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Signs posted along the walk guiding participants through the race depict Michaella throughout her life. | by Siobhan Richards

by Siobhan Richards

The Miles and Smiles for Michaella event in memory of Michaella Walsh Libby was held at the Morgan Bowl on October 21. Libby was a member of the HHS class of 2010, and she attended the University of Maryland before her passing in 2012.  

Her parents, Marty and Erin (Walsh) Libby; younger brothers, Nick and Ben Libby; as well as friends and family join together each year to put on the event. This year the Michaella Walsh Libby Foundation became an official non-profit charity, and it has added a third scholarship.

To raise money for the foundation each year there is a 5k walk around Hudson, as well as events such as the high heel dash. In addition, there are small raffles donated by family, friends and local businesses, and a larger raffle to win a trip to Tuscany, Italy. 

They give scholarships each year. One goes to a HHS senior who is dedicated to serving the community and is going into the field of public health, just as Michaella was. This year’s recipient was Cara Sullivan who is interested in the public health field at the University of New Hampshire. The second scholarship goes to a student at the University of Maryland, who is also an AOII sorority sister. This year a third scholarship will go to three children in Honduras to attend bilingual schools as part of a joint effort with the Students helping Honduras foundation.

As a Hudson High School student, Michaella participated in cheerleading, gymnastics, and track and field. Each year the current cheerleaders help run the event. They provide balloons and sharpies for the balloon release. Each person has a balloon and may write a message to their loved ones who have also passed away.

The foundation continues to grow each year, keeping not only Michaella’s memory alive, but her passion for helping others.

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Freshmen English class put their chromebooks to use.

by Ally Jensen


The Hudson school district has provided students in grades eight, nine, and ten a personal chromebook free of charge this year.

Students have been actively using these new devices in classes, and many teachers have been beginning to use less paper and more technology.

“Most of the time I get to choose to take my notes online or on paper, but homework has changed because in my classes there is a lot more online work,” says freshman Audrey Dezutter. But not only are the computers useful for notes, classwork can also be managed online.

“On Day 1 [of each 7-day cycle] I’ll have my freshmen write a practice paragraph on Google Classroom, and then I can just go online and make notes or corrections. What I like about Google Classroom is that it allows you to see all the mistakes and also the corrections, so you can still see the error,” says English teacher Jennifer Wallingford. “I usually have them use the chromebooks at least once every seven-day cycle.”

Some teachers have used Google Classroom for a while now, but with the release of the Chromebooks even more teachers are using it. Now teachers have been more up to date with assignments and can even post lessons ahead of time, which allows students to get to see what the upcoming work will look like.

In addition to having access to future assignments, having classwork posted online makes it easier for students who were absent to catch up on missed work. This makes students more responsible for their own education in new ways.

“If they’re not checking Google Classroom, then they might not remember to do the work,” Wallingford says. “I think there’s still a certain amount of diligence required if you’re looking in your planner or on Google Classroom.”

Students are now more in charge of their work because they have new ways to reach it outside of the classroom. One of the most important factors of the Chromebook distribution is the expansion of learning methods and the new way to personalize each student’s education, and now all students with these devices are given equal opportunities.



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by Clement Doucette

Hudson celebrated its 20th Annual Pumpkin Fest at Morgan Bowl on Saturday.  Community organizations, businesses, and performers came to showcase their work around town, while children and adults appeared in costume.



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by John Houle

Spirit Committee hoped to inspire more student involvement and spirit this year in its approach to spirit week. will host this year’s homecoming dance at the Portuguese Club on October 21. This idea was introduced by the JR Boosters and is being implemented to increase school spirit.

Spirit Committee faculty advisor Chelsea Silva was a member of Spirit Committee when she was in high school. Now, Silva sees a lack of spirit in school and has identified how this has occurred.

“When I was in Spirit Committee,” Silva said, “the class officers and the grades had a more active role in creating school spirit. Now, this common active role has stopped, and Spirit Committee has to be more active and push for their ideas to be implemented.”

Homecoming has included Spirit Week, a full week of dress up days. This week has included both classic dress up days, such as color day, and new ideas, such as pink day, but one classic day will not be making an appearance.

“This year,” spirit committee member Bianca Chaves said, “Red and White day will be replaced with USA day because the homecoming game will be USA themed.”

Spirit week culminates with the first pep rally of the year. This year will feature a schedule that’s unlike previous pep rallies.

“The schedule of the rally,” Chelsea Silva said, “will include a focus on interaction with a trivia club competition and performances from the band and dance team.”

The pep rally will also announce a homecoming king and queen for each grade. The male student and the female student that have shown the most school spirit throughout the week will win. The rewards for winning this competition will include a tiara and bragging rights.

Spirit Committee also created a hashtag challenge on Instagram. For the competition, each grade will get the hashtag #HudsonHighSpiritYOG, with YOG being replaced with the student’s year of graduation. The grade with the most pictures will win free admission to Friday night’s homecoming game.

The multitude of photos on the Instagram and Twitter accounts show that the Spirit Committee’s efforts to increase school spirit have been successful.

The week will end with a homecoming dance at the Portuguese Club on October 21. Junior Boosters introduced this idea to increase school spirit.

“I hope,” Silva said, “that everyone appreciates Spirit Committee’s efforts and participates in homecoming.”

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by Rebecca Shwartz

Paul D’Alessandro is retiring this year after working at Hudson High for 32 years, teaching the workshop class that began along with his career. 

“I’ve been working in public schools for 36 years, and it’s not as common now for teachers to work at one place for their entire career, but I chose to work here for these past 32 years,” D’Alessandro says.

“David Quinn told me ‘Oh, you should work here, they need someone to run vocational classes,’ so I took his advice and applied,” D’Alessandro says. It had started out as a dropout prevention class called STRIVE, convincing students who were thinking of dropping out to stay and attend the class. It became something much more than that as the years went by.

After he graduated with a Special Education degree, D’Alessandro was hired as a special education teacher to teach vocational skills, thus creating the workshop class. The class, now connected through the Carpenters’ Union Training Facility, would help students prepare for entering that vocation.

“It’s amazing, watching them grow from knowing nothing about building to keeping an eye on them as they make their own cabinets,” D’Alessandro says. “My students usually go into the field of carpentry and woodworking, either working the wood or planning constructions.”

D’Alessandro has built many different products for customers with the help of his classes, ranging from barn doors to wardrobes and cabinets.

Since D’Alessandro is retiring, the future of the workshop is unclear. “It’s up in the air, what’s going to happen with the workshop class, but students won’t be able to get training before going to the facility.” 

In addition to starting the workshop, D’Alessandro has been involved in other important school programs, such as coteaching. The STRIVE class came to an end five years ago due to the fact that students weren’t passing MCAS. At that point D’Alessandro re-entered the classroom. When coteaching, a program that brought special education and regular education teachers together in the classroom, started, D’Alessandro taught with English teacher Shane McArdle and physics teacher Kate Chatellier. He taught Academic Support and two classes of woodworking as well.

“Even though I’m retiring, every moment here was memorable for me; every success and failure, teaching with McArdle, and all the years I spent here,” he said.

“He’s a great guy, and I’m going to miss him,” McArdle said. “He helped me build a shed, built an adjustable stool for my three year old. He’s great.”

“This was a great ride,” D’Alessandro said, “and it’s something I won’t forget.”


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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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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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The Spike for MS sign hung up in the gym | by Brianna Cabral

by Brianna Cabral

Over the last two years, Hudson resident Andrew Perna has organized a volleyball tournament to raise money for multiple sclerosis research. By the end of the tournament on May 7 he had raised $2,731 ($6,000 including last year’s donations).

Fourteen years ago Perna’s wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease involving damage to the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that over time affects the function of the nerves and muscles. “The cause of MS is close to my heart. I know there’s a lot of people that are connected to the disease in the Hudson community,” Perna says.

To play in the tournament, each team must have five players, two of which are female. Each player pays $25 as commission.

| by Brianna Cabral
by Brianna Cabral

He also raises money through raffles. In addition to watching the teams play, people can check out the table displaying all of the prizes that businesses have donated. This year the Celtics donated a basketball signed by Isaiah Thomas, the Red Sox gave a signed photo, and DROXX (a local barber shop) donated a $50 gift card.

Eveh though Perna knows many people in the community, organizing these events can be challenging. “It’s hard to keep everyone happy because everyone has got to find something that they don’t like,” he says. “But it’s a lot of fun, and there’s really not a lot of stress involved because I have so many people that help out.”

This is not the only charity event they hold for the year. “We also do a walk every year,” Perna explains, “and a muck run. I just thought [the volleyball tournament] was another way to raise more money for a cause so important to me.”

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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.

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by Serena Richards

After learning about the Vans Custom Culture contest from Principal Reagan, art teacher Jenna Johnson and other art teachers encouraged students to create sneaker designs for one of five categories. Johnson’s fashion design class voted on the submissions in those five categories on March 24.

The art teachers loved how well the contest fit with the new fashion design class’s curriculum, Johnson explained. Since the class currently does not have a project planned around footwear, Johnson thought giving the students the opportunity to vote on our school’s submissions would be good for the class.

Several students entered. “Since so many of the students here are into their shoes, it was a good idea to give them an opportunity to design their own,” Johnson said.

The fashion class voted on four submissions, one from each category, to represent the school in the contest.  In the action sports category, they voted for eighth grader Ariel Bobe’s design. For the art category, they chose eighth grader Kaytlynn Butland’s design. Freshman Annalise Chaves was chosen for the local flavor category, and sophomore Chris Hatch was chosen for the music category. Savanna Fillmore also won for the textile design pattern.

After the fashion design students picked the winners, each contestant applied the designs onto a physical shoe. The school winners have been working on the final designs since March 24.

The window for submissions to the national contest opened on March 1 and closed on April 10, but national voting on the designs does not start until April 26. Van’s will create and sell the winning designs, and the art department would win $50,000. The top five national winners would fly to Los Angeles to celebrate the designs.