German Exchange students with their host student at HHS this past September. | Photo Credit: Gretchen Houseman
A Panoramic View of Hannover from City Hall. | Photo Credit: HHS File Photo 2012.
Whitney Nielsen leads HHS students through Hannover on the 2015 trip. | Photo Credit: HHS File Photo, 2015.
Students on the 2015 German Exchange Trip document their visit to Hannover City Hall. | Photo Credit: HHS File Photo, 2015.

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Anthony Curtis (80) warms up before the game against Clinton. | by Brianna Devlin

Hudson Hawks taking on the Clinton Gaels. Ending with a score of 10 to 13.

 

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German students with their host students, from L-R: Angelique Christodulidi, Clara Schmucker, Matts Hamann, Maddie Hay, Caitlin Reagan and Ben Carme | Photo Credit: Caitlin Reagan

by Colleen O’Malley and Paige Thomason

The tradition of the German Exchange program continued at Hudson High this September.

Every two years, students living in Germany experience life in Hudson as well as the history of Massachusetts by going on field trips in and around Boston and attending classes with their hosts.

Students and their teachers, Sven Wendlandt and Janina Blaumeiser arrived on September 16 from Helmstedt, Germany. During classes with their host students, they partook in discussions and activities. They also traveled to Boston, The New England Aquarium, Lexington and Concord, Plymouth Plantation, as well as the Hudson Fire Department,

Hudson host students will travel to Germany over February break for ten days, touring major cities and sites.

Just an hour before the Germans departed, a going away party was thrown in room F-101 by German Exchange Coordinators Gretchen Houseman, Whitney Nielsen and Emily Smyth to celebrate the experience.

The group was able to connect with someone from a different country one final time. Students reflected on their stay.

“The experience was pretty insane, I thought it was going to be worse” said German student Janne Schinke.

Many German students felt the same as Janne, and felt very welcomed into the school.

“All the people are nice to you, my favorite part was hanging out with everyone”  said German student Johannes “Saperin” Stachlewitz

The German students explained how different living in America compared to living in Germany.

“American flags are everywhere… also, it is not normal to have green hair in Germany” said Johannes  Stachlewitz “The classes are only 45 minutes from where we are”.

Something that surprised Janne Schinke was that “Everyone is on their phone in the car”.

Both students agreed that their overall experience was full of “nice people” and a typical day in Germany was much different than a day in the life of a typical American.

 

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Students evacuate during ALICE drill. | photo courtesy of HudTV

by Veronica Mildish with help from The Big Red staff

With the prevalence of U.S. school shootings, Hudson Public Schools trained students and teachers within the community for the worst case scenario.

ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training was created as an alternative to the lockdown procedure for an armed intruder. The ALICE Training Institute claims it is seen as a safer, proactive procedure which provides many options for differing situations.

According to the ALICE website, the procedure that began in 2013 is used by 4,200 schools across the nation.

With the help of the Hudson Police Department, Hudson High practiced this procedure on Wednesday, September 12.

Principal Jonathan Bourn announced over the loudspeaker that this was a drill and that an intruder was on the bottom floor in E pod, heading towards the dance studio. He provided a brief description, as he would in this actual situation. Teachers and students had to brainstorm what they would choose to do with that information.

“I’ve only been here a short time, but the teachers I’ve spoken to really are invested in your safety and well-being,” said Principal Bourn.

Students and teachers alike worked together to practice the best outcome for the simulated situation. Even with the practice, some were still in shock.

“I just couldn’t imagine someone having a weapon inside our school,” said freshman Mason Cole.

The drills are in place, so people know what to do in case this scenario becomes a reality.

“We were prepared,” said Detective Shamus Veo after the drill concluded, “We do this to be prepared but you can always be more prepared.” Hudson police and school officials will look at what ways they can improve the training.

Even with the drill, some students feel as if they still are not ready.

“I don’t think I could be prepared for something like this,” said senior Angelina Vaccari,  “In the moment I would freeze.”

For other students, it barely affected them.

“I wasn’t scared,” said sophomore Maggie Baker  “I knew it was a drill and most people acted like it was a drill”

Multiple people felt this way.

“I felt, a little uneasy, but the general reaction from the drill wasn’t a serious one,” said junior Bruno Capatio.

Some of the students were goofing off during the drill, jumping around and playing with their friends while practicing the evacuation.

“That’s kind of a natural human response to what is a fairly sizable topic,” said Principal Bourn.

While some students struggled with behavior other students struggled with understanding the announcements, as they are not native English speakers.

“It took a few minutes,  but native speakers from the class next door helped translate,” said ELL history teacher, Pamela Porter.

For some of the students, they have never experienced a drill like this before.

“In Brazil, we don’t do this, we don’t do tests,” said freshman Tiago De Nascimento “We just have to know what to do.”

With that help, the students were able to understand what was happening and follow the practice procedure that they needed to.

“I knew it was fake but I was still nervous,” said junior Maiara Carvalho.

Others are also nervous; nervous that this drill could become a reality.

“I feel sad that this is where society is and that it has gotten to the point where we have a drill for this,” said English teacher, Elizabeth Albota.

But “protection and safety must be the priority,” as said on the ALICE website this is why the drills are done: to be prepared.

“I don’t think you can ever be prepared enough,” said freshman Alessa Mauri, “We’ve gotten to the point where anything can happen at any time.”

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The School Committee candidates answer questions at a forum before the election. | Submitted photo

by John Houle

The School Committee elections on May 11 resulted in the reelection of chairperson Glenn Maston, the end of Michele Tousignant Dufour’s tenure, and the election of Matthew McDowell and Nina Ryan.

Both McDowell and Ryan have education experience. McDowell is an assistant principal in Acton while Ryan worked in a Sudbury child care facility.

All of the newly elected candidates as well as the voters emphasized the need for communication between the School Committee and the public.

Elizabeth Cautela was one student who voted.

“I based my vote on the budget forum,” Cautela said, “which made me angry due to people saying that students didn’t matter.”

McDowell also had a reaction to the budget forum.

“When I saw the budget forum, I was surprised,” McDowell said. “The district should have had a clearer, more transparent plan.”

Maston felt differently.

“We don’t want to harm student’s experiences,” Maston said, “so the cuts made were unfortunate yet necessary.”

The cuts resulted in the public being unhappy with the School Committee. While Maston still stands by his opinion on the cuts, he does believe School Committee can learn from the cuts and repair the relationship between the public and School Committee.

“I think School Committee has learned from last time,” Maston said, “and needs to work on building a relationship with the community.”

McDowell agrees with Maston.

”We need to focus on listening and learning,” McDowell said, “so that we can find out what the public wants.”

Ryan felt that people elected her because “they wanted change. They wanted a new voice.”

She believes that “the community has a strong voice, but no one shows up to the meetings.”

While Cautela does not go to the meetings, she says that there is another place where people’s voices can be heard.

“School elections are vital,” Cautela said, “as voting lets you voice your desire for change.”

“Voting is a civic duty,” Cautela said, “so you can’t complain if you don’t vote.”  

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Terry Herring and colleague Julie Snyder | Submitted photo

by Juliana Freeman

Paraprofessional Terry Herring helps a student understand how to do a math problem. | by Juliana Freeman

After 37 years of teaching, Terry Herring is retiring this year. Herring has found great joy working with the students and staff at the school.

 “It has been a pleasure coming to work every day and being in the company of professional, caring teachers and staff,” Herring said. 

Melissa Leisure has been working with Herring for 8 years. “She is such a hard worker and loves working with the kids,” Leisure said.

Herring loves spending time with her colleagues both inside and outside of the classroom. “When I first came here, the department had a Yankee swap before Christmas and had a Boxing Day. I also love being able to sit with the teachers and talk to them about the curriculum here,” Herring said.

She uses many techniques to engage students.

“I remember one time I had to do a math class with a small group of boys, and I told them that we were having a math opera and they were only allowed to sing the answers,” Herring said.

At the beginning of her career, she taught religious education from 1981-2004 at St. Bridget’s religious education program in Maynard, and from there she started working as a paraprofessional in 2004. She then went to Maynard High School for 5 years (2004-2009), which led her to teaching at Hudson High. 

“I left Maynard High School when my youngest, Thomas, entered high school. I felt the last thing a high school boy would want was his mom in the building with him,” Herring said.

She wanted teaching to be her career because she really wanted to help students enjoy, learn, and love math.

 ”I only teach math, but I’ve worked with science teachers, too. I love working with DNA, punnett squares, Mendel, etc. I chose to teach math because in my capacity here at HHS, I can break down, step by step, how to successfully do a math problem!” Herring said. 

“She will go to the end of the earth, getting scrap paper, folding stuff just to show kids how things work in geometry. She will do anything to help the kids out,” Leisure said.

Her proudest moments here are when her students show confidence in their work and when she has had a hand in the success (graduation) of a student.

She looks forward to retirement, but she is also sad to go.

“Oh my goodness. I will miss the teachers, staff, students, hallways. Everything. I get so happy when I walk down the halls and kids yell out, ‘Hi.’ I love the school spirit, too!” Herring said. 

“I will miss how sincere she is, how she asks how I’m doing, and how she asks what she can do to help,” Leisure said.

After she retires, she will continue to write a book for her grandkids, “The Grandma Diaries,” and to be the grandmother helper at her grandkids’ schools, as well as skiing, skating, and bike riding!

 

 

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Jordan Bushey gives Principal Reagan a hug instead of a handshake. |by Ally Jensen

by Bianca Chaves

Dr. Brian Reagan is leaving Hudson High School after seven years as principal to become the assistant superintendent at Wilmington High School.

Assistant Principal Dan McAnespie has been working closely with Reagan since he was hired. “He’s one of those people who knows what’s going to happen before it happens,” McAnespie says.

McAnespie also thinks Reagan’s best quality is how he works with the people of the school. “He has a good vision of what our staff wants,” McAnespie says, “and what the culture of the building is supposed to be.”

English teacher Susan Menanson has enjoyed working with him. “The teachers always knew that he would support you,” Menanson said. “He would always have our backs.”

McAnespie also comments on his communication skills. “His communication is excellent,” McAnespie explains. “If it’s with parents, students, or staff, it’s just one of his strengths.”

Menanson was very pleased when Reagan got the job. “He was young, and I figured that he would come in with new ideas and would be flexible,” Menanson said.

She also like how invested he was in the school “because he had children that soon would be coming into the high school.”

Reagan will deal with a wider variety of students at his new school. “I’m going to learn more about elementary schools and middle schools,” Reagan said. “I have some experience there but certainly nothing compared to my experience at the secondary level.”

Reagan hopes for a great future for Hudson High School. “I’m very committed to the school. I really want to see Hudson High continue to be successful,” Reagan says, “and I want to see it grow with new programs and new opportunity for kids.”

Leaving Hudson High School is bittersweet for Reagan. “What I will miss most here is the students,” Reagan says. “I think our student body here is the most genuine and good to be around. They always look happy to be here.”

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Kayla Popovich created a dress made out of newspaper. She wanted a colorful background, so she took purple and blue and painted the background. | by Lily Clardy
Natalie Peterson mimicked an image from her camera roll, a landscape. | by Lily Clardy

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Hatch sits in his car posing for a picture. | by Ariana Jordan MacArthur

by Bianca Chaves

Senior Josh Hatch was never really interested in cars unlike most of the men in his family who started and ran auto shops. He is the son of David Hatch, who works at Hatch and Sons auto shop in Hudson. They specialize in restoring Mercedes Benz.

The Hatch and Sons auto shop started in Hudson with Bob Hatch, Josh’s grandfather. Once the business grew, it moved to a bigger garage in Wayland. Years later Bob Hatch retired. After being retired for a few years, he opened his shop again in Hudson.

Hatch did not share that love. “Before I got my first car, I didn’t really care about cars,” Hatch said. “But when I got my permit and looked for a car, I started to get interested.”

Like his father Hatch developed an interest in cars later. “I started getting into cars when I turned 15,” Hatch said.  “While my eldest brother Chris was into them his whole life, my middle brother Andrew was never into cars.”

Hatch’s first car was a 2003 BMW M3. He bought it because it was cheaper. The engine was ticking. “We bought it and thought it could be a really easy valve adjustment,” Hatch said, “but it wasn’t that. One of the rocker arms was worn, causing the tick.” Hatch and his dad took the whole engine apart.

Hatch spent a lot of time fixing his car. “Fixing it was really hard because I had never worked on a car before,” Hatch said. “We started it in November, and just on the weekends we would go in the garage and work on it. That work went until when it started getting nice out, like around April.”

At first, he was unable to help a lot because he was still learning. “At the beginning I did nothing because I didn’t know what I was doing, so my dad mostly worked on it,” Hatch explains. “By about halfway through, I was helping significantly.”

Once the car was finally finished, Hatch took it out for the first drive. “The first drive in my car was awesome,” Hatch said. “It felt awesome that everything worked out. Driving it for the first time on my own was also very cool but scary as it was my first driving experience.”

Since then, Hatch has completed some big jobs. “Last summer I completely tore apart a BMW M3 motor,” he said. “I took out the cylinder head, oil pan, subframe and eventually the entire motor came out all on my own. It was very fun.”

This work has impacted his relationship with his family. “I bonded so much with my brother Chris and my dad,” Hatch explains. “We always had something to talk about, and we would hang out nearly every weekend doing something to a car.”

Hatch is entering college this fall to pursue a degree in finance, but he will keep “cars as just a hobby.”

“I am still learning to this day,” Hatch says. “There is nothing specifically that is really hard to learn; it just all takes experience and time to figure out how things work.”

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Kathy Murphy attends Friday Night Out with Joan Marchese and Paul D'Alessandro. I Submitted Photo

by John Houle

After 30 years, speech pathologist Kathy Murphy is retiring at the end of the school year. Despite leaving the district, Murphy will still be continuing her work at a different place.

“Over the summer,” Murphy said, “I plan on working at the Ely Center, where I will continue to work with students in the same way I do here.”

One benefit the Ely Center has to offer is more free time because Murphy will only work one day a week.

“I plan on using my free time to train for marathons,” Murphy said. “My goal is the Iron Man triathlon.”

Despite her love for her work, Murphy had different plans in the beginning.

“I initially wanted to be a math teacher,” Murphy said, “but the difficulties in getting a teaching job in the 80s caused my advisor to advise me to go into speech pathology.”

Murphy took the advice, and her teacher for those classes, Anna Cohen, solidified her opinion.

“I loved what Anna was doing with disabled students,” Murphy said. “She knew how to give students with limitations a fulfilling life.”

Murphy then began working in Hudson Public Schools. Murphy ultimately worked at every school except for Farley.

“My favorite school is the high school,” Murphy said, “because it was the school I spent the most time at.”

One of Murphy’s accomplishments at the high school was the establishment of the Friday Night Out program. Murphy got the idea in 2013 while meeting with students.

“One thing I noticed during my meetings with students,” Murphy said, “was that students didn’t do much during weekends, so I set out to rectify that.”

“I am happy to see Friday Night Out grow and become successful,” Murphy said, “culminating in the Party Bus trip in May.”

Murphy has also worked in the preschool located in the high school. Murphy admits to feeling more at home at the preschool level.

“While working at the preschool, I got the ability to co-teach,” Murphy said, “which allowed me to see the kids more and know the students better.”

One of the challenges she faced when she worked in the preschool was getting accreditation.  

“Accreditation was a stressful time,” Murphy said, “as we had to fill out paperwork and have frequent visits from the Office of Children’s Services.”

The visits introduced new techniques to Murphy.

“The Office of Children’s Services allowed children to make more choices in playtime,” Murphy said. “It made them them better decision makers in the future.”

Murphy also learned new techniques at the high school.

“Over time, my strategies integrated more with the curriculum,” Murphy said, “which made more sense than playing games, which was what I did before.”

Murphy also implemented social thinking and social mapping, learning styles that help students establish relationships, an essential skill.

While Murphy’s experience at the district wasn’t perfect, she sees her experience as overall positive.

“There’s a lot I’m going to miss,” Murphy said. “I’ll miss the people I met and the routine I established.”